Tuesday, July 26, 2016

5 Things Stopping You from Being Successful

Though we differ in many ways, and there are many reasons why we have yet to reach success—as defined respectively, the fact remains that most of us suffer from these five life-blocking sentiments:
  1. We’re afraid we’re not talented enough 
  2. We have fear of rejection
  3. We’re afraid it’s already been done
  4. What we desire is not important enough to make a change in other people’s life
  5. We’re afraid we don’t have the right degree or training

On some level we all do this; we all build our lives around the things we believe most about ourselves and the world. There's a saying that goes like this, “argue for your limitations, and you get to keep them.” Keeping this quote in mind, is this the kind of life you want to build? A life built around fears and limitations? Or do you want to build your world around knowing that anything is possible. That nothing can or should stop you because others that have come before you have done “it!”

This is what happens when we allow this type of thinking to control our lives:
  1. Because we think we’re not talented enough, we never try anything new. 
  2. Because we have fear of rejection, we don’t put ourselves out there.
  3. Because it’s already been done, we keep our inventions tucked away at the bottom of the drawer, or worse, in the corner of our minds until it disappears completely. 
  4. Because what we have to offer is not that important,—like say, savings lives, we don’t share what could possibly save someone’s life—like a song, a story, a favorite recipe, a dance that moves someone and awakens their souls. 
  5. Because we don’t have the right degree, we don’t apply for that job, or reach for that goal because, well, there’s no point really…. 
I suggest this, any time any of the above limited beliefs creep into your thought life challenge it by asking yourself this: What will I build my next hour around, fear or bravery? By bringing to the surface that you’re about to step on that fear track, it will shake you--alert that you’re about to play small. Never again allow fear to be the place from which your life is built. Instead be brave, take chances and live fully.

Till Next Time

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Jumping Before You're Ready

Are you waiting for the right moment to come before doing what you want? Say, take the vacation of your dreams. Move to a new city. Take a new job…

Most of us have this thing—big or small that we desire to do, yet we are holding off until the stars align. The problem with this is that we don’t realize that the moment our desire was placed in us, the stars have begun to align. These so-called stars will not truly form until we begin to take steps to fulfill our desire. But why is it that most of us sit back and wait for the perfect circumstances to appear before we take action? I believe fear is obviously at the root of this waiting game.
My Dream Vacation, London
The danger in waiting for the “perfect moment” is that IT may never come. There’s always going to be something that comes between us and that thing we want. If we allow fear to immobilize us, we may never achieve what we want, again big or small. We must be willing to jump before we are ready. 

In Lisa Nichols' book “Abundance Now” she gives an example of jumping before you’re ready.   She explains how people who jump out of planes jump out way before the parachute opens. “They fall a long way before achieving safety.  They have to give themselves this permission, to fall before they open their parachutes and soar.”

Nichols believes “jumping, regardless of the outcome is the real problem.” I agree with her. I believe this is at the core of why we sit by the side-lines, watching as others get to live the life we want. We are so afraid of the outcome, what if it’s not what I want? What if it’s exactly what I want and somehow my life changes? These thoughts confine us and make us live small.

We are all here to live the best life we can. Because by doing so, we are moving the world forward, as I previously stated in my blog Answering the Call of Inspiration.

Imagine this for a moment: Jumping before you’re ready.
The call to action this week is to simply do one thing you’ve wanted to do, and go for it without thinking of the outcome. You want to go swimming in the ocean but have been avoiding it because, well, doing so means wearing a bathing suit. And people will look at you! Simply go to the ocean and swim and don’t wait to lose the weight. Letting go of the outcome means forgetting those awful negative thoughts and just doing what you want in that moment. That moment of action will lead you to the next. Then the next. Until you are finally a person who doesn’t sit back and let life pass you by--waiting for the “right moment.” The right moment is now!

Till Next Time!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Is Being Right More Important than Being Understanding?

I’m of the belief that everything in our lives is a learning experience. However, it’s up to us how quickly the lesson is learned, if at all. With that in mind, I believe I’m in the process of learning a very valuable lesson.
For months I’ve been confronted with situations where the only rational explanation for what keeps happening is that each person involved is seeing things very differently than me. Given how very differently each person perceived each situation, is it fair to say then that one person is wrong and the other right? Could it be that each person is right AND wrong?

