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

What the cards said, and why I believe them…

How it began…

I woke up weary after an intense session with my business coach.

It was one of those life-altering, can-I-really-have-what-I-want meetings that left me feeling inspired by what I created for the next year, and exhausted by the enormity of it.

Reality check: While I know it may not be enormous in actuality, at that moment, it felt huge, like a Grand Canyon sized gap between where I am today and where I see myself a year from now.

This is what I witness almost daily with my clients. This is what I’m experiencing again today, because believe me, I’ve been here before.

It’s unsettling to lay out the future so clearly.

It’s easier to settle for the familiar, even if it’s not satisfying, because the familiar is safe, and comfortable.

I don’t believe that safe is what we’re here for.

This morning I woke up to discomfort; literally in my bones, and emotionally, in my spirit. I know the signs, so I did what I had to do to reach for a better feeling, more resourceful state.

I cancelled my morning plans, and gave myself permission to walk along the river near my home, breathe in the fresh air, and watch my dog explore the world in front of her nose. She does this so very well.

When I got home I pulled cards and did a reading for myself. I’m fairly new to tarot, so these thoughts are right out of the guidebook, but still, I was amazed at how they related to my life.

What the cards said…

angels angels

I pulled (from left to right) the tarot cards for past, present, and future, and then below, a Truthbomb for the question, “What do I need right now?”

And then magic.

Past: Seven of Pentacles

Seven relates to knowledge, and the need to make a decision; a choice between two paths of action. One path is familiar, tried, tested, and profitable; the other is new and unknown.

The past few months have been about shifting from the familiar to the unknown, and I made a decision a while back that felt totally aligned when I read this card. I trusted myself, perhaps more than I’ve ever done in the past, and let something go. Done. No regrets. Over with a clean, clear energy.

There is freedom in that.

I am reminded that I will do anything to feel free in my life.

  • What’s your core desired and non-negotiable feeling?

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Present: Ten of Swords

The end of a situation or phase. Change occurs because whatever has been is no longer valid. It’s sometimes painful when our limiting beliefs are stripped away, but it’s also an opportunity for something new and real and truthful to grow in its place.

I felt this in my body, a visceral reaction. Like the first card, it felt like an acknowledgement, and even celebration of the completion. Am I sad at the ending? Yes, but I’m ready for what’s next.

I am reminded that change is a natural, inevitable aspect of life, and I can resist or flow with it.

  • How do you respond to change?

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Future: Three of Pentacles

A level of achievement is reached, but the building and growing is not done, and there’s a way to go before completion. There’s satisfaction in the achievement and possible frustration of the road ahead.

Given that I just had a strategizing day with my coach, this made perfect sense.

I am reminded to slow down, savour all parts of the journey, and notice all the good. There is no rush.

  • How might you slow down to feel more present throughout the day?

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Truthbomb: Angels, angels everywhere

I pulled this card right at the end out of habit. I’ve used the Truthbomb decks since they first came out, and they almost always strike a chord.

I asked the question, “What do I need right now?” and pulled this “angel” card. It made me laugh because I guess I needed yet another reminder to ask for support, as well as a nudge to notice the angels that are already around me and part of my life.

Why I Believe Them

What I love about this practice is that it gives me a way to make sense of my days or my energy, often transforming something negative into a tool for understanding.

There’s a ritual and mystery in the cards, and I’ve come to trust their magic. The thing I’m most aware of is that what we believe is always a choice, and I choose to believe what feels good, and aligns with my soul.

It’s a choice that enlivens my experience of life, and wouldn’t we all like more of that?

“Alchemy is taking something ordinary and turning it into something extraordinary, sometimes in a way that cannot be explained.” – Kenneth Coombs, Tarot Alchemy

 

Action Trumps Hoping

action trumps hoping

Action trumps hoping.

I’ve never been much into hope, but I love this definition.

hope (verb): to look forward to with desire and reasonable confidence.

Instead, I’ve lived my life as a doer, going after what I wanted with a kind of relentlessness I used to question.

But I’ve tempered with age, and softened into a better feeling way of living.

These days, if it doesn’t feel good – or have a direct impact on my life – I’m not going to do it.

Don’t get me wrong, I love making things happen, and I have loved pursuing my dreams, but there’s too often been a cost I’m no longer willing to pay.

So, let’s get back to action and hope.

What if they are on opposite ends of a spectrum?

