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Archive for May, 2007

Capers Conversation Cafe for Healers: Nourishing our Spirit

Just acted as the “cultivator” at the Capers Conversation Cafe, held last night for Healers and Health Practitioners around the broad topic of “nourishing our professional spirit”.

Even though I have used this process before, I was struck by a number of things: people love being in conversation; when folks get authentic and curious an expansiveness occurs in the centre of the conversation; good food really supports the process!

We asked three BIG questions:  what do I stand for; what do I need; how can I practice what I know to be true?  There was wonderful diversity in life experience and professional experience in the participants, with folks ranging from life coaches, to naturopaths, to reiki practitioners, chiros, MD’s, herbalists, midwives, nutritionists, physios, psychologists.

The words that seemed to really resonate in the conversations were: authenticity, community and collaboration and courage.  Most folks expressed some difficulty in bringing all elements of their lives into alignment.

The group had amazing and creative ideas for shifting the health care paradigm and keeping the conversation going.  One of my favourite ideas was to re-design hospitals as villages.

What is awesome is the energy that is created when groups of like-minded people come together in openness and aligned with a common purpose.

namaste,

Zoey

coach . catalyst . shakti sage

life & business coach for women

www.positivelyoutrageouswomen.com

The POW Shakti Sage Mexican Retreat!

For the past few years we have been spending the Christmas Season in Mexico.  This gives our family a much needed break and respite from the rainy weather at home.

I first travelled to Mexico for our honeymoon in 1985 and stayed in a little condo high on the hill in Puerto Vallarta.  I fell in love with Mexico, even though it was August and about 36 degrees in the shade.  Since then, we have experienced most of the beach-resort areas in Mexico and I can’t wait for longer chunks of time opening up with our kids being older so that my husband and I can travel around and get to know the interior areas of Mexico, rich with history.

My love of Mexico plus my love of working with women came together in a creative explosion when I had the idea of offering women’s coaching and yoga retreats to Mexico.  The first retreat was in 2004 and a group of us luxuriated in the tropical delights of Isla Mujeres, a little island off the coast of Cancun.  My friend Lucie Marcq, who lives on the island provided amazing food for us and we spent days doing yoga on the powdered sugar sand in the coconut grove, coaching together, swimming in the lagoon and generally re-juvenating.

Last year, the retreat moved to Yelapa, a small and quaint fishing village south of Puerto Vallarta and only accessible by water taxi.  We were lovingly taken care of by Hugo and Antonia at Casa Milagros (the food is always incredible), nourished our bodies with yoga with Beth on the roof of the Casa, took personal self-reflection journeys, had some adventures, experienced some coaching, relaxed with massages and danced to the music in the local disco.

 

So, all this is building up to telling you about the 2008 retreat; the POW Shakti Sage Mexican Retreat, January 13-19th in Yelapa.  Join us for this retreat and access and nourish your own Shakti Sage!  Stay tuned for more information!

namaste,

Zoey

coach . catalyst . shakti sage

life & business coach for women

www.positivelyoutrageouswomen.com

More Life Balance and Being and Doing

We have been talking about life balance, being a living biological system and the “Being” and “doing” of life.

Imagine, that there are two distinct energy states in your personal living biological system ie “you”.  The “doing” state, which is the human part of you that goes along on your daily life, imagine this state as a horizontal line.  There is also the “beingness” of you, your spirit, your soul, your Divine self, your higher wise self that taps into an expansiveness, an ageless, timeless energy.  See your “beingness” as a vertical line intersecting your “doingness” horizontontal line.

Now, I want to tell you a story.  This is a story about Karen.  When I first started coaching Karen, she was in total burn out mode.  She had been trying to do the whole “supermom” thing, which worked during her thirties but now, as a 45 year old working mom, she was in melt down mode.  Her physical energy was low, which was unusual but did improve with a couple of lattes.  She had recently developed an injury but found that she could still run if she took a couple of ibuprofens first.  She noticed that her periods had changed, becoming more frequent and intense but she chalked that up to stress.  We started with an assessment of the “doingness and beingness” of her life and completed a wheel of life balance together.  She realized that she was totally focused on doing!  “Being” had not be valued in her family of origin, nor is it really valued in our culture.  Karen measured her success and goodness as a person with how busy she was!  She was totally out of balance.  She added much more unstructured time or “white space” into her schedule and allowed herself to just be.  She re-created her definition of success and goodness to include both doing and being.

