Monday, November 25, 2013

When to Fly the Nest

Whether you're growing up and it's time to leave your parents' home, you're changing careers or moving up the ladder, starting a new business, or something else, it can often be difficult to understand when it's time to leave the protective arms (literally or figuratively) you've come to rely on. 

I've mentioned that I've started my own freelance writing business.  As in an actual "business" with paying clients... or at least that's the idea. 

In the beginning I felt like I had so much to learn (I still do).  I signed up for several online courses, read countless articles and blogs, and felt like a sponge that couldn't soak up enough information. 

I felt like I needed to learn all I possibly could before even trying to get clients. 

So I learned.  I read.  I studied.  I attended conferences, seminars, and workshops.  I wondered if I'd ever feel ready to "go out on my own" and actually do this work I've been learning about. 

Here's what I've found: 

There does come a time when you get tired of learning from others and reading articles and you just want to do something already! 

That's where I'm at now. 
We're like birds.  At first, we sit in the nest, hungry.  We cry out, and our source brings us food.  We gobble it down; we're not picky.

We're also afraid to leave the nest.  It's so far down.  What if we fall?  What if we get hurt?  What if we can't find food on our own? 

So we sit there, waiting to be provided for.  And it works for a while. 

Then we get bored, or curious, or a combination of the two. 

We start looking around and see that there is food all over the place.  Lots of different kinds of food!  And lots of different methods for acquiring this food. 

We then realize it's up to us. 

We can continue to sit in the safe and warm nest, eating only what is brought for us.  It may be comfortable, but in time we'll outgrow the nest.  And we'll get tired of the same food over and over. 

Or we can choose to take a chance.  We don't know how to fly, exactly.  We've seen it done.  We know we're capable. But we haven't done it ourselves yet. 

It's scary.  It's uncertain.  Success is not 100% guaranteed. 

But we see others flying around, unencumbered, all around us.  And we want that for ourselves. 

Finally there comes a time to take that leap.  That first step. 


Have you been there?  I'd love to hear your story... whether you're still in the nest, just learning to fly, or soaring on your own now. 

Me?  I'm just learning to fly.  I've made the decision to leave the nest, but I'm far from soaring high and gracefully.  I'm still very much in the uncertain period.  Yet, I feel like it's time to start doing more and spend less time focused solely on learning (though learning never stops).

Still, one of my all-time favorite quotes, below:


What will you be?  And what do you need to do to get there? 

I know what I already am at heart... a writer.
I know what I want to be... a highly sought-after, and well-paid writer.
Now what do I need to do to make that happen? 

Time to get busy folks! 

*I'd love to hear your story in the comments below.  Or you can email me directly at


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Get Out of the Past

I have a problem.  That problem is I live too much in the past. 

I catch myself doing it all the time.  Getting upset about something that's over and done with.  Reliving some past painful experience.  Or even recreating past events, whether I was actually there or not, and creating a struggle for myself right now. 

Sounds silly, and it is. 

Because when I get present, I realize my life is pretty spectacular.  Sure, there are things I'd like to improve... and I'm working on that.

Why do I do this?  I'm not sure.  Fear, I guess.  Fear of the past coming back and happening again, perhaps.  Trying to control my present by "keeping tabs on" what's happened in the past. 

