nancy's blog

Everything Changes When We Make One Different Choice

Make One Different ChoiceOver the past few days, I’ve been taking several spoonfuls of my own medicine, specifically by embracing two of the steps in my book Jump! … And Your Life Will Appear –– Step 4: Make One Different Choice and Step 10: Say Yes … And Then Say It Again … And Again.

For example, last Saturday night I attended a party up at T Lazy 7 Ranch in Aspen. The Lodge was hopping with a lively western band…and dancing. While lots of swinging and swaying, flannel and plaid, cowboy hats and boots surrounded me, it took everything in me to stay put rather than run for the hills. Have I mentioned to you that I don’t do dancing? The few times I’ve been convinced by friends to go to some sort of dance class after falling prey to their “c’mon, it’ll be fun” enthusiasm, it’s always the same thing: As soon as the music starts and the instructor begins shouting out counts and directions to us, I struggle to follow the steps, then I completely freeze while everyone else is expressing their own rhythm around me, and before I even know it I’ve literally made a bee-line for the door in full flight mode.

The other night at the party, I could feel the old trigger taking root. I could hear the familiar voice in my head saying, “Oh look, fun people having fun…too bad you’re not fun, and don’t even know how have it.” I felt all the anticipated sensations that historically have me bolt, but I consciously decided to make a different choice instead.

So when my man asked me to dance…again…after the several attempts he made that I shot down — I mean, really, what did you expect, old habits do die hard, even for a coach and bestselling self-help author! — I finally said “Yes.”

As we took to the dance floor, I allowed him to lead me…and, to the best of my ability, stopped worrying about the steps – or stepping on his foot – and let my body overrule my brain. I wish I could tell you that within moments I felt as though I had been transformed into the belle of the ball, but let’s just say that no one was injured, I had fun and felt the love as my man’s eyes, arms, legs and lips locked and loaded with mine.

In the end, no harm, no foul. I may not be Ginger Rogers (oh god – can you give me a modern day reference, please! ;) but I might be soon since we’re already looking into partner dance lessons to take this winter. I’m ready to change the channel in my brain, toss out the old worn-out tired, boring story and open the floodgates to fun.

Wanna know what’s possible when we make one different choice and say yes? Everything. Absolutely everything.

Are you ready to make one different choice? To say yes? If you want to take these steps, and the other eight, to live the life you’ve always dreamed of, I invite you to join me for a free call on January 7th so you can experience firsthand what’s available for you during the Jump! journey. I hope you will. You can register right here.

Are you being dragged up someone else’s double black diamond bump run?

I skied on Saturday…again, and for the first time.

You see, skiing and I have not always been friends. I’m not one of those people who grew up skiing, but when I moved to Colorado at 27 it certainly seemed the thing do. After all, out here people mainline The Weather Channel and everyone’s favorite phrase is “winter storm warning.”

Actually, I tried snowboarding first since my then husband said it was easier. Well, that was definitely not my experience. I thought I’d be gliding gloriously down the mountain with the wind in my hair at every turn, like I was staring in my very own Warren Miller movie. Um, no. Instead, I spent several days on my ass, cold and damp.

And then I decided to try skiing instead.

While it was liberating to have my legs able to operate independently, I just didn’t get the rush I anticipated and saw around me. Instead, I spent most days frustrated, humiliated and wishing I felt what everyone else was feeling.

Most of my skiing experience can be described as going out on the mountain against my desire. I spent nearly 20 years being dragged up to double black diamond bump runs I had no business being on, and then being shamed the whole way down. Ultimately though, I did discover that I can indeed get myself down anything – it just won’t be fast or pretty. This is quite a valuable life lesson.

I now know that my ex-husband’s constant commitment to play over work and my self-imposed governor on my own fun were a lethal combo. Over time, this was all fueled even more as his entitled, controlling and critical nature was met by my people-pleasing, deep need to be needed, and no voice resulting in giving him everything he wanted while abandoning myself in the process. We even moved to an extraordinary mountain town, but I never quite let myself let go and fully inhabit my life.

All the while I kept thinking, “This should be fun. I should be having fun.” Sure there were some moments of flow here and there, but I honestly don’t know that I had any real sense of what was fun for me, having spent my entire marriage facilitating fun for him.

After we separated, I felt relieved at the thought of never having a ski pass again.

