Main You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life
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By the way, is there any way you guys can make almost all the books pdf? I've been trying to use the convert to pdf option for some books that were either epub and the like but it didn't work.
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I feel like it has taken me ages to get here and now I am overusing the app? it's like "where have you being all my life" on repeat...
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26 January 2021 (09:20)
this book is fucking amazing . this book changed my life . i am grateful to the author . i love you and thank you to Jen and the Universe .
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One of the most amazing book ever. Wow!!! Respect
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Best Site I Know
This book is for fanny-smellers. Dazzle Razzle would whoop some ass here, boy! Better time spent is on How to Be a Motherfucking Pimp. That book is the Jamba Juice!
09 May 2021 (14:16)
please upload book for me. i want this book very badly but i dont have money to buy it... plz help me isbn no 9789390285310
07 June 2021 (08:29)
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07 July 2021 (04:17)
80% of the time I'm on the internet, I'm on this site. This site helped save me from psychological damage from the mental and physical abuses I faced. I love the runners of this site. From the bottom of my heart thank you.
21 July 2021 (20:18)
Hey guys, stop trying to "convert to pdf", epub is waaay to much better, the text ajust to any device and you can change font size, color, background, etc. for better reading. There are a lot of free epub readers so that's not a problem either.
24 July 2021 (18:53)
Rummaged a lot of self-help books to tend to the ambiguity, confusion, and loss inside me and ended up here. Now, I wonder if it'll help me get back to the right track like what anybody else have been saying in here.
29 July 2021 (18:21)
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01 August 2021 (17:59)
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16 August 2021 (03:02)
This website changed my life
21 August 2021 (02:02)
I really suggest anyone to read this book, even if you do not like reading.
21 August 2021 (11:02)
Seriously a big thanks to the people who created this site
I feel privileged?
I feel privileged?
13 September 2021 (10:10)
Nguyen Trong Dong
love web, very usefull, tks so much
17 September 2021 (06:41)
This is my go-to site. It's awesome. Thanks to the developers ?
01 October 2021 (09:19)
You can write a book review and share your experiences. Other readers will always be interested in your opinion of the books you've read. Whether you've loved the book or not, if you give your honest and detailed thoughts then people will find new books that are right for them
17 November 2021 (18:41)
© 2013 by Jen Sincero Published by Running Press, A Member of the Perseus Books Group All rights reserved under the Pan-American and International Copyright Conventions Books published by Running Press are available at special discounts for bulk purchases in the United States by corporations, institutions, and other organizations. For more information, please contact the Special Markets Department at the Perseus Books Group, 2300 Chestnut Street, Suite 200, Philadelphia, PA 19103, or call (800) 810-4145, ext. 5000, or e-mail email@example.com. Library of Congress Control Number: 2013932303 E-book ISBN 978-0-7624-4831-9 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Digit on the right indicates the number of this printing Design by Joshua McDonnell Edited by Jennifer Kasius Typography: Avenir, Bembo, and Fabada Running Press Book Publishers 2300 Chestnut Street Philadelphia, PA 19103-4371 Visit us on the web! www.runningpress.com For my unfailingly sweet and supportive Dad and brother Stephen And still, after all this time, the Sun has never said to the Earth, “You owe me.” Look what happens with love like that. It lights up the sky. —Rumi CONTENTS INTRODUCTION PART 1: HOW YOU GOT THIS WAY CHAPTER 1: My Subconscious Made Me Do It CHAPTER 2: The G-Word CHAPTER 3: Present as a Pigeon CHAPTER 4: The Big Snooze CHAPTER 5: Self-Perception Is a Zoo PART 2: HOW TO EMBRACE YOUR INNER BADASS CHAPTER 6: Love the One You Is CHAPTER 7: I Know You Are But What Am I? CHAPTER 8: What Are You Doing Here? CHAPTER 9: Loincloth Man PART 3: HOW TO TAP INTO THE MOTHERLODE CHAPTER 10: Meditation 101 CHAPTER 11: Your Brain Is Your Bitch CHAPTER 12: Lead with Your Crotch CHAPTER 13: Give and Let Give CHAPTER 14: Gratitude: The Gateway Drug to Awesomeness CHAPTER 15: Forgive or Fester CHAPTER 16: Loosen Your Bone, Wilma PART 4: HOW TO GET OVER YOUR B.S. ALREADY CHAPTER 17: It’s So Easy Once You Figure Out It Isn’t Hard CHAPTER 18: Procrastination, Perfection, and a Polish Beer Garden CHAPTER 19: The Drama of ; Overwhelm CHAPTER 20: Fear Is for Suckers CHAPTER 21: Millions of Mirrors CHAPTER 22: The Sweet Life PART 5: HOW TO KICK SOME ASS CHAPTER 23: The Almighty Decision CHAPTER 24: Money, Your New Best Friend CHAPTER 25: Remember to Surrender CHAPTER 26: Doing vs. Spewing CHAPTER 27: Beam Me Up, Scotty RESOURCES ACKNOWLEDGMENTS INTRODUCTION You can start out with nothing, and out of nothing, and out of no way, a way will be made. —Reverend Michael Bernard Beckwith; former drug enthusiast turned spiritual enthusiast turned inspirational badass I used to think quotes like this were a bunch of crap. I also didn’t understand what the hell they were talking about. I mean, not that I cared. I was too cool. What little I knew about the self-help/spiritual world I found to be unforgivably cheesy: it reeked of desperation, rah-rah churchiness and unwanted hugs from unappealing strangers. And don’t even get me started on how grouchy I used to be about God. At the same time, there was all this stuff about my life that I desperately wanted to change and, had I been able to bulldoze through my holier-than-thouism, I could have really used some help around here. I mean, overall I was doing pretty well—I’d published a couple of books, had lots of great friends, a close family, an apartment, a car that ran, food, teeth, clothes, clean drinking water—compared to the majority of the planet, my life was a total cream puff. But compared to what I knew I was capable of, I was, shall we say, unimpressed. I always felt like, Come ON, this is the best I can do? Really? I’m going to make just enough to pay my rent this month? Again? And I’m going to spend another year dating a bunch of weirdoes so I can be in all these wobbly, noncommittal relationships and create even more drama? Really? And am I seriously going to question what my deeper purpose is and wallow in the misery of that quagmire for the millionth time? It. Was. A. Snore. I felt like I was going through the motions of living my lukewarm life with the occasional flare-ups of awesomeness here and there. And the most painful part was that deep down I KNEW I was a total rock star, that I had the power to give and receive and love with the best of ‘em, that I could leap tall buildings in a single bound and could create anything I put my mind to and . . . What’s that? I just got a parking ticket? You have got to be kidding me, let me see that. I can’t afford to pay this, it’s like my third one this month! I’m going down there to talk to them right now . . . then, doop de do, off I’d go, consumed once again by low-level minutiae, only to find myself, a few weeks later, wondering where those few weeks went and how it could possibly be that I was still stuck in my rickety-ass apartment, eating dollar tacos by myself every night. I’m assuming if you’re reading this that there are some areas of your life that aren’t looking so good either. And that you know could be looking a whole lot better. Maybe you’re living with your soul mate and are joyfully sharing your gifts with the world, but are so broke that your dog is on his own if he wants to get fed. Maybe you’re doing great financially and you have a deep connection to your higher purpose, but you can’t remember the last time you wet your pants laughing. Or maybe you suck equally at all of the above and spend your free time crying. Or drinking. Or getting pissed off at all the meter maids who have precision timing and no sense of humor who, in your mind, are partly responsible for your personal financial crisis. Or maybe you have everything you’ve ever wanted but for some reason you still feel unfulfilled. This isn’t necessarily about making millions of dollars or helping solve the world’s problems or getting your own TV show, unless that’s your thing. Your calling could simply be to take care of your family or to grow the perfect tulip. This is about getting mighty clear about what makes you happy and what makes you feel the most alive, and then creating it instead of pretending you can’t have it. Or that you don’t deserve it. Or that you’re a greedy egomaniacal fathead for wanting more than you already have. Or listening to what Dad and Aunt Mary think you should be doing. It’s about having the cojones to show up as the brightest, happiest, badassiest version of yourself, whatever that looks like to you. The good news is that in order to do this, all you need to do is make one simple shift: You need to go from wanting to change your life to deciding to change your life. Wanting can be done sitting on the couch with a bong in your hand and a travel magazine in your lap. Deciding means jumping in all the way, doing whatever it takes, and going after your dreams with the tenacity of a dateless cheerleader a week before prom night. You’ll probably have to do things you never imagined you’d do because if any of your friends saw you doing it, or spending money on it, you’d never live it down. Or they’d be concerned about you. Or they’d stop being friends with you because now you’re all weird and different. You’ll have to believe in things you can’t see as well as some things that you have full-on proof are impossible. You’re gonna have to push past your fears, fail over and over again and make a habit of doing things you’re not so comfy doing. You’re going to have to let go of old, limiting beliefs and cling to your decision to create the life you desire like your life depends on it. Because guess what? Your life does depend on it. As challenging as this may sound, it’s nowhere near as brutal as waking up in the middle of the night feeling like someone parked a car on your chest, crushed under the realization that your life is zooming by and you have yet to start living it in a way that has any real meaning to you. You may have heard stories about people who had these major breakthroughs when the shit really hit the fan—they found a lump or got their electricity turned off or were moments away from having sex with strangers to buy drugs when suddenly they woke up, transformed. But you don’t have wait until you hit rock bottom to start crawling out of your hole. All you have to do is make the decision. And you can make it right now. There’s a great line from the poet Anaïs Nin that reads: “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” This is how it was for me, and how I think it is for most people. My journey was a process (and still is) that started with my decision to make some serious changes, regardless of what I had to do to make them. None of the things I’d already tried were working: mulling it over and over with my equally broke friends and my therapist, working my ass off, going out for a beer and hoping it would take care of itself . . . I was at the point where I would try anything to get my act together, and Lawdy Lawd Lawd Lawd, it’s like the Universe was testing me to see just how serious I was. I went to motivational seminars where they made me wear a name tag and high-five the person next to me while shouting, “You’re awesome and so am I!” I beat a pillow with a baseball bat and shrieked like I was on fire, I bonded with my spirit guide, participated in a group ceremony where I married myself, wrote a love letter to my uterus, read every self-help book under the sun, and spent blood-curdling amounts of money I did not have hiring private coaches. Basically, I took one for the team. If you’re new to the self-help world, I’m hoping this book will ease you into some of the basic concepts that totally changed my life so you can have a breakthrough, too, without making you want to run off screaming in the process. If you’ve already dipped your toe in the self-help pond, I hope it will say something in a new way that turns a light on so you can make some major shifts, create some tangible results, and someday wake up crying tears of giddy disbelief that you get to be you. And if I can save one person from ever having to take their inner child on a play date, I have done my job. My main focus when I started working on myself was how to make money. I had no idea how to make it on a consistent basis, and was totally weirded out by admitting