Anger is Not a Four-Letter Word

Anger is Not a Four-Letter WordHaving posted recently on the power of kindness, today’s post is rather ironic. Because it’s about dealing with anger and frustration. And it’s long overdue.

Last April, my husband and I contracted to build a home in Virginia. Having been promised the house would be completed by the end of August, we sold our Colorado home quickly and relocated to Virginia at the end of August via a 25-hour road trip with our three cats, SiddhaLee, Mortimer and Maisy Jane. We secured temporary housing for what we thought would be just two weeks at a Staybridge Suites located 30 minutes from our new home. 

For nearly two months, we continued residing at Staybridge with Sid, Mort and Maisy waiting for the builder to complete our home. The delays dragged on, including switching us to a different model on a different lot just days after we arrived here and nearly four months into the project because they couldn’t deliver the original house in the time and manner promised.

What a perfect time to practice what I teach by choosing to go with the flow and trust that everything is an opportunity and the highest good is always unfolding rather than choosing to feel stressed and making myself and everyone around me miserable. Yes, “feeling” stressed is always a choice, never a necessity. But if I am feeling stressed, the answer is not to ignore it. Because that which is denied will wreak havoc eventually in untold ways.

While I’ve been going with the flow generally, with the help of regular treadmill workouts and nightly knitting, I’ve also been less regular with my proven de-stressors of frequent meditation and tapping. I’ve been mindful of the fact that my spotty practices have not been supporting optimal flow, but so far haven’t done much to enhance my approach other than to notice it with curiosity, respect and compassion—an important predecessor to changing destructive habits into more constructive ones. 

Most curiously self-sabotaging of all, for months now, I’ve been resorting to my old favorite dysfunctional stress coping mechanism: eating too much in an effort to smother my anxiety and distract myself from my growing anger. Didn’t I write a book about how that doesn’t work? Didn’t I specifically devote an entire chapter to the benefits of Sensory Balance and how gorging one sense (taste, in this case) can never fill the voids created by starving others (for example, creativity, vitality, spirituality and belonging)? Don’t I coach clients on how gorging our sense of taste while starving our other senses is the least effective, least loving approach because, when we most need to be at our peak to handle all that we are juggling, we compromise our functioning by weighing ourselves down with gluttony and less than optimal nutrition, adding the potential of weight gain self-loathing (not to mention the real health risks of obesity) to our already overloaded, overwhelming lives?

Despite knowing better, I somehow kept behaving as if overeating was actually going to cure the stress of moving cross-country and building a home. The result? This theory proved to be a lie like all of the other self-sabotaging, self-destructive theories fear generates. The good news? I’ve proven yet again that I knew what I was talking about when I wrote my book. Overeating doesn’t help. Nor does eating food loaded with saturated fat, refined sugar and salt. Congratulations, Deborah! Backed by the further evidence you’ve so generously provided, your book sales should sky-rocket once again (LOL). 

So, after six months of putting on a happy, evolved face by suppressing my stress with iron will and overeating, is anyone surprised that last week, I finally had a grand mal meltdown? It wasn’t the builder’s miscommunication, misinformation or mismanagement that finally did me in. It wasn’t even the ever escalating expense and uncertainty of the ongoing delays. Or that most of our personal belongings are stashed in a moving truck in Wichita, Kansas and we are living with the bare minimum we thought we’d need for the expected two weeks in temporary housing.

No, what finally did me in was the weapon I too often choose to defeat myself with. When someone I trusted attacked me and treated me unfairly and unkindly, I felt ashamed and went to pieces. I forgot that 95% of how others treat me is all about them and their fears and has little or nothing to do with me. I forgot that we are all doing the best we can with the love and light we give ourselves access to at the time. And that when I invest my energy in casting judgment on how poorly you or I are doing, I disrespect the organic unfolding of our unique personal journeys and further frustrate everyone involved. I forgot that a really strong reaction usually means I have similar unresolved hurts from my past that I’ve consolidated onto the present situation, making it feel far worse than it actually is on its own. Most important of all, I forgot that, whatever my circumstances, the key to experiencing equanimity is fueling myself in each moment with unconditional love, respect, curiosity, compassion and gratitude for myself and every being, encounter and experience.

