First things first: Thank you so much for your gorgeous responses to my open letter about being nonbinary! Y'all are the greatest. Thank you for engaging in conversation with me around it.
Secondly, I had some clients recently complete their coaching series, which means I’m looking to work with a couple more folks! I work especially well with artsy/creative types (particularly fellow writers) and social justice warriors. Let’s talk career, habits, or whatever else you’re feeling “wtf” about; more on my offerings here. My clients are fucking THRIVING and I would love for you to join them. Here's one who just finished her series:
"I was struggling with starting (and maintaining) my own creative business, X Statement, and art career. I wanted to be more creative but also balance my financial needs/goals - which a lot of artists deal with - and I couldn't figure it out. I was stuck in my day job for a reliable source of income and didn't feel like I had options.
Mariah rides the line of being the objective professional and the genuine, enthusiastic cheerleader. So I felt comfortable to be myself in all my frustrating imperfections. Also she is just the loveliest person to be around and talk to.
I became more open and communicative, but also wanting to engage more with my family and friends. My fiancé (who I live with) was the first to say I was happier and more productive. Honestly, I am happier overall, my daily mood has leveled out, and I am more focused on my art and business. I am also more consistent with my goals and work week to week and month to month."
-X. Stillwaggon, X Statement
(She also wrote me this lovely Instagram post which made me cry.)
You can read Xtina's story and many others on my homepage, or set up a totally free, no-pressure initial consult with me here.
Change, Part 1.
An announcement: In March 2019, I'll be letting my Desire Map Facilitator license expire.
You might be wondering, "What even is a Desire Map?" It's a process created by Danielle LaPorte that revolves around the question, "How do you want to feel?" rather than letting capitalism and the kyriarchy dictate what you decide to do. It's been life-changing for me, and for the dozens of folks to whom I've taught it in the last year. It's been a huge part of my coaching practice in the past year.
And in March 2019, I will stop facilitating this program. (I will also be letting my Fire Starter Sessions Facilitator license, also created by Danielle LaPorte, expire at the same time - which is less of a big deal because I use it far less than my Desire Map license.)
This is in response to recent events involving racism and gender essentialism (mostly the racism), and while I believe wholeheartedly in the program itself, I can't justify giving Danielle LaPorte a thousand dollars a year to maintain my licenses anymore. In order to be in integrity, I need to literally put my money where my mouth is.
I just renewed my license this past March, so I have almost another year left to continue leading this particular work. I will be doing at least one more online group Desire Map workshop, and at least one more NYC-based in-person workshop. (Full transparency: None of the money that gets paid to me for those workshops goes to Danielle LaPorte; she doesn't make a commission off my work or anything.) Once I figure out that timing, I will be announcing it in this space - stay tuned.
I'll still be the same person, which includes having been deeply shaped by this work. I won't stop asking the people I work with how they want to feel. But I won't be leading this work in the same structured way anymore.
If you're curious about doing a one-on-one Desire Map journey with me before my license expires, you can read more about it or talk to me human-to-human. I'm looking forward to these next 10 months of sharing this gorgeous process before saying farewell.
Change, Part 2.
"It is a privilege to be a being in a constant state of change."
This is a missive I received from my shoulders.
My own coach, Orion, has gotten me in the habit of checking in with individual parts of my body. How are you, shoulders? What do you need? Is there anything you wish to tell me?
When I checked in with my shoulders, I heard those words: It is a privilege to be a being in a constant state of change. It felt like a prophecy.
The past few months have been a period of some of the most intense change I've gone through in adulthood. The last time I went through such an intense transition was right after the 2016 presidential election. The last time before that, I'd just said goodbye to the kid I placed for adoption, nearly six years ago.
Part of this current change is, yes, "coming out" as nonbinary.
Part of it is a sudden intensity in my desire to overthrow capitalism - and, as part of that, ambivalence about my own ambition, rooted as it is in the oppressive systems I was raised in.
Part of it is grappling with my own privilege.
Part of it is a deep and abrupt yearning for slowness, community, connection to green things, analog things, singing, dancing.
Part of it is having a newly spiritual connection to my body that was missing for years (maybe always?).
Part of it is about basic everyday words not feeling right anymore.
And, part of it is ineffable right now.
"Oh-oh, the world is changing
And I am changing with it
Oh-oh, the world is changing
And I am changing too."
All of it is utterly disorienting.
How does this change show up in practice? Much of it is quiet and invisible, and it's different every day:
Having probing conversations about gender with my clients.
Holding a "Mother's Day Is Hard" brunch at my apartment where we cook for each other and read tarot.
Crying alone in a field at 11pm.
Finding a new way to give myself orgasms.
Subscribing to other coaches' newsletters, and then unsubscribing immediately when their advice feels too tidy.
Procrastination, and lots of it.
Subscribing to witchy podcasts.
Taking my shoes off in the grass, even when it's cold.
Intense text convos about whether New York City forces people to be self-absorbed just to survive.
Taking all evening to make myself a proper dinner.
And sometimes it just means breathing. A looooootttt of breathing.
Here's what I'd forgotten about change:
CHANGE MEANS GRIEF.
I love, love, love all the ways in which I am changing, but my old self feels...not dead, but like she has nowhere to go. (And yes, even though I'm claiming my "they" pronoun right now, I do feel like my past self is a "she"; my "they" feels very present-tense.)
I've talked before about the importance of loving all the past versions of yourself. I dearly love my past self, I try not to judge her for what she didn't know, and I thank her for having the openness and curiosity to lead me to this point. And yet, I don't know where to put her.
This change is making me feel more myself than ever, AND ALSO, I am in pain because of it. I find myself wondering if I will ever feel like I belong anywhere, even as I find myself having the inner space for deeper, more genuine connection than before.
It's all very confusing!
And, as my shoulders told me...a privilege.
Even as I write this, I feel the tension of this change. After my uber-vulnerable Numb Slog post, I felt pressure to perform "okayness" immediately thereafter - because it's OK to be vulnerable for a moment, but not for too long, right?
So right now, I feel pressure to reiterate to you that I am blossoming. That I feel like I am becoming my truest self and discovering the secrets of the world. That I wouldn't have it any other way. All of which is absolutely true.
AND (my favorite word is "and"), it hurts to change. It hurts to know you can never go back. It hurts to displace your old self. It hurts.
Both things get to be true.
"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."
All of which is to say...
- it is a privilege to be a being in a constant state of change,
- it's not only okay not to have everything figured out, it's essential, because the moment you think you've got it all figured out is the moment you become brittle,
- I love myself,
- I love you,
- I know that every new challenge opens up breathtaking vistas inside of me, and that these new vistas make me even better at what I do (whether as a coach, as an artist, or just as a human),
- God is change,
- and it's definitely Yanny, not Laurel. Sorry, haters.