Daily Archives: January 16, 2012

Three Truths and One Wish with Rachel W. Cole

Rachel W. Cole is currently on tour with her Well-Fed Woman Mini-Retreatshop. She’ll be in Fort Collins, Colorado on February 19th, 12:30-3:30 pm at the Om Ananda Yoga Studio. I will be there, am instigating the event, and hope that I’ll see you there, because this is going to be amazing.

I am not a person who enjoys marketing or advertising or sales. When I was 10 years old, I quit Girl Scouts because I hated going door to door to sell cookies, (and those were some fine cookies, something I could really believe in). But this is something that matters to me, and is so special, I have to keep telling you, make sure that you know about it.

Rachel W. Cole is a soulful, warm, and creative life coach who’s on a mission to guide women towards feeding their deeper hungers so they can live their most well-fed lives. She’s an amazing woman, and her retreatshop an amazing event, one that is revealing, transformative, and inspiring. One woman who attended Rachel’s Retreatshop had this to say:

There is something really empowering about witnessing someone unravel their truth and their story to how they got to that truth. You can feel it reverberating in your body at its core – and the shifting begins to happen. The shift towards being present with yourself and your truest desires. It’s this re-learning process of being true to ourselves, being loving and kind to ourselves, and reconnecting with our intuitive selves all which marinates into self-magic. I thank Rachel Cole for masterfully crafting a safe forum for us powerful women, to come and explore a greater understanding of our true hungers and to leave deepened with the trust for our inner wisdoms. ~Sanaz Ebriani, Nutrition Coach

If being inspired and transformed appeals to you, register right away. There are a limited number of spots, and I don’t want you to miss out by waiting too long. There are many cities on Rachel’s list, so if you’re not in Colorado, check to see if she’s coming somewhere closer to you.

Three Truths and One Wish with Rachel W. Cole

What is the Well-Fed Woman Mini Retreatshop? and/or Who should come
to one of these Retreatshops?

The Retreatshop tour is a series of intimate gatherings of women where we’ll explore our relationship to our hungers and in turn how we can live our most fulfilling life. It’s for any woman who wants to go deeper into how she receives her hungers, what stories she has wrapped up in her hungers, and who wants to be a well-fed woman feasting on life. I’ll be sharing quite a bit of my 10 year experience personally, professionally, academically, and spiritually seeking to understand hunger and there will be powerful guided inquiries, thought-provoking discussions, meaningful connections, and an opportunity to retreat from the daily grind and come into reconnection ourselves.

Why go on tour?

The question “What are you TRULY hungry for?” is my personal ongoing practice. I ask it often and use it to stay connected, on path, and be well-fed. For some time now I’ve been hungry to sit with women and connect face-to face. The tour provides the opportunity for me satiate my own hunger and to teach what I’m here to teach.

What are three true things about a well-fed woman?

A well-fed woman knows that the knowledge of what to eat, when to eat, and how much to eat (and I’m not just talking about food here) can’t be found outside herself.

A well-fed woman knows that her hungers want the absolute best for her and that no true hunger can be bad.

A well-fed woman knows that feasting on her life is an act of service to the world.

What is your one wish for women who aren’t currently well-fed?

I wish for women who aren’t yet well-fed to practice lovingkindess (aka Metta) towards themselves. The tenderness, awareness, and allowing that comes from this practice is a wonderful doorway into living a well-fed life.

And of course, my wish is that if they are able to attend one of the 14 Retreatshops that they’ll snag a ticket and come gather round.

Three Truths and One Wish: Well-Fed Woman

What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open. ~Muriel Rukeyser

ScribbleAs I have been putting together Rachel W. Cole’s guest post, I’ve been thinking about why I so badly want, need her offering of a Well-Fed Woman’s Mini Retreatshop.

1. Truth: I am stuck in some longstanding, deep, powerful habitual patterns and ways of being that no longer serve me, (if they ever did). For example, I use food to comfort and distract myself, to numb my feelings, which as Brene’ Brown so wisely pointed out doesn’t work because “you can’t selectively numb.” You numb the bad feelings and you lose your sense of the good as well. Sure, there’s no longer fear or anger, but joy and love are gone as well.

I don’t always believe in my own value or worth, my basic goodness and right to love and acceptance. I don’t always trust in my own knowing and ability, I don’t sustain faith in the power of being who I truly am. I play it small, I hide, I concede my power, I wait for permission or an invitation, I conform and comply.

2. Truth: I am too hard on myself, too mean, too harsh, too pushy, too impatient, too much. I spend a lot of time “smashing myself to bits.” Eric came back yesterday from running with the dogs at Lory State Park, and I was commenting on how in shape he is right now. I said “maybe that means in another year or two, I will be as well.” It’s a running joke between us that my life, pretty consistently, happens about a year or two after his. Whatever he accomplishes, whatever big realization or major life achievement, he seems to get there before me.

His response was “Give yourself a break. You’ve been busy with other things.” He said it with such complete kindness and love and pride, that I absolutely believed him. Wham-o. Holy wow. Lightbulb. The truth: forgive yourself, accept what is as it is, it’s all okay, and everything happens in its own way and time. That short phrase, said with such faith and compassion, “you’ve been busy with other things,” gave me permission to stop beating myself up. It’s okay that my middle is growing, getting wider and softer. It’s okay that I get more easily winded, tire faster, can’t run or workout as hard as I used to. I have been busy with other things, important things.

