When you find vibrational alignment with You, you personally thrive. You feel good; you look good; you have stamina; you have energy; you have balance; you have clarity; you have wit; you have abundance of all things that you consider to be good. You thrive in all ways when you come into Energy Balance with You. Vibrational Relativity – that’s what it’s all about.
At the idea of it, I can feel the strain of restriction pulling my head to my chest, a stance of shame. The idea of focus misinterpreted as a chastisement, as if before this moment I had been too lackadaisical or discombobulated. That in the mention of focus, what I hear is I need to rein myself in. But the focus that is called for here is the discipline of paying attention to what is yours to pay attention… and surrendering the rest.
You energetic balance here requires, initially, that you buy into the idea that you deserve to feel good in your life.
And also that “feeling good” is not the same as “happy all the time” – none of us are happy all the time. There is not a magical land where all hardship or stress is evaporated completely and will never exist again. Feeling good is about the approach to hardship, about choosing to believe that we are supported, always, by the world around us.
It begs of you to believe that you deserve the beauty and happiness and love that is all around you all of the time. That, in this life, your soul is chiefly concerned with the things that make you feel really good. That you are allowed to be selfish in prioritizing you own joy. That when you take care of yourself first instead of last, you best serve the world around you. That your divinity is reflected in the divinity of the natural world on this planet, a world that you belong to, even when it feels like you don’t belong anywhere.
That you are allowed to live this way.
In this life, you are autonomous in creating your own joy.
The focus here is on paying attention to your daily life, noticing the things that light you up, filling you with exhilaration and belonging, and the things that fill you with dread. It requires that you you know that your vibrational relativity has to do primarily with YOU – your heart, your spirit, the things that make you feel – and making choices that are in energetic integrity for you, meaning they are aligned with your own internal compass, your own determination of good and bad.
The secret equation here is doing more of the things that feel good and less of the things that make you feel bad.
But, don’t we have to do things that feel bad?
I know that many of you believe that. I know that I believed that at many points in my life. I told myself that life was made up of things that just had to get done so that I could squeak in something good around the edges. But, I don’t believe that anymore. I am no longer willing to buy into the idea that there are things that I absolutely have to do.
Instead, I believe in choice. I believe that I am making choices all day long, every day. That I was and am choosing to continue living the way that I are living, choosing to remain in my complicated family entanglements, choosing to head in to work at the job that makes me feel anxious and inadequate. However, my choice extends to how I perceive a situation, as well.
You get to choose to do something that you might not really want to do, but to reframe how you think about it.
There are things that I lovingly do for my business that I would prefer not to do. There are times when I’ve made choices for the health and happiness of my family, that, if I were really honest, my heart wasn’t invested in. However, in those moments, I was also able to see how those choices supported the life that I did want.
You get to choose to enjoy something that isn’t very enjoyable. You get to choose to make it work, to make it fun, to bring your best self to it. You get to choose the “hard” choice, the one that you may not particularly want to prioritize, but you must recognize that in each and every moment you are exercising your ability to choose.
The focus that is being called for here is choosing to pay attention to the things that are working – the things that light you up, the moments of joy, the choices that you can make that impact the overall feeling and trajectory of your life.
This focus informs you that may not have the internal fortitude or desire to overhaul you life in entirety.
First, it’s exhausting to do so. Second, those sorts of major revamps often floods your receptors with excitement and the invitation of challenge, but ultimately leave you exhausted. Instead of “fixing your body in 30 days” or embarking on a “21 day to jumpstart your ambition,” the focus that your spirit aches for is the slow, conscious practice of exercising your choice each day.
This is the permanent overhaul – the devotion to honoring choice as our best tool for living well.
The focus that is called for here is the reclamation of the minutes that make up your daily life, your reinvestment in the quality of the fabric that you are sewing together as you navigate your existence on this planet. There is discipline to this type of approach and patience. You are called to show up, not just once for a grand decree, but into the mundane daily meetings and community demonstrations within the community of your physical, emotional, spiritual and energetic bodies. You are called to the focused state of receiving and interpreting information before making well-informed, intentional decisions.
You are being called to show up, repeatedly.
You are being called to show up, joyfully.
