Laying Hold of the Dream

Today is the celebration of the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., one of the most influential civil rights activists in history. He is known for his tremendous vision, unbelievable bravery and powerful speeches. He was, also, a man, who had challenges, heartbreak, and moments of doubt.

Did you know that his most famous speech, the “I have a dream” speech just about fell flat? In front of a crowd of a quarter million people at the March on Washington in 1963, Dr. King seemed to struggle a bit with his speech. It wasn’t flowing. At one point he looked up from his notes and said:

“Go back to Mississippi; go back to Alabama; go back to South Carolina; go back to Georgia; go back to Louisiana; go back to the slums and ghettos of our Northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.”

The people on the platform with him knew he had gone off his prepared remarks, and that’s when Mahalia Jackson, a renowned gospel singer, shouted to him: “Tell ’em about the dream, Martin!”

Dr. King pivoted, found the fire within, and proclaimed:

“I say to you today, my friends — and so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up, live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave-owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day, even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, one day, right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.”

And with that, Dr. King delivered one of the most powerful and famous speeches in American history.  It would have been a whole different story had he stayed in the nightmare.

My prayer today is that this country will one day live up to Dr. King’s dream, that it will become not only our collective dream but also the reality on the ground.

And I also pray that each and every one of you reading this, no matter the struggle you may be facing, no matter the hardship, will find the courage to pivot from doubt and despair and take hold, once again, of your dreams. Powerful dreams are what change our lives and our world.

Love,

Cylvia

What a Week!

This was a huge week! My book, finally, went live! I’d be so honored if you’d check out When Life Blows Up: A Guide to Peace, Power and Reinvention and let me know what you think.   And, after a year of working at it, I finally got the go ahead to teach a college course on Economic Illusions, Truths and Dangerous Assumptions. This course is a perfect way to offer the twenty-five years of expertise I have in making the shift toward a more sustainable, saner, equitable new economy.

I share this to offer encouragement if you are in a position of facing major and prolonged life transition. The two milestones I mention above were five years in the making! It took that long to move through the process of having everything fall apart, being willing (even when I didn’t want to) to sit with the uncertainty, doing the inner work of releasing my old identity (even when I didn’t want to) and opening up to allowing things to fall back into place looking very different than it did before the big crisis.

Back then, before it all blew up, if I had mapped out a pathway that I thought would bring my work and life to the next level it wouldn’t have been as good as what is taking place now.

Please know that even when it seems there is no possible way through the mess in front of you, there is. And, when it seems like the best of your life is behind you, it doesn’t have to be.

Here is an excerpt from my book, Chapter 12, titled On Purpose:

I don’t know if everything happens for a purpose but I do know we can find purpose in everything that happens. Pulling value out of agony helps us make sense of traumatic events and is a powerful survival skill; it’s also the thing that allows us to become more than we were before.

The greatest gift we can give ourselves and our world is to allow the trauma to break us open to the truth of who we really are, but be prepared, that opening process can send disruptive ripples throughout every aspect of your life. Once we’ve experienced the peace and power of the I Am consciousness, the connection to Source, once we’ve really laid hold of the fact that we’re more than just these human bodies, our purpose and priorities often shift. …..  

Our greatest challenges and deepest wounds are usually the best catalysts to propel us forward on a pathway of growth and expansion. Our times of deep loss and uncertainty are the times to go within, not to hole up and shrink but to whole up, expand and get very clear about what we really want to do with this precious human life we’ve taken on.

This human life we are experiencing is a series of classrooms and the more we make room for the inner lessons and our own growth, the more our mess can become our message, and our contribution.

And, just in case you think I’m putting forward a picture of my life being all perfection (something I really detest in many bloggers and coaches because none of our lives really are, at least not all the time) I want to share what happened this very morning.

