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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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Gratitude in times of challenge

22 Nov

As we are approaching Thanksgiving i am rattled by mixed feelings. On one hand, there is so much i am grateful for. On the other, there is a sense of grief and devastation prompted by the biggest fire i have ever been close to.

Here in the San Francisco Bay Area we have not been able to freely enjoy what many of us take for granted: the air. For one and a half weeks the air was loaded with toxins and heavy particulate matter from the Paradise fire. We were advised to stay indoors and wear face masks when going outside. And in comparison we were the lucky ones. Those in Paradise lost their homes, their pets, or even their lives.

These past 10 days have been difficult. They were confrontational in a internal way.

In my coaching practice clients were talking about feeling depressed. It’s easy to be depressed when the sky is gray and smoggy, the air thick, and we cage ourselves in to protect our health. And all the while the fire continued to rage and burn everything in its path: woods, buildings, animals and people who are trapped. The situation was out of control and that made it so deeply unsettling. How can we be energetic and project positively into the future when there is no sense of safety, of refuge?

In the SoulCollage workshop this past weekend we made cards that reflect our inner devastation. How can it be possible that a tragedy of such magnitude would happen in California? If we here in beautiful, technologically advanced and wealthy California cannot be safe and protected, who is? Other cards expressed our longing for water, and with it the longing to be soothed and safe.

This year my gratitude list is long, but it is accompanied by a list of grievances. It is hard to live with uncertainty. It is hard to viscerally feel destruction while breathing, to know that the particles in the air that are hazardous for our health, burned something that was precious to somebody else. And it’s hard to look toward the future—a future that will likely bring more fires, more hurricanes, more horrors.

The underlying question, for me, is ‘How can we restore balance to this planet that is so out of balance?’ Unfortunately, there is no easy answer. Successful planetary change must include all of us—necessitating an ubiquitous acknowledgement of global warming, and the commitment of all of us individually and as nations to make inconvenient changes.

If it was easy, we would have solved the problem decades ago. We have not. And while it’s easy to despair and be stifled by overwhelm in the face of such an unlikely collective effort, i am reminded of the notion that change starts within. To me, the new question is ‘How can i create harmony within while doing my part in creating harmony in my environment?’ And how can i calm myself when confronted with a sense of doom?’

Here is what i can do for myself:

1) Get enough sleep. Without it, i wrack my health and my capacity for strength and resilience.
2) Celebrate what i have. Focus on gratitude.
3) Strive to find the positive in a challenge.
4) Meditate daily. 20 min consistently is enough to make a difference for me.
5) Choose simple nurturing activities such as exercise, a walk, or connecting with a friend or loved one, or listening to uplifting music.

Gratitude is a fundamental pillar to happiness. In my list it is only preceded by the necessity of getting enough sleep. And, for most of us challenges to our inclination for gratitude are real, not just when the biggest fire in California’s know history rages. It is a year-round endeavor to keep our mind calm and our spirit turned upward.

This Thanksgiving we all are grateful that the fire is over. That the hurricane and tornado season is over. In California we are grateful that the rain just started, however late in the season. We are grateful for clean air to breathe.

And, as we are celebrating Thanksgiving i can’t help but turn to spirit and acknowledge our amazing ability to survive. As we recover from the shock and heal the trauma we can turn toward thriving again. This time, let’s consider the greater balance of nature and find ways to keep the earth’s balance intact. The earth provides everything we have.

I am grateful for this beautiful planet, and i am grateful to you for reading this.

Happy Thanksgiving!

© Eva Ruland, November 2018

Got Stress?

9 Oct

#1 – Difficulty concentrating
#2 – Trouble making decisions
#3 – Negative outlook on life
#4 – Anxious or racing thoughts
#5 – Constant worrying

Emotional Symptoms
#6 – General moodiness
#7 – Irritability or short temper
#8 – Agitation, anger, and the inability to relax
#9 – Feeling overwhelmed with life
#10 – Feeling lonely and isolated
#11 – Depression or general unhappiness

Physical Symptoms
#12 – Aches and pains in the body
#13 – Diarrhea or constipation, bowel problems
#14 – Nausea, dizziness, vertigo
#15 – Chest pain, rapid heartbeat, pounding of the heart
#16 – Loss of sex drive
#17 – Frequent colds or flu viruses

Behavioral Symptoms
#18 – Eating more or less
#19 – Sleeping too much or too little
#20 – Isolating yourself from others
#21 – Procrastinating or neglecting life’s responsibilities
#22 – Using alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to relax, or in excess
#23 – Nervous habits

I took a hard look and found that my husband and i show symptoms in each of the categories. And here is my conclusion: we are both more stressed than is healthy, and, more importantly, we have been living with too much stress for years. My recent cancer diagnosis is the proof of it. (Stay tuned, i am in the process of writing more about this.)

