Love & light: necessary…yet insufficient

Once again we find ourselves in a place of shock, anger, hopeless, sadness, and other words that mean all of those things. 

There’s nothing I can say that can change the fact that one man shot an unbelievable number of guns for less than 15 minutes and managed to kill 58 people and injure over 500 more. (!!!!!!) There’s nothing I can say to make that better. Because that is just horrible and tragic. AWFUL.

What I can say is this: I have yet to come across someone with an abundant mindset who feels the need to stockpile guns and/or kill and/or hurt people to make their point.

And I have yet to meet someone with an abundant mindset who gives up. I have indeed met people with abundant mindsets who take a pause, who restores their energy so they can keep on keeping on.

An abundant mindset can’t change the past. But maybe it can change the future.

Last week I wrote about how we push our desires away. I shared my Transformation Formula:

Insight + Awareness + Commitment + Consistent & Quality Action = Transformation.

All of that is true.

It works for personal transformation AND for world transformation too.

We need the insight that there is a problem, an issue that needs to be dealt with. An obvious example in light of what happened this weekend is gun violence. There is gun violence. That is REAL and there is no denying it. So, there’s the insight.

We need awareness. Now that we are once again made horrifyingly aware of the problem of gun violence, how is it playing out in the world? How is it playing out in the world? How often? What triggers it? (Literally.)

We need commitment. Almost nothing happens or changes if we don’t commit. If we don’t commit to staying aware, if we don’t commit to transforming it, NOTHING WILL CHANGE. If we don’t commit to transforming this awful, horrible, devastating pattern, it. will. not. change. We need to commit to changing this.

We need consistent and quality action. Without action, there is no change. And it needs to be quality and consistent action. Quality action, so that we’re not spinning our wheels and draining our energy. And consistent, because without consistency, there’s no change. What consistent actions can we take?

(There are many amazing organizations out there who are doing work on this issue that can provide suggestions. Everytown for Gun Safety is one I highly recommend.)

This formula works for any change we desire in the world, whether it’s ending white supremacy, patriarchy, and all oppression and all the isms or getting a new stop sign on our street.

And now, let me share another formula with you, because I am clearly all about the formula and systems.

LOVE + LIGHT…and ACTION

Usually after a tragedy there are lots of people calling for love and light, among other things.

And I agree. Love and light are necessary. However, they are insufficient. 

Of course we need love. Of course we need the healing clarity of light.

AND ALSO.

Without action, our love and light will change nothing. (I have yet to see a bullet stopped by love and light. I have yet to see real change happen without action. And so forth.)

And thinking that we don’t have to do anything more than love and light is pretty privileged thinking.

So on an individual level, we need to go back to our own transformation formula and do what we can to find the love, to shine the light. 

And then take some ACTION.

If that is scary or anxiety producing, GOOD. That’s how we grow! That’s how we transform! That’s how things change!

Because one essential part of the transformation formula that I kinda forgot to mention (oops, my bad) is that transformation can be scary…and hard AF.

But let’s not make is SOOOO HARD that we don’t do anything at all. (Because most humans tend to avoid things that are hard. Including this human, right here. *points at self*.)

So the action we take will look different for each of us, based on our gifts and our resources. For some people it’s going out on the streets and protesting. For some it will be calls to elected representatives. For some it will be creating art. For some it will be holding space so others can do all that.

You might have money or time to give. You might read a book that broadens your mind and awareness. (Hey, if you want my handy list of excellent liberation literature + mind broadening books, email me and I’ll send it to you!)

Action can take lots of shapes. Just take it. 

TL; DR? That’s fine. Here’s what it boils down to:

~ Go through personal transformation to change our lives and to change the world.
~ Love and light are simply not enough.
~ Go through personal transformation so we can be full of love and light and take action to make real change.

So here’s my new formula here, which is:

Insight + Awareness + Commitment + (LOVE + LIGHT) X Consistent & Quality = TRANSFORMATION.

(Use PEMDAS here. 🙂 You know, Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally.)

Any questions about this? ASK ME. Like, ASAP.

In a few days I’m going to share ways we can together over the last quarter of 2017 to make that transformation happen. I have many things up my sleeve.

