3 Simple Steps for Finding & Maximizing My Word of the Year

Choose Your Words Wisely

Happy 2016! At the start of each new year, I love the idea of selecting one meaningful, motivating word to serve as a personal guide for the next 12 months. And I have three simple steps to do it.

STEP 1: Choose it wisely. To choose my word each year, I first imagine how I want to feel on December 31st, looking back at what I’ve experienced and achieved. What positive theme do I want to be able to see weaving through my life as I reflect on the past year? Sometimes it helps to notice the experiences and patterns I’m tired of and want to release from, and then figure out what the flip side of that would look like. Sometimes I want to build upon awesomeness that’s begun sprouting up; I want a word that reminds me to nurture and nourish that.

STEP 2: Use it wisely. And then, throughout the year, I use my word as a litmus test. In any situation, I can ask myself if it lines up with my word of the year. If it doesn’t, that’s a good indication that I’m off-track and need to recalibrate.

STEP 3: Don’t forget it. Take it from someone who’s been there, done that. It’s a bummer to reach December 31st and realize you left your word (and, likely, dreams) in the dust. Your word of the year is meant to stick with you through thick and thin. So post it somewhere you’ll see it frequently. Paste it on your vision board. Illustrate it and frame it. Write it on your bathroom mirror with a dry-erase marker. Keep it front and center to lead the way all year long.

Last year, I chose the word SERENITY and it served me well. I wanted to point my inner compass towards feeling good in all ways – physically, spiritually, mentally, emotionally, professionally, personally – with a constant foundation of peace and calm holding me steady through it all.

Right away last January, I had to put that word to good use. Our little guy, Tru, had been sick for nearly a month and only got worse while on our trip to Texas during New Year’s week. Once we returned home, we had three days straight of doctors appointments, pharmacy runs and blood tests. While juggling that with work and other commitments, I continually asked myself, “What are the choices I need to make to achieve serenity now?”

Sometimes, the answer was about expressing gratitude for the positives – a flexible schedule, good doctors, access to medicine, the ability to afford treatment. Sometimes, it meant taking a nap or talking to a friend on the phone while Tru rested. Sometimes, it meant choosing not to stress over unreturned emails or looming deadlines. And while we waited for test results (which wound up being inconclusive and he eventually got better), it meant not freaking out over what I didn’t know or obsessing about the possibilities, but just living in the present and celebrating any sign of progress with our little guy. By leaning on my word of the year, I surrendered to serenity and felt so much better for it.

This year, I’ve chosen a word that makes me smile from ear-to-ear…

glee - word of the year

Yep, this is my year to dance with GLEE! I knew I wanted to focus on cultivating joy this year, but that particular word didn’t feel quite right. I wanted something lighter, something brighter, something unique. I flipped through the thesaurus and when I saw “glee,” it jumped out at me. And then, I looked up the definition in the Merriam-Webster dictionary.

“Exultant high-spirited joy,” it said. And I felt a shiver of truth and light buzz through me. There it is, I thought! GLEE is my word of the year. My guidepost for living, my companion in decision-making, my best bud in cultivating joy.

christine kane - word of the yearSo, what word will guide you this year? If you need a little extra guidance to choose your word, there are two FREE (also a favorite word!) resources that I highly recommend and thousands of people have used: Christine Kane offers an awesome online Word of the Year Discovery Tool  and Susannah Conway offers a five-day Find Your Word email class. Both are brilliant.

Wishing you a year that lives up to your highest expectations, dear hearts!

 

from skeptic to advocate: an inspiring year in the life of my childhood bestie

When you let go of the when and how, magic arrives in the here and now. | LivLane.com

If you’ve ever doubted the power of intention, ever scoffed at the value of making a vision board or selecting a “word of the year,” you’re not alone.

Sarah Rudell Beach questioned it all, too – until she did something really brave. She let go. And I can’t wait for you to hear what happened next!

Sarah’s the thinking woman’s guide to mindfulness over at Left Brain Buddha and a revered high school teacher, and I’m thrilled that she’s our newest contributor to Project Light Year 2015. A year ago, she was just getting started as a Project Light Year participant – and she arrived with a bagfull of doubt. She loved the idea of spending a whole year focused on personal growth with a virtual tribe of kindreds, but she was hesitant about some of the subject matter. Intention? Angels? Really?

