Can You Imagine?

What if you could recognize your awesomeness? 

What if you fully embraced what you truly think? 
What if you could love what you deeply love, openly? 
What if you were free to share yourself fully?

I’ve got some news for you!

The world is your oyster!

Go forth, you are free to be your awesome, badass, authentic, loving, sharing self.

There has actually never been anything stopping you, except, well, … you!

And you can stop stopping yourself any time you want.

Right now, even!

Or, right NOW!

It’s all up to you.

The constraints are not real. 
The limitations are illusory. 
The suppression is self-imposed. 
The restrictions are imagined.

The things that you think are holding you back, are not. 
The ways that you think your future is limited, are hooey.

Can you be with the possibility of it all? 
Can you breathe into what can be? 
Can you open to yourself to all that is available to you?

Can you see what I see? 
Can you hear what I hear? 
Do you know what I know?

You can have it all.

The only question is: what will you do with your one, precious life?

-L.

📸: Throwback photo from this blast from my self-expression past.

I'm feeling another dance, dance revolution coming on. ☺️

Full video here, in case you somehow missed it. Better with sound on: 🔊https://www.facebook.com/laurenmurphypringleroberts/videos/10102745059340887/

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Your Self-Expression Is Calling. Will You Answer The Call?

What comes to mind when you think of your ultimate self-expression?

What is the highest self-expression your soul can envision for you?

How far are you from that level of self-expression?

This is not an exercise in self-judgment or self-deprecation or self-criticism. I’m sure that you do plenty of that without my help. This is an exercise of imagination and a practice in allowing joy and love into your life, and into your thinking.

When I considered this kind of thing several years ago, I am quite sure that I drew a huge blank. Blanks are rarely blanks, they are usually just the plain back-side of big blocks that sit in our path.

Rarely does our creative mind not paint brilliant and intriguing pictures in our imagination, so long as it has the space to do so. Blocks, however, take up lots of space, and edge out the room required for imagination to stretch its legs.

If you draw a blank when you consider your ultimate self-expression, try on a little curiosity. How curious that there is a big block taking up all that space in your mind! Maybe queue up some wonder around what that might all be about! What if that big honkin’ thing would disappear? Look how much space there would be up in here!

When I had fleeting moments of clarity in the past around my true self-expression (basically, as you see me today, and ever-expanding), they were immediately, instantaneously, simultaneously shot down with some bullshit about how “yeah, but that’s not possible …”

We think we are keeping ourselves safe with this nonsense, with all these limitations, but we are putting ourselves at the most significant risk of all — the risk of never fully becoming who were truly are.

Trust me, it’s worth keeping at it. It’s worth the discomfort of the inquiry.

Your self-expression is calling. Will you answer the call?

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Will You Get Back Up?

I have a commitment to writing every day. I have not kept that commitment every single day. Sometimes I have resistance to writing, like last week when we were in Alexandria.

If you also feel resistance to taking action, here is what I wrote about that resistance this morning.

It seemed only appropriate that I share it here since I have resisted sharing my unedited and unvarnished writings publicly.

I enjoy writing. I enjoy planning. I enjoy scanning papers and organizing things. I enjoy reading books that expand my understanding about human nature and performance.

I can easily get into flow doing any of those activities. I can imagine a life where every action that I take is something that I choose and desire to do.

Yet, the very activities that will generate that life, the list of things that I just said I like to do, are activities that I resist doing on a daily basis.

I resist writing my thoughts here. I resist planning out my day and tracking my habits in my Jibun Techo Planner. I resist creating and updating my courses and books. I resist reading personal development books every day.

I would continue to list out all of the things that resist, but my writing them out is creating a manifestation list, and I do not want to manifest my resistance to taking the actions that I need to take in my life.

I do not want to create and live into a conversation or story about how much I resist doing the things that will give me a life I love.

I will choose to acknowledge the resistance, examine the resistance, see if there is something there, something that will allow me and others to push through the resistance, but I will not dwell on the resistance itself.

As I reflect on my natural propensity for inaction in certain areas of my life, I realize that this resistance has been with me all my life.

The conversation of resistance existed before I was born. I did not invent or create resistance, it was waiting for me when I arrived on this planet.

I have often found myself stopped by resistance. I have felt like there is something wrong with me because I experience resistance.

I have often thought that successful people have something that I lack, some immunity to resistance, or some drive that is stronger than the resistance they face.

I am setting aside the conversation that I am lacking, or that something is wrong with me. Instead, I am engaging in a new conversation about myself and about the resistance I feel to taking action for my life.

What if we were to approach resistance in an entirely new way, setting aside the notion that resistance is something that we must conquer before we can live a life we love?

Instead of resisting resistance, what would happen if we accepted it and related to it as if it were a real force? Can we mute or disappear resistance by incorporating resistance into our world and identity?

I am creating a new relationship to, and conversation about, resistance.

I accept that resistance is a real and unseen force that can impact the actions that I take. I relate to the existance of resistance just like it were gravity or magnetism.

It would be the height of lunacy for me to lie in bed each morning and contemplate how I can disappear gravity in order to get out of bed and begin my day.

I quit struggling against gravity when I learned how to walk. I accepted the fact that if I want to get from point A to point B without my mother picking me up and carrying me, I would have to learn balance and build up the strength in my leg muscles to overcome gravity.

I didn’t spend years plotting against gravity. I didn’t read book after book or take courses on how to rid my life of gravity. I didn’t think that I was fundamentally flawed as a human being because I could not stand up against gravity and walk from day one.

I did not learn balance and how to walk by studying how little hair like sensors interact with liquid in the inner ear.

When I learned to walk, I set my sights on a destination. I put my complete concentration on my objective. My mother was sitting on the floor six feet away from me with outstretched arms. I wanted to be there with here, and the quickest way there was to walk.

