Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Is a Dating Fast for You?



I've heard of a juice fast and a liquid fast...but a Fast from DATING?? At dinner recently my good friend, the beautiful and wise Claudine Johnson told me that she had chosen to embark on a Dating Fast after a particularly difficult break-up. "It was time for me to come back to God and me," she said.

Inspired and curious, I asked if I could interview her for SEXY SOUL WELLNESS.  Here are her answers:

What is a Dating Fast?

A dating fast is a period of time when one will refrain from accepting another date until they can sort out any unresolved past issues.  It's a time where one will try to focus more on God and continue to build a relationship with him.

Why did you decide to commit to a dating fast?

Last year around October I just got out of yet another relationship. I was so confused as I felt that the relationship was going well.  However, the other party thought otherwise.  This was the story of my life. I would meet a "great guy" and I thought that things were going well. Then just a few months later I would find out that he was no longer interested and the relationship would end leaving me devastated. I always felt that something was wrong with me and that I would never have the meaningful relationship that I wanted.  What I also realized that is often times before I got into a relationship I would be very devoted to God. I would pray all the time, read my bible and be a good steward to his word. However, as soon as I got into relationship, I would begin to idolize the person I was with.  Call them all the time, think of them all the time, everything was about them. They were my ticket to everlasting happiness. I would put God on the back burner but when things didn't go well in the relationship I would run back to God asking for forgiveness and acceptance. It was a vicious cycle that I really wanted to get off of.  At the time I had a prayer partner at church. I explain to her my vicious cycle and she recommended me a book: "Lady in Waiting: Becoming God's Best While Waiting for Mr. Right" by Jackie Kendall and Debby Jones. In the book it explains what a dating fast is and when to start it.

What have been the challenges, if any, of this endeavor?

I think the hardest part has been dealing with the moments of loneliness that seep into my mind.  A good amount of my friends are in serious relationships.  So when we talk about them I begin to feel lonely and question once again what is wrong with me.  Also one of my exes lives in the city and has been in contact with me.  I have been strong in not making my loneliness force me to get involve with him once again just to fill that void.  I also have had people laugh at me when they hear that I am on a dating fast. However, these concerns were present more in the beginning I would say and I have been keeping myself pretty busy so that I don't focus on the fact that I am on a dating fast.

What have you learned so far from this commitment?

Doing this dating fast has allowed me to realize that I can only find true joy and happiness through a relationship with God and if I try to find these things with a man that I was always going to be disappointment.  It taught me that instead of being sad about being single that I should more celebrate it. Go out and do all the things that I always wanted to do and take my single time as a time to find who I really am.  It most importantly taught me to love myself first and that if I didn't, then there is no way I would be able to allow someone to love me. Yes marriage is great and it’s a beautiful covenant between two people. However I also realize that if I wasn't destined to get married that things would be fine. It would be hard but it doesn't mean that I don't have a purpose on this earth or that something is wrong with me. I think this decision to go on a dating fast came at a good time.  I found myself moving to a new city, starting a new job and I felt it was like God was telling me "Go out Claudine, start fresh, be courageous!" I realize that I have really had the time to focus on God's love for me. My self-esteem had gotten way better. I don't worry too much about little things like I had before; things just seems to look brighter and brighter ever day, even if it may be gloomy outside. This time has also been teaching me a lot about faith.  Life became more about not dating and more about finding me.


When does it end?

I started the fast on January 1st and have committed myself to doing it for a year.  I am thinking of actually extending it to a little bit longer but I am going to wait and see.

Would you recommend a dating fast to others? Why? 

I would recommend a dating fast to anyone who feels like they have been on a vicious cycle in their life that is only leading to a downward spiral. Are they tired of feeling like they aren't enjoying life as much as you should? Do they feel that they don't have a life of your own? Do they feel that if they are in a relationship then they will finally be complete as a person? Do they fantasize about getting married when they are simply speaking to someone of interest? Then I would recommend a dating fast to that person.  I made a decision to take control of not just my life but my mind, my emotions, my body, my soul. The only person at this point I would turn all of those things over to is God. We are each human and are not perfect at all. We will make each other happy but we will also hurt each other as time goes on. I want to be grounded in myself and who I am before I open the door to my heart again. I don’t want to allow just about anyone to come in and take over.  I want to love myself, love who I am and the direction I am going in my life. I feel that when I finally get to the point where I am truly comfortable with who I am, then that special someone will see me and will choose me to be his. Until then I plan to live life not feeling sorry for myself that I am single but rejoice that I am.
Do you have an inspiring story about Loving your Body, Owning your Power, or Living your Dreams?  Then email Coach Cora at cora@sexysoulwellness.com.  I would LOVE to publish YOUR story!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Lessons from the Peanut Gallery


Ben took me to the Nutcracker last weekend at the Lincoln Center her in New York City, a stunning venue.  The website said, "There is no dresscode, but we invite you to make it an occasion." 

And boy oh boy, do New Yorkers know how do "make it an occasion".  The glamour and glitz was everywhere and I strained my neck looking for Brangelina and the brood. (Didn't see them but found out later that Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, and Surie were there the night before...squeal!)

I was in awe of the incredible architecture, the fabulous fashion, and the holiday spirit that was so evident.  The last time I attended the Nutcracker was in Wichita, KS.  An incredible production, but such a different audience and venue.

I was full of gratitude and joy.  Then, however, I started to hear the lovely Inner Critic:

"You wore that? Cora, really? The hand me down skirt and shirt?  And you couldn't even wash your hair for the occasion? I mean come on!  You don't belong here. Only rich, sophisticated, and fashionable people are welcome here."

I heard the Inner Critic and I took a deep breath, forgave myself for the judgments, smoothed out my outfit, circa 2002:), and walked with Ben to our seats.  We walked passed Level One, then Two, the Three, Four, and finally we came to the last balcony level, the home of our seats.

I knew that we had obtained discount tickets from an old co-worker of Ben's, but I was very surprised about exactly how far from the stage we ended up sitting.  I started to feel a bit heavy with the clouds of Ill Negativo...(lol...instead of Ill Nino:) 

I felt insignifcant way up there and how would I ever hob nob with celebrities if we kept sitting in the nose bleeds, and would we be able to see the emotion on the faces of the dancers (my favorite part), and what message are we sending to the Universe by getting discount tickets, and my eyes hurt...blah, blah, blah...

Well, I was feeling pretty self righteous and indignant and I was just about to share my lovely feelings with my unsuspecting husband when a beautiful mom and her three elementary age girls sat down next to us. 

The little girls were totally bubbling with excitement leaning over the balcony, in awe of their experience.  Just then, one of them squealed.

"These are the BEST SEATS ever.  We can see everything!!!  We are SO LUCKY!!"

I laughed at myself and my silly adult mindgames.  I felt tears in my eyes because I was so touched by gratitude for this young sage who taught me so much that night.  I yearned to embrace this young lady with so much wisdom and grace and thank her for waking me up.


Opening my eyes to the magic, the miracles, the blesssings, and the gifts that are part of this season and EVERY season...

If only we choose to SEE.

Coach Cora is an Intuitive Wellness Coach specializing in helping her clients love their bodies, own their power, and live their dreams. She offers life changing one-one-one tele-coachingPlease contact her at cora@sexysoulwellness.com for more information or to schedule a complimentary chat.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Dark Night(s) of My Soul


Had you ventured into my apartment last night at around 8pm, walked through the kitchen, and into the hallway, you might have found me curled in a ball, writhing on the floor, crying my eyes out.

Not the most heart warming of sights to be sure, but a victory for me nonetheless.

Through much of this lifetime, up until recently, I have been uncomfortable with the Dark within; sad feelings, anger, etc.  It was TOTALLY okay for other people (friends, family, clients) to feel and express those emotions, but not me.
Then, two days ago, something arose inside of me.

I was triggered by some old body/Self loathing feelings, and I allowed them to take me over.  There were points in these past couple days where I felt like a demon had my throat and was squeezing as hard as possible.  I literally felt like a war between good and evil was going on inside my body.

My Energy Healer told me this was the death of a False Self.  That really resonated.  This voice that told me I wasn't good enough to run a business, to be successful at grad school, to have friends or a loving family...this voice that told me I wasn't pretty enough, smart enough, slim enough, to be worthy of living. was not giving up easily.  This False Self was trying  to take over.

Yet she didn't win.

