Hearth and Home Vol. 16 Battery Sufficiently Charged

Uncategorized

M

iracles, sufficiently

Happy New Moon in Virgo!

I wake up early, a handful of hours before everyone else so that I can think and write, pray and drink coffee in the darkness and the quiet.

One of the first things I do is plug in my phone, which is usually on its last leg after the previous day’s phone calls, text messages, email checking, and news perusing. After I complete my morning rituals, I am greeted by the above message: “battery sufficiently charged.”

I especially like the modifying adverb sufficiently in this notification. This adverb is an early morning reminder that things don’t have to be perfect, they can be sufficient – and that sufficiency has its own beautiful perfection. Things can be, as I wrote in the book, just right.

Our time in New Mexico was sufficient, and we felt the push-pull that one feels on a longer vacation of wanting to stay longer, but also being ready to return home, even with the stifling heat and the crazy that is the few days leading up to the first day of school.

This year was a milestone for both boys. Jasper started the 2nd grade and Heath, our 14 month old, started going to his little day-school twice a week for half days.

David and I received a pleasant little surprise on the first day of Jasper’s school, which turned out to be Heath’s first day too. What started as a trip to Heath’s school to get paperwork, ended with the happy little one year old trundling off to the water pools with his teacher.

Monday turned out to be his scheduled day for fun, so we were in business. We looked at each other, much as, I imagine, parents do when they send their last child off to college or to work or to travel and are faced with an empty house, but we burst out laughing, feeling at the same time a little bereft and shocked, but totally elated.

A whole year and change have gone by since we introduced him to the world. Our life is back (sort of!) We went (floated in the sky, it felt like) to breakfast and had adult conversations that were not interrupted by feeding babies or wiping away spilled water, or hearing the latest knock-knock jokes. We went to breakfast to be together and hold hands and talk about…the kids. We totally talked about the kids! Of course, we did!

The new-found space of having both of the little ones in school was timed perfectly. I am knee-deep in writing, planning a magical retreat in Italy that I am SO excited for, and preparing for all of the astro magic of 2020 – get a sneak peek here.

David is editing and being an engaged dad to our little boys, making art and filling our home with music and doing a million other things too. And we are relishing the hours we have together.

There could always be more…more time, more space, more energy, but chasing after more is also so very exhausting. It feels better to actually enjoy where we are right now, to know and feel that right here is enough, sufficient, and just right.

So this Hearth and Home is for those of you who always feel behind or not quite up to par, or like your best efforts still come in somewhere around the middle of the heap: see if there isn’t something about your efforts that is sufficient, and that you are enough, exactly as you are, right here, and right now.

xo,
Bri

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Hearth and Home Vol. 11 The Angel’s Share

Foundations

M

iracles,

Happy and blessed New Moon in Capricorn! This is a moon for business and strategy, plotting and planning. It falls at the beginning of the New Year when everyone is all about planning anyway. Our visions of sugar plums have been replaced by bullet journaling, filofaxes, the magic that is JetPens, and of course the Sacred Arts Book of Hours.

I love planning and planners. I always have. My Venus is in Virgo which means that organization is like catnip for me. I especially love working with astrology and planning by starlight. Years ago, when I was pregnant with Jasper, our oldest, one of my colleagues asked me how I was doing everything that I did. I was over 6 months pregnant and my business was exploding with both one-on-one work and teaching. My response? A ruthlessly organized and followed calendar. Plotting everything out and physically making time for each thing on my calendar – and then actually following through with it – allowed me to grow my business while also fostering the growth of a baby.

At the end of 2017, when I knew I was pregnant with our second child and had a book deal (and therefore a book to write) in my hot little hand, I realized that I needed to take planning to a whole new level. You name it, and not only did I have it on my calendar, I had auto-scheduled it in my email server and on social media. Every “t“ was crossed and every “i” was dotted, and everything had been triple checked by myself and my team.

Whew. Does it sound exhausting? Planning actually doesn’t have to be. It is very clear to me that I could not have done everything that I did in 2018 if I had not allowed some very well made plans to shape and inspire my work. Yes, inspire! Planning has given me the time and space that I needed to write my book and be with my little guys, the time I took to make and plot them was time incredibly well spent.

For those of us who never feel like we have the time or space to do what our heart longs for – actually being able to have the time and space is sometimes all you need to catch the scent of the wild animal we call magic. As sacred artists, then, I think it’s high time we give the art and practice of planning it’s proper place…as a much needed sacred art in the 21st century.

