Quarantine 2020: Anxiety To Conscious Wholeness

Friendly reminder: whatever you’re experiencing right now is OK.

Whatever emotions are involved. Full-spectrum – complete bliss, to angry, to awful, and everything in between.

However inspired & productive you’re feeling, even if not at all.

If you’re pulled towards rest.

Whether you’re connecting virtually or isolating even more than you need to, or if you don’t have the luxury of isolating at all.

Any challenges or disagreements you’re having.

If you’re feeling lonely, or like you can’t get a moment alone. Or both.

If your life, relationships, and business are doing better than before, or if everything is in the gutter…

It’s ok, babe – it’s all gravy. There’s no need to judge.

quarantine conscious wholeness
I took this photo a few weeks ago. It was mid-first-week-of-self-quarantine and the vast uncertainty/fear in our world was getting to me. I was sad, scared, angry, grateful, hopeful, excited – all the things. I was also EXHAUSTED from all of it.

My anxiety was the worst it’s been in years, maybe the worst it’s ever been, at this moment pictured.

I can see my own discomfort in my raised shoulders & my scrunched up face. Overwhelmingly on edge, controlling, & defensive. Literal heart pain. Many tears & fears. That sort of thing.

I knew this state was not resourceful to hang out in, and I knew the stress of anxiety on my body would only make me more vulnerable to my fears. Not to mention, anxiety doesn’t do much for my relationships or my goals!

I knew I was called to stand up, show up, and serve my people, but that no amount of fear or anxiety belongs in my message, spoken or felt. I didn’t want to have any part of contributing to the fear (or predatory marketing) in the air.

So, I dug deeper into my daily focus on Conscious Wholeness to soothe & support myself into a more powerful, inspired, actionable place. Here’s what that looked like for me…

natural wholeness
Staying away from screens, moving my body, and being in nature has been huge.

My first step for getting pretty much anywhere is acceptance.

My experience is OK. It’s acceptable because it is. All parts of me are acceptable & allowed here. (Yours are too.) From acceptance, I can ultimately expand into full throttle enjoyment of every part of my current experience – even the parts that suck.

With acceptance, I stop resisting & fighting against the things I want to change. When I stop wasting time & energy resisting something’s mere existence, whether it’s inside or outside of me, I free up energy to see things more clearly – so I can do whatever I need to do to shift for the highest & best of all involved.

Also related to acceptance – I’ve been finding a lot of satisfaction & comfort in shadow work.

If you’re not familiar, shadow work is about accepting/integrating/loving up on the parts of ourselves that we’ve learned to hide & reject. This can be triggering & symptom producing in itself, especially if you’re new to the practice. It’s also incredibly effective for real-life magic-making.

shadow work
This current read, Existential Kink by Carolyn Elliot, has been guiding my most recent dive into my shadow. With shadow work, it’s incredibly wise to have a guide (like Carolyn or me). <3

After acceptance, my next step was Emotional Alchemy.

Simply put, I felt what I was honestly feeling, approached it with curiosity, and excavated clarity & guidance from the pain I was experiencing.

I explored the biggest source of my anxiety – that I could possibly lose my life or someone I love.

Another fear was stemming from a deep belief that the Earth doesn’t want me here. I wondered if I’ve done enough good, purpose-driven work in my life to warrant her keeping me around through this.

I examined where the sore spots were, where my shadow was secretly enjoying this experience and determined what if anything I could do to address the fears I was having.

Going through this process reminded me how much I love living on this Earth, and how much I cherish the people that I get to spend time with here. I want to have as much time here as possible, so I can live to be a wise elder! I have a lot to give to the world, and I want to show up every single day to give those gifts as best as I possibly can.

Ultimately, I can only control my approach to the situation, not the situation itself.

I decided that I *could* control doing things to boost my immunity – like going through this Conscious Wholeness process – reducing stress/increasing joy & pleasure, taking exquisite care of my body, and setting strong boundaries around personal contact to follow CDC guidelines related to the current pandemic.

It also feels like I’m processing big emotion for the collective in addition to my own stuff – can you relate? There’s a LOT to sort through. As a result of my reflection, I started getting even more intentional about my energetic boundaries along with the physical ones.

