Look on the bright side

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Because sometimes we’ve been focusing on what’s wrong for too long.
Because there are so many gifts everywhere, even in the muck.
Because we can be champions for growth and grateful for now.
Because being blinded by anger doesn’t leave space for beauty.
Because it’ll happen when it happens.
Because Spring always comes.
Because you woke up today.
Because optimism is sexy. {tweet it}
Because your joy is our blessing.
Because your people love you.
Because you love.

Soften your face to the sun.
Look on the bright side, love.

 —> In the comments below, share what blessing you’re appreciating today.  I’m appreciating you.

How to lead from the mess

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A few weeks ago, I was speaking with a client who was struggling to show up fully in her work.  She was wading through a lot in her personal life, and it was absorbing a lot of her energy.  In tears, she said “I just don’t feel like a leader at all right now.  How am I supposed to help anyone when I feel like I’m a mess?”

I understood.  Through my years of coaching, I’ve had to face many personal challenges while growing my business and supporting my clients – divorce, heartbreak, health issues, family health issues, friends who needed me, existential crises…  Basically, a human dealing with human stuff.

And sometimes, we just need a break – a few weeks off to rest and recalibrate.  Other times, we need to keep putting one foot in front of the other.  Either way,  it’s important to decide from the frame that it’s okay to be a mess sometimes, and your mess doesn’t make you less of a leader.

Lead from the mess. {tweet}

The truth is, if you’re truly into self-growth, you’re likely always going to be doing the deep dive into your heart and psyche, unearthing and healing old patterns that no longer serve.  And let’s be honest: We do it because we wouldn’t have it any other way.  We enjoy tinkering with the wiring.  And if you’re curious in this way, then darling, you’re never going to be fully baked.  (Of course, the paradox here is that you’re perfect as you are.)

The world doesn’t need more “leaders” standing on their soapboxes and preaching (but not living) their teachings.  The world needs more leaders who are aligned and embodied, willing to do the inner work and allowing their self-love to radiate as universal love through their outer work.

So embrace your mess.
It’s okay that it’s here.
You don’t need to be perfect.
You’re amazing.

And as you relax your resistance to the mess, you just may find the space and clarity to lead.

—> In the comments below, share a time that you’ve found the courage to lead from a place of not being perfect and having it all figured out, or a time that you were inspired by someone else who led from their mess.  

 

 

 

Excruciating listening

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“What do you think I should do?”
“I feel so confused.”
“I guess I should sit with this.”
“I just don’t know.”

Confusion is my kryptonite.

Everyone has challenging default states of being: some anger easily, others get sad, some disconnect emotionally, some – like me – get confused.

Confusion is my way of escaping from the present.  I want something and I can’t put my finger on it.  Or perhaps I’m actually afraid to see or claim it, because the pain of not having it seems too much to bear.  This is so common for us – the pain of desire, the ache of wanting and not having, the frustration of confusion.

And if you default to confusion at times, like me, you may be finding yourself asking for a lot of advice.  At times, I’ve found myself consulting my mom, my best friends, my boyfriend, the Goddess Cards, the reflexologist, the Akashic records, the intuitive coach, the therapist, the business coach, and the florist…all while looking for ‘signs’ from the universe.

And all these people and tools may be perfectly wonderful.
And none of them replace the wisdom of my heart.

Be mindful of your search for advice. When we ask for advice, hoping someone will tell us what to do but feeling disconnected from our own heart’s desire, we set ourselves up for even deeper disconnection.  The hunt for advice only throws gasoline on the fire of uncertainty, creating an inferno of confusion.

Instead, when we seek support to hear our heart, clarity arises.  From there, we can receive guidance and how-to’s that feel grounded, helpful and heart-led.

The only way to know is to listen in. {tweet it}

The truth is, feeling into the space between our future vision and our experience of today can create an ache in our hearts.  It can hurt to want and not have.  At times, sitting with that ache can be excruciating.  But know that your willingness to do so, listening in to the guidance of your heart, will lead to heightened clarity, faster.