But, living in Colorado, this isn’t likely.

The next two winters I skied a few times – and away from the pressure, began to find some joy. But not seeking it out for the next three years showed me that it clearly wasn’t a priority.

nancy levin ski

And then, as fate would have it, I fell in love with another mountain man. A caring, patient, exciting, thoughtful, playful guy who wants to ski with me purely because he wants to experience everything with me! And he actually thinks I’m fun!

I find that many people, upon getting divorced, mourn the loss of the future that’s no longer coming. I, however, mourn the past and my life unlived.

And so now I find myself on the brink of winter, with a ski pass in hand – again, and for the first time. But now I am open and willing to fully experience the excitement and possibility of rewriting an old script, and allowing that governor to blow out so that joy can flow freely and plentifully.

I’ll be taking my own inch-by-inch steps once again as I re-discover what it means to go down this mountain on my own terms. To Jump! onto the slopes of the adventure ahead with an open heart and mind, fully leaning into all that’s available to me now, knowing I am on my path, no one else’s.

I’ve already downloaded the snow report app and this is my winter to be one of those people who actively pray for powder days!

Are you being dragged up someone else’s double black diamond bump run?  Want to change all that? I have a complimentary call this Saturday, December 6th at 10 AM MT that will allow you to experience my Jump! Coaching process first hand. This exclusive, intimate and transformational group coaching opportunity gives my clients the tools and support they need to Jump! into the lives they imagine and create for themselves. Even if you simply need to learn what fun is for you, this coaching experience can change your approach to work and play, in a way that uncovers the truth of who you really are.

Please let me support you in getting out of your own way to live the life you truly desire.  Join us Saturday, simply click here to register for the free call.

Disengage Your “Rally Muscle”

I had been the Event Director at Hay House for a decade, without ever taking a week off. Spending an average of two thirds each year on the road – 213 days was my record, and 73-days straight with just carry-on luggage! – I didn’t long for additional travel. And when I was at home, working was an escape from whatever was going on in my personal life.

I had long since maxed out the allotment of vacation days I was allowed to accrue and since I hadn’t cashed any in, I was essentially losing time and money.

And then, in October 2012, Hurricane Sandy hit.

After a couple of days being stranded in Pasadena where my last event had been, I made the executive decision to postpone our I Can Do It! New York conference given the excessive flight cancellations and significant venue damage. We scrambled for two days to reschedule 30 authors and 2500 attendees, and then found myself flying to the most unexpected thing possible ­– a vacation. I let anyone who needed to know that I was going off the grid. I flew to Fresno to meet my man who was just about to make his way back home to Colorado. Roadtrip!!! Spending the next nine days camping and hiking through four National Parks was medicine. Yosemite, Zion, Bryce and Canyonlands changed me.

That trip was a turning point, my first true stepping stone in learning how to let go. For so long, I feared that if I cut loose, I would completely lose my superpowers of being the one and only one who can get anything and everything done. And if I lost that, who would I be?

What happened is that instead of allowing myself to sink into the reprieve and truly enjoy it, I spent a lot of time – a lot of time ­– worrying about not wanting to do anything. And worrying about everything that had to be done once I got back to work. I just couldn’t let myself be.

Some days I really wondered if it would ever come back, that ability to plow full steam ahead into the “doing.” The truth is that I really can’t rally like I used to. Can’t just muscle through it if I don’t want to do it. Pretty much all of me thought this was a problem at first. But now that I know struggle and relaxation are critical stages of the flow cycle, I regularly allow myself time to fully disengage my “rally muscle” by embracing unplugged downtime. I’m clear that surrendering to my desires won’t cause me to abandon responsibility, it will help me to flourish instead.DISENGAGE YOUR “RALLY MUSCLE”

As we head into Thanksgiving, I’ve decided to give myself the gift of a week off to rest, recharge and play! How can you relax your rally muscle too –– and spend some time being instead of doing for a welcome much-needed change?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Work Hard Play Hard

Work Hard Play HardGrowing up, I never had much appreciation or reverence for play. In fact, I used to think that happiness and fun were for other people. I found play a waste of time, and believed that people who engaged in it were lazy or not on a serious path. I have since learned that play is not at all frivolous – it’s actually vital and healing. Especially when I work hard and play hard, choosing to balance workaholism and diligence with loving life and laughing.

