A Midlife Woman Is Unstoppable

woman-unstoppable-deserves-betterYou’re unstoppable. Definitely. Especially when you think it’s all going downhill and younger women are taking over the planet, your mind is going south, you can’t remember your kid’s teacher’s name, if you’ve mailed the mortgage payment or it’s on autopay, “what-the-heck-was-I-thinking starting a business at my age?” or “screw it, I’m done!”.

Especially then.

If you’re in a rut right now, if you’re stuck and hurting and scared as hell to take a step forward…the ONE remedy, the thing that really works is: to do the thing you’re the most frightened of doing.

Trust that the net, the friends, the new community, job or place to live or whatever else will rise to catch you as you soar out over what might look like empty space.

The way towards freedom, towards better-than-this is not empty. It’s just so very full of your negative projections of doom you can’t see what’s really there: friendly faces and loving, gentle hands. Catching you. Whether you know them now, or they are blessings yet-to-come, they will catch you, and raise you up.

They are there. Waiting for you to step up. I am living proof of this. I stepped into the Void, with nothing but Trust and the net – finely woven of people I knew and resources, situations and people I had yet to meet – arose and supported me as they do all who journey bravely into the Unknown.

That infinitely strong and resilient net will emerge at just the right time to support you too.  Just step.

Trust.

Step again.

RISE…

*photo: David Avocado Wolfe

How To Release Attachment To Criticism: An Enlightened Approach To Bullying & Bigotry

Dilts-Heroes-Journey-Questions

I just wrote to a coach who asked me how to not care about criticism. I thought it worth sharing more widely.

I asked what kind of person I would have to be to stand and face excoriating judgement and criticism and have it not faze me. The answer was, knowing deep within myself that every impulse and urge I have, as long as it harms none, are divinely inspired, right and sacred for me.

Pick a prophet, another type of person who is here to help others. None escaped judgement. Yet they stood in the middle of that fire of withering scorn, confident and comfortable in their convictions about their message and purpose. It is no different for you and me with our messages and purpose.

As people who care deeply about others, as helpers, as coaches, we were born, you and I, to liberate, change and inspire people to live their best lives. To lift them up, and hold the sacred torch of their dreams when they cannot. To hand it back to them, and help them remember who they truly are.

Remember that, when the stones are thrown and mockingbirds screech, and you too will stand firm and comfortable in your choices, in who you are.

It takes practice. Every day for me is a practice, especially during the (thankfully now rare) times when someone I admire or wish to befriend tries to knock me down. But then, I remember why I am here, that the person jeering is blind and cannot see that, and the fact that they jeer means they are probably blind to their own purpose too. And that creates a space for compassion for them that eliminates feelings of inadequacy or shame on my end.

Then I remember that we are really One, and anyone who would mock me for being slow, disabled, old, or (insert any target of bigotry here) must be in some awful pain themselves, not to get that I am a mirror to them, every bit as much as they are to me. And that causes compassion to flow even stronger.

Most of the time I keep my sense of self and everything is fine. Sometimes it doesn’t work though, and I end up feeling crestfallen and shamed for daring to be a fat, disabled eyesore in their perfect world. I walk away slowly, acutely aware that my occasionally odd gait (which I sometimes can’t control) irritates them even further and they are jeering even more as I leave.

I take the first breath, and then the next.

I remember my purpose here is sacred, that I am that person’s teacher even as they are mine, and give thanks for that rare opportunity. That’s when I remember to meditate. To keep breathing.

It’s a practice. Every day.

I am here to free us both. I can’t make others’ decisions. I can only choose how I will feel and react.

I choose peaceful.

I choose loving.

I choose…to empty my mind and simply be present to What Is.


*Photo from Robert Dilts 2012 presentation on The Hero’s Journey in Mountain View, California.
I’m Maryam Webster and I help passionately opinionated women create juicy and profitable second lives beyond corporate careers, divorce & “empty nest syndrome”. Together we focus on creating an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling, socially just human presence on the planet. Want to get help on transforming your life and having a juicy Second Act, get your Breakthrough here. 

