Category Archives for "Inspiration"

Magnificent Bison and calf

A Nurturing Retreat

Events , Inspiration , Wellness

Prairie, Possibilities, Purpose

Buffalo as a totem provides sacredness, great strength, abundance, and gratitude; it provides meaning and significance to life.

I have been reflecting after the Prairie, Possibilities, and Purpose Retreat; it has taken me quite some time to put the power of the experience into words. As soon as we left the lowlands on Friday and headed up the ridge on our final few miles of the drive I felt as if the entire landscape was opening its arms to us—to embrace us, nurture us, to love us. My two fellow car companions felt it too.

As we came atop the ridge we turned East, the Direction of Illumination and Clarity, and my enthusiasm for what was to come swelled in my heart. This would truly be a special weekend! My eyes were filled with sensory-rich beauty; the rolling hills—a patchwork of prairies, forests, and ponds—sloped north/northeast, all laid out before us. The blue sky encircled us, providing a soothing crown of comfort. Clouds ambled over us gently reminding us that all things come to pass. I felt embraced.

Connections and Reflection

Soon after settling into our cozy cabins the entire retreat group convened on the expansive porch of the Lodge. Bison on the rangeThe Buffalo auspiciously made their appearance on a distant knoll, moving as they do, grazing their way into the wind. I felt at home knowing they were there. Perhaps they awakened in me the knowledge of this land when Buffalo were the center of the Native Americans’ life, providing food, clothing, and shelter.

Gathered around a large circular table in reach of the full splendor or nature, we introduced ourselves and began our journey of spiraling closer and closer together sharing experiences open-heartedly, trustingly. Our stories unfolded, each rising and falling like the hills we looked upon. Laughter, tears, encouragement, revelations, and ever-expanding appreciation for each other grew. We were no longer separate but sisters journeying together … Meg (1), Pat, Janet, Meg (2), Barb, Kristi, and me.

I was especially thrilled when Bruce, the owner/manager of Prairie Sky Ranch, drove us to the Buffalo herd. Seeing these majestic animals made me realize the courage, strength, and trust it took to rely on the herd for one’s well-being. Sitting in the back of the pickup—mere feet from the moms, the calves, and the protective bulls—I saw the continuum of time connecting past and present to our hopes and dream of the future. On some level we were helping each other appreciate the intricate weave of our own life tapestries.

During those two days we looked back at our past to see what to glean and bring forward. What does it tell us? How can it inform us now? Where might we go from here? We saw common threads, such as loss of our innocence, loss of loved ones, loss of relationships, loss of a lifestyle once enjoyed. We found joys and laughter in the highs of our lives—for some it was college, for others it was having children, and others a satisfying career and sports and hobbies. The elations were numerous.

Finding Our Strength

We found our strength in our own words and through awareness from meditations and reflections. We found encouragement in discussions, others’ observations, and celebrations of breakthroughs past and current.

Equine friendOn Saturday afternoon some went horseback riding and some stayed back to enjoy serenity and solitude. The Megs, Pat, Kristi, and Barb reacquainted themselves with a past love of riding; it was confidence building. Janet and I took the time to be at peace with ourselves and with our own thoughts and in the shade of a majestic pine we found a sacred place to come together for healing.

Before having the evening meal, which was prepared tastefully and artfully by Brent, Barb had us draw Angel cards to find the best word to describe our essence. Words like Love, Delight, Beauty, and Enthusiasm appeared. In turn, each of us shared how our word reflects who we are. One by one we helped each other learn and deepen how truthfully the word represented us. In our interactions we touched each other deeply and the Divine touched us, as witnessed by how the words accurately chose us!

We had come to this South Dakota oasis to reclaim ourselves. The land, the food, the time together brought us to a fullness that can only be achieved from within. We were truly able to sit at the feet of our lives and let our lives teach us what it is we are seeking to know and understand.

Orange sunsetThe orange glowing sun dropped beneath the ridge while we gathered at the fire for storytelling. As the flames dwindled the comfort of sleep called us all. The sounds of the nighttime prairie tucked us into our own thoughts and desires; succumbing to sleep we let them rise heavenly like the fire’s smoke, weaving into the dreams chastened by Spirit’s presence. Here I felt at one with Nature, myself, and with God. My promise that night was to make this oneness part of my daily being.

