Growing up to be…

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” may be the most damaging phrase we can ask a child. It implies that we have to “be” something other than who we are. No wonder so many of us are fu&%ed up as adults running around trying to find our purpose.  We were born to be ourselves, that’s our purpose. This preoccupation with occupation ties us to our egos and not ourselves.

As ourselves we get to do things. We arrange flowers, we can build things or we can help people in various ways such as caring for them, helping them navigate the world or making them smile.  We all have talents we were born with. Hopefully the skills we develop along the way make those talents shine and not have us trying to grow into being “something”  which implies that exactly who we are is not enough.

Let me ask you, have you ever felt like you’re not enough? If you answered no, I’m calling bullsh&t.

The feeling of not being enough is the fuel that makes us compete with others as opposed to challenging ourselves to do our personal best. It’s what causes us to be jealous. It makes us compare our lives to other’s lives on social media. It is was brings us to a place of judgement against others instead of turning the mirror on ourselves.

Perhaps if we ask our children (including our own inner child) “What do you want to contribute?” “What sets your heart on fire so bright that the glow warms those around you?” Maybe if we asked the question this way, we would realize our purpose is to be ourselves and that is enough. Then we could spend all that energy we’ve used searching and focus it in on sharing and developing those unique and amazing gifts within us with the world.

This week I ask you to try to crack that outer shell of what you’ve grown up to “be” and see if you can feel the light of who you are shining through those cracks. I pretty much guarantee that it will be there. Yeah, it may be dim at first and seem like it’s coming from a distant place but try to focus in on it. Peer in through those cracks and see what’s in there.

My Aunt, who babysat me every weekday of my extreme youth, says I was the happiest kid and full of laughter. My Gram use to say I wasn’t a troublemaker, I was simply inquisitive. I was drawn to the beautiful things around me and I loved to create even more beauty combining these found treasures.

As my outer shell continues to crumble and fall to the ground around me, I continue to grow. I fear less about what people think and instead let my own voice contribute to the conversation. I challenge myself to be accountable as I know when I’m being a slacker. I’ve learned to trust that when I have given my best, that it is enough. I love more and everyday practice being brave enough to let that juicy light fuelled by love shine bright. I was born a radiant alchemist, that is my purpose. It is not something I need to grow up to be. It is something I practice and share in everything I do, including what I do to pay the bills and I hope it contributes to you finding your own beautiful groove.

NB,

Little Sister

xo

A little red couch reflection on this topic….Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 11.05.35 AM

 

L.I.F.T.ing Up

I spoke at my first L.I.F.T. (Ladies Inspiration for Transformation) series 2 years ago and had the privilege of returning a week ago.

The energy in the room was electric. Ok perhaps that was due to the thunderstorm that kicked off the evening but the ladies kept the power flowing and were the most fabulous girl gang to be a part of.

Here is an overview of my talk for those who were there and asked for the notes and for those who may be interested…

2 years ago I chose an analogy based on the basics of gardening for my talk. At the end of the talk, I asked the women in the room that evening to find a place in their soil that is warm and nourished. A place they KNOW to be beautiful. Once rested go to this place and plant that one seed. Then nurture it and tend to it. Watch it grow.

Sometimes the advice we give is the advice we need and sometimes we are even smart enough to take it. Since that night two years ago, I have followed the plan I shared with the group and tended to the seed that was planted that evening.

Through many experiences, difficult and wonderful, that seed was watered, nurtured and sprouted into The Radiant Alchemist.

The Radiant Alchemist is a website, a blog and youtube vlog that shares what I call my life’s vocation of Radiant Alchemy.

RADIANT: sending out light; shining or glowing brightly.
ALCHEMY: a seemingly magical process of transformation, creation, or combination.

I believe when we shine our own light brightly, it helps others who may be in the dark, flick the switch on to theirs.

In my journey so far, these are 8 elements I have identified.

(You will see these themes throughout my blogs and vlogs. I expanded on them during the talk but for this purpose they will be listed along with a blog in which the theme appears)

CONSCIOUSNESS
What is Going On In That Pretty Little Head of Yours?

LISTENING
Please Stop the Glory-Whoring Your Busy!

