Ever want something that ended up being a VERY bad idea in the long run?
I have. Juuuuust a couple of times (wink, wink).
There was a time when I thought lots of vodka was a good idea. Dancing for dollars seemed perfectly fine at one point in my life (why not? I mean at age 22 that meant—$$$$, minimal clothing + vodka). Driving fast was a passion of mine. Then of course, there were those relationships that were destined to fail from the get-go.
And in hindsight—not such wildly great ideas.
Yes, yes, yes—I get that our mistakes can be great teachers. And that sometimes our greatest life lessons come out of our struggles. But can you relate to wanting less struggles and more victories?
No one needs more struggles. Not-a-one-of-us.
The art of knowing what you want and desire is a critical piece of the happiness puzzle (and success, health, wealth puzzle as well).
And sadly—many of us may think we know what we want, when we really aren’t clear (or are hugely misguided about wanting things that are NOT GOOD for us). In addition, most of us simply aren’t taught how to find out what truly lights us up and makes us happy to jump out of bed in the morning.
So how do we get there? How the heck do we really know what we want and if it’s good for us?
Knowing what you want requires awareness, commitment and self-exploration (brace yourself . . . . here comes the self-helpy part!)
It requires you ask a few critical questions—
- Do you currently feel happy with your life? And not just a superficial happiness, but a real, true inner happiness. It’s a feeling and sense of being connected to something that really lights you up and makes you feel alive.
- If you were on your death bed would you have regrets?(I know, it’s a bit dreary, but it is also one of the most efficient ways to get an honest answer.) Things you wished you would have done more of? Less of? The best way to discover if you are living a life in alignment with what you want—is to think of how you might feel if you knew your days were numbered.
- What are you tolerating in your life? In other words, what things are you doing that you really don’t want to do. What feels more like a “have to” rather than a want to? Sure someone has to scrub the toilet and take out the trash, but I am talking about bigger life things—our careers, our relationships, the overall state of our well-being. What are you tolerating that really is energetically holding you back from being an energetic match to what you want? If you are tolerating many things, you are NOT in an energy of allowing.
Asking these few questions, can get you a bit more on track to really knowing what you want in your life. These are the first steps.
And to stay true to you desires, you must stay accountable to them.
Try the following to stay dialed into your desires and to stay true to them.
- Create a yearly, month and weekly calendar which addressees your desires. What do you want to accomplish, what do you want to acquire, how do you want to feel? Be specific, or just have a general them for the month or year. Create something that works for you! For example, I have a theme for the year and I create a theme for each month. I also start each day with a ” today I choose________” statement. That way I am setting the tone for the day. I am making a choice to feel, happy, content, joyful, content, etc….
- Aside from the practical “to-do” items, a critical piece to getting clear about your desires is quiet time to reflect. You can get a crystal clear vision of your desires when your life feels frantic, chaotic, loud and busy. Take time to walk, quiet the mind, mediate for 10 minutes a day and get out in nature. Do those things that help you slow down, get clear and centered. From this grounded place, your true, healthy desires will shine through.
- Stay accountable. No one is going to do this for you. Your choices= your life. Choose to do the same things you have always done and nothing will change. Choose to step out of your comfy zone, make minor changes and reap huge rewards in the long run.
The art of knowing what you want is another layer of awareness. It’s a practice in slowing down, getting quiet and really listening to what your soul wants.
Knowing what you want is power. It’s the launching pad to increased intuition, a miracle mindset and elevated manifesting abilities (and this is when it gets super fun!)
And trust, me—it’s just way better than a life of chaos + bad choices.
I know some self help books can get sort of (yawn) BORING. But I do have a list of favorites that have helped me personally to achieve greater wealth, health + happiness.
My Top 10—
- Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brene Brown. I love this book because it deals with two things that are very close to home for me—courage and vulnerability. All of Brenes books are amazing, but this one really spoke to me. If you are ready to ditch feeling small and incapable and ready to recognize your true potential—give it a read!
- The Game of Life and How to Play it (Prosperity Classic) by Florence Scovel Shinn. This book is super old school, but well worth a look. The author show you how to increase your results in your life with the power of the spoken word. It’s basically manifesting 101 using the power of words. There is a strong Christian slant to it, but I consider myself to be more spiritual than religious and I still go back to this book again and again.
- Fire Starter Sessions by Danielle LaPorte. What’s not to love about Danielle? I also love her most recent book The Desire Map, but Fire Starter Sessions in my favorite! This book got me totally fired up and ready to create.
