nancy's blog

Are you willing to reclaim your light?

Ignite your light!

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

Are you ready to ignite the light you’ve been dimming? Join the conversation with me on Facebook.

 

Get ready to take back your projections!

Overcoming projectionEver notice how the people closest to you can also trigger the heck out of you?

She’s so selfish.
He’s so rude.
She’s a know-it-all.
He’s irresponsible. 

But, here’s the deal: Every characteristic we don’t like in someone else, exits within us as well. As the old saying goes – when you point a finger at someone else, there are three fingers pointing back at you.

We all possess every human characteristic and emotion. There’s nothing we can see in another that we don’t have within.  As children we began to assign good or bad, right or wrong to certain aspects of ourselves. As we grew, we learned what we needed to hide in order to receive the most love.  And, we also learned how to overcompensate for the rejection of these qualities.

When we can’t be with certain qualities in ourselves, we reject and disown them – and then project them out onto others. And then the people around us reflect these disowned qualities back to us. These disowned qualities are all the things you emphatically say you are not.

How do you know if you’re projecting? Projection sounds a lot like judgement. So if you are activated by someone’s behavior, it’s likely you’re in projection.

We’ll continue to be tested until we’re no longer triggered. So, in order to neutralize the charge, we actually have to own and integrate these disowned qualities within ourselves. The soul is longing to be whole…reclaiming, integrating and making peace with these rejected pieces of ourselves is the path to wholeness. When looking for these qualities within, it’s important to remember that we may not exhibit or express them the way someone else does. So, we’re looking for the aspect beneath the behavior.

  • Think for a moment about someone close to you.
  • Now, identify the specific quality in them that triggers you – the quality under the behavior.
  • Ask yourself, “Where is this same quality in me?” (Remember, you might display it differently.)
  • Ask yourself, “How do I overcompensate for the rejection of this quality?”
  • Accept this disowned quality. Say, “I am X.” Not easy, but we can all be X from time to time.
  • Embrace this quality and find the gift it offers you.

I’ve got one.

  • My ex-husband
  • Lazy, under the behavior of not working
  • Sometimes I binge-watch my favorite shows
  • I overcompensated for a long time by being an over-achiever
  • “I am lazy.” (This will probably sting at first – which means you’re on the right track. But you’ll get more comfortable with it as you own more aspects of yourself.)
  • My laziness allows me to rest, rejuvenate and replenish.

Now you try it!

Can you think of a quality, displayed in another, that you’ve made bad or wrong and have decided you’re not that? Remember, we point that finger out when we have trouble owning these qualities in ourselves.

Here’s the great news: You can do this exercise whenever you’re triggered – which for me is just about daily. Each time someone reflects one of your disowned qualities back to you, you have the opportunity to own it bringing you one step closer to wholeness, self-love, self-acceptance and self-forgiveness.

Are you ready to let go of your triggers and projections? I really want to know how it goes…join the conversation with me today on Facebook.

 

I’m gonna let you in on a little secret…

Stories we tell ourselvesI’m gonna let you in on a little secret…

You know that suffering your experiencing…well, it’s directly related to your own interpretation of the situation.

Huh? What?

Listen. Here’s the deal: Our stories – our interpretations, conclusions and what we make things mean – keep us stuck and cause us pain.

And your ticket to freedom lies in separating out the fiction that you wrap around the facts!

When you can discern fact from fiction, fact from belief, and truth from excuse, you can finally move forward toward whatever it is you desire!

Unfortunately, most of us are wired to create fictions that are negative, disempowering and hold us back.

Facts are charge neutral. It’s the fictions we create and cling to that wreak havoc with our emotions.

Think about it. How invested are you in your fictions and your dramas?
What impact do your interpretations have on the rest of your life?
How have you let them define your identity?

Try this exercise for starters:

The fact is…
My interpretation is…
What I make it mean about me is…
A new, positive and empowering interpretation I can choose to propel me forward is…

Give it a go with a few of your stories and share what you discover with me over on Facebook.

Need to flex your dreaming and visioning muscles?

10528874_sI did my first – totally impromptu – Periscope broadcast on Monday afternoon while I was out for a hike on the Rim Trail in Snowmass, CO. Earlier in the day as I watched my friend Gabby Bernstein broadcasting I noticed I had an authentic desire to as well! In that moment I made a commitment to myself that I would Periscope before the end of the day! If you’re not on the Periscope bandwagon yet hop on, it’s super-cool! You can find me there @nancylevin and you’ll be instantly notified when I’m broadcasting live video so you can comment and send hearts (their version of ‘likes’) in real time!