HOW TO HEAR YOUR HEART

› Share your desires in sisterhood.  Talk about your vision for the future and any confusion you feel.  If you want support, be specific that you’d love some guidance back to your desires.  Ask them to hold your vision for you.  Hold theirs.

› Create space in the morning.  Before you touch your electronics, give yourself even just 2 minutes to say a sweet and grateful “hello” to your heart. Ask her, gently, if she has anything to share with you.  Listen.

› Take time away from tech.  Take the weekend off from your computer, TV and phone, and just be in the world.  Appreciate the beauty of the world around you, and allow yourself to slow down and soften in.

› Eat slowly.  Treat eating as a meditation and take your time to chew, savor and digest your food.  When your parasympathetic nervous system is awakened, you feel more calm, grounded and connected.  Hearing your heart will be easier.

› Stop trying to figure it out.  Because trying harder isn’t working.  Try easier.

—> In the comments below, share how you listen in to your heart, and what this post is inspiring in you

From sisterhood to spacious business models

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While I was in Paris for my 35th birthday, I recorded an interview with founder of Business Heroine Magazine, Anne Perry.

In the interview, we talked about everything from sisterhood to creating spacious and sustainable business models. The interview is short and sweet, and I hope it serves up some clarity and inspiration on how you might create more of what you want in your business & life.

You can find the interview here:
http://businessheroinemagazine.com/nishamoodley/

––> In the comments below, let me be your coach for the day!  Shoot over any questions you have about creating more spaciousness or sustainability in your life and work.  I can’t wait to support you, sister.

The feminine approach to making important decisions

A few days ago, I was on the phone with a client, feeling her pain as she shared that she’s uncertain about where to go in her marriage. She’s dissatisfied and confused, and feels guilty and overwhelmed. She has so many questions and conflicting desires, and her brain is noisy with ideas of what she could do, but no clarity about what she should do. To make matters more confusing, as we went deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole, we could see that there were so many emotional ties to family and past experiences. How was she to know what feelings were intuition vs. fear; instinct vs. conditioning? “I don’t know what to do!”, she cried. Not knowing what to do was incredibly painful for her, and the only thing that was clear was that it was unclear what to do.

I could so relate…
› I spent years agonizing over what to do about my marriage.
› I spent a year agonizing over what my niche and business name should be, and what my website should look like.
› I spent many months agonizing over whether to move to San Francisco full-time.

self-help books

I used to devour self-help books for breakfast

Why do we suffer through all this agony?

We agonize because we don’t want to sit with the pain of not knowing what to do. We can’t hear our inner voice and don’t fully trust it, so we obsessively focus on drafting pro/con lists, reading self-help books and gathering advice from friends and experts.

The more we try to figure it out, the more overwhelmed and confused we feel. Every time one of the options we’re considering “wins” in our assessments, we feel a triumphant rush of certainty, only to be quickly returned back to the confusion and despair of not knowing what to do.

The problem is this: when we’re trying to “figure it out”, we’re in our head, rather than being present.

When we’re not present, the people we love feel like we’re not with them, so disconnection and dissatisfaction increase, effectively destroying intimacy in those relationships. If we look closely, we can see that this can be created with our partners, our children, our clients, businesses and bodies.

When we’re not present, we feel deeply disconnected from our own inner guidance. We can’t discern our intuition from all the other voices in our awareness. We feel desperate and despairing.

When we stop trying to “figure it out”, instead of feeling confused, overwhelmed & worried, we feel playful, relaxed & free. Clarity arises. {tweet it}

Here’s a very personal story, to illustrate:

A year ago, I decided to move to San Francisco from NYC. The movers came a few weeks after.  While out to dinner with some girlfriends prior to my move, one of them was shocked at how quickly it was all happening.  As I reflected, I realized that it wasn’t because I had analyzed and strategized the decision from every possible angle — I actually made a decision some time ago to stop trying to figure it out.

Instead of agonizing over the decision for the last several months, I knew that it would be clear when the time was right, and instead chose to put my focus on play, relaxation and being in my creative zone.  When clarity came, I wasted no time springing into action.

