i can’t believe this is happening! (dreams. do. come. true.)

Red typewriter. (LOVE) Book announcement from Liv Lane and Lori Portka

Exactly one year ago, I got brave and shared a dream of mine here: I felt ready to write a book. I didn’t have a timeline, nor a story or theme I was desperate to write about. I could just feel the book making its way to me, and I knew giving voice to that dream would pull it closer. And then, quite honestly, I forgot about it. Lots of other things took priority, from work stuff to family stuff, and I put that dream on hold.

But the universe didn’t. With a million little twists of fate, it made that dream come true at the speed of light. And now, I am over-the-moon excited to tell you that my soul-sister-friend Lori Portka and I are writing a book together. WHAT!?

Many of you know that last fall, our worlds turned upside down and inside out when Spirit – the circle of ascended wise ones on the Other Side whom I work with during my intuitive readings – swooped in and teamed us up. Lori had just texted me, feeling deflated because a publisher she was working with on a big project had just rejected eight of her paintings. As soon as I saw her text, it felt like a lightning bolt jolted through me and I heard the voice of Spirit saying those paintings were for us, for a new project called Infinite Purpose. They provided detailed instructions for leading an eight-week online program featuring Lori’s artwork and Spirit’s words (transcribed by me).

To be honest, we both thought it sounded kinda crazy. But it also felt so big and powerful, we couldn’t say no. Lori and I were shocked when 250 people signed up, fast as lightning, eager to step deeper into their callings. And as we sent out a new message from Spirit and the corresponding painting to participants each week, we were blown away by the magic that transpired in their lives and ours.

Seriously blown away.   

Not long after that program ended, Spirit appeared again with a new vision. Those teachings were to become a book, they said – with personal stories, room for reflection and more gorgeous art. All of the pieces fell into place within days and we found ourselves giddy with excitement, toasting over Skype, as we signed contracts to birth this book into the world.

We have spent the last couple of months totally immersed in making INFINITE PURPOSE: Care Instructions for Your True Calling a total treasure for you – a gorgeous, full-color, hardcover gift book/guide book/journal/life changer. Because it will be so different than anything on the market, and because we know it’s meant to be birthed into the world lickety-split, we’re self-publishing this book with the awesome blossoms at Wise Ink. They are total pros and they’re keeping us on our toes in order to release this book on 11/11/15. Holy wow. 

There’s a lot more work to do. And we’ll need your help along the way. So, we’ll be sharing fun behind-the-scenes magic, plus inspiration from the book on our brand new Facebook page (Facebook.com/InfinitePurpose). We’d be so grateful if you’d “like” the page and become part of this wild and wonderful journey with us!

when following my heart feels hard

life gives us speed bumps #keepgoing

This spring, it seems I’ve been hitting every speed bump and pothole possible in my path. Big decisions, hard conversations, and a neverending toothache the dentist can’t figure out. It’s all made for a bumpy ride and slowed me down. So it seems pretty perfect that I came across the poem below, which I wrote in early 2011.

Actually, I know it found me to deliver this reminder: Sometimes I forget that each rest stop, detour or distraction is part of the master plan. 

Oh, right! The starts and stops are not there to destroy my path, but to get me where I need to be with greater clarity, relief and gratitude. It’s like surviving another Minnesota winter; when the snow FINALLY clears and our breath stops appearing in front of us, we are so happy that we all-out rejoice. We feel like freaking gladiators, victorious after battling the deep freeze. Every orange-breasted robin, every blade of green grass, every chance to walk outside without bundling up feels like a little miracle.

That’s how it feels coming out of a deep freeze phase of my life. I feel victorious – stronger, wiser, grateful. I see purpose in the pain. My wings feel sturdier. That’s why this old poem found me; to help me ease my tension around the hard stuff by recognizing that it’s there to lead me to the good stuff. I love when a message from my old self finds its way to my current self in order to help me move toward my future self. Here’s hoping you’ll find something in it for your self, too…

how i follow my heart

my awkward moment with enthusiasm

enthusiasm quote by liv lane, Declaration of You launch

Ever had a word chase you? Lately, the word enthusiasm has been following me everywhere. It started when awesome blossoms Michelle Ward and Jessica Swift asked me to write a blog post about enthusiasm in celebration of their brand new book, The Declaration of You. Ever since, I’m noticing the word wherever I go.

