That third glass of wine. Hurtful lovers. Amazing lovers who just aren’t the right fit. Stories from the past that keep us safe. The this-will-relax-me smoke. That gluttonous dessert. Remaining content for fear of not knowing.
For the last 10 days, the man and I have abided by a long list of “Yes” and No” foods, giving up caffeine, alcohol, sugar, gluten grains, dairy, eggs, soybean products, shellfish, high mercury fish and more.
We’ve done this both as an attempt to get to the bottom of my food allergies, and also to give our bodies a reset. While I’m a fairly clean eater, there are three indulgences that keep me relaxed and cozy: wine, cheese and dark chocolate. Before starting this cleanse, the whole idea of no wine for fourteen days seemed absurd. Nonetheless, I decided to give it a try.
In the first few days, I found myself wanting to buy all the dark chocolate when I passed by that aisle in the organic market. Every wine shop spoke to me, inviting me to come in and try their newly featured wines. Anytime I saw someone drinking a glass, I felt drawn to have one with them. It was especially difficult on Valentine’s Day to not share a delicious bottle, and we actually both tasted two sips before deciding to go instead with sparking water.
With each impulse, an opportunity presented itself. The opportunity to go within, hear my inner voice, listen to the emotion, and get in touch with what I’m really craving.
"Do I really want that chocolate?" led to "No. You’ve been working non-stop all day and you’re feeling a little lonely right now. What you really want is a cup of tea and thirty minutes of deep connection."
"I want wine! I want wine! I want want!" turned into "Actually you really don’t want wine. You want to slow down your thoughts and some yoga stretching is the best way for you to do that."
The biggest insight so far is this: Letting go gets easier every day. As I become increasingly aware of my attachments, I’m able to navigate them and choose for them not to control me. And the more I tap into and listen to what I really want, the better my decision making, and the more fulfilled and productive I feel.
After ten days, I feel clear. Focused. Highly productive and effective. I feel like I’m growing and glowing on the inside. I need less sleep. I’m in bed by 11:30 and awake earlier than 7. My ideas are flowing and my creativity is being channeled in a way that feels even more cozy than that evening glass of wine.
While I imagine myself bringing wine and some of these indulgences back into the picture (hello moderation!), this break has given me greater insight into what’s below my cravings, and how—when I give myself the chance to really listen—saying “No” actually feels better than saying “Yes.”
So let me ask you: What one thing do you feel drawn to “cleanse” from your life for a set period of time? Is there one thing you feel scared to give up, but know it’s time? Let’s talk about it in the comments below.
When You're Feeling Stressed, Overwhelmed & Want to Recenter
Ever find yourself staring at the computer screen in the middle of a crazed day, wondering:
How will I get all of this done?
What are my priorities right now?
Is there enough time?
What the hell have I been doing for the last few hours?
I have moments of overwhelm and fogginess. Most people do.
With inputs coming from all angles all day, it can be easy to get pulled away from what matters most.
In times of overwhelm and daze, here’s what what works for me, which may support you too:
+ Notice your breath. To get out of my head and back into the moment, the very first thing I do is notice my breath. When thoughts arise, I imagine them in a bubble and I envision myself gently tapping them with a feather. This slows down my thoughts and brings me back to the present. Sometimes I will stay with my breath for a few moments, and other times I will sink in for five or ten minutes, visualizing imagery that brings me peace. The vision of running barefoot through an open field or walking along the beach quickly brings me back to center.
+ Clarify priorities. Sometimes overwhelm is rooted in not knowing where to focus time and energy. Ten minutes spent revisiting the “Top 3” most important tasks for the day helps refocus what will bring a sense of joy and peace by end of day. Have more than 3? Try an “On Deck” list to know where to focus later. If you’re visual, below is a quick and dirty mind map from my journal with projects inside the circles and tasks stemming out. I’ll sometimes have one or two of these per week to refocus and know where to go next.
+ Revisit commitments.Liz D’Alto posted recently, “Never put off til tomorrow what you can straight up cancel today.” She added, “Sometimes we overcommit. Some may see canceling or breaking commitments as out of integrity. Is that less integrous than showing up, not being present, wishing you weren’t there, or giving less than your best?” Well said, Liz. So, what are you taking off your plate today?
+ Journal it out. To get to the bottom of what’s going on, I’ll often find peace in clarity by answering “What’s making me feel overwhelmed right now is…” or “My greatest sense of stress right now is…” By having a dialogue and addressing the overwhelm head on, I work through rather than avoid it.
+ Schedule space. Imagine uninterrupted space with no meetings, no email answering and no inputs driving you. Feels good, doesn’t it? Block off a chunk of time each week for thinking, creativity, writing, or whatever it is that you feel called to do. Follow your curiosities and let intuition and inspiration lead the way.
+ Artist Date. Speaking of creativity and space, a key part of Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, a book dedicated to helping you unlock your highest creative potential, is Artist Dates—a two-hour block of time set aside for nurturing your inner artist (we all have one). The whole point of these dates is receiving—opening yourself to insight, inspiration and guidance. Ask yourself: what is the child within me craving? What play date do I want to take myself on? Schedule it in the next week and go do it. This has shown up for me in the form of free form yoga dance, painting ceramics, art gallery visit, longggg walks, sunset bike ride, and so on.
And that is how I break free from overwhelm. What helps YOU get out of daze and into flow? Let’s jam in the comments below.
Hello first Monday in the second month of the New Year!
Have you paused to reflect on how your intentions are unfolding in 2014? Are you looking to January as a benchmark for how the rest of your year is evolving?
My first month of the year was — how shall I put this? — effing intense. Between a new site in production, a creative collective with ten powerful creatives and entrepreneurs launching today (Whee!), a book concept coming together, trying (ahem, failing) to write here each week, and travel for workshops and love, I found myself in full on hustle mode, challenged to get everything done WHILE enjoying the process.
Some days I flowed like a river downstream, experiencing such profound joy that there was nothing in the world that I’d rather be doing. (Kind of like right now.) Other days I threw things across the room and screamed at the top of my lungs. I was a bit surprised and delighted when Farhad looked at me curiously and replied to my antics with, “Feel better now?” (Oh yes. Muchhhh better.)
Looking back on the days when I was alive and on fire compared to the days when I was throwing things, there’s one simple ritual that repeatedly got me into a zone of joy and flow.
It all boils down to: the first hour of the day.
That first sixty minutes sets the intention for your entire day. (And if you’re thinking “I don’t have 60 minutes,” we’ll get to that in a minute.)
