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. 

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?" 

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!

 

My New Approach to Life (and Why It’s worth Trying)

Have you ever had one of those days (or weeks) when you didn’t think you could feel any worse? When those old hurts and stories and patterns started to emerge? 

I had one of those just the other day. 

It sucked. I was angry, sad, resentful, and sick to my stomach. But, there was something different about this experience that I hadn’t been aware of before.

In today’s video, I examine what was so different about my recent experience and how it is offering me a whole new perspective on life and how to approach it.

If you’re anything like me and have found yourself unsure of what to do during times like this, I invite you to watch today’s video where I share my reflections that could be just the thing you’ve been looking for.

For so many of us, we do a lot of inner work so as to avoid feeling certain ways or experiencing certain parts of ourselves (at least, that was the case for me). 

What I’m learning is that the journey isn’t about avoiding but rather embracing all parts of ourselves (even the parts that feel painful or “bad” or undesirable). And for those of us on this spiritual quest, it can be all too easy to think we’re supposed to be all “light” when we’re here to experience the whole range. This is where true experience and healing can occur.

It’s not about getting to a place of all "light” and no “shadow” but rather no longer judging any of it as good or bad. {Tweet that!}

In order to be able to ask the questions that matter and uncover the Truth that lies within us, we first need to accept and embrace ALL of it. So the next time you think that you shouldn’t be feeling this way or you don’t want to experience this pain, I invite you to feel it all and embrace the full range of emotions of what it means to be alive and notice that in so doing you are, always have been, and always will be okay.

Now, I’d love to hear from you! What does this bring up for you or what insights do you have to share? Post your learnings and reflections in the comments below so we can all learn from one another on this incredible journey.

Do you know someone who could benefit from living a fuller existence? If so, please pass this along to them. It is always much appreciated!

With love & gratitude,

xoxo

How to Use Your Tools & Stay True to You

As a student of life, a self-help junkie, and a soulful inquirer, I’ve read a lot of books, taken a lot of courses, watched a lot of videos, and listened to a lot of podcasts. In the course of this, I’ve acquired hundreds of tools and pieces of advice—everything from meditation (in all its forms) to drinking hot lemon water to keeping a gratitude journal to reciting mantras to inquiring my thoughts to visualizations to doing yoga to many, many more.

And as an over-achieving student and dedicated disciple, I take these tools and teachings to heart and do my best to use each one and get (what a dear friend and mentor Cora Poage recently said) an A+ on my spiritual report card.

Perhaps you can relate.

It seems like everywhere we turn nowadays there is a new tool or technique or piece of advice that someone is offering us. For me, this can sometimes feel overwhelming, discouraging, or even distract me from the very thing I am trying to experience (such as relief, peace, or ease).

In today’s video, I share a fresh perspective to help bring us back to our center and experience that which we seek.

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