After one of the most exciting years for me both personally and professionally, does it surprise you to hear that my New Year’s Resolution is to slow down in the right way and not plan things in detail? On the one hand, this is hilarious…I have a book coming out this year. I will be traveling some to promote it, teaching classes, and I have a whole bunch of new exciting things to share with you all. Plus, Heath will turn one this year. Those of you who know young children know that this means he will start walking and talking. And if Jasper at one was any indication, that means that all of the silverware in my household has to go up on the counters – especially the knives – and all the outlets have to be plugged up VERY securely. So…slow down? Ha!

But I am. In the right way, and this is key. And for me, part of that means – gulp! – not planning everything down to the tiniest detail. There are several reasons for this. This article gave one good one that has to do with productivity and the endless, ceaseless, calls to be more productive (whatever that means) and how they are a bit, or a lot, tyrannical.

Plans are sneaky. You create them, and you feel in charge. But they have a way of turning that around – so that you are tempted to stay on task and keep to the plan even when that doesn’t feel right, even when that isn’t really in alignment with what you are focused on or what your community is asking for. This did not happen to me. In the middle of one of my busiest periods last year I heard a clear call to offer up a certain kind of magic – a healing kind – to the community. It involved consecrating crystals over a full moon cycle and sending out readings to those who needed them and I had ZERO time for it, but I did it because I heard the call. And when I learned that there were some people in our community healing from heartbreak and cancer and physical abuse…well, it made sense and affirmed what I have always known which is that my Holy Helpers know better than I do. So I listened and responded.

But it was hard, harder than it should have been, because my plans had gone from creating more space, freedom, and time, to locking me into routines and commitments that did not allow much room for spontaneity and the magic of the unexpected. Making room for the unexpected is something I am devoted to – I think in our world and maybe in all worlds, we have to be. The unexpected illness, playdate, gallery opening, writing opportunity, teaching engagement, friend from out of town who bought a surprise plane ticket and showed up, job loss, financial hit – the unexpected is the thread shot through with the glitter and the grit that makes the warp and weft of our lives so very interesting and precious. In whiskey making there is a term to explain the 2% loss of liquid that occurs during the ageing process (usually occurring in wooden barrels), it is known as the Angel’s Share – this is the offering up of whiskey that is made to the angels (or if you talk to old whiskey makers from old parts of the world, the faeries). It is not perceived as a loss but rather an offering.

So I am doing the same thing with my plans for 2019 in the name of slowing down in the right way. This is where planning is lifted to a whole new level – from a compulsive activity to a genuine art. Plans will have to be made, charted and plotted. But there will also be spaces left clear and clean and unfilled. In the name of creativity, spontaneity, and the unexpected. I’m leaving spaces open so that I can hear what I need to hear, know what I need to know, and do what I need to do…for myself and my family and for our greater community. Think of it as an offering to the angels and the faeries, the glitter and the grit.

Bri

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Hearth and Home Vol. 10 ~ Does Anyone Here Speak Sumerian?

Ceremony and Ritual

T

he Sumerian-inspired subject line of today’s Hearth and Home is brought to you by my seven year-old son, Jasper, who has been availing himself to my Sumerian dictionary. Yep, you heard that right: Sumerian. Like from ancient Sumer. Actually the text I have is more than a dictionary: if you want to, you can learn how to read Sumerian cuneiform, based on scholarly reconstruction of archeological findings. It’s a solid tome, and, you know, practical if you want to learn Sumerian. He has plans for this book, he is going to try to cram it into his bookshelf so that it magically becomes his, that’s right, the bookshelf in the picture – do you think there’s room?

Who in the world would want to learn Sumerian? NO ONE speaks or writes Sumerian anymore. It is truly a dead language, written and spoken. And yet this very fact is what makes languages like Sumerian so attractive to some people (and certain 7 year olds).

Y’all should have seen J as he tried to wrap his head around the fact that Sumerian is dead. The notion that a language could be dead is actually what brought cuneiform to life for him, lighting the whole thing up like a Christmas tree. Now there are scraps of paper with cuneiform marks all around the house. (One of the groupings of marks he copied, means “liberty”, according to scholars, and Sumerian is the earliest known written language with this concept.) So this ancient, dead language is now the coolest most relevant thing ever, and Jasper has decided he wants to become an ancient culture detective (as he calls it) and find out what really happened to the people who spoke Sumerian.

Oh, and also: he does not quite believe us about the whole “dead language thing” because he woke up last Saturday morning asking who in the household speaks Sumerian. He is pretty sure one of us is holding out on him. Maybe it’s the baby.

I love everything about this. I love the fact that my 7 year old chooses to spend his Saturday morning delving into a magical script from a faraway time and land. I love the fact that he is so sure someone really does speak Sumerian somewhere, and I love the fact that he might just be right…maybe somewhere someone does after all.

