I felt hesitant to send this post live because I’m still so early in my learning this myself, but it needs to be shared. I sense that many of you are in this same place.
Let’s talk play and why it matters to your LIFE and your business.
Sister friends, you simply have to live the full range of life. It’s not enough to live in just strength or faith or powering through or busy or even business booming growth.
You have to also live in joy, harmony, vibrancy, sensuality, tenderness, slowness, just the right pace-ness, laughter, and even childlike (or, heck, even sophisticated) play.
*To be fully WOMAN and live in your fullest expression of success, you have to get cozy with the full range of LIFE and ALL it has to offer.*
Let me tell you where I’m writing this from: the woods of West Virginia on a yoga retreat with one of my clients. Earlier today I got to play with the coolest monster-sized bubbles and I’m pining for a ride on the swings as soon as I’m finished with this stream to you. I’m learning.
Play, my new favorite adventure sport, recently revealed itself to me, on my retreat with Nisha & Co., as my next lesson and biggest “edge.” We’ve been making friends with each other ever since. Not the kind of friends that hit it off and realize right away that they’ll be lifelong BFFs, but more the kind that at first admired each other from afar, and “get” each other a little more every time they hang out.
My most common sentiment in this budding relationship: “Huh. You’re not who I thought you were from my first impression…and I’m liking you more and more all the time.”
Here’s the practice that just literally shoved its way into my life the second I landed back home from masterminding in Bali. There was no choice in the matter, and I’ve been growing more and more attached ever since.
1. A morning laugh before work. I can’t seem to get the day started until this happens. Between my husband, pup, and a new joie de vivre lately, this has been remarkably easy.
2. A mid-day play break. Every day. No exceptions.
Holy cow, when this one hit my life it was like a TON OF BRICKS. Ummmm, no, I argued, that will not be happening
Um, yes, came the response, it will.
I mean I felt guuuuil-ty at first. Until, after 45 minute or even a couple hours of play, I went back to my client work with more calmness, creativity, zest, and energy. That’s when I started to see the light. Take note, play is critical to your business.
What do I do during that time?
Well, so far I’ve gone on long, luxurious walks with our pup, baked banana bread for my hubs, taken five times the amount of time it normally takes to make lunch (how does it taste so much better after that?), enjoyed recreational reads, napped, gone to hot yoga, and watched an episode of my newest favorite HGTV find called Fixer Upper—which felt so good it couldn’t have been anything less than naughty. (P.S. if anyone can connect me to Joanna Gaines, please let me know. I’d fly to Waco tomorrow to have lunch with that woman.)
This, dear girls, is the unwinding of too many years of pure seriousness. In case any of us need a reframe here: seriousness is/can be good. Years of it at a time, not so much.
To contrast, my breaks before play entered my life with a big ol’ bag of tricks were only “productive” and included things like cleaning the house and ironing. Word to the wise, THAT IS NOT A BREAK!
3. End of day activities.
This is pretty simple and just like it sounds, except that instead of thinking, “Okay, after I’m done with work, I’ll walk the dog, make dinner, and clean for half an hour,” it’s become, “Okay, what sounds most exciting and relaxing for us after work?”
Sometimes it is taking the dog for a stretch, creating a delicious meal, and tidying up for the next day, but the energy of it has shifted so much in this new play-consciousness.
And sometimes it’s playing in the garden, going for a run together, or being with friends.
It’s just different. And more relaxed.
So I’m waist-deep in this new life experiment, but there’s one thing I already know for sure: the second you introduce an element in the range of life, it’s like your old stories about it start to fall away.
And that, perhaps, is the most beautiful part of it all.
Ahhh…celebration…and play. My next two topics. And personal initiations.
I have so much to celebrate lately, but will just highlight this: my birthday in Bali with my mastermind group, led by Nisha Moodley.
This month has been such a lesson in pausing to celebrate.
Before this trip across the world, I started asking myself during quiet moments (usually while driving) what I could celebrate about the day.
