SHIFTING INTO THE POWER AND VULNERABILITY OF "WE"
Happy 2015 and Happy Chinese New Year to you as well!
While I cannot claim to be an expert in Chinese traditions, I am always interested and excited to learn about the meaning of the Chinese new year. Luckily, my amazing assistant is also a Feng Shui specialist and a Chinese astrologer. She's helped me to understand just how powerful of a year is in store for us if we allow ourselves to dissolve beyond the walls of individuality that we've cherished into a consciousness of collective harmony. (Click HERE if you are curious about Feng Shui or Astrology.)
This year, the Year of the Sheep, serves as one of our teachers, bathing us in the essence of gentleness, peace and calm. The sheep energy calls us into the grace of harmony that exists among the collective whole and invites us to consider how we might evolve beyond our individual truth into the power and potential of togetherness.
Sheep travel in a herd. Aside from the lone "black sheep", we tend to see sheep huddled together, working collectively to graze, move, live, etc. Therefore, the sheep energy allows us to nurture one another and to tend to our home, family and community in a way we haven’t experienced in years. The past three years we lived in horse, snake and dragon energy. All of these signs are very individualistic, and were powerful, charged and growth oriented, catapulting us forward into the truth and expression of who we uniquely are. They were rooted in the masculine, yang life force energy.
This year, in contrast, brings with it a reminder that we need one other. What good is our individual power and expression if we cannot balance it with our need for vulnerability, tenderness and quiet intimacy? The sheep represents the profound, transformational power of the feminine, yin life force energy. It is a time to practice being receptive, to nurture and be nurtured, to be inclusive and trust the greater power of the whole.
This sounds quite kumbaya, doesn't it? All of us getting along, loving one another... it's like a Woodstock hippie revival or something. Well, let me tell it to you straight: I'm a transformational coach. EVERY single client and workshop participant that I've ever had was afraid of intimacy on some level. ALL of us are. Most people in our society shy away from the power of vulnerability, seeing it as something that needs to be protected, something that makes them susceptible to hurt or danger of some kind. The sheep is here to guide us into the power of surrender and trust, teaching us that vulnerability is simply a way of being open to deeper connection.
When was the last time you allowed your heart to break open and ask for support in front of someone else? When was the last time you allowed your voice to quiver as you shared how you really feel with your closest loved ones or friends? Have you allowed yourself to melt into the arms of another, not because you are wounded, but because you embody the capacity to receive the purity of their love? What would it be like to dissolve the walls of facade that you've so carefully built around your precious self? What would it be like to nurture the deepest parts of yourself in community with others? What if you allowed your community into your personal experience so deeply that it allowed you all to deepen a bond that was previously superficial? THIS is the power of the sheep.
Recently, I had an experience with my husband that allowed us to experience a deeper intimacy than we've possibly ever felt together before. In the midst of a minor argument, where each of us was defending our positions, I allowed myself to be completely vulnerable and to share a substantial fear that I was facing in my life. In naming my fear and my experience without blame or judgement, I opened to the depths of my vulnerability and asked my husband, who may have been surprised by my outburst of tears, simply to hold me. In that moment, I chose to take the path of the sheep. I could have stayed closed off and defended, even in my vulnerability, feeling too stupid or foolish to ask to be held. I chose instead to drop into the power of "WE"; to lean on him and feel his partnership. He rose to the occasion so gracefully and held me in such a quiet power. A new, deeper trust emerged.
We are being called to dissolve. It is time to dissolve beyond the power of our individual truth and evolve into a new paradigm that is carried and supported by a larger whole. We are being called to TRUST. Trust, trust, trust. Trust in our partners, trust in our friends, trust in our loved ones, trust in our community, trust in humanity once again. The sheep invites us to fall back into the arms of the other and to watch in amazement as they actually catch us. What a stunningly magnificent balance to the part of us who knows how to handle it, who knows how to make it happen and rise to the occasion. In addition to our strength, we now get to experience our softness and our openness. In doing so, our softness and openness becomes our new strength.
