holy wow. what i found in my grandma’s gratitude journal

#gratitude quote - part of my post on losing my grandma, and what I found in her gratitude journal

Oh, friends. I have so much to tell you, it’s hard to know where to begin.

Maybe here: my Nana is gone.

After 40 days in residential hospice, she passed away on Saturday morning. And though I know I’ll hear from her soon enough (she promised, after all, to be in touch), I will miss so much about having her physically here. Her hugs. Her sense of wonder. Her sing-song voice. Her sense of style, even at 90. Her relationship with my kids.

I will never regret spending Nana’s last 40 days by her side (often quite literally, curled up in bed with her!). I did my best to be fully present when she was awake – taking walks, holding hands, listening to songs she loved – and Brad did wonders for the worrywart in me, frequently reminding me these were once-in-a-lifetime moments with Nana and that our little family would be fine while I devoted chunks of each day to being with her and my mom. He was right, of course.

Nana at Hotel Loretto in Santa Fe, September 2013

Nana at Hotel Loretto in Santa Fe, September 2013

As those of you who followed our journey on Instagram know, Nana’s health would take steep declines in hospice and then, to our surprise, she’d perk back up for a bit. Even at the end, after the nurses predicted she had mere hours, she stuck around several more days! Amazing resilience. In those times , I would stay overnight – not only to be there for Nana, but to give my mom support. I would tell Nana it was just like having another slumber party or girlfriend getaway. (Our last trip as a threesome had been to Santa Fe, exactly one year prior.)

The days since Nana’s passing have been crazy-busy, planning a celebration of her life and prepping for lots of family coming in. I’ve barely had a chance to let it sink in that she’s gone. But last night, as I was putting some things away at her place, I discovered buried treasure and found myself all choked up. I opened a drawer in her hutch and saw a familiar book – The Simple Abundance Journal of Gratitude. My mom had given all of us copies one Christmas, many years ago. It was an odd place to find a journal, given that Nana’s hutch holds placemats, silverware and greeting cards.

Notes from Nana about Santa Fe, Inn at the LorettoI pulled out the book and when I opened it, several sheets of paper fell out. They were all from the Hotel Loretto, our favorite place to stay in Santa Fe, and contained Nana’s handwritten notes from our first girlfriend trip there 15 years ago, for her 75th birthday. Holy wow! Among her notes:

My plane took off a little late, and I was fearful that I was going to miss Tunie and Liv (and a connecting flight), but there they were, smiling ear to ear in matching cowboy hats. What a thrill to see them there – I am so blessed! Thrilled being with my girls. 

Finding that little celebration of our bond, in her beautiful handwriting, was such a gift. Neither my mom or I recall the cowboy hats (!!!), but we will always hold dear the thrills we had as a threesome. Even the very last one, as we watched Nana head into the sunset, into the Great Beyond. We showered her with kisses on behalf of everyone who loves her here and reminders that she’d soon be seeing all the loved ones waiting for her over there.

I need time to process the loss of a great light in my life and to soak up the warm hugs and belly laughs with family flying in to celebrate her. It’s what she would want, and it’s all I have energy for right now.

the art of choosing beauty ecourseSo, work will have to wait a little longer. I am so grateful to everyone who’s accepted with such grace and understanding my need to push back Firecracker Calls, classes, newsletters and meetings. I have postponed my Art of Choosing Beauty ecourse, which was scheduled to kick off this week; it will now launch September 22nd. That class is all about finding and making magic every single day – even (or especially) when life feels hard.

It feels like divine timing, really – to choose beauty with a bunch of brave hearts this month, and to be able to incorporate private stories and powerful insights from my journey with Nana into this next round of the class (the only time I’m teaching it this year). I believe that, like finding Nana’s notes, these gifts that feel like magic – the ones that catch us off guard and connect us to what matters – appear for a reason in our lives. Nana LOVED to give thoughful gifts, and I have a feeling she has no plans to stop. As Nana always said, God works in mysterious ways – and I bet she’s got a few tricks up her sleeve, too.

 

what dying people see that most of us miss

It's easy to feel down when we keep forgetting to look up. Via LivLane.com

I’ll never forget the day my dad cried over trees. A couple of months before he died, in 2011, we were sitting in the den of my parents’ home, him in his favorite leather chair and me curled up on the couch, looking out the big picture window at their heavily wooded backyard.

My dad’s cancer treatments were going pretty well and he was fiercely optimistic about his future. But, looking back on that day, I realize there was also a little piece of him that knew he was dying. I asked him what was making him happy that day. And that’s when he looked out the window at the lush green trees he’d seen a million times before and his bottom lip started to quiver.

His emotion hit me like a lightning bolt as our small talk turned real serious, real fast. 

