What if I am always surrounded by just the right amount of love, compassion, support, and resources necessary to jet fuel my dream? Is it possible that those resources are always right in front of me at any given moment in time? I found out the answer to those questions, and I want to share my story with you now.
Ironically, even though I’m in the world of coaching and have worked with my own coach for several years, I’m apparently not all that good at asking for help. I teach my clients to ask their ass off. I consider myself to be pretty skilled at asking in my own life. Apparently, there is always a greater level of asking available to me.
I’ve had the mistaken notion that while building wealth, abundance, and work that matters, I’m meant to do that on my own. I’ve been blessed with the means and willingness to outsource things like bookkeeping, accounting, and other administrative functions. I’ve hired copywriters, web designers, lawyers, consultants, healers. I’m down with knowing my limitations in certain areas and surrounding myself with the brightest minds and rock star practitioners. It makes me happy to do so.
And still…when I’m giving birth to a new project, I’ve limited the practice of reaching out to others for help. The project expands to fill my own awareness, which I’ve now discovered is limited and small thinking. It’s time to exponentially add braintrust and open-heartedness at the level of creation.
As I build Arms Wide Open, I’m collaborating with trustworthy, diverse partners whose perspective is different than mine. I’ve invited talented and powerful women into the project to help me expand my vision. It’s been a remarkable shift for me. It seems that by including others in the strategic work of the movement, it takes on a completely different structure – one not possible to create on my own. For the first time ever, I’m enrolling shareholders, with a vested interested in creating magnificence.
This project is my legacy. Perhaps my legacy will also be a model for collaboration. I can teach my tribe the power of being open to creation from spirit and giving, versus creation from ego.
Having a loyal tribe has other benefits. Mostly, I adore feeling so supported by people who care about me and the project. I like not being alone with the potential overwhelming feeling of accomplishing a dream of this magnitude.
The power of a tribe…one where loyalty is traded for inspiration and continuous value, makes Arms Wide Open truly come alive. It’s a place for women seekers who believe there is more, and who are willing to put everything at risk to live an intentional life that takes their breath away.
It’s my greatest work.
All my love,
Every day, I wake up with a choice. I can either wake up and go to work, or I can wake up and serve.
What do you think the difference is, between these two things?
The way I see it, I can show up for a job for the sake of receiving the money in exchange for the work, with no greater purpose than “making a living”. Or, inside of that work, I can have an intention to serve others in a way that is unique and allows the full expression of who I am in my work. In my life now, I always choose the latter. It hasn’t always been that way, and it’s only because I couldn’t see the difference. Now that I see, I can’t imagine how other people choose to work without an intention to serve.
It doesn’t really matter the type of work a person does – all work serves something or someone.
Have you ever experienced exceptional service from the person bagging your groceries? Or the person serving you food? You know what it feels like to be served, at any level. If you are a grocery bagger or a food server, you have many opportunities every day to make a difference, just by being you.
For example, I travel often, and sometimes I’m tired enough from travel that I choose to grab a meal in the hotel I’m staying in. As you can imagine, the servers in such a place begin to get to know repeat travelers. Recently, while staying at a hotel the server took the time to build a relationship with me. Because she initiated a real conversation with me during my first visit, she remembered me when I visited again. She helped me navigate the food choices, taking a genuine interest in my complete satisfaction. She noticed I didn’t eat the bread from the sandwich, and took it off my bill. She laughed with me, commiserated with me, cared about me. She saw me as a person, not a customer. I appreciated that.
What she did for me didn’t take excessive time or more energy. She simply showed up as herself – loving and kind and accommodating. I doubt she wakes up with the thought “Who can I serve”. I do think she is aware of who she is in the world, and creates a daily commitment to be that, wherever she is. How great is that?
Imagine a life of service to others. Imagine waking up wondering who and how you will serve – every single day. Imagine a world where your intention is to serve above all else. It’s a gift, an honor, and a privilege.
I’m talking about a revolution. It’s for women, and if you’re a man, you can keep reading anyway because this is THAT important.
In 2009, The Dalai Lama said “The world will be saved by the Western Woman”. As you know, our Congress now has a record-breaking number of females in office. This is no accident. Women around the world, and in your community, are rising up.
I’ve worked with some amazing women who are making their own kind of difference, in their own way; women who are becoming more clear than ever before about their purpose, and their desire to serve. Women who are leaving their fear at the door, rolling up their sleeves and diving in. We’re coming out of the shadows, emerging as powerful leaders. That’s why I’m called to lead this revolutionary movement called Arms Wide Open – to support and lift up these extraordinary women leaders.
