angels, rock stars and the power of intention: our bon jovi miracle

Bon Jovi, Xcel in St. Paul, April 7 2013

photo via Pioneer Press :: pretty sure Jon is reaching out for us here ūüôā

This is the longest post I’ve written in a while – but I’ve got a story that so full of awe-inspiring goodness, I couldn’t stand to leave out the details. Ready to rock?

Over the past 24 years, I’ve lost count how many times Bon Jovi has performed in Minneapolis, but I’ve been there every time. And last fall, they announced they’d be coming back on April 7, 2013. YES!!! I was thrilled. This band has provided a soundtrack for my life since I was in my early teens and I’m so into what they’re about as human beings: compassion, persistence, service to others, seizing the day and doing what you love. (Oh…and…um…I might still have a schoolgirl crush on the lead singer. So, there’s that.).

I’ve attended shows with a wide range of friends and family over the years, but I had someone extra-special in mind this time around: ¬†my 10-year-old, Ryder. My dad had taken me to my first big concert – yes, BON JOVI – when I was 14. Just the thought of doing the same thing with my own kiddo got me all choked up.

But I needed some help to make it happen. 

I turned to my buddy¬†Michelle, who is a concert junkie known for her amazing ability to snap up the best seats (seriously, you should read some of her stories here). She gave me the pep talk I needed, reminding me¬†the perfect tickets would find their way to us. See, Michelle doesn’t go for just any seats; she always taps into the power of intention, visualizing the perfect seats for each concert, fully believing they’re possible to get, and trusting her instincts about when and where to purchase. Knowing that I approach many things the same way, she encouraged me to take some time to envision the perfect seats at the perfect price. I did. I pictured us to the left of the stage, a few rows up, and on an aisle so that Ryder could see everything clearly (on the floor, everyone’s at the same level and his view would surely be blocked). I could feel the excitement, the thrill of it! I didn’t need to know how it would happen; I just needed to trust it could and would.

Months passed and I occasionally checked the ticket sites, but didn’t see anything enticing. The original section I’d envisioned us sitting in was 118 – and the ticket prices seemed to be rising there and everywhere. Even though Ryder and I really wanted to go, I couldn’t justify spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars on tickets for each of us.¬†I tried not to worry and kept telling myself that if we were meant to go, we’d find a way.

But nothing materialized.

Last week rolled around and I started checking sites every day – Ticketmaster, StubHub, TicketKing, Craigslist, eBay. The tickets in 118 and most of the lower level were crazy-expensive and I wasn’t thrilled with the idea of sitting in the nose-bleed seats for Ryder’s first show. Then, several days before the concert, lead guitarist Richie Sambora backed out of this leg of the tour. For many bands this wouldn’t be a big issue, but Richie and Jon are an iconic pair and amazing performers together. Honestly, it made me feel a tiny bit better about potentially missing the show.

By Sunday, the day of the concert, I still had no tickets. And folks…I was feeling a little low.

My heart was still all-in – but my head had already decided it was too late. I spent the day working on taxes in my pajamas (could there be anything more depressing?!). Eventually, I went upstairs to take a shower and settle in for a quiet evening at home with the fam. It was 4pm; the concert would start at 7:30. I thought about the band arriving in the Twin Cities, glad they had a sunny day to greet them. I thought about them prepping backstage, about their crew making final tweaks to the stage and sound system, about the thousands of fans giddily getting ready for an incredible night. And that’s when it hit me: a wave of clarity and a voice in my head, asking me what the heck I was doing just standing there. I thought about much I would regret not taking a chance to make a memory with Ryder; I wanted him to be able to say, years from now, that his first concert was Bon Jovi – and that he went with his mom.

In mere minutes, I went from feeling down in the dumps to all fired up!

I rushed downstairs and revealed my new plan: Ryder and I would drive down to the arena, ask our angels for some serious help and find two perfect seats at the perfect price, somehow some way. Ryder was worried: “But what if we don’t get in!?” Brad smiled and said, “I know your mom. You’re getting in.” Ha! Loved that!