I rolled out of bed and into my little hot tub with coffee and devotional book in hand, all ready to do my morning meditation. Unless I have a really early morning meeting I keep my first thing in the morning time sacred. However, this morning, just as I settled into the warm water, with magical snow flakes falling all around, my son, who is in the process of launching his own adult life, called to inform me of a number of calamities that had just hit him including a flat tire on the work truck he parks in my side lot. As much as I tried to ignore it I could hear him over there struggling with the jack and the whole situation, and life in general. My irritation melted into a heart swell of wanting to ease his frustration and struggle and so, I wound up spending the first part of the morning, in my bathrobe with a ski jacket over it (not a good look!), in a snowstorm, teaching him how to operate a big jack to get a big tire off a heavy truck. Meanwhile my hound dog got into the garbage can next door! It was a pretty darned redneck scene (said with love and homage to my roots!).   He made it to work and calmed down a lot and he learned how to operate a floor jack. I, once again, felt tremendous gratitude for being raised a rough little farm kid who knows how to do such things.

I didn’t get as much done today as I had on the “Do list”, but I did lay down a lovely, funny memory with my son and hound dog. Yep, quite a week!

Peace and happy weekend to you all.

Love,

Cylvia

P.S.  If you are interested in Launching Your Next Awesome Chapter of life, career or both, schedule a free coaching session here.

Leavin’ the Last Decade in the Rear View Mirror!

Just before New Year’s I received from my publisher, the loose-leaf version of my book so that I could do one more round of edits and proofreading. I took the bundle of papers and a cup of coffee out to my little hot tub and starting reading it (again!) and making a few notes and edits, (again!).

Reviewing it brought home what a truly momentous New Year’s this is. It had all been so very different and so much harder a few years ago, as I noted in the chapter three titled, Redefining Surrender:

“Throughout the holidays the press pounded me and John and the governor’s office and campaign staff. Several of the Oregonian’s click-for-cash reporters were relentless. My attorneys recommended I sue the Oregonian to prevent them from getting my personal emails. That meant suddenly I had both an investigation by the Oregon Ethics Commission, and a lawsuit in the Marion County Circuit Court trying to keep a dishonest newspaper from getting my personal emails, as well as a looming federal investigation.   The mushroom cloud just seemed to keep getting bigger and thicker.

In addition to being weary from the constant bombardment and accusations, I was heartsick about what we were doing to the planet. …. My work seemed so small compared to the enormity of the issues and even that work was now under intense attack by relentless and vicious media.   I hit a deep depression. For two days I just lay in the recliner watching TV and drinking beer, numbing myself. Normally this was a time of the year when I reviewed the goals I’d had for the year just passing and set goals for the new year ahead. Not this time. I just didn’t have the heart for it. This would be the first time I could remember that I hadn’t set goals for the year to come.”

Well good-bye and good riddance to those times and trials and hello 2020! This is the first January in five years that I am not dealing with legal and financial challenges beyond my control that came with my life blowing all to pieces.

I have heard from so many of you that you are more than ready to put the last decade in the REAR VIEW MIRROR!  So many of us have struggled a lot, suffered a lot and grown a lot. And now it’s time to launch a whole new and awesome chapter.

Right now, in the heart of winter, at the very beginning of a new year and new decade is the perfect time to drop old patterns that no longer serve us. One of the most important aspects is letting go the old stories we tell ourselves about ourselves and about our lives. Here’s another piece from my book:

“Surrendering to the loss of our old identity, the story we told of ourselves and to ourselves makes room for possibilities that didn’t exist, or that we couldn’t see, in the old story. This is a point of massive evolutionary potential, in how we view our world, others and ourselves, in how we feel and think. The evolution happens in its own time, sometimes gradually, in small shifts, and sometimes in rapid and profound revelation.

Those times when the mirages of order in our old stories fall to pieces are times when we can choose to be diminished, reduced and limited or expanded and diversified. The power comes when we resist the fear and urge to contract and instead open to the possibility that the change, no matter how painful, may be the best gift we never imagined. By releasing our death grip on an old, familiar identity we make room for new amazing facets to surface and shine. The most courageous choice is to give time and room to the space between our old story and the new, to sit still in the liminal unknowing and allow the sacred to emerge.”