I wasn’t surprised. Sarah was my first best friend. She was super-smart even at five, when we first met – a planner, a problem solver, a pragmatic playmate (her Barbie dolls all had successful careers and 401Ks). These traits have served her well over the years. But they didn’t leave much room for magic and mystery.

Liv & Sarah - January 2015

Liv & Sarah – January 2015

Last January, as the Project Light Year tribe dove into cultivating the power of intention and conspiring with the universe to co-create awesomeness in our lives, Sarah did something really brave. She jumped right in. Rather than bristle at how woo-woo that all sounded, she decided to take a chance and just try it. She set her intentions. She made a vision board. She opened up. And she couldn’t believe what transpired.

Last week, as part of our kick-off to another magical year, I interviewed Sarah about her leap from lingering doubt to dramatic developments in paving her path to deeper joy. It was meant just for Project Light Year participants, but we’ve decided to share it with all of you today, in hopes you feel inspired to let go a little bit, to trust yourself a little more, to experience magic and mystery like never before.

To download the 23-minute interview with Sarah, just click here.  Or to listen online, click here

We’re just getting started in Project Light Year 2015. There’s still time to set doubt aside and make 2015 the year you light up your life. Find all the details here.

girl gone wild: a surprise dream come true

Several weeks ago, as I sat outside working on my laptop while the kids rode their bikes after school, I looked up and saw this: a front yard full of glorious wildflowers. It took my breath away.

Seven years before, when we’d dug up our yard soon after moving into this house, the landscapers told me one day the tiny plants they’d placed in mulch would grow to be big and bountiful. They were right – and I’ve loved watching them come into their own. They bring me such joy whenever I pull into our driveway.

But on that day, when the flowers caught me by surprise, it was like I was seeing them for the first time through old eyes. I suddenly remembered that, as a girl, one of my recurring daydreams was to have a house with a yard full of wildflowers. The depth of that wish came flooding back to me.

How I used to tear out magazine photos of wildflower fields, just to stare at.

How I would sing Dolly Parton’s Wildflowers song at the top of my lungs {“When a flower grows wild, it can always survive; wildflowers don’t care where they grow”}.

How I shook off adults’ comments about it being hard to find a space to grow wildflowers in the city or even the suburbs.

How had I forgotten all of this!?

Maybe my inner 11-year-old has been whispering to me all along, keeping me from trimming and plucking those plants, letting the flowers we’d planted run wild. As I sat there, dazzled by what’s been in front of me all along, it was like her child eyes were peering through mine, witnessing this manifestation of her wildflower dream. I was so soul-deep happy for her. Does that make any sense?

And it was one more reminder for this grown-up heart of mine that even forgotten dreams can blossom when they are planted in the light, without a shadow of a doubt. Long ago, that me-girl dreamed it, believed it, created it.

And she offers me this wisdom now: the things I’m dreaming of, whole-heartedly believing in, and joyfully envisioning today can and will blossom tomorrow – even if I don’t know how or where.

Happy planting, dear ones.

 

 

Something Awesome…

A woman I know is about to take a Caribbean vacation with her husband – their first tropical trip in ages and one they’ve been planning for a year. When she explained to me where they were going and how they’d get there, I told her I’ve never been but have heard the area is beautiful.

“You’ll have such a great time,” I told her.

“Well…we’ll see,” she responded, with doubt in her voice.

When I asked about her hesitancy, she launched into a story about their last family trip to a tropical destination – over 15 years ago. The airline went on strike and their family got stranded at an airport for eight hours, causing them to miss a full day of beach time. When she wrote a letter of complaint, the airline sent her a voucher for a free plane ticket; she was so mad about the incident that she sent the free ticket back, swearing to never fly with them again.

Now, nearly two decades later, that experience still weighs heavy on her mind and clouds her expectations for having a stress-free trip. With that mindset going in, she’s setting herself up for failure – sure to notice every error or slip-up, and potentially missing all the goodness in her midst. I encouraged her to expect something different, to trust that some kind of wonderful is waiting for her in paradise.

We can all relate to her, right? We all let experiences from our past dictate our expectations for the future. We think that setting ourselves up for disappointment will make it less heartbreaking when something goes awry. And, if it does, then we’re disappointed that we still feel the full brunt of our disappointment. Spending that energy expecting the worst and worrying about all that could go wrong does no good.