We rushed to get ready (so much so I forgot the battery for my camera – gah!). Everything was working against us – time, ticket prices, ticket availability – but I had to quiet the doubts in my head and just follow my heart. As we hopped in the car, I continued whispering to my angels and envisioning those same aisle seats I’d been eyeing all along. The only tickets I’d seen available in section 118 were going for over $400 and that had been days earlier. So, I told myself that just getting in the building and sharing that experience with my boy would be exciting enough…but I told my angels that 118 would be especially heavenly. ;o)

We made a quick stop at the ATM; as I withdrew $300, I felt a twinge of anxiety. Would it be enough? Would it be too much? Would I regret spending all that money on crappy seats? I stopped myself from diving down the rabbit hole and set an intention, choosing to expect that the money I spent at the concert would swiftly work its way back to me – maybe through a new client, a few ecourse signups, whatever. That allowed me to move forward without any guilt or worry attached to it.

Meanwhile, Ryder’s biggest worry was whether or not¬†the concert would include his favorite song, “Shot Through The Heart” (a.k.a.¬†You Give Love a Bad Name). ūüôā

Okay, this is where the story gets really good…

We arrived at 6:50pm (40 minutes to show time!!!), practically flew down the stairs of the parking ramp and spotted a scalper on the next corner. I knew the seating chart by heart and knew exactly where his tickets were – way too far from the stage. He walked with us over to the arena, where two of his cohorts had more tickets on-hand. Friends, these guys were sleazy…but they had some decent tickets. One pair was to the right of the stage, which they first offered for $350. Couldn’t do it. $300? Still no. $280? Okay, maybe (that’s actually what I had left after paying for parking!). I almost agreed to the deal, but a great big guy with kind eyes leaned in and said, “Ma’am, when you’re done with them, come see me. I think I have some tickets you might like.” This, understandably, ticked off the three stooges, who were yelling at me to make a decision. But I was curious and needed to know my options, right? I took a couple of steps towards the big guy and he handed me two tickets: Section 118, Row 16 for $260 total.

I’m pretty sure I stopped breathing for a second.¬†

I had not said that section number out loud to anyone but Brad, Ryder and the angels. “These are aisle seats,” the big guy said. “So you know your little guy will be able to see.” ¬†Holy crap. Was he an angel?? I said YES, of course – and he was kind enough to walk us into the arena so we could be sure the tickets were real before I handed over the money.

Ryder and I were so excited, we squealed and jumped up and down as we made our way through the crowd. When we got to our seats, they were awesome – just up from the stage and Ryder could see perfectly.

Before the Bon Jovi concert, section 118!!!

The lights went down, the crowd went crazy and Jon’s voice rang through the crowd: “SHOT THROUGH THE HEART…AND YOU’RE TO BLAME…YOU GIVE LOVE A BAD NAME.” Ryder and I just looked at each other and screamed! We couldn’t believe the one song he hoped to hear was the very first song they sang. Seriously, those angels pulled out all the stops.¬†

Jon Bon Jovi, St. Paul, MNAt one point, the band played one of my favorites – Lost Highway. I put my arm around Ryder and we swayed to the music…and I started to cry. Thankful for that first concert 24 years before with my own dad (and knowing he was with us Sunday night). Thankful for angels who rock it out every time I put my trust in them. Thankful for the enduring power of intention and for people in my life to remind me of it. Thankful for a band that has cheered me up and pulled me through so much. Thankful for such an incredible moment in time with my boy – one neither of us will ever forget.

The night was amazing – and it ended on the perfect note. After the concert, Ryder called home from the car to give a full report to Brad. He excitedly told him all the details and then Brad said he had something to share. While we were gone, he decided to go through Saturday’s junk mail, which included a plain white envelope he nearly threw away. When he opened it, inside was a check for a deposit we’d made years ago and never thought we’d get back. It was just enough to cover our tickets, our parking, our drinks and even Ryder’s new Bon Jovi hat. Yes, really.

See why I wanted to share the whole story!? I hope that it not only made you smile, but also serves as a reminder that when we lean into the power of intention, lean on our support systems – angelic or otherwise, and lean toward the notion that anything is possible…guess what? Anything¬†is possible. Rock on, fellow sparklers. ¬†

 

my word of the year (and 5 ways find + honor yours)

word of the year: thrive

Whoomp, there it is. I really thought long and hard about this: the one little word I want to guide me this year. THRIVE.

