heart-friends

Heart Friends Part 1 of 2

Friends are an amazing, important part of life… but sometimes friendships can be difficult to navigate. We are going to discuss healthy friendships, and give you a great coaching tool for recognizing who your “heart friends” are, and why that matters. This is part 1 of 2.

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Just Be.

I walked into the Arise & Be retreat in January a battered, wounded soul, and immediately I could tell that it was a safe place. I saw it in the way people were smiling at one another, nervous but open. I felt it in the way the Arise & Be team had set up the room so beautifully, and in the way we were greeted individually by the team. I even heard it in the gorgeous music filling the room and tickling my ears.

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I Learned...

Thoughts on the “Offer your Story” retreat…

It wasn’t what I expected. Actually, I’m not even sure I had too many expectations. I came on a whim, in a flight of fancy . . . I really came as a last minute support for a friend who had wanted to attend one of Arise & Be’s retreats for a while. She had been wanting to go, but it always seemed like life got in the way. As moms of three kids each, both of us are more than a little busy! But stress had escalated to a breaking point. Life was unraveling way too fast. Now was better than later! So we traveled across several states to attend our first Arise & Be retreat.

Now, having been utterly unprepared, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’m a adventurous person. Even in the unknown, I knew I’d be fine. Well, I wasn’t expecting this . . . Really. I could have easily handled an enthusiastic, in-your-face motivational speaker. I could have easily handled someone selling me a problem so that they could then sell me their solution. I could have definitely handled yet another “miracle cure available only today for a steal of a deal” ploy. You
know what I’m talking about – we face them every single day. Truly, this day was absolutely none of these.

Nope. Instead, a few minutes after I arrived I found myself with tears streaming down my face. Scary? Hell yeah! But why?? It took me a little while to find out. But when I did, I was shocked. I was overwhelmed by how welcomed I felt, how genuinely cared for and accepted. The depth of caring and nonjudgmental love was palpable, real, unlike anything I had experienced. It had been such a very long time since I had felt that, that my emotions responded in a fully unexpected way.

Don’t get me wrong – I was terrified. I don’t usually let my emotions out quite like that! Control is the name of the game, baby. Am I right? Are we not taught everywhere that emotions should be restrained at the very least? Nobody seemed to mind at all. In fact, the understanding and acceptance continued. In mere minutes, I was calm and peaceful, wholly absorbed in creating an artistic expression. After the introduction, we were transitioned to creating a simple, yet meaningful piece of art. Dr. Heather Penny talked to us about her research, including how art was so pivotal in both relaxation and learning.

As I drew simple lines (I’m more of a stick figure kind of person, to date – though I expect to develop as I persist :)), just the simple lines brought me peace. I absorbed what I was learning, how I was feeling, what I was making . . . it all flowed so effortlessly. The rest of the day continued to flow, the activities, the teaching, the creative time – each added together in such a well-thought out way. The atmosphere of genuine caring deepened and expanded throughout the day.

Carla Leon

In fact, not only did I learn from what we did and what we heard, but so much of what I learned came from how I saw Heather, Sharon, Michaela, and Meredith interacting with each other and with us. That was another surprise. I’ve been to many events, conferences, etc where the speakers sort of disappear during breaks. (Am I right?? You know what I mean!) Each break all four of them were making connection and conversation a priority. (In fact, they individually
sought us out – no lines to meet the speaker here!)

Throughout the day, Heather, Sharon, Michaela, and Meredith each shared their story. They shared who they had been before, their journey, how they had met each other, and how their dream for Arise & Be had developed. Each had such a unique story, such a different set of skills, different ways of arriving where they are today. Yet what stood out the most is how their unique stories created in them this deep passion. A passion for creating a place where each of us can learn, grow, explore and create exactly the kind of life that we want most.

Bottom line, everyone, here’s the deal. This is my honest experience. I haven’t met people like this. I haven’t been somewhere where I felt so welcomed and valued. And where the value is for me, as a person, not for my customer potential! (Seriously, you know the “customer potential” feeling??) People this genuine and compassionate are beyond rare.

Turns out I was utterly unprepared for this Arise & Be retreat. I was surprised in the best of ways. I learned about myself, learned about embracing who I am, my journey, my story . . . I gained practical knowledge and tools for creating exactly the kind of life I want most. And the best part? I experienced an overwhelming sense of love and acceptance. I caught a glimpse of what deep meaningful friendships look like. I met 4 amazing women building a business they
are deeply passionate about, but who are even more passionate about the people who surround them.

Am I going back? (Seriously, do you even have to ask?? :))

 – Carla Leon

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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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loving

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:

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 #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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core values

ringing in the new year!

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:

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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!

Meredith

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explore

RECAP: Explore Your Voice Day Retreat

 

Well!  We did it!  Success!  Arise & Be just wrapped up our last retreat of 2014, and man, what a way to go out!

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The Explore Your Voice Day Retreat was spectacular… beyond words amazing. In fact, trying to put words to the feelings and energy that filled the room, the message, and the most uniquely gifted group of women, could never adequately capture everything the day was.

So, instead of trying to put MY words to the day, I’d like to let the beautiful women that attended the retreat do it instead. {Because really, there’s no one better to hear it from:-)}

These are the actual questions we ask guests at the end of every retreat:

– How was the length of time for the retreat?  The facilities?  The food?

