How I Live with Uncertainty (and How You Can, Too!)

I notice just how helpful and reassuring it is to hear stories from others who exemplify to me what it means to live an existence based on TRUST and “going with the flow.”

No matter how often I find myself in a position of uncertainty or change, it never seems to surprise me just how unfamiliar it can sometimes feel and just how valuable it is to hear others’ experiences that reaffirm for me once again just how possible it is to go through life without needing to control every little thing.

So that’s what I want to offer to you today. My story. My experience. Yet another one to add to your cauldron of examples how it IS possible to live an existence without fear, without stress, without anxiety.

My hope is that the more we share these examples, the more courage others can have when stepping out into the unknown for themselves.

In today’s video, you’ll learn the 4 things I do to feel less anxious and more confident amidst uncertainty (and how you can, too!).

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Ever Feel the Need to Change Someone?

Maybe it’s because I’m an idealist; maybe it’s because I see the best in everyone; maybe it’s because I’m a recovering control freak; but I just love to think I can change others—and, boy, I sure like to try. 

Whether it’s changing my partner to take care of himself better or change my brother’s perspective on a topic near-and-dear to my heart or encourage a stranger to be more mindful and less angry, I often take it upon myself to bring change about in the world. My mission statement that I wrote when I was 18-years-old was, “Reaching and changing lives through the performing arts.” Even then, I believed it was my duty (and within my power) to change others.

Now, this desire has (almost) always come from a place of love and wanting the best for others. Can’t people just see that I want the best for them and change, gosh-darnit? 

In today’s video, I share a few things I’ve heard recently which have helped bring me back to my center and remind me what’s within my control and what I’m really here to do.

If you’re anything like me and have found yourself wanting to change others from time-to-time (or, let’s be honest, nearly everyday), I invite you to watch today’s video as I unpack a few reminders to help you keep your cool and remain in your own power.

There’s nothing wrong with having a desire to help and change others—often this comes from such a good place and there are really great things we can do in the world that have a positive effect on people. As Elizabeth Gilbert reminds us by referencing a Paul Tillich quote, "all love eventually becomes help."

When we do something from a place of love, we are offering help without force or expectation. {Tweet that!}

The next time you catch yourself trying to change someone else, use it as an opportunity to look within, see if you are currently walking your own talk and being the change you wish to see in the world, and then offer any thoughts, insights, or resources purely from a place of love.

It is not our job to change others; it is our job to look within and share what we find from a place of love. {Tweet that, too!}

Now, I’d love to hear from you! What do you do when you find yourself feeling the need to change someone else? Offer us your insights from a place of love in the comments below.

Do you know someone who could benefit from hearing this valuable reminder? If so, please pass it along and see the ripple effect we can create by walking our own talk and sharing what we learn from a place of love.

P.S. Do you ever find yourself feeling guilty that you should or shouldn’t be doing something or that you’re doing too much or not enough? If so, I’d love for you to join me on my upcoming FREE teleclass on November 24! Claim your spot here. 

How to Have Less Stress by Cleaning up Your Beliefs: Part 3

Have you ever had that thought "Why does this keep happening to me?" I just experienced this again recently when I had the thought "I do the work; why am I still struggling with this?"

Then I remembered that, unlike my closet, I need to clean out my beliefs on a regular (maybe even daily) basis in order to experience the life I want.

If you've ever struggled with those pesky beliefs that just don't seem to budge, then this video is for you. We'll explore the final step in cleaning up our beliefs and some useful resources and tools for doing so on an ongoing basis.

Often it is not our circumstances that need to change but rather our relationship with our beliefs. {Tweet that!}

Now, I'd love to hear from you.

What do you want to experience more of in life? And, what beliefs are keeping you from experiencing that?

I’d love to see what you come up with so please take a moment and share in as much detail as possible in the comments below this post. Your story may be just what someone else needs to hear to have a breakthrough.

Spring cleaning our homes might happen once a year but taking stock, going through, and getting rid of disempowering beliefs occurs daily. So please pass this along to anyone in your life who you think might benefit from getting rid of some unnecessary beliefs and experience more peace and ease in life!

Did you enjoy this video series? Then be sure to sign up to receive more weekly videos and updates on my upcoming virtual program, 66 Days to Love the Life You Have, or go ahead and confirm your spot today.

With gratitude...

