Posts in Lightning Real Talk
Lightning Real Talk #6: The Alchemy of Hard Work

Lightning Real Talk: Truth delivered from my heart to yours. 

My new mantra lately has been, “If one human can do it, any human can do it.” When I am faced with my greatest challenges and obstacles, I sometimes forget how powerful I can be. And, when I say power, I don’t mean brute force or even magic. I am talking about the alchemy of good planning, hard work, and being willing to ask for help.

Photo by:  Karen Santos , Hair and Makeup by:  Lindsay Dabalos

Photo by: Karen Santos, Hair and Makeup by: Lindsay Dabalos

The greatest painters, authors, thinkers, and “doers” of the past did not have everything figured out. They worked 9-5 jobs. They experienced great tragedies and hardships. And spent most of their lives wondering, “am I enough?” Imagine how they would have felt if they had social media to worry about?! 

While it is an amazing tool, Social Media causes us to compare our journey to the journey of others. What the Instagram feeds and Facebook statuses fail to show us, is the behind-the-scenes view. We are not getting the 100% true and vulnerable versions of our friends, celebrities, and idols. We don’t see the planning that goes into a good post. We don’t see the moments of anger or frustration. We don’t see the moments of epic failure. And we certainly don’t see the deep dark sadness and depression that goes along with being an artist or HUMAN of any kind. 

Social Media is a distraction from the possibilities that are so readily available to us at all times. Our goals and desires can’t go anywhere without us. And, one brick at a time, anyone can build a successful business, relationship, and life. 

Disclaimer: Success does not mean perfection. There will be ups and downs. Times when you want to give up, or are simply bored and want to change gears. Experimentation and the willingness to explore multiple avenues is highly encouraged and often rewarding. Diversification and fresh ideas are always helpful, and necessary. 

So, what stops us from starting? Here are the excuses I’ve used to delay action.

  1. I'm waiting for the perfect weather, a certain amount of money, and the most ideal circumstances. 
  2. I want someone to discover me…even though I haven’t put myself out there.
  3. I don’t want to do it alone.
  4. I don’t have the knowledge or training needed to be the best right away.
  5. I’m worried that my friends or family will think I'm crazy/stupid. 

These are some pretty powerful thoughts, right? In the moment, it feels much easier to do nothing. To stew in negative thoughts and feelings…and stay on the couch until the end of time. I encourage you to get familiar with the thoughts. Sit with them.

Allow the thoughts and emotions to exist, and then, read these truth bombs:

  1. Perfect circumstances are a MYTH. You have to start somewhere, even if that means you’re researching on your computer late into the night. Or, waking up early before work to start a project. Find your magical time of day, and use that time to focus on your dream. (My magical time tends to be between 10pm-1am) 
  2. If you want to be “discovered” you actually have to be out there doing your thing! Sharing your work with others. Connecting with your community. Making sure people know what you are about and what you’re doing! People want to know. But, don’t wait for someone else to tell you that what you’re doing is important and valuable. Success means so much more when you value your work, and invest in it. Sidenote: plagiarizing is not advised…capitalizing on another artist’s work will not lead to the success you desire. Be inspired by others, YES. Stealing, NO. 
  3. You don’t have to do it alone. Team up with a good friend, or simply ask them to hold you accountable to certain deadlines. We get by with a lot of help from our friends. 
  4. You can’t just wake up and be the best at your craft. It takes time and effort to be good at something. Practice makes perfect. And, also, I’m a big fan of finding mentors. Reach out to a fellow business owner or creator to get coffee. Ask them about their journey. TAKE NOTES! 
  5. You can’t please everyone. And that includes your friends and family. Be true to yourself. It’s your life. Don’t miss out on it waiting for approval. 

If you are willing to do the work, you can reach the heights. There are so many inspiring stories out there, and one of them is yours. Start building now, and eventually, you will start to see magical things happen. Your dreams do not live on the couch. 

Need a little extra help getting started? Download my Foundation Worksheet! It will help you create manageable goals and brainstorm about the path ahead. 

 

Lightning Real Talk #5: Perfection Paralysis
Photo by:  Karen Santos , Hair and Makeup by:  Lindsay Dabalos

Photo by: Karen Santos, Hair and Makeup by: Lindsay Dabalos

Lightning Real Talk: True stories from my life that have inspired the work I do today. 