For now, though, take this in and consider what action YOU can take.

Because every single one of us has unique awesomeness and gifts to offer. And DAMN, the world needs it.

So in the words of Tom Petty, may he rest:

Heyyyyy, baby. There ain’t no easy way out
Hey I will stand my ground
And I won’t back down
No, I won’t back down
~ Tom Petty

Yup. Standing my ground, and I won’t back down. And I hope you join me. 

xoxo

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How to stop pushing away what you want

Any of these scenarios sound familiar?

~ You want to travel and your vacation time is approaching but you still haven’t made any plans.
~ You have an interview for your dream job, but you don’t prepare enough for it.
~ You want to contact your representative but you somehow forget every day until after 5pm.
~ You want to be vulnerable and open, but when someone asks you about yourself, you turn it around so they’re the focus.
~ You want to be healthy but you eat crappy food and/or you don’t move your body enough.
~ You want to be financially stable but you avoid dealing with and/or learning about money.
~ You want to be creative but you don’t take the time to, you know, CREATE.

These are all ways we push away what we want. 

Whyyyyy do we do this?! It is soooo frustrating!

First of all, allow me to reassure you: this pattern is soooo normal. Happens all the time, and for a bunch of reasons.

~ Maybe we don’t think we’re worthy of what we want. (OF COURSE we are!)

~ Maybe we think change is scary and we’d rather not be scared. (Okay, granted, it can be. But…is your fear of change really worth what it’s costing you?)

~ Maybe we’re afraid of success or failure and what it could mean for our lives. (Okay, but…come on now! Let’s be driven by our desires, not our fears!)

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: you ARE worth, your desires are worthy treasures…and YOU are worthy of your desires.

So how do we stop perpetuating this pattern?

Well, in any given moment, we have the option to choose between making our desires happen or making them NOT happen.

Here’s my formula for how to transform these patterns…and really anything!

Insight + awareness + commitment + consistent and quality action = TRANSFORMATION.

Step 1: Insight. This is where you recognize what the issue is, what your pattern is. So…what’s your pattern? What are you pushing away? Why are you pushing it away? What do you get out of pushing it away…and what does pushing it away cost you?

Step 2: Awareness. Now that we know the pattern—what we’re doing (or not doing, as the case might be)—let’s figure out how it plays out in our lives so that when it comes up, we can make different choices. When and why does it come up? What are the circumstances, what are the emotions?

This is such a powerful step, because this takes you out of autopilot and into a place of CHOICE. Instead of automatically eating that bag of chips or hanging out on FB, we can be in awareness of what’s happening and make a different choice.

Step 3: Commitment. Almost nothing happens if we don’t commit to it. If you don’t truly, deeply, and powerfully commit to yourself and to making your desires happen, you’ll find it very easy to come up with excuses and reasons to go back to those old patterns. So your commitment to yourself, to your desires, and to your transformation is essential.

Step 4: Consistent and quality action.  Making the conscious **choice** change those patterns by doing something different. And then doing it. Committing to doing something different whenever you’re in awareness that an old pattern is making you push away what you want.

That looks like choosing not to buy those chips, choosing to close Facebook, choosing to book that travel, choosing to make that phone call to your representatives…choosing different actions that are in service of our desires.

Bonus! You can use the Transformation Formula for ANYTHING…for transforming limiting beliefs, working through fears, making desires happen (obvi), and so forth.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it:
TRANSFORM THOSE PATTERNS!

Look at where you’ve been pushing away what you want. For a day (at least!), experiment with committing to staying in awareness of the pattern and making different choices…because pushing away your desires simply doesn’t serve you!

Come on, y’all. Let’s make this transformation happen!

xoxo

Bigotry and isms come from scarcity + fear

Charlottesville. Nazis. Hate. Racism. Anti-Semitism. All the isms.

If we’ve been in each other’s worlds for awhile, you probably know that I used to be a social worker. Now I’m an abundance coach now because I’m deeply committed to social justice and and changing the world so that EVERYONE has access to safety, abundance, and the possibility of living their lives to their highest potential.

This is not an easy thing. We do, after all, live in a culture that perpetuates scarcity and fear. 

