it’s my “good god, i can’t believe i’m doing this” anniversary

"Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen." - Brene Brown #courage #quote #brenebrown

One year ago today, I got brave and told the truth – knees knocking, voice quivering, angels dancing.

And as soon as I let courage take charge, everything changed. 

Though I’d been posting stories here about my personal journey – from magical moments to massive sinkholes – since 2006, I’d been holding back on one small (okay, major) thing. “What I haven’t shared publicly,” I wrote in a blog post called The Sixth Sense: There’s Something I Need To Tell You,  “is the extent of my own life-long intuition.”

It had been a lifelong secret, shared only with close family and friends, and in circles I deemed super-safe. For so many years I was scared of being labeled as crazy, worried I wouldn’t be taken seriously in other aspects of my work, and unsure how to put those gifts to good use. So, I quietly worked to hone it, experiment with it, set boundaries around it, and share the gifts of it with folks I trusted. By the time 2013 rolled around, it felt like I was leading a double life; downplaying my intuitive connection with some folks while letting it flow with others. I could practically see the crossroads before me.

"To reach a crossroads is to realize we must choose which map to follow: the one drawn in fear or the one crafted by faith." - Liv Lane

 

Ultimately, my decision to come clean with all of you was born out of faith, as I realized that hiding the truth – letting fear win – was no longer working. Why would the benevolent God I believe in give me this, I wondered, if I’m not meant to put it to good use? It was so much bigger than me. So I surrendered to it, devoted my work to it, and let the universe take the wheel.

And holy wow. The response was crazy-amazing. Not only from dear hearts like you who celebrated my announcement and intuitive connections (thank you so much!), but from the Great Beyond. From the get-go, opportunities arrived, ideas flowed, my calendar filled with readings and speeches and projects. And their impact on others over this past year has been awe-inspiring for me; it is an absolute honor to usher in meant-for-you messages and bear witness to the transformations, the aha moments, the soul-deep truths that result from these connections.

It almost seems silly now, looking back on how fear nearly kept me from this. It is so easy to get in our own way, to be the one thing that keeps us from experiencing the big things, the brave things, the meaningful things. Truth is, we can’t experience magic while hiding from it. That’s what this year has taught me and I’m eternally grateful.

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Divine Interventions weekly email from Liv LaneBRAND NEW! This morning, I unwrapped an anniversary gift for YOU!  Divine Interventions is a brand new, FREE weekly email with brief but powerful channeled wisdom to help you get unstuck and cultivate joy. See the first issue by clicking here. And to add yourself to the list, please click here.

DON’T FORGET! Spark*Sisters Online starts Monday and so many amazing women have signed on to find and create sacred circles for expanding their passions, purpose and prosperity. Get all the details over here.

remember who you are (an ode to bravery)

Remember Who You Are

wall mural in oakland, california

Apparently, I’ve had so much going on inside, that I forgot to report back to the outside. I stopped by my own blog this morning and was shocked to see I haven’t posted here in weeks.

When I’m trudging through giant change in my life, I often don’t even realize the magnitude of it until I emerge again on the other side. And by then, it feels impossible to explain the details, to organize the synchronicities and revelations in a way that matters to anyone else.

But I still wanna try.

I want to write an ode to bravery. I want to tell you it’s worth it – the vulnerability, the nervousness, the speaking up and the calming down. I want to highly recommend the self-reflection that feels blinding and brutal  right up until it doesn’t, suddenly revealing the brightness of you.

I want you to experience the glory of remembering who you are. The little one with the pure heart, the sparkling eyes, the bursting joy, and the innate trust that all is well. She’s still in there, playing hide-and-seek. Go inside and get her.

These past few months have rocked my world. Some shifts felt like earthquakes, others were subtle and sweet. Last summer, opening up here about my lifelong back-and-forth with the Great Beyond opened me up to receiving more. In the fall, saying yes and leaning into an 18 day conversation with Spirit left me (and many others) speechless. Gutted. Reborn. Radiant.