Some days I’d wake up, check my phone, feel inundated by email, begin replying in bed, distract myself from emails by going on social networks… and quickly find myself in a less than ideal headspace. (Sound familiar?)
Other days I’d wake up, get my cuddle on, make a cup of tea, do morning journaling, set intentions and define success for the day, go for a brisk walk, grab a green juice… and quickly find myself lost in the beauty of the moment, not even bothered by Brooklyn’s chilly winds and growing snowfall.
Guess which day ended up leading to thrown objects and which ended up leading to flow?
Let me ask you this: do you want to start your day by honoring other people’s needs and demands? Or, do you want to honor and love yourself first, creating a sixty minute ritual that enlivens your spirit and supports you in fully showing up for the day ahead?
I know what you might be thinking. “I don’t have sixty minutes” or “I have somewhere to be that’s early.” Can you start with just ten minutes and see where that takes you?
So what does your sixty minute (or ten minute) morning ritual look like? Let’s define it and hold each other accountable in the comments.
How to close the gap between your creative talent and taste
On my fireplace mantel reads a mantra: Get out of the way and let the creative force work through you. Show up at the page and write down what you hear. Eavesdrop rather than invent. You don’t have to be in the mood. Just write … you aren’t doing it. Accumulate pages, not judgements.
It’s a reminder to show up at the page. To create the space for creative expression. To choose creativity over doubt. And most importantly, to allow it to flow through me. Getting into this space of flow and divine connection rarely happens right away. It takes time. It takes a quantity of writing to reach a quality of expression.
A few weeks ago my friend Dan Cohen was in town and we caught up for a drink. If you don’t know Dan, he works with Apple by day and shoots photos and puts on photography shows by night and weekend. His pictures speak to my soul. Give me goosebumps. Inspire me to explore and adventure.
While he was in town, he wanted to snap a photo of me. I was delighted to experience his creative process and discover that it took 34 photos, four breaks, and one too many New Yorkers crossing our path to capture that perfect frame and moment.
It’s just like writing for me. All day every day I journal and take note of my observations, experiences, interactions and insights. It takes hours, and often days, before the dots connect and lead to one of those “OOO I need to write about that” or “THIS is exactly what I need to do next” moments.
No matter your art form (painting / photography / writing / designing / coding / thinking / ideating / dancing and so on), a quantity of expression will lead to the quality you aspire toward. Or as This American Life host and producer Ira Glass says, “The most important possible thing you can do is do a lot of work.”
It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close the gap between your taste and your talent.
So what are you creating this week?
p.s. The Unmistakable Creative recently interviewed me about my vision, creative process and that sort of thing. You may enjoy it here.
How do you feel when someone asks, “What do you do?”
Does it spark frustration? Confusion? Disinterest?
What if it that age-old question was one of your greatest opportunities for connection, spreading your message and moving your ambitions forward?
Trust me, I get it. We now live in an economy where many of us are doing more than one thing. Our description of working and living goes beyond a title and job description.
Doctor. Lawyer. Consultant. Designer.
Painter. Musician. Writer. Developer.
Mother. Father. Husband. Wife.
It’s not that simple anymore.
We have the husband and consultant who works from home, creates and sells art in his downtime, and volunteers with troubled youth.
We have the freelance writer who runs a farm-to-table dinner series on the side, and spends weekends on the farm.
We have the investment banker who travels and photographs the world in his free time, inspiring people to explore and play.
As our interests and doings become varied and multi-disciplinary, the ease at which we describe what we do lessens.
So how on earth can you describe what you do and do so simply? Let’s break it down into a real-life before and after example.
Him: So what do you do?
Me: I’m a writer.
// end conversation // end opportunity for connection //
Him: So what do you do?
Me: Everything I do is rooted in redefining Ambition. I’m interested in shifting the conversation from one of “Getting ahead” to one of “Coming alive.”
Him: Oh wow. That’s really interesting. What do you mean by that?
Me: We’ve been taught that in order to be successful, we must get ahead. But what happens is that we often lose ourself and what really matters in the process.
Him: I really connect with that. This is totally up my sister’s alley too. What do you mean by coming alive?
Me: To come alive is to tap into the truest and most natural expression of who you are, making sure your life is an expression of that. So I support people in shifting from fear-led decisions to heart-led choices, self-doubting to self-expression, focusing on competition to fostering collaboration, and chasing what’s next to fully experiencing what’s right now. That sort of thing.
Him: This is awesome. My sister needs to hear about this. She’s an amazing artist but self-doubt keeps blocking her. How do you go about doing this work?
Me: I write, speak, lead retreats and experiences for creatives and entrepreneurs, and occasionally work with the right inspired companies or individuals one-on-one. I’m also writing a book.
Him: Oh awesome! When and where can I buy this book?!
And off we go into soul-connected paradise…
In sharing what we do, when we focus on the mission driving us and why we do it, we create the opportunity to quickly connect in a deep and intimate way. We also increase our odds for moving our ambitions forward in an organic way.
"My sister NEEDS to be at your next retreat."
"I have an Editor I want to introduce you to."
"This conference sounds like a perfect place for you to speak."
Now it’s your turn. Are you ready to try out this new approach?
Start by answering and getting clear on this: What is the mission that I’m here to serve? And why do I do what I do?
For example: Maybe you work in healthcare but what drives you is removing the barriers around accessibility so you can create a world with more happiness. Maybe you’re a designer but what moves you is the power of love and supporting people in seeing their greatness. Or maybe you’re an entrepreneur who experienced a spiritual awakening, and now you’re motivated to show people the power of slowing down, being present and cultivating the joy within.
Your story is unique. And your message matters. Whatever it is that you do, there’s a reason for it. There’s a deeper force motivating you to show up day and after. There’s a nut you’re trying to crack in your own life. What is it?
If you get stuck or want to share, let’s jam in the comments below. I’m here for you.
That seems to be everyone’s favorite question lately. And my least favorite question ever.
It’s a question that leaves my shoulders stiff and my breathing tight.
"Um… we haven’t thought much about it yet," I say. "We’re thinking May 2015. Plennnnty of time to plan."
And then I change the subject.
After witnessing one too many of my stiff shoulders, tight breathing and quickly changing the subject reactions, I stopped to check in and ask myself: Why are we having a wedding? Why are we putting an enormous amount of time, energy and money into one day? How else can we spend this time, energy and money?
While I’m all for weddings if that’s right for you (and we’ll gladly savor hors d’oeuvre, drink one too many glasses of champagne, and dance the night away), it’s never felt right for me. I was never the little girl dreaming about her wedding day.
So after the epiphany, when Farhad came home, I sat him down, fully expecting push-back.
"Baby, I have something really important to share…."