So what does it look like for YOU to embrace the power of the sheep this year? How might you lean on your loved ones more to ask for help? What does it look like to open yourself to a new level of receiving - receiving love, kindness, abundance, blessings? How can you open your heart into vulnerability just a little more?
As we open to consider and trust the needs of the whole, we ironically nourish ourselves. Our interconnectedness will be our source of power, so it is a good time for partnering up with your cheerleaders - those people who hold you up and believe in you. If you are someone who likes to control everything and do everything yourself, or if you are a perfectionist, this year will serve as a huge growing edge and opportunity for you. It's your chance to learn to let go a little bit more, to allow others to participate and to surrender into being instead of doing.
I invite you to realize just how much actually has your back. Feel into your back right now as you allow yourself to rest on all that holds you and supports you in this life. All those people, the earth's gravity, the power of the Divine. It's all here holding you so you can relax back into it. Allow yourself to rest on the intervonnectivity that binds us together, the unified whole, a humanity based on love and light.
Here's to your open heart, your nourished self and the joy of feeling your abundant community. May you receive and receive and receive.
PS - I want to hear from you! How are you going to soften and open a bit more this year? What will be powerful for you in that? Please comment below and I'll respond! Happy new year!
The other morning I woke up earlier than usual. 6:35am. I'm blessed to have a large window in my kitchen that overlooks much of the San Francisco Bay Area. This video is what I arose to. Hands down the most magnificent sunrise I've ever seen. I stepped out onto the deck in my pajamas and sat there until the sun completed it's rise. There was a gentle fall breeze. I basked. And then it struck me... Heaven is on earth.
What would your life be like if you stepped out of bed early enough each morning, and the clouds, sun and wind were in perfect condition to give you momentary bliss? What if each day was like watching the best movie of your life? What if you were inspired, in awe and in passion every single day? This isn't out of your control. It's simply a matter of expanding your awareness and choosing the path of Heaven. Our media bombards us with news of killings, violence, distress and upheaval on a constant basis. We're trained to focus on what's not working in our world. What if I gave you a new set of glasses that showed you just how heavenly everything actually is? Would you dare to wear them? Would you share them with your friends? Would you trust that things are actually changing?
It's easier than you think. Here's how to experience your unique Heaven on Earth:
1. Practice Awe. The Garden of Eden is not a mundane place. It's the Garden of Eden! It's totally awe inspiring. To connect to it in daily life, you must start cultivating awe every single day. Slow yourself down, take a breath and soak in the utter amazingness around you. Nature's beauty is the easiest entry point. Notice the precision of the due drops on the morning grass. Let yourself be amazed by the ocean's waves crashing into the shore. Stop to appreciate the fragrance that comes from the roses in your neighbor's garden. Give thanks to the incredible meal on your plate. No more taking things for granted. There are incredible creations worthy of your wonderment all around you.
2. Trust the Greater forces of Life. Have you ever noticed that the sun rises EVERY morning? Every morning. Or that your body breathes for you all by itself without your having to do anything? What about the natural disasters that give growth to new foliage and restore the earth? You're not in charge of that. Something greater is. There are greater, divine forces at work that we rely on regularly. Heaven lands into our daily experience when we begin to partner with these forces. Trust that all of life is working in your favor. All of life is here to remind you that you have everything you need in this moment to feed yourself physically, emotionally and spiritually. Your life is a beautiful orchestration of events and opportunities that are designed to have you evolve and grow; to return to living as though Heaven is on earth. Begin to trust in the things that are beyond your control and notice how they gift both you and our world what it needs most at every moment.
3. Live in Reverence. What might shift for you if you approached yourself, your loved ones and even strangers with unwavering, loving respect and reverence? Not just a little bit, but full on. What if you saw yourself as a precious gift from the heavens, here to share your light with our world just by being you and experiencing your specific life? What if you regarded others in this way? How might you view your mother? Your boss? That homeless guy on the street? Heaven exists on earth when we regard ourselves and one another with reverence. Treat yourself as the pure gift that you are and notice what you see differently in your life.
