A Force for Good
On Purpose Woman
On Purpose Woman
Jerri St. John
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5 Message from the Publisher
8 Release: Plan a Successful Tomorrow by Increasing Your Bandwidth Today
12 Blossoming Begins With Inner Work
18 New Habits: How to Get Started
22 From Overwhelm to Ease: 3 Powerful Steps
30 My Story by Melissa Harris
36 Liberating Your Voice
42 Finding Your Soul Sister Tribe
48 Business Directory
52 Breaking Free
Jerri St. John
60 10 Tips for Helping Grief Survivors
Sherry Cormier, PhD
66 Your Monthly Manifesting Clients Tip Kathryn Yarborough
70 More Quick Ways to Relieve Back Tension Every Day
76 Water: What You can Do Beverly Ausmus Ramsey, PhD Ecology
82 An On Purpose Woman…Collaborates Ginny Robertson
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Plan for a Successful Tomorrow by Increasing Your Bandwidth Today
By Sylvia Henderson
Have you ever heard of – or do you have – a “release list”?
That’s right, a release list.
Let me ask you, how much time do you spend planning and carrying out a “what I need to get,” or “what I need to do” list?
How about a complimentary “what I need to release” list?
You come to the end of a year, or end of a planning session during the year, and you evaluate what went well, and what you want to improve or change, to continue moving your ideas to income and making an impact.
If you’re an entrepreneur, business owner, leader in an organization, or are thinking about making a change in your life then – if you’re like me – you make decisions about what you need to ADD to your business, your toolset, your personal development, or your life to make the changes you need to transform your ideas to action.
Here’s the thing about additions:
You have a finite amount of time – 24 hours in a day.
You have a finite energy and resource capacity – no matter how young or fit you are.
You have to fit MORE into your finite set of resources if you keep adding without releasing.
So let me suggest to you that, to truly accomplish what you want, with the ideas you have…develop a “release list” to counter-act what you plan to add.
Here’s how it works:
• Look at where you’ve spent your time, money, and energy in the last month, three months, and year.
• Evaluate the return on your investment of the resources you’ve expended by answering the following questions:
Are there activities you did, or events you went to that turned out to be less of an opportunity than you expected?
Are there groups you belong to that no longer serve you?
Are there people you associate with who seem to stay on the negative end of the attitude spectrum and bring you down?
Are there things you own that you haven’t touched or used in a while, or that seem to add to your physical and mental clutter?
Are there tasks you perform that you could delegate to someone else who can perform them more effectively?
These are questions to ask yourself – and your team, if you have one – to determine what you can release in your business and life to make room for what you want and need to add.
I’ll tell you…I release
Clients who drain my energy;
Coaches and consultants who no longer help me grow;
Groups, organizations, and networking events that I’ve given a lot to over time to build “know, like, and trust” relationships, yet received little in return;
Files that clog my cabinets or hard drive;
And I do my best to release past thoughts of failure to make room for future strategies for success.
Let me help you determine what to release in your business or life so that you can make room for new strategies and resources to transform your ideas into action.
Sylvia Henderson is known as the Idea Implementation Expert. She is the creator of Idea MindTeam™ group programs for entrepreneurs and organizations to move ideas to action. Connect at www.SylviaHenderson.com.
By Sandy McDougall
Blossoming Begins With Inner Work
If you know me now, you might not believe this, but I used to be terrified of speaking. No really, it’s true. But isn’t it heartening to know that we are capable of becoming more of who we want to be?
In my early years, I absorbed the very strong belief that I could not, and should not, speak out, express any opinions or feelings, nor ask any “challenging” or “inconvenient” questions. For decades, those unconscious taboos held me firmly in their grip.
Can you relate??
Fast forward to me in middle age. Unable to ask for what I needed, nor to speak from the truth in my heart, I had racked up many challenges and discomforts in life. I was stuck. I was desperate. Eventually, there was nothing else to do but to somehow find the courage to change.
But as desperate as I was, I was also terrified to change. My early patterns of silencing and hiding had become an ingrained habit, my modus operandi, my comfort zone, and identity. I had no other way. I saw no other way. I never attempted any other way.
But I had to admit my life wasn’t working. And for the very first time, I had to question my old beliefs and accept that the limits they had imposed on me were not serving me well at all.
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
Anais Nin’s words described me perfectly!
Blossoming requires reaching and stretching. And these activities can be scary and uncomfortable too, especially if one is not practiced.
Only gradually (and with much trepidation!) did I allow myself to be more open and curious. I started by asking new questions.
Who would I have to become if I stopped hiding so much of myself? Did I have valuable questions to ask, worthwhile things to say, and important perspectives to contribute? Could I claim that kind of courage? What would I do with my new freedom?
Asking those questions was a H-U-G-E stretch. I had only ever let myself “open my bud” on very rare occasions. I had missed out on myriads of amazing ways to live more freely and fully. That made me sad. Sometimes that made me mad.
But looking back from this vantage point, I now clearly understand that it wasn’t the outer world that was stopping me. The heart of my problems were the limits I had inadvertently set for myself long ago. My biggest blocks were not “out there,” but rather inside me.
If I was going to stretch my outer vision, I needed to expand my inner vision first. And so I began a long and substantial inner exploration and healing. Then, very naturally, my outer vision grew too. Now I mentor, guide, and support other women ready “to take the risk to blossom."
It’s so interesting to experience how any courage begets more courage. So perhaps I should not have been surprised when I recently found myself making a commitment to myself to learn how to transform yet another variety of my own difficult and deeply embedded inner stories.
Fortunately, it is getting easier to stay the course. As Anais Nin said:
“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”
Finding the courage to explore and expand my inner life has given me so much more fulfillment, joy, and the opportunity for more creativity and purpose that I will never go back to my old stuck ways.
This time, I have decided to take a big and fearless look at my inner life with money. So far I have learned that money has been very scary for me. And the more money involved, the scarier it is. Should I want it? Do I deserve it? Such stories have left their imprint on my financial past. Now, I am committing to continuing my inner money work, because I am getting ready to blossom!
Now, let me ask you, where do you want to blossom? What is the something big, important, or worthwhile in your life that you are ready to shift or heal???
• Is it a new work life or purpose you can love?
• A relationship that brings peace or joy?
