A God Sign and Elizabeth Gilbert

They say that when the student is ready, the teacher appears… or some shit like that. Well I have always FELT ready and I’ve also always felt like the teachers take their good old time showing up!

I’ve been known to look up at the sky in prayer and say something like, “A-hem. I know you’re busy solving world hunger and all, but if you have a sec, could you please do something about MY mess? K thanks. Carry on.”

Usually followed by another prayer that goes like this, “I just watched the news and OMG I apologize for bothering you. Clearly you’ve got bigger fish to fry. I’ll figure it out myself. Go back to work. I’m good.” 

I’d always envied people who got a “sign from God.” That just didn’t happen for me. I wanted the lightning bolt! I wanted the big, loud, unmistakable neon sky-written God sign that said “Do THIS!

But I learned something through a series of ass-kicking life experiences: God doesn’t shout all the time. Sometimes God whispers. I like to think God is amused by the riddles he/she/it comes up with for us. In my case, the “signs” always seem to come in the form of words- words that show up in front of me at the exact moment I am at a loss for the right ones.

So let me tell about my God sign in the form of author Elizabeth Gilbert. (Eat, Pray, Love)

I am a long-time fan of Liz’s work, (in my head we are close enough for me to abbreviate her name, as though we text every day). I received a flyer in the mail advertising her lecture in Pittsburgh. OMG. She was coming to Pittsburgh. I couldn’t wait. Then my heart fell as I realized that her lecture was the night before I was slated to leave for L.A. for a networking event. As a mom of 3, I don’t miss those tuck-ins the night before a trip, so I made the tough decision to skip the lecture in favor of pre-trip snuggles.

But I said a little affirmation: “I WILL share the same space with Elizabeth Gilbert for just 5 minutes and breathe in her genius energy.”

The next morning, I kissed my babies goodbye and headed to the Pittsburgh airport. There, in crowded terminal C was a small blonde woman, wearing an army cargo jacket, sitting against the wall chatting on her phone, blissfully unaware of the people milling around her. That woman was Liz Gilbert. I couldn’t believe it. I did a double take. Then I stared. I asked a complete stranger if he thought that was her. We googled. I was giddy. He was semi-freaked out by me. It was HER.

We made eye contact. It was amazing. I know she felt it too.

Did I suddenly know what to do next? No. Did this sign suddenly solve any great riddle that had been plaguing me for years? No.

I got something better.

I got a wink from God. I got the most important answer I could ever get. The knowledge that he HEARS me. That little affirmation I made about sharing space for 5 minutes with Liz? He heard it. It might not have been exactly what I pictured (Liz and I laughing at something brilliant I say over lunch in NYC), but maybe that’s because I wasn’t specific enough. After all, he gave me EXACTLY what I asked for.

5 minutes in her space.

I felt something that day. Peace.

I wasn’t any clearer, but suddenly it didn’t matter.

Because God had taken a sec to slow down, come forth and give me a very reassuring, “Relax. I hear you. Get out of the way. I got this.”

I share this with you because I hope you will take away a few things:

  • Be REALLY specific about what you want. I have a friend who always says she just wants to be alone and I swear I fear that someday a freak occurrence will land her on a deserted island.
  • SEE it. Take a moment. Say what you want. Feel what you want. See what you want. Breathe it in.
  • TRUST. If you have a solid intention and you feel it with all five senses, trust the timing. You ARE being heard.
  • ACT. This little story should prove that all of us are carried by a Divine support system. So whatever you want to do, go forth as though its already a fully funded mission. Because it is.

Drive-thru miracles

So one of my BIGGEST flaws is that I am a bit…shall we say.. indecisive. Some call it commitment phobic. Some call it infuriating. I call it quirky and adorable.(Because that helps me sleep better.)

Anyway, I have decided to start publishing WEEKLY, in the spirit of fuller bodied expression, but of course, I have not NAMED this weekly series because what if I change my mind? =) This is no joke. I own over 40 domain names “just in case.” In fact, on a particularly indecisive day I said to Kim, my trusty biz/web manager, “Why can’t I just have a site that’s called ‘shit that makes me happy .com’?” So I bought that too… just in case.

But Facebook frowns on profanity in ads and I just couldn’t picture Oprah trying to introduce me properly while trying to avoid saying “shit” on national television. So I ditched it.

