For as long as I can remember, the tooth just off to the right of my two front teeth has been dark and discolored. In every photo of myself (that’s not magically retouched) it’s always been the very first thing I see if I’ve somehow forgotten to smile with my mouth closed. I’ve received plenty of commentary from others over the years–ranging from “the imperfection of it makes you more human, more beautiful” to “you’re too beautiful to have an ugly tooth.” And of course my dentist had urged me to let her make me color-matched composite crown. The truth is that while I was self-conscious about it, I’d basically just gotten used to it and couldn’t be bothered to be so vain to do anything about it.
In July I’d made a commitment to myself to get some outstanding necessary dental work done before the end of August. So, as long as I was at it, I decided to go for that crown. At first I was totally turned off by how labor-intensive the process was for a low-maintenance girl like me. But just a few weeks and several appointments later I walked out of there with a brand new smile that I couldn’t have possibly imagined the impact of.
This summer I’ve spent a lot of time out on the trails by my home in Boulder. I’m someone who says “Hi!” to everyone I see while I’m hiking or running. Until I had my new tooth, I hadn’t even consciously realized that I’d long adapted to a default move immediately after smiling–close my lips as quickly as possible to hide that tooth! But now, I find myself looking for opportunities to flash my wide toothy grin and let it stay out in the open.
Fixing my tooth was a transcen-dental lesson in self-care, self-love, self-esteem and liberation!
I refuse to waste a moment beating myself up for not doing this any sooner, instead I’m looking at the other things in my life that I’ve tolerated out of fear or laziness or lack of believing the change would actually be worth it, or that I’m worth it!
I wonder if there’s something you’ve been putting off that would make you feel better about yourself. It’s time now to stop hiding and take action!
Tell me, what’s the one change you’re ready to make? I want to know and would love for you to join the conversation with me on Facebook!
A few weeks ago, one of the women in my Jump! Coaching Group posted on our private Facebook page about recurring pain she’d been having in her hips.
She wrote: “For the past year, every time I come close to a breakthrough or some type of growth, I get terrible pain in my hips. At first I thought it was a coincidence. The 7th time this happened I still found myself justifying it or making excuses for it. After last night’s group coaching call there is absolutely no denying that this has true connection to my moving forward, or attempting to. Instantly, when I was visualizing what I shared, the pain appeared in my hips. It is still here now and I am amazed that the body can react physically to such fear/resistance. In Louise Hay’s book, You Can Heal Your Life, she explains that pain in your hips is fear of moving forward! I am living proof that this is the absolute truth! Be aware of your pain girls! Fascinating!”
Almost immediately several others chimed in – with hip pain of their own!!!
I posted right away: “Would you all believe that I too have been having left hip pain throughout this summer, for the first time in my life! It’s been going in and out but I can’t ignore it since I know from hanging at Hay House and with Louise all these years that it’s much more. So I of course consulted Louise’s Heal Your Body App (see picture) and Louise herself! She reminded me that when we don’t listen to all the whispers and we ignore all the signals, the body will take us out so that we have to pay attention.”
Here we all were, about to make our big jumps and we were face to face with our resistance — our “Fear of going forward in major decisions. Nothing to move forward to.” And this is precisely why “Honor Your Resistance” is the step right before “Jump!”
I always say that your body is the barometer of your truth. Instead of fighting the fear and resistance, invite it in, talk to it, and then be quiet and listen, your body will guide you through the portal so just surrender and allow. When I did this, opening up to see what my hip had to teach me, I became acutely aware of the accelerated change I was in the midst of and began to experience and accept it as mere growing pains. A small price to pay for launching myself full-throttle into the life of my dreams.
And so I jumped and left my job! My hip pain is still present, sporadically, and I now see it as a reminder that I’m in still in transition. I’m living in the liminal space between no longer and not yet, while fully trusting that it can take time to firmly root that suspended step. And I’m not going to rush it. I’m going to juice it and extract all there is to learn here along the way, enjoying every moment of the journey.
How can you reframe your pain? How can you see transition as an ally? What truth are you not listening to? What jump do you want to take?
Let me know. I want to hear from you.