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At Some Point It’s All Going To Go South. Here’s how you Get It Back.

the-martian

I just watched The Martian, which is one of the finest movies I’ve seen in awhile. It was rough hearing Bowie sing “Starman” and to find that I still miss him tremendously. I had “Ground Control to Major Tom” going through my head just as on the day we heard he’d left earth’s atmosphere for the last time. It’s still rough for folks in my cohort to realize — even though Bowie was 15–20 years older than most of us — that our numbers are starting to thin. With some of the best and brightest going first to blaze a trail. Heavy realization. But one we’ll cope with.

Returning to the point, the plot, acting and conclusion to The Martian were brilliant. I want to share a quote with you from it, which is a huge lesson and takeaway for us all. In it, the main character is talking about how space is uncooperative — just like life, and all the negative circumstances we encounter in it.

“At some point, everything’s going to go south on you and you’re going to say ‘this is it, this is how I end’. Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work. That’s all it is. You just begin. You do the math. You solve one problem, you solve the next, and if you solve enough problems you get to come home.”

When I spent a decade in and out of bed, learning to walk again after paraplegia, I first solved the problem of moving my pinky toe. And then the foot, the ankle and all the rest. I began, and kept on solving problems until I “came home” to being fully mobile. It took most of that decade to do, but I did it. I didn’t really have a choice. I could do no less than try. And while there were energy therapies that helped me reconnect damaged nerves and quell pain, there was no free pass, no miracle cure – just putting one foot in front of the other.

Literally.

When I created then sold one company, then created and sundowned another, I wondered after each one what I was going to do now. While others congratulated me and said they wished they had my ladyballs, I felt small, scared and terribly unprepared. And when I realized that two life partners had changed into people I no longer wanted to live with and decided to leave, I wondered how I was going to go forward.

I took a simple step, and then another. I collated lists of problems, played Whack-a-Mole and solved them. I moved out of a toxic relationship into my own place and realized a great deal of freedom and control had returned to my life. I created another company that supports me and helps women worldwide to live their lives in freedom, joyfully rocking their weirdest (eg; most awesome) and wildest gifts, while supporting causes that speak to their hearts. I curated a new and deeply nourishing social circle, becoming happy and connected to what gives me purpose and joy again.

How do you recover when your entire life goes south? You get to work. You begin again. This might take work, it might leave marks on your body, mind and soul, but it’s worth it.

Homework for those who are Starting Over:

Do you have what it takes to begin again? Exactly what WILL it take for you NOT to throw in the towel?

Given your situation, how would you start? What piece of it would you start with?

What materials and resources (both inner and outer) do you need to succeed?

Let me know in the comments. If I can help, I will.

*******
Maryam for Medium Author BoxI’m Maryam Webster, and I help passionately opinionated women create juicy and profitable second lives beyond corporate careers, divorce & “empty nest syndrome” by mentoring them to rock their most awesome, fulfilling gifts to create an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling, socially just human presence on the planet.
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The Reason Your Business Isn’t Working That No One Talks About

Pixabay Image 571715

This is for you heart-centered, evolutionary, entrepreneurial women out there. Particularly if you come from a spiritual background, are trying to run a business and…it just isn’t working.

If you’re struggling and have come to dislike your business, or the running of it, it’s very likely the problem is one of not leading with your dreams and may be doing something for which you have very little true passion. Business gurus speak of passion like it’s the Holy Grail without explaining what it really means, and where it fits in the spectrum of Things-You-Need. They also rarely tell you how to make it work for you.

I’m going to set that straight right now.

Passionless business is like bad sex after a hot date. You build it up in your head, then when you finally hook up it falls flat. You lie there feeling depressed, wanting to leave, and wonder how the hell you’re ever going to face him/her again.

Your business is like that hot date. If you don’t have a driving desire behind it, your business won’t fly. If you work at home, that means you start wearing pajamas all day, watch a lot of tv, don’t bother to fix your hair and ditch networking meetings. Ring any bells?