You are being called to choose how you want to be living.
That is your business, your responsibility. That is your soul directive.
Focus on that.
Open to Receive
August 2 – 15th
I want to invite you into Open to Receive, a series of 14 blessings and intuitive transmissions delivered directly to your inbox this August, curated with the express purpose of healing the hurt that you may be carrying around receiving – and filling you up with love and adoration for the spectacular human being that you already are.
Let me remind you of who you are. Let me appear in your inbox at first light with messages of your own brilliance and radiant deserving. Start your morning with a dose of self-love – because you deserve it, because your humanity warrants your unbridled compassion, because you are ready to give this gift to yourself.
I can feel the stirring in my heart. The moment of perfection, the opening.
This perfection unlike the perfection that I strove for many years ago.
That perfection involved the tightly held hands in fists, stray hair securely gelled to my head kind of perfection. The straight A’s. The body perfectly shaved and waxed and primped and readied. The need to constantly raising the bar higher and higher, without realizing it wasn’t possible to achieve at that magnitude as a mere human being with a body full of needs and heart full of desire.
This perfection is organic, subtle.
Hands in the dirt, rearranging my sweet garden of succulents when the sun passes down right behind the boat yard behind my house. The smile when I notice, again, that the blue boats on stilts always look like a mountain range when the sun ducks behind them. That pleases me to no end, my own personal mountain range in a land that is decidedly flat. This perfection feels like a private joke between us, me and my life. It is the way that I, find the space between other moments, moments of striving or struggle. It is how I soften into loving my life on the whole.
This perfection is about stringing together moments that I am able to truly see myself reflected in – my heart, my dreams, my own peculiarities and predilections. This perfection is highly personal, because each and every one of us blooms in the specificity of what lights us up.
Instead of achievements and external validation, this perfection is a collection of moments well loved.
I aim to be love drenched.
Sweaty and skin warmed from the sun, love drenched is my goal. It is how I want to feel about my partnership, my friendships, my work. I am obsessed with setting up the structures that allow me to love radiantly, deepening into pouring all of myself into what is in front of me without the fear that the love won’t be returned or that I might be thought of as ridiculous.
We have to be comfortable being thought of as ridiculous – or too much, or not enough.
We have to be fully committed and immersed in what we are building.
This doesn’t mean that we don’t care about others or that we become self-obsessed, but it does that we don’t allow our love for our lives to get spoiled by trying to micromanage whether or not other people like us. That is not our responsibility. Our responsibility is to ourselves, first, always. We have to love ourselves. Our ability to love – and accept – our worlds are key to building a life that makes you feel ecstatic about living.
The presence of love doesn’t negate adaptation. Acceptance isn’t stagnation.
The key here, for me, is to know that I can love my soft, tender spots, adoring the parts of myself that I am also actively working on. I imagine these parts of myself like the worn out elbows or pulled string in a sweater, worn again and again and again. There is no shame here, in wearing thin in places. There is no shame in this vulnerability.
I ask myself: what if I treated myself like a precious thing?
What if, instead of berating myself for my tenderness, I devoted myself to patching up the places where I am worn thin?
The truth is, what I love grows and changes. What I love is steeped in possibility.
This is through the constant stretch, the desire to keep showing up and surrendering to what is that creates the fertile ground to plant future seeds in. What I love feels empowered – capable to handle the next task at hand. Collecting these moments of organic perfection between moments of disappointment or overwhelm, reminds me that I there is life outside of this one moment of hurt.
It reminds me that I am here, committed to the long view – the life that I am creating over time as I continue to show up.
It is a shift in perspective. A deliberate choosing. The decision to prioritize the joy, the moments drenched in love even in the presence of negativity.
It is the discipline of pausing from the swift action of my body, moving from errand to errand, to notice the true happiness in my body when I realize that there are four bees frequenting the lavender plant in front of my house or the taste of the absolute perfect ice cream treat on a hot day or the coziness of an impromptu family dinner party in the living room.
This is how I show up – how I keep myself present.
This is I build a love drenched life, moment by moment.
