Live what you love

By Barbara Carrellas

energyscaleHave you ever had the experience of meeting someone and feeling instantly drawn to them? Every moment you spend in their presence is captivating and exciting—it’s almost like being in love. When you part company you feel positively high and the effect may last for days. Conversely, have you ever met someone and felt the urge to back up or get away? Each minute spent with them feels like an hour. When you finally do get away you feel exhausted, drained or frazzled. It’s obvious which of these people you’d pick if you wanted to start an ecstatic relationship, right?

How about your work? Which projects make you feel giddy with accomplishment and delight? Which fill you with dread? How about your social life? Which activities and events feel fresh, new and energizing? Which have become more of a habit than a pleasure?

The secret to living a more ecstatic life is no secret at all:  Do as much of what you love as you possibly can. Do as little as you must of anything you don’t like. Seek maximum exposure to people, places, and things that energize you, and minimal exposure to people, places, and things that drain your energy.

Obvious as this is, it’s not always easy to put into practice. Ask yourself:

  • What is stopping me from breaking a habit or ending a relationship that feels like more of an energy drain than an energy gain?
  • Am I worried about hurting someone’s feelings?  Or losing my job? Am I afraid to take a leap into the unknown? What do I believe will happen if I do?
  • In which area of my life could I most easily take a step that would create an energy gain? (For example, could I keep a promise to myself to attend a yoga, Pilates, or dance class at least once a week?)
  • In what area of my life could I stop or slow an energy drain? (Could I limit phone calls with my well-meaning but critical mother to once a week for thirty minutes?)

Learn to pay attention to your intuitive energy meter. Imagine that you have two dials in your body that control the way you take in information and make decisions—one in your brain and another in your belly. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and turn down the dial in your brain. Take another big breath and turn up the dial in your belly. Ask yourself: Do I feel an energy gain or an energy drain in this situation, or around this person? This simple exercise will help you move out of judgements and into your intuition.

Some of the most powerful energy gains or drains we experience are caused by the thoughts we think. Ask yourself, “On a scale of one (drain) to ten (gain), is the thought I am thinking right now an energy gain or an energy drain?” In the next week, stop several times to observe the quality of your thoughts. Practice elevating the energy level of your thoughts. Think thoughts that feed you.

Handle nagging physical problems. Do you have a persistent physical issue that you have been meaning to deal with but just haven’t gotten around to yet? The physical problem you’re avoiding is draining energy that you could be using for ecstatic expression. Whether it’s poor eyesight, back pain, sexual pain, or any other chronic condition, practice self-love and self-care by getting help.

Avoid social obligations—pursue social opportunities. The rare social obligation—even if it’s deadly dull—will not prevent you from living an ecstatic life. But if you allow yourself to be lured into too many of these so-called obligatory functions, you’ll find yourself being drained of the time and energy you would otherwise have to devote to more meaningful interactions. Look for social opportunities. They can be found anywhere and anytime you have a high probability of meeting delightful people who share one or more of your passions. It could be an erotic massage workshop, an evening of trance dancing, a gourmet dessert-baking evening, or a birthday celebration at a spa. Try and arrange at least two social opportunities for every social obligation. If you need inspiration and assistance finding opportunities, search the Internet for meet-up groups in your area.

Expand your sexuality. It can be your greatest source of energy and ecstatic experience. Whether or not you have a partner, commit to being more sensual and sexual. Try something new—a new position, or toy, or activity. Re-examine your sexual boundaries with the intention of seeing if you’d like to relax some of them. Think of sex as adult play, and set up a play date.

When you focus on maximizing energy gains and diminishing energy drains, you’ll soon find more joy and ecstasy in every area of your life.

Wedding Looks

By Megan Alice Arterberry

I got a question about what to wear to a wedding. In fact, she has three weddings to attend! One is at the beach, another at a vineyard, and a formal affair over the summer and into fall. While choosing pieces, I had in mind the longevity of each piece for her wardrobe. I have learned over the years, through trial and error, the value of price-per-wear. Here are my wedding looks :

Beach and Vineyard Wedding: One Look for Both Weddings! (Luckily they don’t have the same guests!)

Formal Wedding: 

  • The lace dress is great for formal events.
  • The nude patent pumps are low and designed for comfort, and Kate Middleton has proven that nude patent pumps go with everything formal – even Camilla’s on board!
  • The use of the same clutch and jewelry prove how good these pieces are!

I also found two more looks that might work for all three weddings!