that I even wanted to in the first place. I was a writer and a musician; I felt it was sufficient—and quite noble thank you very much—to focus on my art and let the money part work itself out. THAT went real well! But I saw so many people doing such sleazy and heartbreaking things to make money, not to mention those people who were working jobs that were death-of-a-thousand-wounds boring, that I wanted no part of it. Add to that my slew of other crippling beliefs about the unholy dollar and it’s a wonder I wasn’t eating out of a dumpster. I finally realized that I needed not only to focus on making money, but that I also needed to get over my fear and loathing of it if I wanted to start pulling it in. This is when the self-help books started infiltrating my house, and the name tags assumed their mandatory and humiliating post above my left boob. Eventually I took my credit card debt to unthinkable heights by forking over more money than I’d paid for all my janky cars put together and hired my first coach. Within the first six months, I tripled my income with an online business that I created around coaching writers. And now I’ve grown it to a place where it affords me the means and the luxury to travel the world freely, while I write, speak, play music, and coach people in all areas of their lives, using many of the concepts I used to so enjoy rolling my eyes at and with which I am now obsessed. In an attempt to help you get to where you want to go too, I’m going to ask you to roll with some pretty out-there things throughout this book, and I want to encourage you to have an open mind. No, on second thought, I want to yell in your face about it: STAY OPEN OR ELSE YOU ARE SCREWED. I mean it. This is really important. You’ve gotten to where you are right now by doing whatever it is you’re doing, so if you’re less than impressed with your current situation, you clearly need to change things up. If you want to live a life you’ve never lived, you have to do things you’ve never done. I don’t care how big a loser you may or may not perceive yourself to be right now, the fact that you’re literate, have the luxury of time to read this book and the money to buy it puts you way ahead of the game. This isn’t something to feel guilty or whiney or superior about. But it is something to appreciate, and should you make the decision to really go for it, know that you are extremely well-poised to knock it out of the park and share your awesomeness with the world. Because that’s really what this is all about. We need smart people with huge hearts and creative minds to manifest all the wealth, resources, and support they need to make their difference in the world. We need people to feel happy and fulfilled and loved so they don’t take their shit out on themselves and other people and the planet and our animal friends. We need to be surrounded by people who radiate self-love and abundance so we don’t program future generations with gnarly beliefs like money is bad and I’m not good-enough and I can’t live the way I want to live. We need kickass people to be out of struggle and living large and on purpose so they can be an inspiration to others who want to rise up, too. The first thing I’m going to ask you to do is to believe that we live in a world of limitless possibilities. I don’t care if you have a lifetime of proof that you can’t stop shoving food in your face or that people are intrinsically evil or that you couldn’t keep a man if you were handcuffed to his ankles—believe that anything is possible anyway. See what happens—what do you have to lose? If you try getting through this book and decide it’s a bunch of crap, you can go back to your sucky life. But maybe, if you put your disbelief aside, roll up your sleeves, take some risks, and totally go for it, you’ll wake up one day and realize you’re living the kind of life you used to be jealous of. PART 1: HOW YOU GOT THIS WAY CHAPTER 1: MY SUBCONSCIOUS MADE ME DO IT You are a victim of the rules you live by. —Jenny Holzer; artist, thinker, blurter of brilliance Many years ago I was in a terrible bowling accident. My friends and I were at the tail end of a heated tiebreaker, and I was so focused on making a great show of my final shot—leaping into action, loudly declaring my impending victory, dancing and twirling my way through my approach—that I didn’t realize where my feet were when I let go of the ball. This was the moment I was to learn how serious the bowling community is about penalizing those who roll with one toe over the line. They pour oil or wax or lube or something unimaginably slippery all over the alley, and should someone accidentally slide out of bounds while attempting the perfect hook shot, she will find her feet flying out from under her and her ass crashing down onto a surface that even an airborne bowling ball can’t crack. A few weeks later whilst lolling about in bed with this guy I met at Macy’s, I explained that ever since my accident, I’m now woken up in the middle of the night with excruciating pain in my feet. According to my acupuncturist, this is from the nerves in my back getting slammed when I fell, and in order to sleep through the night I’d need a new, firmer mattress. “I have pains in my feet when I sleep too!” He said, raising himself up for an unreciprocated high five. It’s not just because I’m not into the whole high-five thing that I left him hanging, but also because I was annoyed with him. I already find mattress shopping to be totally bizarre and embarrassing—lying on your side with a pillow between your thighs for all to see like it’s anyone’s business—but the fact that I had to do it with my salesman lying next to me, begging for a high-fiver, was more than I could handle. I couldn’t help but notice that all the other salesmen simply stood at the end of the bed, rattling off mattress facts while their clients tested out a myriad of positions, but not mine. He’d lower down next to me on his back, arms crossed over his chest, and thoughtfully chat away, staring at the ceiling like we were at summer camp. I mean, he was nice enough and incredibly knowledgeable about coils and latex and memory foam, but I was scared to roll over for fear he’d start spooning me. Was I too friendly? Should I not have asked him where he was from? Did he think I meant something else when I patted the empty space next to me to test the pillow top? I obviously should have asked Freak Show Bob to get off the damn bed, or found someone else to help me, instead of sneaking out the door and blowing my only opportunity that week to go mattress shopping, but I didn’t want to embarrass him. I didn’t want to embarrass him! This is pretty much how my family was trained to deal with any sort of potentially uncomfortable interaction. Along with the fail-safe method of running in the opposite direction, other tools in our confrontation toolbox also included: freeze, talk about the weather, go blank, and burst into tears the moment you’re out of earshot. Our lack of confrontation-management skills was no great surprise considering the fact that my mother comes from a long lineage of WASPs. Her parents were the types who believed that children were to be seen and not heard, and who looked upon any sort of emotional display with the same, horrified disdain usually reserved for cheap scotch and non–Ivy League educations. And even though my mother went on to create a household for us that was as warm, loving, and laughter-filled as they come, it took years for me to finally learn how to form a sentence when presented with the blood-chilling phrase, “We need to talk.” All this is to say that it’s not your fault that you’re fucked up. It’s your fault if you stay fucked up, but the foundation of your fuckedupedness is something that’s been passed down through generations of your family, like a coat of arms or a killer cornbread recipe, or in my case, equating confrontation with heart failure. When you came screaming onto this planet you were truly a bundle of joy, a wide-eyed creature incapable of doing anything but being in the moment. You had no idea that you had a body, let alone that you should be ashamed of it. When you looked around, everything just was. There was nothing about your world that was scary or too expensive or so last year as far as you were concerned. If something came near your mouth, you stuck it in, if it came near your hand, you grabbed it. You were simply a human . . . being. While you explored and expanded into your new world, you also received messages from the people around you about the way things are. From the moment you could take it in, they started filling you up with a lifetime’s worth of beliefs, many of which have nothing to do with who you actually are or what is necessarily true (e.g. the world is a dangerous place, you’re too fat, homosexuality is a curse, size matters, hair shouldn’t grow there, going to college is important, being a musician or an artist isn’t a real career, etc.). The main source of this information was, of course, your parents, assisted by society at large. When they were raising you, your parents, in a genuine effort to protect you and educate you and love you with all their hearts (hopefully), passed on the beliefs they learned from their parents, who learned them from their parents, who learned them from their parents. . . . The trouble is, many of these beliefs have nothing to do with who they actually are/were or what is actually true. I realize I’m making it sound like we’re all crazy, but that’s because we kind of are. Most people are living in an illusion based on someone else’s beliefs. Until they wake up. Which is what this book will hopefully help you do. Here’s how it works: We as humans have a conscious mind and a subconscious mind. Most of us are only aware of our conscious minds, however, because that’s where we process all our information. It’s where we figure things out, judge, obsess, analyze, criticize, worry that our ears are too big, decide once and for all to stop eating fried food, grasp that 2 + 2 = 4, try to remember where the hell we left the car keys, etc. The conscious mind is like a relentless overachiever, incessantly spinning around from thought to thought, stopping only when we sleep, and then starting up again the second we open our eyes. Our conscious mind, otherwise known as our frontal lobe, doesn’t fully develop until sometime around puberty. Our subconscious mind, on the other hand, is the non-analytical part of our brain that’s fully developed the moment we arrive here on earth. It’s all about feelings and instincts and erupting into ear-piercing temper tantrums in the middle of supermarkets. It’s also where we store all the early, outside information we get. The subconscious mind believes everything because it has no filter, it doesn’t know the difference between what’s true and what’s not true. If our parents tell us that nobody in our family knows how to make money, we believe them. If they show us that marriage means punching each other in the face, we believe them. We believe them when they tell us that some fat guy in a red suit is going to climb down the chimney and bring us presents—why wouldn’t we believe any of the other garbage they feed us? Our subconscious mind is like a little kid who doesn’t know any better and, not coincidentally, receives most of its information when we’re little kids and don’t know any better (because our frontal lobes, the conscious part of our brains, hasn’t fully formed yet). We take in information via the words, smiles, frowns, heavy sighs, raised eyebrows, tears, laughter, etc., of the people surrounding us with zero ability to filter any of it, and it all gets lodged in our squishy little subconscious minds as the “truth” (otherwise known as our “beliefs”) where it lives, undisturbed and unanalyzed, until we’re on the therapy couch decades later or checking ourselves into rehab, again. I can pretty much guarantee that every time you tearfully ask yourself the question, “WTF is my problem?!” the answer lies in some lame, limiting, and false subconscious belief that you’ve been dragging around without even realizing it. Which means that understanding this is majorly important. So let’s review, shall we? 1) Our subconscious mind contains the blueprint for our lives. It’s running the show based on the unfiltered information it gathered when we were kids, otherwise known as our “beliefs.” 2) We are, for the most part, completely oblivious to these subconscious beliefs that run our lives. 