• Healing after an illness, divorce, move, loss, or other transition?
• Or maybe you’ve decided to get into the driver’s seat with money?
Whatever it is, I hope you give yourself the gift of some time, support, guidance, or all three. You too can shine a new light on your inner landscape with its deeply rooted feelings, thoughts, beliefs, and stories. You too can let go of the old and bring in the new.
And I hope you remember that your inner work is the very best and most effective foundation for any substantial outer change you seek.
“We don’t see things as they are. We see them as we are.” (Thank you one last time, Anais Nin, for your powerful insights)
Sandy McDougall, Holistic Women's Life Coach, helps women grow their lives with intention and courage, live and work with clarity and calm, and align with money as support and creative tool. Want to chat? Write her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or find her at www.facebook.com/themaverickedge
By Donna Dettling
Donna Dettling is a simplicity coach, professional organizer, speaker and artist. She helps clients create a supportive, inspiring home and lifestyle with space and time to focus on the essentials. Contact donna@SimplerLifeSolutions.com (301) 330-8750 www.SimplerLifeSolutions.com
“We can use decision-making to choose the habits we want to form, use willpower to get the habit started, then - and this is the best part - we can allow the extraordinary power of habit to take over. At that point, we're free from the need to decide and the need to use willpower.”
- Gretchen Rubin
We start the new year with excitement and anticipation, but may not be as enthusiastic about starting new routines to help us be successful in meeting our goals. Many things can get in the way, and our tendency to avoid routines and habits often heads that list.
It helps to know WHY we want to achieve this particular goal. For new routines to stick, a great first step is to reflect on the motivations behind the goal. When our motivations are tied to our values, they’re more likely to stick. This is why a goal like, “I want to exercise more,” may not be a powerful enough motivator to make an exercise habit stick. Instead, think about how exercise will improve your life -- “Taking a walk makes my mood improve, and I am more energetic and optimistic.”
An effective way to stay with a new routine, so it becomes a habit, is to start small – something that takes less than a minute. If the goal is to walk more, this doesn’t mean we should start with a 30-second walk, but that the 30-second action could be something as small as putting on our walking shoes the minute we get home from work.
By repeating this 30-second behavior day after day, it will eventually become a habit. And once those shoes are on, we should feel more compelled to go on that walk. Soon, putting on our walking shoes and going for a walk will become second nature.
Take a closer look at the goals you have set for 2019 and see if you can identify the motivation behind them. Then decide on small actions that can be your triggers for forming the new habits.
Here’s to getting started!
From Overwhelm to Ease
3 Powerful Steps
By Laura DiFranco
Overwhelm is a state of mind that can be shifted powerfully to a state of mind body soul ease with a simple three-step process. You can begin to create a practice for yourself that not only prevents paralysis but serves your biggest goals this year. But first you’ll have to do something you’re not going to want to do; feel it all.
We resist, avoid, cover up, numb out and create elaborate strategies to get around feeling negative emotions because it’s unpleasant.
What if fully feeling the severe overwhelm was the path to shifting through it faster than you ever have before? And what if that path led you to feel the biggest, best feeling of ease and joy you’d ever felt? Would you be up for it?
This is exactly the path I chose many years ago when I decided that holistic healing would be my career. I knew the mind body soul integration was important and necessary. I didn’t know my holistic education would be a journey of feeling to heal. And I didn’t particularly love what I felt right away. I persisted anyway, and it paid off.
There was something about how I felt after each mind-body experience. Even though moving through very difficult feelings and the vulnerability I had to endure while feeling them was sometimes painful and occasionally impossible, I always felt different, in a good way, afterward. I always felt healing inside as a result; clearer, lighter, more joyful and more aligned with my purpose and calling in the world.
If feeling meant all of those things, I was up for the ride, even if it was going to be painful some days. I felt the possibility in the practice and the power in the vulnerability.
It turns out I was in very good hands, literally. The teachers, colleagues, and students in my hands-on workshops were experienced and compassionate. I learned I could heal if I were courageous enough to feel. I learned about the energy of trauma and how it could be shifted, released and transformed.
And then I realized something else. If I practiced the awareness I’d learned in a particular way, I could deal with the worst moments of my life; paralyzing fear, severe overwhelm, suffocating grief and sadness, with a simple process.
I call it Brave Healing.
I knew it still took courage to show up and do the work. But when I was willing, this simple three-step process never failed to show me the way through to the calm, grounded, clear place I craved to live.
1. Go deeper into the feeling of overwhelm and let go
Step one is hard. The instinct is to run in the other direction. When you can pause, clear your mind of the thoughts, and just connect to the body with your feeling senses with an attitude of curiosity and exploration, the energy that is the feeling will be able to do what it needs to do to shift. The technique comes from my John F. Barnes Myofascial Release training. This is a way to guide someone into feeling as a method for release. Guidance can be invaluable however you can guide yourself into feeling too. Notice the thoughts. Clear them. Connect with the breath and body. Open up and let go.
2. Practice thought and feeling awareness with journaling
Now it’s time to write. This is a healing and awareness tool that will take your experience and allow you to shift the energy further by putting it on paper. After you’ve had some time to feel, grab your journal and pen and write every detail of the experience, from the thoughts in your head, to what you feel, to the memories you have, to the ideas about it all. Writing it out shifts the energy. If you’d like to take it another step, practice reading your writing out loud to yourself. Putting the vibration of your voice to your words is a powerful process that will further enhance your awareness. And with the awareness, you’ll have a choice to think, believe and act differently. You’ll be able to cope with doubt, fear and overwhelm.
3. Take some action based on your awareness
Feeling is healing because the awareness you gain gives you a perspective you didn’t have before. What you do with that new perspective is everything when it comes to feeling good, clear, calm and powerful. With the awareness you have the choice, but what are you actually doing at this point? Are you choosing to fall back into old patterns of thought? Or are you choosing to think new thoughts, or practice new behaviors? The action is the key to changing the overwhelm, or whatever feeling is getting you stuck.
In general, overwhelm is a mindset; a place you’ve gotten stuck in your head, listening to all the voices that say you’re a mess, you’re not good enough, you have too much to do and not enough time to do it, etc. When you’re in overwhelm, you’re not in your body or your feeling senses. And it’s your body and feeling senses that will be the place to be if you’d like to connect to your inner wisdom and intuition. Which is right where you need to be to stop the overwhelm.
