Becoming Enough: An Author's Journey #2

Writing a book about becoming enough brings with it plenty of opportunities to practice what I preach and be okay with who I already am and trust the inherent perfection of all things. (If you are curious just what my book is about, check this out.)

This can certainly feel challenging when I’m in the midst of deadlines (albeit self-imposed). Before the year was out, I found myself thinking, “I’m behind schedule.” My intention had been to write a chapter a week starting in November and I went a couple of weeks without writing or submitting anything to my publisher. In the past, it would have been all too easy to think of myself as a failure, to see how I’m not doing enough, how I’m slacking off and will never make it in life. (Yes, that is how extreme my ego can make things.)

Instead, I took deep breath and said, “It’s enough.” I celebrated what I had accomplished (having written nearly 17,500 words and receiving clear inspiration for the cover design) as opposed to focusing on what I hadn’t. And, like all things do, it unfolded perfectly. I am writing the chapter I am to write now. The conversations I have had recently, the mental clarity I have today, the lessons I’ve learned each day leading up until now have prepared me for what it is I am to write about. I couldn’t have written what I was “supposed to” write in December before now.

This is the magic of creation—of life—when we get out of our own way. 

Now, when I am “behind schedule,” I trust that what is meant to come through me will come through me at exactly the right time. This is true because I am open and willing. As I deepen into this trust, I can release my need to control things, feel “less than,” or be hard on myself when things don’t initially “go as planned.” This is available to all of us; it is not something reserved for me as a writer of being enough. 

If you didn’t read my last update on how I got to where I am today, I invite you to take a peek to better understand the many steps that unfolded perfectly in their own perfect time. And, be sure to sign up to receive future updates directly to your inbox along with early-bird opportunities to get your copy of Becoming Enough including an opportunity to receive a copy for free!

Becoming Enough: An Author's Journey #1

As the new year begins, I am filled with gratitude that a dream is becoming true thanks to the support and generosity of so many people in my life. Creating and bringing a book into the world takes more than just one person. Like raising a child or birthing any creative project, it takes a village.

I am blessed and grateful to have a tribe of people who support me and can help me bring this book into the world. My successfully funded Kickstarter campaign is one small example of the power of the collective. Nearly 150 people pledged over $7,500 to make this book a reality.

Starting today, I desire to update you on the writer’s journey, sharing with you what it took to get here and what it feels like to take one step at a time as this book is brought into the world. In this update, I want to share with you a very brief overview of bringing this book into existence. This book is a long time coming. It didn’t start when I launched my Kickstarter campaign in October of last year. It started long before that with an idea, an inkling, an inspiration. This is how all things start. Like a seed was planted and it took months and years of being watered and receiving sunlight to blossom into the thing it is today. And, just like nature, it takes less doing and more being on my part than one might think. It’s not that I haven't done anything—but the practice is to get out of the way more than it is to make it happen.

Here is a very quick tour through what the journey has looked like up until this point in time and all of the incredible people who played an important role.

  • Michelle James serving as my Creative Emergence Coach served as my guide during a major transition in my life where I decided to face the fear and trust all will be well as I journeyed off on my own, paving my way to where I am today.
  • Alexandra Franzen's Tiny Book Writing Workshop. This day-long workshop gave me the courage and momentum to get my first book idea on paper and, eventually, finished.
  • Support of my mentor, Jeannine Yoder, and all of my sisters from Mentor Masterclass. Without this tribe of women in my life, I would not be where I am or who I am today. Their ongoing love and support over the past two years proved paramount to bringing this book into existence.
  • Working with Amy Biondini helped me get clear on what it is that matters most to me and how I desire to show up in the world.
  • Traveling, taking trips, and listening to my soul’s desires offered me the space to learn, grow, and begin organizing my thoughts in an inspirational way.
  • Hay House Writer’s Workshop offered me a platform to be inspired by other writers and see just how important sharing my story is with the world.
  • Steven Pressfield’s “Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t” and “The War of Art” served as two instrumental books in how I approach this book and the structure I have chosen to write into.
  • Finding my publisher, Jane Ashley of Flower of Life Press, was Divine. Meeting her not only brought a publisher into my life, it served as evidence how things Divinely unfold when we are in alignment and getting out of our own way.
  • The support of each and every person who contributed to my Kickstarter campaign (all 150 of you plus those who supported me energetically) provided me with the financial and emotional support to bring this book into the world.
  • Having a community of people at The Bakery who support me has been paramount, along with a special shout out to the videographer and creative genius behind my Kickstarter video, Tanner Chambers. It is people like this who make the creative process possible.

