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In the latest issue of O Magazine, Oprah shares:

“I believe that each of us has an essence, a quality at the very core of our being that makes us who we are. It’s what guides our thoughts, our feelings, our tastes. It’s what sets us apart from everyone else. And I believe that finding ways to express that essence is one of the greatest joys in life.”

What if I could share with you a way that you can pinpoint this “essence” — yours and that of the special people in your life?

What if you could understand someone deeply simply by looking at their face?

If you are intrigued, then you’re reading the right post! In fact, I was intrigued about a year ago when I met Jean Haner, author of The Wisdom of Your Face and The Wisdom of Your Child’s Face.   You see as a mother I always longed to confirm what I thought I knew about my children that no teacher could come to understand. As early as pre-k our children are already being labeled and treated a certain way–many times in ways that drown their curiosity, joy, and intelligence. Their true nature–what they are excited to share with the world– can be interpreted as  something bad that must be hidden or fixed.

Jean opened my eyes to an incredible science that validates who we are to are very core and helps us to understand our strengths, struggles, and purpose in our lifetime. I’m thrilled to both have her as a mentor and to be her student.

The Wisdom of Your Face speaks to an ancient branch of Chinese medicine which teaches that we were born with a unique blueprint that is ours alone, and that this inner architecture is reflected in our outer design–the features of our face. This science provides us with an incredible tool. With this tool we can breathe easier, look in the mirror and say, “I’m so proud to be me….I love my face!!”

The link above to Jean’s website provides A LOT of research and information that you’ll love to read to learn more. Jean also offers workshops all over the country. 

I’m happy to be interning with Jean in her practitioner program. As part of this process I will be conducting both mini-readings and in-depth case studies. 

During a full-length consultation (60-90 minutes) you also may bring photos of a loved one or colleague to be read as well, as time allows. 

Note: Children can be “read” but the consultation will be with the parent(s) using photos.

If you would like to learn more about these readings, or if you’d like to recommend someone who may be interested,  please complete the form below and/or forward along this post. I’m seeking 10 case study participants between now and September. 

I can share with you that this knowledge and practice has allowed me to better understand myself, others who I interact with everyday, and appreciate what we all have to offer the world and each other.

I’m looking forward to sharing more with you along the way and to hearing from you soon.

Honoring you and your inner architecture,

Monique

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Change S_ cks!

September 6, 2011

Change is good. Change happens. Expect change. Yada, yada, yada!!

Change sucks!!!

There, I said it, so you wouldn’t have to.  However, I would encourage you to say it just as passionately. It’s freeing! In fact, acknowledging change as “not always so great”, is probably the best first step to leaning into it and feeling more comfortable with it.

We talk about change all the time, yet when we need to make a critical change in our lives, it doesn’t feel good, or easy. Nor is it always obvious. Sometimes, the need to create change hits us like a tornado– completely unexpected. Most change happens around us daily, forcing us to shift ever so slightly or change our perspective in order to “deal” and keep living. But, when change effects us directly,  it’s down-right difficult, and sometimes very painful. Change is hard. And as we all know from past experiences, anything that causes us to grow is hard.

There are different types of change, and even the change that makes us tingle (the really good, exciting kind), causes us to connect to a place deep within that allows us to say good-bye to something or someone. Sometimes it is with a part of us (i.e., habit, career, relationship) that doesn’t serve us any longer. That departure can be bittersweet…both sad and exhilarating. With change we always expand, even if we don’t sense it.

We can deconstruct change for hours, as there are many kinds–both good and bad. But, since the average person has a negative view of change,  or simply feels uncomfortable enough to describe it negatively, I’m choosing to focus on the kind that truly tests us. It’s the monster that consistently shows its ugly head and laughs at us. Get me? The one that tells us “you’re never ready,” “you’re not strong,” “you’re not worth it,” “you’re comfortable”.  Let’s be clear about something…the monster sucks, not us! We can quiet that monster through our choices, however.

Some of the signals that show up time and again to advise us it may be time to make a change include sadness or depression, a feeling of not having any passion or purpose, frustration or anger, lack of energy or motivation, and/or exchanges with others that are not fulfilling, or creating happiness in our lives.

Here’s the thing, too…most of the time we know deep down the change must come, but we don’t want to face it. We agree with the ugly monster instead of feeling the fear and doing it anyway.

What is the worst change can bring us which we are already handling and experiencing?

How much longer are we willing to live without that foundation of joy, happiness and positive growth (if that’s the case)?

Here’s the next important thing…we always have a choice. We are making choices all the time. But, are we making them consciously?

We have a few choices to make when it comes to change. As long as we are consciously choosing one of them we are owning our decision. When we do this we are not powerless.

Our choices as I see them…

1. Choose to continue with things as they are. Here, we decide we are not ready to take any steps toward change. Tip: own your decision to do nothing and don’t feel badly about it. It’s okay sometimes to do nothing. There is still power in this decision. Here, we can keep our eyes and hearts in the moment and try to be open to new things; more positive things presenting themselves to us.