So you know that thing I asked you if you’re willing to do? Yes, feel it all. Your soul is waiting for you to be brave and show up for some language lessons. And all you need to do to start practicing is slow down and feel.
Laura Di Franco, MPT can help you have fun with fear and write, speak and share words that leave the legacy you were born for. Time to be brave! www.BraveHealer.com or email Laura at email@example.com
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Ginny Robertson writes: I was a fan of Melissa Harris’ work long before I had the privilege of connecting with her at Breathe Books in Hampden (Baltimore, Maryland) a number of years ago. (I miss that place!). I had purchased her prints and greeting cards and they uplifted and inspired me. I’m thrilled to have her art as our cover this month. The piece is called “Collaboration” which Melissa describes as: “Explore and enjoy the magic of creation with another. Let your combined energies guide you.” On Purpose Woman Magazine is a beautiful example of collaboration.
Read her story starting on the next page and check out her website for original art, prints, cards, retreats, classes, and her book “Painting Outside the Lines.” www.MelissaHarris.com.
By Melissa Harris
Ever since I can remember my mother was telling me “You’re too sensitive.”
I have had clairvoyant experiences all my life. When we were young, we’d be riding along on a trip somewhere new, and I would shout out that I had seen the scenery the night before in my dreams.
I couldn’t understand why others didn’t “know” the same things that I automatically did. I began to feel different than others.
I was also always drawing and painting. My parents fed me a constant supply of paints, crayons, and paper to keep me quiet.
My parents urged me to go to college for something I could make money at. In my first year, I was most passionate about my art class. My parents discouraged me from pursuing an art major, so I majored in fashion design. But, every time the elevator went by the 3rd floor and I smelled the oil paint, I felt drawn. I ended up getting a Bachelors in Fine Art in Painting from Syracuse University and a Masters in Fine Art in Painting from Queens College.
During my years as a graduate student, I was put on probation by the all-male graduate committee. I was having a spiritual awakening and trying to paint the images that were coming through in my visions and dreams. The graduate faculty committee was unhappy with my constant change of format and thought the images “hokey or corny.” The only one who understood was a woman on the faculty who was a practicing astrologer. We agreed that I had to do what I had to do to graduate.
I was yearning to experiment more with “unknown” territory, but that would have to be put on hold. I had blown away the faculty at my previous school with a life-size portrait of a friend, so I did it again and finished grad school with a body of life-size portraits. I went into trance-like states and channeled the subject’s essence, resulting in powerful expressive portraits.
I received a Fulbright grant to study in Paris in 1985. Right before I left, I had an experience that would change my life. You can read about that in my book.
A few years earlier, I had started meditating and studying astrology. The experience of getting the grant and the events around it are a magical story. I quickly manifested places to live. I was supposed to have a person or school that I was affiliated with, but I didn’t. I know that my grant was a “cosmic gift” and that it, like most things, was divinely guided.
Only two painters received Fulbright scholarships in Painting for Paris that year, and I was lucky enough to be one of them. It was an awesome experience to sit at a reception table at the American Embassy in Paris as part of a select group of Fulbright Scholars.
When I got to Paris, I was anxious to take up where I left off. I was living in a dorm-like environment on a floor with other musicians and artists with grants. During those years, I had more incredible, magical experiences.
In 1990 I birthed my publishing company, CREATRIX. It has been a long road with a lot of learning curves. I can clearly see how the many aspects of myself needed to learn from this entity. The business has brought everything together for me and taught me good business skills. It is also extremely fulfilling to listen to folks’ feedback on how the images or writings have touched their lives.
I also teach classes that combine painting with meditation. We focus on learning to access one’s visions and find a language in which to express them. I’ve taught at the Open Center in New York City, Omega Institute in Upstate New York and privately. I love sharing in my students' processes and I live in gratitude each day for the wonders of my life.
I share my home with my fab four feline friends on 9 acres in the Catskill mountains of New York. Our land has wonderful meadows and a magical forest that back up to a reservoir. My former partner built my dream studio complete with a French door overlooking the meadow and forest as well as huge windows and skylights. I had a dream of a large light-filled studio for many years, and it feels like a miracle to have manifested it after years of paying my dues in some very dark, dank and even toxic spaces. It is an absolute MUST to know what our dreams are so that we can manifest them.
I feel strongly about the lack of respect for the earth's resources that seems rampant. I have an obligation to live as simply as I can with an awareness of how each action is related to the next, both in how we can be as waste efficient as possible and in how we relate to others. It is my continuing practice to try and live fully in each moment, keeping in mind the desire for the best for all concerned.
“Painting is my medicine…Through these decades of a sometimes erratic and ever-evolving life, painting had been the one constant. Relationships and homes have come and gone, but my paint box is always with me.”
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In a song called Liberation, Christina Aguilera begins by asking, “Where are you? Are you there?” Her words are barely a whisper. A calling out to a part of her that lies dormant. The rest of the song is a soft melody with piano and violins and other string instruments, until the end when she whispers, “Remember.”
I don’t know what her personal intention was for the song. For me, it was a call out to a part of myself that had been suppressed for too long.
After listening to her song today, I had a remembrance of a time when I had things to say and no place to say them. It reminded me that when I started to blog in 2008, I started every writing session with “Dear Listener.” The subtext was, “Dear Listener, Are you there? Can you hear me”
Liberation is one of those words, like power, that can bring up feelings of discomfort. Liberation means “setting free from oppression.” To heal and liberate your voice, you have to be willing to admit that you are, or have been, oppressed.
As the artist and activist Judy Chicago, recently said on the Netflix film: Feminist: liberation in the ’70s meant “you had to be disobedient.”
For a moment, let’s push aside any feelings you may have about suffragettes and the second wave of feminism, the liberation movement in the ’70s. Separate from that, I want to ask you, “Were you ever taught to be a good girl?” Feel that for a moment. Did someone ever say to you, “Be a good girl.” What did it mean to be a good girl? Could a good girl have a liberated voice? Did she have to be disobedient to be free?
A deeper clue about the conditioning around being a good girl came to me recently when my mother read one of the stories I wrote in, “Heal My Voice: An Evolutionary Woman’s Journey.”