When you expect awesomeness {imagine it, feel it, believe it}, that positive energy fuels you, giving you the strength you need to breeze through little disappointments. You might even enjoy the detours. I have seen evidence time and time again that good things don’t just come to those who wait; good things come to those who expect good things.

How The Power of Intention Got Us a Flippin’ Fantastic Nanny {What Could It Get You?}

Today was a big day in the Lane household. It was our new nanny’s first day and I’m so happy, I could cry. I thought we’d never  find her – which was exactly the problem.

For three years, we had a wonderful part-time nanny whom the boys adored. Jordan was {and is} like family – but needed to move away to pursue her own dreams. I chose to stay close-to-home for a while, slowing down and relishing extra time with my boys during the holidays. But eventually, I got a case of Restless Soul Syndrome. My boys are such bright lights in my life – but I also know I am healthiest and happiest when I’m also pursuing the other work that lights me up from the inside out. I really, truly believe that when I have the time and resources to focus on those passions, I am a better mama and my kids benefit from seeing me do what I love.

The only problem? These past several months, I have not had the time and resources to give anything my all, often leaving me to feel scatterbrained and stretched too thin. That fed into my sense of desperation and doubt as I looked – unsuccessfully – for a new nanny. Time and time again, things went wrong – from scheduling conflicts to transportation issues to breakdowns in communication. The funny but frustrating stories piled up – like the nanny who informed me her main job is selling sex toys or the one who thought working with kids might help improve her lack of “people skills.” I mean – I want the best for my kids, but I was starting to cave under the pressure, thinking my standards were too high and that I should just settle for someone who was not great but merely good enough.

Then, during a recent discussion with a friend, I realized my biggest problem was me.

When my friend asked me to attend an upcoming event, I said I’d love to – “if I could just find a fucking nanny!” We laughed, but my words hung over the table, daring me to look at them. “Hmm. Maybe I should start by NOT calling her ‘the fucking nanny,'” I said.  I felt like I’d been hit upside the head with one of Oprah’s aha moments.

See, it didn’t matter how hard I worked to find the “right” person; I was sabotaging myself by putting such negative energy into the ether, focusing on all the things I didn’t want vs. the things I did. With all that doubt and desperation, I left no room for the universe to deliver the perfect person to our family. So, I went home and visualized the nanny I really wanted to come into our lives. I imagined how incredible it would feel to find her and I made a list {above} of all the qualities we were looking for. And then I decided to just assume that such a person would be arriving any day. I even agreed to some work commitments for spring and summer, figuring I’d have the perfect childcare in place by then. That attitude shift was such a relief, moving from tension to trust.

I kid you not: our new nanny waltzed into our life THREE DAYS LATER, out of the blue. When she came over to meet the boys last week, I kept thinking about the list of positive traits I’d written – and realized she had them all. I really believe three things brought her to us:

1) I got crystal-clear about the type of nanny we desired AND imagined how amazing it would feel to find her.

2) I wrote it all down, securing a place for my intention not only on paper but in my head and heart. There is something so visceral and powerful about writing and seeing the words before you.

3) I trusted that she existed and was readily available – and began to live my life with that assumption.

I believe that when we are clear and heartfelt in our requests, the universe answers swiftly and kindly – always working in our favor. This was no exception. Within days of me shifting my mindset and clarifying my desires, the perfect nanny appeared – right on time.

Rainbow Connection: The Power of Intention, Muppet-Style {11.22.11}

Did you catch yesterday’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon? His interview with Jason Segal knocked my socks off! I’m sure a good portion of the audience just thought it was a cute, funny interview – but for me, it was also awesome evidence of the power of intention.

Jason is the writer/producer/star of the new Muppet movie {can’t wait to see it!}. During a previous appearance on Jimmy’s show, the two of them had done a silly Muppet-themed sketch and announced that Jason would be starring in and writing the next Muppet movie. Turns out they were simply predicting the future…

During Jason’s interview last night, he revealed that the Muppet movie news they’d shared during his last appearance had been totally made up. For the fun of it, he had been working on a script; he thought this generation of kids deserved to know Kermit and his crew. Eventually, he started telling people he was producing the next Muppet movie. He even told Jimmy’s people they could announce it on the show. He was so emotionally invested in the project and so sure he’d be part of it one day, that he decided to live as if it were a dream already coming true. Backstage before that show, he pulled Jimmy aside and told him to go ahead with the announcement, but that it wasn’t exactly true – yet. I love that Jimmy went ahead with it!

