How Do You Create Your Wonderful Life?

I often see people compromising before they even get started.

It’s terribly sad to me because it’s a self-imposed trap that comes about because we believe we can’t have what it is we really want.

Lean in: this is an illusion. The people you see who are successful…they keep their eye on what it is they desire. They tune into themselves. They ask this important question and they take the answer very seriously.

What do you desire? Keep asking yourself this question, like a mantra: What Do I Desire? What Do I Want For Myself If I Can Have Anything? And when you begin to hear the answer from the deepest part of yourself. Only then, are you ready to move forward. To create the life of your dreams.

Here’s Alan Watts guiding us through this process:

So I always ask the question: What would you like to do if money were no object? How would you really enjoy spending your life? Well it’s so amazing as the result of our kind of educational system, crowds of students say ‘Well, we’d like to be painters, we’d like to be poets, we’d like to be writers’ But as everybody knows you can’t earn any money that way! Another person says ‘Well I’d like to live an out-of-door’s life and ride horses.’ I said ‘You wanna teach in a riding school?’

Let’s go through with it. What do you want to do? When we finally got down to something which the individual says he really wants to do I will say to him ‘You do that! And forget the money!’ Because if you say that getting the money is the most important thing you will spend your life completely wasting your time! You’ll be doing things you don’t like doing in order to go on living – that is to go on doing things you don’t like doing! Which is stupid! Better to have a short life that is full of which you like doing then a long life spent in a miserable way. And after all, if you do really like what you are doing – it doesn’t really matter what it is – you can eventually become a master of it. It’s the only way of becoming the master of something, to be really with it. And then you will be able to get a good fee for whatever it is. So don’t worry too much, somebody is interested in everything. Anything you can be interested in, you’ll find others who are.

But it’s absolutely stupid to spend your time doing things you don’t like in order to go on spending things you don’t like, doing things you don’t like and to teach our children to follow the same track. See, what we are doing is we are bringing up children and educating to live the same sort of lifes we are living. In order they may justify themselves and find satisfaction in life by bringing up their children to bring up their children to do the same thing. So it’s all retch and no vomit – it never gets there! And so therefore it’s so important to consider this question:

What do I desire?

A Few Things I Know About You

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  • You deserve to be loved deeply and to feel like you belong.
  • You can trust yourself.
  • You feel empowered when you speak what is true.
  • You have it within you to get through.
  • When you soften into self-acceptance, where you know and own who you are, it feels right, like a breath of fresh air…a relief…an oasis.
  • When you look inward and listen close enough, you know the answer.
  • When you come near the end…you will know you played this game of life full out.

Dr Campbell Interviewed

Had a big win I wanted to share with all friends reading this post. It focuses on one of the many types of clients I help on a daily basis: Women Entrepreneurs.
 
This is the interview that ran in their latest post, and I’m very proud that they featured me; not only because I help mothers who are entrepreneurs, but that I am one myself.

…reprinted from SF Mompreneurs – Interview by Yuliya Patsay
Mom Entrepreneur of the Month~ Colleen Campbell!
 
Recently I had the immense pleasure of interviewing fellow mompreneur, Colleen Campbell. She is warm, funny, and oh so business savvy!

Tell us about your business?

 

My business is called Ignite Your Potential, which is an online offering as well as a private practice where I work with smart women who want to achieve more in their careers, relationships, or other areas of their lives where they may feel drained or stuck.  Through a dynamic blend of life coaching and counseling, I help women get clear about what they want and need, strategize and negotiate to meet their goals, and ultimately create sustainable, lasting change in their lives.

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What was your career prior to being a mom?
My son is 8 months old and I’ve had my practice for about 6 years, so even before I was a mom. Before my practice doing coaching and counseling, I was doing psychotherapy with clients in several different family clinics.

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Why did you start your business?
It was always my intention to work for myself. My business plan includes building my online presence and offering products that will creatively help clients be who they’re meant to be. Just like my clients, I am also an achiever-type and working for myself is how I will meet my own exciting goals. One of which is having a career that is my passion. I believe that we can live into our own potential and having my own business is a part of that.
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What makes you unique and makes your business different from anyone else out there?
I’m different from other life coaches because of my extensive training, I have a PhD in Clinical Psychology, and my background in psychotherapy. I’m different from other counselors in the way the work is focused on goals and the active intention of creating change that lasts. Because I blend counseling and coaching I can meet each client where they are and help them get where they want to go faster.

I also offer phone sessions for those who cannot make it to my office and I offer a complimentary initial session to make sure we’re a good fit for one another.