Here is my Victory:

I did not fight the Dark from rising.  I let it come up and OUT.  In the past, I would have pushed it down, pretended to be fine, numbed myself with distractions.

This time I danced with the Dark.

This time I was wracked with emotions like fear, self-loathing, anger, blame, and unworthiness.  They vibrated through my body.

This time I called my Support Network; friends, family, BEN, my Energy Healer, my Intuitive Eating Coach.  I shared with them how I was TRULY feeling, not what sounded good.  I let them see me, hear me, in my Dark.

This time I did not run.

Had you ventured into my apartment at 10am THIS morning, walked through the kitchen and into the hallway, you would have seen me at the dining room table, writing, laughing, crying a little, but with gratitude.

The Dark Night(s) of My Soul have passed.  I am here, stronger of heart, standing in my authentic Truth of wholeness, having truly tasted the Dark, I am still here.

Standing in the light of  this New Day.  This New Beginning.

Standing in reverence to a death of a False Self...and a Re-Birth.

Standing in the truth that this too shall pass, did pass, and all that I encounter and experience serves my expansion, my learning, my growth.

Standing lovingly in the Light and the Dark that is Me.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Life is a PARTY


I love Halloween.

I love dressing up, scaring myself and others, and dancing until dawn with my friends and family, and hey, why not strangers?

Yet for years, I have not celebrated Halloween. No parties, no costumes, nothing.  My RSVP to all of Halloweend was always NO.  Why? Was it a religious decision?  Not enough money?  No creativity for the costume?

Nope. My reasoning was much more simple.

And here it  is:  Unbelievably high expectations.  And the fear that I could not meet them.  I would disappoint myself and others.

For example, if I was going to wear a costume, it was going to be the best friggin' costume in the room.  If I was going to throw a bash, it HAD to be the party of the century.  My standards for myself regarding Halloween and the traditions around it were holding me back from enjoying it or even participating.  (Don't even get me started on New Year's Eve)

Unfortunately, I sometimes live my life this way.  I dream really big.  Then, if those dreams seem too overwhelming or too INCREDIBLE, I decide to play it safe.  I don't even start taking small steps towards my goals.  They are TOO scary.  What if I actually find success? What will that look like?  Will I be all alone?  What if I get rejected? That would be awful! I wouldn't know how to keep living. 

Like Halloween.  In the past, I've stayed home in my pajamas because of my big dreams for the night.  I'd rather do that than disappoint myself or others.  My RSVP is NO.

Up Until Now.

This Halloween, Ben and I are throwing a huge PARTY!  And if you are in the NYC area, please come!

This Halloween, I've picked out a FABULOUS costume, thanks to my dear intuitive friend Nick. (love ya!) And I am ready to get my SEXY on!  Will the party be a success? I don't know!  I DO know that I will have a blast, flowing with the energy of gratitude for all my amazing friends and the love and joy I have for get togethers.  Will my costume be the best? WHO CARES?  I'm just  excited for my blond wig and red lipstick!

This Halloween has already taught me so much about life.  Will I stay home?  Feeling safe and small, but a little restless, knowing there is something more out there for me?  Or will I join this amazing party that is LIFE?  Dressed to the nines and ready for the magic, miracles, and okay maybe the challenges that might occur?

Absolutely!  My RSVP is YES!

Friday, October 22, 2010

In Honor of Casey the Wonderdog



When we love a pet, we experience God.

My beautiful sister Sarah is taking her golden retriever Casey to the vet today.  The reason for the visit is truly somber. Casey has been fighting cancer for many months and today is the day he will cross over the Rainbow Bridge.

There are tears in my eyes as I write this, as I recall all the amazing pictures of beautiful Casey and the love and light that always emanates from his eyes.  Sarah and Casey are family to each other, so Casey is family to me.  And always will be.

Dogs have so much to teach us.  Their raw vulnerability, enthusiasm for life, and unconditional loving are deeply angelic qualities.  Dogs have not forgotten where they come from or who they truly are.  They are SUCH souls having an animal experience.

Sarah, I love you.  You are such a loving mom to Casey and so brave for making such a difficult decision full fo so much support and care.

Casey, thank you for gracing our lives with your unbelievable spirit.  Your legacy will live on in our family and beyond.  May we continue to learn and grow from from your presence with each day.

When Ben and I had to put Babicat to sleep, Sarah was the first person to write us sending so much love, and emailing us the following poem:

Just this side of heaven, is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.
All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

Casey, soon "absent from our lives, but never from our hearts".  We lift your life to the sky today, and we are forever grateful for your time on this Earth.  We love you.

When we love a pet, we experience God.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Is it too Late for your Dreams?




Is it too late for me?

I went to my first Acting Workshop this weekend and it knocked my socks off. I was Home.  I was with my tribe.  I was moved to tears by how passionately I yearned to discover all the nuances and strategies around acting.  I described myself to the class as the Prodigal Daughter of Performing, trying to get back into the family, to come home.

My Inner Critic was there too. 

You’re 29.  How can you get started now? You missed the boat girlfriend. Too late for you. Haven’t you seen all your gray hair lately? You are past your prime. Who would want to work with you?

Okay Inner Critc, I hear you. I am no Selena Gomez to be sure, but I have my own song to sing…there will be parts for me, opportunities, and times to shine in my own way. I believe it.  I know it. 

Is it too late for me?

I’ve been a singer since I could talk, a dancer since I could walk.  Even when I wasn’t officially “pursuing” performing, I was public speaking for my business, singing in choirs, and definitely creating comedy sketches with friends, family, and even strangers (sometimes without their permission)

Is it too late for me?

It is never too late to remember the song in my heart, the music that only I have been entrusted to share with the world.  As a kid I knew my Calling, yet through adulthood, began to forget.

Up until Now.

Is it too late for me?

It is NEVER too late for any of us share our authentic truth, the music only we can hear.

It is never too late for any of us to come Home.


To hear more about Sexy Soul Wellness and Coach Cora, please visit www.sexysoulwellness.com

Thursday, September 30, 2010

My Friend Intuition

Who did I betray? How could I??? Read all about it my latest blog!! LOVE YOU ALL!

 My Sexy Soul has moved!

Click here: www.sexysoulwellness.com/blog

Thanks so much for your support!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

People Pleasers Anonymous


My name is Cora and I am a People Pleaserholic.

I'd LOVE to say "Up Until Now" or "In the Past" ...I  have been a People Pleaser.

Unfortunately today, my disease struck again.

I told my amazing friend Elizabeth that I would meet her at church. 1:45...I will be there.  No problem.

At 1pm, I sent the infamous text that did not go through, "I am not sure if I can make it to church today.  My body is telling me to slow down and not try to rush to be anywhere."  For some reason the AT&T wizard was mad at me, because he stole the text and ate it up for lunch.

Then at 2:10, (okay already really late), I sent another one.  "I'm not coming. I can't wait to hear all about it.  Enjoy!"

Suddenly, I looked at my phone and realized that the first text had disappeared into the nothingness.  And my addiction began to take over. I pictured beautiful Elizabeth, all alone and standing outside the church staring longingly into the stream of people walking down 86th St.  She would smile, thinking she caught a glimpse of me, and then her heart would fall as she realized it was just another 20-something brunette juggling 3 or 4 ridiculously large mismatching bags. (as per my usual...gym bag, grocery bag, purse...at least I don't have one of those little new york doggies because that would warrant yet ANOTHER bag)

"Oh Cora," My Authentic Self said to my small self. "Don't be silly.  Elizabeth is FINE. She is loving church and having a great time.  Trust me, her happiness is not dependent on you."

Okay. I felt better.  Then I went home and proceeded to punish myself.  The punishment of choice? I ate Ben's left over sub sandwich.  This thing had ingredients that my body hasn't tasted in years. Of course,  my energy plummeted.  I could have fallen asleep on my dining room floor.

Noticeably down and out, I tried to go for a walk to regain my spirits.  Yet, all I kept thinking was that Elizabeth was mad at me and so was God.  I mean I skipped church for the sauna at my gym for Christs...um, I mean for Gosh Sakes.

My goal was to forgive myself and move on BEFORE I was forgiven by Elizabeth or God, yet I was checking my phone every other minute for a text or a call.  Definitely OCD. (Dead giveaway of a People Pleasing Addict)

I walked by a Methodist Church with a 6pm service. Maybe I could find a blond uncannily resembling Elizabeth, bring her here, and pretend the "whole missing church thing" never happened.

