The most dangerous place you can be

“The fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams” - Paulo Coelho

Have you ever dated someone who was great – attractive, smart, successful – but there was no chemistry?  Though everyone viewed your partner as perfect, the connection was off.  Would you stay to be like everyone else and to keep up appearances?  What would you advise a friend who was in this predicament to do?

This can apply to our jobs as well.

From my experience, I can tell you that the most dangerous place to be is in that space of knowing that something is off and wanting to follow your heart but being deathly afraid of stepping out of our ‘safe’ space.  The result is anxiety and a fierce battle between the need for certainty and that part of you that wants to leap.

The need to fully express yourself and be authentic is not being honored.  This requires taking a risk, and dropping below the water line of the iceberg, which translates to not knowing.

Yes, you have a steady paycheck, whatever prestige comes with your job, and benefits.  But if you have no passion for what you do, what is the point?  And really, how safe is that job, anyway?

As humans, avoiding pain and suffering takes priority over going after pleasure.  The pain in this case is fear – fear of the worst case scenario actually happening.  By giving in to fear and not changing, aren’t you by default casting a vote for unhappiness and choosing to always live in fear?

By following your heart, you may end up broke and hungry.  But, seriously, what are the chances of that happening?  And what about that possibility of ending up happy and alive rather than stuck in a life of regret?  How do you think your relationship with fear will shift if you risk finding out?

Are you tolerating a lingering dissatisfaction in order to avoid the potential devastation of coming face to face with your worst fear?  How likely is that outcome?  Would you be able to recover?  Would you regret not giving your dreams a shot?

Would you like to be coached on overcoming your fear?  Message me at to schedule a chat.

Is your life too small for you? Ouch!

“So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.” - Christopher McCandless

Children are experts at exploring the unknown.  The possibilities are endless for them.  Imagine a baby who is scared of uncertainty – would she ever walk?

Whatever happened to that exuberance of venturing into the unknown?

Somewhere along the journey, at a very young age, we started coming up with rules for our lives  – which were influenced by our families, our cultures, our schools – about what we can and cannot do.  We became suspicious of certain kinds of people, developed judgments, and limited our options.

We decided that in order to get the approval of those whose love we craved, we needed to pursue what they believed to be acceptable. That, we felt, was the recipe for happiness.

Gradually, the voice of the curious child started to fade as we operated within the confines of rules we created to keep us safe and get approval.  But in reality,  does that make us happy?

Playing it safe does not apply to those of us with BIG dreams. The rules we established years ago no longer fit, like the pants you wore when you were seven.  To achieve our full potential, we need to grow and expand our limits – burst out of those pants like The Incredible Hulk.  Otherwise, we feel trapped.

If we are following someone else’s model, it is likely that we are not aligned with our calling – we are not living at our capacity.

For many people, there is a gap between what they are currently doing and where their calling lies.  On the outside we may have it all based on the expectations of others, but on the inside there is a disconnect.  The longer we wait, the greater the chasm and the pain.

What’s calling you?  Are you drawn to it or are you moving further away by trying to win the approval of others?  How is that making you feel?

What different choice can you make?  What new actions can you take?  What do YOU want?

If you are not sure, coaching might be right for you.

Do you want to realize your best life? Message me at [email protected], and let’s schedule a chat to see if we are a fit or to help you find other resources to best serve you.

Want to receive these posts directly to your inbox? Click here to sign up and receive your free guide to discovering your strengths and passions.

Honor your values and life becomes easy

“It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.” ― Roy Disney

Last week I wrote about why values are important.  They are priorities that let you know where you should focus your time and energy.   When you are living your values, life feels like it is in flow.

One of the easiest ways to figure out your values is to think of the times in your life when you felt most alive.  Spend about 10 minutes in free-flow writing about those experiences.  What was present that made you come alive?  Who were you with?  What was the environment like?  What were you doing?

Now look at what you have written, and highlight what pops out for you.  You can even set aside your notes and come back to them after an hour.  Or you could enroll a friend to help you look for the themes which are showing up.  Narrow the list down to the top 5 to 7.