In commercials. In conversations. In articles. Any time something keeps showing up in my life – a word, a feeling, a book, a quote – I know I need to pay attention. There’s a message somewhere in there for me. So yesterday, I just sat down and wrote the word enthusiasm over and over – until this sentence flowed through my pen:

“The common denominator in every job well done is enthusiasm.”

“Well, of course,” I thought, practically scoffing at the oh-so-obvious insight. Every project I’ve ever worked on – from writing a third grade book report to teaching an online class – has been far more successful and fulfilling if I’ve been excited about it from the start. I mean, duh.

And that’s when it hit me: right now, there’s some work on my plate that I keep putting off because my heart’s just not in it. Stuff I said yes to as a favor or because it would be easy enough for me to do. Stuff that will result in decent but not dazzling work because the enthusiasm isn’t there. Wait – what!? How the heck did that happen? I have said this in so many ways to clients: just because you’re good at something doesn’t mean it’s what you’re meant to do. And yet somehow I walked right into the trap myself, forgetting to use enthusiasm as my litmus test.

I suspect that’s precisely why enthusiasm has been chasing me lately – to show me I’m not quite walking the talk. If I have a choice in the matter but I’m not pumped up or squealing with joy inside, I gotta turn an opportunity down with the expectation that something better totally perfect (!) will come along to take its place. I want everything I do to rock your socks off  – and settling for being less than excited is not the way to get there. Thanks for the reminder, sweet enthusiasm.

declaration of you book - blog tour

Note: I’m so excited for Michelle & Jessica, as they see their popular ecourse become a real-life book!! The Declaration of You will be published by North Light Craft Books this summer, with readers getting all the permission they’ve craved to step passionately into their lives, discover how they and their gifts are unique and uncover what they are meant to do! This post is part of The Declaration of You’s BlogLovin’ Tour, which I’m thrilled to participate in alongside over 100 other creative bloggers. Learn more — and join us! — by clicking here.

the pursuit of happiness: how part-time dream-chasing works

the pursuit of #happiness: post on how to be a part-time dream chaser via livlane.com

Here’s what’s weighing on my heart these days: so many women – from friends to coaching clients – are feeling stuck. If circumstances were different, they say, they’d chase their dreams and be happy all the time. There’s just too much holding them back. But after careful dissection of their dreams, we often reach an earth-shattering conclusion: their families, careers and budgets aren’t to blame after all.

I know. Shocking. 

So many women stand in their own way, paralyzed by fear and trapped by the idea that pursuing a dream has to be an all-or-nothing endeavor. When they envision their end goal – the best-selling book, the flourishing new career, the stamped-up passport – they see themselves immersed in that new life. There’s no room in that blissful vision for carpooling or cleaning or their current job. That’s not reality, they say…somebody’s got to get Junior to his soccer games and help put food on the table. So they tuck their dreams away for a while longer. (Sound familiar?)

But here’s the thing. While their end-goal may not leave much room for current circumstances, getting there certainly could. Many times, women forget that their goal of full-time bliss can be achieved with part-time dream-chasing. Will it be hard? Maybe. But it’s a different kind of hard when you’re pursuing something that keeps catching your heart.

Last week, I had long chats with three women about moving their full-time dreams to part-time pursuits. One who’s long dreamed of attending art school realized she didn’t have to move away and study full-time, but that taking a local class or two on her day off could be the perfect start. Another who’s dreamed of working with a specific company on a specific project for a decade realized she could start turning her idea into a presentation…and eventually ask to meet with someone there. And the third? A woman struggling to choose between two jobs – her current one with good pay and benefits and the second dream job with less stability but huge potential – decided to ask for part-time status at both…and got it.

If you’ve put your dreams on hold thinking you don’t have the time, resources or energy to dive in full-bore, maybe you don’t have to. Consider this your perfectly-timed wake-up call and take it seriously.

Start today: experiment with joy.

Imagine your boss or spouse has asked you to come up with a plan for pursuing your dream part-time. It’s due in two weeks. Brainstorm what it might look like. Research the possibilities. Write down how much time and money you’d really need, where you’d find it, and what life circumstances might need rearranging to make it happen. If an idea comes to mind that seems ridiculous, follow its lead and figure out whether it’s really ridiculous or actually possible. Rather than assuming your pursuits will be a burden on your family or drain on your budget, look at the flip side: what if it’s awesome for your kids to see you joyful or what if there are ways to make money or gain resources pursuing that joy?