Hi there! I’m Pace. I live in Portland, Oregon and I love it here. I’ve been married to an amazing woman named Kyeli for nine years, and we recently made it legal thanks to Oregon allowing same-sex marriage! I’m a Pathfinding coach, I love to play Dance Dance Revolution, and my favorite genre of music is chiptune dubstep.
I love my body, but I used to hate my body. And before that, I hated my body for an entirely different reason.
This is my story.
I was assigned male at birth.
That means that when the doctors looked at me when I was born, they said, “It’s a boy!” They assigned me the gender of male; I didn’t choose it for myself.
I lived a fairly normal life – as a boy – until I was 26 years old.
This is atypical. Most transgender folks feel some kind of gender-related discomfort at a young age. Me? I was oblivious. I played video games (mostly Tetris), dated (mostly girls), had sex (mostly with girls), ran a two-node online bulletin board (mostly for the conversations), and went to college (mostly computer science) – all the while identifying as male.
I wasn’t into stereotypical boy stuff, like sports, but I chalked that up to being a geek, and never gave it a second thought.
I knew about transsexuality in the abstract. I even had a couple of transgender friends. But it never even crossed my mind that any of it might apply to me.
I dated a woman who was in the process of transitioning from male to female.
Seeing, feeling, and experiencing her journey flipped a switch in my head. Instead of “this transgender stuff is a fascinating topic to learn about,” it flipped to “this is something I could actually do.”
And once that switch flipped, I dived in headfirst.
I researched how to know whether I was transgender. I introspected so hard I almost imploded. I took an online “Are you transgender” test, scored “sorta kinda maybe”, then told my friends I had scored “probably totally definitely”. What was that about?
I began to identify less as male and more as female. It didn’t happen all at once. I experimented with presenting as female, online at first because it was so much easier, and it felt so right to be treated as female that I wanted it more and more.
Presenting as female didn’t feel like wearing a mask to me. On the contrary, it felt like I had been wearing the “male gender role” mask all my life, and I was finally taking it off.
But as my internal gender identity shifted, my male body started feeling… wrong.
I started experiencing an uncomfortable feeling toward my own body, a feeling I had never experienced before. It felt like something between discomfort and disgust. The technical term is body dysphoria, and it’s not limited to transgender folks. It’s the feeling that your body is not the way it is supposed to be.
My first thought was, This is horrible!
My second thought was, I’m so lucky! Other trans folks have been feeling dysphoria since they were very young, and I was oblivious until now, when I have the independence, the means, and the support to do something about it.
So I did something about it – I changed my body to look female, so that it would feel right to me and so that others would treat me as female, which would also feel right to me.
I had my facial hair zapped by lasers to make it go away. Under the guidance of a legit gender therapist and a rogue endocrinologist, I began taking estrogen, which sent messages to my body saying, “Smooth out that skin! Grow those breasts! Change that neurochemistry!” and many other tiny, beautiful things, like floating instead of sinking when I went swimming, because my body fat ratio had changed.
It was my second puberty.
And just like the first one, it was hell. I cried at the drop of a hat. I had to relearn how to think and how to feel. My sexual response changed from a lightning bolt to a rolling, cloud-to-cloud lightning rumble. I became even more sensitive, emotionally and physically.
Imagine a puberty-themed montage to the tune of “Eye of the Tiger”, and we’ll fast forward past the fascinating, painful, and tender details of my transition, and skip to the end.
After a year and a half, I was free from body dysphoria. I loved my beautiful new female body.
But it didn’t last.
Estrogen had also altered my metabolism; I was eating the same things and the same amounts I always had, and I gained 100 pounds in two years.
The voice of my inner critic piped up with, You went through all that so you could have a beautiful female body, and then you ruin it?
Being raised as a young boy instead of a young girl, I dodged a lot of the “you must look like a supermodel” beauty standards. It’s one of the rare cases where a woman can have male privilege. But I didn’t dodge all of them. I wanted to feel beautiful, and I had been cursed with a very specific idea of what it meant to be beautiful – namely thin.
I thought back to when that switch flipped, when I first decided that “female” fit me better than “male”. I asked myself, Why did I go through all this?
And the answer was:
I went through all this so I could be more me.
I immediately stood up and yelled, “I didn’t work this hard just so I could trade one set of shitty gender stereotypes for the other set of shitty gender stereotypes!”