Do you share my desire to create a magnificent life and business? Are you craving community and collaboration? Have you found it difficult to know where to begin? Do you lead a crazy busy life with competing priorities? You probably want the merry go round to just STOP for a damn minute!
When will it be your turn? I say it’s now.
Maybe your work is mostly fulfilling yet something tells you there is more for you. Maybe you feel as though nobody truly gets you, and you are finally willing to be seen. Listen to that voice. That’s your spirit talking.
Here’s what I know. You are compassionate and intuitive. You love deeply, forgive easily, and trudge through difficulties like a soldier. Your default setting is that of peacemaker, you’re a problem solver, and your instincts are well honed to take care of others. And you do.
And deeper inside, there is a spark – a drive and persistence for achieving something so much bigger.
It’s time to sink into your own God-given feminine power. Together we will stand – arms wide open, hands locked together (and I don’t mean for Kumbaya). Women collaborating and connecting. Doing real work. Because we are more powerful together than apart.
When was the last time you were inspired into bold and fearless action? Who supports you in creating the life of your dreams? Who believes in you? Many women find themselves feeling lonely even though they are surrounded by lots of people. Can you relate to that?
I’ve created the Arms Wide Open community to nurture that place in you that wants to come fully alive, and light that fire in you to get strategic and in motion for your best work ever. It’s a movement into creating conscious, balanced partnerships in the world, and I invite you to join me.
Like everything important, this simply begins with a conversation – perhaps one of the most important conversations you will ever have. If you’re inspired and want to check this out, contact me right now.
It’s time for me – and for you – to rise up. Let’s go.
If you’re interested in checking this out, go HERE to watch the video, and HERE to visit the website. And if you want to participate and you’re NOT A WOMAN, please forward this to all the women you know. It’s that important.
7 years ago this March, I hit a major speed bump in my life. Some of you know my story because you’ve heard it in one of my talks. For those that don’t, here are the cliff notes.
I was 45, and working in a high powered, high pressure position with a local company. I didn’t know it at the time, but the stress and pressure were taking a major toll on my physical health. One day I got a wake up call (thank goodness) and became violently ill with viral meningitis. Apparently I had allowed my stress level to significantly eat away at my immune system.
I was living with a fierce sense of worry that never went away. My body declared that it had endured enough, and I landed in the ER in the most pain my body had ever experienced. This experience marked the beginning of my new life, as contrary to what I believed would happen, I lived to tell about it.
During my recovery, I lost my job. I know many of you have experienced job loss – it can be such a blow to self esteem and self worth. It was no different for me. Of course, in hindsight, the illness and the job loss were both gifts for me, inspiring me to finally figure out what I was really here on earth do do. (It sure didn’t feel like that at the time.)
Eventually, we all arrive at a certain crossroads in our life where we wonder “Is this it? Is this all there is for me?” For me it was prompted by a crisis, which I know now is quite common. At this point, the voice that asked me to reconsider my life became impossible to ignore.
Since March of 2006, I’ve not only gotten clear about my purpose, I’ve also done a great deal of work to uncover my true self. I’m excited about life – and more clear about the direction I’m heading into than ever before.
I’m inspired to work with people who are navigating this same place in their own lives, intimately understanding the challenges that come with it. I know that were it not for the coaching and mentoring I have experienced during this past 7 years, I would not be who I am today.
Maybe you’re in this place now…at this kind of crossroads?
If you are, I’d like to encourage you to boldly step through the fear you have, because you’re going to love what’s on the other side. Trust me. I can see so clearly now, and I am liberated forever from a small, uninspired life.
If you’d like to explore what it would be like to have a guide with you on this path, I’m just an email or a phone call away. Go HERE to initiate potentially the most important conversation you have ever had.
What if having this conversation with me propels you into having the courage to create your own magnificent life? And if the time is not right now, when will it be?
P.S. I’m creating a kick-ass program just for woman. It’s called Arms Wide Open. You will want to watch for details next week – and if you simply can’t stand it, call me at 574-320-5888.
As I look back into the days that have accumulated so far in 2012, I’ve been thinking about what I want to create next year. I come to this place every year; reviewing what worked and what didn’t…the challenges, the lessons, the wins and the losses. This year has been nothing short of remarkable, and if you’re reading this, you’ve had some influence on my experience.
