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Meet Sally Hope

Motorcycle-riding renegade life coach and leader of the Wildheart Revolution. Loves: Hot-pink lipstick, puns, guns, crosswords, two-steppin', and french manicures.

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I started sweating as soon as I heard this…(on how to do impossible things)

 

Impossible Things- www.sallyhope.com

It was right after our two hour lunch and I heard some grumblings with some of the Master Kundalini Teacher Trainers.

It was more of a passing comment than a whisper, she was definitely not trying to keep it a secret. But what I heard sent me into a bit of a sweat and a slight panic.

These words might not mean that much to you (yet), but to me, I KNEW what was just around the corner when I heard “62 minutes of Sat Kriya.”

(enter terrified emoji face here)

Crap.

For those of you that don’t know, Kundalini is a type of yoga that uses body postures (usually held for what seems like an impossible amount of time), mantras (singing/chanting), mudras (hand positions), pranayam (breathing techniques), and bandhas (body locks…which basically just means squeezing a certain part of your body in a certain way for a certain amount of time) for the purpose of delivering you an experience of consciousness.

Some of you might be all like, huh? I don’t get it. And that’s totally cool because there actually aren’t a lot of great ways to describe what it is without using totally woo woo words like “soul” and “consciousness,” or without experiencing it for yourself. So for the sake of us talking about it, just roll with it and try not to let all those words throw you off.

That is all to say that Kundalini is a truth teller. It turns on the light to the dark corners of yourself. It uncovers the things that are hidden. Many say that it’s a way for you to truly meet your soul. This has been my experience. Things come to the surface that you can’t push down anymore, and it calls you forth to change and break the cycle of whatever is holding you back.

So here we are, after lunch, back in the yoga room and the Teacher says “62 minutes of Sat Kriya.”

Me and my Kundalini buddy look at each other with those knowing eyes of “oh crap…this is gonna suck.”

Sat Kriya is one of the most common meditations in Kundalini Yoga, and is known as the “everything Kriya” because it contains just about all the benefits of Kundalini yoga in one exercise.

Its main benefit is to excavate deep wounds from our early years and helps to heal mental and psychological imbalances. To learn more about it you can check it out here.

All this is great, but what that basically means for all of us in the room, is that we were going to be sitting there on our heels for 62 minutes straight with our arms above our heads, fingers clasped together, and saying out loud “sat” while pumping our naval in, and “nam” as we were releasing our naval.

This might not sound like much, but I dare you to try to do this for three minutes and see how it feels.

As the teacher was talking and the sweat was starting to drip from my brow, I knew I had a choice. I could complain and resist and make it easier on myself by bringing my arms down, or adjusting my legs, or I could commit and go for it.

I knew that the former would be painful. Like really painful. And hard. And challenging. And frustrating and annoying and boring. But I also knew that I was in this class to become a teacher. Someone who would 1) Know what it was like when my students were going through something painful; 2) Someone who does the hard work herself; and 3) Someone who walks up to the edge of pain and fear and discomfort…and then keeps walking.

So I chose the latter. I chose to commit. In that moment, I decided that no matter what (unless I was seriously going to give myself an injury) I wouldn’t bring my arms down.

So the timer starts and I raise my arms above my head. The first few minutes weren’t that bad. “I can do this” I thought. But by what I assume was minute 5 or 6, the terror sets in. The pain starts. It’s the first real wave of “I can’t do this” hits and then the thoughts start rolling like “I have 55 more minutes of this, how am I ever going to get through it,” and “I hate this, how much longer?”

I watched these thoughts happen, as they have many times before in these meditations, and I made a choice with these too. I figured I could either spend my time wanting this to be over, and resisting the experience, or I could spend my time just accepting it and finding the small ways to enjoy it, and at the very least, the small ways to not hate it.

So I switched the thoughts from “I hate this” to focus on the words “sat nam” (which basically just means “truth is my identity”) that I was saying during the meditation. Instead of fighting the time, I sunk into it, accepting it.