- Carry on Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life by Glennon Doyle Melton. This is part self-help and part memoir. Glennon’s book was one of those that I couldn’t put down—from start to finish. I could relate so much to her (funny and frightening) stories about addiction and downward spiral. The book is really worth the read if you’ve ever struggled with self worth issues, addiction or shame/guilt in your life. She also has an incredible online community called Momastery.
- 7 Habits of Highly Successful People by Stephen Covey I love this book because it has a lot to do with my topic of CHOICE! I think I first scanned this book on my dads book shelf way back when. It’s old school and highly worth the read. This book consistently makes it on many “best books” lists.
- The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace T. Wattles This book is somewhat of a cult classic and is along the vein of Think and Grow Rich and The Richest Man in Babylon (also great reads . . .) This book gets into the psychology and mindset of creating abundance. If I notice myself slipping into old patterns, I pick this one up again and get back on track.
- The Law Of Attraction: The Basics of the Teachings of Abraham by Esther and Jerry Hicks. I first learned about manifesting and law of attraction through the Abraham-Hicks material and it has changed my life. They were really the pioneers of LOA and manifesting (even though The Secret would claim otherwise). All their book are great and truly helpful if you believe in LOA and manifesting (try it, it just may change your life!)
- Boundaries: When To Say Yes, How to Say No by Henry Cloud. I added this book to my kindle awhile ago and forgot about it (hmmm, interesting how sometimes we block out the things that would be the most helpful) This book is CRITICAL for anyone who struggles with healthy boundaries.
- Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. What’s not to love about Elizabeth Gilbert? Her book, Eat, Pray, Love was such an inspiration and Big Magic is another great read by this author. I had a chance to see her recently on her book tour for Big Magic and I love her take on living a creative life.
- The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. This is just a must. When you can get to the place when you are operating your life from the “right here, right now” place—you win.
I have about 50 more I could add to this list, but I chose these as my top 10 because I feel each one of them has had a significant impact on at least one area of my life. The key with any sort of self help or personal development tools—is to make the choice to actually USE them.
They can’t work if we don’t work them.
What are some of your top self-help or non-fiction books? I would love to know!
Who doesn’t have problems?
Who doesn’t have concerns, worries and frustrations?
Most of us, living on this planet have an issue every now and then (understatement).
We have health concerns, environmental concerns, money issues, relationship frustrations, car problems, boss problems, cranky kids—life problems.
It’s not perfect or pretty (or seemingly fair) all the time. Not even.
Sometimes life just gets messy (as in red-hot mess, messy)
And in the not so distant past . . . that has bothered me a tad. It had me asking big questions like—
- Why are we even here if it’s such a struggle?
- Why do we get on such a great life high— only to have shitty things happen?
- Why cant it just be easier?
- Why are people so insensitive (or worse)?
- Why can’t we all just be born with lasting heath, endless supplies of money and unquestionable values, morals and common sense?
Most of us ask these questions (or similar versions or these) at some point.
We all get hurt and we all find ways (hopefully) to rebound when life deals us an unwanted hand.
And what if . . .
—the problems we have are merely opportunities to grab ahold of an even bigger, more profound level of joy, happiness, health and abundance?
—the struggles, pain and hurdles are simply minor road bumps that (with patience, compassion and maybe a couple bottles of good vino) can propel us closer to living our desires?
What if the problem has a purpose?
Because haven’t you noticed that when you experience something challenging and you approach it from the “glass half full” perspective—you come out the other side of that with a greater sense of knowing, faith and acceptance?
When you can make peace with what is + see the potential gift in the problem—you win.
It comes down to this—you have two choices in regards to how you handle snafus, issues, drama + problems—
- You can see every problem a gift. You can see perceived problems as beautiful opportunities for an even deeper sense of acceptance, love and faith. You can see your health issues, your money issue, and your relationship issues—as a great big chance to get super honest and real about what you are truly feeling and thinking in life. It’s a chance to be 100% accountable for your energy.
- Or there’s always choice two. Choice two is to stay stuck, give into the problem, believe it and go down the rabbit hole of despair, disease, distrust and fear. Choice two is the one that perpetuates the lie that we are powerless. Choice two, if we don’t learn from it and turn it from foe to friend—is the one that can wreak havoc on your otherwise incredible life. This choice moves you further away from the life you want. It’s simply the choice to survive (or nose dive) get by, exist and feel more as a victim in life.
You have two choices—to thrive or survive.
And when you choose well (in spite of what trials and tribulations are manifesting in your life)—you turn your problem into pure passionate potential.
Bad ass, unwavering, passion-filled potential.
When you decide to make peace with the problem—you say ‘yes” in an even bigger way to your desires.
It’s how we create miracles. It’s how we go on when the going gets tough.
