March 15th, 2015
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.
when you make a choice to launch a business with 3 of your favorite friends and all 4 of you are women, you know that you are saying yes to many things. yes to challenge, growth, emotions (highs and lows and all of the mess in between). a big fat yes to a message you believe in and people you admire! yes to beautiful energy, vulnerability, honoring people for who they are and where they are at, loving unconditionally…
yes to holding the tensions as heather would say.
and that is not always an easy undertaking. BUT, it has been worth.every.moment. which brings me to my biggest take away from 2014. something that i would not have learned about life or myself without those beautiful dreamers by my side.
when i am working on anything and i start to get flustered with the process or start asking myself, “am i crazy?” i have learned that i feel that way because what i’m doing is not staying aligned with my core values. for example, if one of my core values is adventure, but i’m saying yes to too many opportunities that keep me behind my computer screen, i start to feel burnt out and resentful. however, if i’m intentional about making space for adventure, i am saying yes to feeling energized and inspired instead.
when i keep this lesson in mind, it helps me use my strengths to support the people around me. so, just before heading into the new year, i asked the arise&be girls to let me know what their top three core values are for 2015. they took things a step further and let me know what their top three business focuses are as well. i loved this exercise because i feel like it gives me specific points to check in with each of them on. my hope is that it helps me support them in the way they each need it most. plus, when things start to feel hectic, we are able to take a step back and evaluate if the “busy” really aligns with what matters most to each of us. i also love that it was a simple exercise that you can do with any of the important people in your life.
here is a quick look at my goals for the year ahead:
we’d love for you to join us and keep things simple for your 2015 plans. you can download the form we used here:
share with people you love or put this up for a visual check in for yourself throughout the year. the quote included at the top are words from a wise and dear friend, natalie norton. make a plan. keep it simple. work your plan. i’ll be choosing to say yes to that a lot more in the next 12 months.
cheers to you and 2015!
THE LESSONS I LEARNED FROM CHILDREN
We learn so much about who we are, how we view the world, and how we grown when working with children. They teach us about spontaneous joy, uncontrollable laughter, and seizing the present moment. For this reason alone, I have always loved being a part of children’s lives. We have boundless opportunities for learning and growth. Children remind us of this.
But after years of teaching, I began to notice something else, they teach us when we stop believing in our power to be great and live courageous lives. The older my students became, the more the dreams of becoming a professional dancer or a race car driver shifted to fears of not ‘being enough’ or fear of ‘failing’. Not being enough for what? For who? Failing in what? Why all the pressure? Where was it coming from? These questions began to haunt me.
Grappling with reality and reconciling dreams is a process we all go through. It comes with the journey of ‘doing life’. But with age, do we really need to believe less in who as we grow our inner critic that scoffs at the dreams we once had and the hope to accomplish great things?
After teaching young children in private schools, working with junior high at-risk students in East Los Angeles, training teachers in the jungles of Belize to break the cycle of poverty, and teaching educators at universities… I wanted to learn more about supporting individuals daring to believe in more. I returned to school to research human services with the focus of exploring what influences personal growth and emotional well-being as well as what inspires transformational living. My Ph.D. focused on researching gifted women transitioning with the purpose of coaching women and supporting them in their journey.
THE ART OF ASKING PRODUCTIVE QUESTIONS
One of the most recurring questions in coaching conversations with women is the question, “What is wrong with me?!?” I hear it asked in moments of acute frustration, overwhelming despair, internal disgust, and sometimes even just out of sheer curiosity.
After noticing how often I heard women ask this, I was struck with the thought of how unhelpful this question really is. In fact, it is actually quite cruel. It hurts the person being asked and does not set anyone up to receive a fair answer. When we ask this question of ‘what’s wrong’, we do harm to our self by not allowing a fair answer to be found…and instead an assumption is made that something is indeed very wrong with us.
The truth is, nothing is ‘wrong’ with us…we are simply at a painful or confusing place in our journey. What we need are helpful questions that set us up for success to receive better answers. I have found that kinder gentler questions such as, “Where does it hurt?” or “Why am I stalled?” to be fairer questions, which eventually lead to answers that guide us.
As I listened one more time to this question being habitually tossed out in our conversation, I found myself saying, “How about we ask what is right with you?”
A STRONG COMMUNITY WAS DEVELOPED
In the belief that we are stronger together as women, I wanted to develop a community that came together holding the valuable belief that so much is right with us.