I am sure someone has gone unnamed or left off this brief list, not intentionally but simply because there are so many people who have made this possible and have supported me along this journey. Please accept my heartfelt love and thanks. You know who you are.

If you want to be sure to receive future updates on the book and special discounted early-bird opportunities to receive your copy, be sure to sign up here.

Finding Grace

grace

noun 

  1. unmerited favor.
  2. knowing that I am accepted, loved, and enough just the way I am.

This year, I had the sincere privilege of defining what grace means to me and write a story to exemplify this in an inspiring way. This definition served as the foundation for me to write my story which became part of the #1 best selling book, 365 Moments of Grace, which was released earlier this week. 

This is a realization of a practice I started doing last year—declaring my "I am's" while lying in bed before going to sleep. A practice I learned from Wayne Dyer's book, Wishes Fulfilled. And the power of the "I AM's" is mighty indeed! Here I am: a published author. I couldn't be prouder! 

I hope you enjoy my story and are inspired by the simplicity of the realization that struck me while on the subway. There are plenty more like it inside the book which I invite you to check out.

Epiphany on the F Train 

After quitting my job and exploring what it was I wanted to do and create and how I wanted to serve others, I was standing on the F train in New York City when it struck me: What if it’s not about doing more or being better; what if it’s about being good with being you?

This became my mantra and, though I didn’t know it at the time, my personal and professional mission for the next 365+ days. This was not just a pivotal moment for me; it was a whole new way of looking at the world and at my life.

Ever since I was a little girl, I looked for ways to improve myself, thinking that if I shaved the hair off my arms, then I would be accepted; if I got better grades, then I would be enough; if I figured out why I am the way I am, then I could finally “fix” it and be lovable.

I have always had this knack for self-improvement. I just love to pick up a good self-help book, curl up on the couch, and mull over all the ways I have been doing it wrong. I certainly don’t believe that personal growth is a bad thing – after all, change/growth/evolution is the only constant! The thing is, though, I spent the past 30-some years forgetting a crucial part of this: grace. Unmerited favor. Knowing that I am accepted, loved, and enough just the way I am. There is nothing I can do for this to be more or less true.

It’s all too easy for me to make things bigger, better, and faster, which is why it was so important for me to consciously set that aside and practice the thing I had neglected my entire life – love and acceptance of who I am, exactly as I am. Without this, any pursuit simply reinforces the false belief that I am not already a masterpiece and am only a never-ending work-in-progress that is not quite yet deserving of love and acceptance.

This new understanding is not the end of the story for me, and I am ready for the next stage in my evolution – but this time I know that it will include a whole lot of self-acceptance, love, and grace.

If you're interested in learning more about this book and what an incredible opportunity it has been for me and the other 250+ authors, I invite you to read more on Dan Teck's blog. He and his wife, Jodi Chapman, are the inspiration behind the 365 Book Series—a brilliant way to inspire, uplift, and remind us of just how magical our world is and how connected we truly are. 

Releasing Our Attachments: Part 2

We've made it.

We have taken a stroll through the SOAR framework to give you a better understanding of just how powerful it can be to observe and accept what is and to start to release your attachments.

If you missed any of the last five videos, you can find them in my blog stream below.

Today, we explore the second part of the final stage of releasing our attachments as we look at what non-attachment is (again, not what you might think) and how we can practice more of it in our lives. 

This video offers a great visual for you to carry with you that you won't want to miss!

