What’s Your Devotion?

Bhakti Chai Shares One Simple Step to Help Your Dreams Come True

C.S. Lewis got it right when he said, “Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back, everything is different…”

When you think about it, we put a lot of energy into the world on a daily basis – into our jobs, our families, our personal goals, financial obligations, friendships, relationships, maybe even our dreams.  And when you look back over the course of a year, or two, or five, you realize how much has changed, even if your day-to-day routine has more or less remained the same. People tend to overestimate what they can do in a day, and underestimate what they can accomplish in a lifetime.

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What if you took a chance, and focused a part of each day on what you are devoted to? Would your dreams of being a business owner finally come true? Would you be living in a place you actually love? Would you turn your side hobby into a true art form? The possibilities are endless when we believe in the power of our intentions and follow through on our commitment to ourselves.

Nearly a decade ago, I started Bhakti Chai with the intention to create a brand that not only offered a delicious chai, but also a company that made a huge impact in the global community. Bhakti in Sanskrit means “devotion through social action,” and I kept this top of mind when launching Bhakti Chai to remind myself of my commitment not only to fulfilling my own dreams, but to changing the world. I manifested that devotion by building Bhakti Chai and then later launched Gita, our social giving platform.
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Can KonMari transform your business?

Less is more. Less is more. Less is more.

I have to chant this as a mantra a few times before it starts to sink in. I seem to be a magnet for not only things but also experiences – gobbling up both in order to keep things alive and moving. Ah, but that is the irony: a life packed with objects and activities actually slows me down. Big time.

When I first became an entrepreneur, sticky notes were on every flat surface in my home and car. I met with so many people I could barely remember my own name. I was adrift in an endless sea of opportunities, connections, and partnerships. It was impossible to stay prioritized and selective with my time. My life and mind quickly became, well, a mess.

 

konmariThen I discovered The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, a small book on the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing that has already sold 2 million copies. This is not the standard “neurotic-perfectionist-with-OCD-tendencies-illustrates-just-how-far-I-am-from-remotely-achieving-an-organized-life” declutter book.

Tidying Up is almost spiritual – a perspective on keeping house that reaches far beyond the physical environment. It’s not just a method, but a worldview that cultivates deep personal insight and real resilience in all areas of life – especially business.

The KonMari Method presented in Tidying Up really is life-changing because it allows room for clarity around who I am and what I want, and that’s the secret sauce to becoming an inspired leader. Continue reading “Can KonMari transform your business?”

Fear and Courage

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When we are emerging, we feel that nothing can stop us, right? We feel the fire of our own inner alignment, and the clarity of our truth is rocket fuel for making our dreams manifest. We ride high on what we know is right and we feel like we have super powers.

Until the fear hits. And just like that, Bam! We become paralyzed, we procrastinate, we stay up at night spinning in our repetitive negative mental constructs, we do everything we can to fight the fear or avoid the pain. It’s exhausting! And it has never worked for me.

I am tired of fighting fear.

In my podcast with Emerging Women Live 2015 speaker Elizabeth Gilbert (best-selling author of Eat Pray Love and The Signature of All Things), we question the standard meaning of the word “fearless.”
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Mother’s Day Mind Shift – #emergingnow

Dear Emerging Women,

On May Day – the 1st of May – I experienced three miracles in my life. Ready?

 

Miracle #1 – I am on time for a school function.

It’s exactly 11am on May 1st, and I am miraculously on time for the Maypole Celebration at my sons’ school. I stand in an empty field by the maypole, simply looking around and feeling a teensy bit proud of myself for being the first to arrive. Nobody is there – just the orchestra tuning up. Far from worried, I’m smiling and happy – I love it when other people are late! I figure “Hey, this is a Waldorf School. Everything in it’s own time.” And man does it feel good to just….. wait.

Fifteen minutes later I am clutching my bag, hobble-running in heels to the opposite-side-of-campus courtyard where the assembly is actually located and well under way.

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How’s Your Business Ecosystem? – #emergingnow

Greetings from New York City!

I’m in the midst of a three-city tour (Austin, NYC, and Boston), pitching Emerging Women to investors, meeting our community, and connecting with friends, old and new. On trips like this I’m always amazed by how important each encounter is, no matter how seemingly random.

It wasn’t until I became aligned and “on purpose” with my living that I began to see the intentionality and relevant interconnectedness of everything around me.

When we announced Dr. Jane Goodall as a speaker, I talked about the importance of plugging into our natural ecosystem for energy, connection and rejuvenation. Here’s the thing — your business has an ecosystem, too. And at the core of each ecosystem are the most basic cells that hold everything together: PEOPLE.

 

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Anxious About Asking? – #emergingnow

Dear Friends,

Do any of you out there have the crazy habit of always trying to accomplish everything on your own? My hand is raised here because I am guilty of this a thousand times over. Well-trained in the masculine model of getting shit done, I used to be skeptical of collaboration because who would get the credit? How could I make sure my value would be seen?

 

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The Business Ecosystem – #emergingnow

Hello Friends and Loved Ones,

One of the things I appreciate most about my life is that I live in an area surrounded by dramatic expressions of nature – Boulder, Colorado. Mountains, creeks, wildflowers and endless hiking trails are just steps away from my front door. But strangely enough, I did not really start to take advantage of nature’s proximity until I learned how well it meshes with my business life.

 

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In this thriving entrepreneurial town, many of my meetings – with investors, media, speakers, partners, sponsors – get to be in person. Lately, about a third of those meetings take place on a hike.

It took some getting used to: I worried that I wouldn’t be able to articulate my vision without my computer. How could I refer to important statistics or relevant studies… and what if I forgot to say something important? But those worries fall away as the connection you feel with somebody when you walk together in nature blossoms.

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How’s the Money Thing Going for You? #emergingnow

Dear Emerging Women,

Ah, money. Money, money, money, money (…..money)!

These days, I can’t keep the refrain from the O’Jays song out of my head. To be completely transparent, we have big plans for the growth of Emerging Women, and in order to reach our goals, we need capital. Money, honey.

 

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So we’re in the middle of the grueling process of raising seed money to create the next level of Emerging Women. If you’ve done this for your business, you know: it’s a full-time job that consumes your entire mental space – even when you sleep. I’m constantly honing our pitch deck, three different versions of a “compelling-yet-super-brief” presentation which I share in as little time as possible to as many qualified investors as I can get in front of.
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The Best Valentine You Can Give, AND Receive

Dear loved ones,

It’s the week of love here at our household. Making valentines, planning a date with my husband, figuring out the candy limit for the kiddos – we’re all about it. Sure, as a culture we seem to have made every holiday about consuming more, and I don’t need to stuff my body full of chocolate hearts to feel the love (although it helps!). But there is something beautiful about all of the messaging we’re inundated with this week. Be mine, love you, be true, you’re all I need.

 

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Here is my challenge to you, emerging women: let’s put ourselves on the other end of all of these loving messages. It seems like a simple change in perspective, but I find this to be one of the hardest things to do. Buddhist author Tara Brach calls turning love inwards like this “radical self-compassion.” I love that expression, though I feel like it’s almost redundant, because in my experience self-compassion is the most radical action we can take in the world. Continue reading “The Best Valentine You Can Give, AND Receive”

How Big is your BIG? – #emergingnow

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Dear Emerging Women,

I love January because it is such an internal time of year. This is a time of curling inward to reach that deepest part of our selves that knows just what we need in order to feel that we are giving fully to the world. This is the source of all creative visioning, this place deep under the surface. And it is from this place that we are able to articulate our deepest desires.
Continue reading “How Big is your BIG? – #emergingnow”