4. Take Responsibility. While you cannot control the greater forces of life, you do play a major role in shaping your reality. What are you most passionate about? What gets you excited or moves you to tears of joy? Are you engaging with these things every single day? The experience of Heaven requires that we live in alignment with all that's true for us. It is your responsibility to shift the things in your life that aren't working for you and to own what is true for you deep down inside. By bringing your truth to the surface and infusing it into your daily life, you'll experience the passion, fulfillment, clarity, abundance, love and ease that you long for. This is the gateway to the Garden. The more precise you are with your alignment, i.e. the more you own, live and share what's true for you, the more you'll experience the heavenly bliss that's available for you.
** I want to hear from you! I want to stand for you! I want to live in Heaven on Earth with you! Please comment below and let me know: What would change in your life if you started to live as though heaven were on earth?
Here's to your unique, personal experience of heaven. I invite you to step into more awe, trust, reverence and responsibility so that you can truly know the passion, purpose, peace and utter joy that's waiting for you.
P.S.: Since December 2012, we have seen a shift in our consciousness and our humanity literally took a 180 degree turn back towards the "Garden of Eden". Quantum physicists and spiritual leaders alike are now offering proof that the highest dimension of divine consciousness is now embedded into the firmament of the earth's soil and crystals. This process has already begun and we are being invited into it. You can evolve yourself and our entire planet simply by practicing the four tricks listed above. Dare to allow heaven into your daily life. It will open you up to so much more than you expected and it will allow you to become even more of a light-bearer in our world. Here's to YOU!
HOW GRIEF SILENTLY OPENS THE COLLECTIVE HEART
Last Wednesday started off as a normal morning - I turned the tea kettle on, rubbed my eyes and pet my anxious puppy as he nipped at my toes for attention. I was gearing up for a full day of coaching sessions when I got the call that a dear family friend had very suddenly passed away. He was the younger brother of one of my best friends. He was someone I had grown up with, an extension of my family. He was a light in our world, gone too soon at the ripe age of 35. I dropped the phone and fell to the floor sobbing. Total shock.
As the week progressed, this shocking tragedy brought together my expansive "chosen" family from adolescence - an entire multi-generational community of friends and families who have known one another for over 25 years. We hugged, we wept, we remembered, we honored, we ate, we laughed and more than anything we grieved as we said goodbye to our beloved loved one together.
Many of us have experienced the death of a loved one, or perhaps felt the impact of loosing someone we may not have even known that well at all. The death of my friend fell during the same week as the death of Robin Williams which devastated people all over the world. Around the globe, hearts were ripped open as people mourned this unexpected loss. Death seems to give us pause. Somehow it softens us. It puts things in perspective and startles us into remembering how precious life can be. It seems to say to us: "Wake Up!"
As we search for meaning during the time of tragedy and grief, I cannot help but be struck by a sense of healing that has the potential to emerge in these heart-open moments. As much as I cannot fully digest what has happened to my friend, his family and our community, I somehow also cannot shake a simultaneous sense of profound peace that feels present to me at this time. How is it that something so terrible can give us access to something so reassuring?
The answer is simple: LOVE.
Despite the struggle in the Middle East, random shootings in the Midwest and the heart-wrenching depression that swallowed the life of a comedic icon, I still believe that in our truest state we are made of love. I trust fully that we are actively evolving our human consciousness and that on a soul level, we are more familiar with the light than the dark.
Could it be that grief opens our hearts just enough to remember LOVE as our truth? Could it be that grief is clearing out Humanity's old story of separation, judgment, danger and lack as it silently softens the Collective Heart?
Grief is a profound teacher if we let it be. If we let the title waves of sadness pour through us, then they can awaken and cleanse our hearts. Death is a reminder of impermanence and is one doorway to re-awaken our ability to BE with what is in this moment. Death is here to remind us about LOVE. It invites us to connect to our soul's path and to one another right now, in this life. It disintegrates our walls of judgement, story and constriction that have kept us small and cocooned away from the authentic connection we so deeply desire. How come it takes the shattering of life for us to remember how precious and vulnerable we truly are? It's as though the grief over my friend's death has on some level cleared some out-dated residue of isolation, contraction and smallness in my heart. While I feel immense sadness, I can tell that I am more open. I am somehow more loving today. I am seeing through a renewed pair of eyes that offer compassion, tenderness, trust and peace towards myself and those around me. This is the gift of those who have left us. They afford us the blessing of loving more in this life, allowing our collective consciousness to evolve. Their departure opens the door for our healing.