I was just overjoyed watching that interview. What an awesome example of how to go about creating your best life. Jason set his intention for working on the Muppet movie by declaring it, envisioning it and believing it. And, as he pointed out last night, it all came to fruition. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that.

And then, speaking of living with intention, I was so thrilled when Jimmy’s last guest of the night was Deepak Chopra! When I interviewed Deepak a few months ago, I remember him saying how much he loves appearing on late night shows, playing along with the hosts and sharing his quirky sense of humor. Jimmy was gushing with praise for the spiritual guru – and even said his favorite Deepak book  is The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success is his favorite Deepak book.

I already had a little celebrity crush on Mr. Fallon; now it’s officially a full-blown, lick-the-screen, giggle-like-a-schoolgirl obsession. What can I say? Cute, funny, enlightened guys float my boat. Think he’d want to go see the Muppet movie with me? 🙂

*****
P.S. The painting above is my latest for Art Every Day Month – Day 22!

Intention + Kindness = Magic: How I Met Deepak Chopra {04.13.11}

Okay, folks. I am so excited to share this with you! Actually, I can’t quite believe I’m sharing this with you! It’s a longer post than usual, so settle in and buckle your seat belts – there’s magic in the details. 
If you’re a regular reader here, you may already know that I whole-heartedly believe pure magic shows up in our lives when we envision it, believe in it and let go of any preconceptions about how it might or might not happen. Worrying and wondering about how something will come to fruition is like placing an order at a restaurant and then asking the waitress 25 times exactly how it’s going to be prepared. She’s gonna get so annoyed that your service is almost certain to be lousy…and chances are you won’t get what you wanted in the first place! 
Well, speaking of placing an order…a few weeks ago during the radio show I co-host with Colleen and Joan, an ad ran promoting Deepak Chopra’s upcoming speech in Minneapolis. While the commercials aired, I wondered out loud whether we’d be able to nab an interview with him. My co-host, Joan, asked if we might be able to get tickets to his speech. Sitting across from me, she had a big grin on her face and said, “No, wait! Wouldn’t it be cool to meet him!?” We giggled, knowing that tickets to a reception with him before his speech were selling for hundreds and hundreds of dollars. But a girl can dream, right?! And that we did. Joan even thought, wistfully, about what she might talk to him about, should she have the chance to meet him. Then the commercial break ended and we went back to doing the show. We thought nothing more of our imaginary rendezvous with Deepak. 
Well, a couple of days later, I got an email asking if we’d want to interview the spiritual and wellness guru. Uh…hello!? YES! Whenever this stuff happens, my body feels like it’s buzzing. Like it’s just been plugged into the vibration of the universe, tapped into that magic I mentioned earlier. I was so pumped! Deepak’s schedule only allowed for us to tape the interview in advance of our show and my co-hosts couldn’t make it into the station. So, it was just me and Deepak.  He was lovely and we talked about everything from his grandkids to comedy to the future of the world through his eyes. {BTW, I can’t figure out how to post the interview here, so if you’d like to hear it, go here and listen to the April 2nd show, first hour} 
I was a very happy camper – thrilled to have had some one-on-one phone time with him. Before the interview aired, I had emailed our station’s sales director, Sonia, to let her know that if there happened to be any extra tickets available, we’d love to attend his speech. By the time the interview aired, I hadn’t heard anything back about extra tickets. I’d already talked to the guy, so it would have been silly to be bummed about not ALSO getting tickets. 
Well, fast forward to late last week. An email came through from Sonia, saying that she’d just received two general admission tickets for us. Whaaaa!? I knew the seats were selling fast, so I was amazed they were willing to give us two. I emailed my co-hosts the good news; it turned out Colleen had plans for Monday night, so Joan and I excitedly accepted the tickets to Deepak’s speech on Healing, Transformation and Higher Consciousness. 
Okay, are you still with me? ‘Cause this is where the story gets even crazier! On Monday morning, I emailed Joan to  figure out where and when we’d meet before the speech. To my surprise, she sent a note back saying that she was feeling a strong urge to give her ticket to my dad, who has faced some big health challenges over the past few months. In addition to traditional medicine, he has whole-heartedly embraced alternative methods to help him heal; Joan thought Deepak’s speech on healing might be a real gift for my dad to hear. It was a huge act of kindness; Joan owns countless books by Deepak and has even traveled to his Chopra Center for Wellbeing in California, so I knew hearing him speak in person would be a thrill for her. 
I called my dad and offered him Joan’s amazingly generous gift. He excitedly agreed to go, we made plans and I hung up the phone. I then checked my email and saw a note from Sonia, asking me to call her immediately. “Guess what!?” she said at the other end of the line. “They’d like to upgrade you and Joan to premium seats.” My heart skipped a beat and my brain tried to make sense of her words. It couldn’t. I told her what had just happened between Joan and my dad. Would the event organizers be okay with my dad coming instead of Joan? Or did I need to take the ticket and give it back to Joan?? Sonia said she’d call me right back. 
I waited. Buzzing. So immersed in the magic-making going on that it felt like I might electrically shock the next person I touched! The phone rang. I remember Sonia saying, “You’re not going to believe this!” She went on to tell me that the people bringing Deepak into town and organizing the big event were so touched by our story of kindness and healing that they wanted ALL THREE OF US – me, my dad and Joan – to come MEET DEEPAK at a reception before the speech. And, as if that’s not enough to take your breath away, they had also moved seats around and upgraded me and Joan to the second row and my dad to the first. 
Can you even stand it!? It defies all logic, right?! I had to hold back tears. A couple of hours later, there we were, shaking our heads in amazement, standing in the reception room Joan and I had half-joked about being in just weeks before. Deepak was reserved and quiet and kind. After the reception, we took our seats with 1800 other ticket holders. And we were at the very front, a few feet from Deepak during his two hour speech. Oh! And for those of you who get a kick out of my affinity for the number of 11, it was not lost on me that my dad was sitting there in front of me in Row 1, Seat 1 on April 11. Just one more playful cosmic nudge to let me know that the power of intention is alive and well and magic is, indeed, so very real. 

