Relationships

It's Either a Hell Yes, or a No

This is a re-blog post by Mama Gena from - http://www.mamagenas.com/your-truth/

Yo lady.

Who are you when it comes to stating your truth?
Your deep true truth.

Are you a she wolf? Proudly howling your truth out loud?
A mad dog? Rage first, talk later?
A wolf in sheep’s clothing? Smile on face, secret knife pointed towards the belly?
The silence of the lambs? You simply can’t say. Don’t know. Lost your compass.

As a mom of a teenage girl, I have a big interest in this question.
How can we navigate the world with confidence if we can’t find our truth?

Peggy Orenstein recently published her new book, Girls and Sex, Navigating the Complicated New Landscape. Part of her research won’t be news to us, disturbing as it may be. She reports that half the girls are participating in oral sex, sexting, and nonconsensual sex with boys in order to please the boys, in hopes that the boys will like them. Not because they want to. 

Orenstein says that young women are given no encouragement to understand their bodies, let alone their desires, and instead they grow up to understand sex as an act that is about pleasing others—rather than pleasuring themselves. 

Women. The portal to life. The sacred entry point of human life on this planet.
Reduced to a convenience store, a service station.

A woman’s deeply seated confidence cannot come from how many degrees she has, what kind of job she has landed or how well she is conforming to society’s expectations of her.

A girl’s—a woman’s—sense of confidence comes from how she feels in her body.
And how she feels about her body is, in part, a legacy, passed mother to daughter.
Which only works well when her mother thinks she is glorious, delicious and wondrous.
Which is an exceedingly rare perspective for a mama to have and to hold in this patriarchal world.

And the other part to her confidence comes from her learning to know and love her own instrument. Which is super hard in a world where women learn how to compromise before they learn to come.  

The generosity of woman is boundless. It’s our innate nature to fiercely create, care-take, love, embrace, appreciate.

But our custom has been to do all this caretaking from an empty well, rather than from a gloriously full tank. Filled with our dreams and desires prioritized and nurtured. Filled with a body that is known and loved and revered.

I’m interested in how this pattern influences our ability – or inability – to know and speak our truth. 

I notice that many of us, when faced with a decision or a moment of choice – whether it be a job, a blow job, a date, an invitation – we often take our attention off ourselves and we put it on other people, or on societal expectations, and whether we will please them, or disappoint them.
What will he think of me? Will they approve of me? Will I be accepted?
And we bypass our deepest truth without even noticing.

What we don’t know is that our deepest truth is something that not only we require, but the world requires. When we use our truth to make decisions, they become decisions that not only take us higher, but take everyone in our world higher. And when we bypass our truth, we take everyone down with us. 

One of Ornstein’s proposed solutions is for us to all move to the Netherlands. Dutch parents, teachers and kids talk about sex, condoms, pleasure and how to say yes and no. Which is so good to know that somewhere in this world, progress is being made.
But how can each of us make progress, right now?

How can we, right here, right now, step more powerfully into our hell yes or hell no?
The first step is the same step as when you want to uplevel your workouts, or change your eating habits, or start dating. Tell everyone. Letting people know that you are on a growth spurt helps to make it real.

I challenge you to experiment with a commitment to your own truth. 

Here are a few tips to help: 

1. Tell all your friends and fam that you want to try to locate your inner truth more consistently and that you are going to ask for their help with that. (You don’t need to know how you are going to do it, you just need to declare that you want to.)

2. Tell your pals, family and co-workers that from here, forward, every time they make a request of you, you are not going to answer them in that conversation. Rather, you are going to practice checking in with yourself, and you are going to count to 10, or take a short break before you answer them. This requires bravery and patience on your part.

3. Then, you are going to head to the nearest private space to connect. Get in a few deep breaths. Place your hand on your heart, on your pussy, on your belly.Feel. Really just stop the train for a few seconds. And ask – feel – what is my deepest truth? 

We, as women are so accustomed to pleasing others, folding on our desires, compromising ourselves, taking it for the team, putting our families first, that we don’t give ourselves time to sink into the divinity of our own truth and experience the enlightenment from within. 

It might be hard to hear much of anything at first, but I promise you, the more you do this, the more information you’ll get. It’s all in there.  