  • The coral shades of the pink dress and orange wrap are perfect for the transition of summer to fall.
  • The pearl bracelet gives a beachy yet classic feel.
  • The low sandals give comfort and has both quality and value, in which J.Crew is prized for.
  • The same clutch and earrings!

or…

  • The deep purple dress, both flowy and formal, compliments the lilac wrap.
  • The same great sandals but in silver to work better with the purple hues.
  • My favorite clutch and jewelry finish the look off nicely!

Plus, here are a few tips:

  • Go to Nordstrom for undergarments – they measure for proper fitting
  • A short nail with pale pink polish – simple, clean, and pretty
  • Mineral Makeup – great for your skin
  • Hair in a low chignon or a slicked low ponytail with a side part – great for wind
  • Natural perfume – easy on the nose for sensitive guests (jasmine is my favorite scent for summer)

Simran Singh Podcast – Living from the Heart

In a fascinating journey of listening, trust and courage, Simran shares how she moves beyond the need for measurement, achievement, hidden agendas or competition. Living from the heart, completely opposite to the way we all have been taught to live, Simran casts new light on what reality can be.

Simran Singh, a creative catalyst, shares timeless wisdom through the award winning 11:11 Magazine and #1-rated, 11:11 Talk Radio. Author of Conversations With The Universe (Select Books, May 2103) and Your Journey to Enlightenment (New Page – Career Press, November 2013), she has also appeared in a recent Tedx Talk. More info available at www.Simran-Singh.com

To Download the Podcast. Right Click Here and choose “Save Link As”

Don’t put me in that hole with that pigeon.

By Kate Northrup

MoneyALoveStoryCover

I have a confession to make:

I’ve got this book about money coming out and I’m scared of being “the money girl” for the rest of my life.

My book is called Money: A Love Story, Untangle Your Financial Woes and Create the Life You Really Want. As my publication date gets closer (September 10, 2013), I find myself getting my panties in a wrinkle worrying about what this book is going to mean to my life twenty years from now.

I have at least one other book about money in me. But I also have ideas flowing about spirituality, health, parenting (someday), and relationships.

I’ve paused many times along this book launch process wondering if I’m going to have to move into talking 401K’s and IRA’s in order to stay on point with my brand. (If I did I would feel terminally bored. I’ll leave the nuts and bolts and abbreviations to financial planners and such.)

Ever hesitate to start something because you don’t want to be “branded” by that thing for the rest of your life?

When I get über stuck in my head about it, I think about other people I admire who’ve changed direction with agility and style.

Marie Forleo’s first book was called Make Every Man Want You. Now she teaches women how to rock businesses online.

Chris Guillebeau started out in service work on the Mercy Ships. Now he teaches how to live an unconventional life.

Ronald Reagan was an actor who went on to become President.

Gretchen Rubin was a lawyer who now writes about happiness.

Joy Behar was a high school English teacher before she started doing stand-up in her forties.

Louise Hay was a model and didn’t start Hay House Publishing until she was in her sixties.

My dad was an orthopedic surgeon who’s now a full-time, stay-at-home dad to my eleven-year-old sister.

All of these folks gave themselves permission to morph into the next great version of themselves. There was probably some angst and a bit of an identity crisis or two along the way. But they’re shining examples of the truth that it’s okay to change careers, change topics, and even to change your mind.

A reminder to myself and anyone else who needs it:

If you own and accept who you are, even if it’s a different version than yesterday, other people will accept you too.

We never really know where we’re going. Life is deliciously surprising. Chances are pretty good that all of us will change direction in a major way at some point in our lives.

So, instead of worrying about being “the money girl” forever and cringing every time someone tells me that I’m going to be “the next Suze Orman,” I’ve decided to just do the work.

Right now I’ve got something to tell people about money. Right now I’ve got some insight to share in this particular playground.

At some point in the future I may have something to share in some other playground.

But for now I’m choosing to let go of the fear of future limitation in honor of playing full out right now . . .

Have you ever not started a project because you were afraid of being limited by it later on in life? Do you ever find yourself getting nervous about being pigeon-holed by your brand? Have you made a major change in your career? How did it feel? How did you navigate it? Leave a comment — I’d love to hear your wisdom on this one!

Photo: Henning Mühlinghaus

 

What Motivates Visionaries To “Dominate” The World?

By Lissa Rankin

te108-361835d9-ab5f-4437-8c80-65a1ecfdbcad-v2I’m writing this on a plane from Portland back home to San Francisco after joining 3000 visionaries and thought leaders who attended Chris Guillebeau’s World Domination Summit. This very inspiring conference was peopled with those inspired by Chris’s manifesto “A Brief Guide To World Domination,” which is less about colonization and more about saving the world.

