Fear is A False God


Ever notice how the angrier you get, the harder things get?

I started yesterday with an angry mentality.

Then I went out to lunch, had two glasses of wine, and while the buzz was nice, I slammed back to reality with an even angrier mentality. 

I wrote for about 30 minutes but couldn't snap myself out of it. 

Things just spiraled from there. 

I bought an e-book I ended up being unhappy with. 

I tried to implement some of the things in the e-book and ended up getting locked out of an account I needed to work in. 

I ended up getting snippy with my boyfriend soon after, and leaving our apartment for the solace of a coffee shop where I was also annoyed (especially at the fact that I'd forgotten a pen - hah!). 

All of it made me realize that the angrier you get, the worse things get around you. 

Because the angrier I got, the more things stopped working, including technology. 

I was not in alignment with love.

I was FAR outside of it in fact. Like out in the badlands somewhere, where the only thing I even COULD realize was that the angrier I got, the worse things got. 

I decided to stand up and pick my accountability up off the floor. 

Sometimes you just have to realize that your thoughts and mentality are responsible for everything. Click to tweet.

The universe was truly only responding to what I was telling it: this is bad, this is bad, this is bad.

And who could I blame but myself?

I truly had been pledging to fear that entire time.

Fear that I was messy, disorganized, incapable of carving out a decent system for my many online projects.

Fear that I would never get to where I wanted to be because time was running out and I was not working fast enough OR hard enough. 

The funny thing is, once you realize you are living in fear, pledging to fear, and treating it like a god, you're able to see through it a little bit. Because you're able to step away from it.

It's a bit like a gauze that was once really thick around your eyes but is now a little transparent.

I started to breathe a little easier, knowing that before I had been pledging to a false god.

I was more able to come out of my loveless, downward spiral by seeing the fear for what it was, and calling it by its name.  

I decided to forgive myself, and let God know I wanted to try again. And He always lets us try again. He holds a giant, forever reset button for us to push any time we need to reset, to realign. 

And I'm not going to lie, I felt better. 

It was hard at the start of course, because when you're in that loveless spiral, you do everything you can to stay there because it feels good somehow, even though it feels bad.

But now, writing this dispatch to you guys, with the big 'Return to Love' logo at the top, in addition to everything else...well it's returned me to love. 

And it's my hope that this dispatch will help pull you out of whatever funk you're currently in, or might be in down the line. 

My best advice would be to recognize that there are only two true emotions in this world: fear and love. Everything outside of it leads back to it in some form or another. 

So if you're ever upset, try asking yourself what you're afraid of.

And start noticing that you're praying to a false god.

You'll start to see how unforgiving it is, how false, how completely relentless and determined it is in turning you into a psychotic person with no respect for anything or anyone.

And that is not your true self. That is something you can choose not to do at any time, and the universe will respond lovingly. 

It reminds me of a quote by Marianne Williamson: "Pain is the ego's peak experience." 

Don't let the false god win.

Sending you more love than you can handle, 

On Being a New Mom: It's Not As Easy As It Looks

The following is a beautifully written guest post by Alexis Meads of AlexisMeads.com

A few weeks after giving birth to Kai, an acquaintance of mine had a baby and posted on Facebook “every day feels like Christmas morning” in regards to life with a newborn.

My heart sank.

In essence, I was not feeling like every day was Christmas morning. Far from it. I was feeling a range of emotions from overwhelming love and gratitude, to total despondency and doubt.

Questions started going through my head like,

“Is this how I’m supposed to be feeling?”
“Why does everyone else seem so happy?”
“I feel guilty that I even feel this way.”

Later I found out that she, too, had total meltdown days. I’ll talk more in a future post of what life with a baby is really like!

Fast forward a few weeks and I received an email from a good friend who said he was feeling stuck, and that it was hard to look at social media and feel like everyone around him was getting married, or having babies, or going on life-changing trips.

That’s why this post needs to be written. Because it is not as easy as it looks.

You may have seen me post on Facebook and Instagram some of the below pictures, showing me happy, made-up and smiling surrounded by love. Those moments totally exist and are awesome.

The things I didn’t post:

The days that I didn’t have time to put on grown-up clothes. Or piling up laundry that needed to get done. Or me and Peter getting in a fight because we both thought the other was going to pick up dinner.

Why didn’t I post them?

Because that would be kind of weird. And they’re not the moments I want to focus on in my life.

Social media is a reel of highlights of people’s lives. They’re the moments we enjoy sharing with others and projections of who we are as well as who we wish to be.

It can be connecting, but it can also be isolating. Especially when we use comparison as a measuring stick of how our lives, relationships, and jobs should look.

But there is connection in those feelings, too. Because we are all human. We have ebbs and flows. We have off days, weeks or even months. We get to experience the range of emotion that is available to us.

The trick is to realize that you are never stuck because everything is always changing. That can feel a wee bit scary, but it can also be incredibly liberating. If we’ve gotten into the same thought patterns or habits over time, such as, “Everyone is always in a happy relationship but me” we can begin to think that is who we are.

So remember that there is constant flow and change — that you can move forward. And that no one’s life is always as easy as it may appear.

One thing I love that has been proven to make us happier, especially if we’re feeling stuck, is to embrace an “ikigai” which roughly translates to “the reason you get up in the morning”.

In Dan Buettner’s study of Blue Zones, he explores the lessons for living longer from areas of the world where people live the longest. Okinawa is one of these places, and the older generation of people can all tell you their purpose and reason they get up in the morning. One woman who is 101 years old said her “ikigai” is to hold her great great great granddaughter every day. When asked what it’s like to hold her, she smiled and replied, “it’s like leaping into heaven.”

For months I was feeling stuck, knowing I couldn’t move back into my old life but unsure how to forward into my new one. Right now my purpose is seeing my baby smile at me when I get him out of his crib (nothing lights me up more!), slowly training for a triathlon and being of service to others.

So if your feeling stuck, think of what is your ikigai, no matter how small it may seem.

Know that things are always in the flow and start to notice how you are a part of that. And use social media as an awesome tool to connect! But if you notice it’s making you feel kind of icky, take a break for a bit, it’s okay.



Alexis Meads is a Harvard educated Personal Life Coach and founder of AlexisMeads.com and Crazy Wild Love Academy. She's well-known as the coach to hire when you want to improve your confidence, get clarity around next steps, and create a more fulfilling life. She's helped hundreds of women succeed and is a regular columnist for Huffington Post and Maria Shriver.

Get your FREE copy of her guide: 5 Simple Steps to Put Your Life Back in Balance


10 Morning Self-Love Practices You Can Easily Start Tomorrow

Thousands if not millions of people use the power of the morning to set themselves in alignment for the rest of the day. 

In my opinion, if you're not starting your day with some kind of release from yesterday, it's adding a layer of dust to the beauty of today.

Today I'm sharing with you 10 morning self-love practices to help prep you for the every-day. 

The every-day eye rolls.

The every-day self-judgement. 

The every-day little hates. 

I think you'll find that after just a week of devoting yourself to a small but daily morning self-love practice, the little eye rolls and daily hates don't matter as much.

People can say or do whatever they want to you, but if you start your days with a morning self-love practice, you'll always have that back-up happy to remind you of who you really are. 

(Back-up happy - I like that!)

So since morning self-love practices are a bit of a hassle to start with, I crafted 10 self-love practices below for you to try on, starting tomorrow morning. 

This isn't just an individualized list of '1. meditate, 2. stretch', this is an actual list of practices that combine different acts of self-care.

Each practice has 2-3 acts of self-care involved, giving you a more rounded, and full-bodied practice.

(Rounded and full-bodied...hmmm, sounds like I need some coffee). :D

1. Read one lesson from the Course in Miracles + meditate for 5 minutes using the Insight Timer app.

2. Wake up to Yoga instead of your alarm clock. Use an app like Yoga Wake Up to transition peacefully from sleep to waking to stretching. Once done, sip some warm lemon water and look at your agenda for the day.

3. Drink a large glass of water, and settle in to 15­-30 minutes of meditation from the Insight Timer app.

4. Make a warm cup of tea or water with lemon, and take 15 minutes to read poetry by Rumi or Mary Oliver (or any of your favorite poets!).

5. Do a 5 minute meditation with the Insight Timer, drink some water, and do a 20 minute yoga session with Yoga With Adriene on YouTube.

6. Light a candle, make a warm cup of tea or lemon water, and write three pages in your journal, doesn't matter what it says! (I like to write out my dreams...).

7. Light a candle, turn on some soft music, and cook a nice breakfast for yourself and focus only on the food, feel it nourishing and loving your body.

8. Pick a mantra to meditate to with some soft music from the Insight Timer app. Repeat the mantra throughout the day so you don’t forget.

9. After your morning shower, massage your body with your favorite lotion, while thinking loving thoughts towards your body and yourself. I like to recite passages from the Course in Miracles sometimes while doing this, but repeating a mantra also works!

10. Wake up to the Sleep Cycle app, and let your first thoughts before getting out of bed be in prayer or gratitude. I use a great prayer sometimes from the Course in Miracles in the morning that asks the Holy Spirit, "What would you have me do, where would you have me go, what would you have me say, and to whom?" It takes the pressure off of having to do everything yourself for the rest of the day. It's better to just be led! 

I guarantee, you need this. Daily self-love practices make all the difference in your life, and everyone else's. 

Sending you all the love in the world,

Love is The Best Solution for Whatever You're Going Through + A Free Audio Download to Help You Out

Everything that is not love is a call for love.

I crossed the street Sunday night to my car after leaving a family gathering, and my stomach was in knots.

I'd had a really eventful weekend, filled with great friends and family, but the exhaustion had taken its toll.

I felt nervous for no reason, anxious, and nauseous. 

My ego took advantage of this by showing me a mental photo reel of the events I took part in the past couple of days: 

Drinking. Dancing. Driving long distances. Eating pretty poorly and getting little sleep. 

But deep down in my heart, I knew that the feelings I was having were not anything to judge or feel ashamed of.

They were notifications to love more. 

The Course in Miracles teaches us that anything that is not love is a call for love.

My nausea was a signal that I needed to love my body more by feeding it foods that were more nutritious.

My anxiety and exhaustion were signals that my body needed rest, and more sleep. 

All I needed was more love. Simple.

Sure I could have scolded myself and thought of a zillion different ways to criticize regret the things I did, but why complicate things? 

I jumped into my car that night and believed with all of my heart that love was the simplest and most appropriate answer to what I was feeling. 

All I needed to do was identify what needed more loving, and things would fall back to peace. 

That night I drove home with less anxiety than I had in awhile, because the answer to my pain and discomfort was so simple.

I came home and dutifully wrote out this post without putting too much pressure on myself to write something amazing. 

I intend to get enough sleep tonight, and make sure to start the week off with food that is healing and nutritious for my body. 

And none of it feels like pressure. Eating healthier and getting rest doesn't feel like something I "should" be doing, but instead it feels like something I'm called to do by love, who always has my best interests at heart.

It's too easy to hate myself for having a busy weekend, for drinking in the heat, for dancing myself silly and suffering the consequences of it the next day. 

It feels better to turn to love, and to let that solve everything.

It feels like the most obvious answer.

And you'll always know it when you ask yourself in a time of discomfort, what needs more love here? 

Your body will definitely tell you, as well as your heart.

If you need guidance on what needs more love in your life, check out the guided meditation I created below.

It works best on those days when you can't figure out what needs more love, but you know love is the answer.

In my opinion, love solves everything. In any situation that sucks.

I find that even when I'm upset with someone, sending them love and praying for their safety and happiness decreases my anger significantly. 

Even if you don't agree with them, sending love can't make the situation any worse. It can only help.

And don't you want to feel better? 

Isn't it horrible letting the things you don't like about other people or yourself sit festering in your body? 

Send both them and yourself love so you can feel better and move on.

We're the only ones suffering otherwise.

Of course, I can go on for days telling you that the answer to all horrible situations is love, but it's hard to understand it unless you're implementing it into your daily life and personal situations. 

Check out the meditation below to get a bit of clarity on what you can love more in your life, so that you're not sitting around stabbing yourself to death with harsh words of criticism and judgement. 

Those things just aren't worthy of you.

This Day Blooms For You

Every once in awhile it will dawn on me that I wasn’t put here to suffer.

I’ll be driving to work judging myself for not being more organized, for leaving the bedroom messy, for not having enough money, and then it will dawn on me that that isn’t the way we’re supposed to live our lives.

I don’t think we’re supposed to live with constant worry, self-judgment, and fear masking itself in a thousand different ways.