During the conversation, I was so shocked that I didn’t show up as my most aware, wise and articulate self. As we so often do in such situations, fueled with too many months of too much work and food and too little rest and fun, I just slunk away with my tail between my legs to find escape in graham crackers and peanuts.

Adding insult to injury, the person called me again the next morning and gave me a refresher smackdown. Though I ended that call as quickly as possible, still not lashing out in return, the second smackdown was a real blessing because it helped me start to shift from my initial powerless victimhood response of “poor me” to a more empowered angry “how dare she treat me this way.” That anger provided momentum for me to start moving forward to healing and empowerment. Continued victimhood would have only resulted in further disempowering shame and self-loathing until I’d planted myself yet again in the quagmire of depression and despair. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt. No point in going there again.

For the next few hours, I embraced all of my emotions and let myself feel and express them fully in the privacy of my suite. I drafted a brilliant, scathing and cutting email to her enumerating her incompetence, ignorance and crimes against humanity (me). I refined my draft every time I thought of another snide though accurate shot I could deliver. Over the next hour or two, I just kept refining that email and saving it as a draft with no address in the “to” field so I wouldn’t send it accidentally—an anger management best practice.

I let myself feel and express all of it in the sanctity of my room through my anonymous email draft and periodic rants until I had nothing more to say. Drained and exhausted, I remembered that, while fully accepting and expressing anger is essential to optimal health, holding onto it longer term will only poison my system. I remembered that forgiveness is a gift I give myself. Anchoring that insight in my consciousness, I embraced and celebrated our shared humanity recognizing that, sometimes when people are stressed they lash out unfairly and unkindly. And sometimes when they do so, and I am also stressed, I just might forget all of the love-fueled truths I hold dear and choose to freak out as a way to remind myself of the debilitating power of fear.

Congratulations, I’m still human so I’m not done yet! I can still offer you great examples of how you too can choose your energy in each moment by sharing where I stray from the path and how I recognize it and get myself back on track. It’s pretty simple to explain, it’s all about choosing unconditional self-love, respect, curiosity, compassion and gratitude in each moment rather than any form of fear (which includes anger).

Having shared my story with you, I feel even better. Through it I’ve once again expressed my mission of sharing my experiences to help others find lives of hope, possibilities and empowerment. Time to get a shower, get dressed and embrace all of the other opportunities life is offering me today.

Whatever my circumstances, I know who I am and Whose I am. I am a unique cocreative expression of the Divine. And so are you. How could that ever not be enough?

PS: We are actually closing on our house today!

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© Copyright 2014 DJW Life Coach LLC. All rights reserved.
Posted in All My Blog Posts, Stress, Perfectionism & Burnout | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Oprah and Deepak FREE “Energy of Attraction” Online Meditation Program Launching 11/3/14

Register for Energy of Attraction 21-Day FREE MeditationA well-known Teacher once said, “I have so much to do today—if I hope to accomplish everything on my list, I must meditate twice as long.”

Most of us are more likely to say, “I have so much to do today, there’s no way I have time for meditation or anything else!” I used to say that myself until I figured out that I have all the time I need for the things that matter most. My role is simply to discern exactly what matters most in each moment.

The funny thing is that people from spiritual traditions throughout the world have long reported that regular meditation actually results in greater efficiency, productivity and abundance. They discover the power of flow: a generous, effortless, gracious way of living grounded in who you are being not what you are doing.

For those who might want to give it a try—and for those who are already committed to meditation—I wanted to share a great opportunity with you. Four times a year, through the Chopra Meditation Center, Oprah and Deepak offer a NEW completely FREE series of 21 online guided meditations. I love the programs in this series and use them myself. Their newest program, Energy of Attraction, will launch on November 3, 2014.

This program is a simple daily web-accessible recording with each meditation lasting about 15 minutes.

Whether you’re a seasoned meditator or you’ve heard that it might reduce your stress, improve your creativity and increase your sense of well-being, this program has a great deal to offer. For those new to meditation, it eliminates the perceived barrier of “too much silence” by easing you into a healthy new habit through a theme that ties the 21 sessions together with lots of speaking and guidance, very little pure silence.

