All Posts by Elena Harder

#1 Key to Fixing A Shit Fight

What does it take to go from screaming rage (or silent resentment) to loving hugs? Sometimes it seems like the most difficult journey to find the courage to really connect and open myself up to my partner. Sometimes I WANT to fight and stay stuck and in pain. Yet the pain of being in disagreement with him is the worst. Have you ever experienced this?   
I feel like I often choose the more difficult (aka interesting) path, and as such within 2 months of dating eachother Max and I decided to start doing business together. On top of traveling the world. On top of him figuring out how to be a parent to a (sometimes mouthy) 5 year old. On top of being pretty darn broke, and dealing with my sometimes pretty emotionally broken self (aka I used to be an abusive relationship and forget people can be nice when they love eachother) 
So.. with all of that together.. There are at least 6 different kinds of relationships we are in together (work, parenting, travel, love relationship, lovers, friends). There are a lot of different points where things can get derailed. Not making love in the morning can throw off our whole work day, and we have moments of chaos and pain fairly often (on days like today it seems like more often than not.. which my rational brain says isn’t actually true). I’m also more fulfilled an happy than I have been in years. It’s a delicate balance every day. 
Today I came upstairs with an offering of food an hour or so after we’d argued on the balcony about something work related. I thought only to bring a peace offering, but apparently it was actually only to continue the argument. An hour later, I realized that we were getting nowhere, my heart was closed, and it wanted to stay that way. There was probably not going to be a resolution to this moment, and I shared it verbally with him. I had completely forgotten that it’s in our relationship contract to “never go to bed angry”, and he reminds me. I’m going to HAVE to resolve this before bed. Shit.  
“I don’t want to open with you, I want to stay angry.” I almost spit the words at him. Amazingly, this gives me space to open. “Tell me how you really feel” he says.. “I’m so mad, I want to F*ing drop kick you and run away” Comes out of my mouth. (I’m such a lady). “You have permission to hit me and run away.” He says. This may seem like a strange thing to say, but it’s one of our ways of loving eachother. Not that I ever ACTUALLY do it!!!! But the permission to, seems to calm me down, and realize I’m freaking out.  
In a previous moment, someone guided us to find out what we felt we needed to “fix it” when we’re triggered, what we MOST want to do to make the problem of a massively triggered heart and fight/flight response clear it’self out. For me that looks like a savage kick to the head, and bolting. For him it looks like a hug and being told “it’s okay”. MASSIVELY different needs for the resolution of our stress from a moment like the one above. 
I recognized years ago that the violence of my heart is too much for my action to match it. My rational mind gently tethers “raging Elena”, my feminine emotions far to strong to let them move my fists to action. Cities would have been decimated, and men torn to shreds if I truly let the Kali inside of me out. But the permission, the permission to hit and run gives me space to realize he does care about me, and to say “I’ll be back in 5 minutes” and run downstairs (without punching anyone) and bawl in the bed for a bit. I realize I love myself enough to give myself this moment of expression, which is what I really need.  
I come back, slightly better, but atleast I’ve broken the seal. I find that once I start crying in any argument it usually gets resolved shortly, because……. (THE ENERGY STARTS MOVING)……  
We talk and I cry on my own. (Don’t touch me!). I realize there are parts of me which DO NOT want to resolve this.. want to stay angry and stay justified in their fearful actions. We talk more openly and I cry, but lean forwards this time.. As my forhead touches the cold tile his hands reach out and rest on my head, softly stroking my hair.. I’m releived to feel that I don’t pull back. I am now more open, maybe I will be open to resolution. I can feel the desire brew within me. We talk more, and I can feel that the resolution is near. My voice finds the deep truth of this disagreement, why I have been pushing away from him. “I don’t feel like I deserve to be loved by someone who is as kind to me as you are. I don’t deserve this kind of love.” He holds my gaze and I can finally look back at him after avoiding his eyes all day. The compassion is obvious, and I keep crying, I can see the spot on the tile where my tears have made funny shapes when my hair brushed it. I try not to sit on them as we move closer, and I lean into him as I cry. Our hearts both soothed by eachother, and the feeling that we are in harmony again. The discomfort and disagreement of the day has transformed and transmuted.  
As I lean into him I feel held and loved. I realize that through this moment (yet again) I have been given the opportunity to face the wounds of my past, to open my heart, (to him, and to myself) and to love myself even deeper than before. Not only that, but navigating each of these moments (and we know this deeply though we forget in the moment often) brings us closer and more in love with each other than we’ve ever been. The challenge IS the food of our relationship, and the catalyst for our growth.  
Free Training on Self Love and Getting Comfortable with Emotional Expression ===>

But what is addiction?