(As an aside, this article is not about bashing my mother. I understand that being a good girl to her meant that I would be safe. If I didn’t challenge anyone with my voice and I was a good girl, I would be safe. That is a huge discovery in itself.)
My story in the Heal My Voice book evolved around a moment when I yelled at a housemate in 2014, the year I shared a house with seven people in Los Angeles. My mother said she couldn’t read that story because she didn’t raise me to yell at people. She raised me to be “a good girl.”
In the story, I talked about how I had acquiesced to someone for four months because she was having a hard time adjusting to sharing a house with so many people. I shut down my needs and desires and did anything I could to avoid conflict and make it easier for her. Although everyone had some private space of their own in the house, she was having a hard time with the shared spaces.
Everything came to a head after I returned from a three-week business trip and she had set up her acupuncture office in my bedroom.
Setting boundaries and asking her to remove her stuff from my bedroom by a certain date didn’t work. And on the final night, when her massage table blocked my ability to get into my bed, I snapped. All of the suppression and holding back and acquiescing finally boiled over and I screamed at her.
The other housemates clapped and cheered that I had liberated my voice. My “good girl, people pleasing, community building” persona was stretched to the limit. I couldn’t repress my feelings any longer. To really claim my space and stand up for myself I had to break through the nice girl my mother had taught me to be.
The only problem with that scenario was that I didn’t have enough practice with my voice to use it firmly and directly before reaching that boiling point. There was no place in my childhood or in adulthood where it was safe to be messy emotionally. No place to express anger, fear, hurt, or anything else that felt uncomfortable. No place to practice expressing my thoughts and feelings and practice trying on different hats or different ideas. It took that moment with the roommate to help me break free from oppression. My liberated voice can now express feelings of anger, hurt, fear, as well as upliftment, joy, and confidence.
As we watch women liberating their voices at the Women’s March and in the #metoo and #timesup movements, we are going to witness women with feelings. Feelings are clues that are connected to intuition. Feelings and liberation are a superpower.
It is time. We need your voice. We need your voice to create a ripple effect of liberation in the world. When you follow your heart, when you listen to your intuition, when you show up because you know in your heart that this is where you are meant to serve, to offer, to lead, you are using your liberated voice.
A few questions to explore:
What does liberation mean to you?
Where do you feel you have the freedom to speak, to express your thoughts and feelings?
Do you feel liberated at the dinner table, in your business, in your community, in the world?
Where do you feel your voice is shut down or not welcomed?
What is one step you could take to liberate your voice?
By Andrea Hylen
Liberating Your Voice
Andrea Hylen is the Author of "Heal My Voice: An Evolutionary Woman’s Journey. Creator of The Writing Incubator, online writing community. www.andreahylen.com
Next month, I will share some ideas on how you can heal the lineage of your past with women and use your liberated voices together.
longing to find women friends who get you, love you, and respect you?
Soul Sister Tribe
By Elizabeth McCain
Are you longing to find or renew your soul sister tribe of close friendships with women – that goes beyond professional networking? You know, your women friends who get you, love you, and respect you. These are women to whom you belong.
These are also the women with whom we have soul contracts. Our deepest spiritual essence, our soul, attracts these women for significant learning, growing, and healing together.
These days we are living in stressful times – politically, professionally, and personally. With too much busy-ness, work and technology addiction, and the government shut down (as I write this), it is easy to become isolated from our soul sisters.
In addition to connecting with our soul sister tribe, we also have to connect with our Higher Self, and fill our own wells. This includes attending to all of our emotional experiences, especially through the difficult dark nights of the soul.
I do this by journaling, doing mindfulness meditation, connecting with the Divine Feminine, singing, and practicing compassion and loving kindness for myself. I’m not perfect. I forgive myself daily for falling back into old stories and beliefs about myself that are not true. I realign with the wisdom of my soul daily through spiritual practices.
Social media gives us the illusion of being closely connected to one another, but it actually causes us to feel more isolated.
Studies in positive psychology reveal that social bonds are the most powerful predictors of life satisfaction. A Harvard study showed that people who are happiest and live the longest see friends at least once a week.
How often do you see yours?
My soul sister tribe includes my chosen family, my family-of-heart. This includes my wife, Marie, and close women friends. During these difficult times, we need to gather in person more often for our emotional and spiritual health. We need to have more joy and less stress. If my emotional needs of connecting with my soul sisters are not a priority, and if my needs are not met, my life gets unbalanced. Then, I am at risk for depression and despair.
As we age, we lose members of our soul sister tribe through death, unresolved conflict, or just growing apart. There is the saying, “People are friends for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.”
The loss and search for new soul sisters is a difficult journey. In the past five years, I’ve had fourteen friends die. A significant part of my soul sister tribe has disappeared. My grieving process has been intense and also filled with growth.
In my fifties, it has been challenging to develop new friendships in suburban Maryland, where so many people value professional productivity and busy-ness more than emotional intimacy. This Washington, DC area has a great deal of ego driven masculine energy. I long for more heart driven feminine energy.
Slowly, I’ve been rebuilding my soul sister tribe. After the election in 2016, my need to gather with more like-hearted women became more urgent. I was frustrated with the limited connections I had through social media and texting. So I began to schedule weekly visits and calls with my closest women friends whom I consider to be my soul sisters. Most agreed to do this. Some friendships faded out, which felt right. I made myself vulnerable in talking about my need for more emotional support and connection. In Brene Brown’s book, Daring Greatly, she defines vulnerability as “uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure.” Brown also states that vulnerability is “the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity.”
Last fall, I deepened some friendships with some of my soul sisters who helped me promote my one-woman play, “A Lesbian Belle Tells…” in Baltimore’s Charm City Fringe Festival. I enthusiastically received their support. I asked for their support and believed I would receive it. One of my affirmations I worked with while practicing the law of attraction was “Sharing my stories touches peoples’ hearts and creates an energy field of trust and longing which deepens my soul sister connections.”
I allowed my longing for support and connection to be greater than my fear.
In her book Fabulous Friendship Festival, writer and artist SARK states, “Our friendships leap for joy when we attend to them with fresh, new eyes. There is an alchemy between friends that I often forget about…It’s the mixture of us and them. It creates a new entity. We are then enhanced and expanded through experiencing that entity together. Joy gets multiplied and magnified when you share it.”