Does this sound familiar?  Be attentive to the balance of being and doing in your life.  How do you evaluate your goodness and your success?  Notice in our culture how much weight or value is given to doing vs being.  Notice in your friends and family, how they are in these terms.  From that wise place inside of you from the “being” place, what is calling out to be heard?

namaste,

Zoey

Zoey Ryan

coach . catalyst . shakti sage

life & business coach for women

www.positivelyoutrageouswomen.com

Domestic Abuse

I have just spent this weekend helping someone very close to me leave an abusive relationship and this stirs up so much!  I also happen to be reading “The Sociopath Next Door”, which is very interesting and chilling.

Firstly, I want to acknowledge this woman for “getting out, for leaving, for asking for help”, she is incredibly courageous.

I have known the statistics on all types of abuse for a long time, however I want to re-state what I have heard/know: 1 in 4 women will suffer some type of abuse during their lifetime (I believe that for men it is 1 in 6), there are generational cycles of abuse, abuse can be legitimized (war), abuse is about power and control.

From a macro perspective, I believe we must move out of the “dominator model” to a “partnership model” (read Riane Eisler’s work), we must not be silent about abuse, as this perpetuates the cycle.  This movement, this social change is what I believe my life purpose is.

From a community perspective I believe we must look at new and innovative ways of working with abusers.  In my opinion, our current justice system may exacerbate rather than alleviate, it is like treating violence with violence.  I am interested in some of the “old is new again” social justice programs such as family/community healing circles and restorative justice.

From the individual perspective, I believe we must stop “blaming the victim” and offer openess, understanding and support!

In the book “The Sociopath Next Door” the distinction is made that most of the population who are not sociopathic (96% of us) are able to feel and access love, compassion and empathy.  I am so grateful today for the ability to feel these emotions.

Our world will be healed as we move from “the love of power to the power of love” (“Awakening the Global Heart” by Anodea Judith).

Today may I/you/all be filled with lovingkindness, may I/you/all be well, may I/you/all be peaceful and at ease, may I/you/all be well.

namaste,

Zoey

life & business coach for women

www.positivelyoutrageouswomen.com

Life Balance

Ahhh, life balance.  I took a look through all the requests for coaching received through the International Coach Federation Website in the last month.  Roughly, 80-90% of those folks requesting life coaching, listed life balance as one of the areas they wish to work on.  It is a hot topic.

Being a science type from university, I love the biological idea that we are all, as humans a full and complete living biological system, living within other full and complete living systems.  When such a system is in balance, all parts of the system work together, feel energized and flow easily and effortlessly.  When a biological system is out of balance, all hell breaks loose and the system moves from a state of equilibrium to a state of disequilibrium. 

A really clear example of this from the area of the world where I live is in the effects of global warming.  With the summer temperatures slightly higher than usual, the pine beetle is able to flourish for a longer life cycle and is destroying many of the pine forests.  Now the actual temperature change is slight but the effects are disasterous.  Another biological example of disequilibrium in a system are the dying coral reefs in the pacific ocean.

Enough of a science review!  There is though, a lot of learning that can be transferred from living systems theory to personal life balance!  Think of yourself as a finely tuned biological system.  What happens if this system doesn’t receive enough water, sunlight, rest, emotional intimacy etc.  What happens if the “temperature” around you gets too high, from emotional conflict, from running your life on adrenaline, from excessive energy expenditure without a balance in down time?

You got it!  You become “out of balance” and may be in a perpetual state of disequilibrium without even knowing it!

What are your personal sign posts for “being in balance” and “being out of balance”?  What is the “big win” of living a balanced life?  What are those things in life that tip you out of balance?

If you need help with all this, I would love to support you!  Think about trying a sample coaching session!

namaste,

Zoey

coach . catalyst . shakti sage

life & business coach for women

www.positivelyoutrageouswomen.com

 

My Lotus Logo

Last year when I was having my website re-designed, I realized that it was also time to have a logo designed for Positively Outrageous Women.  What I was yearning for was an image that pulled together my hopes and dreams for my business and for the women I work with.  I also wanted the logo to resonate all of “what I am about” as a coach and as a woman in the world today.