I want to escape. I’m wandering around the kitchen looking for… something… What I really want is more wine..I snuck some while cooking dinner. But there’s only a little left, it’s not mine and it would show if I took it. 
So…Blue cheese? Bread and honey? God I just want to get laid. It’s only been 1 day, but that’s WAY too long right now. Maybe I’ll do some work… there’s always more work to do… A joint.. A cigarette… My soul feels like it’s itching from the inside .. I turn another lap… A small voice inside of me says “Stop yourself Elena.. Stop yourself.. You’re stuck… Wake up.. Wake up..” But I don’t. 
I wander around a few more times, to the bedroom, back again. Maybe I could just sit and read a book, that would be good self care…. But… the urge to consume.. Consumes… Something.. wine. Anything. Cheese. Right now. Fuck me. Please! If only I could spend the next 30 minutes shoving “guilt free” popcorn in my mouth, but we don’t have any.  
What the fuck is happening to me? The urge to consume is so strong, and I want to feed it. If I want to explain it away, it’s a GAPS style Gut imbalance, from eating too much cheese and bread since we came to France. It wants to feed itself on it’s gorge foods. Or it’s work-ah-holicism. My never ending to do list, only compounded by the fact that we’re not yet 100% sure where we’re going to land in 2 days time in Barcelona, and god help us if we can’t find an AirBNB under $50 euros and end up spending $300-800 we don’t feel we have for 4 days in Barcelona, trapped between a carpool and a train we’ve already booked… fuck I hate feeling broke in Europe instead of rich in Thailand. 
My body twitches, and all of a sudden I remember.. JoyGasm.  
I wake up. Oh yea.. My body is spinning and convulsing in Opiate withdrawal. That’s what’s happening. . Two days in a row of being rocked in sexy bliss has primed my brain to look for more of this trancendental space, combo’ed with all the blue cheese and bread.. It’s true.. My “addictive response” is high and active these days, as is my cortisol, which is calling me to do something to connect and fix it. YES this is how i think about my behaviour. 
And I know I could Gasm it out.. and feel the fullness of my feelings.. Even the thought of it calms the edge of my “consume” But I don’t want to open up to it. I’d rather be uncomfortable or shove my face full of food. But I don’t do that either. Instead I sit and I write. Which is surprisingly soothing. 
I ponder the space of addiction. How is it.. that as a generation, we are addicted to technology, food, and drugs, to serial love to numb out from life. How did this happen.. and more importantly.. How do we create healthier patterns within ourselves and our communities (fuck that.. how do *I* do it??)
And I wonder.. what would a world be like, where we met those needs in community, from a heart space, using the drugs that are natually in our body/brain already. My answer comes swiftly… Max comes into the room, and sees the internal struggle that is me convulsing in resisting consumption internally and hugs me. After 10 seconds my body relaxes, after 25 and my heart opens. The insight and answer comes… Oh… all those things I was searching through, and all I really needed was… A hug.  
Comment below. What’s your go to escape? Have you ever experienced something like what I described above? 

5 Self Sabotage Patterns of Conscious Entrepreneurs

The 5 Most Destructive Self Sabotage Patterns of Conscious Entrepreneurs (and how to turn it into Healthy Self Sabotage) 

I'm a procrastinator, because sometimes I get scared.  Today it's showing up because I’ve got an email to send. It will take me approximately 5 minutes to write from start to finish. That is, if I just sit down and do it. In actuality it will take me 5 days to get the courage up to write it. In fact, I will write 2 blog posts, 3 future scenes, 20 minutes in my journal every night, and about 15 other emails in between now and when that trigger filled email actually gets written.

The email I need to send will probably end up in him signing up to work with me. I’ve already put it off for 2 weeks, and been asked to reply TWICE by him. Yet, I can’t, won’t, don’t haven’t. I will eventually, write it. Maybe.

I recognize this is what I’m doing today. I’m avoiding doing the important things as much as possible.