There have been numerous times over a whoooole lot of years where many of us have felt sadness, rage, hopelessness, and more, at the state of the world and at the sheer amount of bigotry, hate, and division.

Every so often (what I mean is: WAY TOO OFTEN) something happens that ratchets up the awfulness to yet another level of awfulness.

That happened this weekend in Charlottesville.

One of the most disturbing things about it, for me, was that a whole lot of people felt completely fine descending on a town with their Confederate flags, swastikas, automatic weapons…and didn’t even have the decency to hide their faces.

They were open and proud of their hatred and their bigotry, and holy crap, that is disturbing. What used to fester in the corners of the dark web or in furious Facebook groups or under rocks is now out in the open.

And all of this is because of scarcity and fear. Bigotry and isms come from scarcity + fear.

That’s tragic.

And yet, it is fixable. Because it is not required that any of us hold onto and perpetuate scarcity in any way. Let me explain.

What do I mean by scarcity? In this context, I mean a scarcity mindset. When you’re operating from a scarcity mindset, you’re focused on what you don’t have, instead of what you do have. You believe that if someone has something, then someone else does not and cannot have it. You believe there’s only so much of anything to go around.

Other terms for this are zero-sum and all or nothing thinking. There is no nuance in scarcity thinking, no shades of gray. Something or someone is ALWAYS either all good or all bad. It’s all or nothing.

So when you think about it, all the isms—racism, sexism, heterosexism, sizeism, ethnocentrism, ablism, classism, nativism—are all about scarcity and zero-sum thinking.

(Here’s a longer list of all the ways people can hate each other. Mind-boggling.)

People who subscribe to those isms have succumbed to zero-sum thinking. They are convinced that they will lose power, resources, their place in the hierarchy, and so on.

What this looks like:

If I am white, and I believe all of my power comes from being white, then I will fear that people of color having power and rights means that I HAVE AND AM less. And that will terrify me.

If I’m a man, and I believe that all of my my power comes from being a man, then I will fear that women gaining power and rights means that I have and am less. And that will terrify me.

If I am straight, if I’m thin, if I have money, if I am able and so forth, and I believe all my power and my place in the world comes ONLY from those things, then I will fear that people who are the opposite gaining power, rights, and stature means that I have and am less. And that will terrify me.

And then…I might act on that terror to do what I can to protect what I believe I have and am.

White supremacy comes from scarcity. Hatred of Other comes from scarcity.Bigotry and isms come from scarcity. People who succumb to this way of thinking are locked in scarcity and fear that they will lose their power, their resources, and their place in the world.

You might be wondering: How is this helpful? What is the point of this exercise?
Let me be clear. I am NOT trying to give people a pass or justify their actions. No. Oh hellllll no.

The point is to come to some sort of understanding so we can see what we’re up against…and a road map to try to change it.

When I just see them as assholic POS bigots, it feels utterly unfixable and hopeless. It means I’ve gone to the dark side of dehumanizing them. And that’s due to my own rage and hatred, because MY scarcity issues have been triggered.

But when I see it as a scarcity and fear issue? That’s changeable. THAT’S FIXABLE. Because all of us in this community are on that journey. We see and know that it’s doable to change our mindsets. Maybe not easy, but it is doable.

See, as a white cisgendered abled woman with an abundant mindset that I work on almost every damn minute of every damn day (with varying degrees of success), I know that my true internal power doesn’t come from my privilege. It comes from within me and from knowing that I’m doing what I can to make the world as amazing as possible.

(Note: Privilege and the isms are all about external and institutional power. The people who get caught up in the isms have made the fundamental error of tying their internal power and confidence to their privilege and that external power. I’ll write more about that another time.)

So I KNOW that when others of any race (or any characteristic that might be different from me) experience safety, abundance, and the right to live freely and with joy, that increases the abundance and joy in the world.

I do not fear others gaining power because I know that will make all of our lives better.

I do not fear marginalized and oppressed groups gaining rights or resources, because that will make all of our lives better.

Letting go of zero-sum scarcity thinking and fear will change the world.

It will change your life and make it better, of course, AND it will actually change the world.