I’ll look at the sun, feel its perfect warmth, its whispers of unconditional love, and know.

I’ll look at trees, and the way their whole purpose is to provide shade for all who need it, and feel a love that gives completely without receiving anything in return.

And I'll know.

I'll know that our existence is more important than whether or not we have enough money.  

It’s more than just a career, a wedding, and a baby before 35.

A cheetah in the wild doesn’t worry about being a better cheetah, it just acts like a cheetah, and after it dies, no one can say it didn’t fulfill its purpose.

We are far more loved than we realize when we’re thinking we don’t have what we need, and letting what we don't have define our whole lives.

Because when we do that, we miss out on the beauty that is actually our whole life.

That reminds me of something Robert Holden says about whether we’re starring in our own lives or if we’re just playing an extra, letting someone else or some thing else take the lead.

You are the leading role in your life, and the entire audience that is the universe loves you for it.

But we forget this sometimes because the birds can’t talk.

The little green beetles on the ground can’t tell us they’re friendly.

Love speaks in action over words sometimes, and the trees just sway in the wind.

It’s up to us to see the world for the beauty that it is, and to see ourselves for who we are.

We weren’t put here to suffer.

We were put here to play a beautiful part in the live action film that is this beautiful life, to live happily, and to know that ‘happy’ doesn’t depend on anything.

We deserve happy and we deserve love.

There’s no terms and conditions for our existence. (Click to tweet)

It requires no action on our part to be loved.

It is our natural birthright as residents of this earth. If trees can sway and flowers can be born smelling naturally beautiful, why would our existence be any less important?

Why should we stress while the birds sing?

The Course in Miracles describes self-abuse as ‘death’.

Any form of anxiety, worry, or anything else that strays from love is ‘death’, and something we have created to keep ourselves fearful and in pain, where it is not required.

So I’m going to steal a line from Game of Thrones here and say:

“You know what I say to death? Not today.”

Today is too beautiful for suffering. It's a day that blooms for you. 

Here's What Happens When You Stop Trying to 'Make It Happen'

When you stop trying to 'make it happen', is when everything starts to happen. 

I've always been fond of Marianne Williamson's comparison of our life's ambition to the ambition of an embryo. 

The embryo doesn't have to do a thing to become a baby. It just becomes a baby on its own. It develops lungs, a heart, blood vessels, and a thinking brain. 

No one writes blog posts about how babies can learn to develop better brains in the womb. (Thank God).

The miracle of life already knows what to do, and we let it have that process.

We don't force embryos to try and develop faster or better than other embryos. 

We instruct mothers to rest, and let the babies develop.

Yet as soon as we're born, it's a race to develop. It's "learn to walk before the age of 1" and "be potty trained as quickly as possible". 

The idea of letting things occur naturally takes a backseat to our own agendas of forcing things into submission.   

And later of course it's, we must make six figures before we turn 30

We must reach our goal of 500 subscribes before the end of August

Sometimes I wonder what it is we're doing when we make these kinds of goals. 

Or more often, I wonder what it is we're interfering with. 

If we were capable of going from small, alien-looking peas to full-size, healthy babies, without any input or direction from ourselves, something more is at work here. 

Something beautiful, and in our favor. 

So here's what I believe when it comes to 'the hustle', in work or wherever else.

When it comes to 'making things happen', remember this:


You only 'get' when you are in the energy of receiving. And you can only be in the energy of receiving, when you are not trying to 'get' anything. 

Rest, and let things happen.

I know that can be a hard pill to swallow, since everything you've ever been taught tells you otherwise.

But seriously, the 'trying to get get get' only makes things worse. It puts you in a position of trying to control what already runs perfectly on auto-pilot. 

And when you're trying to 'get get get', it's like you're admitting you don't 'have have have'.

It's like you're living in a constant state of admitting you have nothing, and the universe will prove you right about this opinion of yourself every chance it gets. 

It's only when you stop trying to 'make things happen', that everything happens.

I'll give you two quick examples of what happened to me when I did this: one in my 'hustle' life, and one in my personal life. 

Here's what happened when I took a step back from the 'hustle' that comes with blogging every week, creating new products, and building relationships with other bloggers. 

I got a crap ton of new subscribers every day.

Granted, I did put some work into this.

Taking a step back from the hustle doesn't mean you sit there and do nothing.

It means you do the work you love, and that you know the work you're doing is valuable and of service to the world.

It means you wholeheartedly believe that the right avenues will open up at the right times, for the right people.

So here's what got me a crap ton of subscribers. 

I created 3-5 pins on Pinterest for each of my blog posts, just like I do every week. 

At first, I tried so hard to get people to pin my pins.

I signed up with Tailwind to set my pins on auto-pilot, and scheduled them to run at the times the software suggested were the 'best' pinning times. 

And what happened? Nothing. I got a couple re-pins here and there but overall nothing. 

So I took a step back for awhile.

I wasn't going to bend over backwards trying to understand Pinterest, so I had faith that whatever was already out there was enough, and chose not to put any extra effort in that department. 

And it turns out? One of the pins took. 

Just one, but it was enough. The re-pins on that one blog post alone consistently bring in 1-2 subscribers to this blog every day, and this has been going on since December 2015. 

And when I tried emulating that exact pin to try and get more subscribes, AKA I was 'hustling' to try and recreate what had happened naturally with that first pin, I was a complete failure.

I haven't been able to get any viral re-pins on any Pinterest images for this blog since!

So I'm leaving my pins alone from here on out.

I will continue to create them for my blog posts, but I'm done trying to force them into being re-pinned. It just doesn't work out as beautifully.

The second example was back in February of this year.

I was in an accident with a motorcyclist. He was able to walk away from the accident alright, which I thank God for, but his later injuries at the hospital cost more than my insurance limit.

My insurance sent me a letter from the motorcyclist's lawyer telling me they were seeking the maximum that the insurance would pay for his medical bills, and any additional costs would have to come out of my pocket. 

These additional costs were around $30k. 

I was at a loss for what to do. I clearly didn't have $30k, I didn't have a lawyer to help me out, nor did I even know where to find one, and I didn't even have the funds to pay for one if I got one. 

I was so angry and could feel myself hating this situation with every fiber of my being. 

I started thinking of my options, of whether I could slowly pay off this $30k over years and years, of whether I should take out a loan, of whether I should reach out to my friends on Facebook to see if anyone knew a good lawyer, etc. 

But after all the ego maniac organizing and anger resided, I decided to take a step back.

There was nothing I could do right then because nothing was really being asked of me right then. It was merely the insurance's legal duty to let me know what the lawyer's intention was.

Nothing was being requested of me right at that moment. 

So I decided to call the insurance company to see what my options were, and when they didn't pick up their phone after multiple times, I sat back and decided to wait it out. 

Later that day, my insurance called to let me know they were going to pay for everything. 

I said "But what about my limit? I thought you guys would only pay for a certain amount of the damages?"

The agent said "Yes, so we'll need management approval on our side to pay for the rest of the damages. And we know we'll get this approved." 

Holy cow!

I later got an email saying the case was closed. 

I told you these stories to serve as small reminders that there's nothing you need to do. 

I guess I should rephrase that. 

Let these stories be a small reminder that you're always taken care of, and when you're in the energy of knowing this with all of your heart, there's nothing more that needs to be done. 

Now you might be thinking, well how can I still get the results I want if I sit back and do nothing? 

Well, notice the word 'get' in that sentence. You're not supposed to 'get' the results you want, you're supposed to be aware of them already at work. 

And I'm not suggesting you sit there and do nothing, although that sounds really nice.

Here's what I do: I rest, and I trust.

I do work, (this blog post certainly didn't write itself) but I also don't worry about the work that I do. 

I did worry, for a long time, but do it now because I enjoy it sharing the good. 

Because God gave me the gift of writing to serve the world, and make it a better place. 

And that is a gift I don't question. 

That is a gift I know has a purpose. And so do all of yours. 

How could you question this purpose? How could you force it to be this or that? 

If you're working on something you love, something you truly enjoy, that is the power of God working through you. You have that talent for a reason, how could it be squandered?

How could you NOT be a success at this point? Does God create junk?

There's nothing you have to hustle towards here, because you have already been given everything you need. 

If you're creating something you feel called to create, don't worry about whether or not someone is going to read it, buy it, or re-pin it. 

Create it, and let it serve the world in the way it's meant to. 

If you want to be a little better at letting your life play out in its own beautiful rhythm, remember the embryo comparison. 

Remember that there was nothing you needed to do to get here, and there's nothing you need to do to continue growing into who you are.

The good stuff will happen naturally, whether in career, relationships, or otherwise. It's tough to admit this, and to let go of our hold on how we want things to go, but remember: this might be interfering with something more beautiful that's trying to play out. 

Here's a great quote from the Course in Miracles to remember when you feel yourself trying to control, hustle, and direct the way you feel your life should go.

Especially if it hasn't been getting you the results you want!

As you step back, the light in you steps forward and encompasses the world.
— A Course in Miracles

Pledging Allegiance to Fear? Here's How to Picture Your Life Without It (Free Guided Visualization)

About six months ago I was crying on my bathroom floor in frustration over how long it's taken me to heal from my driving anxiety. 

I asked God why he hadn't taken the pain away yet, and his response was "Because you won't give it to me." 

Fair enough. 

I then of course said "Well, I can't let go of it." 

And naturally he said, "Why, because you'll feel better?" 


My driving anxiety very much stems from my pledging allegiance to the pain of the past. 

It's as though I've taken some holy vow without my consent, to always be afraid when I get behind the wheel. 

It got me thinking.

Often without realizing it, we are the ones holding onto everything we wish would go away.

Because of course we can let things go.

Of course we can move on at any time. We have free will.

But we don't.

We've gotten used to having fears and anxieties. To be without them feels...odd. It doesn't feel natural when they've been with us for so long.

Marianne Williamson says something about this in her book A Return to Love, "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure."

And I feel that to be true.

And maybe that's why I'm having trouble moving on from the pain of the past. Maybe some part of me always want to have it with me.

Because maybe there's fear in having nothing to complain about. In being happy.


It's times like these when I realize it's all about taking accountability for what's going on in our lives. 

We have these mental dramas, but we're the ones putting the gun to our heads, pledging allegiance to the very pain we wish would go away.

(If you feel like chilling out to this idea, listen to this Flume song. It came on right as I was having these thoughts in the car...).  

So where do we go from here? 

If we're willing to admit to ourselves that yes, fine, ok. We are the ones keeping ourselves in a state of unrest. How do we release ourselves?

Well, forgiveness is a good first step, and accountability is another one.

We try and figure out what fears and anxieties we don't want in our lives, and then we try and see what parts of ourselves are responsible for holding onto them and why.

We try our best to get a glimpse of what our lives would look like without our mental dramas, because that's the incentive to let go of it!

Robert Holden does this great practice on his Hay House Radio show where he asks callers to finish the sentence of who they would be without their fear, guilt, or anxiety. 

He says something like, "Without my fear of X, I would be..." about 5-10 times, asking the caller to finish the sentence.

I find this practice really helpful to clearly see what kind of peace I'm keeping myself from experiencing, and recognizing very clearly that I am the one keeping myself from experiencing it

When I practice this, it sounds something like this: 

Without my fear of driving, I would be more comfortable on the road. 

Without my fear of driving, I would be able to drive wherever I wanted.

Without my fear of driving, I would be at peace in the car. 

Without my fear of driving, I would be like I used to be in the car.

Without my fear of driving, I would be FREE of my biggest anxiety.

And all of that is exactly what I want. All of that is being held hostage by this very intense fear of getting into a car accident.

But at the end of the day, I am the one holding myself hostage, so I must also be the negotiator as well.

This practice helps you clearly see what you're missing out on when you choose fear and anxiety over love. 

It puts things in a bit of perspective. 

If you want to try out this visualization, I've created a free audio for you to download below, that goes through this same step-by-step process of visualizing who you would be without your fear. 

Try it out once a day or so and see how you feel. It puts you in just the right energy to experience what it would be like to go through your day without your biggest fears and anxieties fogging up your vision.

But I also understand too that some emotions need to fester with us for awhile. 

They need a dark breeding ground to help you feel the experience of human emotion, loss, and heart ache.

They need to sit with you a bit until you realize holding onto them is doing you more harm than good, and they're keeping you from fully experiencing your life.    

Wherever you're at in your healing process, know this: 

 Source: Pinterest

Source: Pinterest

You won't always be calm, confident, and free. There will be lows and setbacks in the healing process, which are natural and necessary.

