One Way to Find Your Purpose

Have you ever wondered what your purpose is or how you can contribute to others in a meaningful way?

It’s taken me many years to recognize that my purpose and one way I can contribute to others has been right under my nose this entire time. 

Of course, I am a sucker for constant contemplation and examining just about everything that happens to me (so I just love this perspective that I share in this week’s video!).

In today’s video, I examine a few commonly held beliefs and add to it a dash of my own perspective to help point us in the direction of what our purpose is and how to find it.

If you’re anything like me and have found yourself wondering why you’re here and why you keep learning the same lessons over and over again, I invite you to watch today’s video where I offer up some ageless advice to help clarify this.

The question “what am I here for?” and “why does this keep happening to me?” may be more closely related than you first thought.

The more we see and learn from the lessons in each moment, the more we have to contribute to others. {Tweet that!}

In order to teach what we learn, we must first be willing to be a student. So, the next time you find yourself frustrated by a recurring situation or feeling, I invite you to pause, look for the lesson in it, see if it is similar to other lessons you are learning, and then consider how these lessons can inform your interactions with and contributions to others.

Now, I’d love to hear from you! What do you believe you are here to learn and, ultimately, share with others? Share your insights and reflections in the comments below so we can be witness to the incredibly unique gifts and purposes we each possess.

Do you know someone who could benefit from getting clearer on their purpose? If so, please pass this along to them. It is always much appreciated!

P.S. If this question of purpose or other thoughts of guilt or doubt ever creep up on you, be sure to reserve your spot for (or receive a recording of) my upcoming FREE teleclass on November 24! 

The Only Tried and True Formula for Success

There is so much incredible information out there and thought leaders and teachers who share with us their tried and true formula for success.

As a self-help junkie and soulful inquirer, I can get into this loop that there’s only one way to do something (and if someone’s already figured it out then I’d better just do what they did—down to the letter) OR I get frustrated when I don't “get it right” or it won’t work for me.

I’m guessing I’m not the only one who has ever felt this way. 

We are bombarded by formulas and recipes and get-fill-in-the-blank-quick fixes.

Whether it’s from Kris Carr, Marie Forleo, Michael Hyatt, Brene Brown, Deepak Chopra, or a million other incredible teachers, there's a lot to learn from what has worked well for these incredibly successful individuals. And it's wonderful that people share their lessons learned in an easy to understand structure or format. 

However, there’s also a common trap that can occur.

In today’s video, I share what this trap is and how we can avoid it based on an important timeless reminder.

If you’re anything like me and have found yourself thinking there’s only ONE way to do something or other people know better than you, I invite you to watch today’s video and be reminded of another formula for success. 

The next time you find yourself thinking that there's only one way to do something or thinking someone else knows better than you, pause and see if you can instead take the various ingredients and start to experiment with what works best for you and your unique tastes.

Experimentation is the only consistently tried and true formula for success. {Tweet that!}

Now, it’s your turn! Think of a time when you experimented recently and how did it go? Share your thoughts in the comments below so we can all be reminded of just how essential and successful experimentation truly is. 

If you happen to know someone who could benefit from hearing this essential timeless reminder and move beyond limitation or frustration, please share this with them.

How to Take Action While Accepting What Is

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I can remember it as if it were yesterday.

My face scrunched up that just screamed “judgment” all over it. I sat in my studio apartment and asked myself, “Now how can I possibly keep moving forward if I settle for accepting what is? Isn’t that just being passive? Won’t I become even more apathetic than I already am sometimes?"

These questions came fast and furious across my mind’s eye.

All I desired was to be at peace and to learn some common principles to experiencing joy and, yet, these questions seemed relentless. I figured there was no hope.

Well, luckily for me, I didn’t give up. I lived in the questions. I continued to inquire and seek answers from my own experience and based on the experiences of others.

Recently, in my Being Good with Being You program, these questions came up again from some of my participants so I figured it was time to share what I’ve learned with a wider audience.

In today’s blog, I share what exactly I learned when it came to resolving these questions and how I came to terms with no longer believing that being at peace is mutually exclusive from taking action.

If you’re anything like me and have found yourself asking one (or all) of these questions at least once, I invite you to read today’s blog and see for yourself how these two desires can live in harmony.