Finally, I came home and emailed her. I had texted, called, and now email was my last resort.  Did she hate me?  Was I ex-communicated from the church?  I was devastated.

10 minutes later, I recieved these words from her:


Hi my love!

No worries at all about today! Four of my friends came, I couldn't believe it. I felt like it was my birthday. Of course, I missed you and was sad for you to not meet them but I know it will all happen in time.

I've been with them since the service, so that's why I've been detached from my phone.

I love you!




Oh.
So I felt pretty silly.  

And a little relieved.  Okay A LOT relieved.

Another brilliant opportunity for me to forgive myself for judging my people pleasing tendencies.  Elizabeth and I were fine.  I mean she had FOUR friends with her and felt like it was her BIRTHDAY, people!

I feel better. 

Still waiting for that email, text, or call from God though.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Love Yourself First

I AM PUBLISHED! Click here to read my blog post on my diet and exercise addictions:

http://crazysexylife.com/2010/real-love-yourself-first/

ENJOY!!  Love you all!

Cora, Sexy Soul Wellness

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Lemonade Party Time


When life hands you lemons, throw a Lemonade Party.

I was cast in a play in June, one of my largest dreams come true and I was THRILLED. This was my first audition in New York City and my first chance at taking the stage in Manhattan.

This little country girl had come a long way from from my riveting role of Dolly in Hello Dolly in Hays, Kansas and I was so ready to step into the spotlight and live my dreams.

On August 7th, three days before Opening Night, the male lead dropped out.  The next day, the play was canceled.

I was disappointed to be sure.  I still am. I shed some tears.  Then I picked up my phone to call my parents and tell them they didn't need to fly to NYC anymore.  The play was canceled.

"We still want to come see you," they said.  What?  Still coming?

I called my beautiful in-laws, Sue and Dave.  "We'll still drive down from Buffalo to spend with you and Ben."

"Really?" I thought to myself.  "My family still loves me and wants to come see me, even without my NYC debut?  You mean, I might just be loved for who I AM, not for my accolades or accomplishments?  My family and friends still love me even though my play was canceled?...AMAZING!"

As I emailed the close to 50 incredible people who bought tickets to my play, I realized that I was SO blessed just to have friends who would be willing to come down to NYC, pay money, and watch a small cast in a small production, in an even smaller theater.

In fact, my disappointment and sadness soon transformed to utter and complete gratitude for friends, family, love, and LIFE.  It was then that I realized...WHEN LIFE HANDS YOU LEMONS...HAVE A LEMONADE PARTY!

On what would have been Opening Night, my friends and family converged on my apartment, from as far away as Wichita.  The clothing theme was...Yellow!  The drink of choice, well, of course...Lemonade.  The mood of the party...joyful celebration of ALL of life.  Not just the perceived "wins" or "gains" but ALL of life. 


I am more than one play.  I am more than a performer.   I am  more than my accomplishments or losses. I am Me.  I am ALL of Me.

And I throw one hell of a Lemonade Party.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

In Memory of Jessica

My friend Jessica did not make it to my birthday brunch today.  So I sent her a text to see if she was okay.  In return, I received the following words:

"I'm not sure who this is.  Jessica passed away last Sunday."

I read it again and again, almost praying that the words would shift and tell a different story about this beautiful 26 year old woman, but they did not.

With tears in my eyes, I wrote back.

"Oh my goodness... I'm so sorry.  My name is Cora and I met her on the plane last March and we really connected. My husband and I send our condolences to your family."

 Then the text back.

"She told me about you and was really excited to have met you.  Feel free to call me--her sister, later in the week for more details."

I only met Jessica once more after the amazing plane connection.  We went to lunch in Soho.  I didn't know her well, yet we truly Knew one another. On the plane and at lunch we spoke about life, truly LIVING, not just surviving.  She told me about her dreams and passions and I gave her the book, The Power of Now.  In this world, her spirit was soaring.

During a moment of silence tonight, I pictured Jessica and these words came to me...

"Life is a fleeting moment, a brief exhale, a cherished embrace with humanity....dive in, breathe it in fully, because our time to go Home is closer than we might think."


I heard these words, pictured Jessica, and her spirit was soaring.

Monday, August 02, 2010

The Kiss Hello??


Listen here folks, I'm from Kansas.  We hug.  It's as simple as that.  We see a friend we know, a teacher from years past, heck, the postman, and we share a quick embrace.  There's nothing sexual, odd, or even that personal about it.  In Kansas, a hug is the way to say hello.

So what the heck is this kissing on the cheek business that defines the social etiquette of New York City?  I am so confused.  Do I kiss you on one cheek or both?  Are there certain people I kiss on the cheek and others I don't?  I assume I don't kiss the postman.  And do I go for the right side or the left, because BELIEVE ME, if I choose the wrong side, I may just lay a wet one on your lips.

And then there's the whole business of what to do with the rest of my body.  It seems to me like we try very hard not to let any other part of our bodies touch except a quick cheek to cheek.  Really there is no lip to cheek contact at all.  It's like these fake kisses we blow to the wind.  For this Kansas girl, it seems rather strange and a bit sad.

I remember meeting some of Ben's co-workers for the first time (male) and having them kiss me on the cheek.  I looked at Ben like, "Babe, you do realize you work with a bunch of pervs!"  Or the time my new boss in Connecticut (male) greeted me at a School Cocktail Hour with this whole cheek kissing business.  I almost filed for Employer Sexual Harassment, and he was just practicing proper Greenwich etiquette.

Today, I met my Scene Study partner in the park.  I've met him once before.  He is a nice guy, but I don't know him well.  When we left starbucks after our first meeting, he gave me a hug.  So I assumed that was our hello and goodbye language.

He assumed otherwise.  (These crazy New Yorkers) I went in for the hug and he kissed me on the cheek.  So we were caught in one of those terribly awkward kiss and hugs that feels a bit too intimate for two almost-strangers.

The awkwardness was palpable and I proceeded to blabber on about nothing of particular relevance to anything.  Sigh.

When we parted ways, our language was synchronized.  A quick kiss on the cheeks and brief hug.  A New York City Cowgirl Kansan Combo.  And it worked out just great.

Yet, I can't help but remember the good 'ol days back in Kansas.  When it was simple.  Life was simple, folks were simple, and when I saw a good friend, we would melt into a hello hug.  None of this kissing business.  That was saved for Friday nights at the Swinging Bridge Park and awkward dates at the Drive-In.  (Okay, there was no Drive In, but it seemed to fit so well into my Kansas small town setting)

Do I need to move on?  Accept that I am now a New Yorker?  Kiss my friends on the cheek?  I will try, I will give it a go...but if the cowgirl in me comes out every now and again and wraps you in one big Midwestern embrace, maybe just maybe, you can find your inner Kansan and embrace the simple life with me.

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Co-Manifesting a Juicer

I love the power of co-manifestation and the law of attraction. To those who are wondering, co-manifestation means that I set my intention into the Universe, and then surrender it to the will of the Divine for the highest good of all concerned.  I trust that however my intention manifests in my life, if at all, it is exactly what is meant to be.  I adore experiencing the magic and miracles.

My amazing Intuitive Eating/Business Coach, Dr. Dorie, www.drdorie.com, set the intention to manifest beautiful shoes for herself. A few days later she was taking out her trash, and there was a shoe box sitting on top of her neighbor's garbage.  Inside the box, were amazing shoes that fit her perfectly.  A co-manifesting Cinderella Story! Hey, if the shoe fits...WEAR IT!:)

Here is my own testament to the power of co-manifestation. I buy a Green Lemonade from the health food store on my block EVERY DAY.  This has been going on for about a year now.  (It was my lingering Starbucks habit transformed into a "healthier" addiction.)  Sometimes, I buy two of them.  To be totally candid about this habit, a large Green Lemonade (kale, lemon, celery, apple, ginger) is about 9 dollars.  You do the Math. (actually, I already did it: one Green Lemonade a day = 3, 249 dollars)

Ben and I realized that it was only logical to buy our own juicer, right?  I mean, we would start saving mega bucks almost immediately if we invested in this contraption. So, I started setting the intention to manifest a juicer.  I looked on-line, Consumer Reports, Cragislist, etc.  They all seemed a bit pricey to me.  So that is when I changed my intention:

"I am co-manifesting a free juicer, if it be for the highest good of all concerned."

Soon after my shift of intention, I invited two of my amazing friends, Susan and Sandra, over for snacks and socializing. Susan was carrying a large brown box.  What was it?  A juicer!  I kid you not.  She brought the juicer for my other friend Sandra. 

