Is it my intuition or is it my resistance? Here’s how to know the difference.

On the one hand, there’s listening to your body, your inner wisdom, your gut feelings, your intuition, or really whatever you want to call your divine instinct.

And then on the other, there’s resistance.

What’s the difference?

This is something I grapple with daily.

I’m a worker. I can push through and produce. I can caffeinate and make it happen if I need to. I get off on productivity.

When I’m getting a signal that it’s time to take a break, call off the event, or not move forward on a project, I get suspicious.

But I’ve found that when I heed that signal, I’m rewarded time after time.

Resistance

Resistance is when you spend two hours on Facebook instead of facing the blank page when you’ve made a commitment to write.

Resistance is being “too busy” to exercise when you have a very clear desire to care for your body.

Resistance is saying no when your friend wants to set you up with someone when you’ve tearfully shared with her that your deepest longing is for romantic love.

Resistance is succumbing to the details of your business and allowing them to prevent you from moving forward when you have a clear goal to break six figures this year.

Divine Instinct

Listening to your divine instinct is canning a project just before it goes live because the marketing feels really inauthentic.

Listening to your divine instinct is saying no to a great opportunity, even if it’s really shiny and fancy sounding, because it just doesn’t feel right.

Listening to your divine instinct is turning left when everyone else is turning right.

Listening to your divine instinct is canceling a meeting because you’re actually not that excited about the connection and, quite frankly, you could really use a nap.

Here’s an easy rule of thumb:

When we listen to our divine instinct we feel better. When we let resistance lead we may feel short-term gratification but, ultimately, we feel worse.

twitter_standingListening to your divine instinct is self-care. Resistance is self-sabotage. (Tweet it.)

 

What’s your divine destination?
Where are you headed in this precious life?
What do you really, really want?

Resistance is your sneaky little pseudo-safety mechanism preventing you from moving toward that which you truly desire.

Your divine instinct, however, knows the way and is ready to lead you if you’ll simply listen.

Over to you:

How do you distinguish between resistance and your divine instinct? How do you feel when you let resistance take the lead? How do you feel when you let the divine take the lead?

Leave a comment below  – I’d love to hear your experience with this one.

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The simple practice that could save you $700 and hours of your precious time

Taming the Inner Fascist

Over the weekend Mike and I had planned to spend Saturday cleaning up our house.

Saturday afternoon came around. We’d been to the gym. We’d eaten. We’d put on our cleaning clothes. It was time.

I asked Mike where we should start (he’s far better at structure and sequential thinking than I am). But there were zero ounces of me that felt like tidying up the house.

I was tired. All I wanted to do was lie down on the floor. He was tired. Neither of us felt like doing it.

He suggested we go to a movie. I said, “No! This is the day we planned to clean up! If we don’t do it today we’re not going to do it!” (Sometimes I do such a great job of embodying a little fascist.)

“Why don’t you take a nap?” Mike suggested.

“No! We need to clean up!” I responded emphatically.

We went back and forth like this. Every time Mike proposed something other than cleaning up that sounded like more fun, my body said “Yes!” but my mind gave a hard “No!”… until my inner Mussolini finally cracked.

Mike suggested we go out and look for furniture, another project that had been on the list for weeks. I caved and said sure.

Saving Time, Money, And Energy

We found everything we needed at one store. It took about an hour; we saved over $700 because the people at the store were awesome and gave us a “newlywed discount”; and it was an altogether incredible afternoon.

But the kicker was, as we were shopping, I got super excited to get home and clean up the house so that we could get rid of stuff and organize everything else in our new armoires and cabinets.

My body had known something earlier that my mind wasn’t aware of:

Cleaning up would have taken way longer and been way more frustrating without the furniture to put everything away.

My earlier fatigue was my intuition telling me that I had things in the wrong order.

As soon as we had the furniture, the surge of enthusiasm for cleaning up came rushing in.

twitter_standingYour body has access to infinitely more information than your mind. Listen to her. (Tweet it.)

Her communications will come in the form of an urge to lie down and take a nap every time you start working on a certain project or uncontrollable yawning when you have tea with a certain friend.

You’ll get a tight little knot in your solar plexus in a meeting or a wave of nausea right as you’re supposed to be signing on the dotted line.

Your body’s signals are not random.

Yet we live in a culture that teaches us to overcome our body.

Push through.
No pain no gain.
Keep going.
Buckle down.

What if we actually listened to the signals our body was giving us?

And what if we actually acted on them?

On Saturday Mike and I listened to and acted on our impulses. We did what we felt like doing instead of what we’d planned on doing.