My business has grown by 18% over last year. I’m doing more inspired work than ever before, having gotten even more clear on who and how I’d love to serve. I wrote more, and expressed myself better. I wrote my first poem since I was 12 years old. I’ve made peace with my stress around health and weight. I healed my relationship with money by giving more away, saving more, and committing to not spending money I didn’t actually have.
These are some of the most significant wins.
My biggest loss this past year was in the passing of my Dad. That period of time was rich with insight, as I navigated my disappointment with what we never had. At the end of his life, I did what I could to heal that, and to create a meaningful relationship with him. It was painful and joyful at the same time. I’m grateful I had the to opportunity to love him fully and see the ways I had put conditions on our love in the past.
As I reflect on losses, most of them are more related to my personal life than my business life. I realize that by focusing so much of my time and energy into my business, I have allowed my personal relationships to weaken. I don’t often reach out to people I care about, and I know how important it is to make that effort. I am committed to having meaningful relationships with close friends and family. My choices in that area feel disappointing to me.
Moving into 2013, I’m aware of what I want more of, and what I want less of. Here are the highlights:
- More spontaneous fun
- Less dependence on internet
- More commitment to self-care
- Less excuse making
- More time for nurturing relationships
- Less obsession with growing my business
- More abundance
- Less material possessions
- More inspired writing
- Less clutter
- More giving
- Less making easy things complicated
- More asking for help
- Less ego
This feels more like a journal entry than a blog to be shared with the masses. If I learned one thing last year, it’s the value of my willingness to be vulnerable; to show my soft underbelly. I am human, just like you. My hopes and desires are real and even sometimes scary, just like yours. Bad days and disappointments are part of my experience too. My biggest blessings come through relationships, and I don’t always act accordingly. You might feel that way too.
I co-create my life through action and commitment for what I want and don’t want. There is no way around this truth.
Here’s to a bright, shiny celebration of where we’ve been and what we’ve accomplished – to more of what we want and less of what we don’t want next year.
All my love,
Growing up, we are taught to listen to our parents, our caregivers, our teachers, our leaders of community. We are being shaped, molded, socialized. We are wired to seek belonging, so we seek comfort in establishing values that fit in with those around us. We modify our beliefs to match those of our elders, granting them absolute authority on a any given topic. Though as children we surely have our own unique inner guidance system, given to us by our creator, our culture discounts that guidance, deferring to those that have gone before us. And so it goes.
Once grown, we lose track of our inner guidance system; unused, discarded, asleep. We listen to everyone but ourselves. Our identity feels so real, as if we were born outgoing or shy, aggressive or meek. We become the person others told us we are, leaning in to habits formed and shaped in an effort to belong. Every time we identify a trait to ourselves, we further support what we believe to be our “personality”. Is personality real, or made up? Our soul patiently waits for us to remember who we really are, without the story that was shaped by those around us — that thing that feels like our “personality”. The personality is all about ego – and the ego wants us to look good and be safe. There is a chasm between the identification of self through ego, and the naturally existing, soul-level, true self.
Is the life we are living… the life that our soul is craving?
Are we listening more to the voices of the past, the influences of our growing up years? Are we living someone else’s life because we see no other path for our own uniquely created destiny? Are we more interested in living behind the ego-protected curtain, or is it clear that something more — something deeper, is waiting for us?
There is only one way to know. The soul needs quiet, love infused space in which to truly emerge. For our inner voice to be heard, we must create the opening. Running beneath the surface of our daily existence, is a deeper, more fulfilling purpose that our soul longs for us to experience. We may never tap into that rich place, staying occupied with the busy-ness in front of us. It’s there for us when we’re ready.
Your soul was born ready. It quietly and patiently sends us glimmers of wisdom — feelings, intuition, instinct. Are we listening?
P.S. There is no better way to get started on this path than to spend one full day with me. I call it Liberation Day, but perhaps it could be more aptly named SOUL Liberation Day.
(photo credit Jason Tillett)
I visited New York City this past weekend to spend time with Cheryl Richardson and Reid Tracy with Hay House, in preparation for getting my upcoming book published. It was really great information and a fun trip. Just a few weeks past Hurricane Sandy, and the resiliency of New Yorkers once again amazes me. They are bruised and recovering, and many people with whom I spoke were more concerned with others who experienced a greater loss, than they were for themselves. They were grateful.
