Cycles of Nature

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Cycles of Nature

A few weeks ago I went to the country to work on my book for a long weekend. I stayed at a lovely Airbnb where all I could hear were the birds and the river. I grew up in an area not far from this place and it was good to get back to my roots. 

As a child, I would spend a lot of time in the woods and revisiting that experience was like teleporting back to being a kid. The forest looked and smelled the same, moss and fungi covered stumps of trees, brambles and thorns to navigate, critters scurrying here and there. 

What was surprising to see were all of the enormous downed trees, pulled out by their roots. I can only imagine that this destruction was from Hurricane Irene or Sandy six or seven years ago. It got me thinking about how the earth is constantly changing, destruction and renewal. The past year there have been so many devastating natural disasters: floods, fires, mudslides and most recently the volcano eruption and earthquakes in Hawaii.

I’ve never thought much about volcanoes, as the only portrayal I’ve ever seen was a movie altered version of it. Seeing a video on Facebook of the slow ooze of the magma crossing a road and engulfing a car is enough to give me nightmares. 
 
Back in Nicaragua, one of our crazy adventures was to climb up an active volcano, Cerra Negro (Black Hill), and ride a board down it from the top. The ride down was fun, even if I ended up with a mouthful of ash. The highlight for me was the view during the climb up. It was a rare perspective to see the flow of lava from the past eruptions. Life was destroyed up until the point where the lava stopped flowing.

 
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Mother Nature clearly understands the need for renewal. I think we can learn a lot from her. It doesn’t have to be quite as dramatic, but letting go of the old stagnant energy in our lives is necessary for new growth. Many of my clients often talk about feeling stuck. The stagnant energy of clutter is like cement, holding us in place. We need to break it down so we can free ourselves and move on to the next stage of our lives. Holding onto our past doesn’t prevent us from growing older. It actually makes time pass us by.

In next week's post, I’ll be sharing another profound experience from Nicaragua when we visited a community that was displaced due to a volcanic eruption.

In the meantime, tell me, what area of your home is due for renewal?

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Baby Sea Turtles!

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Baby Sea Turtles!

It’s hard to believe how much has happened in my life since I started writing Consciously Creating Clear Space six months ago. Those who have been cheering me on in the Facebook group know that the title occurred to me several months ago and it still feels right. I’m currently in the editing phase which is a completely new process for me. The momentum has slowed a bit and I am doing my best to be patient with myself and get the message truly clear, motivational and relevant.

The most significant realization while writing is that I didn’t expect for the book to have a life of it’s own. My adventures unexpectedly gave me lessons that had to be included and expanded the scope of the message I am putting out into the world.

Last December, I traveled to Nicaragua with Chantelle Adams as part of her Courage Ignited retreat with 11 other women. These women are all up to great things in this world and Chantelle created a beautiful combination of business, fun and adventure.

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The absolute highlight of my trip was releasing baby sea turtles almost every evening at sunset, almost 1000 were released the week we were there. Donald Montgomery, founder of Monty’s Beach Lodge, created a hatchery on his property in hopes of keeping these beautiful creatures safe from extinction.

To be able to witness these creatures as they emerge from their shells was fascinating, they are ready to go from that first moment, instinctually tracking themselves towards the ocean. Their strength was surprising and I fell in love with each and every one of them.

We all seem to know about the plastic that washes up on the beaches and the “island of trash” floating out in the Pacific and more recently, in the Caribbean. I keep coming back to the thought that this is just the trash that is floating, the stuff that is visible. There is so much more garbage that we don't even talk about that is below the surface and all over the ocean floor.

We learned from Monty’s that only one in a thousand sea turtles will make it to adulthood. Sure, there are a lot of predators out there who will prey on them, but I became acutely aware that the disposable plastic straw that is offered to me for my iced coffee or green juice, that I don’t think much about, is a big factor in marine life. While I wouldn’t dream of littering or throwing plastic into the ocean, as a society we need to learn that by simply using these items, even when we dispose of them “correctly”, we are a part of the problem. 

The goal of Consciously Creating Clear Space is to help people learn how to live surrounded by only the things that light them up, how to create systems of order that work the way their brain does and live in a home environment that truly feels customized to them. In addition, I implore my readers to think globally with each purchase they are making or items they are unconsciously using. If we could all think a few steps ahead before we buy something, these very small shifts that we will hardly notice in our lives, have the power to save the planet.

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My commitment is to give up buying beverages to go while I’m out and about. I carry my reusable water bottle with me and I’ll be sure to have paper straws in my bag *just in case* I need a green juice on the run.

In the coming weeks I’ll be sharing more about my Nicaraguan adventures and lessons, and more updates about the book. In the meantime, please tell me in the comments below: 

What is one small shift you can make in your life today?
 