What there is to do each moment that I experience resistance to taking action, is to think about resistance like gravity and learning to walk.

If you are trying to form a new habit and you stop taking action after a day or two, you are still at the stage of crawling. Nothing is wrong with you, you are just a crawler in this area of your life.

It is possible to live an entire life crawling.

You will never win any sprints or marathons, you will be limited in how far and how quickly you can travel under your own power, and you will have a sense of diminished freedom, but you will survive.

The good news is that you are not stuck crawling, physically or metaphorically. By putting your focus on your destination and objective, you can pick yourself up and start trying to walk again. You can take action again after failing to maintain your habit.

Just like with learning to walk, you may fail time and time again.

You can curse gravity.

You can curse resistance.

Neither action will produce the results that you want for yourself and your life.

If you accept that resistance is a natural part of existence and that it will always be with you like gravity, then you can have a new conversation about it.

The astronauts taught us that gravity makes our bones and muscles strong. Without gravity, our muscles atrophy and our bones lose density.

Taking action against our resistance serves a similar function for our productivity and ability to move our life in the direction that we want.

As you take action when you do not feel like taking action, you strengthen your ability to act in the face of opposition. You build a confidence in yourself, that you are able to do what you say you will do.

You will begin to understand that your feelings and your actions are often correlated, but they are not causal. We typically do the things that we feel like doing or do not do the things that we do not feel like doing, but we can and do take actions that are not consistent with our feelings.

We can not always control the outcomes of the actions that we take. Failure is always a possibility, but we do not have to allow our failures to define us. What defines our character is how we respond to our failures.

Will you get back up? Will you allow yourself to be made stronger by taking action despite the resistance you feel?

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Rhythm & Rhyme

If I keep going, keep putting out words,
will someone take notice, and share me with verbs, and
grant me the status, I so wish to have, 
to be famous, accomplished, and all in the know, 
and even, may someday, be on Ellen's show.

The doors are all open, perception is fierce, 
my hopes are alighted, and fear's all that's scarce. 
I push and I pull and I mingle with words, 
to see which to keep, which to show to the doors, 
to walk them away, and say with a sleight, 
so, thanks for coming, but I wish you good night.

I keep on returning to jingle and jangle, 
can't find the way o'er particip-ular dangle.

It's a popular place, with its strange blooming trees, 
with creatures who have knobby things on their knees, 
and words that do rhyme in particular ways, 
and who could accuse me of Thing-ing for days?

How can you blame me, for following gods, 
for worshiping those whom the critic applauds, 
for taking to sounds that I know just by heart, 
for looking and finding some place for a start?

I know not the reason, nor rhythm, nor rhyme, 
but I know that these words are--each one of them--mine, 
to the extent I can claim any one of them true. 
There will always be someone who calls you a n00b. 
To such people I say: is it Seuss or 'tis Christmas? 
Welcome to my world! My brain, it just mixes.

Each word that I speak,
Wonder, is this the last? 
The final syll-a-ble that ever be cast?

Out of my mouth, or onto the page,
and no way to know if I'll ever be lain, 
with another inspired word beat or verb rhyme. 
The language has music, you'll know it in time.

You'll hear it in whispers, in rap, and in lyrics, 
though you'll fear it at times, should you not get it. 
And lose you will not, so long you have voice, 
'cause one day you'll die, and it'll be by the choice, 
to lay down your arms, and your legs, and your lungs, 
to stop speaking truth and by ceasing to run
from the fears and the worries and all the mistakes
that chased you like rabbits with Preakness-type stakes.

These words they do fumble, and flipper, and flapper, 
and now I sure know: Seuss was mad as a hatter. 
The making up words, the neo-lo-gisms, 
all part of the trade, of the trick, of the schism.

The being of language, the life force of words, 
the jive and the juke and the dancing with verbs, and
how does it look when it's all on the page? 
Who farking knows, do you think I'm a sage? 
I can't see peep, I'm as blind as a batter, 
hit by a pitch at the heart of the matter.

What else would there be but to write all in style, 
to talk just in rhymes, and to craft with a smile?

Why else would we write, 
would we share, 
would you listen? 
Why else would there ever be someone to christen?

And why would we celebrate life and mourn death? 
If nothing was there to remind us what's best.

That what really matters is much more like fiction,
though rarely's the truth-seeker willing to listen.

I don't know the structure, the strictures, the rules, 
I don't even know if I look like a fool.

I care not 'bout that, that's for sure, you can say. 
I don't know the first thing about Dorian Gray.

The portrait is painted, this corner I'm in, 
stuck here while paint dries, and rids me of sins.
No paint job will do that old trick, if you might
but I will be blinded, and healed, then, by sight.

Is it Christmas or Seuss, she asked with a spatter? 
Flustered and bustered, inventing the latter.

The key may be Grinchy, the one with the heart
three sizes too small, at least at the start, 
and therein lies truth with the force of a patter. 
Doesn't she know it's the word count that matters?

With no recognition, she said from her heart: 
"Scoot over — I'm stuck here!" then just went dark.

From deep in this booth, I'm writing to find
where the Muse keeps her loot, 
maybe, even,
my mind.

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What Kind of Person Are You?

What kind of a person do you say you are?

What kind of a person do you hold on to being?

What kind of a person are you proud to say that you are?

How many of the aspects or qualities that you listed are you empowered by?

How many of them do you wish you could change?

Either way, the answer I have for you is good news.

None of your answers are true.

There is no "way" that you are, in truth, in fact, written in stone, unchangeable.

If you are empowered by the ways that you see yourself, fantastic. Keep those things, embolden yourself in those areas. Take those aspects to the next level.