Here are a few of the questions that cropped up for me and for those I’ve been working with along with what I’ve discovered about each.

Isn’t observing really passive?

When we first start becoming a non-judgmental observer (the first step to truly loving what we have and experiencing peace in each moment), it can feel as if we aren’t doing much of anything. And sometimes we even wonder if we will ever take any form of action if we are simply observing.

My perspective (and experience that backs this up) is that observing is quite active. It is a conscientious action made in each moment.

It is by bringing awareness to something that we can shift it. Simply by bringing awareness to something changes it immediately. For instance, when we watch our breath or notice our walk or observe a performance or are observed at work, it changes that thing simply by being observed.

The knowledge of observation changes things and bringing awareness to our thoughts, feelings, or situation can have the exact same effect.

When we are aware in a non-judgmental way, we start to explore our creative possibilities along with our limitations. This isn’t a passive practice. When we are aware of ourselves without placing judgment on ourselves, we can maneuver more flexibly through life.

Don’t we need judgment to propel us forward and motivate us to improve?

This is also a super common belief and one that I definitely had and still catch myself noticing every once in a while.

When we are in judgment, what we do comes from a place of fear or hate. No good can come from that place, no matter how much action is taking place.

When we are in awareness, acceptance, and deep gratitude, what we do comes from a place of love. And, any forward movement we make from this place is in service of those involved.

Thing is, we don’t need to live in judgment to choose a life that is joyful, healthy, and in service to others.

When we are in pure awareness and acceptance, it becomes so much clearer what we want to pursue or how we want to serve, or how we desire to treat our bodies and those around us.

I finally realized that I don’t need judgment to eat better or get more sleep or pursue my passions. I now practice observing what is happening, accepting what is, and then make a decision in each moment that would serve me most.

How can we accept what is and not get lazy or apathetic?

This is a big one. I totally get this. I resisted accepting what is for quite some time. This manifested itself as stress, bi-polar outbursts, and experiencing life as a series of extreme highs and lows.

It was almost as if my ego was saying, “If I accept what is, how will I ever be happy?” or “If I accept what is, how will I ever get anything done?"

Now, I invite you to take a moment and really ponder these questions and ask yourself, is this true? Is it true that by accepting this moment, you won’t do anything? Is it true that happiness only comes by avoiding or resisting this moment?

When we accept what is, we are creating distance from our ego and living in alignment with the reality of the moment. We are honoring the present and seeing things for how they truly are, not how we wish they were.

Acceptance involves acknowledgment of the situation/person/feeling/etc. Acceptance isn’t a “stuffing down” of the situation or ignoring it.

Acceptance does not lead to apathy; acceptance leads to aligned and adaptive action. {Tweet that!}

Just because I accept that I lost my job doesn’t mean I don’t take action and find more work. Just because I accept that I got into a car accident doesn’t mean I don’t take action and fix my car.

Once I accepted that I have a tendency to be perfectionistic, I was able to be more mindful of those moments and choose to respond differently, if necessary. The acceptance didn’t keep me stuck as a perfectionist—actually, quite the opposite thing happened. By accepting those qualities of mine, I was able to get to a place of being less identified with them and see them for what they are non-judgmentally and then make new choices in each moment by responding to what is rather than reacting based on my egoic patterns.

As Eckhart Tolle says, “Egoic patterns, even long-standing ones, sometimes dissolve almost miraculously when you don’t oppose them internally."

Acceptance is the crux from which everything else flows. Once we begin to accept what is, we can let go of the suffering and anything that is no longer serving us, and we can take action in a more clear and aligned way.

Now it's your turn! Let us know how you’ve learned to practice both acceptance and action simultaneously. Leave your thoughts in the comments below this blog.

If you happen to know someone who could benefit from hearing these ideas and feeling more at ease about practicing acceptance and still taking action, please share this with them.

With endless appreciation,

P.S. If you’re curious how to practice acceptance and action at the same time, go ahead and grab a complimentary, no-pressure consultation with me where we can see if my Ready to SOAR coaching program is a good fit for you.

How to Handle Those Pesky Voices in Your Head

As a former actor, I’ve always enjoyed creating characters and learning who they are and what they have to say, and then getting to speak as if I were them.