Forming a community around this powerful posture of asking helpful questions such as ‘what’s right with me?’ gives us the permission to move forward in authentic ways as we dare to explore new possibilities. To consider helpful questions challenges a whole new level of self-talk. Most importantly, it engages our critiquing abilities to focus on our strengths instead of our weaknesses, to find the solutions we need, and build the courage, confidence, and clarity to move forward. Arise & Be is a place for the woman to truly Arise…and…BE.
Communication…it makes or breaks a relationship, doesn’t it? Because of the power communication holds, it is a core value for Arise & Be. Communicating well with an emphasis on fostering positive community and relational teamwork requires a commitment to ‘weed out’ confusion and constructively address what is causing anxiety.
This was a lesson I recently learned in leading a team of highly gifted individuals. After a successful event, I began to pick up on a general sense of anxiety within the team.
After making observations and checking in with several members, I realized individuals were struggling in how to give and receive constructive feedback. There was a general unease about how to say some hard things. I soon came to understand that the anxiety was stemming from a fear of hurting feelings if they said what they were feeling.
What was needed?
We needed the space, time, and safety to communicate well. So, at our next meeting, we decided to practice giving and receiving feedback based on basic communication principles:
1. Affirm the relationship and your positive intent.
2. Specifically describe what you observed.
3. Share the impact of the behavior or action.
4. Invite the listener to respond.
5. Focus the discussion on moving forward and finding solutions together.
It was a meeting well spent. We established a safe and healthy culture to communicate what needed to be said in a way that cared for the relationship as well as directly targeted the need for growth. Because the time was taken to practice communicating well, relationships grew stronger, goals became clear and more achievable, and the group angst was replaced with a spirit of security and confidence.
When we have a sensitivity tuned into the emotional vibes coming from our relationships, we can recognize it as an opportunity to pause…address it…and step into the conversation.
Hold the tension of both honoring the relationship as well as encouraging growth. Perhaps considering these questions for your own journey in communication will help:
· Where do I want to communicate better?
· How do I want to intentionally move into a conversation?
· What is stopping me?
Taking the time to communicate intentionally is the best gift you can offer a relationship. Step into this with courage and confidence. Try out these 5 basic communication principles…you can do it!
start well. follow through. finish well.
start well. check.
finish well. no problem.
those two are my jam. but, here’s the thing… that follow through, the middle mess, the journey? sometimes oftentimes, that part is difficult and doesn’t seem to fall in line with my plan. sometimes when the going gets tough, i just want to get the heck out of dodge. and most times, that just isn’t an option.
a lot of my life’s journey is filled with grey areas and those are extremely uncomfortable spaces for me. but, i am slowly learning to turn my focus from the discomfort by asking the beautiful question, “what is my best to offer?” it’s a reminder to myself that the only sure thing that i have control of is how i show up for the journey. the question is challenging me to develop my strengths which is slowly creating a richer journey.
xoxo – mer
It was a night to launch a movement. From amazing women attending to inspirational photos….to words that change our lives…to beauty in the middle of a vineyard….we at Arise & Be were deeply moved to be apart of starting something that ignites our passion.
What are we passionate about?
Freeing up the hearts and minds of women to step into their best lives. The heartbeat for Arise & Be is community. Safe community that allows women to explore, discover, and offer their best life. We believe that it is IN community that life change happens. Women discover who they are meant to be and take the necessary steps to move into their best life.
Amidst the laughter, the food and the drinks, we were able to share our stories and hear the stories of others. Words such as Empathy, Abundance, Clarity, Love, Believe, Beauty, Passion, Freedom, Strength, and Courage showed up in the voices of the ‘community of women’ that night. It was an honor to witness the sensitivity and the strength of the woman’s spirit.
Our favorite moment during the evening was when women shared the word that most inspired them. The buzz and the energy ignited the room. We, at Arise & Be smiled. This was indicative of how much more is to come.
We are excited to be a part of supporting your journey and providing a safe place for you to explore your next steps to move into your best life. Our next 2 day-retreats are on Sunday, September 14th and Saturday, November 1st. Won’t you join us and bring a friend? Click here to be a part of our community and get the empowerment you need to enter into your best life.
We are waiting to spend the day together and anticipating with you….