I know. My brain is a busy (scary) place.

So I started to create the first edition of my poor, nameless weekly email meant to share all things inspiring, beautiful and just plain cool when suddenly (and this should come as NO surprise to you by now) I found myself wasting HOURS trying to DECIDE what the heck to include.

And I wasn’t having any FUN doing it. So I made a decision. No rules. No regulations. Total randomness.

When I see, hear or do something that moves me and I think it might move you too? I’ll send you an email. Deal?

And here’s what I’ve got for you this week.


BEST WORDS I READ THIS WEEK

Daily LOve

From Mastin Kipp, at TheDailyLove.com

In his book, Mastin writes about how important surrender is. That we must surrender to the will of the higher power. My favorite take away is that it’s our job to say the prayer and then to firmly, with unwavering faith choose to believe that everything that happens to us AFTER that is an answer to that prayer. Good or bad. No matter how sucky. BELIEVE that your prayer is being answered.


TWEET THAT MADE ME LAUGH
Here's Waldo

Why do I love this? Because it’s funny, but more importantly, look at the hashtag! #RemoveALetterSpoilABook. There are a whole BUNCH of people who spend some amount of time during their day removing one letter from a book title and musing about how that would change the meaning of a book. In essence, these folks have placed high value on PLAY. Kudos to them.


LIKE TO TWEET? Here you go. Tweet this!
Click to Tweet

Stop making sh*t up in your head. Assumptions are the enemy of peace. (Just click to tweet.)


MY LIFE

And finally, since I have committed (see, I can do it when I want to) to sharing more of my personal life, here are two crazy cute pics of two of my kids.

My middle one, begging for a puppy she will never get.

Middle child

And my youngest, being his adorable self.

Youngest

(The oldest boy is 12 now and entirely too cool for photo ops).

That’s all for now. And I swear I am NOT going to x out and obsess about whether this was “enough.” Because it’s going to have to be. I’ve got other things to over-analyze today. 😉


Tell me- what’s ONE question you WISH you had an answer to?? Contact me and lay it on me. I may not be able to reply to every single one, but I will do my best to answer as many as I can and if I don’t do it by email I will do it by blog post. Thanks for playing.

Ok, deep breath, coming clean…

Ever had one of those days when you call yourself out on your own bullshit, ?

So I didn’t have one of those days, I had one of those years! Over the last year, I realized that I am not walking my talk on all levels. Here  I am, all about truth, authenticity, full-bodied expression and unwavering courage and yet, I hold back.

Like big time.

I see people, other coaches and writers, posting pics of themselves and their kids, doing photo shoots, writing blog content every single day and you know what I conclude about them? That they are self-serving. Arrogant even.

When the truth is, that was just MY bullshit. They aren’t arrogant. They are courageous in a way that I am NOT. They post videos on bad hair days. They write even when its not a particularly brilliant brain day. They provide glimpses into their lives not because they have a guru/God complex but because they are doing their best to CONNECT.

And with that, I would like to publicly pledge my own commitment to connection, courage and full bodied soul expression.

I cannot keep hiding, waiting for perfection, when the very thing I hope to impart to my kids is a 50/50 blend of self love and core courage.

So with that, here is a glimpse of the new site we are working on.

Image

I am SO excited. I won’t spoil everything, but there MAY be a site mascot cat named Buddha and you MAY be able to ask him questions about your life 😉 (But I feel compelled to warn you, he’s quite sassy.)

I’d also like to start sharing with you a weekly series I’m going to be publishing in the spirit of expression!

I’d like this series to be a sanctuary. A sanctuary is, in essence, a sacred place you visit to embody Source, to express gratitude, to appreciate beauty and to connect with yourself. And you don’t have to physically GO any where to go to find sanctuary. You simply tune into the Divine, to pleasure, to little sparks of creativity and moments of flow.

With each edition of the weekly series, I will be sharing quotes that wake me up, books that are sustaining me, images that take my breath away and anything else that I think YOU might also find inspiring, uplifting or just plain cool.

Would that be ok? I mean really, the internet is a BIG place. Let’s share! Let’s connect! Let’s throw love in each other’s direction and start showing up fully to what our hearts and souls are begging us to do!

