Inspiration is Everywhere

Inspiration is Everwhere

Hey Abundance Seeker,

I want to talk about inspiration today and I’m gonna share a quick story.

Many years ago I dated this guy named Chris. I was a recent college grad looking forward to what I hoped would be a long and rewarding career. I hoped to be promoted often, move up in the ranks until I was the Executive Director of a governmental agency or large non-profit. My dream was to be a highly educated, well-paid executive professional.  And when I met Chris, I was just starting out on that road.

Chris was about 8 years older than me and was in a very different place in his life.  He was  a young professional with 10 years in at an insurance company but he felt trapped, dejected, and demoralized. He had been promoted several times and made really good money,  yet it was not enough for him.

I was hopelessly optimistic. And my optimism was compounded by my lack of experience. While I thought he was in an ideal situation- young, six figures, job security- he had had enough.

Chris’s breaking point came when his favorite uncle was killed in a horrible car accident. He died relatively young and Chris lamented that the uncle never got to do any of the things he wanted to do with his life. Chris was really affected by that and decided that was all the wake up call he needed.

He made a decision to quit and strike it out on his own by starting his own business because he figured life was too short to spend in a job he hated even though it paid well.

I thought he was being emotional and was making an unwise rash decision based on his grief and I told him so.  But true to his word, Chris quit his job soon after that. We ended up breaking up. We tried to make it work, but in the end we just saw our lives going in different ways.

I don’t know what ended up happening with Chris, and I hope that his venture was  successful.  After having worked on the track that I was so zealous about then, I see how naive I truly was. And now of course, I have been where Chris was.

And I now know that Chris was absolutely right to go after his dream.

 

Life is too short to endure being miserable. The world is too big and filled with too many possibilities and opportunities to force yourself to do that.

Do you ever feel like you’re not living up to your full potential? Or like you took a wrong turn somewhere and can’t really figure out how you got on  your current track?

Maybe you even fought really hard to get where you are, but now that you’re actually here, it’s not exactly what you thought it’d be. So now you just feel trapped with no options.

I know this feeling well. This is what prompted me to change up my life and move back to my hometown. 

And perhaps you currently work a crappy job that doesn’t even begin to tap into your superpowers.

This is a rut. And it is deeply psychological.

If you are not careful, you may find yourself believing that your life will always be like this.

Say it with me:

Inspiration Leads to change

As you saw in Chris’s case, the first step to getting yourself out of a rut is to find inspiration.  And it doesn’t have to be something tragic like the death of a loved one. The good news is that inspiration is all around us. We just have to take the time to notice.

Be Inspired.

Here’s how to tap into all of the inspiration that surrounds you every day.

Be still and soak it all in

We get messages and signs all the time. Often though, we are too busy or overwhelmed to see or recognize them. Carve out small bits of time to be still and see what comes to you. Do this regularly and you’ll be surprised to see how clearly your soul speaks to you. Whether it is prayer, meditation, long walks, running. Make it a habit to allow yourself to get into a mind space that will allow you to be calm and see what comes to you.

Chase it

There are some situations that I know will always inspire me. Every single time Erykah Badu, Stevie Wonder, or Maze featuring Frankie Beverly come to my town, I drop everything and go. Because their shows inspire the hell out of me. There is something so inspiring about seeing people who are so great at what they do and truly enjoy it. You can see their joy exuding from them while in their element. And it gives me life!! It makes me want to get mine, too. I leave these shows feeling joyous, awed, and inspired.  Find and seek out people, places, art, etc that you know you will be able to gain inspiration from.

Create it

Sometimes inspiration comes from doing and creating. Do you have a hobby or skill that you practice regularly that allows you to use different parts of your brain? If you don’t, maybe you should. To create something means that you made something that did not exist. You used what you had around you to create something new. Creative action then, allows you to see things around you as tools and ingredients for your creation. So put yourself in a creative space and watch the inspiration flow!

If you need some help finding inspiration,  or if you need to figure out how you can get the most out of life, be sure to check out Jumpstart Your Life! 6 Week Program. It will definitely get you on track to tap into all the inspiration around you.

Organize Your Life

organize your life

Thanksgiving is this week.  The time of year when most people think about  showing appreciation for all of their blessings.

The number one thing I am grateful for this year is my time. It is precious and irreplaceable. And I can harness it and use to my advantage in order to achieve my goals.

But time can only work to our advantage if we truly appreciate it and use it well. We use it well when we are our lives are organized and when we make space for all the important things. We also use our time well when we don’t blow it all on  unimportant tasks and people who don’t appreciate or deserve it.