And what if our work is to find our centre, like a pendulum falling naturally to rest?

This opens me back up to choice and opportunities instead of the limited point of view of one or the other.

I can choose action and give myself fully, and I can swing back into hope, and soften to my desires.

Today’s cards surprised me with their relationship. 

I don’t know why I’m still surprised because this happens more often than not, and almost every reading I’ve had in recent years has shaken me to the core.

But I am still surprised.

My inner skeptic always on the look out, always testing anything that reeks of false promises, always seeking truth.

I’ve only recently begun using my own Tarot deck and even with my limited understanding and knowledge, it’s pretty damn accurate every time.

I am reminded yet again that understanding isn’t required to have a breakthrough.

I was surprised by the Ace of Swords, how it represents change, and a quest for truth, two things that have always been important to me.

I wondered why and how it showed up at this time.

Until I read up on Lugh, the Celtic God of Light.

Dreams manifesting into forms, persistence, and action.

Elizabeth Gilbert said, “You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestation of your own blessings.”

And suddenly, it all comes together.

 

Today’s message:

Truthbomb: Action trumps hoping
Tarot: Ace of Swords, quest for the truth and a dramatic new beginning
Ascended Masters: Lugh, Celtic God of Light
Core Desired Feelings: Spacious + True

 

What are you teaching the world?

 

what are you teaching the world

What am I teaching the world?

This morning’s Truthbomb caught me off guard.

I love what I do, and the amazing people I get to work with, but what exactly am I teaching the world?

I look back at all the courses and programs I’ve offered over twenty years, but that doesn’t fully address the essence of my work and why I do it. If I close my eyes and remember the thousands of conversations I’ve had since I first began coaching, the answer becomes clear.

I am always about freedom, expansion, and growth.

In Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl wrote, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” 

I resisted this truth in my twenties, let it in (a bit) in my thirties, and accepted it in my forties; all the while, knowing in my soul that accepting it would lead to freedom.

Acceptance finally led to embodying the truth which has made the greatest difference.

Embodying the truth that I am responsible for my experience of freedom, and that in choosing my path and my response to whatever life offers, I can feel free regardless of the circumstances.

I don’t mean freedom in a do-whatever-you-want kind of way, although I love that too.

I mean freedom to create and live my life in a way that feels good, and right, and perfect for me.

This has been the thread in every course, every offer, and every coaching conversation I’ve ever had.

I am here to help you expand love and freedom in any area of your life where you currently experience struggle and constraints.

Today’s cards said much the same.

Feeling free, devotion, one step (one choice) at a time, expansion and growth.

What am I teaching the world?

I teach that freedom is always possible.

I teach that love and freedom go together.

I teach that devotion and practice are the keys.

I teach that expansion and growth are inevitable.

“We do not ask life what the meaning of life is. Life asks us, what is the meaning of your life. And life demands our answer.” – Viktor Frankl

 

Today’s message:

Truthbomb: What are you teaching the world?
Tarot: Ace of Wands, a new beginning of energy and intiative
Ascended Masters: King Solomon, Priorities, devotion to what’s important
Gods & Goddesses: Bhumi, Mother Earth, expansion and growth
Core Desired Feelings: Spacious + Free

 

Start with Love

start with love

I’m in the midst of wrapping up a 100 day program, creating the May Promise, planning a Desire Map workshop in Vancouver, and launching The Coach Approach, my new online program.

It’s spring and it feels like everything is bursting with life.

I love the energy of creation and growth, as it reminds me to prioritize, amplify my daily practices, and do more of what feels good.

It’s a timely reminder for me because I am prone to putting my head down and slogging it out. I’ve come to realize it’s not healthy or sustainable, and I’ve decided it’s no longer an option.

My soul is asking me to act on something bigger and more meaningful than getting things done.

Feeling good has become non-negotiable, which is what happens when you make it a priority.

As I look at the cards I pulled this morning, I am reminded to start with love.

To love myself as I work hard.

To love the work I am creating.

To love the people I am creating it for.

 

Today’s message:

Truthbomb: Start with love
Tarot: Ace of Pentacles, a symbol of possibility and new beginning
Core Desired Feelings: Cherished + True

 

You’re in Charge of Your Own Healing

2016-03-27 19.33.04

You are in charge of your own healing.

It’s that simple, and that challenging.

It’s a challenge I know well after my own experience dealing with chronic joint pain.