And, for the seasoned meditator, it’s a great way to expand your options and approach. All meditation paths have merit because at their core they are all about the myriad ways we can hold ourselves in mindfulness. Doing the dishes, walking the dog, feeding the cat—all become meditative when entered into with focus and awareness. We are human beings, not human doings. Just me, just here, just now, just be.

Here’s what The Chopra Center has to say about these programs:

“Studies have shown that it takes 21 days of consistent behavior to change a habit or create a new one, such as establishing a regular exercise routine, eating a healthier diet, or taking time each day for self-care. In just 21 days, you can also establish a fulfilling meditation practice that will give you a lifetime of rewards. You may have dipped your toe in the water with limited success, but this time, you will have daily support and guidance that will enable you to move beyond any past obstacles and experience the many gifts and benefits of meditation.”

Tap into your true power to co-create your best and most meaningful life through the power of meditation in this FREE 3-week online interactive experience with Oprah and Deepak as your guides. You’ll receive a daily email with a link to access the day’s meditation. Track your progress in a private notes section. It’s open to everyone—worldwide!  You can even purchase the program to enjoy over and over at your convenience to continue supporting this healthy habit in your life. I own the recordings of all of the past 21-day meditation programs and cycle back through them regularly to support my centering practice. They provide great value at a reasonable price.

Turn unexplored possibilities into fulfilling realities and step into your greatness!

Register Here

Please share this email with a friend. And let me know if you find value in this series. Your feedback will guide me with other suggestions about resources.

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© Copyright 2014 DJW Life Coach LLC. All rights reserved.
Posted in All My Blog Posts, Authenticity & Purpose, Creativity & Self-Expression, Gratitude, Prosperity & Abundance, Intuition & Intention, Joy & Vitality, Mindfulness, Meditation & Peace | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Every Kindness Counts

Every Kindness CountsHave you ever thought about doing something kind for someone, then filed that thought away for later, only to forget about it completely?

Have you ever thought about doing something kind and did it right away? What was the result? Chances are, you made that person’s day and your day as well.

You can never know the full effects of your acts of kindness and generosity and how their ripples will continue to constructively impact the world long after you are gone. When you plant seeds of love, respect, curiosity, compassion and gratitude, everyone enjoys the fruits and grains of your kindness and generosity for years to come—including YOU.

Everything you do makes a difference. The gifts that you have to offer the world are priceless. Don’t lock your gifts away in the cold vaults of “someday.” Share them early and often, allowing the world (and your life) to benefit from your unique, irreplaceable contribution. You are a precious natural resource never to be squandered or taken for granted. Release your limiting beliefs, reclaim your power, pay attention and step into your greatness.

How will you choose to touch lives with hope, possibilities and empowerment today just by letting your light shine fully? 

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© Copyright 2014 DJW Life Coach LLC. All rights reserved.
Posted in All My Blog Posts, Authenticity & Purpose, Creativity & Self-Expression, Curiosity, Respect & Compassion | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Obstacle or Opportunity: The Mindset Scan

Obstacle or Opportunity?Here’s the secret of people who thrive, whatever their circumstances: they know that obstacles are fear-fueled illusions.

Whenever they encounter a person or situation that appears to offer an obstacle, challenge or problem, they shift their perspective and reclaim their power by aligning their energy with pure love and demonstrating curiosity. In so doing, they transcend any troublesome illusions to reveal the opportunities hidden within.