This is so true. The more time I spend with my soul sisters and the less time I spend on Facebook, the happier and more content I am. My life is richer. My joy is greater. I laugh more and feel a greater sense of belonging.
I have realized that I can have different soul sister tribes for different parts of my life. I have my wife, Marie, and a few close friends who are my closest tribe. I have a new Goddess circle of soul sisters in a spiritual community, professional colleagues in another soul sister tribe, and a choral group of soprano soul sisters in my LGBTQS chorus, the New Wave Singers in Baltimore.
As women, gathering with our chosen family during times of loss and uncertainty is healing and restorative. Being present with one another and sharing our personal stories deepens intimacy and assures us that we are not alone. Writer, Dorothy Allison says it best, “To go on living, I have to tell stories…Stories are the one sure way I know to touch the heart and change the world.”
Who is in your soul sister tribe? How do you nurture those relationships? How often do you spend time with them? What prevents you from bonding more deeply and being vulnerable?
In 2019 may we find and deepen our relationships with our soul sister tribes. And may we open our hearts to celebrate and support each other through the joys and sorrows of life.
Elizabeth McCain is a counselor, storyteller, and shamanic interfaith minister in Takoma Park,
MD. She is writing a book, A Lesbian Belle Tells…Raw, Real, and OUTrageous Stories on
Living Out, Loss, and Love. www.elizabethmccain.com, EMcCainLPC@yahoo.com.
At Length. Jewell Machlan. The Rolf method and therapeutic massage. This method is amazing! Give it a try! www.atlength.org
BotaniCuisine.com. Nancy Poznak, MS. Plant-Sourced Dining Outreach, Consultation, Marketing, Dining Guides, Plant-Based Info & Coaching. 443-384-7890
Brave Healer Productions. Laura Di Franco, MPT. Have fun with your fear and share your healing message with the world! www.BraveHealer.com 703-915-3653
GerisePappas.com. Transformational Life Coach & Enneagram Facilitator working with growth-oriented individuals ready to replace fear-based habits with inspired action!
Ginny Robertson LLC. Connecting Women Around the World to Their Gifts, Their Purpose and Each Other. In-person and virtual gatherings. www.OnPurposeWomanCommunity.com. 443-934-3523.
Holistic Healer, Life Coach, Money Mentor. Sandy McDougall, helping on purpose women gain clarity, courage, strength, stability, ease. firstname.lastname@example.org
Hustle with Heart Coaching. Erin Harrigan. Helping "stuck" entrepreneurs rediscover their joy and align results with God's truth. email@example.com 443-684-3131
Jewels From Jerri. Jerri St. John. Independent Consultant with Paparazzi. 410-274-3712 https://www.paparazziaccessories.com/jewelsfromjerri
Lilia Shoshanna Rae. Author of The Art of Listening to Angels, Reiki Master, firstname.lastname@example.org,website LiliaShoshannaRae.com.
LNK Creative: End cold calling! Ellen Koronet designs magnetic quizzes and surveys, showcasing brand brilliance and attracting loyal, satisfiable customers! www.LNKCreative.com
Love YOUniversity. CortneyAnne Budney. Guiding awakened coaches and healers to spiritually, strategically and collectively uplevel life, purpose and prosperity. LoveYOUniversity.net
Love YOUniversity. Julia Coplan. Guiding awakened coaches and healers to spiritually, strategically and collectively uplevel life, purpose and prosperity. LoveYOUniversity.net
Manifesting Clients Academy. Kathryn Yarborough. Training heart-based, on purpose women entrepreneurs to grow businesses they love. www.ManifestingClientsAcademy.com
Music 4 More. Deidra Stevens. Non-profit that repairs and recycles musical instruments into music programs for schools and veterans. www.music4more.org
Nourishing Journey Café & Wellness Center. Jennifer Palmer. Healing Bodies ~ Opening Minds ~ Uniting Hearts. Columbia MD. www.nourishing-journey.com 410-992-3001
Open Heart Healing. Karen Tasto. Free your inner goddess and live a life you love through spiritual life coaching, reiki, sacred circles, and retreats. www.karentasto.com
Patricia Iris Kerins. Soul retrieval and voice empowerment coach, healer and channel, working with women who are spiritually awakening. www.patriciairiskerins.com
Plexus Ambassador. Natalie Gallagher. Natural plant-based health and wellness supplements and skincare, balancing blood sugar, reducing inflammation and healing the gut. https://plexusworldwide.com/nataliegallagher
Problem Solved. Errands & Organizing. Deidra Stevens. We provide solutions to get your to-do list done! www.linkedin.com/in/deidrastevens/
Soulful Business Coach Dawn Shuler - I work with women business owners to play bigger by focusing on systems. www.SmartBusinessFromYourSoul.com
Soul-utions Hypnosis. Beverly Hamilton CHt. Restoring health and vitality through Hypnosis, Reiki and Aromatherapy. FREE self-hypnosis recording:
The Chrisa Group. Chrisa T.S. Achieve Your Goals for 2019 Now! Transformation Coach, Hypnotherapist. www.TheChrisaGroup.com 347-543-4675
Virtually Nat. Natalie Gallagher. Your one-woman web, social media and funnel digital agency, bringing your online vision to life. https://virtuallynat.com
Find out how.
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By Jerri St. John
If you missed Part I of Jerri’s article, check out the January issue of On Purpose Woman article.
I entered a new world of feelings when I decided to stop the anti-depressants and face life “au naturel.” I expected to suddenly be cured – free from the anger, pain, and sadness that had been my life for over twenty years.
In reality, even though I had been on anti-depressants for twenty years, with a diagnosis of clinical depression, I am convinced that I went undiagnosed for at least an equal amount of time before that. It explains so much about my younger years, my relationships and my choices. When I operated from a place of fear, anxiety, and depression, my choices were often self-destructive.
I was told all of my life that I wasn’t ENOUGH!
As I’ve emerged from the protective cocoon of the anti-depressants, I realized that this was an uphill battle. I hadn’t allowed myself to feel for years. I hadn’t cried.
Suddenly I was terrified! My heart was racing, I felt a tightness in my chest, a churning in my gut. I had trouble catching my breath.
What if I couldn’t live without the anti-depressants? What if I got lost back in the darkness of that depression, never to emerge again?