2. Choose to take small, calculated risks. Here, we are choosing to live higher up on the “shift” readiness scale. Tip: each week decide what small step you can take toward making the change happen. Don’t allow fear to get the best of you. Celebrate your successes; forgive the set-backs. 

3. Choose to go all out. This is Internal Armageddon! Here, we decide to become that person the monster fears. We look in the mirror and say, “Today I choose to own my power fully, take that bold step forward and deal with the consequences!” To be clear…this doesn’t necessarily mean we are making a huge change. It can be a very small one that has been extremely difficult to make. Change is different for each of us.  Tip: write down what you expect to happen and be ready for the unexpected. What scenarios have you not thought of? Draft a pact with yourself; date it, sign it, and stand by it!

Change is hard. Yes, it is. But, no matter what your choice, you can grow within your decision by continuing to be conscious about it. When the path is difficult we can journal, or have a conversation with a trusted friend, family member, therapist or coach. Even your pet can fill these shoes!

Change sucks…sometimes.

Here’s what I know for sure…living and choosing consciously softens the blow that is change and quiets that ugly monster within us.

As always, may you enjoy purpose in the process. 🙂

Namaste,

Monique

While reading Open by Andre Agassi I couldn’t help but see how clearly his life-long struggles so closely tie to the meaning behind our chakras (energy centers within our body). In fact, while reading his story I also devoured Truth Heals by Deborah King, which clearly depicts for us how the answers to almost every challenge or illness we have in our lives can be revealed for us within our chakras.

For those of you who have absolutely no idea what a chakra is, here is a fairly simple definition:

A chakra is believed to be a center of activity that receives, assimilates, and expresses life force energy.  Chakras are energy centers along the spine located at major branchings of the human nervous system, beginning at the base of the spinal column and moving upward to the top of the skull, through which pass 3 major energy channels. Chakras are considered to be a point or nexus of biophysical energy or prana of the human body.  Prana is the basic component of your subtle body, your energy field, and the entire chakra system…the key to life and source of energy in the universe. It is the six major chakras that correlate with basic states of consciousness.

Each chakra in your spinal column is believed to influence or even govern bodily functions near its region of the spine. Because autopsies do not reveal chakras, most people think they are a fancy of fertile imagination. Yet their existence is well documented in the traditions of the far east.

For the sake of this post, let’s leave the definition at this. I do encourage those of you who are interested in reading more about chakras to visit this link and simply enter “chakras” into the book search category: http://bit.ly/9EuwlC.

Now, back to Andre Agassi and Open. The book is all about his life, and in general, his complete lack of control over his childhood, adolescence, and career. About coming to his TRUTH and authenticity later in life.

Here’s a telling quote from Open, on Agassi being a rebel:

“They say I’m trying to change the game. In fact I’m trying to prevent the game from changing me. They call me a rebel, but I have no interest in being a rebel, I’m only conducting an everyday run of the mill teenage rebellion. Subtle distinctions, but important. At heart, I’m doing nothing more than being myself, and since I don’t know who that is, my attempts to figure it out are scattershot and awkward—and, of course, contradictory. I’m doing nothing more than what I did at the Bollettieri Academy. Bucking authority, experimenting with identity, sending a message to my father, thrashing against the lack of choice in my life. But I’m doing it on a grander stage.”

A dramatic part in the book is when Agassi essentially lies to the world about his “rocker” and rebellious hairdo, which essentially is a wig. At a very young age he is trying to come to terms with losing his hair. It’s a part of the cover up of his whole life. According to Agassi he “hates tennis.” Can you imagine that? If that’s the case, where and what is his TRUTH?

In reading the two books so far it seemed crystal clear to me that his 5th and 6th chakras where blocked. Here’s what Deborah King tells us about these two energy centers:

5th Chakra (Throat)

You’re not being completely truthful. You’re angry; you can’t be who you are. You may look polished and put together, but you feel like a scared child inside. SOLUTION: be authentic. When you can trust yourself to be truthful on the pages of your journal, you can trust yourself to be truthful in the world. Just watch how your whole body relaxes as you express your truth. You’ve given yourself permission to be you—to speak your mind, to give voice to the truth of who you are.

Agassi has done this in Open. A first and HUGE step toward energizing his 5th chakra and healing.

6th Chakra (Third Eye)

You lack higher wisdom for guidance and have no signs that you are on the right path. You’re not tapped in to your internal messages regarding purpose and direction nor visualizing positive or peaceful outcomes. You’re not putting self-interest aside and instead embracing the greater good for all.  SOLUTION:  Expressing the truth about who we are and what we really want is the key to peace and healthy living. Listening to ourselves and acknowledging what we really feel allows us to change what is not working and to live in a more meaningful, purposeful way.