These eternal optimists never give up. They persevere in pursuing their dreams by practicing the following manifestation mindset:

  • Come as you are—Show up and bring the best I have to offer in this moment. Not last year’s best, or next year’s best or someone else’s best. Just the best I’ve got to offer with the love and light I’m giving myself access to at this time. Quit judging myself as insufficient. I am always enough, just as I am right here and now.
  • Live the Truth—God is God, I am God’s and love is the greatest power in the Universe. My Source is excellent, limitless, and reliable. No external force can block my highest good. Universal abundance flows to and through me. Whatever my circumstances, I know who I am and Whose I am. I am a unique cocreative expression of the Divine. How could that ever not be enough?
  • Commit to the highest good—Universal love is always unfolding the highest good for all, in all, through all. Love, respect, curiosity, and compassion reveal and advance the highest good. My part is to align myself with the highest good by keeping myself free of fear and holding myself wide open as a clear channel for love and light. Way cool!
  • Express gratitude—While feeling grateful is a nice start, don’t stop there. Express it to and for every being, encounter, and experience. Appreciate my life. Know that everything’s an opportunity. Expect it. Go looking for it. Notice it. Say, “Thank you!” Gratitude for Universal abundance fosters generous, effortless, gracious flow filled with faith, hope, prosperity, peace, and joy. And it starts with being grateful for every aspect of myself—the attributes that thrill me and those that frustrate me and everyone who knows me. They are all essential elements of my unique cocreative role in expressing the Divine. I totally rock!
  • Trust God with the details—Resist the urge to over-manage the minutiae and end up trapped in the weeds. Even though I’m bright and creative, that level of specificity is way above my pay grade. Remain focused on my responsibilities (the first four parts of the mindset) and stay tuned to the Universal frequency for further instructions on where to go, what to do, when, and with whom. When I discern, focus, and follow through, the Universe works wonders through me. My job becomes so much easier when I allow God to be God!

Start practicing the mindset today to see your stress decrease while your productivity increases. When, despite your best efforts, you become discouraged because you’ve temporarily forgotten that obstacles are actually opportunities in disguise, a real-time Mindset Scan can help you identify which aspects of your thinking would benefit from recalibration and what form that might take.

Below you will find a snapshot of the worksheet used for the scan. In my book, Choose Your Energy: Change Your Life!, I provide a variety of scans to help you recognize when you are out of alignment and get yourself back on track. The Mindset Scan is an additional one I developed after publishing my book. Click here to download a FREE full-size, color version of my Mindset Scan, along with full-size, color versions of all of the other illustrations and scans included in my book.

Mindset Scan

The Mindset Scan consists of a five-step process, with each step grounded in caring enough about yourself to do the following:

  • Pay attention so that you notice quickly whenever you’ve started feeling frustrated or pessimistic about your life. Notice your language: a big tip-off is catching yourself referring to people or situations in your life as obstacles, challenges or problems.
  • Invest your energy in assessing the root cause of your pessimism by revealing which aspect or aspects of the mindset you’ve temporarily forgotten due to fear.
  • Determine what baby steps will return you to alignment with truth and reality anchored in love.
  • Hold yourself accountable for following through on your commitment to take action.
  • Assess your results and continuously refine and expand your action plan to live the mindset of generous, effortless, gracious flow filled with faith, hope, prosperity, peace and joy by anchoring yourself in unconditional love, respect, curiosity, compassion and gratitude for every being, encounter and experience in your life.

Having gotten honest with myself, if the results of the scan indicate there is something significant to explore but I don’t yet feel able to go deeper, I demonstrate respect and compassion by not forcing myself. I relax into exactly where I am on my journey. Caring enough about myself to notice and explore my pessimism plants the seed for emerging insights. Whenever I invest my energy in conducting the scan, I’ve already taken an additional step toward recognizing unresolved fear inside me and moving myself forward on my personal journey to wholeness.

What apparent challenge will you transform into an opportunity today by beginning to approach it with mindfulness, curiosity, perseverance and an attitude of gratitude? Time to shift your perspective, reclaim your power and step into your greatness!

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© Copyright 2014 DJW Life Coach LLC. All rights reserved.
Posted in All My Blog Posts, Gratitude, Prosperity & Abundance, Mindfulness, Meditation & Peace, Stress, Perfectionism & Burnout | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

When You Dream Big, You Plant the Seeds of OUR Future!

The Sky's the LimitWhen the Wright brothers first dreamed of flying, they were told it couldn’t be done. Many had tried and failed. For two men who didn’t even have high school diplomas, creating a “flying machine” was indeed a very big dream.

If the Wright brothers had listened to the voice of reason—endlessly embodied by the many pragmatists surrounding them—they would never have gotten off the ground. Quite possibly none of the rest of us would have either!