If you are disempowered by any of the ways that you see yourself, this is fantastic, too. Now, you have the opportunity to recognize that those are simply choices that you are making, and you can choose differently.

Do you think you are shy, quiet, reserved, introverted, self-conscious, unreliable, flaky?

I'm here to say, that's not true. That's not the kind of thing that can be true or false.

You may well have acted in ways that were shy, quiet, reserved, introverted, self-conscious, unreliable or flaky in your life. I'm not denying that. You may have been that way for many years, maybe for all of the years of your life. I am still here to assert that there is no truth that you ARE - in some fundamental, unchangeable, inescapable way - any of those things. That is simply not how being human works.

We have all had the experience of being put into a situation, whether tragic, or exciting, or by surprise, where we responded in a way that was very "unlike us". How could that even be possible, if we are fixed in our fundamental nature? It wouldn't be, because we are not.

I'm not saying that people around you don't WANT you to be a fixed, set way. We find comfort when the people in our lives act the way we expect them to act, when they respond the same way they have always responded, when they operate out of the same range of emotions and actions that they always have. So what? Do you want to make your life all about making people around you comfortable? Or do you want to make your life extraordinary?

Your choice.

What if we play a little game?

What if we do one thing, say one thing, take one action, be one way that is completely outside of the range of "the kind of person" that we think we are?

I'll start.

I'm "not a morning person."

If I didn't know better, I would argue with you all day for the truth of that statement. I feel worse in the mornings. I do my best work late at night. I don't ever "feel like" hopping right out of bed. I don't enjoy going to bed early. I feel foggy in the mornings. I am usually wide awake at bedtime, and I hit my stride in the early afternoon. Thus, at some point, I decided that I wasn't someone who could get up early in the morning like those crazy people who get up at the crack of dawn and have more done that I get done all day, even before I have hit snooze for the fourth time.

I could be trapped by this way of seeing myself.

I could decide (as I have done for most of my life) that it means all sorts of things about what I am capable of, what I must learn to tolerate, and what I can do, be and achieve.

I could resign myself to being a night-owl.

I could even passionately embrace my night-owl-hood, and accept and fully love that "aspect of myself."

But all that would be a lie.

It would be a lie in the first place, because it is resting upon a belief that the truth of the matter is that I am - fundamentally and unchangeably - one particular way.

And that, is not the kind of thing that can be TRUE. It can be the current state of affairs, certainly. It can be my current modus operandi, for sure. It can be the historical precedent, without a doubt.

But there is a big difference between a way I have been being, and a way that fundamentally I AM.

Do you see the difference?

When I start to override my belief about "how I AM", I start seeing how I am capable of being another way. How I am capable of changing. Of transforming. Of reconceptualizing. Of reframing. Of growing. Of being whomever and however I choose.

Almost every morning, when I wake up early, I do not want to get out of bed when the alarm goes off. I argue against the actual need to get up early and workout before the day begins. I instinctually follow a mental path of considering how I could put things off until later in the day. I don’t want to get out of bed early.

And guess what I do?

I get up.

I put one foot in front of the other.

I work out in the morning.

And I feel great.

So, again, I ask you: what will you choose?

What is one area of your life where you could simply choose to be the way you want to be? To choose to be the kind of person you long to be?

Maybe you want to be someone who has a clean house? Then, take an action toward that. Clean up. Put something away as soon as you use it.

Maybe you want to be the kind of person who is fit, and in shape? Then, take an action toward that. Park far from the store. Take the stairs. March in place for five minutes.

I've been a lawyer. I've been a teacher. I've been a low-energy, burned-out, over-worked entrepreneur. And, I am not any of those things now.

It's one thing to change careers, though. Many people have done that. It's another thing to transform your way of being. To become consistent. To honor my word. To show up daily. To take care of my body. To eat right. I was someone who fundamentally believed that it wasn’t possible to change those defaults about myself.

It is possible. It can be done. YOU can do it.

You can start small. Take a tiny action outside of your range, today.

Where will you begin?

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You live like you will have another chance. 

You know, as soon as things work themselves out. 

Well, I have a bulletin for you. 

Things HAVE worked out. 

THIS is how they worked out. 

There is no someday "when".

There is no future version of you that isn't in the same exact mental place that you are today, unless you choose to make a shift, NOW. 

You cannot make the shift tomorrow. 

You cannot make the shift when you feel ready. 

Neither of those things will ever eventuate. 

It is always now, and you never feel ready. 

Not for anything worth doing. 

Not for anything that will change your life. 

Isn't that what we are here to do? 

If so, the time is only ever NOW.

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Once there was a fish who lived in the great ocean, and because the water was transparent, and always conveniently got out of the way of his nose when he moved along, he didn’t know he was in the ocean.

Well, one day the fish did a very dangerous thing, he began to think: “Surely I am a most remarkable being, since I can move around like this in the middle of empty space.”

Then the fish became confused because of thinking about moving and swimming, and he suddenly had an anxiety paroxysm and thought he had forgotten how.

At that moment he looked down and saw the yawning chasm of the ocean depths, and he was terrified that he would drop. Then he thought: “If I could catch hold of my tail in my mouth, I could hold myself up.”

And so he curled himself up and snapped at his tail. Unfortunately, his spine wasn’t quite supple enough, so he missed.

As he went on trying to catch hold of his tail, the yawning black abyss below became ever more terrible, and he was brought to the edge of total nervous breakdown.

The fish was about to give up, when the ocean, who had been watching with mixed feelings of pity and amusement, said, “What are you doing?”

“Oh,” said the fish, “I’m terrified of falling into the deep dark abyss, and I’m trying to catch hold of my tail in my mouth to hold myself up.”

So the ocean said, “Well, you’ve been trying that for a long time now, and still you haven’t fallen down. How come?”