As I process the meaning of these events, I begin to wonder how we might all soften ourselves to love a little bit more. What would it take to pick up the phone instead of feed our isolation? What would it do if we practiced receiving love in moments of tender vulnerability? What does it take for us to truly surrender?
I am reminded that each of us is whole. Each of our souls has an innate wisdom and is on the perfect path. Each of us is invited by forces greater than we can ever imagine to return to our natural state of love. To SHOW UP and nourish our sacred connections to ourselves and each other. Each of us is OK. We can handle our pain, we can lean into our fear a little more today than yesterday, we can stretch ourselves out of the darkness of comfort back into the light of love in some way today.
Personally, I feel changed, and in this change I have recommitted myself to live vulnerably, lovingly and in connection even more. We are made of love. We are here to love ourselves and each other. We are asked to do it now. And to ask for help doing it.
My invitation to you is that you courageously honor your soul's longing for connection, peace, joy, purity, liberation and love. It's safe to do so. It's time to do so. It's our responsibility to do so. You are fully blessed and always supported by the Great Mystery that seems to somehow always bring us back to love.
May you Shine On.
MY NEW INSPIRATIONAL BOOK ANTHOLOGY BECOMES AVAILABLE ON AMAZON THIS FRIDAY, JUNE 6TH!
In just 3 days, the book anthology that I co-authored, In Pursuit of the Divine, will be released on Amazon. I was invited to participate in this incredible, inspiring and impactful collaboration by my friend and the book's compiler, Krista Gustavson who asked that each of the book's 30 co-authors share our stories of empowerment and transformation more truthfully, vulnerably and courageously than ever before. The result is a collection of stories that is incredibly real, totally inspirational and packed with tools to empower women around the globe. This is our time. This is YOUR time. To be utterly and gloriously YOU and to shine your light fully for your sake, the sake of your loved ones and the sake of our world. This book will empower you to do so. Stay tuned for the Amazon link which will become available on Friday so that you can purchase the book for yourself and all the other women who are important to you!
The purpose of this book is to inspire and empower Women all over the world to reclaim their Feminine Power and align with who they are so they can fully express their deepest truth. Each co-author invites you to witness their own Transformational Journey, one that empowered them to be who they are today as the Feminine Rising. Each chapter reveals the truth, what they discovered on their path to cultivate healing within themselves. Each story reveals the beauty already inherent in each one of us, a unique journey where a time of darkness initiated deep feminine wisdom of spectacular threads woven together in a tapestry of courage, bravery, trust and triumph In Pursuit of the Divine.
MEET THE CO-AUTHORS!
I joined forces with 29 other healers, coaches, visionaries and thought leaders from around North America and the U.K.
Each co-author will touch your heart and speak to your soul, giving you greater awareness, clarity and inspiration. You will learn that losing yourself in the midst of pain, grief and loss can be a portal to strengthen and empower ourselves. I invite you to step into your own story so that your true purpose can be revealed. When we are completely aligned with our Purpose, we are the greatest contribution to the world.
Our Purpose is to inspire and empower Women all over the globe with our transformational stories. Every Woman has experienced some form of disempowerment in her life leaving behind traces of her pure essence; she then becomes hidden from the world. Our purpose is to expand your awareness, acknowledge you and provide a sanctuary to reclaim your own Feminine Power. Women now more than ever are being called upon to come together as a collective entity. With our unique offerings, we have a desire to support you and guide you in activating your own inner wisdom so you can align yourself with the greatest expression of who you are and know your purpose in the world.
WATCH THIS VIDEO ABOUT MY CHAPTER TITLED "WHEN SPIRIT CALLED ME HOME".