So that’s my invitation this month: find your personal celebration practice. Is it a huge gratitude list once a week or every night before you shut your eyes? How will you celebrate the every day goodness that is coming into your life?
After all, celebration is just another form of gratitude.
We’ve got to talk a minute about manifesting.
First, a quick primer.
What it is: arranging your thoughts and the details of your life to become and receive your highest potential.
Hint: it’s about creating the mental and physical space to do that.
What it is not: forcing, coercing, fighting, disobeying your intuition.
Don’t do those things. It just makes your life whack.
Here are a few methods to go about it. These could be done together, separately, blended. Whatever suits your style.
1. Sit down with your journal or notebook and just ask what your life holds for you—all of the blessings you could receive if you’d just ask.
You know the promise and truth: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (Mathew 7:7). Practice it this week.
You can have all that would be for your highest good, though not often without some awkward stretching. Think of it as a sort of metaphysical yoga: you’re twisting your body purposefully into poses that make it hard to find your breath, for the purpose of…finding your breath.
The first requirement is that we ask.
Also, ask the question of how you can best prepare to receive. You’ll probably get a download of inspired action steps. Better take ’em. (Consider, for example, this blog an inspired action step for me down my path to writing, speaking, coaching, and masterminding.)
Do this especially when you need big-picture clarity on your life and what you’re being called towards.
2. Make a list of all of the things you feel guided to ask for right this second.
I compile these often and call them my angel lists. Everything from income and clients to hairspray (when I’ve been too busy to make it to the store—which, funny story, made it on my angel list four years ago or so and I haven’t had to buy hairspray once since as everyone always seems to want to gift me expensive salon brands…) have made these lists.
One by one, I go in and check them off as being gratefully received.
Don’t worry about the how. Just trust that you have helpers anxiously waiting to make your life easier. But, again, you have to ask.
3. Get your life aligned.
You’ve got to clear the mental and physical clutter in order to manifest what you truly want. Negative thoughts? Banish them. Apartment full of things you no longer care for? Sell and donate it all. Trust me, you don’t want to get tied up in the “stuff” that is no longer serving you.
Notice a few commonalities here?
Ask questions about what you can do with and have in your life (bigger picture), as well as what you can have right now.
Write it down.
Ask how to get it. (Sometimes the how requires nothing on your end, so just trust that and let it be.)
Write it down.
Act thoughtfully on those prompts. Visualize your success.
Oh, and read this book. It’s short, sweet, and concise. While every word didn’t resonate, about 85% did, and I couldn’t recommend it more.
Above all, manifesting your ideal life should make it feel: calm, easy, full of spirit and joy, boundless. It will call to your heart faith, hope, empathy, and deep gratitude for all that you enjoy. Though doubts may come, you’ll be able to use those positive feelings to cloud out fear, worry, and concern.
You’ll feel held.
Want to fill your your client docket, fill your heart, fill your life?
Well, you just need to add little charm, charisma, and delight into your day-to-day. It’s time to amp up your flirtation ratio. Take note though, I’m not talking about flirting with anyone other than…your sweet self (and, also, your main squeeze). In honor of the holiday, here are a few ideas.
♥ Laugh…every hour or so. With your team, your clients, your family, your honey, etc. Can’t muster a giggle? At least pony up a smile.
♥ Amp up the charm. Don’t now how? It’s easy. Laugh (see above). Listen. Really listen. Support people in their ideas and dreams. Being interested is half the secret.
♥ In whatever way you thank best (handwritten notes, quick texts, songs), do it often.
♥ Send a little sumthin’ sumthin. Is your client having a bash? How about some hand-dipped chocolates for the team. Best friend in the dumps? Flowers are a salve.
♥ Celebrate. Often. A deeper dive on this lesson later this year, but for now, what your next closest milestone this week? I challenge you to celebrate it. However you want.
♥ Hugs, foot rubs, and tickles. You get it. Don’t lose sight of their power.