Of course, this means that white supremacists and bigots have to want to change. How to make them want to do that is an issue for another day. I have some ideas.

Super interested in your thoughts.

So again, if you’ve been having a hard time over the past several days, you’re not alone. If you are working through some of these isms yourself, you’re also not alone. When you live in a culture of white supremacy, you internalize it and you do some not-great things and think some not-great thoughts.

It is our social and moral responsibility to acknowledge our own places in our culture of white supremacy…and to transform it. 

So if you want some help with that too, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re all on this journey of transforming this world together.

We have to be. It’s the only way it’ll change.

Stop calling yourself lazy/undisciplined/unproductive!

If you’re anything like, well, EVERYONE, there are probably times when you call yourself lazy or undisciplined or unproductive or procrastinatey or avoidant or some other word that means “not doing what you [or someone else says you] need to do.”

It’s all too easy to slip into judgment when we’re avoiding doing something. We call ourselves names like lazy, unproductive, undisciplined, and so forth.

Guess what?! Judging yourself and calling yourself names is not a sustainable way to motivate yourself.

In fact, it’s a pretty terrible motivation tactic. It might work once or twice, but the cost to your self-confidence can be substantial.

The truth is, our avoidance is telling us something. What you are judging as laziness is most likely something else. Fear, overwhelm, exhaustion, confusion…

There is definitely a reason why you’re avoiding.Maybe it’s that you don’t really want to do it, you think it’s hopeless, you think you’ll do it wrong, or you’re exhausted and overwhelmed and can’t possibly do one more damned thing.

Here’s the good news! Your avoidance contains Important Information. You can use that to figure out what’s holding you back…so you can move forward.

Here’s how to uncover what’s really going on when you’re calling yourself lazy/avoidant/unproductive:

Step 1: Identify why you’re feeling some kind of way. It’s most likely a, b, c, or d:

Option A) You’re overwhelmed and tired. Sometimes you need a break. Is that the end of the world? No! It is not. The world has greatly unrealistic expectations of us, which we have internalized and thus judge ourselves if we don’t meet them.

You know what? Take a damn break. The world will not end, and you’ll be the better for it.

Option B) You have health issues, you’re neuroatypical, and/or you’re traumatized. Our society is not understanding of people who need more time to do things, are on a different schedule, or need to heal. Our society is incredibly ableist and impatient. And all too often, people who simply need more time due to biology or emotional needs internalize that judgment and call themselves lazy or avoidant and so forth.

Here’s what I’ve got to say to that: Take your time. It’s okay. Do things on your schedule. Again, the world will not end, and you’ll be the better for it.

For A and B, I encourage you to question your beliefs about why you must push yourself, and where those beliefs come from so you can let go of them as beliefs that don’t serve you. They’re doing you a massive disservice, and you don’t need to carry that weight. I am so happy to help you with that if you need it. Keep reading for how to get that support from me.

Option C) That thing you’re avoiding feels paralyzingly scary. The reality is that when we’re afraid of something, we avoid it. If you’re afraid of snakes, I’m guessing that if you see one on the road or on a trail, you give it a nice wide berth.

The same holds true in other parts of our lives. If we’re afraid of something, we avoid it. Money. Love. Changes. Intimacy. Leaving our comfort zones. Perfectionism, fear of failure, fear of judgment, and so forth.

Option D) It’s not really what you want to do. And I get it. Do I really want to spend time on getting an oil change? Making a Facebook ad? Marketing? Working out? Meh. Not so much.

Or maybe it’s something bigger. Maybe you’re working on a project you aren’t interested in for work. Maybe you think you’re doing something in service of a desire but you realize that you don’t really want it or it’s someone else’s desire or instruction for you.

Step 2 for C and D: Reconnect with your desires. It might sound pat, but really. DO THIS.

When you’re connected with your desires and how much you really, really, REALLY want to make them happen, then you can acknowledge your fear and move past it. Or you can do the less fun things because they’re in service of moving your desires forward. Or you can let go of an old desire that’s no longer alive for you and uncover a new one.

Example: Let’s say I am delaying creating a FB ad. This one’s a twofer, because I’m both afraid of doing it wrong and wasting time and money, AND I don’t find it pleasurable to do because I’m not really good at it.