A faint whisper turns into a dialogue, which turns into the greatest collaboration of your life—you and your higher power, working together as a team, to stand for your value, each and every day.  Rather than sidestepping your value. Or diminishing your value. 

And by standing for your truth in this gentle yet powerful way, you are standing for a world of women and girls, to stand for theirs.

In the comments below, let’s collaborate and learn together.

  • Where is the easiest place for you to hear your deepest truth? With your friends? Family? With strangers?
  • Where is the most difficult place for you to check in and listen to what you truly long to say? At work? With your husband? Kids? New lover?
  • What’s your edge? Where do want to find a way to step into a truth you have been sitting on?
  • And how does it make you feel when you witness a woman stepping bravely into her power? Can you tell when she’s holding back? Can you tell when you are holding back?

 
For the girls of today, the women of tomorrow – it starts with you. In this culture, a commitment to your own truth is a revolutionary act.

xo, 

 

 

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Briana Cavion, MA, MAnlp

Briana is a Communication and Relationship Coach for WholeLife Neuro-Linguistic Programing (wholelifenlp.com).  She has been described as having a "magical" way of helping her clients identify and release what has been slowing them down, sabotaging their path, and stopping them from living the life they most desire. She coaches to reignite personal freedom, flourishing relationships, soulful leadership, and authentic communication. She works with the presupposition that life is an incredible opportunity to create the truest expression of your highest purpose, greatest impact, and deepest gifts.  

How a Highly Sensitive Girl Learned to Walk Around the in the World

“Nothing is worth more than laughter. It is strength to laugh and to abandon oneself, to be light. Tragedy is the most ridiculous thing.” - Frida Kahlo

 

I have this funny sensitivity about being laughed at. It used to be a lot worse. I have that side of me that loves to laugh with others, and I am a BIG goof ball. 

Teased as a kid growing up, I have that sensitivity that the moment it switches to laughter directed at me, alarms go off. And, it has taken me YEARS to create more space for it... 

When it used to start, even the smallest comment directed toward me with a giggle would instantly initiate tears. Made me such perfect bully-bait. Just. That. Sensitive. 

And then I got into my teen years and began my addiction. Yep. I was an addict, on an off for about 10 years with the behavior, I used various forms of intensely controlling food intake in order to, what I have now discovered, control my emotional experience. Being as sensitive as I am, I felt like I NEEDED to protect myself. Besides the horrible side effects of malnourishment, and the psychologically doozy this addiction contributed too, having something to BARRIER me from the laughter of others, and my own self-critiques, was very useful.

So here I am, 30. And I still find myself extraordinarily sensitive to comments and feelings of other people, especially when they are directed at me. I did a lot of NLP work around this subject. Being a Highly Sensitive Girl, or what I have been referring to as a Hyper-Empath, this very subject is what drove me to study and ultimately share the work I do today. So this feeling of constantly being under attack has evolved (and is still growing) into the work I share here. 

So insight into the journey... Below are four key lessons that support my ability to walk around the in the world and not feel constantly under attack. (And as always, still a work in deep progress!) 

1. Have a practice to dive into and get to the ROOT of the issue. 

For me, it was NLP. It allowed me to sit with a Coach Practitioner and for him to guide me to get to the bottom of my insecurity, rather than pop-corning around from story to story and trying to figure out "what I did wrong" or "what they did wrong." Nope. I had done years of traditional talk-therapy and I was getting NO WHERE. The drama stopped being so important to me of who said what to me, and I got really CURIOUS as to what was FEEDING my insecurity. Once I addressed the root, I felt free. From there, I have been able to work with the following three steps.  

2. Learn how to be alone.

This may sound strange, but learning to have a relationship with myself that I love has been VITAL to me being okay with whatever anyone else says or feels about me. I love to be with me, and I am learning through that love, that whatever anyone else says about me, really has nothing to do with me. Being alone has taught me how not to take things so personally. Because at the end of the day, I like this one. A lot. 

3. Learn how not to take yourself SO seriously. 

I am attracted to intense situations, and the work I do calls me into presence with the shadows and sometimes the deepest personal trauma of others. And I love it. Meanwhile, I have learned to be lighter on my feet, and remember to LAUGH AT MYSELF, FIRST. Especially when I start to create really serious stories in my head. Take a big belly breath. Yep, all the way down into my womb, and find that place in me that knows, that this whole thing, is just ridiculous. And funny. 