He was feeling so moved by the goodness and gracefulness in those trees — the aliveness, the lushness, the history, the resiliency. And he was seeing those gentle giants in a new way, with the slightest suspician his view might soon be changing.

My grandma's hands on her handmade afghan, overlooking the pond at hospice. This is what I’ve noticed dying people do: they see beauty with their eyes and hearts wide open, blindsided all at once by the agony and euphoria of seeing it, really seeing it, for the first time – and maybe the last. My dad is not the only one I’ve seen brought to tears by the soul-stirring beauty that most of us miss.

In fact, I’ve seen it in patients at the hospice care home where we’ve spent the last 17 days with my Nana. Though she’s always noticed beauty in the little things, something has shifted as she faces the final stages of her journey with cancer. Her focus on what matters has deepened. In the hallway, for instance, when she sees fellow patient Clarissa – a young woman with cornrows and tattoos who’s been battling cancer for a year – they quietly embrace and say they love each other. And they mean it. They may never have crossed paths in their old lives, but here – in this place where what’s different about them no longer matters – they are willing to be soooo vulnerable and authentic together, it’s breathtakingly beautiful.

I feel good about sharing our hospice journey on Instagram (and love that it’s touched some of you), but sometimes I notice that while I’m taking pictures of beauty in our midst, Nana’s actually breathing it in and holding it close – like she’s taking a snapshot with her soul. Letting the beauty seep in so deep, a picture can’t do it justice. It inspires me to step back and do the same.

When I first deepened my own relationship with everyday beauty eight years ago, it transformed me. And when I’m leading a community of women through the process, I witness the same kinds of change; there’s a tangible shift from going through the motions to joyfully attracting meaningful abundance, letting in what really matters – even if it brings us to tears. It starts with simply remembering to look up as we plow through our days. Today, we can choose to let beauty in and seize the day, the way so many people who are dying wish they had all along.

Note: If you feel ready for that kind of deep dive into cultivating your most beautiful life,  I’m teaching my 4 Weeks to Happiness: The Art of Choosing Beauty ecourse next month – and it’s the only time I’m leading this course in 2014. If you’re longing for a powerful shift, and to connect with other dear hearts who are ready too, I hope you’ll sign up. The $30 off early bird special ends Friday at midnight central; just enter the code earlybird at checkout. Full details here. 

how to get unstuck (my favorite solution!)

you are all sorts of awesome. (a post on how to get unstuck)

The next time you feel stuck, I hope you think of me. Because I’ve got a trick up my sleeve that could catapult you out of the muck and into your next big thing. Ready for it?

Write down the best compliment you could ever receive.

That’s right. Look at the project or challenge in front of you, and imagine precisely what someone who’s awe-inspired by your efforts might say to you. Don’t settle for envisioning broad and bland praise – like “I really like your blog” or “I love the way you decorated this room” or even “I’m impressed by how you handled that situation.” 

I’m talking about a compliment that rings so true it could move you to tears.

So many women on a mission to light up the world say they just want to inspire people. But when I ask them what they want to inspire others to do or be or feel, they often stammer. Why? Because they haven’t peeled away the layers to get crystal clear on what kind of light they want to create.

You don’t even need to know how you’re going to do it. When someone utters your ideal compliment – the one that makes you buzz from head to toe – it means that you will have served them/helped them/inspired them in a powerful way that is aligned with your innate purpose. So let the vision of that perfect compliment serve as a guidepost; a litmus test for each step you take. Consider what you’d need to do to attract a glowing compliment like that.

I can’t tell you how many times I have used this tactic at the start of something new – and been amazed (and choked up!), down the road, when someone expressed the very sentiment that had been my lighthouse from the beginning. It’s incredibly powerful. So say the words you want to hear, and let them lead the way.

my the biggest sale of the year!

Christmas in July sale with Liv Lane

It’s here! It’s here! My biggest sale of the year! Every summer, I fill the sleigh and deck the halls for my Christmas in July Sale. And people, it is ON.

Everything – yes, everything – is on sale until midnight central on Friday (7/11). Just input the code SANTABABY at checkout and you’ll find all these savings under the tree:

Go here for $20 off Firecracker Calls (first availability for intuitive readings is August/September)

Go here for $10 off ebooks (whoa, this makes Into the Light only $8!!!)

Go here for $10 off Spark*Sisters LIVE (only a few spots left in Spark*Sisters LIVE on July 19th!)

Go here for 20% off my entire Etsy shop of meaningful greeting cards and heart magnets

Only thing left to do? Spread the Christmas cheer! I’d love it if you’d share the big sale with your own peeps because, you know, the more the merrier!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

a crash course with the angels (the day they saved our lives)

a crash course with the angels

I am so glad to be alive. Two weeks ago, the universe had a chance to pluck me and my little guy right off this spinning planet. But instead, we got a crash course in divine intervention. Thank God.