I love this exercise so much more than making resolutions at the start of a new year. A resolution typically focuses on what we lack or want to fix in our lives – and I don’t like my motivation for doing anything to come from a negative space. For me, choosing a guiding word is more about living with intention and focusing on what’s possible.

Last year, my word was bliss and it definitely helped me be more conscious of so many moments when I felt purely content and deeply happy. The year before that, I chose overjoyed; during an extremely tough year, that word sometimes whispered to me in the darkness, reminding me to find joy anyway.

Those past two years, my words focused on how I wanted to feel. This year, I chose a word that focuses on what I want to do. I went through lots of possibilities: fly. soar. excel. build. expand. trust. flourish.

family in pasadenaAs I looked at synonyms, thrive jumped out at me and said: yes, of course. Thrive encompasses all of those words I was considering Рplus it holds extra-special meaning for me, since my dad was so committed in his work to helping youth thrive. In fact, I went to LA this past fall with my mom and brother for the opening of the  Thrive Center for Human Development at Fuller, which my dad had been so looking forward to be a part of.

While I was looking for my word, thrive had already found me. It feels right.

So, what feels right for you? I’d love to know the words you’ve chosen to guide you into goodness this year. And I also wanted to share some lovely resources…

Find + Honor Your Word of the Year

word of the year rock in a boxChristine Kane offers a great, free toolkit for finding your unique word. Just go to her blog for details.

Kim Mailhot, “Queen of Arts,” has created darling boxes in which you can place a word rock – custom made with your word of the year¬†(pictured at left).

Ali Edwards, another champion of this great exercise, is launching her One Little Word Workshop for 2013.

Liz Lamoreux will engrave your word of the year into one of her stunning necklaces.  And so will The Rusted Chain Рand add a sweet little pearl to boot.

Looking forward to seeing your words. Happy New Year, everyone!

How To Make Next Year Your Best Year Yet

photo by amy zellmer for savvymn

‘Tis the season to dream big. As everything and everyone slooooows down this week, it’s the perfect time to reflect on the past year and prepare – heart, mind and soul – for the next.

Are you simply wishing for a better year than last? You deserve so much better, love. Rather than waiting to “see what happens” in 2013, creating a vision board allows you to see what can¬†happen in 2013. Start to envision what you really want out of this next year – from totally practical to seemingly preposterous! Start looking for and clipping out words and images {from magazines, catalogs, the web}. I typically place them on a poster board like the photo above, but others use sheets of paper and even frame them.

As you place the images and words on your board, take them to heart. Got a picture of a poolside cabana that makes you swoon? Close your eyes and envision how it would feel to be right there; feel the sun on your toes, the fruity drink in your hand, the comfy pool chair cushion beneath you. You don’t need to know how you’ll get there; in fact, doubts and questions muddy up the process. This is your invitation to just trust that anything you desire can happen. This is also absolutely the hardest part. We’re conditioned to think wonderful things and experiences are hard to achieve. I still fall into this trap all the time and have to remind myself of the power my thoughts and feelings have over my reality.

I know it sounds kinda woo-woo, a little pollyanna. But I’ve seen it work time and time again – for me and so many others. I usually keep my vision board in a place where I’ll often pass by it, like in my closet, so it can serve as a subtle reminder of the desires I envisioned at the start of the year. And I’m often amazed when I review it 12 months later to see the things that have made their way into my life – feelings, experiences, material things. Here’s a fun one: in 2010, I saw the words “Creative Connection” in a magazine and cut them out – thinking I’d like more creative connections with like-minded women. Well, not only did that happen in wonderful ways – but I later got an invitation to speak at the Creative Connection conference {which, it turned out, that magazine clipping had actually be promoting!}.

Do yourself a favor and spend this week envisioning a spectacular year ahead. Make it come alive in pictures. Feel it come alive within you. In this moment, anything is possible. Cheers to you and your great, big dreams!

*****

If letting more people know about your ideas, expertise or business is one of your desires for 2013, keep in mind that The Limelight Letters launch January 7th and the early bird price for my next session of BuzzWorthy ends Dec. 31!