Intention + Kindness = Magic: How I Met Deepak Chopra {04.13.11}

Okay, folks. I am so excited to share this with you! Actually, I can’t quite believe I’m sharing this with you! It’s a longer post than usual, so settle in and buckle your seat belts – there’s magic in the details. 
If you’re a regular reader here, you may already know that I whole-heartedly believe pure magic shows up in our lives when we envision it, believe in it and let go of any preconceptions about how it might or might not happen. Worrying and wondering about how something will come to fruition is like placing an order at a restaurant and then asking the waitress 25 times exactly how it’s going to be prepared. She’s gonna get so annoyed that your service is almost certain to be lousy…and chances are you won’t get what you wanted in the first place! 
Well, speaking of placing an order…a few weeks ago during the radio show I co-host with Colleen and Joan, an ad ran promoting Deepak Chopra’s upcoming speech in Minneapolis. While the commercials aired, I wondered out loud whether we’d be able to nab an interview with him. My co-host, Joan, asked if we might be able to get tickets to his speech. Sitting across from me, she had a big grin on her face and said, “No, wait! Wouldn’t it be cool to meet him!?” We giggled, knowing that tickets to a reception with him before his speech were selling for hundreds and hundreds of dollars. But a girl can dream, right?! And that we did. Joan even thought, wistfully, about what she might talk to him about, should she have the chance to meet him. Then the commercial break ended and we went back to doing the show. We thought nothing more of our imaginary rendezvous with Deepak. 
Well, a couple of days later, I got an email asking if we’d want to interview the spiritual and wellness guru. Uh…hello!? YES! Whenever this stuff happens, my body feels like it’s buzzing. Like it’s just been plugged into the vibration of the universe, tapped into that magic I mentioned earlier. I was so pumped! Deepak’s schedule only allowed for us to tape the interview in advance of our show and my co-hosts couldn’t make it into the station. So, it was just me and Deepak.  He was lovely and we talked about everything from his grandkids to comedy to the future of the world through his eyes. {BTW, I can’t figure out how to post the interview here, so if you’d like to hear it, go here and listen to the April 2nd show, first hour} 
I was a very happy camper – thrilled to have had some one-on-one phone time with him. Before the interview aired, I had emailed our station’s sales director, Sonia, to let her know that if there happened to be any extra tickets available, we’d love to attend his speech. By the time the interview aired, I hadn’t heard anything back about extra tickets. I’d already talked to the guy, so it would have been silly to be bummed about not ALSO getting tickets. 
Well, fast forward to late last week. An email came through from Sonia, saying that she’d just received two general admission tickets for us. Whaaaa!? I knew the seats were selling fast, so I was amazed they were willing to give us two. I emailed my co-hosts the good news; it turned out Colleen had plans for Monday night, so Joan and I excitedly accepted the tickets to Deepak’s speech on Healing, Transformation and Higher Consciousness. 
Okay, are you still with me? ‘Cause this is where the story gets even crazier! On Monday morning, I emailed Joan to  figure out where and when we’d meet before the speech. To my surprise, she sent a note back saying that she was feeling a strong urge to give her ticket to my dad, who has faced some big health challenges over the past few months. In addition to traditional medicine, he has whole-heartedly embraced alternative methods to help him heal; Joan thought Deepak’s speech on healing might be a real gift for my dad to hear. It was a huge act of kindness; Joan owns countless books by Deepak and has even traveled to his Chopra Center for Wellbeing in California, so I knew hearing him speak in person would be a thrill for her. 