Before I left my corporate job in 2007, I’d had a part-time radio show for six months and had been blogging on the side for a year. And for several years after leaving, I still helped pay the bills by continuing to freelance for my old company.

There was a lot of part-time dream-chasing, friends.

And a funny thing happens when we pursue our passions and chase our dreams part-time: we invite joy to be present full-time. When you make time for the stuff you’re meant to do, you feel better about the stuff you have to do. And before you know it, you’re living the dream.

Have You Been To The Middle of Nowhere?

I spent part of last week in rural Tennessee and felt like a foreigner, out of my element but totally fascinated by my surroundings. Everything seemed different – the fragrant air, the gorgeous foliage, the wide open space, the casual pace. The middle of nowhere is something special.

We met a woman who has lived in this little town for over 20 years; she drove through on a trip and knew she had to stay. “It was like I fell out of the world and into this place,” she said. Wow. I LOVED the way she put that. But, even more, I love that she paid attention to that feeling and actually altered her life to stay in that place.

Have you ever had such an undeniable knowing? That sense that the whole world has fallen away and you’re right where you’re meant to be? Maybe you’ve gleefully been in the zone of a creative project. Maybe time seemingly stopped as you connected with a new person. Or maybe you discovered a new place that made you want to stay…or at least stay a while. Deep down, we all want to fall out of the world and fall into the right NOW.

May you find yourself truly present this week…with plenty of opportunities to stay awhile.

Clearing The Clutter, Living The Dream

This, ladies and gentlemen, is a thing of beauty: a drawer perfectly organized with my cards. I hyperventilate a little just looking at it. That’s how great it feels. After several days of massive decluttering and reorganization, there are drawers for cards, for magnets, for cellophane bags, for envelopes, for bubble wrap. There are hanging files for order forms, receipts, research. And binders with hole-punched notes, vendor info, design drafts. This is the most buttoned-up I’ve felt since becoming my own boss five years ago.

Wondering what the heck took so long?

 

Well, the truth is that even though I left my full-time corporate gig in 2007, I didn’t totally leave corporate work behind – nor the feeling of working for someone else. See, I was able to leave my job knowing I could count on steady income from my freelance copy writing work. It wasn’t what I loved to do, but I was good at it – and it paid well. Seemed perfect: I could pursue my creative passions and grow my own brand while relying on the money I made for writing about stuff I didn’t care about. Like disinfectant wipes. And canned soup. And toilet paper.

Having that work and money to fall back on was a huge comfort. But it also turned into a huge crutch, all but dousing the entrepreneurial fire in my belly. At first, the work felt creative enough. {Hey, you try to make toilet paper sound lovely!} But as the years flew by and more writing assignments rolled in, those gigs took priority over my own projects and passions.

When people would ask me what I did for a living, the true answer – “copywriting for big brands” – made me cringe. My other creative endeavors – blogging, art, speaking – felt like floundering side businesses since my livelihood depended on my freelance writing. It was a constant tug of war between have-to-do and love-to-do.

Heading into 2010, I started to flirt with a new – or maybe enhanced – dream. I found evidence of it as I decluttered my dudio this past weekend: I came upon a worksheet I filled out during a meeting with my Intention Circle in 2010. It asked me to name a secret wish and here’s what I wrote:

To make enough money with my own creative work that I could leave my writing clients behind.

I realize now that the simple act of writing down that dream helped me transform it from a wish into a goal. Soon after, I began to make business decisions with that goal in mind. I gave myself permission to say “no” to certain writing assignments if one of my own creative projects or work I felt particularly passionate about required my full attention. Pursuing my own loves and building my own brand no longer felt like a luxury, but a necessity.

It took time, hard work and discipline {and, honestly, a few bounced checks}, but eventually I began to see results – a turning of the tides. A little over a year after I wrote that secret wish, it came true. But things have been so crazy-busy, that I didn’t even realize it until stumbling upon that old worksheet. I love how that reminder found its way to me as I cleaned out the clutter and cleared the way for new ideas and new “wishes” I’ve already written down. Now for the fun part: making them come true.