“Oh, of course, I haven’t fallen down yet,” said the fish, “because, because—I’m swimming!”

“Well,” came the reply, “I am the Great Ocean, in which you live and move and are able to be a fish, and I have given all of myself to you in which to swim, and I support you all the time you swim. Instead of exploring the length, breadth, depth, and height of my expanse, you are wasting your time pursuing your own end.”

From then on, the fish put his own end behind him (where it belonged) and set out to explore the ocean.

Alan Watts

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We Could. 

We can. 
We will. 
We shall.

Why do we wait until the last possible minute to do the things that matter? 
Why do we always put off until tomorrow what could be done today? 
Why do we sit by idly while things are okay, and just fine, instead of being moved to action out of our desires, and not forced need?

We do because we do. 
We do because it's our habit. 
We do because it's our nature. 
We do because it's our base tendency. 
We do because we do.

And we can change.

We can choose otherwise. 
We can choose to be in action. 
We can choose to move before life moves us. 
We can choose to respond powerfully to the slightest sign that we are not living full out in alignment with our dreams. 
We can choose.

The only question is: will you?

If You Got All The Money

If you got all the money, 
would life really change? 
The pain all be gone, and just happy remain? 
What if the cash doesn't change the whole picture? 
What if you're only just swapping your scripture?

What you may worship should start from within, 
love, peace and joy are always win/win. 
You can create what you want for your life. 
Nothing will stop you, not even your strife.

How you determine what really matters, 
is start with the end in mind, then turn you backwards. 
What would you do now, if you were already
the person who has all the things that you envy?

What would you do now, if it were aligned, 
you and your life and your visions in mind?

Who is that person, and how does she sound? 
What does he say, and what feelings abound?

Take all that on, and you'll be there much sooner
than if you plot and you poll and you tune in
to the voices that tell you all that you can't do,
when all that you need is already within you.

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You Think You Do Not Have Time?

You are right.

You think you make time for anything and everything you desire?

You are right.

Which do you choose?

(っ◔◡◔)っ

You do not have anything to do.

You do things, or you do not do things.

You choose.

(っ◔◡◔)っ

You are not going to do anything.

You are not going to write a book, if you are not writing a book now.

You are not going to get out of debt, if you are not getting out of debt now.

Nothing happens in the future.

Everything happens now.

(っ◔◡◔)っ

Are you even here, now?

This present moment, that's all there ever is.

Why do you run away from it? 
Why do you look back and forth, trying so hard to escape it?

It's actually quite lovely, right here, right now.

Without your worries of the future, regrets about the past, wishing and hoping that one or the other would be different; when the only thing you can access, ever, is right now.

This moment.

And this one.

And this one.

And so on.

You have all the time you need. You always have right now.

To start something new. 
To make a new choice. 
To shift your thinking. 
To change your attitude. 
To speak the unspoken. 
To say what's in your heart. 
To dare to live your dream. 
To take the first step. 
To share yourself with the world. 
To connect with another human being. 
To be the person you wish to become. 
To embody your mission. 
To act upon your dreams. 
To do something different. 
To alter the future. 
To claim what you desire. 
To call your life into being. 
To make shit happen.

Now is the only time time that you need.

It is yours.

The only question is: what will you choose do with it?

:: bring me to life ::

I feel a little dead right now, 
said me myself to I.

I looked her right on down the nose, 
and told her, so do I.

And now we have this curious thing: 
we, me, myself and I.

We have the sense of danger near, 
no reason as to why.

We looked around, but all we saw
was danger-free despair.

The utmost harm that this can do, 
is always in the air.

Well, I said, to my me-self, 
there's more than meets the eye.

Let's go on down underground,
and see how fates do lie.

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It's Time to Face the Facts

It's time to face the fact that this is your one life. 

It's time to face your lethargy, your malaise, your laziness, your overwhelm and your excuses head on. 

It's time. 

The time is always NOW. 

What will it take for you to make a massive change in your life? 

What will it take for you to stop avoiding or putting off the things that are truly important to you? 

Will you make it take something horrible? 

Will you make it take death, destruction, loss, or devastation? 

Because many of us, that's what we require. 

We demand of the universe: HIT ME WITH EVERYTHING YOU'VE GOT! 

Until then, I'm not listening! 

But couldn't you take another path? Isn't there another route to your brand new life? Couldn't we consider acting out of desire, and not of dread? 

Couldn't we respond to our desires instead of only disasters? 

Couldn't we opt to take action before it was absolutely necessary in response to some soul-crushing, life-suppressing loss? 

Couldn't we choose to be proactive, instead of responsive? 

Couldn't we choose to guide life to where we desire for it to go, instead of being at the effect of its seeming randomness?

We could. 
We can. 
We shall. 

Why do we wait until the last possible minute to do the things that matter? 
Why do we always put off until tomorrow what could be done today? 
Why do we sit by idly while things are okay, and just fine, instead of being moved to action out of our desires, and not forced need? 

We do because we do. 
We do because it's our habit. 
We do because it's our nature. 
We do because it's our base tendency. 
We do because we do. 

And we can change. 
We can choose otherwise. 
We can choose to be in action. 
We can choose to move before life moves us. 
We can choose to respond powerfully to the slightest sign that we are not living full out in alignment with our dreams. 

We can choose. 

The only question is: will you?

Regret is a Normal Feeling

Regret is a normal feeling to experience when you undergo any massive change and transformation in your life. 

Regret for not leaping sooner. 
Regret for wasting so much time disbelieving. 
Regret for not taking or making the time earlier. 
Regret for waiting to do what you always knew to do. 
Regret for time spent worrying and stressing, instead of being in action. 