This business of “perspective” is the foundation from which our lives are formed. Perspective is the way we as individuals view the world, which ultimately dictates the decisions we make. Through our perspective we create our lives. We decide what type of lifestyle is acceptable. What dreams we deem attainable. What jokes we find funny. What type of people we like to be around and how we get along with others, among many other things.

Knowing how important perspective is, I’m beginning to see how UNIMPORTANT proving I’m right is. I’m fully aware that saying I’m right, is saying that the other person is wrong. And, since at numerous times in my life I’ve been accused of being wrong, I know exactly how that feels. I’m left thinking, how could I be wrong? I lay out my case in my head, and to others that will agree with me, only to confirm how right I am. It’s a very difficult space to be in: when you’re 100% convinced you’re right.

I’ve been thinking about this because not only have I been faced with such a dilemma, but others in my circle have too, as I suspect everyone in the world has at one point. If we can for one moment put aside that need to be right, then recognize that the person is not wrong but instead it’s just their perspective--based on the life they’ve lived, then we can move to a more important place, LOVE.

Being right is not more important than being LOVING, CARING AND UNDERSTANDING. Love is how each and every relationship should be handled. Love is Kind. Love is Patient. Love is Understanding. If we ever hurt another human being to the point of tears, it is our duty to be compassionate and open our heart to this person, pushing aside ALL PRIDE!

Luckily for me, the people in my life that caused me to shed tears over perspective have come around. And for that I am thankful!! Recently, someone in my family was incredibly hurt by someone’s perspective. This was a very valuable lesson for me. Forcing the need to be right is not only wrong, but CRUEL.  I’m constantly preaching about self-love, but, by no means does this mean forgetting about giving love and showing love to those that matter most in our life.

Call to action this week is this: I believe if we listen closely we'll know exactly what lesson we’re in the midst of. Listen, learn and move on.
Till Next Time!


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Like A Bird Set Free

Once upon a time I was going to be a singer. As a little girl, through my teenage years and through early adulthood I dreamed of a career in music. There was nothing I loved more than music, but I especially loved good vocals and good lyrics (this was my first insight into a passion I was yet to discover—writing).
My love for music led to a girl group with a couple of my friends, which led to ultimately meeting my husband—an amazing singer and music producer. But that’s where the dream stalls forever.  Though I loved singing and I spent hours upon hours in my room singing, there was one thing that came between me and my dream--Self-sabotage.

I allowed my negative talk to stop me from singing my song, from pursuing the dream in my heart. All I wanted was to sing, and to sing well. I didn’t even care if I made it famous, I just wanted to sing. But the more love I felt for singing, the more doubt I poured into myself. I would constantly say that I couldn’t sing. I would declare it to the world and felt sorry for myself for it. I hated that I was given this passion for singing yet I couldn’t fulfill it. How unfair, I thought.

After a while I laid the dream to rest and I went on with my life. Along the way I discovered another passion, writing. Looking back, I was able to see how writing had always been a part of my life, but I was too busy paying attention to how unfair life was (giving me a passion I couldn’t fulfill). But something interesting happened. The more I started falling in love with writing, a familiar voice emerged and I started self-sabotaging this dream too. Things like, “I’m not good enough.” “I can’t write. Look at this, I did it again! Another typo.” “CAN I SPELL?” I mean on an on… It was so bad that when I first joined social media I wouldn’t write anything because I was afraid I was going to say it “wrong.”  It was like I didn’t know how to talk. Suddenly every choice of word seemed like the wrong one. This way of thinking almost stopped me in my tracks again, stalling yet another dream.

Thankfully, I picked up on this destructive behavior and decided, NOPE! Not again. I will not do this to myself again. And I went for it. I began writing posts on social media, and if I made a mistake I didn’t care. Then I began to blog. Then I finished my first young adult novel More Than Words Can Say, a fantasy novel based loosely on that experience of joining a girl group and meeting an enigmatic music producer. Since then I’ve written two other novels, one that will be released this year!
Recently I’ve been obsessed with Sia’s new album Alive and her song "Bird Set Free". The lyrics speak to me in a special way:
“And I don't care if I sing off key
I find myself in my melodies
I sing for love, I sing for me
I shout it out like a bird set free”

These lyrics inspire me because I can relate. Many times we allow our imperfections to stop us from chasing that thing that lights us up. But if we could just see that no one is perfect, even those that we deem as such, we wouldn’t let our insecurities prevent us from doing what we love. I allowed my insecurities to stop me once, but never again.