 

how i found my soul sisters

About a decade ago, I wondered what it might be like to have a tribe. Or even just one soul-deep, sister-like friend. I’d had best friends growing up, but things changed and we changed…and just like that, I felt a little lost at sea. I figured it was me, that I was too complicated to find a perfect match and too busy to even go looking.

But it nagged at me – that sense of un-belonging. Most of my dearest friends had their own best friends. I had a circle of gorgeous hearts around me but no one felt like home.

Eventually, I decided to set an intention for finding a soul sister. I envisioned how it would feel to be with her. I made a list of the things I would love about her and she would love about me. I imagined us laughing till we cried and crying till we laughed. Maybe most importantly, I trusted that I deserved to have that kind of joy and depth in my life. I left the details to the universe – what she looked like, where she lived, how I’d find her – and decided to trust she was out there, looking for me like I was looking for her.

I don’t recall how long it took, but I remember how it felt when the first one arrived. The first one, yes. In the years since setting that intention, I’ve been blessed to cross paths and intertwine hearts with women I can’t get enough of and who seemingly can’t get enough of me. We’re like air for each other. We want the very best for each other. We feel lifted up by one another. Some have faded in and out and in and out, at just the right times for just the right reasons.

Over the past five days, spent with some of my true loves on the shores of Lake Superior, I witnessed the magic of those soul sister connections time and time again. The very things I envisioned when I first set that intention….

Like how just the sight of you lights her up – the first time and the 500th time and every time in between. And you feel the same way.

Like the way she speaks your language. Walks the talk. Loves what you love – and other things, too. The way she listens with her whole heart.

Like the treasure hunts. And the dream-catching. The crocodile tears. The belly laughs. The goal-setting. The beauty-seeing. And the sense that none of it ever lasts long enough.

It is magic, pure and simple. But I had to invite it in, to open the door for them to walk through. This is how I found my soul sisters.

Sweet! Thank you! Yes! {too good not to share}

Do you subscribe to Tut.com’s Notes from the Universe? I just adore finding these little bursts of wisdom and love in my inbox each morning. I only open them on days I feel called to do so – and I swear the message is always perfect for what I’m facing or need to be reminded of in that moment. Sweet synchronicity. Yesterday’s message was too good not to share – a recipe, really, for manifesting your desires. Here it is:

The top 10 signs a really huge dream of yours is about to come true:

10. You regularly visualize the end result, the after-party, or beyond.
9. Every day you “show up,” doing something about it.
8. You’re not attached to how it will come true.
7. It really matters to you; you really care.
6. You know who the first 3 people are that you’ll call with the news.
5. You’re smiling and winking way more than normal.
4. Sometimes you speak and behave as if it already has.
3. It probably doesn’t depend upon specific people.
2. You already know what your next goal is.
1. You keep whispering, “Sweet! Thank you! Yes!” with clutched fist.

Sweet! Thank you! Yes!
The Universe

You know, I’ve never heard a successful person say he or she made their dreams come true by wringing their hands, worrying and doubting it would ever happen. For a dream to leap from your heart into reality, you must believe in it, envision it and find others who support you in it.

Grateful today for the reminder. You too?

 

P.S. The dreamy shoes I’m wearing above were custom-painted for me by¬†Funky Cinderella. Love ’em!

 

How I Survived Being an Online Punching Bag

Four years ago, The Wall Street Journal called. A reporter there was writing a story about new research that suggested PTSD {post traumatic stress disorder} resulting from birth trauma was more common than previously thought. Few women were publicly talking about their journeys through it, but I had blogged about my experience and wanted to help educate other mamas about this debilitating disorder. So, I was happy to be interviewed.

 

I didn’t expect to be hated for it.

 

The reporter warned me that not everyone agreed with the research; some people thought it simply gave doctors one more reason to medicate women without getting to the root of their mental health issues. I understood that skepticism; I, too, had been shocked by the diagnosis three years prior, thinking only war veterans and crime victims got PTSD. Not new moms. For a long time, I was so ashamed that I told almost no one about my PTSD. For three long years, I quietly and painfully worked through it with loads of professional help.