Over the past few years, as I’ve worked with coaches, mentors, and done more self-discovery, I’ve been introduced to the different characters that play out their drama in my very own mind.

We all have these characters (or voices) that live inside our head and who try to be in constant dialogue with us (and each other). Many times these voices can really get the better of us.

Recently, I noticed that one of these voices of mine (my inner critic) started telling me that I’m not working hard enough and I’m starting to slip into an old pattern of giving up and not seeing something through to the end.

In the past, I would have either believed this voice hook, line, and sinker and gone into total panic or self-loathing, or I would have tried to stifle this voice and pretend it didn’t exist.

Now, after having learned a more effective tool based on my work with Michelle James (a Creative Emergence coach), I have an alternate approach to handling the voices in my head.

If you’re anything like me and sometimes have a hard time knowing what to do when that voice starts yammering on about this fear or that doubt or this concern or that judgment, be sure to watch today’s video where you’ll learn a new approach (and one that has helped many of my clients, too). 

Though they can be pesky, the voices in our head can offer us a lot of wisdom if we change how we interact with them. {Tweet that!}

The next time you hear those voices rattling on and find that simply observing them just isn’t doing the trick, give this tool a try and see if you feel a shift and notice the voice getting a little less pesky over time.

Now it’s your turn! What is your favorite tool for handling the voices in your head? Share in the comments below so we can all have a few more tools in our tool belt when it comes to engaging with our egos.

If you know anyone who could benefit from being free from the grips of the voices in their head and uncover the wisdom that lies within, please be sure to share this with them.

With love & gratitude,

P.S. If you desire to have someone serve as your guide as you experiment with this tool (and many others), go ahead and grab a complimentary session with me here.

Craving More Freedom? Then Check This Out

Have you ever pondered the question, “What is true freedom?"

Now, there are seemingly many kinds of “freedom” out there—financial, creative, time, sexual, etc.

The other day I was having a conversation with the amazing Tara Tag about what financial freedom means. And it dawned on me that financial freedom isn’t having a certain amount of money—it’s knowing that I am able to make a choice based on what’s true for me instead of what’s in my bank account.

I realized that it’s a perception thing—not necessarily reality. I have a choice. I mean, I literally have a choice to spend money on something or put it on a credit card or find a way to create more money or not.

Then I noticed how this is true in so many other areas of my life. In all of these, I have a choice and can, therefore, experience freedom in all of them in any moment.

If we want to be free, we need to acknowledge (and exercise) the choice we have in each moment. {Tweet that!}

In this video, I’m going to share with you just what freedom means to me and how we can go about experiencing more of it in our lives. 

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How to Have Your Ego and Beat It, Too

A recurring thought of mine as I’ve been on this journey and started my own business has been: “How do I operate from a place with no ego while building a business centered around letting go of ego?"

First of all, for those of you asking yourselves, “What in the world is she talking about? What is this ‘ego’ she keeps referring to?”

Much of how I think about the ego and what I mean when I talk about the ego is based on Eckhart Tolle’s definition of ego: "Ego is the unobserved mind that runs your life when you are not present as the witnessing consciousness, the watcher."

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How to Get out of Overwhelm

As a world-class list-maker and scheduler, I know all too well just how to fill my calendar with to-do’s, appointments, and deadlines.

For a very long time I actually wasn’t sure if I could function without these things in place.

It’s only been in the last few months that I’ve tried something new. And, during one of my Masterclass calls this week with Jeannine Yoder it became really clear to me just how overwhelming the idea of all of these lists and deadlines are to me now.

I admit that I might have swung a little too far on the pendulum, and I don’t necessarily suggest that everyone rid their life of to-do lists and deadlines.

But I will say that the greatest thing I’ve learned from doing so is that I’m okay without these things and my days feel significantly less overwhelming.

If any of this resonates with you and you’re interested in experiencing less overwhelm in your life, then be sure to check out this week’s video.

In the video, I’m going to share with you some great advice I received on how to assess where we spend our time and develop a deeper sense of true productivity and power.

If you know anyone who tends to create lists or fill their calendar in order to feel productive or accomplished, then please share this with them so that they can learn one simple question to ask each day to stay out of overwhelm and in their truth.