Regardless, it needs to stop.  Or at least lessen significantly.  There's no need for it.  No good comes out of living in the past. 
For me, and I suspect for many of you, there are certain things in the past that I don't like.  I don't like that they happened.  That's what draws my attention... the dislike for the past event and the desire to change it. 
But we can't change the past.  Choices people made.  Things people did.  It's done.  Let it go. 
When you continually think about past events, you're bringing them into your present... and using them to shape your future.
A far better, and wiser, course of action is to release the past.  Just relax and release.  Focus on what's here now, and set your intentions for the future. 
Here's something else I've caught myself doing many times.  When I meet someone new and they ask me what I do, my tendency is to start by saying, "Well, I used to be a teacher..."
Why do I do this?
I suspect because since I'm starting a new business, and being brand new in this field, I'm still unsure.  I don't know if I'll succeed.  I don't know what'll happen.  And calling myself a "writer" or a "copywriter" feels foreign to me.  (At least it used to... I'm getting better about it.) 
I'm also not sure how people will respond to me saying, "I'm a writer."  People tend to have preconceived notions about that.  I don't want to be judged.  And the profession of a teacher is so much more traditional and respected.  At least in my family and with people I interact with most.
I'm learning though, that to get to where you want to go, you have to set your intentions there. 
By continually living in the past, you're staying in the past.  You're dooming yourself to either repeat the past or not get out of it. 
Change your course!  Change your thoughts. 
Look around you right now, today.  What beauty do you see?  What love do you feel?  That is the truth.  The past is just your mind, your thoughts, your ego swirling around.
Release the past.
Set intentions for the future.
Focus on the present.  

Monday, November 18, 2013

Don't Give Up!

I've been listening to Joel Osteen's audio book, "Break Out."  It's fantastic and I highly recommend it!  The section I listened to today in the car is the inspiration behind today's blog post. 

Most people have to "go through" many no's and rejections before their dreams come true, or before they hear a "yes."  Keep going!  Don't get discouraged! 

Joel talked about how our "Yes!" is coming.  Don't give up.  


Joel asked if you knew you had to go through 20 "no's" in order to get to your "yes" -- be it rejections in relationships, rejections for a new job or position, rejections for a book proposal... whatever -- would you proceed through those 20 "no's" to get to your "yes?" 

I'm sure you'd say Yes to that!  I know I would. 

The hard part is not knowing.  We don't know if we'll have 3 no's, 15 no's, 100 no's... so each time we get a new "no," it can be disheartening.

But remember this.... ALL of us have to deal with this fact of life.  So you're not alone! 

The key is keeping your dream in the forefront of your mind.  Remember why you want it.  Keep the passion alive. 
It doesn't matter how many people tell you "no."  How many rejections you face.  How "improbable" it is.  If the dream is in your heart, it CAN and WILL come to fruition! 

I have always believed this, and Joel Osteen believes it too.  One of the stories he shared in the "Break Out" chapter was about an actress who went to countless auditions and kept hearing "no."  But she wanted badly to be an actress, so she didn't give up.  Eventually, she got a part in a hit TV series of the time.  And when she was asked how many auditions she went to, being rejected at each one, before getting that break-out part, she estimated thousands! 

Can you imagine?  Getting told thousands of times "no," but continuing on anyway? 

But that's what we're here to do.  Life isn't always easy.  How badly do you want what you say you want?

Before I sign off for today, I'll share something that's worked for me.  Something that has helped me turn around my negative thoughts and get back on the positive track. 


They work for me, plain and simple. 

All of us have thought patterns that go around and around in our heads.  That little voice that says, "You can't," "You won't," "You don't deserve it," "It won't happen for you."  We all have it.  In order to get past that voice, we have to create a new thought pattern.  Replace the old, negative one with a new, positive one.  That's where affirmations come in. 

Over three years ago I felt ready for a long-term relationship.  I had been single for years, and prior to that, my longest relationship was just 6 months consecutively.  I felt ready for more.  Yet I didn't know if a long-term relationship was in the cards for me.  I mean, after all, I hadn't had one yet, so who's to say if I ever would?  (Note: I was in my early 30s at this point, and most of my friends were already married, with children.) 

So I created an affirmation that stated what I wanted.  It went like this:
"I'm so happy and grateful now that I'm in a fun, loving, happy, long-term, romantic relationship with an amazing man, who's crazy about me." 

> Affirmations should be short enough that you can remember them easily, and repeat them many times if needed. 
> They also need to be in the present tense.  State it like it's already here.
> Starting with "I'm so happy and grateful now that..." sets the scene perfectly for an affirmation.  