Now I’m staying connected to my friends & family through this time… checking in on them, enjoying those relationships as much as I can, letting them know how much they mean to me while we’re all still here.

I’m inspired to continue showing up every day, open to receiving intuitive guidance about which actions are next for me, with a willingness to take those actions.

After sorting through all of that, I went deeper into caring for my body.

Luckily, that’s been really easy for me to do in my current privileged circumstances.

I allowed myself to relax, separating myself from my tech & almost all outside media. I started taking a daily nap & I let myself off the hook in as many ways as possible so I could pour all my energy back into myself.

I’ve been making use of opportunities to work out virtually with friends from all over the country. I’ve exercised at home for years, and it’s never been easier or more satisfying. These pilates classes with an old co-worker & friend Lo Collins are my recent favorite.

puppy love
We welcomed this new puppy, Maynard, into our home in February & he’s been keeping us very busy! The timing seemed awful initially, but now we see how perfect it was.

Caring for him has been incredibly helpful for me physically, too, pushing me into long daily walks & fresh air at least a few times a day.

signs of spring
I’ve been enjoying every sign of spring in our yard. It gives me a nice sense of normalcy & routine among all the changes happening, offering a reminder to step back & let the Earth do its thing.

When I’m connected with my body, aware of my emotional experience, and prioritizing my physical feel-good this way, I’m naturally more calm, grounded, and confident in my abilities to face the challenges at hand.

Which brings me to trust.

This is the needle mover for me when I need to shift anxiety into a more powerful place, especially lately.

For starters, trust begins inside of myself – trusting myself to take care of my own needs, follow through on my own word, & protect myself effectively in times of need, as best I can, no matter what happens.

Additionally, I’ve needed to surrender to what I can’t control, humbling myself to receive information and guidance from sources larger than myself.

From there, I moved into recognition of how the universe supports me. I can find a LOT of evidence to support that recently – ranging from everyday stuff to cool synchronicities to the straight-up spooky magical events.

I’m so grateful for the resources I have access to, and how well I’m set up for this time in our lives.

We had an incredible & unexpectedly full weekend with loved ones right before all of this went down.

natural wholeness
I often miss living in Boston, but these days I’m incredibly grateful to live exactly where I do, within easy walking distance to very private pieces of nature.

I’m financially prepared – not only in my bank account but in my relationship with money & consumerism as well.

I already loved getting my groceries delivered. I’ve received most of my fresh produce at my doorstep for over a year through Misfits Market. (Want to give Misfits a try? You can use the code COOKWME-YM5BSY to give both of us 25% off).

The cherry on top is that this pandemic has changed absolutely nothing about my business. I already do mostly virtual work with my clients from a home office. I network virtually with people all over the country. There has never been more need for high-quality emotional support & guidance, in a way that doesn’t overburden our healthcare system. Plus, I had already transitioned Conscious Wholeness to a pay-what-you-want model back in early February. No changes needed. I’m already as accessible as possible for everyone regardless of their financial situation.

This and more is Conscious Wholeness.

I access a more powerful state of being through Conscious Wholeness whenever I’m feeling anxious, and practicing this over time has helped me create the perfect life for me that can’t really be shattered. The only thing that will shatter me someday is death itself, and I can only pray that’s many years from now.

Conscious Wholeness moves me through the world from a place of deep authentic connection with myself, my body, my spirituality, the Earth, and the people who mean the most to me. Practicing strengthens & deepens this feeling over time. It has me feeling safe, good enough, ready for whatever life throws at me.

I know that as long as I have air in my lungs & this body to carry me around I can get through anything. That is an amazing feeling.

I’m feeling so much better now, but in this world, it’s a daily focus to stay here.

Really, it’s always been a daily focus remembering that *I* am the only thing in my control.

Conscious Wholeness helps me control what I can, and let the rest go.

When I do that, I can see this period of time for what it is – an unbelievably magical, miraculous, unprecedented opportunity for us to evolve together as humans.

The Earth is asking us to reflect on who we are, what we’re getting hung up on, and where our priorities lie. She’s asking us to start working with her instead of against her.

There has never been a better time to shed the way things have always been so we can rebuild it the way we WANT it to be.

That’s where I’m hanging out lately.

If you relate, I would love to explore this new world together.