So if I don’t use a properly placed comma. Or if I accidentally use the wrong word. Or if I don’t use quotation marks correctly, I don’t care. This is me. I’m not perfect and I’m okay with that. I write because it makes me happy. I feel closer to the real me when I write. I write with love, I write for me. I'll shout it out like a bird set free!
Have a listen to Bird Set Free
Till Next Time!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

How I Transformed My Body with Light

One of the most important teachings of heard on the topic of healing is "adding light to darkness". 

When I first heard this phrase I didn’t really get it. Don't get me wrong, I understood the concept, however, I didn’t really know how to apply it to all areas of my life. As time went on I began to understand it more and more, but it wasn’t until recently that I realized the magic that occurs when this method is applied to our lives.  

Like most women, I’ve spent most of my life obsessing over my body. For years I dwelled over every pound and beat myself up over everything I ate. I thought I was overweight, which caused me to be insecure. I cried many times over the distorted self-image I'd created.

Learning to view life with a positive mindset meant I had to make some major changes. Over the last few years I started shifting my perspective about my body, food and exercise. By doing so, I shifted my outlook on food and exercise from one of wanting to be skinny to one of wanting to be healthy (adding light to darkness).

Before I knew it this method of adding light to darkness trickled into this area of my life, transforming me forever. I began to get curious about exercise and discovered that when it comes to working-out it’s all about me, and what works for me. Exercising is not a one-size-fits-all. Before this, I felt awful when I wouldn’t complete my workouts because I was bored, or simply wasn’t enjoying myself. Still, because I wanted to be strong and flexible and healthy I kept searching for a workout routine that I enjoyed, which ultimately led me to Yoga and now Pilates.  Then, my curiosity for learning about nutrition began to expand tremendously. It was no longer just about not eating bread for a month to see the pounds drop, it was about what was going to make me really healthy. What foods could provide the best nutrition for my body? (adding light to darkness)

By adding light to darkness I have transformed in that I no longer think about my body or food in negative ways. I work-out because I want to. I eat healthy because I want to. Because at the end of the day it makes me feel great when I do. By no means does this mean that I work out five days a week or that I don’t have my favorite red-velvet cupcake. All this means is that by adding light to a once dark area of my life I’ve been able to overcome a very difficult area of my life. I’m more comfortable in my own skin. I can now tell the difference between being overweight and needing/wanting to be toned. The negative thoughts that played in my head like a broken record no longer govern my life. I am a work-in-progress and I can see that for what it is, nothing more nothing less.
Taken March 2011 when I thought I was FAT
Adding light to a dark area of our life can be easier than we think; but only if we’re willing to work at it. Sometimes we stay in the darkness because it’s all we know, it's become habit to think the thoughts we think. But the truth is there’s no better way to live than to live in the light. Our quality of life will be better once we step into it.

How did my enlightenment physically change me? Well it's funny, once I started viewing nutrition and exercise differently, I began to eat better and exercise more. This led to shedding some pounds, which led to some toning, which led to some flattening of the belly. Because I noticed all the positive changes I was making, I was able to notice how my body was also changing for the better. In the past, any change would have gone unnoticed.  I've said it before, but I'll say it again, FOCUS IS EVERYTHING.
Taken May 2016 with my Grandson

As you can see my one thought of “I want to be healthy” shifted my entire thought process, which ultimately liberated me from a lifetime of self-mental abuse on my body image. So call to action this week is for you to take notice of any area of your life that’s consumed by darkness and begin to add light, start with a candle light if that’s all you can give. What’s important is that you take that first step to light up your world.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

If Not Now, When!

Toward the end of 2015 I watched a clip of Oprah Winfrey announcing she was joining Weight Watchers. Winfrey basically said that she was not going to dwell on any past failures because each of those “failures” led her to where she was today. Her decision was steered by one thought, “if not now, when?”
Pic from our family vacation, Malibu, CA
Since we are almost half-way through the year I ask that you take stock of your year thus far. Starting today, take notice of what improvements you’ve made--no matter how big or small. Leave behind any feelings of disappointment for all the things you haven’t yet achieved. But most of all, understand that if you tried to make a change and you haven’t succeeded yet, all is not lost.