But so long as you understand you are the one who gets to define what you believe in and pledge allegiance to, it helps you feel less like you are being attacked by some unseen force without your consent. 

What are you pledging allegiance to? Is there anything in your life you've been clinging onto far too long? 

Would love to hear from you,

Feeling Anxious? Here Are 5 Books To Ease Your Anxiety This Summer

I've used a combination of spirituality and science to help me ease my anxiety over the years.

I started out not knowing what anxiety was or what was happening to me. Slowly though, over a matter of long, scary months, I started to piece things together from books that helped me understand what I was experiencing, and eventually they helped me love myself through it. 

I know anxiety is hard. 

And I know fear can take complete control of your life to the point where you feel like you don't even know yourself anymore. 

But you're not alone, and it's only temporary.

I truly believe these books can help you piece out a few tools and practices to add to your own anxiety toolkit, and help you ease your anxiety when it feels like it's clawing at you from all sides, and ruling your life. 

A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson

I've never read anything in the self-development genre that literally made sense to me on every single level.

Marianne Williamson helped me understand forgiveness, and she allowed me to see that the only thing that exists from my past is love.

For example, I was in a car accident on the highway in 2013. All I could think about from that night was the car that swerved in front of me. 

Over and over and over. 

Every time I was in a car, every time I would pass someone on the road, I was afraid they would swerve out in front of me.

It was like that wound just kept replaying in my head over and over, and I couldn't stop reliving my past every time I got on the highway. 

I'd heard a lot about forgiveness before but I never understood it until I read A Return to Love.

Marianne taught me forgiveness in this book.

She taught me that the only thing that exists from the past is the love we gave in the situation, and the love we received. 

Understanding this is paramount to healing any past traumas or anxieties, because we often hold onto so much stuff that's happened to us over the years, we're afraid to simply let go of it and be healed. 

Look into Marianne, she can help you. 

You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay

This book taught me to love myself through and through.

I listened to the audiobook, and Louise Hay's voice just soothed me to the core, reminding me that the universe loved me, that there was never anything to be ashamed of, and that we are responsible for all of our ailments. 

She is a bit like a loving grandmother you never had. (Although I'm happy to share that I have many).

Every time she says anything, you just feel like a young child being loved and accepted for who you are and everything you've ever done.

This book is perfect for when you truly hate yourself, or if you suffer with so much daily anxiety and fear that it keeps you from living your life.

Of if you like to blame a lot of people for your problems, which is easy to do.

She reminds us that we are loved and powerful, and that loving life will only add more love to it.

Which was tough for me to swallow at first, because I always grew up thinking I was dumb and that life didn't like me at all. 

I never thought life was supposed to be enjoyed. I thought sometimes good things happened and more often than not, life was shitty. 

Louise's You Can Heal Your Life really opened up a soft spot in my heart for life.

She reminded me that it was actually on my side, and this opened me up to being less fearful it.

A Course in Miracles (Free guide to get started here)

The Course in Miracles is a spiritual psychology text that uses traditional Christian language to train your mind to go from fear to love.

It's not a religion, it's a practice. A thought system.

I'd call it a returning to God (love) for the times when you can't find any physical idols on this planet to turn to (they're all temporary and will never completely fulfill us). 

God is the only constant. And he is truly the only comfort.

Read the daily lessons in the Course in Miracles to find true inner peace.

If you've never heard of the Course and want to get started, I've created a quick start guide for you here >> 

Anxiety Free: Unravel Your Fears Before They Unravel You By Robert L. Leahy

This is anxiety from a clinical perspective, but I really enjoyed it because it helped me learn what anxiety is and how it works.

It's something that was useful to our ancestors but not so much now. And because we aren't actually being attacked by a physical predator when we're having a panic attack, our brain is still living in the past and thinks that we are, making this all very confusing to us in the here and now. 

But the book has some wonderful ideas about how to cope with anxiety, and not just that - he also talks about trauma, OCD, and chronic worrying.

Leahy lists specific coping mechanisms that help you very seriously get to the heart of your fears, and learn to work better with them.

He helped me see that my imagined fear of getting seriously injured every time I was in a car was akin to being afraid of being bitten by a tiger every time you were shown a picture of a tiger.

Insane, right? 

If you have any of those symptoms, or if you just have anxiety in general, give this book a read. It will comfort you to know what's really going on is not madness, and you're not the only sufferer. 

Life Loves You by Louise Hay and Robert Holden

Sometimes there's no greater comfort than knowing life is not against you. Life is for you in every way possible. 

I know it's hard to see this, since we've all had tragic things happen to us, but in Life Loves You, Louise Hay and Robert Holden teach you exactly how to remember how much life truly loves you, and the practices you can implement to remember this very fact. 

In the book Louise Hay says "Life isn't about getting your own way, it's about getting out of your way." 

And that couldn't be closer to the truth. There is so much beautiful wisdom to be had from this little book, I urge you to pick it up this summer. It's a small, quick, and joyful read. 

Are there any books you've read lately that are lifting your spirits? I'd love to add some of them to my own reading list! 

I truly wish you a beautiful week, and hope that you find some peace in your days.

Thank you for choosing love today!

2 Things to Keep You Sane When the World's Gone Mad

2 Things to Keep You Sane When the Worlds Gone Mad.jpg

It's hard to think about anything else but the mass shooting yesterday morning in Orlando. 

It's hard to imagine what it's like to walk into a night club with some of your best friends, and never walk out. 

I can't help but tear up every time I think about it. 

In times like these, I return to love. I feel like it's our only salvation.

Because what's the alternative?

We could get angry, sure. We could rant about politics. We could talk about how crazy people are. 

But what we really need is our sanity restored. We need unity. We need remembered oneness. 

The idea that there are divisions of people in this world is making the world truly insane, insane enough to want to kill. 

So the burden falls on us to return to love when the world is in chaos.

It's up to us to find some semblance of peace in our lives, to find the willingness to see the light, even in the darkest, most insane situations.

And what happened yesterday in Orlando was an insane situation, one in which hate and fear blocked out all of the light.

We can't let it block ours.  

If you're looking to restore some of your sanity this week and find a little peace, I urge you to go within and return to love.

Here's how I've been doing it each day:

I start each day with a ritual. A morning practice. 

These daily morning practices have helped restore my sanity in times of distress like nothing else.

I cling to them now in uneasy times like these, because they've become my only defense against the insanities of the world, but they're a defense in which I find myself completely defenseless, laying down all armor and attack words, and looking closely at the person on the other side. 

If you're looking for some relief from the world this week, try this: 

Wake up to the Insight Timer meditation app.

Meditate for however long you want (I do about 18-20 minutes), and when you're done, read a daily lesson from A Course in Miracles

This practice won't be for everyone, guaranteed. 

The timing of it, the length of it, none of it will exactly fit the lives of every person, but the conjunction of the two, in whatever way you see fit, will surely change your life. 

If you're unsure about what the Course in Miracles is, I've created a quick start guide here to help you get familiar with it >> 

The whole process of meditating + reading from the Course takes about 30 minutes I would say, depending on how long you want to meditate or spend with the text. 

But using these two activities in conjunction has allowed me to see the insanity of my own mind (judgement, hostility, fear, separation, anxiety) and watch it all slip carefully each day through the holy doors of love.  

And I never preach anything else. 

Now morning practices don't mean all of your problems are solved.

It doesn't erase the pain, or help you turn a blind eye to it. I wish I could say it was the magic solution to saving everyone in the whole world. 

But it doesn't make anything go away.

Instead, it bathes all fear and anxiety in love and light.

It helps you open your arms to it.

It helps you bring it in, all the fear and anxiety you suffer with daily, and put it up in the fanciest hotel room in the world. 

It helps you see it for what it is: a part of your human experience, but not a part of the real you. 

If you want to try this out for a few days, here's what I'd suggest:

Download the Insight Timer app on your phone (free) >>

Download the Course in Miracles app on your phone (free) >> 

Download this quick start guide to help you understand what the Course in Miracles is here >>

When you wake up tomorrow, select a morning meditation to listen to, to help you start your day with love and an open mind. 

Then open up a lesson from the Course. Start at day 1, and see where it leads you. 

Taking the time to love and get to know yourself will create true change in this world, in a time when we so desperately need it. 

Sending lots of love and prayers today to both you and all of the grieving, 

A Little Trick I Use To Find Love in Every Situation + A Free Bundle of Phone Wallpapers to Help You Remember

The one little trick I use to find love in every situation is this: 

I picture an octopus, and I say to myself "there is only one of us here".

I'll explain.

Marianne Williamson once described us all as spokes on a bicycle wheel. We all lead back to the same point of origin, but at the end of each spoke, we all look separate and different: we are man, woman, scientist, doctor, etc.  

And Anita Moorjani said recently in a Hay House World Summit interview that we are all like fingers belonging to the same hand.

What all of this means is that in order to find love in a situation, we have to remember that we are no different from one another.

We have to remember our unity, our connection, if we truly want to find peace in our lives. All of us lead back to the same point of origin: so if you're pissed off at someone, you're really pissed off at yourself.

So to get back to the octopus talk. Here's what really gets me remembering that we're all connected:

I picture you and i like octopus legs, flailing around one giant octopus head.

This should help you with the idea of 'oneness' because if you think about it, octopus legs are all the same, and they're all connected. One octopus leg never looks at another octopus leg and says "we have nothing in common!" 

All the octopus legs belong to one octopus, and all of us belong to the same divine origin (aka, octopus head). 

I realize this is getting a little strange-sounding, but this is legitimately the image that came smack down into my head one day and brought love to a situation where I felt afraid. So that's why I'm sharing it with you.

The point is it's hard for us to find love in our lives because we have trouble finding that sweet connection with the people around us.

Our separation from one another will always lead us down the road of anger, fear, anxiety and upset, and it will always keep us divided (and partially insane).

So my trick to finding love in every situation has two parts: 

The first part is the octopus.

I'm a leg, everyone else is a leg, and we all stem back to the same head. You are a part of me. You are no different.

Seen in this light, how can I ever be hurtful to another person? How can I ever disassociate with something that is a part of me?

As the Course in Miracles says, "No one dismisses something he considers part of himself."

Recognizing our connectedness makes me want to be kind and gentle with every person (tentacle!) that I meet.

The second part is a single sentence: there is only one of us here. 

So if I'm in a situation where it's really hard to love, I remind myself that there is truly only one of us here.

There isn't a person over there, different from me, against me, being condescending towards me, etc.

There is only me, inside of another physical being, and there is me, inside of my own physical being. 

This idea that we are all each other can get really interesting if you have some fun with it.

Taken one step further, if we are all one, it means you've accomplished quite a bit in the world. 

You've built the skyscrapers in your home city. 

You are a mother of eight. 

You've been to the top of Mount Everest. 

You've written an oscar-winning screenplay.

There's no room for jealousy or envy ever, because you've already accomplished so much through your connectedness with everyone else.

If all of your little octopus tentacles are swimming in a beautiful sea, how can you not also be there? 

But I get it, this doesn't always work for everyone. I'm deep in the Course in Miracles mind training right now, so I'm all blissed out about everything being one and holy and loved.

But just know that once you do put on this perspective, it's difficult to be loveless towards other people.

It gets harder to judge a beggar, a rude person in a store, or even a friend for doing something you wouldn't...when you picture that person as you. 

Our dividedness leads to madness. 

To take this image further, and maybe to help you get a clearer idea of what some of this means, there's a lovely image that might help you remember that in any situation, you are always talking to yourself.

Picture this:

A blanket of stars across the night sky. All of the stars form an image of a man hunched over, with his chin in his hand, almost like he's staring out a window, thinking.

This image of one man, made up of a million little stars, is my image of oneness. We are the million little stars, and we make up a single, peaceful entity.  

No separate beings, no daunting mountain of tasks to 'get us somewhere', no 'other people out there' ahead of us or doing better than us. 

Just one of us. Just me. One man, sitting here, made out of stars.

And there's something so peaceful about that, something remarkably relaxing, about not feeling like everything is separate and mounting against you. That you are actually just one, breathing being, and when you look out your window, it's just you there.

And this is how I find the love in every situation I am in.

Because when you see yourself in everything, you're a lot kinder to everything. 

If you're having trouble finding something to love about a situation, remember that in any situation, it's always you. Everything is one of your tentacles. (Feel free to substitute the word 'tentacles'). 

It may take some time to see this, and you might never see it. But it's something to think about. 