4. Create boundaries. 

Ha! Ask any one who is close to me, and they know that I am "VERY SENSITIVE." This has been a journey, and continues to be. Along the way I have learned how to ask for gentleness, kindness, apologies, and even space from others for myself to feel and digest.

I have learned to create boundaries.

Often when I was in a state where I was feeling attacked, I would GO ON ATTACK and DEMAND what I needed. Or I would shut down, move away, run away from the person and situation. Now, I am more aware that I am here in relationship with others to learn and grow. So expressing boundaries in a LOVING WAY, while also not giving away my power, has been vital to be able to show up, and stick around.  

How do you create boundaries?

Answer the two following questions:

What is not negotiable? AND What am I willing to concede on? 

Also, with boundaries, knowing that it is NOT my job to make people happy, all the time. This comes from that sensitive part of me that wants to people please and is worried about "what they might think of me." I now know that if I give away that vital part of my heart, I will only build resentment towards others. 

 

I am still sensitive. 

And, I now feel safe enough with myself to walk around unarmored. 

I feel more open to exploring this world without having to protect myself.

I take care of myself.

And when I do that, there is nothing to protect. 

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Briana Cavion, MA, MAnlp

Briana is a Communication and Relationship Coach for WholeLife Neuro-Linguistic Programing (wholelifenlp.com).  She has been described as having a "magical" way of helping her clients identify and release what has been slowing them down, sabotaging their path, and stopping them from living the life they most desire. She coaches to reignite personal freedom, flourishing relationships, soulful leadership, and authentic communication. She works with the presupposition that life is an incredible opportunity to create the truest expression of your highest purpose, greatest impact, and deepest gifts.  

 

 

 

How to be Amazing at Communication in Business

It isn't easy being a business owner or an entrepreneur. We live in a world where the markets are growing daily, our client's and customer's needs and wants are cross-wired, and oftentimes ethics seems to be the last thing on anyone's list. Things can get confusing, fast. Especially if we CARE at all about what we are doing. 

That seems to really get us in trouble. Until now. 

 

Because not only do we care about the product or service we are offering, we also care about the WHY, the intention, of the company. And we not only care about our clients and customers, we also care about the relationships we have with employee's and partners. 

So often our desire in opening our own business or expanding was to CREATE more freedom... and then we spend the majority of time putting out the fires of miscommunication, over-passionate expressions (oftentimes our own!) and all those unintended consequences... 

Whew. 

Now, I am not here to discourage you from owning or starting your own business. Quite the contrary. It has been one of the biggest spiritual undertakings for me to step into Conscious Creative Capitalism, and I now am a Communication and Relationship Coach Practitioner on the very subject. And I say all of this, because there is HOPE! I have walked down this fire path, and I want so share the BEST insights that my clients and I have discovered together along the way. And also this passion, this care that you have, can HELP you be an AMAZING communicator in business and in all of your relationships. With some insight and focus, you will see how you can turn these once difficult attributes into fuel for your business (and relationship) engine! 

So here's the short and sweet list of "How to be amazing at Communication in your Business (and pretty much all Relationships)": 

-  Identify and upgrade your own self-limiting beliefs

- Practice really getting their map (learn to listen to what was actually being said)

- Discover and start every conversation with "The Common Why"

Diving deeper... 

 

1. Get through to those Limiting Beliefs. 

What is a Limiting Belief? Well, it is the basis of what we we work with in WLnlp. It is any belief that we have about ourself or the world that confines to to behave in safe, small ways.

For example, I had a difficult time giving my business partner feedback, because I had the fear that he would not accept it, and turn it around as a criticism on me. 

I did WLnlp work on SELF ACCEPTANCE and cleared up my need to get that "outside of myself" stamp of approval. I was then able to approach him without needing the VALIDATION from him about my work. I could also give him constructive feedback without fear of retaliation. The final benefit I saw from clearing my self-limiting beliefs specifically was that I was also able to ask for recognition for my work without that neediness vibe that we are ALL sensitive too. I could state my desire, without the worry that it would or would not be met. And in the stating of it, the need for it to be JUST THE WAY I THOUGHT I NEEDED IT, was gone. It was SO FREEING. Just asking for what I needed became the way to fulfill the need. WLnlp is the deep inner work that I dove into to get really clear on how to do this. You can find out more about it by clicking here.