“Manifestation” has become quite a buzzword in the world of personal growth and transformation. We all want to manifest our dreams, don’t we? Ever since the movie “The Secret” became popular some years ago, many people now utilize the Law of Attraction to enhance their lives. Yet somehow, with all of the tips and information available to us, many people still aren’t manifesting the results they desire. The key lies in a subtle and often overlooked, yet enormously powerful manifestation tool that requires us to reframe our approach.
In the process of manifestation, it has been suggested that we first must become crystal clear on what we’d like to make real. Some people meditate on the outcome they desire and others set intention to put the vibration of their desire “out” to the Universe. Both of these techniques are critical to the manifestation process. To truly bring your desire to life however, you must engage in this additional tool that I’m excited to share with you. I’ve seen this tool bring forward incredible results in both my own life and in the lives of my clients:
Let go of form and stay connected to essence.
Huh? What happens with many people is that in the process of manifesting their dreams, they focus on the form they believe their desired result is supposed to take. In other words, what it needs to look like, how tall or big it is, the date it should arrive, the timing within which something will come to fruition, the person or place that they believe or desire their intended result to be. For example, you may think that your dream career may take the form of opening up a yoga studio, or that the thing that will give you the most passion is living in Brazil, or that the relationship of your dreams is with someone who is relatively in your age range and is as active as you are. There is tangible form here.
Essence on the other hand, is the quality of something; the feeling, texture and taste of the experience that is provided from any given scenario, object or event.
Let’s use the example of manifesting your dream career to distinguish between form and essence. Your intention is to get a new job. What’s that really about? Are you open to any job? Probably not. What’s the essence of the experience that you’re truly after? Perhaps it’s feeling that you are living on purpose while experiencing abundance easily in your life. Or perhaps you’re truly after having interactions with thought provoking, conscious individuals as part of a collaborative team where you can share yourself authentically while making a difference in the world. You can start to feel the essence there. In contrast, the form of this particular job might involve a career in a certain field that pays a certain amount of money or it may involve a daily commute or working in a gym. Feel the difference? The essence is what brings it alive.
Form is important, yet when we focus on it too much initially, it boxes us in. What I’m seeing over these years of coaching people all over the world, as well as in my own process of evolution, is that one of our greatest forms of suffering comes when we become too attached to form. By developing an expectation of when or how our desired outcome is supposed to play out, it locks us in and actually limits us from recognizing our dream when it arrives because we’re convinced it’s supposed to look a certain way.
It’s not the package that it shows up in that you want to be committed to. You want to be committed to what it’s going to feel like when you open that dream package. So, what’s the experience that you are truly after? When you bring your dream fully alive in your vision, how does that feel in your heart and your whole body? What are the qualities and textures of your dreams? It’s like becoming so familiar with a certain flavor of chocolate ice cream, that you’ll know if someone has given you another brand. You want to become that familiar with the essence of you’re dream.
The Universe is so much more creative than we can ever hope our minds to be. Think of all of those incredible moments in your life – were they exactly as you had planned them to be? Most likely not. Most likely the best moments in your life were better than you planned them to be. The Universe is limitless. When we require that something’s got to be a certain way because we attach to it’s form (who, what, where, when, how), we accidentally limit ourselves. Instead, stay connected to the essence of what you’re intending to manifest, and let the Universe deliver form that is beyond your wildest imagination.
When we are connected to the essence of our desires, we can taste the outcome we want. This then becomes the most powerful navigation system inside of you.
By prioritizing the essence of your dream and bringing it fully alive in every cell of your body, you’re now empowered to use it as a secret sorting tool inside of you that will quickly and easily allow you to recognize the right form when it appears. You’ll know if person A or opportunity B, if direction Right or path Left is the perfect one for you because it will conjure up the feeling of your dream’s essence inside of you. It won’t matter as much if a handsome man that you’re on a date with drives a BMW or rides a bike – you’ll know that it’s time for a second date because the conversation you’re having brings up the same feelings as the essence of your simple, beautiful, authentically delicious soul mate dream.