That lasted for about five minutes before I started at it again, but for that moment, I felt at ease. Reading in my old journals how my current struggle with food and health has been going on for years, I see in those pages desperation and despair. I see how I beat up and hate myself, and it makes me sad. Sad because it is so clear that all the meanness has done nothing to change the situation. Clearly my method doesn’t work.

a page from what I call my "Ted Kaczynski notebook"

3. Truth: Any woman who is stuck in any way, who is trapped in her own habitual patterns and unhealthy habits, can understand this flavor of suffering, and has the potential to be helped, if only she would ask for it, seek it out. I wholeheartedly believe that any of us can wake up, stop digging the hole we find ourselves in, come alive again. This truth is why I want, need this upcoming retreatshop with Rachel–she can shift and unblock the stuck, move it, break it up, unlock it, cause a crack wide enough to let some light in.

One wish: That those of us hungry for change, looking for help, might find ourselves at a Well-Fed Woman’s Mini Retreatshop or with Rachel, someone wise, helpful, and kind who can guide us towards claiming the life and the love we are hungry for. I wish this wish for those women that Rachel describes when she answers the question “Who are the retreatshops for?”

Women who want to say yes to themselves instead of no.
Women who sense that they have more greatness to birth.
Women who desire to know and trust their own hungers.
Women who want to trust their desires.
Women who crave the courage to step more deeply into their lives.
Women who want to explore their relationship to themselves.
Women who know the power of women sitting with other women.

Wish I may, wish I might, have this wish I wish tonight. (image by nuttakit)

Something Good

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Today is a U.S. federal holiday marking the birth of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. At the age of 35, he was the youngest man to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, choosing to turn over the award ($54,123) in order to further the civil rights movement. His commitment to non-violent change, to standing up for civil rights (or sitting down for, as the case may be), speaking out against popular opinion in the face of a clear injustice, is worth remembering, worth celebrating, worth an aspiration or two. I was reading quotes from MLK this morning, and thinking about how smart, how brave, and how kind his words, his way of being in the world: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

Martin Luther King, Jr. photographed by Marion S. Trikosko, 1964.

Another good, related read is “5 Lessons from MLK on Living, Leading, & Communicating” from Jeff Goins.

Seth Godin and the TED Imperatives

In a blog post by Seth Godin this week, he shared:

The TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) imperatives

  1. Be interested.
  2. Be generous.
  3. Be interesting.
  4. Connect.

He goes on to suggest that these “aren’t just principles for TED, of course. They’re valid guidelines for any time you choose to stop hiding and step out into the world.” Amen!

Downtown Abbey

I haven’t started watching this yet, but people can’t seem to stop talking about it, and I just noticed that the first season is available on Netflix streaming.

“Fearless Creativity” with Susan Piver

Fearless Creativity: A Meditation & Writing Retreat with Susan Piver” is going to be held at the Shambhala Mountain Center, April 13th-16th. Guess who gets to go? ME!!! So excited…Holy wow! I’ve mentioned Susan and her Open Heart Project here many times. She is an amazing teacher, smart and kind and funny, and this retreat is a gift I am giving to my artist self, to my sad and tender warrior heart.

Meditation Hall at Warrior Assembly, Shambhala Mountain Center, Summer of 2009

Susannah Conway

I have a big, fat girl crush on Susannah Conway–yet another amazing woman, teacher, artist, and love warrior you have heard me talk about before. I love, love, love her work. I preordered her next book, “This I Know: Notes on Unraveling the Heart.” Her recent “My ABC of important things” is a great post, a great idea for a writing prompt. And as soon as registration opens, I am signing up for her e-course “Blogging from the Heart.” Her perspective, one that she shares with kindness and an open heart, presents grace and stillness and beauty, freely to anyone who chooses to see.

Image by Susannah Conway, "Stillness" Series

Creative Living with Jamie Ridler

Okay, I didn’t realize until just now that today’s Something Good has a strong focus on all the amazing women I am in love with right now. One more is Jamie Ridler, who hosts Wishcasting Wednesdays and Full Moon Dreamboards, and does a great podcast, “Creative Living.” This past week, she talked with Julia Cameron, (you might have heard of a little book she wrote, The Artist’s Way). In looking through her archive, I also see she talked with Susan Piver, Tara Mohr, Rachel W. Cole, Britt Bravo, Brene’ Brown, Chris Guillebeau, Jennifer Louden, Patti Digh, Susannah Conway–okay, I have to stop listing them because I am feeling a little dizzy and about to swoon! So many good people, and an archive of two years worth of these interviews on Jamie’s site.


48 things to be grateful for when you need to shift your focus.” I am grateful for this list, and to Susannah Conway for sharing it in her “Something for the weekend” post this week.

One of my favorite poems by one of my favorite poets

Wild Geese by Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

“Enjoy Every Sandwich” Book Trailer

This is heartbreaking and inspiring, in equal measure.

The Joy of Books

Great video, must have taken forever to put together.

Sh*t New Age Girls Say

I swear, this is the last one I’ll share, because I am noticing that this meme is starting to spin into mean, even racist and homophobic territory, but this one makes me laugh. “I saw my first UFO at Burning Man.”

Dexter napping on the footstool

My boys can turn anything into a dog bed.

Guest Post by Rachel W. Cole

Yup, you heard that right: later today I’ll be publishing a special guest post “Three Truths and One Wish with Rachel W. Cole.” P.S. There is still time to register for the Well-Fed Woman Mini-Retreatshop here in Fort Collins, but you should hurry! Jamie Ridler did a Creative Living podcast with Rachel this summer that you might also be interested in.

Wishing you lots of good things this Monday, and always!