By the time the Wall Street Journal called, PTSD no longer had a grip on me. I was a different person – confident, capable, and eager to shed light on the cause and effect of birth trauma and prove it’s possible to overcome. So, sharing my experience was a no-brainer; I went into it with the intention of helping mamas who couldn’t turn the inner voices off, stave off the flashbacks or walk through daily life without fear.¬†The day the article ran, I was so excited to see it and share it. I went online, Googled it…and my heart sank. Already, it had been picked up by other news sites and bloggers worldwide – and the comments rolling in were vicious.

I was called a liar, a cry baby, and a horrible mom.

 

One person wrote – in multiple places – that I didn’t have PTSD, but SABD – Self-Absorbed Bitch Disorder. Ouch. That was a rough day, friends. But it was also a great day.¬†It forced me to review my journey, my diagnosis, and my intention behind doing the interview. And what I realized was this: I was way too strong to let anyone’s cruelty or ignorance shut me up or break my heart. PTSD had already tried to do that and I had clawed my way back.

 

“How people treat you is their karma. How you react is yours.” – Dr. Wayne Dyer

 

With that quote in mind, I decided to focus not on the anonymous haters. Rather, I imagined an anonymous, struggling mama who read the article and was quietly wondering, realizing, hoping that there might now be a name for what was eating her alive. I imagined hope shining its light through the hate and reaching the women who needed it most. That was my intention to begin with, and that would be my intention moving forward. And it worked.

 

Eventually, the hate subsided and hope took its place as private emails rolled in from women who had seen themselves in my story and wanted more – more information, more hope, more out of life. And for that reason, I’d gladly face the bullies all over again. Because now I know for sure that hate doesn’t stand a chance next to hope. Love and light always win.

 

Note: Think you or someone you know may be suffering from a perinatal mood disorder like postpartum depression or postnatal PTSD? Here’s my guide to great resources for mamas. You are not alone – help is out there!

Stop Saying That: 4 Sentences Worth Banning

I believe our thoughts create our reality. When I wake up in the morning choosing to be conscious of the good stuff that comes my way, it shifts my mood, my perceptions, the outcome of certain situations, and even the way others react to me. When I wake up expecting a day full of yucky chores and sucky people, that’s what I get – because that’s really all I’ve set myself up to see. When we give voice to those thoughts, it’s like adding fuel to the fire. We sabotage ourselves with little words that pack a punch. So, here are four sentences I’d love to ban from our lexicon…

 

“Just my luck.”

Also known as “par for the course” or “of course this would happen to me.” It’s a statement to the universe and to ourselves that bad things happen to us over and over, without fail. Like it’s our destiny. What an awful message! Subtle but powerful. I love the idea of flipping this saying on its head and uttering “just my luck!” whenever something good happens. It sets you up to expect the best.

 

“I’m just a _________.”

Stay-at-home-mom. Receptionist. Blogger. Artist. Cashier. Whatever it is you do day in and day out, it’s valuable. There is no job that’s more important than another. Some may pay more and come with fancy perks, but that doesn’t mean they’re any more important than raising a human being or showing kindness to customers from behind a cash register. ¬†Saying “I’m just a…” belittles your situation and capabilities, sending a message to yourself and others that you’re less-than. Stop it, okay?

 

“I don’t have a creative bone in my body.”

Technically, this is true. Our creativity isn’t lodged in our bones, ¬†but dances between our heart and mind, combining what we’ve already learned with our intuition to solve problems and create good things. Being creative isn’t synonymous with being artistic; you don’t have to be a writer, painter or performer to be considered creative.

Think of all the little ways you solve problems with your kids or colleagues each day. Yesterday, when Tru was obsessing about building a tunnel for his cars, I grabbed a 12-pack soda box and opened each end. He LOVES it! My proudest parenting and creativity moment of the day. ūüôā

 

“I’m not a math/numbers person.”

Ohhhh, this is the hardest one for me to kick to the curb. I grew up with serious math anxiety and have carried it with me all these years. Even as I managed gigantic budgets in my old corporate life, I would remind my finance team to bear with me because “I suck at math.” Nice way to set myself up for success, command respect and honor my own strengths, eh?