I know how this sounds. Even reading my own words back to me, I am reminded of every yoga and meditation article I’ve ever read…. “breathe into the present,” and “be here now,” and “accept where you are and feel the bliss.” And I’m rolling my eyes at these articles and myself at how cheesy they sound. But yet, sometimes there just aren’t other words to describe exactly what’s happening.

There were so many moments where I wanted to cry. Where the pain was so much that I didn’t think I could get through it. But every time that happened and I did get through it, I had the understanding that my pain isn’t in charge of me. And it’s not as permanent as it seems like it will be. And once you walk up to it, it disappears. And yes…even though it comes back, if you keep facing it, it keeps disappearing.

This made me wonder how many other things in our lives are like this. How many things we want to avoid or turn away from, or how many things we don’t do (that we know we should do) because we’re so afraid to be in pain. Or how many things cause us pain, and we want to do something to fix it or alleviate it, like in this case, put your metaphorical arms down or eat that metaphorical carton of ice cream.

And this questioning reminded me of something one of our Master Trainers said, which was that the way through any block was to go right up to the biggest pain that you want to run away from, and breathe in one more breath and on the other side of that breath is freedom.

Bliss is on the other side of challenge. (tweet this!)

I don’t know if I can fully get on board with the word “bliss” yet (even though conceptually I think it’s rad), but freedom is something I understand. And in this case, I got it from keeping my arms up for 62 minutes. I got freedom from being a victim of my own pain. Freedom from my beliefs of myself that I’m a quitter and I don’t see things through. Freedom from the thought that “this is too hard and I can’t do it.”

And even though my arms hurt like hell, that freedom was well worth the pain.

There are so many lessons learned when you do things that are uncomfortable. When you walk to the edge and know you’re ok to keep going. And perhaps one of the things I appreciate the most about Kundalini is that it asks the question: How do I respond when things in my life hurt?

For me, every day is different. Sometimes I hold my arms up the whole time, and sometimes I collapse in a sobbing heap. Sometimes the answer is to rest and be kind to myself, and sometimes the answer is to commit and keep going.

But no matter what I choose, I have a sense of satisfaction knowing that for those 62 minutes, I did something I thought was impossible.

And that makes me know that all the other things I think are impossible, just aren’t that way.

Thank you for reading this far. It is my goal to share stories that show real life. The down in the dirt moments. The victorious moments. The moments where you were so embarrassed you thought you wouldn’t survive. Or so sad you thought you’d never recover. But then you do, and you live to tell the world about it. That’s what this is all about. We’re not alone.

So now, what about you? Have you ever gotten through something you thought for sure you couldn’t get through? Did you come out on the other side better, happier, clearer? If so I want to hear about it in the comments below.

What did you get through and how did you do it?

And as always, if you like this article, please share it with your friends and if you aren’t already on the mailing list, make sure to pop your name and email in the box below.
XO

P.s. Here’s a pic from the day after Sat Kriya. Back at it at Kundalini class.

sally kundalini whites - www.sallyhope.com

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I wasn’t gonna admit this…but then I did

be a rebel

 

“I don’t think I know how to love myself,”

…is what I said to myself one morning about 9 months ago. Which, when the thought really sunk in as a truth, felt very foreign and almost impossible.

“Of course I know how to love myself” I thought right after that. “I know I’m smart and interesting and capable and talented, etc etc etc” and “I mean…look at all I’ve accomplished and created! I’m awesome! Yeah…I’m awesome. Yep…totally awesome”

But the truth is that underneath that, was a deep shell that was protecting a wounded and vulnerable heart and a feeling that I truly have no idea what it REALLY means to love myself. My SELF. That inner spirit.

The self that is apart from the accomplishments, or the haircut, or the tight and toned body, or a great relationship, or the outside value I place on myself based on what I think others think of me.