 

2. Practice Getting their Map of Reality

Everyone has a Map of Reality. 

Your Map is different then my Map. 

However, we have similarities. You are reading and understanding the language that I am sharing with you now. You obviously have some interest in business and communication. You also are probably someone who wants to focus on high-performance/transformational leadership for optimal health, wealth, and well being. 

In Amazing Business Communication, your focus needs to be the MAP. First your's. Which comes through knowing yourself. Meditation, self-work, introspection, Journaling, and WLnlp are all amazing ways to start to exercise this relationship with yourself. 

Your second - and just as important focus is - THEIR MAP.

What is their Map of Reality? How is it similar to yours? How is it different? What question(s) could you ask right now to help you understand the structure of their understanding of the situation? 

Questions such as:

"What do you value most in this situation?"

"What would your ideal outcome for today be?"

"What is your intention for today's meeting?"

"What do you love most about your position at this company?"

Are all very basic, but great questions to BEGIN to understand someone else's interpretation of reality - their Map.  

After you ask the question, allow yourself TIME TO DIGEST THEIR ANSWER. Ask a few clarifying questions. Do what you can to really GET their MAP of Reality. This may take practice especially if you are "leader" in the old-school sense. Leadership is no longer someone who stands at the head of the group and tells everyone what to do. This just doesn't work anymore. Leadership is the one who can understand the WHY of the group, and from that place inspire action. 

The best way to do this is to get to know the terrain of their Map of Reality. 

 

3. Finding "The Common Why" - FIRST

So you are both in the same office. Or on the same phone call. Or in the same retail store. Or whatever the environment is, you both are here, sharing space. There is a common reason for this, and no, it ain't just the money. That can be a big motivator, especially at the beginning, but it isn't what creates loyalty or relationships over time. It is VITAL for the success of any business to get so clear on the COMMON WHY between the provider and the customer and even more CRITICAL between employees, peers, and those who are leading this endeavor. 

If there is not a clear common why, you will see big employee turnover, and giant communication blowouts. 

The best way to avoid a communication blowout is to get to the COMMON WHY, FIRST. 

Why are we all here today? 

What do we all have invested today that we share? 

What has us say yes to spend the majority of our waking hours with each other, in this way? 

What is the BIGGER VISION that we are all dedicated to in this company? 

NOTE: If you are unclear as you what your PERSONAL WHY is, it is going to be doubly challenging to find a COMMON WHY. A strong leader is someone who knows how to guide their employees, client, or customers to understand and buy into a COMMON WHY. This only works with a strong and clear PERSONAL WHY. WLnlp is a great place to start to get so clear on your PERSONAL WHY and create the magnetism around you to be a professional and natural leader. 

As you may already sense, these three insights will not only support you in business communication, but in all forms of communication. When you have cleared up the limiting beliefs about yourself, when you really practicing getting their Map of Reality, and when you can come to a COMMON WHY, communication can flow much more creatively, openly and effectively. 

 

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Briana Cavion, MA, MAnlp

Briana is a Communication and Relationship Coach for WholeLife Neuro-Linguistic Programing (wholelifenlp.com). She and her clients get real about what is working (and not) in their careers and relationships. She has been described as having a "magical" way of helping her clients identify and release what has been slowing them down, stopping them and sabotaging their communication and relationships. Together they journey to discover personal power, soulful leadership and authentic communication. She works from the premise that life is not about one goal achieved after another, or one relationship onto the next, but an incredible opportunity to create the truest expression of your highest purpose, greatest impact and deepest gifts.  

 

The Power of Apology

I set out to share with a deep love of mine the importance of an apology, especially in any type of intimate relationship (romantic, business partner, family member etc). 

An apology is a tool to create a safe space to begin a dialogue between you and the other person. Especially when there has been a disagreement, misunderstanding, miscommunication, or an outright outburst! It is a place to "lay down your sword" and an invitation to the other person to do the same. It is a rest, rather than a battle. A place of intentional peace making, rather than antagonizing.  

An apology is a place where all parties involved have an opportunity to take responsibility for their piece in the interaction. Nobody's perfect and both of you have something wonderful to LEARN from the interaction. 

