Reclaim Your Creative Soul. Here’s How.

Hello Dear Reader,

Thanks for reading this far. I know – Low bar, right? What can I say? I’m easily pleased. 😁

I guess I’m feeling just a little bit heady and giddy after the weekend I had with my coaching peeps in San Jose, re-energizing my business, connecting with all the love and support my heart can handle, and learning (and un-learning!) so much that will help me create a life I love.

And that’s what I want for you, too, of course. Otherwise I wouldn’t be sitting here writing you a big, fat letter, now, would I?

Continue reading Reclaim Your Creative Soul. Here’s How.

Breaking the Family Commandments and Creating Anyway

This past week the loving Universe has conspired to bring me the perfect teachers and teachings. I talked about my fave astrologer and some of the other resources that are helping me lately in last week’s post. Add to them, dreams, random snippets of overheard conversations, and other serendipitous voices in the symphony that is my Universal newsfeed.

Continue reading Breaking the Family Commandments and Creating Anyway

Useful Questions for Prosperity and Self-Confidence

Hola, Beauties!

Today’s quickie is a video of me blabbing a little about using the tool from Access Consciousness of asking questions and how they open possibility and have been help me a lot with my money and self-confidence. After the vid you’ll find a handy list of the questions I’ve put together that are rocking my world right now. And as a special Happy Sunday present for you, I’ve also made an audio file (at the bottom of the post) you can listen to and/or download of me reading the questions, so you can just have them in the background, meditate to them, or fall to sleep listening to them.

Continue reading Useful Questions for Prosperity and Self-Confidence

My Go-To Resources For Navigating Now

It wasn’t until Sunday, a really stellar day, that I realized, hanging out with my friends, that it might be a good idea to share some of the people, creations, ideas and tools that are helping me navigate this most amazing now. The Universe is such a huge place. Let’s share our favorite resources, spread the wealth, and help us all birth this amazing now.

Continue reading My Go-To Resources For Navigating Now

50 Book Idea Joggers for Your Inspirational Masterpiece

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Dear you,

Today’s post will be a short one. I’m in the midst of a writing and drumming weekend, getting organized for the final stretch of winter, and just wanted to get this out to you for your Sunday vacation from the frenzied pitch of social media and politics.

And do take a break, drink some water, and think about how you can make the world a better place. Essentially, these boil down to two: Ramp up the self-care so you are strong, resilient, rested, clear and grounded. And, bring your ever-loving gift out into the world, because we need it. (Hint: It’s not as hard as resisting it has been, and it’s not complicated.)

I offer today’s post in response to an email I received from a writer who isn’t clear on a topic for a book she wants to try her hand at. I thought it would be fun to share this list of 50 ideas to get your brain going, in case you, too, are toying with nonfiction book ideas.

If you’re thinking of writing a book – an inspirational book, a book that shares your life and your life’s message –

Maybe you’re only thinking of writing this book because every other person, once they get to know you, says, “You should write a book!” Maybe secretly you agree with them, but really don’t know where to begin.

Maybe you want to write a book because you’ve always wanted to write a book. It’s bucket list material.

Maybe you’ve written other things, and now you want to write something for the soul, from the soul.

Whether you’re a practitioner, a Mom, a retired nurse, or just a general gad-about looking for your next thing, you can write a rockin’ good book.

– The first step is a topic. Topics come from everywhere. They float in behind dreams and are overheard in the grocery store over fish, or apples. Keep your inner ear tuned and an idea will come to you. Meanwhile, take a look at this list of 50 ideas, for starters.

Download the pdf here.

50 Book Idea Joggers

From Your Current Work with Clients

What advice do you routinely give your clients?

What self-care and follow-up routines or activities do you routinely recommend?

What homework do you give?

What kinds of things do you have people do to prepare for their first meeting with you?

How can people get the most out of working with you?

What are the fundamental concepts/beliefs/systems/knowledge that inform the work you do that you’d like clients to know about when they start out with you?

How about the ones you don’t need clients to know about but which nonetheless greatly inform your work?