This all started last year as I began to question everything about my life and my business. The “why am I doing this?” conversation I talked about in one of my last blogs.

And got further under a microscope when I contemplated shutting down the defining thing about me at this point in my business…Wildheart.

My feelings were “who am I if I’m not Sally Hope, Leader of the Wildheart Revolution.” And it was a similar thought I had when I left the music industry, “who am I if I’m not Sally Hope, bass player in a rock n roll band.”

And then it spiraled into even deeper insecurities like, “who’s going to think I’m cool if I put on 10 pounds” or “who’s going to take me seriously when I look so tired.”

Because I was so tired. Tired of trying to find happiness and love in places where it’ll never exist. (Tweet this)

As I got further down the rabbit hole of these thoughts, it occurred to me that I was only feeling valuable inasmuch as I felt like I was doing something cool or “valuable” in my life, throughout the perceived (and completely made up in my mind) eyes of other people.

I loved myself when I was skinny and tan and traveling the world in an RV, writing and sharing my experiences and having the time of my life. Or running my business from the beach. Or scouring the mountains of Montana on my motorcycle. But not so much when I was feeling depressed, or disliking my business, or feeling lost and directionless, and like I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life anymore.

That is…my love for myself had some serious conditions.

I only got to be lovable when I met these certain criteria I had set up for myself. Anything that fell outside of that I felt was unlovable. And punishable by negative thoughts and self-hatred.

And that’s when I truly realized that this is a big problem. And a form of perfectionism and control coming to the surface.

It happened slowly and then quickly. I had been aware of it in years previous, but I always found some outside thing to fix it..for a little while at least. Traveling, or relationships, or making lots of money doing really cool things, or having a life that people wanted.

And ultimately, there would come a time when those things would no longer serve their purpose in my life. They would no longer make me happy. The luster would wear off.

Because at some point, you want to put your clothes in a drawer instead of in a suitcase. At some point, the person you’re in a relationship with will let you down, annoy you, frustrate you.

Eventually, (perhaps) the business you built out of fun and whimsy because an empire that requires more of you then you’re wanting to give.

Eventually, the life that everyone envied becomes the life that no one wants. (Tweet This)

And when that happens, and you don’t already love yourself enough to find your own intrinsic happiness, you will fall apart.

I’m not saying any of this to depress you. Or to get any compliments. Or to hear you say “don’t feel sad Sally! I love you and you’re awesome!”

I’m saying it more just to describe the landscape of what it looks like when we (all of us) engage in the very damaging practice of not loving ourselves.

Through my inspection of this topic I’ve realized that loving yourself (or not loving yourself) shows up in all kinds of unexpected ways, like:

  • When you don’t stand up for yourself when someone says something inappropriate, or hurtful.
  • Or when you engage in activities that make you feel lonely, depleted, and less-than.
  • Or when you say no to something you really want to do because you’re afraid of the unknown.
  • Or when you say yes to something you don’t want to say yes to because you’re afraid of letting someone down.
  • Or when you stay in a situation that you know in your heart isn’t the best option for you, but you’re too afraid to leave because you don’t think you’ll ever find another whatever-it-is again (ie “I don’t trust that I’m worthy enough to have what I truly want and deserve”)
  • Or when you look in the mirror and hate what you see (wrinkles, jiggly tummy, stretch-marks, too big too little too not enough) and feel like you are less valuable in the world because of it.
  • Or when you feel like you can only go see or talk to your friends if you have something positive or happy to share.
  • Or you feel like you can’t go somewhere without putting makeup on because you’re afraid someone will notice your eyes are puffy from crying and they might ask you about it, or they’ll think you’re old.
  • Or when you compare your life to other people’s lives and feel like there is something wrong with the way you’re doing it.

What was it like for you reading this list? Do you see yourself in any of it?

My guess is that you do. Because so many of us struggle with this.