3) When our conscious minds finally develop and show up for work, no matter how big and smart and highfalutin they grow to be, they’re still being controlled by the beliefs we’re carrying around in our subconscious minds. Our conscious mind thinks it’s in control, but it isn’t. Our subconscious mind doesn’t think about anything, but is in control. This is why so many of us stumble through life doing everything we know in our conscious minds to do, yet remain mystified by what’s keeping us from creating the excellent lives we want. For example, let’s say you were raised by a father who was constantly struggling financially, who walked around kicking the furniture and grumbling about how money doesn’t grow on trees, and who neglected you because he was always off trying, and for the most part failing, to make a living. Your subconscious took this in at face value and might have developed beliefs such as: • Money = struggle • Money is unavailable. • It’s money’s fault that I was abandoned by my father. • Money sucks and causes pain. Cut to you as an adult who, in your conscious mind, would love nothing more than to be raking in the dough, but who is subconsciously mistrusting of money, believes it’s unavailable to you and who worries that if you make it, you’ll be abandoned by someone you love. You may then manifest these subconscious beliefs by staying broke no matter how hard you consciously try to make money, or by repeatedly making tons of money and then losing it in order to avoid being abandoned, or in a plethora of other, frustrating ways. No matter what you say you want, if you’ve got an underlying subconscious belief that it’s going to cause you pain or isn’t available to you, you either A) Won’t let yourself have it, or B) You will let yourself have it, but you’ll be rill fucked up about it. And then you’ll go off and lose it anyway. We don’t realize that by eating that fourth doughnut or by ignoring our intuition and marrying that guy who’s an awful lot like our low-down, cheatin’ daddy, that we’re being driven by our subconscious minds, not our conscious minds. And that when our subconscious beliefs are out of alignment with the things and experiences we want in our conscious minds (and hearts), it creates confusing conflicts between what we’re trying to create and what we’re actually creating. It’s like we’re driving with one foot on the gas and one foot on the brake. (Obviously we all have awesome subconscious beliefs as well, but we’re not talking about those right now.) Here are some other scenarios that may or may not ring a bell: Conscious Mind: I long to find and marry my soul mate. Subconscious Mind: Intimacy leads to pain and suffering. Finger: Ringless Conscious Mind: I want to lose 25 pounds. Subconscious Mind: People aren’t safe; I must build a shield to protect myself. Body: A fortress of flab Conscious Mind: I’m hot and sexy and want to get it on. Subconscious Mind: Physical pleasure is shameful. Sex Life: Yawn Conscious Mind: I want to travel the world. Subconscious Mind: Fun = irresponsible = I won’t be loved Passport: Blank It’s sort of like not being able to enjoy sitting on your front porch anymore because it totally reeks of something foul out there. You can come up with all these brilliant ways to deal with the problem—light incense, set up fans, blame it on the dog—but until you realize that something has crawled under your house and died, your problems will linger on, stinking up your life. The first key to ridding yourself of limiting subconscious beliefs is to become aware of them. Because until you’re aware of what’s really going on, you’ll keep working with your conscious mind (think you need to paint the porch) to solve a problem that’s buried far beneath it (dead skunk removal) in your subconscious, which is an exercise in futility. Take a minute to look at some of the less-than-impressive areas of your life and think about the underlying beliefs that could have created them. Let’s take the old crowd-pleaser, lack of money, for example. Are you making far less money than you know you’re capable of earning? Have you reached a certain income level that, no matter what you do, you can’t seem to go above? Does generating an abundance of money consistently seem like something you’re not even physically capable of? If so, write down the first five things that come to your mind when you think about money. Is your list full of hope and bravado or fear and loathing? What are your parents’ beliefs about money? What are the beliefs of the other people you grew up around? What was their relationship with money like? Do you see any connection between their money beliefs and yours? Later on in this book I’m going to give you tools to go much deeper with your subconscious beliefs and fix whatever’s blocking you from living the kind of life you’d love to live, but for now, practice stepping aside, notice what’s happening in the dysfunctional areas of your life and strengthen your almighty awareness muscle. Start waking up to the stories you’re working with in your subconscious (I’ll have to do things I hate in order to make money, I’ll feel trapped if I get into an intimate relationship, if I go on a diet I’ll never get to eat anything fun again, if I enjoy sex I’ll burn in Hell with the rest of the dirty sinners, etc.). Because once you see what’s really going on, you can start to drag out the stinky carcasses of your limiting subconscious beliefs and give them the heave-ho, thereby opening up the space to invite the fresh, new, awesome beliefs and experiences that you’d love to have, into your life. CHAPTER 2: THE G WORD If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration. —Nokola Tesla; inventor, physicist, supergenius When I lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico, my friends and I used to hang out at this western bar called Midnight Rodeo. It was the kind of place that had curling irons and hair spray in the women’s bathroom, Bud Light on permanent special for two bucks a can, and a solid oak dance floor the size of a cornfield. We were all from the East Coast and were way too cool for country music, so at first we’d go just to snootily make fun of it all, taking great pride in being the first to spot a particularly gigantic belt buckle or a cowboy sporting one of them handlebar mustaches big enough to cover five upper lips. But our favorite part was the line dancing. We’d stare mesmerized by the giant, choreographed mass of Garth Brooks fans, stomping around in synchronized woo-hooery with their thumbs purposefully tucked into the front pockets of their jeans. It was so hilarious that we started joining in ourselves, waving from the middle of the sea of cowboy hats to our friends—watch this! Then, uh, we’d stay on the floor for the next song, just to try and get that part down where you click your heels right before the spin. Then we found ourselves sneaking off every weekend to merrily line dance our little achy breaky hearts out. This is sort of the same way the God thing happened for me. It started out with much snarkiness and eye rolling, but I was so broke and clueless and sick of being such a weenie about really going for it in my life, that I was open for suggestions. Which is why, when I started reading books on finding your calling and making money and getting over yourself already, and they all had this spiritual side to them, I didn’t toss them in the Goodwill pile with my usual this God/spirituality crap is for suckers attitude. Instead I decided to give good old God a chance because I had nothing to lose. Literally. And lo and behold, some of it wasn’t totally idiotic. So I started reading more about it. Then I started studying it. Then I started putting it into practice. Then I noticed how much better it made me feel. Then I started believing it. Then I noticed all these awesome shifts starting to happen in my life. Then I became obsessed with it. Then I started loving it. Then I started radically changing my life with it. Then I started teaching it. Now I’m basically riding the mechanical bull about it, punching my fist in the air and hollering to the guy manning the controls, “Hit it, Wayne!” Wherever you happen to stand on the God issue, let me just say that that this whole improving your life thing is going to be a lot easier if you have an open mind about it. Call it whatever you want— God, Goddess, The Big Guy, The Universe, Source Energy, Higher Power, The Grand Poobah, gut, intuition, Spirit, The Force, The Zone, The Lord, The Vortex, The Mother Lode—it doesn’t matter. Personally, I find the God word to be a tad too loaded, I prefer Source Energy, The Universe, The Vortex, Spirit, The Mother Lode (all of which I will use interchangeably throughout this book, FYI). Whatever you choose to call it isn’t important, what is important is that you start to develop an awareness of, and a relationship with, the Source Energy that’s surrounding you and within you (which is all the same energy), and which will be your best pal ever if you give it a chance. Because here’s the thing: All of us are connected to this limitless power and most of us aren’t using but a fraction of it. Our energy is taking a joy ride in these bodies of ours; learning, growing, and evolving along the way (one would hope, anyway—I suppose, numbing, shrinking and moving back in with our parents is also an option), until our corporal journey comes to an end and we move on . . . thanks for the lift! This realization, that we’re made up of, and connected to, Source Energy, made me want to have a deeper understanding of spirituality so I could make my physical experience as awesome as possible. And let me tell you, ever since I got into it, it has been awesomeness maximus. When I’m connected with Source Energy and in the flow, I am so much more powerful, so much more in tune to my physical world and the world beyond, and just so much happier in general. And the more I meditate and the more attention I give to this relationship with my invisible superpower, the more effortlessly I can manifest the things I want into my life, and do it with such specificity and at such a rapid rate that it makes my hair stand up. It’s like I’ve finally figured out how to make my magic wand work. If loving Spirit is wrong, I don’t wanna be right. HERE IS THE FOUNDATION FOR ALL THE WORK WE’RE ABOUT TO DO TOGETHER ON YOUR LIFE: • The Universe is made up of Source Energy. • All energy vibrates at a certain frequency. Which means you’re vibrating at a certain frequency, and everything you desire, and don’t desire, is also vibrating at a certain frequency. • Vibration attracts like vibration. Otherwise known as The Law of Attraction, the basic idea is: Focus on that which makes you feel good and ye shall find (attract) that which makes you feel good. We’re all attracting energy to ourselves all the time whether we realize it or not. And when we’re vibrating at a low frequency (feeling pessimistic, needy, victimized, jealous, shameful, worried, convinced we are ugly) yet expect high frequency, awesome things and experiences to come into our lives, we are often disappointed. You need to raise your frequency to match the vibration of the one you want to tune into. It’s like trying to listen to a certain radio station but tuning in at the wrong frequency. If you have a hot and sexy date and want to listen to 105.9FM Slow Jamz, but set your dial to 89.9FM National Public Radio, you’re not only going to be Slow Jamless, but you’re more likely to attract a discussion about immigration laws in the U.S. instead of attracting a relaxed and candlelit body that’s in the mood for love. The Universe will match whatever vibration you put out. And you can’t fool The Universe. Which is why when you’re vibrating at a high frequency, awesome things seem to flow to you effortlessly and you seem to stumble over the perfect people and opportunities all the time (and vice versa). As Albert Einstein observed, “Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.” When you learn to consciously master the energetic realm, believe in the not yet seen, and stay in your highest frequency, you harness your innate power to create the reality you desire. So once again, good ole awareness is your key to freedom. Once you realize that you can dramatically improve your situation by connecting with Source Energy and raising your frequency, you can freakin’ do it already (I’ll show you exactly how later) instead of opting to stay in the suckhole and feeling like a victim of pathetic circumstances such as microwaving ramen in its Styrofoam cup for dinner or working for someone who makes your flesh crawl. In order to truly raise your vibration, you’ve got to believe that everything you want is available to you. And the best way to keep this belief strong is by staying connected to Source Energy. It’s like we’re surrounded by this big, all-you-can-eat buffet of incredible experiences and insights and feelings and opportunities and things and people and ways to share our gifts with the world, and all we have to do is align our energy with what we want and take decisive action to allow this good into our lives. And this decisive action part is key. Sadly, we can’t just float around our neighbor’s pool on a raft with cup-holders, sipping cocktails and being all high frequency while waiting for unicorns to fly down from the sky. We have to take action—hell-bent-for-glory kind of action. The trick is to have both parts—energy and action—working in unison: unless your energy is lined up properly with that which you desire, really desire, any action you take is going