I have to admit that before today, my house was a complete mess for a month. Unmade beds. Unfolded laundry. Refrigerator full of left overs. Paperwork everywhere. You get the idea.

As each day passed, I felt more and more angry at myself. The guilt was eating away at me, as tumbleweeds of dust bunnies rolled by. I was waiting for the perfect weather. The perfect amount of energy to start an epic cleaning project. I wanted it to be done in one day, also...because I thrive when there’s a deadline. But, that wasn't a reasonable goal for myself.

I was suffering from Perfection Paralysis. I had set the bar so high in my mind, that starting any of it was too overwhelming. But, in this state of paralysis I was missing out on some serious moments for gratitude:

I am grateful I have a place to live.

I am grateful that I am so busy, there isn’t time for cleaning.

I am grateful for FOOD in my fridge and RUNNING WATER.

The emotional effort I spent on the desire for perfection could have actually been used to clean my house…funny how that works, huh?

If you don't start something, you won't finish. You're probably not going to excel all the time. You might be meeting your income goals for the month, but your sink is full of dishes. You may be enjoying social gatherings and brand new friendships, but your romantic partnership suffers. You may be picking up kids on time and making bag lunches, but you haven't washed your hair in a week. We only have two hands. And, the guilt we carry, right in the middle of our gut, weighs us down, and does not contribute to the cause.

Perfection is not warm and friendly. It's sterile. Dry. And, can also be boring. I can guarantee that the most successful people you can think of have house cleaners. And, personal assistants. And who says that’s perfection? I get serious gratification from cleaning my own bathroom…Especially when it has been dirty and bothering me for weeks.

I can only do one thing at a time. The dishes will get cleaned eventually. But, this moment of creativity and fire fades fast, so I want to catch it.

If I get too wrapped up in perfect, I'll never get anything done. I'll slump on my couch, waiting for someone to tell me I'm enough. And you know, that might not ever happen. So, I'm not going to wait.

If keeping your house clean and slaying your personal life is what makes you happy, then do it. If you can balance your responsibilities, and still manage to have clean underwear all the time, then do it. But don't be afraid to let the little things slip to accommodate for bigger, expansive, and important things. I can guarantee, that no one will mention how clean your house was when you are long gone. They will talk about the energy you brought to a room. The way you smiled. And, how amazing you were as a person.

Clean dishes and toilets are a bonus in life. The perfection, the real fruit, is in experience, love, growth, and healing.  And, I don't know about you, but those all sound like messy, complicated, worthwhile, and beautiful things to focus on.

No one ever climbed a mountain standing still. Start moving slowly in the direction of your goals, and you will meet them. Movement is a key ingredient. Today is the “perfect” day to get started.

 

Lightning Real Talk #4: NSFW Manifesting
Photo by:  Karen Santos , Hair and Makeup by:  Lindsay Dabalos

Photo by: Karen Santos, Hair and Makeup by: Lindsay Dabalos

Lightning Real Talk: True stories from my life that have inspired the work I do today. 

Sex. 

If you’re laughing or uncomfortable with this topic, this article is not for you. Or, maybe it’s exactly what you need. 

Orgasm is the oldest form of manifestation that exists. It is literally where we are created, and yet connecting with our bodies has always been taboo, especially when used for magical and ritualistic purposes. 

The second chakra or energy center, called the “Svadhishthana” or Sacral chakra is located in your pelvic area. This is where we experience pleasure, access creativity, and abundance. When this area is out of alignment, you might find it difficult to balance your finances, feel guilt around receiving pleasure, or may be creatively blocked.

I personally have struggled a lot with this particular chakra throughout my life, which is why I am so passionate about this subject. I often felt uncomfortable receiving money in the past. I was out of tune with my own sexual desires. I was creatively blocked, and frustrated. 

To be honest, I was hesitant to write this article because of the stigma that sex holds in our society. But, I do myself a disservice and others by keeping this important work hidden. And, I invite you to stop reading here if this is not what you need right now. 

We cannot deny the power of our bodies any longer, especially with an administration that seeks to control them so wrongfully. The body is a temple, but it is also a tool we have been given. Use it wisely, and watch magic happen in your life. 

Here is a manifestation technique that has truly changed my life, the way I see myself, and my perspective about sex: 

1. During self-pleasure, or intimacy with another, guide your thoughts to the feeling of receiving what it is you want. Focus less on the form, and more on the feeling.              