I am indescribably grateful for all the growth and change that has resulted from the indescribably painful set of circumstances that seized my life for a time. There is no doubt that all the things we view as problems, challenges and pain can actually be tremendous gifts; I call them gifts wrapped in barbed wire!

So here’s to 2020!   And her’s to each of us making this the best year of our lives so far.

And oh yeah, I’m setting goals again! Here are a few:

  • Being of top-notch service to my awesome coaching and consulting clients
  • Launching a college course about creating a saner, sustainable economy
  • Launching the book! And starting the next one.
  • And, some less grand things like getting my house painted ….

What are your 2020 goals?  I would love to hear.

And I would love to support you in clarifying and actualizing them. If you’d like to chat about it, just book a Discovery Session here. This is a free one-on-one empowerment coaching session with just you and me.

FYI, the first six new folks who sign up for my Launch Your Next Chapter empowerment program will receive complimentary copies of my book, When Life Blows Up: A Guide to Peace, Power and Reinvention.

Love,

Cylvia

 

Want to make 2020 a breakthrough year?

Are you interested in making 2020 a breakthrough year?

Me too! That’s why I am offering a 20% discount to my Launch Your Next Chapter program to the first six people who sign up between now and January 15th.   20% in honor of 2020 – a new year and whole new decade!

Heading into a New Year is a perfect time to focus on creating a solid plan for putting more peace, power and purpose in your life.   This coaching program is specifically designed for people facing transition and reinvention and wanting to make 2020 a turning point year.

To see if this program might be a fit for you, I invite you to schedule a complimentary Discovery and Breakthrough coaching session. You can pick a time that works for you at this link.

As an added bonus, when you join the Launch Your Next Chapter program I will be happy to provide you with a copy of my brand new book, When Life Blows Up: A Guide to Peace, Power and Reinvention.

Cover of Cylvia Hayes’ When Life Blows Up

Love,

Cylvia

Full Spiral Gratitude

Freya having her own full spiral Thanksgiving all safe, toasty and comfy on a couch with people who truly love her.

Another Thanksgiving but definitely not a full circle experience. I don’t believe we ever come full circle, but instead full spiral; we may return to familiar settings but we are never exactly the same as we were before. A woman can never step in the same river because the river has already shifted and so has she.

One year ago today I was stilled mired in legal and financial challenges, but not any more.

One year ago my son was still halfway across the country locked up in a terrible place. Today he’s here with me building a beautiful life.

At this time last year my coaching work was barely a thing, now it’s a full blown program helping lots of awesome people launch their next chapters of life, career and relationship.

Holy cow a year ago I still really didn’t know where I was going with the book and now it is with the publisher!

My current major clients and the New Economy college course I’m developing (and super excited about) weren’t even on the radar screen a year ago.

Last Thanksgiving my beloved Tessa was still with us and I had no idea how little time we had left. The missing is still strong, near the surface and tender. But along with that a year ago Freya was in a situation of neglect and basic survival. She’ll spend today wagging, wiggling, snuggling on the couch, gently begging for (and receiving) delicious morsels.

I feel so blessed and grateful it’s difficult to contain it. I find myself thinking of the scene in Jerry Maguire when Rod learns he has landed a big contract with the NFL team of his dreams and starts spouting thanks to his family, friends, agent and then, in joyful overwhelm blurts out, “I just love everybody!”

I truly hope everyone who reads this has reason to celebrate a full spiral moment and feel bursting at the seems levels of gratitude.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Love,

Cylvia

To schedule a free Launch Your Next Chapter Breakthrough Session, click here: https://calendly.com/cylvia/30min

Midlife Awakening

Cover of Cylvia Hayes’ When Life Blows Up

Earlier this week I was leading a workshop for people facing big life transition and the need for reinvention. One of the participants asked, “Does everyone go through one of these midlife crises?” I thought about that for a second and said, “Well, first off I don’t call it a crisis. I call it a midlife awakening.”