Feelings themselves are never bad, wrong or harmful. It is our response to the thoughts, feelings and emotions that we experience, which can royally screw up our selves and our lives. So, I ask myself: what would my choice to indulge these regrets provide for me? what would it cost me? 

These regrets are not moving me forward. 
These regrets desire that I continue playing safe and small.
These regrets do not serve me, or my life of service. 
These regrets fundamentally desire that I never take new actions. 
These regrets are a faint voice of the old me, trying to hold onto existence, to justify her self and her choices. 
These regrets would rather that I not recognize how much I missed out on for so long.  
These regrets prefer that I do not face the amount of peace, power, freedom, self-expression and energy that had always been right there for the having.
These regrets would rather that I stay the same, instead of continue to grow. 

I bless them. 
I thank them. 
I release them. 
I send them off with love. 
I thank myself for taking the action now. 
I remind myself that the only time is NOW
I step forward into the great future I am creating. 

I say to the universe, to my self: 

Thank you. 
I love you. 
I trust you. 

On we go, now...

Live NOW with Lauren Roberts

P.S. Are you ready for your own massive transformation? Have you checked out Write Right NOW? It's all happening next week, and it will change your life. You can find details and a link to register, below, in the comments section of this post!

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Change is Never Painful

You are strong. 

You can do hard things. 

You can make shifts in your life. 

You are capable of massive transformation. 

It is only scary in the abstract. 
It is only anxiety-inducing in the anticipation. 

Forget how you feel, what your thoughts are saying, and take steps toward the goals in life to which you are committed. 

Action is the only way to peace. Peace does not precede action. AKA, you will never feel ready. You must act anyway. 

Take imperfect action. 
Start and fail. 
Start again. 
Stop waiting. 

Start doing.

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What's Your Big Dream?

Get real with yourself. 
Are you living your shadow life? 

Ask: 

What makes your heart sing? 
What lies just outside your "comfortable"? 
What brings you alive? 
What leaves you with more energy than before? 
What gets your blood flowing? 
What makes your stomach turn a little? 
What lights a fire in your belly? 
What makes your heart skip a beat? 
What makes your breath stop short? 
What scares the shit out of you? 
What can't you stop thinking about? 

Whatever the answer is to the majority of these questions, if you aren't already giving your life to it, you're living in the shadow world. 

The good news is: it's easy to get out, simply commit to doing it now. 

Speak it into the world. 

This is where your dreams are. 
This is where your heart is. 
This is where life happens. 
This is how you reclaim your power. 
This is where you find your life. 
This is where you feel alive. 

All the excuses that come up, they are just that: excuses. 

They will never resolve themselves. 
They will never go away. 
They will never be worked out. 

Excuses can only be ignored. 

If you have a dream inside you, you have what it takes to bring it to life. 

It doesn't happen sometime in a fantasy future, where your fears have disappeared. It happens every day, in the now, by taking actions, big and small, to get one step closer toward the vision you have buried deep inside you, of what is possible for your life. 

It's a truism to say that the journey of a thousand steps begins with the first, but truisms may be tautologies, but that doesn't mean that they aren't true. The first step can be infinitesimally small. It can be minuscule, minute. It can be opening the web browser, and typing in a web search to research your dream. It can be logging in to an account you have been ignoring, because you think the facts are too daunting to deal with, or the project is too big and overwhelming to start. 

Starting is where the magic begins. It's impossible to keep going, be consistent or gain momentum if you haven't yet started. 

So start. With the first step, whether it's the smallest step, or the biggest one you can fathom. Start, and if you have already started, keep going, and if you have lost momentum, start again. 

There is a way to live the life of your dreams. And yes, it requires work, but when you are working in your zone of genius, you are hard pressed to call any of it "work" in the traditional sense. 

It's passion. 
It's joy. 
It's creation.
It's art. 
It's play. 
It's collaboration. 
It's magic. 

And it does not cost energy, it creates energy. You will feel more alive, more vibrant, more vitality than you ever did trying to fulfill someone else's dream for your life: whether your bosses' or your parents' or your shadow self. 

When you get real with yourself, when you own up to your wildest dreams, the world looks different. Possibilities start to open up. Things that seemed impossible just moments before, gain potential. When you speak your new truth into existence, the world lines up to support you. 

So, what's your big dream?

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Your Vision of the Way the World Can Be

Can you see the power in speaking your truth? 

And yet, maybe you hear your parents saying, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all!" 

What a conundrum. 

So many times when I'm coaching my clients to speak their truth into the world, they say something to the effect of: "But I'm tired/down/low-energy/annoyed/something else uninspiring, and I don't want to share that with the world! Social media is already SO negative, I don't need to add to that!". 

Well, OK. Let's break this down. 

First, my clients are brilliant and definitely know what is up. And we are always completely aligned on what I do not mean by speaking your truth: complaining, bitching, moaning, worrying, stressing, whining, whinging (for the Aussies or Brits out there), or anything of the sort. 

There is no authenticity in your complaints. None of your complaints, as such, are going to move the world forward. None of them are going to light up the world. None of them are going to inspire people. 

AND there is something behind them that WILL do all of those things. 

Are you ready to discover it? 

But ... you might say, "that's what I really feel!" "These complaints are my deepest truth, and now you are telling me to share myself, but NOT to share all my deepest truths!" "I am tired, and frustrated, and sad, and annoyed, and exhausted, and that's what's REAL for me!" "Beyond that, I don't have anything to share! That's what I spend my whole day focused on." 

Here is where I take three deep breaths, remind myself of my love and commitment to these amazing people, connect to my compassion for my own similar tendencies and the beauty of the human condition. 

Now, I can respond: I understand that you feel that way. And I respectfully disagree that those complaints are who you really are. And I get that you can't see anything beyond them, in this moment. 