Ex. How does it feel to receive a big check in the mail? H ow does it feel to get the exact job or house you want? How does it feel to find the partner you’ve been waiting for?”

2. Keep these images or words in your mind throughout the act. It may be challenging to focus on this and reach the final destination. Practice makes perfect. 

3. When you reach orgasm, say a word in your mind or aloud that encapsulates what it is you are manifesting. Simplicity is bliss. 

Ex. “Abundance” “Clarity” “Expansion” “Power”

I know this seems silly at first glance, but I promise you that it works. And, even if it doesn’t work for you, it’s worth a shot. Because sometimes we need a little help getting what we want, and only we have the power to create it. 

You don’t need a new crystal, deity statue, or self-help book to manifest your desires. The power you seek is already within. Reclaim your body and use the magic that is available in you. 

 

I am grateful for the work and writing of  Amanda Moreno, and Sophie Saint Thomas who inspired me to try this practice. 

Lightning Real Talk #3: Relationships: Living with them and without them
Photo by:  Karen Santos , Hair and Makeup by:  Lindsay Dabalos

Photo by: Karen Santos, Hair and Makeup by: Lindsay Dabalos

Lightning Real Talk: True stories from my life that have inspired the work I do today. 

When I was younger, I thought that being in a relationship was the answer to all of my problems. I sought partnership in every area of my life (Moon in Libra and born a twin!) But, no matter what I did, I had an overwhelming sense of ennui, and sometimes still do around this issue. 

Is it better to be single and “free”? Or is it more fulfilling to be paired and sometimes unhappy? 

Listening to my single friends and clients, I hear the same messages..

 “When will that special person arrive?” 

 “Is there something wrong with me?”

I can confidently tell you that after being in a relationship for over 6 years, that the waves of emotions and emotional outbursts are still present. Having a partner presents its own issues and trials. 

I assure you that even the most "instagram-worthy" couples have fights. Sleep in different rooms sometimes. Agree to disagree. Walk away angry. And wonder what it would be like to be single again. 

People in relationships don’t have everything figured out. Even the ones who have been married for years and years. 

So, whether you are single, dating, happily solo, or in a relationship, I encourage you to find ways to love yourself. Go after your dreams. Go dancing. Go for it. Don’t let a relationship or lack of relationship stop you from being unapologetically YOU. You didn’t come here, to this body, or planet, to only seek partnership. You came here to share your unique gift. You came here to contribute. You came here to grow. 

So, if you are experiencing a feeling of emptiness or fear around this issue, don’t miss out on your beautiful life. Find creative solutions. And be the best partner you can be to yourself. 

Lightning Real Talk #2: The Gift of Disappointment
Photo by:  Karen Santos , Hair and Makeup by:  Lindsay Dabalos

Photo by: Karen Santos, Hair and Makeup by: Lindsay Dabalos

Lightning Real Talk: True stories from my life that have inspired the work I do today. 

I was prepared. I had all the supplies and materials to teach a workshop in Portland, and one in Seattle a few days later. Everything seemed to be planned perfectly. It was a new concept I was trying out. Merging healing, and art together. What could go wrong?

Well…everything. 

I arrived at the Portland workshop, and no one showed up.

I started my drive up to Seattle for workshop #2, and my car broke down 1 hour from my destination. 

Needless to say, I was pissed. Throwing my hands up to the heavens. Enraged, disappointed, and angry…cue me crying in the tow truck. Luckily the driver was wise and said, “It could have been much worse.” He was right. I was safe. My car was broken, but in tact for the most part. I needed to change my attitude. 

That was a difficult day in retrospect, sure. But, the next day, while having tea in Portland, I walked into Anjali Healing Center, and a whole new world of opportunities arrived for me. When the day before was a complete disaster! The universe was sneakily guiding me to a new place to provide my services..right in own my backyard. 

Today, that workshop is called Tarot Collage. A similar concept, but it took a year of experimentation, healing, break downs, and break throughs to get there. Clarity couldn’t have happened without those two redirections.

We’ve all experienced disappointments like this. I urge you to find the beauty in them. We are one bad day away from our dream circumstance. The moment of surrender is close by..even if tears and anger are in the way. Travel back to a place of gratitude. You might not see the reason for your heartache right now. But, you will. 

A year later, those disappointments are little blinks on the radar. As I have more clarity about what’s right for me, the things that are not in alignment fall away quickly…and that is something to be thankful for.