When you apologize, you also acknowledge that you engaged in behavior that was other than what you would like to express, or in behavior that hurt the other person. Even if what you did was perfectly okay for you, acknowledging that you may have caused harm to the other person allows the dialogue to begin, and for you to take a moment and step into empathy - really "getting their world." 

Taking responsibility for your actions is one of the most empowering acts we can do as a human being. It allows us to claim our position and also understand what we are going to look at, learn from, and attempt to do differently in the future. 

Why is it so difficult?

Apologies take vulnerability, and vulnerability takes courage. You are putting down your sword first. This does not guarantee that the other(s) involved will do the same. There is a risk. 

Oftentimes shame and embarrassment from the actions can come up. And, we live in a culture where saying "sorry" can be seen as weak. But it is just the opposite. It is a powerful tool for you to learn from the interaction, and invite the person you are relating to, to do the same. 

So HOW DO YOU APOLOGIZE? 

Always state that you would like to apologize. I usually ask for the other person to hear my fully before sharing their side. 

1. Acknowledge what you did. 

State exactly what you did  without justifying anything. Honoring the lack of commitment you were able to meet, or the falling short of what you would have liked to have done. Be specific. Be concise. No need to beat yourself up, just state the facts as clearly as you can. Breathe and speak slowly.  

Eg: "This morning I spoke loudly and stormed out of the room without listening to the rest of what you had to say." 

2. Empathize with the person about what you did. 

Why are you apologizing? No need to make assumptions, just do you best to step into the other person's experience and share from your heart. 

For example, "I imagine when I yelled at you this morning you might have felt sad and distanced." 

This will help the other person feel like you are on their team. That you sword is now down, and out of reach. That you are willing to reach outside of your own experience and "get their world." And when done simply, and from the heart, it will feel really good for you, and for them. 

3. Commit to a solution with yourself and with the other person. 

This is a way to show that you are willing to take responsibility for your actions BEYOND just this event. This is really where the learning can come in most powerfully from our intimate relationships 

"I am committing to myself to explore why I express myself with so much anger towards you. I am also committing to work on being gentler with you, especially in the morning." 

I have heard that a step here would be to promise to not do this behavior again. However I find that problematic. We are human, and it is very likely that you WILL do this again. Especially if you are working in a pattern in an intimate relationship. Commit to doing your best, and do it. I invite you to never commit to something that you cannot complete. 

4. Apologize & Ask for Forgiveness

Yes. There are TWO steps in one here.
One, to say I am sorry, and repeat the behavior that you are apologizing for. And second, is to invite them to participate in this process of making amends. 

"I am sorry for _______"
"Would you please forgive me?"

This gives the other person(s) a moment to respond and also allows them to find the place in their heart to ACCEPT your apology. 

So there it is. 
Clean.
Simple. 
Apology 101.

Try it out, and let me know how it works for you. 

To the journey, 

Briana 

 

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Briana Cavion, MA, MAnlp

Briana is a Communication and Relationship Coach for WholeLife Neuro-Linguistic Programing (wholelifenlp.com). She and her clients get real about what is working (and not) in their careers and relationships. She has been described as having a "magical" way of helping her clients identify and release what has been slowing them down, stopping them and sabotaging their communication and relationships. Together they journey to discover personal power, soulful leadership and authentic communication. She works from the premise that life is not about one goal achieved after another, or one relationship onto the next, but an incredible opportunity to create the truest expression of your highest purpose, greatest impact and deepest gifts.  

 

 

10 Things I Learned Being Ethically Non-Monogamous

 

Okay. So the truth is that a few months ago, someone on Tinder, (yep I was on Tinder) asked me about something that I had written in my profile. What was it? You guessed it, I included - “Ethically Non-Monogamous” 

Because I love to text on that stupidly small keyboard on my phone, I came up with 10 different things I have learned about being ENM. #8 was created by my dear friend, and partner in developing the concept of ENM, Kris.  

And, I have to admit, I am no expert. 

More often than not, I have “defaulted” to monogamy. 

And then, after that, anywhere between 3 months and a year I get tired. 

Exhausted. 

Worried that I am playing small. 

Or rather, making myself small in order to feel love. Again. 

 

So then I discovered, accidentally yes, Ethically Non-Monogamous. 