This coming Sunday marks the end of an era. After twelve years as the Event Director at Hay House, I’m officially passing the baton (to the much-deserving Mollie Langer!) and taking a leap of faith out into the world…as ME!!!
In many ways this feels like the most significant jump I’ve made to date. Bigger than leaving my marriage, actually. Although it wouldn’t even have been a glimmer in my eye, let alone a reality, had I not taken that first all-important step allowing it to catapult me into the unknown. The woman I am today has everything to do with saying yes to uncertainty, and fully accepting my hand in orchestrating all the relationships, events and circumstances in my life in order to extract the wisdom I specifically came into this lifetime to learn. Leaving my marriage was a conscious decision to no longer live in reaction or response to anyone or anything else, to taking the plunge into living on my own terms, finally honoring my own desires. A massive lesson I am eternally grateful for.
Leaving my position at Hay House bears a different gift. Trust me, the journey to quitting my dream job hasn’t been easy. This decision has been two years in the making.
The idea was just a scary little spark back in August 2012 when on a walk in Melbourne, Australia, my close friend – and President/CEO of Hay House – Reid Tracy said to me, “It’s not about your indispensability at work. It’s about your irreplaceability as a human.” Woah. He was right. It’s about who I am, not what I do. I had been living in a long-running story that everyone loved me because of what I did for them.
Really immersing myself in the truth that people love me simply because I am me – that each of us are loved because of our own singular exquisite brilliance – was a complete game-changer. I finally clearly saw the way I had been running myself ragged using all my people-pleasing and perfectionism as the currency with which I was buying love and attention. And then I stopped. And I was still loved. Actually, I was loved even more than before because I had surrendered to the genuine flow instead of my old means of chasing. It was a revelation.
Having spent the last few years in deep inquiry, excavating my interior landscape, I’ve discovered that honoring my authenticity and vulnerability by saying yes to what I most desire, while welcoming all the unforeseen gifts, opportunities and surprises as well, is a profound act of self-love.
All of this gives me the courage to answer the call and say yes to fully immerse myself in coaching, writing, speaking, teaching – serving from front and center now instead of from backstage.
I am profoundly grateful to the magnificent souls I have drawn into my life who always hold me at my highest and reflect my bright shining light back to me, especially when I need to be reminded of it the most. #youknowwhoyouare
I know I am not alone. Fully supported by Louise and Reid and the entire Hay House clan, as well as my family and close friends, I now step out to take my place and claim my space in the world. As me. And I now know that’s enough and all I need to be.
The last words that my dear friend and mentor, the late Debbie Ford, ever said to me were: “Go live your life. Don’t work yourself to death. I love you, babydoll.”
I echo her words: Live your life—the one you were meant to live.
What will you say YES to today?
This week we focus on what comes after the jump, making a graceful exit. It’s in this liminal space – between no longer and not yet – where self-love, self-acceptance and self-forgiveness is most critical.
And with the death of Robin Williams last week reverberating around the world, there’s no better way we can honor his passing than to reach out in connection, slow down to take the time and space we need for processing, and create practices for falling in love with ourselves and honoring our self-care.
This past Friday was gorgeous and sunny Boulder, as usual. At 4pm, after my last coaching client of the day, I took a moment to check in and see what I wanted to do. I had been going so hard and so fast for days…weeks…months…years really. Even with having built in more “me” time, regularly running, hiking, reading and writing, what I discovered was that more than anything else in that moment, I just wanted to lay on my bed.
I had never ever allowed myself to lie down in the middle of the day. Actually I had never even allowed myself to want to do such an irresponsible, lazy thing! But, thanks to all the work I’ve done around owning the qualities in myself that I had previously rejected and projected out onto others, on Friday my proudly irresponsible lazy self curled up on my comfy bed and put on a movie. In the middle of the afternoon. In minutes I was bawling my eyes out. When the movie ended, I was a little hungry so made myself some dinner and then settled back in and put on another movie. Soon I was crying again. And then I did the unthinkable! I put on a third movie! I can’t even believe I’m telling you this! And yes, again, waterworks!
