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Fully being YOU

3 Aug

This week i received a message from Marci Shimoff (the woman who wrote “Happy for no Reason”) and her associate in the Year of Miracles, Sue Morter, that started out with

Remember who you are.

Marci told the story of an African tribe in which every new born baby is given a “signature song,” a song solely for them, that reflects their soul. This song is sung to the baby before, during, and after birth, and at important moments of their life. When a tribe member commits a crime, “rather than punishing them, the entire tribe gathers and circles around that person. Then they sing the offender ‘their song’ to remind them of who they are.” That is how the tribe regulates and stays strong. Amazing, isn’t it?

In our culture there are many factors that make it easy to forget our soul’s signature. We do not grow up being reminded of our specific gifts and purpose. On the contrary, we are flooded with role models that are seemingly perfect: perfect to look at, perfectly charming, perfectly successful, and in relationships with seemingly perfect partners.

Even if you do not consciously buy into the standards put in front of you by the media, you may still have a hard time to love yourselves and your imperfect life. Can you love your imperfect body, your aging face? your house that is cluttered or messy or otherwise imperfect? Can you love your imperfect partner who has become estranged to you by the burden of everyday life? Or do you not have a partner and suffer from the societal view that couples and families represent perfection? Where in all of this imperfection do you derive the strength to claim your true nature and sing your song? Do you even know your song?

As a transformational coach i am here to help you crystallize who you are, find your song, and what makes you sing. Just send me an email or give me a call if you are interested in exploring coaching.

I also offer workshops and groups that can aid in the process of gaining more self knowledge. Current group offerings are

SoulCollage on August 18, 1:30 – 4:30pm. Read about it and register at evaruland.com/soulcollage.html

SoulAlchemy, a small in-person group that meets in Berkeley, in which we use tools that bring you more fully into yourself. We will be meeting over 9 weeks on Monday evenings on 9/16, 9/23, 10/14, 10/21, 10/28, 11/4, 11/18. Read about it at evaruland.com/alchemy and contact me for a brief conversation to determine a good fit.

Let me help you find your song.

Eva

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Pink?

10 May

Pink was never my color. I stayed away from it because i did not want to come across girly. Today, i turned around and chose pink. It’s right in my face, too. I got pink bangs. WOW!

When showed the colors i wanted in my hair—bright pink, a radiant red, and a dark leafy red, the stylist grabbed the hot pink and held it on my forehead. She suggested to die my baby bangs pink. Okay, i said, and she was in disbelief. She double checked three times with me. Yes, i was going for it.

She worked on me for over 2 hours. First, the color had to be stripped from my hair so that the lighter colors would show. The smell of ammonia creeped me out. How can i do this to my hair and my skull, i thought for a moment. But there was no going back. I was in for the ride. I had to sit under a heated hood for a while to bake the color in. No denying it, this treatment was not nature friendly.

But, then, once the bleach was washed out and the pink applied, i forgot all about the chemicals. I fell in love with my little patch of pink. She put in foils on the side and added color for the highlights. When the foils had come off, and my hair was washed, i felt giddy. I could not wait to see the result. And there it was: bright and pink right on my forehead, and red, orange and pink stripes on the side. While she was blowdrying my hair i saw colorful feathers appear on my head. “My true feathers,” i thought, “i am showing my true colors.”

I love my new colors. They uplift me. This pink has nothing to do with the pink of being a well-adjusted, well-behaved girl. This pink is the color of joy. It feels exuberant and is super liberating. When i went to a networking event tonight, lots of women came up to me to compliment me on my hair and my courage. That’s when i realized that my hair has become my messenger. The message is: dare to be yourself.

I invite you to connect with your own pink. Your pink might be orange, or turquoise, or purple—and it may or may not want to show in your hair. What is your true color? How can you connect with and step into your authentic self?

Need help? I’d love to support you in living your life from your truth, unapologetically, unabashedly, and gracefully. After all, i believe that the universe had something special in mind when it made you.

[photos: Pat Mazzera | hair: Universe @ Festoon Salon Berkeley]

© Eva Ruland, 2016

What color is your blossom?

31 Mar

Spring has started with sunshine and a show of lush green and the first blooms. It is as if nature put on a perfect show to teach us a lesson—that we are at our best when we show our innate beauty, that which makes us unique.

Spring is a celebration of new possibilities and of differences. Flowers come in different colors and shapes, and so do humans. Some of us are high endurance people, others are sprinters; some of us have a firm grasp on facts, and others are more ethereal and easily travel into the realm of imagination. I see us all as unique flowers, contributing to the beautiful tapestry of life.

Spring is your time to embrace your uniqueness and celebrate it. It’s the time to get yourself out and show yourself in your you-ness. What is your unique color? What does your blossom look like?

I offer 3 different ways of supporting you in making strides toward being yourself more fully.

Coaching. In this completely individualized approach the focus is on you, where you’re at and where you want to be. Coaching supports and guides you in taking a new kind of  responsibility, that of agency. This is the deepest approach to self-discovery and has lasting effects. Ready for a life-changing journey? Read more here or contact me.

Midlife Alchemy group. I guide you and the group through a transformative process of self exploration using writing and imagery. Sharing in the group creates a community and accelerates insights. A new midlife alchemy group will start in May. http://evaruland.com/MidlifeAlchemy

SoulCollage group/workshop. I guide you in the process of connecting with your soul through images. This is a quick+easy approach to self-discovery. Repeated participation is highly recommended. Check out dates and sign up: http://evaruland.com/soulcollage.html

All 3 approaches have specific benefits and lead you to experience profound change in how you see yourself and your world. They work well in tandem—the more attention and time you invest the faster you’ll see change.