Everything that needs to get done will get done. It always does. Always. Time and time again I have proven this to myself, yet it’s taken me years to really believe it. So much energy I’ve wasted in stress, procrastination and worry by trying to force myself to do this or that. Endlessly punishing myself by not allowing any fun in until I had produced. Or worse finding myself in the midst of adventures and activities, doing fun things yet not having any of the fun myself.

And then I discovered there was more to life than working all the time. {gasp}

Now I do what nourishes my soul first, knowing that I’ll be much more creative and efficient once I’ve gotten my blood flowing by hiking, running, riding my bike, skiing, etc. Productivity feeds off of play. How can you make your play work for you today?

Uncover What Keeps You Joylessly Holding Onto the Past

Last Friday I had a surprise overnight getaway with my man. On Saturday morning I woke naturally, as usual – anywhere between 5am and 6am is fair game for me – but unexpectedly, there was no possible way I could get out of bed. I was bone tired, and instead of poking, prodding and guilting myself with shoulds, I settled back in and allowed sleep to take me. Two hours later, completely rested and refreshed, I was ready to greet the day of adventure awaiting.

uncover what keeps you joylessly holding onto the pastI’ve always been a “morning person” and absolutely love the early moments I get to myself, before time starts gunning for a marathon finish. I’ve also spent most of my life as a highly responsible over-achiever, viewing any lingering in bed as lazy and irresponsible. Thankfully, through all the shadow work I’ve immersed myself in, I’ve since learned to embrace, own and integrate those disowned parts of myself. I now listen to my body – respecting and responding to its real-time rhythms instead of holding it to some sterile standard the way I used to.

Allowing myself to sleep when I need to, and move my body how and when it wants to, honors my alive desire instead of defaulting to auto-pilot by operating on old outdated rules that no longer serve me.

I used to equate fun and play with being lazy and irresponsible. No more. I’m repeatedly reminded that everything needing to get done will get done. It always does. Especially when I work hard and play hard. No more wasting precious time with worry and self-punishment when I could be out loving life and laughing.

The time for joy is now!

If you want the same catalytic experience that first propelled me into this life I truly love, if you want to uncover the shadows that keep you joylessly holding onto the past, and own the parts of yourself that continue to rob you of love, intimacy and success, if you want to move beyond your fears into freedom and power, The Shadow Process is for you!  December 5-7, take a weekend away from your current life to build the foundation for the life you want to live into. You will reclaim the self-confidence and self-esteem to love and be loved like never before.

Give yourself the gift of your own undivided attention. It’s time to make peace with your past, by being guided to explore and heal the issues that keep you from experiencing the brilliance of and peace of your authentic self.

What are you waiting for? The first step to the life you want is just one click away.

We Can Change Our Experience by Changing How We Think

This could be a blog about what a hell of a weekend I’ve had. Day after day filled with frustration, anxiety, worry and beating myself up.

But thankfully it’s not, due to a powerful internal shift that I wasn’t aware of until I actually needed to be.

I’m not going to go into the long drawn out story of calls and chats with Apple support, followed by visits Genius Bar. I will spare you the part about one tech having me do some “troubleshooting steps” that actually resulted in my computer being more screwed up than when I began. This ultimately had me go to the Genius Bar empty-handed due to being in the midst of an epic 60+ hour “Erase and Restore from Time Capsule” that had my devices otherwise engaged. And I’m definitely not going to tell you that even when I asked said Genius for a another appointment –– one that was sooner than the next available online in 48 hours later –– with a straight-up outright request for the appointment they must be saving for Obama should he be in the area with an immediate mac-mergency, the Genius said, “I’m sorry but no, we’re not holding anything for him.”

I didn’t actually believe him and don’t like to take “No” for an answer, but he was sweet and helpful and I trusted his advice since it’s what he said he’d do in my situation. Maybe they always say that, but I found a bit of solace in it. I mean really, at that point, what was I to do given that my laptop –– with the contents of my entire life on it, basically –– had been deleted and was now receiving a data transfusion (I hope!) from my time capsule backup.

As I left the store I got an instant hit that I really did have a choice about what thoughts to think which would, in turn, affect how I was feeling.