If you want to start small today, grab one of these wallpapers below and save them to your phone. That way, each time you look at it, you're reminded of our shared connection with each other. :) 

Ready to Say Sorry? Don't Forget to Apologize to Yourself, Too.

You deserve an apology, too. 

I know fighting with someone is hard, and often times we find ourselves apologizing, but we need to remember to apologize to ourselves too.

And here's why. 

Every time we're fighting with someone, we're actually fighting with ourselves. 

Here's an example. 

Let's say someone's talking smack about you. You know what they're saying isn't true, so you're upset, you're hostile, and you're cursing. 

You very nearly hate this person, but this means that you hate yourself too.


Because on some deep level, you believe what they're saying about you is true. And that's what's actually making you upset. There's something inside of you that's saying maybe people really do see me like this, I must be like this in some way...

And that's when we begin to attack and fight with ourselves, more so than the actual person we're fighting with. 

When you're in a fight with someone you're really saying, "there's something about you, that I don't like about me."

Every judgement or attack statement we make about other people, is a call for love for ourselves.

And we become the only person we're really fighting with. 

So if we're fighting with ourselves, we need to apologize to ourselves too

Here's a shining example I experienced recently. 

I read this insanely good book called The Kind Worth Killing. When I was done with it, it kind of messed with my head and I couldn't stop thinking about how good it was.

When I went to bed that night, I woke up around 2am, and it seemed like all my subconscious wanted to do was play out the book. It got to the point where I wasn't even willingly thinking about the book anymore, my mind was thinking about it on its own.

And I started having these weird nightmares, the ones where you feel like you're awake in your room but you're not really. 

So the entire night I kept tossing and turning from my nightmares, which resulted in my boyfriend's tossing and turning, and from 245am - 5am, I was going in and out of weird sleep. 

Right when we woke up the next morning, I instantly apologized. For good reason! I'd kept him tossing and turning all night because of MY tossing and turning all night. And while this apology was completely valid, it made me feel as though I had done something wrong. 

And I felt bad.

I felt like I hurt him in some way, and messed up his entire night. Some thoughts that followed were: I shouldn't have read that stupid book, I shouldn't have got so hooked on it, I shouldn't be reading scary books anymore.

Attack, attack, attack. And the boyfriend? He wasn't attacking me at all. He'd accepted my apology, and even apologized himself! 

But for me it was like a flood of blame and bad feelings all directed at myself. 

Luckily it didn't take long for me to become aware of it. And while I did apologize to my boyfriend, I also gave myself a little hug and apologized to my SELF too, because what I had forgotten was...I didn't get much sleep either!

I'd completely forgotten that while yes, I had unfortunately kept him awake, I really gave no consideration to myself. I was just as tired the next day, and deserved an apology too (from myself). 

The key takeaway here is, in every situation, you have to remember yourself. 

This goes the same for when you're experiencing anxiety. 

My driving anxiety used to be horrible, but one day I just flat our apologized to myself. I said, I'm sorry for scaring you at stoplights.

It was as though all along, I realized I was the one scaring myself, and the one being scared at the same time. I was doing all the damage. 

So as the one scaring myself, I apologized to myself for making things scary that actually weren't. And in doing so, it was easier to see that the things I was scaring myself about weren't actually real. Apologizing for them made my scared self a little more comforted. 

It's really a matter of us all needing, on some level, to be looked after, to be consoled and comforted.

We need to give a little love to ourselves, so we can get a little love for ourselves.

Where else are we supposed to get it, if we're not giving it to ourselves?

Even sometimes getting apologies from the person we're angry with doesn't feel that great, so we might as well apologize to ourselves for going through it to begin with. Even if you're apologizing to yourself FOR the other person. 

You can say something like, I'm sorry he made you so upset or I'm sorry you had to go through that.  

Try it the next time something's bothering you, you'd be surprised how much better you'll feel!

Also, you deserve it.


13 Bold-Face Lies That Keep Us From Love + A Bunch of Truths to Believe Instead

"Pain is the ego's peak experience."   - Marianne Williamson

When you get right down to it, we can blame pretty much everything that's gone wrong in our lives on lies we've been telling ourselves. 


For the past 2 years now I've been operating under a terrific lie that says "every time I drive, I will get into a horrific car accident". 

And my track record will show a pretty lengthy list of lies that say things like "I'm the only one with this problem" and "everyone else gets to be happy but I have to suffer".

Sound familiar?

Think of a time when something went really wrong in your life, and I'm sure you can dig up a lie you told yourself to make that situation what it was. Something like "this person doesn't love me, it's because I'm unlovable" or "things aren't working out the way I want them to, I don't have what it takes".

It actually hurts my heart to write some of these things out, because I've thought them myself, and I know I'm not alone. 

The things is, love is all there is. And when you start believing in something other than love, the world will do its best to prove you right.

If you've been telling yourself the bold-faced lie that you're anything but love, this lie will keep you from love any chance it gets.

It becomes a barrier to love, and any time you nurture these barriers, which are things like fear, anger, jealousy, or worry, you're actually denying love, and in so doing you're denying who you are, which is really uncomfortable.

(Headaches, heartaches, overall sadness).

Now before you start blaming yourself for all these barriers you've put up, don't. Love isn't about blame, and love is all you are. There's a little friend inside of you who enjoys this blame game though, and that's the ego. 

Love is all you are at your core, but in this bodily form on earth, the ego likes to rule the roost, and it's the one that's scolding you right now for all the things you might be thinking about yourself.

But let's just put the ego on hold for now, and take a closer look at all these bold-faced lies we tell ourselves on a daily basis, so we can understand that that's all they are, and have a better life. 

Bold-face lie #1: I am alone

You are never, ever alone, because you are connected to everything. Not to mention, you have love inside of you, which runs through everything you see, hear, feel, and think. You can't be apart from the love that created you, it's impossible. The next time you feel like you are alone, look at your hair and nails. Something is with you, growing that stuff. 

bold-face lie #2: i can't change who i am or how i think

More like you are unwilling to change who you are and how you think. I know all about unwillingness. It's the same unwillingness I had to talk myself out of every time I got into a car and told myself there was no way I could drive myself home. You have to say out loud "I am willing to see this differently." You'll feel an instant shift in your perception, as a small part of you moves away from the stubbornness of staying stuck in one spot, and you quickly realize that's all that has been keeping you stuck in one spot - stubbornness.

bold-face lie #3: i am not good enough

There is no lack in you. There is so much overflowing love inside of you, you can't even see it. Author Matt Kahn says it's kind of like when you hold your hand really close to your face. You can't see your whole hand, because it's completely overtaking your whole vision - that's what love is like. It's so big, it's so you, that you can't even see it

Saying that you are not smart enough, good enough, pretty enough, or anything enough, is a blatant disregard for everything that you are. There is no lack in love, there is no lack in you. If you're alive, if you're breathing in and out as a result of the miraculous universe that created you, you are a smashing success.

Bold-face lie #4: life is scary

Our illusions are scary. The way we treat each other when we're not operating from a source of love, is scary. But life is only as scary as we make it out to be. We have the choice to see fear or love in any situation, and surrendering to love when we feel afraid makes all the difference in the world. When we start nurturing ourselves and operating from our inner love source, life can be crazy beautiful, even with all the challenges. Especially with all the challenges.

Scary is good. Scary is your friend. Scary is a teacher. Scary shows you a little something about yourself that needs more love.

Bold-Face LIE #5: People are crazy

People are only crazy when we choose to see them as crazy. There's a line in the Course in Miracles that says something about how love is the ability to see the sanity behind the eyes of an insane person. That is the true sight that is required of us. It's too easy to look at someone we don't agree with and call them crazy. If we call other people crazy, we're really just admitting that our perceptions are crazy, because only crazy sees crazy. And we only see what we think about ourselves. 

Bold-face Lie #6: There is no hope for me (and nothing helps)

The ego loves to see things as end-all be-all, but you come from the infinite. There is no end to you. Everything in front of you is temporary. 

When you say there's no hope for you, you're choosing a loveless place. A place where nothing can be healed, and no light can be let in. This is a place with no willingness to see things differently, and willingness is crucial for your growth. And your growth is especially stunted if you dismiss all of your miracles as 'not helping'. Sometimes miracles take the form you least expect, and it's up to you to see it for what it is!

Bold-face lie #7: I hate

It's easy to say this one. I'm guilty of it for little things especially. (i.e., I hate this stupid show!) But there is no hate where you come from, and it's especially poisonous to the mind, body, and spirit, when it's directed at another person. It's one of the easiest lies (and traps) to fall into, and once you're there, the only person you're hurting is yourself. Every attack on another person is an attack on yourself. 

Bold-face lie #8: I can't do this (resisting the present)

You're capable of doing anything and everything. Anything you THINK you can't do, is just that - a thought.

Have you ever tried giving in to the moment? Have you ever tried seeing what it feels like to just surrender to whatever it is you feel is an attack, and feel the moment for what it is?

I'll let you in on a terrific secret - it's peaceful to surrender. Resistance is the most painful experience, because you're not letting the natural occurrence of things naturally occur. You're preventing the entire universe from wanting to express itself through you, with insane mind games and aversions. 

Going through a tough time? Go through a tough time. Feeling like you have to vomit? Vomit. Let your feelings guide you through, they're there for a reason. 

Bold-face lie #9: I am afraid

Being afraid is a lie because fear is an illusion. I'm not saying to never be afraid (I've had my share of times), but I'm saying to understand that when it's there, know that it's not a real thing. You are a child of God filled with light through and through. There is no alternative in you.

Bold-face lie #10: I'll believe it when I see it

Seeing in this three-dimensional world is overrated. Don't trust what your physical eyes show you, they're showing you an illusion (a pretty clever one at that). Not to say the world around us isn't important, but don't base your beliefs on the things your physical eyes are showing you. They will disappoint you every time.

See with your other eye instead, the one that sees beyond what your physical eyes show you, the one that sees the good, and the love, in everyone. This will bring out the love inside of them, so your physical eyes can see it too. 

Bold-face lie #11: I am independent, I don't need anyone

Contrary to popular belief, you don't need to be independent. You need to love, and feel your connectedness with the world. The further out you go into that isolating world of independence, the further you separate yourself from the whole, and it's really freakin' depressing to feel separate from the whole. It's obviously fine to go out and live by yourself physically, but don't ever lose your connection with the world, or think that you ever have to do this life thing by yourself

Bold-face lie #12: I am different

It's nice to think that we are all unique and special, and on the outside yes, we are all beautifully diverse, but on the inside, we are all the same.

Different can be painful sometimes. If you're a creator, always trying to do things differently is hard, and when you think other people are different from you in a way that's better than you, it's especially sad. We are all love on the inside, and when one of us succeeds, we all succeed, because nothing separates us. Recognizing our sameness is what will help us, more than dwelling on our differences. 

Bold-face lie #13: I am loved by no one

This is the biggest, fattest, trickiest lie of them all. I wish I could scoop you up in my arms every time you felt unloved and tell you that you're absolutely loved, and there is never a moment you are not.

Even when we're at our worst, when our minds eat up every loving thought, when we can't even get out of bed because we feel so horribly mental, we're swathed in love, like every baby you've ever seen.

If you walk away not remembering a single line from this post, please remember that every time you think an unlovable thought about yourself, you are lying to yourself, and you are attacking the sweet, rosy-cheeked baby self that you are. Don't attack the baby. Close out this window today and do what you need to do, but don't attack the baby. 

A lot of these lies might be part of your normal thought patterns and self-talk, and that's okay. I'm guilty of a lot of them as well, and I love that our minds have the power to twist us up into these wildly unloving monsters. I find it intriguing. 

But know this, if they have the power to twist us up into wildly unloving monsters, they also have the power to twist us up into wildly loving light workers, bringing peace and love to everyone we meet. 

Remember that no matter how convincing your mind can be in getting you to believe these lies, it's also capable of convincing you of the opposite.

It's capable of convincing you that you're something more than ego psycho babble. It's capable of delivering you the sweetest, kindest downloads from the love that resides within you.

And one of those downloads is right below this post. 

I've compiled a magical list of TRUTHS about you. While the above post is an entire list of bold-face lies, it's time to face the truth of who and what we are. 

We are not what we think, we are not our minds, and we are not at the effect of our ego's attacks. 

If you can review the above list at least once a day, maybe some of these truths will actually start to sink in, so you can have some semblance of control when these lies attack you from all sides. 

17 Times Liz Gilbert Reminded Us That We Were Insanely Magical

Every so often a book will come along that will drag you from the depths of your own bitter perception of yourself, and lift you up to the sun. 