Remember, I'm not here for positive thinking in some Pollyanna way. (Poor Pollyanna, I apologize for using her as a straw man for all of my arguments against papering over reality with pretty words that don't make a difference.) 

I'm not even asking you to give up the complaints. In fact, I'm asking you to sit with them. Be with them. Look at them. Allow them to be. Do not resist them. Remember: what we resist, persists. 

This is not the same as dwelling or indulging in our complaints. You need not grant them meaning, being, or existence beyond what they are: thoughts that popped into your mind, whether once, or on a repeat loop worthy of a dance track. Remember, your complaints most often leave you victimized and at the effect of something or someone outside of your control. This is not what it means to be empowered. 

So, how do we empower ourselves by means of what shows up for us so easily, our complaints? It's actually quite simple. 

Start by allowing yourself to be curious about your complaints. For bonus points, do this PRIOR to sharing them with other people, because in sharing, you are creating, and for a minute, let's just see what these complaints are all about, before we share them and give them a kind of existence that perhaps they do not merit. 

Complaints are based on "should"-type of thinking. That is: the world/this person/I should be a certain way, and it/they/we are not.

Try it out: "My spouse doesn't support me in [some area]." How can we translate this? Can you hear, underneath that complaint: "My spouse SHOULD be a certain way, or do a certain thing, or say certain words, or think certain thoughts, AND they do NOT." 

OK. Good. Now we are moving in the direction of empowerment and ownership and freedom. So, what is the authentic truth behind your complaint? 

I don't know! It's yours. It will be different for every person, and every complaint, but I can promise you, the complaint is not the bottom of the well. 

Look at what you think "should be". Sometimes you have to put on your 4-year old hat (no, not that the hat is four years old, but that the hat brings you back to what it was like to BE a four-year old...) and ask "why? why? why?" in response to each of your initial responses. 

So, it looks something like this: 

"My spouse is a jerk!" --> I promise nothing with anger or name-calling or generalizations represent your ultimate, authentic truths. 

So, next step --> look for the should. Be with the complaint for a moment. Do not indulge. Do not root for it. Do not cheer it on. Do not add a peanut gallery that piles on. Just be with the feeling behind it. 

If you can sit with anger, I promise you, it will dissolve. And I'm not saying that experience is going to leave you with immediate joyfulness, but I promise it is a step forward. Most likely, it will dissolve into a bit of hurt, or sadness, or sorrow, or a feeling of loss, or disappointment, or upset. Anger itself is not a primary emotion. It arises from a wound. Get curious about where the anger originates. 

If your complaint doesn't yet have a "should" in it, look around. What would the solution be? How could your spouse not be a jerk? How would he act? What would she say? What is your underlying belief about how a spouse should be, where you see your spouse as falling short? 

Take on the notion that, especially if you are using a vague generalization like "is a jerk" or, even, if you look above, the initial claim that "social media is so negative", you will need to get specific and clear. 

One sure way to always live in complaints, and never have a prayer of getting what you want in life, is to not know what you want, and to be very vague and general about all the things that you do NOT want, like, approve of, etc. 

So, get clear. Maybe your spouse is a jerk because they do not support you in some endeavor. (Do you hear the "like you think they SHOULD" that I could append on to the end of that claim?) Or, maybe your spouse is a jerk because they forgot your anniversary? (Implying that you think they should?) The best work of this type will REALLY nail down the actual solution to your complaint. 

For example, if you think your spouse is a jerk because they forgot your anniversary, be clear about what the solution be to that, about how it would have looked to fully satisfy you. If your think your complaint is that they did not remember your anniversary, be careful. Would you truly have been satisfied and fulfilled if they remembered your anniversary, but did not celebrate that remembrance in some way with you? Would you have truly been satisfied and fulfilled if they celebrated that remembrance with you in words, and not in any tangible way? 

This is not about judging your desires. 

This is an inquiry of curiosity. 

What, specifically, "should have been" the case, in your thinking, that resulted in the world not living up to your expectations, and thus, causing you disappointment, upset, frustration, or any other emotion that led to your complaint? 

Now, imagine a world where what "should have been" WAS or IS! Are you fully satisfied? Are you fulfilled? Are you joyful? Are you grateful? Are you enlivened? Are you inspired? 

If not, one of two things may be going on. 

One: you may be stuck on the thing that "should not have happened". You may be so entrenched in punishment mode, feeling hurt, experiencing loss or sadness, wanting to lash out, holding on to your pain, that you cannot let it go. Remember: anger is a poison that you take, hoping the other person will die. Stop doing that. There is nothing to be gained out of holding on to hurt. There is everything to be gained out of letting it go. How do you let it go? You commit to letting it go. You say outloud, "I let it go." Every time it shows up in your mind, you let it go. You continue to do so a million times if need be. You simply keep letting it go, until your letting-go muscle becomes much stronger than maybe it is now. They atrophy easy, and the holding-on muscles get so much use that it takes practice to shift your power. There is also some addictive trigger to holding on. We get a little high out of being right and making other people, or the world, wrong. Trust me, it feels great in the moment, and it's just as good for you, your body, and your mind, as doing hard drugs. That is to say: STOP IT

Two: you may not have gotten to the actually inspirational level of what you think "should be" in the world. You may have settled upon something that you never really considered for yourself, but that you blindly adopted as a "should be" from your parents, from society, from advertisers, from others, from teachers, from siblings, from friends, etc. 