I’m not suggesting that all list-making and deadlines are useless.

Sometimes the best thing we can do in the moment is make a list or move towards a deadline. And other times we use these things simply as a distraction to help us think we are being productive.

There’s an alternative to lists and deadlines to feel productive and empowered. {Tweet this!}

Now I want to hear from you. What are your favorite tips to stay out of overwhelm?

Hop on over to the blog to share your wisdom in the comments below this video! I absolutely love learning what works for others and your tip might be just the thing someone needs to hear today.

Life isn’t about filling our task list and calendar with things to keep us busy and feeling productive. So please pass this along to anyone who might benefit from learning how to stay out of overwhelm and instead focus on those things that matter most.

With gratitude ...

PS I’d love to include you in my updates on the program I’ll be launching later this summer, so be sure to sign up here if you haven’t already! As a gift, you’ll receive my dirty little secrets to loving the life I have.

Are You Tired of Experiencing the Same Challenges Over and Over Again?

Recently, I caught myself acting in a way that I am not extremely proud of. I got triggered by something that has triggered me many times before and I reacted in a way that I've reacted many times before.

Have you ever experienced that?

Well, here's what happened next. After this undesirable behavior occurred and when I later told my friend about what happened, I noticed that instead of beating myself up about it (as I have been known to do in the past), I was quite compassionate with myself and recognized it as something that happened and moved on.

This was huge for me!

It was one of the first times I recognized that it's okay that I get triggered or behave in ways that are less than ideal. I'm going to have bad days. 

What I'm learning is that it’s not about living a life without any challenges or stumbling blocks; it’s all about how we now respond to these challenges as they arise.

If you're anything like me and sometimes get frustrated with thinking you've "figured it out" and wonder why the same issue keeps tripping you up, then check out this video.

In this video, I'm going to explore why we experience the same challenges over and over again and how we can go from feeling frustrated to feeling free.

The sign of growth isn't being free of obstacles—it’s responding to them with more love, compassion, and resilience. {Tweet that!}

Now, I'd love to hear from you.

Do you ever find yourself frustrated when you encounter the same challenge because you thought you already had it “figured out”? Instead of focusing on the challenge, share with us how you now respond differently than you did before.

I'd love to see what you discover, so please take a moment and share in the comments' section below this post. What you share might be exactly what someone else needs to hear today.

Challenges are not going to disappear. Once we accept this, we can begin to notice how growth and evolution are indeed occurring. So please pass this along to anyone in your life who you think might benefit from being reminded of how we can experience more freedom and less frustration in order to truly love the life we have!

If you desire more support in experiencing less frustration and seeing where you are already expanding in your life, I invite you to sign up for one of my complimentary discovery sessions.

P.S. I'm getting giddy with excitement to make a big announcement which I don't want you to miss so be sure to sign up if you haven't already!

With gratitude...

How to Stay in Compassion and Out of Obligation

Recently, I've been struggling—or shall I say "dancing"—with this idea of how I can continue to "work on myself" and do it in a way that reflects my deepest belief that I am good just the way I am and there is nothing that needs to be fixed. That sounds kind of paradoxical, doesn't it?

How can I work on something without believing it needs to be fixed?

Sometimes being on a spiritual path can feel paradoxical ... and even a little frustrating.

It can feel like I'm beating myself up all the time while trying out new tools and practices (which kind of defeats the purpose).

What I'm learning is that it is possible to expand ourselves and adopt new practices without beating ourselves up.

In this video, I'm going to share with you three questions we can use to see if what we are doing is coming from a place of love and compassion or from a place of judgment and obligation.

Expansion and growth don't have to come from judgment and obligation. {Tweet that!}

Now, I'd love to hear from you.

How do you know that what you are doing is coming from a place of compassion or coming from a place of judgment?

I'd love to see what works best for you so please take a moment and share with us in the comments below this post. What you share might be just the thing someone else needs to hear today.

As we expand and grow into our deepest level of awareness, we can sometimes fall back into being critical and forcing ourselves to do things that just don't serve us. So please pass this along to anyone in your life who you think might benefit from being reminded of how we can be loving and compassionate with ourselves while on this lifelong journey!