And sometimes you have to keep re-reading it so you can keep reminding yourself of the true magic that you are, that you actually have a right to be in this magical universe, and that you don't need anybody's permission to create, to love, or to just be yourself

Liz Gilbert's Big Magic was that book for me. (Along with Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, naturally). 

First, let me just say, Liz Gilbert is magical, just like you and I of course, but I think anyone will agree she is overtly magical, and anything she says well, I'd like to just eat up and store in my cheek like a squirrel for years to come.

It's one thing when you have someone telling you that you CAN do things, you CAN make things and you DO have permission, but it's another when they back it up with magic and things like divinity and enchantment.

And let's face it, things like magic and divinity are simply more attractive than just hearing someone tell you point blank, hey, you can do this!

Throughout the course of Big Magic, I learned that my fling with inspiration and creativity is deeply meaningful (and also not so meaningful), but meaningful in the way that the outcomes don't matter at all. That you make art for the thrill of it, for the release of it, more so than the success of it. 

This is inherently beautiful because we stunt our creativity and inspiration by placing the importance of our art in the hands of other people. We just give the thing away. 

I'm guilty of this.

If I'm making someone that no one else is excited about, it bums me out. I feel like I'm off creating something nobody wants and that I'm just following some made-up pattern of failure that I was born into. 

But Liz Gilbert reminds us of our very own Big Magic in this book, and while I can probably list about 100 times she inspired me to create unapologetically throughout it, I'll narrow it down to 17 that apply to all sorts of situations, like remembering who we truly are, and owning up to our true magnificence.

Here are 17 times Liz Gilbert reminded us that we were insanely magical.

(Please remember this). 

#1 you are worthy dear one, regardless of the outcome

#2 your soul has been waiting for you to wake up to your own existence for years

#3 You are a child of God, just like everyone else

#4 You are a constituent of this universe

#5 You have invisible spirit benefactors who believe in you, and who labor alongside you. The fact that you are here at all is evidence that you have the right to be here.

#6 You have a right to your own voice, and a right to your own vision.

#7 You have a right to collaborate with creativity, because you are a product and a consequence of creation.

#8 Is it delusional of me to place infinite trust in a force that I cannot see, touch, or prove -- a force that might not even actually exist? Okay, for the sake of argument, let's call it totally delusional. But is it any more delusional than believing that only your suffering and your pain are authentic? Or that you are alone -- that you have no relationship whatsoever with the universe that created you? 

#9 We are all the chosen few

#10 Creativity is the hallmark of our species. We have the senses for it; we have the curiosity for it; we have the opposable thumbs for it; we have the rhythm for it; we have the language and the excitement and the innate connection to divinity for it. 

#11 Your very body and your very being are perfectly designed to live in collaboration with inspiration, and inspiration is still trying to find you.

#12 Human beings are possessed of something special, something extra, something unnecessarily rich, something that the novelist Marilynne Robinson calls 'an overabundance that is magical'. 

#13 I live in a most remarkable world, thick with mysteries.

#14 I believe we are all capable at times of brushing up against a sense of mystery and inspiration in our lives. 

#15 Your life is short and rare and amazing and miraculous, and you want to do really interesting things and make really interesting things while you're still here. 

#16 The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them. 

#17 We are all walking repositories of buried treasure.

Separation is Hell (Or Why You Shouldn't Do This Life Thing Alone)

"You think you have all of these problems but you really only have one, and that is your separation from God." - Marianne Williamson

From what I know about life, separation is hell. 

Or rather I should say, from what I know about life since reading A Course in Miracles separation is hell, but I've long since known it was hell even before that particular text found me at the Last Bookstore in Downtown LA a few months back. 

Simply put, when you think you are alone in the world, in life, in any situation, a slow, subtle madness ensues. 

Don't act like you've never witnessed it in yourself. It's there, and it's real. 

(Well, it's real enough in the sense that you believe in it, but luckily for us, it's not really Real. More on that in another post). 

People go crazy in isolation, that's why it's used in punishment and torture. 

When you're separate from the whole, you feel no connection to anything and you have nothing to anchor yourself to, nothing to turn to for comfort. 

When you don't have the solid belief that someone or some thing is with you protecting you, comforting you, and keeping you sane when there's no physical people around you (a la Castaway's Wilson), you descend into terrible mania, and this mania has the power to worm its way to your 'self-destruct' button so fast you won't know what hit you.  

Take for example social anxiety. 

You're nervous about going on a first date. Why? 

Because there's pressure to get someone to like you, and you're not comfortable because there's nothing familiar around you. It's not like your friends are there with you, or someone you feel comfortable around. 

You're stranded all alone with this stranger who you're trying to impress. Keyword being "alone", and there's no relief from the situation. 

It spirals and things get worse. You trip over your words, and you frantically look around and adjust your position so you don't look awkward or weird or uncomfortable. 

There's no safety.

When you feel like there's no safety, it's a sure sign you're going it alone, and that's exactly why you feel the anxiety.

And let's be honest, a lot of us don't feel worthy in a lot of ways, so it's a lot of pressure to try and do and be all of these great things like be in healthy relationships and be solid entrepreneurs, when we don't feel all that great about ourselves to begin with.

And then when we fail to do something we really wanted to do, we blame ourselves like crazy because we gave it everything we had, and we tried so hard, and all the pressure was on our shoulders and we still didn't see the results we wanted.

And we get in terrible slumps because we feel so incredibly alone in all of the things we are trying to do, be, and make happen. And we feel like we have no help. 

And so this is where it all starts clicking into place. 

We weren't supposed to try and go it alone to begin with.     

We are not now, nor have we ever been, alone, and we can't continue thinking that it's our duty as adults to strike out on our own and be independently separate from everyone else. 

Ultimately, we cannot trust that we alone are capable of doing and being everything. 

Because imagine how much horrible pressure that would be?

Imagine having to do something heroic, like jump out into the ocean to save a stranger from drowning. Imagine relying on only yourself to save that person, feeling like you're the only person who was responsible for their LIFE! 

You'd probably drown yourself trying to do it.

And what if that person had died? Surely that's crossed your mind while swimming out there trying to save them.

The truth is, no one can bear that much pressure, and I promise you're not supposed to. 

This goes for smaller things too, like doing stuff that scares you in general. Being in social situations you find extremely uncomfortable. Riding in an airplane or going outside when you have severe agoraphobia. 

Imagine having to do all that by yourself? 

This is why we have phobias in the first place, because we believe wildly that some crazy thing might happen to us and no one will be there to save or help us. Certainly not our unreliable selves.

I'd love to break it to you again that you are not now and have never been doing this life thing alone

There is nothing separating us from love, and from each other. It's an illusion, a trick of the eyes as we reside in the physical realm. 

If you think for a second that the very universe that created you could in any way be separate from you, take a look at your own creativity for a second. 

Is there anything that you've ever created in your life that wasn't yours? Is there any work of art that you've spent time and effort creating that didn't belong to you?  


If you paint a picture on a piece of paper, it's yours. It's your work of art. 

So the real truth is, you are love's work of art.

The Course in Miracles says you are an idea in the mind of God. (And a great one, I might add). 

You were created by a universe that wants nothing but to cherish you and all that you've become. And the best part is, so was everybody else

That guy you just tipped at Starbucks was created by love. 

That crazy chick in the red Volkswagen that just cut you off was also created by love. 

The people in your life who make you miserable are just as loved as you, and they are just as deserving of that love, because they came from the same place you did, and they have the same creator

We're not separate, my friends. We're family

For worse or for better, we belong together (we hear you Pat Benatar). 

So what's the key takeaway? 

Don't go through this life believing that person is over there, and you are over here, because you're separating yourself from the pack, and when cells in the body do that, it creates a tumor (thank you Marianne Williamson).

So don't be cancerous. Stick with the pack and we'll all be alright.

Turn to love, God, the universe, or whatever you call that divine being that created us all. It's your only shot at peace and salvation. Everything else is a short-lived distraction, and you deserve to remember and return to the divine peace that always dwells within you. 

If a lot of this seems hard to get the hang of, I've created a 30 Days of Love series to help guide your thinking each morning into a mindset of love and wholeness with the world around you, and to remind you that there is always divinity within you.

Always remember that separation is nothing more than a jarring ass illusion, often times made worse by society's reinforcement of it, but don't believe the physical senses. They're causing you stress, overwhelm, fear, and anxiety, and there's another way to live. 

You're connected to the whole, and this Buddha Doodle illustrates this idea perfectly.  

We are all little bits of each other. And when you return to the love inside of you that connects us all, you will know peace. 

How to Love Yourself When You're Sick (Plus a Bunch of Free Meditations That'll Help You Feel Better)

I'll be the first to admit that being sick sucks. Let's just get that out in the open before we dive in, because I haven't quite mastered the secret sauce to NOT being sick, but I've recently learned to come to grips with sickness as it happens in my own body, and how I recently learned to love myself through it. 

And I'm confident that you can too. 

Recognize negative thoughts and words

First off, we're in perfect control over our thoughts and words. Every thought we think, and every word we speak, is a choice, which leads to an entirely self-created world. 

When we're sick, negative words and thoughts abound. 

I hate my throat right now.

I feel like I'm dying. 

My f*cking nose won't stop running.

This is the WORST ever.

You might be lying in bed, throat on fire, eyes watering, nose so stuffed you're breathing only through your mouth. 

Your head aches from all the congestion. 

The area just above and behind your eyes pounds and your lips are chapped to hell. 

Every thought and word dances down a fiery spiral of negativity and hate. 

And since our body is merely a vessel responding to this negative fire spiral, it's just doing what it's told. 

For example: 

Mind: I hate my throat right now. 

Throat: Right back at ya, let's keep doing this fiery phlegm dance. 

Because when was the last time anyone said I love you after you told them that you hated them? (Tweet this!)

Before we can heal ourselves, we need to recognize all the negative things we think and feel about our bodies when we're sick, and take responsibility for the way our body reacts to them. 


As you're resting in bed recovering, gently steer the hate thoughts directed at your body to more loving thoughts. 

Mind: I feel your pain, thank you for telling me how you feel, I love you, and we can heal together.

Throat: Okay, let's do this xoxoxxoxo

Uncovering the reason for our sickness

Without playing the blame game, try to lovingly uncover the reason for your sickness. 

The reason this is important is because we need to wrap our heads around why we are out of alignment, because this has caused our sickness to begin with.  

Sickness is really just a call for attention from our bodies.

It's a bit like a little baby that cries when it needs to be fed, or when it falls on its face.

When it happens, you want to know what happened. Why is the baby upset? How can I fix it? 

Our bodies should be treated with the same love and attention we give to small children. (Tweet this!)

Just because you're an adult, doesn't mean you deserve any less love and affection.

If you're sick, look around at what's going on in your life and try and figure out the root of why it's happening so you can accept the reason that it's there. Once you've realized hey, I'm sick because I have a lot on my plate right now, it's much easier to sit with your sickness and say okay, I hear you, I know why we're going through this.

The last time I was sick, it was because I didn't speak up about something that caused me stress. I wasn't being open and honest about something that was bothering me in my personal life, and for that reason, my throat held a massive rally of fire and flame to let me know what was up. And it didn't hesitate to invite all of its friends (nose, sinuses, headache, etc). 

The great thing about this was, I recognized why the sickness was there when it showed up, and realized I was the reason for it, which made it easier to not be so upset about it being there in the first place. 


What's going on in your life right now? Meditate on the recent events in your life, acknowledging reasons that might have put your body out of alignment. Are you working too hard? Are you getting enough sleep? Is there someone in your life you don't know how to deal with? 

Figure this out so you can be more accepting of why your sickness is there in the first place.

Acknowledge the presence of sickness, and Be sick (so you can heal)

It sounds contradictory to tell yourself to be sick when you're sick, but I believe it's an important part of the healing process, because it involves acknowledgment. 

A lot of being sick is resisting being sick.

There's a lot of resistance to the pain we feel when we're sick. We take drugs to numb it all, and we knock ourselves out so we don't have to feel anything.  

But the whole reason we're sick is because we're resisting something that's trying to make itself seen and heard.

In some way, we aren't living and being our authentic selves, and it's showing up easily in our body. We have to understand that our sickness shows up to let us know something, to send us a message, and when we ignore or resist it's message, the pain gets worse.  

We have to acknowledge its presence, give it a kiss on the head and say thank you, I hear you. I'm glad you're here to let me know what's going on.