For example, if you came down to "My spouse should give me a present on our anniversary," and if -- when you sat with that as being actually SO, and if you weren't inspired and enlivened and fulfilled, then maybe you have never really considered FOR YOU what you want out of a certain situation. Perhaps you merely adopted the philosophy of Kay's Jewelers, or whatever other advertiser conditioned you to believe that a gift on your anniversary is the ultimate in fulfillment and love. And perhaps, just maybe, when you actually consider it for yourself, you recognize now that you don't give two shits about that. That what you really want is for your spouse to remember your anniversary to show you love, to wake you up with a moment of presence, and a kiss, or to send you a sweet note during the day, expressing their true feelings, in their own words. Perfect. This tweaking is one of the HUGE benefits of this exercise. This is precisely how listening and tuning in to our complaints can actually improve our lives. You get to say what matters. You get to say how you believe the world should be. You get to create your world, as it inspires and enlivens YOU

So frequently, you will notice, that if you tune in, what you originally thought underpinned your complaint was not actually YOU. Sometimes it's society, family, friends, advertisers, or other external influences. And yet, you are living your emotional life in tune with a song you didn't write. And when you tune in to the music, you might find it's a song you don't even LIKE! And you will never know unless you tune in. 

Because, if you choose to share your complaint with the world BEFORE you do this work, I promise, you will find an enormous amount of agreement. 

Complaints are an easy way for humans to relate to one another. We bond over complaints, thinking that we are empathizing and relating, when in fact, we are simply reinforcing unconsidered messages from society-at-large, capitalism, advertisers, and other forces that we don't acknowledge. And so, we find agreement. We feel good for a moment, that other people understand us. And we reinforce views about the way the world should be that we failed to articulate, and that we certainly failed to consider or inspect. 

And then we wonder why we are not happy? Why we do not have the life of our dreams? 

In part, because, WE WOULDN'T EVEN WANT IT! 

Back to my original point, if you do this work, you will find enormous benefit for yourself in guiding your life, but -- as is relevant for so many of my clients -- you will also have something positive, uplifting, personal, and beautiful to share: YOUR VISION OF THE WAY THE WORLD CAN BE! 

Live with the vision you create of the way life could be, such that it would fulfill you, inspire you, and fully satisfy you. Then, share THAT vision with your spouse. Create the whole world of what you see, in other people's listening! Do you see how differently this will land, than if you gave them the cold shoulder for a week until you went through six fights to get out the fact that you were pissed that you didn't get a present for your anniversary, when that isn't even what you would have really wanted, if you took the time to reflect? 

Then, you can share similarly with social media. Share in a way that lights up the world -- create and spread your vision of a world that works, of a world that inspires you. 

If you have nothing to start with other than your complaints, you are in the perfect place.

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It's Not Too Late

I was thinking about something earlier, and I wanted to share it with you. I was thinking about what kinds of things people have on their minds but don't really talk about. 

I was wondering: 

How many things do you keep to yourself? 

How many thoughts do you have stowed away in your brain, shared with no one? 

How much time do you spend in the privacy of your own mind? 

What are the unspeakable things? What are the things unsaid? What are the ways in which we spend our mental energy, alone, in the privacy of our own heads (also known as "echo chambers") and what are the areas where we spend mental energy and energetic resources, and then do not bring those conversations into the public, or share them with people in our lives, or discuss them on social media, or find comfort in speaking with other humans about them? Where do we allow (or condemn) ourselves to remain utterly alone in every sense? 

What are these topics? Where are these areas where we remain alone? Maybe we find fleeting connection with others: catching a joke in a film, or sharing a knowing glance with a friend when it comes up somehow in public, but where do we tend to mostly keep quiet, stay with our own selves on things, and maintain the outward illusion that possibly, we have everything in the world perfectly handled? 

I'm going to start with a few guesses: mental/physical health & addictions, sex & sexuality, relationships & love, death & dying, aging & mortality, insecurities & jealousy, dreams & fears, and goals & desires. 

Over the past several years, we have witnessed a huge shift in the lifting of the taboos around many of these topics. But what I see clearly when I look now, is that the taboos were lifted for public personas talking about these things. The influencers, the movie stars, the famous people, the social media mavens, the internet and media personalities — for these people, there has been a clear liberation both granted by society at large, and accepted by the recipients, which has opened up conversation in many of these formerly untouched areas. And it does make a difference to see and hear others talking about things that we suffer alone in silence, and it is certainly the first step to opening a more casual, everyday conversation about these kind of things — these things we are thinking about and not talking about. The kind of things that we are using up time and energy on, in our minds, and not sharing with others. 

The goal, then, is to keep the conversations moving and expanding. The danger, if there is one, is that the growth ends here, and those in the limelight have an opportunity to voice and process and dialogue their concerns about such intimate matters, but the rest of the general public is left with some residue of the old taboo — now allowed to consume more about these topics from others, but without the space to dialogue about such things for themselves. 

Dialogue is a kind of creation. 

Reading, watching, or hearing others' monologues or even reading, watching, or hearing others' dialogues is a kind of consumption. 

There is an enormous difference. 

Consumption is a passive process. It deadens us a little. It disconnects us. 

Creation is the pinnacle of activity. It is the greatest of human actions. It enlivens us. It connects us to the world, to ourselves, to others, and to all of humanity. 

This continuing shift will require your participation. It will require you to get uncomfortable. To do the work to bring the stigmatized areas into the light. It will require you to speak, to share, to participate with others, in life, out here, outside of your head. 

In all likelihood, the impact of having a cultural shift toward openness and transparency will eventually spread to all segments of society. That said, it could take months, years, decades or centuries. How quickly this happens is up to us. 

Why should we care whether we are given space to share our most intimate thoughts with others? 

Because much of the time and energy that we spend thinking about things could be used in taking actions, but instead we find ourselves incredibly stuck in looping thought-patterns, rehashed fears, old stories, stale narratives about how things will turn out and about how other people are, and many of these things relate to the topics I mentioned above: mental/physical health & addictions, sex & sexuality, relationships & love, death & dying, aging & mortality, insecurities & jealousy, dreams & fears, and goals & desires. 

