nancy's blog

Feeling More Juicy and Alive at 50 Than Ever Before

As you read this – on my actual 50th birthday – I’ll have already been swept away by my beau to an undisclosed location for a surprise getaway celebration.

Surprises and I haven’t always been friends – the Type A-Producer-Control Freak-With-A-Strong-Need-To-Know in me used to have a really hard time chucking my routine to go with the flow and trust.

For the past year, since my last birthday in fact, I’ve been in a pretty deep inquiry about my own wants, needs and desires that has informed the conscious changes I’ve made. As a result, I’m consistently making choices now that are in service of creating and living the life that honors my priorities.

About a month ago I decided to clear this entire week on my calendar in order to rightfully honor this milestone birthday by allowing myself to say yes! to whatever arises in the moment. It started yesterday with a full-on powder day greeting me upon waking, and I was free to spend the day playing on the mountain, groovin’ on my new skis, lunching in the sun, bopping around après ski happy hours – and it was a Monday!

Goddesses Never AgeSo, knowing that I was taking the week off, my man requested Tuesday through Thursday, no questions asked. I don’t even know what to pack, but already in my bag is my new bible, Goddesses Never Age. This brilliant and groundbreaking book by my friend Dr. Christiane Northrup just launched yesterday – luckily I’ve got connections at Hay House and was able to get my hands on it a little early – and now you can get your own copy, right here.

Have I mentioned that my guy is 9 years younger than I am and that I need all the “never aging” that I can get?!

Thankfully, this book is a goldmine of wisdom and mojo that already has me feeling more juicy and alive at 50 than ever before.

As I set out on another lap around the sun, I am reminded that that there’s no day like today. The future starts now. The choices we make in the present moment predict and determine our future.

The gift I am giving myself is to ask each day, “What is one thing I can do today in service of living the life that honors my deepest dreams and desires?”

I invite you to join me in this inquiry, commitment and action. Ask yourself, “What is one thing I can do today in service of living the life that honors my deepest dreams and desires?”– and share HERE, I want to support you!

 

Create the Life You Have Always Desired

Yesterday was the second anniversary of Debbie Ford’s passing.Debbie Ford Nancy Levin

Two years have gone by already. It’s hard to believe.

I can’t really wrap my brain around her not being here anymore physically. She’s still in my “favorites” and “vip” lists on my iPhone. I still have our thread of text messages saved. There are days I’m utterly enraged that I can’t call her to laugh, cry, share an insight, report a breakthrough. I wear pieces of clothing that were hers, some she gave me, and others I retrieved after she was gone. Even washed, they all still carry her scent and I often lose myself in memory

How can the woman who was one of the most pivotal forces in my life – the very catalyst to me unconcealing my truth and living it – be gone.

And then, inside my heart I feel it. Her legacy and the invaluable gift she gave those of us who carry it.

Five years ago, on February 25, 2010 – my 45th birthday – I flew into her arms for an immersive weekend in her renowned Shadow Process. We had worked together and been friends for years, but when I revealed to her that my world was crumbling she immediately insisted on me being at the workshop as a participant, not producer. She also insisted that I stay with her to make the experience even more powerful. Julie, her assistant at that time, picked me up at the airport on that sunny San Diego day and we met Debbie for lunch. And later that night, after a birthday dinner – complete with cake, candles and a wish – standing on the steps in Debbie’s living room, I uttered the word divorce for the first time as it related to me.

While she led 112 of us through The Shadow Process, she secretly devoted herself to me. And even though I was sleeping at her house, we ritualistically upheld all the rules of the weekend together and only spoke when we were in session or processing my personal experience in the car on the way to or from the venue.

I spent the rest of that year bouncing between Debbie’s house, Cheryl Richardson’s house and my sister’s as I untangled my marriage, dealt with my divorce, and dreamed of life on my own terms.

It’s safe to say that I wouldn’t be who I am or doing the work in the world I am today if it weren’t for Debbie Ford. Her steadfast attention on me challenged me to cultivate courage, invite risk and embrace change for all the right reasons. Thanks to her, I was supported, loved and even pushed from time to time throughout my jump.

Debbie’s commitment to me inspired my commitment to be of service to you. She lives on in me, coaching me as I coach others.

As I write this, I’m enveloped in my favorite grey sweater of Debbie’s, with the yahrzeit candle burning beside me. Only, it’s actually one of those Mexican Guardian Angel candles since I couldn’t find a traditional Jewish yahrzeit candle at the grocery store yesterday. I know Debbie would understand – and get a kick out of it even – after all, she really is my Guardian Angel.