Saying yes – the deepest yes – to who I am and why I’m here has been met with so many yeses in my work. In December, my intuitive Firecracker Calls were already sold out through March (what!? yes.). Spirit comes through clearer than ever now; I am merely the channel for leading women to their own YES and it feels like such an honor every time. And then, to be guided into creating Project Light Year, a year-long experience that – only a few days in – is already revealing such huge shifts and amazing results for the women who said YES to it? It’s just the most beautiful gift. (You can still say yes to joining us, by the way)

I share this because I want to be your proof. A dangling carrot reminding you it works, it’s worth it. When you decide to be brave, to speak your truth, to trust the universe, to amplify your light, to remember who you are…feel free to tell the doubtful shadows that I told you to. I’ll be your scapegoat. And then, as you deepen your yes and see it reflected back into your life, your heart exploding like fireworks, pass it on. Become the one who tells the others that it works, that it’s worth it. Be the proof. I dare you to say yes.

cruising past the big kids: inside my life as a fly girl

Spread your wings and #fly | LivLane.com

When I was a little girl, I could fly.

I’m not talking about the times my dad would lift me in the air and twirl me above the crowd, nor about my great big imagination carrying me off to faraway places.

I’m telling you heart-to-heart, hand-to-God: I flew. I realize it sounds preposterous, impossible. I don’t understand it myself, but have such vivid memories of it that I’ve never doubted it. And that’s saying something, because I’ve doubted a lot about my lifetime of paranormal, hard-to-believe experiences.

I can still feel myself, primarily while I was four- to eight-years-old, sitting on the front step of my childhood home, frequently aware of otherworldly beings in my midst – loving protectors, ethereal guardians. They kept me company, made me feel safe and sometimes, on my favorite days, they helped me fly. Only up and down the sidewalk of our tree-lined avenue, mind you; they were very respectful of my parents’ rules – no leaving our side of the street! 

All I had to do was move my arms like I was swimming the breaststroke to pull my body forward. I could see the sidewalk three or four feet beneath me as I’d make my way up and down the block. It was the most incredible feeling; I was absolutely giddy, my whole body buzzing with glee and awe. Were they out-of-body experiences? Astral travel? Lucid dreams? I have no idea. They felt real – and they still do, all these years later.

The last time I remember it happening, I reached the end of our block and looked across the street to see a bunch of the cool neighbor boys driving their Big Wheels and bikes in circles on a driveway. One stopped cold and looked straight at me. I felt instant panic, my feet fell to the sidewalk and I ran home. I remember how heavy my body felt as I ran down the block, and how my heart ached, unsure what he saw but sensing that I’d done something wrong or abnormal – and that he might tell others. That fear kept me from flying again – literally and metaphorically.

Heart - Born to Fly on Swing hi-resI clipped my wings, so to speak; dimmed my light. I was very cautious about whom I shared my not-so-normal experiences with, growing quieter as the years passed. But I never forgot the flying.

Over the past few years, I slowly came back into my own, embracing and sharing the gifts of my intuition and connection with the Great Beyond. The past year has been particularly big on that front; I started 2013 by choosing THRIVE as my word of the year, feeling ready to bloom in new ways. But I had no idea how transparent I’d actually become about this deeper awareness.

Has it been scary? Absolutely. Has it been worth it? Without a doubt. For the first time in decades, I feel like I’m taking flight again. I have no plans to zoom down the block anytime soon (ha!), but I want to keep close the complete joy and fearlessness that felt so natural all those years ago.

So, it seems only fitting that my word of 2014 – the one that will guide me in my decisions and attitude this year – is FLY. I want to feel free, uninhibited, and filled to the brim with amazement for where I’m going, and the support I have to get me there. No more worrying about the big kids telling on me; I’ve got nothing left to hide. Ready, set, fly.

 __________________________

Want to fly with me this year? I’d love it! Here are some fun ways to stay connected in 2014…

Did you choose a word of the year for 2014? I’d love to hear it and what motivated you to choose it. Wishing you a brilliantly light-filled year, dear ones.

“have courage” art & jewelry {weekend swoon}

weekend swoon creative awesomeness

Courage has been top of mind for me this week, as I’ve witnessed so many of the students in my blogging class cracking wide open and learning to embrace the value of their voices and the purpose of their stories. That takes some serious courage and I can’t wait to see where it takes them. So, for this Weekend Swoon, I’ve got some great prints, cards and jewelry from courageous, creative peeps. Enjoy and support them if you can!