to require way more effort to get you where you want to go, if it gets you there at all. Once in a while you may get lucky doing one without the other, but if you get very clear on what you truly want (rather than what you think you should want), believe that it’s available to you regardless of your present circumstances by staying connected to Source Energy and keeping your frequency high, and take decisive action, you will eventually succeed. Have you ever had a dream where you’re flying and you’re having such a blast but then you realize, hey, wait a minute, I’m flying—I can’t fly, and then you come crashing back down to the ground and you can’t get yourself back up again? No matter what you try? This is the way beliefs work. Even if it seems impossible, you have to have faith anyway, and the second you stop believing, you pop the bubble and stop attracting the magic in your life. The Force is with you. This isn’t just about believing and being all high-vibe when the sun is out and the bunnies are hopping around, either. This is about believing, even when things are at their most uncertain or absolute crappiest, that there is a bright shiny flipside within your reach. As French author and fearless truth-seeker, André Gide, so aptly put it, “One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.” This is about believing that we live in a loving, kind and abundant Universe instead of one that’s petty, mean, and likes other people more than it likes you. This is about your faith being greater than your fear. CHAPTER 3: PRESENT AS A PIGEON If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present. —Lao Tzu; ancient Chinese philosopher, founder of Taoism, could have been one guy or a mythical compilation of many, nobody really knows for sure I was in yoga class one day and the instructor told us all to get into Pigeon Pose, which is this pose where you stretch one leg out behind you, fold the other one out sideways in front of you and then bend forward and lie down on top of the whole thing. It’s fine if you’re a pigeon, but it’s one of the poses I dread most because my hips don’t move that way, it hurts and I’m always scared I’m gonna get stuck. But even though my body has requested otherwise, I’m in class and going for it, and am determined to “relax into it” even though I’m really just silently begging the dude to tell us to change into a different pose, which he doesn’t do because he’s too busy talking. He’s blabbing on and on and on about our connection to The Universe and our breath and the path to true enlightenment and holy fucking shit dude will you hurry up I think I’m going to rip something I really do oh my God I think I’m actually stuck how am I going to get out of this pose he’s gonna have to come over here and lift me out of it because I really truly am stuck and then whoosh . . . I breathe into it. I shut off the relentless yammering in my brain, get quiet, and surrender. I feel my body shift and go deeper into the pose than it’s ever gone before. The pain is gone. The panic is gone. I am one with The Universe. But then I realize that I really do think I’m stuck and seriously what the hell dude are you going to talk all night we’ve been in this freakin’ pose for five minutes for real and by the way my knee just got all hot and you really are not going to shut up even though I keep thinking you finally are but then you keep going and then, whoosh . . . I reconnect. I’m back in The Zone. I melt deeply into this pose and feel such bliss and true connection to something much larger than myself. This flip-flopping between freaking out in our heads and “breathing into the Now” is basically how most of us go through life. Instead of worrying about the possibility of dislocating a hip (the future) or about how bad I was at this pose (the past), I could have luxuriated in the magnificence available to me in the moment. It never ceases to amaze me the precious time we spend chasing the squirrels around our brains, playing out our dramas, worrying about unwanted facial hair, seeking adoration, justifying our actions, complaining about slow Internet connections, dissecting the lives of idiots, when we are sitting in the middle of a full-blown miracle that is happening right here, right now. We’re on a planet that somehow knows how to rotate on its axis and follow a defined path while it hurtles through space! Our hearts beat! We can see! We have love, laughter, language, living rooms, computers, compassion, cars, fire, fingernails, flowers, music, medicine, mountains, muffins! We live in a limitless Universe overflowing with miracles! The fact that we aren’t stumbling around in an inconsolable state of sobbing awe is appalling. The Universe must be like, what more do I have to do to wake these bitches up? Make water, their most precious resource, rain down from the sky? The Universe loves us so much, and wants us to partake in the miraculous so badly, that sometimes she delivers little wake-up calls. Like in the movies when someone narrowly escapes death and is so overjoyed and grateful that they take to the streets, skipping and laughing and madly hugging everyone in sight. Suddenly all their “problems” fall away and the miracle of being alive, today, in this moment takes over the screen. I know someone who got sucked through a dam and almost died who now speaks about it as one of his most profound and life-changing experiences. Not that I’d wish that on anyone, but take heart in the fact that should you require some sort of catastrophe for your transformation, it can be cosmically arranged. The Universe has also surrounded us with the perfect teachers. Animals, for example. Animals are in the present all the time, and their secret power is to pull us in with them. My friend’s dog is so happy to see her every single time she walks in the door it’s like she’s about to free him from forty years of imprisonment. Even if she’s only been gone for an hour. You’re here. I’m here. I love you. I’m gonna pee all over the floor about it. Little kids are also excellent guides. Kids get so wrapped up in the joy of drawing or pretending or discovering that they’d rarely eat or bathe or sleep if we didn’t make them. They are constantly creating in a state of free-flowing, concentrated bliss, they haven’t yet learned to worry about what other people think of them or that perhaps they’re not as talented at finger painting as Lucy next door is. They are in the moment. There is fun in the moment. End of story. We would be wise to take more of our cues from the beasts and babies. All the stuff we’re so worried about creating and fixated on becoming is already right here, right now. The money you want already exists; the person you want to meet is already alive; the experience you want to have is available, now; the idea for that brilliant song you want to write is here, now, waiting for you to download the information. The knowledge and insight and joy and connection and love are all wagging their hands in your face, trying to get your attention. The life you want is right here, right now. What the hell am I talking about? If it’s all here, where is it? Think of it like electricity. Before the invention of the light bulb, most people weren’t aware of electricity’s existence. It was still here, exactly the same way it is right now, but we hadn’t yet woken up to it. It took the invention of the light bulb to bring it to our attention. We had to understand how to manifest it into our reality. It’s not that the things and opportunities that we want in life don’t exist yet. It’s that we’re not yet aware of their existence (or the fact that we can really have them). The more practiced you become at being present and connected to Source Energy, the more available you are to download ideas and seize opportunities that you might miss out on if you’re all wrapped up in the endless chatter in your head. There’s a great Hindu story about a lady who wanted to meet the god Krishna. So she went into the forest, closed her eyes, and prayed and meditated on making the god appear and lo and behold, Krishna came wandering down the forest path toward her. But when Krishna tapped the lady on the shoulder, she, without opening her eyes, told him to get lost because she was busy meditating on a very important goal. When we get so wrapped up in our heads, we miss out on what’s available to us right now in the moment. Stop and notice how you feel right now. Feel your breath moving in and out of your body. Feel the air on your skin. Feel your heart beating. Your eyes seeing. Your ears hearing. Notice the energy inside and outside of you buzzing. Shut off your thoughts and feel your connection to Source. B-r-e-a-t-h-e. Even if you’ve got bone-chilling credit card debts or you haven’t spoken to your mother in six years, right now, in this moment, you can find peace and joy in that which simply is. As adults with responsibilities like bodies to care for and mortgages to pay, there’s some value in taking a side trip away from the present moment every once in a while; sometimes we need to think about and plan for the future, as well as study the past in order to learn from it or laugh about it or to bury it out back and let it go forever. And if we just stopped by for the occasional visits to the future and past, that would be one thing, but the amount of time we spend chewing on junk-food thoughts about what-ifs and how-comes—Lawd help us! The more time you spend in the moment, the richer your life will be. Being present gets you out of your head and connects you to Source Energy, which raises your frequency, which attracts things of like frequency to you. And all of those high-frequency things and experiences are already here, just waiting for you to join the party, all you have to do is shut up, show up, and usher them in. CHAPTER 4: THE BIG SNOOZE Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are. —Kurt Cobain; you know who this one is, right? When I first started getting into self-helpery, there was lots of talk about something called the “Ego” that confused the hell out of me. I always thought that Ego was about being conceited and braggy and all, “I’m gonna talk on and on and on about how great I am and then I’m gonna show you my muscles.” Meanwhile, even though arrogance and conceit (which are different from self-love and confidence, BTW) are part of the Ego, they’re not, as I later learned, the whole dealio. In the self-help/spiritual community, “Ego” is used to refer to the shadow self, or the false self, or the self that’s acting like a weenie. It’s the part of us that’s driving the bus when we do things like sabotage our happiness by cheating on our husbands or wives because deep down we don’t feel worthy of being loved, or that refuses to follow our hearts and pursue an acting career because we’re terrified to be seen for who we really are or that goes on and on and on and on about how great we are and shows off our muscles because we’re insecure and need lots of outside validation that we’re good enough. In other words, there’s more than one way to go on an ego trip. From here on out, I’m going to refer to the Ego as the Big Snooze. Or BS for short. I think it’ll be less confusing. Plus I think it’s more appropriate, since the leading cause of sucking (staying broke, dating morons, uncontrollably crying in public because we hate our lives) is that we haven’t yet woken up to how truly powerful we are or to how massively abundant our Universe is. Alrighty, so, moving forward. The Big Snooze operates according to your limiting false beliefs. This is the garbage that was stuffed into your subconscious as a kid that doesn’t ring true for you, as well as the decisions you’ve made about yourself that are less-than flattering or empowering. It gets validation from outside sources (I’m doing this to win your love, your opinion of me is more important than my opinion of me), it’s reactive (My circumstances control my life, I am a victim), fear-based, and extremely committed to keeping you safely confined within the reality you’ve created based on these limiting false beliefs (otherwise known as your comfort zone). The Big Snooze lives in the past and in the future and believes you are separate from everything around you. Your true self or your higher self or your superhero self (your non-BS self), on the other hand, is the part of you that operates according to your connection to Source Energy. It gets validation from within (I love and trust myself, this feels right to me, I have a purpose, I am loved), it’s proactive (I’m in control of my life, I think I’ll head on out and kick me some ass), love-based, and is committed to creating a reality based on your limitless potential—as soon as you wake up from the Big Snooze. Your true self lives in the present (not stuck in your head), totally believes in miracles and is one with the Universe. We all experience life in varying degrees from both perspectives, and while I seriously doubt there’s anyone who’s totally Snooze-free, most people are so wrapped up in the BS that they’re