A Year in Review: gems from 2016

Every year at this time I review my journals as I complete the year and make space for what’s next.

2016 was a year of growth and satisfaction, as well as challenge and grief. Writing these notes to myself was an opportunity to acknowledge it all.

I share these 108 insights with my deepest wish that they resonate and remind us all that even the most challenging times have gems.

 


 

1. Truth communicates through the body. Pay attention.

2. Freedom is always calling.

3. Obligation kills joy.

4. Write yourself a permission slip to do whatever the hell you want.

5. Whisper good things to yourself before bed.

6. Your words create your world.

7. Life is reciprocal. Pay attention to what you put out.

8. Expansion is inevitable.

9. Splurging now and then is necessary.

10. Celebrate the future before it happens.

11. Your preferences create your reality.

12. Pay attention to the details.

13. You can be as big as you want.

14. Practice displaces procrastination.

15. It’s not luck when you earn it.

16. Your willingness to risk leads to change.

17. The truth is usually right in front of you.

18. Your core desired feelings are beacons.

19. Chaos always accompanies change.

20. Be involved in a way that feels good.

21. Let go of what no longer serves you.

22. There’s no substitute for doing the work.

23. You are the source of your own aliveness.

24. Get over your need for instant gratification.

25. Vibrate how you feel.

26. Blocks are temporary; don’t make them mean anything.

27. Your desires come from the part of you connected to your soul.

28. Liberation requires courage and heart.

29. Forgive yourself and move on.

30. Practice what you love.

31. Don’t be afraid to burn bright.

32. Listen for resonance.

33. Walk away from drama.

34. Make choices that feel good.

35. You really have no idea what you’re capable of.

36. Turn down the noise and you’ll hear something new.

37. The more you tell your new story, the more real it becomes.

38. When possibilities flow, surf.

39. Trust the healing.

40. Surrender to the fire that burns inside.

41. Intention must be followed by action for change to occur.

42. Be on your own side cheering madly.

43. Include everything.

44. Start over. Again.

45. Become a light for others.

46. Change your mind.

47. Make more promises to yourself.

48. Your comfort zone is made up.

49. Face what you’re most afraid of.

50. You’ll find evidence for anything you believe. Continue reading

Thinking Out Loud

Thinking Out Loud is a collection of thoughts, notes to myself, and inspirations from the first quarter of 2015.

Desire Map Workshop Level 2-39

Give your desires attention; follow up with action.

If it doesn’t feel good why do it?

You have to think and act differently if you want to create sustainable change.

Today is always a good day to start.

Breathe in calm. Breathe out angst.

Start where you are.

People change when they’re ready, and not a moment before.

Every thought you think changes your brain in some way.

Going after what you want takes a willingness to be brave.

Multitasking is not the answer. Ever.

There’s nowhere to get to, there’s only the day by day evolution.

When you know your values and core desired feelings, it’s easier to live in integrity.

It takes courage to work through the shit that weighs you down.

Do your thing, and ignore the rest.

Finding your way with ruthless compassion is an ongoing process.

In the practice you will find your way.

Change is natural and inevitable.

Desire must be followed by action.

When you discover the right practices, routine becomes ritual, and ritual becomes devotion.

It takes guts to tell the truth, and heart to show self-compassion.

We’re in this together, but we’re all walking our own path.

Trust yourself. Trust your answers.

Choosing love is a practice. Don’t take the choice for granted.

Surrender is not a one time event.

Your dreams are not wishful thinking when they’re fueled by your values and core desired feelings.

Knowing isn’t enough. You must do the work of integration if you want to see profound change.

Treat yourself the way you treat the ones you love the most.

Give yourself compassion without reservation.

No matter what kind of change you’re working on, if you focus on it consistently you’ll get results.

Less angst. More calm.

Progress trumps perfection. Every time.

Magic happens when women gather.

Light and dark. Equal power on the path to freedom.

Slow down.

There’s only NOW.

Love yourself the way you love kids and dogs.

Stay fierce.

The path to change is seldom a straight one.

When the discomfort of where you are becomes greater than the discomfort of change, you’re ready to get started.

Go gently towards the new.

Own your life experiences. Good, bad, unwanted or deeply desired. Own them all.

Normal is overrated.

All change begins with your thoughts.

More truth. Less fluff.

Surrender and trust.

Today and always choose to love more.

Surrender. Release. Evolve.

Mind your thoughts.

Every word creates your future.

The heart wants what it wants. Accept that.

The voice in your head is not your conscience.

Layer by layer, we get closer to our desires and what we want the most.

Sometimes you just have to say WTF…and let it go as you exhale fully.

Less striving. More surrender.

Make creating your day a priority.

You can’t do everything. Stop trying.

The practice of choosing how you want to feel every day is simple, but damn, it’s not always easy.

You can have things planned to a T, and still have them go wildly wrong. It’s what you do then that matters.