What unique processes, methods or systems have you developed that have gotten results for your clients?

What do you do differently than your colleagues who are doing similar work, and how did you evolve those ways, and why are they different, unique, better and worth sharing?

What can you teach others to do that would help them get better results in their work or personal life?

From Your Life experience

How did you get to be who you are today?

What challenges have you faced and overcome?

What were the low points?

What successes and triumphs have you had?

Who have been your allies? Your enemies?

What have your internal enemies and allies been?

What lessons have you learned?

What mistakes would you avoid this time around?

What advice would you give someone following in your footsteps?

What do you wish you’d known then that you know now?

What mistaken ideas took you down detours and how did that help you ultimately?

What’s the most surprising thing about where you are today, compared to where you started out?

Have you ever had unseen help? Describe what happened.

What do you think you’ve travelled this particular path?

What purpose did your suffering and struggle serve ultimately?

What do other people think you should write about and are they on target?

What strengths have you developed as a result of your hero’s journey?

What old concepts have you left behind?

If you could sum up your greatest wisdom, learning or way of living/working as a result of your healing journey in a few words, what would they be?

Who have your challengers been?

Who have your allies been?

Tell about the time you almost gave up and the breakthrough that followed

What are some pitfalls you can warn others who are on a similar path about?

What are some of the weirdest choices you’ve made, and where did they take you?

A Contemporary Issue or Problem That You Can Help Solve

What’s your unique take on the root cause(s) of this problem?

What’s your unique take on solutions(s) to the problem?

What can individual people do to address or solve this?

What societal changes need to happen to address or solve this?

What legal or governing changes need to happen to address or solve this?

What mindset shifts would help address or solve this?

What common pitfalls in thinking, policy or individual behavior need to be avoided in order to implement your solutions?

What are some examples of how someone would put your ideas into action?

What have others tried and failed at in addressing this problem, and why have they failed? What fundamental did they miss?

Topics That You are Crazy-Nerdy Interested and Expert In

What things do you spend a lot of time thinking about and as a result know more than the average person?

What are you crazy-nerdy interested in?

What off-the-wall things do you know more about than most people?

What are some things you’ve done that no one else has done, why, and how would it benefit anyone to know about them?

What are your secret or guilty pleasures, including physical, sexual, intellectual, trivia and strictly fluff?

What would you have on your desert island and why?

Talk about your super powers and how you got them.

Bonus Idea

What’s the one self-help, how-to, inspirational, investigative or personal growth book that’s not out there that you would read in a heartbeat?

Till next time, keep breathing and be good to yourself. Your gift is SO needed!

With love,

PhyllisSig

© 2017 Phyllis Capanna. All Rights Reserved.

At Imbolc, What Is Stirring?

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It is a dig down deep kind of time.

It is a time of falling down into the spacious dark within, until we come face to face with unfinished things and beloved things, with past actions un-repaired and past loves undeclared. And it is a time of becoming whole by facing them.

It is a time of finding an authentic voice and striking all the words and all the ideas that are false. It is a time of knowing what is false.

It is a time of action, actions that are consistent with what we stand for, hope for and believe in. It is a time of understanding that this is how we create our world, one action, one word at a time.

It is a also time of conserving energy and eschewing action that is wasteful and inconsistent with our vision for the world we want to create. It is a time for having the discipline to wait to act until we feel the inner pull and the courage to act when we feel that pull.

It is a time of surrender to something greater, call it God, call it Spirit, the Divine.

A client today came face to face with the question of whether or not she really wanted to make a commitment to becoming a holistic healing entrepreneur, to investing hours and hours upfront on the faith that the investment would pay off, to risk putting herself out there and potentially failing.

At one point she said, “And yet, it’s still there. It won’t go away. I want to do it. I want to do this work.”

And that’s the dilemma we all face. We want this great life. We want a world of opportunity and peace. But we want it to be easy. We don’t want to put ourselves out there, because we instinctively know it will be hard, and we may lose things. We may lose money, time, faith. We will be tested. We might be facing a death of one kind or another. Certainly we are facing the death of our own comforts and illusions.