"Yes…?" he says, with that oh-no-what-now look on his face.
"Why are we having a wedding? I really don’t want one. I already feel like I’m "married" to you!"
And to my surprise, he exclaims, “THIS IS WHY I’M MARRYING YOU! Or spending forever with you. Whatever we want to call it.”
And so we’ve stopped putting pressure on that one day.
We’ve stopped putting pressure on ourselves to serve what other people may want or expect, but not what we want or expect. That pressure limits possibility. It kills imagination. It stifles dreams. And it builds resentment.
As we’ve let go of the traditional notion of marriage, a whole new world of choices has opened up. Union and “marriage” is now a wild adventure, rather than an expected routine.
With this new lens on marriage, we’re exploring what aspects are meaningful to us, and how we can go about unifying our love in a way that aligns with who we are as a couple.
We see “marriage” in two ways.
First, there’s the contract. The LLC of love. The piece of paper that officializes our union, gives me permission to change my last name, and makes taxes less taxing.
Then, there’s the union of love. The deep commitment. The active expression of our unconditional love for each other. The celebration of our time together on this earth. The setting of intentions. The beginning of our family.
As we’ve started the brainstorming process of what this union might look like, we imagine three to six months of world travel, commencing the journey with a trip to the Courthouse. Saying sayonara with a flowy white dress in my suitcase, we’ll spontaneously discover the place that resonates with our hearts, minds and souls along the way. Then and there, I’ll put on the dress, we’ll step into our ideal scene and say our vows. The rest of the trip will be our honeymoon. When we return stateside, we’ll celebrate our love with family and friends.
In imagining our ideal union, we feel deep alignment, a rush of excitement and great anticipation. Isn’t that how weddings ought to feel? Isn’t that how life ought to feel?
I’m curious: where in your life are stiff shoulders and tight breathing holding you back from possibility and your wildest imagination? How can you view what feels like “have to” through the lens of “hell yes want to”?
"I feel like I’m pushing you away," I said to the love of my life just over two weeks ago.
His eyes glazed over, his body froze, and it felt like time came to a sudden halt.
I instantly burst into tears.
What followed was the most challenging conversation of our relationship. And the most beautiful awakening for us both.
In The Big Leap, Gay Hendricks talks about “Upper Limiting.”
We each have a maximum level of success, love, happiness, intimacy and pleasure that we think we can have in our lives.
When life is growing, expanding, improving, and going well, we unconsciously do things to sabotage ourselves, so we go back to the familiar place where we feel in control.
Simply put: we hold ourselves back from achieving our greatest potential.
So here I was in our relationship, feeling closer than ever, creating our home, planning future trips, writing frequent love notes and finding myself falling more deeply in love each day when I was suddenly overcome by a series of destructive thoughts:
What if Farhad stops loving me?
Gets killed in a car crash?
What if I am alone? Heartbroken? And sad?
Overcome with panic of what could be, I began to slowly distance myself from him—without even realizing it.
It was much safer this way. He couldn’t hurt me and he couldn’t leave me if I distanced myself first.
After he wiped away my tears and I brought his seemingly frozen body back to life through hugs and kisses, we committed to giving each other the space for reflection and introspection.
The next day, as I was flipping through books on my Kindle, I saw the cover of The Big Leap and a wave of relief overcame my body. I’m talking head-to-toe goosebumps. That’s when it dawned on me that I was upper limiting.
Immediately I whipped out a notebook and in pure detective style, traced back to the origin of my limit by asking, “Why do I fear Farhad leaving me? What is the root?” The answers that followed weren’t surprising: My father’s death in a car crash as a child, losing contact with a step-father, and a relationship that tore me apart in college.
In connecting the dots of my past, and realizing how they were showing up in my present, I now had the language to let Farhad in on my experience, and share how he could support me in breaking through with our combined awareness, unconditional love and understanding.
So the next time you find yourself distancing yourself from the one you love, getting sick in the middle of a huge and important launch, or spraining your ankle six weeks after hiring a personal trainer, ask yourself: Could I be upper limiting?
It just might be your path to profound clarity and forward movement.
This post was healing to write and scary as shit to share. Thanks to Farhad and Payal for inspiring and encouraging it, and Geada for reading the draft! Thanks to GNTLMN + William Hereford for the image.
What the need to be right prevents you from experiencing
"You’re being defensive," he said.
"No I’m not," I snapped back.
Ever find yourself in a similar conversation?
Yesterday I caught myself in that exact frame.
Defending my defensiveness, hearing only my truth, creating a story that “my way” was the right and only way.
Suddenly, ego stepped up to the plate to defend the “truth.”
The claws came out to protect what is “right.”
As I watched my open-mindedness rapidly shrink into a narrow lens, I took a moment to pause and reflect on the resistance and attachment that was bubbling up inside.
"What truth am I holding on to in this moment?" I wondered.
"What fundamental belief is this conversation challenging?"
"What actually happened and what story am I creating here?"
Stories. They are oh-so powerful and equally as dangerous.
Dangerous when our meaning of what is happening doesn’t match the reality of what is occurring.
Here’s an example.
My story: He is challenging my belief around authenticity and creative process. He is pushing me to do something overly calculated and unnatural.
The reality: He is sharing three strategies for organically and strategically spreading an idea. He is educating me on how to make content more relevant so it can reach and impact more people.
What my story prevented me from experiencing: Authentic connection. New insights. Business growth.
When the meaning we attach to a situation overrides our ability to see the good intent and listen, we shut down. We don’t listen. We stifle our expansion.
An old story: Prioritizing money and cash flow leads to greed. Therefore, money is not important.
The reality: Greed is an intense and selfish desire for wealth or power. Prioritizing money, with the right intent, will create sustainability and spread the idea further, enabling greater impact.
What my story prevented me from experiencing: Stability. Freedom. Impact.
An old story: I am not lovable. If I show him affection and let him know I am interested, he will leave me.
The reality: When I show myself affection and let myself know I am loved, I will be strong and radiant. I will never leave me.
What my story prevented me from experiencing: Acceptance. Intimacy. Big love.
Achieving alignment and inner freedom requires a diligent stepping back from conditions, biases, and destructive internal reactions of resistance, anger, jealousy and the like. When we see things as they are and recognize attachment to what we think is “right,” we open ourselves up to a whole new realm of possibility.
What old story will you let go of today? What new possibility will you step into? Let’s jam in the comments below.
One year ago, a soft whisper forever changed the course of my life.
It was early fall last year when a random pull to live in LA appeared in my thoughts and journal. An intuitive whisper said, “You are ready for love. LA will lead you there. Let love guide you.”