If you need help deciding on where to start, contact me. We’ll talk about it and i will help you choose what’s best for you right now.

Happy spring!

© Eva Ruland, March 2016

Inner Beauty Never Fades

26 Jan

INNER BEAUTY NEVER FADES — Or does it? Sadly, it can fade away and often does. But, differently from outer beauty, inner beauty can be completely restored.

Recently, i listened to a talk which the speaker began by saying “I want to make one thing clear: i am absolutely, amazingly awesome,” and he featured a big grin. Then he continued with a smile “and here is one more thing: you are too.” He was talking about being in touch with your inner sense of belonging, with the feeling that you are loved and utterly lovable that lets your inner beauty shine out into the world bright and clear.

Sun Sheperdess by Julie Dillon
Detail of the painting Sun Shepherdess by Julie-Dillon. http://www.juliedillonart.com/

Imagine the spark in a toddler’s eyes. Remember how their eyes glow? They reflect the shine of adventure, the joy at every discovery, and the sheer insatiable hunger for new experiences that can freely develop when you are young, innocent, and feel loved. I saw this glow in the eyes of my 2 year old niece when i last visited Germany. Frankly, i was surprised at how much she charmed me. She was just turning 2 and her life was a big, fun adventure.

Then i thought back and remembered the charm of her mother, my 12-year-younger baby sister. She glowed too when she was little. But when she was my niece’s age, the first big shadows descended upon her. My father’s stroke shook up all of our lives. All of a sudden, life did not continue the way we were used to. The biggest factor that indicated that something was off was the fact that our mother was rarely home and when she was, she was tired, bent by worry. Even though my sister was only 2, and all us older siblings doted over her, she, like the rest of us, could not ignore that something upsetting had happened, something that stole our mother’s peace. All of a sudden, the solid rock of our family, was shaken with one parent being on the brink of death and the other scared and utterly overwhelmed at the vision of her future as a single mom of five, the youngest 2 and the oldest 14. As it turned out, my father was to live for 5 more years, however not as his former self, but as an ailing, incapacitated man who needed more care than any of us children. This change shows in family photos—mostly the lack thereof—and in the photos of my sister’s early childhood. She lost her innocent trust in life very early.

However, you don’t have to lose or nearly lose your father as a young child in order to lose your trust in life, and perhaps in yourself. Too many restrictions, or too many obligations, can do the same thing. If you are constantly reminded that you cannot do such and such because you are too small or because it is not safe, or if you are burdened with too many responsibilities too early, you lose some of your innocent shine. And you lose even more when you don’t feel loved.

Let’s take a moment and look at restrictions and also at moral stories. These can cross our path in the form of a relative or a teacher. There might have been an aunt who always knew how to stop you in your tracks with a blood curdling story or a warning. When i was small we had an old book, from the late 1800s, with admonishing stories for children. I still remember the horror i experienced at the story of Suppenkasper, a boy who did not like his soup—just like me—and refused to eat it. The rhyme said that “on day seven he was dead ” and the illustration showed him getting thinner and thinner every day, and on day seven you only saw a grave with a cross. I hope most of you were spared those kind of stories. But there might have been a pseudo well-meaning doomsayer in your environment who always had to point out that you couldn’t possibly expect to be loved if you continued to do such and such. They would probably end on a notion such as “You better be a good child.” Most of us can’t ignore their need to be loved and liked—as a child or as an adult. So, we begin to compromise our truth for the sake of pleasing someone.

After years (and decades) of pleasing others, you might not even be able to clearly hear your own inner voice anymore. It has been dimmed—and with it your inner glow has dimmed. BUT, it is never to late to liberate yourself from old internalized pressures and stories, and begin to reconnect with your own truth. In the beginning, it might be hard to hear the thin voice inside you. Everybody else’s voice has had their free run for such a long time and shouted over your own inner voice. And even harder than to retrain yourself to hear your inner voice is it to choose it when it means going against the wish (or the domineering bullying) of someone else. But, it can be done.

Here are some ideas for those who feel they want to start tackling their transformation.

• Start imagining yourself already at your goal: in your center, feeling amazing.
• Try to see yourself do all the things that you are passionate about. Allow yourself this vision and allow yourself to enjoy it.
• In your thought experiment, give yourself full permission to please yourself. Step into your truth. See yourself do things your way.
• See yourself literally or metaphorically skip joyfully through your day.
• See your new glow radiate out.
• Love yourself with all your might.
• Bring this vision into your day-to-day life. Try to implement one thing at a time.
• Become your own advocate.
• When you look into the mirror, smile at yourself.

This might be really difficult. Remember that you are going against a life-time of habit. If you experience difficulties with any of the above, don’t be discouraged. Instead, consider getting help. Depending on where you’re at, choose a therapist, or choose a transformational coach. I love this kind of deep work. With my help you will not only find out what is truly meaningful to you. You will also learn to take incremental steps that lead you to live your life in sync with your inner truth. This will tease out your inner beauty, and along-side, you will discover a life of joy. Click here to read more about my transformational approach and here to send me an email. Let’s reawaken your inner beauty, shall we?

© Eva Ruland, January 2015