“Your life will be transformed when you make peace with your shadow. The caterpillar will become a breathtakingly beautiful butterfly. You will no longer have to pretend to be someone you’re not. You will no longer have to prove you’re good enough. When you embrace your shadow you will no longer have to life in fear. Find the gifts of your shadow and you will finally revel in all the glory of your true self. Then you will have the freedom to create the life you have always desired.”
― Debbie Ford

Today and every day I honor my beloved friend and mentor as her spirit soars and guides me still. Part of honoring her is sharing her legacy and the invaluable gift she gave those of us who carry it with others, which I do in part through my coaching. I am sharing that legacy through two complimentary coaching calls tomorrow, Thursday, February 19th (and future dates, as well). If you are interested in experiencing a little of Debbie Ford’s legacy right here with me, I invite you to join us and learn what it means to embrace your shadow and make your very own Jump! into your true self.

Happiness Is An Inside Job

Choosing HappinessToday my friend and bestselling publisher Linda Joy released Inspiration for a Woman’s Soul: Choosing Happiness featuring the soul-inspiring stories of 27 amazing women who share their intimate stories of transformation. For a limited time you can get over 40 transformational gifts with your copy of Choosing Happiness. Grab your copy today http://bit.ly/Happiness_Book

I’m excited to be a Happiness Crusader and joining over 100 women in spreading the message of #ChoosingHappiness to women around the world.

This past weekend I had the two best ski days of my entire life. I tackled harder terrain than ever – and had a blast doing it. Over the top extraordinary. Up until Saturday I’d been trying to love skiing for all the wrong reasons ­– to make someone else happy. But these two days turned everything around. I finally got it. I finally got what everyone was jonesing about. And I was skiing for me!

On Saturday morning my man dropped me off at Aspen Highlands bright and early for my clinic. I got second chair all to myself as soon as the lift opened. It was a crystal clear sunny blue sky day and I was the only person on my first run the whole way down. I met T-Bone, my instructor, and the seven others in my group and then we headed up to Highlands Bowl – an 800 ft vertical hike topping out at 12,392 ft. opening up to steep powdery double black diamond bumps all the way down. Woah. I had never done anything like this before. The hike was no problem for me but the mega-expert terrain was another story. Grateful for the excellent instruction T-Bone patiently provided, I soon found myself euphorically ripping down through the bumps and trees.

And then on Sunday I went out and did it again, only it was a little different. For the first time in my life, at 49 years old, I drove to a ski area on my own. It might sound silly, but I wanted it bad enough to go after it myself. Another spectacular day in up in the Bowl.

On Monday, after two pretty epic days I was content to rest but rallied to get out on the mountain with my man. In the middle of the first run I fell and had a “yard sale” – skis and poles everywhere. And I tweaked my knee. F#%K. Two killer days of finally seeing the light, loving skiing and hungry for more…and then this?! Really?! Ugh!

I hobbled over to where he had been waiting a while for me. We sat until I felt stable enough to get down to the ski shop we’d been aiming for…did I mention that this was the big day I was finally throwing down to buy myself the new skis I’d been coveting!

And then we took the bus home for minimal excess impact on my knee.

So I’m sitting here writing this on the couch, elevating and icing my knee, while it’s snowing outside for the first time in days, with my brand new Blizzard Black Pearl purple skis leaning up against the window and instead of being bummed and mad, I’m choosing happiness.

Because here’s the deal. Happiness is an inside job.

Sometimes I have to choose happiness when it seems counterintuitive.

Sometimes I have to choose happiness when I’d rather blame someone else.

Sometimes I have to choose happiness by buying myself the brand new skis I’ve been coveting, even after I fell on the way to the store!

Sometimes I have to choose happiness watching all the skiers out my window even though I’m still in my jammies with my knee elevated and iced writing a blog on choosing happiness when I could easily choose to be bummed or mad.

Everyday I choose happiness by allowing my heart to overflow with gratitude for the life I choose to live and the way I choose to serve.

I’d love to hear how you choose happiness and invite you to share in the comments below.

And remember to check out Linda’s new book, Inspiration for a Woman’s Soul: Choosing Happiness. You can grab your copy today at http://bit.ly/Happiness_Book and receive the bonus gift bundle worth thousands!

Earning Fifty and Really Owning It

This past Sunday night I attended a community gathering in Boulder, that I’ve frequented in the past, to practice a group process. During the first “round” there were five of us and I found myself seated between two bright beautiful young women in their early 20’s.

Oh wait, have I mentioned that I’m turning 50 later this month?

And that I’ve been having a lot of feelings about it?