I turned the volume down on the recovering perfectionist inside of me and hit that “Start Broadcast” button without any idea of what I would say or do.

I received several comments, one in particular from someone asking me for the best advice from the top of the mountain. I said, “Nothing is ever too high to climb. Nothing is unattainable. No desire is out of reach.”

It’s what I’ve learned in my own life – and by coaching my clients through an exercise called 50 Desires.

In Jump! Coaching, we follow a self-nourishing practice that allows us to get deeply in touch with our desires. To make it easy to remember these practices, we use the aptly named mnemonic device of J-U-M-P.

In J-U-M-P,  the U is Urge: We connect to our longings and yearnings as we create and maintain a list of 50 Desires

Moving through the Jump! Coaching Process will activate desires in you – many of which you’ve been unaware of!

Get curious! As parts of you awaken and express their wants and needs to you – write it down.

As you flex your dreaming and visioning muscles you begin to see that no desire is unattainable.

The mind will keep you in a box if you let it, but once it’s free it to roam it can also help us create more than we ever imagined.

This isn’t about waiting for the universe to provide, it’s all about taking action – the actions we feel most urged to take – and knowing that we’re worthy!

It’s been 12 weeks since one of my clients wrote her list, and already, 18 of her desires have come true. When she saw that boosting her self-worth made a difference in her ability to make her desires real, the experience only boosted her self-worth further. Each time we create something great for ourselves, we feel worthy of more.

I’d like you try something with me right now.

Write the numbers 1-50 on a piece of paper,  in your journal, in a doc on your computer or tablet, or even in the notes app on your phone!

Settle in and take a deep breath…

Imagine what freedom freedom feels like.

Allow yourself to be surprised by what you envision.

Really see and feel yourself living freely.

Notice:
•What what you’re doing
•How it feels in your body
•What’s possible and available to you if you drop the excuses
•What your life look would like if no one could criticize or praise you

Allow your mind to expand and ask yourself:  “How is this free life different from the life I’m living right now?”

Don’t allow your mind to become bogged down with “how” you will make any of your desires happen. Too often, we overwhelm ourselves with thoughts like, “I could never get this, so I won’t even think about it.”  Allow yourself to dream without the implementation plan in place. So please don’t worry about logistics yet! Just begin to name—and claim for yourself—what it is that you want.

Allow yourself to bathe and bask in your fantasy of freedom. This is the foundation for your 50 Desires – and the new life you’re jumping into!

The list can include desires that cost money and desires that have nothing to do with money. The idea is to let your mind fly without censoring. Don’t get up from your seat until you’ve written a desire next to each number. Encompass the tiny wants, as well as the huge, deep, and frivolous.

The only rule is that only five on the list of 50 can be “altruistic” desires for other people. Everything else has to be for the self.

Now, it’s time to write out your 50 Desires in one sitting. Yes. I. Said. One. Sitting.

You’ve got nothing to lose but old beliefs, habits and patterns that no longer serve you 😉

Let me know how it goes! Join the conversation with me on Facebook.

 

Are you stuck in self-sabotage and self-doubt?

greenFeeling that we’re not enough, or not good enough translates into the fear that we’ll never have enough. Fear of success and fear of failure are two sides of one coin, and our self-sabotage and self-doubt are self-fulfilling prophecies in which we unknowingly make damn sure we never, ever have all that we need. It’s a painful arithmetic going on in the shadows of our unconscious, which many of us never even recognize.

Excuses take our beliefs and run with them. You could say they’re just our beliefs in sheep’s clothing. When excuses take hold, our self-imposed limitations are no longer just thoughts. Our excuses actually stop us cold from moving forward in our lives. They’re always based in fear, and their aim is inaction.

When we tell ourselves, “I can’t,” what we’re usually saying is “I won’t.” Using “can’t” allows us to pretend we have no choice but to give in to our excuses. But “can’t” is a matter of not having the skill to do something, while “won’t” is a matter of not having the will. If we “can’t,” it’s only because we haven’t bothered to develop the skills. In most cases, all we have to do is make the effort. (OK, if you’re hopelessly uncoordinated or over the age of 35, maybe you “can’t” ever become an Olympic gymnast. But I’ll assume that isn’t one of your desires.)

The point is that most of the time we can—if only we’re willing to step past our resistance. It’s a choice to give into fear and what we’re resistant to. Try replacing your “I can’t” with “I’m resistant to.” For example, “I’m resistant to trying to make it on my own.” “I’m resistant to spending money.” “I’m resistant to leaving my job.” “I’m resistant to taking responsibility and doing something for myself.” It isn’t that we can’t. It’s that our limiting beliefs have caused us to make excuses for not doing what we’d do if we weren’t so afraid.