And more quietly, “I didn’t work this hard to love my body just so I could find a different reason to hate my body.”
The love felt like a warm, yellow-orange glow centered around my heart, then spreading out to encompass my entire body and a little bit more. The love came that day, and it’s never left since. (I occasionally forget it, but then I always remember.)
I gave my high heels to Goodwill. I stopped wearing makeup.
And, at long last, I started being myself.
Pace Smith (The Pathfinding Coach) helps sensitive spiritual nonconformists live wild crazy meaningful lives. She’s also a teacher, a speaker, a writer, a Sufi dervish, a bi poly trans gamer geek, an open-source Reiki healer, and a tournament-level Dance Dance Revolution player. Download her free eBook, Find Your Path Now, to STOP living on autopilot and START living the wholehearted, unconventional life you were meant to live.
Tucked between the seats while I detail my car. Between honest laughter and bright tears. Relaxing along the floor of the incoming tide while my body surfs the waves like I did when I was small. At the back of the cupboard after I arrange all of the mugs. In each grain of sand between my toes.
With every well placed utterance of the word no.
In every joyful, open-hearted yes.
In this world, restoration isn’t just a horizontal activity.
Though there is room for sleep, also.
In this world, restoration is an approach. It the naturalness that I allow myself as I navigate the world. It is in the quiet pause and open field of wondering how I might accomplish everything that I want to without sacrificing myself to do it.
It is the both/and. The greyzone. The place where naps and drafts of my first book are born.
It is the place where my ambition dances with my humanity.
Where dreams are born and dehydration is acknowledged.
Too often, we tell ourselves that we will never get anywhere without pushing.
But, how does that pushing make you feel?
Are your feelings an important metric of success?
In this world, I want to feel really good. That is my primary metric of success. It is more important to me that money or my word count or a program filled to the brim with amazing women. Those things allow me to feel good, but they don’t equal good in and of themselves.
The goodness is found in the luxury of a slow morning.
In coffee with coconut milk.
In reading vampire books for pleasure, even when a stack of educational materials calls for my attention.
In getting outside, every day.
The goodness is found in salt water – tears and sweat.
It is found in the permission to stop living my life in accordance with other people’s values. Other people’s rules. Other people’s metrics.
It is found in the refusal to be busy, when the unspoken agreement is that “busy = good.”
I am good and I am not busy and so are you. Because our goodness is intrinsic. It cannot be earned.
It is found in permission.
Your restoration is the other half of the equation. It IS the life balance that you’re always talking about. It is the natural give and take of pouring your energy into your life and pausing to refill the reservoir. And, repeat. Your restoration is cyclical, like the tide.
In not taking yourself too seriously.
Yet, also carving out time to rest on purpose, because it is your job to take your needs seriously.
The restoration here is in the approach.
It is the three minutes that you allow yourself to brush your teeth without multi-tasking. In the deep breath before you respond. In the extra moment between the sheets. In a cool sip of water.
In allowing yourself to be a person that is not a productivity machine, but a living, breathing being. A being with requirements for continued participation.
Because, our actions are only as good as our restoration. This is the cycle of our energy, and we must pause to restore ourselves so that we can keep showing up, claiming what we want, asking (out loud and in the presence of another), and loving ourselves through the process.
The question is: How will you pause to restore yourself today?
Take a moment to survey your own energy. How do you feel? What do you need? What would allow today to work for you…. even better?
Do that. Prioritize that.
Or join us here…
The Deep Exhale
Are you ready rewrite what it means to receive your own care and adoration?
During The Deep Exhale we will be devoting ourselves to rest, sustenance, community, PLAY, and the deeply sacred practice of being a human on your own terms.
Uncommonly tender and ferociously true, The Deep Exhale is about filling yourself up.
Know this: the more that you fill yourself up… the less room you’ll have for fear and doubt.
I could have build my home here, on the precipice of frenetic action, riding the wave of my own utter exhaustion and the meager urge of stress hormones coursing through my veins.
I could have build my home here. It was comfortable, believing that everything is an emergency. Believing, deeply, that my goodness hung in the balance of completing my ever-lengthening to do list.