Do more of what feels good.

Less comparison. More self-expression.

Tell your limiting beliefs to fuck off.

Assume the best.

Be relentless like the sea.

 

 

Get Off the Stage (a lesson in change)

The more I work with the process of change, the more I think we all need to lighten up.

We’ve just crossed the mythical 21 day marker in the 100 Day Promise and things are getting interesting.

Two important things have become clear:

  • Consistency helps you focus on what’s important.
  • Devotion keeps your heart fully engaged.

Because the process of change is a bit more maze than labyrinth.

It’s easy to slip, take a wrong turn, and find yourself back at the beginning.

That’s when we most want to give up.

We forget that a slip is just a slip unless we give it meaning.

Give up the meaning, and take another step forward, and another…until suddenly you’ve created a pattern of consistency.

“Our bodies change our minds, and our minds can change our behaviour, and our behaviour can change our outcomes.” – Amy Cuddy

You can change your outcomes.

Instead of getting pulled in by the emotions and drama of a slip, notice them as an observer.

Take in all the details, nod your head in sympathy and say, “Isn’t that interesting…”

Laugh at yourself. Let go of significance.

Lighten the fuck up.

You don’t always have to have the starring role in the drama of your life.

You can choose to walk off the stage.

Kinepolis cinema hall: photo credit - Anna

 

 

8 Truths to Getting Unstuck and Reclaiming Your Freedom

 

Then.

On the eve of her 49th birthday, she lay in bed wondering what had happened to her drive and enthusiasm for life. The tears kept her awake, as did the heightened awareness that she wasn’t happy, her experience of life one of feeling trapped.

Suffering doesn't make us weak;  only an avoidance of suffering makes us weak.  Sometimes the only way to get around it  is to burn through it. - Marianne Williamson

She lay awake for hours shocked by this realization.

Some time in the middle of the night, she whispered to herself that she would do whatever it took to feel better; to cause a breakthrough for herself. She was so very good at doing it for others, and it was time to turn that attention and care to her Self.

This was hard for her to admit, given that her work was all about helping people enjoy a greater experience of life. She’d been using all the techniques and tools she’d learned over the years, but nothing had made a lasting difference.

That was me, April 14, 2012.

I had entered my own personal hell.

A year passed, and I turned 50.

365 days had gone by since that dark night of the soul, and while I’d made some changes, things were still looking pretty bleak. So much so that I was actually considering therapy and/or drugs to help me get through this phase, which seemed to have become my life.

That’s when I asked myself one very important question:

Are you willing to do whatever it takes to get through?

Continue reading

Myth Busting and the Key to Happiness

 

“The key to happiness and health (and to all their auspicious by-products) is not how intensely happy we feel, but how often we feel positive or happy.” – Sonja Lyubomirsky

The Myths of Happiness, book cover

You know those times in life that rock your foundation?

In her book The Myths of Happiness, Sonja Lyubomirsky calls them crisis points.

They’re the kind of events that leave you feeling like things will never be the same. And love them or hate them, they happen to everyone.

These crisis points can be times of renewal and growth, but let’s keep it real – we rarely seem to view them as such when we’re going through them.

Therein lies the key – how do you deal with them.

Myths is about identifying the steps that will work for you, and as in any area of life, there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

I recently asked,

If happiness is a choice, why don’t we always choose it?

I wasn’t surprised to find that most people believe it is a choice, but the question remains,

Why don’t we always choose it? 

That’s the question I had in mind as I began reading the book.

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A Mala of Mindfulness (108 insights from 2012)

 

A mala is used in many religious traditions to count the repetitions of prayers or devotions, and often consists of 108 beads. Choosing one is a very personal experience, and not always easy – at least it wasn’t for me, as I didn’t find the mala that ‘fit’ me until the third try.

It’s worth the search though because when you do find the right one, it becomes a physical reminder of the power of awareness.

stone and mala beads from www.malaimports.com

Every year at this time I review my journals, I complete the year and make space for what’s next. This year, 2012, has been a year of challenge, opportunity and deepening; more than I thought possible.

As I reviewed, it occurred to me as a mala, 108 insights or  moments of mindfulness that have had a profound impact on my life.

I share it with the hope that some of these thoughts also make a difference for you.

1.   Silence is the best antidote to the busyness of life. New thoughts emerge effortlessly in this sacred space.

2.   Imagine living as if wherever you are is holy ground.

3.   When the muse wakes you up at 3am, pay attention.

4.   Feeling hunger is a good thing. It reminds us that we’re alive.

5.   Freedom from responsibility is not the solution. Choosing your responsibilities mindfully is.

6.   It’s ok to want what you want. Stop making your wants wrong.

7.   Get clear on your non-negotiables. It’s highly likely they’re related to your values.

8.   Question everything. Believe only that which feels good.

9.   You have a gift that is uniquely yours. How are you offering it?

10.  That slow burn in your belly will not fade away. Nurture it.

Continue reading

A Deva Tale (includes a damsel, a villain and a talisman)

 

What do you do when you realize you’ve been resisting what you’re here for?