That is your list of values. Keep it close to you.  Ideally, know your values by heart. And the next time you feel off, check to see which value is not being honored in that moment.  Once you identify the value, what is one step you could take to be in integrity with it?

For me, the experiences where I felt happiest included connecting with people, using my creativity, being autonomous, following my heart, engaging my spiritual side, contributing meaningfully, sharing, and learning.  My top values are:  connection, spirituality, growth, playfulness, autonomy, contribution.

By knowing your values, you have the advantage of clarity about what matters to you.  Now you can shift your focus so that they become the priority and that your actions are in accordance with them.

Are you honoring your values?

Do you want to realize your best life? Message me at [email protected], and let’s schedule a chat to see if we are a fit or to help you find other resources to best serve you.

Want to receive these posts directly to your inbox? Click here to sign up and receive your free guide to discovering your strengths and passions.

Are you out of integrity?

“Be  daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of  purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the  commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.” – Cecil  Beaton

Chances are that there have been times in your life when things felt off.  In many cases, we resist this feeling because we cannot quite put our finger on what is not working.  Or you may know that your job or relationship isn’t exactly what you want it to be, but beyond that you don’t know why.

Because we cannot pinpoint the source, we tend to blame people or external circumstances for our dissatisfaction.  In this way, we take the responsibility away from ourselves and assign it to something outside of us, which your happiness becomes dependent upon.  It is about the demanding boss or idiot co-worker.  If they were perfect, your life would be all sunshine and sweet smelling roses.

Not true!  You are responsible for how you feel.

These feelings of uneasiness surface as an indicator that you are out of integrity and are not being authentic to who you are at your core.  In other words, you are not honoring what is most important to you.  If you are the entrepreneurial type who detest authority, then taking orders from a boss will not doing anything for your value of autonomy, and you will, without a doubt, be unhappy.

I offer you this:  in those moments when you feel off (usually accompanied by underlying feelings of anxiety or fear), ask yourself what value are you not honoring in that moment.  What need is not being met?  Once you have the answer, consider steps that you can take to be in alignment with what is important.

Is there an area of your life that is not fulfilling?  How can you close the gap between where you are and where you would like to be?  What is one action that you can take now?

Not sure what your values are?  Check out next week’s post for how to uncover them.

Do you want to realize your best life?  Message me at [email protected], and let’s schedule a chat to see if we are a fit or to help you find other resources to best serve you.

Want to receive these posts directly to your inbox?  Click here to sign up and receive your free guide to discovering your strengths and passions. 

You are here to do BIG things! What’s stopping you?

“I love the idea of the big life – the life that matters, the life that makes a difference. The life where stuff happens, where people take action. The opposite of the life where the girl can’t even speak to the boy she likes; the opposite of the life where the friends aren’t even good friends, and lots of days are wasted away feeling bored and kind of okay, like nothing matters much.” - E. Lockhart

The below is an excerpt from an article by Michael Port, author of four NY Times Bestsellers, including Book Yourself Solid.  I felt the message was perfectly aligned with that of The Conscious Life Project, and I had to share:  You are here to play a BIG game!  Have the courage to follow your heart for it never leads you down the wrong path. 

Wash away the white noise, the ambient poison disseminated by the wild gremlins, the grim chorus of family, friends, colleagues, and others whose insidious chant of negativity has ensured the perpetuation of small thinking from generation to generation, from home to school, from graduation to retirement.

You can’t do it. It’s silly. It’s been done before. You’re not worthy. You’re a fraud. You’re wasting your time. Why bother.

Lies. All Lies.

Recognize the lies. The so-called reality you are fed is nothing more than a media-mediated docudrama, a reenactment, an extreme makeover of the truth. Others do not always know better than you, quite the opposite.

To think big is to know there is no absolute knowing, except the knowledge that big things are possible. Know that you cannot know (and neither can the so-called judges who have tried to pretend they have all the answers).

You are not here to judge or be judged.