As spiritual beings having a human experience we are continuously growing and at certain points in our life our inner growth and our desire to become more awake, more empowered, just plain more, breaks through (often subconsciously) and disrupts the trajectory we’ve been on so that we are forced to shift and grow.

It isn’t necessarily a gentle process and often involves losing parts of our old identity, our old familiar self. There’s a type of death that comes with the deepening of self-awareness as pieces of our selves don’t survive in the light.

There is such a powerful urge to scramble to put the pieces back together but there is true power in giving the field of uncertainty some time to work on you.

I write in my soon to be released book, When Life Blows Up: A Guide to Peace, Power and Reinvention:

Throughout my long ordeal and the stretch of unresolved, prolonged challenges there were so many times I was desperate for it just to be over with so that I could move on with life. But now I see that a quick resolution would have been a terrible lost opportunity. My evolution required longer incubation; had the catastrophe resolved sooner I would have been like a butterfly pulled prematurely from the chrysalis with wings too underdeveloped and deformed ever to fly. I can now see that the whole thing played out in beautiful Divine timing.  

My encouragement is to take some time to grieve the lost roles, the pieces of heart, the shards of self, to honor the contribution they’ve made, and then let them go. This way you make space for new facets to come into view as you heal and awaken. Staying a little patient with the process gives your new wings the time they need to fully form.

Just a couple days after the workshop I was doing some reading for my World Religions class and came across a passage that described Buddha’s experience as the, “most momentous midlife crisis in world history.” Just think how powerful your own awakening might be?

Love,

Cylvia

To schedule a complimentary Launch Your Next Chapter breakthrough session click here: https://www.cylviahayes.net/book-free-session/

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Dating Side by Side

One area of reinvention I often support people with is relationships. Many times this is about getting back into dating after divorce, death of a spouse, or just being single and focused on other things for a long time. This can often be a pretty vulnerable and intimidating experience.

Something I’ve found that can be very helpful is what I call “dating side by side”. It’s pretty common practice in the first few dates to get together for lunch or dinner or coffee, sitting face to face across a table and probing one another with questions. There’s nothing at all wrong with this but it can be pretty intimidating and even downright awkward.

A different approach is to get together for an activity you like for it’s own sake – could be hiking, pickle ball, a music festival, museum visit or countless other things. This enables both of you to move around, interact with other people, discuss things happening around you and a get a feel for each other beyond just watching each other eat and facing off for questions.

One of my clients even told me she had a great date taking a guy out into the forest to dig up and collect native plants (with a permit by the way!). Way to go sister!

Side by side dating can be a great way to get back out there and open up to the possibility of love in a way that is less intimidating and a lot more fun. And by golly that’s really how it should be!

This pic is of John and me beekeeping side by side!  Probably not the best idea for a first date but hey, after 16 years and all we’ve been through it works for us.  We have a beeutiful partnership (OK, I couldn’t help myself — sorry!).

Love,

Cylvia

P.S. If you would like to have a complimentary Launch Your Next Chapter coaching session with Cylvia just click this link and pick a time that works for you — https://calendly.com/cylvia/30min

 

The In Between

Sometimes things happen that just knock us off the place in the world we thought we were standing on — death of a loved one, a health crisis, loss of a job, divorce, or even things we might choose like retirement. These abrupt changes can feel like a sort of death in and of themselves; our old familiar identity disintegrates, the dream of what we thought our life would be crumbles.

In anthropology, there is a concept known as the liminal phase describing how, in cultures that have clear rites of passage rituals such as moving from boyhood to manhood or from initiate to mid-wife or priestess, there is a period in which the initiate has lost their old identity and place in society but has not yet been granted the new status or reintegrated into society; that in between time is what is known as the liminal phase.