Their growing list of crash reports was proof aplenty to their skeptics that human beings just were not meant to fly.  After the Army failed to get their plane off the ground as well, The New York Times reported that it might be another 10 million years before a working airplane could be built.

A common substantiation for our innate inability to fly went something like this, “If God had meant us to fly, wouldn’t he have given us wings?” That question, like so many of our fear-based limiting beliefs, grossly underestimates God’s creativity and magnitude. What if, instead of just giving us physical wings, God gave us the gift of imagination. So that we might not just figure out how to fly, we would also discover how to soar in myriad other ways as well? 

Fortunately, the Wright brothers didn’t give up.  While others were limited by an unwillingness to fully exercise their imaginations, Wilbur and Orville were not. Wilbur and Orville had a dream. They imagined the impossible and, by dreaming big, they planted the seeds and blazed the trail to their future.

Because they were determined to make their dream a reality, Wilbur and Orville did. Like the bumble bee, that, based on the “laws” of aerodynamics, shouldn’t be able to fly, the Wright brothers transcended conventional wisdom and limiting beliefs to manifest their destiny.

Instead of becoming discouraged by “failed” attempts, they understood that each perceived failure was bringing them a step closer to the precise way in which they would ultimately succeed. A mere eight days after The Times had predicted that humans might be grounded for many more millenia, the Wright brothers achieved their first successful flight. Thanks to their creativity and persistence, flying—once considered something only birds could do—has become commonplace.

Before anything can exist, we first need to imagine it. Let your imagination soar. What might you begin creating today if you started letting yourself dream big? Let ‘er rip! We need you!

When you dream big, you don’t just plant the seeds of your future. You plant the seeds of OUR future!

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Optimizing Your Response Ability: The Equanimity Scan

Self MasteryIn this life, the only thing for which you have complete responsibility and over which you have complete control is your chosen perspective and response. All other forms of control are illusions, at best.

Yet, despite our best efforts, any of us can become anxious and irritated when overwhelmed by stress and ancient self-destructive scripts. Reinforced by “gremlins”—those sabotaging voices in our heads repeating nasty messages of limitation and lack—our discouraging thoughts and feeling quickly edge out any memory of how to operate from love and light.

In chapter 6 of my book, Choose Your Energy: Change Your Life!, I talk at some length about how gremlins show up in relation to your “personal board of directors.” Your three-member board—sage, guardian, and muse—is a useful construct for sorting your vast array of gifts, passions, options, fears, and coping mechanisms into three distinct though interrelated subsets to reduce the complexity of understanding what you’re experiencing in each moment and the specific path to finding greater equanimity.

When fueled by love, you can trust your board’s discernment—reasoning and intuition—to help you foster equanimity and access your deepest wisdom to reveal and advance the highest good for all, in all, through all. They do this by creating a moment-by-moment custom blend of competencies that varies based on the optimal mix for the opportunities in each life situation.

In contrast, when they switch to fear as their fuel instead of love, your board members’ gremlin personas take over and they block your forward progress by focusing their energies on infighting, backbiting, and one-upmanship on a grand scale.

When they first give birth to their gremlin personas, their mission is simple: to protect us from ever again experiencing painful or embarrassing situations. As we get older and our lives become more complex, our sages, guardians, and muses see that many situations, while different in details, offer the same opportunity for pain. As their fears continue to grow, so do the possibilities for gremlin interference by board members who expand their job definition to include any situation or person who could ever lead to discomfort. Talk about limiting our world. The great irony is that when in the grip of fear, gremlins will do whatever it takes—including some very underhanded tactics—in order to protect us from the potential danger “out there.” In this way, they become the enemy within.

In this context, the term gremlin is used as a metaphor for a part of you that is neither inherently evil nor intentionally harmful but a deeply rooted pattern of behavior triggered by your oldest most painful scenarios and a deep need to protect yourself by any means necessary. In short, they keep you small because they believe that is what safe looks like.