Earning Fifty and Really Owning ItSix weeks ago I uncontrollably sobbed my way through my niece’s Bat Mitzvah, deeply present to the fact that she has her whole life ahead of her still, while most of mine is behind me now. And since then I’ve been living the wonder of how to be with all that I feel around aging as it impacts my time, love, work, play, purpose, commitment, calling, legacy… and I have to admit I’ve had fluctuating moments of up and down. I can feel the freedom of 50 with its “I don’t give a f***” yet I also notice the undeniable physicality of gray hair and gravity. And, after a conversation last week with my dear 88-year old friend Louise Hay (who has recently declared her name change to Louise “Play” from now on!), I was desiring a full reframe view of 50 replete with all its bells and whistles.

Enter these two young women I mentioned earlier. For a significant part of the 45-minute practice, I held their hands. As we transparently talked and listened, I felt profound compassion for my younger self. Through our sharing, I noticed – in real time – the visceral loading-in of acceptance and surrender that comes with earning my 50, really owning it and all that it offers now.

This knowing, at the heart of my power center, is what propels me in service of us.

Precisely what I’d been longing for without any idea of how to “make” it happen and I couldn’t have arrived here without their reflection, the most sacred gift we can give one another.

And it’s the gift I’m offering you. I invite you to join one of my upcoming Jump! Coaching Groups so that you too can experience the inner work necessary to propel you off your next precipice into flight and freedom. All in the safety of a supportive, intimate community devoted to sharing, reflecting and expanding along the journey.

And if you’re not quite ready to Jump! into a group yet, I’m making myself available to you on a complimentary coaching call – there are 7 to choose from and you can pick the one that’s best for you  right here.

mindfulness…is a request

mindfullness mindfulness…is a request
by nancy levin

mindfulness
is a request
to retire auto-pilot
to invite inquiry around
what’s truly alive
inside in each moment
allowing attention to
swell and land
igniting authentic movement

sometimes
i still find it
so confronting to listen
closely for my desire
as it rises
still so easy for it
to be blocked out by
what someone else needs

we who are used to
abandoning ourselves
for the sake of another
or avoiding feeling
by any sort of
sublimation
it takes longer to listen
to the voice reminding us
that it’s only when we finally
honor all parts of ourselves
with permission to attend to
our fullness
that we will be available
for mindful union

i know we all want
to be heard seen felt met
yet in conflict
may we remember
that staying in connection
is more important
than being right
sometimes
i believe
loving in disconnection
is truly the most sacred practice

and all the time
i am certain
that self-love
is at the root
nourishing my heart
to meet yours

My Week of Embracing NEW

My Week of Embracing NewThis week I’m jumping into all sorts of new experiences, including: ski clinics, workshopping material for my next book, and dance lessons!

In the past, fear of the unknown used to shut me down. Hell, let me be honest here. Fear of not knowing, being out of my comfort zone and out of control and having to learn something new is what shut me down. As my skate ski instructor said to me yesterday, “Oh, I get you! You want to just know how to do this without having to learn.”

Busted!

And when I told him it was hard, he said, “Hey, Life Coach, is that what you tell your clients when the going gets tough?”

Touché!

Amidst my frustration, I had been seen by him…and I had to laugh at myself!

I immediately thought of Steps 4 and 10 in the Jump! Coaching process: Make One Different Choice and Say Yes…And Then Say It Again…And Again

I had to remind myself that I’m about due for another massive reframe.

Time to really let go of needing to do it right in order to have fun.

Time to truly remember the freedom in not knowing and not having to be an expert.

Time to seriously enjoy the journey.

Today, as I embrace new, I know that joy is a choice.

It’s up to me and only me.

I am the only obstacle to my joy.

Here’s my mantra this week: It’s more important to have fun than to do it right or be good at it.

And today I had a breakthrough out there. I skate skied around the entire track! It wasn’t pretty, but I did it. With a smile.

Oh wow, I can hardly wait to report back after my first dance class! ;)

As I continue to release myself from the ways I still hold myself back and embrace new, I love nothing more than supporting others to do the same. While my private, one-to-one coaching has a wait list, I’m beginning to fill me my next two Jump! Coaching Groups beginning in April!

If you’re still not sure that my Jump! Coaching process is right for you, I’m offering you a spot on a complimentary call to test the waters.  There are seven (yes, 7!!) complimentary coaching calls to choose from. Jump! in and join me so you can make the choices that create desired changes in your life! Click here to register for a free call.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are You Ready to Experience Resonance by Feeling Seen, Heard and Met?