"By opening your heart to all of life—but clinging to none of it—you are participating in life fully." ~ Gay Hendricks

I appreciate you taking time to watch these videos and learn a bit more about my process and how I have gone from "never enough" to "always okay."

It is an ongoing practice that I continue to this day (and expect to for the rest of my life). If you are interested in taking this practice a step further, I invite you to take a look at my virtual course, Being Good with Being You, that is based on this SOAR framework. I would be honored to continue to be a part of your journey.

And, if you have enjoyed these videos and would like to receive more from me like this, be sure to sign up for my inspirational updates

Releasing Our Attachments: Part 1

So, now that we've looked at how to observe more non-judgmentally and start to accept what is without believing that means we need to just give up or stop trying, it's time to put all this practice to use as we enter the third stage of going from "never enough" to "always okay." 

Today, we start looking at the first part of releasing our attachments. In this video, I'll teach you the simplest and most powerful to start releasing anything you might be attached to—it's almost so simple it's silly.

But, I can attest that it works. Once I started putting this into practice, my clinging to outcomes and beliefs and expectations and thinking things would always stay the same loosened dramatically, and I experienced more freedom and lightness in my life.

If you're curious what this simple practice is, watch today's video.

"'I am the awareness that is aware that there is attachment.' That's the beginning of the transformation of consciousness." ~ Eckhart Tolle

Just one more video to go where we will explore part two of releasing our attachments and what this might look like in your life.

Until next time ...

Learning to Accept What Is: Part 2

And, we're back.

This whole idea of acceptance and accepting what is can be a real doozy. We started talking about it in the last video which you can watch here if you haven't already.

In today's video, we take a look at the second part of learning to accept what is. There are a lot of misconceptions of what it means to accept what is and in this video we explore how it's not just rolling over or giving up. 

So, what is it then? Watch the video to find out!

Acceptance does not lead to apathy; acceptance leads to peace.

We have now looked at the first two stages of the SOAR framework and will take a look at the final stage—releasing our attachments—in the next video.

See you then!

Learning to Accept What Is: Part 1

Acceptance. The word alone can bring up a bunch of resistance for most of us. 

Many of us have a bad taste in our mouths when we think of "accepting what is"—at least I did when I first started down this path.

Now, I feel quite differently about it, and maybe you do, too.

Either way, in today's video we explore the first part of this stage of learning to accept what is. Much like what we learned in the first two videos which you can find here and here, we will start with awareness.

Watch today's video to learn more about what it really means to accept what is and the first step to practicing it more often.

“Whenever you are not honoring the present moment by allowing it to be, you are creating drama.” ~ Eckhart Tolle

Once you watch the video, I'd love to hear from you what the most difficult thing is for you when it comes to accepting what is. 

This continues to evolve for me as I imagine it does for you.

I'll see you in the next video where we explore the second part of this stage and answer the question, "So how exactly do I accept what is without just rolling over and giving up?" 

What It Means to Create

I’ve been in such a mode of creation lately—writing articles, doing interviews, recording free videos, hosting a live radio show. I suppose you could say I'm planting my seeds.

It is so clear to me just how cyclical or ever-changing things are as I observe what this feels like and reflect on other times where the exact opposite was the case. 

I share this because it can be all too easy for me (and I suspect maybe for you, too) to feel like I’m not contributing enough or creating enough or doing enough. Yes, the same theme … again. So, I start to notice when that isn’t true for myself, time and time again, developing the awareness that everything ebbs and flows, nothing lasts forever.

Ironically, amidst all of this creation, I was having a conversation with a dear friend of mine last week and noticing a belief I was having as she was sharing with me—how I’m not creating because I’m not earning money.

Since she is so in tune with her own inner wisdom, she asked me what it means to me to create.

This question hit me like a ton of bricks. 

I noticed that a part of me at that moment in time thought that in order to be a creator I have to be making money.

But once I got quiet and noticed that thought pass by, it became much clearer to me how I create in so many other ways: the content I create, the experiences I create, the connections I create, the feelings I create, the thoughts I create, the opportunities I create.