We were rewarded by efficiency (furnishing two rooms in under an hour!), saving money, and heaps of pleasure that come from spending a beautiful afternoon together having fun.

When the furniture arrives we’ll get everything picked up and put away in record time with smiles on our faces and energy left over.

These choices are what life is made of. It may not seem like the choice to go look for furniture rather than cleaning up a house is particularly earth-shattering, but it is.

When we choose to listen to ourselves and follow our impulses toward what feels good our lives become easier.

We step into a flow where we meet the right people at the right time.

We have the energy to do the things that we need to do instead of feeling like we’re paddling upstream all the time.

Things take less time and cost less money.

And, most importantly, we can take all the energy we were previously using to push through and use it to make art, to add value, to be of service, and to love our family, friends, the Earth, and ourselves.

Listening to your body, acting on her impulses, and choosing to move toward feeling good is serious business.

twitter_standingThe choice to feel good is a revolutionary act. (Tweet It.)

What would happen if you did what you felt like doing instead of what you’d planned on doing?

Try this – it will take less than a minute:

  1. Set an alarm to go off every hour or so during your day today.
  2. When it goes off close your eyes and take a single deep breath in and out.
  3. As you breath in and out simply feel what’s going on in your body.
  4. Ask whatever sensation you may feel (pain in your left knee, a tightness in your stomach, a tingling in your shoulder…) what message it has for you.
  5. Listen for the answer.
  6. Ask yourself, “What do I really feel like doing right now?”
  7. Listen for the answer.

Extra credit: Do the thing that your body told you it feels like doing!

When you first start you may not be able to feel or hear anything. That’s totally fine and totally normal. Just keep coming back to your body and feeling and listening. Over time she’ll get the memo that you’re available for communication and the messages will begin to come in loud and clear.

And then, of course, it’s up to you to heed them.

When you heed the messages from your body you not only change your world, but also change the world.

Over to you:

What do you do to tune into the messages of your body? How does she speak to you? I’d love to hear about your tools and practices in the comments below.

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I was stumped.

I’d always had a clear vision of what I wanted: a beautiful house on the ocean in Maine, an adorable (and adoring) husband, plenty of space to host friends and family, and dogs and babies running around. Plus, of course, the financial freedom to support it all so my (adoring) husband and I could be there to enjoy it.

The financial freedom part was seemingly on track; however, the search for this incredible would-be hubby was a failure! I was in my early twenties and my desire to meet the man of my dreams was so clear I could taste it. Every time I talked about it or wrote about it tears stung the backs of my eyes — or flowed right out, depending on the time of the month.

Why don’t I have what I want yet?

This is the question that pestered me as I sat in the front row just to the right of the aisle in a room filled with ebullient women dressed in their “Beach Goddess” best. We were in Miami spending a weekend dedicated to learning about how to get more out of life through the deliberate pursuit of fun and pleasure.

But instead of pleasure, I just felt impatient. I wanted my future NOW. I wanted to meet my husband NOW. Every date I went on was consumed by the question, “Are you HIM?”

So I raised my hand. And the mistress of ceremonies, Mama Gena, aka my very dear friend Regena Thomashauer, called on me.

In a choked-up voice I told her my desire. I shared how impatient I felt. I shared that I understood how to get what I wanted in other areas of my life: you can always exercise more, eat less, make more sales calls, write more blog posts, clean out your closets, ask for referrals… But when it came to finding my husband, I had no idea what do to. What was the action plan? As a get-‘er-done kind of gal, I was lost.

Regena’s reply?

“Because you have such a clear desire, know that it is already guaranteed. I’ll be sitting on your front porch with you in just a few years, and your hot hubby will be flipping flapjacks in the kitchen. And we’ll be reminiscing on these very years leading up to the manifestation of your desire.”

“Your desire is in the bag.”

“So, now that you know that, how are you going to enjoy this precious time leading up to it? Your days as a single woman are numbered. Leave no stone unturned. Live it up. Fully be in your life now, as a happy woman. Live it up like you mean it.”

It was an alchemical moment.

My question to Regena mixed with her wisdom mixed with the magic of the community of women cheering one another on resulted in a golden change of perspective and intention.

A couple of years later, as I debated whether or not to invite this guy I barely knew to drive across the country with me on the first leg of The Freedom Tour, Regena’s words rang in my ear:

Leave no stone unturned. Live it up like you mean it.

So invite I did. I wasn’t thinking, “Is he my husband?” I wasn’t thinking, “What’s going to happen? Are we going to date? Will he kiss me?” Nope.

I was just thinking, “I have a gut feeling to invite this somewhat random guy to drive across the country with me. He seems really fun and really capable. Plus he has these really great arms. I shall follow my instinct and invite him.”