Sometimes, we phrase an “I can’t” excuse as “I have to,” and we focus on the action we feel compelled to take rather than the action we’re avoiding. Some of us use the excuse that it will take too long to learn something new, but if we never begin, we never get there. It’s OK for learning to be slow…as long as we do it. How many of us don’t go back to school because “it will take years!” Then, four years down the road, we’re in the same situation because we never started.

Or, how many of us stay in a relationship too long saying “I can’t leave” or “I can’t make it on my own” or “I have to stay for the children” only to find the years pass and true fulfillment even more elusive.

Our excuses are the way we reinforce our beliefs. They’re how we explain why we don’t already have everything we say we want. They’re a form of self-sabotage because they give us permission not to try. They’re justifications, explanations, and rationalizations. We rationalize our choices and convince ourselves that there are no other options. And the benefit of those excuses is that we get to stay in our comfort zone. That makes sense to the child within, but for the adult, it’s a pretty lame benefit, isn’t it? Stepping out of our comfort zone and living a full, juicy life—now, that’s a benefit!

It’s time to right this distorted view of ourselves so we can stop sabotaging the liberation we’re longing for.

Yes, it takes work to get past the programming of our childhoods. But it isn’t a burden. It’s something to cherish and relish. As adults, we have a wonderful opportunity. We can choose to base our identities on who we truly are inside—the personality, the essence we came into this life with.

This is who you were before you were imprinted with anybody else’s opinions—imperfect, human, thoroughly beautiful, and oh so worthy. Trust me: There’s so much more possible for you than you know! Self-worth is the key. Turn that key in the lock, and open the door. The life you most desire is waiting.

One of the ways out of self-sabotage and self-doubt maze is to put a moratorium on excuses and take action.

Any action.

Taking action to move forward – without being concerned that it’s the “right” action – will open you to possibility. Movement creates momentum.

What action will you take today toward the life of liberation you long for? Join the conversation with me on Facebook.

 

Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

DecisionWhether it’s a marriage, relationship, job, geographical location – how do you know when it’s time to move on?

When it came to my marriage, the truth is that our relationship had been crumbling for quite some time. I’d chosen to stay in such deep denial that it took an explosion of epic proportions to wake me up. And i’m so grateful it did. (You can read all the juicy details in my book, Jump … And Your Life Will Appear.)

My life had been leading to a shattering like this. Decoding the chaos I created to avoid the truth. My soul knew but Ii didn’t want to see. So denial, she slows the speed of growth.

Suddenly, I had a choice: I could stay numb and go back to sleep, or I could face my fears, embrace change and get ready to jump!

What happens when you stay in a situation that isn’t working, denying your own needs long enough?

Your needs, your health, and your well-being begin to demand to be heard. Even if you don’t heed that call, the truth will come out. Unfortunately, it will come out sideways.

Perhaps you’ll become ill. Or depressed. Or if you’re like me, you’ll find yourself expressing those needs in destructive, self-sabotaging ways.

Your body is the barometer of your truth. Listen and pay attention to the inner whispers and wails you’ve been avoiding. It’s time to admit to yourself what you already know to be true.

Marriage was a long time to be away from myself.

By staying in my marriage, I wasn’t allowing the full expression of my life to emerge, and looking back, I realize that the marriage was another hiding place for me. As long as I stayed and propped him up, I could hide from what I truly wanted and from all I was capable of becoming.

With each choice, power replenishes my voice.

Leaving my marriage meant I would no longer have excuses for not fully inhabiting my life, and it led me to the deep inner work that’s been the catalyst for living my life in alignment with my truth and desires.

Are you hiding out in your current circumstance and wondering, “should I stay or should I go?” Join the conversation with me on Facebook.

Are You Living In Reaction or Taking Action?

 

Action

  • Are you constantly responding to people, situations and circumstances coming at you?
  • Do you wait for others to make decisions first and then just defer to their choices?
  • Are you chasing gold stars?
  • Do you feel responsible for catering to everyone else before yourself, believing that their wants, needs and desires are more important than yours?
  • Are you afraid to speak up and offer your opinion?
  • Is overwhelm your most familiar state?

If you answered “yes” to any of the above it’s likely that you’re living in reaction.

How do I know? I used to do all of these!

I had this pattern of cutting off my own freedom because I thought I needed restriction in order to feel safe. I was a world-class people pleaser and looked outside myself for validation. I was afraid to give voice to my truth. All of this  ultimately translated into a choice I made to live someone else’s life.