What I began to realize that so many incredible opportunities were rapidly presenting themselves to me lately. So much good. My cup runneth over. And so much change too. I desperately needed a self-induced crash so that something else wouldn’t come along and crash me unexpectedly. I also needed the purge, the release, and the replenishing that can only come from catharsis. I went to sleep with gratitude for listening to my heart and allowing myself to have exactly what I most desired. No guilt, no shame, no resistance, only sweet surrender. The graceful exit. The gateway to rejeuvenation.
Just as we honored our resistance a few steps ago, we must also take the time to honor all that has brought us to this very moment. I would never have become the person I am today without every single one of the experiences I’ve had. Even – perhaps especially – the most difficult ones. If my now ex-husband hadn’t ever read my journals, I have no doubt that I would have stayed in my marriage – sleepwalking through my old life, silently giving my power away, trying to buy love in any way possible. I wouldn’t have published two books, I wouldn’t be a Certified Integrative Coach with a vibrant practice in service of guiding others to live in alignment with their truth, I wouldn’t be sharing my story on stage before thousands as a beacon for others to hone and own the courage and strength it takes to propel themselves powerfully forward in their lives, and I most certainly wouldn’t be leaving my day job at Hay House to venture out on my own! That original journal-reading crisis opened the door to everything else that has happened since, most of which has been wonderful beyond anything I could ever have imagined. Including falling in love, and then ultimately leaving still in love, when we both knew it was the only way for each of us to honor our truths.
Sometimes the emotions are overwhelming. The grief can be intense. We may know it isn’t about wanting to go back to our old selves, yet it can still be confusing.
By embracing the grief we discover that when we allow the visceral reminders to be present, we can more easily move through the emotions and emerge without fighting with them. When we fight, on the other hand, the feelings seem to linger and fester. It takes much more work to hold our painful emotions at bay than it does to let them flow. It’s the “core dump” of emotions that allows us to transition.
It’s during the transitional, liminal space of the graceful exit that we detach from the old and cross the threshold into our new worlds, even if we haven’t yet fully made sense of everything that got us here. This period of time might feel like the void, but it’s allowing us to digest and integrate as we adjust to all that has happened, as well as what we desire to invite in.
This work of exiting, integrating, and entering by jumping again and again into the new is an integral part of the process. One jump down…many more to go…
In the wake of setting new boundaries, asking for help and honoring their resistance over the past several weeks, my Summer coaching group is now prepared to Jump!
Jumping is not only about letting go and leaving, but also about propelling ourselves toward the new—even when we don’t know exactly what the “new” will be! I had no idea what would be coming my way when I left my marriage. I’d been with this man for eighteen years, after all, and we not only lived together but also worked together. Our lives were completely intertwined. Who would I be on my own, without him? I could hardly imagine who this new me would be. It was like standing at the edge of a cliff so high that I couldn’t see the river down below.
And even now, as I embark upon my new jump – the days click down to leaving my position at Hay House at the end of this month – I am facing a vast difference between the Hay House Event Director Nancy Levin and the Coach, Author, Speaker Nancy Levin. Who will I be without my “day job” wrapped around me? What I’ve since discovered is that we’re constantly being pushed to the edge of that precipice, and the only thing to do is to muster enough faith to jump into the uncertainty. It’s in the unknown that possibility and opportunity live, and we must free the energy to make space for what is waiting to enter.
I know how scary that sounds, trust me. But isn’t it scarier to remain stuck in a life that you know for sure is no longer serving you? That’s certainly what I faced with my marriage. That life wasn’t working, but I was so afraid to let it go that for years I wouldn’t admit—not even to myself—how unhappy I truly was.
As I face this next change, even while my life still works this way, I know I cannot grow into all I am meant to be and stay in my job. It’s time to sever the full-time job chord and reach out with my own presence. I have done all I can here and am choosing expansion over stagnation. It’s time to let someone else step in and shine here, so I can leave the past me in service of the future me.
Fear may try to convince you that new equals bad and scary, yet in that place of not knowing anything can be born, everything can unfold. Uncertainty is thrilling and inspiring if you allow it to be.
Are you ready to jump? Tell me about it here!
I’m shooting a TV show and we need you to come and fill one of our seats!