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What accomplishments are you most proud of in your business so far? 
I’ve had clients publish books, launch new products, start their own companies, move into high level leadership positions, and repair and grow their relationships. All of this makes me incredibly proud, not for me, but for them. The pride I have in my clients’ accomplishments is the pride I have in my business. That I can enable that for people is deeply satisfying for me.

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What advice do you have for other aspiring Mompreneurs?
Delegate is my biggest advice. Running a business and being as present with your child as possible takes refinement and it’s always changing. But in your personal life and in your business, what are you laboring on that someone else can do? And maybe you can’t afford to delegate all those tasks…but make a prioritized list of what get’s handed over next as your budget allows. I help my clients think outside the box in terms of what they want/need, what can be delegated, and how to negotiate to achieve these ends.

How Are You Living?

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If you know a smart chiropractor, naturopathic doctor, fitness trainer, nutritionist, or pilates expert, if they are helping you lose weight or get healthier, they will ask you to do a food journal. Many of you may have tried this as a way to increase your awareness about what you are putting into your body. In fact, several studies have shown that people who keep a food diary are more likely to be successful in losing weight and keeping it off.

But have you ever considered using a similar method to increase your awareness about yourself in general? In other words, instead of a food journal…what about a How Are You Living Journal?

Sometimes it’s hard to observe ourselves…like fish observing water. But there are ways we can gather this information.

Play the Researcher

Researchers are trained not to judge their findings: whatever they uncover, they observe it, sit with it, document it, come to know it. When you do this for yourself, the information can help you achieve your goals.

Sometimes observation alone can produce change. Sometimes it’s the beginning of a process. Whatever the case, I have consistently witnessed that…awareness rules.

Record the Moment

In the directions below, I detail how to start, and keep, your Living Journal.

1. Program an alert into your phone so that several times a day you are reminded to ask yourself these questions.
2. Jot down small notes about what you see. It’s best to do this in a given moment, rather than noting some things at the end of your day. What we think is going on with us and what is actually going on with us can be slightly different. We all have blind spots.
3. If you’re doing this alone, remember to look it over each week – just writing it down is not enough to bring it into your awareness.
When we’re working together, I ask my clients to bring the journal to our check-in.
4. Consider these questions. There’s no need to answer them all, but let them jog your thoughts to record what you’re feeling in the moment…

Mind
What is running through your mind?
What is going on with your internal dialog?
What’s the emotional tone? Mellow? Kind? Grumpy? Silly?
How might you describe the atmosphere of your head space?

Body
What is your body language saying in this moment?
Are you breathing deeply or shallowly?
Do you feel tired?
Are you hydrated enough?
How would you classify what you’ve eaten today? Vibrant? Fine? Call the health department?
Take a moment to notice your body. Any tension areas? How do you feel?

Connection
Are you alone or with others?
Would you say you’re present or off in the world of thoughts?
What’s happening around you? What do you notice?

Actions
Any particular behaviors you’d like to note? Going to the gym? Moving your body in some way? Are you meditating? Are you in a bar with your buddies? Anything self-care related going on?

Assess How You Are Living

All of these questions give you information about the states-of-mind you hang out in, how you may be dragging yourself down or draining yourself of energy, how you are supporting yourself, how certain foods may be affecting you. It gives a snap shot of how you are really living.

After a week, take a look at your journal and take note: Has anything surprised you? What patterns have you noticed? What do you make of it all?

If we were in session, we would go over your journal together…

How Do You Tell Your Story of Success?

I help people clarify and meet their goals but I also help people feel stronger and more confident about who they are.  Today I’m sharing a “behind the scenes” strategy I use to help my clients remember who they really are and feel more self-assured.

There are many reasons why a person might not feel as successful as they deserve to feel.

  • Maybe you’re in a job that is no longer challenging, is not aligned with your personality, or is not treating you with the respect you warrant.
  • Maybe you’ve suffered a loss such as a death of a cherished loved one, the end of a long relationship, a personal illness.
  • Maybe you’re juggling career, children, and household and it’s all just too much.

Whatever the reason, we all have times when we feel a lack of personal power. And while there is a time to get in touch with your emotional state…drawing the emotions out even…sometimes the name of the game is to transform this state.

So let me ask you…if you were to think back, way back….

How can you tell your story through the lens of success?

Whether your life has been one of challenge or ease, with a favorable attitude, search for a narrative in your life where you were successful. No matter what happened in your past, dramatic or mundane, there is something to admire.