Gretchen Rubin is saving the world by teaching people how to be happier, Don Miller is helping people rewrite the stories of their lives, Nancy Duarte is helping people tell stories that can change the world, Bob Moore is changing the world by putting people before profit, Jia Jiang is changing the world by helping people learn to take risks by getting comfortable with rejection.

Pretty much everyone I met was either on a mission to fulfill a calling or on a quest to find one. After the conference ended with a tear-jerking sparkling apple juice toast, I found myself reinvigorated in my own mission to heal health care, and everyone I spoke to felt inspired to change the world in their own small or big way.

It was awesome.

But as the afterglow of the post-WDS Bollywood dance party wore off, I found myself pondering what motivated all of us to try to make the world a better place.

I wound up posting this on Facebook:

After spending the weekend with 3000 visionaries committed to changing the world, I find myself reflecting upon on what motivates visionaries. Are we motivated by a pure, unadulterated desire to leave the world better off than we found it? Or are we operating from a place of deep unworthiness, of not being enough unless we make the world a better place? Or is it some combination of both?

So many people are desperate to find their calling, their reason for existence, their meaning of life. And many others, like myself, feel they have found it- and are now on a quest to fulfill a vision. But is the quest driven by the right motives?

What made Martin Luther King, Jr campaign for civil rights? What made Nelson Mandela take a stand? What made Abraham Lincoln free the slaves? What made Evita and Mother Teresa fight for the rights of the poor?

Is it a deep-seated sense of unworthiness that needs to be healed? Is it ego? Do we need to feel like we’ve contributed big things so we know we are valuable? Is it karmic? Are we trying to pay off some debt for wrongs committed in past lives? Are we craving love, acceptance, external validation?

Or is it noble? Are we just caring, committed souls devoted to service without any self-serving motives? Are we clear vessels for Divine work in the world moving through us?

What do YOU think?

The Facebook Response

Forty-seven people responded with very thoughtful answers, including these:

Beth Gradone Krajewski wrote, “I suspect human beings come from mixed motives much of the time, and we can afford to be forgiving of the ego-ridden places in ourselves and others if the work is really being done and done well. But motives do matter, at least as far as they can poison the work if not recognized and dealt with. Lifting up the questions and asking all those who engage in visionary action to get real about their self-worth and the source of their dreams only furthers the work itself and the quality of the results.”

Jennifer Newcomb Marine wrote, “I think the vision, altruism and drive spring from someplace pure in your heart. Then fear and ego get involved and create this start-stop dance of self-doubt, craving validation, and thinking, ‘To heck with everyone!’and so on… The trick is to get out of your own way so you can make a contribution. But the journey there is full of learning about how and why you trip yourself up too.”

Pamela Potter wrote, “I really think it is a divine push that we can’t avoid. Many of the historical figures weren’t what we’d consider personally enlightened and many of them didn’t get any kind of recognition until much later, so I don’t think ego figures in. If you are called to do something, you just CAN’T not do it. Even if you just babble at people and write a blog that no one reads or articles that don’t always get published, your heart has to know that you are doing something. I’m not sure most of us go into it with a plan. We just can’t stop thinking about our thing, what ever it is, and we have to DO something.”

Lori Santo posted, “I personally feel that it is a powerful inner pull….. combined with a ‘Priestly Divine Appointment’ ~ which of course transcends language ~ coupled with an intense sense of and alignment with profound compassion for humanity.”

The Evolution Of The Species

I don’t know the answer to the questions I pose. But I have a hunch that our species is evolving, maybe not so much on the physical plane, but at the level of consciousness.  For many years, many of us- myself included- have been spiritually asleep.  But more and more people are waking up to a broadening consciousness, and this awakening is accompanied by a desire to leave the world better than we found it.

Uri Geller once suggested that we only use 10% of the capacity of our brains, and while PET scan imagery and fMRI seem to refute this, I do suspect we have capacities of consciousness we are only just beginning to tap into.  Neurosurgeon Eben Alexander, author of Proof Of Heaven, wrote about how his near-death experience, which occurred while he was technically brain dead, changes his belief that consciousness lies in the brain. He now believes that consciousness transcends the brain, that we have souls that exist beyond the body, and that there are realms of consciousness a few lucky ducks like Dr. Alexander and Anita Moorjani have been blessed to experience and then remember.

Stealth Agents For God

World Domination Summit has nothing to do with religion, Chris Guillebeau certainly wouldn’t self-identify as a spiritual leader, and many of those who attended probably wouldn’t even label themselves as spiritual, but I left World Domination Summit with a strong sense that the Divine is at work though the vehicle of the people who attended this conference.

