Clarity Process

My Clarity Journey During Transition

Transitioning. Life never stays static, does it? I was in the middle of shifting into new directions. Reaching mid-life brought new questions and the desire for new possibilities. The only problem was….What? How? When? I knew I wanted a career change that aligned with my experience, gifts and passion, but I couldn’t define it clearly.

Working with a coach for over a year taught me to be ‘still’ long enough to trust my inner voice. I heard what I truly wanted and my desire to transition from the field of education into one of coaching, speaking & writing. But in all honesty, I feared I had the courage to make this shift. Where do I start? How do I go about it? Who will be my clientele? What is my mission? How does this align with my purpose? Where will this career path take me for the second half of my life? Will I be successful? I floundered and restlessly waited in a cloud of questions. I needed more clarity.

This is where I was in life when I developed The Clarity Process. Developing this theoretical model helped anchor me during the flood of emotions and options that can overwhelm us during the onset of transitioning. I craved order. When things are shifting and changing both in and around me, I needed to be able to understand…to classify…& to confirm. Hence the birth of The Clarity Process. I discovered that when I committed to the four stages of this process: REST, BELIEFS, FAITH, & ACTION, my clarity increased and the path became clearer.

Now, certainly life is never quite this linear, but in hindsight the path is always clearer, right? Looking back, I can see how The Clarity Process served me well. However, I will admit, that this takes work and daily intentionality in the middle of unsure outcomes and new possibilities. But when I feel stuck, I still use this process by first resting and letting myself listen in on my inner dialogue, checking my beliefs, engaging my faith, and then setting my course of action. My clarity grows rather than my confusion and with this, my confidence increases.

So, this is the back-story about how The Clarity Process was developed. Join the team and me at Arise & Be as we step into this conversation together for our 6-week E-course. See you in the Courseroom!

My heart is with you and for you,

Heather

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Thoughts on the “Vision Board Workshop”

A couple Friday’s ago I attended the Arise & Be Vision Board Workshop!

One word comes to mind to sum up my morning with this amazing group of women, thankful. This workshop allowed the time and space for me to make my goals and visions for this year come alive!

Going into the workshop I had a few things I wanted to accomplish. To reach my goal weight by May, spend the night in a treehouse and to learn Spanish.

After the first hour of the workshop, the time they gave us to just free our minds really helped me discover other goals that I never knew I had! The environment and energy at the workshop was amazing and so comfortable. It was so cozy and the music was so relaxing! I loved seeing the fresh flowers as soon as I walked in the room. Fresh flowers always put a smile on my face and warms my heart!

Hearing Kila’s story about her vision board totally made me tear up and it really helped everyone understand what a vision board is and what it can do for your life. I have created one other vision board about five years ago. I was so excited to make another one because I believe so much in the power of them!

Almost every single thing that I added to my previous board has all happened. A trip to Europe, a marriage to my best friend, my salon, a puppy  and so much more! Since I have made my second board, I have looked at it each morning while getting ready for my day.

Putting positive thoughts into the universe of the things I want to accomplish for myself and my loved ones is a powerful thing.

Haylee

I am thankful to be a part of the Arise & Be movement and I am so THANKFUL I get to experience moments like this with such an uplifting group of women!

-Haylee Galvez

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Words. Are. Powerful.

We’ve all heard the saying, ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.’ The reality is, we all know words can hurt. They can touch us on the deepest of levels, rock us at our absolute core and seep into our hearts. Words can make us feel so good, yet, so small; they can make us laugh, cry, laugh and cry…we’ve all experienced the different effects words can have on us. And yes, while they may not leave a physical mark on our bodies, they can have lasting effects on our hearts.

As a team at Arise & Be, we believe words can compel us to leap, fly, soar even. They can ignite a fire within us to do amazing things. Invoke purpose. Offer support. Restore beliefs. Shape our thoughts. We believe:

Words. Are. Powerful.

Which is why at the beginning of every year, we each choose a word that will evoke change, inspire self-care, offer strength, awaken our hearts, and encourage both forward movement and growth. A word we can lean on in those oh-so-familiar challenging situations, and at the same time inspire us to move towards new opportunity.

Finding the ‘perfect’ word can be a little intimidating at first. As you explore finding your word for 2016, here are a few questions to reflect on:
•What am I longing for?
•What makes me feel most alive?
•What barriers do I want to break through?
•What is keeping me stuck?
•Where do I want to grow?

Sometimes, the words that emerge from answering these questions are the ones we are most afraid to step into. This is where we get to be our most brave selves. To take that leap, to fly and to soar.