Perhaps you have a belief about what it means to create or be a creator in your life that is also keeping you stuck in thinking it has to look a certain way.

You don’t necessarily have to do anything with those beliefs other than notice them, bring awareness to them. Sometimes that is all it takes to then notice the other deeper beliefs that live within us, too.

So, as in honor of this creation that is all around me lately, I asked if I was to create yet one more thing this week for my Thoughtful Thursday, and the answer I received was, “no.” 

Instead, I want to share and celebrate with you one the other exciting things I am experimenting with and creating with the intention of being inspired (“in spirit”) and inspiring others.

My current passion project is the new iteration of my Being Inspired radio show. I have hosted a couple of episodes so far and it has been such an honor and incredible opportunity for me to serve and continue walking my talk. I am also excited for it to continue to evolve and invite other inspirational guests on the show in the coming months, so be sure to stay tuned.

If you haven’t yet had a chance, I invite you to check it out. I’m live every Tuesday at 7pm CT. Just go here to listen live or to any previous episode. Plus, you can follow me here so you can be kept up to date of all new episodes.

Plus, I desire to start using my Thoughtful Thursdays as an opportunity to answer YOUR questions—you know, those things you find yourself doubting or wondering about. So, if you have something you’d like to ask and have answered, send me an email with your question. It would be my honor to offer any insights and inspiration I have tailored specifically to you.  

Becoming the Observer: Part 2

And, we're back. 

Welcome to the second video in the 6-part video series that outlines the process I learned, practiced, and teach on how to go from "never enough" to "always okay." 

If you missed the first video, you can watch it here.

In today's video, we are going to explore the second part of becoming the observer which helps us to answer the question: "So, now that I know what my judgments are, how do I practice more non-judgmental awareness?"

Great question.

Watch today's video to learn more about what this means and just how to do it.

“Ask yourself if you are judging the moment or outcome as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ and challenge yourself to accept it ‘as is’—neither good nor bad, right nor wrong—we never know the purpose of a moment until the moment has passed.” ~ Gay Hendricks

I'm curious how it goes for you. Once you watch the video, let me know in the comments below or over on my Facebook page!

See you in the next video where we will explore the second stage to the SOAR framework and learn how to accept what is. You won't want to miss this one!

Becoming the Observer: Part 1

During the month of April, I wanted to share the process that serves as my foundational framework for everything I have learned, practice, and teach. I was inspired to create this framework, which I call SOAR—Simply Observer, Accept, and Release—nearly two years ago while floating in my brother's pool in Florida. Not a bad place to be struck by the Divine! Of course, I didn't realize it then, but that spark of inspiration has guided everything I do and create for many years.

In this 6-part video series, I share an overview of what this process is and how to put it into practice in your own life. 

The first stage of the process is to simply observe and we start by doing this with our judgments. During this first stage, we are learning to move out of judgment and into more non-judgmental awareness. While it may seem like a simple concept, it takes time and practice—but that's okay, because it's being on the path that is important, not "getting somewhere." 

Watch this video to learn more about the first part to becoming the observer and learn a simple practice you can take with you into your daily life.

"A judgment is harmless if you immediately recognize it as such and don't completely believe in it anymore. Then, gradually, awareness dissolves the judgmental mind." - Eckhart Tolle

What judgments can you recognize as such so they no longer have the same power over you as they once did?

Next up: becoming the observer, part 2! This is where we start to answer the question, "so, how do I practice more non-judgmental awareness?" 

See you then!

 

How to Have More Abundance in Your Life

I don’t know about you but I can’t go more than a day without hearing something about abundance or manifestation or law of attraction.

And, I’ll be honest, I have had various reactions to and related with these concepts in different ways while on my journey.

For a long time, I thought that while everyone else had this whole manifestation thing down, it just wasn’t something that worked for me. I wasn’t seeing all of this abundance flowing into my life the way I thought it was flowing into everyone else’s. 

How many times do you go on Facebook or some other social media platform and see someone talking about how much money they “called in” or some incredible opportunity they received or all of these other incredible things that have manifested in their life?