I could have build my home here. I could have rushed past you in the line at the post office – Hi, how are you doing? Ugh. You know… BUSY. Yeah, I know. Ugh. It seemed that my muscles were built for piling it all on. My inner working hardwired for winding myself up to watch myself plow magnificently through the tasks at hand.
I could have build my home there. It was comfortable. It was safe. But, I didn’t. I couldn’t.
Because when, bleary eyed and wild-hearted, I poured myself another cup of caffeine, I stopped being able to realize where I ended and the task began. I was in graduate school and I felt could feel the fear brimming beneath the surface all of the time. I could feel myself believing that I had to hold myself to an unholdable standard. I told myself the lie that it all mattered more than I did, buying into the very American concept that I would rest when I retired.
But I was starting to get really, really tired. And I was only 27.
At the time, I told myself that I was stronger for it, better for it. That I could base my pride saying yes even when I should have said no, even when others said no.
I realized that I was building a life to answer the question: Hi, what do you do?
But, while I was building, I forgot how to answer other questions.
Who are you?
What do you love?
What are you delighting in right now?
I forgot because slowing down meant doing a Bad Job. And doing a Bad Job meant not being good enough.
We build our homes here, at the altar of busy.
We genuflect on our way to the office, stimulant in hand. When we tell ourselves that our worth is based on what we are able to accomplish. On how much money we have in the bank. On the car that we drive. We follow the path without questioning it, not even pausing to realize the truth that our hearts are no longer in it.
We work our fingers to the bone and we tell ourselves that it will be ok to put our needs on the back burner. We liken ourselves to machines, honing ourselves to improve our efficiency. I remember feeling cozy and at home there, in that energy, finding my place in the swinging pendulum of work to play. All or nothing. Black or white.
It was the same way that I wrote. The same way that I ate. The same way that I exercised. The same way that I did everything.
Zero to ninety. All or nothing. Rushing around until I became so overwhelmed that I truly had no idea who I was and suddenly couldn’t deny my needs any longer.
But what, I asked myself, of the slow pleasure of consistency? Could I learn how to disentangle my home on the jagged cliffs of taking pride in being busy and reassemble it on even ground? Could I learn how to know myself in glasses of water between cups of coffee? Was it possible to unfurl in the tender mercy of slowly plodding along?
The truth is, I’m a slow mover. I require legendary germination time. I need a lot of sleep.
However, when I am able to slow myself down enough to begin meeting my many needs, I am consistently surprised by how much I am able to get done.
I am humbled by the reality of how much time I waste in my exhaustion.
Scrolling through my Facebook feed. Feeling self-conscious in my sleepy delirium. Second guessing myself. Scrolling again. Wondering what everyone else was doing.
When I prayed at the altar of busy, I was busy, but I wasn’t getting anything done.
When I held myself to an insurmountable standard of perfection, I got lost in the fear and exhilaration of wanting to be seen as good enough. I got lost and, instead of doing the work of shining my light in the world, I scrambled around to sign myself up to learn how to become everyone else.
The truth is, rest doesn’t come easily to me. It is something that I have taught myself, healing my burnout and overwhelm by consciously holding the container day in and day out. I (still) have to resist the urge to pile it all one. To believe that I need to earn my keep. To feel like my dreams are lining up and demanding my attention and I can’t spare even three minutes to brush my teeth.
I rest on purpose. I rest deliberately.
I rest because I choose to believe that I am worthy of a good life and, to me, a good life is more than the stress and fear and to do lists.
I rest because, I want my life to be one that I’ve chosen and not just one that has chosen me.
I rest because I require it, and talking about that openly is not a weakness.
The Deep Exhale
The Deep Exhale is a journey for women who are ready to rest.
Women who are exhausted physically, spiritually, and emotionally. Women who feel zapped of their innate ability to show up in their lives they way that they might want to. Women who yearning to be awake and ready for transformation. Women who want to take action and create in their lives without sacrificing their own care.
The Deep Exhale teaches you to rewrite what it means to receive your own care and adoration.
Together we will be devoting ourselves to rest, sustenance, community, PLAY, and the deeply sacred practice of being a human on your own terms.