Part of our upcoming ‘Find Your Bliss’ coaching retreat focuses on guiding you in finding the best word for YOU and if you already have it, even better! We will give you essential coaching tools that will support you in exploring your truest passions and in living your best life!

Arise & Be’s word for the year is IGNITE! We are super excited to share this with you and see where it takes us! Our hope is to ignite a fire within women to ask bigger, better questions and invite them into living a life of freedom, strength and wholeness.

Ignite

We are SO for you!
-Heather, Sharon, Michaela & Meredith

PS We would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to know what words you might be tossing around or have already chosen!

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Adventure…

Adventure….

The word alone stirs up feelings of wonder and beautiful moments to come.
In less than 5 days, my family will be heading out on an adventure…  Three weeks of exploring… Together.  All four of us…. Two teen girls and their parents!  And it’s going to be AWESOME!

View More: http://mercarty.pass.us/cox-family

We are taking a trip to Portugal…
Ah yes, blue skies… beautiful beaches…  cobblestone roads… castles…  the most delicious pastries….  AND most importantly, I get to visit with my darling, huge family!
We are  heading on an adventure…To breathe in deeply of a new place.
To make memories and spend quality time with those I love.

I travel because it wakes me up.
It’s a little scary… and a lot of joy…
It opens me up to see new things and I engage in a whole new way.
It’s a completely IMMERSIVE experience. Only that moment matters.
The busyness of everyday life is gently silenced and is quickly replaced by my desire to absorb all the beauty surrounding me. I feel like my body is suddenly more aware, and I don’t want to miss a moment.
Travel takes me where I need to be emotionally.
It reminds me of sacred moments and intentional living.
It speaks of freedom and purpose.
It shows me beauty in diversity and deepens my cultural experiences.
So here is the thing I am learning about ADVENTURE.  It doesn’t have to be about traveling to far-away places.  It’s about living with intention.  Adventure could be waiting right outside your door.  It’s about opening yourself to new new ideas and experiences.  It’s about taking a chance and living with no regrets.  Its about saying no to fear, and yes to enthusiasm and new things.

So, dear friends…
I invite you to ask yourself:  what’s next on your adventure list?
Go on, dream big, or small… Make that list.
and then… JUST GO!

Just GO

Deepen your intentional living spirit.
With Love,
Sharon

ADVENTURE. It doesn’t have to be about traveling to far-away places. It’s about living with intention.
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Hitting the Summer Refresh Button: 3 ReaSons to PLaY HaRd!

How do we show up well in our relationships?  The most essential intention we can activate is learning the art of checking in with our heart.  Many of us must resist the urge to live ‘yanking our hearts around by the bootstraps’ and pushing through life on an adrenaline rush.  (….She says with 3 fingers pointing back….).

Summertime has become my time to slow down and hit the refresh button….

and playtime is essential to my heart.

IMG_5897 Play1 Play2 Play3 IMG_5898 IMG_5899

That’s what the Summer is about in the Penny household.  From vacations that include camping, exotic trips, and new adventures….to firework shows, BBQs, pool parties with friends, and Friday Family Fun Nite….we are being intentional about playing.

So, here’s what I experience as I take the time to play and give myself permission to deviate from the daily grind….

  1. Creativity flows
  2. Relationships flourish
  3. New perspective is gained

Isn’t it worth it?!?  For someone who likes to be productive and see high results, it has been inspiring to see the impact of Summer Playtime.

Taking the time to slow down and check in with one another in fun ways creates new space for higher levels of connection and intimacy.   This is why Summer has become my “refresh button”.

I get to check in with the state of my heart, which in turn allows me to honor my relationships better.   I want to offer my best as a mother, educator, wife, coach, sister, daughter, and friend.

So what’s your story?   How are you playing hard this Summer?  And what are you experiencing as you hit your own Summer refresh button?

My heart is with you and FOR you….Play on!!!

~Heather

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Is your life your own?

3 Ways to Offer our Life Story Well

In his book, Let Your Life Speak, Parker Palmer talks about his noble ambitions to live up to a high standard by observing great lives and emulating the loftiest of ideals.  However, in his quest to achieve a high standard of living, he realized how false his life began to feel. In his words he had “simply found a noble way to live a life that was not my own, a life spent imitating heroes instead of listening to my heart.”

What does it mean to listen to our own hearts and live the life that only we are meant to live?

1-We take the time to pull away and listen to the whispers of our hearts.  

What is important to me?  How am I aligning my time and resources to listen to my heart well?  

2-We honor all that we have lived and anticipate more story yet to be written.