Join Conscious Wholeness so we can dive deep together, come hang in my free FB group the Cocoon, book time to connect with me 1:1, or simply leave a comment and let me know what you think. <3

Thank you so much for reading. Stay safe & well and we’ll talk again soon.

CLEAN: What 2019 Taught Me About Money

Before I move fully into 2020, I gotta share with you the biggest lesson I learned in 2019.

My word for the year was CLEAN.

I wanted to clean up physically, spiritually, mentally, emotionally.

CLEAN became my goal amidst many boxes & much clutter mess, two weeks after I’d moved in with my boyfriend.

Last year, we completely refinished our back room from a storage space into a beautiful home office. We deep cleaned our whole house and transitioned a second room & our garage from storage space into FUNctional for living. We cleaned up the yard & maintained the outdoors… The best part is that we built cleaner habits & ways of communicating with each other to help us maintain this progress moving forward.

Our finished office was wallpapered storage space this time last year.

It’s worth noting that I significantly cleaned up my relationships with other people last year, too.

Quite a few friendships fell off the map. I cut way down on social media, unfollowing people & leaving groups that weren’t meshing with me. I became a minimalist when it came to hiring outside professionals, leaning more deeply into my own creative, supportive, strategic work (especially Conscious Wholeness).

I’m *so happy & proud* of the progress I made in 2019 focused on CLEAN.

The area of my life that got cleaned up the most was one I least expected – my relationship with MONEY.

I anticipated 2019 being a year of “cleaning up” financially… especially refining my financial systems & the way money flows through my life.

Instead, I got put through the wringer with my money mindset. This year forced me to become way more consistent and intentional about appreciating & allocating the funds in my life.

I thought I was pretty well set after working my money-mindset over my first few self-employed years.

I’ll tell anyone who’ll listen: getting your relationship with money & your plans for allocating your money straightened out is an important first step when you’re branching out on your own.

I thought that cleaning up other areas of my life in 2019 would allow my already-improved relationship with money to flourish, without realizing how much I was still getting in my own way.

I was still looking for a savior financially, rather than taking full responsibility for my own financial health.

My bank account & my ability to buy stuff were still directly related to my personal worth in my mind.

I was still stuck in old beliefs rooted in scarcity, competition, and general not-enoughness when it comes to money.

I was worshipping money over things that matter so much more, and for completely misguided reasons.

It’s no wonder how I ended up here. In a capitalist America, competition, consumerism, and scarcity thinking have been conditioned in me since I was a baby, sitting next to a TV playing commercials.

In 2019, despite every effort I took to grow my business & otherwise make more money, I was stalled out.

I consistently struggled to find the money for gas, groceries, other necessities, and my credit card bills. Investing in myself & my business, buying gifts & giving back, and making purchases for things like creativity or self-care seemed impossible.

It was incredibly frustrating.

Speaking from a completely privileged perspective, this past year was my lowest of low when it comes to money.

I’d seen Conscious Wholeness open things up financially for just about everyone who’s participated, so I started asking… “why isn’t this working for ME? What’s wrong with me?”

Throughout the first half of 2019, I was in a low place.

Looking back I see how this experience will help me in the long run. Living it, I felt ashamed about my financial state for quite some time.

It was hard in other ways than financially. One of the most difficult elements was my inability to help other people & continue growing myself in this work I love the way I wanted to. I often felt like I wasn’t providing anything to the world and it was really hard to feel valuable.

I was still leaning into Conscious Wholeness, reminding myself that everything *IS* working, feeling so grateful for my beautiful relationship with myself & my partner and all the support & abundance around me.

But, that question was all too quick to come back… “Where the hell is all my money?”

I was downright desperate & frantic trying to get help, implement strategies, & learn from experts to take control of my situation.

Eventually, I recognized that my decisions were still being made from a place of fear & scarcity. That wasn’t helping.

So, in the middle of the year, I leaned even deeper into my own process, including Conscious Wholeness around money.

I started being really intentional about the decisions I was making & the conversations I was having around money. My mind opened & I became way more creative with what I already have. I got honest about the truth of my experience & welcomed support from the people around me.

I received these flowers from a debt collector I spoke with while unable to pay credit card bills. I received the tomato cages in the background from a lifelong friend & amazing life coach Karen Poole, who likely had no idea what a lifesaver she was at the time.