Vulnerability Is Our Most Accurate Measurement Of Courage / Brené Brown - Inspirational Quote Dictionary Page Book Art Print - DPQU068Brene Brown Print // WhiskerPrints // $8.99

Courage - unisex Cuff bracelet - via Rusted Chain JewelryCourage Bracelet // Rusted Chain Jewelry // $28

E E Cummings Courage Quote Paper Relics Letterpress Luxe Greeting Card

It Takes Courage Card // PaperRelics // $5

Courage Wood Sign - Your Choice of Color - Typography Word ArtCourage Doesn’t Always Roar Wooden Sign // Vinyl Crafts // $55

sz 5 Silver COURAGE RingSilver Courage Ring // Nora McNamara // $20

Courage Quote from Walt Disney - Pink Print

Courage Quote Print // SydneyNCompany // $32

sterling silver feather warrior earrings - COURAGE or your custom word - made to orderCourage Feather Earrings // VernonBea // $65

Creativity Takes Courage- 10x8 print

Creativity Takes Courage 10×8 Print // HelloNiccoCo // $20

Have a wonderful weekend, all – and may you find the courage to embrace your awesomeness!

overcoming fear: a shot of courage for dream chasers

courage quote from john o'donohue poem, via blog.livlane.com

The other day, I recorded an interview with Liz Uram for this week’s Strive to Thrive Telesummit (pssst – it’s free). She’s brought together nine wise women to share insights and action steps for living life to the fullest – and asked me to share my thoughts on turning passions into profits. Of course I said YES! I jump at any chance to talk about this – to share my own journey and help others change the course of theirs. Because I deeply believe that if you feel an interest or idea or passion (or a longing to find one) tugging at your heart, you have to follow it. It’s like getting a phone call from your own soul; the phone keeps ringing until you answer or take the receiver off the hook. Many folks are just too scared – of failure, of success, of judgment, of self-reflection, of all sorts of things.

So how do we overcome that fear?

When you’re standing at the edge of your life, thinking of taking a giant leap, I think the greatest fear buster is focusing on how your inner sparks can serve others. If you do what you love really well, how will it impact people? Will your creative pursuits entertain or uplift them? Will your knowledge help people see the world in a new way? Will your passion persuade? Will your persistence inspire? Will your story touch hearts?

Trade in quantity for quality, too. We all want to have a meaningful impact on as many people as possible. But keeping a running tally and using numbers to define the worth of you and your work actually undermines your authenticity and passion. Let’s move from how many we reach to how deeply we connect.

When we realize that the things that bring us joy can also help us be of service in small ways and big ways, fear dissolves and a sense of purpose takes it place. May we all find the courage to answer the call, to use our sparks to light up the world.

 

peek inside my spiritual toolbox

First things first, you guys. Giant, heartfelt thanks for all the love you’ve sent my way after posting the letter to my dad. Wow. If I haven’t yet responded to your message/email/tweet, please know I have read them all and been so touched by your stories, your support, your own tears. This has been a vulnerable, raw week for me and your kindness has lifted me up.

The other thing that got me through this week – and this past year – is my spiritual toolbox. That’s what my therapist calls it. I’ve seen Jeanne on and off for many years, from the time I was swimming in the deep end of PTSD. Not long after my dad died, I went back for grief therapy. Leading up to this week’s one-year marker, we reviewed the soul-soothing, spirit-lifting tools I can tap into during times of trouble.

Wanna see what I’ve packed inside my toolbox?

1. My camera. Photography is like prayer for me, especially out in nature. On Tuesday morning, I reserved time to go to the Minnesota Arboretum. I walked through the woods, on paths and off, and literally got lost – which made me feel found. All pics here are from that morning.

2. Breath. Mine. Deep. Cleansing. Sometimes I forget its power.

3. Music. I have soundtracks for different moods, playlists in my head, tunes to hum and make me feel better. We actually ended Tuesday evening with a spontaneous family sing-along, with my brother strumming a ukulele. I could feel my heart expanding.

4. Humor. The aforementioned sing-along was accompanied by wise cracks, missed words and great big belly laughs. I can literally feel my body’s chemical make-up change during a fit of laughter; it is essential for me.