Like most people, I began with the external and it made some difference. After a year of what seemed like endless chiropractic visits, bottles of Ibuprofen, and a lot of positive thinking, I felt a little bit better – and that pissed me off.

A year of time, money, and energy I barely had, and I only felt a little bit better.

I couldn’t figure it out. I was committed, doing what I was told to do, and still mostly feeling lousy.

Until one day I realized something huge…

I hate being told what to do.

I had given up responsibility for my own healing by relying on the external. I had given up any sense of power I had as I swallowed my intuition and focused on what others said.

That was hard for me to admit, but as soon as I did I began to feel better.

When I chose my core desired feeling Cherished it became the anchor to feeling good, and it helped me stop looking outside of myself for the answers.

Cherished helped me trust myself and I began to take better actions which inevitably led to feeling better in my body.

We are responsible for the choices we make, and we have the power to heal.

That’s not a blanket statement about ignoring traditional medical treatment, but for me, I had to choose how I wanted to feel first, and in that choice and commitment to feeling cherished, I took back my power.

I decided to be in charge of my healing.

I decided how I wanted to feel in my body.

I became very clear about what was essential and non-negotiable.

And I gave myself permission to do it my way.

It wasn’t the right way. It was the way that worked for me.

Today’s message:

Truthbomb: you are healing
Ascended Masters: Moses, take charge of the situation
Core Desired Feeling: Cherished

My Morning Ritual

you heal me truthbomb

My mornings always begin the same.

Coffee in bed, dog at my feet, and a quick scan of emails and notifications. Contrary to what the experts say, this quick scan puts my mind at ease, and then I can get on with what really fuels my day: my morning ritual.

The ritual is the same every day, and in that sameness something deep and meaningful happens. I reveal what’s most important, a message coming straight from my soul. I may not always like the message, but inevitably as I sit with it I begin to see the lesson or break through the resistance.

The ritual begins with getting quiet. Some days I meditate, and some days I simply sit in the silence.

My favourite aspect of meditation is that it always plugs me into my core desired feeling, Spacious, and once that connection is made I pull a card from my Truthbomb deck as a way through the surface thoughts to the unexplored area of my subconscious. The thoughts and insights that come from this deeper place, I write in my Desire Map journal, a witness to my experience.

I write whatever comes through. No plan, no direction; just what flows given the opening I’ve created through the ritual.

The image above is an example, and there’s something about documenting the process with a photo that pulls it all together for me.

Today’s message:

Truthbomb: you heal me
Ascended Masters: Aengus, a Celtic God
Core Desired Feeling: Cherished

After a bit of reading on Aengus, I let myself wonder how this card relates to the Truthbomb, “you heal me”. Aengus is a Celtic god who helps soul mates and twin flames find each other. It’s said that the twin flame is the deepest form of love, and to form such a partnership you have to follow your own inner guidance, learn personal growth lessons, and have patience with divine timing.

Which led me here:

What if we are meant to be our own twin flame?

What if this is how we truly heal?

It’s common to look outside of ourselves for that one perfect soul mate, but what if our work is to be that for ourselves? Stop for a moment, and let that in.

Imagine a partnership with yourself in which you followed your inner wisdom, learned life lessons at a soul level, and developed patience with the divine and its timing.

My morning ritual is what makes new thoughts like this possible.

What’s important is to realize that this is not the best ritual. It’s the ritual that works for me.

Then I practice it daily until it becomes an act of devotion.

 

A Mantra for Love

How good can you feel

mantra:

from Sanskrit – “sacred message or text, charm, spell, counsel,” literally “instrument of thought”

A couple of weeks ago I started saying “Zero judgement, all love.”

It never occurred to me that I’d created a mantra. It was simply a tool to help me focus.

For some time, it had been my intention to focus on self-love, first inspired by my core desired feeling cherished, and then by the Self-Love Evolution, the current round of the 100 Day Promise online program I’m teaching.

Zero judgement, all love – a lovely thought, isn’t it?

The truth is, it’s more than a thought – it’s a practice worth developing, because there are times when life repeatedly reminds us that it’s not always easy to choose it.

For it is a choice, and a way of living.

Zero judgement doesn’t mean I never feel judgement, but the mantra helped me notice and let go of my judgement with more ease.

The mantra has helped me slow down, step back, and notice how judgement feels in my body. Tight, and closed off, with a side of injustice brewing beneath the surface.