But here’s where the magic happens: I reconnect with my desires. My desires are for a healthy business, to share the next awesome creation with people who can benefit from that creation, and growth and transformation for me and for them.

Now that I’ve connected with my desires, I can move onto…

Step 3: TAKING ACTION! Now that you know what’s holding you back, you can move forward. Your beautiful desires are worthy of being met. To meet them, you gotta take an action, big or small. Do the thing.

Step 4: Celebraaaaate! Celebrate that you figured out what was holding you back! Celebrate that you reconnected with your desires! Celebrate that you took action to make them happen!

Celebrating and acknowledging are essential steps. Don’t skip this one!

So the next time you call yourself lazy or undisciplined or unproductive, I challenge you to Figure. Out. Why. You’re. Not. Doing. It.

Because you are of course not a lazy person! If you’re up for a bonus assignment, before you go to sleep tonight, write down everything you did. EVERYTHING, from brushing your teeth to cooking to working to taking care of someone (including you)…everything you did.

That’ll learn you! 🙂

If you have questions about any of this or you’re hung up on one of these steps and you are STILL calling yourself lazy and other unpleasant names, click here to set up an Abundance Blast to get to the bottom of why you’re having a hard time with this. Because you. deserve. better.

And you are NOT LAZY!

xoxo

Creating true, deep, lasting change + transformation

Oh, change and transformation! How we long for you, how we desire you…and how we soooo often don’t get it.

There’s a ton of research out there on what makes people change. Luckily for you, I read a lot of it when I was getting my masters in social work and started coaching so you don’t have to (because academic writing is surprisingly super boring).

So here’s the deal:

Lasting and deep change happens when you are SO done with the pain of where you are that the discomfort and fear of change is LESS than that staying the same.

Let me say that again, so it’s clear:

True change happens when you’re so fed up with your current situation that you will brave the discomfort and unfamiliarity of doing something different.

So to create the conditions for change and true transformation, a few things have to be in place:

First of all, you need to really feel the pain and the cost of NOT changing. If you don’t, you won’t be motivated to change. It is SUCH an annoying feature of the human psyche, but alas, it is true.

Second, you have to be willing to take a leap of faith that doing something different might actually help you.

Third: you have to acknowledge that you are worthy of changing, of not being in that pain, of creating something different.

Fourth: you have to ACTUALLY DO SOMETHING!

Here’s an example from the life of moi:

I’ve had high A1C levels for awhile (that’s a measure of blood sugar, and indicates whether you have diabetes or on the road to diabetes).

And that’s resulted in some major fears, self-judgments, and most of all…hopelessness.

For some reason, I was utterly convinced that I was different from everyone else, that what worked for others wouldn’t work for me.

So I would try half heartedly—took some meds, did some halfassed diet modifications, did some halfassed exercising. And you know what? THOSE ATTEMPTS DIDN’T SUCCEED.

All that happened was that I strengthened the (fictional) story story that I couldn’t do it. So I might as well just eat that biscuit or fried chicken (I’m in the south and it’s delicious!), because it won’t work anyway.

It got to a point where my doctor (and sisters, who are both medical professionals, and other people in my world) had to say to me: 

“Have you thought about what it will be like when you have diabetes and will need to inject insulin into yourself? That you might go blind? That your hormones might be out of whack for the rest of your life? When you won’t be able to play with your niece and nephews because you’ll be in pain?” And more.

And, SHABOOOOOM. Those were costs that flipped a switch in my head. Before, it had been kind of abstract before, like…oh yeah, I should do this so I don’t have a shitty old age, but I wasn’t really FEELING it.

Now I was.

So I took the leap. I accepted and owned the fact that I am worthy of health, I am worthy of healing this, and so I did something different. Because the ONLY WAY THINGS CHANGE IS TO DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT.

So I did. It was drastic, and it was not that much fun. But I did it, and the crazy thing is…IT WORKED.

***After ONLY THREE MONTHS, my A1Cs are normal. NORMAL, Y’ALL!***

This is yuuuuge. Because now I can no longer buy into the story that I can’t change this…and change my life.