Remember that their gremlin activity is actually good news. It means you are on the verge of a big breakthrough in personal growth. Your sage, guardian, or muse “go gremlin” because they are afraid they won’t be able to keep you safe when you get that big. Remember the steps to soothing their fears:

  • Seek to understand what old concerns have been brought out of hiding.
  • Help them differentiate the remnants of past pain from today’s reality.
  • Remind them that small does not necessarily equal safe for an adult.
  • Clarify that following your authentic path with love and without fear is what safe looks like now.
  • Harness their loyalty.
  • Leverage their core gifts of discernment, discipline, and imagination to keep moving yourself forward into a life you love.

A real-time Equanimity Scan can help you identify specifically where your personal board members have become derailed by fear and how love might help them get back on track.

Below you will find a snapshot of the worksheet used for the scan. In my book, Choose Your Energy: Change Your Life!, I provide a variety of scans to help you recognize when you are out of alignment and get yourself back on track, including the Equanimity Scan. Click here to download a FREE full-size, color version of my Equanimity Scan, along with full-size, color versions of all of the other illustrations and scans included in my book.

Equanimity Scan

The Equanimity Scan consists of a five-step process, with each step grounded in caring enough about yourself to do the following:

  • Pay attention so that you notice quickly whenever fear creeps into your board’s energetic mix.
  • Invest your energy in assessing the root cause of the fear. Using the fears and synonyms listed on the left side of the form, identify which member or members may have become dysfunctional based on which fears align most closely with the way that member is wired. Realize that in any given difficult situation, one, two, or all three members may have fallen into the grips of their own particular fears. Understanding what’s gotten each of them riled up is the best way to begin determining what can restore each of them to love and wholeness.
  • Once you have identified the root fears at work, the love alternatives, and the board members involved, determine what baby steps will strengthen the presence of love in your board’s energetic mix based on the scan’s indicator of how to restore love. Especially in the case of the guardian, make sure any “plan” is a baby step and not an eighty-seven-point fifteen-year plan in fifteen-minute increments. Such a detailed plan might thrill the guardian, but it will introduce a new challenge as it sends the sage and muse screaming into the night. Likewise, overdoing it with the sage or muse is likely to throw one or both of the other two members into a tizzy. The optimal realignment approach will take into account the entire board as individuals and a team. The plan will be infused with understanding, balance, and harmony.
  • Hold yourself accountable for following through on your commitment to take action.
  • Assess your result and continuously refine and expand your action plan to maximize the presence of love and minimize the presence of fear in your board members’ execution of their daily responsibilities.

Respecting your feelings enough to notice them and then demonstrating curiosity and compassion about them, rather than continuing to tell yourself to suck it up and stop being a wimp, will result in far greater emotional equilibrium and resilience in the face of life’s ups and downs. You’re worth the effort!

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© Copyright 2014 DJW Life Coach LLC. All rights reserved.
Posted in All My Blog Posts, Curiosity, Respect & Compassion, Love, Fear & Gremlins, Stress, Perfectionism & Burnout | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Living Your Authentic Life Without Regret

r2g-p3-Thumbtack-webIn her best-selling book, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying, Hay House author Bronnie Ware says the number one regret reported by those she attended as a hospice nurse is, “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”

Why are we so reluctant to allow ourselves to be who we fully came here to be? It seems foolhardy to try to be anyone else—clearly we’re not equipped to succeed.

When coaching clients who say they long to live more authentically, I start by helping them affirm that they have the necessary permission, passion and power to manifest their purpose. Like life in general, the process is not linear. We work all four elements (permission, passion, power and purpose) iteratively in whatever order the client has energy for them. Often, if they can identify and release their passion and power, their purpose begins to emerge. Bolstered by that increased clarity and confidence, they feel able to grant themselves the permission to pursue the authentic life they dream of.

Here are six great exercises for identifying your own natural talents and passions. Do whichever ones pique your curiosity.

  • List all the things you object to in your current life and brainstorm the opportunities revealed by those objections.
  • List the top 10 things you love about your current life and the top 10 things you detest about it.
  • List what attracts you to your current life and what you find yourself resisting.
  • List what you’re really good at and what you consider yourself horrible at.
  • List what you love about yourself and which of your attributes/habits most frustrate you (and everyone around you).
  • List the kinds of projects/activities you adore and those you abhor.