settling for realities that are waaaaaaaay beneath what’s available to them. Very few people are even aware of what’s available, however, because we live in a fear-based society that loves to get all uppity toward people who wake up from the Big Snooze, blast out of their comfort zones, and follow their hearts into the great unknown. Oftentimes, taking great leaps of faith is labeled as irresponsible or selfish or insane (until you succeed of course, then you’re brilliant). This is because: Watching someone else totally go for it can be incredibly upsetting to the person who’s spent a lifetime building a solid case for why they themselves can’t. I’m obviously generalizing, and there are plenty of people out there cheering us on, but one of the first things you might have to deal with when you decide to wake up from the Big Snooze and make massive positive changes in your life is disapproval from other people who are snoring away. Especially the people closest to you, lame as this may sound. They may express their discomfort in all sorts of ways: anger, hurt, bafflement, criticism, snorting every time you talk about your new business or your new friends, constant remarks about how you’re not the way you used to be, brow furrowing, worrying, teasing, blocking you from all social media outlets, etc. Shirley, are you really going to quit your secure, corporate job to open a nail salon when you’ve got two children, a mortgage, and high blood pressure? So few new businesses succeed, especially in this economy—aren’t you worried about what will happen to your family if you fail? Of course Shirley is worried about what will happen to her family if she fails! She wakes up every night seized by panic about it, but she’s moving past her fear to create something she’s really psyched about, rather than dying a slow painful death hanging around the watercooler with you, whining about how dry the cake was at the birthday party your boss threw for you in the conference room last week. Even though they’re often doing it out of love and concern, having others smear their fear and worry all over you is the last thing you need when you’re strengthening your superhero muscles to step out and take some risks, so I highly recommend keeping your mouth shut around people who are gonna bring you down. Instead, seek out those who are already totally kicking butt (or who are lifting up their foot to do so), or people who you know will be supportive, and confide in them. Because you’ll have your own internal freak show to deal with as you try to overcome the objections from your own BS. The Big Snooze is like an overprotective Italian mother who not only doesn’t want you to ever go outside, but who wants you to live with her forever. Her intentions are good, but fully fear-based. As long as you stay inside the familiar, risk-free zone of your present reality, the Big Snooze is content, but should you try and sneak past her to attend the rockin’ party outside, your overprotective, controlling mother is going to claw, scratch, scream, bite, hurl her body in front of your rapidly approaching new life—basically she’s going to do whatever she can to stop you. And it ain’t gonna be pretty. It’s like when you quit smoking or doing drugs and go into withdrawal. Finally, you’ve taken a leap and done something that’s going to massively improve your life, and for days, sometimes weeks, you feel worse than you did when you were a wild child. You’re hacking up all this nasty crap, ridding your body of toxins, shaking, sweating, puking, wondering why on Earth you thought this was a good idea. It’s really fun. Same goes for when we rid ourselves of limiting subconscious beliefs that have been holding us back and take a giant leap outside our comfort zone. It’s a detox of such staggering proportions that sometimes it can feel like The Universe is conspiring against us—trees fall on our cars, our computers crash, we find our significant others in bed with our best friends, we get our identities stolen, we get the flu, our roofs cave in, we sit in gum—when in reality, The Big Snooze is creating chaos in an attempt to self-sabotage and keep everything as is, instead of moving forward into unknown, yet desperately wanted, new territory. Every successful person knows this and has been through this. When taking great leaps forward, life often turns to shit before it turns to Shinola. I realize this might seem a bit far-fetched, but remember, you create your reality. And you’ve spent a lifetime creating the one you presently have largely based on your limiting beliefs. When you decide to re-wire these beliefs, go for what’s truly in your heart and do a massive overhaul on yourself and your world, you’re basically murdering the Big Snooze. And she is going to come at you, rolling pin raised high over her head, to beat you back into your old life. We are very powerful creatures who create our realities through focused energy, and should our subconscious mind decide to focus that energy at stopping ourselves from taking a risk because it’s freaking out and terrified, things can get a little crazy around here. The Big Snooze will do everything it can to stop you from changing and growing, especially since you’re attempting to obliterate the very identity that you and everyone else has come to know as “you.” Never underestimate the power of the Big Snooze scorned. Sometimes the Big Snooze sets up emotional blocks to try and stop us, other times she gets physical. I have a client who decided to quit his ho-hum yet high-paying job to start his dream company from scratch. He had no idea where to start, what he wanted to do or how he was going to pull it off, and regardless of the fact that he had a family that was counting on him, no guarantees and even fewer leads, he quit his secure job and went for it because he was determined to create a life he loved. That’s when the BS hit the fan—he got not one, but two flat tires after leaving a coaching session with me, his babysitter ran into his wife’s car while driving his car, the water main under his kitchen exploded, and right before his first big deal went through, he got hit by a freakin bus (I’m pleased to report he’s fine). But even with all those extremely convincing excuses to say Ok, fine, screw it, you win, he never gave up. Today he finds himself being his own boss, doing what he loves, traveling the world, negotiating multi-million dollar deals, making a huge difference in his clients’ lives, being creative and setting an excellent example for his kids about living life on purpose. A record producer I worked with decided to build her own recording studio. She put all her money and effort into buying all the recording equipment, instruments, amps, soundproofing, etc., only to have the entire thing burn to the ground almost immediately after it was completed. Instead of closing the shades, getting into bed and sucking her thumb for the next two years, she raised the money she needed to rebuild an even better studio and is now rocking so hard that she gets to hand pick the musicians she works with and basically live out her fantasy life. So if you finally decide to quit your soul-crushing job and start the pastry shop of your dreams, be not upset if a truck drives through your front window into your scones. Instead of taking this as a sign that you shouldn’t have opened your shop, take it to mean that you’re ridding yourself of your BS and moving in the right direction. Growth ain’t for weenies, but it’s no where near as painful as living the life you’re living right now if you’re not really going for it. If you want to take control of your life and turn it into something as spectacularly “you” as have the people I described above, stop at nothing. Have faith. Trust that your new life is already here and is far better than the old. Hang tight if the Big Snooze pitches a fit. Whatever happens, stay the course, because there’s nothing cooler than watching your entire reality shift into one that is the perfect expression of you. CHAPTER 5: SELF-PERCEPTION IS A ZOO I’m okay, I’m not okay. —The title of my friend Cynthia’s yet-to-be-written autobiography I have a friend who’s a professional speaker. She’s the kind of person who is so articulate, so powerful and bright and naturally captivating, that she could be standing at the counter, ordering a burrito and I’d get all teary-eyed: ”That’s right! No refried beans! You heard the woman!” So imagine my surprise when, after one of her talks, she plunked herself down next to me and demanded to know how boring it was. I also have gorgeous friends who think they’re hideous looking, brilliant clients who one moment think they’re God’s gift to mankind and the next need to be talked off the ledge of self-proclaimed ineptitude, and an entrepreneurial neighbor who can’t decide if she’s a financial powerhouse or if she’s about to cause her family to start living underneath a bridge. Self-perception is a zoo. We spend our lives drifting between glimpses of our own, infinite glory and the fear that not only are we totally incapable/unworthy/lazy/horrible, but that it’s only a matter of time before someone blows the whistle on us. We torture ourselves incessantly, and for what purpose? If we can glimpse the glory (and I know you can), why do we waste our precious time giving any energy to the other options? Wouldn’t life be so much more fun, productive, and sexy if we fully embraced our magnificently delightful selves? It’s just as easy to believe we’re awesome as it is to believe we’re giant sucking things. Takes the same amount of energy. The same amount of focus. So why do we choose all the drama? Have you ever noticed how when someone you admire goes out and does something phenomenal, you’re happy for her or him, but you’re not surprised—of course they did something phenomenal, they’re a phenomenal person! But to get yourself to see how amazing you are is like pushing a giant marshmallow up a hill. Yes, there we go, we are up, we are awesome! Ooop! We’re sagging—we are sagging on the left! Push it up. There we go. We are all good! Wait, now we’re sagging on the right . . . We run around, taking one step forward and fourteen steps back when it’s so unnecessary. Instead, try seeing yourself through the eyes of someone who admires you. They get it. They believe in you leaps and bounds. They aren’t connected to your insecurities and negative beliefs about yourself. All they see is your true glory and potential. Become one of your own die-hard fans, look at yourself from the outside, where all your self doubts can’t crawl all over you, and behold what shines through. You get to choose how you perceive your reality. So why, when it comes to perceiving yourself, would you choose to see anything other than a super huge rock star of a creature? You are a badass. You were one when you came screaming onto this planet and you are one now. The Universe wouldn’t have bothered with you otherwise. You can’t screw up so majorly that your badassery disappears. It is who you are. It’s who you always will be. It’s not up for negotiation. You are loved. Massively. Ferociously. Unconditionally. The Universe is totally freaking out about how awesome you are. It’s got you wrapped in a warm gorilla hug of adoration. It wants to give you everything you desire. It wants you to be happy. It wants you to see what it sees in you. You are perfect. To think anything less is as pointless as a river thinking that it’s got too many curves or that it moves too slowly or that its rapids are too rapid. Says who? You’re on a journey with no defined beginning, middle or end. There are no wrong twists and turns. There is just being. And your job is to be as you as you can be. This is why you’re here. To shy away from who you truly are would leave the world you-less. You are the only you there is and ever will be. I repeat, you are the only you there is and ever will be. Do not deny the world its one and only chance to bask in your brilliance. We are all perfect in our own, magnificent, fucked-up ways. Laugh at yourself. Love yourself and others. Rejoice in the cosmic ridiculousness. PART 2: HOW TO EMBRACE YOUR INNER BADASS CHAPTER 6: LOVE THE ONE YOU IS If we really love ourselves, everything in our life works. —Louise Hay; author, publisher, the Godmother of Self-Help who was doing it way back when it still wasn’t cool I was hanging out at my brother Bobby’s house one day, lying on the couch, watching his then-two-year-old son waddle around. At one point, someone knocked something off the coffee table, and my little nephew bent down to pick it up. Bobby turned to me and said, “Did you see that? The guy knows exactly how it’s done. He bends at the knees, keeps his back straight, hips squared, stomach tight—flawless!” Thrilled to have such a willing and skilled Exhibit A, Bobby then proceeded to spend the next couple of minutes dropping more things on the floor—a spoon, a TV remote, an empty can of beer—and my nephew, in perfect form, continued to pick it all up as my brother kept up a running commentary