How did I stop?

It took getting really clear about my own truth and desires and no longer allowing anyone or anything else to cut me off from my freedom.  As well as a deep commitment to myself not to ever curtail my own freedom again.

Living in reaction disempowers us and puts our worthiness in the hands of others. While taking action invites us to move in alignment with our own authentic agency, truth and desires. Taking action is the way we take responsibility for our lives.

I learned that everything depends upon responsibility and choice. 

If we can agree that where we are today is the culmination of our choices, decisions and actions up until now, then it only goes to prove that if we don’t to anything different in the present moment, our future will arrive looking very much like our past. Our present moment choices are our greatest predictor of the future, our crystal ball if you will.

What choices and decisions would you make if you were living on your own terms instead of in response to everyone and everything thing around you, if you were stepping into full responsibility for your life?

Allow yourself to be drawn by the gravitational pull of a positive future and imagine what it would be like to let go of fear and live the life you most desire.

When we’re hiding from our truth, we create chaos.

We all believe there are things about us we need to hide, detours we need to take to sidestep the truth. So we willingly abandon ourselves along the way, in order to be loved and accepted.

Imagine what would be available to you if you lived your life in alignment with the truth you already know inside you.

I invite you to see if you’re willing to reveal what is hidden, regardless of what anyone else thinks. 

It starts with making one different choice. 

Remember: Your greatest gift is giving voice to your truth. And when you do – when you say yes to you – there is no wrong way to live your life. 

Are you ready to stop living in reaction and take action? Join the conversation with me on
Facebook.

 

Got a book in you?

I’ve invited my very first guest blogger to be part of my newsletter this week! I’m excited to introduce you to my brilliant editor – and (full disclosure) my very dear friend – Kelly Notaras!

Five Tips for Actually, Really Writing That Book
by 

You’ve been thinking about it for years. Maybe even talking about it with a few select friends. So tell me—why haven’t you written that book?According to one survey, a whopping 81% of Americans believe they have a book in them. That’s basically everybody, people. But how many of us actually sit down and write that book? The numbers are far less impressive.I should know. I myself am one of the 81%, and I have yet to make writing a book my priority.Now I have written books for other people—and feel highly motivated to do so. But that awesome novel idea I had on a road trip a few years ago? Or that memoir I outlined last summer? Yeah, no. When it comes to my own work, I’m just as bad as you are.That’s why today I’m sharing my top five tips for actually writing that book. I have gleaned this advice from highly functional working-writer friends of mine—as well as my own habits, when I’m working on a book for a client. Here’s hoping they inspire you…and me.

Tip #1: Make an appointment in your calendar. As a busy business owner, this is truly the only way I get any writing done these days. I block out half an hour in my calendar, sandwiched between author calls and errands. I don’t know about you, but if it’s in my calendar, I’m way more likely to actually sit down and do it. And contrary to authorial folklore, most books don’t get written during month-long writing retreats in the woods. Most books get written in small increments, sprinkled throughout the week.

Tip #2: Write a little bit, everyday. Set a very easy to reach daily writing goal. By easy to reach, I’m talking one page. (Double-spaced, if I’m going easy on myself.) I’m talking the kind of goal you can squeak out between your morning run and making breakfast for the kids. Let go of whether the output is “good.” Focus on the fact that you’re finally making progress. You’re writing! And there’s a bonus: I’ve found that when I give myself a tiny little goal, I often end up writing that and then some. Why? Because once I’m writing, it just feels so freaking good.

Tip #3: Start with an outline. Many of us sit down, look at that blank page, and then freeze. “What am I supposed to write about today??” Having an outline next to you is akin to having a tidy little homework assignment. You have your work cut out for you, so there’s no thinking involved. Just pick a spot that inspires you, and dive in. You’ll have that daily writing goal knocked out in no time.

Tip #4: Start writing—about anything. To immediately contradict myself, I will say that you don’t have to start writing from your outline—if your outline is causing you stress or nausea. (I speak from experience.) When you’re trying to overcome writing inertia, what you write doesn’t matter as much as the fact that you actually do write. If you’re having a hard time jumping into your book proper, just start moving that pen across the page, or those fingers on the keyboard. Write about what you see out your window. The enlightening conversation you had with a friend last night—or the argument you got into with your 7-year-old. Keep a list of writing prompts on your desk. Here are a few to get you started:

  • What’s lighting up my life right now is…
  • The most remarkable thing about me is…
  • What my Mom wouldn’t want me to write about is…