If you want more support in staying out of judgment and truly loving the life you have, I invite you to sign up for one of my complimentary discovery sessions and sign up to receive more tips, tricks, and updates directly to your inbox.

P.S. I'm getting giddy with excitement to tell you more about a program I will be launching soon that helps people learn how to stay out of judgment and begin to SOAR!

With gratitude...

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 2

I have often been tormented by the questions: Do I keep it? Do I throw it out? What if I need it later? As I started cleaning up my beliefs the same way I clean out my closet, the same questions started to come up. Our beliefs, much like our closets, can easily get overtaken by years and years of ignoring the build up and not taking time to pause and question what is really going on.

If you've ever wondered how to start sifting through your beliefs and learn once and for all how to begin to turn them around, then this video is a must watch! You'll learn a simple tool to take charge over your beliefs once again and start making a little more space for the ones you really want.

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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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Do You Make These Six Common Mistakes When Meditating?

I remember the first time I tried to meditate and thought, “This is so not what I thought it would be!" I had a very clear image in my mind of what meditating was supposed to be—and what it wasn’t. And what I instead discovered is that my preconceived notions actually kept me from experiencing the true benefits of meditation.

If you’ve ever found yourself wondering why meditating isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, perhaps you have some of the same misconceptions that I initially had.

To make sure we are reaping the true benefits of meditation, we first need to understand some of the most common mistakes people make when starting a meditation practice.

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Ever Wondered What It Would Be like to Give Yourself a Break?

For the past couple of weeks, I was in a real funk. I was in a state of malaise pretty much every day. And I felt frustrated with myself that I couldn’t figure out why. I over-analyzed it, worried about it, and tried to make it go away.

What I noticed?

The more I fought it, the more it persisted.

So I eventually tried something else—I let myself off the hook. I allowed myself to be in a funk. I gave myself what I needed in the moment.

Maybe you’ve been in a funk or given yourself a hard time for feeling a certain way before, too.

What I learned is that the greatest gift we can give ourselves during times like these is a break.

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Three Familiar Symptoms of Not Being Good Enough

Launching a new business really brings up a bunch of sh*t. The amount of self-doubt and insecurity this brings up for me is pretty incredible. My inner critic just loves itself a new opportunity to get into my head.

It challenges me each and every day to remember that I am good enough.

I’m pretty sure I’m not alone here. Most of us walk around each day and, one way or another, think we’re not good enough.

Whether or not we acknowledge it to others—or even to ourselves—I have started to notice a few common symptoms that crop up when we live a life apologizing for who we are.

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10 Simple Ways to Truly Love the Life You Have

One of my favorite things to do is read people’s "top 10” lists. It feels like I’m receiving a ridiculously short “how to” guide on life.

I wanted to create my own and share how I put some of what I’ve learned into practice to honestly love the life I have and have more of the life I want.

I’ve gone from feeling depressed, anxious, constantly stressed and worried to feeling way more calm, compassionate, at peace and in love with myself just the way I am.

Don’t get me wrong. It took more than just doing these 10 things, but each of these now contribute to a much happier and more joyful experience.

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What I've Learned from Breaking up with My Ego

Have you ever been in that situation when it came time to “have the talk” or DTR (Define the Relationship)?

I’ve had it a few times in my life. It’s not a comfy thing for me to do. But in each situation, I’m glad I did. It helped me get clearer on who I am and what I want and how this other person plays into that (or not).

A couple of years ago, I realized that I needed to have this conversation with someone who I had known for a very long time and who had been with me through thick and thin — my ego.

And I can tell you, it’s not easy. But having a clearer understanding of our dynamic has made my life so much easier.

We all have an ego.

And our ego has played an important role since a very young age. It  helped protect us from this big, bad world when we were at a place in our development when we needed it most.

And like with any relationship, there comes a time when we need to take a closer look at it.
a-closer-look

We get to a point when we realize the ego no longer serves us.

So how do we let the ego down easy and reclaim our relationship with our self?

Recognize its individuality.

The ego loves to talk. A lot. The first place we can notice our ego is in our thoughts. And by the very nature of observation, when we can observe our thoughts (our ego) then we can be confident that we are separate from it.

