Daring Greatly

Daring GreatlyCreativity, curiosity and courage are at the root of all freedom. It takes creativity to dream big, curiosity to explore how it might manifest and courage to keeping moving forward–despite your past experience, your current circumstances or the number of naysayers in your life. Once you’ve envisioned your desired future and crafted a plan for getting there, it takes tremendous courage to stay the course no matter what. When you perceive obstacles and the going gets tough, it takes sustained creativity, curiosity and courage to continue pressing on.

Any time you go after what you really want—especially when it involves stepping into the unknown—doubts and fears may surface.  Even if you encounter no external critics, traversing new terrain is a common time for the members of your internal personal board of directors (sage, guardian and muse) to shift into gremlin mode because they’ve started fueling themselves with fear rather than unconditional love. As I share in my book, Choose Your Energy: Change Your Life!,  such situations require lots of deep breathing and self-awareness. 

When my clients report that their fears have reached up and grabbed them by the ankles yet again, I congratulate them. That means you are on the threshold of a big growth spurt, and your sage, guardian, and muse have “gone gremlin” because they are afraid they won’t be able to keep you safe when you get that big. The answer? 

  • 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.

I am often asked whether my board’s gremlin energies are stirred up by big opportunities. Yes, when they choose to be gripped by fear, because that is what fear does to us. Their clever and dire warnings include such classics as, “Honey, it’s been hard enough to keep you safe as it is. How are we going to manage to protect you if your presence in the Universe gets any bigger? You do this and you might as well paint a big old bull’s-eye on your back for all the naysayers to aim at. You remember how badly that’s gone in the past, right?”

What do I do when my personal board members—Claire, Ella, and Bee—become freaked out by fear and shift into gremlin mode? I do what I encourage my clients to do. As with so many of the things I coach, the only way I know it works so well is that I have the opportunity to practice it myself with regularity: 

  • Pay attention and breathe.
  • Engage with love, respect, curiosity, compassion, and gratitude.
  • Reassure and redirect.
  • Repeat as necessary. 

The way to develop a stronger rapport with your board members and help them build more constructive working relationships with each other is to pay attention and get curious. For more details on harmonious collaboration with your board, check out chapter 6 of my book, Choose Your Energy: Change Your Life!.

Enjoying greater freedom requires creativity, curiosity and courage. Daring to dream. Daring to plan. Daring to take the first baby step. Daring to keep going and stick with it until your dream becomes a reality.

As you exercise your muscle of daring, you will develop increased strength to forge the path to the greater freedom you seek. The joy of that freedom will be well worth the effort it takes to achieve it!

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Posted in All My Blog Posts, Authenticity & Purpose, Curiosity, Respect & Compassion, Joy & Vitality, Love, Fear & Gremlins | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Embracing Uncertainty With Enthusiasm

Cross It or Burn It?In life, bridges connect us to the future. They provide passage to new discoveries,  relationships and opportunities.

But crossing a bridge means making a change and change is sometimes uncomfortable. We’re torn between staying where we are and moving forward into the unknown. And often, when given the option to turn back to what is familiar—no matter how uncomfortable or restricting—our desire for predictability and the illusion of control causes us to choose the known rather than the perceived inherent risk of an uncertain and unknown future.

Sometimes, what keeps us from moving forward is that we think we must burn our bridges to the past so that there’s no possibility of ever again returning to enjoy what we once loved and valued. But what if that’s not the case? What if change and growth just involve respecting, honoring and appreciating what has been while remaining wide open and mustering the curiosity and courage to embrace uncertainty with enthusiasm and cross over to discover what will be? While what lies ahead may feel uncertain, what if, as C.S. Lewis said, “There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind?”

What bridges are you ready to cross—ones that will allow you to turn unexplored possibilities into fulfilling realities? The journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step. Taking a baby step in a new direction today will make all the difference! Choose your energy and change your life and the lives of every being and situation you encounter. You’re worth the effort!

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Posted in All My Blog Posts, Curiosity, Respect & Compassion, Force, Flow & Baby Steps, Gratitude, Prosperity & Abundance | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Your Daily Dose of Motivation

Your Daily Dose of MotivationWhen was the last time you took a shower? We don’t tend to think that the benefits of one shower will last a month or a lifetime. But we do tend to think that way when it comes to motivation.

Like a nice hot shower, motivation invigorates and inspires. But it’s not something you do once and then you’re done.  You don’t ‘get’ motivated and ‘stay’ motivated.  

For many, intentional self-motivation isn’t a regular aspect of life. It’s a book we keep on our shelf that we pull out from time to time, a quote we read once in a blue moon or a mantra that we tried for an hour, a day or a week and then abandoned. When our productivity or enthusiasm start to wane, or we become royally stressed, we may try getting motivated once again but once the pressure is off, we drift back into our old, less supportive way of living.