When I was sick back in December, I could feel my throat itching like mad while I lay in bed those first couple of nights. It was that feeling right when you know your sickness is about to start, and the first couple days feel awful. 

But I thought you know what, I'm tired of beating myself up and when has that ever worked? You can't beat something into healing.

I decided to settle down and tune in so I could hear my body's rally cry for attention. I envisioned myself inside my throat as a loving angel, listening, holding, and attending to every little pain, acknowledging its presence, and letting it know that I loved it anyway.

Amazingly enough, I was able to sleep. And I never really hit the point of needing to knock myself out with anything. 

It was like I was communicating with my body and we were both working together to feel better. 

It's a magical feeling to be able to actually feel and hear what your body is trying to tell you. 

I wanted to love it and tend to it. I wanted to rock it back and forth and tell it that it was loved no matter what. 

Hugging myself also helped, and stroking my own head the way maybe a grandma or a mother would do to her baby. 

We would get through this together. 


Just be sick already, so you can heal. Admit it. Sit with it. Feel it. Let your body run its natural course for healing.

If any resistance comes up, make room for it to sit down next to you. It's okay to have resistance, but let the overall feeling be I will listen to what my body is telling me, and I will let it do what it needs to feel better. We will feel better through feeling everything. 

Our bodies are doing the best they can.

Our bodies know what to do when we're sick, and one of the best things we can do is to create a loving environment for this to happen. 

Cherish yourself. Try to be unconditional when it comes to loving your body, and yourself. Your body deserves love even when it seems to be hurting you from all sides.

Think of pain as a notification. If we pay attention to our phone notifications, we can give a little attention to our bodies as well. (Tweet this!)

If the things above seem too big right now, I would start with some healing meditations to get you in the mindset of healing and loving your body. Meditation is especially helpful if you're currently sick and you don't feel like even attempting to listen to your body. 

It'll help you relax and get in tune with your body's messages without having to do too much on your part, and your body will love it.

To help you get started, I've compiled a sweet little bundle of healing meditations for you to listen to. I've listened to all of them, and I can personally vouch for feeling better because of them.  

Also, a good spiritual blogger friend of mine, Melissa Field, shared with me the idea of trying what's called the 'breath of fire' when you're sick. 

If you're not familiar with breath of fire, it's a rapid breathing technique in Kundalini yoga that creates heat in the body, and allows your mind to become clear so you can see what's going on with you. 

As you can imagine, this might be particularly cleansing when you're sick. Particularly if you're having trouble breathing! Check out Melissa's post on breath of fire here. She really knows her stuff, and recently used it to help her with a cold she was trying to get through.

And if you have any other healing meditations/techniques that you would suggest, please share them in the comments below so we can all benefit from them! 

And lastly, if you liked this post, I would love, love, love it if you could share it with someone who needs to hear it. Someone in your world could be feeling miserable right now, and I'd love for them to know that they can tap into that deep, loving part of themselves and feel better.

What are your thoughts on being sick? Have you tried this method of healing before?

Always rooting for you and your healing! 



6 Scenarios That Cause Anxiety and How to Respond to Each of Them With Love

Anxiety is a giant cliff of what-if, and you always feel super close to falling off of it.

A REAL cliff is pretty scary, but the cliff in our mind is a cliff we make scary. Nothing happens if we fall off the cliff in our mind, we just make damn sure that we know what could happen if we did, and we get thoroughly freaked out about it.

The answer to this what-if cliff stuff is love. Love for ourselves, our thoughts, and our situations, no matter how stress-inducing they are. 

Love allows us to see through situations that initially feel pretty scary, rather than avoid them. It allows us to look at the bigger picture of what's going on, rather than what's going on on the surface.

For example, an unfortunate car accident might mean a drastic opportunity to heighten your faith, rather than a drastic life disaster.

A blunder during a big meeting might mean an opportunity to give yourself more love, rather than bitter self-criticism. 

Bad things don't happen to us because we are somehow deserving of them, or that we're going about life the wrong way, they happen to us so that we can enhance our experience of life. So we can learn a few lessons and re-teach ourselves what it means to love ourselves throughout every obstacle.

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I recently teamed up with writer and artist Julia Travers to talk a little bit about how we can respond with love to scenarios that cause anxiety, fear, worry, and dejection.

It's rare that we get a glimpse into what makes another person feel anxious or worried, but in teaming up with Julia, we exchanged 3 scenarios that made us feel low on our self-worth, and each wrote a loving response to the other's fear/anxiety. 

It's like we teamed up to give each other a little love for the situations that personally get the best of us, and the experience was so rewarding. Sometimes you just need to hear how another person responds with love to a situation that YOU have difficulty with, to get a different perspective on things.

I hope you'll be able to see yourself in some of these scenarios, and know you're not alone.

SCenario #1 - Julia's loving response to the comparison trap. 

You try so hard in your business as a solopreneur to be the best out there in what you do, but it feels like so many people are doing so much better than you, and are scaling upward at a much faster rate. How do you stay loving towards yourself, during those times when you're feeling the 'compare and despair' creep in?  

It's hard to push ourselves forward to compete without becoming complete tyrants, reigning over ourselves with uncompromising expectations. While it's important to stay abreast of your field and how others are doing, comparing the success or worth of yourself and someone else is often dangerous.

If seeing someone have a great idea urges you forward, or you have an exciting competitive edge in your personality, that's all wonderful. If you feel, like many of us sometimes do, that someone else's success hurts or diminishes you, you are getting lost in a difficult place.

In this case, I hope I would take a break to do something I enjoy- sit outside, drink coffee, play with my cat. I would breathe and feel my breath in my body. I would reflect on something I have done that I am proud of. I would relax for a bit, and return to my work when I felt ready. This image from Amy Poehler's Smart Girls is a great reminder for women in particular to celebrate each other.  



You are having a wonderful, happy, amazing day.  Sometimes when this happens, you are afraid something will come and interrupt your happiness, or take it away. How can you respond lovingly to this anxiety?

It's interesting how we believe the bad times will last forever, but the good times have to be so fleeting, and I can completely relate to worrying that something will come along and sabotage me when things are going so good. 

However, this worry is unfounded. Nothing in our lives has ever happened, that hasn't been for our spiritual growth and evolution. When you embrace the fact that 'bad' things in life are really just our teachers, and that they actually contribute to our happiness by teaching us how to remember to love each other and ourselves, they become less of an anxiety and more of an opportunity.  

In these situations, it's best to have a strong spiritual foundation within yourself, so you feel spiritually equipped to handle the bad things when they do happen. Daily self-love and spiritual practices help you remember that you are 100% deserving of happiness, good days, and sunshine, so that when you're right smack in the middle of having an amazing day, you know you're experiencing the truth about yourself (love), and that even if something bad comes along, it doesn't make you any less lovable, worthy, or deserving. 

scenario #3 - Julia's loving response to rejection.

You submit your writing to a popular blogger for a guest post. You've refined your pitch and worked really hard at making the post something that the blogger's readers would enjoy - on top of everything, it's a huge blog that would get you so much exposure! But the blogger rejects your idea, and declines the post. How do you respond to yourself in a way that's more loving, rather than critical?  

First of all, I would let myself be upset. I am an emotional person, and for me, yelling into or throwing pillows sometimes helps. I might cry.

I did have one experience such as this, and a month later the post was accepted by another highly credible site, which I liked even better! While this is not always the case with disappointment, sometimes things evolve in pleasing ways further on down the road. When they don't it is really hard, and that's okay.

I would say to myself: "Hey, if you weren't personally invested in your work, there would be no point in writing. It’s okay for this to suck. I'm here for you." 

scenario #4 - monique's loving response to anxiety over looking good at social events.

You are going out to a social event, you love clothes, and you have an outfit in mind that you want to wear.  One the day of the event, the outfit doesn’t look right, and you start to tear through your closet trying on various combinations, feeling more and more frustrated, rushed, and unable to decide or feel attractive.  How can you react self-lovingly in this situation?

This has happened to me so many times! First I ask myself, who is saying the outfit I originally picked out doesn't look right? Did a friend or family member say it wasn't good enough, or was that just me?

It's important to figure out who is criticizing you before rushing into a harried state of getting ready - usually it's our own inner critic, and our own inner critic literally has nothing better to do than poke at the parts that aren't good enough, so it's best to recognize this and do your best to ignore whatever it has to say. 

But if the outfit really doesn't look right to you, and you're in a mad rush to get ready, I feel it helps to compare your current closet with an empty one. Someone out there has no clothes to choose from at all. When you look at your closet from that perspective, it helps you act from a perspective of abundance, rather than lack, which helps you feel rich in the clothing that you do have.

I also sometimes find it helps to see your closet with 'new' eyes. Do this by pretending it's not even your closet at all. Sometimes we look at our clothes and get so bored of wearing the same old thing, but really, no one else notices if we're wearing the same old thing. They don't notice at all, so put on what's appropriate for the occasion and feels most comfortable, and rock that sh*t!

Scenario #5 - Julia's loving response to holiday season overwhelm.

You're absolutely overwhelmed by the holiday season. You've got dozens of people to shop for, you're low on money, and you've got events for friends and family going on every weekend till the end of the year. How do you love yourself enough to get through it, without feeling anxious and overwhelmed?

I will actively schedule breaks into my schedule. If I have 3 social events this week, I will also schedule a "me event;" an hour or two by myself to not accomplish anything. I might nap, do yoga, or just watch TV.

On the other hand, the main approach I would take is trying to let go a little. If I am have a busy holiday season, and I've signed on for a lot of activities and shopping, that's my (hopefully somewhat exciting) world right now and tensing up around it, while natural, will not make it seem less chaotic.

There are times in life when things are a bit nuts, and it's best to try to go with a flow. I will also remind myself that if I'm truly overscheduled I can say no to some events, and that while finding the right gift is a pleasure, people who really love me, love me, and not my presents. I would definitely try to remember to breathe, stay in the moment, and ride the waves. I will remember Leonard Cohen's description of a saint

"He rides the drifts like an escaped ski. His course is the caress of the hill. His track is a drawing of the snow in a moment of its particular arrangement with wind and rock. Something in him so loves the world that he gives himself to the laws of gravity and chance." 

Scenario #6 - Monique's loving response to criticism about creative work.

You are hired to create a piece of work that requires you to use your creativity.  Upon receiving the piece, the client is very dissatisfied, asks you to revise the piece, and is aggressively critical.  How can you respond to the client and yourself in a professional way that also nurtures yourself? 

What I usually do when I receive criticism for something I wrote especially, is take out the bits that could be true. Maybe the piece WAS too wordy or too vague. I try and remove the emotion from the situation, and try to look at the criticism as objectively as possible, so I know exactly what I need to change. 

But FIRST, I usually will take a moment to hurt a little.

A lot of creativity and time goes into our work, and when someone is aggressively critical of it, it's hard to just make the changes quickly and move on.

If the time allows for it, I'll give myself a few hours to be a bit sad about it. This helps me process the hurt feelings I'll inevitably have, before putting my creative hat back on. Because if you jump right back into making revisions without giving yourself the time to heal, your revisions probably won't be as good as they could be. You might still be sour about it, and the feedback next time around might be even more critical! 

So give yourself time to process the feelings before revising and responding to the client. Trust that their aggressive criticism is actually stemming from some part of them that's afraid the project is not what they expected, that it will now take longer, never be perfect, etc. A lot of times other people's criticism has nothing to do with us. 

Give yourself the space to heal, make the corrections, and do your best to respond with love. 

If you're still worried about some things...

These scenarios are only a small glimpse into the situations that cause us worry, panic, and anxiety, but I hope the responses we shared will help you in situations where you find yourself worried, anxious, and unlovable. 

If you're still feeling like you want more loving ways to respond to anxious situations and negative self-talk, I've created 4 pages of self-love scripts for you to take with you today, for those situations where you just can't give yourself the love you need to get through it all. 

What situations do you have trouble responding to with love? Do you have any other loving responses to share? Tell us about them below!

Here Are the Actual Benefits of a Daily Self-Love Practice + A Free Workbook to Help You Start Yours

"by starting each morning with positive thoughts, affirmations, and words of wisdom, we can grow in body, mind, and spirit." - Louise Hay

We didn't learn to love ourselves in school. Nobody ever told us it was the key to getting through life, or that it was just as important (if not more) as brushing our teeth and getting to school on time. 

But this is why blogs exist, so we can finally hear it now. It's important. 

In fact, open the selfie mode on your phone right now and say to yourself, nothing is as important as loving myself. 

Go on. 