"That is is crazy!" I said.  "I am co-manifesting a juicer too! I am sure this is a sign that it's on it's way!"

One week later: I receive an Facebook message from Sandra: "I've used this juicer once and I really don't think I'm going to make a habit of it.  Would you like it? I'd be happy to drop it off this week."

Co-manifesting a free juicer...CHECK!

Co-manifesting amazing friends who are willing to be uber generous...CHECK!

Co-manifesting a life lived in total gratitude and awe...CHECK!

Hey, if the juicer fits...

Saturday, July 10, 2010

You Changed My Life

CHALLENGE:  Pick ONE PERSON who has changed my life.  Hmmm...This amazing opportunity was given to me by Pattie McBride and her incredible company, Butterfly Nautilus.  The mission is truly amazing.  The company makes beautiful charms that read, "You changed a life".  A customer sends the charm to someone who changed their life, and also posts the story on the Butterfly Nautilus Website!!

For me, the challenge was picking one person.  SOOOO many people in my life are angels to me who have radically changed my life for the better.  Soon however, a name came to me, of person who has positively changed my life multiple times.  She is the fabulous Coriann Bright, my very dear friend, and owner of Bright Living: Home Organization and Design.  www.brightlivingnow.com



Rewind to my freshman year in college, the year I met Miss Bright.  My first year dorm roomie (we will call her Abby) was a force to be reckoned with, and I tried very hard to see the goodness within her harsh exterior.  However, this proved quite a challenge.  Abby called me a bitch for seemingly no reason, punched a hole in our wall fracturing multiple bones in  her hand, tried to sleep with my first college boyfriend, and was addicted to cocaine.  Whew!  Meanwhile, our room was an absolute pigsty because neither of us cared much about keeping it clean and our messed up relationship and negativity was dripping from the walls.

Yet, I continued to try to make this living arrangement work.  I definitely chose the "martyr" mentality.  I was known to exclaim, "Well if I don't live with Abby, who will?"  I didn't want to foist her on anyone else.  However, things became pretty personal when I got her a job at the same gift basket store where I was working.  She slept with the boss's brother, and we were both immediately fired.

I continued to live with Abby, to the chagrin of my loved ones.  It was a bit of a co-dependent relationship.  Rather depressed myself, I tried to focus my attention  on someone else's problems. I egotisically thought I could "save" her.  It was a rather abusive situation.

Then came the mid year opportunity to change roommates.  I decided not to apply for a new placement based on my misguided savior/martyr complex.  Around that same time, on a normal afternoon at Whittier College, I walked into my dorm room, to find all of my items (clothes, bedding, phone, etc) GONE.  Abby was sitting on the floor laughing maniacally. My assumption was that in a cocaine-induced frenzy, she had tossed all my belonging out the window, or sold them. 

Abby  looked at me with the hatred that I was oh so used to seeing. "It was your STUPID friends," she said.  Just then I looked down the hall and there were Cori and Katie, two of my closest amigas.

"We moved you out Cora.  Katie's old roomie just left and you can live with her," Cori said.

I think I cried. I know I'm crying right now.  I later found out that they called residential life pretending to be me and made this whole scheme happen. It was an intervention!! An intervention that literally saved my life.  Truly, I was reborn after I moved in with Katie.  My depression lightened, my living environment was incredible, and I learned what it means to choose my own family.  I also learned the importance of standing up for myself and being my own advocate, even when I am  nervous about possibly hurting someone else's feelings.

Coriann and Katie are my angels.  They picked me up off a ragged and dangerous path, dusted me off with hope, love, and some Clorox wipes, and put me back down in the dorm room of my dreams!:)

Yet, I tell you Coriann has changed my life a second time!! This time she swooped with her company Bright Living Now www.brightlivingnow.com and taught Ben and I incredible apartment design skills and organization strategies.  Our last apartment was a bit of disaster.  We hid it well, but it was still frightening.  Our new apartment is our dream home thanks to Coriann.  She also taught, while she transformed our apartment.  We both learned so much about keeping our apartment simple, classy, and with little or no clutter.  She taught us amazing strategies that we continue to use.  It is true! When we de-cluttered our home,  our lives elavated to a whole new level of quality.

Check out the before and after pix:


 Bedroom: BEFORE


Bedroom: After

Kitchen: BEFORE


Kitchen: AFTER

Coriann, you have positively impacted my life over and over again.  As a designer, an organizer, an advocate, a wise guide, and as a soul friend.  Thank you for teaching me that I deserve the most incredible and loving living environment,  that I can and should stand up for myself and my needs, and most importantly, that family is truly who we choose in our lives.  Thank you for being my sister.

Friday, July 02, 2010

I Love My Body


This image was HUGE and on the side of a building close to Time Square.  It was a VERY large advertisement for Victoria's Secret and next to the picture, were the words: I LOVE MY BODY...

My business, Sexy Soul Wellness, promotes the message, Love Your Body, Own Your Power, Live Your Dreams.  I noticed the words, I LOVE MY BODY first, and I started feeling really excited.  I thought for a minute that Victoria's Secret was actually promoting loving our bodies, our REAL womanly bodies, not some photo shopped, FAKE idea of a woman's body.  Well, I was very wrong.

The picture next to the words speaks for itself.  Victoria's Secret is trying to appeal to a woman's sense of  confidence and self-worth, and at the same time totally slamming any female (99.9% of us) who does not fit this supermodel image.

I could go on and on about how this new Victoria's Secret Ad Campaign makes my skin crawl, however I am reminded of Mother Teresa's quote:


"I was once asked why I don't participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I'll be there."
 
The energy that is created when one or more people are gathered in the name of what we support instead of what we oppose, is so incredibly strong!  So with Mother Teresa's blessing,  I suggest we all have Pro-Body Rallies...let's all get out on the street and love our bodies!  Let's start a revolution of women...and men who accept and feel gratitude, even admiration, for the skin we are in, whatever our size and shape.

Let's throw a Pro-Body PARTY for the fact that we are all uniquely beautiful beings, and shout it from the mountain tops that we will NOT, I repeat, will NOT let Victoria's Secret and most of the current fashion industry define the standard of beauty.  Let's define our own standard...that standard, is me, it's you, it's every Human Being on this planet...no Photo Shop required.

The National Organization of Women's Annual Conference is this weekend in Boston.  It's theme?  "Loving Our Bodies.  Changing the World."


I know the day is coming when THIS is the poster that I see on the side of a Times Square building.  I feel it deep within my soul that my daughters and grandaughters will celebrate their unique amazing beauty, free of the unhealthy and unattainable current standard.

Who's with me?  Pro-Body Rally and PARTY, here I come...Loving our Bodies, Changing the World.

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Love Will Remain



Recently, a close friend of mine was visiting his ailing, 94 year old Grandpa.  My friend was incredibly close to his grandfather, and he could sense that his time to pass was fast approaching.  Curled up next to his grandfather one evening, his grandpa whispered these words in his ear, "When I am gone, the Love between us remains."  With tears in his eyes, my friend held the Love to his heart.

My dear Tutu (Grandma in Hawaiian), passed away in April of 2003, a month before I graduated from Whittier College.  We were best friends and this was a very challenging experience for me.  I had been very excited to dedicate my graduation speech to her, however I was desperately hoping she would be there for the ceremony.  Throughout the speech, I spoke of her Love for people and life, and the way she danced to the beat of her own drum.

After the speech my Mom approached me with a small box. "She bought this for you for your graduation present, " my Mom said gently.  "I found it when I was going through her apartment."

Inside the box, was a beautiful, silver necklace containing four, small, silver rectangles.  Each rectangle had a different word on the front, with the rest of the quote on the back. "Dance like no one is watching. Love like you'll never be hurt.  Sing like no one can hear you.  Live like heaven is on earth." I adored the quote and treasured the necklace deeply.

Two weeks later, I was traveling around Europe and left my backpack in a locked hostel room in Vienna.  When I returned for my bag, I noticed someone had emptied all my jewelry out of my jewelry box.  ALL my bracelets, earrings, and necklaces were gone.

I burst into tears.  I didn't care about anything in that box, except for the necklace from Tutu.  It felt like the one item I owned that held her spirit.  I felt like it kept her in my life.  On the train to Paris, I cried the entire way.

When we arrived in France, I checked into my hostel, and decided to look in my jewelry box one last time.  I noticed a flash of silver.

