parenting

In the fire + pictures from Costa Rica (including my boyfriend!)

A quick love letter from Costa Rica to share with you some of my experience here in this beautiful place.

First and foremost, for those of you who are most focused on the Eyes Wide Open business teachings, and not so much in the Raw and Real parts of what I share, I’ll warn you now that this love letter is a mix of both.

There’s a little business and a little raw/real happening in this love letter. If you are all business, all the time, you may want to close this one down now and get on to the next. But if you like the raw/real, read on and you’ll get some business goodness as a bonus.

I came down to Costa Rica a week and a day ago with my family, so I could speak at Envision Festival. I haven’t gotten all the pictures uploaded yet, but you can see a few on my private Facebook profile.

And here’s a quickie of the whole family as we were sending Melina, Lotus and the boys back home after Envision. The boys (men really at this point), are my son, Noah, Kaia’s boyfriend, Max, and my boyfriend (yes, I did just say that), Rainbow. Yes, his name is Rainbow.

Kaia and I stayed on for a women’s retreat with Jess Magic and Elena Meta, and in it we are exploring the elements, dance, voice and writing.

Today, the element was Fire. Breath of fire, dance of fire, sweat lodge, fiery food, and a fire ceremony to burn up whatever is ready to be released.

For me, it was the control paradigm and the last vestiges of my need to prove myself.

So, what does all this have to do with building your life and income awake, aware and on your terms?A few things …

#1: Integration of the learnings

In the past, I’ve moved so quickly from one thing to the next that I have not had time to integrate the learnings. Just last month, I went immediately from a private event at Esalen (called Return) to lead my Money Map Masters in a retreat and then immediately after that into a month of intense focus to prepare for me to be out of the office for two weeks.

This time, I decided to stay on here in Costa Rica for an extra week to attend this retreat with Kaia and to integrate the teachings and learnings from my time at Envision.

Taking my whole family to Envision was a big deal. It’s really a working event for me, not just a vacation. I’m there to speak and network, not just to hang out and have fun. And having the kids (particularly my 12-year old who still really needs a lot of me) with me was an added challenge.

But having them with me was also really fun and I had a lot of support from friends, as you can see in the pictures. Plus, I always feel really great when the kids get to hear me speak because I’m teaching some radical money concepts that they aren’t going to get in school or from the media, so I’m glad they are getting it from me and not just by osmosis, but consciously and intentionally.

#2: How to free yourself in your business

I’ll be gone a total of two weeks. Most of it off my computer, other than time to write a couple of emails, do Facebook and chat about a few things with my team via Skype.

A month ago, I was working like crazy. I wasn’t sure how I was going to manage getting out of town, let alone being mostly offline for two weeks.

So I decided to make the investment in hiring someone who could really stand in for me in both businesses and bit the bullet. I brought in Brenda Mathisen (most recently Chief of Staff for one of the PayPal investor/founders), spent a month connecting deeply with her and providing training and then left town so she could take over with minimal interference from me.

This is the counter-intuitive way to free yourself in business. Get the right person or people on board and then leave town. In the past, I thought I needed to hold on and oversee things for way too long. What I realize now is that was disempowering and indicative of my lack of trust.

By leaving town, I showed my team (and Brenda) I trust them and while I know some mistakes will likely be made, I trust them to learn, grow and evolve from those mistakes, which includes figuring out how to fix them when they happen.

Repeatedly, I have seen this with women lawyers in my New Law Business Model coaching program — they get pregnant, and if they coach with me ahead of their maternity leave to hire the right person then hand off systems with trust at the foundation, they leave to have a baby and come back two months later with a practice that is thriving far more than it would have if they had been in the office micro-managing every day.

Try this one yourself, even if you aren’t having a baby. Just plan a vacation and then actually take it. But do remember to hire a great person first.

#3: Death

The last thing I want to mention in this week’s love letter is Death.