We “seek” happiness and validation and love, but we also all forget that by seeking it, we won’t find it.

Because it doesn’t live “out there,” it lives within us.

Now, I imagine what you might be thinking. It’s probably the same thing I used to think whenever I’d hear that phrase.

I’d either be like “yeah yeah blah blah love yourself I get it,” or I’d be like “Ok. Yes. I know you’re right, but seriously…what does that actually look like? How do I actually do it?”

And the second question is the mission I’ve been on for months. It’s part of my “Hell Bent On Happiness” experiment (more to come on that). Where I know it’s time to really GET IT. Live it. And understand it in a real way. Because otherwise I’ll continue to be on my own hamster wheel of unhappiness, waiting for something or someone else to fix it.

I’ve been experimenting in really tangible ways, really deep ways, and also really silly ways. But I wanted to share some things with you that I’ve been trying, just in case you’re in the same boat as me and wanting to break the bad habit of beating yourself up.

So here’s my latest cocktail of self-love:

1) Read the book “Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It” and do the meditation. Here is the way to do the meditation:

2) From the same book, have a repeating loop in your mind of “I love myself I love myself I love myself I love myself.”

I do this as soon as I start to worry about anything, or feel sad or mad or like I messed up. I do it when I start to have negative thoughts or start to stress out. I play it on loop to fill my mind with positive thoughts instead of the negative ones that usually are on loop.

3) Put this quote up in my room “In a society that profits from your self-doubt, liking yourself is a rebellious act.” (I’m not sure the author of this quote so if anyone knows please tell me so I can properly reference it!)

4) Watch this India Arie video (she sang it live at the Oprah event I was just at. Definitely cried)

5) Wearing less or no makeup, or noticing the times when I do want to wear if for reasons other than just “I feel like it”

6) Ask myself “If I truly loved myself, would I let myself experience this?” (this applies to situations, thoughts, people, etc) This is also from the book I mentioned above.

I know these things don’t seem like much, but I can tell you that they are really starting to make a difference. They might not be the cure-all, but it’s better than blindly placing my happiness in the hands of someone or something else. I’m really trying this time.

“Self-love” is one of those nebulous things that everyone talks about. It’s different than ego. It’s different than arrogance.

It’s straight up knowing that you are lovable and valuable simply because you exist. (Tweet This)

And really, what else is there? How wonderful of a world would it be if we all believed this? #livewildheart

So that’s my personal mission. One step along the “Hell Bent On Happiness” trail. And I’m wondering…won’t you join me?

Is this something you struggle with too? Could it be possible that there are some hidden self-love blunders in your life as well? You down to explore and discover? If so, I want to hear from you!

In the comments below I want to know this:

  1. Did you resonate with any part of this? Do you ever struggle with truly loving yourself?
  2. If so, what are 3 things you do to flip the script?

Leave your thoughts in the comments below and if you know someone that needs to see this message, please “like” it and share it with them. I figure the more people we have who feel worthy and valuable, the better.

I love myself, I love myself, I love myself….

Sally

 

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I’m Back. With The Black Eyed Peas. And We Need Your Help.

 

I'm Back

They tell you to blog. And to say things that will help your customer.

Help them actually, but also help them so that they “know like and trust you.”

If you’ve ever done any bit of marketing, you’ll know that I’m talking about customers and selling. And that is what the blogging world tends to be focused on.

How to engage your audience so that that they “know like and trust” you so that when the time comes for you to sell something, they want to buy it.

This isn’t sleazy. Or a tactic. It’s been around as long as selling has been around.

And when I starting my website, I was thinking a lot about this. I asked myself, “what can I tell people that will help them, surprise them, or make them smile?”

My first blog posts were all over the place and silly. A blend of the types of posts from bloggers I was currently following. And about two months into it, I wrote the blog post that changed everything.