I remember a time when I agonized over every big decision, rolling it back and forth in my mind in a torturous, unending calculation of pros and cons. I still do this from time to time, but have been practicing trusting the uncertainty and being patient until the time comes that I “know”.

Letting go of “figuring it out”

We’re going to teach the women who attend the LIVE FREE Retreat how to relax into this state of feminine receptivity, so clarity can come faster and life can be smoother. I hope you’ll join us, as there are still a few spots left. For now, here are a few tips…

THE FEMININE APPROACH TO MAKING IMPORTANT DECISIONS:

1. You first have to step out of pain, or you’ll make rash decisions. Your body, if given an option, will choose pleasure over pain. If you don’t consciously create pleasure, you will make hasty decisions in a desperate attempt to escape the pain of not knowing. Instead, try this: right now, take a deep breath and flood your body with the feeling of trying to “figure it out” — it probably feels tight and constrictive. Now, take a deep breath and allow your body to respond to the feeling of letting go of “figuring it out”. Letting go probably gives you the experience of expansion and openness — much more pleasurable. When your brain tells you “Hey! You need to figure this out!”, you can close your eyes, and relax into the pleasure of letting go, letting your body (the home of your “gut feelings” and “inner knowing”) take the lead. You will find yourself more present and relaxed, and clarity will arise more naturally. It’s scary to acknowledge “I don’t know”, but it’s less painful than fighting for clarity. There’s deep wisdom to be found through your pleasure.

2. Now that you’re out of the pain, ask yourself, “How do I want to feel?” Because pleasure is wise and our minds are noisy, let desire be your guide. From that more relaxed state, you can ask yourself how you want to feel. For example, you may say you want to feel playful, joyful and calm.

3. Go have fun living your life, creating more of those delicious feelings you want. If you want to feel playful, joyful and calm, what will create those feelings? A walk in the park? A pedicure with a girlfriend? A sweaty late-night dance party? Living in your desired feelings will put you into alignment, inviting inspiration and clarity to join you.

4. Share your visions with your girlfriends. Women are most excellent at holding intentions. Think of the women in your life — whether it’s one or a group — who you feel safe with and loved by. Paint the picture of your desires and allow them to cradle the vision with you. You’re not alone.

5. See the light at the end of the tunnel and have patience. Whatever you’re going through, even if it’s frustrating and painful at times, is leading you to something good. Be patient with yourself and this journey. Babies and websites and clarity are birthed when they’re good and ready. Relax into letting go, play, dream, and trust.

—> In the comments below, I’d love you to share your story of how you made a quick decision after giving up “figuring it out” or any tips you have for making important decisions without confusion, overwhelm or worry. I can’t wait to talk with you about this!

Take your soul’s journey

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A month ago, I was on the phone with one of my best friends, Kavita J. Patel (pictured above, center).  She asked, “What do you want to do for your 35th birthday? Should I fly to San Francisco?”  ”Aw, thanks, love,” I said, “but I don’t know if I want to be in San Francisco and if I know you’re coming, I won’t have the flexibility to make travel plans.”  ”So, where do you actually want to be for your birthday?” she asked.  PARIS, I thought.  ”Paris?” she asked.  Yeah.  So we called our girlfriend Kristen Domingue (above, right) and one month later, here we are.

I’ve wanted to travel since I was a little girl.  I dreamed of aqua blue water, played teatime with imaginary Geishas and drew pictures of the Eiffel Tower.  But by the time I was 30, I’d barely traveled.

…In my early 20′s, I was working a 9-5 job and had 2 weeks of vacation per year and a 401K to pay into.  I spent to the very edge of my ability, packing my closets with heaps of cheap clothes and shoes.  By the time my time and money were spent, there was nothing left for adventure.

…A few years later, I left my cushy paycheck, got rid of 75% of my uncomfortable shoes, and moved to NYC in pursuit of a new career as a Health Coach.  Compared to my comfortable life in Vancouver, life on the east coast was tough.  I scrounged for subway fare and figured out how to make $10 stretch 4 days. My travel ambitions felt miles away.