5. Hot liquid. I know, sounds weird. But I know this about myself: my day is infinitely better if it starts with a hot shower. As the day wears on, I’m comforted by hot drinks – coffee, tea, chai. Love to feel that warmth running through me.

 6. Art making. I’ve taken to carrying around my paper and markers, just in case inspiration strikes when I’m out and about. Creating art is calming for me, always has been.

7. Grounding. Don’t worry if you ever see me crouched down outside on all fours. I’m simply releasing unwanted energy into the earth and imagining it disintegrating just at the surface so as not to harm anyone or anything.

Everything on the list, in my spiritual  toolbox, is accessible and doable at a moment’s notice {well, minus the ukulele}. And it’s all written down, in case I forget in an off moment. They sound like small things, but they create huge shifts in my SELF.

Already have your own spiritual toolkit? Tell me what’s in it! Need to fill yours up? Start noticing the simple things that bring you joy during the good times; they might just bring you joy during the rough spots, too.

 

The X Factor: Finding The Courage To Shine

I am such a sucker for talent shows. My DVR is full of recorded episodes of the new X-Factor and The Voice. I’m just amazed by the courage it takes for people to put their hopes and dreams on the line, to sing their hearts out or dance their booties off, in front of strangers and in competition with other talented folks. Just sitting in the audience, whether in person or on TV, I can feel my heart thumping inside my chest for each brave soul.

Holy smokes – did you see the bullying victim who appeared on last night’s X-Factor? 19-year-old Jillian Jensen sang through tears after sharing how she’d been bullied through middle school and high school, much like judge Demi Lovato had. By the time the judges all gave her “yes” votes, I had tears streaming down my face. It was really moving. I mean, how does a girl who’s been so emotionally bruised by cruelty from her peers muster up enough confidence to make her mark on the world?

I was compelled by her story and did a little digging. I found this online letter Jillian Jensen wrote to other bullying victims, detailing her own experience and the dark depression she went through as a result. Music was her lifeline – her spark – and it’s clear she had family and friends to both get her help and support her dreams. I know a little bit about finding your inner song and am so glad Jillian found hers. I hope she soars on X-Factor – for her sake and to inspire all the kids watching – the bullied and the bullies – and prove it’s possible to find the courage to shine.

P.S. Check out Jillian Jensen’s Facebook page, full of comments and gratitude from people who relate to her story.

 

Giveaway: Win a Spot in BuzzWorthy!

Speaking of sharing your brilliance, don’t forget – you’ve got until Friday at 11:59pm central to enter my giveaway: you could win 1 of 3 spots in my BuzzWorthy ecourse, which starts Oct. 1.

 

Learning To Love The Here & Now

Two springs ago, my parents offered to give us some of the overgrown ferns that were spreading through their glorious woods. Awesome! I said I’d be by the next day to pick them up and transplant them into my garden.

I remember that day because we had a downpour – hardly good gardening weather! But my dad went out to the woods anyway, dug up some ferns and carefully loaded them into the back of my car. He was so hopeful that they’d survive and add a little more beauty to our backyard. I can still see him in his soggy baseball cap and fogged-up glasses…and feel him giving me a kiss on the forehead before sending me and the ferns on our way.

That summer, the ferns were not happy. They clearly didn’t like their new surroundings {or maybe the way I planted them} and fought the change like crazy. They browned and curled and shriveled up within a few weeks. I was bummed and figured they were a lost cause.

But to my surprise, the ferns decided to give life another chance. Last spring, they burst into the world with new fervor and grew big and beautiful all summer long. I was so delighted! I imagined the ferns had spent that previous winter consulting each other beneath the frozen soil, going over their options:

“We liked our old woods. We didn’t ask for this change! But…if we keep fighting it, we’ll have no energy to thrive. If we allow ourselves to see the good around us, maybe we’ll feel good again, too. We do have some nice neighbors – hosta, lady slippers, tulips. And that woman seems to really want us to survive. So…let’s give this another shot.”

They did! And they were gorgeous. Now, spring is here again – and the ferns are unfurling in a wondrous way, emerging from their fetal position leaf by leaf. I caught myself thinking I should call my dad to share the good news – then realized I couldn’t and got a lump in my throat.  I didn’t ask for this change, I thought. I liked the way things were – not this new world, without him physically in it.