Luckily, he said yes. And, wouldn’t you know it, he was, in fact, my husband.

twitter_standingWhat would you do today if you knew your desire was already in the bag? (Tweet it.) 

Ready for a little alchemical magic in your life?

There is something transcendent that happens when a group of people gather in the name of fulfilling their desires.

Transmissions occur that wouldn’t have been possible one on one, in writing, or in thought.

Connections transpire that never would have had people not come together, in the flesh, to consciously pursue their dreams.

That’s what I experienced that weekend in Miami with Mama Gena and the sisterhood gathered there. I got a piece of information that was critical to the unfolding of the next chapter of my life.

Freedom Immersion BadgeThis is precisely what will be created at The Freedom Immersion this October 3-5th with that guy I invited on the road trip who’s now my husband, our Freedom Experts, the freedom seekers who gather with us, and me.

If you have a burning desire for a level of freedom in your life and business that you can taste but has not yet manifested, join us. Click HERE to get all of the information.

We’re already 40% full. Spots are being scooped up fast, and we do expect this event to sell out by the end of the summer. We also don’t have plans to do anything like this again. This is a one-time only event.

Click HERE to find out more and register.

Over to you:

What would you do if you knew that what you desire is absolutely on its way? How would you live life differently? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

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How are your petunias? On growing and dying.

This summer I’ve been home for two months straight for the first time possibly since my teens.

As a result my “flower babies,” as I call them, have received a lot more attention.

Deadheading

Part of my morning ritual is deadheading my petunias. It sounds like something out of a horror movie but is actually quite therapeutic, for the plant and me. I lovingly sort through all the little stems and find the flowers that are on their way out. Then I gently grab just the head of the dying flower and put it in the compost.

This leaves the plant looking a little sparse right after the deadheading. A couple of days after this process, though, my petunias go gangbusters. New blooms are everywhere, and my little babies explode with vitality.

Last summer, because of my travel schedule, I only tended to my flower babies sporadically. As a result my petunias died by early July. It made me incredibly sad, but there was nothing to be done but put them in the compost.

This summer I vowed to be a better flower mama. (It’s unbelievable how much joy raising healthy plants brings me. I’m finding myself considering the lives of my flower babies before saying yes or no to a trip. Who knew?)

When my mom taught me about deadheading it was a revelation. She told me that, if the petunia has lots of flowers that have died, it gets the message that it’s time to go to seed. Basically, it shuts down and expires.

When the dead flower heads are regularly removed, however, new buds can come through, and the plant gets the message that there’s plenty of space and energy for new growth.

Life As A Petunia

The first time I saw the robust flowers that appeared a few days after my deadheading, I couldn’t help but think about my life as a petunia.

Every life has some dying flower heads that need to be lovingly removed to create space for new growth.

If you want to find the dead heads in your life, ask yourself:

What or who has been draining my energy?
How do I feel after spending time with the people in my life?
Where in my life do I not receive as much as I give?
What projects make me groan when I sit down to work on them?
Which projects just sit on my desk and never get touched because they feel expired even before they’ve been completed?
What habits detract from my vitality?

It’s Not Failure. It’s Nature.

Before I grew petunias I sometimes thought of letting go of nonmaterial things as sad, or even disappointing because it indicated failure.

But my little petunias have taught me a thing or two about the circle of life.

It is the nature of a flower to bud, bloom, and then die. The fact that its time as a vibrant blossom has ended doesn’t make it a failure as a flower. It’s simply fulfilled its flower life, if you will, and now it is time for a new healthy bloom to do the same. This is what serves the vitality and well-being of the whole petunia.

twitter_standingLetting go isn’t failure. It’s nature. (Tweet it.)

When you tend to your life and business and look for blossoms that have expired on a daily basis, the deadheading takes very little time and energy. A little regular maintenance goes a long way.

When you deadhead regularly, the ecosystem of your life gets the message to keep growing and keep blooming. If you don’t, well, your life thinks it’s going to seed.

twitter_standingWe’re either growing or dying. You choose. (Tweet it.)

We choose to grow by letting go of what’s no longer working. Sometimes this requires some mourning. Go there with your full heart and soul.

Each time you deadhead something in your life, even if it feels sad, remember: you are not a failure for letting go. There’s not necessarily anything wrong with this person or project. And there’s certainly not anything wrong with you.

It’s just time for new blossoms to grow.

What needs to be dead headed in your life? Declare what you’re letting go of in the comments below!

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Permission, intrinsic value, the act of creation, and making art: Insights from one wine-soaked conversation that changed everything.