Sit down now with a piece of paper, use a voice recording app, or just get ready to daydream and begin tell a story of a time when you made it happen.

Remember, the thing about storytelling is not how worthy the story is, it’s about the feeling the story conjures. You have already been successful…whether it was getting back in shape after putting on the college 20, landing an impossible job, mastering a sport, or getting around in a foreign country using an unfamiliar tongue. Tell this story of success and you will begin to remember, you will begin to feel successful again.

My Story

When I was very young I had fantasies of traveling. I often felt suffocated amid strip mall after strip mall in the suburbs and longed for something more fertile. I talked about it with my family but often got the message that girls didn’t go off traveling on their own.

When I became old enough I packed my bags and hit the road. I travelled with friends, and sometimes alone, for about five years. I saw most of the U.S. this way, living in my car, working at restaurants, saving up enough to keep going.

In my mind’s eye I can remember so many experiences from then…I see myself driving a late night on a curvy Appalachian mountain road while a gigantic low orange harvest moon met me as though we had a deep clandestine plan. As though it had been waiting for me all along.

Private and rich moments such as this meant so much to me, but at the same time I didn’t classify my experience of traveling across the U.S. as brave. I didn’t see myself as successful.

By the time I went back home and decided to “do something with my life” I felt rather insecure. What did I have to offer? What skills did I have? What had I even been doing all those years? My perspective was that I had to start from scratch and build something of my life. What I was lacking was confidence and the ability to tell my story of success.

I had had a dream, albeit a daydream, but nonetheless, I had a desire to travel across the country and I made that happen. That is what success is all about.

I eventually found my way past that sense of insecurity and moved on to the next phase of my life. Still, when I look back now, I realize I was quite bold and brave. During those years, I had moments of fear and doubt, and I put one foot in front of the other and kept moving forward. I learned a lot about people, about thinking outside the box, about living with ambiguity, creative problem solving, and following my gut. Now, taking the time to tell this story, I feel rather grounded and strong. And that’s really the point here.

If you’re still uncertain where to begin your story of success, here are a few questions that might get you recognizing and telling it:

Was there a time when you felt stuck and you did something to change that?

Was there a time when you were very scared but you moved forward anyway?

What would you consider one of the biggest challenges of your life? What happened?

Can you think of an obstacle you overcame?

Can you think of something you didn’t know but then learned?

Can you think of a time when you had a profound realization? What came of that?

Has something ever happened in your life that changed you? What was it? How were you changed?

Please inspire us and tell us your story of success in the comments.

You Could Wake Up

From Out the Cave
by Joyce Sutphen

When you have been
at war with yourself
for so many years that
you have forgotten why,
when you have been driving
for hours and only
gradually begin to realize
that you have lost the way,
when you have cut
hastily into the fabric,
when you have signed
papers in distraction,
when it has been centuries
since you watched the sun set
or the rain fall, and the clouds,
drifting overhead, pass as flat
as anything on a postcard;
when, in the midst of these
everyday nightmares, you
understand that you could
wake up,
you could turn
and go back
to the last thing you
remember doing
with your whole heart:
that passionate kiss,
the brilliant drop of love
rolling along the tongue of a green leaf,
then you wake,
you stumble from your cave,
blinking in the sun,
naming every shadow
as it slips.

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The Secret to Defeating Fear

Once there was a young warrior. Her teacher told her that she had to do battle with fear. She didn’t want to do that. It seemed too aggressive; it was scary; it seemed unfriendly. But the teacher said she had to do it and gave instructions for the battle.

The day arrived. The student warrior stood on one side, and fear stood on the other. The warrior was feeling very small, and fear was looking big and wrathful. The young warrior roused herself and went toward fear, prostrated three times, and asked, “May I have permission to go into battle with you?”

Fear said, “Thank you for showing me so much respect that you ask permission.”

Then the young warrior said, “How can I defeat you?”

Fear replied, “My weapons are that I talk fast, and I get very close to your face. Then you get completely unnerved, and you do whatever I say. If you don’t do what I tell you, I have no power. You can listen to me, and you can have respect for me. You can even be convinced by me. But if you don’t do what I say, I have no power.”

In that way, the student warrior learned how to defeat fear. -Pema Chödrön from Heart Advice

FEAR IS A LIAR

Reflecting On Our Future: What Really Lies Ahead

We are living into an extraordinary decade ahead.

Threats In the Wake of Bin Laden’s Death Have Spiked!
Famine In Somalia!
Protestors Pepper Sprayed By Police!
Syria: A Year of Horror!