on his posture, muscle usage, seriousness of manner, and the fact that my nephew was pulling it all off with great dignity even though his diaper was sagging. “It’s incredible. The kid could flip over a car without straining his back. I can barely pull up my pants without having to be rushed to the hospital.” When we’re born, we have an instinctual understanding of some of the most important basics of life that includes, and goes way beyond, bending at our knees, instead of our lower backs, to pick a beer can up off the floor. We’re born knowing how to trust our instincts, how to breathe deeply, how to eat only when we’re hungry, how to not care about what anyone thinks of our singing voices, dance moves, or hairdos, we know how to play, create, and love without holding back. Then, as we grow and learn from the people around us, we replace many of these primal understandings with negative false beliefs, fear, shame, and self-doubt. Then we wind up in emotional and physical pain. Then we either numb our pain with drugs, sex, booze, TV, Cheetos, etc. Or we settle for mediocrity. OR we rise to the occasion, remember how truly mighty we are, and set out to relearn everything we knew at the beginning all over again. It’s like we’re born with a big bag of money, more than enough to fund any dream of ours, and instead of following our instincts and our hearts, we invest in what other people believe we should invest in. Some people invest in believing they’re too old to go out clubbing when they love nothing more than the boogie, some invest in being tough and too-cool-for-school when all they want is love and connection, some invest in being ashamed of their sexuality instead of being their gloriously gay selves. As we continue to buy into these things that aren’t even true for us, our inner fortunes dwindle away, and it isn’t until we reconnect with who we truly are and start investing in what’s true for us that we start to live rich, full, authentic lives. And while there are countless ways that we rip ourselves off, there’s one way in particular that is, without a doubt, the most rampant and the most devastating of all: we invest everything we’ve got in believing that we’re not good enough. We arrive here as perfect little bundles of joy and then set about the task of learning to un-love ourselves! How unbelievably ridiculous is that?! Self-love, the simplest yet most powerful thing ever, flies right out the window when we start taking in outside information. I’m not talking about conceit or narcissism, because those things also come from fear and a lack of self-love. I’m talking about a deep connection with our highest selves, and an unshakable ability to forgive our lowest. I’m talking about loving ourselves enough to let go of guilt, resentment, and criticism and embrace compassion, joy, and gratitude. When we’re happy and all in love with ourselves, we can’t be bothered with the bullshit (our own or other people’s). Imagine what our world would be like if everyone loved themselves so much that they weren’t threatened by other people’s opinions or skin colors or sexual preferences or talents or education or possessions or lack of possessions or religious beliefs or customs or their general tendency to just be whoever the hell they are. Imagine how different your reality would be (and the reality of everyone surrounding you) if you woke up every morning certain of your own lovability and your critically important role on this planet. And if you poo-pooed shame, guilt, self-doubt, and self-loathing and allowed yourself to be, do, and have everything your little heart desired. THAT’S the kind of world I want to live in. In the interest of perpetuating such radical, reality-altering self-love, here are some of the best ways to win yourself over again: 1. APPRECIATE HOW SPECIAL YOU ARE There will never be anyone exactly like you. You were given special gifts and talents to share with the world, and even though everybody has special gifts and talents, nobody will use theirs quite the same way you do. You have a way of being in the world and a perspective that’s unique to you. You are the only one who thinks your thoughts the way you think them. You have created your own unique reality and are living your life according to your own unique path. You are the only you that will ever be. You are kind of a big deal. 2. DROWN YOURSELF IN AFFIRMATIONS Trust me, I wouldn’t do this to you unless I had to, but affirmations work. You don’t have to say them in the mirror, you don’t have to hug yourself or buy a special rainbow journal with a lock on it to write them down in, but if you want to turn the ship around, you need to rewire your brain and train it to think differently. And this is what affirmations can do for you. Figure out which affirmations you need to hear the most and repeat them all day long in your head, in the car, while you’re walking down the street pretending to be on the phone, under your breathe in line at the DMV. Write them on Post-it notes and stick them around your house, on your mirrors, in your refrigerator, in your car. Write down your favorite affirmations ten times every morning and ten times every night before you go to bed and say them out loud. Here are some affirmations specific to self-love. Pick one or two that work for you and pummel yourself with them: • I deserve and receive massive amounts of love every moment of every day. • I am one with The Universe. The Universe is awesome and so am I. • My heart is open. Love pours in and out. • I receive all the good that life has to offer me. • I am brilliant, bright, and beautiful. • I love how tall I am and I love the size of my ass. Or whatever. If none of these work, come up with some that don’t make you gag but that strike a nerve with you. The more emotion you feel around what you’re saying, the more power it will have to bring about positive change. And yes, at the beginning it may feel like you’re lying to yourself, but the truth is, you’re living the lie, so the affirmations get you back to truth. This can’t be just rattling off nonsense—you have to feel it and want it and get worked up by it in order for it to work. 3. DO THINGS YOU LOVE When you constantly deny yourself the people, food, things, and experiences that make you feel the most alive, that sends a pretty lousy message home. Look at your life and see where you’re letting yourself down. If you hear yourself saying things like “I love going out to see live music! I can’t remember the last time I did it,” make time. We’re all busy, but it’s the people who make enjoying their lives a priority who, um, enjoy their lives. Right now, there are thousands of people all over the world at yoga retreats overlooking the ocean, dancing their asses off at outdoor music festivals or whooping it up on the Disney Cruise of their dreams. Really listen to how you speak and pay attention to what you do, and make a conscious effort to increase your joy in whatever capacity you can. It can be anything from spending a weekday afternoon with a great friend to quitting your hateful job to buying a pair of completely impractical but completely awesome new shoes to going on a surf vacation in Costa Rica. It’s about being proactive about creating a life you love instead of meekly living the one you think you’re stuck with. Give yourself the gift of a joyous life while you’re still among the living. Also, if you’re the kind of person who puts everyone else’s needs first, start putting yours up front. Those who are used to you being their personal assistant will still love you, even though they’ll be somewhat grouchy about you not waiting on them hand and foot anymore. Buy a new pair of jeans, open a savings account, hire someone to do your dishes, make your kids clean out the cat box—you aren’t a selfish person for taking care of yourself, just a happier one. Take care of yourself as if you’re the most awesome person you’ve ever met. 4. FIND A REPLACEMENT We’ve gotten so used to our negative knee-jerk reactions to ourselves that we never think to question them—we simply take them as the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth. But once we become aware of our thought patterns and behaviors, we can consciously change them. So start paying attention: What runs through your mind when you look in the mirror? What happens inside you when you see someone totally succeeding at something you’d love to do but have never let yourself try? What do you think and feel when you walk up to a group of really good-looking, successful people? Or when you try your best to pull something off and you fail? Or when you get dumped by someone who is totally awesome? And hot? Or when you walk around all day with your fly open? Or when you leave your coffee on the roof of your car and drive off? Or when you let a friend down? Or when you stub your toe on the kitchen table for the tenth time? Or when you forget your dad’s birthday? Or when you snap at someone who didn’t quite deserve it as harshly as you gave it to them? Notice the verbiage that runs through your mind when you’re being the most heinous to yourself and come up with a new-and-improved response. For example, if every time you look in the mirror, your first thought is yikes, make a conscious effort to change it to hi, gorgeous! If you have a complicated relationship with your father and beat yourself up every time you say something awful to him, replace I’m a monster with I’m just a little bunny, working through my issues. And then, of course, apologize to him. If your standard response to screwing something up is ugh, Her Royal Clumsiness strikes again, replace it with what can I learn from this? The most important thing is to free yourself from the drama and the conviction that your current version of yourself is the truth. I don’t care if you’re all, “that’s easy for you to say; you don’t have a nose that makes it look like someone parked a yacht on your face.” Because one day you could see some fancy and famous fashion model with a nose far bigger than yours is who decided she was gorgeous anyway, and suddenly you’ll feel beautiful and confident and all proud of your nose when, just the day before, you were considering getting it sawed off. This is how ridiculous we are. Do not spend your life clinging to the insulting decisions you’ve made about yourself. Instead, make the conscious choice to replace them with new and improved ones. 5. DITCH THE SELF-DEPRECATING HUMOR Incessant self-deprecating humor is for losers. I get it—it can be hilariously funny and I’m totally guilty of it from time to time and there’s nobody I’d more enjoy backing over with my car than the guy who can’t laugh at himself, but I’m talking about the nonstop, self-flagellating, I Suckfest. Ripping on yourself gets old. Fast. Especially if it’s your shtick. So if you’re one of those people who falls back on making fun of yourself, every hour on the hour, not only are you basically begging people to think you’re a loser, but you’re begging yourself to think you’re a loser. It’s like hitting yourself over and over with a crowbar. Why on earth would you do that to your awesome self? What you tell yourself on a daily basis is more powerful than you know. Seemingly harmless jokes, over time, turn into seriously destructive beliefs. Our thoughts become our words, our words become our beliefs, our beliefs become our actions, our actions become our habits, and our habits become our realities. So if your favorite joke is that you couldn’t get a date if you demanded one at gunpoint, and you spend every Saturday night alone, perhaps you should come up with a new one-liner. And most importantly, constantly making fun of yourself is such a cheap way to be funny. Anyone can do it. So push yourself to come up with a new script. Your confidence, and we humor snobs, will thank you. 6. LET THE LOVE IN Receive compliments gracefully instead of countering with a disclaimer such as, “Oh, this ratty old thing?” Try this instead: “Thank you.” Period. Take care of your body, too. We, if you’re anything like me, run around doing all our busy work with our poor bodies flapping behind us like old wind socks. When we’re pressed for time, it’s often the first thing to get overlooked. “I’ve got five meetings today, I’ll do my yoga tomorrow and have a power bar for lunch.” Meanwhile, during our little sojourn here on earth, we need our bodies more than they need us. Say nice things about your body, dress it up, and take it out. Give it hot sex, luxurious baths, and massages. Move it, stretch it, nourish it, hydrate it, pay attention to it—The better our bodies feel, the happier and more productive we are. 7. DON’T COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS Have you ever done something that you’re so proud of and feel all on top of the world about until you see that someone else has done something similar that, in your mind, is better, and all of a sudden you feel sad? Comparison is the fastest way to take all the fun out of life. It’s none of your business what other people are doing. All that matters is that you’re enjoying yourself and pleased with what you’re creating. It’s precisely your uniqueness that makes you awesome— deciding that someone else’s uniqueness is better than your own isn’t exactly being your own best buddy about things. Can you imagine what our world would be like if our biggest heroes succumbed to the perils of comparison? If Marilyn Monroe compared herself to Kate Moss and decided she needed to lose her curves? Or if the guys in Led Zeppelin compared themselves to Mozart? Dude. That guy’s huge. Way huger than we’ll ever be and he doesn’t even have a drummer. I think we should get rid of ours and maybe add some harps while we’re at it. You are more than enough. Avoid comparison like the plague. 