…As my business grew, I was faced with an unending To Do list and a zillion expenses.  I kept saying “When _______, then I’ll travel.”

Travel was always something to do later, but it was the thing I most wanted to do.

I finally hit a breaking point.  I realized that in many ways, life was passing me by.  My vision boards were always painting pictures of the future, and I was always striving for The Next Big Thing.  The striving made life feel dismal and tough, and there was never enough time or money, no matter how much I had.  I knew I could no longer wait to travel, and that circumstances were never going to be perfect.

The key to creating the life you want is making the decision to live it. {tweet it}

In the past 5 years, I’ve spent nearly as much time traveling the world as I’ve spent at home, and I’m loving it.  This pace is not for everyone, but many of us would like at least a bit more travel our lives, and I know from my own experience and from clients’ that it’s often in closer reach than we think.  Use my Manifestation Equation™ (Intention + Appreciation + Aligned Action = Manifestation) as a roadmap for creating anything you want…

How to make your travel dreams come true:

1. Remember the future. (INTENTION)
When I teach my clients to hold intentions, I describe them as “future memories”.  See yourself at that sidewalk cafe in Paris, tango dancing in Buenos Aires, or ziplining in Costa Rica.  Experience your vision as being multi-sensory – see, hear, smell, taste and feel the experience.  Now, make the decision to live into that memory of the future.

2. Get grateful. (APPRECIATION)
Hating what we have doesn’t support us in having what we want.  It seems counterintuitive, but start by being grateful for everything you do have right now, in beautiful detail.  Thank the parts that are working, and trust that life is guiding you in the places where things feel tough.  Thank the people and circumstances in your life that you haven’t shown gratitude to in a while.

3. Begin. (ALIGNED ACTION)
This is where things get grounded.  Put the trip on your calendar right awaycrunch the numbers, start making plans.  Don’t delay or you’ll find yourself saying someday for far too long.  Get creative about finding the ways to make it happen.

—> In the comments below, share where you’re headed and when, and feel free to ask any questions you have about how to make your dreams a reality.  I’d love to celebrate and support your decision to take your soul’s journey.

My marriage ceremony

Last year, on a journey to Peru, I had a vision in a meditation:

I saw myself in Sedona, joined by my friend KC Baker {founder of the Women’s Thought Leadership Society}, while she officiated a marriage ceremony…to myself.  In my meditation, I saw the ring, heard the vows, and felt the breeze on my cheeks.  I instantly recoiled: “Um, no. I’m not going to MARRY MYSELF.  That’s so ridiculous, so crazy, so… What would people think? Who do I think I am?!”

And yet, the vision was as clear as any memory I’ve ever had.

I let down the walls of resistance and allowed myself to simply rest with the vision.  In a short time, I was moved to tears with the beauty of it: to commit to be with myself for the rest of my life, to commit to being present with myself and my heart, to commit to showing up in devotion to my mission, and to commit to taking care of myself in this lifetime.  The beauty of it was breathtaking.  In that moment, I not only wanted it for me, I wanted it for every woman.

On a recent visit to Sedona to see KC and her family, this vision became a reality – she led me in a commitment ceremony to myself and my life’s work.  Here are some pics of us:

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In the short time since this ceremony, I’ve felt myself standing up and speaking up more powerfully, and from a more grounded place in my being.

My friends have shared that they feel me in a deeper embodiment of my power, and more devoted to my big vision for the world.  I feel more confident, calm and focused.  It’s been game-changing.

This past week, I gathered to mastermind (and laugh, cry and play) with a group of girlfriends, and we took it to the next level, committing to support one another in our missions in the world.  We committed to not only show up and shine, but also to support one another in stepping into the next level of leadership, both within our circle and beyond.  Here we are, celebrating over dinner (pictured: Jena LaFlamme, Jennifer Russell, LiYana Silver, Stacey Morgenstern, Wendy Yalom, Ali Shanti, and KC Baker (who was with us in spirit!)

women dinner

 

My experience with committing to standing up and speaking up has been so powerful, that I am SUPER excited to share that KC is currently welcoming women into the Women’s Thought Leadership Society… and it includes a lesson on creating your own Commitment Ceremony!  There’s much more to learn about it HERE and the timing couldn’t be more perfect, sister.  Registration closes on Tuesday, so check it out.  I highly recommend you do, and either way, I hope you’ll consider committing yourself more deeply this week to your heart, your art, and your message.