It’s easy to feel like we don’t have enough sometimes.

Well, recently, I started to have a different relationship with abundance and what it means to manifest. Much of this can be attributed to the wisdom I continue to receive both from external sources as well as from within (which is available to all of us).

And that’s what I want to share with you in today’s video—what abundance means and how to experience more of it in your life (without having to know anything about manifestation or law of attraction).

“Abundance is the willingness to see and receive that which already exists all around you.” {Tweet that!}

Now, there are many views on abundance and I’d love to hear yours!

What does abundance mean to you?

Leave a comment below and let me know.

May you choose to see abundance all around you as we enter into a brand new month together!

The Light in me honors the Light in you,

A

Being Inspired Ep. 001: It's All Okay

Welcome to the first episode of Being Inspired radio show!

When we experience too much pain and suffering, can we still say that everything is okay? When we are too hopeless and down, can we still say that it's all okay?

In this episode, let's learn:

  • The different exercises to Inner Wisdom
  • That everything is okay
  • How to welcome those teachers and accept the lessons that they will offer
  • Love takes discipline and practice
  • How to find what is truly important to your life
  • Everything that we do is a practice that’s why it’s all okay
  • The only person that can free us is ourselves

I also mentioned Cora Poage's website in this episode as a good source for this topic.

Join me and be inspired to say that it's all okay!

Cheers! XOXO

 

Being Inspired radio show is also available on iTunes.

How to Make the Most out of Spring

Most of my life, I have thought that there’s always more I could be doing.

When I was going to school, I could have been studying more. When I was an actor, I could have been auditioning more. When I was a consultant, I could have been working more.

Now that I am in the process of writing a book, I could be writing more.

But when we’re always doing more, more, more, when are we preparing ourselves for the next season of life? When are we enjoying the fruits of our labor?

Just as the seasons show us, there is a time for everything, and I’m finally starting to see how this relates to my life (and probably yours, too).

Watch today's video to find out how to make the most of this season. (I think you'll be happily surprised!)

Read More

One Word to Help You Receive More of What You Want

One Word to Help You Receive More of What You Want

My life has taken many twists and turns, always pursuing the next opportunity whether that’s trying out gymnastics, dance, theatre, corporate consulting, traveling to South America on a whim, quitting my job, moving to a new place.

More often than not, I am willing to see what else is possible or what other opportunity is ready to present itself to me.

I notice that I may have a bias towards saying, “Yes!” more often than “No.” 

And, still, I am learning so much about what it means to truly be willing and the positive effect it can have.

Using a simple mantra and making one small change has made a big difference in my life. Curious what it is? 

Read More

The 3 “P’s” for a Happier Life

The 3 “P’s” for a Happier Life

Now that it’s been over two years since I quit my full-time job, I’ve had lots of time to learn what it means to be my own boss. Through the creation of my own business, I’ve gotten to see common themes and patterns emerge that are incredible teachers to me.

Of course, it’s not just in my business that these lessons show up. 

I’m noticing how there are three important things I am consistently being asked to practice more and more often in my business and in my relationship with my partner and with myself.

In today’s video, you’ll learn the three things to practice whether you’re starting a business, in a relationship, or simply looking to live a more expansive and happier existence.

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Embrace or Resist: An Unceasing Decision

I sometimes catch myself worrying that I keep sharing the same reminders over and over again. Perhaps the content changes slightly but the message or lesson remains the same.

But then I realized that there is a reason this happens—because this is what it means to live with our ego’s constant attempts to “figure it out” or “finally get there.”

And part of this journey is embracing all those times when we don't (and surrendering to the reality that we never will time and time again). This is my ongoing practice: can I surrender even more or will I choose to dig my heels into the ground and hold on for dear life?

In today’s video, you’ll learn the question I continuously ask myself as I continue on this journey (with no attachment to the outcome).

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Curious How to Alleviate Some Pressure?

Even though I know (with a capital K) that there is nothing to “fix,” I still find myself rummaging through my toolbox more often than not looking for “just the thing” to relieve my current predicament. (It’s interesting to observe that I would call it a “predicament”…)

Now, depending on where we are in our journey or what this particular moment calls for, sometimes grabbing a tool is the best thing we can do.