GRATITUDE
Please Join Us in the Dance

INTENTION
Why Today is the Bravest Thing You Can Do

MY UNIVERSAL INTENTION OF GENTLE FIERCENESS
What the F*&k Is Gentle Fierceness

Which brings me to the the two elements that have become
MY MANTRA – LOVE MORE, FEAR LESS

FEARING LESS

It’s about not being paralyzed by the fear. Knowing that baby steps are just as brave as taking a leap.                                                                                                                                                                                       Fearing Less

It’s about learning how to feeling our way through the dark – eyes shut, heart open – because when your heart is closed it’s impossible to follow.
Feeling Through the Dark

It’s about trusting that what you need is there – Let it go, let it flow
That’s a Nice Set of “it’s” You’ve Got
It’s about “Currender” – letting go of control
The Best Bad C Word

The world doesn’t need more super heroes. The world needs us to be brave and to fear less.

LOVING MORE
Catch Yourself
Faith Trust and Pixie Dust

Being yourself in this world is not a selfish act. It’s your only responsibility and it’s the most generous thing you can do.

And the best way I see to do that is by loving ourselves more. It’s in theory the easiest thing to do as it’s the most natural, and in reality the most difficult because it means we have to believe in the magic that pulls all the elements together.

That magic is you.

You are the only one who can wake up to be conscious,

To listen to and distinguish the voices in your head.

It is only you that feels the rhythm of your gratitude.

You alone have the power to set your intention and the chose the manner in which you set forth in these intentions.

It is you that must be brave and fear less.

Only you are the magic that can open your heart to love more.

NB,

Big Sister & Little Sister

xo xo

A little red couch reflection the morning after the L.I.F.T. talk

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Permission Slip

Consider this your permission slip to:

  • take a coffee break, an hour or a day off
  • pick up that book you’ve been wanting to read and sinking into the couch or the tub with it
  • allow yourself a time out, a good cry or screaming at the top of your lungs into a pillow
  • choose your next move based on the feeling in your gut
  • not attend an event you’re “suppose” to be at
  • respectfully offer up your real opinion
  • wear that outfit that makes you look a little sexier than you “should”
  • play air guitar in a crowded elevator, street or store
  • do something you were once made fun of for liking
  • believe in magic
  • love yourself with all your heart
  • all of the above

NB,

Big Sister

xo

P.s. Please note this permission slip is not valid if the intention of your actions is to cause harm to yourself or another, to provide an excuse for a decision you don’t fully embrace or to generally be an asshole.

The Spark

It’s spring and there is newness blooming all around us. A time when everything new catches our attention and creates an excited feeling of possibility. When you’re not sure how to interpret that bubbling up inside of you, here is a handy dandy, pocket size guide from Little Sister.

The Spark

Lust sparks the pants,

A romping roll in the hay.

Desire sparks the mind,

You will learn a new way.

Love sparks the heart,

Igniting the torch.

Soul sparks the gut,

The light on your porch.

NB,

Little Sister

xo

A little red couch reflection on working with your spark. 

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I asked Big Sister and she replied…

I admit it. I’ve had moments during this adventure known as The Radiant Alchemist where I have wondered what was the point and have felt scared, insecure and full of doubt. Why am I doing this? I wasn’t sure. So I asked Big Sister and she replied…

I see you hiding there

in the place between,

where the sun meets the shadow

and the world seems mean.

Their shoulds and should nots

feed your fears and deafen your ears.

Screaming do this, do that

bringing your heart to tears.

You cry…

“if I step into my light

then others will see,

the cracks and crevices,

the imperfections in Me.”

She continues…

It’s not the fear of “what is”,

nor the fear that “could be”.

Perhaps it’s the fear of knowing

How bright you will be.

How you will glisten

and shimmer and shine.

You will be so brilliant,

a light so divine.

And your glow will spread

in a steady, strong call

to other’s in hiding

where light and shadow fall.

They will slowly rise up

led out of the dark.

by your shining example

to fuel their own spark.

So dear one, do what you do

and repeat after me…

I am who I am

And that’s all I am to be.

NB,

Big Sister

xo

ps. Being yourself in this world is not a selfish act. It’s your only responsibility and it’s the most generous thing you can do.

A little red couch reflection on scary new things and facing fears. 

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25 Blogs! 

My initial thought for this mini milestone blog was to write a list of 25 somethings. 25 things I’m grateful for, 25 lessons, but that seemed predictable. Second idea was to write a letter to my 25 year old self …Seriously has it been 20 years since 25? WTF! Trash that idea.

Instead I hunkered down and just starting typing…

I’m at a complete loss as to what to write here. Hoping Hemingway will possess my hands and type up something fantastic and gritty but he’s not showing up. Perhaps I should have poured a glass of wine?

“Wine is a grand thing,” I said. “It makes you forget all the bad.” —A Farewell to Arms

Okay, try again…

Writing 25 blogs means one has spent a significant amount of time in one’s head. You learn a lot through this exposure. Some of it indecent. I’ve been learning a lot about myself. Some of it I truly love. Some of it, well let’s just say it’s a little scarier and more difficult to love the shadows.