With the highest of hopes of what’s to come,
Heather, Sharon, Meredith, & Michaela – The Arise & Be Team
as a team, words hold such power for us. many of our conversations center around a single word. it’s helps us define where we are at in our journey and lead us to a space of clarity. it challenges our heart, mind and spirit.
we have adventured across the country to attend a team-building conference and as we come together the night before we are embracing the word ANTICIPATION. for us it is the hope of all things to come… an open stance… the ability of our hearts to take on our journey regardless of struggle, celebration, failure or success.
with that in mind, here’s a look at what is on our mind and in our hearts as we approach tomorrow:
i am anticipating confirmation for arise&be and myself. i’m so excited about what we get to offer. i’m ready to be confirmed in what i offer and how we offer it as a team. i am opening myself to new vision. after intentionally moving out in new ways through the last five years, i’m so ready for what’s next.
i am anticipating truth. i know that each participant was intentional about being here. i’m so looking forward to being in a room with truth-tellers and enjoying the moments of genuine connection. i’m also anticipating clarity as i keep moving forward on my journey.
i’m walking into this experience with an open heart. i don’t know what to expect, but i have the faith that i will walk away having experienced awesomeness. i’m looking forward to meeting people with the same energy and spirit.
i’m anticipating love and the gift of time. this is such a worthy investment. i know that we are all deserving of this experience and i am excited to see who i cross paths with. i know that i will walk into this and meet exactly the people i need to meet. i truly cherish the opportunity to honor others and their stories.
i am anticipating clarity. i’m in a place where i have done the hard work to build the foundation for my business and i’m looking forward to what’s next. i’m excited to meet other business people and learn about the process they’ve been through. i’ve also planned many events in the past, so i cannot wait to simply enjoy the next two days and release the responsibility of the details.
a big thank you to all of our loved ones holding down the fort at home. your faith in each of us is beautiful. wish us luck!!!
We believe in the power behind telling our stories to foster relationships across time and space. It’s why we remember stories over the years, but often forget the 3 points of a seminar or the 5 tips for success…and it’s why we, at Arise&BE, challenge ourselves to share our story with you, and why we want to hear yours’.
As our world becomes increasingly digital, and the organizations we support no longer maintain a brick and mortar presence, we hope our blog will serve as a connecting thread, a reminder that behind every website, every organization is an individual or team trying to show up for their best life. Today we invite you into our world to share some of our stories with you…who we are…and why we started Arise&Be. Your comments, observations, and thoughts are also welcomed as a story only comes to life when it is shared.
I was 9 years old when I started the Daisy Club with my twin sister and our two best friends. We sewed daisies on our clothing, met on the big rock after school, created positions for the club, and kept a ‘daisy diary’ recording all the important stuff discussed at our meetings. Honestly, who knows what the purpose really was except that it was somehow very important that we form a club. Reflecting back, it was clear in my young mind the necessity of girls coming together. Even from a young age, I yearned for the empowerment, the joy, and the synergy that happens when girls come together.
Decades later, I still carry that same passion for bringing women together. I have started many “Daisy Clubs” over the years to connect women and support their overall growth in areas of intellect, spirit, and emotions. Some groups were formally created where we had a mission to accomplish…and some were informally created because I desperately needed to know that someone was in my corner, and that I was in theirs’.
Like a bee attracted to pollen…wherever I go, I find myself drawn to the stories of women. I honor women by collecting their stories, sharing their inspiration, their heartache, and their courage. I am inspired to live better. To offer more….and to share a rich community with those living inspirational stories. In beautiful community, I believe we write better stories for our life. I believe community empowers more faith in ourselves…and in the abilities we have to offer. We see who we really are reflected in the eyes of those who are FOR us. And we become stronger…more courageous…kinder…and more intentional about how we live.
I believe this is the WHY behind my many Daisy Clubs over the years. And I am amazed how the journey brought me here to Arise&Be. Here, I am at home with this team of women and those who are joining us. I find myself daring to believe in new possibilities…dreaming bigger…smiling more…enjoying the journey of writing a new story. Isn’t this what we all want? An inspiring story to live? Listen to our stories…share your own…and may we all find what we are looking for to give us the courage to live beautiful stories.
Greetings from the arise & be team! Thank you for visiting our blog! We’re excited to have you with us as we share our journey with you! This blog will be a place to authentically share our dreams and hopes, as well as the challenges of everyday life. You’ll hear the stories and perspectives from four unique women who are daring to step into their best life.
We are doing what we’re doing because we’re SO for women! We believe in women and the strengths they get to offer this world. We’re here to share our vulnerable strength through our stories in the hopes of inspiring one another to live bravely and believe in a life of abundance!
Step into your brave with us!
We are boldly taking a stance for love and truth.
We invite you to join in the conversation!
Sharon, Heather, Michaela & Meredith