"What?" I thought to myself. "There was NOTHING in the box in Vienna!"

I reached down and pulled out one silver rectangle, an "impossibility" because the charms were latched on to the rest of the necklace and could not slip or be pulled off. 

However, there it was, the LOVE rectangle, in the box that had once been empty.  I felt Tutu's presence, spirit, and light ALL around me.  With tears in my eyes, I held the Love to my heart.

"Love like you'll never be hurt."

"When I am gone, the love remains."

To  my Tutu, my dear friend's Grampy, to all who have passed...we feel you, we honor you, and we know the LOVE between us remains.

With tears in our eyes, we hold the LOVE to our hearts.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Coming Home to my Dream



We all had one when we were little.  You know, that feeling of aliveness buried in our hearts? That spark of something beautiful to come?  Do you remember it?

I know I do!  My dream.  My dream of performing.

From the time I could speak, I sang.  From the time I could walk, I danced.  From the time I could persuade, I talked folks into watching me perform.  Some of my childhood highlights included amazing Dolly Parton impersonations (balloons under my t-shirt), Karaoke versions of Tears in Heaven by Eric Clapton (tears in everyone's eyes),  and an enthusiastic portrayal of Dolly in Hello Dolly in high-school.

After high-school, I still performed, but it was with less gusto.   I received a part in the One Acts in college where some guy had to shave my legs on stage, a kind of foreplay.  Strange and a bit awkward.  I sang in choir and even played the Queen in the Madrigal Feast.  I soon dated the King.  Score.  Yet, I started to doubt my gifts and dream.  Surrounded by people who were pursuing performing for "real", I felt like I couldn't keep up.

I compared myself to others.  I didn't feel as pretty as Cori or as talented as JR.  I started to hide my gifts.  I became a Political Science major, took a job at the Boys and Girls Club, and became President of practically every organization at Whittier College to keep incredibly busy.  I was running away from my true dream.

I thought my dream of performing had abandoned me, but really I CHOSE not to see it anymore.

The amazing thing is, our dreams don't leave us.  If they are Divinely inspired, and for the highest good of all concerned, our dreams, like true soulmates, are waiting expectantly for us to come home to them.  To embrace them, and fully surrender to our Divine birthrights as Dreamers AND Doers.

Two weeks ago, this little girl from Kansas attended my FIRST NYC theater audition!  It was thrilling. The day of the audition, I was writing in my journal.  I wrote:

"Oh my goodness.  I'm really doing this.  I am finally doing this..."

And the words voice to me:

"You were born to do this."

Duly noted.

“Great dreams contain inexhaustible truths, and orient us like runes, to our futures.  One hesitates to explain them; one wants to dance them, act them out in living gestures. the more we put ourselves into a great dream, the more we get  back.  Great dreams are wells that never run dry.”-Michael Grosso

And my future now includes my first NYC theater PERFORMANCE, August 11-13, at the Manhattan Summer Repertory Theater Festival.  

I was born to do this.  

Embracing my true dream, I have come home.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Angels in the Super Shuttle



Swing low, sweet chariot. Coming for to carry me home.  A band of angels coming after me. Coming for to carry me home.

When I was three, my parents decided to get divorced.  We were living in California at the time, and my dad moved to Council Grove, Kansas, to accept his first job as an ordained minister.  This began the chapter in my life of Winter Breaks and Summers with my Dad in Kansas, and the rest of the time with my Mom in California.

Sometimes the transitions were very difficult and I would scream and cry in confusion and defiance towards all the changes and separations.   At times, I felt very lonely. Yet, I was never alone.

Angels.

One night when I was 4 or 5, I was laying in my bed in Kansas feeling a bit dark and sad.  I felt a presence of light and love next to my bed and I heard the words, "Forgive them.  It's not their fault. It's not your fault.  It just is."

So I did.  Thank you, angels.

Around age 7 or 8,  I begged my dad to let me wake up for a meteor shower that was scheduled for 2:15 A.M. He said no, due to the timing of the event.  I asked my angels to "Please, please, PLEASE wake me up in time to see the magic."  I sat up in bed at 2:12.

Thank you angels.

I was never truly alone.  I had my angels.  They helped me through much of my childhood.  I talked with them, laughed with them, shared secrets about my crush on Will, the seventh grader who could sing like an angel.

Then, around 4th grade, I stopped hearing them or seeing their light.  Until last weekend, I didn't understand why they had abandoned me. 

This weekend, at my Spiritual Psychology program, I uncovered a deep, dark memory of being about 8 years old and feeling like I had done something horribly wrong to another child.  Instead of recognizing the experience as a learning moment, normal experimentation, and "not that big of a deal", I decided I was awful, a monster even. 

At 8 years old I concluded that my humanness could not be trusted, that my touch was dangerous, and I was a bad person.   My whole life, I thought the angels left me because I was so awful.

I decided to embark on an incredibly deep experience of self-forgiveness.  I shared my story with a safe, loving listener and I recognized all the judgments and limiting beliefs that surfaced from this short moment in time.

I went back to the 8 year old child and held her, telling her she did not do anything wrong or bad.  She is a beautiful, loving, spirit.  She is always safe, always loved, always protected.  And I believed it.  I re-framed the whole experience as part of my life's curriculum and an experience that was necessary for my healing, growth, and spiritual evolution.

Through this healing process, I have come to embrace mySelf, my inner 8 year old, and my Divinity, and most of all my GORGEOUS, PRECIOUS HUMANNESS in a whole new way.  I truly feel reborn, baptized in the spirit, and washed clean. I trust my physical body and my healing touch again.  I feel my inner and outer beauty like a graceful bird who is spreading her wings for the first time.

At one point during this process, I looked up at the sky and said, "God, do you forgive me?"  I heard rolling laughter and the answer that came touched me to the core.  "Of course, if that was really my job, I would forgive you.  But, how can I forgive, when I do not judge?  You need to forgive yourself.  You are the one who chose the judgment."

So I did.  And when I felt the forgiveness wash over me like a white light or crystal river, I saw my heart, large, shining and full of Love.  Yet, there was a bit of dirt, darkening a part of my heart.  Then, I heard a flutter, and a pair of wings flashed into my vision and washed off the dirt.  My heart was clean.

Thank you Angels.

It was in that moment that I heard them, their music.  In that moment, I felt their light and warmth.  "We have never left you. Not for one moment. You chose not to see or hear us.  We celebrate this homecoming with you, Beloved."

Swing low, sweet chariot. Coming for to carry me home.  A band of angels coming after me. Coming for to carry me home.

This morning, at 5am, I stepped into my Chariot.  The Super Shuttle taking me to LAX.  As I opened the door to the van, I was greeted by an amazing love-filled face. 

This beautiful woman and I struck up a conversation.  We connected on a deep soul level.    What is your life's work?" I asked her.

"I practice the art of healing touch, Reiki." she responded.  I felt my heart warm as I looked into her eyes.

"And I communicate with angels," she said.

She handed me her card.

It read:  Leah Sherman, Healing Touch Practicioner, Certified Angel

A band of angels coming after me, coming for to carry me home.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Mask Smashing Party



Yesterday, I glanced down at an invitation sitting on a hallway table at the family's house where I tutor.  The invite read:

Max is Turning 10!
Come to his Mask-Making Party!

I stopped dead in my tracks. Noooo!!! Masks? As we grow older, we form so many masks, covering up the Divine Being within us.  And here is a party celebrating this great charade?

Just moments later, I heard the 6 year old telling his older sister, "When I'm in 5th grade, I get to make REAL masks in school! I can't wait! Isn't that cool?"

I watch his bright eyes glisten with excitement, and I want SO badly to protect him from the inevitable mask making that occurs in all of our lives.  As a teacher, I witnessed this process so clearly in the elementary schools.  Children are such glowing, authentic souls naturally.  They remember who they really are.  Then comes 4th or 5th grade.  I watched as they started to "make masks" to conform to what they think their teachers, parents, society, and most of all PEERS want them to look like and be. 

Here are some of the masks chosen by Yours Truly:  The Funny One, The Party Animal, The Flirt, The Ditz, The Tortured Artist, The Philanthropist, The Prom Queen, The Over Achiever, The Holier than Thou, The Hippi, The Teacher, The Performer, The Good Daughter, Good Friend, Good Wife, Good Everything, The Pollyanna.