The only feelings I had for years were feelings of anger and rage. The rage was directed at everyone close to me, pushing them away, keeping them at arm’s length because then I could prove my parents right – I wasn’t good enough. I wasn’t worthy of love. The rage I was feeling was inner anger at having no control over my thoughts, feelings or actions due to the demon depression. My behavior became self-destructive, self-abuse that permeated into my soul and kept me trapped inside all of that pain.
The healing began the day I decided to stop putting chemicals into my body and start the hard work of finding out what makes me tick. I began to slowly understand who was in this body and mind. What I wasn’t prepared for was the lengthy process of rediscovery, rebirth, and growth.
I expected to be well as soon as the medication was out of my system. Instead, I became fearful, confused and terrified of life without my crutch!
“You’ve been numbed out by those antidepressants for years. You haven’t been feeling. Be kind to yourself. This will take some time. These things you’re feeling are normal, and you will be OK,” my beautiful, compassionate acupuncturist, Julia reassured me.
These were all new to me. I wasn’t sure how to process all of this. I no longer had the crutch and safety of hiding behind my medication. It had been the only thing that kept me out of hiding – prevented me from crawling into bed and pulling the covers over my head – kept me from checking out of life for days on end.
My greatest fear was that I would plunge back into that darkness, never to return. That this time it would be irreversible. That there would be no turning back and no one would be able to save me.
I put one foot in front of the other, holding my breath, afraid every time I got a little bit sad – sure that the depression was returning.
I continued my acupuncture treatment weekly for several months and eventually realized that it was acceptable to have a bad day or a rough week. It was not the harbinger of the depression returning to ravage my psyche and my soul once again.
As the years have passed and I am still free from medication and depression, I have learned that my mindset is critical. It accounts for 90% of my attitude and outlook. When I start the day with energy and positivity, I’m able to participate in life joyfully and productively. I’ve learned to practice self-care and self-awareness.
Is life perfect? Of course not! It IS pretty awesome!!!
I can discern now when I need time to unwind or rejuvenate. I can embrace the rough times and accept that it is all part of the ups and downs of life. Most of my days are filled with optimism and happiness, and I have the ability to find the positive in every situation and move forward before I get stuck in the mire.
So, I am “Free to Fly." Some days I choose to walk, ride or even rest. It is now all about the choices I make.
I have learned healthy habits for my daily life that keep me going.
I practice positive affirmations, journal regularly, and I have worked on re-parenting myself to undo the damage that was done by parents that didn’t know any better. I have practiced forgiveness and gratitude.
I have learned to ask for what I need, give myself permission to feel and to unapologetically and proudly be who I am – 100% ME!
It’s still a process of daily self-discovery.
A valuable lesson I’ve learned is that no one else can tell me who I should be, how I should act or what I should think.
My past does not define me!
When I accept and love who I am, I am better able to fulfill my purpose here on this earth – to serve and inspire others. I am no longer afraid of being enough! I bring the best version of ME to my life and others every single day.
Come grow with me! The journey is amazing! If you have struggled in any way, I have a safe space for you on Facebook in a Secret Group where women are sharing stories, support and encouragement. Message me to get an invite to the group. https://www.facebook.com/jeri.stjohn.
While you're on my FB page check out my videos where I share stories of hope, inspiration and empowerment and watch live Mondays at 9am. There is hope on the other side of depression. It takes new habits, new practices and learning to believe in YOU!
As a Paparazzi Independent Consultant, Jerri St. John is changing lives and helping others find financial independence. She inspires and empowers women to become the best version of themselves. Join her VIP Group on Facebook: bit.ly/VIPJerri. Website: bit.ly/jewfelsromjerri.
Several months after my beloved husband Jay died following a short battle with terminal cancer, a new neighbor rang my doorbell. Opening it, I found her standing there, holding her hands clasped over her heart, sobbing. As her chest heaved, she managed to say: “I heard your husband died. I’m so sorry. I wanted to come sooner to pay my respects, but I haven’t because I knew this would make me very sad. My husband died suddenly four years ago, and I have to tell you, it doesn’t get any better, it only gets worse.”
My heart grew heavier hearing her words, and I felt any small ray of hope I ever had for healing from grief escape through the open front door!
Let’s face it: if we are honest, hanging out with grief survivors is usually not our “drug of choice.” Friends and family who are grieving are sad, they cry, and they often stand in the line of complaints rather than gratitude. Grievers aren’t the easiest people to be around! Not to mention that the United States is a grief phobic country. Everything around us says to run away from grieving people.
And that’s what most of us do. We feel awkward about how to best respond to friends and family who’ve endured a hard loss. Other than sending a sympathy card or dropping off a casserole, it’s easier to try to avoid them, especially if we encounter them in the grocery store!
What are our better options? How can we respond effectively to those suffering from a heartbreaking loss?
1. Reach out in person. Try to avoid texts, emails or facebook messages because the intensity of a personal loss doesn’t match a sympathy response offered in digital format! A phone call where you can at least leave a personal message is preferable. And an in-person visit is wonderful as long as it’s scheduled and not a drop in.
2. Avoid advice. Unless you are directly asked for advice, don’t be prescriptive. Your advice might be right for you but not for someone else. And it’s never your job to “fix” someone else’s pain.
3. Be an attentive listener. Grievers often need to talk and tell the story of the loss over and over. This is how they heal. Show up expecting to be a healing presence and allow them the time and space to talk while you listen without interruption.
4. Stay away from intrusive questions. Remember that the loss belongs to the griever. Avoid asking them questions about the loss simply because you are curious. They will tell you what they want you to know. Accept that.
5. If you feel avoidant, because you don’t know what to say, say that! Say something like: “I heard that John died. I am so sorry, and I wish there was something I could say that would make this time easier for you.”
6. Stay away from platitudes. The most offensive thing we can do to a grieving person is to offer a platitude. Things like “Your husband is in a better place now” or “God has a plan” or “This happened for a reason” are comments that make grievers cringe!
7. Offer concrete support. Remember that in addition to listening, that grievers need “doers” as companions during bereavement. Ask directly about specific ways you can be helpful. Inquire about what they need and above all, if you volunteer to do something, make sure to show up as scheduled. Grievers are already dealing with disappointment, so they don’t need the let down of someone committing to help and then backing away.