HOWEVER…if you have your mojo crushing it on that date, sparks fly and your business goes gangbusters! There are three Business Mojo components you need to succeed: Passion, plus Talent, Skills and Capabilities and Expertise or Unconscious Genius.

Let’s break it down:

 

1) Your Guiding Passion — is a deeply visceral feeling for an outcome you want very badly. In business, it’s what you most want to do to benefit the world, that makes you feel yummy deep down inside. Passion positions your business as a movement to help and heal some portion of the world & is the foolproof way to direct a business for success. I’ve had clients who’ve started movements to get battered women housed safely, educate refugees, get water to desperately arid parts of Africa.

One of my clients, Amy, saw her last child off to college and wondered what was next. She discovered a deep-seated need to do something about the island of plastic in the Pacific ocean. Leaving a clean world for her grandchildren was her guiding passion, and she now works with an initiative to clean oceans worldwide

Gemma enjoyed her time volunteering at a kindergarten. She worked with me to parlay her passion for helping kids get the healthy start in life she didn’t have, into a successful business teaching inner city kids to grow vegetables and prepare their own food. Gemma deeply enjoyed giving the children a solid sense of good nutrition early on, and everyone benefitted.

Action Step:
On a sheet of paper write down what thing/s would give you the greatest joy to do day in, day out, for the rest of your life. There may be more than one thing on your list. Keep going until you find one that makes you cry. Tears are deep truth from within. Heed them.

Go through these things, and circle those which deeply help and are of great service to others so you can share your joy with others. In this way your joy goes viral. When that happens, your business explodes with action, connection, profit and power. This is the component of Passion rarely explained by business gurus, but is absolutely vital to your success. You need to be happy, and work for the world to be happy. Simple.

Couple that Guiding Passion With:

 

2) Your Talents, Skills and Capabilities — these are things you have learned over the years, degrees or certificates you’ve gotten, acquired know-how and native talents you were born with. Everything from how to bake scones, to the process of taking a client from an upset state to a calm and pleasant one, falls under the Talent, Skill and Capabilities rubric.

Action Step:
Write down on a separate piece of paper all the Talents, Skills and Capabilities you have right now. Start with the basics and work your way up to complex skills and talents. Only include those things which are pleasurable and help others.

Marry your Guiding Passion with the Talents, Skills and Capabilities, natural or acquired that you already have, and reach a place that is:

3) Your Expertise or Unconscious Genius — Now we’re getting to the meaty bit of how to make your business truly successful. Your Unconscious Genius is what you do so joyfully and easily that you can’t believe people will pay for it because it’s so damned easy, you think everyone should be able to do this. You do this thing and everyone’s mouths drop open and they reach for their wallets.

It could be you dance or play piano, or can coach someone out of stage fright in seconds. Again, it’s easy, but it’s led you to help a lot of people, it’s what gets you a lot of work, requests to speak and the good will of clients and peers. And that’s the point.

Action Step:
Think about what you do so easily that you love to do that others have admired you for and asked you to do over again and again. What do you constantly get tapped to do by organizations, family or any other group because you’re so good at it? Again put it on paper.

Putting It All Together

If you look at your three Action Steps in Guiding Passion, Talents & Expertise/Genius, you’ll begin to see places where they overlap. It’s helpful to draw the three circle Venn Diagram where the center represents the triple overlap space, and plot your findings on it. The features that naturally overlap in the center are your sweet spot of business success.

Test by asking “Does it help others?”, “Can I happily do this the rest of my life?” and “Do I feel a little guilty about getting paid to do it because it’s so easy?” If the answer is yes to all three, go forth and prosper, you’ve found your Sweet Spot and  the Promised Land.

Do your inner work on the guilt, because you absolutely DESERVE to get paid well for what you do best. And when you build your business in that sweet spot where Passion, Talents and Genius intersect, your entire business from client acquisition to retirement will flow like magic. Voila!


 

I work with passionately opinionated women entrepreneurs like you who use their life & business to step up as the solution to a problem they see in the world.