Nick Ortner suggests tapping, also called EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). Tapping is really great. I used it after a near miss with another car that re-triggered trauma from an old accident. EFT was exactly what i needed. It helped me calm down, shed some of the old trauma, and brought me back to the current moment.

But do i believe that tapping is the solution to systemic stress? No, i don’t. That’s like having lung cancer and instead of stopping smoking, going on an oxygen tube while continuing to smoke. That’s clever, and it may help a little, but it is not a solution. If you have a systemic problem you have to be willing to look at the system as a whole and all the factors that create your stress. The only real change is achieved once you find the base cause of your stress and change it in a way that does not create new systemic stress. That’s not easy because we all live the way we live for a reason. We have responsibilities and are attached to certain habits and things. And we use these habits and things to justify the stress.

Take a moment and go back to the stress symptoms and mark those that apply to you. Be honest. If you have one or two symptoms, tapping might be the right solution for you. But if you have more, chances are that what produces your stress is an integral part of your life. You need more than tapping. You need to look at the very fabric of your everyday life, locate the stress-producing factors, and then compassionately and creatively eliminate or minimize the stress factors.

Stress leads to many health problems, cancer is just one of them. It also leads to many social and relational problems. If you have stress symptoms, take them seriously and find the help that is appropriate for you. This is your one and precious life and you do not want to waste it.

If you are ready to get help sorting out your systemic stress, consider coaching. Joining me for a SoulAlchemy group might be a good first step. And if your stress is temporary or limited and you are interested in tapping visit https://www.thetappingsolution.com.

Photo by Edu Lauton on Unsplash

© Eva Ruland, October 2018

Summer of Strength and Hope

21 Jun

Today, i start with gratitude. I am grateful for my life, my relative safety, the love and the possibility that surround me, and i am grateful for everyone who touches my life or allows me to touch theirs. Today, i am also grateful for all those who rose up to protest the separation of immigrant families, and those who donated to help reunite children and parents. No child emerges from a separation from their family unharmed. As someone who suffered a separation at age 2, i know first hand how traumatizing such an experience is and that it changes who we are. It makes us less trusting, more defensive, and creates beliefs of not belonging, of not being wanted, of not being safe. These beliefs are harmful to the individual and they are harmful to society. It’s a long and difficult journey to undo them.

Summer solstice, the time when the sun is at its highest and brightest in the sky, is a time of celebration and of enjoying our success. Today, i celebrate the power of this collective uprising. It gives me hope where fear of a moral breakdown of the magnitude Germany experienced in the 1930s had surfaced. We have a long way to go to undo the harm that the current administration has caused socially and environmentally, and yet, today i feel hopeful.

Hope is one of the core ingredients needed for conscious change. Hope is an element in making something possible. You have to have an appealing vision before you, and you have to harbor the hope that you can manifest your vision. Those who are not able to tap into possibility are lost in deep depression. Many are. As a culture and as individuals we are extremely vulnerable to hopelessness. Many of us go through the experience of feeling stuck in a dark hole with no apparent way out.

So, on this summer solstice, i want to invite you to allow hope in. To celebrate what you have, and let your awareness shine on it as bright as the sunlight. Perhaps, just perhaps, you can even allow yourself to celebrate the discomfort with the things you want but don’t have, personally or culturally, as a force to bring you toward them. These discomforts might be the grit that propels you to the long wished-for new level in your life. If possible, i want to invite you to embrace hope.

If you can connect with hope and can feel the possibility of a shift, consider contacting me to explore ways i may help you. This might be your time to explore coaching, for an individualized gentle path to transformation. Or, if you are in the San Francisco Bay Area and more drawn to group work, consider joining me for the Silver Queen trilogy (starting on July 14) and/or SoulAlchemy starting in September.

Please continue to let your voice, values and truth be heard. We are the ones we have been waiting for. Wishing you a joyful summer!

Much love,
Eva

© Eva Ruland, June 2018

Resilience and SoulAlchemy

1 May

We are all trained to have our eyes on the ups of life and orient ourselves toward them: We want the perfect partner. We would like to be successful. We like wealth. We want to be healthy. We want it all — and there is nothing wrong with wanting. But here is an issue: you may have a fairytale script for your life. And just as in a fairytale you may expect the happy ever after. Forever.

But then life throws you a curve ball……..

How do you react? Shocked. Shaken. Unprepared.

Here’s a truth: Life is cyclical. It is a sequence of ups and downs, of good experiences and painful experiences. Unless you die very young, chances are that you’ll encounter disappointments and losses—no matter how beautiful or intelligent or wealthy you are. No insurance can guarantee that you’ll go through life without losses.

How do we deal with the downs of life?