A rare invitation: 30+ inspiring women

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As I’ve contemplated this invitation, three questions came to me.  Dig deep and hear what’s true as you ask yourself:

1. How much of my day-to-day energy is hooked into my To Do list?
2. Do I feel like I’m holding my breath while I push to get it all done?
3. Am I secretly measuring my value as a woman, based on what I do, and whether I get it right?

In a culture that places so much emphasis on productivity, “getting ahead” and doing, it’s easy for us to lose touch with our true feminine power, and our ability to connect deeply with ourselves, our intuition, and a joyful sense of ease.  And when we lose this beautiful connection, we’re truly missing out on a vibrant, soul-powered way of being in the world.

That’s why when I was invited to be part of the Annual Inspiring Women Summit {free online}, I said yes.  I get invited to speak on a lot of summits and say no to nearly all of them, but this one is so spectacular, I knew I had to share it with you, my sister-tribe.

I’m honored to be among 30+ visionary women & men – including people like Sera Beak, Arielle Ford, SARK, Rose Cole, Barbara Marx Hubbard and Harville Hendrix – who will help you blaze a sacred path to an extraordinary life.  This year’s program is packed with illuminating wisdom for deepening your spiritual connection, standing more powerfully in your feminine leadership, and sparking your creativity.

Register here, for free.

The more we learn to live in alignment with our natural essence, the more all the aspects of our lives become infused with more ease, joy and abundance. We become more inspired and empowered to create the kind lives we want, and make our best contributions to the world.

Whether it’s leading a multi-million dollar company or growing a small business, empowering your community or being a more conscious parent, enjoying deeper emotional and sexual intimacy or birthing a creative project that will change lives – the information and guidance in this summit can be applied to anyone and everyone.

Enjoy, and I’ll ‘see’ you there.

 

// photo credit: In Her Image Photography

Were you a victim of mean girls?

Last year in our private Live Free Facebook group, a woman who came with us to Sonoma in October posted this:

I just want to say, I love this bright, fun, girlie excitement and energy on this page so much. My roomies (and decidedly new friends) and I were just discussing how just the experience of finding roommates, realizing there’s like-minded women out there who we now get to spend the whole weekend with!! is very comforting. Sarah and Nisha, do you feel like proud mother birds watching their children start to fly the way you always knew we could?? I haven’t done any “work” yet and I feel as though I’ve already come so far! It’s taken me a little while and I was a little worried, but I’m finally genuinely so excited about this retreat! Loves!

What followed was a long list of responses saying things like, “I was so nervous to sign up” and “I’ve never felt like I’ve been truly accepted by women before this group”.

It got me thinking: it’s such a shame that women rarely feel comfortable and safe around each other. Why is that?

During one summer when I, Sarah, was 8 years old, there was a group of girls who sold lemonade outside of the ice cream store in a small summer community on Fire Island, NY where my family went every summer.   They sold it for $1 – steep for lemonade but people would pay anything when there were three sweet little girls peddling.

I wanted so desperately to join them, to feel included, but they were the “cool girls” and even at that age I knew to keep my distance.

So being the entrepreneur that I was, I set up my own shop.  I collected beautiful shells from the beach and made earrings, pins and necklaces out of them.  I set up a little table, a whole block from the lemonade stand and sold my jewelry for $5 a piece.  Within the first hour, I had quite the crowd and was selling out quickly.

The girls from the lemonade stand came over to see what all the fuss was about, I was so excited to show them my jewelry and to bond with my fellow saleswomen.  I even had ideas of us working together.