Whether you can see it or not, progress was made. A seed was planted. Now it’s time to cultivate. Reassess your goals, set deadlines and make an action plan that will thrust you straight into seeing results. Furthermore, don’t discount the changes or the progress that you have made. Sometimes you don’t even realize how much progress you’ve made because you’re focused on the BIG goal. It is wise to sit down and begin to take note of all the ways in which your life has changed for the better. For example, if your goal was to get healthy, have you improved in at least one area? Say, are you now down from five sodas to one. In order to stay on track it is important to notice all the ways in which you are moving toward your goal.

In my own life I can see progress (I can see it because I’m looking):

Being healthy and active is now a regular part of my life, not something I wish for.
I traveled (got on  a plane again and didn’t let past fears stop me)

I completed my 2nd novel, and got feedback from literary agents (this one, I’m especially proud of. I’ve only been writing since 2009 and when I send my queries out my heart is my throat. So when I finally get feedback, when they actually request my manuscript, words cannot express the relief and joy I feel at knowing that I am growing. I am changing. I am progressing.)
Had I focused on things like: well I’m still not working-out five days a week. Or I only traveled once this year. Or I still don’t have a publishing deal; I would be missing out on seeing all the good that’s happened. Focus is everything!

As I usually do, I will ask you to take the challenge of taking your life into your own hands. Take whatever steps necessary to reach your goals. Start by focusing on how great you really are: because if not now, then when?

Till Next Time.
My husband and me loving our time together at Malibu, CA


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

How to Feel ALIVE and BALANCED in Minutes

When something in my life is not exactly the way I pictured it would be, it throws me completely off. And when I’m derailed, everything suffers, including my health. I’m not sure about you, but when I get like this, I need to remedy it quickly. I am so uncomfortable that it feels like I can’t be inside my body. It’s like I don’t fit. I get constant headaches, and every single bone in my body hurts. So needless to say I search for ways to get out of it quickly.

The thing I have found that works like a charm is meditation! But wait, before you stop reading, you should really give it a shot. I know you’ve heard it before, and perhaps you’ve tried it and thought "this is not for me," but I disagree. Meditation is for everyone. There’s no way it can’t be.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m fairly new at meditating, therefore, I still need a little guidance, so I use guided meditation. I've had a really difficult month, and during my month from hell, I meditated every day, but in the last week, I didn’t just meditate, I listen to a Chakra Clearing meditation. And let me tell you! I FEEL ALIVE!!!

For those of you who don’t know anything about “chakras” here’s a brief explanation as defined by a Mind Body Green articleThe 7 Chakras for Beginners,” “The seven chakras are the centers in our bodies in which energy flows though”.  When any one of these points is blocked, it could cause major problems in our bodies and mind.
So knowing this, I immediately turned to handy-dandy YouTube and searched for a “chakra clearing” meditation. And I found many, but I’ve been listening to this one Before Sleep | Spoken Guided Meditation | Chakra Alignment | Chakra Balance . And Wow does this work! After several days of using this method I began to feel better, not just mentally but physically.  During the clearing I was able to do things that I couldn’t do while I was “awake”.  I was able to send my troubles away by sending forgiveness.  

For me, this seems to be one of the things I struggle with the most: forgiving others who I feel has wronged me or someone that I love. But, in my meditated state I could see the amazing benefits of forgiveness and I wanted to reap the benefits. I wanted release from the pain and anguish. I wanted happiness again, and the weight to be lifted from my shoulders. I wanted peace. And in my experience, forgiveness is the only way to achieve this.  Forgiveness doesn’t have to be this difficult impossible thing to give, after all, forgiveness doesn’t mean that you accept what a person has done to you. Forgiveness, as I see it, means you no longer choose to carry the other person’s burden. Forgiving someone means you set it down, and move on with your happy life.

I hope my experience with meditation has sparked some curiosity in you and you try it for yourself. If you do and it helps, feel free to share your experience with me. I'd love to hear from you!

Till Next Time!