My triggered pain body,  my ego, and the part of me that fights the growth my business tooth and nail, the part that wants to fail, is in FULL power and activity right now. On top of that, for some reason I’m also refusing to do the inner work that would make the email sending a simple task again.

There’s a historical story I told about answering all my emails and being a good business woman. Then I end up crying on the floor. It’s funny you know, this self reflective universe we live with. I wrote about it, and it came back for me to heal. It popped into my reality big time. It’s been INCREDIBLY excruciatingly difficult for me to answer simple day to day business emails.

It’s all perfect. I was planning on writing about the Conscious Entrepreneur’s Top 5 Self Sabotage techniques anyways. I’ve been doing “research” I guess!

I’ve been doing an excellent job cultivating the experience. Reveling in the shit of it all.

Major triggers will invariably pop up
whenever I’m on the edge of a breakthrough,
the beginning of a new uplevel,
or I get too lazy in my self care.

I know from experience that if I don’t stop avoiding it, if soon I don’t dive to the depths of this, seeing the truth and illusion, and collecting the power from it, it’s going to get worse. Much worse. *shudders*

So, as a “conscious” entrepreneur who doesn’t watch TV, has committed to no longer emotional eat, and hates feeling guilty about not sitting in front of a computer when she “should be working”. This is how I distract my triggered self, while keeping “busy”. They are the top 5 Self Sabotage Patterns, and when I see them, time after time, they remind me to come back to doing the deep inner work.

5 Biggest Self Sabotage Techniques

1. Facebook. I’ll spend hours consuming other peoples content, especially when I’m feeling like I have something really important I could be doing in business. Or something specific I should be sharing/saying and am avoiding doing it. This can also show up as hours of re-posting OPC (other peoples content) instead of creating my own mastermind diamond marketing material.  (see below for my quick fix for this one) 

2. Consuming. Eating up other peoples online courses and email marketing. I find myself considering investing in another program, or worse buying yet another program just to see what the competitors are doing, or reading/watching someone else’s marketing material. Especially since there are several of my own courses I want to design. Or maybe complete some of the OTHER courses I bought that have yet to be completed, or not implemented. Consuming also includes: Eating (organic chocolate, popcorn slathered in coconut oil, curry and cinnamon, homemade kombucha, kale chips etc. All have been used to avoid the pain of not sending email, it’s sad to say, but true.) Along with the more traditional drinking, smoking or drugging to avoid the discomfort.

3. Selective Silence. I’ll stop emailing back, stop talking, avoid calling, or otherwise just cease speaking. If it gets really bad, they might call me directly, and I might not answer.

4. Shiny Object Syndrome. Also known as “I’m about to have a breakthrough, so let’s switch projects.” Often right before a big breakthrough there is a place of contraction. During this time we are going to want to change focus, loose track, give up, never come back, die. All normal.

5. OMG Clean. I’ll organize folders, re-read old journals, clean out my recycling bin, organize my desktop, wash dishes, clean the toilets, sweep behind the fridge. Yup. Me, the queen of “I love living in tropical places because it comes with a maid” will downright start to clean if faced with too much fear of emailing. It’s a dirty form of self sabotage, but I’ll admit to it.

If you’ve been in business for any length of time, I KNOW you’ve experienced one of these kinds of Self Sabotage.

So how do we deal with it?  Well, in this moment, I'm paralyzed.  I can’t answer that email, can’t open it even. I’m either scared that people will say (usually) good things, or bad things (rarely), or in between things. But whatever I do, if I can put off finding out, or doing it, or whatever it is I am avoiding. God help me, I will put it off until the guilt has driven me mad. So I do the healthy self sabotage thing, and slide sideways, and create some content. 

#1 Healthy Facebook Self Sabotage

A quick fix for consuming content on Facebook, is to make a micro commitment that if you scroll more than 4 posts, you MUST comment on the content or create something unique on the next post.  This will either push you to the edge of your comfort zone and make you say something unique, or it will get you the heck off facebook.  

Either way, mission accomplished. 

I’ll be diving into each of the Self Sabotage Patterns in week 4 of the JoyGasmic Mastermind, and I’ll share the journey with you along the way! Along with identifying them, there is a simple way of transmuting each of these patterns into something that can actually accelerate your business growth. It’s called Healthy Self Sabotage, and I’ll share the best of my tips on how to turn sabotage into healthy self sabotage. It turns stuckness, fear, and stress into an experience that is positively JoyGasmic.