Silence all the other voices in your head that say it's a waste of time, and just say it once to your reflection in the mirror. You don't even have to believe it, just be willing to say it to yourself at least once. So your subconscious will eat it up.  

We hear stuff all over the place about how important self-love practices and rituals are, but today I'm going to give you the actual benefits of what happens when you actually practice daily self-love.

Because you're missing out on some truly awesome living. 

First off, here's the deal with self-love:

When we take time for ourselves, we become less irritable about doing things for other people.

You can't drive a car with an empty fuel tank, so you can't truly give yourself to other people until you fill yourself up with some good juju first.

And there is nothing selfish about filling yourself up with some good juju (aka love). That's a myth that my favorite self-love guru Amy Smith talks about at length in this very podcast

So if that's something that stops you from loving yourself, go listen to that podcast and come back, because her argument is very convincing (and true). There is nothing selfish about self-love. 

So without further adieu, I'd like to open myself up to you today and share with you the ACTUAL benefits of a daily self-love practice. Like, the real live guts of how setting a sacred space for myself every day has contributed to my overall mental health and well-being. 

Here are some of the actual and true benefits I've experienced since starting a daily self-love practice.

1. You can deal with people you don't even like. 

There's a few people in my life that I don't particularly like. We all have them, and in a perfect world, we'd be able to live without them, but this isn't a perfect world, so sometimes we just have to get over ourselves and live with them by putting love first. 

This doesn't happen over night, so here are some before/after "pictures" of me, in terms of using a daily self-love practice to deal with people I didn't like. 

Before: When I came in contact with people I didn't like, I'd inwardly roll my eyes, groan, physically ache, and literally predict that they were going to do me wrong, cause me stress/anxiety, boss me around, be mean, judge me, etc. I would cringe because I would absolutely know they were going to be horrible. (As if I knew the whole truth about everything and everyone).

Notice how all of the characteristics above put me as the "innocent" one, and put them as someone "separate" who is completely at fault. It was always something the other person was doing to me.

After: Now when I come in contact with people I don't like, the initial "ugh" that used to creep in still rises up, but then it slowly inches out. And it happens quickly. Instead of tension and physical pain, it slowly gives way to acceptance for who the other person is, and a comforting knowledge that I am not the gatekeeper for the way this person lives their life. 

I come into a slow understanding that this person in front of me is doing the very best they can, just the way I am. This person needs oxygen, water, and love the same way I do. 

On a much deeper level, I realize this person is a child of God, and that God loves this person just as much as he loves me. And if God can see the love in this person, then so can I. 

2. Problems aren't as catastrophically horrible. 

Nobody likes problems and when they happen, we tend to see only the problem and what this problem is doing to us, versus the fact that it's temporary as f*ck. 

Before: I once created a vlog for my blog subscribers, and I only had about 30 minutes to do it before I had to leave for work. It had been on my schedule to finish this video before work, or ELSE. 

The video was about 10 minutes long. When I'd finally gone through enough 'takes' and got comfortable rolling in front of the camera, I didn't have much time left before work, so by the time the video ended, I was super glad it was over, and proud of myself for having gotten it done. 

And then the video didn't save.

There was nothing but a black screen after it ended, and for some reason the whole thing was gone. I was fuming.

I did the whole thing over again, because hell if I wasn't going to get this thing done before work as planned!

But lo and behold, it STILL didn't save. I left for work that day nearly in tears, and you know what? The entire day after that SUCKED. 

The coffee was bad, the work was bad, the people were bad. EVERYTHING WAS BAD. And I was depressed and crying by the time I was sitting in traffic on the way home. All because of this stupid video not working, and me feeling like a complete failure. 

After: A few months after I started my daily self-love practice, and after this whole tragedy above, I was writing a blog post for this site in Squarespace. I had typed for literally 30 minutes, before the entire page suddenly reloaded and a window popped up that said "Safari quit unexpectedly". 

At first I thought, F*CK (and various other expletives). I closed my eyes and cursed in silent rage for about a minute. Then I took a deep breath, and started again. Instead of my previous rage, moaning things like "how am I supposed to remember all the stuff I just wrote!?" and throwing a fit like I used to, I just started writing, and thankfully, everything I'd written, I remembered. 

I gave myself a chance to start over. I accepted the fact that things were out of my control, as shitty as they were, but I believed in myself enough to know that I could write the whole thing over again, and that I was talented enough to recreate everything I'd just wrote. I had the most insane trust in myself, like something out of a Disney movie.  

I had the understanding that the past was now done. I couldn't do anything to retrieve that lost text. And I knew I could let go of whatever had disrupted me, and start again. The only thing we can really do in situations like that is to keep going. It's so easy to be angry when stuff like that happens, and who wouldn't be? 

But my daily self-love gave me the courage and trust in myself necessary to get back to work, to not get so wrapped up in the problem that was already over that I could do nothing about, and to just get the f*ck back to work. 

3. You're able to relate to strangers much easier.

Because believe it or not, when you love yourself, you start loving other people. Even people you don't know, and/or expect to dislike. 

When you have love for yourself, you're enough, and you're not expecting anything from the other person. You're able to sit and have a conversation with them without any expectation for them to like you, or for them to impress you. 

Before: I used to get really nervous in social situations, especially ones where I would meet people for the first time. I'd stay really quiet, rarely say anything about myself, and dread the thought of someone asking me a question about what I did for a living. I'd feel my face get so hot, and I'd start burning up from the inside out. 

I had an intense fear of people not accepting me. I'd feel so hurt and humiliated if I said something and someone questioned it, or didn't laugh if I said a joke. All of my worthiness was placed in the hands of complete strangers, and by the end of the event I'd replay in my mind what they must have thought about me, and how dumb and forgettable I was. 

After: Thank God for daily self-love. My practice has taught me to rediscover my own self-worth, and that it doesn't lie in the hands of other people. I no longer need to feel accepted by new people I meet, because I accept myself.

And now when it comes to talking about myself in front of other people, I recognize that other people aren't asking about me in order to judge me, but because they're genuinely curious. The only person judging me is me. And as long as I have an inner peace with myself about what I'm doing in my life, it makes me more comfortable when it comes time to talk about it with complete strangers.

It all comes down to what's going on with YOU. When you judge other people, it means you are judging yourself. 

4. It's easier to give love back to the people who love you, and to see the love behind their actions.

This pertains mostly to family, but it can apply to other people who are close to you. Sometimes family members and parents flood you with so much love and advice, you push them away. 

Before: I used to dread big family events. To me, they were simply opportunities for other family members to see what you were wearing, and judge you on life. 

If they asked me how work was, or how school/my boyfriend was, I always felt like they were just looking for some reason to make fun of me or put me down. To me, I was never acceptable, and something about me was always wrong, goofy, or stupid. 

After: I started to see my family's inquisition of me as a form of love. They were simply curious as to what was going on in my life, and I noticed that I did the same thing with my cousins who were much younger than me. 

I started to see them not as attackers, but friends who loved me very much, and I owed it to them to give them respect, love, and my full attention. No more was there a need to hide myself from them, because I started learning there was nothing wrong with me and who I was.

Low self-worth was something I had learned to think about myself over the years, but the small moments in my day that I took to give myself love, helped me unlearn all of that. Which made my family look to me less like attackers, and more like people who loved me, and I accepted their love with open arms.

5. You get an extraordinary amount of patience. 

Impatience is a form of resistance to be where you are. It reveals how unacceptable you think the present moment is, and it creates severe unrest in your mind and body. 

Before: I used to be completely unable to deal with how long it took to learn new things. If I couldn't learn a new platform that would seriously help me out in an evening, I'd get so frustrated and never try it again. If I couldn't get my new site up within a month, it wasn't worth it to me. If I couldn't get a guest blog post published in a week, all signs pointed to complete and utter failure. 

My mind was all about getting to the next thing that would get me to the other next thing and so on. I'd wake up anxious in the morning because I'd feel super impatient with how long it was taking me to finish my goals for that week, and I'd jump out of bed in a big fat rush because I felt like it was taking me forever to get where I wanted to be. 

As if I should want to be anywhere BUT where I am right now. 

After: A daily self-love practice (and a little Marie Forleo) taught me to make 'is-ness my business'. Right now is the only place that exists. If I want to get anywhere else other than where I am right now, it means I want to get to a place that does not exist.

I only ever want to experience the now. The journey that is this moment. The whole world is happening right now, in this moment. This is where the party is at! Why would I want to be anywhere else in my life? The things I want for myself in the future are incomparable to what is going on right this second. 

The sooner we learn that nothing beats the present moment, the easier it is to live in it. We get so much more relaxed and we allow everything that we want in our lives to fall in place. So much of life is just allowing the things we we want to happen, versus struggling for them. 

6. You rarely feel lonely.   

It's hard to feel lonely when nothing's missing in your life. Daily spiritual and self-love practices give you the kind of assurance and fulfillment you need to get through days where maybe you wish there was another person around. 

Before: I hated going home and being alone on a Friday or Saturday night. It felt like I was in high school with no friends. These were the party nights, and I had no one to party with.

I used to try and make myself feel better by putting on a movie and pouring a glass of wine, but I still felt like I was missing out on something fun. That somehow, being alone meant I was shunned from society, that I didn't fit in, that I was the only one in the world who was home alone, and that no one loved me. 

After: It took a few months, but I now enjoy being alone (to a great extent). It gives me time to work on my creative projects, meditate, or just wind down from being around people all of the time. It made me realize there is a particular energy and effort you have to put out there when you're around people, and being alone was like I was recharging that energy, so that I could go out into the world rejuvenated later.

On a more spiritual level, I know that God and the angels are always with me. They never leave my side, and haven't once since I took my first breath on this earth. I can feel God in the presence of everything around me. In the planes I hear, the clouds, the moon, the cars outside, the little bugs I find in my bathroom, everything. 

Isolation is hell.

There is nothing worse than feeling like you are all alone, and cut off from everyone else. 

Remembering that you are a part of the universal current, a part of everything on this earth, that you are never separate from the oneness that exists in all things, keeps you from feeling isolated and lonely. And if it weren't for my daily spiritual and self-love practices, I don't think I would have ever believed any of that. 

7. You start feeling like the richest person on earth. 

Self-love practices help you focus on all that is already abundant in your life. They allow you a special time each day to focus on things you are thankful for, and done often enough, it becomes second nature to find thankfulness in small things like spoons, brushes, and shoes. This creates a bigger picture for you of all the love in your life, and you feel rich as hell. 

Before: I never felt like I had enough of anything. I never had what I considered to be enough money to buy all the things I wanted. I never had anything to wear (ever), and I always felt like I was lacking in everything. Especially money! 

I also compared myself to everybody who was self-employed and making their own money. I felt like I wasn't business savvy enough to make money, or design savvy enough to make my blog look pretty. I never felt like I was where I wanted to be, and I never felt like I would get there. I lived in a constant state of I don't have enough and the world confirmed this for me, since this was my projection. 

After: I now feel as abundant as all of those people I used to compare myself to. Most days, I feel like the richest person on earth, and I haven't made a single dollar more than I used to. But it's because my daily self-love practice has taught me to see the riches in everything around me. Pillows, rugs, refrigerators. My own breath. 

I've created a kind of awareness about my life now, where I feel as though I am the observer. My mind isn't so quick to react to things, I feel like it's slowed down enough for me to savor and appreciate all the little things, and the little things add up to create this wonderfully abundant life. 

You just start realizing you already have so much, that anything added to it is just a bonus, and not necessary for contentment. 

So how the hell do I start my self-love practice?

At this point you might be wondering what a daily self-love practice looks like and how you might start one out. 

A daily self-love practice is the time you set aside each day to love yourself.

It can be 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, focusing on something that brings you inner peace. It shouldn't be just anything you do, just for the sake of doing it. It should be something that will actually inspire a shift in you, no matter how small, after you're done with it. 

It can be absolutely anything that lifts you up, from coloring, painting, and sketching to meditating, journaling, or praying. It's yours to work with. 

The lovely Sarah Starrs wrote a terrific blog post on 5, 10, 20, and 30-minute acts of self-love you could incorporate into your practice, and you can also get some other ideas via Jessica from Jessica Says, on quick morning rituals for when you're short on time

 You can journal, write down things you're grateful for, give yourself a foot, face, or hand massage, meditate, read, listen to an audiobook, whatever you want! 

I'm telling you, amazing things will happen once you start making time for yourself each day. 

For me, at this point it's like my medicine. If I don't get my morning time in, I start to get a bit out of sorts. The biggest things I need in my life are prayer and writing. If I don't make time for those, I pray for the people who have to be around me! (haha). 