But as the mantra I have adopted is love more and fear less, I try to be brave while shedding light onto the spooky bits. It doesn’t mean that I’m not scared, even terrified. It means I’m working at focusing less on the fear and more on the love. Being conscious of our fear is the push off the cliff and our love is the set of wings that keep us from face planting at the bottom of that cliff.

So fearing less when getting to know those dank, musty spaces in yourself.  How the hell do you do that? How do you fall in love with all of yourself? We need to learn how to do some old fashioned courting with those bits. To get all giddy with the process like those first few dates. Okay, write a list of 25 Things I love About the Dark Side of Me. Oh wait, that’s another list….

Grrrrr…….Seriously why is this so hard to write. I’ve written 24 of these….what the hell is going on 

Then it hits me. I’m scared to write this blog because it’s the 25th – I expect it to be fantastic! It’s a milestone! Epic!!! I need to be profound and witty. Compelling and insightful. It has to be the best thing I have ever written in my life!

Wait a second, where is that voice coming from? I stop and listen. It’s not coming from my warm, juicy heart. Oh shit. It’s coming from the direction of that musty, dark corner. I listen a bit more and I recognize it. It is my voice whispering from the part of me that wants to fit in. The part that wants the cool kids to talk about the amazingness that spews out of me. The part of me that wants people to like me.

Taking a deep breath I walk into that corner in my mind, wrap a blanket around that sweet, scared part of myself and carry her to sit beside me in the light.

I sit back down at the computer…

Hi. Welcome to my twenty-fifth blog on The Radiant Alchemist. I am grateful for the time and intention of every single person who has clicked, liked, commented and shared how a post has impacted them. I cherish the conversations and connections generated with friends and strangers from the ideas presented here. I’m following my heart and while on that path, it sure is nice to have some traveling companions.

I’m not going to solve world hunger or win a Pulitzer with this project. People won’t always like or agree with what I share here. They may think I’m a complete nutter, an unrealistic dreamer or completely unintelligent. I don’t commit myself to this process so people will like me. That is not what I am trying to do here. My attempt with The Radiant Alchemist is not to be extraordinary but to help you see the extraordinary in yourself.

Thank you so much for this opportunity.

25 and counting.

Namaste Bitches,

Little Sister & Big Sister

xo xo

A little red couch reflection….Screen Shot 2016-04-06 at 9.47.52 AM

 

 

Feeling Through the Dark

Think about the last time you woke up in the middle of the night and had to make your way to the bathroom. The hallway is really dark, your eyes are barely open from sleep. You’re moving slow, perhaps like me you stumble a bit. You’re not quite sure exactly where the door is so you put your hands up to feel your way along the wall searching for the opening.

Notice something here? Our human eyes are not made to see it the dark. We feel our way through the dark. When you’re in the dark we don’t see…..we feel…..feel…..

So why is the natural response for so many of us when we are wondering around during a dark time to try to see our way out it instead of feeling our way through until we make it to that opening?

Because it’s scary in the dark, that’s why.

There are periods of mourning and loneliness that accompany being diagnosed and learning to live with celiac disease. Feelings of isolation from not being able to simply pick up the phone and say “hey do you want to grab a bite to eat?” Or stopping by and staying for dinner is an impossibility unless they too are celiac or you’ve pre-packed a meal for yourself. It means that your options become complicated. Passed is the carefree ease. It’s pretty tough on a gal’s desire to join in any reindeer games. It makes it seem like the best option for the future is a tiny apartment my myself with cats, cigarettes the smell of stale bananas and a pile of overdue library books.

But that is what it would “seem” and it’s this seeing that causes us to want to lay down in the fetal position, pop out our eyeballs and hand them over to fear. This is when it is time to stand up, close your eyes and feel your way through the dark.

Celiac disease is the example I use because it is one of my life teachers. We all have our life teachers. We all are going through or have gone through darkness of our own. It’s not that you find yourself in the dark, it’s how you find your way out. And I can tell you, it’s not seeing with your eyes, it’s feeling with your heart.

In the dark moments it is crucial that you keep your eyes shut and your heart open. Yes, it’s is the hardest thing to do but you can do it. By keeping your heart open you experience the emotion in that moment and that is where you will find your way through. Let it guide you, push you, make you do amazingly brave things. Keeping your heart open to feel your way in the dark is the strongest and most courageous action you can take.