This statement is really just a story I keep telling myself. I may not adore math, but I’m fully capable of doing the math I need to do to get along in life. I help Ryder with his math homework. I know what I can afford. I’m fascinated by polls, graphs and percentages. So, if you ever catch me saying “I’m not a numbers person,” please send me this post!

 

Are any of these phrases ringing a bell for you? Got any others you realize you need to leave in the dust? I’d love to know. By the way, if you need a reason to start looking for the good in your days, come back tomorrow for The Little Bliss List. Link up your blog or add your own gratitude list in the comments. See you then!

 

 

Need More Friends? Clear the Way…

{art tags by soul sister carissa paige}

I had already started writing this post about making new friends when I opened today’s Notes from the Universe, a daily email I receive from Tut.com {such a great way to start the day!}. Here’s today’s message:

Get out, get out, get out even more, Liv! Because there are people you’ve yet to meet, laughs you’ve yet to share, stories you’ve yet to live, and riches you’ve yet to tap into, that will not find you under any other circumstances.¬†Besides, how else can I shower you with surprises? ¬†– The Universe

I totally agree – there are amazing relationships and experiences awaiting me – but I think “the Universe” forgot to include one critical piece of the friendship puzzle: to envision the right relationships for me.¬†A few years ago, I was in need of a few new girlfriends. Many of my closest friends had moved away or faded away into mommyhood, work, etc. I longed to connect with other women, but I kept hitting dead ends.

I was still entrenched in corporate America and was invited to meet monthly with a group of female executives for networking and idea sharing. I hoped it would be a great chance to befriend some smart women with similar professional experiences and ambitions. But starting with the first gathering, I knew it wasn’t the right group for me.

I dreaded every meeting. 

I felt so out of place among that tribe of no-nonsense women in their perfectly-tailored suits. I felt uncomfortable with the way our discussions always led to the same topics: how to get a raise or promotion and what kind of fancy car or house they hoped to afford next. I kept going to the meetings with a knot in my stomach each month, figuring it was the right thing to do as I climbed the corporate ladder, even though it felt so wrong.

Around the same time, I was invited to be part of a monthly Bunco night with women in our neighborhood. Many of them were already friends and their kids were already in school together. So, I often felt like a third wheel in conversations and didn’t know any of the teachers or parents they were gossiping about. Still, my neighbor insisted month after month on taking me to Bunco…and I would go, smile on my face and a knot in my stomach.

It took nearly a year before I backed away from either group. Looking back, I realize the real problem was me: I never took the time to focus on what kinds of friends I was looking for. So, instead of continuing to groan and grumble about the ways those gatherings didn’t fill me up…I started to imagine the types of women and events that could. I made a list of the qualities I was looking for in new friends.

Authentic. Creative. Down To Earth. Funny. Inspiring. Ambitious. Positive. Thoughtful. Soulful.

I wanted all that – plus I wanted my new friends to be low-maintenance, meaning we could go weeks without talking and still feel close {no guilt, no drama}. A tall order, I know. But to my amazement, those kinds of women started appearing in my life. Maybe in part because my radar was up, looking for those qualities in women I met. And maybe because setting my intention for future friendships attracted those women into my orbit. Opportunities to connect with the kinds of friends I’d dreamed of began to sprout up everywhere. And that continues to be the case even years later.

{photo by marilyn lamoreaux}

This past weekend, I met with a delightful group of Minnesota artists who are all taking the Hello Soul, Hello Business ecourse. I was so enchanted by their honest and inspiring stories of love and loss, ups and downs, hopes and dreams. They are authentic. And creative. And all the things I was looking for years ago and continue to treasure in friends new and old. We already have plans to meet again.

When  I think of my friendships today, I feel so content and blessed. A far cry from that recurring knot in my stomach I used to feel. It disappeared once I figured out what I needed to feel fulfilled, deeply connected and valued.

Have you been intentional about forming new friendships? Are you ready to trade in toxic relationships for tranquil ones? I’d love to hear how you’re navigating the waters of creating and maintaining authentic friendships….because they add so much joy and meaning to our lives!