I wasn’t writing for a specific purpose other than to share a snapshot of my real life. That human moment that you rarely share with anyone because it is too embarrassing to admit. And not only was I about to admit it, I was about to admit it to an indefinite number of strangers. Strangers that were potential clients.

In my mind, somehow, this was easier than admitting it to the people closest to my heart. So I hit the “publish” button and almost threw up.

But I didn’t throw up. And what happened was the opposite of what I expected. People didn’t think I was some hack of a life coach because I was crying on the bathroom floor over some guy, but they could relate.

They’ve been on the bathroom floor themselves. They’ve cried alone themselves. They’ve wondered if they were lovable enough or worthy enough. They had a similar human experience. And they wrote to tell me so.

I didn’t realize it at the time (and I actually had forgotten about it entirely until now), but connecting with people in this way, is what I believe I was born to do. It’s my most favorite thing. But at the time, I didn’t look at it like that. I just saw it as sharing stories on my website.

And from that moment on, I never “blogged” again. I just told stories. Stories about what a pair of too-small cowboy boots had to do with your dreams. 

Or how sometimes you have to say goodbye to things you don’t want to.

Or sometimes you have to stand up for your own values even if someone else doesn’t like it.

I made videos. I took you for the ride with me when I moved to Costa Rica or got in an RV to travel accross the country. Or moved to Montana.

And then…somewhere along the line, I stopped doing it. It might have been that my business grew so I got more strategic (like they tell you to do when you start growing), I had more things to “sell” so my posts focused on telling you about that (which I think is totally cool to do), and then some things happened in my life I wasn’t ready to share or didn’t feel like I could.

And then it snowballed. I stopped writing to you, and thus, stopped writing. And thus, my creativity waned. And thus, the lightness in my spirit waned. And thus, I started feeling dull. And then dull begat dull. And you get the picture.

So I did what any person would do who is desperate….I started reading. The latest book I started is called “Bird by Bird” and is all about being a writer. By the time the first chapter was started I already decided that I needed to start writing again.

For fun. For the sake of the story. For the sake of connecting. For the sake of the words on the page that somehow come out a hundred times more clear than when I try to say them out loud. To help us all feel like we’re not so alone. To help us all giggle. Or relate. To learn together.

So this is to say that I’m making a commitment to you, to share something with you every week (and don’t worry…there will ALWAYS be something helpful or to make you giggle each week)..

This, being something that I used to do so effortlessly and easily, is now something I have to retrain myself to do. Just like at the gym…my (metaphorical and emotional) muscles are not used to the work anymore.

And like when you’re not used to going to the gym, you might need a trainer. And so…I guess I’m asking you to be mine.

Here’s what I need from you from this first training session together…

  • If you’re stoked to hear more stories and shares, just comment below with “CAN I GET A HELL YES!?” That will help me feel encouraged to keep going and also let me know you’re reading so I stay accountable to you.
  • If you have any particular things you’re dying to read about (numerology, self-love, zoo animals, puns) let me know
  • What blogs are you frequenting right now and what books are you loving?

Just hit reply to comment on this post, and if you want to make sure to get the inside scoop on new stories, put your name in the little box below.

Ok lovely. Shall we say it’s on like donkey kong??

Your story-telling sister,

Sally

 

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Ever wanted to create a business and a life you love?

mf_ad_bschool2016

It was six years ago and I had just finished coaching school. I had gone there because it felt like a calling. Something that just pulled to me. Something that when I read the description of what a “life coach” did my body felt warm and my heart felt full and my mind said YES.

I knew this was something I was meant to do and so I turned down the Master’s program I had just gotten into for Marriage and Family Therapy, and jumped aboard the coaching train.

A year later, I found myself with a certificate in hand that said “You’re a coach now…officially!” (not really…that’s not EXACTLY what the certificate said), which was absolutely exciting. For about five minutes.

The time that followed was absolutely terrifying. Because for the first time, I really realized that being a coach meant that I was to be a business owner. “Shit” I thought. I had no idea how to run a business, much less market one or get clients.