I’ll see you next week! Much love,


The Reverse Gap

It’s 2:22. Some day in July 2015. I’m sitting lounging on green silk, propped up on pillows, in a hammok, on the 3rd floor of a cabana type house on the coast of Mexico.  I'm surrounded on 4 sides by native jungle, and on 1.5 sides there is ocean, with islands that I love to paddle around. The sounds of crickets is so present you don’t even hear it, nature is all around, the birds call out from time to time and laugh with me.

I’m on a business call, listening to a client talk about their business, how they are helping people live happier, healthier, more fulfilling lives. We’re talking about big visions, and the vastness of possibility, and also about how I can help take the minutia of business off their hands. There’s a sense of synergy in the air, and it’s palpable. I feel alive, and vibrant, and on purpose. I’ve had soul raising goosebumps at least 3 times in the conversation already, and now it’s 2:22. Joy fills my soul.

How do I know it’s 2:22? There is a beautiful chime echoing through the space of my outdoor office, it's coming from my phone and my mind knows exactly what this means. One of my favorite daily celebrations has arrived.

The client is talking about something, telling a story about their business experiences. So part of my mind wanders back to the trigger memory I created. It's about a year ago, my best friends face fills my mind, she's beautiful. I’m at her house, we’re celebrating together. Dancing like crazy fools in her living room because it’s the 1 year anniversary of “last day of bus”. 

Last Day!!!

The Last Day!!! Thank God! 

Along with that joyful memory, comes the year before. It’s a peak memory of sorrow. In 2013, this alarm at 2:22 meant I had to put my laptop down, let go of my precious  business space, and go drive a fucking school bus. I hated it.  There is a memory of sobbing with my head in her lap. I was so upset, my soul tortured by the monotony of useless tasks, and the abject terror of “what if I never escape this bus job. What if this is my life?”

And then I look back, and where I’m at RIGHT NOW. On the rooftop, with an awesome client call. I breathe in the perfection of it all.

Today, I’m not doing any of those things, but I’m thinking about them. Why? Because of something called the Reverse Gap. Let me tell you a little bit more about it, and how you can use it yourself. 

I’m greatful for the entirety of the moment, the current moment, the celebration, the distant past, the knowledge of that the power of that shift is being projected into the future and creating powerful change for my current self. I am so happy, and I am so proud, and I am so READY to share.

The Forward Gap Visionary Entrepreneur 

· You know where you are.

· You know where you want to be.

· There’s a GAP between these two things.

· Sometimes the the gap inspires you.  You know you're on a path to greatness.

Sometimes the gap makes you miserable, because you’re not there yet.

· On bad days, the HUGENESS of the gap makes you lose motivation and cry for a week.

Or... you could look at it like this. 

The Reverse Gap Visionary Entrepreneur 

· You know where you are.

· You know where you want to be.

· You know where you were a year ago.

· You’re able to see how much progress you’ve made (aka your bus story!)

· On good AND bad days, the gap fuels your fire, and pushes you forward into your vision.

And this is why I celebrate the cursed bus, every single day of my life. Because it was just over a two years ago that I claimed my “last day of a job job EVER” and had the best month in my business yet.  The bus showed me what my life could look like as a single mom if I didn’t put my nose to the vision board and get MOVING on my dream. It gave me the fear and the fuel to create the growth I’ve created in my life!

A modern celebration version of this is my little celebration that you're getting THIS particular peice of content, because I'm processing big stuff right now and I can't share what's going on in real time. This is a reminder for me, becuase it wasn't so long ago that I was completely unable to share book chapters or blog posts through my newsletter AT ALL, I was paralyzed by the fear of what you might think, and that I was too much in my honest expression.  

The blessing of that, is that now I have a backlog of things I haven't shared, so I have the room to keep sharing the whole journey authentically, and be scared at the same time. This is the first time in the history of my writing, that I've kept writing, even when I was scared, instead of clamming up and not talking. This is a historic moment in the history of me.  A new benchmark for my reverse gap.  

What is YOUR reverse gap memory?
Where were you at 1 year ago?

Leave a comment about what YOUR reverse gap is.  
Put a Reverse Gap reminder into your phone, and spend moments celebrating how far you've come!