- Thursday Aug 6th
- Friday Aug 7th
I am going to be in Toronto next week with my dear friend Colette Baron-Reid shooting the first episode of her new TV show - Messages From Spirit.
So if you live in the Greater Toronto area or if you’d like to fly in for the show, we’re looking for an audience for Thursday August 6th and Friday August 7th.
Although there are no guarantees that Spirit will choose you for a reading with Colette, if you do get picked you’ll need to be available for both days, be willing her to read for you, and be open to coaching by her as well as her special coach posse on Friday – that’s where I come in!
If you can’t move on and are in need of guidance about a change in your life, JOIN US and let us help you put serious healing solutions into action
I know it sounds irrational. If I’d stopped to really think about it, I would have realized that what I expected of myself was unrealistic. But I was operating on automatic pilot, and I was attached to the belief that I could somehow do it all without anyone ever seeing my weaknesses. Somewhere deep in my psyche was the belief that if they saw a weakness in me, everything would fall apart.
So I never asked for help. To me, asking for help would mean I wasn’t enough. That I was a failure, imperfect. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
This lesson was really solidified for me when, uncharacteristically, I found myself feeling ill off and on for a period of a year. It wasn’t just your run of the mill cold or flu. I was dealing with adrenal fatigue and even had a serious bout with vertigo that made me dizzy, nauseated, lethargic, and gave me distorted, blurred
I had never experienced anything like it. For ten days, I was completely ungrounded and housebound. Of course, I called Louise Hay and asked, “What is going on?” “This is the universe proving to you that you actually are not in control of anything and that you need to rest and surrender and receive,” she told me.
The heart can hurt, the mind can deal, the emotions can get sorted out, but the body can take you out at the knees. I was essentially incapacitated, so I had no choice but to ask for help.
Louise saw me in a way that I had never been willing to see myself—as a human being with both strengths and weaknesses. She inspired me to embark on a path of self-discovery and self-love, and she gave me the courage to be transparent.
I wasn’t perfect. I needed help. And that was okay.
This past week, our Jump Coaching group began asking for help. When we make a big change in our lives—when we jump—we all need support. If you’re a giver like me, you probably find it difficult to ask others to assist you. But think for a moment about how good it feels when you give to others. By not allowing someone else to give to you, you deprive him or her of that good feeling. So, when you receive, you’re still giving. It’s a win-win!
- We hear all the time how it’s better to give than to receive.
- We hear how we need to be more giving
- We hear how wonderful it is to give.
And it certainly is. But for the codependent among us, there is an imbalance to our giving. We offer much more than we get back, which isn’t healthy. So learn to allow other people the pleasure of helping you.
Asking for help means showing vulnerability. It makes you more human to others. They can identify with you and relate to you, often for the first time. They’ll feel closer to you. Asking for help ends loneliness. Allow people more into your world so that they can see all of you, and you will discover help is right there.
You only have to ask.
Who can you ask for help from today?
Many of us have an interior dialogue – I call mine the “inner critic crawl” like the lines that run at the bottom of the tv screen - telling us that we’re not good enough, we’re not lovable, we’re not worthy. Refusing to set healthy boundaries – and maintain them! – is one of the primary ways we express that belief. If we want to live fulfilled lives, we have to let go of the negative beliefs about ourselves that keep attracting relationships and circumstances that reinforce that belief. We need to swap out our negative disempowering beliefs for positive and empowering ones! It’s time to believe that the needs and opinions of others are not more important or valid than our own. We have to stop taking it personally when someone disagrees with us. We have to stop believing that if we disagree with someone or ask for what we want, we’ll end up alone and unloved.
Do you struggle setting healthy boundaries?
As you consider the answers, allow yourself to see what will be possible for you as a result of setting and maintaining new boundaries?
Tell me: What new healthy boundary will you set this week?
And remember, each time you set a healthy boundary, you say YES to more freedom!
As you may have read in my book, I had absolutely no idea how to set boundaries prior to finding my way through my divorce. Most of us don’t know how to set them. We’re taught to put others ahead of ourselves. (This is especially true for women, but there are plenty of men who have the same issue.) I have heard Cheryl Richardson say on several occasions,“If I spend my life pleasing people, I spend my life.”