I write this just outside of Santa Cruz where I’m on my last day of attending a 5-day retreat focused on conscious communication and effective influence.Are You Ready to Experience Resonance by Feeling Seen, Heard and Met?

We are 20 participants and 4 facilitators split into 2 work groups of 12, living in 2 houses, spending a minimum of 13 hours daily in group process plus everything that comes with meal prep, cooking, cleaning, bathroom-sharing, etc.

Despite being an introvert who desperately needs her space to recharge, and has a serious aversion to being around this many people in such tight quarters, I’ve returned here for the 3rd year in a row to continue learning new approaches and hone my skills by experimenting with new behaviors in service of deepening connection with myself and others, and the possibility of expediting the transformation process through clear transmission.

In the past 5 years I have experienced several extended periods of being alone with myself, deliberately declining most contact with others…and I loved it. It was easy for me, in a vacuum, to believe that I had mastered my mind and had everything under control. In my own little bubble I was able to live practically trigger-free. And while my relationship with me did reach a depth I didn’t even know was possible, I wasn’t aware of the degree to which I was robbing myself of valuable self-knowledge. It wasn’t until I embraced relating again, welcoming intimacy into my life, that I could understand how invaluable it is to allow others to be mirrors for us – enhancing, instigating and accelerating our self-awareness.

On the days I still desire to hide out in my own little world, I remember my choice to engage in the full expression of me that can only be found when others reflect me back to me and I honor them with the same in return.

This is why I love working with groups. By sharing ourselves with others we get to see ourselves in new light. When we experience resonance by feeling seen, heard and met, the opportunities are endless. And there’s so much richness available in conflict as well.

This is why I’m back here in Santa Cruz again.  The skills I hone by deepening connection with myself and others this way expedites the transformation process. I am seen, heard, and met. Others are, too. We share in the growth together. This is what I am committed to, and it is my purpose in life to bring it to others as well, which is why I am also committed to my Jump! Coaching groups as we traverse our jumps together as a cohesive unit.

If you are ready to be seen, heard, and met and experiment with new behaviors in service of deepening connection with yourself and others… and are ready for the the possibility of expediting the transformation process through clear transmission, I invite you to join this next group as we Jump! together beginning January 22. You’ll share TEN 90-minute group coaching calls with me, one for each step of my process in my book Jump … And Your Life Will Appear, plus a bonus 11th call on Thursday, April 16th to wrap things up, AND a private Facebook group where our community will be accessible 24 hours a day throughout the Jump! and the months to follow. Registration for this group ends tomorrow. You can join us right here: http://www.nancylevin.com/signup/.

Are You Supported As You Grow and Change?

I started working on my next book!!!

[sound the trumpets]

Holed up together at my place in Boulder for the last few days of 2014, my editor – who also happens to be my dearest of friends – and I created the detailed outline that is now my roadmap for writing.Collaborative Effort

One of my true triumphs over the past eighteen months has been embracing collaboration. Having spent much of my life a lone wolf when it comes to creation and productivity – an unfortunate by-product of being a perfectionist and people-pleaser convinced she has to do everything herself – I slowly but surely started to experience the joy of bouncing ideas around, staying open and grateful for the expanded possibilities available when I stepped out of the confines of my own head. Quite a stretch, let me tell you, for someone self-described at one point as “does not play well with others”.

Collaboration has taught me tolerance, patience, humility, trust, faith. I have learned that fumbling in frustration leads to riffing and refining as long as I stay fluid. I now see how two heads really are better than one…and three or more can actually can be even better. I get that a concept, project or plan can truly be executed more efficiently by welcoming our differences instead of staying stuck in fear and annoyance around them. While working with others will likely push buttons, activate insecurity and hold up a mirror reflecting our underdeveloped areas, engaged co-creative collaboration has the capacity to be immensely rewarding, nourishing, nurturing and fun too.

Heading into 2015, as I embark on several endeavors that require teamwork, I vow to up my game knowing that the alchemy created by collaboration is fertile ground for true transformation – mine, theirs and ours. It’s ripe for possibility. I have seen it time and time again in my coaching groups on Facebook. Even after the coaching period ends, this fertile ground continues to change lives as we carry on, forward, together. These communities provide feedback, encouragement, and support in ways I had not imagined at their inception. More heads are certainly better than one, and walking with others is so much easier than walking alone. Each group is, inevitably, a gift to itself.

My next group is launching January 22nd and the final, free call is today, Wednesday, January 7th. If you would like to experience first hand what opportunity awaits you in making a change within a supportive community, within my Jump! Coaching group, this is your chance. To join us, simply register here.

Are you ready to embrace collaboration and get the support you need to Jump! into your future?

 

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.