In that moment I chose to envision my computer completely healed, all data in tact. I decided that I wasn’t going to spend the rest of the day or weekend feeling frustrated or beating myself up for doing this or not doing that since I have come to learn and accept that I am always doing the very best I can at any given time.Internal Shift Nancy Levin

I made up my mind to be kind to myself, remembering how futile it is to stress out about any impending outcome. Que sera, sera…whatever will be, will be…and my worrying certainly won’t help matters. But my positive thoughts can. Or at least they can support me in having a fun weekend filled with love, hikes, meaningful connections and conversations, yummy meals, and even some writing after I dug out and dusted off my old MacPowerBook from 1902.

My system flooded with joy and relief, knowing that I no longer need to choose my old default habit of stewing in a negative funk. Instead, by accepting what is and surrendering, positivity and peace are just one thought away.

Thankfully, after a few stops and starts, I’m happy to report that the restore worked! My computer is fully up and running in all its glory – with all of my data!

Lesson learned! I’m so grateful I didn’t waste a weekend – or even part of day – and that I really get, on a visceral level, how empowered we all are to create our own experiences by consciously choosing which thoughts to think in each moment.

What can you change today, just by choosing a different thought?

Being Available to Love

Being Available to LoveAfter speaking at I Can Do It! Pasadena over the weekend –– which was really wonderful, loved getting to meet some of you! –– I headed up to San Francisco for a couple of days with my sister and her family.

On Tuesday, as my sister and I were preparing to run some errands and go out to lunch, she asked me what calls and work I had to do so that she could plan around my schedule. “None,” I told her, “I cleared the deck for a day with you!” Her astonishment was palpable as she let me know that she couldn’t even remember a time I had come to visit without having a million other things going on. We proceeded to make the most of our precious few hours of uninterrupted time together, before the chaos of kids and the World Series ensued. In fact I didn’t even look at my phone, in service of being as present and connected to her as possible. And she actually forgot hers at home!

In the past two months since I left my Hay House “day job,” I have continued the conscious unraveling of my old belief that my worth is dependent upon my productivity.

The old me was so caught up in the doing that even a short stretch of not doing was intensely anxiety provoking.

Now, I value time in a way I haven’t ever before –– it’s truly the most sacred commodity, one to deeply cherish since no one has yet discovered a way to create more of it.

And, as I release the need to constantly produce, I’ve naturally become more available for deep connection with myself and with those whom I love.

What can you release today in service of being present and available to love?

unbound

we may never know
how we hold
all we can
or how the light catches us
when we are out of breath

it’s a sign of healing
to be feeling again

the real breakthrough
can only arise
from heartbreak

that which ails
cures
reminding us
that it’s always about beginning
and then beginning again

as the waves crash me
i trust the sand
to polish my edges smooth
dissolving denial
revealing real
while courage and confidence
ignite my core

contraction and expansion
let the light stream in
and the stillness
after so much thrashing about
allows the body to wring
the sorrow out

as freedom floods
shadows may persist
know your undertow
as you alchemize the dark
and remember
that you always have
the strength to choose
how to engage

the clouds unveil the view
when you are ready to climb
now it’s time to notice
the miraculous moments
in your life
as they are happening
this
is the making
of me
and we will walk
courageously
into daybreak
from the night
shining our light
together

… from Jump … And Your Life Will Appear

Knowing this: that which ails, cures…
Knowing that it’s always about beginning and then beginning again…

Would you like to learn about jumping into your truth while having support you need and crave?

I am doing a free call on Thursday, October 30th to share my Jump! Coaching group process and allow you to experience first-hand what it would be like to Jump! with me. Learn more and register here: http://bit.ly/Oct30GC

Following Your Heart: Allowing the Flow of Possibility

On Saturday I took a risk.

Historically, I’ve been really good at restrictive, righteous self-control and less good at following my heart.

But over the past few years along my journey to finding my own truth, my own voice and my own power, I’ve learned that when we stay inside the lines too rigidly, we stop the flow of allowing. Sometimes we need to burst the dam and let the pent up energy move so that new possibilities and options can emerge where before there was only stagnant, lifeless water.

The next day, I watched Elizabeth Gilbert with Oprah on Super Soul Sunday as she echoed the deep knowing of my soul. She spoke of “the quest” originating out of our questions. She spoke of “the call” – and how even when we reject the call, it won’t leave us alone. We have a choice to answer the call or refuse the call, and how answering the call ultimately makes for a better story. They mapped out Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey – it all begins with the call: “What have I come here to do with my life?”