Two Fridays ago, I was on the phone with a friend who’s been slow-dancing with the shadows of trauma and depression. I shared some stories with her that I haven’t talked about in ages. The ones from 11 years ago, following the traumatic birth of my first son, when I was stuck in the tight grip of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). Back then, the littlest things could trigger vivid visions of my child dying in every gruesome way possible – “like a terrible car crash,” I told my friend. I would try to shake them off, think of something happy…but those visions insisted on playing out from start to finish in my mind. It took a long time – and lots of good help – to win the battle with my wounded mind, to realize the visions weren’t real or threatening, and to understand I had a choice: to give in to the dark shadows in my head or fully trust that the light of God was at work in my life. That healing shift, I told her, literally saved my life.

what do little white feathers symbolize?While my friend and I talked on the phone, Tru was downstairs playing with his five-year-old buddy. The doorbell rang; it was the boy’s mom, arriving to take him home. As the little boy walked to our door to put his shoes on, he stopped and said, “Here, this is for you.” In his small hands, he held a tiny white feather. A TINY WHITE FEATHER! I don’t know where it came from or why he felt like I should have it (instead of his own mama!?), but I received it with a full heart.

White feathers are a sign I’ve encouraged so many of my ecourse students to watch for as evidence angels are around. You would not believe how many white feathers they find once they tap into that awareness! It is awesome. When this little boy handed that feather to me, I felt the power of the timing…of receiving it just after sharing on the phone how protected and safe I now feel. It felt so special, in fact, I took a picture.

It was probably an hour later when the angels swooped in to save our lives.

Tru and I went to our favorite nursery to pick out spring flowers. He asked to go outside and all the way to the back – to a shady area full of hosta plants. It was quiet and peaceful there, with no other customers around. And that’s when it happened.

We both heard a loud boom. I looked up to see a car zooming straight for us; I don’t know where it came from, but it had already hit something (thus the loud boom) and there was no time to move – or even to think of moving. I felt like I was outside of my body for a moment, watching myself watching that car speed toward us. Why was there even a car in the nursery!? It was just like my old PTSD visions, only this time it was real. And then I felt it: a shift in energy, a slowing down of time, a force unseen altering the moment. The out-of-control car would have taken mere seconds to plow into us, but instead it hit a water tank and then the staircase on the side of a nearby garage, tipping on its side just enough to somehow stop abruptly. We stood there in silent shock, until I realized we were okay.

HOLY SHIT. WE WERE OKAY. I felt myself breathe again. 

I ran to the car (it was much closer than it looks in the picture), and found the driver inside holding her head in confusion – but without a scratch on her. Tru startedCaution: #Angel Crossing screaming with worry for me, so I went back to him as staff members ran up to help the driver. Tru and I walked around in a daze after that; he kept saying, “that was a bad accident…” and I would follow it up – in amazement – with, “…and everyone’s okay.” 

The vision of that day has yet to leave my mind. It comes to me almost daily, asking me to re-live it, inviting me to be amazed by it. It is the opposite of my old visions, which left me riddled with fear. This one has no shadows; it’s a miracle in motion and leaves me feeling eternally grateful and cared for.

I don’t believe any of it is a coincidence – the telling of my shadow stories followed by the gift of that feather, followed by the divine roadblocks that kept us safe from that speeding car. And the opportunity to share it all with you is just another step in the divine order of things, I believe. Because if I tell you, and you tell others, somebody along the way is going to feel moved to make more space in her life for angels, for divinity, for magic. There are miracles happening every day. Pass it on…

 

the private email i just sent to my tribe…

the measure of a true friend.

It’s not often I’m at a loss for words. But I’ve been sitting here for a good 30 minutes, staring at the blank page, caught up in a web of awe, rendered speechless. And a little teary. I just launched a new program – Spark*Sisters – and the reaction is blowing me away. Actually, I haven’t even had a chance to truly launch it – and already, women are lining up.

Friends, my first live event just sold out in a day. A day!? A second event has been added. And the ecourse is filling up fast.

This morning, I sent a note to my intention circle – the small group of wonder women I’ve been meeting with for years, and the inspiration for this new undertaking. And as I sit here, trying to write a blog post that encapsulates how I’m feeling, I’m having a little epiphany. I think I should just share my email to them with you. Be totally transparent, so you can see the depth of our connection, and how this all came to be. So, here it is. I’m making this private email public, for all of my sisters out there…including you.