8. FORGIVE YOURSELF (LISTEN UP! THIS ONE’S EXTREMELY IMPORTANT.) You have screwed up in the past. You will screw up again. Every human is born with the ability to make spectacular mistakes. You are not alone, screwing up is not your special skill. Get over it. Dragging around guilt and self-criticism is beyond unhealthy and is utterly pointless, not to mention boring. You aren’t a better person for feeling guilty or bad about yourself, just a sadder one. Get clear on this one truth: guilt, shame, and self-criticism are some of the most destructive forces in your life, which is why forgiving yourself is one of the most powerful. Here’s an excellent way to do it: Think of a specific thing that you did that you feel badly about. Call it up in your mind and feel it in your body. Repeat the following over and over while thinking of it and really feel what you’re saying to yourself: Holding on to my bad feelings about this is doing nothing but harming me, and everyone else, and preventing me from enjoying my life fully. I am an awesome person. I choose to enjoy my life. I choose to let this go. Repeat this until you feel a sense of freedom and lightness around your issue. It may take a day or a week or several months or it could happen right away. But however long it takes, do it, because if you want to be free, you have to put in the time. (See Chapter 15 for more tips on forgiveness and letting go.) And if you need to apologize to someone, pick up the phone. 9. LOVE YOURSELF Because it’s the Holy Grail of happiness. CHAPTER 7 I KNOW YOU ARE BUT WHAT AM I? I’m not offended by all the dumb blonde jokes because I know I’m not dumb. I also know I’m not blonde. —Dolly Parton; singer, songwriter, actress, altruist, businesswoman, bright shiny light A friend of mine—a brilliant writer—once called me in a panic when she suddenly became frozen with fear over the subject matter of the book she was working on and could no longer bring herself to write it. Her book was, among many other splendid things, very personal, dark, and twisted, and my friend was concerned that it was too much. That it was crossing the line. That she was exposing herself as a giant weirdo pervert freak. This brings up something that’s SO important to have a firm grasp on if you’re going to get anywhere near reaching your full potential in this life as a writer, an artist, a businessperson, a parent, a butcher, a baker, a candlestick-maker or as a fully realized and evolved human being in general: DO NOT WASTE YOUR PRECIOUS TIME GIVING ONE SINGLE CRAP ABOUT WHAT ANYBODY ELSE THINKS OF YOU. Imagine how liberating that would be! Other people’s opinions motivate every move we make in our teens and our twenties. And, as we age, if we’re moving in the right direction, our obsession with how we’re perceived by others begins to trickle away, but very few of us are able to escape its pointless grasp completely. Meanwhile, the truth is, the only questions you ever need to consider when making decisions about your life are: 1. Is this something I want to be, do, or have? 2. Is this going to take me in the direction I want to go (not should go)? 3. Is this going to screw over* anybody else in the process? We throw a wet blanket of ho-hummery over our lives when we live in fear of what others might think, instead of in celebration of who we are. Yes, it’s part of our survival instinct to care—get booted from the tribe and you’ll freeze to death or starve or be eaten by wolves. But because we have big brains and the ability to manifest anything we set our minds to, there is another version that’s equally plausible: Get booted from the tribe and start, or find, another tribe that’s more your style. You could not only wind up doing what you love surrounded by people you adore who you actually relate to, but you might one day realize you can no longer remember the names of the people whose approval you so desperately thought you would die without. Nobody who ever accomplished anything big or new or worth raising a celebratory fist in the air did it from their comfort zone. They risked ridicule and failure and sometimes even death. Think of the Wright brothers. Can you imagine how that whole thing went down? Margaret: Did you hear about poor Susan? Ruth: Susan Wright? Helen: Such a disgrace. Poor thing. Ruth: What happened? Margaret: Well, her sons . . . Helen: As if she hasn’t suffered enough. Birthing two boys as big as buffaloes, and now this . . . Margaret: Seems her two sons . . . Helen: You gonna eat the rest of your tapioca pudding? Mind if I help myself? Ruth: Tell me already, Margaret! Margaret: Well, this is going to sound as crazy as it is but they . . . Helen: And now her sons think they can fly. Such a shame. Margaret: . . . Her sons think—they think they can fly. Ruth: Think they can fly? Margaret: Yes, they think they can fly. They talk of nothing else. Helen: She just had the house painted, too. They’ll probably have to move out of town now. . . . Once you step away from the herd and let your true self shine, you’ll probably find yourself in front of the opinion firing squad (especially if what you want to do is extraordinary and outside of everyone’s comfort zones), which is why so many people run screaming from the lives they’d so love to live. Merely allowing yourself to be seen is a risk. I mean, look at how we treat celebrities—their every move is picked apart and passed around and discussed and judged and photographed without makeup on. It’s a wonder that only half of them spend time in rehab. You are responsible for what you say and do. You are not responsible for whether or not people freak out about it. Two people can walk out of the same movie, one person clinging to the walls, bloodshot and devastated, leaving a trail of tissues, more moved by this film than any other film in the history of cinema while the other person goes marching up to the ticket counter and demands her money back because she thought it was the worst piece of garbage to ever be projected onto a screen. One movie, two very different experiences. Why? Because it’s not about the movie, it’s about the moviegoers. What other people think about you has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them. The trick is to not only deny the criticism any power over you, but, even more challenging, to not get caught up in the praise. There’s nothing wrong with blushingly accepting a compliment, but if you find yourself always seeking outside approval that you’re good enough or cool enough or talented enough or worthy enough, you’re screwed. Because if you base your self-worth on what everyone else thinks of you, you hand all your power over to other people and become dependent on a source outside of yourself for validation. Then you wind up chasing after something you have no control over, and should that something suddenly place its focus somewhere else, or change its mind and decide you’re no longer very interesting, you end up with a full-blown identity crisis. All that matters is what’s true for you, and if you can stay connected to that without straying, you will be a mighty superhero. Everything else is just other people’s perception of reality, and that is none of your business. So how can you truly not care what other people think and be your most powerful Self? 1. ASK YOURSELF WHY Why are you about to say or do something? Is it to be liked? To put someone down because you feel insecure? To get someone back because they made a fat joke about your mother? Or is it coming from a place of strength and truth? Are you doing it because it’ll be fun? Because you feel called to do it? Because it’ll change someone else’s life in a positive, martyr-free way? Pay attention to your motivations (be honest). Practice coming from a place of integrity and you will be victorious. 2. ALWAYS DO YOUR BEST There’s no faster way to fall prey to outside input than when you’re feeling insecure. And there’s no better way to feel insecure than knowing you half-assed something or don’t really believe in what you’re doing. No matter what it is—raising your prices or raising your children—if you do the absolute best you possibly can, and come from a place of integrity, then you can be proud of yourself and not give a damn what anyone else thinks. 3. TRUST YOUR INTUITION Birds use their intuition to navigate their way to breeding grounds halfway around the world. Deer and rabbits and other prey type beasts use their intuition to avoid running into predators. The average human, on the other hand, will take the advice of their drunk-before-noon neighbor across the street instead of doing what deep down we know is best. How many times have you thought in hindsight, I knew I should have listened to my gut!? You have an incredible, inner guidance tool that you can use whenever you need it. Tell everyone to shut up and go away, get quiet, give yourself room to feel and think. You have all the answers inside of you. Practice sharpening your intuition, take the time to strengthen your connection to Source Energy, and trust that you know what’s best for you. The more centered and tuned-in you are, the mightier you will be (look for more tips on how to do this later in this book). 4. FIND A TEMPORARY ROLE MODEL Find a mentor or a hero or a role model. Get clear on why this person is impressive and inspiring to you, and when faced with a challenge that leaves you guessing how to react, ask yourself, What would my hero do? Not caring what others think is a muscle that can take some time to build up, so use this trick while you’re still getting strong, and before you know it, you’ll be able to ditch your hero and start asking yourself, What would I do? 5. LOVE YOURSELF No matter what anyone else thinks. IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT OUTSIDE OPINIONS: While you are unauthorized to base your self-worth on what other people think, it doesn’t mean you should miss out on the opportunity to benefit from outside input altogether. Especially input from those who know you well. There is such a thing as constructive criticism, and constructive complimenting. But whether or not they are constructive depends on you. For example, if people have been telling you for years that you’re a hothead, that they feel like they can’t be open with you because the second you disagree with them you blow up in their faces, ask yourself Is this true (be honest)? Can I use this information to better myself and the lives of others? If the answer is yes, commit to making the necessary changes; if the answer is no, let it go. Same goes for compliments. If people constantly tell you you’re a good listener, ask yourself, Is this compliment true for me? Can I use this information to better myself and the lives of others? Again, if the answer is yes, figure out how you can capitalize on it; if the answer is no, let it go. Sometimes it’s easier for other people to see what we can’t see ourselves, so if they can help us connect with our truths and live happier, more authentic lives, then it’s worth taking the time to listen. It still ultimately comes down to what’s true for you, however, so the more connected to your inner truth you are, the easier it will be to use outside opinions to your advantage, rather than let them rule your life. *The definition of screwing someone over is taking their money and doing a lousy job or destroying their water source or enslaving populations, things like that—your mother being disappointed or your father disapproving or your friends being outraged does not qualify as screwing someone over. CHAPTER 8: WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE? The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure. —Joseph Campbell; American mythologist, author whose books/ideas influenced the making of Star Wars Getting clear about what your unique purpose is can be the difference between living a happy, fulfilled life of abundance, choice, and expansiveness or living in the restrictive veal pen of your own indecision and tired old excuses. A gift, of course, is meant to be given, which is why it’s so brutal when we can’t figure out what ours is, or when we know what it is, but we’re too lame to act on it: here we have the perfect gift to share with the world, just bursting to be opened, and we keep it sitting there, wrapped