I was fortunate enough to be working with an incredibly talented designer (jenny hughes from incogmedia).

What has evolved is a wonderful lotus/rose! 

For me, it is a lotus in eastern spiritual traditions but also a rose of western spiritual traditions.  It represents the Divine Feminine that is re-awakening and re-emerging into our consciousness and world.

If you look closely at the center petal, the pattern is the female reproductive system (this element was created totally subconsciously between the designer and myself). 

The pink and the red is the dance between our fire and our hearts. 

The number of petals represent the 8 limbs of yoga and union.

The lotus is sitting solidly and balanced, grounded through roots into the water and reaching up into the heavens.

When I look at the lotus logo, I feel calm, peaceful, happy and energized.

namaste,

Zoey

coach . catalyst . shakti sage

life & business coach for women

www.positivelyoutrageouswomen.com

Prosperity & Abundance

During my morning reading and meditation, a significant portion of the time over the past years has been devoted to shifting my relationship with money.

I know I am not alone, many are “recovering poverty addicts”. 

During my childhood, I learned some pretty powerful lessons: it is spiritually impure to be rich, there is never enough money, rich people are mean and selfish, don’t expect much out of life and I’m the only one responsible for getting ahead.  Powerful programming isn’t it?

I have spent alot of time unearthing long held messages about money that no longer serve me and then learning and integrating new messages and beliefs.  This is easier said than done!  There is a big difference between “head knowledge” and “fully integrated into every cell of the body and beyond knowledge”.

This morning I was reading one of the key books that has been helpful on this journey “Spiritual Economics: The Principles and Process of True Prosperity” by Eric Butterworth and one phrase jumped off the page, here it is “You were born to achieve, to release your inner power, to fulfill your uniqueness.  It is the ‘little spark of celestial fire that you may desecrate but never quite lose'”.

Two things really resonate for me; the notion that we are born to achieve, that the universe conspires in our success if we just get our limiting beliefs out of the way and the “little spark of celestial fire”.

In my coaching, I have observed that as women realize their right to success and touch that little spark and really get a felt sense of all of this, very positive, powerfully interesting things start to happen.

We all deserve this and I finished off my meditation this morning with the prayer of “lovingkindness”: may all be filled with lovingkindness, may all be well, may all be peaceful and at ease, may all be happy.

namaste,

zoey

coach . catalyst . shakti sage

life & business coach for women

www.positivelyoutrageouswomen.com

Standing Women & Mother's Day!

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you.

My first official Mother’s Day was spent hosting a Mother’s Day brunch for my mom and mother-in law with 6 day old first baby carried around in a snuggly while I was whipping up eggs benedict.  Two English Langugage homestay students (one from Mexico, one from Japan) helped with the baby as did “Dad”. I look back on those years and describe this as my attempt at the “supermom thing”.  Throw in 2 more babies over 4 years, applying for grad school (got a provisional acceptance, had to re-do 2 undergrad courses to bring up marks, had three kids under the age of 5 at home, couldn’t do it and dropped out at Thanksgiving).  Whew!  What was I thinking???  Perhaps that my “good”, my “worth” as a person was defined by how much I could “do”, by degrees and how well I could balance, and how skilled I was in the kitchen???

I became a mom 19 years ago and from the perspective of wisdom and years passing, I can say that now I assess my goodness and worth by the small, simple things that involve “doing a life” and that involve “being a life”.  Like pausing to smell the wonderful lilacs in our back yard.  Like remembering my “moms” who have passed on;  Jean, my mother in law, who lived with us for the last few months of her life, who had such a wonderful sense of humour and reminded my to laugh daily; Dora, my aunt in law, who was so very gracious and taught me how to be a lady; and Renata, my mom, who taught me so much about life and struggles, who showed me her love by the wonderful food she cooked and by the amazing clothes she sewed for me and who was the first “Wholistic Nutritionist” I ever knew, inspiring me into a 20 year career in nutrition.  She taught me about surviving and how powerful the mother/daughter bond is, which scares me abit, now that I am the mom of three daughters!  The fear comes from how sacred I hold my responsibility as their mom and yearning to at all times honour them as uniquely amazing whole individuals.