♥ Dress your finest. When you’re standing in front of your wardrobe, consider your day and then ask what would make you stand out. Then wear it. Yes, even for your team Skype calls.
♥ Keep your nails done and eyebrows shaped. Automatic upgrade.
♥ Heels and platforms.
♥ Take yourself out. On a date. Shamelessly.
♥ Just be. Trust me, the charm and charisma is going to tank if you don’t take it easy, relax, and make time for you. Happiness is a skill and self-care and time are the sustenance.
Now I KNOW you’ve got more to add here. You know where to comment. Deep laughs and hugs, ladies. Deep laughs and hugs.
Happy new year! Let’s start off with just a Santa Claus-sized sack full of love for each of you. Thank you for being part of what I’m up to. I have a few little things to share…
#1. My new website: launched.
#2. Here’s how I’m playing in 2015: I’m releasing once-a-month blog posts with my most laser focused insight on the topic du mois. Head to the site to see the curriculum for this year—along with a couple of exciting things I’ll release or announce throughout.
#3. This year’s goal: double last year + we’ve got a great year ahead! I’ve seen your excitement on Facebook and Insta to set and hit your goals, and I know you can. Last year, I set a goal of six-figures during my first full-time and focused year. I hit it in October! It was a cool moment and a testament to what happens when you set your mind to something.
This year’s goal is to double that success. I’m still focused on my marketing clients, but I’m adding in more writing, speaking, coaching, and masterminding (this year I’m participating in my mentor Nisha Moodley’s program; in 2016, I’m leading my own).
#4. If six figures is your goal this year, below are a few of my favorite tips and lessons learned:
::: You have to clear out your inner mind. This book is, by far, the most succinct and clear one I’ve read on the topic. While a few things don’t quite align with my beliefs and philosophies, I would say 85% of it was spot on for me. There were also a few paradigm shifts that were critical. I’ll share them on Twitter (#ShiftInto2015) over the next few days.
:: Focus, focus, focus. Interestingly, the more you focus, the more life opens up to you. In 2014, I got laser focused on what I want: my role with my clients, my next two years, my next five years, and the next decade. Not from a place of force, but from a place of asking what’s inside of me that needs to be let out. It’s been absolutely amazing ever since. And just when I thought life couldn’t get any more focused, you should see how 2015 looks!
: ONCE you find that focus, start saying, “No.” The second you begin to ask and discover what’s inside of you that needs to be born, expressed, or come to fruition, something magical starts to happen. Also, something scary. Because it’s about that time when opportunities begin flooding your life that you have to decide if you’re still going for the gold or if you’re willing to be sidetracked.
Once you find your focus, you’ll also find yourself limiting more. This year, I’ve already said “No” to at least a dozen opportunities (some big, some small) that aren’t 100% aligned with my goals. You will too. Clarity builds on clarity.
So many wishes for your success and happiness,
You owe it to yourself to move through the messy middle as fast as you can!
What do I mean?
Have a mediocre business, income, body, lifestyle?
Why waste another blessed moment living the exact same way?
You owe it to yourself to move through the messy middle as quickly as possible.
There’s not many things more satisfying, to me at least, than pushing my business, pushing my income, and pushing my body gently into excellence. Getting through that messy middle only increases your influence, your ability to scale, your ability to touch lives, your status.
Think of how many times you’ve said to yourself, “I’ve just got to talk to my friend about how she’s built a $47,000 a year business by working 40 hours per week over the last five years!”
Chances are, not often. Chances are better that you’re seeking after the women who have pushed into six-figures or seven-figures and beyond, all the while working less, exercising more, and maybe even spending more times with their kids. You want your own version of what they have.
Well, ladies, they did it by pushing through the messy middle and that’s exactly what I hope you’ll inspire yourself to do as well.
Once more. You owe it to yourself to move through, push through, and easily go through the messy middle as fast as you can.
Coming up soon: 6-Figures in A Year.