The Dark Room

Today I was reading an interview about an artist/photographer who wants to give herself more time to explore her creativity. She said she has a darkroom in her basement where she has much unfinished business.

I found it to be an apt metaphor. We can all benefit from more time in the dark room.

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So why don’t we?

Developing and processing takes some work, but it’s worth it. It never seems to be the right time and it can be scary, but in hindsight its always the perfect timing and not nearly as scary as we thought. We don’t know what the negatives are going to turn into, but you guys, that’s where the magic happens. That’s where the picture becomes clear and we get a chance to choose what we want to keep and what we want to discard.

The negative exposures are the ones that are prompting us to go into the darkroom and look more closely; calling us into the space and time for self-development and urging us to explore the things that frighten us.

I’ve never entered the darkroom and been sorry I did. There’s always something there for me to reveal or heal, and while I’m there,
I usually always discover something new, I didn’t know. I always re-enter the world renewed and feeling more inspired and in touch with my creativity.

Paradoxically, I’ve only ever found the light by daring to go into the dark.


For more exposure, join us this October for our women’s retreat in Kennebunk Maine. We’ve still got spaces available, and would love to have you join us. No past experience with TRP is necessary. Just jump in and prepare to reveal the love, light and creativity thats wanting to shine within you.

A Fully Permission-ed Life

I coach people who are wanting to live a FPL, “Fully Permission-ed Life” in expression, relationship, creativity, career, and BEING!

This is a messy business to say the least.  But, not as messy as when I was a child, always trying to please everyone (8 siblings, 2 sets of parents) on top of being a chronic apologizer.  It was exhausting to be on high alert trying to meet everyone where they were, and ignoring my inner soul voice. Today, I no longer deny my Self a "FPL", except for when I do.

These last several days have been challenging my “FPL”.  It’s humbling, and it is kicking my ass.

How do I give my Self full permission when I am searching for a good enough excuse, a concrete explanation, or a defense around the reason for not being able to show up.  I find myself “sorry-ing” my kids, business partners, and friends. Where is my permission without the excuses, guilt, the should’s, the shame, and the stress?

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I have to dig a little deeper, and wrestle with what I know to be true. I need to notice when I’m defending my life, instead of living from my personal truth, and stop allowing others to define me. Yup, it’s a very messy inside job. I have to dig deep into the sludge of should’s and defensive living, as I rummage around my soul for the well buried truth, weeding out the excuses, yeah but’s, and shame.  Digging deeper still, through the hot mess of personal with-holding, to finally reach the decaying Fully Permission-ed Self.  There She is, hiding in a tight corner of my Being. I recognize the faint flicker, reminding me of the fire fly that caught my sleepy eyes just last night, when I looked out my bathroom window.  This is when I heard my soul voice whisper, “Wake the fuck up, Girl!” I feel that something give, and my FPL is ignited, and my truth sayer is choosing, “NO not today."  I breathe in my reckoning; the punishing banter that delivered my own damn truth. It isn’t someone else’s truth, it is all mine.  I get to be exhausted, spent, confused, unhappy, nitty, and beaten down by the world for a few days.

She’s back, a Fully Permission-ed Glorious Mess! The magic that arrived at the end of this day's reckoning was a note I received in the mail from my niece, and it read, "darling, a beautiful thing is never perfect."

 

Revealing the Merciful & Kind

Revealing the Merciful & Kind

This past weekend, I was in Washington D.C., attending the final workshop to complete the first half of my CTI Training. What I thought was allergies ended up being a terrible cold.

By day three, I was miserable and at the peak of it; chills, headache, incredibly stuffed up and fatigued. Weeks before, a wonderful classmate and dear friend of mine had offered to share her room with me so we could split costs and here I was spreading my germ infested self all over her. 

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Soul Winter

Finally
Color

Tulips bloom
trees blossom
birds sing

My heart
feels bright
My spirit
in-sight

It's been a long, long, soul winter
and I'm done digging
out
of the cold cold ground

It's been a long soul Winter and
I'm done with the muffled silence

I'm done wrapping myself
around and around
myself
While I wait for the Moon to wax
or to wane

It's insane. 
to be ashamed
of my light

In flight
the birds
don't seem
aware of their wings
or other things
That bring them down

It's been a long, long, soul winter
and I'm done digging
out
of the cold cold ground

It's been a long, long soul winter
and I'm dug out now
i'm free, now
to be, now

Finally
Color

 

Monica Rodgers

Monica Rodgers is a serial entrepreneur with  over 25+ years of business development experience including: sales, brand development, social media marketing, business coaching, life coaching & consulting.

Monica is the founder of Little Bits by Monica Rodgers, The Earth Savers Gang Story-Book Series, The Revelation Project, Revelation Media and has just completed her Life Coaching Certification Program with CTI Coaches Training.  Please connect with her Linked In Profile here. 

Ain't Nobody Gonna Die If the List Don't Get Done.

It's Monday, and I have a very busy week ahead of me, except I'm flat on my back and can do little else other than lay here and be. 

The couch was in three pieces, so lifting it with my friend and carrying it out to the car yesterday really didn't feel like much, until later in the afternoon when my mid-back became increasingly uncomfortable. Suffice it to say, I did not get much sleep last night.  No matter which way I turned I could only get comfortable for a couple of minutes, which brings me to my revelation. 

I've been anxious about this specific week coming for days now, anxious maybe even since last Wednesday. The reason is because I have lots of to-do's and moving parts to manage before we leave for Florida on Friday and I don't want to drop the ball. Because, what If I drop the ball??