Jasper’s tenacity (around ancient languages and generally speaking) is a study in belief. The belief that he has access to this knowledge and that this is appropriate – that knowledge should not be jealously guarded under lock and key or held only be a few. The belief that if he practices at something long enough and diligently enough he can begin to make headway with it. And the belief that there is magic…in old books and ancient languages and everywhere around us if we know how to look. This has been the theme for our family this year, ever-present magic and the fact that while the extraordinary is most definitely part of the everyday, we still have the privilege – and challenge – of dealing with the everyday.

This month ‘the everyday’ beyond the usual work load looks like wrapping up presents and picking out gifts, decorating the tree, and sending out Christmas cards. I unashamedly and unabashedly love Christmas, Solstice, Yuletide, and the Omen Days that come after. I love it all. I love the sparkle and the color and the corny music. I love the excitement of the kids. I even love the pangs of sadness – the way that I miss by best girlfriend because when we lived in the same city we did our Christmas cards together. And the way that I miss my grandfather who loved this time of year above all others. I adore the stillness and the quiet of the cold air and the sparkling stars.

We often hear it said that the holidays are hard. And they certainly can be. But there seems to be an expectation that they should not be so hard…that everything should be happy and joyful and perfect. To my mind this expectation is rooted in the forgetfulness that the holidays are in fact HOLY days.

Genuine holy days are days pierced and crowned with the qualities of wholeness and healing, and holiness – truly beautiful and magical things. But these magical qualities are no more free of the hard and the tough than the phrase “happily ever after” is meant only for fairytales. Never in my experience has the magic of the truly holy turned away from the incredibly hard. Always it has made room for and embraced it.

This means of course that the genuinely hard times are never far from holy, wholeness and healing – even if it can feel like sometimes they are, even if the grace and freedom you seek feels a million miles away.

I tell my students that what keeps us steady in the face of the hard is our daily practices. These practices change as we do. They morph, they transform. But if we commit to showing up with them, they in turn commit to us and give us a steady foundation from which to work, live, and simply be. These days my practice begins at 4am when I get up before anyone else to take care of all of our animals.

Then, when the weather is favorable, I go outside in my pajamas, with a thick blanket and wrapped up in a coat, and I lay down under the stars. It is dark and cold. The neighbors are mostly asleep (and my neighbors know that I am a bit touched and seem to be OK with that), the wind is usually blowing gently at 4:30am, I listen. I’m watching the stars in part because I am preparing to teach my most ambitious astrology course yet in the New Year. But I am also simply being with the sky and the earth and the air, saying an intentional hello to these elements that surround me all of the time. With so much happening, with so much busy activity, these few minutes of star and moon bathing seem to add hours on to my day.

My practice is also all of the daily stuff. Watching Heath as he begins to eat solid foods…zucchini is a yes, bananas are a yes, as is spinach; green peas he is not so sure about and green peas and rice will earn you a Paddington Bear-esque hard stare. Listening to Jasper play piano at his winter recitals and play basketball (he is learning to catch the rebounds) and loving the way his little brother smiles at him as if he is the very sun itself. My practice has also included the fun of snuggling with my love, diving into Grey’s Anatomy – yes we just started, and yes it is so fun – and figuring out how to bend time and space so that my lover has time to draw and sketch and create the gorgeous art that our homes and lives are filled with.

Business is a practice for me too. I love my work so the scheduling and the follow up emails and the readings, the lighting of lunar lights and the teachings – all part of the practice. First writing and then shepherding the book into this next phase has been a new set of practices I have become familiar with.

At the end of November I got to speak to the publicity and marketing team in charge of my book (we have decided that when we meet in person it shall be over margaritas) and we have devised a very sophisticated marketing strategy…would you like to know what it is?

Write a good book.
Tell your community about your book.
Create an actually useful and awesome bonus when people pre-order the book.
Whip up some fun ways for there to be more time and connection within the community without outsourcing everything to social media or a keyboard…so simple, yet pretty revolutionary stuff huh?

Amidst a sea of bad marketing advice this certainly feels revolutionary. And then there is my publisher and my team, and for us it all comes down to integrity…write what needs to be written, share what needs to be shared, make it worthwhile and let your community know. As Emeril says, “Bam!” I’ll be sharing loads more about the book in January so stay tuned for that but in the meantime I hope you do what the title advises and make some magic for yourself this season.

And on that note, I want to share one of my favorite little tricks for creating some sweet magic in your home. It is the holiday season and some of the tough stuff that we encounter happens in our own families, yes? We can all use a reminder to speak with more kindness and compassion, to listen with more mercy, and to check our snap judgements at the door. One of my favorite magical tricks to inspire this behavior is to fill the sugar canister with whole vanilla beans, one for each member of the family. As you place the pod into the canister, name it for the family member and bless them with the following blessing:

“May your season be full of love, warmth, and kindness for yourself and for all you come into contact with.”