Risk Taking, Saying YesTears streamed down my cheeks as Elizabeth Gilbert said: “For some reason, and this just boggles my imagination, there are still just huge swats of women who never got the memo that their lives belong to them. And there’s this instinct that they have that they need a permission slip from the principal’s office for anything. You are allowed to ask yourself some really important questions about your life. You are allowed to take accountability and ownership for your own journey. You’re allowed to ask what serves you sometimes, because I know you’ve been trained up to serve everyone. But you’re allowed to turn that on yourself and honor your own life that you were given.”

It took me years to stop thinking I needed that permission slip. Years to know that my life was my own and that I didn’t owe it to anyone. Years to know that the answer to freedom is self-love, self-acceptance and self-forgiveness.

I want to save you some time!

I know I have come into this lifetime to:

  • Help others get free from believing the only way to be loved is by buying it, bending over backwards with people-pleasing – when in fact we are loved for simply being ourselves
  • Teach others that permission is an inside job – nothing external will ever provide you with what you’re seeking on the inside
  • Support others in living their own lives–often for the very first time–no longer in response or reaction to anyone or anything else, but rather from their own inspiration, motivation and agency
  • Model for others that every choice matters (as my dear friend and mentor Debbie Ford would say) – our present moment choices can actually predict our future, every choice we make today is either in service of the live we desire living into, or sabotaging it
  • Guide others through the empowering processes of inquiry, revealing, owning, sharing – your greatest gift is the power to give voice to your truth and when you do there is no wrong way to live your life!

On Saturday I took a risk and followed my heart. It’s your turn now, to follow yours.

Answer “the call” by hopping on a free call with me – get that memo and give yourself the permission you need, let me lead you to launching yourself into the life of your desire. It would be my great honor to serve you by doing the very thing I have arrived in this lifetime to do.

How Do You Like Your Eggs?

Do you actually know how you like your eggs?Runaway Bride Jump! Coaching

Not they way you usually eat them, or the way that’s the least hassle to have them. I mean if no one else was around and you could have your eggs any way you desire, do you know what you’d choose?

As part of my research for an article I’m writing, I’ve been watching an inordinate amount of movies this summer. Most specifically, romantic comedies – in excess ;)

But it seems I’d left a doozy off my list that I was gratefully reminded of last weekend.

After hearing my Keynote at I Can Do It! New York, a woman came up to me and asked me about my Jump! Coaching groups.

I said, “I support people in living life on their own terms, no longer in reaction or response to anyone or anything else, so they can finally access and act on their own truth and desires.” I went on to say that for many of my clients, coaching with me is often the very first time they’ve even considered and explored what they want and like, on their own, not in relation to anyone else.

And she said, “Oh! You help people discover how they like their eggs!”

I must have given her a perplexed look, so she went on to say that that what I shared made her think of the egg scene in Runaway Bride. I hadn’t seen that movie since it came out well over a decade ago, and I didn’t remember the egg scene.

So I watched the movie again the night I got home from NYC.

Quick synopsis: Maggie (Julia Roberts) serially bolts from marriage several times before bride can become wife. Enter Ike (Richard Gere) to call her out on all her shit before, of course, falling head over heels in love with her. And she with him, of course. And the movie ends with their fully actualized wedding, of course.

Along the way, there is the issue of the eggs. Ike’s a reporter and as he interviews each of Maggie’s men, they clearly state that the way she liked her eggs was exactly the same as they did. First guy scrambled, next guy  fried, then poached.

When Ike presses Maggie, the truth gets revealed that in fact, if left to her own devices, she has absolutely no idea how she likes her eggs.

Maggie proceeds to prepare eggs for herself in every way imaginable, tasting each one to figure out for herself how she likes her eggs, no longer in relation to anyone else! And the verdict: Benedict!

As goofy as it sounds, I’m so glad that woman referenced this movie on our conversation. It really is a brilliant illustration of how so many of us go through life – by living someone else’s.

So I ask you, metaphorically of course, do you know how you like your eggs?

If you need support in giving yourself permission to finally live your own life – instead of somebody else’s – my Jump! Coaching group is here to help.

Join me and jump into the life of your dreams – if I did it, so can you!