Mind you, I never pictured myself living in LA. It wasn’t on the list of places to go, let alone live. Realistically and logically, it didn’t make sense. The city is spread out, you need a car to get around, and I was already paying rent in Boulder. Plus, work was the focus and love was a distraction.
"LA is not happening!" I told myself.
In the days that followed, the whisper became so loud that the work before me dissipated into a blur.
LA LA LA LA LA LA.
You are ready for love. You are ready for love. You are ready for love.
Let love guide you. Let love guide you. Let love guide you.
It’s all I could think about.
Wondering whether or not there was wisdom to this hunch, I surrendered to the whisper and booked a weekend trip. I figured that going would either create the opportunity or cause the unrelenting whisper to fade away.
Descending into LA, the mountains revealed themselves. The ocean sparkled. The notion of living there felt exciting for the first time. What followed was the unmatched feeling of biking along Venice Beach, the perfectly cozy 75 degree sun rays, the tranquility of watching the sun dip into the ocean, and the delicious array of juice bars and organic eats.
I felt awe-struck.
On the last day, in a casual conversation with a new friend, I mentioned the possibility of spending a few months in LA. It turned out that she had a newly opened guest room in Marina del Rey and was looking to fill it soon. Simultaneously, another friend decided to move to Boulder and needed a place to stay.
It seemed too synchronistic to pass up.
Within a week, he moved into my Boulder apartment as I jetted to the beach. Less than three weeks later, I found myself in San Francisco where I met and fell in love with my now fiancé.
Call it fate, divine timing or coincidence, if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the last few years, it’s this: the more I ignore these pulls and hesitate, the more out of sync I feel with the flow of life. The more these soft whispers guide me, the more I find myself down a path I could have never expected or imagined. And when control is relinquished and intuition is trusted, time and time again, I find myself stepping into a path that feels like it’s been waiting for me all along.
You too have the ability to tap into this.
I turn this to you: what soft whisper has been pulling at you lately? What’s one step you can take to explore what lies beyond what you can currently see? Let’s explore in the comments below.
The ambition around this shared vision of shifting humanity is a beautiful world to live in.
More than ever, we crave meaning and purpose in our lives. We desire to be part of something bigger than ourselves.
I too have spent the last five years (and really, my whole life) carving a path toward meaningful work and leaving a mark on the world.
But in this desire to “change the world,” I found myself running down a never-ending path of more, better, and chasing what’s next.
While I’m all for growth and expansion, over the last year, I’ve felt ever-so-pulled to slow down, do less, and accomplish more of what actually matters. To heal and change from the inside out.
Sleeping eight hours. Cuddling. Moving my body for many hours each day. Yoga. Writing. Hours and hours and hours of writing. Teaching others how to rethink and redesign their lives. Family. Stopping to smell the flowers. Appreciating nature. Supporting friends. Travel. Holding hands. Studying life. Swirling a glass of wine.
In this I’ve realized that “changing the world” was never the right aim. My innate desire has always been to embody my message. To crack the nut of breaking free from template living to rethink and redesign every aspect of my life. To teach others how to do this too.
While I undoubtedly crave making a difference and creating impact, our message is only as strong as our ability to live it. Change is and always will be rooted in our ongoing healing, our ongoing evolution. And when we heal and evolve ourselves, we have the capacity to heal and evolve others.
Get the hell out of town. Burn a project down to the ground. Drink a bottle of wine. Ask everyone you know what they think you should do. 7-day silent meditation retreat. Shots. Shots. Shots. Tears. Tears. Tears.
What are your coping mechanisms?
Movement has long been mine.
Hop on a flight to Barcelona. Move to LA. Dash to Austin for a few weeks. Try Boulder. Get away in the mountains. Run to peace and quiet.
Movement, while experienced as speeding up to some, creates the feeling of slowing down. The distance allows me to gather my thoughts and gain perspective. The getaway creates the space for intoxicating solitude and nourishing retreat.
While many of my moves have been intuitive — a soft whisper to go there to receive a gift, a deep knowing to move to that city to experience an answer — lately, the only place I’ve needed to travel is within.
iPhone off. Cup of tea. Eyes closed. Heart open. Asking myself the questions I’d travel hundreds and hundreds of miles seeking answers to.
How will I love more and fear less today?
How will I show up for myself today so that I can fully show up for the world?
How can I spread this message to as many people on earth as possible?
Stillness. Silence. It can be created right here, right now. Here and now, the answers emerge.
A morning jog. Watching the leaves fall. Appreciating the crisp fall breeze. A subway ride. Vinyasa flow. An arousing conversation.
Movement too is right here, right now. Here and now, the more courageous pursuit.
Cracked open. Without a mask. Seen. Who you really are.
These are all characteristics of being vulnerable. But they kind of make you want to run under the covers and hide, don’t they?
Here’s the thing: the art of being vulnerable, of taking the mask off, of feeling the pain as much as the joy, of acting with no guarantees is a practice.
Just like you strengthen your muscles through lifting weights, you improve your writing through consistency, you learn new languages (or anything) through practice, vulnerability too takes patience and kindness with yourself. It requires ongoing effort and work.
We all have the ability to experience fully expressed lives and to connect authentically with the people around us.
Dare to lean into opportunities for expansion.
You know, opportunities like:
» Someone you care about is in a bad mood and you don’t know why. Maybe it’s late and you’re tired. Maybe you’re in the middle of a million things and have enough on your plate. In that moment, put everything aside and show up for the person you love. Say, “Hey, I feel like something is going on. I’m here for you and would love to hear about it.”
» You walk into a situation feeling intimidated, wanting to fit in and be liked. Rather than putting a shield up, be curious about everyone in the room. Ask questions. Discover raw opportunities for connection.
» You really want to say “No” but you feel like you should say “Yes.” Short-term discomfort outweighs long-term resentment and anger. Pause when someone asks you to do something, check in with your priorities and commitments, and ask whether or not you can / will / want to honor this commitment.
» Something you really want shows up. Saying “No” makes room for “Hell Yes.” When you get to “Hell yes” and then feel the “Oh shit, can I actually do this?” have the courage to say, “I want this. I’m going to explore and try. It feels uncomfortable but I’m going for it anyway.”
» Any time you experience pain and discomfort. Someone you love lashes out at you. Things don’t turn out as planned. You don’t get the client. She’s just not that into you. He’s just not that into you. Pain. Anxiety. Discomfort. Leave the bottle of wine and ice cream at the door. Give yourself the space to process it. To feel it fully. To work through it.
The world is waiting to see who you really are, without the armor.
Are you actively creating the world you want to live in?