Personally, my connection to essence has been the secret key that’s lead me to the things I love most about my life. The joy that pulsed through my veins after each practice coaching session I offered confirmed to me that becoming a coach was the right track for me. It’s lead me to tremendous abundance, fulfillment and that specific feeling of living with a greater purpose that I had always dreamed of. And the softness in my belly actually led me to recognize my husband who I accidentally overlooked for years because his form wasn’t what I thought my husband’s form would be. Yet as I started spending time with him regularly, I noticed my body’s signals – my belly was soft, I felt vibrant yet totally relaxed and fluid. My experience with him each time we hung out was the exact same feeling of the essence of my dream relationship. It was crystal clear to me that he was the one.
So how do we use this subtle yet powerful technique to manifest the results we desire?
Here’s the step-by-step process to lock it in:
1. Name and clarify the dream that you want to manifest (dream job, soul mate partner, new home, financial abundance, baby, vacation, etc).
2. Imagine yourself already there. Bring forward this dream and start to feel yourself living already. What does it feel like when your soul mate love caresses the small of your back? What does it feel like when you make a difference in someone’s life by sharing your authentic gifts with them? What does it taste like to watch your kids ride their bikes down that country dirt road? Feel the essence of it all.
3. Notice your body’s response to this essence. This is key. You want to really take stock of the subtle body messages here. When you connect to the essence of your dream, what happens to your belly or your legs? Does your face soften? How do your shoulders and neck feel? How do you feel overall? Most often people feel a simultaneous sense of calmness and energy, freedom or power pulsing through them. Lock this into your cellular memory. This is your new “Form Radar” or GPS sorting tool.
4. Use this new essence sorting tool in your life. Take it out with you everywhere to see where the right form may be hiding. When making decisions in your life, ask yourself if this decision is going to have you feel the way you feel when you connect to the essence of your dream life. Does this job, person, place, object, food, etc. bring up that softness in your belly and that flutter in your heart? Do you feel that sense of freedom and rightness with the form (person, place, object, event, etc.) that you are engaging with? When a new opportunity arises, tune into the essence of it and be open to the limitless number of forms that it might take.
5. When you feel the essence of your dream taking a certain form, ACT FAST. Follow through. Jump in. Go for it! This is the dream you’ve been waiting for. It might look different than you expected or it may have taken longer to arrive than you wanted, but when it’s aligned with your dream’s essence, it’s time to act!
When you utilize this powerful tool and apply it to various people, scenarios, activities, etc., then suddenly you’re in the sweet zone. The world is your oyster and you’re able to manifest the results you truly desire. The power of this is beyond words and you’ll begin to notice how many opportunities arrive out of nowhere. You’ll know in your body and from the place of essence when something is right for you and you’ll be tapped into the limitless abundance of life.
Here’s to happy manifesting! May you be surprised and delighted by all that comes your way.
Hello beautiful ones!
Here we are, at the end of another phenomenal year. I find myself deeply grateful, reflective and hopeful for more growth and authentic fulfillment in 2014.
I found 2013 to be a great year of deepening my truth, expressing myself fully, leaning into more growing edges, evolving old fears, celebrating love, relishing in simple pleasures, community, family and learning to open my heart even wider. I have this little guy to thank for much of it. Meet my new puppy, Simi! He is outrageously cute and is teaching me so much. Here he is enjoying a zen moment on the beach in San Francisco.
As we wrap up the year, I invite you to reflect on the new territories you visited in 2013. How did you grow? What did you learn? What are you ready for next?
At the close of any cycle, it is important to make time for reflection, especially at the end of the year. Taking even 15 minutes for quiet space can provide the opportunity to tie up loose emotional ends, to realize how much you've actually accomplished, to feel complete within and to become clear on your vision for the coming year. You may want to go through old journals to see what your dreams were in January and to understand just how much you've transformed.
Here are some questions to ask yourself about 2013:
* What am I most proud of?
* In what ways did I grow the most?
* What moments proved my resiliency, courage and strength?
* What experiences lead to the most joy and fulfillment for me?