tightly in a box, growing old and gathering dust. Oh the waste! The agony! Meanwhile, the joy of giving someone the perfect gift is unparalleled. We all know how it feels, hopping back and forth from foot to foot, wringing our hands, practically peeing in our pants, begging them to open it. OPEN IT ALREADY! Jesus H. Christ . . . here let me freakin’ do it! The power of giving is so strong that the excitement and the good feelings are often greater for the giver than for the receiver. Which is why, when you find your calling and you design your life in such a way that you can share your gifts with the world on a consistent basis, you feel like a rock star. When we share what we were brought here to give, we are in alignment with our highest, most powerful selves. Most people, however, wander through their lives giving the tasteful candle version of their gifts. You know—they don’t show up to the party empty-handed or anything; they present their somewhat flaccid gift to the world, receive a warm hug, and an, “Oh, you shouldn’t have,” in return, but they don’t knock it out of the park. For example, they get a job doing something that they either hate or that’s a bit of a yawn but is, you know, okay. It affords them a life that covers the basics as long as they don’t go too crazy. They do fun stuff but not as much as they’d like because they don’t have the money. Or the time. Or the belief that they deserve to. They have little victories here and there, they meet their sales quota and win the six-day cruise to the Bahamas or rack up enough miles to go stay with their aunt and see the Olympics or finally sit down and write an entire song that they may or may not ever record or perform, but they never truly go for it and create a life that really lights them up. They basically Big Snooze their lives away. Every single person is born with unique and valuable gifts to share with the world. Once we figure out what ours are, and decide to live our lives putting them to use, that’s when, and only when, the real party begins. Living a life on purpose is available to everyone. So if you’re struggling or settling or completely confused about what you’re supposed to do with your life, know that the answer is already here. It exists and so does the life you can’t wait to create. You just need to get some clarity first. There are entire books written on finding your calling (some of the best of which I share in the Resources section in the back of this book and on my website), but the following are a few of my favorite tips. Keep in mind there’s no right way to go about this. Everyone’s journey is unique, but we’re all trying to get to the same place—the place where we feel happiest, the most alive, and the most like ourselves. Even if you’ve nailed the perfect career for yourself, read on, because these tips can help you in all areas of your life. How to get clear on who you are and what your calling is: 1. BE THE ALIEN Imagine that you’re an alien floating around in outer space and you suddenly swoop down to Earth and inhabit your own body. As the alien, everything about this life is new to you. You look around—what do you see? What is this person who you’ve inhabited so obviously awesome at? What do they have the most fun doing? What connections do they have? What resources and opportunities are available to them? As the alien, to whom everything is new and exciting and there’s nothing at risk and no past to lug around, what are you going to do with this incredible new life you’ve stepped into? How are you going to use this new body and this existence to create something fabulous and awesome starting right now? This exercise is hugely helpful for getting a new perspective and stepping outside our boring-ass ruts of tired old excuses and lame habits. It can also be very useful in making you aware of all the staggering possibilities and resources that you have at your fingertips and take for granted or do not see. Sometimes it’s as simple as looking at things with new eyes to see how astoundingly fortunate we are. Be the alien for twenty-four hours and see what you come up with. 2. TAKE THE FIRST RIGHT STEP Instead of wasting hours and days and years trying to figure out your perfect next move, just DO something already. Oh the time we waste rolling ideas around in our heads, imagining what-ifs, coming up with perfect reasons why and then perfect reasons why not, tearing at our cuticles, making our friends and family carefully screen their calls in case it’s us again, wanting to go over some ideas. Get out of your head and take action. You don’t have to know exactly where it’s going to take you, you just need to start with one thing that feels right and keep following right-feeling things and see where they lead. Most answers reveal themselves through doing, not thinking. When I discovered my calling as a coach I was, ironically, in the midst of a lifelong obsession with figuring out what the hell my purpose was. While I always knew writing was part of it, I also knew I wasn’t meant to spend my life locked away in a silent room alone and half-crazed, wrestling words into submission. I wanted something that A) Involved interacting with other people B) Helped people in some sort of direct way C) Was really fun and D) Forced me to bathe, dress and leave my house. That’s about all I had to go on, that and my intense desire to figure it out, so when a friend told me I should check out a women’s entrepreneurial think-tank group that had just started up, I figured I’d go. We were all supposed to bring a project to work on, but I had nothing, just the hope that I’d get some ideas from something someone else brought to the table. After sitting there for four weeks watching this roomful of women figure out what they love to do and turn their brilliant ideas into businesses, or grow the businesses they already had, I still had no project of my own. But I did know what I wanted to do. I went up and asked the facilitator if she needed any help, which she did. She hired me, and I started leading these groups, which, after a few years, led to me starting my own coaching practice, which led to me working with clients all over the world which led to me sitting at the kitchen counter writing this book. No matter how clueless you may feel right now, pay attention to suggestions and opportunities that suddenly present themselves. And notice how you feel—is there something for you that, for whatever reason, feels like it might be good to check out? What have you been saying forever that you’d love to do? Has somebody mentioned a course or a teacher or a book that keeps sticking in your mind? Take the first step in the direction toward something that feels right and see where it leads you. And do it NOW. 3. DO YOUR BEST WHEREVER YOU’RE AT Once you take this first step, it’s possible that you won’t land in your dream situation right away. You might land on a stepping-stone. It could be an awesome stepping-stone, or it could be kind of an unpleasant stepping-stone. But no matter where your first step lands you, if you want to keep moving forward, appreciate wherever you’re at instead of feeling ashamed or grouchy or impatient about it. Everything you do along your journey contributes to where you’re going. Let’s say you’ve decided that you’re going to go after your fantasy of being a rock star, and you take a job waiting tables so you have the flexibility to travel and play gigs and go in the studio. Clearly, your calling is playing music, not being concerned that some whiney customer’s French onion soup is allegedly too cold, but it’s essential that you care anyway. Having a good attitude and being grateful for all the things that are helping you live the life of your dreams will not only make your life a more pleasant place to be, and get you bigger tips, but it will also raise your frequency and attract the people and opportunities to you that will take you in the direction you want to go. This is where really being present in the moment comes in handy. Granted, you may not be onstage in front of thousands doing a split in the air, but remember that you are going for it, you are bravely moving toward your dream, you are surrounded by unthinkable miracles and opportunities. Lean back, relax, and be grateful that you’re living on purpose, that you’re hanging out in a high frequency, and that everything you need is zooming toward you. 4. DON’T REINVENT THE WHEEL Look around and see what other people out there are doing. Whose life makes you totally jealous? What things are people doing that you would love to do too? Who do you think is the coolest person ever? You don’t need to invent your ideal life from scratch, you just need to figure out what makes you feel alive. So if what someone else is doing sparks your interest, take notice. It could mean that your calling has something in common with theirs. Get specific about the things in their lives that turn you on. Is it because they get to travel the world? Is it that they have a solid routine? Is it that they have no routine? Is it that they work alone? That they work in the nude? That they get to be outside all day? That they work with their hands? Their eyes? Their ears? Their animals? Their spouse? The more specific you get, the easier it will be to create a picture of what you want. Read magazines that interest you, talk to as many people as you can, hang out in places where people who share your interests hang out. Put yourself out there and you never know what you might learn that will inform your next move, or whom you might meet that will present you with your next opportunity. 5. DON’T GET CAUGHT UP IN THE THUNDERBOLT HYPE I think one of the most paralyzing misconceptions is that we’re all supposed to have one true calling that comes to us in a mighty flash of soul-defining insight. While there are those people who’ve always known exactly what they want to do, there are a hell of a lot more of us out there who spend most of our lives, if not all of our lives, wandering around looking under rocks and behind trees for who we are. Let yourself off the hook if you don’t have that one, big, perfect thing that you know you came here to do (same goes for finding the one, big, perfect soul mate, BTW), and feel good about the fact that you’ll probably fulfill several callings throughout your life (and possibly relationships). If you think about it, it makes more sense to evolve as you age anyway. When I think about who I was in my twenties compared to who I am now, I can’t imagine anything more unappealing than going after some of the things that resonated with me back then. Follow what feels good in the moment, every moment, and it will lead you through a most excellent life. 6. LISTEN TO YOUR INTUITION If you really want to get in touch with who you are and what you love to do, and who you love to do it with, dedicate some time to tuning in to your intuition. One of the best ways to do this is to spend five minutes of quiet, by yourself, every day. We spend the vast majority of our time moving at full speed ahead, both physically and mentally, and we literally bulldoze over the very answers we’re seeking because they can’t be heard above the din. When you sit quietly and ask, you get an answer. Eventually. Stick with it, be patient and wait to hear from your inner guidance. You have all the answers you need, you just need to give them the chance to get through to you. 7. FOLLOW YOUR FANTASIES Now that I’ve given you all the kinder, gentler ways to figure yourself out, I’m going to suggest something you’re probably not going to like so much: Jump in the deep end and follow your fantasies. What do you fantasize about when you’re staring out the window of a train, or before you go to sleep at night, or when you’re pretending to listen to someone really boring talk your ear off? Are you onstage doing stand-up comedy in front of thousands of hysterical fans? Are you surrounded by your beautiful children in the coziest, happiest home ever? Are you being celebrated for building orphanages around the world? Do this exercise as if money were not an issue. Tap into what brings you great joy instead of what you think you need to do to survive. If you had an unlimited supply of cash, what would you spend your life doing? Our fantasies are the most revealing peepholes into who we are and what we think is awesome. No matter how out-there and ridiculous they may seem, they mean something to us, and usually represent our biggest and best versions of ourselves. Our fantasies are our realities in an excuse-free world. Meanwhile we’d all be mortified if anyone could read our minds and catch us in the act—“I know, it’s totally stupid, I want to sing on Broadway.” Well, is it really stupid? Someone’s out there doing it, so why couldn’t you? Much of the time we pretend we aren’t clear on what our calling is when what’s really going on is that we’re horrified to face it because it seems too big or too impossible to make a living at or completely out of the question for us. But what if you had the aud