I could go on and on. The point is, at some time in my life, probably around 4th grade, I decided that me being ME, wasn't good enough. And I got down to the task mask making.  Interestingly enough, all of these "masks" are part of this Character Cora, and they all serve me in different ways, in fact wearing them can be really fun!

The danger is when I mistake my TRUE identity for one of the masks, instead of seeing them for what they are: Costumes and I get to CHOOSE to wear when I want to play!  They are not  ME.  Masks do not need to cover up my Soul, my Divine Being that shines from within ALL THE TIME when I don't cover it up!!

"Love takes off the masks we fear we cannot live without, and know we cannot live within.  I use the word love here not in the infantile sense of being made happy,  but in the tough and universal sense of quest and daring and growth."-James Baldwin

So guess what everyone?? YOU ARE INVITED TO A PARTY!!!

We are beginning to remember who we are REALLY, underneath all the masks...so we are going to celebrate!

Come to the Mask Smashing Party!!

We will dance, sing, laugh, cry, hold each other, and smash are masks with the unbelievable power of LOVE.

Then we will joyfully look into each others eyes.  I will SEE you.  You will SEE me.  We will be ONE.

Underneath all the masks, our true identity will be so clear...

We are LOVE.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

What is the Point Ms. Poage?

I just found this piece of writing from 1/12/2005. I wrote this while I was teaching First Grade at Waterside School.  (http://www.watersideschool.org) I decided to re-print...



This year we were very excited to watch one of our first graders, Alyssa, move up to Second Grade after Christmas Break.  She had been held back this year, but by mid-semester she was ready to join her previous class!

We made the announcement to the First Graders on the last day of school before Break.  We explained that she would be right across the hall and the students would see her often.   Most of our class were enthused for Alyssa, and some were a bit confused.

As we prepared the party and the cake, Nahmie, another student, grabbed me by the hand and said, "I need to talk to you Ms. Poage and I need to talk to you out HERE."  She led me out of the classroom and into the hallway, where we sat down at two small chairs.

"Ms. Poage," Nahmie began. "Where is Alyssa going?"

I explained the situation again.

"Why?" she asked.

"At the beginning of the year, we decided that Alyssa had more to learn from First Grade, and we had more to learn from her, so she stayed with us.  But now she is ready to join the Second Graders!  Isn't that wonderful?"

Thinking Nahmie was confused about the situation, or maybe even envious that Alyssa was moving up I tried to explain the situation logically.


"Do you understand?"  I looked into her eyes, which still looked weary. "You will have a chance for Second Grade also."

Suddenly her eyes filled with tears and she threw her arms around me.  Then, she looked straight in MY eyes.  "That is not the point Ms. Poage.  The point is that she is my best friend in the class and I am going to miss her."

That is not the point Ms. Poage. Those words live in my heart and mind to this day. Nahmie, at six years old, could see right through my rational response, and chose to open my eyes to what really mattered.  She wasn't jealous of Alyssa, or even confused.  Nahmie's heart was broken.  She loved Alyssa, and Alyssa was leaving.

How much we can learn from the heart of a child.  That is not the point, Ms. Poage, she said, when the world and society can tell us the opposite, emphasizing competition and at times, apathy towards others.

"What is the point then Nahmie?"  I wanted to ask. I wanted to know, because at 23, I feel like I have forgotten.

But I hugged her, I loved her, and I learned from her...my wise six year old.  And maybe, just maybe, THAT is the point.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

My Prince Charming

As little girls, many of us are raised with the idea of finding wholeness, happiness, and our dreams, once we meet our Prince Charming and he "saves" us from our apparent life of mediocrity.  (Thank you Disney)  Before meeting Ben, I was constantly asked if I was dating anyone "yet", as if I would not be a worthy or whole woman until I met my man...

My freshman year of college, my friend Brittany wanted to set me up on a date with a water polo player at University of Southern California, actually the top water polo player in the country.  He was also VERY physically attractive conventionally.  Like, probably top 1%.   (think...Brad Pitt, George Clooney,  Justin Bieber???) Could this be my Prince Charming? The man to "save me" and give me wholeness, validate my worth, and allow me truly pursue my dreams?

The night of the Big Date, I spent hours picking out an outfit, straightening my hair, and applying my makeup.  Finally, with my heart beating extremely rapidly and sweat pouring profusely from my body, this little girl from Kansas was ready to meet the Big Man on Campus, Mr. Water Polo, my Prince Charming.

We drove to USC, parked, and headed into the dorms. I was so excited to meet  him, however our initial interaction was quite awkward.  He took one look at me, pulled Brittany into the adjoining room, and announced, loud enough for me to easily hear it...

"She is NOT pretty enough for me."

Whew.  My ego was not happy.  Tears streamed down my face.  In fact, all I wanted to do was run, fly back to my campus and to the safety of my apparent mediocrity.  The night was intense and I had to stay, as I had no way of getting home.  

I've often wondered how and if this experience has continued to script my life to this day...and then in class last weekend, I had a vision that I am processing.  In the vision, I was a marionette puppet attached to all these strings that were pulling me this way and that.  Who was the puppeteer?  MEN.  At many points in my life, including, but not limited to the night at USC, I have handed over my strings, my power, to men.  I have looked for male validation for so much of my life to give me permission to dance, to design my life, to save me.

If a man told me he heard I was easy,  I would become a prude.  If a man said he liked my hair long, I would swear to never cut it again.  If a guy I thought was handsome told me I wasn't pretty enough, I agreed and decided I would never be loved or ENOUGH.   I thought marrying my "Prince Charming" would stop this cycle of needing outside validation from men, but up until now, it hasn't.

However, in this vision last weekend, I pictured me, the puppet, BUSTING THROUGH THOSE STRINGS....I am dancing to my own music, my own rhythm.  I take my power back.  God is my Co-Director.  It's me and Spirit now!  Designing and choreographing my BEAUTIFUL dance through this Life...

So Mr. USC, I forgive myself for buying into the misunderstanding that I am not pretty enough.  I forgive myself for buying into the misunderstanding that I need validation from men, from anyone, to feel whole, beautiful, and enough.  I forgive myself for believing I needed a Prince Charming to save me.  And I am grateful for that experience and many that have followed.

No man is going to save me...no man is going to make feel whole or worthy or beautiful.  I don't need that anymore.  There is only one true quest to healing, Love, and wholeness and that is the journey within.

My Date with God.

I joyfully drive down into the dorms of my soul, where I meet the Source, the Divine, my true Prince Charming.  He holds me in a loving embrace and I remember where I came from, who I am as a Being of Beauty and Light...and I hear his words, like a waterfall of Love...

"You have always been and will forever be ENOUGH."

Thursday, April 29, 2010

God: Now Hiring

I am soon to be leaping into the career unknown, shifting from my J-O-B to Full Time living the vocation of my dreams (my glamorous and exciting calling as a speaker, writer, coach, and performer)!!!  This is huge and amazing and super scary as well.  Sometimes I'm immersed in such faith and trust that I feel as if could walk a tight rope across the Long Island Sound, balancing babies on my head.  Other moments, I feel ready to curl up in a ball and see if McDonald's is hiring.

 Yesterday, I was walking to the gym and I glanced at a sign that said Gap: Now Hiring.  I chuckled to myself and mumbled, "It's only a block away from my apartment, maybe I should go in and check it out."

Suddenly, new, shimmering words flashed across my line of vision: GOD: NOW HIRING...

I stopped dead in my tracks, smiled up at the blue spring sky, and said, "I hear you, I hear you."  When God speaks, whether it is with words, actions, or symbols like the sign that I saw, I am going to listen.

God is hiring, taking applications for our Divine birthright, asking us to claim our calling, our life purpose.  There are no interviews, because the Divine knows us as Her own.  We are one and the same.  The job turnover rate is 0% because once we are living our life's work, we are in the flow, co-manifesting magic and miracles with every breath we take.  There is no reason to run.  No reason to hide.  No reason to have it all "figured out" yet.

God: Now Hiring...The BEST BOSS EVER!!!  And the benefits like peace, non-judgement, fulfillment, wholeness, and unconditional love cannot be beat.

God: Now Hiring...sign up now or sign up later.  It's my choice.  It's your choice.  I choose Now. 

Friday, April 16, 2010

Let's Get Naked



A note to my parental units that may be reading this:  You may feel similarly to the father on Coyote Ugly who walked into the dive bar to find his only daughter dancing on top of a bar...consider yourself sufficiently warned.