I called my dad and offered him Joan’s amazingly generous gift. He excitedly agreed to go, we made plans and I hung up the phone. I then checked my email and saw a note from Sonia, asking me to call her immediately. “Guess what!?” she said at the other end of the line. “They’d like to upgrade you and Joan to premium seats.” My heart skipped a beat and my brain tried to make sense of her words. It couldn’t. I told her what had just happened between Joan and my dad. Would the event organizers be okay with my dad coming instead of Joan? Or did I need to take the ticket and give it back to Joan?? Sonia said she’d call me right back. 
I waited. Buzzing. So immersed in the magic-making going on that it felt like I might electrically shock the next person I touched! The phone rang. I remember Sonia saying, “You’re not going to believe this!” She went on to tell me that the people bringing Deepak into town and organizing the big event were so touched by our story of kindness and healing that they wanted ALL THREE OF US – me, my dad and Joan – to come MEET DEEPAK at a reception before the speech. And, as if that’s not enough to take your breath away, they had also moved seats around and upgraded me and Joan to the second row and my dad to the first. 
Can you even stand it!? It defies all logic, right?! I had to hold back tears. A couple of hours later, there we were, shaking our heads in amazement, standing in the reception room Joan and I had half-joked about being in just weeks before. Deepak was reserved and quiet and kind. After the reception, we took our seats with 1800 other ticket holders. And we were at the very front, a few feet from Deepak during his two hour speech. Oh! And for those of you who get a kick out of my affinity for the number of 11, it was not lost on me that my dad was sitting there in front of me in Row 1, Seat 1 on April 11. Just one more playful cosmic nudge to let me know that the power of intention is alive and well and magic is, indeed, so very real. 

Create Your Own Intention Circle

 

When I wrote last week about honing in on the words that best describe who we are and what we want to share with the world, I mentioned my intention circle – a group of women I meet with monthly. I heard from lots of you who wanted to know more – what is it? who’s in it? how does it work? 

 

My intention circle grew out of a day-long workshop I took from my friend Maryanne O’Brien, founder of Live Dynamite. She coaches people on the power of positive thought and how it affects the outcomes of our dreams and goals. To set your intention is to visualize your ideal outcome, feel what it would feel like to have it, trust that it is coming and let go of how it’s going to happen. Though I have done this for many years, it helps immensely to focus on your greatest desires in a group setting, with tons of tools at your fingertips.

 

The first time I went to a Live Dynamite Circle, I was focusing on increasing my income. I had written down on one of Maryanne’s intention cards (also circle-shaped) that I intended to joyfully attract another $1,500 of income into my life each month. She leaned over my shoulder and whispered, “You can do better than that. Double it.” I cringed at first, wondering where in the world $3,000 would come from, but she encouraged me to just let the “how” go and trust that it would happen. That evening, I drove home and went to the mailbox. I kid you not: inside was a check for $3,000 from a former copy writing client who had never paid me for work done long ago (and I thought never would). Holy crap, right? I felt like the powers that be made that happen for me that day to convince me of the power of my thoughts, the sheer force of positive intention.

