Are you being pushed or pulled to grow?

(click play to listen)

Mo chara (my friend),

Have you ever taken the time to notice the plot twists of your life?

Those defining moments that change everything – either a lot or a little.

We all have them – some of those moments for me were when my mom surmounted a childhood belief that she wasn’t wanted and chose instead to value her own existence, even in the face of danger; when a treasured mentor disappeared unexpectedly from my life only to return 7 years later at a place neither expected the other to be; the letting in of someone who was destined to break my heart, but being able to recognize the soul connection anyway; a breakdown on a street corner in Helsinki when I finally realized I was the only one responsible for my life; finding out my father had cancer the first time – and all the other times since; being fired from my last job and taking the leap into entrepreneurship; the saddest moment of ending my first marriage even though it was right for both of us; saying yes to another man with the absolute knowing it was for a lifetime; deciding to have a child and the heartbreak and stress of it taking so damn long to conceive, then having another and it NOT taking any time at all, all while learning how to be a parent…

Every single moment happened because I needed to grow – and the Universe was going to either push me out of the situation or pull me forward into something else to make sure it happened one way or another.

And every single time, it was scary as hell.

If your current situation feels something like this, it’s probably time for a new level of growth for you too.

Maybe this is not a new feeling for you. It’s likely this has been nudging you – or eating at you – for awhile.

And maybe you’re scared. That’s normal. The best piece of advice I’ve ever received was ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’… as cliche as that sounds – it’s also true.

And whenever these pivotal moments happen – whether they are put upon us or we make a conscious choice that changes things, it’s also normal to worry that things are going to get worse instead of better, that it won’t be positive growth, but a downward spiral to something else you don’t want in your life.

And sometimes that does happen – it does get worse before it gets better.

That afternoon in Helsinki when I realized I was truly on my own, I had to go dark for about a year. I barely connected with my family or my friends. I had to go inward, to see if I had it in me to stand on my own two feet, to face ‘what’s the worst that could happen’ so that I knew, in the depths of my being, that I would be ok, no matter what.

And all of that was necessary in order for me to grow into the woman who could, in fact, stand on her own (and then had to learn how to let someone else help her again – thank goodness for a patient and secure husband), who could make choices that were her own, not someone else’s, to be a successful entrepreneur, to be a significantly better wife the second time, a reconnected and loving daughter again, and a pretty good mom most of the time.

But how do you know when it’s time for this kind of a shift?

You know. You know right now reading this if it’s time for you. Don’t you? 😉

But if you’re unsure, check in with how you feel. Think of the current situation where you feel it might be time to move things in some way. How does its current state make you feel?

For example, if you’re feeling stuck and stagnant in your business, is it because you need to just take some time away to regroup and refresh so you can come back with renewed energy?

Or is it more than that? Has the feeling of being stuck and stagnant, fairly unmotivated, less creative, all-around less jazzed about your business been poking at you for some time now?

Does your brain say ‘keep the status quo’ but your heart says ‘dear one, it’s time to move on’?

If this is resonating at all, you already have one foot on the train to the next stop on your soul journey.

And if other people are noticing that something seems different, whether they can put their finger on it or not, that can be an indicator that it’s time to get your train ticket to your next destination. And, it needs to be said that even if they don’t like it, remember that it’s not theirs to be bothered about – it’s yours. Your life, your heart, your spirit, your business, your body, your everything.

If this is landing, it’s probably time to take a gentle jump forward. By gentle, I mean, be kind to yourself and take it one step at a time. By jump, I mean into some thing or some way of ‘new’.

The first thing that came to mind to you just now is what what you need to do.
Yeah, you say, sounds great, Alicia, but what about the FEAR?
Well, you know what I’m going to say, right?Feel the fear and do it anyway.

Because that’s the only way.

The fear is always going to be there, it’s always going to try to keep us safe and in status quo, in our comfortable minimum.

But the only way we’ll ever live the extraordinary lives we’re meant to is to recognize it for what it is – fear – and move forward regardless.I remember when I left my last job, making $43k a year with benefits, and going out on my own, with no safety net. I was also deeply in debt, cut off from my family by choice, and living with the constant stress of not enough of anything.

But I also knew if I held onto that little spark of hope, I could do anything. Somewhere deep inside, I knew I would be fine. If I just kept at it, kept putting one foot in front of the other, and keep moving through the fear, all would be well – eventually.

And through it all, I rose. And I’m on the cusp of the next rising. And so are you.

You’ll need to take a deep breath, give your fear a nod, and step forward towards the next place in your journey.

Is your desire bigger than your _______?

It’s a very windy and wavy day at the lake today – I’m about to get blown off the beach here!

But I’ll take it over the oppressive humidity of yesterday. YUK.

Which reminded me of a moment that happened between James and I during the summer almost 10 years ago…

He was up for a job in Georgia… and he’d often tease me that he couldn’t move me below the Mason-Dixon line because I’m not a fan of the heat or humidity.