Today I got naked.  And no, I am not talking about undressing for the shower or to change into my work out clothes. I, Cora Poage, got naked at a PUBLIC Sauna at my gym. 

This mortifying experience actually happened by accident.

Normally, I wrap a towel around my body, and meditate inside the warmth and steam of the room.  For me, it is literally, a tiny piece of heaven.  Yet, I always have that towel protecting me, keeping me safe, allowing no one to truly "see" me. 

Until today...I sat up a little straighter after my meditation and to my horror my towel unraveled and fell to my side.  I sucked in a breath and made sure no one was inside or venturing into the sauna, as I scrambled to bring the towel back to it's proper home.

Yet, something told me to wait.  A whisper.  My intuition?  My authentic self?  The pervert with the video camera peering in from the guy's locker room?  (typical high-school old wive's tale...)

Now I have never been a "naked" kinda gal in my life. (in the past)  I am the girl in high-school who brought my gym clothes to a closed stall to change.  I've been a "lights off in the bedroom" person,   I have NEVER skinny dipped, although I think I faked it once in college.  There are very few naked baby pictures of me.  In fact, I literally think I came out of my mom's womb screaming, "Towel, GIVE ME A TOWEL...WAAAAH!"

Yet today, in the sauna, the towel fell just as I was stating one of my favorite affirmations, "I am enthusiastically loving and accepting ALL of me.  I am living My Truth out loud with gusto."

I took three deep breaths and I felt the warmth and steam touch my body, ALL of my body.  I tried to let go of self-consciouness, of self-judgement and I just breathed in the moment.  I looked at my body from a place of unconditional love and I tried to see myself the way God sees me.  I sent my naked Being prayers of deep gratitude for all my body allows me to experience, enjoy, and partake in on this Earthly plane.

I taste amazing foods, feel the silky fur of my cat, kiss the soft lips of my husband, hear the ocean water stroking the sand, dance to my heart's content, and see the loving essence of other Beings whom I love.  I may be a soul having a human experience, but this naked body of mine sure does help make the human stuff way more fun!

On my path of self-love and acceptance, I realize that loving my nakedness is truly important. Not only for the literal interpretation of this amazing lesson in the sauna, but also for the symbolic meaning of the towel.

In the past, I have kept a "towel" around me in life, trying to cover parts of me (personality traits, etc) that I didn't think were attractive or well-received by others. I used this metaphorical towel to tone down my light, keep playing small, and hide out in the corner of the sauna.  Afraid of my nakedness, I even hid from God.

Yet today, I am taking off my towels BOTH of them...I am dancing around this sauna of Life, letting my light shine, my nakedness be witnessed, and I am playing it Big.

"I am enthusiastically loving and accepting ALL of me.  I am living my Truth out loud with gusto."

So everyone, are you with me?  Are you ready?  Are you willing?

LET'S GET NAKED!!!

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Prom Queen Strikes Again

I am not my body. I am not my actions. I am not my "wins" or "losses".

I am a center of pure, loving consciousness.


This weekend, I was in Los Angeles attending my Graduate School, University of Santa Monica where I am receiving a degree in Spiritual Psychology. This month we had presentations as well.

"Great, awesome, fabulous," I thought to myself. "I love public speaking, love presenting. This will be a beautiful experience."

My dear readers, I was positively jazzed for this assignment. I spent an hour or so creating posters for my Spiritual Approach called IsCupid Matchmaking Services or Inner Soulmate Cupid.:) "Our mission is to pair our clients with their Inner Soulmate. We believe that the deepest life partnership is the one within."

A blast to write and a joy to present, I spoke about the importance of Self Dating and falling in love with your Inner Soulmate. The benefits of the approach included wholeness, the Knowing of one's Intrinsic Self Worth, and also the Remembrance of our unending Union with Source.

Well, all was peaceful and fine in Cora Land UNTIL our small group (we presented in front of 15 other people or so) VOTED ON THE BEST PRESENTATION. The top presenters from each group would share their approach with the whole school.

I am not my body. I am not my actions. I am not my "wins" and "losses".

I am a center of pure, loving consciousness.


Suddenly, I felt a part of my Basic Self, my Ego, coming forward into my awareness. I call her the Prom Queen.

"Ooooh! A competition," the Prom Queen squealed. "You have to win. I mean, public speaking is YOUR thing. And come on, Cora, you know that in order to a be STAR student at USM you have to be picked to perform."

Then my Higher Self, "I hear you Prom Queen and I understand what you are saying. I love you. However, I trust and surrender to this process. Whoever is "meant" to present, will be the one to receive this opportunity."

Deep breath. We voted. I tied for the top presentation. We voted again. I "lost".

Deep breath. I truly found a place of gratitude and acceptance within. However, once in awhile I would still hear the Prom Queen saying, "You aren't a truly successful student because you didn't win."

The next day, the day of the final presentations, I felt a bit off. I noticed that I was seeking outside affirmation or ego strokes from others including my friends and teachers. It was like I was trying to make up for this perceived "loss". It did not feel very good and it felt especially incongruent with my Authentic Self.

Through an incredible counseling trio, I was able bring up that Prom Queen and really address that for years, I searched for my self worth through accolades and outside affirmation. I wanted to be the best student, loved by the teachers, the best friend, adored by her peers, and most notably I wanted to "win".

As I looked deeper into this part of myself and my life, I thought of my Spritiual Approach, my presentation. If I am in union with my Inner Soulmate, I am in love with Self, in the Knowing of my unending union with Source, and totally aware of my intrinsic self worth as a Divine Being having a human experience.

When my Prom Queen popped up, I recognized that I was letting her run the show, instead of Spirit, of God. I was allowing my Ego to make me feel "less than worthy" and in desperate need of outside affirmation.

I was allowing the Prom Queen to be my Queen, my God, my partner in life. Instead of my Inner Soulmate, my Authentic Self.

Time for Self-Forgiveness...

"I forgive myself for buying into the misunderstanding that I need affirmation from the outside to prove my worthiness."

That feels wonderful. Deep Breath. My Prom Queen is a part of me. I am grateful for her. I am. She served a purpose in my life for many years. But I don't need her anymore. She can rest, take off her crown.

Better yet, she can give the crown to my Inner Soulmate.

I blink back tears of love as I watch the beautiful "best" presentations. I am in awe of the Divine wisdom, the love, the courage of all of the presenters. Especially the Goddess who presented from my group. Her light shines so bright as she speaks, her love and words touch me to the core.

I feel absolutely HONORED to be in the audience, to be witnessing and supporting my amazing classmates. The Universe really knows what She is doing...

I am not my body. I am not my actions. I am not my "wins" or "losses".

I am Center of Pure Loving Consciousness.
I AM my Inner Soulmate.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

BECOME YOUR DREAM

I yelled at my husband today. Well, at least my voice became louder and a bit more intense. I admit it. javascript:void(0)

This was not his fault. I do not blame him. He didn't even trigger me. Basically, I was yelling at MYSELF...through poor Ben.

Why was I feeling tension within?

My Soul is ready to soar as a business owner and entrepreneur. (YAY!) I am ready to shed my old skin of Super Woman Health and transform my business into a company that is truly congruent with my authentic Self and my Divine calling in life. This is playing it REALLY BIG! This is truly living my life's mission of serving the world through the teaching of self-love, owning our power, and living our dream lives.

Yet, my small self feels some fear about this. Mostly this comes up around the name of my company. I feel a deep call to the name: SEXY SOUL WELLNESS. It speaks to my truth, my heart, my mission on this earth. To help other women re-claim their inner Sexy, their Goddess within and celebrate that power! When I say, I am Cora Poage, Owner of Sexy Soul Wellness, my spirit starts to sing and dance.

However, I have received feedback that "sexy" might scare some people away, or attract the "wrong" type of clientele...LOL. I am nervous that my business might be a little "too much" for some people to handle. I am even worried about seeming risque or something.

Yet, I can't shake the feeling that this name is speaking to me for a reason. I feel that SEXY SOUL WELLNESS will attract just the right top of client for me. Im motivated to re-claim the word SEXY as empowered feminine characteristic! My daily affirmation is "I am enthusiastically loving and accepting ALL of me. I am living my truth Out Loud with Gusto." This is my dream business name, this is living Out Loud.

Yesterday, I was walking down 85th and I was feeling deep gratitude for all the amazing blessings that I have been receiving from the Universe lately. I glanced to my right, where someone had discarded a large, red easy chair. Written very largely in permanent marker, were the words, BECOME YOUR DREAM.