Four Ways To Find Dream Catcher Friends

achievement celebration page

a section of our celebration page

Last night, I met with my intention circle {love those girls!} for our first meeting of the new year. Before diving into discussions about the current projects on our plates and dreams in our hearts, we took a few minutes to rewind through 2011, celebrating and honoring all the stuff we’d been through, achieved and learned.

Do you have anyone you can do this with? It’s so meaningful to have your own journey reflected back to you by people who care about your well-being. These ladies are like dream catchers for me; I’m repeatedly amazed by how much I forget about my own steps to success {and all the struggles that could have clipped my wings – but didn’t}. It’s like when someone else notices how much my kids have grown over a few months’ time; the changes in my kiddos are not as obvious because I’m with them day in and day out.

Same thing with dreams. Sometimes you ¬†just need someone else to catch them mid-air and point out how far you’ve come.¬†Who can be your dream catchers? Think of friends who give you honest feedback, support you unconditionally, and can relate to your work and home life. Can’t think of anyone? Need more? Here are four ways to find them…

1) Set Your Intention: Ask the universe to deliver one or more dream catcher friends to you by crafting an affirmation like “I’m attracting new friends into my life who lift me up, challenge me to grow, believe in my dreams and want me to do the same for them.” Repeat it often, visualizing how beautiful it will feel to have such a strong support system.

2) Open Your Eyes, Open Your Heart: We naturally gravitate towards other people who seem very similar to ourselves Рsimilar background, culture, age, life experiences  Рbut we do ourselves a disservice by not looking beyond our comfort zone. Be open to expanding your horizons and, in turn, your sacred circle of friends.

3) Go Where Dream Catchers Dwell: My intention circle was originally born out of a weekend class on the power of intention a few years back, in a room full of people who were open to discovering the power of thought. It wouldn’t have happened had I not signed up and showed up. Look for your tribe in places/classes/gatherings that would likely attract the kinds of people you think you want to find. Reach out to kindred spirits online {I’m already seeing amazing chemistry and connections between some of the students in BBTL – so fun to watch!}.

4) Stay Positive: Don’t get frustrated if your dream catcher friends don’t show up in your life the minute you set your intention. This could take some time. Be a good friend to yourself in the meantime and trust that your peeps are working their way to you.

*****

build a blog registration ends friday

My Word of the Year {Got Yours??}

 

I’ve been embattled in a war of words the past few days – trying to choose my Word of the Year. Last year, overjoyed came to me easily and felt instantly perfect. This year, I’ve gone round and round with a handful of candidates – each good, but not quite right – meant to inspire me and guide me through 2012. Here are the words I’ve been wrestling with, each representing things I want to attract more of into my life…

Comfortable – I want to achieve that sense of being wrapped in a warm blanket, comfortable and happy with every decision I make. I want to feel comfortable in my own skin, to bask in the comfort of having family close, and help my kids feel comfortable in the great big world.

Gentle –¬†I want to be gentle with myself this year. I need to be gentle with myself after a year in which my heart felt like a punching bag. My body and soul are craving a little TLC.

Light – I am passionate about not only shining my own light, but helping others do the same – especially women who have watched their lights dim and need little bits of inspiration to spark something wonderful and wise within them.

Grace – I love the way this word washes over me, requires nothing of me, and promises that quiet goodness will come to me.

I love each word, but none felt motivating or soul-stirring enough to qualify as THE one word that could carry me through this year. Then, yesterday, as the words and desires were swirling around my head, encircling my heart, jostling for position, I heard a line from a favorite old song by Sugarland play in my head: “I need a little less hard times, I need a little more bliss.”

YES! YES! THAT’S IT! I knew that second that all those words, ¬†comfortable + gentle + light + grace, added up beautifully to equal {{{BLISS}}}.

Bliss is officially defined as perfect happiness and serene joy. It is an innate spark that we must follow, according to the late great Joseph Campbell. It is a feeling of pure contentment, a sense that all is well. It is  the result of witnessing magic or seeing serendipity at play. It twinkles and sparkles. It is hearty laughter and inner peace. It is music to the soul. It is just what I need. And I realize now that it worked its way into my new blog header above, before I even {consciously} knew it would be my word of 2012. Hello, bliss.

“If you do follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while,¬†waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in your field of bliss, and they open doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.” ¬†~ Joseph Campbell¬†