The common ways of coping are: shop more, eat more, self-medicate via drinking, or go on anti-depressants. In the long run, these all are self-defeating and tend to leave you feeling hollow, or fat, or more vulnerable. Eventually, you get used to shutting down, and you create more reasons to be depressed. Soon, you are caught in a downward spiral. You become less open to yourself and the world around you and you become more and more separated from joy.

So, how do you deal with the uncertainties of life, with defeat and loss? How can you emerge from one of life’s downs without being broken and shut off?

The key is resilience. Resilience is the capacity to experience the full spectrum of life. Resilience is when we learn to ride the waves of life and begin to accept the downs along with the ups. When we are resilient we can bounce back more quickly after a downward stretch and start to find joy again.

How can we nurture resilience?

SoulAlchemy® is a path to resilience. It teaches us to embrace life in its fullness.

In SoulAlchemy® you learn to connect with your inner truth. You learn to accept that the ups of your life will be accompanied by downs. By looking at all of your life courageously, you learn to authentically embrace your feelings. As a result you feel stronger and become more resilient.

SoulAlchemy® is a journey through memories and associations. It is also a journey into your potential and into your core. SoulAlchemy will bring you closer to feel the fullness of life—your life—and leave you encouraged, empowered, and resiilient.

Learn more about SoulAlchemy® at evaruland.com/alchemy.

© Eva Ruland, May 2018

Renewal & Resilience

31 Mar

If you are anything like me, you’ve had a winter sprinkled with colds and the flu. That can be depressing. I tried to make the best of it and gave myself permission to spend a couple of days in bed, and hours on the sofa, a book close by and the cats snuggled up with me. Now i am really ready for spring renewal.

I enjoy the sun and the warmer days, but today my head is hurting and my energy is not totally back. My reality is not either/or at this moment. But I have choices. I can focus on all that is not right: having a headache, feeling low energy, feeling melancholic when thinking of some recent deaths—one in my family, several in my circle of friends—or, i can focus on what is right. I can focus on the lovely sunshine that warms me, the delicious tea i’m drinking, the slight breeze that keeps me fresh, the cats who teach me how to relax. I can focus on the love i experience coming my way and the love i feel for others, and on the perseverance of mother nature who continues to produce greenery and new buds even though we humans constantly attack it.

Even though my main focus as a coach is on the positive, i do not always and exclusively focus on the positive and on easy feelings. I know the benefit of acknowledging the dark. I know that we can only blossom fully when we embrace our history, and our capacity for light and dark, and are in touch with all our feelings as they occur. Like the lotus that roots in the mud, and many flowers that feed on compost, we have to integrate the dark to flourish and to become whole.

A word that comes up in this context is resilience. How do we train ourselves in resilience? A friend shared a learning incident from a movement class she was in. One of the regulars had a foot injury and meant to sit out. The teacher encouraged her to find and explore movement within limitation. She began to use her arms and hands and upper body to express herself. I find this a lovely metaphor for resilience and strength: find the movement within the limitation. For me today, it means sitting in the sun, writing to you on my laptop while listening to the birds and the wind in the leaves. It does not mean that i do not mourn the recent passing of my brother-in-law (who joined the family when i was still a little girl) and all the other loved ones that i have lost and that i miss and that this death reminds me of. It means that i try to find a balance in my reality. I try to find movement within the current limitation.

How can you find movement within the limitation of the moment?

© Eva Ruland, March 2018

Will 2018 be a good year?

1 Feb

Many people around me say that 2018 will be a good year, mostly referring to politics. I too feel that there is more hope for the future. But how good a year 2018 will be does not only depend on politics. It also depends on you. 2018 will be as good as we make it.

I have started the year slowly. Even though i led a couple of year end and New Year’s workshops, i felt the weight of winter slowing me down. Not that it’s terribly cold here in Berkeley—the temperature hasn’t gone below 37 once. It’s the short days and the long succession of gray days that made me want to stay inside and focus inward. Plus, i am still integrating the rich experiences of my Australia trip. Luckily, turning inward and making room for my soul to feel comfortable (translated from the German ‘die Seele baumeln lassen” meaning to allow yourself time to process and to be) are perfect winter activities.

Finally, i am also beginning to plan ahead. The things that i want to focus on are: one-on-one coaching, guiding small groups through the SoulAlchemy process, and launching SoulAlchemy as a virtual program.

For those interested in SoulAlchemy, the virtual program will start on February 27. Registration just opened. You can sign up at http://www.evaruland.com/alchemy.

If you have been longing to make your life more nurturing, more fun, or otherwise more satisfying, come and bring these longings to coaching. I’d love to help you gain clarity, and support you as you begin to take steps toward manifesting your soul’s desire. I currently have three coaching spots available. If you have any questions or are not sure if your situation lends itself to coaching, just ask. Drop me a line and let me know how to reach you by phone and we can talk about it.

Let’s make 2018 a good year!

© Eva Ruland, February 2018