But as I sat with that precious baby fern, I knew it was whispering its own wisdom to me: “if we allow ourselves to see the good around us, maybe we’ll feel good again, too.” Every fiber of my being knows this to be true – but I needed a reminder from the unfurling ferns. As I sat there on the ground, I knew my dad was right there, too – still kissing me on the forehead and sending me on my way.

The ferns are choosing beauty. I am choosing beauty. And life is good.

The Whole Truth: Why I Took Drugs

Kelly Rae Roberts Original painting

{original art by kelly rae roberts}

It was the day after Christmas, 2010. I was sitting shotgun as we barreled down a Texas country road, heading to San Antonio for a week with my in-laws. That’s when it hit me. I made an awful sound – part squeal, part moan, part gasp – that nearly drove Brad off the road. “I forgot to pack my pills,” I urgently whispered to him, hoping the boys in the backseat wouldn’t hear. He knew right away what I meant: we were suddenly driving straight into the unknown. While I stared wild-eyed out the window, Brad remained calm, quietly assuring me I’d make it through the week. I tried to believe him, but he didn’t know if that was really true – and neither did I. Could I make it?

 

I had resisted medication throughout my treatment for postpartum depression and PTSD resulting from the birth trauma I experienced with our first-born in 2003. I tried everything else – talk therapy, psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, play therapy, you name it – and slowly but surely got better. I started this blog in 2006, finally able to see the beauty in every day and eager to help others climb out of the darkness. I was so darn proud of myself for doing the “hard work” and not covering up my pain with a pharmaceutical band-aid. Kinda cocky and snooty about it, in fact. I thought I had this thing licked.

 

And then I got pregnant. Holy crap.

 

My therapist nearly fell over when she found out, having assumed I’d never put myself through a delivery again. Once she regained her composure, she told me everything would be fine. And it was, for a while. But by my third trimester, the writing was on the wall: I was starting to spiral down fast, triggered by every reminder of my impending delivery. Panic attacks, flashbacks, and horrible thoughts I’d rather not repeat here. I was so annoyed with my brain for not sticking with the plan. What about all that hard work I’d done??

 

My therapist, my OBGYN,  my psychiatrist and hubby held a pep-talk-pow-wow, encouraging me to help myself and my baby with some tactics designed to avoid a full-on meltdown, including meditation, aromatherapy, and some happy pills. I was on board with the first two, but feared that drugs would numb me out, making me just as emotionally absent for my second son as I had been with my first. But I wholeheartedly trusted them, so I begrudgingly agreed. But first, I had to leave that cocky girl in the dust – the one who was so proud of conquering her mental health issues without medicine. And I’m so glad I did. The drugs took the edge off and helped me feel capable and connected during the minutes, days and months after my delivery. I still felt like myself. Same passions, same drive, same energy. Less panicking, fewer flashbacks and no nightmares. It was an enormous relief.

 

But deep down, shame and fear were also lurking. During the three years I was on antidepressants, I only told a handful of loved ones, scared they would judge me or question my motives. I have lots of friends who believe natural is the only way or are up in arms over the rise in antidepressant prescriptions in the U.S.; I didn’t want to continuously have to defend my decision to them. And I didn’t tell my blog readers, either; I worried you’d consider me a fraud for promoting the healing power of everyday beauty when I also needed drugs to stave off my own demons.

 

I never did go back to my little orange pill bottle after that fateful Texas trip. I realized I was ready to move forward without the medicinal mood booster. Much to my surprise, drugs had helped me feel calm and collected at a critical time. And I’ve realized all that secrecy was so silly.

 

I’m no longer ashamed, and I’m no longer keeping silent.