When we recognize that we are not our ego, the conversation gets a whole lot easier.

Give it some love.

The ego just wants to be seen and heard. It wants to be acknowledged. So go ahead and give it what it wants. Say “thank you for sharing” when it butts in and gives advice on how to respond to that text message or comments on that woman’s attitude.

The ego isn’t trying to be a jerk — it just doesn’t know any better.

Next time the ego interferes, give it a wink and a smile.

Learn what matters to it most.

The ego gets its sense of self by identifying with all sorts of things — thoughts, labels, roles, material possessions. Remember, it is trying to protect us and is doing the best job it can to make sure we are okay. So it latches on to anything it thinks will make life better. Sadly, it doesn’t know that we are already okay. Take note of what it identifies with most — the car, the role as leader, the label of “shy,” the thought “I could never do that."

Trying to force the ego to let go of attachments is impossible — but as awareness grows, the attachments will begin to drop away because we start to notice that we are separate from all these things.

Get to know its patterns.

The ego uses some incredible strategies to help us out in situations that seem scary or uncomfortable. Maybe the ego withdraws each time it finds itself feeling attacked. Or perhaps the ego puffs up its chest and yells at someone who confronts it.

Take note of these tendencies — they are just a way for the ego to help make sure we feel okay.

The next time the ego wants to crack a joke in a stressful situation, don’t say anything and notice what happens. I can pretty much guarantee that you will still be standing and completely unharmed.

Once we understand that we are okay without the ego’s help, then we are stepping into our truly awakened self.

Now the ego is pretty tenacious. (Some women wish more men were this way.) And just because we have this conversation once doesn’t mean it’s going to go away.

Having an ego is a part of life. Redefining the relationship with the ego is enlightenment. {Tweet That!}

What is one pattern you observe your ego doing in moments of stress or conflict? Share in the comments below and serve as an inspiration of self-observation to others.

Wannabe Your Valentine? 3 Ways to Reclaim This Holiday

Valentine’s Day is just one day out of 365. Hard to believe, right? I find that no matter if I’m single or in a relationship this day seems to dangle over my head (and in my subconscious) for the entire month of February.

Even this year, I actively decided not to make Valentine’s a big deal and here I am writing an entire article about it!

It feels nearly impossible to ignore — so I decided to approach it from a different angle this year.

It’s not just about chocolates, teddy bears and cute couples going out to eat.

I know it sometimes feels this way. Our society has done a phenomenal job of getting us to buy into it hook, line and sinker. But there is another way of looking at it.

Love is all around! And love is a beautiful and essential thing.

And for all my single peeps reading this, that might not feel so great. Or maybe it feels like something to celebrate! Either way, it is up to us how we want to interact with this holiday.

At the end of the day, Valentine’s is a great opportunity to pause and remember to love thyself.

We all know the importance of self-love. It is at the root of our ability to love others; at the core of our own satisfaction with life; and it serves as the foundation from which all growth and self-realization begin.

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This time of year actually provides us with loads of opportunity to see the beauty within and boost our own happiness.

And this is exactly what happens as we begin to be more conscious and mindful in life. So here is how we can use Valentine’s as a fantastic excuse to practice awakening to our authentic self.

Actively look for love and beauty.

The world is our mirror. This means when we see things in others that cause our skin to prickle, there’s a really good chance that exists somewhere deep in our dark corners.

But this also means that when we see a couple truly in love sharing a romantic moment or notice the beauty of the sunset or admire the beauty of a rose, this love and beauty exist within us.

We can only know these things to be what they are if we have some experience of them. And that experience is part of who we are and what we are capable of in the world.

Connect with others.

Use this time of year to reach out to family, friends, strangers on the street or support your favorite cause. When we connect, we have a positive impact on our brain. We are social creatures and are meant to connect with others.

And when we remember that we all want the same things in life — to feel loved and and a sense of belonging — we can extend more compassion to others.

Connection and feeling compassion for others boosts our natural anti-depressants and increases real happiness.

Celebrate YOU!

Do something nice for yourself. Use this time to celebrate all that you have done and all that you are. Write yourself a love letter or take yourself to dinner.