Because we don’t want to lose anything, we hover around on the sidelines, telling ourselves we’re in the game. But even as we avoid engaging, we walk forward, testing the boundaries of our fear, looking out over our self-imposed limitations and at last naming them.

Leaving our comfort zones we enter the abyss, where life begins and ends. And in the great abyss of the winter night sky, the stars are now in the belly of the Earth Mother, as she gestates a new year into being at this time of Imbolc.

Valarie Kour, storyteller, activist and interfaith leader, in a speech at the National Moral Revival Poor People’s Campaign Watch Night Service, asks the stunning question, “What if this is not the darkness of the tomb, but of the womb?”

“What if this darkness is not the darkness of the tomb, but the darkness of the womb? What if our nation is not dead but a country still waiting to be born? What if the story of America is one long labor? The midwife asks us to breathe and push. Because if we don’t push we will die. If we don’t push now, our nation will die. So let us take one another’s hand and push together.

Yes, it is a time of pushing. Even while deeply listening and fervently loving, even while afraid and fogged, we are making our sure way out. Maybe we could have done better up to this point, but we don’t have time to mourn the past. We have work to do.

I may ask you this at the end of every blog post in different forms, so relevant is it to these times: What tools of yours are you reuniting with that are right there, ready to be put into action, as you are ready to own them and use them?

I leave you with a song about inspired action, determination and this long, dark birthing process, from the folk duo, Emma’s Revolution, Sandy O and Pat Humphries.

Enjoy, and keep on loving yourself forward.

How To Stay Relevant While Marketing Your Holistic, Spiritual or New Age Business on Social Media

It’s a criticism I’ve heard from within the holistic entrepreneur community: Some of us are continuing our promoting and posts promising “the best year yet!”, and it’s starting to sound a little – or a lot – tone deaf.

I grant that most people in business who have an online presence are struggling to find a balance between getting caught up in the tension of the times and ignoring it completely. Many don’t want to be too political, and others haven’t yet processed their own reactions to the upheaval that is all around us.

I wanted to offer some thoughts for the holistic entrepreneur – coaches, speakers, authors, healers, practitioners of all kinds – who are struggling to be relevant to their potential customers, readers and clients on social media especially, during these great, shifting, unpredictable times. These all boil down to one thing: Conduct your social media outreach as you would any interaction with a client. Be sensitive to where they’re at and what they’re going through.

  1. Now’s your time to be a beacon for your clients, customers and readers. What are you doing to stay balanced, sane, whole? Share that on social media. The more vulnerable and transparent we can be about your own struggles and strategies, showing what you have in common with your clients as well as how you are coping (both what’s worked and what hasn’t), the more people see that you’re for real, and the more they will trust you.

2. Share your positive vision for the world. If you haven’t done so already, create a mission statement and publicize it to your networks. Mission statements are about what you stand for as a business entity. It’s a great way to communicate your values and goals, so that the right clients can find alignment with you. And because of the kind of business you have, your missions statement alone can provide hope for someone who reads it.

3. Post helpful items on your social media channels.  Make sure that what you post doesn’t just add noise. Use your platform to express gratitude, call out others in your field whose work you admire, and acknowledge, acknowledge, acknowledge what is going right, gains and wins, in your communities.  Just as everyone in an abusive situation is in some way affected by the abuse, so is everyone uplifted in an environment of acknowledgement and respect.

4. Now is the time to live your spirituality. So if your beliefs have no frame of reference for what is happening and how to deal with it, take the opportunity to deepen your spirituality, in whatever way is right for you. But don’t let yourself off the hook for addressing the world’s (and your clients’) problems in some way that is constructive. It’s not enough to blow stardust and ascend to a higher plane when your clients are suffering, struggling and full of fear and upset. And if, in your search for deeper meaning and presence, you find something helpful, share that with your people, too.