If other people try to project their limited views of the world onto you, don’t accept it. You are here to act with good purpose in the world, to tap into your own vital capacity to think big and do big things in the world.

Would you like to realize your best life?  Message me at [email protected], and let’s schedule a chat to see if we are a fit or to help you find other resources to best serve you.

Would you like to receive these posts directly to your inbox?  Click here to sign up and receive your free guide to discovering your strengths and passions. 

What are you risking by not taking a risk?

“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams.” – Paulo Cohelo

Tony Robbins says that that two of our six fundamental needs are the need for certainty and the need for uncertainty.  In this post, I explore those needs as they relate to us living a life of purpose.

The need for certainty provides the comfort of knowing the outcome. When this need is dominant, we feel that we have to always be in control. We do everything we believe will produce safety, security and consistency.  An example in meeting this need is a staying at a job that provides a steady paycheck even when you feel trapped.  You might be miserable but at least you are safe.  This need can also be met in part by the belief that a higher power exists and is always guiding you.

The need for uncertainty, on the other hand, is screaming for us to be on the edge of our seats. This includes the elements of novelty and variety.  By having many options, life is exciting and allows us to grow.  An example of satisfying this need is going after the dream job which allows for self-expression and using your talents, even though it means stepping into uncharted territory.  Since we don’t know what we don’t know, we could choose to view this an adventure and growth opportunity.  Regardless of what happens, we will learn something that we did not know before.

All of us have these two needs, though the degree can vary for each of us.  Clearly, they are on opposing sides of the spectrum and could cause some fierce inner battles when one is trying to keep you in the confined space of the known and the other is tugging you to explore exciting new lands where possibilities reside.  In addition to excitement, anxiety and fear rear their heads.  Stay put or proceed?

What to do?  What to do?

If you have BIG dreams for your life, what interpretations are you giving to your anxiety and fear when they arise in pursuit of those dreams?  Do you need to know the outcome before you take a step?  What is the cost of staying where you are?

Tony Robbins says, “The quality of your life is in direct proportion to the amount of uncertainty that you can comfortably live with.”

Without being reckless, how can you step out of your comfort zone?  How can you increase your tolerance for uncertainty by shifting your relationship with fear and anxiety?  What are you risking by not taking a risk?

Would you like to realize your best life?  Message me at [email protected], and let’s schedule a chat to see if we are a fit or to help you find other resources to best serve you.

Would you like to receive these posts directly to your inbox?  Click here to sign up and receive your free guide to discovering your strengths and passions. 

Connect with your brilliance by letting go

“…It is when we act freely, for the sake of the action itself rather than for ulterior motives, that we learn to become more than what we were.”   – Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Anyone who knows me knows that I love to cook.  Not only do I love to cook, I love to experiment when it comes to cooking.  There is no pressure for a dish to be perfect.  If the result is not great, no big deal – I’ll try again.  Interestingly, though, the outcome is usually scrumptious – you will have to trust me on that!;)

I am in flow when I am cooking.  The kitchen might be a mess and the sink might be full, but I am totally zoned in.  Time passes and I feel present and alive.  One of my friends even told me that my eyes light up and I become even more energetic just talking about cooking.

As I become more aware of my ‘negative’ patterns and tendencies – perfectionism, people pleasing, self-criticizing – and in transforming my relationship with them, I often think of how my lessons in the kitchen can be transferred to the rest of my life.

What if I mindfully notice what it is like to be in my head instead of being carried away by my thoughts? What if I relaxed in the flow of work?  What if I allowed myself to release the need to say the right thing in conversations and simply listen deeply and speak from my heart?   What if I let go of the expectation to be at the top of my profession and just show up fully for those I serve?

If cooking is a testament of what is possible, this is an experiment I am happy to run.

What about you?  What area of your life can you learn from?  How can you extend that to the rest of your life?  Are you willing to play with the possibilities?

Would you like to receive these posts directly to your inbox?  Click here to sign up and receive your free guide to discovering your strengths and passions. 

Interested in consciously designing a happy life and doing work that makes your heart sing?  Message me at [email protected], and let’s schedule a chat.