 

I believe in natural remedies and holistic approaches to healing. I also believe the right drugs can move mountains. That’s been a shift in perspective for me and a good lesson to learn: what one person needs to find stability and sanity is not necessarily what will work for the next person. You must do only what’s right for you…and let everyone else decide what’s right for them.

~~~~~

 

Today’s post is part of a brave blogging link-up I’m hosting for the courageous students in my How To Build a Blog You Truly Love e-course. Hope you’ll visit them to see and support what they’re sharing – and feel free to jump in, too!

 

 

 

Finding the Courage to Shine Online: Insights from Four Fab Bloggers

Living authentically – true to yourself, real with others – takes a whole lot of courage. Blogging authentically takes it to a new level; it’s not always easy to share you life with strangers, to open your heart for all to see, and to be willing to receive feedback for the things you share and believe.

That’s my favorite thing about my How To Build a Blog You Truly Love e-course {BBTL}, which launches today: I have the total privilege of watching hearts open, minds expand, opportunities arise, confidence soar as participants move through the course – which is as much about owning and loving your story as it is about the ins and outs of blogging.

It’s been such a joy to watch participants from last year spread their wings – some launching blogs for the first time, and others finding new focus and passion for the blogs they’ve been writing for years. To honor all of those brave bloggers who took the course then and those who have signed up this time, I asked four past e-course participants to give us a glimpse of their courage to change and grow.  I hope you’ll visit their sites, show them some love and be inspired to go out into the world today being authentic and wonderful you.

 

What a delight it’s been to watch the Renee Yemma’s total makeover! Once she got clear on WHY she blogs and HOW she can help her readers, she re-branded and re-launched her site as The Calm Mama. And I’m so humbled by her kind words:

“Before signing up for Liv’s blogging course, I had tried to find everything I could on how to get my blog flowing on a consistent basis, but I still felt stuck. Once finding Liv and her course, all of my ‘stuck’ feelings melted away and I found myself more connected to my blog than ever. 

I changed my title, wrote more consistently, changed my template and connected more to my true passions – food, doodling and photography. I truly connected with what I want to put out in the world in the most authentic way.” 

Last spring, Cate Mezyk of WildRuffle sent me a note asking if I thought my course could benefit someone like her – a blogger who already loved her blog, knew what she wanted to write about and simply wanted to grow her readership. I sincerely did think she could benefit and told her so. She signed up. The changes she’s made since then have been subtle but powerful – and I love seeing how consistently focused she is on showcasing her passion for fashion. Here’s Cate’s take on how she’s grown as a blogger:

“There were lots of things along the way that helped – I changed the look of my site, I went to being self-hosted, I connected with the other students regularly. 

But here’s the biggest takeaway for me: I’m never going to be the girl who analyzes what sort of key words I should be utilizing, or picks topics just to draw a larger audience to increase my SEO. I love to write, I love fashion, and I love supporting and promoting small businesses – that’s what Wild Ruffle is all about. This course helped to define who I am as the writer of my blog, and see that simply being me is bound to draw in the readers I’m looking for.”

 

I’ve loved watching the transformation of Jennifer Richardson’s Ripplespeak blog. She has moved it, re-designed it and been so brave with her eloquent posts. And she’s maintained friendships forged with fellow participants. I love skimming through her comments, too, because it’s evident her readers really take her messages to heart. Here’s what she had to say about class:

“Liv’s nourishing class and all the beautiful hearts pulled up around the table together were like a bright shot of B-12 to my soul…..as I gathered new tools and some fresh hope,  it all splashed over into my blog and made for a richer, more satisfying experience.  And grateful I am!”

 

By really diving in to our exercises on recognizing your purpose and passions, Skye McClain of Neathering Our Fest realized the topics she was writing about probably wouldn’t hold her interest {or readers’} in the long run. She made lots of brave changes – and here’s why:

“I originally started blogging to document the process of buying our first house and all of the DIY projects that would ensue quickly afterwards. But then I found blogs like Gussy SewsChoosing Beauty and my sweet friend Cassie’s Live. Laugh. Love blog. I realized then that my “niche” wasn’t really a DIY & home improvement blog and that wasn’t where my heart found happiness. When I heard about BBTL I just felt drawn to it. I knew it would help me figure out what I wanted my blog to be about. It showed me, very clearly, that the purpose for my blog was to meet, encourage, and inspire others. Before I figured this out, blogging seemed like a responsibility.  Now my blog has become a blessing to me and many others.”

* * *

How To Build a Blog You Truly Love launches today, but registration will remain open through January 20th. Minnesota peeps, I’ll be on Twin Cities Live at 3pm today talking about blogging. Fun!!