It was that time in the evening when the wine and champagne had softened everyone’s edges and everything seemed to melt together a bit. We were seated at a round table laden with vegan brownie crumbs, and a lot of chairs had been abandoned in favor of the dance floor.

My friend Marie and I were among the lingerers at the table. She turned to me and asked one of the best conversation-igniting questions I’ve ever heard:

“What are you most excited about right now?”

It was October, almost exactly a month after my first book, Money: A Love Story, had launched.

And I was thoroughly knackered. Tuckered out. Tired. Spent. I felt creatively dried up and like I might never want to make anything ever again. It was kind of depressing.

I paused way longer than I was proud of, wracking my brain, hoping to land on a shred of enthusiasm about something other than sleeping.

“What I should say,” I thought, “is that I’m excited about the book launch.”

But that would have been a lie. The truth was, I was sick of talking and thinking about that book. I felt like it was all I’d been doing for months.

I sat and waited for a true answer to emerge.

“The truth is,” I finally said, “what I’m really excited about is planning our wedding.”

She could feel the somewhat apologetic tone in my voice. I should be out there marketing the book more. I should be doing more speaking gigs. I should be strategizing the next steps in my writing career.

But all I really wanted to do was flip through bridal magazines and Pin to my heart’s content.

In response, Marie began to wax eloquent about the nature of creativity, her slightly sleepy, wine-soaked voice punctuated a couple of times by my asking “What?!,” prompting her to lean over and speak directly into my ear in order to be heard over the band.

Marie reminded me that when it comes to creativity there’s no hierarchy. It doesn’t matter whether you’re throwing your whole heart and soul into making pasta sauce or into writing a New York Times bestseller.

She assured me that no act of creation is better than another. A well-executed, intimate dinner party is just as valuable as a seven-figure launch if it’s a true expression of who you are.

The act of passionate creation itself is what gives an endeavor merit — not its value in the marketplace.

Yes, I know that we all need to make money and that making money depends on whether or not someone will buy what we make.

But something’s (or someone’s) inherent value has nothing to do with how much cash someone is willing to part with in order to capture some piece of it.

twitter_standingMaking art is an intrinsically valuable act. Period. (CLICK TO TWEET)

Today your art might be a strawberry rhubarb pie. Tomorrow it might be a painting that will hang in the Guggenheim someday. And the day after that it might be the way you fluff and arrange your throw pillows.

The point is, just make art.

Marie was my angel of permission that night.

As I left the party I felt a profound sense of calm. Her words had been a salve to my soul.

twitter_standingWHEN IT COMES TO CREATIVITY, THERE IS NO HIERARCHY. ~MARIE FORLEO (CLICK TO TWEET)

Give yourself permission to create the things that are an expression of your soul. People will buy some of them. And some of them won’t ever be for sale.

The value is in the making. The value is in the enthusiasm. The value is in expressing who you are through the act of creation.

What are you most excited about making? What are you ready to give yourself permission to make, even if it may not have obvious value in the marketplace?

Leave a comment below—I want to hear about your art!

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We were together. I forget the rest.

As it turns out, planning a wedding is not for the faint of heart. There are the logistics. And then there’s the emotional stuff. It’s really easy to perseverate on the logistics to avoid feeling the emotional stuff. I’ve noticed myself veer in that direction countless times in the last year and particularly in theContinue Reading

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How Barbara Walters and Gretchen Rubin Helped Me Overcome Social Anxiety

When I was envisioning our wedding a year ago I decided to keep the bridal party simple and have my two sisters stand up there with me. I’d made a mental list of the important women in my life and realized that I could either have 15 bridesmaids or 2. There really wasn’t much inContinue Reading

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The Infinite Possibilities in Saying “I Do”

I used to think that freedom meant boundlessness. I used to think it was like looking at a vast horizon with every possibility in the world. I used to think freedom meant the ability to choose literally anything at anytime… and to change my mind at the float of a feather. I’m about to makeContinue Reading

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I’m peeling off the pressure this summer – you with me?

These 9 words pretty much sum up how almost every woman I know feels: Tired of feeling like we have to be it all, do it all, have it all,… perfectly, now, and at the same time. Aren’t you tired of feeling like there is always more to do, with little to no time andContinue Reading

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Announcing The Freedom Immersion – come mastermind with us in Maine!

WHAT IF YOU COULD SUDDENLY SHUT OUT DISTRACTIONS AND SHINY OBJECTS, WORK FEWER HOURS, AND EARN ENOUGH INCOME TO SPEND EVERY DAY EXACTLY THE WAY YOU WANT? Today I have a really special announcement about the very reality described above. Mike and I have have been busy planning not one, but two, very special events. The first is ourContinue Reading

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