But what I have started to notice is just how often I (and others I know) are all-too-quick to seek out the perfect tool to alter what the current moment presents.

And, I don't know about you, but this can feel like a lot of pressure sometimes.

In today’s video, you’ll learn what is sometimes even more powerful than searching for the latest gadget.

“Sometimes we need to use tools and sometimes we just need to give ourselves permission to BE ourselves.” {Tweet that!}

Once you’ve had a chance to watch the video, I’d love to hear from you.

What do you think about this approach?

Leave a comment below and let me know!

May your week be filled with love, compassion, and gentle curiosity,

A

The Key to Loving the Life You Have

I’ve had a tendency most of my life to compare my experience with that of others (maybe you can relate!) and thinking that my life needed to look a certain way or be a certain way in order to be happy and okay with things.

Of course, many of us know by now that the source of our happiness isn’t found in the outer world but rather within us no matter what the outer circumstances might be.

In today’s video, you’ll learn a little more about how this practice is still a part of my current experience and a gentle reminder how to consciously love the life you have each day.

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How to Reveal What It Is You're Hiding From

I find that I am continuously peeling back the layers to reveal more and more of my deeper, truer self and this happened once again on quite a deep, existential level as I found myself laying in shavasana just the other day.

For many of us, we may find ourselves wrestling with an existential question of “do I matter?” and what occurred to me after my revelation just the other day is that much of our mission here on earth, should we choose to accept it, is to peel back the various layers and ways we have created to help us feel like we do.

And even though what revealed itself to me could be perceived as kind of heavy or dark, it didn’t feel that way at all. I think that is partly because I’ve been learning that this stuff doesn’t need to be so serious and I can have more fun with the discoveries I make along the way. And, I think partly it’s because I’ve already been peeling back these layers bit by bit so it isn’t as scary or alarming as it might have been before.

My intention for sharing this with you is so you can witness the power this simple question can have when I want to call myself out a little and gently reveal where I tend to hide or avoid things. Plus, this revelation may spark something within you or serve as something to chew on for a few days.

In today’s video, you’ll learn what this question is and how you can use it to reveal your own truths.

Read More

Freedom Isn't Just For the Birds (or Nomads)

A few months ago I explored this idea of freedom and what it means to me.

It’s incredible just how much this perspective continues to support me in a way that feels so true and so expansive. Yet, I’m also being reminded that one does not need to sell all of their belongings (though a certain amount of downsizing can help facilitate a sense of freedom) or travel the world to experience freedom and limitless possibilities. 

We can all experience freedom in each and every moment no matter what our circumstances—it’s simply a practice of seeing life through a different lens.

So while I chose to free myself from my possessions and home, I am well aware that this is not the source of my freedom.

In today’s video, you’ll learn the 3 things we all can do to experience more freedom no matter where we are or what our situation might be.

Freedom isn’t found in a suitcase or lack of possessions; it's found in the choices we have in each and every moment. {Tweet that!}

Once you’ve had a chance to watch the video, I’d love to hear from you.

What does freedom mean to you? How can you experience more freedom and limitless possibilities right now in your life as it is?

Leave a comment below and let me know! 

I’d love to hear from you because while I am learning that it is part of my constitution to be a wanderer and an adventurer and I thrive with change, it is definitely not for everyone; and, though it offers me much freedom, it is certainly not the only way to experience more freedom and possibilities in our lives.

Sending love from the road,

A

P.S. Want to learn more about how I handle the fear and uncertainty that comes up living on the road (and that comes up even when you’re not living out of a suitcase)? I’d love to have you join me for this month's Being Inspired Seminar Series on Tuesday, January 26 at 7pm ET. Be sure to register here to receive each month's call in details, calendar invites, and reminders. I will be hosting a new topic on the last Tuesday of each month at 7pm ET and would love to have you join me! (Recordings of each call will be sent out to those who have registered so no worries if you can't join me live!)