Today, on Mother’s Day, 2007, I also remember our Mother Earth and will join countless other women in standing in silence for 5 minutes at 1 pm local time, to “stand for” all the ways that we can honour, protect, maintain and sustain our “green mother earth” in the years to come and for our next generations.  I’m not feeling called to join a big standing group or make this about anything other than a very personal, very deeply held honouring of all mothers, birth mothers and metaphorical mothers, all people and the planet for us and for us future generations.

namaste,

zoey

coach . catalyst . shakti sage

life & business coach for women

www.positivelyoutrageouswomen.com

Time for You: the importance of personal reflection

Who are you and when was the last time that you asked yourself this question?  I imagine that most of you can answer the “who are you part” in a variety of ways.  Often women respond with what role they play, or what their profession is, or if they are a mom or partner, or sister.  In the absence of those titles, roles and descriptions who are you?  Answering the question becomes abit trickier now.  If we peel away the layers, the life experiences, the history, at your very essence who do you believe yourself to be.

Many adult women, when asked this question struggle with the answer.  Think of when you were young, before puberty, perhaps between the ages of 5 and 8.  Who did you think you were then.  What did you want to be when you grew up?  What do you now want to be “when you grow up”?

 In our busy lives, it may seem tricky to find the time for personal reflection… the power and benefit of committing to this practice is an enhanced sense of self, a depth to life and relationships and the ability to be the creator of your life rather than a passive observer.  Reflect on this quote “an unexamined life is not worth living” and if you were to examine your life, what would you come up with?  Keep asking the question “who am I”?

My challenge to you is to commit to giving yourself time for personal reflection daily!

namaste,

Zoey

coach . catalyst . shakti sage

life & business coach for women

www.positivelyoutrageouswomen.com

“Freedom is actually a bigger game than power.  Power is about what you can control, freedom is about what you can unleash. ” – Harriet Rubin

 

 

Save The World, Save Yourself and The POW Game!

 Many women, and I include myself in this, want to do good things in the world and help people.  It is my observation that often women try to “save the world” without first “saving themselves”.  They are off volunteering and helping, supporting and giving while internally they are feeling disconnected, perhaps ungrounded and uncentered and lack clarity about their own lives.  Their personal relationships are falling apart and they are unhappy.  Their “good works” may be a distraction from the reality of their lives.  Again, I can include myself in this!

It is my opinion, that the most important “work” a woman can do is to know herself well, develop a strong foundation of inner resources and care for herself well. It is from this place of wholeness and balance that we can go outward into our relationships and life.  I see life as a game, with ourselves as the scriptwriter, director, producer and one of the actors.  So, I developed a game to support women in the work of creating a strong foundation.  I call it the POW Game and it is played by you, using the monthly podcasts posted to my site (ww.positivelyoutrageouswomen.com)!

This game has been developed to support you in developing a strong foundation, to be grounded, centered, whole and balanced.

The Rules:
 1. Keep the words self-care, nourishment and inspiration top of mind.

2.  Play the game with a spirit of lightness.

3. Use heart language. On a daily basis, sink into your heart centre, feel your heart softening, opening and melting.  Listen with your heart.

4.  Be body centered, bring awareness to your body and engage in some form of yoga or body centered practice.

5. Start each day with a short remembering of the good work you are doing and gratitude.

6.  Live in the present moment!

Each month will be based on a theme and will include a quotes, in-rageous activities, outrageous activities, visualizations and affirmations.

Quote
 

Vicki Noble says in her book “Shakti Woman” …What does seem necessary is for each of us women to pull her focus back inside herself and to begin actively and intelligently to create the world we want.  This may sound abstract, simple, and impossible at the same time since it seems so easy to focus on oneself and so impossible to change the world.  But neither is true.  For a woman actively to re-possess herself and to center there is a monumental talk, taking years of difficult, painstaking work.  This is the work I am calling female shamanism, a gradual mastery of oneself, and a healing or recovery from the chronic dis-ease of our time.  Once a woman has done the work of remembering herself, she is much more able to change the world effectively.”

Are you interested in remembering yourself?  Come and play!

namaste,

Zoey

coach . catalyst . shakit sage

life & business coach for women

www.positivelyoutrageouswomen.com

 

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