Tip #5: Imagine yourself finished. I got this trick from the inimitable Mike Dooley, creator of TUT: Notes from the Universe. (If you’re not familiar with TUT, check it out—this man writes a letter from God, to you, every single day. Talk about a committed, working writer!) Earlier this year at the Hay House Writer’s Workshop in Chicago, Mike revealed that he does a celebratory dance before he even sits down at his computer! He conjures up the feelings that will be running through his body once he’s successfully completed his writing assignment for the day—and he feels them in advance. The juice he gets from imagining himself finished puts a fire under his tush, and makes the day’s writing assignment FUN. After test-driving his theory (in the privacy of my own home) I’m here to tell you it works! So go on—jump up and down, pump your fist in the air, do whatever you need to do to feel the endorphins coursing through your veins. You did it! You rocked out your writing goal! Then, sit down and do it for real.

~*~*~*~
Nancy here….Hint: Tip #3 is the most important and you can download Kelly’s amazing classic book outline templates by signing up to her mailing list right here.

Kelly and I will have a lively discussion on the air tomorrow during my Hay House Radio show! So if you have the burning desire to write a book, I hope you will join us for the fun! We are live on the air at 8 AM PT/ 11 AM ET and you can call in to talk to us about writing, editing, publishing and all things book related.

My Jump! Coaching clients are writing away, and it is so exciting. Do you need support as you write your book? Join the conversation with me on Facebook.

 

reclaiming the lost pieces of me

reclaiming the lost pieces of me

in seven hours
we reached the desert
by morning
clear blue sky
and red rock wake usScreen Shot 2015-06-30 at 10.04.06 AM
move us
remove us from
the usual

we travel
to see what happens
elsewhere
to find the difference
in ourselves
inside another place
reordering the regular
giving order to what has gone before

call for what has passed
and what will come
mark this moment

my body goes back
into the healing
it sits
in a canyon
i never left
drops down into
unlimited time

this writing
this ancient meaning of movement
distracts the body
creates a space
for the silence
of making

yes
each day
i can do
one more thing

seven river crossings
bridge past to present
rising and falling
between breath and bone
the perfect landmark
lights up a landscape

i could only come from center
something to go back to
so rooted and close to earth
becoming whole is a profound secret

each day – let go
everything is at stake

Is it time for a graceful exit?

HelpEvery entrance is also an exit.

Any major transition has the capacity to be a catalyst for rebirth. It’s up to us to allow in what is possible – whether blissful or challenging – and respond to it in a life-affirming way.

The Graceful Exit (Step 9 in my Jump! Coaching Process) is a transitional period. You’ve detached from your old life and jumped across the threshold into your new world but you haven’t yet fully landed in your new way of being.

Once you’ve jumped, it’s not all roses and sunshine. It isn’t like you never turn around and look back. You may still have doubts and growing pains. The jump is only the beginning of your new life. It’s natural to feel disoriented during this time or even a bit out of control.

It’s okay. It’s all part of the graceful exit.

Honor the space between no longer and not yet. 

This space allows you to integrate all that has happened for you, everything you’ve experienced, and what you desire to create. This is the place where resilience, possibility and opportunity are born.

The graceful exit is a time to honor what brought you to this moment. It involves diving deeply into your memories and experiencing an acute awareness of what you have lost.

When you allow these memories, reminders, awarenesses to be there, you will easily move through the emotions (or they will move through you). But when you fight them, the feelings will linger and fester.

It’s important to understand that when these feelings come – and I would use the word “grief” to sum up the emotions I’m describing – it isn’t a setback. It’s a passing visitor. It wants to be felt. Its presence doesn’t mean you’ve chosen wrong, jumped prematurely or didn’t jump far enough. It just means you’re human.

Welcome everything you’re feeling, the full range of feelings during this transition period.

Let the grief come. 

You can’t let go of something you haven’t fully felt.

You can’t release what isn’t firmly in your grasp. 

The only way to say goodbye to anything is to allow everything to have its say. No graceful exit can happen until you accept what has been.

This isn’t an invitation to wallow in your pain. I’m not suggesting that you continue to drag the baggage of the past around with you. You’re not looking back to get caught in the net of the past.

You have the choice to let go of whatever you’ve been holding on to…including an old outdated identity that no longer serves you. 

You are relearning who you are and you’ll need to get used to the new you. The authentic self will come through when you’re no longer performing, pretending or denying – when you are true to yourself.

Being authentic is a moment to moment proposition, a never-ending journey. 

Is it time for you to make a graceful exit and jump free? Join the conversation with me on Facebook.