How to Have Less Stress by Cleaning up Your Beliefs: Part 1

The other day I found myself feeling a little out of sorts and kind of cranky. Then I noticed that my apartment was starting to get messy—piles of papers were forming all over my small space and dust bunnies were gathering under my book cases.

So I took some time to straighten things up and put things away and it was incredible what a difference that made!

Then it dawned on me. Just like how we need to spring clean our living spaces to feel a sense of renewal and less stress, we need to do the same thing with our beliefs from time-to-time.

Just like papers, clothes, or boxes that sit untouched for months (or years) start piling up and can add to our feeling of heaviness and dissatisfaction, our beliefs (when gone unexamined) can have the same effect.

And I started by pulling out and looking at some of my beliefs about what it means to put something out into the world that may not be "perfect." So I stepped out of my comfort zone a bit and created my first video series to walk through how I see decluttering our beliefs is a lot like decluttering our closets and it begins with pulling everything out so we can take stock of what we have.

In this first video of my 3-part series, I'll share the 3 things to remember when starting the process of cleaning out our old beliefs so we can have less stress and more peace.

Now for this week’s challenge.

I want you to begin taking stock of your thoughts, noticing how they’re showing up and how they affect your life. Ask yourself, “What happens in my body when I believe this thought? How do I act and what are the outcomes or results of that thought?” I am fascinated to find out what you learn through this process, so please take the moment and share some of your discoveries in the comments below.

This week's "tweetable:" We are not our thoughts, just like we are not the box of yearbooks or pairs of shoes in our closet. {Tweet that!}

Want to receive next week's video directly to your inbox? Be sure to sign up so as to not miss out on what we do with our beliefs once we have pulled them all out!

How Learning This One Thing Changed My Life

Why is life so f*cking hard sometimes? Up until a couple of years ago, this was a recurring question for me. My life was filled with stress, worry, never being good enough, always wanting something more, never knowing what that something was.

My critic ran the show.

I was depressed, moody, uncertain of what to do with my life. I felt like I was going nowhere. And I was so tired of feeling that way.

Then I finally woke up and I started asking a different question.

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The Only “What If” Question We Ever Need to Ask Again

I cannot count how many times I wonder things like, “what if this happens” or “what if that happens” and “oh my god, but what if…?!” These questions and focusing on the future are not nearly as helpful as I want them to be. Instead of getting answers and feeling better about things, I often end up with more questions and feeling a lot worse.

So … I’ve decided that I’m going to do my best to refrain from asking any “what if” question EXCEPT for the only one that actually helps me experience more peace, ease and flow in my life. One that actually provides me with more answers and feeling better than before I asked it.

Wanna know what the one “what if” question is ….?

i-believe-i-think1

WHAT IF IT ISN’T TRUE?

I imagine many of us have stories that we tell ourselves on a daily (if not hourly) basis that limit us or hold us back. These stories usually aren’t fairytales or even awesomely powerful “I can do it” stories.

They are more often than not stories that tell us how we aren’t good enough or why things don’t work out for us or why we could never do this or that.

It is these stories that make up our belief system — about ourselves and about the world around us.

And it is our beliefs that beget our actions and behaviors. So … if we want to change a behavior, the first place to look is at the stories we tell ourselves and what beliefs we carry.

They say insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.

If we want to start moving the needle in the direction towards global sanity, we need to start by looking within at the beliefs we each hold that are driving the same ol’ behavior over and over again.

Here are a few suggestions on how to start this process.

Acknowledge that a story and belief even exist.

Before we can change anything, we must first admit it exists. We need to admit that the beliefs we hold to be absolute truth are just based on stories that we have been telling ourselves for as long as we can remember. And while these stories are based on our personal experiences or the experiences others have shared with us, they are still our creative interpretation of reality which started to form our view of ourselves and the world. Before we can do anything else, we need to take the first step (albeit possibly the hardest) and say, “This is a story I keep telling myself."

Question the belief.

Now that we have acknowledged that our beliefs are nothing more than stories we made up and reinforced time and time again, we can begin to question them. We can start to ask ourselves, “what if this isn’t true?” Another way to do this is to question what other possibilities exist? And one of my favorite ways to reframe our beliefs is to ask “who would I be without this story?” This helps us take more responsibility in how we are behaving based on the story or thought we choose to believe. The more often we can put ourselves in the driver’s seat and make powerful, conscious choices on what we believe and how we act, the more often we will experience peace, ease and flow in the world.