They just scowled at my display, and in a flash, ran away with my bike… laughing loudly.

I was shocked and confused, why would they take my bike away?  But I had customers to handle so I decided to deal with it later.

After about twenty minutes, the girls returned my bike, and as I was about to get on it after packing up my wagon, I discovered that they had covered the handlebars and pedals in dog poop.

I was so embarrassed, incredibly sad and mostly shocked. What did I do!? How could they be so mean?

My mother explained to me that some people get jealous of others who shine brightly, of people who are confident, or who come up with better business plans, like my shell jewelry.  And they will do anything, including covering your bike in dog poop, to take you down a notch so they can feel better about themselves.

As I grew up, there were always people who applauded my successes, but the moments of the kids chanting “SUMO! SUMO! SUMO!” as I got on the bus or girls coming up to my dance partners in Cotillion asking, “why are you dancing with her?” stood out a whole lot more.

So I learned to be cautious, to play small, to assume that no one at a party or at my new school was going to like me until I convinced them otherwise.  I went through life assuming that I was guilty of being terribly uncool until proven innocent.

And then I realized that I was holding on to 30 extra pounds because it was “safer”.  I was holding back from growing my business because it was “safer”.  And I kept my few successes close to my chest to not rock the boat. Because I had a belief that if I was beautiful and successful, the mean girls would put dog poop on my bike.

I went through life feeling like no one really “got me”, like I had all of these talents and so much to give but no one cared and I had no place to put it.

Do you ever feel like that?

I became so uncomfortable in my body, my business was struggling and I was just ready to explode that I had to do something about it.

I decided to find women that were going to love and support me no matter how thin, successful or confident I became and the rest can take a hike. Tweet it.

I have to tell you, there is nothing more freeing than finding a community of women who cheer you on when you want to ask for a promotion, when you vow to make six figures this year, when you dedicate yourself to having the most amazing relationship, when you show up looking radiant and they stare at you in joyful, accepting awe.

This is exactly the group of women who are attending LIVE FREE.

No one in the group says, “no one ever has sex after 15 years, get over it”, “do you really need that much money?”, “I can’t believe that bitch lost 20 pounds, she’ll gain it all back in a week”.

If you’ve been holding back from signing up because you’re nervous, if you have some voices in your head saying, “it’s just going to feel like high school again, no one’s going to like me”, “I’m going to be the oldest one there”, “I’m not going to know anyone”, “I really should lose twenty pounds before I go”.

None of that is true.  You just have to get over it and sign your ass up!

Here’s the honest truth: your body, career, lifestyle and relationship is not where you want it to be because YOU are deliberately holding yourself back, so you don’t get covered in proverbial dog poop.

The only way to get out of your own way is to start hanging out with a group of women who finally “get you”.

You can learn the theory of weight loss, relationships, or ease until the cows come home, but if are living in fear of how the “mean girls” are going to judge you, then you’re never going to change.

At LIVE FREE we are promising a complete transformation by having you experience our deepest and most groundbreaking work in a community of the most loving, supportive and applauding women.

The members are already making friends and cheering each other on in our private LIVE FREE facebook group and they can’t wait to meet you.

If you’ve been a victim of mean girls, you’re letting them win by playing small.  It’s time to really step it up, and we’d love to help you do that at Live Free this October 23rd-26th in Sonoma.

We’ve had dozens of women email us saying that they’re on the fence, but we only have 93 spots left.  If you know you’re gonna be there, just sign up, don’t wait because the spots aren’t going to be there forever.

You can read all about the retreat and sign up here: LiveFreeRetreat.com.  We really hope you’ll join us.

Love,

Sarah (and Nisha)

To the woman who stole from me

Last week, I was visiting my family in Canada.  I decided to sneak in a few hours of work at the beginning of my trip, to complete a few things I’d left undone.  I needed a blog post I’d written for reference, so I popped over to Google and typed in a line I remembered from the post.

The search results revealed my post…and hers.