You in?

Thanks for being here. And I just want you to know this – that dream you have in your heart? That one that keeps whispering to you at night? I honor that dream. I honor your deep, secret desires and I will keep being here, holding space for them til the day you step boldly and start breathing life into every single of them!

My 3 step process for making a decision

Just popping in quickly to share something with you that has helped me over the last few months.

I have had a LOT of decisions to make, both personal and professional. It’s a tricky situation to be in when you are an indecisive commitment phobic.

Here’s my inner monologue-

I need to make a decision.

What if I make the wrong one?

Maybe if I just ignore this it will go away.

Shit its not going away.

I need to make a decision.

doubtful woman

 

Since it doesn’t seem that anyone is going to magically appear to help me, and the universe seems to be fresh out of neon signs that say “Do THIS,” I have had to come up with my own litmus test – the 3 step alignment test.

Here’s how it works.

When you have a decision to make, scan your soul, your body and your heart.

Soul scan – Make sure you know your list of non-negotiable feelings. Fill in the blanks: I strive to live a life that makes me feel____________, _______________ and ____________________. Does this decision move you CLOSER to feeling those three things? Does it work against any of them? If the decision will definitely help you embody your non-negotiables, its a yes.

Body Scan – Our body holds so many answers for us that we miss because we are distracted by life and family obligations and funny cat videos. Turn off the distractions. Think of the decision you have to make. Pay attention to the physical reactions that naturally happen. Do your shoulders slump, or does your chest open in a show of happy expansion. Do you feel lighter or heavier? Is any pain present or do you feel completely at ease, and find yourself taking deep, replenishing breaths? Or is your heart beating fast in protest?

Heart scan – What we are looking for here is ENTHUSIASM. When you think of your decision, first think about how you would feel if you choose one way. Are you EXCITED about that possibility? Now try the other way. Which visualization fills you with hope and enthusiasm and which fills you with a kind of prison-sentence dread?

That’s it. Every decision should pass the body, heart and soul scan.

Otherwise, you are ignoring the intuitive wisdom of your Source and you could end up at the corner of regret and self-loathing. Not a great area to end up in after dark.

As they say, if it’s not a “hell YES!” it’s a no.

These words blew my mind!

Every once in a while I come across a quote that totally wakes me up!

I want you to read this quote from Pastor Mark Batterson:

“God doesn’t call the qualified. He qualifies the called.”

Think about that for a moment. No really. Read it again. Think about it.

How many times have you had a thought, an INSPIRED thought that you were really excited about until the internal gremlins I like to call Mr. and Mrs. Yeah But started running their mouths?

It goes something like this:

I would really love to write this book. But I have never even taken a writing class.

I would love to own my business, but I don’t have a clue what I’m doing.

I know I am meant to change the world, but what can I do from my small town?

That idea that keeps whispering from you? It’s not FROM you. It’s from Source. From the universe. From God. And it’s whispered to you because you are meant to explore its riches. But we think that we must somehow be “qualified” for own destiny. For our OWN destiny?

Doesn’t that just sound nuts when you think about it? You don’t have to be qualified to have that blonde hair you’ve got, or those brown eyes, or that tendency to chew on your pencil. Those things are uniquely you. So what makes you think you have to be qualified for your own unique destiny. You were PRE-QUALIFIED at birth.

So you don’t need to wait. You don’t need to be a few years older. You don’t need more money or a certificate hanging on the wall.

If you are CALLED to do something, God has qualified you to do it.

So I’m curious. What’s been whispering to you? What are you going to do now that you know you already have the Divine credentials? Leave a comment below and tell me! (For real!)

An extra day in your life!

It just occurred to me that this is a leap year. (Note to self: peak at a calendar every now and then. It’s a work from home hazard no one warns you about — you never know what day of the week it is and you often leave the house totally unprepared for the weather. =)

So as you know, once every four years we get an extra day.

Leap Year is special! Rare!

Here’s how I want you to think about it.

It’s an extra day.

And an extra day is an extra chance.

February 29th is a fantastic day to take the plunge. Send the book to a publisher. Have the tough conversation. Make the amazing phone call. Research that beach house price. Start that blog. Commit to doing absolutely nothing other than hugging your baby or your partner or your dog or whoever it is in your life that is feeling a bit neglected.