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Clear Space - the book!

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Clear Space - the book!

Thanks for your patience as I’ve been diligently working on my book over the last 6 weeks. 

I will be on hiatus with the newsletters until the book is finished. Please watch the video for more information and join me in the Creating the Clear Space Book - Cheer Me On facebook group by clicking here. I'd love your support! ❤️

 
 

The newsletter will resume in the new year - hope you will join us in the group - have a great week!

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Horse Medicine

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Horse Medicine

Clear Space has been dark the past few weeks as I have been filling myself up with a family vacation and Soul Camp, both in the Adirondacks last month and Chantelle Adams Movement Maker’s Mastermind in Kamloops, BC last week. Spending time in these beautiful lakeside places, restores me to my core. I’ve been in the city half of my life now and I miss being in nature.

Chantelle’s retreat was for women business owners who she had worked with in the past and had a wonderful agenda for us. The goal being to create a profitable and sustainable timeline to grow our businesses all while holding each other accountable for our intentions over the next 5 months.

We had beautiful accommodations at her lake house. She brought in Dolores, an amazing chef, to cook our meals for us. Those of you who know how picky I am about food might be surprised to hear that I felt so taken care of with my 3 square meals each day. There were painting exercises, paddle board and kayak time on the lake and we were even graced by the presence of a bald eagle, it was *magic*

One of the activities planned was to have an intuitive session on a horse farm. I didn’t know what that meant, and I am still struggling to understand what really happened on that farm, but I had a major breakdown and breakthrough that I am still thinking about.

A little background for you: I love all creatures, but because of an early childhood experience, I am always quite wary of large hooved animals. I have ridden horses only a few times, and enjoyed it enough, but I’m always anxious to get up on the horse so I don’t have to stand next to it. When my mom and I traveled to Thailand ten years ago, while she was so happy talking to the elephant and connecting, I wanted to just get on the elephant so I could relax.

I grew up in a fairly rural area in the Hudson Valley, next door to a veterinarian who had many horses, Irish Wolfhounds and too many cats to keep track of. Down the road was an Angus Cattle farm and one day, when I was about 3-4 years old, a stampede of cattle came through my backyard. My family had about ¾ of an acre of land and I was at the farthest corner of my property by myself. The stampede was coming down my backyard, blocking the path for me to get to my parents who were on the back porch. They were yelling at me to stay where I was but the sound of the cattle was terrifying and I wanted the comfort of my parents. As I was prone to do, I didn’t listen and I started to run towards my house. Out of nowhere, my dog Bonnie, a border collie-sheepdog mix, herded the cattle away from me and surely saved my life. To this day, I remember the divots in my lawn being about 4” deep and I can’t imagine how my parents would have coped if we didn’t have that wonderful dog. If Oprah or Ellen had their platforms back then, Bonnie would have been a national hero.

Back to the horse session: In my mind, we were going to ride these horses, but instead, we were going into their pasture to observe and interpret how their actions mirrored our group and ourselves. The impatient New Yorker in me was getting frustrated watching these animals from a distance, I wanted to get the show on the road and see what was going to happen. I was reminded soon after to be careful of what you wish for because you just might get it.

Hillary Schneider, who owns the farm, suggested that we sit in the pasture and journal about our experience of what we had been witnessing. All I had to write were other people’s observations and I was noticing with frustration that somehow I seem to be more literal about things than I ever thought I was. While Hillary was talking in metaphors about the horses’ actions, I was struggling to make any meaning of it. I looked up from my blank journal and saw that the horses were slowly gravitating towards us and then more quickly. Before setting foot in the pasture, Hillary had briefed us on safety. I thought it was most dangerous to stand behind a horse, she explained that since they are prey animals (to bears and cougars in that area of the world) it’s much more dangerous to stand in front of them. If they get spooked, they will bolt straight ahead. Because of their eye placement, they can’t see directly in front of them. So, of course, this is all I could think about, other than watching for horse poop. Before I knew it, I was flanked by 2 horses with a third coming right at me, and how interesting that they all were black, just like the Angus cattle.

Since I’ve started my business, I have gotten used to looking fear in the face everyday and taking the step anyway. Chantelle recently had a Day Of Courage and I struggled with trying to identify a fear to conquer. I thought I was fearless. Haha, that’s funny to me now.

I was absolutely shocked to feel the compression in my chest and my inability to move as the horses descended upon me. I actually froze, had a complete flashback to the stampede and I was waiting to be rescued or told what to do. I can’t remember if the horses moved or I moved or someone dragged me out of it. When the herd left us, HIllary asked how that was for me, and I started to cry and told them my experience. Much to my surprise, Hillary asked, “so, in your life or work, when you are overwhelmed, what do you do?” Well, Hillary... as a matter of fact, I freeze.