Explore the results of the different exercises to identify patterns which point to conclusions concerning your greatest natural talents and passions. Then brainstorm how your particular talents and passions might be combined into ways you could fulfill your purpose. Here are three great questions to help unleash any remaining blocks:

  • What would you dare to do with your life if you knew you couldn’t fail?
  • What would you love to do with your life if you knew you could make a living at it?
  • What would you do with your life if you didn’t need to make any money doing it?
  • What would you start doing with your life tomorrow if you didn’t care what anyone else thought?

If you’ve identified your purpose and you know you have the passion and power to manifest it, but you still won’t let yourself do so, consider whether there’s someone in your life that might feel threatened or reject you if you live your authentic purpose. This is one of the most common barriers people have to letting themselves be who they are at their core. They are afraid they will experience rejection and abandonment by those they love if they are true to themselves. Now ask yourself, when you’re on your deathbed, whether you’ll be glad you lived a lackluster life to maintain the good opinion and company of someone who doesn’t respect you enough to let you be you. If you finally have the guts to say “enough already” by vacating the stressful space that insecure person is taking up in your life, who knows what truly loyal compatriot you might finally make room for!

The second big barrier is fear of failure. But here’s the thing with being stopped by that fear. If you don’t try, you definitely won’t succeed. If you give it your best shot, you’ve got a greater chance of success than if you continue to hide your light under a bushel. And, if the first approaches don’t work, maybe, like Edison, the Wright brothers and so many other famous inventors (who failed many times before succeeding), your seeming breakdowns will point the way to your unique, one-in-a-million, breakthrough solution.

Once you’ve given yourself permission, identified your passions and embraced your power to pursue your purpose, what about a plan for manifestation? If you’ve been following my posts for any period of time, you’ll know by now that I’m a huge fan of simple plans consisting of myriad baby steps toward interim, no-excuses possible, minimalist goals. How and why could such minimal goals ever work? Isn’t bigger always better? Not necessarily.

Substantive, sustainable improvement of any sort is usually grounded in incremental improvement, not rapid leaps and bounds. Celebrate every step forward, no matter how small. If you exceed your no-excuses goal, that will result in even greater celebration. Force and extreme deprivation are not necessary. Excessive goals result in disenchantment, illness, injury and burnout. Easy goals lead to easy success that fuels lasting motivation for a lifetime of even greater success.

Commit to one small baby step that will move you closer to the life you dream of. Letting any shifts be as organic as possible is key to substantive, lasting transformation. Appreciate any progress—no amount is too inconsequential to celebrate. Each step forward is an important opportunity to stop, consider what you’ve learned, examine your new tools, realize your new strengths, and embrace with gratitude the joy that will take you to the next step. Celebrating each success is key to fostering the constructive core energy that will keep moving you forward. Noticing and demonstrating love, respect, curiosity, compassion, and gratitude for any resistance to change is as important to moving forward as celebrating your successes.

Your greatest fulfillment in life will come from living your authentic life. In every situation, love yourself enough to pay attention to every aspect of your life. Respect everything you are experiencing—what you are thinking, feeling, deciding, saying, and doing. Determine whether the energy underneath is love or fear. If it’s love, you are probably on your authentic path. If it’s fear, demonstrate compassion for yourself. Foster gratitude by reminding yourself that everything is an opportunity. Then further neutralize the fear by bringing curiosity to bear. Explore every aspect of the situation, especially your internal landscape, and identify all of the opportunities available to you through this unique experience. As with any new skill, practice will help this way of being become a healthy new habit—your automatic response to every situation.

In summary, figure out what you want, understand whether it’s fueled by fear, transform any fear into love, set your intention, take a baby step, and celebrate each success with a grateful heart.

One of the greatest gifts I can give anyone is having the honesty and courage to see and share myself fully so that we both might benefit from our shared insight, compassion, and good humor—failures, resilience, victories. We are here to help each other grow by sharing without reservation the only thing we have to give—our authentic selves.

Be yourself—everyone else is already taken! 

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