What if motivation was built into your daily routine? How would your life change? How would it affect your energy, enthusiasm and ability to celebrate your milestones or press on when things get tough?

When you stop treating self-inspiration as an event and start embracing it as process, a way of being, you’ll find you live in a more centered state of generous, effortless, gracious flow at all times. When you mindfully fuel your core energy with love, respect, curiosity, compassion and gratitude, you will have access to the faith, hope, prosperity, peace and joy you seek in each moment.

It could be as simple as always waking up to your favorite song. Or taking a few minutes each morning to read an inspiring book.  Maybe it’s a few pages of daily journaling or EFT tapping on your dreams and challenges. Or going for a daily run. Or meditating in the park at dawn or dusk. Or practicing intentional gratitude—naming five things you are thankful for—at the opening and closing of each day. Whatever form it takes, making motivation and inspiration daily priorities will work wonders in your life.

Invest in yourself—you’re worth the effort!

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Posted in All My Blog Posts, Faith, Hope & Spirituality, Gratitude, Prosperity & Abundance, Joy & Vitality, Mindfulness, Meditation & Peace | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Declare Your Independence from Limitation and Lack

Don't Look BackToo many of us limit ourselves by perceiving our past circumstances and experiences as the ultimate predictors of our future success.

Maybe you believe, because you didn’t get a formal education, you aren’t smart enough to excel. Or because your family didn’t have money when you were growing up, you’ll never be prosperous. Or because you got fired from your most recent job, you’ll never again sustain steady, lucrative employment. Or because you went through a divorce (or two), all of your romantic relationships are doomed.

Truth is, everything’s an opportunity. It’s never too late to build the life you dream of. One filled with deep peace, lasting joy, meaningful relationships, fulfillment and prosperity. Consider media magnate Oprah Winfrey, billionaire Andrew Carnegie and blockbuster author JK Rowling.  All of them came from humble beginnings. Instead of seeing their past as a limiting factor, they kept their focus on the road—and possibilities—ahead.

Not only does your past not limit your future, personal attributes considered by the world to be disadvantages can become your most valuable assets and the keys to unimaginable success. Peter Mark Roget is a case in point. While at the age of 61, he was already a respected British physician, lecturer and inventor, like many of his family members, he also suffered from what the world calls “mental illness.”

While, in comparison to his other family members, Roget was considered by many to be “the sane one,” they also labeled him as odd and difficult. Even he described himself as judgmental, humorless, obsessive and paranoid. He counted his steps and was fixated on cleanliness. His favorite hobby—one he first discovered as anxiety soothing in childhood—was making lists.

And so, when he retired from medicine, Roget did what so many retirees do. He dedicated his days to doing what brought him peace and joy by pursuing his favorite hobby with abandon. He spent all day, every day, working on one huge, all-encompassing list of EVERY WORD EVER USED FOR ANYTHING.

Yes, it sounds a little wacky when described like that. But, twelve years later, at age 73, Peter Mark Roget published his giant list of words as a book, the legendary Roget’s Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases. It was an instant and lasting success, becoming the serious writer’s go to reference for synonyms and antonyms. By allowing himself to embrace and celebrate personality traits the world labeled as “defects,” Roget birthed one of the most renowned and powerful resources ever created.

Your past and your personal attributes don’t limit your future; they give you the wisdom and strength to shape it.  You can’t get where you want to go by looking in your rearview mirror. To move forward you must look forward, discern your desired destination, invest yourself fully, focus and follow through.

There is a long road of limitless possibilities awaiting you. When you fuel yourself with unconditional love, respect, curiosity, compassion and gratitude, you build a fulfilling life filled with faith, hope, prosperity, peace and joy. You get there, one baby step at a time.

Declare you independence from limitation and lack. The formula is simple: baby step, gratitude, celebrate, repeat.

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Posted in All My Blog Posts, Authenticity & Purpose, Creativity & Self-Expression, Force, Flow & Baby Steps | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Here’s Looking at You, Kid!

Accept YourselfEver get discouraged and feel like you just can’t count on others? You’re not alone. It’s very common for us to look outside ourselves for approval, acceptance and love. It’s equally common to discover that what we seek can’t be found outside ourselves. What we are seeking is only found by looking within.

It all starts with you—your relationship with yourself. When you are an unconditionally loving and affirming friend to yourself—NO MATTER WHAT—you foster strong self-esteem. External validation is nice to receive, but it can’t be depended on and often doesn’t last.