News headlines such as these seem to shout out to us every day. But there is something important you need to know about your brain: the way it’s wired makes it natural for us to focus on the negative.

There’s an area of your brain called the amygdala, which plays a primary role in the processing of emotions and motivations…particularly those related to survival. And because of the way the amygdala functions, if we are presented with a dozen news stories, we will preferentially look at the adverse reports. Our mind pays attention to what is likely to be the biggest threat. Combine this with readily accessible sensational news and the result is a biased perspective; we tend to think the world around us is getting worse.

Peter Diamandis suggests that the sense that the world around us is degrading is in part a distortion caused by the amygdala. And while there are many great challenges and scary things happening in our human world…he uses this TED presentation to review some of our real human progress and to highlight the abundant possibilities.

Considering Dr. Peter Diamandis’s background, education, and track record, he is someone to listen to when reflecting on the future of our world. Recognized as a key figure in the development of the personal spaceflight industry, Dismandis is the Founder and Chairman of the X PRIZE Foundation, an educational non-profit prize institute whose mission is to create radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity. He is the co-founder and chairman of Singularity University which educates technology world changers in areas such as: AI, Robotics, Nanotechnology, Biotechnology, Medicine, Neuroscience, Networks and Computing Systems, Energy and Environmental Systems, and has earned numerous awards and notable achievements.

So following Diamandis, let’s take a look at human progress over the last 100 years:

  • The average human lifespan has doubled
  • The average per capita income has tripled
  • Childhood mortality has come down a factor of 10
  • We are living during the most peaceful time ever in human history
  • Global literacy has gone from 25% to 80%

We have redefined what poverty is in the United States. Today people who live under the poverty line still have electricity, running water, toilets, refrigerators, and televisions. 88% have mobile phones. 70% have a car and air conditioning.

A huge part of this increase in our human advantages has to do with technology and Moore’s Law, which explains that any tool that becomes an information technology, experiences price and performance doubling every 12 to 24 months. That’s why the cell phone in your pocket is literally a million times cheaper and a thousand times faster and smaller than the super computers of the 70s.

Let me break this down further than Diamandis does in this TED video. Gordon Moore, the co-founder and former chairman of Intel, observed in 1965, that the power of computing devices was doubling every two years. Computer chips were becoming smaller and smaller and cost was dropping as a result. He predicted that this would go on indefinitely…nearly 45 years later this theory still holds. It’s an exponential equation (doubling every two years) that applies to all technology and that is why our world is ever changing, ever improving.

10 years ago, a computer that had the same performance of the smartphone in your pocket, would have cost $20,000.

Diamandis explains that if we objectively observe the world we really live in…abundance is inevitable. This abundance he speaks of is not about creating a life of luxury for everyone, but rather, creating a life of possibility.

Energy crisis? Yes we are currently in one. But we are on a planet that is bathed in 5,000 times more energy than we use in a year. 16 terawatts (a unit of power equal to a million megawatts) of energy hit the surface of the planet every 88 minutes from the Sun. It’s not that energy is scarce, instead our problem is about accessibility. The cost of solar generated electricity is 50% less than that of diesel electricity. The cost of solar (based on what the technology is costing us now) dropped 50% last year. MIT just published a study that showed that by the end of this decade, solar power will cost only six cents an hour.

Next, if we have abundant energy, we also have abundant water. Our planet is blue because we live on a water planet. 70% covered in water. Today humans fight over only a half a percent of this water…because 97% of the water is salt water. But we already have access to technology that can solve this problem…Dean Kamen has invented a solution that creates clean water from any source (polluted water, salt water, etc.) This machine, called Slingshot, is about the size of a washer machine and while it’s not currently low in cost… according to Moore’s Law… it soon will be.

Advances such as these are happening in all areas of our world: health care, education, communication, the list goes on.

The biggest force for bringing about a world of abundance is our human population. We just passed the 7 billion mark on earth and we know that the biggest protection against a population explosion is making the world healthy and educated. From the year 2000 to 2011 there was a growth in internet use of 528%. In other words, it went from 350 million users to 2 and a ¼ billion users. Consider what all these different and new minds can bring to table to help solve our world’s problems. We are becoming more connected and this is a good thing.

What encourages us to be confident about the future is that more than ever before, the individual, each and everyone of us, can take on problem solving the challenges we face within our world. The case for optimism is built on the fact that we have the tools of our exponential technology, we have the passion of the DIY inventors, we have the capital of the techno philanthropists, and we have billions of new minds coming online to work with us to solve the grand challenges. We are living into an extraordinary decade ahead.