A few lessons from this: 
~ When we try something half-heartedly, it’s either because we don’t REALLY want it or it’s because we think we can’t get it.

~ When we try something half-heartedly, it’s likely we won’t get the results we want.

~ When we try something half-heartedly and don’t experience success, it kills our confidence and makes it REALLY hard to try something new again (whether it’s for that particular issue or another one.)

~ When we’re in our own heads, our ridiculous beliefs make PERFECT sense to us. To someone else, they are logically absurd. Yet to us, they are like, yes of course, this is ABSOLUTE UNCHANGEABLE FACT…Even when they are soooo not.

~ Sometimes we have to take a leap of faith and do something new.

~ We might need support to figure out what that something new is. My support with this came from medical professionals, family, and friends, Trader Joe’s and the Park Slope Food Coop.

~ Don’t buy into the story that you can’t change. That is one of the the most limiting beliefs of all. You (and your life, and your desires!) deserve better!

So now you! Is there something you’ve been wanting to change, but you haven’t had a lot of success at changing it?

Here’s whatcha do:

Step 1. Get REALLY clear on alllll the ways that this SUCKS. Seriously, allllll the ways. Maybe it costs you money, maybe it costs you love, maybe it costs you confidence or peace of mind…could be anything. What does it cost you? Come up with at least 10 ways it costs you. This step is crucial because it will help you see that where you are sucks and is so painful that transformation actually seems like the easier thing to do!

Step 2: Ask yourself: are you truly willing to take that leap of faith to do something different? Journal on this. What comes up for you? Do you fear that you will fail at this because for some reason, things won’t work out for you even though they might work out for others? Are you not changing because it’s something you really don’t want or because you’re afraid it won’t really happen? 

Step 3: Remind yourself that YOU ARE WORTHY. Because you ARE! And journal on this too if you need to. (And reach out to me if you just can’t get there on your own.)

Step 4: DO SOMETHING! Do something different that can help you change from the old you to the new you. Get support to figure it out. Find the people who will know how you can do what you want to do…so they can help you do it. You’re worthy of support!

Okay? Now go forth and make that change happen!

Now before you start judging yourself for not making it happen immediately, I just gotta say it. This is HARD. Change is hard. If it was easy, a whole lot of things in our lives and in the world would be different . So if this is something you need some support with, holler at me.

Let me know how this goes for you! And if you want to talk about this because you’re stuck or you find this absolutely fascinating like I do or because you want to celebrate the amazing changes you’re making or you’ve made, I’d loooove to connect with you.

xoxo

That thing you judge yourself about might actually be awesome

As I sat in the airport yesterday, waiting for my flight back to New York from South Carolina, I had an epiphany.

We judge ourselves so harshly for things that might actually be incredibly awesome.

Here’s an example:

I’ve spent the past couple of years spending LOTS of time in North Carolina and New York to be with my sisters and their young kids, and to pitch in how/where/when I can.

Yes, yes, I’m such a good auntie, such an amazing sister, and it’s amazing that I’m able to live my life that way, which is what I’ve heard from numerous people when they hear how much I do this. And ALL of that is true. (You know I’m all about owning the compliments we receive!)

AND STILL. You know what? I realized I’ve been judging myself for that!

So much so that I sat in the airport, questioning myself and my choices.

“It’s really weird that you’ve built your life around going back and forth between your family,” I mused to myself. “I mean, it wouldn’t be weird if you had a partner and that’s how you’re building your life, or around a career, or…or…SOMETHING LESS WEIRD. But this is weird, and wrong in some way. I need to figure out a different way to run my life.” And so forth.

And then, in that epiphanic blaze of awesomeness, I realized: HOLY SHIT, I AM SO LUCKY.

There are so many people who don’t get along with their siblings, and it causes them immense pain. Or other family members. Or whomever.

So this thing that I’ve been judging myself for? IT IS ACTUALLY SO COMPLETELY AWESOME. 

It’s a beautiful gift. It’s pretty incredible. That’s not to say my sisters and I don’t fight or get pissed at each other. Of course we do! We’re sisters, and sisters fight and argue and bicker and do lots of things that drive other people crazy.