* What fears or old patterns did I move beyond?
* What is it time to leave behind so that I can be more of who I want to be in 2014?
* What is it time to forgive in myself and in others?
* What am I really clear on after this year that it's time for me to own?
My commitment to you is that I live and embody my own truth as courageously, vulnerably and joyously as I possibly can so that I can serve as an example and hopefully a source of inspiration for you to do the same in your own way.
Here's to an empowered, radiant and fully alive 2014! I have a bunch of new offerings in store to kick off the year including new radio interviews, a New Year Ritual, a workshop called "Sing Your Truth", new audio products, exciting classes and more. Stay tuned for more information coming soon!
Wishing you many blessings on your journey.
Whatever we focus on becomes our life. This is especially important and noticeable during times of change. Are you manifesting what you desire by focusing on what's working or are you remaining stuck by focusing on all that is not going your way? In this video I share the Tale of Two Wolves to teach you how to focus on what's working so you can get maximum results in your life! View it on my YouTube Channel HERE.
FINDING THE COURAGE TO CHOOSE HAPPINESS
Our society is on the perpetual hunt for more happiness. As a Transformational Coach, I encounter a LOT of people who want to be happier in their lives. Just this morning, a client expressed to me: "I just want to be happy!". Happiness has turned into something that people believe is outside of themselves as if they play no role in creating it, like something you can buy at the store.
What I see more than anything is that people are longing for deep fulfillment, not just happiness. People want a sense of richness, depth, purpose, direction, contribution, freedom and joy in their lives. What's amazing is that in every state of "unhappiness", nearly 100% of the time people know what it is that is making them unhappy. And they KNOW what they need to change in order to become more fulfilled in their lives.
HAPPINESS ISN'T THE ISSUE.
The issue then may not actually be happiness or unhappiness. The issue really becomes about the courage and willingness to do what it takes to make yourself and your life "happy". The feeling of living a miserable life arises when we are too afraid to acknowledge or own what we need to change. The feeling of boredom, dried up, I-don't-even-know-where-to-begin, emerges when we are living out of alignment with our truest nature. The fear of changing the status quo keeps us stuck in our misery; in our small, old, habitual way of the familiar, yet suffocating "comfort" zone.
In our society, we are terrified of disappointing others, we are terrified of the unknown and of rocking the boat. It is the loyalty to this fear that keeps people stuck, miserable and playing small. It is your lack of courage to change that is making you feel "unhappy". To be truly fulfilled in your life, you must allow yourself the sheer pleasure, the gift and the responsibility of structuring your life so that it is in alignment with your most authentic truth inside. If you are someone who needs space in your calendar to be creative and thrives when you experience collaboration and variety, then most likely you will be unfulfilled in an administrative job that requires you to work rigid hours. If you are someone who loves to talk about current world affairs and marvels at the rich experiences of your life, then most likely you will be unfulfilled at a dinner party where people are focused on fashion and reality TV. If you are someone whose truest nature is to be visionary, inspired and playfully express yourself, then most likely you will be unfulfilled in a romantic relationship where your partner is threatened or uncomfortable with you in the spot light. You can begin to see where living out of alignment with your truth is actually the thing causing your unhappiness. Under different circumstances that reflected and celebrated your truest needs and authentic nature, I'd be willing to bet that you'd be radiantly HAPPY. Our true nature is happy... and it's simple. We allow fear, assumptions, worry and lack of trust to overcomplicate things for us.
FINDING THE COURAGE TO CHANGE.
So how do we obtain and strengthen the courage to change? Here are 5 key steps that will help you muster up the courage to change things in honor of living your most radiantly juicy and deeply fulfilling life:
1. Acknowledge your dream. I have a question for you: What do you OWE to yourself? What will you regret at the end of your life if you do not make it happen? What is the dream inside of you that you have buried so far down below that you can't remember what it even is? If you want to have the courage to create more happiness, then you need to be willing to look under the bed, dust off the boxes and take your dream out once again. You need to put that dream in the light and tend to it daily, watering it with your loyalty and intention, caring for it by making it a priority once again. The first step to finding the courage to change is admitting that you actually desire happiness and to clarify what that looks like for you. You will not be able to develop the courage to change if you're not willing to admit that you want something different than what you've got now. You must let your dream live. Let it shine!