 

At the second workshop I attended in 2009, the people at my table were all fascinating and wonderful. One businessman was there to focus on improving his family relationships. A woman next to me, who worked on her husband’s family farm, wanted to clarify on her own ambitions. Another was feeling stressed and overworked. Each person envisioned, planned and celebrated their ideal futures that day; the energy in the room was amazing. The eight of us around our table talked excitedly about getting together after the workshop to keep each other motivated.

 

But a couple of weeks after the Live Dynamite Circle, there were only three of us able to commit to meeting regularly – and we trusted that was the way it was meant to be. Turns out we had a lot in common, from our paths as small business owners to shared values. We eventually welcomed two other like-minded members who were searching for a sense of community and came to us totally serendipitously. I think this is critical when forming an intention circle: be very mindful about who is part of your group and what they bring to the table.

 

We’d all participated in networking groups that didn’t fulfill us in rich, meaningful ways. I remember being in groups where I felt worse leaving than I did walking in the door! We agreed from the beginning that this group was not about surface stuff, but about soul work – digging deep, providing support and honest feedback, being okay with any and all feelings that came up – as we navigated our ways through personal and professional challenges and opportunities.

 

We also knew we needed structure for our time to remain purposeful and beneficial to everyone. We meet in a private room at a local health & wellness center and stick to a schedule. We can arrive up to a half hour before lunch to shoot the breeze and order food. Then, at noon, we start with a 10-15 minute personal growth exercise (we have a rotating schedule for who is responsible for this each month). After that, each woman has 15-30 minutes to share a particular situation, struggle or issue while the rest of us provide honest feedback and support. It is all completely confidential. And there’s little room for complaining, whining or gossiping because we all agree none of that is productive. At the end of each woman’s time, she crafts an intention – a sentence that defines what she’s gained from our talk and how she envisions moving forward. Our intentions have ranged from “I fully intend to spend 10 minutes a day in quiet reflection every day for a month” to “I intend to specifically define and attract my ideal clients in the next week.”

 

Sometimes, one member needs more time than usual, while another might need less. It’s a dance – different every time. And we’ve certainly experienced growing pains and missteps. For a couple of months, our meetings disintegrated into surface chatter. A couple of exchanges and misunderstandings left us each feeling defensive and uneasy. I think that’s bound to happen when you’re digging deep. We all felt it and noticed it and didn’t want it to continue that way. So, we spent most of one meeting going over specifics, sharing our concerns, grabbing Kleenex, celebrating what we loved about our circle, building our trust back up and clarifying our intentions as a group.

 

I feel incredibly fortunate to have this circle of wise, wonderful women in my life. They want me to thrive and shine and I want the same for them. As one of my circle sisters said at our last meeting, “we have accomplished in a year what some people don’t accomplish in a lifetime!” It’s so true. And, if an intention circle is something that sounds beautiful to you, create it! Rather than say “Oh, man, I wish I had that….” try changing your tune to “I am in the process of finding and building my own intention circle! Wahoo!”

 

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RESOURCES! Want more information on inviting the magic of intention in your life? 
The Power of Intention: Learning to Co-create Your World Your Way by Wayne Dyer. A life-changing book for me. I recommend it to EVERYONE!
Watch this video by creative coach Christine Kane about the amazing impact of living with intention.
Mike Dooley’s TUT.com is an awesome site. Be sure to sign up for Notes From The Universe – a daily email that lifts my spirits and reminds me that my thoughts, indeed, create my reality.