I encourage you to use this extra day as a life bonus. After all, life is short. Years fly by. So this extra 24 hours that only comes every four years? Those hours are a blessing. Whatever it is you’ve been putting off doing? The 29th is your day darlin’.

And here’s the best part. So what if it doesn’t go as you planned?

If it’s a disaster, you don’t need to relive the memory every year when the date creeps up. Just every four.

So what will you do? What bonus, extra, pie in the sky chance will you take this February 29th? What dream will you breathe life into? Where will you throw your love?

You might get addicted. In fact, that’s the best possible outcome — realizing that taking chances is SO amazing, you just might do it all the time, no matter how many days in the month there are.

The only GURU you need…

I’ve gotta be honest.

There are a few words in the English language that I cannot stand.

“Moist” is one of them. (Ewww, right?)

The other?

GURU.

The only thing worse than the word “guru” are people who declare THEMSELVES one. (Again, ew.)

While of course I create things that I hope will resonate with you, I am very aware that at the end of the day you don’t need me or anyone else.

You have the greatest guru known to man living right inside you, right at this very moment– your soul. Your intuition. Source.

My 2016 motto is this: “With Source as my savior and truth as my guide...” I say it over and over. Feel free to steal it.

I learned the hard way (many times) that my Source, my inner voice was crystal clear in its message, but for some reason, I thought I knew better. Cue the heartache, the wasted time, the REALLY tough and shitty lessons.

Even just this past year, I had MANY painful lessons, both personal and professional, that reminded me that the coach, the guru, the expert MOST worth listening to, was myself.

Don’t get me wrong. On paper 2015 was fantastic. It was successful. Busy. Profitable. A major growth year. And the whole time, while my ego was giving me a pat on the back and a whole bunch of “atta girl’s” my soul was whispering: “Stop. Breathe. Re-calibrate.”

Because appearances don’t matter. The highlight reel is irrelevant. The only thing that matters, the only way to measure a decision is to ask yourself this one question:

Does this make me feel good?

Somehow, along the way, we forgot that feeling good is the ONLY goal worth having. We started measuring success in dollars and cents. We started measuring worth in how many Facebook friends we had. We measured opportunity by what it might it do FOR us, rather than what it could do TO us.

The next time you have ANY decision to make, whether you are debating something huge like a change in your marriage or something as small as whether to go out or stay in your jammies, ask yourself, “what would make me feel good here?”

Whatever it is, do it. And don’t second guess. Because your Source will always save you.

What does this mean for me?

It means a commitment to STOP repeating old patterns that NEVER work out.

It means re-connecting with my spirit and folding spirit into my business offerings, front and center. (Because if you’re an entrepreneur you know that owning a business is a big ass spiritual test!)

It means re-committing, every day, to always taking the fastest path to peace, while being mindful of my own core needs and boundaries.

It might mean only writing to you when I have something useful to say, rather than following the advice of “gurus” who say I HAVE to write to you weekly.

Most importantly it means remembering my mantra, for every decision, every challenge, every change – With Source as my savior and truth as my guide…..

Listen to the whispers

10 Lessons that can Change Your Life

Happy New Year!

It’s been a few weeks since you have heard from me and that’s because I was doing my best to be present for my kids over the holidays and to take some time to reflect and recharge. I had some time this holiday season to do some DEEP soul searching. 2015 was a year of extraordinary growth and change for me. I want to share with you some of the lessons that shook me to my core and allowed me some beautiful expansion. Some of them are tough to hear, but if you really let them sink in, take them to heart and open to their message, I promise you, light and love will be your constant companions.