While I was there, I was thinking about the rich cultural tapestry that has arisen as a result of the immigrant roots there. It’s fascinating to think that people from all over the world have come to our great country since the original 102 English Colonists set sail on the Mayflower, seeking freedom and hope for a better life. The decendents of these people have built families, homes, and businesses that have stood the test of time. It’s a rich history, indeed. Who doesn’t get chills when laying eyes upon our magnificent Statue of Liberty, gifted to us by the people of France in 1886 – the very symbol of freedom.
We’ve come a very long way since the 1600′s. And yet…
I was browsing Facebook yesterday, and was stopped in my tracks by the above image. You see, we are never really free until our brothers and sisters are also free. I have friends that believe there will always be war. That in order to protect our freedom, and for others to gain theirs, there must be fighting.
Is this true? As our collective consciousness elevates, we can lean into the knowledge that in spite of differences in faith, socioeconomic status, political affiliations, and culture – we are connected as one. Is it possible that we can acknowledge and even embrace our differences? I have been accused of pollyanna thinking at times. And still…I believe we as humans are capable of creating more love and less hate. We were built to rise above the suffering, elevating to a world where love prevails. We’re not there yet, as is obvious by what’s happening in other parts of the world. We can get there.
It starts with me. And you. As brothers and sisters, we can send love and prayers for the greatest good of all concerned to those suffering in the world.
In gratitude for your love and support,
I believe we’re all connected, so when my friend Erin made me aware of her passion to end sex trafficking, I was the first to raise my hand to help. She asked me to be one of the contributors for the book she would publish as part of a campaign to elevate awareness of the horrific human abuse happening in our world. Young girls see no other choice but to sell their bodies to feed their families, and the stories that come from them are heart wrenching. I couldn’t NOT help.
Since then, I’ve watched the PBS documentary Half The Sky. I wept for the mothers and children whose very existence is in question every single day. And just in case you’re feeling that this is another country’s problem, please know that it happens right here in ours. 300,000 to 600,000 juveniles are involved in prostitution in the United States. (Gary Costello of the Exploited Child Unit of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, “Danger for prostitutes increasing, most starting younger,” Beacon Journal, 21 September 1997). It’s right here, and we are all connected. But for the grace of God, there go I.
Erin Giles is a Business Philanthropy Coach who is bringing a straight up resounding call to action with a message, that hits straight to the core. I’m honored to be a supporter.
I’m asking each of you to buy one copy of the End Sex Trafficking book today, where I’ve written one of several compelling essays. I’m honored to be among such talented, generous people, and took this project on as Erin made it impossible to ignore. My hope is that you will also find it impossible to ignore.
Buy a copy of End Sex Trafficking for $20 — a collection of 60 essays on love, knowledge + freedom by trailblazers like Seth Godin, Danielle La Porte, Jonathan Fields, and of course moi, and all of the authors proceeds goes to the Not For Sale Campaign an organization fighting to abolish slavery every single day. Do this now, because of the heartsick feeling you are now experiencing. You can make a difference in real time.
None of the essay contributors, the publisher or the editor is taking any money from sales. It’s not just a book, it is a chance to change the world. More than 27 million human beings are enslaved in the world in 2012. So — you want to stand up for freedom…today?
Let’s get this pressing message to all the hearts and lit up screens we can. Go HERE for more information, buy the book, and forward this to everyone you know. I’d be mighty grateful.
Big Love and Eternal Gratitude,
As of this Saturday, there are 100 days left in 2012 (providing the world doesn’t end on December 21). I was working with my physical trainer the other day and she has declared for herself a 100 day push for better all around health and weight loss. I was inspired.
So really? Just 100 days left in the year.
I’ve been in conversations this week with clients about the 100 Day Dare, playing with these 3 questions:
First: What are you tolerating?
The response has been profound. There’s something about that question that brings forward intense clarity, all at once. It seems we know what we’re tolerating, and yet we’re not moved to explore it until asked the question. It lingers in the background, sort of the way a pebble rolls around in your shoe. It’s there until you can no longer tolerate it and you stop walking to shake it out.
Second: What are you willing to do that would shift that thing you’re tolerating, over the next 100 days?
I’m talking plans, strategies, commitments. Real stuff that you will actually do. Drawing a line in the sand ACTION.
Three: What will it feel like, if on New Year’s Eve, that thing has shifted?
Can you see it? Can you feel it?
How about committing to shifting it in the next 100 days, so that you ROCK OUT 2012 with more focused action than ever before? How would THAT feel?