Finding Our Gifts

Sunday, we rose to a sunny day. Throughout Yoga and meditation the clouds and a cool breeze blew through reminding us that we would be leaving, spiraling away. I was honored to close the retreat with each of us selecting a totem animal whose qualities and attributes we could draw upon as we reentered the world. Kristi helped us capture the light within us and the light of being in a Retreat Community. We had each crafted our own gift to take home, letting us shine on in our own worlds.

We gathered on the prairie and with a singing bowl, rang our possibilities and purpose to the prairie sky, and said our goodbyes. We were reminded that at night, each at our own homes alone, it is not wise to withdraw totally lest we find ourselves lonely. This retreat reunited us and reconnected us to who we are and where we are going. And it is good!

Looking Forward …

On my return I spent much time in deep reflection, and continue even now. At times I am full of reverence, at others sad about my current reality of being in such great flux. Landscape in fogI remember what the land whispered to me: “You are alive. Rejoice! You are love. Give it freely just at the sun gives warmth each day. Heal and be healed.”

Mesmerized by the entire experience, we are already planning the next retreat, one that can be equally powerful for those who return and for anyone new who joins. There is much in us waiting to be realized; it is from our Being that we become aware. What in your Being is waiting to be known? What unanswered question would you like to explore? What type of retreat would facilitate your exploration?

Prairie, Possibilities, and Purpose Event

Prairie, Possibilities, Purpose

Awareness , Events , Inspiration

I’m looking forward to my special invitation to participate in the Prairie, Possibilities, and Purpose event for women next weekend! I’m very honored to have been asked to lead some group activities as part of the program that runs from Friday through Sunday, August 9-11. I will also be offering optional healing sessions during the free times along with the other optional activities for an additional fee.

This special event is hosted by Barb Greenberg and Kristi Skordahl and takes place at the beautiful Coteau des Prairies Ranch near Veblen, South Dakota. CLICK HERE for more information and to register for this Weekend for Women.

From the flyer:

Join like-minded women who seek to live in happiness and wholeness for a weekend of exploration, reflection and fun on the South Dakota prairie.

This weekend is designed for women who want to explore the journey within, reflect on where they have been in their lives, and create intentions for the steps ahead.

Stimulating group experiences and liberal free time to relax, restore, and recharge.

See you there!

Stories that Inspire Meaning: EbertFest & Indie Films

Inspiration

Tonight on my radio show, Intuitively Speaking, I explored the power and relevance of Personal Stories to life and life coaching, that is, bringing out the best in others. Your life is your “Seminal work”—your decisive, influential work.

I am reminded by my annual trip to Roger Ebert’s Film Festival that two cornerstones of the coaching process are Engage and Discovery. The creators of the mostly independent films are often guided by their personal stories, sometimes feeling compelled to tell them. They engage us, and through them we often discover something about them, or about ourselves. Sometimes we get to see someone’s destiny that is for us just a dream.

Consider that our lives are independent films, each with its own story, its own rhythm and rhyme. What’s yours? My role as a coach is to empower you to bring your story forward. My role is to identify, nurture, and coax your story out and have you experience the story you need to know.

Please share your responses to this week’s 4 Questions about Your Life Story here. Get inspired by what you read. We want to hear your story!

  1. As the Writer and Director of your life’s story, where is it going?
  2. What creates drama in your life and what provides comic relief?
  3. How does the drama and comedy keep your life’s story moving forward?
  4. Where do you want your life’s script to go from here?

Trust is a Process

Awareness , Inspiration

During this week´s Sunday evening Intuitively Speaking radio show I talked about trust — trusting yourself and building trust with others — and described a process that we go through to build trust. Here is a summary of that process:

  • You must take the first step to achieve or rebuild trust.
  • Do it for yourself, to deepen your own integrity and personal mind-body-spirit alignment.
  • Expect nothing in return.
  • You do not need to justify your “Trust” stance – acting from trust is not an opinion; it is your self-truth and no one else’s.
  • Remember that you cannot “Mind Read” – you do not know what others are thinking or what their motives might be.
  • Be open, receptive, and aware to any changes that occur, and be okay with them.
  • Be prepared to continue to relate to the situation so more Trust, truth telling, and truth sharing occurs.

And here are the 4 Questions to help build more self-trust:

  1. Where in your life could you have more trust in yourself?
  2. How are you not trusting yourself or the others involved?
    How are you trusting yourself and still being misled, misleading yourself, or being disappointed?
  3. What insights do you have about how you can trust yourself to improve the situation?
  4. What trustworthy actions can you take the next time a similar situation occurs that will increase your confidence to trust yourself?

What is your experience with trust?