If you want to experience any of the benefits I mentioned today, I encourage you to start a daily self-love practice. 

I've created a free mini workbook to help you get started below, if you're unsure of how to go about it. It comes with a fun activity to get you thinking about different activities you could possibly do, PLUS 30 different self-love activities to include in yours.

Give yourself this time. I swear to you, there is nothing more important than loving yourself.

What you do for yourself, you do for the world. 

What did you think of this post? Did any of these scenarios strike a chord in you? I'd love to hear your thoughts on self-love below!

Who Gives a Hoot About Self-Love? Here's The Main Reason You Should

People don't expect you to love yourself.

Who Gives a Hoot About Self Love

The truth is, a lot of people in the world feel better knowing that you don't. It's easier for them to take advantage of you, treat you like shit, and put you in a subservient position. 

Obviously, we are more than this, and that's the point of today's post. 

When you don't love yourself, every day, you're unconsciously opening yourself up to sabotage from other people.

Take Jane for example.

Let's say I had a friend named Jane who loved to make fun of people. Jane, of course, made fun of people because she was unhappy with herself, but more on that later.

Jane made fun of people, and it gave her great pleasure. 

One day, she openly makes fun of me to my face. This hurts my feelings, but I don't say anything, because I don't want to make her upset. 

So I'm putting up with her sabotage, because it's easier than telling her the truth about how it makes me feel, and having her get upset. 

This means I am more worried about her getting upset, and possibly hating me, than telling her she's hurting my feelings by sabotaging me every day. 

This is a very simple and obvious example of how we allow other people to treat us badly. And why do we allow it?

Because we don't feel worthy enough to say something.

We don't want other people to hate us, or think that we're mean (even though other people are mean to us).

But by not saying anything, I am effectively letting Jane go on thinking it's okay to hurt me, because I've done nothing to stop it.

And Jane gets much pleasure from this. In fact, you're making it easier on her. 

This is what I mean by people not expecting us to love ourselves. Because if we loved ourselves, we wouldn't be letting other people get away with not facing the fact that they don't love themselves.

And you know what else? We're not only sabotaging ourselves by not saying anything to the Janes of the world, but we are getting in the way of Jane's own self-growth by letting her continue to torture the people around her!

It's all a bunch of horrible, vicious cycling around and around. 

But this is where the self-love steps in like a fresh glass of cold, bubbly champagne. 

Let's say for the sake of this story that I made self-love a priority in my life, and I told Jane that I could no longer tolerate her bull shit, and if she wanted to remain friends, she would need to treat me with respect. 

This is all fine and well, and Jane might get pretty upset about this, but since I've said how I felt, I'm feeling good about it and I'm okay with her being upset about this for awhile, because it means I'm no longer subjecting myself to torture. 

The good news is, there is a very real possibility that Jane, hearing this, will want to change.

Maybe she really enjoys my company.

Maybe she has no other friends! 

And maybe my words have made her take a long hard look at herself, and she's realized there are some problems in her own life that she needs to confront, in order to be around the people she loves to be around.

By loving myself enough to confront her with how she makes me feel, I have just saved her life.

I have just helped her, in a very odd way, return to her own love, and face her own demons. 

My self-love, has just helped Jane love herself. 

THIS is the main reason why you should give a flyin' hoot about self-love. Because when you love yourself, you make space for other people to love themselves. 

How beautiful is that?

I know this doesn't apply to every situation, and I know it's not easy to have these conversations, and that sometimes, even when you do, the Jane in your situation might not be as receptive to change. 

But it's a start. (And I love fresh starts!)

When we start to love ourselves, we come to realize that WE are capable of making adjustments in our lives for our own betterment. And in fact we deserve our own betterment.

We feel so much better having finally been honest with ourselves and the world, about who we REALLY are. 

And what's more, self-love has the power to make you less judgmental of yourself, which makes you become less judgmental of other people. 

It's kind of like, when you love yourself, you put on these love goggles, and when you have these on, you start seeing everyone else as love too. 

And people are very receptive to your love.

Love is the most craved thing on this planet, and when you give it to people, they become the most remarkably beautiful (and more loveable) human beings. 

This is why self-love will change the world. 

Imagine if we loved ourselves enough to put an end to some of the torture that we see around us, and in our own lives? Imagine the world benefiting from something that's also benefiting you? 

What is your experience with self-love? what positive changes have you experienced in your life because of it?

Easy Ways to Love Yourself This Week + A Week's Worth of Self-Love Mantras

Loving yourself might be the last thing on your to-do list this week, but I’m here to tell you that your true self is aching for it, so what better time than now?

You don’t have to go overboard.

I know the road is long (I'm on it myself!). If you’ve struggled with adoring the person staring back at you in the mirror, it takes a long time to overcome some of the judgements you’ve formed about yourself.

But you can start this week. Right now. Every day actually. Just loving yourself an eensy bit more than you did yesterday. Here are a few, really simple ways to start:

Just for a few minutes this week, imagine yourself as a precious little baby.

Imagine that you were just born, and your family has finally been given the opportunity to see you for the very first time. Picture the looks on their faces when they get to meet you.

Picture grandma, who was probably breathless at the gorgeous sight of you. Maybe she even teared up a little bit, because everyone's been waiting for you, and you’re finally here.

The love in the room for you is palpable.

Everyone wants to touch your little fingers and little toes, and hold you close. Remember that who you were that day is who you still are.

You’re still the love that baby emanated from the hospital room that very day. See that baby in your head for a few seconds. If you were to see yourself at that size, how would you treat yourself?

Gently, and lovingly. Keep yourself warm, clean, and nurtured this week. Treat yourself as though you were the most precious thing in the world — because you are.

Say to the mirror “I’m going to love you just an inch or two more today than I did yesterday.”

Talking to the mirror is hard, I know.

I’m still working on some mirror work exercises from Louise Hay, and I still have trouble seeing around the judgements I have about myself.

But when I take the pressure off, when I say “I know this is hard, but I’m going to be patient with this. I’ll love myself just a bit more today. Just an inch.” It gets easier. It doesn’t seem like such a battle, because I’m not asking too much of myself. Just an inch.

Pick an affirmation or self-love mantra for the week, and say it to yourself whenever you feel like you need it.

For me, my self-love mantra has been “I love my cool, cool life.”

It’s so simple, but every time I say it, I feel like things are just so cool man. And for some reason repeating the ‘cool’ helps to make it more true.

I even say things like “I love my cool, cool hair. I love my cool, cool apartment. I love my cool, cool car. I love my cool, cool boyfriend. I love my cool, cool friends.”

It makes me love myself and my cool, cool life so much more because the feeling is automatic. Even on days when I don’t feel like I believe it, repeating the words makes me feel it.

Download the Crazy, Sexy Love Notes app by Kris Carr.

It's not free, but I made the impulse buy and bought it ($3.99) and I absolutely love it. It's a 52-card deck of love notes that you can read any time, with beautiful art work on each of the cards. Every time I feel the urge to open up my phone and browse social media (which sometimes can be a downer), I open up that app and read one of the messages.

Go one day without judging yourself.

For a whole day, let's stop trying to improve ourselves. Let's stop judging the way we think we're supposed to react to things, or the way we think we're supposed to be living. Let's forget about what we're supposed to be working on at this point in our lives, and how we feel when things don't turn out the way we want. 

Let's just let things be the way they are, for one day. 

Don't worry about what people are thinking of your shirt, your shoes, or if your hair looks good. Don't worry if you got in a good enough work out. Don't worry if you're not eating as much vegetables today as you should be. 

Let the day carry you for just today, and see what it's like to let the universe take the wheel, to let God take the wheel, to let your highest good enjoy being you today. 

To just be you. To just exist without question. 

Let's just see how that feels. 

In what little ways can you love yourself this week? Is there anything that doesn't feel easy about self-love?


The Power of Hay House Radio + 33 Of My All-Time Favorite Hay House Quotes

All problems are gifts, and all healing begins from within. 

But life didn't teach me that, Hay House radio did. 

Hay House radio is online radio for the soul, and I stumbled upon it in a magical way, as though some divine order had sequenced the exact steps I was meant to take before stumbling upon it. 

It started one Monday in the shower. 

A song came on my Spotify called "I Am Light" by India Arie. This was a song Wayne Dyer mentioned at the I Can Do It conference in Pasadena earlier this year, and while I didn't realize it yet, hearing this song and remembering the conference was my first gift.

From here, I decided that I was going to search Spotify when I got out of the shower, to see if any of Wayne Dyer's meditations were on there, so that I could meditate without having to use my computer or car to listen to his CD.

They were. That was my second gift.

I listened to some of his meditations on the way to work and felt really good. Later during my lunch hour, I noticed on Twitter that Wayne Dyer tweeted that he was going to be taking questions on Hay House radio in that hour. I thought, wow, crazy, I was JUST listening to him.

That was my third gift.

Listening to him take people's calls and help them with their woes made me feel so much better about a lot of things, as per usual, and for some odd reason I decided to keep Hay House radio on in the background while I worked, instead of music.

At this time, I knew nothing about Hay House Radio. I figured after Wayne Dyer was done with his show, that it would be some sort of NPR news-style radio, and I was about to turn it off. But then the next segment was an hour of 'coach on call' with a woman named Cheryl Richardson, who I'd never heard of until that day.

Little did I know, Cheryl Richardson was my fourth gift, because I learned the following from her show when she discussed anxiety:

Anxiety is a messenger asking to be heard. Listen to it. Hold it with compassion and love and let it speak to you. That anxious part of our minds is begging for our attention. It grows when we don't pay attention to it. Give voice to the parts of your head that want to be heard. 

At this point, I thought I was done getting gifts for the day, because I was already feeling so uplifted by everything I was hearing.

That's when I decided to continue listening to the next radio show, where a guy came on and interviewed Anita Moorjani.

Anita Moorjani was introduced to me by Wayne Dyer when I went to see him at that same conference, and my stepmom ended up buying me her book that night. Her story is so powerful, I can't even describe to you what I felt when I realized that she was being interviewed on the very same day that I just happened to be listening to Hay House Radio.

If you're not familiar with her, here's a quick rundown of her story: she had cancer, went into a coma, went to heaven, came back to life, and healed her cancer within 5 weeks.

Because you know, the power to heal yourself and all of that jazz.

I say it lightheartedly, but this was a very profound turning point for me.

There was too much magic going on in front of me and in my ear drums with this radio show for me to ignore. 

Since this magical day, sometime in early 2015, Hay House radio has been my rock. I've listened to it for days and days straight since, listening to all the different shows, and jotting down everything the healers, mediums, and spiritual life coaches have to teach me. 

I can personally say Hay House saved me from myself when I was at my lowest. 

I've felt more powerful and less overcome with fear and anxiety. I've felt so much more relaxed. The illusions in my head are still there, but I'm learning that it's okay to let them be there.

Just because you're anxious doesn't mean you're in danger. 

Or as Jim Carey says: learn the difference between the dog that is going to eat you in your head, and an actual dog that is going to eat you. 

If you haven't yet listened to Hay House Radio, you can listen any time for free on hayhouseradio.com. Check out some of the shows and see which host speaks to you the most. Sometimes you'll find one that clicks for you, and before you know it, tears are streaming down your face because their words ring so true.

Dr. Robert Holden was that person for me. 

I found him through Hay House Radio and I've been addicted to everything he's ever spoken or published since.

He's a British psychologist, but I would also deem him a self-love-ologist, if I'm being perfectly candid.

He's taught me everything I've ever wanted to know about self-love, and I can safely say if it weren't for him and Hay House Radio, you wouldn't be reading these words on this blog today. 

Through Hay House I've come to accept myself and my worth. 

I've learned to let myself feel everything.

I've learned to forgive even the most hated of people. 

I've learned that every problem in my life is the sweetest gift, and that God resides wholly within me, as me

I know I'm not alone in this. Millions of people all over the world listen to Hay House, and absorb their books with fascination and love, because it connects you with your true self, it teaches you not to be afraid, and above all, to love your majestically beautiful self. 

(That's my all-time favorite part!)

In case you don't have time to listen to Hay House today, I thought I'd share with you 33 of my all-time favorite Hay House quotes from the various shows over the past 8 months or so.

You literally can't NOT take notes during these shows when they're on, there's just far too much magical good happening to store it all in your brain forever!

You can grab all of my favorite, most moving Hay House quotes below. Let me know how you implement them into your spiritual and self-love practices! 

Grab 33 of my favorite Hay-House quotes below!

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