How do I honor my failings and my successes?  How do I get to use what I have lived to finish writing my story well?  What is my best to offer the world?  What am I anticipating?

3-We OWN the responsibility of writing our life stories and intentionally offering it back.  Where do I need more support for the story I want to offer?  How do I want to finish well?  What is the legacy I want to leave?  How is Divine Love guiding my story?  What is blocking me?

Why is it so important to be intentional about writing our life stories well and offering it back?

Because just like our own unique fingerprints…so is the story for your life.  The world is waiting for you to show up and offer your story well.

I learned this life lesson well teaching in East L.A.  With a low socio-economic at-risk community of middle school children, I was hired to teach English.  As I learned to trust my intuition by incorporating the arts and integrating the right side of their brain to both soothe their spirit as well as energize their creative thinking, I watched the test scores go up.  I witnessed a population that had consistently failed begin to succeed at high rates.  What if I had passed over this position?  What if I had ignored my instinct to incorporate art?  What if I had dismissed the whispers of my heart to find creative ways to support the journey of these children?

We each have the joy of living fully present with our lives to offer the story that only we can offer.

My heart is with you and for you as you step nobly into your story and offer it to our world, Heather

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‘Live your Journey’ Retreat

March 15th, 2015

Roseville, California

9:30am

The sun was shining, the trees were swaying with a gentle breeze, and the birds were singing their hearts out.   What a beautiful beginning to a fabulous day. Each one of us on the Arise & Be team were beyond excited to meet each of the women who signed up for our ‘live your journey’ retreat.  Our hearts are so connected with what we get to offer, and we couldn’t wait to  meet the beautiful souls who bravely stepped out of their comfort zone to spend the day with us.  A day, not only relaxing, but a day filled with growth and vulnerability, intentionality and purpose.

We learnt all about honoring the whole self.  We got to listen to Heather talk about intuition and Left and Right brained activities.  We created masterpieces with oil pastels (use that right side of the brain, ladies!), discovered new terms like: space within and space between. We explored the words: Clarity, Kindness, Confidence, Growth, Receptivity, Vulnerability, Faith and Abundance…. and then used those words to create our ‘Life Map Cards’ for our journey. Deep conversations, sharing in our groups, beautiful questions being asked.  Playing with putty as Heather read us a story.  One of my favorite things was seeing all the blankets spread out under the trees as we all took time to rest after lunch. Oh, what a glorious day.

Thank you Michelle F, Shelley S, Rebecca, Shelley W, Cristal, Paige, Marjorie, Erika, Raley, Jennifer, Darlene, Amy, Jill, Jaime, Kacee, Michelle H, Lexi, Lisa W, Liana and Lisa H.

Each one of you inspired us.  We are so FOR you and we can’t wait to see each of you soar.

Live deeply and with freedom, dear friends.

Sharon

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4 Truths for Loving Your Man Well

Dear Friends –

With this being the season of love and celebrating Valentine’s Day, I wanted to write about loving our men well. However…..huge disclaimer….

Please don’t mistake my desire to discuss this topic as any sort of declaration that I have the answers.  Quite the opposite actually.  I wanted to give attention to this because after 21 years of marriage and befriending my man for over 23 years…I have been asking this question over and over…”What does it mean to love my husband well?”

I think it was about 5 years into my marriage that it dawned on me how different our hearts were.  My realization went something like this….. “ohhh…he’s not like my women roommates in college…

hmmm…I guess I expected him to respond like my girlfriends…

geez…I wonder why we’re so different…?!?!?

I guess I should find out how he feels loved…

(more pondering….)

I give up…he’s so different!

Oh…here’s a thought…I’ll just go ask him…”

(It was probably around this time that I also picked up the book, Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus.)

 So, in the hopes of shedding some light on an area that can often be a mystery…

 I share my 4 Truths learned over the years about loving my man:

loving

 #1 – Let your Man be a Man.

I’m not even entirely sure what this means except I had to often remind myself that I had not married someone like me.  I had chosen to marry someone who had different qualities and unique ways of looking at the world.  Did I really want to change him just to make myself feel better?  I decided I’d rather spend my energy getting to know him and understand him.  As I let go of expecting him to respond in the ways I would respond, our trust grew and an openness developed between us that deepened our love and our friendship.

#2 – Use your power for good.