So I felt scared. I had this spark in my heart to do something great in the world and help people in a really profound way, but felt so overwhelmed by the “business” side of it.

And then one day, I stumbled across the girl that would change my life forever. Marie Forleo. Exactly at the moment I was saying “shit” she was rolling out a brand new program called “B-School” that taught us all how to grow a business and a life that we love, online.

Her sales videos were her dancing around in her living room to rap and throwing money around and saying super smart things along the way.

The program was way more than I could afford at the time. And I literally waited until five minutes before the cart closed to put that program on my credit card and hope for the best.

Looking back now, that was an absolutely life changing turning point in my life. I had no idea that buying that program would not only teach me all of the foundational tools I needed to have and run and maintain an online business, but that I would create and be hooked into a community of people who knew EXACTLY what I was going through and who were, themselves, doing the most incredible things in the world.

We hired each other. Shared in the wins, the tears, the ups and downs. And we knew we weren’t alone.

It’s been 6 years since I started the very first B-School Facebook group and I’m so proud to say that I still am involved. I run the group of almost 16,000 dynamic and smart entrepreneurs. Coach and support all the B-Schoolers. Answer questions. Give that nudge. And offer all the knowledge I’ve gained from being in business for the past six years in that group. Really, right now, it’s one of the only ways to work with me, and it’s one of my favorites.

I’m telling you this because B-School is just about to open again for enrollment. Marie only does it once a year. So if you’ve been wondering how to build that business you’ve always dreamed of. Or wondered how to get started online, I encourage you to check out B-School. I am an affiliate, but that’s only because I believe in it with my whole heart and I’ve been with them since the beginning.

If this interests you even a little, check out this link and get involved. She will explain EVERYTHING.

And if you have any questions WHATSOEVER, I’m opening up some time for personal phone calls to answer any questions you have. Just email me at sally@sallyhope.com.

B-School literally changed my life and continues to do so. I’ll help you decide if it’ll change yours too.

XOXOXO
Sally

New Years Resolutions suck, but this is awesome

Wildheartworksheet

I can’t believe it’s already almost 2016! It feels like just yesterday that I was house-sitting for my friend Molly, waking up in her sun-filled house and writing in my journal about my previous year and what I intended for the following year. I took this pic right as I was writing in my journal and it seems to be pretty indicative of my year…lots of both light and dark moments. It also marked a huge transformation that was coming. You can read all about it here.

light to dark

My life had recently changed SO much and I wasn’t really sure what I wanted for the upcoming year, and so it’s no surprise that the year took on a life of its own!

I wasn’t super intentional. I was just in a “let’s see what happens” mode. And so that’s how the year greeted me.

So this year, I wanted to be a bit more intentional. I wanted to really reflect on 2015, and be intentional about 2016. And not in a “let’s put a million things on my ‘resolution/to-do list’ way.” But in a way that will help me really sink in, in a grounded solid way, to the way I want to FEEL this year, the things I want to accomplish, and the person I need to be in order for that to happen.

It was so much fun that I had to share it with you all. So I created this super fun and free worksheet. I hope you enjoy it!

In this worksheet you will…

  1. Reflect on your accomplishments, changes, lessons, game changing moments, and things you want to let go of from 2015
  2. Think ahead to 2016 and reflect on your desires, your goals, your experiences and how you want to feel in 2016 and who you need to be in order to do that
  3. Set strong intentions for your year to come

All you need to do is let me know where I should send it. So make sure you put your name and email in the box below and your super fun and free worksheet will be on it’s way.

Get Your Wildhearted Year Worksheet

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I hope you are enjoying the last few weeks of 2015 and not working tooooo hard. Also…make sure you squeeze some loved ones and drink lots of tea or hot cocoa. Dr’s orders.

Cheers to a year full of happiness and Wildhearting!
XO,
Sally

Wildheart Revolution