Confronting the reality of your mortality will result in you having a better life. It is coming up in my reality frequently and I want you to start to consider how that might be true in your life.

Have you confronted your mortality? If so, have you planned to make life better for your loved ones after you are gone or are you starting doing that now? How is your own life getting better by looking at the reality of your own death?

I know this may not be an easy conversation or consideration for you, but it is an important one so you can make the very best decisions regarding the use of your resources that you possibly can.

If you want any support with that, please send me a message at alexis@eyeswideopenlife.com and let me know. It’s something I’m being asked to do more and more lately and I’m feeling called.

Love beyond,

Ali

PS — we have twenty new Eyes Wide Open members who are also B-Schoolers and I want to send a great big welcome to you all! If you have not already received your invite to our private member’s forum and requested to join, please check your email including the spam folder. Welcome! I’m excited to see you there.

But, I don’t want to do it…

It’s Saturday afternoon and I am sitting in the sun listening to the new Wildlight album, the Tide as I consider how I can share the chrysalis of this last week with you in a way that it can support you to take your next step into the thing you are most afraid to do.

Let’s start with fear.

The motto on my first blog was “being afraid and doing it anyway.”  I have had a few advisor type people reach out to me and suggest that I can drop the fear and just come from my knowing now; that I no longer need the fear part.

And while that may be true when I am residing in my place of Oneness, in full observance of all my parts, but attached to none of them, I am not yet quite so enlightened to have moved from an intellectual awareness of that experience into a fully-embodied being. I know Oneness. And, I still live in the duality.

Maybe even more than some, given that I have two completely distinct and fully-developed beings living inside me (if you do too, message me and let me know — I always love hearing how many people are secretly living with multiple personalities like I have, but not talking about it).

I sense more Oneness coming, but for now, my personalities are right here – terrified.

This week, someone showed up that I’ve been seeking for years. And, when he did, I wanted to run. 

Four times now I have gotten to the same place in my businesses — revenue between $900k-$1.5mm, great product/service, great results, but quite heavily dependent on me, not a lot of documented processes or systems that someone could just step into without significant training, a team asking for more leadership, and me not really knowing how to give it in a way that would support the next level of full empowerment.

A few times over the years, I have tried to get to the next level by bringing in a paid CEO who I hoped would just do it for me.

But at the beginning of this year, I finally got the massive hint from the Universe:

“Alexis, this is your path. You are the CEO. Stop trying to hand it off to someone else and lead, lady. Stop distracting yourself with so many relationships, and caretaking everyone, and getting more pets and traveling to events and be the CEO of your company and take it to the next level, so you can sell it, share the wealth with everyone who helped grow it and invest in land where you can have everyone you love live together and work on listening more closely to the Earth and living in alignment with Her guidance and less time on the computer and more time writing books and getting your show going, finally.”

Interestingly, at the exact same time, I was getting a similar message with respect to how I mother. As my daughter has entered her mid-teen years (she’ll be 16 in November), I have been confronted every which way possible with my own mis-matched beliefs, values, and desires for life.

I had raised a mainstream, high-maintenance girl. My inner earth mama was appalled at how I could have done this. And I’ve had to face all the parts of myself that were in conflict, because for an earth mama, I am quite high maintenance myself.

And I recognize now that more than anything I did, it’s more what I didn’t do.

I didn’t share enough with my daughter about my values and I let the media and school share its values with her instead.

I didn’t take her with me enough, to the events, to the land, to the places where my heart and soul most relax.

And it almost got to the point where instead of doing that, I was going to send her to a program, where she would live outside for 10 weeks and have no choice but to connect with the Earth.

Until the clear message was given to me,“Ali, this is your chance. You are her Mother. Say yes to pulling her closer; don’t send her away.  Be there with her, show her, love her, accept her, be the Mother you always wanted.” (As you can see, this voice is much kinder than the ‘Alexis’ voice, but they both truly want the best for me.)

In both cases, the message was loud and clear. It was time for me to say yes to an entirely different level of leadership.