But we were seriously considering that move – we’d already enrolled Chloe in a Montessori school in Athens, GA, in fact.

But there was one conversation we had that made the final decision for us. We were here at the lake, and out to a rare dinner alone while my parents babysat.

He said, “I can take this job OR I can believe in you and your business.”

My business was a fledgling at the time, and even though my desire was bigger than my doubt, I still had my moments of uncertainty.

It was his utter belief in me that cemented it for us – and as you may know, we didn’t move to Georgia. And my business became quite successful over the next couple of years.

My point?

You have to truly believe in your ability to make your desire your reality AND it helps immensely to have someone who believes in you too – especially when you’re just starting out or when it’s hard or scary.

If you don’t have that utter belief, if your desire is not bigger than your doubt, then there’s some work to be done – and I invite you to consider joining me at Simplify & Amplify so I can help you with that.

Click here to learn more…

Making decisions…

Greetings from the Lake! The sun is just rising here… there’s so much beauty and peace at this time of day… 

Even so, I’m only compelled to get up with the birds when we’re at the lake. 😉

But I do treasure these early mornings at the water, with my journal, sometimes a book, oftentimes just my thoughts – and my coffee. 😉

It usually takes me a couple of weeks to fully decompress and relax into the summer’s ease… but I’m already starting to feel things loosening.

People often tell us how lucky we are to spend the whole summer at the lake – but I always tell them, it’s not luck. It was a decision to do so a long time ago and then taking action to make it happen.

The first summer we were here for 2 weeks, and last summer we were here for 13. We just kept adding weeks every year until we were staying from Father’s Day to Labor Day.

But it all started with a decision. I knew what I wanted and I decided to make it happen. And this is our 12th summer doing so.

What decision could you make in your life or your business that would bring you more peace, joy, ease, freedom, happiness, laughter, wisdom, abundance?

I’d love to know – please share with me in the comments.

Until next time…

cheers,

Give more to be more…?

Ever have a project due or a deadline looming
that really stresses you out?

Well, that was Chloe’s shark project for her science class.

This girl had a vision, and she made it come alive, but wow – what it took to get there was some serious time reconfiguration, lots of that time spent in the Fabrication Lab at school during lunch, recess, and after school when she wasn’t at musical rehearsal, and lots of support, though she did all the work herself.

This photo is her completed project, and I have to say, from it coming home in many separate pieces to 4 hours later to completion – I’m impressed.

I’m even more impressed that she had a really great attitude about it all – even when she had to go back to store at 7:30pm to get less strong magnets! (Thank you, James, for taking that trip with her.)

But something she said while she was hot glue gunning struck me (I admit, with a tad bit of unease)…

I commented that she didn’t need to do something, that it was fine the way it was, and she just smiled at me because she was going to do it her own way anyway (she is so my daughter) and said, “But Mom, I’m a perfectionist.”

Yikes!

From a recovering (almost) perfectionist, I cringed a little. But I also recognized that part of the reason this project was stressing her out wasn’t just the limited time she had to work on it, but because it’s really important to her to do well.

In this case, she saw clearly what she wanted and she went for it – focused, determined, and yes, it took more because she wanted it to be more.

And that’s not a bad thing at all.

And it made me think, where in my business could I give more so it could be more?

You?

I’d love to know your thoughts…

Cheers,
~ A

You are your own best guide

A few weeks ago, I was trying to make a decision about something in my business.

It wasn’t a huge decision but I wasn’t sure which way I wanted to go, so I asked a couple of respected colleagues for their advice.

While I was leaning one way, they encouraged me (separately) to choose the other path. Because it wasn’t a major decision and what they both said made sense to me, I did choose the other path.

Then I was regretted it. I found myself frustrated because I didn’t listen to my own inner knowing, my own intuition. The results I was getting from choosing the other path were fine, so it wasn’t that it wasn’t working. I just had this strong sense that had I followed my intuition, my results would have been a lot better.

I’ve done this several times over the course of being in business for 16 years. I’ve also had many more occasions when I HAVE listened to my own inner guidance system, on some very big decisions, even when I was very scared to do so, and things have always worked out way better than I had imagined.

This little episode was simply a reminder that while it’s great to ask others for help in making decisions, to take my own advice that I give to clients all the time – check in with yourself before making your final decision.

Where in your business (or life) could you tune in a little more, connect with your own inner knowing, and use that information to move forward much more easily and effortlessly?

I’d love to know – please share below!

a bit of light in the darkness of our times

I don’t talk politics on social media, nor do I often comment on my husband James’ work (mostly because I can’t) … but what’s currently happening in our country has fueled a desperate need for James’ particular area of expertise…

He’s constantly being asked to participate in high-level discussions, and I’ll admit it’s fun to see people like Montel Williams retweeting and commenting on his tweets. 😉

This morning he’s being interviewed for a documentary for Nat Geo.

Yesterday he was part of a critical conversation at Harvard.

He’s been doing this work (counter-terrorism) since 9/11. It’s dark and depressing and scary work to me.

But I’m so proud of him.