Of course you can also utter a blessing straight from your heart.

When you bake with the sugar or add it to your tea or coffee, it will call to mind the sweetness that you have wished upon yourself and everyone in your family. Want another little home sweet home enchantment? I’ve got one right here. And for those of you who have asked me about the lunar lights for 2019 – they are open through today so get in on it! Beautiful blessings of this holy, hard, and yes, magical season.

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Hearth and Home, Vol. 2: “XO” – The Best Business Decision Ever

Foundations

M

iracles,

Since sending out the previous Hearth and Home letter, I have received a number of questions about my business, asking for advice or asking questions as specific as Who designs your art work? or Who takes care of your site?

Here’s another question: Who the hell does this girl think she is, doing business so totally on her terms?!

This was a question a colleague-friend of mine confessed to having when he visited my website. It ticked him off a bit that I was carving out my own path, and – you know what? – it inspired him to turn around and do the same thing for his work – to which I say: HELL. YES.

Another dear one wrote to tell me that they found my business inspiring and that my business choices were helping them find their own true voice. I cannot imagine a kinder compliment than that.

So, given all of these queries from many different directions, Mid-Feb to Mid-March has been an invitation to share a few of things I’ve learned about business and life.

Many of us are looking for a balance between work and life. When it comes to the notion of a work-life balance, what I can tell you from my own personal experience is this: when you run an intimate, micro, home-based and heart-and-hearth business, your work is your life and your life is your work. This means it can be difficult to tell which things are being balanced with what!

I think our idea of balance if we leave it unexamined, can often create more problems than it intends to solve. If balancing work and life means that everything is serene and beautiful – and is the sort of balancing act in which things come to a sublime stop – perfectly still, poised and tension-free – this is bound to induce headaches or worse, because tensions and imbalances are, frankly, unavoidable.

So we have to think about balance differently – like, say, balancing on a moving bicycle over rough terrain. Work-life balance for those of us who are micro-business owners is a changing, growing thing, and admits of tension.

By “tension” I mean that owning your own little business can be the most rewarding of endeavors, but if you aren’t prepared for it, this sort of job can drive people up to the wall!

It could be maddening if you’ve been used to good ‘clean work’ at the office, where boundaries are clear and marked out for you already – e.g. when you are supposed to show up at the office, and so on. Working for yourself, you’ve got to be comfortable creating and setting down firm and tough boundaries (e.g. work-flow deadlines), while at the same time you have to know what comes first, stay supple, flexible and adaptable enough to handle life.

The core vision of my business is a pulsing, powerful tree with roots sunk deep into the soil and a canopy that spreads far and wide, strung with stars, and providing shelter to all Soulful Seekers – wherever you come from and however, you show up.

It is this core vision that allows my service and works to thrive and to flourish and (most importantly) to serve thousands of people, while also sustaining my life and the life of my family. And it is that core vision that has allowed me to create a set of values and practices that have informed basic decisions that allow my business not just to be a vehicle, but actually a nourishing source, for my truest voice. So let me share some of those decisions with you.

Decision 1: “XO”

The single most important business decision that I have ever made?

The choice to begin signing my direct emails to clients and student in this way:

xo,
Bri

It is much more common for spiritual practitioners to sign their direct emails with something like “in blessing,” or “love and light”, etc. I do this too on occasion, but I became very clear years ago that I wanted clients, and later students, that I could send a hug and a kiss to, as I would with my friends and as I would with my family.

Decision 2: “No Client Avatar”

If you have ever invested in business coaching you know that often coaches and programs will have you begin by developing your ideal client avatar. That is, you work hard to identify the ideal kind of client you want to attract. Sometimes these profiles get really specific and include information like where the client lives, where they buy groceries, and how much money they bring in on an annual basis.

Try developing a client avatar for a Soulful Seeker though – I dare you! The truth is that we come from all walks of life, so many different zip codes and addresses, so many different kinds of professional experiences – it would be a terrible disservice to everyone to try to rigidly categorize varieties of individuals into one ‘type’.

My work stands or falls on the very real and very precious individuality of every person as a potential Sacred Artist. Being a Sacred Artist, as a creative artist is nothing if it does not flow from the irreducible you and your own experience of the world. Ever and always in my ‘philosophy’, there is room for all. So, no client avatar for me!