So next time you feel irritated, annoyed or let down, ask yourself—”what is this problem teaching me, or asking me to step into and how can I learn quickly, efficiently and lastingly?”
Because don’t we all want to learn, move on, grow and be better than we were the day before?
Don’t we all want to be happier, healthier, wealthier and more in alignment with our souls truth?
I say yes.
Bucket loads of love, goodness + joy your way.
“The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude.”
– Friedrich Nietzsche
So I’m not really going to write about the art of being a whiner, in the sense that I really think it’s an art—and to be appreciated or revered like the Mona Lisa.
Rather, I want to whine about the whiners.
And if you don’t know what the official definition of a whiner is, see below and thank you to the almighty Merriam Webster—
- a person who makes frequent complaints usually about little things
I think we could expand that definition to include big things as well. There are plenty of people who make a habit out of whining about the big things—taxes, politics, environmental and social issues, etc.
But the MAJOR difference I see between whining and constructively bringing awareness to “big” topics —is that whining generally doesn’t involve any sort of solution and it tends to be a repetitive pattern–sort of like a broken record.
I mean, most of us don’t LOVE taxes, but is whining about it 24/7 really doing anything? No it isn’t.
Yes, we can bring awareness to important topics, but in order to fix a perceived problem—we have to quickly switch our predominant focus (vibration) to solution based thinking.
The truth is—we’ve become a society of chronic whiners. And why is that? We have more “stuff,” more supposed freedom and more choices than ever before—yet we whine, we whine and we whine a little more.
We complain about little things like our iPhone reception, the horrible wifi connection, the traffic, how much we don’t like our ______our_______and our________. And we complain about the larger, much more pressing issues—but it seems few actually get out in the trenches and do something about it.
We like to complain A LOT for a society that supposedly has A LOT. So . . . .maybe it’s not the stuff that makes us happy (big hint).
Or maybe it’s that the complaining is actually a pretty big clue that our lives are—
- out of balance
- not appreciated enough
- or a big combination of both
The point is—if you care anything about living a life that is energetically awesome, joy filled and full of things you love—whining won’t be instrumental in getting (or keeping) you there.
Whining ruins things. Whining makes you feel icky. It is an insidious little jerk that winds up sucking the sparkle and light from your soul.
So, what this article is really about isn’t the art of whining—it’s about the art of appreciating.
Because appreciating is really the opposite energy of whining. And appreciation is what gets you happy, healthy, abundant and just basically like a puppy frolicking in a spring meadow full of flowers (I know, it’s dorky, but isn’t it a cute visual?)
Here are 4 simple tips to turn a bad case of the whines into a better case of appreciation and gratitude (because this is what gets you the goods)—
- Pay attention. Most people are super detached from who they really are and how they are showing up in life. Choose to pay attention to the overall vibes you are putting out into the universe. Committing to becoming more aware of what you are offering is critical.
- Notice patterns and major “themes” that you tend to repeat. Do you manage to feel a great deal of gratitude in certain situation or at certain times? And in other situations, notice it heads south into the deep, dark abyss of whiner-land? Note those times that you feel deep gratitude and appreciation and—DO THAT MORE. And note those times you head towards the dark side and—DO THAT LESS.
- Appreciation journal. Create an appreciation journal and before you go to bed every night and write down what you appreciate in your life. If you’re too tired or lazy to do this—go back to step one and start over. The more you find to appreciate, the more to appreciate will find you.
- Practice, commit and repeat. Turn these simple few steps into a new habit. It only takes about 30 days to change a behavior and the same amount of time to create a better habit.
You can’t fix a problem by putting the majority of your energy and focus on what’s wrong. You fix a problem, big or small (world hunger or a hangnail)—by focusing on the solution and then bringing action and appreciation into the mix.
Is it idealistic (or nearly impossible) to try to find something to appreciate in the face of something painful or horrible? Yes, it can be. But it’s the key to being able to change it. Plus, it just feels way better than staying stuck in feeling bad, powerless, frustrated, angry or resentful.
Let’s choose to create habits and ways of being that support living beautiful lives—lives that we find more to appreciate and be grateful for than we do to complain about.
Lives that our dear grandmas would be proud of.
Here’s to you! I know you will choose wisely.
Talking about a spiritual awakening is either going to make you—
1. Squirm —and make you run away and never come back (either because you are already fully awakened, you think it’s nonsensical woo-woo, or you are choosing to stay stuck in your comfort zone) There may also be some eye rolling and you may say to yourself “these PEOPLE and all their talk about spiritual crap, the light, the crystals, the patchouli (yuk!) the warm and fuzzy—ENOUGH ( I still heart you, I loathe patchouli, am not particularly warm and fuzzy, I swear, eat meat and don’t compost…..and yes, I am highly spiritual)
2. Perk up—and dive right in with me (because you get excited just hearing the words “spiritual awakening,” are mildly annoyed, but curious or just like diving in!)