So here, in random order and with a certain unorganized charm, are my 10 greatest lessons of 2015:

  1. You aren’t mad at them for what they keep doing, you’re mad at yourself for what you keep allowing.
  2. You cannot out run your truth. You may stay a few laps ahead for a time but your truth will always catch up.
  3. You’re capable of anything you’re willing to google.
  4. You will be a better person if you assume that everyone you encounter has been sent to teach you something. That rude customer service rep? A messenger from God sent to teach you unwavering patience.
  5. Most people are unwilling to look in the mirror. Self-awareness is uncomfortable. But it leads to miracles. Only the truly courageous strive for self-awareness. So be one of the courageous.
  6. You cannot expect extraordinary change if you aren’t willing to be extraordinarily changed. So many people go on and on about what they don’t like about their lives, what they want instead, yet they stay paralyzed and stuck because they fear the work that change asks of us.
  7. Everything is neutral until you assign an emotion to it. And you’ll be happier if you assign a good one. Even when something happens that brings you to your knees — a lost job, a lost relationship — you can breathe good into it, or you can breathe pain. Breathe good.
  8. When people show you their true colors, believe them. Your intuition never lies. You may choose to keep them in your life, but you then give up the right to be surprised and disappointed in their behavior.
  9. You are always in choice. Always. Even if you decide to do nothing, you have chosen. And that gift of always being in choice means you and you alone are responsible for your life and circumstances. So when you say you can’t possibly leave your job, the truth is you could. You could leave and downsize, or live in your tree house or whatever. The point is, you should never dis-empower yourself  by uttering the words “I don’t have a choice.” You do. Always.
  10. This is a biggie. Happiness Isn’t an absence of pain. It’s a recognition that something greater than pain is what defines us.

Shit happens. If you’re alive, shit will continue to happen.

Happiness isn’t the opposite of pain, it’s an element of it. We need the pain because we learn by contrast. Without pain we have no earthly way of knowing when the brilliance of bliss has finally touched us.

This is why we need the pain. Your goal isn’t to eliminate pain. It’s to learn from it. And then to keep the scales ever tipped towards the other side.

A mood is not a reality. A bad hour doesn’t actually equal a bad day.

So many people say they aren’t happy. This broad blanket statement of “I’m not happy” means, in reality, that what they aren’t happy with is their job or their mate. When one part of your life is unhappy, that’s just pain giving you information on how you can tip the scales. Pain is your partner. But you’re the greater shareholder. You have to make the final decision.

And sadly, do you know what most people decide to do with pain? Stay in it.

You’re not unhappy. If you’re living and laughing and have one friend and see the sun, you’re not unhappy. You just have a choice to make about one or two areas of your life.

One situation needn’t ever dictate your universal state of being.

And with that, I wish you a gorgeous, blessed and self-aware 2016. =)

Space Unicorns & their Wisdom

No, I’m not crazy. Hear me out.

So the other day, I was up to my ears in work. I was stressing about my upcoming business trip to LA and feeling awful about leaving the kids. I was navigating some choppy waters with some friend drama. I was soothing a client who was in a panic over a faulty link in her website. I was feeling, in general, that I wanted to erase all traces of myself from the internet, move to Bali, make seashell art and drink Pina Coladas.

Then the scream. “Mooooooom, you have to come here right away!”

Now when any of my kids say that I immediately assume I am going to find them bleeding or vomiting. I rushed to play room, fearing the worst, mentally calculating what I will do with the oldest while I drive the youngest to the emergency room…

They were making a video to the song Space Unicorn. “Look mommy we’re playing together!” said my daughter. “Come and play with us!!!”

A few years ago I would have been annoyed that they interrupted “important” stuff to show me this. But now? I realize that they were teaching me (as they always do) EXACTLY what I needed  to learn. So here, for you, are the BEST lessons I learned that day with the help of my kids and the most annoying, nonsense song ever recorded.

  1. Play more. Life is meant to be fun. How much of your day (percentage or hours) is spent WORKING, stressing, planning, fulfilling obligations etc and how much is spent in what feels like PLAY? Really take an inventory here. Flip and tweak and shift til the balance is either even or playing is winning. Serious is BORING.

  2. Unless you’re curing cancer, you’re not curing cancer. Here’s what I mean: Yes, our work means something to us. It’s important. It might make a difference. It might get problems solved and jobs done. And maybe it’s important that we have a clean house and that the laundry doesn’t pile up. But every time I find myself stressing about something (Anything from a pile of laundry to an email that goes out one day later than planned) I ask myself this question: Will anyone die because of this? Are any lives on the line because this isn’t happening the way it “should?” The answer is always, every single time, NO. So I relax. It can be done tomorrow. Your work matters. But so does your sanity. So does your health. So does your peace. Very few things are the end of the world. So shrug it off, solve it, and then go play.