Replace your stories with new ones.

Once we start shifting our perspective and see that there are other stories that are equally as valid and probably even serve us better, then we can start to form new beliefs. This can be done by establishing some positive habits and rituals like gratitude, affirmations, setting soulful intentions and focusing on that which we want to bring more of into our lives.

The great thing about stories is that they can be rewritten.

I get it — we like our stories. We think they are who we are. They are comfortable and we know them all by heart!

But when they hold us back and limit us from being our best authentic self, then it is time to get out the red pen and start making some edits. It might even mean scrapping the whole story altogether and starting over from scratch.

What is one story you keep telling yourself over and over again that you are willing to acknowledge, question and possibly even replace? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

How to Live a Soulful Existence by Setting Intentions for the New Year

On the last day of the year, it is a great opportunity to set aside some time and come up with our intentions for the year to come.

Resolutions are the more common list we each make as we approach the first of the year. However, these firm decisions do not seem to support a mindful existence as well as an intention which allows for the ebb and flow that life most certainly will bring.

As we embark on a new year — another 365 days of possibility — let’s do so in an intentional way, creating a guide from which we can make mindful, soulful decisions in each and every moment that support and uphold the life we want.

embracing the ocean

I have tried many things in the past from resolutions to goals to simply remaining open to what life may bring — each with varying levels of success. This year I wanted to try something new.

A friend of mine challenged me to come up with my intentions for 2015. It was a beautiful exercise of sitting with myself and getting in touch with not just what I want to do next year but how I want to live.

With her challenge in mind, I sat down and thought about how a person might identify one’s intentions. These are more than just a list of goals or a list of things to start or stop doing. They are how we want to experience life in each moment. They serve as a guide that directs each of our decisions and helps us manifest that which we want to see more of in the world.

To identify one's intentions — and not just a list of resolutions — I suggest trying the following things:

Get quiet

Whether this is through meditation or simply observing the thoughts in our head and letting them be, getting quiet allows us to get in touch with our deeper, inner self — the wisdom within.

Reflect on the past year

When we make a list of our accomplishments, we can celebrate all that we already possess and how powerful we can be. To do this, a mentor of mine encourages us to close our eyes and visualize the person we were on January 1, 2014 (physically, emotionally, spiritually). Then, step out of that person and take a “mental walk” towards the person we are today (physically, emotionally, spiritually), identifying all of the accomplishments along the way.

It is equally important to identify any areas where we didn’t necessarily hit the mark — not so that we can judge or experience any self-hate (see #3) but rather so that we can realistically accept where we are currently.

Avoid judgement of self, others and situations

It is inevitable that things on our to-do list never got checked off or we didn’t reach some of our goals. That is okay. It is important to remember that life is a journey, not a destination. Instead of judging our current situation, simply observe it. Equally it is helpful not to compare ourselves with others. We are all on our own path and are exactly where we need to be at this very moment.

Get in touch with what we want to have more of in life

Once we have identified what we experienced as accomplishments and areas where we still want to improve, we can ask ourselves what feeling or experience we want to have more of in life. These will most likely start showing up as themes as we look at each accomplishment and ask “what was I going for here?” or “what did I experience/feel when I accomplished this?” We can ask the same of those areas where we want to improve by asking ourselves “if I did (more of) this, what do I expect to feel/experience?” These feelings or experiences can serve as our intentions — our inner wisdom and guide — from which we hang everything else.

We can still set goals that uphold our intentions and are illustrative of what we plan to experience. Just remember that goals — like life — change and need to be continuously reexamined and modified to fit current situations. So long as our decisions uphold and illustrate our intentions, we can live a mindful, soulful, intentional existence.

When you think about what you have accomplished and what you still want to improve upon, what feeling or experience are you looking to have more of in your life? 

The Power of the Domino Effect

Kindness Blog has generously published another Presence Matters blog on the power of the Domino Effect. dominos-1

One of my favorite things to do when I was a child was to line up dozens of dominoes in an interesting configuration, tip one of them over and watch all the others elegantly follow suit.

Sometimes I think that people are a bit like dominoes.

When one of us is “nudged” to do something good, many others elegantly follow suit.

Read the article to see how one person's seemingly small action can spur positive change.