Here is my #1 tip for appreciating your time:

Be Organized

On a scale of 1-10, how organized you are? If I asked you where something was, how quickly would you be able to locate it?

When you are organized, you are automatically more efficient, which means that you don’t mismanage your physical space, your money, and your material resources. And if you work a job for money, all of these things translate into your time because you use your time to make money.

Organize your physical space

Make sure that your physical space is clean and orderly. I’m not talking about being obsessively organized.  But at minimum you want to make sure that you know where to find all of your stuff. Make sure that you are not compulsively hoarding things and that you put effort into how you keep and manage all of the material objects in your life. The more organized your physical space is, the more efficient your movements are. This means that you don’t have to waste time looking for things.

Organize your finances

Do you know how much money you spend on groceries or monthly bills? Do you have a budget that guides your spending? Knowing how much money you spend and bring in are both important in organizing your finances. How much money do you owe to credit card companies? Do you know how much money do you spend on groceries, or coffee. What about how much are you contribute to savings? When your finances are organized, you are aware of your spending habits youOrganizing your finances honors you time because you don’t have to use your time so  much to make more money. Organize your finances in a way that honors the time you had to use to make your money. Don’t be wasteful. Respect your time.

If organization is difficult for you, download my free workbook.

Organize your time

There should be space in your life for all the important aspects. Organize your appointments so that you have made time for your self-care, money-making, important relationships and all the other things that make up your life. Don’t fret  your time away on bullshit that does not matter. Once time is spent, it is gone.  You deserve to have something to show for it. Don’t waste all of it.

Let’s face it, Abundance Seeker, you cannot achieve your goals if you are mismanaging your time. So, reclaim it like Aunty Maxine and go get what you want.

And also don’t forget to check out my 90 Day Goal Getting Coaching Program. We can figure out a way to manage your time effectively so you can reach those goals. 

Five women and a Magical Pool: The Power of Retreat

I love a good retreat. No, I mean I REALLY LOVE retreats.

As a teenager, I was introduced to the concept of retreats when I participated in a   leadership program. And these were intense retreats led by corporate alumni like lawyers and business leaders whose  mission it was to foster leadership in urban teens. Retreat topics included male/female relationships, self-awareness, etc. They were brutal and beautiful at the same time, and I’m so grateful for those experiences now. These retreats were transformative experiences and helped shape my character.

And I’ve gone on other retreats since then. Retreats are a way for me to do important self work and allow me the luxury of focusing on my own self-development without distractions.

I’ve always wanted to lead  personal development retreats. And two years ago,  I facilitated my very first one. I rented a private villa on an all inclusive resort in the Dominican Republic and took 3 of my clients down with me for a week to heal, share, rest, relax and have some fun.

Enroute to retreat

There were many memorable moments. But I want to share one moment with you that I think was especially powerful and reminds me of the power of retreat.

On the day before everyone arrived, I did my best to prepare everything. I spoke with the resort staff the previous day and that morning to make sure the check in process was to go as smoothly as possible. On the day everyone was supposed to come, I reiterated my requests and was assured that everything would be fine.

The next day, my first two ladies checked in with no problems.

However, my third lady experienced a very difficult check in process in which everything that could go wrong did.

There was a language barrier with the staff of the resort. We were waiting outside the reception building, sure that we would see her as soon as the bus arrived. I wanted our faces to be the first she saw.

But somehow we missed her and she was waiting for us inside the office. Meanwhile, management was calling our villa in front of her to tell us of her arrival. And we of course, were not there to receive the calls. By the time we met up, she was quite upset and understandably so.  She had just gotten off a long international flight in a country she had never been to, and had experienced nothing but frustration.

retreat villa

While we apologized profusely for the confusion around her arrival, she was inconsolable and I felt horrible and looked for ways to try to make it up to her.

By the time we got back to the villa, she was still upset and not quite in the mood to chat or meet with the other ladies. Again, totally understandable.

We all kind of settled into our own rooms and prepared for the welcome dinner in a few hours.

retreat villa balcony

How Retreat Transform Us

After the welcome dinner, we all returned to the villa. I had wanted everyone to have plenty of time to settle in and informally get to know each other, so I did not have any formal activities scheduled until early the next morning.

I  changed into my bathing suit, took my Ipad and speakers out to the pool in the back yard and blasted some soul music.

One by one, the ladies came out to join me in the pool. And it was so much fun. We laughed and got to know each other all night. There were discussions about music, food, love, adventure. We shared our hopes with each other and named our fears. It was really magical.