I said it countless times.  When I was walking my dogs and the thoughts would creep in... "I might be single forever," I'd replace it with the affirmation.  Usually repeating it multiples times in a row. 

*Note: When you're saying affirmations, you've got to create a groove in your brain.  That's why multiple repetitions help.  You've got to believe it.  Even if you don't 100% believe it the first time you say it, convince yourself.  Repeating something over and over and over again is a proven way to change your thoughts and actually convince yourself of something. 

Anyway, after a few weeks of repeating my affirmation I did meet someone.  "The" person.  It works. 

So now I'm trying a new affirmation.  My current challenge is in my professional life.  I'm building a new business.  I have thoughts all the time of not being good enough, of no one hiring me, etc. 

Last night I sat down and created a new affirmation for myself.  I wrote it on a dry-erase board in my bathroom.  I'm getting into the habit of repeating it, just like I did for the relationship affirmation. 

What is it that you want?  What's your dream for yourself? 

Whether it's a relationship-based dream, professional-based dream, or anything else.  Jot down a few sentences that sum up, honestly, what it is that you want.  Don't worry about being pretentious or "not deserving" it, or being conceited.  What do you want?  Write it down. 

Then condense the individual sentences into a single phrase, that will become your easy-to-repeat affirmation. 

I was going to keep mine private, but I've decided to share it. 

My initial sentences of "what I want" were these (copied directly from my notepad):
I have an abundant income.
I'm a successful and sought-after copywriter.
I command high fees.

Now to put this in perspective for you, I have yet to get my first client as a copywriter.  I'm brand new to this business.  Yet, I believe it can and will happen for me.

Condensing those sentences above, here is my new affirmation:

"I'm so happy and grateful now that I have an abundant income and command high fees as a highly sought-after copywriter." 

What's yours?  I'd love to hear it in the comments below. 

But whether you share it or not, if you have a dream in your heart that you have yet to realize... consider trying affirmations.  And whatever you do, don't give up!     


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Your Way is THE Way

I have just spent the past seven or so hours re-centering.  Sometimes we need a "reset" button for our lives.  I'm not entirely "there," where I want to be, but I'm making progress. 

Today I watched a "Super Soul Sunday" episode where Oprah interviewed India Arie. 

I don't know much about India, but I am thoroughly impressed now.  She shared how she went through a period in her life where she was living everyone else's expectations for her, rather than her own expectations and desires. 

I think we've all been there.  In fact, I feel like it's a sort of "rite of passage" to figure out and claim your life as yours

And just like everyone else, I'm still trying to figure out and claim mine. 

But what I'd like to share today is something that came to me during meditation, just a couple hours ago in fact. 

"Do what's in your heart.  There's no 'right way,' or 'wrong way.'  Just your way.  Be you.  Be brave enough to be you.  Because really, that is all you need to do."

In life, no matter what your path, it's easy to get caught up in the voices of everyone else.  It's also easy to get lost in what you believe you "should" be doing, or not doing. 

I was at a major copywriter's convention a couple weeks ago.  I learned tons, and also was filled with inspiration and encouragement.  Everyone there had something motivating, inspiring, and/or encouraging to share. 

Everyone has stories of how they "made it."  And now, since they had success that way, they believe others can too.  And maybe others can... or maybe not. 

The key is to find your way.  Granted, your way may be similar to others, or it may not.  But don't automatically assume you can't have success a different way. 

Your life, your path, is unique.  What works for someone else, may, or may not, work for you.  It's not an exact science.  Life isn't a formula, where you just plug in the numbers, and out pops the correct answer. 

No.  Life, for each of us, is an entirely new and different experience. 

So how do we navigate our way?  Listen to your instincts.  Your gut.  Your intuition.  Your heart. 

And just make your way along the path of life one step at a time.