More recently liminality has crossed over from anthropology into psychology and is used to describe when a person suffers major life upheaval that shakes us loose from our familiar identity and position in community or society. This is usually a very challenging space for a person to remain in because it is detached from known routines and social interactions and support. The sense of liminality, of being in between the old and new way of being, often hits during sudden, intense life-changing events.

As I share in my upcoming book, When Life Blows Up: A Guide to Peace, Power and Reinvention:

“I was a couple of months into my public shaming experience when someone first shared the term liminality with me and I cried as I recognized and resisted the space I’d been forced into. On some subconscious level I was terrified that the upheaval and uncertainty would be permanent and I’d be trapped in a purgatory of pain and isolation for the rest of my life.”

My initial reaction to the bomb blast was to scramble to capture up the pieces and try to put things back together somehow, to keep my work going, to force my way forward, but the events had been too catastrophic and at some point I just had to give in, to surrender to the fact that things were never going to look the same again. I finally stopped working and allowed myself to be worked on from within and that’s when I struck gold.

For those of you sitting in what feels like an identity blast zone take heart, the terrible upheaval won’t last forever. And have courage because there is tremendous transformative power in in giving the liminal uncertainty some time to work its magic.

Being initiated into the deeper levels of ourselves often involves being willing to sit in the field of uncertainty for some time as our inner landscape shifts and new currents begin to move. It’s like the eagles who flow with the wind, carried in one direction then the other, until finally the wind itself lifts them up above the turbulence.

In my Launch Your Next Chapter program I work with a lot of people who are navigating liminality and transition and are determined to come out the other side with greater clarity, peace and power. If this sounds like you I invite you to a complimentary empowerment coaching session – just click here and pick a time that works for you.

In the meantime, here is a beautiful meditation called The Space Between

And remember, a butterfly pulled too soon from the chrysalis never fully forms its wings and so never flies. Our world will be so much more beautiful when we all are flying.

Love,

Cylvia

The Christ — What?!!

If two years ago you had told me I’d be doing what I’m about to be doing I’d have asked what you’d been smoking! In a week I’ll be teaching a class called The Christ. What?! Never in a million years would have seen that one coming.

I was raised in a heavy-handed, hellfire and brimstone version of Christianity that never felt good to me and in my late teens I completely rejected and abandoned it. For the next couple of decades, even though I was still spiritually curious, I would have nothing to do with anything related to Jesus, Christianity, the Bible. But then, a few years ago, my life blew to pieces in spectacular fashion and I knew I needed spiritual community so I reconnected with the local branch of Unity I’d attended many, many years before. Seeking healing and understanding I began taking a bunch of spiritually oriented classes and study groups. Before I knew it I was taking classes on the ministerial track with Unity Worldwide Ministries. Those classes dealt a lot with Jesus and the Bible, but from a totally different perspective than what I’d experienced. I began to understand the difference between the religion about Jesus and the religious of Jesus. I came to see that Jesus wasn’t just an exception but rather an example. I explain this in an excerpt from my upcoming book, When Life Blows Up: A Guide to Peace, Power and Reinvention.

“Jesus was a human being who remembered his true identity and activated his innate divinity. He was able to live fully, full-time in Christ consciousness, a state of being that engages at the spiritual rather than purely physical level. I now view Christ as not so much a religious term but rather, a psychological one; it is a state of being and a way of thinking. It certainly is not Jesus’ last name! Accepting Christ is not reaching out to some being beyond yourself, but instead opening up to the Christ consciousness that is innate in each of us. It is a coming home to the power we truly are. … We are expressions and extensions of God, like tentacles, each unique but also a part of the overall divine organism. We are each divinity individualized, a cell in the collective consciousness. The more we open up to this self identity the better will be our lives and the more good we will bring into our world.”