2. Make your dream more important than your fear. Are you going to feed your desire for happiness or feed your fears? Are you going to prioritize your dream life or prioritize your sense of obligation to others? If you are not living your dream than you are living someone else's, and in all likelihood, that's keeping you miserable. So you're at a moment of choice: you can choose to stay stuck, stay small, stay co-dependent, stay worried or you can choose to honor this amazingly radiant, loving and authentic truth and knowing within you. You can choose to let your fear drive the bus of your life or you can step into the driver's seat yourself. It's your life and it becomes whatever you choose to make of it, so the choice is yours. The time is now to choose a new direction of loyalty to your happiness. No more loyalty to your fear and tiny comfort zone.
3. Step into Radical Responsibility. As Katherine Woodward Thomas says, "Life happens through us, not to us". You are not a passive victim in your life. In order to live the life that you truly desire, you must be willing to accept Radical Responsibility for your circumstances and all aspects of your life. Our outer world is a reflection of our inner landscape. If you are focused on what's not working then not much will work for you. If you are tending to your happiness and taking responsibility to change yourself then change and happiness will happen. The good news is that taking radical responsibility puts you in a wonderfully empowered position. Own the fact that YOU are the one who will change your life and you'll be much more excited to jump in and do so.
4. Be willing to say NO. One of the biggest roadblocks that people have when trying to create a truly fulfilling and rewarding life is their fear of disappointing others. I'm going to give it to you straight: I guarantee that you will disappoint at least one person in your life by choosing to walk down the path of YOUR truth and happiness. AND... that's a really great thing! It means that you're beginning to honor what's true for you instead of just going along with others or with whatever is presented to you. It means you're starting to be intentional and give energy to those things and people that light you up instead of pull you down. When you say NO to one thing, you say YES to something else by default. (You can read my full blog article about that HERE). So let yourself say NO. Say NO to the job that is sucking you dry. Say NO to the relationship that isn't what you actually want. Say NO to the incredibly lucrative, sexy, potentially delicious opportunity that is being offered to you but doesn't feel right somewhere inside. This will fill your courage tanks to FULL. I promise you that you'll be OK (actually, I bet you'll be more than OK - you'll be HAPPY) after you enforce boundaries with others and choose instead to follow the energy of your YES. I promise you that you'll be happier by taking the risk of leaving behind what so clearly isn't working for you. Let yourself step into happiness by practicing saying NO to all that isn't working for you.
5. Shift your perspective about the unknown. Many people in our society are more comfortable when there is a plan and when the future is "secure". I am guilty of this myself at times. The unknown can be a wildly scary land to explore and yet, it's the only guarantee we have as we cannot predict the future. Thank goodness we cannot predict our future - can you imagine how boring life would be without any mystery at all? I invite you to embrace the unknown and instead of seeing it as a daunting, threatening thing, start to view it as a yummy, juicy place where you can anticipate and taste your happiness growing and growing. The whole point is to experience what you haven't known before because what you've known thus far hasn't been fulfilling for you (if it was, you wouldn't want more happiness). So let yourself step into the unknown with delight, curiosity, trust and yummy anticipation for all of the wonderfully new and fulfilling things you are creating. See it as a journey to the best place you've ever been.
Change is risky. There is always a risk, no matter how you slice it - leaving your current situation for hopes of a better one doesn't come with a guarantee. What you know in this moment is that you're unhappy. So I invite you to take a risk. Take that leap of faith that feels so right and tingly inside even though you're so afraid that your teeth are chattering. Take the risk of walking towards your happiness and creating a totally NEW way that is actually freaking amazing and unknown. Take the risk of allowing life to provide for you once you own your YES. The day will come when the risk of playing small is greater than the risk of shining. I invite you to seize that day, jump in with both feet and GO FOR IT! Your utterly happy dream life awaits you.