Another thing we can do is expand on the feel-good thoughts we sometimes have. When you notice a positive thought, ask these four questions from Elisha Goldstein.

  1. Is it true?
  2. Is it possible that it’s true?
  3. If you step into that possibility for a moment, how does that make you feel?
  4. Can I allow myself to linger in this feeling for a few moments?

These questions bring you straight into the present moment. For another great resource on mindfulness and presence, check out this post from Relax Like a Boss.

When we actively love ourselves first and practice self-care, we create space to let go of the judgments, expectations and negative thoughts and experience a deeper sense of self.

No matter what our status, we can celebrate Valentine’s Day in a self-nurturing way.

It’s up to us to reclaim this holiday (and all other 364 days) as a day to celebrate our authentic inner essence and experience more peace and joy.

What is your favorite self-nurturing ritual? What else would you add to make this holiday more about self-love? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

The #1 Reason We Don't Experience Unconditional Love

Unconditional love.

You know, the kind we see in the movies. The kind where the person can do no wrong and are loved fully and truly as they are. Ah, so beautiful.

I must admit, I’m one of those sappy romantics who believe it’s possible and wants nothing more than to experience it in my own life.

And, boy, do I try. I want nothing more than to love my partner unconditionally — so why is it so hard sometimes?

I’m not suggesting that to give unconditional love is easy but I wondered if I might be missing something. I realized I was going about it in the wrong order. I was focusing all of my efforts on loving him unconditionally. And when I found myself feeling frustrated when I couldn’t seem to muster up the ability to do it, I couldn’t quite understand why.

What does it even mean to love unconditionally? According to one article I read, it means releasing judgment and accepting others as they are and choosing to act in a loving manner always.

Have you ever wanted unconditional love?

Or maybe you’re one of those people who believe it doesn't exist. I don’t blame you. It’s hard to believe it exists when we experience it so seldom and when most of us have been going about it all wrong.

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If we want to experience unconditional love, we have to start by giving it to ourselves.

This was my big “ah-ha” moment. Maybe it’s painfully clear to everyone else but it just recently clicked for me. I began to realize that if we can’t love ourselves unconditionally we’ll never be able to experience unconditional love elsewhere.

Why?

Well, because the way we see ourselves is how we see the world. So, if there is something I don’t like about myself, it’s going to become a sore spot for me when I see it another.

How can we have unconditional love for someone who possesses the qualities or does things that we don’t like about ourselves? We can’t.

Before we can even begin to love someone else fully and truly for who they are, we first must love ourselves that way.

How?

Stop judging ourselves.

That voice that says “I can’t believe you just did that” or “That was so stupid” or “Why am I always so needy?” needs to go. Judgment is a total joy kill and it makes loving ourselves unconditionally impossible. When we judge ourselves we are placing a condition on ourselves that says “If only I were better, then I could love myself."

Accept ourselves for who we are.

Yup, despite the number on the scale or what others say about us or how much money we have in the bank. Life is cyclical. It ebbs and flows. We have ups and downs. We need to remember that in this moment we accept where we are. It might not be where we “want to be" but that doesn’t matter. When we are unwilling to accept who we are we are placing a condition on ourselves that says, “If only I were different, then I could love myself."

Choose to act in a loving manner with ourselves — always.

This shows up in how we talk to ourselves and how we take care of ourselves. Do we say kind things? Do we get enough sleep? Do we fuel our bodies with healthy foods? Do we care for ourselves the way we would care for another? Do we put our needs first? When we choose not to act in a loving manner we are placing a condition on ourselves that says, “When I feel good about myself, then I can treat myself better."

If we are unwilling to love ourselves in this way, we can’t expect to show it to others.

Because each time they do something that irks us or triggers us, it will be so much harder for us to accept it and not judge it if we haven’t first developed that same kind of compassion within ourselves.

It’s a heck of a lot easier to accept someone for being late when we have already done the work to accept ourselves those times when we did the same thing.

Let’s do the work ourselves first. Then, we can think about extending this type of love to others.

And once we’ve learned how to love ourselves unconditionally and begin to extend that to those around us, we create space for them to do the same thing.

But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves.

What is one way you can show yourself more unconditional love? Share below and inspire others by leading the charge and providing some food for thought.