Create Your Own Intention Circle ~ 02.14.11

When I wrote last week about honing in on the words that best describe who we are and what we want to share with the world, I mentioned my intention circle – a group of women I meet with monthly. I heard from lots of you who wanted to know more – what is it? who’s in it? how does it work? 
My intention circle grew out of a day-long workshop I took from my friend Maryanne O’Brien, founder of Live Dynamite. She coaches people on the power of positive thought and how it affects the outcomes of our dreams and goals. To set your intention is to visualize your ideal outcome, feel what it would feel like to have it, trust that it is coming and let go of how it’s going to happen. Though I have done this for many years, it helps immensely to focus on your greatest desires in a group setting, with tons of tools at your fingertips. 
The first time I went to a Live Dynamite Circle, I was focusing on increasing my income. I had written down on one of Maryanne’s intention cards (also circle-shaped) that I intended to joyfully attract another $1,500 of income into my life each month. She leaned over my shoulder and whispered, “You can do better than that. Double it.” I cringed at first, wondering where in the world $3,000 would come from, but she encouraged me to just let the “how” go and trust that it would happen. That evening, I drove home and went to the mailbox. I kid you not: inside was a check for $3,000 from a former copy writing client who had never paid me for work done long ago (and I thought never would). Holy crap, right? I felt like the powers that be made that happen for me that day to convince me of the power of my thoughts, the sheer force of positive intention. 
At the second workshop I attended in 2009, the people at my table were all fascinating and wonderful. One businessman was there to focus on improving his family relationships. A woman next to me, who worked on her husband’s family farm, wanted to clarify on her own ambitions. Another was feeling stressed and overworked. Each person envisioned, planned and celebrated their ideal futures that day; the energy in the room was amazing. The eight of us around our table talked excitedly about getting together after the workshop to keep each other motivated.
But a couple of weeks after the Live Dynamite Circle, there were only three of us able to commit to meeting regularly – and we trusted that was the way it was meant to be. Turns out we had a lot in common, from our paths as small business owners to shared values. We eventually welcomed two other like-minded members who were searching for a sense of community and came to us totally serendipitously. I think this is critical when forming an intention circle: be very mindful about who is part of your group and what they bring to the table. 
We’d all participated in networking groups that didn’t fulfill us in rich, meaningful ways. I remember being in groups where I felt worse leaving than I did walking in the door! We agreed from the beginning that this group was not about surface stuff, but about soul work – digging deep, providing support and honest feedback, being okay with any and all feelings that came up – as we navigated our ways through personal and professional challenges and opportunities. 
We also knew we needed structure for our time to remain purposeful and beneficial to everyone. We meet in a private room at a local health & wellness center and stick to a schedule. We can arrive up to a half hour before lunch to shoot the breeze and order food. Then, at noon, we start with a 10-15 minute personal growth exercise (we have a rotating schedule for who is responsible for this each month). After that, each woman has 15-30 minutes to share a particular situation, struggle or issue while the rest of us provide honest feedback and support. It is all completely confidential. And there’s little room for complaining, whining or gossiping because we all agree none of that is productive. At the end of each woman’s time, she crafts an intention – a sentence that defines what she’s gained from our talk and how she envisions moving forward. Our intentions have ranged from “I fully intend to spend 10 minutes a day in quiet reflection every day for a month” to “I intend to specifically define and attract my ideal clients in the next week.”
Sometimes, one member needs more time than usual, while another might need less. It’s a dance – different every time. And we’ve certainly experienced growing pains and missteps. For a couple of months, our meetings disintegrated into surface chatter. A couple of exchanges and misunderstandings left us each feeling defensive and uneasy. I think that’s bound to happen when you’re digging deep. We all felt it and noticed it and didn’t want it to continue that way. So, we spent most of one meeting going over specifics, sharing our concerns, grabbing Kleenex, celebrating what we loved about our circle, building our trust back up and clarifying our intentions as a group.
I feel incredibly fortunate to have this circle of wise, wonderful women in my life. They want me to thrive and shine and I want the same for them. As one of my circle sisters said at our last meeting, “we have accomplished in a year what some people don’t accomplish in a lifetime!” It’s so true. And, if an intention circle is something that sounds beautiful to you, create it! Rather than say “Oh, man, I wish I had that….” try changing your tune to “I am in the process of finding and building my own intention circle! Wahoo!” 
*************************************
RESOURCES! Want more information on inviting the magic of intention in your life? 
The Power of Intention: Learning to Co-create Your World Your Way by Wayne Dyer. A life-changing book for me. I recommend it to EVERYONE! 
Watch this video by creative coach Christine Kane about the amazing impact of living with intention. She’s also hosting a free teleseminar on the subject on 2/23! 
Mike Dooley’s TUT.com is an awesome site. Be sure to sign up for Notes From The Universe – a daily email that lifts my spirits and reminds me that my thoughts, indeed, create my reality.