8. Think about ways you might do something with a griever that is distracting from their grief. Ask them if they would like to accompany you to lunch, happy hour, a comedy show, a funny movie, or a musical concert. Remember that laughter is healing and that it’s important for grievers to find ways to take breaks from the processing of sorrow.
9. Be alert to cues of enduring grief and hopelessness. Grief is not the same as depression, but many grievers are so heartbroken they don’t know how to live without the physical presence of the loved one they lost. Bereavement can raise the risk of suicide for some grievers. If your loved one has enduring grief that never remits in intensity and is stuck in hopelessness, provide information about professional grief counseling.
10. Be available for the long haul. I often say that being with grief survivors is a marathon rather than a sprint. It takes a long time to heal from significant and traumatic loss. While most grief survivors have an undeniable amount of support initially, this level of support typically wanes over time, making some of the darker days even more difficult and lonely. Be sure to check in with the griever for several years following the loss event.
10 Tips for
By Sherry Cormier, PhD
Here are my top 10 tips:
Sherry Cormier, Ph.D. is a psychologist, bereavement trauma specialist and the author of the new book Sweet Sorrow: Finding Enduring Wholeness After Loss and Grief (Rowman/Littlefield).
If your old inner story is something like...
I don’t know how to find clients.
My marketing isn’t working.
People don’t have money to pay.
Why would anyone want to work with me?
It’s okay to just have a few clients.
You need a new story!
What you’ve been telling yourself has gotten in the way of you attracting your clients. And it will keep stopping you from attracting them unless something changes!
Write a new story!
Your old story has likely stopped you from taking the action needed for new clients to find you. It could also have created an energetic wall that repels your ideal clients.
To manifest more clients, something has to change.
I recommend changing the story you tell yourself. If you don’t, you’ll keep getting the same results you’ve been getting.
Changing the story you tell yourself takes focus, discipline, and time. You have to break the habit of the old story.
To break the habit of the old story:
Write a new story about having all the clients you want – as if it’s happening now. Practice writing, reading, or saying your new story three to five times every day.
Let your new story evolve each time you write it or say it to yourself. Keep doing this until you have all the clients you want.
Here’s a short example of one of my new stories.
I love teaching 5 or 6 full Manifesting Clients Classes every week and this means...
I have great clients.
When I go onto Zoom, I see four, five, or six other people in the “room.”
I really believe in the process of manifestation and I love sharing it with others so that they grow a business they love.
I see emails from my online scheduler about people signing up for classes.
I am committed to offering these classes and promoting them.
I feel really good about what I’m doing. My heart expands when I think about my classes and my clients.
For this new story process to be effective, you have to use your imagination. The more often you can imagine your new story happening now, rather than it being some cool idea in the future, the quicker it will manifest and the sooner you’ll really have all the clients you want.
A Monthly Tip from Kathryn Yarborough
Change the Story You Tell Yourself
To write a new story:
1. Start with a statement about having all the clients you want.
2. Add, “and this means...” to the end of the statement.
3. Complete the sentence with everything that comes up.
4. Also complete the sentence with everything you imagine experiencing – using all of your senses – as if it’s happening now.
Kathryn Yarborough is the founder of the Manifesting Clients Academy. She inspires and motivates heart-based, on purpose entrepreneurs to attract clients and grow a business they love. To find out more, go to www.ManifestingClientsAcademy.com She is also the Creative Director of the On Purpose Woman Magazine.
By Jewell Machlan
More Quick Ways to Relieve Back Tension Every Day
In the January issue of On Purpose Woman, I shared that correct posture is vital to your mental and physical wellbeing. Standing properly is important, but if you spend more time surfing the web or watching TV than you do in motion, the way you sit has a greater influence on your posture than the way you stand.
Over time, the connective tissue in your body adapts to and supports your slouch, creating a new, unhealthy posture. Studies also link prolonged sitting to organ damage (heart, pancreas, and colon), muscle and bone degeneration, and even brain function. So when you know you're going to be sitting for an extended period of time, keep the following tips in mind.
Sit up Straight
An important aspect of sitting properly is sitting on your "sitz bones." These are your ishial tuberosities, the two bony protrusions on the bottom of your pelvis. These bones are meant to support the entire weight of your torso. The underside of your thighs and your tailbone are not.
Sit on a hard surface (hard enough so you can feel your bones against it) with your feet flat on the floor and your back straight. Slowly rock forward, backward, and perhaps from side to side until you can feel two bony spots in your buttocks. Balance the weight of your torso evenly on these two bones. Then straighten your spine, so your shoulders are lined up with your hips. You may need to press your shoulders down and back, lifting your chest. Be sure your lower belly is not curving forward -- press it towards your spine to straighten your lower back. Straighten your neck, so it is aligned with your straight spine, and be sure your head is solidly on top of it and your ear is lined up with your shoulder.
Now try out this position: lean forward, backward, and sideways from the hip, keeping your back straight. This is how you should move in a seated position. Notice that you do not have to support your back in any way to maintain this position if you are truly balanced above your sitz bones.
Once you become accustomed to sitting on your sitz bones with a straight back, you will have more energy and more breath to work and play. It will soon become MORE comfortable to sit up straight than to slouch, I promise!
TIP: When trying to change your postural habits, put a sticky note on your computer or above the copy machine or counter to remind you to kick your old habits and straighten up.
When you begin to stand and sit up straight, you will be engaging muscles that you are unaccustomed to using in this way. Assuming that you don't have any soft tissue compensations (from old injuries, surgeries, repetitive movements or a lifetime of bad postural habits) your body will soon adjust, and it will become more and more natural to stand and sit up straight.
However, if your body is having difficulty adjusting to a balanced posture, you may need to lengthen your muscles with slow stretching or strengthen your back, shoulders and core muscles with exercise. If the problem persists, you may need some deep tissue massage to relieve accumulated muscle tension, or connective tissue work to release fascial restrictions. To learn more about this, check out the Rolf "method" on my website
Jewell Machlan's goal is for everyone to enjoy their bodies. She focuses on helping her clients experience freedom of movement and relief from chronic pain or stiffness through the Rolf method. She is a licensed and nationally certified massage therapist with over 1000 hours of training in her specialty and sees clients in Gaithersburg. www.atlength.org
Look for her article next month: "More ways to relieve back tension --Driving Yourself Crazy?"