What I am learning is that there is never only one way to look at ourselves, our pasts, or concepts we’ve been programmed with and we have incredible power to reclaim and reframe each of those things. My whole life I’ve been experiencing The Christ – when I was out immersed in Nature, or deeply in the present moment feeling peaceful and connected, or giving love to another – I just didn’t call it that. It doesn’t matter what we call it. What matters is remembering that we have access, at all times, to the more that each of us is.

Life is constantly changing. Why not allow ourselves to unlearn as well as to learn and to stretch in directions we never saw coming? It is going to be a rich week and I am going to be teaching and watching myself doing so and shaking my head in wonder and gratitude.

For any of you facing transition and reinvention I would be happy to provide a complimentary Launch Your Next Chapter breakthrough session. Just click here — https://calendly.com/cylvia/30min and pick a time that works for you.

Love,

Cylvia

Shiny Objects and Gut Checks

At Unity Village and worldwide headquarters with my friend and minister Jane.

I just completed the final paper for the final prerequisite class to start full-blown ministerial school. What?!  Even two years ago I couldn’t have seen this one coming. I was taking classes through Unity Worldwide Ministries for my own personal growth. I wasn’t planning to become a minister at a congregation but I was taking a bunch of the classes so I figured I might as well be doing it for credit. Next thing I know I’ve just completed the 18th and final course.

Looking back on the massive transition process I went through when life blew to pieces several years ago I can now see that I did some things that helped and other things that definitely didn’t. One of the things that slowed my reinvention was jumping at too many shiny objects, chasing at every opportunity that seemed to appear. I see this so often now with the clients I am working with who are in the process of reinventing careers or trying to find purpose and clarity around the next chapter of life. Because it is so hard to sit in the uncertainty of not having a concrete goal or a clearly defined career position, we often try to force things into place and convince ourselves to take on certain things even when our inner compass is warning us it isn’t a good fit. Once I cured myself of Shiny Object Syndrome my coaching business took off and I finally completed the book I’d been working on for four years!

I offer this as a friendly warning to all of you who find yourself facing transition and the need, or desire, to reinvent your career, life situation or identity. Focus will be key. However, I’d warn against hyper-focus. There is a fine line between being too scattered and staying open to possibilities you might not have noticed before. This is where self-honesty and intuition are essential. In my case, even as I started to reign in the shiny object pursuits, I kept doing the ministerial classes simply because it felt right. I was enjoying the personal learning and the courses were giving me tools and insights that were directly useful to my coaching clients. When I checked in deeply with myself, even though I didn’t have a fully baked intended outcome, it felt right to stay the course and keep taking the courses.

Over the summer as I was nearing completion of the prereqs I learned that there is a pathway through the Unity ministerial program that enables you to focus on the specific audiences you most want to serve. For me that includes environmental and social change advocates (the folks who choose to deal with big gnarly issues all day every day) and people transitioning out of incarceration. So, lo and behold, I will begin the Unity Urban Ministerial School main program this Winter term. Again, What?!!  It feels right and I am really looking forward to it.

Overlooking the beautiful Unity Village main campus

One of the things that let me know I wanted to keep pursuing the ministerial path was how much I enjoy becoming a more engaged part of the Unity worldwide movement.  If you are moving through a time of transition, as you stretch out into new directions, new networks and audiences, pay attention to the particular groups, organizations or communities that you enjoy spending time with. This can be an important guidepost during times of reinvention.

The path to empowered reinvention lies between wide-open vistas of options you haven’t considered before and disciplined gut checks to determine if those options really are a fit for you. It’s the balance point between having the courage to try on new possibilities and the courage to sit with the uncertainty long enough to allow it to gel into the perfect next chapter.

Love,

Cylvia

If you’d like to explore Empowerment Coaching to help you gain clarity and direction and put together a plan for effective reinvention I’d be happy to provide a complimentary 30 minute Launch Your Next Chapter breakthrough session. Just click here and schedule a time that works for you.