The overall retreat was a success. I saw each woman bloom in her own way and it was honestly an honor to watch. Each woman had a breakthrough in her own right and left feeling better and more focused than she had when she arrived.

And it all started in that pool.

It was in the pool where we all let the stress of the day leave us and opened ourselves up to the promise of connection and self-growth. This event set the tone of the retreat.

This is the power of retreat. Allowing ourselves to withdraw from the day to day and tap into what’s important. Retreats allow us to slow down and be mindful of our thoughts and take control of our experiences.

I hope to see you at my next retreat.

In the meantime, be sure to check out available individual programs.

Big Fat Juicy Goals: 20 Things to Keep In Mind While Pursuing Your Goals

Mindshifting Goals

“I can’t believe she finished!”

I said this to myself after seeing the Instagram photos of yet another smiling, happy colleague of mine clad in her cap and gown graduating with her PhD. from our university. And this particular colleague had started after me.

My next thought was , “I need to finish this dissertation now, because I’m so over this shit.”

We all set goals. Whether its losing weight, earning more money, getting out of debt, finding a life partner, writing a book, or running a marathon.  Goals are an expression of our deepest desires.

One of my life goals is getting a Ph.D.

I’ve had this goal since about the age of 15. And when I got accepted into a doctoral program, I was so excited and saw it as a fulfillment of one my life’s goals.

When I first started the program, it was with the intention of  being a professor which meant writing books and teaching classes at a university. But while finishing up my coursework in grad school and experiencing up close and personally the politics, intellectual bullying, sexism, classism, and racism, I was  turned off and I no longer wish to pursue such a career full time. But nonetheless, I am still pursuing the degree. One big reason  is just for the sake of finishing something that I started.

In pursuit of this goal,  I have pulled several all nighters this week and managed to have accomplished more in this week than I have in the past few years. Why? Because I was fed-up and made it non-negotiable. It’s amazing what you can do when failing is no longer an option.

At this point, I am determined to finish this dissertation and graduate in June 2018. Anything else is unacceptable.

It is totally easy to set a goal, but it is the showing up everyday that counts.

Here are 20 things to keep in mind while you are in pursuit of your big, fat, juicy, exciting goals:

1. In order to accomplish your goals, remember why you started

The bigger and more ambitious your goal is, the harder it is to achieve it. That is the nature of the beast. But with a continuous source of motivation, you can achieve any goal, no matter how big it is. Remembering why you started can be a huge source of motivation, especially on those days when it feels like you have no energy to do anything. If you keep something around that reminds you of why you started, you’d be surprised of how it can push you when you’re funning on fumes.

2. In order to accomplish your goals, remember who you are

Now, this one may sound arrogant or cocky, but you are a bad ass. And you have done incredible and wonderful things before. There have been times before when people have counted you out and you surprised them. You can do the same now.

3. In order to accomplish your goals,  remember that if it was easy everyone would do it

Your goals are hard to reach for a reason. The fact that they are hard to reach makes them worthwhile in the first place. Not everyone can run a marathon. Not everyone can get a PhD. Not everyone can lose 100lbs. This is what makes your goals special. And more importantly, this is what sets you apart because you are not “everyone” and you can do it.

4. In order to accomplish your goals, you must be willing to do whatever it takes

Whatever it takes means, whatever it takes. Les Brown has a saying that I really like. “You must be willing to do the things today others won’t do in order to have the things tomorrow others won’t have.” And that may mean spending money to invest in your future. Or foregoing sleep to pull some all-nighters.  It may mean restricting your food take or being uncompromising with your schedule so that you are using every second to get you closer to your goals. Whatever, it is. Do whatever it takes. Be uncompromising.

5. In order to accomplish your goals, remember that failure is not the final answer

The truth is that sometimes we fail. And we fail hard. Failure can bruise the hell out of our ego and make us feel like shit. I know this personally. You know this, we’ve all been there. But that is no where near the final story. Failure is just one step on the road to your goal.  DO NOT throw away your goal because you have failed a few times. Just get up, dust yourself off, and move forward. Standing still is not an option for you. And just in case you needed, extra proof. Here, here, and here are all proof that stopping after a failure should be the last thing you do.

6. In order to achieve your goals, you need accountability

Accountability happens when someone is aware of your goals and they make sure that you do what you say you are going to do. In other words, they do not let you off the hook.  We all need accountability and often times, it is the difference between success and failure. Having accountability helps to foster the “whatever it takes” mentality that is crucial to your success. Find someone who will hold you to your word, especially at the times when you feel like you don’t have the strength.