This was an amazing revelation as I now have a new awareness around being overwhelmed and can clearly see how it plays out in my life. And like the many ways I teach about clearing space, awareness is the number one way to create a transformation. Earlier this year I learned a valuable lesson about learning to ask for help and I’m sure the lessons will continue to show up around this habit. I need to learn to communicate my needs effectively and create clear boundaries.

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Right when I thought this brilliant experience was over, a horse named Chief came to me (pictured to the left with me - photo credit: Chantelle Adams). He nuzzled my hands and wanted some love. Hillary said he didn’t like to be touched, so when I pulled my hands away, she said, “No, it’s okay, he’s asking for it”. He was so gentle and loving and exactly what I needed in that moment. I learned shortly thereafter that Chief rarely mingles with the humans, the other times Chantelle had been to this farm he kept to himself or was facing the woods. I got all choked up with Chief as I felt so connected to him, the first time I’ve ever felt connected to an animal of this size. It felt absolutely healing and magical.

Now, I realize that was all very me, me, me and it would be a shame to not share with you what we learned as a group during this session:

As we were approaching the herd, one horse would look up to check us out. We would stop to respect the fact that we were coming onto their turf. This happened 3- 4 times along the way. Turns out the rest of the group was feeling as impatient as I was and someone observed that once we stopped waiting for them and focused on journaling, the horses arrived. This highlighted to us that when we focus inwardly rather than looking for approval or our next gig, the clients show up.

Jack, who we learned was lower in the pecking order, broke away from the pack and closer to us. We observed him getting pushed around by a couple of horses and Jack kicked at them. Hillary explained that horses don’t hold grudges, they let go of the moment and get back to grazing. We discussed that it’s time to step out and be the leader and not focus on what’s going on in the background.

Another great analogy for those who struggle with everyday annoyances that end up taking over your mind for the rest of the day (week...year…)

Be like the horse, shake it off and get on with it.

You can learn more about:

Chantelle Adams here: www.chantelleadams.com

Hillary and Horse Medicine here: http://www.epona-rise-retreats.com/ and www.horsemedicineleadershipacademy.com

 

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Storage strategy

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Storage strategy

 

Happy Thursday, 

Tomorrow I'm organizing a storage space for a client. This video explains my plan. Next week I'll let you know how it went.

Have a fantastic weekend! 

 

P.S. Soul Camp is less than 2 weeks away and I would love to see you there! Give yourself the gift of self-care and fun! Here's a link to save $100. Monthly payment plans available :)

 

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Disconnect to Reconnect

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Disconnect to Reconnect

 

Happy Thursday!

This week I'm sharing a special offer for Soul Camp. If you have been curious about Soul Camp or really feel the need to disconnect and recharge, check out my video for more information.

Here's the link I mention for the discounted price: https://soul.camp/smith-banfield

Hope to see you there and have a wonderful weekend!

 
 

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Breakdown to Breakthrough

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Breakdown to Breakthrough

 

Happy Thursday!, 

This week I'm feeling much like my clients do when we work together: overwhelmed, scared and hopeful.

Watch this week's video to hear all about it.

The times they are a changin'!

Have a fabulous weekend!

 
 

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Moving Tips!

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Moving Tips!

 

Happy Thursday,

Check out this week's video about the top 2 most valuable items needed when planning a move.

Have an amazing weekend!

 
 

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Perfection is overrated

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Perfection is overrated

 

Happy Thursday!

Well, my struggle with perfection is right up there with my struggle for self-care. Check out this week's video from my verdant deck. 

Also, tomorrow is your last chance to buy your Soul Camp Day Camp ticket! You deserve a day of fun and connection!

See you there! 

Xx

 
 

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My Self Care Struggle

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My Self Care Struggle

 

Happy Thursday!

Check out this week's video about my self care struggle. And we are only 10 days away from Soul Camp Day Camp! If you also struggle with self care, this is a beautiful opportunity to experience all the different ways to take care of yourself.

Have a great weekend!

 
 

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Got junk?

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Got junk?

 

Happy Thursday!

This week I'm celebrating the return of my husband after 6 weeks.  I'm also celebrating my amazing experience with 1-800-got-junk. Check it out!

Have a lovely weekend!

 
 

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Hello from Texas

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Hello from Texas

 

Happy Thursday!

This week I'm sharing about my quick trip to Austin to meet up with my husband as he rides his motorcycle from NYC to Las Vegas. 

More next week about my beautiful accommodations. 

Have an excellent weekend! 

 
 

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