Martha Beck would call these people “The Team” or “Stealth Agents For God”. We are all doing our part, in our own Divinely unique way, to make the world a better place.

So I guess it doesn’t really matter what motivates those of us to “dominate” the world. The important thing is that we are making ourselves vessels, allowing Divine work to move through us, spreading love and kindness and compassion and grace, leaving the world better than we found it.

What Do YOU Think?

Tell us your stories.

With love and world domination,

How Love Extends Your Life

By Dr. Wendy Walsh

393096_7738You might think that life expectancy is in your genetic code, but research says you have far more control than you think. In his best selling book, Blue Zones, National Geographic researcher, Dan Buettner, looks at five areas on the planet where an astounding number of people live to be over the age of 100, and then he looks for lifestyle commonalities. While you might think the read is a diet and exercise book, it includes good news about the life extending benefits of healthy relationships. Nearly all the centenarians in Buettner’s work have solid life-long partners and active sex lives.

A study by researchers from Michigan State University and the University of Cincinnati supported the idea that married and cohabiting individuals live longer. The odds of a married individual living longer than a never married individual are 60 percent. The odds of mortality for married people are 40 percent higher than widows, and 30 percent higher than divorced or separated persons. In addition, married individuals have a lower mortality rate than cohabiting individuals.

And, married people experience fewer health problems and are less likely to take part in risky health behaviors like smoking, excessive drinking and unhealthy eating. The National Health Interview Survey showed that in the young age range of 19-44 the leading causes of early death among those who never married were infectious diseases (researchers presume HIV) and external causes. Cardiovascular and other chronic diseases plague middle aged and older unmarried men and women. In contrast, married individuals have greater heart health, and attain shared employer benefits, which means great health, eye and dental care. Marriage is also one of the greatest protectors against poverty, one of the least healthy situations a person in the United States could be in.

Many married couples will complain about how their partners are “slowly killing them” or “giving them more grey hairs”, in some marriages this may be true, but, contrary to popular belief, most spouses are not soul suckers; they are more of a life giving force. Those who marry are more likely to be socially active, rather than withdrawn or introverted. Social interaction is necessary for human beings to build relationships, relieve stress and live happier, healthier lives. The ultimate committed relationship, marriage, just lends an extra helping hand to extend that lifeline into a blissful future.

Read this and other great articles by Dr. Wendy Here

“A Piece of Me” incorporates T.H.I.N.K.

By Lauren Galley

442313682_640As I travel visiting young girls I am reminded more and more how our society and social media can be toxic when it comes to being kind to others. It’s no big news flash that girls can be mean. This is not new to my generation either, it’s been going on for decades. My mom has told me stories of her school years and how girls can be caddy to one another. Bullying happened at slumber parties and lunchtime chats at school where girlfriends were talking one on one. Many times the bullied girl never knew…

My generation takes this to a new level with social media and the advancement of technology. An all out war has begun and you can be attacked as you sit in your room, minding your own business and visually witness the meanness of others as they attack with no warning. Bullies are allowed to attack and they are allowed to pick their weapon of choice. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Text Messaging and those that are bold will choose face to face combat.

With any war you have to be strategic on how you fight back. Bullies are looking for a response, whether it’s sadness, fear, or a traditional physical round in the ring. I tell girls to be confident and look above the bullies, or better yet compliment them… that tactic is always a weapon they don’t expect you to use. Some girls have the confidence to arm themselves in brutal attacks. Most girls do not possess the ability to shield themselves with “Girl Power” ending the bullies ability to harm which ends the war, and that’s where I come in.

I love spreading my “Girl Power” engaging girls in activities that help them learn the best weapon of choice… CONFIDENCE!! “A Piece of Me” signature Girl Talk teaches girls the effect of hurtful words and the tools to spread kindness and love. I incorporate T.H.I.N.K., a program designed by Rebecca Moore that reminds us all to THINK before we speak, type, or text, and ask yourself is it True, Helpful, Important, Necessary and/or Kind? These are amazing qualities for everyone to live by and the THINK portion of my Girl Talk has a great impact on these girls that influences them to end this raging war we face called Bullying. Whether you are 5 or 95 I encourage you all to THINK!!!!! Thank you Rebecca for giving me the power to spread the word ~
The photos below were taken at Camp Susan Curtis in Waterford, Maine
These Awesome girls loved our girl talk and the concept of T.H.I.N.K
Each girl painted their river rock with THINK. I encouraged them to keep their rock with them as a reminder to THINK and to share their rock with someone they felt might benefit from learning about THINK. These girls loved the idea and were excited to take their rock on a new journey….. My wish would be for these rocks to go on a long journey reminding us always to THINK ~

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