After working with Jewell, the woman in the middle (in blue) was aware of the importance of her seated posture.
Find out more.
Water is the basis of all life on Planet Earth and water security is the most critical component of environmental security. The Ministerial Declaration of the 2nd World Water Forum called for "ensuring that freshwater, coastal and related ecosystems are protected and improved; that sustainable development and political stability are promoted; that every person has access to enough safe water at an affordable cost to lead a healthy and productive life, and that the vulnerable are protected from the risks of water-related hazards."
Some Facts About Water
Water is irreplaceable, and there is no substitute.
Water connects all ecological and economic systems.
Water is a major risk to ecosystems and human communities whether due to drought (causing or enabling wildfire), or flood. Both “natural” disasters increase the risk to the cleanliness or quality of water as well as access.
Since water is the universal solvent, it can carry soluble nutrients and contaminants.
Water is a climate regulator, affecting local and regional climate.
Water is a cooling and a heating agent, depending on the circumstance.
Daily Water Consumption Facts:
Humans ½ gallon
Adult laying chicken ¼ gallon – to produce a dozen eggs takes 636 gallons
Lactating sow (pig) 3 gallons
Lactating goat 3 gallons
Milk cow 30 gallons
Approximately 40 percent of the annual water consumption of US households is for irrigating landscaping and gardens.
What is one thing you, your family and local community can do to assist with water security?
Collect and store rainwater.
Collect, clean, and store as much rainwater as you can and use for human and animal consumption and irrigation. I believe women are stewards of our waters. The Cherokee word for the waters is “a-ma-yi” and women traditionally are the protectors of the Spirits of the Waters. Whether rural or urban, we can make a difference with access to high-quality sufficient waters to meet our needs.
Some Things You’ll Need to Know:
• You can harvest about 80% of the rain that falls onto or into a catchment (roof, funnel)
• An average roof (25 x 40 ft), for example, sheds about 600 gallons of water within an hour of moderate rainfall.
• Water is heavy, so containers must be able to store it (a gallon of water weighs slightly more than 8.3 pounds)
Simple Household Rainwater Collection
There are numerous do-it-yourself systems to check out. Here is a simple standalone system using a shallow funnel and a barrel that can be purchased at http://rainsaucers.com/ .
How to Clean & Store Collected Water
I suggest you add a screen to filter out larger particles and debris. Use clean containers. I have found the best cleaner of both storage containers and collected rainwater is hydrogen peroxide. It is effective, does not contain hazardous chemicals like bleach, is cheap and easily available.
I find smaller containers (5-50 gallons) more useful and storable than large containers. They are easier to get to people, animals or to add to indoor/outdoor agricultural systems.
What If You Have A Furnished or Utility Water Supply?
Know what your source of drinking water is and knows its vulnerability. Is the supply surface water, groundwater or mixed? Is the water treated and how? How is it delivered to you? If delivered via pipes, what are the materials and what is the age of the pipes, pumps and valves?
Know the cleanliness of your water supply. What is the pH or acidity? Are there contaminants—organic and inorganic? What is the treatment type and does it effectively remove detected contaminants? How often and under want circumstances have you been told to “boil your water?”
Can your household or community reuse & recycle wastes like wash water, dish/kitchen waters? Do you have a stormwater collections reservoir and how is that managed? Can it be used in an emergency for irrigation or consumption?
If you want more info, one good source to start is the Global Institute for Water Security at the University of Saskatchewan: (www.usask.ca/water/)
By Beverly Ausmus Ramsey, PhD Ecology
What You Can Do
Beverly Ramsey, PhD, recently retired from 50 years of scientific research. She remains a professor in Environmental Sciences at APUS. She is sharing with us what she has learned from her traditional Native American rearing and her scientific research. DrBeverlyARamsey@gmail.com or email@example.com
Ginny Robertson is the Founder of the On Purpose Woman Community, a global movement that connects women around the world to their gifts, their purpose and each other. She is also a speaker and the Publisher/Editor of On Purpose Woman Magazine.
An On Purpose Woman…
By Ginny Robertson
The standard definition of collaborate is “to work jointly with others or together especially in an intellectual endeavor.” Some synonyms for collaborate are: cooperate, join, team (up), unite, band (together).
While these terms are accurate in describing what it means to collaborate, an On Purpose Woman knows it is much more than that.
For the cover art this month, I chose “Collaboration” from Melissa Harris’ Empowered Women series. The standard definition of collaboration does not begin to describe what is happening in this picture. Yes, the two women on the cover are cooperating, have teamed up and banded together. But for what purpose?
“Explore and enjoy the magic of creation with another. Let your combined energies guide you.” That’s how Melissa describes her painting.
That’s the difference right there!
The standard definition feels like work and is devoid of purpose. Explore…Enjoy…Magic…Creation…
Combined Energies…Guide. These words excite and inspire me.
An On Purpose Woman collaborates from this place, knowing that we may do something greater together than we can do alone.
The resurgence of the On Purpose Woman Magazine is a beautiful example of collaboration. Kathryn was one of the early members of the On Purpose Woman Community before moving to Florida. We’ve stayed connected and in the summer of 2017 collaborated to offer Connections Thru Conversation online gatherings to women around the world. That led to more joint efforts, and in January we brought you the new online On Purpose Woman Magazine.
We address practical things like the division of labor, money, and scheduling. But it is the exploration, enjoyment, feeling of magic, creation, combining energies and being guided to more possibilities that have fed me and keeps me inspired.
This collaboration grew from one idea. We had to start, take steps, course correct, take more action, dream bigger, all while maintaining our businesses and autonomy.
Together, we’re making a bigger difference and having a greater impact and I’m excited about the possibilities!
At the November 3rd Be On Purpose Day for Women Entrepreneurs, I shared a list of “Traits of an On Purpose Woman.” Each month I’ll share my perspective on a different trait.
On Purpose Woman Magazine is for women and by women. I am proud to be part of it. Our voices matter. Our businesses matter. Our leadership matters. And what we care about matters.
Thank you for your part. This magazine exists because of women like you who read it, write for it, advertise in it, contribute in any way to it, and share it with their friends.
Kathryn Yarborough, Creative Director
Ads are due February 20.