At the young age of 23, I didn’t realize how much power I held as his wife.  I don’t say this to diminish him or elevate myself in our relationship, but more as a confession in how sloppy I often was in my communication.  As his wife, my words held more weight than any other.  I began to learn how much my words could cut down, emasculate, and diminish.  As this sobering realization sunk in, I renewed my vow ‘to love and cherish him until death do us part’.  But how?  I wanted my words and my communication to be uplifting, clear, direct, lovingly truthful, but above all else I wanted him to feel SAFE in our relationship.  I’ll be honest, I had my work cut out for me.

Which leads me to my next truth…

#3 – Have the courage and the integrity to ask for truthful evaluations.

If I wanted my man to feel safe and loved in our relationship, I had to ask him how I was doing.  But most importantly, I had to learn how to hear the hard truth.  It’s not fun to hear how my actions hurt his heart or ripped it open…but it is necessary to feel the weight of it in order for bad habits to be broken and new ones established.  Learning how I had hurt my husband was hard, but it continues to be the strongest motivation for me choosing better patterns.  Allowing the reflection of myself in his eyes began to be a new habit for me.  The good news…as I changed in areas that had repeatedly hurt him, I also got to see how he responded when he felt deeply loved and valued by me.  Flowers, gifts, surprise trips…you get the picture.  🙂

 Last…

 #4 Remember why you love him and do all you can to grow this love.

In my lifetime, I have only said vows to one person.  I intend to keep these vows…but I don’t think I really knew what I was getting into when I said them.  As my husband and I have ‘grown up’ together, we wanted to stay married, not through sheer determination and grit (although sometimes that is required), but through a growing love that aged like fine wine over the years.  Our shared commitment became a renewed effort to love and befriend each other as we aged.  On our mirror in our bedroom, we have this quote by Robert Browning, “Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be”.

Often our apologies end with….Sorry, Babe…I’ll be better when I’m older.  And I know that even as I am asking the question, “How do I love my man well?”  I know he is also asking, “How do I love my woman well?”  Choosing to love well really is just that….a choice…but well worth the effort.  What a sacred journey marriage has been for me…for us. To be in a relationship that honors this sacredness during the highs and the lows…in the beauty and in the mess…I believe we truly learn what it means to live wholeheartedly and show up for our best life.  I’m all in.

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Sharing the love…One love letter at a time.

 Happy February!

Love notes have always been a huge part of my family’s life. We love to leave little post it notes around the house for one another, on mirrors, in the kitchen, in the car, etc…

letters

And on special occasions (ie: Birthdays, Valentine’s Day, Father’s/Mother’s day) we tend to go all out with the love letters! Expressing our love in depth through letters & cards.

Recently, my husband raised the “love letter” bar when he wrote a love note to me every single day for a year in 2013. This gift took my breath away. It took writing our little love notes on post-its to a whole new level.

I knew that if I was ever going to read all of these letters, I had to go somewhere where there were no distractions. So, I went to the most peaceful place I could think of… the ocean. It took me an entire weekend to read every single letter… and it got me thinking… First, “How am I (ever) going to top this gift?” and second, “What is it about love letters that make us feel so…well, loved?”

I came to a few conclusions, but in an effort to keep this post a post and not a book (hee-hee), I will keep it to just two:

First, I realized, that I will never be able to top this gift. Accept that & move on (which, if you know me, this is extremely difficult to do, but that’s a whole other blog post in itself)

Second, I realized that the gift he gave me wasn’t about the letters. It was about the act of committing to do this every single day, to show me how much he loved me….and follow through with it. Seeing our life through his eyes… for an entire year… that was his gift to me.

Times where I thought things were rough and hard and difficult… he saw beauty, love and growth. Times where I thought I could have done something better… he saw perfection. Times where I felt lost… he saw my destination. Moments in our marriage where we were challenged…he thanked me for being his rock (me? He’s always my rock). Moments where our kiddos were driving me nuts… they were driving him nuts too!

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So, back to my question, “What is it about love letters that make us feel so loved?” Love letters give us an opportunity to express how we feel in depth that the spoken word may never reveal. And, most importantly, it’s the thought, the intention behind the action of taking the time to write a love note… that is where you feel the love. Love is so much more than words. It is an action.

We often think of love letters to be between a man and a woman, but they can be written to anyone. One of my most cherished love letters came from my daughter, Grace when she was {6}:

letters3

Being that this is the month of “Love”… my challenge to you is to write a love note to someone in your life that you love. It can be to anyone! Your mom, your hubby, your BFF, your daughter/son, cousin… and it can be as simple as writing a post-it note, or sending a letter in the mail, or leaving a surprise note somewhere in the house, on their car, under their pillow.

Let’s share our love this month… one love letter at a time.

Hugs!

-Michaela

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