About a year ago, I worked with a client who, as he put it, “looked perfect on paper.”
Harvard undergrad in Accounting + Harvard MBA. Top consulting firm. Investment banking overseas. World travel for work. More money than he knew what to do with.
He had a system for everything. From how he ate to his workout routine to how he planned his week to how he set and attained goals. (And he attained a lot of goals.)
It seemed like this guy had “everything.”
In our first session, he revealed the following: “I don’t eat sugar even though I love dark chocolate, I wake up and lift weights every morning at 4am even though I hate it, and I’m doing this work in hope that one day my dad says that he’s proud.”
His future seemed clear:
A distant relationship with his father.
No lady with whom he can go deep and be intimate with.
Wasted talent and potential.
Dying with a long list of regrets.
(We of course did not let this happen as we spent the next six months course-correcting. He’s now closer than ever with his father, madly in love, and using his talents for good.)
Here’s the thing: there’s nothing wrong with systems. They can be incredibly powerful tools in helping us get what we want. But that’s exactly what they are: tools. If the tool is constraining rather than freeing and limiting rather than expanding, it’s time to rethink the system.
Here are three signs you may need to adjust your systems for success:
1. You reach goals and wonder “That’s it?!” If you get to the end of your journey and aren’t feeling fan-fucking-tastic about where you were and how far you’ve come, what was the point of the marathon?
How do you want the journey to feel? How do you to feel when you reach the destination? How can you cultivate those feelings today?
2. Something feels missing. You’re so busy doing what you’re doing that you can’t remember the last time you looked around closely at the world you’ve created and are actively creating. How you spend your time. Who you spend it with. How you relate to others. How you care for yourself.
Look around. Is how you’re spending your time turning you and the world on?
3. You feel stifled and trapped. If your aim is fulfilled and joyful living, where your actions are contributing to society, your structures and systems and theories should ideally support your freedom versus stifle you. This goes for time management systems, planning tools, goal setting, fitness plans, etc. Anything you use to achieve a certain goal or reach success.
Is what you’re using to reach success nurturing you or stifling you?
I’d love to know: how have you used structure to create freedom, joy and love? What systems HAVE NOT worked? How have you adjusted them to work for you? Let’s jam in the comments below.
Last week, over a glass of wine, Farhad and I went deep into our personal updates. From how our day was to where we’re at overall to current highs and lows. We explored what was strengthening us and what was weighing us down.
In the middle of his update, I started to notice myself losing focus. It was one of those very head-y moments where I heard what he was saying but I was having trouble feeling what he was saying.
Suddenly, I stopped him and asked, “How are you feeling?”
His energy shift in that moment was so palpable. His eyes softened. His skin glistened. I felt the child within him emerge. I noticed him feel into his body.
And then he spoke with fluidity from his heart. I understood him deeply and felt more connected to him in that conversation than any other we’ve had to date.
"How are you feeling?" quickly led to "How do you want to feel?"
This spiraled into a planning session around how he wants his 32rd year to feel (he just had a birthday) and what it will take to get there. It has already led to noticeable small shifts that are creating his desired results.
"How do I want to feel?" is the most important question I ask myself.
How do I want to feel today?
How do I want to feel at this event tonight?
How do I want to feel in this client meeting?
How do I want to feel while working on this project?
How do I want to feel when I reach that big, scary goal?
The reason we aim to achieve anything is to feel a certain way. When we focus on the root of what we’re going after — how we aim to feel — we plan from our heart rather than our head. We focus on experiencing what we yearn for.
Personal example: Earlier this week I had a meeting that was making me feel a little nervous. I wondered if I was prepared enough and whether or not it would go well.
In the midst of these concerns, I whipped out a sheet of paper and wrote out the following:
"Tomorrow, I want to feel: Fully me. Filled with life and energy. Excited with possibility. Calm amongst any chaos. Energetically aligned.
How I’ll get there:
1. Share with Farhad that I’m nervous
2. Wake up and express gratitude. Do the “feel into my body” gratitude exercise.
3. Accept where I’m at. It’s all good enough. Now it’s time to BE YOU and ENJOY.
4. Yoga in the AM.
5. Freeform writing on the train.”
In doing this, my energy shifted from concern to ease, and I had clarity on how to achieve my desired feelings.
"How do you want to feel?" It’s one simple question that’ll change everything.
I’d love to hear from you: how do you want to feel today? Better yet, how do you want to feel in your life? Let’s explore in the comments below.
The first thing you notice when you look at something you’ve made is what you’ll improve the next time around. You’re working to close the gap between your talents and your taste. You spend a lot of time thinking about your future plans.
Yeah, me too.
Now, let me ask you this: when was the last time you acknowledged how far you’ve come?
Focusing on future growth and improvement is powerful. But so too is acknowledging where we’ve been. Happiness is not rooted in our future plans. It’s rooted in where we’ve come and the progress we’ve made.
In celebration of fall and the seasons changing, I decided to do something a little different yesterday. Rather than my usual future-focused envisioning and planning, I took a step back to see how far I’ve come over the last year.
And what I discovered surprised me.
I broke my life into five categories: Lifestyle + Work. Body + Wellness. Love + Relationships. Learning + Growth. Spirituality + Essence.
For each category, I wrote down what’s working (what I’m grateful for, what is inspiring and strengthening me, what brings me joy) and what’s not working (what’s draining me, where frustration lies, where I feel I’m falling short).
Lifestyle + Work was pretty straightforward. I spend a lot of time reflecting in that space. But where I noticed major shifts were in Body + Wellness as well as Love + Relationships. A year ago, I would have had a long list of “this is not working.” Today? Just a lot of love.
This realization provided me with an overwhelming sense of fulfillment and gratitude. It gave me confidence for working through some of the less inspiring areas of my life.
It made me appreciate the seasons of our life, constantly changing and presenting us with opportunities that will stretch us, sometimes confuse us, and ultimately shape us.
It showed me how every decision, trial and tribulation leading up to today was totally worth it and prepared me for now.
It helped me realize that when we celebrate our unfolding, we foster more growth.
Your turn: Grab a cup of tea and write out your highlights over the last year (or many years!) Go deeper and begin to explore what is and is not working in the various aspects of your life. How do you see the world differently now? What progress have you made? Where do you feel proud?
I’d love to know what you discover. Let’s jam in the comments below.
A few years ago, I got really serious about holistic health and wellness. I began paying attention to what I ate, where it came from, and how it made me feel after eating. I eliminated a lot of foods from my diet like refined sugar and anything processed. I experimented with veganism and didn’t eat meat for nine months. I stopped drinking for several months and resisted my many wine urges.