  3. Curiosity is the bridge to wholeness and maybe even money. Elizabeth Gilbert tells a story about how she always wanted a garden. And she found herself curious about where her flowers came from. She started googling. And she didn’t really think about it turning into anything. She just followed that curiosity. And kept following it, all over the world in fact, to various plant and flower libraries. That curiosity became her best-selling book “The Signature of All Things.” Whatever you find yourself curious about, it’s not random. Our curiosities are carefully planted seeds, placed in our minds and hearts for a reason. Follow them. See what happens. You may find yourself with a wonderfully fulfilling hobby, a new man, a best-selling book. Who knows? The mystery is half the fun. Play isn’t frivolous. Hobbies aren’t extravagances. It all matters. It’s all pieces to your WHOLENESS and happiness.

So I did it. I got on the bed and I jumped with them.

I put the computer away for the night. I made a mental note to add something to my latest chapter (my version of play) and I ended the night cozied up on the couch. I sent the emails out the NEXT day. I planned the trip the next day too. And you know what? I woke up that “next day” feeling re-fueled and recharged. I had needed that break. And most importantly, as usual, no one died because of it. =)

OMG, am I insane?

If you have been around here for awhile you know that I am all about being transparent and “real.”

And because of that I might leave you with a mouth wide open “I cant believe she said that out loud” feeling and while I apologize if I’ve ever made you uncomfortable, I do so with good intentions. Everything I share is done in a spirit of change and a common goal of awesomeness; kind of like a soul contract between you and I to Just. Keep. Going.

So here’s the deal.

I have had a weird few months. Personal stuff, major business expansion that SOUNDS like a great thing but that brought with it all kinds of new challenges (side note – the next level ALWAYS brings next-level challenges), sick kids, an injured husband (chainsaw incident, but he’s fine now) and a whole lot of “WTF Universe!?!??!?!?”

I sat up straight in bed one night and thought to myself, “Am I going nuts? Or am I the only one who is NOT? Is everything falling apart? Or is it falling together? Am I being handed a gift or a curse? Am I on the wrong path or just in need of a detour to the same destination?” followed by another out loud “WTF IS GOING ON?”

I would love to tell you that I found the answer, but the truth is I haven’t. But I have found some mini-epiphanies.

Like this one: The JOURNEY is the most important part of the answer. Whether you are dealing with family issues, a marital season of discontent, challenging clients, needy friends or crazy kids, this is the truth. The answer? You’re IN IT!

The answers we seek are woven in and around the journey we are on. There is no one finite answer. Much like clay, the answer is molded as we go. We cannot get to the answer WITHOUT the journey as the windy roads and the mountains and the choppy waters and the gorgeous vistas are NECESSARY for the answer to formulate.

Those tribulations test us. They reflect back to us what we are made of. They show us what we want and don’t want. They often reveal a whole lot of awesome info about us that we may not have known before. And that new info may have us heading down a detour, or opening a new door, or starting a new story that TRANSFORMS our answer into what it’s ultimately meant to be.

I have encouraged you before to go against the grain and just for a moment, focus on the negative. Here’s why. We learn by contrast. And that’s what is happening to me now. (“Excused me Contrast, I get it, you’re showing me something but could you kindly slow the f*ck down and let me process some stuff?”)

Anyway, I thought it might be helpful to you to hear how I am positively processing all of this crap. Maybe answering these question for yourself will shine a new light on your journey:

  1. What feels heavy right now?
  2. What PART of that, specifically, feels the heaviest?
  3. If I had a genie in a lamp, and my wish could magically transform my answer to number 2, what would the NEW outcome look like? What truth is my answer to this question showing me?
  4. In a perfect world, I would never again have to… (Go ahead honey. List ’em all!)
  5. If am being honest, what am I seeking permission to do or to feel or to let go of? (That which you WISH you had permission and validation for is what you actually, most deeply desire.)
  6. What can I do THIS week to get closer to my answers in numbers 3, 4 and 5?

Repeat this for EVERYTHING that feels heavy. At the LEAST, you will know what you are fighting against and what you really want, and at the MOST, you’ll take at least one step towards having it.

Always here for ya. Don’t be a stranger. And if you like my rambling attempts at wisdom, please share with friends so they can join the party too. =)