First off, what is a spiritual awakening?
A spiritual awakening is a very personal opening and awareness of your intrinsic connection to a higher power which you may call God, the Divine, your spiritual Guides, the almighty, universal energy (or whatever word you associate with your creator)
And if you don’t believe in a higher power, then your spiritual awakening can be that thing that makes you feel more alive, connected and authentically YOU.
You without the mask, the layers, the wounds, the baggage and the stories that you carry with you that hold you back from being, having and doing all the amazing things you are here to do in this life. Maybe it’s being in nature that makes you feel spiritually awake. Maybe it’s playing with your dog, being with your loved ones, traveling, working out, yoga. There is something out there that just makes you feel more alive.
That thing that makes you feel more you, more alive, more LOVE—is the very thing that will help you have a spiritual awakening.
This “waking up” can make us feel all sorts of different things such as—
- fear + apprehension
- tiredness and wanting to sleep more
- restlessness–a desire to move, shift, change . . . GO!
- increase in dreams, intuition + synchronicity
- physical changes in your body like more sensitive to light, sounds, energy
- a deep desire to spend more time in nature
- more meaningful and stronger relationships with certain people and a complete disconnect from others
- a sudden increase in ideas, thoughts and creative energy
- increased (healthy and conscious) sex drive
- a call and sincere desire to be of service in the world
What are the signs that could mean you are ready for a spiritual awakening?
Really any of the above listed items, with the addition of boredom, grouchiness, extreme disconnection, depression . . . any extreme change in behavior or feelings can indicate that we are disconnected from our soul and those extreme feelings are a great (although they may not feel that way) indicator of our need to wake up and connect with our souls calling.
But it doesn’t have to be a big bummer or negative that leads us to that path.
We can be super happy, feel alive and aware, but just feel a need to go DEEPER.
Listening and discerning are the keys to being able to have a spiritual awakening. I think most of us know when our lives are out of balance and we feel shitty. I think most of us know when we are on track and feeling connected.
Discern, listen and pay attention to what your soul/sprit is trying to say to you. You always have support. You are always connected to the divine. It’s just a matter of choosing to see the truth in that and then also choosing to say YES to that calling.
Choose the awake version of your life. It is far, far, far more satisfying and magical than the mundane, blah version.
I won’t close with “in love and light” because that may be FAR too warm and fuzzy, but I will tell you I care, I believe in you and I know that mounds of miracles are possible for you.
How we stand out in our communities, our careers and even our families . . . . doesn’t have to be obnoxious to matter.
Sometimes, we may think that in order to stand out, we have to be different or to force ourselves to act in a manner that isn’t truly who we are. And when I say “stand out” I don’t mean the kind of stand out that people get from being obnoxious , rude or pushy.
I am talking about that authentic charisma that is a result of finding, honing and standing in your 100% authentic, raw, real truth.
The NO BS truth.
3 ways to stand out WITHOUT being obnoxious, rude or pushy—
1. Be real. Yep—you are enough, you matter, you have a special something, something that no other human has. Just be you!
2. Know thyself. How can you be real if you don’t know who you are? Honestly, this is the first step. You gotta spend time being with you, understanding you, knowing what you love/don’t love, desire/don’t desire. You need to spend time honing in on exactly what it is that makes you tick, tock and transcend.
3. Be courageous, take chances, be a big weird-o. You can’t be “in your zone” and move onto your next level of growth and awareness when you are stuck in the same comfort zone. Standing out may require you move through some fears, take some chances and put yourself out there (and yes, you may get rejected! It’s ok, remember #1—your are enough)
Our lives have become over busy, right? And what we need to do, is calm down, get clear about what we desire and then we need to choose that—daily. Daily choosing what we love and then rinse, repeat and revisit.
If you want love, choose to love and be as much about love as you can be.
If you want a bigger e-mail list or to sell more books—then how about just being super real and connecting from that place that is really you. Do it because it radiates YOU so deeply that people can’t say no.
Do it from the inner depths of your sweet little soul.
Dig deep, breath into the essence of you really are–you light filled super human you—and then let that shine through in your work, your love, your interaction with the check out clerk, the way you talk to your kids, the energy you infuse into you food, your home, etc…..
YOU GET TO CHOOSE HOW YOUR LIFE LOOKS AND HOW YOUR LIFE FEELS. IT’S ALL YOU BABY.
So choose, choose, choose wisely (and courageously, lovingly and with purpose)