My helpful resources of the last 7 days: Your Life Is Your Message by Eknath Easwaran, the Shambala Pocket Series Essential Chogyam Trungpa, Yes Magazine, my blogger besties, Amy Lyn Andrews (blogging geek extraordinaire), Jane Friedman’s blog (resources for writers), The Nature of Personal Reality: A Seth Book, and I recently instituted “Snicker Sunday” on my Facebook page, posting only funny things and pictures of food.

Other wonderful activities: writing a kids’ affirmation song for this coming season’s Dancing Jaguar Spirit Camps, Eva’s Goulette’s wonderful brainchild, and drumming (rhythms in 7: bliss)

In fact, I think you need to hear this Layne Redmond and Tommy Be recording of Seven Sent by Layne right now. If you agree, here’s the link. Enjoy.

photo credit: ferobanjo via morguefile.com

The Great Recalibration of 2017: Tell Your Story

Today’s post is directed to the women and men who are freaking out right now. If you are walking around in a state of perpetual high alert, with a heavy under-layer of gloom, this one’s for you. A dear friend who is having trouble functioning in the aftermath of the collective trauma that was the American election and its results brought it to my awareness that some of us are not having an easy time right now. I wanted to address that with what I know about healing and the tools I offer to my clients.

Part of the emerging consciousness of 2017 is to be aware of and practice respect for the realities other people are living. This is why I’m grateful to my friend for sounding the alarm that she needed help. It happens that I am not having trouble functioning right now. I’m now measuring my exposure to social media, taking extra care to get sleep, have cleaned up my diet, and am reaching out and connecting with people I care about. This seems to be what I need right now. I have some personal situations that are causing me anxiety, but I’d say they are no more stressful than what most people deal with who are living and breathing. (This will all change in an instant, which is why I post twice a week instead of once.)

But others aren’t doing so well, and it’s these people whom I want to reach with this post. So if you are one, I thank you for trusting me enough to keep reading. And if, at the end of this, you feel it has valid and helpful information, please share it with others who might also benefit.

I say that my dear friend’s difficulty functioning was the impetus for the ideas I’m about to share, but actually they started coalescing a couple of days earlier, when my partner shared some Youtube videos of Byron Katie doing The Work with two different people around the ideas, “I hate Donald Trump,” and “Donald Trump scares me.” (You can watch them here: https://youtu.be/BqCBLBoL5D4 and https://youtu.be/ulOFJB0AfLo.)

That’s when it struck me that the people who are having the most difficulty right now are the people who are having post-traumatic stress reactions to the man who ended up in the White House. Interestingly, there are so many kinds of stress and trauma one can have experienced that intersect with the kinds of trauma this person represents and, one could argue, supports: sexual violence, economic violence, social violence, all of which threaten to become institutionally sanctioned in today’s political reality.

It is indeed a time for feeling insecure, unhinged and defenseless.

What do I have to offer of relevance here? Well, lately I’ve been working with a personal and professional development tool that involves helping my clients tell their hero’s journey story. Everybody has a hero’s journey story. The hero’s journey, we learned in English lit all those years ago, has certain universal elements, greatly abbreviated here: a lowly or ordinary birth; a challenge or call to action; an initial refusal or denial; meeting a mentor or guide; taking on a set of seemingly insurmountable challenges; meeting enemies, allies and being tested; success or redemption; returning with the elixir, answer, magic key or giving back. (Here’s a synopsis, adapted from Joseph Campbell’s work, often used to help writers write great stories.)

The reason I love the hero’s journey model is that every single healer has gone through some type of initiation ordeal that first involved trauma or wounding. And without exception we are all healers. (Yep, it’s time to own that, too.) That means that you, the PTSD-suffering person reading this, who is not able to function, who is reeling and can’t find a foothold, are still in your hero’s journey. And that once you begin to see all the elements, you can become the hero of your story, instead of the victim in someone else’s.