Here’s more incentive:
Imagine living the next 100 days as if they were your last. What would you do differently? Who would you spend more time with? What would you stop doing? I don’t want to get too grim here, and the truth is we never know how much time we have here. My guess is you’d take that pebble out of your shoe. Or call your mom more.
Personally, I’m taking on the 100 Day Dare myself. There are two areas in my life that I want to shift:
1. More writing.
2. Improve health.
Over the next 100 days, I will add to my manuscript every day. I will make improvements to my food intake, continue to work with my physical trainer 3x each week, and take a walk 6 out of 7 days. The more specific I am with my commitments, the more likely I will do it.
Commitments are a big deal, so I recommend you use powerful language. For example, you might say “I want to lose 20 pounds.” Until that statement moves from desire to commitment, they are just words. When you create a commitment, there is action required; your behavior changes. Try “I commit to releasing 20 pounds by December 31st. I will take action x and action x on a daily basis in order to reach my goal.” Can you see how much more powerful that language is?
What are you willing to create in the next 100 Days? Will you accept my dare to create an intentional, powerful shift in some area of your life? What would stop you from doing that?
Time passes sometimes without intention. This is good for you.
Will you accept my dare?
P.S. Did you think of someone when you were reading this? If so, please pass it along to them
I love how life surprises me.
I was running late for an appointment with my doctor, and as I rushed into the lobby I got behind an elderly woman who was speaking to the receptionist. From behind, I could see her shoulders sagging; I could feel her fatigue, her frustration. Next to her was a frail and motionless young man in a wheelchair.
Apparently, they had an appointment with his doctor, who had moved offices without informing them. The receptionist was kind enough to phone their doctor’s office and clear up the misunderstanding. During that call, it became apparent that they were not going to get there in time for the appointment due to their re-routing. The receptionist apologized (though it was clearly not her fault), as the old woman swayed a little under the weight of this new information.
You see, it was apparent that she was not accustomed to moving this man in and out of the wheelchair by herself. She had somehow gotten him in the car, out of the car, and now needed to get him back in the car. She said something about it not being a problem, except that it was just so difficult getting him to this point in the first place. She sighed, saying “I couldn’t get anyone to help me.”
As I watched her gather her strength and grab the handles of the wheelchair, I could literally feel her pain. She was a determined woman who had a job to do, and yet she wasn’t sure how she was going to do it. The young man was at least as big as her, and dead weight. And she needed to get him back in her car.
I helped her with the doors, and followed her out to her car. Without speaking, I helped her open the car door and get the chair lined up properly so we could both lift him into the car seat. We had him half-way in the seat when she suddenly stopped, reached over and gave me a big hug, and said “God Bless You.” Gulp. We finished getting him settled, as she attempted to fasten his seatbelt. Her arms weren’t long enough, so she gave up and put the wheelchair in the trunk while I buckled him in.
Through this tedious process, he never made eye contact. He looked so sad and helpless. He avoided making a connection with me while I finished getting him settled and gently closed the car door.
The whole thing took less than 2 or 3 minutes. It was no big deal - wait – yes, it was.
I have never cared for someone in a wheelchair. Never transported someone from wheelchair to car, never felt the bulk of an adult diaper under my hand. It’s not that I wouldn’t do it if I needed to. The opportunity has simply not presented itself before. Or, more likely, I just never noticed when someone could use my help. And really, if I had, I might have been the one averting my eyes.
As I was walking back into the building for my appointment, another woman who witnessed the scene was coming out. We exchanged soft smiles…hers signaling a quiet acknowledgment of me and the situation.
While seated in the waiting room, I was suddenly overcome with emotion (seems to happen often these days). I expected to feel satisfied because I helped someone else with something difficult.
What I didn’t expect was the certainty that she had helped me more than I had her.
A deep sense of loving kindness filled every part of me. I felt love for her for being such a sweet trooper, love for him and his human need for dignity. Love for God for placing me there, in that place, at the exact moment I could truly make a difference.
I am grateful I was paying attention, since there have been many times when I would have been too preoccupied to notice. I am grateful for the chance to serve, and to know that by serving someone in such a random yet profound way, I’m the one who was truly served.
Join The Tribe. Get A Free Prize.Read the right blog.
Practical inspiration, strategic exploration, and raw possibility—delivered to your inbox with LOVE (that's tough in all the right places). Subscribe now and get a free powerful download "Energy Liberation" which will rock your perception of not having enough time.
Liberation is one conversation away.
Let's schedule an Initiation Call
A no-cost connection to explore your true direction— for your work, life & legacy.