If you’re ready to stop going it alone and get some help to create a juicy second life and get your message and great work out in the world, Book a Breakthrough Session with me Here.

And if you like meaty, action-packed meanderings such as this, you are more than welcome to download my gluten-free, vitamin enriched Guide to creating a successful business as Conscious Leader, here:http://EveryWomanChanges.com/elguide

Holiday Meditation: What Is Most Important?


A friend just asked what the most important thing in life is. What one thing. This is what I answered. I’d love to hear your answer too.

My life has been populated with what at the time I perceived as a disproportionate share of ugly and disgusting people and events. A decade of paralysis, multiple broken bones, dysfunctional partners, illness, death, freakish occurrences Hollywood couldn’t script if it tried. I’ve risen above it all by sheer acts of will, meditation, letting go, and deep gratitude for what I have. Until I got serious about meditation though, it was a hard life — very hard.

But I have risen. Not always gracefully. Mostly in haphazard fashion. For many years, just rising above was my most important thing. But once my life leveled out, I began looking again for what was Most Important.

Some who answered this question said Love and Being in the Now were the Most Important for them. Love is easy when the Beloved is still physically beautiful, the sun is shining and everybody is healthy. The Now is all well and good when everything is happy and shiny and you still have your health.

But then things go pear-shaped, the wrinkles start to appear, the Beloved gets fat, you’re coping with pain or relationship dysfunction, and health goes to accident or disease. Or the Beloved exhibits opinions and ideals that make you wonder what you ever saw in them to begin with. It becomes hard to continue loving and stay in the Now if you are only attracted to the superficial veneers of life, or when pain gets in the way. Just fighting for survival is tough enough then, without any high falutin’ meditations or life goals. This is when depression and general upset can set in.

In pain, dysfunction and hard times are where we find our greatest challenges and distractions from what is Most Important. They are also life’s greatest Teachers.

What turns beauty to ugliness and disgust when the veneer ages and health fades, are the pre-existing filters driving our own choice, prejudice and perception. And what creates those filters are layers of illusion that we have bought into over time. That society gave us from birth, that our parents, teachers, friends and culture say are what we must believe and endorse. And that, knowing no better, we invested in from an early age.

But these filters of illusion are largely false.

Given this, what has taken main stage as Most Important in my life has been doing whatever I can to peel away those layers of illusion to know my True Self — what remains when the illusion is stripped completely away. Until I have done that, I cannot rationally expect myself to have any other primary agenda.

This is the filter through which all else of my life arises. I want to experience life and my relationships with others as filter-free. This will enable me to give particularly intimate relationships and partners, the fair chance I have not always been able to in the past. Currently I’m able to experience life as my True Self about half the time when I meditate deeply and concentrate on it. Sometimes I get triggered. Sometimes my body has an itch or twinge, and I find concentration difficult. Sometimes a stray wind or shaft of sunlight reminds me of another time, and there I am off galloping into the past in memory and emotions I haven’t felt in years, but resurrect in a twinkling.

Still more to do. Always, I return to my breath. To breathing. To being breathed by Source.

When I am closest to my True Self, I am close to what Wayne Dyer described as “the mind of Source”, and all life flows to and through me with ease, grace and joy. When I am outside of that mind, life ratchets, hiccups and spews discontent.

I have come to value and choose the feeling and presence in my life of peace, of grace, and a grateful heart. That brings me joy.

And I think one of the most important things in life is to embody Source as Joy not only for myself but for everyone else, too. And particularly at this time of year in the words of the old wassail song: “each other in love to greet”…

“Drive The Cold Winter Away” English wassail song, c. 1625

This time of the year is spent in good cheer,
And neighbours together do meet
To sit by the fire, with friendly desire,
Each other in love to greet;
Old grudges forgot are put in the pot,
All sorrows aside they lay;
The old and the young doth carol this song
To drive the cold winter away…

I bid you Peace in this season of Good Will, and would love to read your answer to this question. What is your Most Important thing, and why do you choose that?