I started working with a trainer to up my fitness game and for a good stretch of time, woke up every single morning at 7:25am for bootcamp. 7:25am is absurdly early for me and I was angry every time my alarm clock went off.
Sacrifice. Discipline. Restriction. Those were the principles driving me. I was proud of my rigor and routine, and empowered that I was able to push myself in ways I had never stretched myself before.
But then I noticed an unexpected and interesting side effect: I no longer felt in tune with my instincts and intuition.
I had become so structured with what was a “Yes” food and what was a “No” food that I relied on the system more than what my body was telling me. I stopped feeling into my body for answers. I stopped noticing the internal cues that I had relied on for so long. I felt trapped.
Immediately upon realizing this, I went to the market, bought a bottle of wine, and savored the shit out of it.
I pulled out my journal and reflected.
What I realized is that sacrifice, discipline and restriction made every cell in my body shrink and every muscle cringe. The structure I had committed to was limiting, not nourishing. I was stifling my life force and depriving myself of the things I enjoyed and loved, which is the opposite of how I want to live.
Over the course of the next few months, I experimented more. But this time, with love, pleasure, abundance and nourishment in mind. Most importantly, I listened to the cues of my body and let my instincts drive. That is where the answers reside.
Now, I still don’t eat processed foods, avoid sugar most of the time, eat meat on occasion, and enjoy my wine in moderation too. Yoga is my church, long walks are my best friend and I’m always up for a nature adventure. Cooking at home is preferred and amazing meals out are enjoyed on occasion too. There are no set rules, just a lot of love and listening.
Is discipline and structure trapping you or setting you free? Are your systems of success nurturing you or stifling you? Are you experiencing more joy and fulfillment, or do you feel limited?
8+ hours of sleep. Cup of hot water and lemon. An Aha! inducing book-of-the-week. Yoga. Long walks. Heartstorming with inspired friends. Soul talk. Power session + breakthrough with a client. Journal and pen. 2 hours of uninterrupted morning creation time. Turning my phone off. The XX station on Pandora. A list of questions that turn me inward. New spaces and places. Getting on a plane. Subway rides. Nature. Holding hands. Doing things that scare the shit out of me.
What do all of these things have in common?
They inspire my Muse to show up. To send chills and goosebumps down my body, letting me know that my Soul is speaking. They send me running for a journal so fast so that I don’t forget the insight gained or breakthrough experienced.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from the art of creation, dancing with ambiguity, leaning into Resistance, and making love to the blank canvas, it’s this: the process of creating from that raw and connected place, in a way that turns you and the world on, is one in which you get to know your Muses’s desires and set the stage for her to enter.
Author Steven Pressfield refers to Resistance as the voices in our head telling us to be careful, slow down, and compromise. It’s the writer’s block and “stuckness” that happens when we’re working on our most important creative projects. The bigger and more important the dream, the greater the Resistance.
The only thing I’ve found to overpower Resistance is the Muse. When I am inspired and alive and nourished and connected and in flow, she is on fire and I cannot be stopped. It feels like an out-of-body experience where what is being expressed out of me is happening through me rather than by me. I experience this deep exhaled “WHEW” after making. Sometimes I’ll read over what I’ve written and feel unsure where it came from.
On the other hand, when I am tackling too much, spending too much time on things I suck at, not getting enough sleep, not moving enough, and not caring for my Muse, she is nowhere to be found. That’s when the Resistance is at an all time high.
I’ve gone months and months and months without my Muse showing up, without writing and creating from my Source, with a massive and saddening black cloud of “writer’s block.” Suddenly I’ll question my talent and abilities and well, everything. It’s painful.
But what I’ve come to realize is that in setting the stage for her (or him) to enter, there is a formula. There is a perfect combination of inspiration consumed + being in the right environment + creating the time and space for her to emerge.
And when she shows up, I nurture her. Make love to her. Answer to her callings. Care for her like I’d care for a newborn baby. And when I do this, she keeps coming back. Day after day after day.
Now it’s your turn to light your Muse on fire. Here’s how:
1. Get to know your Muse. Certain conditions are more optimal for your muse than others. Ask: What inspires your Muse to show up? What are the behaviors, actions, rituals and activities that set the stage for her to enter? Pay attention to when you feel connected to her and what provoked her to come play.
2. Schedule time for her to enter. What’s on your calendar? If you try to keep your most sacred time and greatest dreams off your weekly calendar, I’m gonna ask you to reconsider how you spend your time. Once you’re in the know with your Muse, schedule it.
3. Show up, consistently. Your Muse will feel disrespected if you don’t show up and commit to her. She will stop meeting you halfway. Remember that black cloud of blockage I mentioned earlier? Yeah, you don’t want that. Show up.
4. Have your tools in hand. Whatever it is that you use to create, have it with you. Notebook. Easel. iPad. Laptop. Whatever. Have it close. You’ll need it when she strikes.
I’d love to know, what helps you set the stage for your muse to enter? Let’s jam in the comments below.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve started working on a project that is near-and-dear to my heart. While I can’t talk about it yet (I’d rather show you), it’s what I consider to be “love work.”
I define “love work” as the creations that our soul yearns for us to make. It’s burning inside of you, you feel deeply pulled to explore and express it, and the creation process is one in which you frequently feel connected to your Source.
In stepping into this project — one that’s been with me, incubating in my mind and heart for many many years — I’ve noticed two ways of being that are showing up in the way I create.
First, there’s the Military Sergeant screaming commands.
"Prototype to be completed by 5pm on Friday!"
"Editorial to be completed by end of day."
"Five more emails. Right now. Give me five more emails!"
"30 minutes longer, and then you can go play."
"You will work all day Sunday to get this done."
Earlier this week, as I began saying “Sir, yes, sir” to these commands, I suddenly wondered, “who the hell am I reporting to?” Even though I’ve been working for myself for years, I began acting like I was working for someone else with a ticking time bomb strapped to my chest.
I took a step back and reflected on how I ideally want this process to feel. I imagined the times when I’m most in flow and connected to my Source. The mornings when I wake up, run to yoga, sweat my ass off in class, and grab a green smoothie on my walk home. I slowly walk through the Brownstone-filled streets of Brooklyn, feeling inspired by what I see, hear, smell and feel.
When I arrive home, I eagerly whip out my journal. Dozens and dozens of pages later, I’ve lost track of time, written two blog posts, experienced three breakthroughs, and further developed a launch strategy.