And your task, and the task of your support network (all of us), is to help you understand and find the other elements of your story: the guides, mentors and angels who appeared, the strengths and special powers you developed or discovered along the way; the insurmountable challenges you have met; your failures and how they didn’t kill you; your successes and how they deepened you; the ways in which you give back and enrich your communities; the indelible wisdom and compassion you carry; the way you and only you can connect with certain other wounded souls and bring them healing.

As a trained psychotherapist, I know it’s possible to stay stuck at a stage in your journey, reliving the trauma and getting re-traumatized without finding your way out. And I also know that unless we have someone standing for our greatness and seeing the hero in us, we tend to not see our own heroic qualities. And that’s the biggest wounding of all, isn’t it, the way unresolved trauma threatens to steal our very sense of worth and power?

So, good news, bad news: You must tell your story. But you must tell all of it. Not just the part where “it” happened, whatever it was, but also the part about how you got through it, the good, the bad, the ugly. You must tell about the times you almost gave up and why you didn’t. You must tell about the times you did give up and were carried. You must tell about the ways it warped you and shaped you and burned you until you couldn’t even touch yourself without fear of bursting into flames.

You must tell, because your voice is so needed right now. In the collective narrative, only certain people are affected, or just a few people are victimized. This amounts to a universal silence about things that nearly everybody knows personally to be true, and that threatens to drive us into crazy, lonely, dysfunctional places where silence feels like the only safe way to be.

You must tell, because most of the world has been traumatized. It’s only in sharing our collective trauma that we can access our collective wisdom and healing and as a people begin to function again.

And to function as a people means to wake up to the realities we’ve created, to take a step back and to decide that it’s possible to have a kind and just world. And to do that takes great solidarity, inner strength, inner kindness and a very open mind. Changing our world is going to mean taking responsibility for the one we have now. And the first place to take responsibility is with our own world, the one inside our heads, the one we live every day.

If you are walking around in fear of being hurt again, I tell you, fear doesn’t have to have such a great foothold in your life.

I believe the times we are in are calling for us to hold collective space for us to tell our stories. There’s a motto I live by, because I’ve seen it working in my own life over and over again: Everything you need, you already have. This begs the question, “What do I already have that I’m not yet aware of?” You must tell your story to find out what you have that you can’t tap into, because you don’t know it’s there.

And I use the word “tell” both literally and figuratively. The important thing is embodiment. That means doing something, but doing it with intention, with full knowledge of what you are responding to, what you intend to create, how you want to use your power, and who you are being in that action. Do something, but do something meaningful to you. Times like this call us to dig and dig and dig for the deeper, truer meaning in everything we do. The place where the roots meet. That deep.

If you don’t know where to begin, I suggest listening to others’ stories and listening with the inner ear, the one that resonates with truth and compassion, the one that listens simultaneously inwardly and outwardly, finding the places where truth rings a steady, dependable, “Yes, yes, yes.”

How To Tell Your Story: An Incomplete List

  • The Women’s March (and others to come)
  • Come out
  • Write and call our elected representatives
  • Tolerate zero disrespect
  • Reach out to people of different political beliefs and start a dialogue
  • Work for economic and social justice
  • Write it down
  • Form a support group
  • Go to or create teach-ins and other information sessions about a justice or healing issue you care about
  • Find ways to offer your gifts in either volunteer or professional settings
  • Do some under-the-radar volunteering with people in need
  • Dance your story
  • Paint and draw your story
  • Create a play
  • Listen to someone else’s story and help them find their hero
  • Reach out to refugees
  • Reach out to other marginalized people in your community and find common ground
  • Listen to an elder tell their story
  • Write a song
  • Ask someone who loves you to describe the hero they see in you
  • Own your dreams and desires
  • Be sexual
  • Be honest
  • Learn Nonviolent Communication

In the great recalibration of reality that is 2017, many have quiety chosen small (and large) acts of power to strengthen their souls and maintain a sense of power. What have you chosen to do, be, have, create or generate in response to the new times we’re in? Would you care to share your story, no matter where you are in your hero’s journey, in the comments below?

With love and gratitude,

PhyllisSig