Without a space, place and time to voice these inner thoughts, to subject them to the clarifying light of dialogue with other human beings, our patterns and loops become distorted, twisted, and neurotic. We have no one to question our assumptions, presuppositions or conclusions; no one to be a sounding board for our logic. 

Like the pea under the mattress, like the butterfly flapping its wings in Indonesia, we have one misstep in our thinking and it takes us down a logical path to throwing away our dreams, to giving up on old goals, to getting resigned and cynical about what's possible in life, to ending up thousands of miles from our original destination. 

What if you had made major decisions in life, killing off certain possibilities for you, based upon one tiny miscalculation? What if you misheard something someone said? What if you misunderstood their meaning? What if you adopted something as truth that truly isn't? What if you drew a conclusion that was unwarranted by the facts? What if you had one small misstep in your thinking that dramatically changed the range of possibilities you could see for your life?

Here's the bad news and the good news: if you are human, you have more than likely made many of these errors in your life, and in your thinking, and those errors have likely led to you dramatically scaling back what you dreamed of, longed for, wished for, and aimed your life toward. 

Oh, did I forget to give you the good news? 

Sorry! Here it is: it's not too late. You are here (wherever you are) reading this, and you are alive. Maybe you have a short time left on this Earth, maybe countless decades. Either way, you have a new opportunity starting right NOW

Share yourself. Create your life through speaking. Talk other people through your thought processes. Reignite your dreams. Share your desires. 

As I'm saying this last bit, I am reminded of how and why it's so fundamentally important to surround yourself with the right kind of people, ones who are positive, creative, supportive and inspiring. And also why it's so critical to NOT surround yourself with people who are negative, mean-spirited, or otherwise just assholes. 

Your life truly happens in conversation. Your life happens in community. Your life happens in dialogue with others. 

Life does not happen in your head. Life is happening out here. Come and see.

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Let's Reclaim Our Dreams

Yesterday, I gave you some good news. Did you see it?

I said: "It's not too late." 

Even though that was yesterday, the good news is still current. It's not too late. 

Did you give up on your dreams? No problem. Did you settle for a life less than the one you wanted? Not to worry. You are here (wherever you are) reading this, and you are alive. Maybe you have a short time left on this Earth, maybe countless decades. Either way, you have a new opportunity starting right NOW. 

In reality, nothing in life takes time. 

It's the shift, the willingness, the transformation of who you are, and who you are willing to become, that can be put off, procrastinated, set aside, forgotten, by all of that "what happens when life happens" stuff. But the transformation itself, the creation of possibilities, the actual shift, that happens in an instant. 

No amount of time is too short. 

You wanted to be a singer? 

Sing! Sing on livestream! Sing and record yourself on YouTube! Go to karaoke and go full out. 

You dreamed of acting? 

Walk into the grocery store and play a role. Be from a foreign land. Act like you have never been in a grocery store before. Request someone show you where the apples are. With a heavy accent. Did you want to be in the movies? Live stream the whole thing. The power is in your hand(s). 

You wanted to teach? 

Record a video and tell me how to do something that you know how to do. Tell me some facts that inspire you. Tell me a story about something motivational. Teach the world anything you desire. Put it on YouTube, and share it with the entire planet. 

You wanted to dance? 

Dance! 

You wanted to be around children? 

Go to the playground. Tell one of the parents there your story. Share openly. Ask about their experience of life. Be curious. Obviously, don't be weird. Make them read this post if they question your motives. 

You wanted to be a famous chef? 

Go make an incredible dinner and livestream it to the world. Set your post to Public, and voilà! 

You wanted to run a business? 

Start by being the CEO of your own life. Take control. Of everything. In all aspects. Get your shit together. There are 1,000,000 businesses you could start tomorrow. Hell, you could start them today if you have your basic shit together already. 

Whatever you once wanted to do? 

Just fucking do it already. Take the first step. 

Nothing is stopping you but you. 

I want you to really get that. 

NOTHING. 

Nope, not even the way that you think that you are. That's not the way in which I mean you are the only thing stopping you. The notion that it's a particular aspect of you, one of your flaws, one of your lesser features, something that's missing in your mind, body or soul. Nope. Nope. Nope. 

The only thing stopping you is you not moving the arm or leg or whatever damn body part is required to move to take the first step toward doing what you want to do. Well, let me clarify. There is one way of being that you might be being that could be the thing that is stopping you. But it's not a way that you "are", it's something you picked up along the way. If you are being resigned or cynical, then for sure, that is the source of your failure. That is the root of your lack of fulfillment. That is the cause of your suffering. 

Give that shit up. I know, I know, I, too, thought it was cool to be cynical, skeptical and resigned. But that was back in the 90s, and those days are behind us. We have moved on. Don't be stuck in the past. What the world needs now is people who are energized, engaged and committed. These are the opposite of cynical, skeptical, and resigned. You wonder why you have no energy, when all your thoughts are predicated on a base of cynicism about the world. You ponder why you feel so depressed and lethargic, when all your stories about yourself come from a place of resignation about people and things in your life. You cannot understand why the world occurs as so bad, negative or scary, when your entire system of belief is grounded in a fundamental skepticism of life. 

ENOUGH. 

Let's leave the past in the past. It's our time now, let's reclaim our dreams. xo

Lauren

PS: Do you have a "yeah, but", "what about" or a "but", or a "you don't understand" of any kind, in your mind?

Please, oh, please, pretty, pretty please: share it with me. Make your case, why you can't have the thing that you ever wanted to have in life. I'm a stand for the possibility of you having it all. I know what is possible. Try me.

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