And yet, I did need to have a standard, a way of determining “is this person a right fit for both my business and the community that I am building around and through the business?” X and O were the answer. It cost nothing to implement. I just started signing emails the way I had always wanted to in the first place, and of course, my people LOVED it. And yes, there were a few who did not, they went away and hopefully found people and services that were just right for them – because I was not.

I want to do business with real people, and I want my community filled with people that I can hug and kiss in real life, I want warmth, friendship, and real conviviality. That kind of clarity can actually not be found in ideal client avatars and sophisticated marketing schemes – it can only be found by asking what really matters to you and to what you are trying to build and then taking the time to listen – not to an expert but to yourself.

Decision 3: “Build a Better Magnet”

For those of you who pay attention to marketing, you may have come across the terms “push marketing” and “pull marketing”. Push marketing is when someone is pushing their stuff at you either IRL or online. Pull marketing is what happens when a business is compelling enough to pull you in, interesting enough or necessary enough to have you seeking them out. Pull marketing is preferred for a whole bundle of reasons – personally my top reason for liking it better is that it allows each individual to make up their own mind about whether they want to engage with a given service or product and how deeply they wish to engage with the same – you know I’m a fan of sovereignty.

The challenge, of course, is that in a sea of small and micro-businesses and then in an ocean of much larger, well funded, businesses, how does one set oneself apart in the first place so that people do feel pulled to whatever you offer? You cannot outsell or out advertise larger businesses so what do you do?

You build a better magnet.

One of the most consistent compliments that I receive on my business is that it is consistent. By which people mean that the look of my website, the tone of my writing, the way that I carry myself on social media, and the way that I show up in person all feel like they form a whole. They do not feel “sales-y” and they don’t feel like I am trying to market something. Rather, they feel compelling because they feel genuine, and they are. Magnets compel – that’s what they do, they attract and compel. Your business can do the same thing – no matter its size. And magnets are a great analogy because in magnet-land size does not equal strength. Compelling power is where the secret sauce lies.

So, how do you make a business compelling? All sorts of programs will try to sell you on systems trappings and marketing schemes and platforms. But, in my opinion, there is no better way to make a business compelling than to answer a set of fundamental questions about your core vision, and what you actually offer in terms of real content, something genuine and desirable.

Content should not be anything you make up, rather it should be rooted in real, lived, experience and knowledge – or (and this important!) it should not be something you feel you have to imitate.

This is where finding your voice (or even acknowledging that you have a voice) can be deeply helpful. You may really love someone’s work, and think “Hey I can do that!” and begin to imitate them, whether realizing it or not. It happens all the time.

This is natural, because, it is part of how we learn, and as we are inspired by other people’s work, our inspirations and new knowledge nourishes our own expanding visions. Here is where we need to be very careful: not because of copyright infringement (although that is a concern everyone should be wary of) – but the real concern is our own ability to be straight and honest with ourselves. Is this your own work? Is it coming from you? Do you really have a grasp of it? Do you really know what you don’t know? Have you done your homework? Have you paid your dues? Has it been tempered by experience? If you can be honest with yourself to work through these and other questions, the whole problem of imitation falls away.

And for those of you who see that you fall into the twin traps of either imitation or lack of inspiration – check your inboxes. I’ll put money down that you are subscribed to way too many email newsletters from way too many coaches and business advisors who are giving you way too many pieces of conflicting information. This is information overload, and it runs counter to the three things you really need to develop your own true voice: quiet, space, and the right amount of time.

Develop real content and real services that we ourselves are certain we have originated – and that actually works and actually helps. The core or seed I started with was what most resonated for me by a combination of lineage, training, and discovery. (I’m excited to see what you come up with!)

From the name of my company, Milagro Roots, which came to me in a dream, to the image of the Sacred Heart, which I had always loved, to the fact that I write long-form style — these are some of the elements that make me who I am. They are compelling to me and they are compelling to the people who are the right fit for what I have to offer.

I also had great coaching along the way from dearest friends – Roxana, my BFF, who at the beginning of my path, taught me the ropes of “best practices” and showed me how to focus on the one or two things that really matter; Fabeku who is a wise sounding board and as he says “suck-exorcist” for my business even today.

Even though I’m a Sacred Arts teacher and a writer, these practices grow from the most essential, the most necessary, characteristic of all: trusting and learning from your community. The truth is compelling always, telling real stories is compelling, pointing out easily missed opportunities is compelling. Doing any of these things to the best of your ability and your people will begin to notice, and appreciate, and show up…why? Because your magnet is strong.

Decision 4: Embracing Mistakes

Sometimes my website does strange things formatting wise, my clients or students miss an email or inform me that an email was never sent out. It would be a lie to say that my business runs like a well-oiled machine. And I like it that way.