The only thing you can control in this life is your response to it. However you may be choosing to show up at the moment—calm as the proverbial cucumber or in the grips of a grand mal emotional meltdown—bolster your self-esteem by always responding to yourself with unconditional love, respect, curiosity, compassion and gratitude.

Here are three simple practices to increase your flow of self-love:

  1. What are you good at? Look yourself in the mirror each morning and tell yourself, OUT LOUD, one thing that makes you distinctly and delightfully who you are. Then affirm and acknowledge your uniqueness with unconditional love and total acceptance. Whatever your circumstances, you are a unique cocreative expression of the Divine. How could that ever not be enough!
  2. Cut yourself a break! Nobody’s perfect—and that’s the good news. The next time things don’t go exactly as you’d planned, instead of beating yourself upside the head with what a mess you always make of things, take a deep breath, give yourself some grace, forgive all involved, appreciate what you’ve learned, detach and move on. Remember, in each moment, Universal love is unfolding the highest good for all, in all, through all. Everything that’s happening, no matter how painful or frustrating it feels, carries within it the seeds of opportunity. Look for the silver lining and leverage the heck out of it!
  3. Ban negative talk. That starts with how you talk to yourself and extends out to how you allow others to talk to you.  Avoid people who are unkind, ungrateful, critical or unsupportive.  Surround yourself with people who love, support and affirm you. You deserve to be appreciated as the delightful expression of the Divine that you are, warts and all.

Strong self-esteem is grounded in acknowledging, affirming and accepting ALL of yourself, even the attributes that frustrate you and everyone who knows you. When you practice accepting yourself, the world will take note and follow your lead. When you commit to always nurturing, encouraging and delighting yourself in healthy ways, you help others do so as well. In this way, you become the change you wish to see in your world.

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Posted in All My Blog Posts, Falling in Love With Yourself, Relationships, Boundaries & Belonging | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Nurture of Nature

The Nurture of NatureDo you ever make yourself crazy with non-stop hustle and bustle? Too many rounds on the hamster wheel with no break?

Between consuming the media, meeting daily deadlines and managing a life filled with concrete, cars and creditors, it’s amazing that any of us stay sane.

Every day we’re met with a barrage of stimuli that can encourage us to become edgy and worry about situations over which we have little control. The only thing we can control in life is our chosen response to it. So, the next time you’re feeling stressed out and overwhelmed, instead of screaming or silently fuming, try this instead: get off that hamster wheel, turn off your technology and IMMERSE YOURSELF IN THE NURTURE OF NATURE. 

Re-ground yourself by taking off your shoes and socks and connecting your feet directly to earth, grass, sand or water. Take a walk in the woods, by the ocean or along a stream. Be fully present here and now. Exercise mindfulness to restore a sense of peace. Appreciate the strength of a tree or the majesty of the mountains and let their beauty overtake you. Lie back in the grass and look up at the sky. Enjoy the movement of clouds across a vast expanse of brilliant blue. Or gaze at the billions of stars twinkling against the black of night.

Nature is a miracle of organic synergy and interdependence. Flowers don’t need alarm clocks to tell them when to bloom. Birds don’t need a recording studio to sing. Everything works in harmony, exactly as it’s supposed to.

Taking a break outside relaxes your body, refreshes your mind, feeds your heart and soothes your soul. As you pause to reflect, reconnect and renew, you remember that you, too, are an essential part of this natural wonder. 

What can you do today to embrace nature and relax into your rightful place in the perfect, natural order of things?

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Posted in All My Blog Posts, Joy & Vitality, Mindfulness, Meditation & Peace, Stress, Perfectionism & Burnout | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Only You

r2g-p1-ai11-FlowersHands-webWe sometimes think we can’t make an impact unless we have a lot of influence or money. And so we put off doing anything–even the smallest act—because we think it can’t possibly make a difference unless it’s big.

In those moments we forget that every action matters, no matter how small. In fact, it’s often the seemingly tiny contributions that change others’ lives in the most dramatic ways.

Taking care of our families, coaching the youth soccer team, coordinating the bake sale for school or running our small business, we are constantly presented with the opportunity to do good for others.

When we bury ourselves in busy-ness, we never notice how much these simple acts of service really do matter. Or we downplay the influence we have on others. Instead of seeing all the ways we make a difference, we say “oh, it was nothing,” and we believe it.

In truth, there are many wonderful things that can only be done by you. You are the one we’ve been waiting for.

What good can you do for someone else today? It doesn’t have to make the news in order to be life changing. And it doesn’t have to be life changing for it to matter. Every kind word, every act of service, every demonstration of love matters to the person on the receiving end. Don’t miss your opportunity to brighten our day. We need you.

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