Even more interesting is this ancient description (in the time of Plato) of the 6th chakra and it’s relation to the head, scalp and hair:

The brain is the center of rational thought, the Intellectual center. In both Homer and Plato the psuche (or genos) is considered the immortal part of the Soul. The physical substance corresponding to psuche was marrow (medulla), especially the cerebrospinal fluid of the brain and spine, but also in other parts of the body.

Scalp and facial hair were considered physical emanations of the psuche, and so the hair, scalp and chin were considered sacred.   This center corresponds to Chakra 6 (at the brow), called Ajna, which means “authority or command,” an appropriate name for the rational faculty, which Plato said “controls and restrains” the lower faculties; Onians calls it the Executive function.

Can you see how his loss of hair can be attributed to his feeling that he had no authority or command over his life, or that he had no control or restraint, hence his “rebel” image and actions? Quite extraordinary.

I’m not nearly finished with Agassi’s powerful autobiography, but what I know for sure so far is that he has healed; that writing Open was his “journal”… his pouring out of frustration and a work of art with which to finally reveal his authentic self. I highly recommend his book.

In general, healthy chakras are ones that are balanced and not blocked. With practice and awareness we can identify which ones may be blocked and begin to do the work that is necessary to bring them back in balance. For this knowledge, Deborah King’s book, Truth Heals,  is excellent. Here is the link to find it: http://bit.ly/fdKnu3.

Namaste,

Monique

Wrapping Up 2009

January 1, 2010

2009 was bright!

Participating in the #best2009 Blogging Challenge has been an easy and delightful way of remembering the small and simple things of 2009 that have made it special for me. I appreciate the Challenge, as I honestly don’t think I would have given myself the time to reflect on the year appropriately, thank it, and wrap it up like a nice gift! In fact, today, the first day of 2010, the visualization of me wrapping up my year, giving it away, and setting aside a nice, large box to fill for 2010 is my gift to myself.

So, I shall begin my New Year, by completing the Challenge and remembering a few more moments and people who helped to make my year.

Dec. 19 – Car Ride – Just yesterday, Dec. 31, 2009, my children and I dropped off daddy at a friend’s house and took the long way home…windows open, music kicking, and enjoying the beautiful homes and nurturing oak trees. This has always been a pastime for our family. In fact, it’s one of the ways we incorporate Visioning into our lives…imagining the perfect home for us and claiming it ours!

During the drive, Celine Dion’s “Taking Changes” inspired me further as I not only envisioned our future, but what this next year would hold for us. “What do you say to taking chances, what do say to jumping off the edge, never knowing if there is solid ground below, or a hand to hold, or hell to pay. But, what do you say?” I say go for it!

The ride and the song gave me the right energy to begin 2010. And, I believe my daughter felt the same. When we arrived home, she said, “Mommy, let’s go on another ride!” Anytime, baby.

Dec. 20 – New Person – Melissa Izquierdo is not a stranger to me. She has been working in our office for many years. But, this year, she was “gifted” to me, so to speak, as my right hand in the office. All I can say is what a gift she is, indeed! Life and work become so much more pleasurable when you have a partner by your side who cares about the quality of our work, and enjoys learning and growing along the way! She is a true professional, a shining star, and I’m very grateful for her. Thanks for all you do, Mely!

Mely

Dec. 23 – Web Tool – Hands down, the iPhone!! Need I say more? 🙂 Those of you who are iPhone users get me. You can read one of my recent blogs that gives you a glimpse as to how I use it to be productive.

Dec. 26 – Aha Moment – This year was about self-discovery for me. I immersed myself in books, concepts, skills, and more so that I could reinvent myself. Why? It was time. The gift in the process was understanding that while it is essential to create a powerful vision for your life and move toward it with action and passion, your “purpose” lies in living your vision in the moment…finding joy in everything that you do and being grateful for all of the joys and lessons life brings. “Therefore, I AM, and I AM NOW. Ahhh!”

Dec. 29 – Biggest Belly Laugh – Gosh, I’ve had a lot of laughs this year and I am grateful for all of those moments, because, as we know, laughter adds more years to our lives! One that made me laugh so hard that I cried was watching my son (11) breakout into an uninhibited hip-hop dance. It was so genuine, and so filled with passion, and it was so good, too! We were all outside enjoying a cool night and a bonfire, playing music, when an old 80’s tune came on that just lit a spark in him. I wish I had a video camera to capture the moment. Regardless, it is imprinted in my heart forever.

I think that will do it for this Challenge, although there are so many more moments, people, experiences and things I will cherish about this past year. Thanks for the memories, 2009.! I’m wrapping you up and gifting you back to the universe.

I’d like to close with this great quote that inspired me today from Martha Beck:

“By creating plans and acting on them you create an energy zone of clarity and power. That alone can change your life.”

What plans, or thoughts of 2010 are revving you up? I’d love to hear from you.

Go create some great plans for 2010 that will energize you and propel you forward.

My best wishes to you and yours for a magnificent and miraculous year.

Monique

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