I clicked over to her website to see what was up, and felt my stomach turn as I read my carefully crafted post, being passed off as hers.  I went to her blog to see what else I could find, and in the course of an hour, I found a total of 22 plagiarized posts of mine.  My words, signed off with an “xoxo, tami”.  Assuming that none of her content was original, I then started searching passages from her other posts (spanning 3 years), and discovered that every single one of her over-80 posts were ripped-off content that was written by someone else.  While most of the posts were copied word-for-word, this one was the most tragic-comic because she actually spun my hospital and divorce stories into her own:

photo 1 photo 2

Over the course of that day and the following – when I was supposed to be enjoying time with my family – I spent a total of about 8 hours searching posts, emailing all the people whose work she’d stolen,  emailing with my lawyer and Business Manager, and gathering evidence of all of my other content she’d spread across the internet (on social media and syndicated sites).

I was livid, and I was hurt.

I’ve shared this experience on Facebook and several close people in my life, and everyone has been amazingly supportive.  I’ve noticed, though, that we also tend to want to believe a few things (myself included), and I want to address them here:

1.  ” Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”
Actually, this isn’t imitation, it’s plagiarism.  And no, I’m not flattered.  Listen, I know that people don’t rip-off stuff they think stinks, but theft isn’t a compliment.  While I understand that we pull inspiration from the world, it’s critical that we check ourselves – out of respect for others and ourselves – and choose inspiration over imitation. {tweet it} You’ll never be the best [Your Idol's Name here] – she’s got that claim to fame – so be the brightest you.

2. “This comes with the territory”
Perhaps that may be true right now (I’m shocked at how many people share a similar story to mine), but that doesn’t make it okay.  There’s a difference between awareness and apathy.  I want to support a change, and the fact that I want a change doesn’t mean I can’t forgive her (I have) and move forward (I am)…I can cultivate peace in my heart and give attention to creating change around this cause.  Let’s begin truly honoring the work of others and ourselves, so we can step out of competition and into collaboration and celebration.

3. “Nothing is original”
Yes, it’s safe to assume that none of my ideas are unique to me.  Even with the most innovative concepts, there’s probably someone, somewhere, who’s imagining something similar.  But when I create, what I produce has my imprint on it – it’s infused with me – and I am an original.  It’s natural to be inspired by the things we read, the beauty we see in the world, and the creations we love.  So take that raw inspiration and use it to express in your unique way, creating art and solutions that the world needs.  There’s room for everyone here, and we need more creativity.  Please, please be self-expressed.

Finally, to the woman who stole my work:

Dear Sister,

My anger and hurt have eased since I found my – and so many other sisters’ – posts on your blog last week.  You’ve been stealing from us for 3 years, and I don’t know that I can express what it felt like to discover that.  It cut deep.  I felt betrayed, dishonored, and pissed.  I was angry that you stole the work I spent days of my life producing with care, throughout years of honing my craft as a writer and coach.  I was angry that you were using other people’s work to get clients for yourself.  I was angry that it caused me so many more hours to dig to the surface, account for, and deal with.  I was angry that you cost me time with my family and the drained energy of emotional upset.  I was angry that you cost many of our other sisters these same things.

I was hurt that, as a sister, you’d steal our work and call it your own.

And I felt compassion for you.  I imagined how misaligned it must feel to be doing this while calling yourself a “Creative Business Coach” – stealing from others is neither creative nor good business.  I imagined the possibility that you’re really overwhelmed, or stressed, or perhaps something else that I can’t even imagine.  I imagined the possibility that you may have somehow justified this to yourself as acceptable, and how difficult it may feel to have lawyers and Google tell you otherwise.   I imagined that you are, still and after all, my sister…  I can forgive you.

What I want for you is what I want for all of us: that we cultivate the courage to create something original, and the tenacity to put it out into the world over and over again, until we get better and better.  I want for us all to feel proud of our creations, even if only because we put one foot in front of the other and did it.  I want for all of us to celebrate what we admire in others, while honoring that what we each bring to the table is unique and beautiful.

Sister, I want you to be free.  Please look inside and ask yourself the important questions, then rise and shine.

With love,
Nisha