And also, I get so much out of spending time with them. And I get soooo much from their kids. I get to bond with these incredible little creatures who see me as a source of unconditional love and lots of fun, to cuddle with them as I read them stories or (try to) put them to bed, to hear their laughs when I make funny faces and cheer them up out of toddler crankyness.

So this thing that I’ve been judging myself about? It is, in fact, such an awesome thing that I simply must let go of the judgment about it!

Finding the gifts in something we judge ourselves about is SUCH a powerful way to see it in a different light…and maybe even stop judging ourselves for it.

So. What is the thing you’re judging yourself for? Is there a way you can think of it differently and find the amazingness in it?

Here’s how you can start the process of letting go of your self judgment.

1. Figure out and name what you’re judging yourself for. Sometimes our self-judgments are hard to call out and see for what they are. So they linger under the surface, draining our energy. Once something is named, it can be dealt with. So name it. What’s something you’re judging yourself for?

2. Acknowledge that you feel this way. Don’t hide this truth from yourself. When I acknowledged this judgment, I was able to say, “Ohhhh! Okay, NOW I know what’s bubbling underneath and now I can deal with it!” (And I did. By going through these steps, and numerous others that I share in the Own Your Awesomeness Project.)

3.. Find the gifts! This might sound weird or hard, and sometimes it really can be. This is one of the things I do when I Fiercely Cheerlead people, and it’s a powerfully transformative experience to look at something negative in this light.

I have faith in you that you can do it.

So…maybe this thing made you stronger, gave you some clarity on your desires, forced you to focus on self-care. Maybe it’s legitimately awesome on its own merits (like being close to my sisters and their kids). What gold can you mine from this?

4. Once you’ve done all that: CELEBRATE YOURSELF.

Celebrate this insight. Celebrate that you were able to find the gifts in this previously held judgment. Celebrate celebrate celebrate!

Need a refresher on how to celebrate? It’s simple: Say, “I celebrate that I am so awesome for _____________________!”

Do 5 celebrations of yourself right now! In fact, email them to me so I can celebrate YOU for celebrating yourself!

5. Decide what you’ll do differently. Now that you have this insight, you can make different choices. You can choose to focus on the gifts, rather than the judgment. You can choose to put the lessons you’ve learned and the clarity you’ve gotten into practice so you don’t repeat old patterns.

I’m doing that. So now I can make plans for my future without having this belief clouding my thinking. Phew. Not having the weight of that judgment on me is WONDROUS.

Your abundance call to action: 

1. Judging yourself about something?  Work through these steps!

2. If you have a hard time with this, please know you’re not alone. And please know I’m here for you. I’ve got a phone number and a Skype user ID, and many ways to help you transform your judgment into gifts. Pick a time here this week to set up an Abundance Blast.

xoxo

PS: Watch this TED talk on siblings. It’s awesome.

Making your 2017 awesome

Several years ago I created a three pronged approach letting go of the year that just ended and creating awesomeness in the year to come…by honoring the past in order to set the stage for the future I desire.

And since I heart you and want you to have an awesome 2017, I present them to you.

Prong 1: PURGE

You know that I’m all about the celebrating (and we’ll get to that, I promise)…and yet being human involves regrets, unfinished business, challenges, and other less than ideal stuff.

And really, pretending that those things aren’t true, that bad stuff didn’t happen or that we don’t have regrets SIMPLY DOESN’T WORK.

Ergo…we need to purge it out.

Purge out things like…resentments. Sadness Regrets. Relationships. Money. Career. Health. Love. Unachieved desires. Fights with people you care about. Frustration at the political landscape. Spirituality. Creativity. Social life. Stuff.

I know we’ve all got at least 20 things on that list—I definitely do too—so get out a piece of paper and write ‘em down. Purge it out.  Acknowledge it and mourn it so you can let it GO!

Your mission: purge out and list at least 20 things that you regret or are bummed out about from 2016.  (Do more if you’ve got ’em.)

Write a paragraph for each one about what you would have wanted and what it means to you.

And at the end of each paragraph (note: this is very very important), write: AND I LET IT GO.

So you can let it go, and create room for the awesomeness to ensue in 2017.

Note: you can do this for stuff too!  If it doesn’t bring you joy, let it go.