7. When achieving your goals, remember that you are your biggest obstacle

Another reason why you need accountability in order to reach your goals is because you are your biggest obstacle. There is something about where you are now that is comforting to you. And subconsciously you want to stay right where you are. Because of this you may unintentionally sabotage yourself. I’ve seen it a million times, both personally and with my therapy clients. You know what it looks like. You are making huge progress in your goal and all of a sudden, you stop. And the irony of self-sabotage is that it usually comes about right when a major breakthrough is coming. Again, if you have someone you can hold you accountable, they can point out when you are in fact sabotaging yourself.

8. When pursuing your goals, dismiss naysayers

No matter how big or small your goals are, someone is going to tell you that you cannot do it.  They will tell you that you are not being realistic and that you are foolish for wanting what you want. Do not believe them. You have the power to create your own reality and they have the power to do the same for their life. Your life is your own. And no one gets to tell you what is possible for you.

9. Celebrate small victories

Depending on how big your goal is (and I hope its really big), it may be awhile before you can finally cross it off your to-do list and count is as a complete accomplishment. Because of that, you have to be sure to celebrate the milestones along the way. In order to keep yourself on track, you have to acknowledge and celebrate when you get shit done. Decide beforehand how you will commemorate crossing certain thresholds. And do it!

10 When pursuing your goals, anticipate setbacks

Not everyday is a good day. Michael Jordan had off days and he lost a lot of games. but he is still considered the greatest. You will have bad days and somedays you may take 3 steps forward and fall 2 steps back. But the important part is that you keep moving. Knowing that it wont be a straight shot helps.

Keep Moving Toward Your Goals

11. Pursuing your goals, helps you build character

Let’s be honest. Nobody likes a wimp who melts when things get too tough. Perseverance is a very attractive quality. We like to be around people who are disciplined and who have the fortitude to show up everyday for the things that they believe in. Going after a big fat ambitious juicy goal allows you to develop these transferrable skills.

12. Always be learning while pursuing your goals

Sometimes Plan A doesn’t work. And then you try Plan B, and that isn’t much better. Plan C is a bust. And Plan D is just a hot ass mess. The point is to keep learning from each of these plans and keep fine tuning your plan until you find the right one. Do not personalize your plan failure, assess what went well and amend the part that failed. Turns out, Plan W works like a charm!

13. When working on your goals, keep everything in context

This big ambitious goal of yours is one aspect of your life. There are other areas in your life that are probably working just fine. Once you meet your goal, things will improve because you will get the results that you want, but your life will not magically transform and you will not become a magical super hero fairy. Do not fall into the trap of magical thinking that says you have to put your life on hold while you are pursuing your goals. That is false. The pursuit of your goal, is a part of your life but it should not be ALL of your life.

14. When pursuing your goal, always use positive self talk

Bullies suck. Don’t be one. And bullying yourself makes you a bully. Talk to yourself in way that encourages you to be your best and want to perform at your peak. When you talk badly to yourself, is another form of self-sabotage.  You create a hostile mental environment which pushes you further away from your goals because you are fighting against yourself. When speaking to yourself be encouraging and kind. This doesn’t mean to let yourself off the hook, but you can hold yourself accountable without all the negative talk.

15. Your goals are not the end all be all, they are merely stepping stones

I see this all the time. People fight tooth and nail to get to where they want to get. And then the experience feels a bit….anti-climactic. This happens when people forget that their goal is not the end all be all, it is a stepping stone for something else. You want to lose weight so that you can move better, be healthier and prolong your life. You want to write a book because you want to share your knowledge with the world. You want to run a marathon to build your character and sense of accomplishment. Your goal helps you live more fully. It is not your reason to live.

16. Your goals must have deadlines

Give yourself a delivery date and etch it in stone. If you are not dead-set on the end date, you will always put the work off until tomorrow. I know this personally. This is how my PhD goal has become spread out over years and years. I did not have a sense of urgency. You must have a sense of urgency that lights a fire under you and kicks that butt into gear! Create clear, specific, non-negotiable deadlines.

17. Surround yourself with visual cues/triggers that keep your goals forefront in your mind

Whatever it is that reminds you of your goal, whether its a picture, a number, a quote or a mantra, keep it close to you so that you can look at it to remind you of why you started and why you are going through all the trouble. Sensory cues and triggers can also work to remind you that you need to be doing certain activities during your daily practice.