I loved it all! The food was amazing.
I feel like everything should have been on Pinterest.
– Laura

– Which activity did you enjoy the most?  Why?

ALL OF IT!  Each bit was equally important.
Great mix of information, thought, processing time.
– Liana

– What part of the retreat was the most challenging for you?

It’s really hard for me to embrace silence or ‘alone time’… this retreat has taught
me the value of this and why it’s so important for me to recharge.
– Lexi

– What was most significant for you about this retreat experience?

The entire event. I loved all the women, stories, speakers and projects.
– Laurie

– How was your experience during space within time?

Awesome! Valuable. I achieved clarity around things
I needed time to stop and think about.
– Melissa

How did this day meet your expectations?

Exceeded all expectations!
– Michele

Any other comments or feedback?

Wow!  What a day! I will not only be back, but will share with others.
– Cristal

With two retreats officially under our belt, the year couldn’t have been any more perfect. We learned a lot about each other, who we are as a team, and have met some truly incredible women along the way. What a gift this year has been!

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The line up of upcoming coaching retreats and workshops for 2015 is looking even more fabulous! Visit our website {www.ariseandbe.com} to learn more! Hope to see you there!

Hugs!

– Michaela :-)

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“Finding your Bliss” Retreat September 2014

The day dawned bright and clear…  and our team was ‘over the moon’ excited about what the day would hold and the women we would get to meet.  Months of planning, dreaming and being inspired lead up to this moment and our team was truly feeling the beauty this day would hold.

The location: The gorgeous Wilson Vineyards, located in Clarksburg, a rustic barn.

The weather: Blue skies, gentle breezes and 100 degree heat.  (Thank goodness for fans!!)

The woman: Authentic woman that showed up ready to step into their best life.

The message: Find your Bliss.

The day began with our own personal barista Lexi, who prepared gourmet coffee and tea for each of us.  Followed by gentle music played by the wonderful Julie and Kathy. Heather led us in an art experience that engaged the rights side of our brain.  All we needed was  Paper… Sharpies… Oil pastels… and our smudgy fingers. :)  Fun Fun…

Then we explored the meaning of the word ‘Bliss’…  Not the light and fluffy feelings around it  BUT how it actually goes so much deeper.  Bliss is about intentional living.  About asking kind questions that move us into a life we want.  Bliss is about listening to what is being whispered to us… Relating to what supports our unique journey… Nurturing who we are and who we are becoming…  Bliss is living confidently… Honoring the truth we will hear in the journey… Bliss is about inviting love in to guide and transform you.

The day was filled with story-telling, creating bliss books, laughter, tears, growth, space within time, beautiful sharing, quiet moments and moving classical music and new friendships.

We asked each member of our team what their favorite part of the day was:

“I loved how the beauty of our environment complimented the beauty of our guests and the conversations we had. I enjoyed seeing their inner beauty so clearly reflected in the bliss books, their art, and their responses to our discussions.” – Heather

“My favorite part of the day was getting to engage with each of the amazing woman that attended.  I am always drawn to the fact that we are all so diverse and unique… and yet, when we share some of the deepest part of our hearts, we come to realize we have the same longings and needs. The same desires to be heard and valued.   I felt absolutely honored to be on this journey with each of them.  Making new friends in such an authentic way was AWESOME!”  – Sharon

“There was a moment toward the end of the retreat where I could see fresh air hit each woman’s heart as they breathed in the energy of the day. I get so excited for each of them as I think about what is ahead… I know their lives will transform so beautifully because they have been intentional about taking a day for themselves. It’s just the beginning, but it’s such an important step. It’s an awesome thing to be able to reflect back to each woman what a worthy investment she is!“ – Meredith

“I can’t stop thinking about the energy that was felt in the room throughout the day.  I am in awe with what is created when you have a room full of women that are all there with the same purpose, the same intention, the same openness and desire to invite goodness into their lives. To try and describe it in words is difficult because it was a feeling that filled our souls, and lifted our spirits.  I guess if I had to narrow it down to three words it would be peace, comfort and joy.  I feel so honored to have connected with each and every woman that came and enjoyed the day with us!  So excited for the next one!  Hugs!“ – Michaela

Thanks to each of the  amazing woman that joined us.  Crystal, Luna, Jennifer, Michelle, Shelley, Kathy, Julie, Lexi, Margo, Erin, Melinda, Mary and Catriona, you each inspired us.  Thank you for sharing this day with us, and for being willing to step into brave and engage better in the life you want.

The Arise & Be Team

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and here are some thoughts from retreat attendants:

“The reminder that I need to take the time to be intentional in nurturing my heart was so important to me.”

“It was beautiful. My soul is more at peace now and has the space to breathe.” – Michelle

“Hearing words put to my deepest emotions via other women’s voices was most significant about this experience.” – Shelley

“You can’t drive a car with an empty tank and today filled my tank to overflowing. It made me realize the physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual need to make the time to do this on a regular basis.” – Melinda

“The power of being in a room with so many beautiful women had such an impact on me.” – Michelle

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Such a stunning group of beautiful, open spirits! xoxo!

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Life Lesson From My Mom: SELF CARE

One of the core values of Arise&Be is “living fully: mind, body, heart and spirit.” In order to live a full life, we need to be intentional about something that is a struggle for many women, SELF CARE. So this week, we’re thrilled to have guest blogger, Tami Hackbarth, share her thoughts on why self care is essential

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