It is three words together that I made up. Though influenced by Polyamory, open relationships, and authentic relating, Ethically Non-Monogamous is based on one main principle: Ethical Choice. You do not HAVE to be in open relationships and you do not have to be in a monogamous relationship. You get to make a choice. 

Ethical Non-Monogamy is a perspective and set of guidelines for sexual and intimate relationships. ENM does not default to 1x1 intensive boyfriend/girlfriend relating as the end goal. Rather, it allows one to take the time to enjoy people and give yourself, and them, the freedom, respect, security, and love that we are all really looking for. For me it was also a way to take action and explore a relationship dynamic that allowed me to play outside of the normalized “must make myself be girlfriend now” zombie-esque programing. 

So here they are - 

The most 10 important things I have learned about being ENM:

1. Don't make promises, ever. But stick by your commitments & communicate clearly if you cannot complete the agreed upon terms. Be willing to apologize when you are not able to stick by your commitments, or when you hurt someone's feelings. Click here to read about The Power of Apology. 

2. Tell 100% of the truth, with 100% empathy & care. This especially goes for the items that feel *sticky* (ex's, other lovers etc). If it comes up, and you don’t want to say it, say it.  

3. Give space for the other person to have their own experience (emotional, sexual, spiritual, physical etc) without needing to change it. Code here: that person DOES NOT want you to fix them. On any level. Even if they are telling you - “fix me!” - don’t do it. It will drain your energy and eventually you will resent them, and they you.

4. Create a safe space for yourself & others to communicate expectations, desires, gratitudes, needs & hurts. Meaning, allow yourself to communicate expectations, desires, gratitudes, needs & hurts. Safe-porting is a great way to do this. Safe-porting is a practice that someone taught me a long time ago (I would really love to give some credit here, but I just can’t seem to figure out to whom…)  

  1. Name what you are going to do, before you do it. Example: “Hey, I want to tell you a need of mine.” 
  2. Make a request: “Would you mind just listening until I am complete? Then I would love to know how this impacts you.”
  3. Show gratitude, and ask for their input: “Thank you for listening. And I would love to know, how did what I say impact you?” 

5. When in question, be gentle. Most people are walking around with a broken heart, either self-recognized or not. 

6. Show yourself and your partner(s) gratitude for being awesome and not just falling into the mold of "typical" relationships 

7. Remember that Non-monogamy is not an easier, cooler, or more exciting a way to fuck a lot of people. It is a way to explore another form of mindful relationships, and requires MORE - not less - attention, love, care & consciousness. And, with ethics, you can choose to date and fuck a lot of people without that feeling like you are letting others down, leading them on, or being an ass hole. 

8. Then in the end, you leave everyone better off and more full of love and joy than before they met you. That's the beauty of doing everything out in the open and with tenderness is you end up showing people by example that you can have your cake and fuck it too.

9. If you do DECIDE to go into a 1x1 monogamous relationship, it is done mindfully, with the desire and full on excitement of both people. If one partner wants monogamy, and the other does not, ENM says, no, I do not compromise my life for another. I will however listen to you, and share with you 100% honesty and 100% empathy. 

10. Have fun. Explore with curiosity and allow yourself to be open to the newness of creating your own version of ENM. 

So how has it worked for me? 

I practiced ENM for several months, and related to many different types of people. Earlier in 2016 I met someone and we decided to enter into a 1x1 monogamous relationship. We both wanted it, fully. And we still use many of the ENM principles in our current relationship. It feels good to be here now, based on choice, and the desire to be in this relationship, rather than it being something that I defaulted to, or "fell" into one day. 

The journey into relationship of any kind is extraordinarily personal, based on where you are at, and what you are wanting to explore. Above all, bring choice to your relationship(s) so that they can be a place for fun and healing. 

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Briana Cavion, MA, MAnlp

Briana is a Communication and Relationship Coach for WholeLife Neuro-Linguistic Programing (wholelifenlp.com). She and her clients get real about what is working (and not) in their careers and relationships. She has been described as having a "magical" way of helping her clients identify and release what has been slowing them down, stopping them and sabotaging their communication and relationships. Together they journey to discover personal power, soulful leadership and authentic communication. She works from the premise that life is not about one goal achieved after another, or one relationship onto the next, but an incredible opportunity to create the truest expression of your highest purpose, greatest impact and deepest gifts.