Today, I walked out of my favorite Health Food Store on 3rd Ave, and saw a rather disgusting discarded mattress on the street. In large black permanent marker, was the message: BECOME YOUR DREAM.

I hear you Universe! Thank you. I am ready.

To Do List:

1. Call Ben and apologize.

2. Read the Goddess Oracle Card that I drew today: PELE: DIVINE PASSION..."Be honest with yourself: What is you heart's true desire?" OMG.

3. Change my business name to Sexy Soul Wellness.

4. BECOME MY DREAM

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Who are YOUR Bridge Partners?

"We are getting so great at Bridge!", my 84 year old client shared with me. "My husband and I are tickled pink because we truly beat everyone we play!" She laughed and then continued, "Do you know what my son said when I told him that we are winning every game?"

Her son is President of a major Institution, and a widely known, very successful inspirational speaker and teacher.

She continued, "He said to me, 'Mom, then you are playing with the wrong people.'"

I love this advice because at some point in our lives, as our skills grow, our wisdom increases, and we aren't learning anymore, we have to make the choice to find new Bridge partners or risk playing small for the rest of our lives. It reminds me of high-school basketball games. Our coach would often yell, "You guys are playing down to the other team's level. You are so much better than them." We often played our best games against the most skilled teams.

I just returned to Manhattan from an incredible girlfriend retreat with my beautiful friend Molly. Every time I spend time with Molly in person, or over the phone, I am challenged, inspired, and awakened. Her depth of Being, her spiritual journey, and her incredible wisdom are so life giving for me. When I am with Molly, I am Me. No filter, no playing small, no trying to hide my light, or my dark, for that matter. I am truly alive and in the Now.

When I am with Molly, I am definitely playing Bridge with the RIGHT person.

Ali Brown, A Business and Empowerment Coach, shared in one of her tele-seminars that we are the sum of the five people in our lives with whom we spend the most time.

Who are my Top 5?

The children I tutor
The Chef at the house of the children I tutor (I REALLY love her gazpacho, so I tend to "drop in" to the kitchen quite often!!)

Ben (husband)

Probably in that order...oh boy. These are my bridge partners. Am I truly playing with the right people in my life?

Ali began to take questions from the class. One woman (We'll call her Susan) shared that she had all these huge dreams and goals and she was so excited about them, but her friends seemed less than enthused when she shared these aloud. They told her that her dreams were "kinda big and crazy."

What did Ali say? You might have guessed already, but her response was as follows; "It's time to get new friends." She went on to share that Susan didn't have to STOP loving her old friends, but needed to find other people who supported her, who wanted to play it BIG in life also.

Ali recommended that it was time for Susan to start playing Bridge with the right people.

My senior year of high-school, I had a major shift in life perspective around the time of Hurricane Katrina. The day I heard about the catastrophe, I couldn't sleep at night. I kept picturing people trying to sleep without a roof, blankets, and pillows. In the morning, I called my friends Nichole and Preeti, and we decided to start a group called Project Esperanza (Hope in Spanish), a Community Service group that would raise money for the Red Cross. We used a Double Date Raffle(totally rigged in my favor by the way! My secret is out Aaron and Grant!), a MORP (Sadie Hawkin's Dance, and Singing Telegrams...HILARIOUS! We raised A LOT of money AND had a ton of fun. I felt like I was playing BIG, answering my Calling, and living in a flow deeply connected to Source.

What really surprised me at the time, was how many of my other "friends" weren't very supportive of this endeavor. "Oh, Cora just started this club for attention or for her college applications." (brilliant idea, but I'd already applied...lol) In truth, my "Party on the Weekend" friends and I began to drift apart. The people who I connected with around Project Esperanza, around hope and service, became my closest friends moving forward. Many of these folks are still my friends to this day.

Eckhart Tolle says that as we embark on the path to living in the Now, from our Authentic Self, connected to the Divine, it will become more and more clear when we are not surrounded by others who are vibrating at that frequency also. He states that it will be like "oil and water". He says that trying to change the other people is impossible. It is time to move on, to find new friends, new relationships, your very own Molly.:)

I have come to believe that in life, certain relationships with people, jobs, and other commitments are meant to transform, and sometimes even come to completion. I have learned not to see this as a "bad" thing, but as a natural falling away, like the changing of seasons.

One of my Vision Boards reads:

"Every time you let go of something limiting, you make room for something better."

This does not mean that the shift has to be dramatic, nasty, or ugly. Quite the opposite, actually. This can be a peaceful, natural, parting or closure.

There might be a short mourning or reflection time as we change Bridge partners, but soon this this will be replaced by a new chapter, an amazing opportunity, a beautiful manifestation of our true destiny.

Who will my top 5 be in three months?

Ben, God, my incredible family, my business partner, acting and singing coaches, my USM family, the Editor of my book, my agent, my celebrity clients?

I do know one thing, that my Top 5 will be different. Because I am growing, saying YES to the Divine's Plan for me, playing it BIG! I am finding new Bridge partners. I am feeling the changing of the seasons and I am embracing the shift with peace, joy, and gratitude.

For now, I will relish every spoonful of Gazpacho...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Deserving of our Dreams?


I recently read that Roberto Assagioli, a famous psychologist, defined neurosis as "vacillating in the decision seat".

Oh boy, can I relate to this. Just yesterday morning, I received an amazing email from the father of the family I tutor. I rolled over in bed as my alarm blared, tried to turn of my phone and noticed a blinking red light, informing me of a new email. As I read the words, my heart almost jumped out of my chest!

"Hey Cora

We have sort of a crazy idea. Not sure if it would interest you so it's an open invite. For spring break we are going to Geneva Chamonix and then Verona Cortina and Venice. If you would like to join us for some or all of the trip we and the kids would love to have you."


What a way to wake up! I was floored! My dreams were coming to fruition. I have an Ideal Scene/Vision Board hanging up in my bedroom titled TRAVELING. Underneath the main heading there is one line that reads: "I am lovingly saying yes to traveling for my job." Another line says: "I am joyfully accepting opportunities to travel for free!" Under my ideal scene for my Tutoring Job, it reads, "I am gratefully receiving amazing bonuses and gifts."

Here was the Universe saying YES, the co-creating was in Full Force! I was so pumped!

So what happened next? I was on a high most of the day. Then, in the evening, I felt a shift. I felt my brain start to THINK..."Wait a minute Cora, you have homework. Weren't you going to deep clean your apartment? What about your business? What if it isn't fun? You haven't skied since you were 13." I began to realize that my Over-Thinking was starting to lead me to Paralysis by Analysis or Assagioli's definition of neurosis.

I was starting to feel a bit crazy. And then Ben asked me the most important question ever.

"Cora, remember how you felt when you first heard about this option? You were so excited and ready to go! You saw it as the Universe manifesting your desires and dreams." Then he looked at me carefully, like he wasn't quite sure how to say this next part. "Cora, is there a part of you that doesn't feel like you DESERVE this gift?"

Whoah! He zoomed right in on one of the major reasons for my vacillation. There was a small, but loud, part of me that didn't feel deserving, as a tutor, employee, or person. And that part of me was gaining power from my over-thinking and indecision.

Limiting Belief: "I do not deserve to have all my wildest dreams come true."

This line in my script does not serve me anymore. This keeps me playing small!!

Self-Forgiveness: "I forgive myself for buying into the misunderstanding that I am undeserving of gifts, bonuses, or manifestation of my dreams."

Whew. Much better. Deep breath. I totally deserve to have all my dreams come to fruition. We all do! Why? Because God/The Universe/The Divine has put us on this Earth to live out our true exciting, exhillerating, incredible life's purpose. This does not mean playing small. As John Rogers states, "It's foolish not to win in your own fantasies." Or Marianne Williamson, "We were born to make manifest the Glory of God that is within us." or "What you are truly seeking, is also seeking you."-Clarissa Pinkola Estes

This or something better for the highest good of all concerned!

When I put my intentions into the care of the Universe, the Universe responds tenfold. Why? Because I am fulfilling my destiny. I am serving my calling as a Divine conduit of light, love, and miracles. I choose to say YES to the magic, to trust the Divine Process, to leap into the unknown. Then, my only job is to express deep gratitude, excitement, and enthusiasm for the magical manifesting that is truly occurring in my life, in all our lives, when we open our eyes, our ears, and most importantly, our hearts.