I’ve sent love notes to my favorite people, checked in on a few friends to see how their projects are going, and shot and sent a love video to Farhad. In anticipation for his arrival home, I run by the market to pick up veggies for us to cook that night. I randomly find myself in conversation with a stranger who sparks yet another breakthrough and writing idea.
A perfectly fulfilling and organically productive day. And it’s not even over yet.
This image of gently manifesting my gift with love and devotion caused a tingling in my chest. I now understood the conditions for which the process of creating the art nourished me as much as the giving of it to others.
That’s when the other side of my creator stepped in: the Goddess of Love.
She told me that deadlines are useless. Show up. Turn the music on. Light the candle. Make your cup of Ginger tea. Get cozy and naked in bed where you do your best writing. And create. The deadlines, the rules, the pressure — those things can wait. Or, they can die. This is your “love work,” created your way.
I now turn this love party to you:
1. What is your love work? What is your soul calling out for you to create? What do you feel magnetically drawn toward?
2. What does creating it “your way” look like? Feel like? What are the conditions for which you will feel at your best?
3) Who are the characters driving your creation? Name them. Get to know them deeply. (ie Military Sergeant + Goddess of Love)
Grab a cup of tea, a journal and reflect on these questions for 30 minutes, or as long as you’d like. The answers might surprise you. And I’d love to know what you discover. Share in the comments below and let’s start a dialogue.
"Something feels missing from my life but I can’t quite put my finger on it."
I can’t tell you how many times I hear some variation of that every week. (It’s a lot.)
I hear it from tech entrepreneurs who are on the verge of burn out. I hear it from writers who are experiencing a temporary block. I hear it from photographers who are making tons of money working with big brands. I hear it from designers who have a full plate of client work. I hear it from friends at Facebook, at Google, and at Apple.
After listening to unique story after story, and each person attempting to describe what is happening in their life, it dawned on me that what was missing from every single story was very simple.
“You are missing from your own story,” I said aloud to my friend the other day. “You’ve lost touch with yourself, and that’s what feels missing.”
He paused mid-sentence and thought about my observation.
"I have stopped writing," he said. "I used to write all the time. I’m also not working out as much. Actually, I’m not working out at all. I’m so focused on my company’s goals and vision that I’ve lost touch with everything else."
"How much time do you spend with yourself?" I asked.
"Close to none," he said.
"You are disconnected from yourself," I said. "THAT is what’s missing."
We live in a world that continually pulls us outside of ourselves. Between our work, achievement ethic, technology, relationships, and life responsibilities, our attention tends to be turned outward.
The more we turn inward, and deepen the relationship with ourselves, the more connected we become with our inner wisdom. When connected, we act on this wisdom more often. We make sure that our life is a representation of our values, needs and core desires, which creates a sense of meaning and purpose.
If you’ve felt out of touch, here are a three practices for getting re-connected:
1) Morning pages. Create an ongoing dialogue with yourself through journaling. I do this in the way of 3 “Morning Pages” of stream-of-consciousness writing by hand every morning. Learned from Julie Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way,” it creates clarity, comfort and coincidence.
"What will I write about for three pages?" you may be asking. While I think you may be surprised at how much is stirring inside of you waiting to be expressed, here are the prompts I use when I get stuck:
This morning I feel…
My soul longs to…
I keep feeling pulled to…
I’m most afraid of…
I’m most grateful for…
And then I let the writing go where it needs to go. No judgement.
2) 2-minutes to Mindfulness. Speaking of no judgement, mindfulness is “paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally,” as defined by Jon Kabat-Zinn.
I learned two mindfulness practices for regulating attention and getting in touch from Chade-Meng Tan’s “Search Inside Yourself.”
When feeling overwhelmed or out of touch, take two minutes and do one, or a combination of, the following:
Way One: Bring gentle and consistent attention to your breath for two minutes. That’s it. Start by becoming aware that you are breathing, and then pay attention to the process of breathing. Every time your attention wanders, just bring it back very gently.
Way Two: Sit without an agenda for two minutes. Life really cannot get much simpler than that. The idea here is to shift from “doing” to “being,” whatever that means to you, for just two minutes. Just be.
3) Personal Rituals. Get clear on energizing rituals that turn you inward. A few of my favorites include: morning visualization of how I want the day to feel and what is dying to be born, intention-setting jogs in the park, morning pages, savoring a cup of hot water + lemon, 2-hour blocks of creative time, and yoga.
What practices keeps you connected? I’d love to know in the comments below!
Confession time: My biggest challenge in business, and the area in which I screw up the most, is in creating big promises and commitments in the heat of excitement, passion and possibility, only to change my mind a week later.
Here’s what a typical brainstorming session might look like:
Me: What if we…
Them: Ooooo. What about?
Me: Omgomgomgomg. And then we’ll…
Them: YES YES YESSSSSS.
Me: Holy shit, and then we could…!
Them: And THEN this…!
Me: And this…!
Us: LET’S DO IT!
In the moment, it feels like the best idea and potential collaboration on earth. It feels like everything must be stopped to pursue this new, exciting path.
But then a week later either new information surfaces or priorities become more clear or something about it no longer feels right.
And then, I disappoint people.
And then, I become afraid of freely sharing ideas.
Can anyone relate to this?
I’ve been aware of this pattern for some time now but it’s only recently that I’m committed to breaking through it. Earlier this week, I reached out to a few wise friends (thanks Tony, Dhru, Tobias) for perspective.
I was immediately comforted by each of them with “Oh, I can totally relate” … “The worst time this happened was when” … “Here are two stories of the deeper meaning for me” … “Here’s how I’ve learned to navigate this.”
In reflecting on their approaches and strategies, as well as my own thoughts, here’s what I’m committed to, which may help you too:
1) Set expectations. Moving forward, in the heat of the moment, I will not make commitments. I will continue to freely share ideas and get all euphoric and shit, but! I will set an expectation by saying something like “This is really interesting — I’m not committing to anything right now — but let’s explore!”
2) Revisit later. The next day. The day after that. Maybe even a week later. I’ll revisit the ideas once I have a more grounded perspective.
My friend Tobias said that our decisions about things come from our aggregate feeling on something over a period of time. The longer we have a good feeling about something, the more likely we should definitely do it. (I love this.)
A good rule of thumb: Duration of good feeling = good decision.
3) Commit to Small Experiments. I’m a huge believer in the power of experimentation. It takes the fear out of decision-making and enables you to gather more information over time. It’s only through taking action that we can see, feel and experience whether or not something resonates with us, and whether or not it will further our larger mission.
Similarly, with ideas and collaborations with others, small experiments provide the space to try and see, and to experience whether or not it’s a good fit over time.