Up until that point in my life, I definitely had been spending it. And I was just about bankrupt when I finally woke up.
Not everyone puts others ahead of themselves, of course, and some of us are more prone to people-pleasing than others. But the attachment many of us feel to keeping others happy is pretty tenacious. In a certain way, pleasing becomes our currency—the way we purchase love and attention. If we don’t think we inherently deserve love, we feel we must find some way to earn it.
This past week, our Jump Coaching group began to set boundaries. And, as we did, we found ourselves face to face with A-to-Z thinking.
What is A-to-Z thinking? All or nothing; it assumes that if you can’t make it to Z, you can’t have anything at all. But it doesn’t always have to be an either/or proposition. You only have to get from A to B. Small shifts add up.
If you’re prone to A-to-Z thinking, evaluate your situation thoroughly and ask yourself:
- What steps can I take today to move me 0nch-by-inch toward the boundary that I’d like to set? For example, where might I say ‘no’ when I would otherwise say ‘yes’?
- Where can I ask for what I really want instead of watering down my request to please another person?
When we answer honestly, we see that there is room to take one small step and set one boundary at a time. Then, setting that one, first, boundary helps us to develop the courage to set more boundaries.
- We are no longer reacting or responding to someone else.
- We are suddenly able to act from a clean, clear place.
Having set my own boundaries for the first time I was finally able to begin living my own life and it was amazing. And while I felt stronger in some ways, I also felt a lot like a young colt trying to walk for the first time—which is fitting, since I was indeed birthing a new identity. My legs felt gangly, like I could barely stand. And then in time, of course, I leaned to stand on my own two feet again.
So, take heart! When you set new boundaries, you may at first feel as though you have a new pair of legs. You might feel off balance, but it won’t last forever.
Yes, it can be very scary to operate from a place of what your own desires, especially when you’re a people-pleaser like I was. As children, we learn to respond in a way that brings us the least stress and trouble—and that often means allowing ourselves to be moved by others’ wants and needs. But as adults, we have to learn to get past our ingrained fears and make clear choices.
I used to wake up every morning and instantly scan my mind for what I needed to worry about. Who needed my attention. What I had to do.
Now as my eyes gently open each day, the first things I say to myself is, “I will only say ‘yes’ today to what I truly desire.”
Try it…and let me know how it goes!
- We are often outside our comfort zones
- We seldom have any idea what to expect from the future
Eventually, if we persevere, we learn that it’s an illusion to think we were actually in control.
- We are actually less in control when we hold rigidly to the familiar.
- We are enslaved by fear.
- We are not free to move with the pulse of life.
On the other hand, when we let go and surrender into the arms of the unfamiliar, we enter the flow. We can follow our truth and our desire, creating the kind of life we most want—a life filled with possibility and enjoyment rather than tension and terror.
Too frequently, we think we’re choosing peace and comfort over freedom. But in truth, we’re sacrificing our inner peace in hopes of outer peace. That outer peace is, more often than not, dictated by someone else and not by our own needs.
When we choose comfort it means replaying the same pattern over and over. Our Jump! Coaching Group talked about this in step one. Nothing will ever change for us if we stay stuck in the same pattern. We already know our outcomes from the patterns we have been living, and we aren’t happy with them. It’s not until we make a different choice that we can design a new ending to our stories.
Making one different choice can have an enormous impact as we move toward jumping into our new, better lives. It’s the starting point that leads us to the next steps.
When we choose to do one thing differently:
- We dissolve a patterns
- We prove to ourselves that there is life beyond the familiar.
I’m not going to pretend that dissolving patterns is always a smooth process; often, it’s anything but. And some of the people around you may be confused once you change the rules of the game. That’s why my Jump! Coaching Groups are so important. We’re like a Jello mold for each other to experiment with while we’re still a little jiggly, before we set firm. We hold one another in this safe space.
Are you choosing peace and comfort over freedom?
If you believed that every choice you make in the present impacts your future, by being in service to your desires or sabotaging them, what one different choice will you make today?