I've got to make sure the kids have what they need. I've gotta make sure I call my prescription in, I've gotta order those two things on Amazon for my daughters class trip, I've got to ... and the list goes on. and on. 

Every time something new comes to mind to do, I mark it down, and every time I do something on the list, I mark it off. 

Living like this makes me anxious.

I do not like living by the list. 

My universe knows this, and my back seems to agree, and so it said  

"Girl!"  "Oh no you don't!" and then it made me lay the heck down. 

So here I am. laying down while my list does the same.  My list just lay there in it's all it's listiness on the table while I get right with the universe about what is essential. What is essential is not on the list! 

We have this thing the Universe and I.
Apparently at some point I agreed to be it's student and when I forget that fact, I get a little grab by the short hairs.  This usually makes me yelp and stop, so I can get realigned with our agreement, the one that I don't recall ever making. 

We are now re-aligning while I lay here and have my revelation:

"What is essential is being."

Be. 

"What is essential is breathing."

Breathe.

"There.  Doesn't that feel good?"

"What is essential is being alive and connected to this present moment."

"Ain't nobody gonna die if the list don't get done!" 

"Got it?"

"Yep." 

"Yes Mame, I do."

"I got it. "

"Can I get up now?"

 

Do you get overwhelmed when you have a list of things pile up?  What do you do to stay centered? 

Where the Sparkle Lives

While we all have a physical body it's difficult for many of us to forget that it's not who we are.

I think women in particular struggle to free themselves of their preoccupation or fixation on their bodies because our culture tends to condition us to focus on it.  I personally can't go anywhere without being bombarded by the images of the impossible ideal.  It's a subtle form of abuse that, over time can contribute to dwindling self-confidence.

The truth is that we are not our bodies. 

I believe our bodies are a vessel that contain the spirit and soul of who we are, and that the essence of who we are can be seen in moments of transparency, intimacy and vulnerability.

So how do we get to that non-physical part of ourselves or at least have access to it?  
How do we connect to our essence or sparkle where we feel connected and alive? 

The key is awareness, and while it may sound over-simplified, it actually takes great practice to notice when and where the disconnect takes place.  The Revelation Project coach is trained to focus in on the essence of our participants and to help her bring her presence and process to life. 

When working through each photo session we tend to ask our client "where did you go?" or "what's here now?" to bring awareness to the body.  We guide our clients to reveal the thought or circumstance that threatened her willingness to stay in the moment.

We all have a magical ability to disappear, but rarely know how or why we did it, or how to reconnect and reappear once we find ourselves triggered.

Paradoxically, the body actually holds that particular wisdom, and so by tuning in and practicing, we can backtrack to reveal the origin of the feeling that had us flee.  Our sensory system is designed to disconnect when it's fearful or threatened in some way, our bodies tend to literally curl around ourselves when we feel too vulnerable, less than, or unworthy, and when the sensation is too painful, we take it a step further by numbing out or disassociating. 

It takes great courage to stay in the moments that frighten us and be witnessed by another, and yet it's also ironically the direction we urge our clients to go in.  We urge them to allow their human-ness to break through the surface and into the breath so that it can dive back down into our vessel and bring connection in and through.

That's where the sparkle lives. 

 

Andrea Willets and Kim Fuller work with our participant after the REVELATION PROJECT/ REVEAL YOU portrait experience to deepen in the wisdom, reveal the insight, and process the emotion. http://www.therevelationproject.me

Call and Response.

Sometimes I find myself at the little church behind my house.  It's a Congregational church that's simple and intimate and I've met a few lovely people in the congregation who make eye contact with me and welcome me each time they notice I'm there.   The pastor and his sermons make sense to me, and so I find myself eager to attend when I am able. 

This past Sunday, the first since the election, I made a point of going. 

He began his sermon describing a practice called Call and Response.  A Call and Response is when a speaker calls something out and the congregation responds in unison.  The call and response he demonstrated was this:

Pastor: "God is good."
And then we the congregation responded: "All the time."

And then he posed this question:  Why do bad things happen to good people? 

He shared about how God shows up in the world and where there might seem to be a void of God. He talked about how humans were given something called free will, and God respects our decision to use it to make choices.  He accounted for terrible atrocities that have been done since the beginning of time that have challenged the faith of even the most reverent and then he wondered out loud for those of us who have thought this many times;  "If God is so powerful and almighty, how can God allow  ___________ to happen? "

Then he invited us to step back and consider the arch and curve of our planet from the perspective of the cosmos, or even beyond into the infinite mystery of the universe with it's endless galaxies and to wonder at it.  He encouraged us to see beyond what is visible, beyond what limits us in our capacity to experience God in our own world.  

And then, at the end of the sermon he called out again...

Pastor: "God is good."
And then we the congregation responded: "All the time."

I left feeling thoughtful and confused.  Why didn't he even once talk directly about the election and what happened, or iterate the many things going on or the great division between people now? 

I came home and later I found this video.  I watched it and allowed myself to be awe-stuck and to wonder about all of the infinite mysteries that I will never have the answers to.  I came up with the obvious: faith. The only act I can practice over and over again is the act of faith, and to use my free will to love in the way that Jesus taught, and then I became more clear.  If we were made as humans to be all good, all the time, then we would be more like robots incapable of feeling or CHOOSING genuine love.  

My theory ; Nothing of what we are doing out there that's creating divisiveness and fear has anything to do with God. That's on us.  

I think God is always calling.

The question is:

Will we respond?