I sought support & relationships with people whose relationships with money are ones I admire and started reading the books they recommended & following their advice. (Extra special shoutout to Hilarie Mae here. Your support, guidance, and friendship has become a magical, empowering, & inspirational lifeline for me).

This book came at exactly the right moment. I adored the conversation about “sufficiency” in our resources and loved how well this concept dovetails with Conscious Wholeness.

It became clear that the desires I had, all the reasons I wanted money – travel, adventure, deeper connection & more time to spend with my loved ones, material desires, etc. – were already manifesting in my life even when my numbers weren’t improving.

The view from my flight leaving Ireland in August 2019.
A moment from a blissful first evening in the Adirondacks, right as the leaves there were starting to turn.

Ultimately, I realized that money is indeed 100% necessary in my life – for certain professional goals & the impact I intend to have. That being said, money is not all that important in the ways I previously thought.

Money is not responsible for my happiness, my health, my worth as a person, the quality of my relationships, or my safety here on Earth.

All of that is 100% inside of ME, whether there’s money in my pocket or not.

Turns out, I love being resourceful. I love appreciating and using what I already have, considering that ENOUGH, rather than buying something new at every impulse.

I’m so much happier being intentional with my money, spending it in ways that affirm my life & my values. I enjoy spending thoughtfully, in ways that spread my love to people & causes I care about.

Am I excited & eager to have more & more money to play with? Absolutely.

Did I already feel like I was doing these things before this year? YEP.

And, 2019 brought my financial awareness to a whole new level.

This year showed me, without a doubt, that I can have a completely full life that’s not reliant on money.

That sort of life – a life that feels satisfying, impactful, & fulfilling regardless of my bank account – is what I’ve been building in the second half of 2019.

(I’ve been talking openly about this journey all along in my free group The Cocoon).

I’m moving forward into 2020 with an even deeper understanding that my safety, my worth, my belonging in society has ZERO to do with the money I make. Those things have everything to do with who I am, what I’m here to provide, and how much I’m willing to BE that person day after day.

I’m remembering that everyone has something incredibly valuable to provide, regardless of how much money they have.

Everyone has enough resources inside of themselves & in their environment to do whatever their heart calls them to do.

We still need other people. Support, conversation, and collaboration are totally necessary. We need to join our resources together rather than trying to do everything ourselves.

That being said, we bring so much more to the table when we’ve done the work to build our independence, love, safety, freedom, and worth from inside of ourselves first. This year, I remembered that those things have absolutely zero to do with money.

Dependence on money is a choice, whether we’re consciously making that choice or not.

When we judge ourselves & other people on the basis of money alone, we limit what we’ll be able to accomplish.

It’s time to detach from the false money idol & reconnect with what really matters.

We can re-connect with money for what it is – a powerful resource, one of many resources we can use to create cool stuff while we walk this earth.

Family, love, growth, purpose, creativity, collaboration… And more. Those are the things that really matter.

I love money & where I see our relationship going.

I haven’t totally figured it out yet.

The more I learn, though, the more I realize how few people actually DO have money “figured out” – whether they’re aware, upfront & honest about that or not.

Another thing I’ve remembered this year – when someone claims to know all there is to know about a topic, beware.

The majority of people I interact with have unhelpful stories & their own reasons to feel bad about money.

We feel bad because we don’t have enough of it. The money we have is there at the expense of our relationships, happiness, and who-we-really-are as people. We’ve created all these stifling rules & limitations around the way we grow & spend our money.

So many reasons to feel crappy and uncomfortable, about something we deal with every single day.

So many of us live our lives feeling like we never had enough when the opposite is true. We ALWAYS have enough, and that’s always been true. We always have enough to take the very next step we need to take, so we can do the most amazing things.

Cheers to 2020 becoming our most abundant year yet.

Practicing Conscious Wholeness is one way to bring money back into a beneficial place in your life.

I know it because I’ve done it. I’m head over heels in love with my resources when I seem to have less than ever.

I’m so grateful to be entering into 2020 firmly footed in this knowing. Now, knowing my money isn’t my power, I’m prepared to use my money powerfully in the years to come.

Thank you for reading. <3