Don’t get me wrong, I do loathe mistakes and I cringe whenever I find a typo in my work, but you know the thing is, I am not a well-oiled machine, my husband who is my COO is not a well-oiled machine, so why should my business be one? Where did such a bizarre expectation ever come from in the first place?

I’m glad that my students and clients can pop into my inbox and point out a mistake or remind me of a glitch – wouldn’t it be sad if we were just only professionals with each other all the time? Wouldn’t that be boring?! I embrace my mistakes and I learn from them. Done and done.

Decision 5: People Matter

Cassandra does all of the artwork for my site, she is also the site developer and the site manager. Nathan provides my hosting. Monica is my virtual assistant. Jessica is my bookkeeper and Danielle is my photographer. My husband, David, runs all of the operations.

It would have been easier and less expensive for me to pop up some generic visuals instead of having custom art created, less pricey to have to host through one of the big companies, and there is no real reason why someone needs to stick with one VA in this day of freelance everything.

But Cassandra knows my style, she knows what visually appeals both to me and to my community, she understands that beauty is deeply needed right here and right now, and her artwork is a medicine that reflects that. She is also a dear friend and we have collaborated together on multiple creative projects – I don’t want generic, I want the specific look and feel that Cass was able to tap into for me on day one.

Nathan is Nathan. That means that whenever I hit a glitch, or have hackers trying to invade the site, or find that the site is down, I just send a message to Nathan and he gets back to me immediately. (I wonder if he sleeps). He fixes whatever needs to be fixed AND he always teaches me how to do something as well. I don’t even have to talk to an automated voice and I don’t have to wait because Nathan is on it.

Monica is my VA. Several years ago we worked together and then she had a baby and left her VA lifestyle. Last spring I knew it was time to get another VA and so, on the off chance that she might say yes, I emailed Monica. Why? Because Monica knows me, she knows my business, and I know and love her. If you are interested in the magic that is Monica you can email her directly right here.

When David and I started working together a lot of people who know us gave us that sideways glance that said (very loudly) “are you sure??!!” It is always tricky when a couple decides to dive into working with each other, but we had done it before and we knew it was the right fit for our family. We also really love spending time together, working together, and we happen to excel at very different skill sets. David has his own projects as do I, but there is no one I could trust with the essence of both the community and business that we are building like I can my beloved.

Jessica is my bookkeeper. I hired her because I hate bookkeeping and I also am not the greatest at it. When we first decided to work with Jessica it was a significant expense for our business – one that started saving us money almost immediately. Jessica’s role in our business is two-fold – she does our accounting but she also is a tangible reminder that it is beyond worth it to invest in someone who has a needed skillset for your business that you either do not have or that you have zero interest in developing yourself – she reminds me how to care for myself, my right work, and our business.

Danielle Cohen has taken the beautiful photos you see on my website. There are many amazing photographers to work with but Danielle is who I work with consistently. I felt that having professional photos was such a luxury and not really that important for the longest time. Last May, when I met up with Danielle in Santa Fe and we had an hours-long photo shoot, I realized how essential having some good photos is – not for marketing or for social media – although they help – but for me, for reflection, for a visual testament to my role within my greater community.

One of the things that I consistently teach is that the Sacred Arts are custom jobs – they are unique to each person. That means that you have to see each person, each unique being, with clarity. We are not interchangeable people or parts.

People matter. This is a core belief of my business, it is something I talk about all of the time. What would it mean if I ran my business in the exact opposite way – as if people didn’t really matter that much? As if a “team” was just an interchangeable group? It would fly in the face of everything I stand for, and it would make the business far less compelling too.

Decision 6: Listening, Not Asking

As a tarot reader I know that what Henry Ford said is true “If I asked people what they wanted, I would have made a faster horse.” All of us have a hard time asking for what we really want because all of us have a hard time imagining what is really possible. Many businesses love to do surveys and get customer feedback and opinions. I too love hearing from my people but I do not send out surveys, I do not ask my people what they want. Instead, I listen to what they are already saying. That was why I started teaching online. When I first developed my business, I did not think that I would ever be teaching online, but I listened to my community and what I heard was: we need a teacher, so I stepped up. It really was that simple.

Decision 7: Giving Back

Many businesses talk about the donations they make to various not-for-profits, which I think is fantastic. This is one way to give back, and there are others. I like creating free ceremonies for everyone in my community, and I partnered with Theresa several years ago and we now have created quite a resource for mystical business owners through our Talking Shop podcast. These are little ways to give back, to keep paying the love and learning forward, each act can make a significant difference.