From personal experience, it’s why I shut down writing years ago. I kept trying to see a way out of whatever darkness I was in. Writing wouldn’t let me do that. Writing insisted that I feel my way out. This is why I started The Radiant Alchemist. It’s why even now, every single time I post, I throw up in my mouth a little. The feelings that come with it are intense and scary but I do it anyway because I feel it moving me through the dark. It enables me to feel connected to you and hopefully helps you be a little less scared of feeling the way through your dark. Shutting down feelings during the dark times means our light ceases to flow. It also means the light of others doesn’t reach us.

I know, i know this is a tough one. We are taught in our world to be strong, see the solution and to be logical. But I beg of you, please keep your heart open to guide you in feeling your way through. Because the bottom line is when our hearts are closed, it is impossible to follow them.

NB,

Big Sister

xo

ps. Here is my follow up “Reflections from the Red Couch” video to help you identify some things that may help you feel your way through the dark.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEpVdlDG1fEScreen Shot 2016-03-01 at 9.05.20 AM

 

Healthy Creations

HealthyCreations

Healthy Creations.….Hello local Yum!!! I could go on and on about this place. The cherry cake cupcakes, the bread, the cinnabuns, the biscotti, you get the picture. But even better than all the sweet, yummy goodness of their food is that they are the real deal. Completely gluten free and celiac owned. They even have the pizzeria next store to them on board with gluten free pizzas – done completely celiac safe! It’s a freezer stocking visit every time.

Are We There Yet?

The days are starting to reclaim their light. It may still be five weeks until spring officially arrives in these parts but lately there seems to be endings and beginnings happening all around me. Many people I know (myself included) are in the midst of transition, having made choices, taken some action and have done what they can to get the ball rolling. All fitting with Spring in the air but even more so as the full moon rising on Monday is known as the “Quickening” moon. Quickening as in bringing to life.  But like a true physical birth, there are a whole lot of processes one has to go through to get to the bouncing baby at the end of the vaginal tunnel. One of those processes, and the toughest in my opinion, is the waiting.

Our instant gratification society permeates all, even at times, the shiny disposition of this radiant alchemist. I want that bouncing baby right NOW! I want a syndicated column! I want to be a brand ambassador for every brand I believe in! I want a book deal! I want to be nibbling on gluten free cupcakes and sipping tequila with all the great minds of our times discussing how we can best create positive change! I’ve launched my website, made some inspirational goodies to peddle on my Etsy site and am approaching the writing of my twenty-fifth blog. I share something every day. Mostly I focus on this day to day and I am loving it. But there is a part of me that waits eagerly and impatiently for it to arrive, continuously asking…”are we there yet?”

In this waiting, I have come to learn that doing what you love isn’t the hard part. That’s easy. That’s the part that comes naturally, kind of like the sexy time in the whole baby making process. It’s the pregnancy, the quickening of bringing what you love to fruition to share with the rest of the world that is so fu&%ing difficult. It’s full of fear, joy, learning, surprise, disappointment and insane elation. It is every human emotion in our heads, hearts and guts during a quickening that makes waiting for the birth of that baby so damn hard. And also, so damn illuminating.

If we are brave enough to be quiet and not distracted by the expectations of the outcome, we receive the gifts from the magical insight of the process itself.  It isn’t the birth of the brand, the book deal or even the gluten free cupcakes that this is all about. It’s about being able to reestablish the connection with that pure, sweet innocence of excitement we often refuse our adult selves. It’s about knowing our own strengths. And yes, it’s about patience. These gifts empower us to be prepared for all that birth will bring once it’s time. Can you imagine having only one or two days notice before you had to pop out a baby and completely change your life to accommodate it’s wonderfulness? Nope. This is why things take time.

So if you find yourself currently in the waiting phase of the quickening process in any aspect of your life right now, I say to you first “Congrats! You are on your way!” Then I highly suggest going with tips for a healthy birth which they set of for ladies actually quickening babies:

  • Eat healthy
  • Take your vitamins
  • Exercise
  • Create a “birthing” plan for when the baby arrives. What does this mean? It means making sure that you and your environment are ready to roll out the red carpet to welcome this figurative baby into your life. Do you have the space cleared? Tools prepared? Is your heart open?
  • Say yes to cravings sometimes
  • Call for help when you need it
  • Practice kegels…ok that’s just fun and ladies I’ve read that they also help us never pee ourselves when we laugh really hard or sneeze as we age.

Waiting is a beautiful exercise, that when practiced with compassion and kindness can lead to a very smooth birth.

NB,

Little Sister

xo

A little red couch reflection …..

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