18. Work on your goals first

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “Pay yourself first.”  It means that you should put your savings on autopilot before you start paying bills and buying non-essential items. If you wait until after you pay everyone else to start saving, you will never have enough money. You can apply the same concept to your goals and your time. Set up your schedule so that you are working on your goals before anything else. Work on your goals before you leave the house in the morning. Write. Exercise. Train. Meditate. Record.  Whatever. Just work on your goal in a meaningful way before you do anything else.  This is your best energy. Use it on you. Because if you wait to have energy after you do everything else with your day, you will not be able to show up for yourself a lot of the time.

19. When you are pursuing your goals, remember that you are your own competition

It is very easy to compare yourself to people who have already achieved the goals that you aspire to. But when you compare yourself, you only create a false sense of inadequacy. Remember that you are your only source of competition. The only person that you are measuring yourself against is the person you were yesterday.

20. When pursuing your goals, you will surprise yourself

When you have a whatever it takes mindset and are relentless about getting what you want, and you begin to manifest the results you are seeking, you will surprise yourself. You will be able to do things that you have never been able to do. This will feel amazing!

 

Alright, Abundance Seeker, as always I hope this was helpful.

If you have some big fat juicy life-changing ambitious goals that you haven’t been able to accomplish but are burning with a desire to do so, check out my Goal-Getter 90 Day Individual Session Program.   We can work together to shatter them!

And if you haven’t already, please subscribe to our weekly newsletter for more inspiration sent straight to your inbox.

Don’t Be Jealous. Be Motivated.

What do you do when you feel jealous?

A few months ago I rushed onto a train because I was running late to work.

I made it just in time before the doors closed. As I sat down panting to catch my breath, I became aware of an absolutely stunning woman sitting across from me.

She was very beautiful and meticulously groomed. Her makeup was flawless and expertly applied.  Then I looked at her manicured nails and at how well dressed she was. Her clothes were flattering, sophisticated and she had an elegant yet edginess quality to her.  Her natural hair was neat, yet fun and free. She was very refined unhurried and was typing away on her iPhone and it looked like she was sending out work emails.

I was flustered after running from my home in clothes that I had thrown on to go to a job that I did not like very much.  This woman looked like she had all the time in the world and appeared to be happily doing work related tasks. We looked to be about the same age and yet  we seemed to be worlds apart in that moment. I think that she felt me staring at her because she looked up from her phone and met my gaze. She smiled kindly and turned her attention back to her phone.

Now,  I know better than to get caught up in the self-hating exercise of comparing myself to her and the foolishness of thinking that her life was better than mine. But in that moment, I must admit to feeling a little intimidated by her. And if I’m being completely honest with myself, I was a little jealous.

As I continued to think about it while I sat on the train, I realized that I was so affected by the presence of this woman because she was a living reminder of some of my most pressing goals: 1. step up my self-care and appearance,  2. cultivate an aura of calm sophistication, 3.  be in a position to enjoy my full time work again. She was the living, breathing embodying of some of these goals and in that moment, all of my goals seemed so far away from me.

Jealousy comes up when you are not meeting your goals. Jealousy is a clear sign that you need to be more focused on your goals.  Stop letting yourself off the hook. This woman looked the way she did because she has a desire (a goal) to look the way she did and made sure that her actions matched up with her desires. She had the dedication and standards to look for her wardrobe. This woman made sure to wake up and get herself together in enough time so that she was not a rushing mess like I was.

By the time I got off the train, I was even more inspired to recommit to my goals. I let that moment of feeling jealous inspire me and push me in the direction of my goals.

Here are 3 ways to allow the green-eyed monster of jealousy to push you in the direction of your goals:

When you are feel jealous, notice what is triggering you

I noticed how certain aspects of this woman triggered me but others didn’t. What triggers you? Is it seeing travel photos? Hearing about other people’s financial success? Seeing people in healthy happy relationships? What is it that triggers you? The triggers are the things that you want the most.  You can’t achieve it if you don’t know what it is.

When you feel jealous, recommit to your goals 

And be honest about the type and amount of work that you will have to do get your goals accomplished. The work may be psychological,  physical,  financial, etc. Be honest about the scope and nature of the work. Then commit to it and go for it. Give yourself a fixed amount of time and accomplish one thing you one step closer to what you want.

When you feel Jealous, use Positive Self-Talk

Do not discourage yourself with negative self-talk. Commit to talking to yourself in a positive way. You are not wrong for wanting what you want. And it is absolutely possible for you to have what you want. Do not tell yourself otherwise. Just because it has not happened for you yet, does not mean that it won’t happen in the future. Tell yourself that your time is coming and that you are willing to do the work necessary to obtain your goal.

Ok, Abundance Seeker, do you have moments in which you feel jealous? Does it inspire you? Or discouraged?

If you are ready to finally start accomplishing your goals, let’s work together!