Maybe you hide out with busy work.

Or stop writing.

Or say yes to shiny new projects that are mostly distractions from…

what you’re here for.

I get it. I feel your pain. And enough is enough.

That’s what I said to myself recently!

I said, “Self, it’s time to stop resisting. It’s time to remember your intention. It’s time to get on with owning your awesome!” 

My Self quivered at this vociferous demand, challenged to find the words to share what’s been going on.

Because you know, I wanted to find the RIGHT words. Which is just another way of holding myself back and waiting for my own…wait for it…someday.

Yes, I know I’m on a mission to obliterate someday thinking from the face of the earth.

Gah. I hate outing myself.

But apparently Self needed a public bitch slap, which is why I’m about to tell this tale.

Let’s go back to the beginning, for sharing the details of how it’s been is always better than waiting for the perfect words someday.

 

Once upon a time there was a wildly enthusiastic woman with a passion for helping others. She did what she had to do to become skilful in her chosen profession, she launched her business with zeal, and she hustled.

She hustled because she loved her work. She fell in love with her perfect people; they lit her up with their enthusiasm and commitment to living life fully.

Then one day something changed, although she had no idea at first what it was.

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Thank You, Thank you!

 

“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” – John Lennon

 

My version. . .my first boyfriend asked me what my goal was in life. I said ‘to be happy’ to which he replied, ‘That’s not enough. Think bigger.” 

I think John Lennon and I got it right though.

What’s bigger than happiness?

And today I am feeling very happy because it’s the two-year anniversary of this blog.

thank you

Who knew when I shipped this baby thanks to Seth Godin’s Linchpin, that two years would go by so quickly?

Two years of dealing with my lizard brain, who would no doubt still have me dreaming of ‘someday’ becoming a writer.

Two years of learning things I thought beyond my scope of capability; so many late nights challenged by technology and resistance.

Two years of laughter and memories and love; connecting with the most amazing folks on the planet.

Because of you.

Sure, I may have kept writing if you hadn’t been here but I’m not so sure I would have covered some of the issues that have come up. Nor would I have I begun dreaming bigger, more delicious dreams.

YOU kept showing up, inspiring ideas and fueling my passion, so that I ended up stretching way beyond what I first imagined.

So.  Freakin’.  Happy.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

And because I want to thank you with more than words, I’m inviting you to a 30 minute coaching session.

A gift from me to you. No strings, no agenda.

Just my deepest thanks for being here.

gift box, white with red ribbon: photo credit - Thomas Hawk

How Uncertainty Became My CEO

 

The Aloha Guest Posts: While I’m away on vacation a few of my extraordinary friends will be keeping the fire stoked, sharing their wisdom and enthusiasm for living out loud. First up is Padma Maxwell of Get Your Thrive On who’s walking her talk, following her own dreams wherever they take her and as you’ll see she’s not always sure where that is!

 

Uncertainty consistently showed up at my door unexpected and uninvited. Yet, when I’d open the door, she didn’t say anything, she just stared at me. She was by far the most unsocial and unfriendly neighbor I had. I was always intimidated when I’d see her and unsure how to even hold a conversation with her.

She’d sit on her front porch watching the neighborhood go about their routines with a glare of “I told you so” in her eyes.

One afternoon, I was struggling with some heavy machinery in my garden and no one offered to help, except for Uncertainty. She came to my aid and devised an alternate solution to tilling my flowerbed. She was silent but offered her full attention and effort.

I had no idea how hard Uncertainty was willing to work to help out a stranger.

So, I invited her over for a home-cooked meal.  After a bottle of Cab Sauvignon, I shared with her my secret idea for a documentary project.

woman made of puzzle piecesI was a little embarrassed because it was after all, just an idea; a crazy one at that.

I knew nothing about films, cameras or managing a project.

She didn’t laugh or tell me how unrealistic it was going to be to pull it off.

Quite shockingly, her response were four words that changed my life. . .

“Let’s do this together.”

Continue reading

How to Live in Astonishment (leaf lesson #3)

 

We all have a dark side; a part of ourselves that we wish were otherwise.

Even the nicest of the nice, they’ve got their shadow side too.

But whatever you call it, however much you try to hide it, there’s something to learn from it if you look.

Just like this leaf, which I’m starting to think of as the leaf that keeps on giving. Weird thing is, when I first chose the leaf I completely missed the big dark spot you’ll see below.

It was hidden from my view.

How could I have missed that big, dark spot?

It was easier than you might think. I was so wrapped up in the colour and size, the majesty of it – I had eyes only for its beauty.

Continue reading