Decision 8: Core Principle

Finally, I think all businesses, but especially home-based, heart-based businesses need a core principle to live by. Knowing what comes first and what last is more than half of the whole. This is the guiding principle not of your business but of your relationship to your business. For my work, it is this: our business is here to support our life; our life is not here to support our business.

Now I love working, so this is not easy for me to say.
But what this means is that I will always put our lives first – my family’s lives, and this also means your lives. In other words, in my work, I take no interest in slick marketing schemes designed to boost profit, but the real thing: what is ethical, reliable, down-to-earth, consistent, and what possesses integrity. I will not trademark the term Sacred Arts or create a certification program – because the essential teaching I promote is that Sacred Arts belong to everyone and the work we do in our community boils down to deeper self-knowledge. You can’t certify that; you just pursue it and do it.

If I am not absolutely convinced that the substance of my teaching, writing, and services do not promote life, by encouraging the development of Sacred Arts in our real lives as it would make sense to each of us; if they don’t actually help real people, I am resolved to pitch it out, even if I know it will make more money.

That means that if I have to re-schedule an appointment because my son has a school event that I missed writing down, then I do it. My clients know that about me, I don’t hide it, and my community members not only get it, they appreciate it. Again, this is consistent with my practice that our spiritual practices should support our lives, not vice versa. Each person gets to decide what their rule is; and when you do, tough decisions all of a sudden become much easier to make.

Thus I will set aside time for family and friends in need, because I know that if I can’t show up here in a genuine way, then how can I expect to show up for you?

The upshot of the core principle as I’ve described it is that it means putting substance first. This is my north star.

These are highlights, not the whole picture, but some of the parts that I think are the most important when it comes to my business. Thanks to all of you who have been asking for inspiring me to jot them down!

Other highlights since the last letter came out include:

Getting the baby’s nursery ready! I FINALLY finished my registry, for those of you who are wading through the insane world of car seats and strollers let me just say that I feel your pain. I mean, I’ve translated ancient Greek texts and Sanskrit texts too – I would rather do either than shop for strollers.

Celebrating all of the Pisces that I know and love — my son, my husband, one of my best girlfriends, and beloved teacher – my first week of March is birthday fantastic!!!

Transferring the completed, hand-written manuscript of Making Magic onto the computer. The first step in this process is getting the rough draft in and trying not to wince too hard at the roughness of the draft. This will be followed by some hardcore honing and polishing. It’s a good thing I can type fast.

Receiving love notes, like the one above, from Jasper just out of the blue. Writing and reading are absolutely magical acts – never doubt it.

Wishing you so much love as we head into the Pisces New Moon on March 17th. Here is a blessing for that New Moon by the way.

xo,
Bri

Image credit: Jasper’s note to me!

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Many Branches: Divine Alchemy with Hiro Boga

Learning and Community

D

ear Miracles,

Alchemy is often presented as a difficult to understand (to say the least!) concept best left to Renaissance-era mages and the Sacred Arts are seldom seen as having anything practical to say about business and our work lives. How wonderful it is then that we are going to spend time with the one and only Hiro Boga today. Hiro and I have worked in the same circles for quite some time — I admire her approach and respect the reverence with which she approaches ALL facets of life. Soak in her wisdom!

In Her Own Words:

Writer, teacher, business strategist, and energy alchemist, Hiro Boga teaches transformational programs and mentors creative women who want to shape a world in which soul and entrepreneurship, passion, and profit walk hand in hand. For the past three decades, she has helped thousands of clients and students reclaim joy, freedom, success, and creative sovereignty in their businesses, their relationships, and their lives. As a mentor and teacher, Hiro blends transformative energy technologies, the magic of a story, and grounded spiritual practices with pragmatic business strategies.  Hiro offers two signature group programs each year: Become Your Own Business Adviser and How To Rule Your World From The Inside Out: The Art Of Inner Leadership.

She also works privately with a select few creative entrepreneurs and visionary leaders to unfold the miracle of their lives and businesses. Explore her online Deva Cards, and a wealth of other free resources at HiroBoga.com Connect with her on Facebook, & on Twitter @HiroBoga

One of the descriptions of your work is “energy alchemy.” What does that mean?

Everything that has its being in our three-dimensional world, emerges from patterns and potentials held in the subtle energy realms. In other words, our physical world is intimately interwoven with the subtle energy matrix that gives birth to it. If you want to create something new (like a business, or a book), or transform a pattern that no longer serves you, the most powerfully effective way to do this is by working with the subtle energy matrix from which it arises. Energy alchemy is a set of skills, practices, and above all, relationships through which existing patterns are transformed, new patterns are created, and dreams and wishes are given concrete shape and form in the physical world. I help people articulate and create their soul’s deep desires in ways that seem miraculous, but that is grounded in the practice of energy alchemy.