If I revisit it later and it feels aligned with priorities, goals, and larger purpose, I will commit to small experiments to realize what’s possible.
Have you experienced this challenge in business? What strategies have helped you? I’d love to know in the comments below!
How often do you wake up, grab your phone, check your email and Facebook, and let those inputs drive the direction of your day?
(Slowly raises hand.)
This morning when I woke up and reached for my phone, I stopped myself mid-reach.
"How can I approach this day more mindfully?" I wondered.
Rather than my normal get-inundated-by-the-world morning routine, I decided to spend fifteen minutes visualizing the day by diving into a series of questions.
"How do I want today to feel?"
"How do I want to show up for the world?"
"How can I be of service?"
"What is dying to be born?"
"By the end of today, I will feel inspired and fulfilled when…"
I left the exercise shaking with anticipation for the day, feeling more alive and enthused and aligned than any recent morning I could think of.
"BRING IT ON, TUESDAY!" I thought.
This got me thinking… the quality of our life is a function of the quality of the questions we ask ourselves.
Quality questions = Quality living.
The questions we ask shape our thinking and emotions, which ultimately influences our actions. They take us into a place of possibility or impossibility, of gratitude or victimization, of solutions or roadblocks, of light or of darkness. At any point, we can shift the direction of our life by asking better questions.
Example: when circumstances don’t meet your expectations or things don’t go according to “plan,” have you ever felt frustrated and wondered, “Why is this happening to me?”
The path of that question is A) I am victim and B) I am not in control of my destiny. It quickly leads down a rabbit hole of blaming and complaining.
What if, instead, you asked, “What is life mirroring back to me?” Or, “What am I learning from this situation?”
Instant perspective is gained. Clarity emerges.
If you do catch yourself heading down the “Why is this happening to me?” path, pause and ask, “Are my thoughts hurting or healing me?”
Real-time intervention. Awareness arises.
Asking quality questions is a proactive and powerful way of solving our own problems.
If you think about it, the vast majority of the day is spent on the process of asking questions. From what time you’ll wake up to whether or not you enjoy something to why you’re here on earth, questions guide our life.
Here are a few of my favorite scenarios and questions that bring me into a place of possibility, positivity and imagination:
When starting a new project:
Where will I break the rules?
How do I want to feel in the journey of creating this?
What am I willing to give up to pull this off?
When thinking about success:
What is my definition of success? What does success feel like?
How do I want the world to shift having lived in it?
When do I feel most aligned and enthused and inspired? How can I do more of that?
When arguing with someone I love:
Am I being defensive?
Am I pushing to be right for the sake of being right?
How can I show up as the caring, thoughtful and loving partner/sister/friend that I am?
Ready to commit to asking quality questions? I leave you with this challenge. All you need is pen, paper and an open mind.
Here’s how it works:
1) Record. Throughout the day, do your best to be aware of the questions that cross your mind. Write them all down.
2) Reflect. At the end of the day, reflect on the list and notice the patterns. Pay close attention to the questions that are not serving you and circle those.
3) Shift. For every question circled, come up with new, healthier and more productive questions to ask. Dwell in those new questions. Close your eyes and open your mind. Experience how that new question shifts your realm of possibility.
I’d love to know, what questions have proven to be powerful in your life? Leave a comment below and let me know your experience.
The process of making anything happen and birthing a dream is a lot of work. It requires hustle. But, there’s a fine line between challenging and soul-sucking. There’s a fine line between “I genuinely care and will move mountains for this” and “I feel like a crazy person with resentment building at an all time high.”
I hear it all the time:
"If I just apply myself more and work harder, I’ll learn to love this."
"This client drives me out of my mind but I need the money."
"She’ll change. I just need to love her more."
"I’ve burned so much time handholding but they are such good people and mean well."
"We’ll be an amazing team once he has time to work through the never-ending drama that keeps coming into our working relationship."
While I’m all for optimism and positive thinking — and am usually the first one to say, “How can you change the way you’re thinking about this?” — sometimes we need to get real about what sucks, isn’t working, doesn’t resonate, and will not fly.
Sometimes we need to stop the bullshit stories in our head around how someone will change, learn to understand us more, give us what we need, or show up differently.
Sometimes we need to let go, pull the plug, bring it to rest, and move on.
Author Ray Bradbury says, “Learning to let go should be learned before learning to get. Life should be touched, not strangled.”
There are few things more satisfying than the breath-of-fresh-air and surge of truth that comes along with getting real and letting go. It’s when you get to that place of raw honesty with yourself that the wave of clarity and ahhh-that-feels-so-right rolls in.
When is it time to get real with yourself? Here are some red flags:
Clogged drain. After leaving a conversation, do you feel like you need to crawl into bed and sleep it off for 48 hours, or do you feel a bolt of energy and possibility? If you feel like you can fly, keep that person close. If you’re running toward recovery, it’s time to phase them out.
Playing hero. When you’re the hero and the other person is the victim that needs saving, you may be inclined to stay involved far longer than you’d like. All you’re doing is feeding your ego. Continuing to stay is both harmful for you and them. You’re preventing them from taking responsibility, learning and moving forward.
Fake motivated. It’s natural to want to maintain harmony and peachy-ness. But, if you’re walking into the office Monday morning singing “I just LOVE Mondays!” after anxiously trying to fall asleep the night before, it’s time to have a chat with yourself about what you really want. Pay attention to what you say aloud and how it feels in your body. If you feel tightness, you’re not being honest.
Blaming and complaining. You know those moments when everyone in your life knows about how much that client/relationship/project sucks except for the person(s) involved? Yep. That’s good for no one. Time to get real.
Where are the signs? When you’re speeding down “This is where I’m meant to be” highway, the signs are everywhere. You’ll experience one synchronicity after another, one meaningful coincidence after the next. When the signs are missing, it’s time to ask: What’s life mirroring back to me?
You know those big dreams you have? The lifestyle you imagine and want to be living? The impact you aim to create on our world? The revolutions that are stirring in your heart? The only way to make them happen, and to create the space to allow them to emerge, is to let go and phase out what isn’t serving you. What you stop doing is just as important as what you initiate.
When you stop attending to what sucks and drains you, you create the room to create from your deepest and most raw place of truth.
I leave you with this exercise: Pull out of a sheet of paper and put a line down the middle to create two columns. Label column one “This sucks and is not working.” Label column two “This freaking rocks.” Get realllllllly honest with yourself about what sucks, weighs you down, and drains the shit out of you. Write it all down. Get reallllllly clear on what rocks, lights you up, and gives you lots of energy. Write it all down.
Now, ask yourself: What will you stop doing, effective now? What will start doing more of, effective now?