Some things on my own list:

Losing my grandmother. The presidential election results. Not advocating for myself fiercely enough with the Antarctica company. Not prioritizing my fiction writing. Eating too many biscuits. (Damn you, Asheville!) Being inconsistent with my newsletters and blogs. Hiding. Too often, hiding.

How about you? Purge that out and let it go so you can move onto…

Prong 2: CELEBRATE!  (Of course!)

Now that you’ve purged out all the ick from last year, you’ve got room to truly and deeply CELEBRATE the awesomeness that was 2016. Phew!

Because even though in many ways 2016 was a human dumpster fire of a year, there was immense awesome too.

So take out your anachronistic pen and paper (it’s preferable to write by hand rather than on a computer), and write down all the good stuff about…

Relationships. Money. Career. Health. Love. Achieved desires. Connecting with people you care about.  Spirituality. Creativity. Social life…and everything else!

Your mission: List at LEAST 50 things that you want to celebrate from last year!  I KNOW you can do it…and you can probably do even more.

How to do this:

Step 1: Grab your calendar or planner and review 2016. Write down every smidgen of awesomeness that happened last year. You went to the doctor on July 18th? Sweet! Celebrate that.

You went to lunch with friends on March 31st? Awesome! Celebrate that!

You had a Fierce Cheerleading session with me on June eleventy-third? YAY! Celebrate that!

And so forth.

Step 2: Look through your photos on your phone or wherever you keep them. What were the moments and experiences you want to honor and celebrate?

Step 3: Look through your credit card and bank statements. (YUP. I’m making you do this.)

What did you spend your money on that you want to celebrate? And…did you have debt that you paid down? Did you create new savings accounts and/or contribute to savings accounts? CELEBRATE THAT SHIZZ, because that is awesome.

And: super important: celebrate every cent that came into your presence last year…and every cent you spent.

Step 4: Look through your journals, your various social media accounts, and wherever else you might have info stored about the year. Maybe you wrote something on a piece of paper and stuck it on a bulletin board. Maybe you keep a jar of pieces of paper where you write down what you’re grateful for or what you received (that’s highly recommended, btw).

Note them all down.

Step 5: Close your eyes and tap into your memory. We tend to remember the harder, less awesome stuff more easily than the good stuff (oh human nature), but with your mind primed by those prior steps, you might actually be bursting with memories of awesomeness that you need to celebrate. Write all those down too.

FINAL STEP: read through everything you’ve written down. EVERYTHING. And when you’ve done that, say to yourself…

“I celebrate that all of this awesomeness happened in my own life and my own world.”

Really take a moment and pause to honor that. Because it’s true. It’s SO TRUE. All of that awesomeness happened in your life and in your world, and honey, it is WORTHY OF HONORING.

Breathe in the awesomeness. I mean, YOUR awesomeness, so you can be ready to…

Prong 3: DREAM!!!!!!

Now that you’ve purged and celebrated, you’ve created the space and energy to dream!

How do you let yourself dream?

Take some time and space over this weekend, get out your journal or some paper and ponder these questions:

~ What do you want for your life this year?
~ What do you want to experience?
~ Where do you want to go—either travel-related or personal-growth-related?
~ How do you want to feel?
~ What do you want to do?
~ What do you want to set the stage for?
~ Did you desire something last year and it didn’t happen? Well, maybe you still desire it for 2017!

No dream or desire is too big or too small…it just has to be YOURS!

Your mission: dream! Dream big, dream small…just dreeeeeam!

This is where you create your intentions and your roadmap for this year, so give yourself the time and the space to deeply go inward and consider.

NOTE: Do. Not. Worry. About. “How.”
Just allow yourself to desire and dream!

Most of all, let yourself have fun with this!  If it starts to feel not-fun or it’s anxiety producing to write down your dreams, take pause. Jump around, listen to some energizing music, drink some water. Celebrate a few more times, and THEN come back to desiring and dreaming!

And that’s how it works!  Now you know what you want for this year, so you can figure out how to make that happen.

If any of this is hard or you want to go deeper, reach out. You’re worthy of support and making your life and year as amazing as possible.

xoxo

Eryka