Something I really enjoy about your work and the particular way you express your gifts is your focus on business. I think much of the time we have this sense of: “My soul work is over here and my business is over there.” What is the connection between business and soul knowing for you?

Business, too, is a physical creation that has its roots in the subtle energy realms. Your business has its own soul essence, its own life, which is separate from yours. The pattern for the perfect unfolding of your business’s life is held by its Deva. But its Deva (or soul, if you will) cannot act in the physical world without you. Your business can only come into being when you choose to partner with its Deva to bring it to life. You lend it your desire, imagination, creativity, heart, time, money, energy and resources, but ultimately it is a soul creation – a collaboration between your soul and its soul. North American culture creates artificial divisions between soul and body, soul and business, soul and “the real world.” This severing of soul connection from daily life is at the root of the epidemic of loneliness, isolation, despair, overwork, stress, fear, and violence from which our society suffers so profoundly. The truth is, everything is an expression of the soul. Our bodies are made of the same soul stuff as our souls. Our businesses are made of the same soul stuff too! When we meet our businesses with open hearts, as expressions of love and wholeness, we grow businesses that are in harmony with the inner pattern of their being. And, through our businesses, we serve wholeness in the lives of our clients and customers. Through our businesses, we help grow a culture of love, peace, creativity, abundance, safety, and delight in which everyone can flourish. Growing a business in this soul-infused way is a lot like raising a child. Rather than imposing your vision of who your business should be, when you meet it as a living soul, with deep love and respect for its sovereign being-ness, it becomes your joy and privilege to help it to grow into its own best self.

I love cards — tarot, playing, Lenormand, and oracle cards. Tell me about the Deva cards. How did they come to be, and how are people working with them?

I love cards too – they are portals through which you can enter and play in the subtle energy realms sensually, intimately. I first created them for the folks who participate in my programs – initially, as a way for them to connect with their deepest desires and intentions, and to meet and partner with the Devas of soul qualities that could best help them fulfill their desires. One of the main principles we practice in all of my programs is that you create by becoming the person who embodies your creation. So to create a prosperous business, for example, you infuse your own inner being with prosperity. You become part of the activity of the Deva of Prosperity. My deeper purpose, in creating the Deva Cards, was to offer a simple, easy and playful way for people to develop deeper relationships with the Devas. These are beings of tremendous power and radiance. Their presence infuses our world on every level. As we get to know them, we begin to understand the depth of what’s possible for our planet when we partner with the Devas to co-create the world in which we want to live. People are working with the cards – and the Devas whose presence infuses the cards — to grow themselves; to become more resilient, more trusting of themselves and the world around them; less reactive, more creative. They are growing healthy relationships with family, friends, colleagues, and customers. They are growing vibrant, prosperous businesses that support them in living in harmony with their own being, and in harmony with their world.

Become Your Own Business Adviser is an offering that I have heard stellar reviews about. How did it come to be and what does it help people accomplish?

This program emerged from my thirty-plus years of teaching, research and exploration into the nature of desire, power, business as a force for good, and the methodologies and relationships by which we shape our lives, and the world around us, as conscious creators. I’ve spent most of my adult life as an entrepreneur. To me, entrepreneurship is a sacred calling — a living expression of the creative power of the soul at work. I see a profound need, among our tribe of creative entrepreneurs, for practical skills in working with subtle energy to grow soul-infused businesses that emerge from, and support, our deepest values. Without that, being an entrepreneur can become an exhausting, scary and lonely journey. People get lost in all the hype around marketing and sales, money and systems. There’s so much “Do this! Do that!” that drowns out their own inner voice and leaves them depleted, disconnected from their own sources of wisdom and nourishment. I designed this program as a way for folks to come home to themselves; to trust their own wisdom; to develop discernment about their own values, and clarity about the kind of business they want to create. The program is designed to help them make decisions from a place of sovereignty, strength and inner guidance; to learn energy alchemy skills and build lasting relationships with the Devas of their businesses. In the process, they discover that doing business in this way changes everything.

If you could give one piece of wisdom to my readers today, what would it be?

Trust yourself. Trust your soul. Trust the Love that brought you here, into this beautiful, complex, bewildering life. You are a living expression of the Sacred. You are in constant relationship with everything around you. You are safely held; you are loved. You are powerful and wise beyond anything you can imagine. Trust the wholeness of which you are apart. Trust that you are safe. Trust that everything you need is already within you, like a seed or potential that you can nurture into full bloom. When you’re faced with a choice or decision, ask yourself: If I trusted myself — right here, right now — what would I choose? In your deepest heart, you know what you want and you know how to become the person whose life includes it.

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.