And over the past 6 months that’s exactly what was happened. Today, I am once again (and this time fully) the CEO of the companies that support my work. I am leading my teams, supporting them to grow the companies (and themselves), and growing right along with them. I am leading my family in ways that were not available to me before.

I thought I was leading. And to some degree I was, but it was stunted leadership. I didn’t know how I could be all of me, and lead. But I kept saying yes anyway, and I am being shown, each step of the way.

So, as I’ve stepped into this leadership, I’ve been praying for support, guidance and in my business, someone who could come in and guide me to be the leader I need to be, in the ways I still don’t know how to do it.

Not another CEO to replace me, but someone to mentor and guide me.

This past week, he showed up. After a fit of immense frustration a couple of weeks ago that I couldn’t get the metrics I know I need to be looking at daily to measure the health of my company, I posted in a mastermind group I am part of with a plea “Please connect me with anyone you know who is a metrics genius and can help me to get the metrics I need to run my company well.”

Immediately, a woman I’ve been getting to know online for a while posted back a name, I messaged him, sent him my website URLs and he got on a video with me and told me how many site visitors I was getting, how long people stayed on my site, and the type of person who comes to my site. I was impressed.

Then, this past Wednesday, he got on the phone with me and two team members for three hours and dove into the business. And as he did, I knew he had exactly the skills and experience I needed to guide me.

By the end, he said, “Yes, I’ll work with you. The arrangement will be a revenue share. There’s a lot here that’s really good. And the process is going to be a lot like being pregnant – you’ll be throwing up most of the first trimester, but you’ll love it at the end.” (paraphrase)

Dream. Come. True.

And then, the terror set in.

All of the parts of me that just want to be on the land now, hiking, and growing food, and swimming in the ocean or river, and working out/doing yoga, and reading and writing are impatient. And the gypsy parts of me that are screaming “you’ve been here already too long” even though I promised myself to be here for 5 years when I moved here.

They don’t want this kind of pregnancy. They want a baby, and family, and community, and Earth.

They were NOT ON BOARD.

Ali v. Alexis in a nutshell.

So I’ve been working with them, these terrified, warring parts.  Deep in my Heroine’s Journey, which I am learning more and more about via Sara Avant Stover’s new book, the Book of She.

And remembering…

Deeply remembering. This is the time of integration. Find the both/and here.


My friend Paul gave me an assignment last night. He said, find the answer that gives them all what they want. (Interesting for me to notice that this world that works for everyone, I so want to see created, is on the micro level a world that works for all my parts.)

So, I am. I am saying yes to all of it.

Writing this love letter on the front porch, in the sun. Realizing that I have all the family, Earth and love I want right here.

Giving Ali, my Earth Mama, the nurturing family, home, community, right here in my home in Boulder. Big land in Costa Rica can come later.

Giving Alexis, my Lady Boss CEO, the parameters within which she can work (because without parameters, she would take over everything) and the space to focus during work hours.

And, giving my Creative one (she doesn’t have a name yet), the support to keep the dream of the show alive by moving it forward slowly.

All that points to one thing, be here. Sink in. Drop the idea of going to Mexico for the month of December. Or Costa Rica for the month of February. Or Summit at Sea for your birthday.

Traveling less, being here with my family, and my community. Nesting. Focusing. Coming in.

Be here.

Go deeper.

I hear Her speaking to me.

So, I am listening.

Thank you for witnessing this discovery process.  Writing to you, my readers, has helped me to sort out and clarify some things that weren’t totally clear to me until I wrote them to you. Thank you.

I would love to hear back from you if any of this resonates in your own life, and how you are experiencing moving through it. I read everything you send and appreciate all perspectives.

Love beyond the beyond,

Ali

ut, I don’t want to do it…
Carload of Priestesses headed to the full moon/eclipse gathering 
last week hosted by Dayna Seraye and Courtney Jordan Josie Siegel.