Tight and closed off are about as opposite from my core desired feelings as I can get.

Make your way back to love.

It’s not easy when I feel reactive, but step by step, I make my way back to feeling good, and feeling good eventually leads back to love. From love, I can choose consciously.

The choice is clear: react in the moment, or step back and respond.

Zero judgement, all love.

The key is to stop the judgement when we catch ourselves judging others, otherwise we create an endless loop of righteousness.

The mantra helps to shift your energy back to a vibration that feels good.

It’s a sacred tool to focus your attention, and whether you use a universal sound like om, a Sanskrit mantra, or a phrase you’ve made up, what’s most important is that it has meaning for you.

And isn’t that true for anything?

 

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.

 

 

The Problem with Change

Change is what most of us want, and whether or not we admit it, we’ve got a list of things we’d like to change about ourselves.

The problem isn’t that we want to change. Change is natural and inevitable.

“Every single thing changes and is changing always in this world.” – Saigyo

The problem with change is that we beat ourselves up when we fail to change in the way we want, and we do it so often it becomes a cycle that creates the future; an endless loop of disappointment and self-recrimination.

When we really want to make a change, but feel defeated before we begin, is it possible to succeed?

It’s unlikely, as the vicious cycle is too ingrained and the negative feelings too strong. This is in spite of the fact that you may still have a strong desire to change.

Desire is the important first step in the process.

Think of all the times you tried to change, and the promises you’ve made to yourself.

How many of those promises did you keep? How many were successful?

Instead of judging ourselves harshly for failing to change, let’s take a look at some common beliefs about change.

Fact or Fiction?

Fiction: It takes 21 days to change a habit.
Fact: It can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days, with the average length of time to successfully form a habit coming in at 66 days.

Fiction: All you need is a desire to change.
Fact: A desire to change is essential, but it’s only one of the steps in the process. It has to be accompanied by readiness, and a willingness to act.

Fiction: Once we act, change should be quick and long-lasting.
Fact: Change is a process, not a one-time event. The most effective coaching or therapy takes this into consideration, and encourages the development of a sustainable practice.

Fiction: If it hasn’t worked, you don’t really want to change.
Fact: Successful change includes slipping back into old behaviors as part of the process. It’s an opportunity to learn and grow every time.

So many limiting beliefs that keep us from the change we so desire.

When we’re inspired to change and make a promise to ourselves, that promise comes from a real and true intention.

Another obvious but often overlooked truth is that to change a behavior, we first need to catch ourselves doing it.

The problem is that if we do catch it, we judge ourselves for doing it, and get caught up in our thoughts, and limiting beliefs from the past.

Do the Work

The world of personal development offers solutions for any problem. Like you, I’ve read the books, taken the programs and workshops, and still been disappointed by the outcomes.

Those solutions often fall short.

And what happens after you’ve read the book, or come home from a weekend workshop?

That workshop high usually disappears within days, and we’re left once again to our own devices, which almost certainly lead back to past behaviors.

What’s missing is implementation.

implement – verb

: to carry out; put into action; from 17th century Latin, implementum: to complete, satisfy, fulfill

How often do you follow through, take action, and keep your promise?

Desire must be followed by action. #100daypromise

Desire must be followed by action.

We mistakenly place the responsibility for change with the book or workshop leader. Or we believe that working with a coach or therapist is the solution, as if the magic happens in the sessions.

We give up our power, forgetting that transformation – true change – happens in between sessions, when we’re doing the work of implementation and taking a promise or commitment to completion.

The work of implementation is ongoing, and can seem boring, or repetitive. Instead of resisting, or using it as an excuse to quit, it’s important to develop personal practices.

When we’re connected to spirit or devotional energy, the work of implementation can lead to profound state changes.

When our fears are stripped away and we see clearly what we want for ourselves and why, we’re better able to make and keep our promises. We become more willing to do the work that’s involved, and that paves the way to ‘get there from here’.

In my experience, it’s more effective to do this work in community where we see ourselves in others. The compassion we generously give to others is reflected back to us, and that glimpse of our humanity helps us stay true to what we want.

When that happens, ‘getting there’ becomes less important than the experience, and the journey takes on a level of ease and flow that leads to greater success.

The next 100 Day Promise begins January 1, 2016 with the theme of Living Abundance.

Click to join us here.