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I couldn’t wait till our next meeting to share this with you! Remember how, last year, I asked you if you’d be okay with me creating, someday, some kind of ecourse around how to build an intention circle, using our own circle as inspiration? It was only a nugget of an idea, but it kept flirting with my heart. And you said YES, of course…let it percolate. 

And then several months ago, I brought it back up and told you I wanted it to be a live event. And you said…quite resoundly…NO, not now, don’t rush in. You guys said I had too much on my plate already; I had just launched Project Light Year, was booking Firecracker Calls left and right, not to mention all the family/personal stuff begging for my attention. And because I trust you so much, and you know me so well, I didn’t even fight it. I felt a twinge of disappointment, but your advice has never led me astray. So I tucked it away for another time. 

 

You were so right (of course!). Right after we met, family needs escalated and I barely had time to focus on the work already in front of me. There’s no way I could have launched something new, especially my first solo event! So grateful you anticipated that and guided me to take it easy. 

 

Still, the idea would not let me go. I’ve frequently caught myself staring into space…planning the ecourse, envisioning the event. But instead of rushing in and launching it, I played with it. I meditated on it, connected with Spirit about it, came up with a dozen names and logos for it…but with no deadline or anything to make me stress about it. I knew it would be my next big thing, but something about it still didn’t feel quite right, so I let go of the when and how. 

 

And then one night, as I was having fun imagining it for the millionth time, it hit me like a lightning bolt. It felt like God organized all the moving pieces and inserted a complete vision for it in my head. It makes me cry, just writing about it, because that vision included a critical missing piece: sparks. You know how I’ve been trying to figure out a way to better incorporate my dad’s work into my work; how he wanted me to take sparks and do it “my way,” and how many conversations we had about my desire to help adults tap into the inner sparks they’d long forgotten or given up on. This crystallized vision included that – circles of women gathering to ignite their sparks, intentionally and intuitively. It gives me full-body chills, and I have felt (and heard) my dad with me so much in these final planning stages. Working together, in a new way.

 

Spark*Sisters - Find Your TribeSo the final result is an online intensive – Spark*Sisters. An 8 day deep-dive ecourse plus a database of participants’ locations & interests so they can find each other…find their tribes. And, as a powerful option for up to 20 women in the Twin Cities, I put together a morning event on July 19th (at the Arboretum!) where I’ll intuitively place each participant in her new tribe and they’ll begin to bond around their hopes, dreams and fears. 

 

Well, you guys…before I even officially launched the thing, the EVENT SOLD OUT. I simply sent two emails – one to my Project Light Year students and the other to newsletter subscribers – and women started signing up in droves for the ecourse and the event. So I’ve already added a second event, which is already selling before I’ve mentioned it anywhere! Can you believe it!? Holy wow. 

 

So. Sorry for rambling on, but I just wanted to share the good news and also thank you for encouraging me to wait…for the right time and for inspiration to strike. I so cherish you!

 

Love, 
Liv

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Want to find your own circle? Find details on Spark*Sisters here.

And if you’re in Minnesota, sign up for the second Spark*Sisters LIVE event over here.

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

if you’re a multi-passionate, today’s a BIG deal

Rumi quote: Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.  (Shared in celebration of the Multi-Passionate Must Haves Sale...click for details)

(photo by carissa paige)

It’s hard to believe that it’s been seven years since I left my corporate life behind in pursuit of the dreams tugging at my heartstrings. I remember feeling like I had infinite possibilities before me, which gave me great energy…and major heart palpitations. I remember waking up the morning after I left and not knowing where in the world to begin. There were so many things I wanted to try, so many passions to flesh out, it was hard to know where and how to begin.

Complicating matters, I was hungry to learn from people who had been in my shoes – but my budget couldn’t handle the hundreds or thousands of dollars many online programs cost. I recall that when one super-successful entrepreneur held a pay-what-you-can day for her ebooks, it felt like a little miracle. Finally, I could afford some expert advice!

That’s multi-passionate must-havesone of the reasons I’m soooo psyched to be part of the Multi-Passionates Must-Haves Sale today through midnight Thursday. You can snatch up 30 ebooks, ecourses and resources worth over $2,000 for – get this – $97. Such an amazing deal for anyone who’s figuring out how to build or expand the ways they profit from their passions. For instance, one of the 30 available programs is my 300+ page ebook, How to Build a Blog You Truly Love, which normally costs $49. But now through Thursday at midnight, you can get that PLUS 29 other programs for just a little bit more money. See what I mean!? Ahhhhhmazing!

And the other part of this sale that I love? We get to band together to help really great causes. Yep, over 20% of your purchase will celebrate these charities:

  • First, $10 from every single purchase will support Michelle Ward’s team for the Avon 2-Day Breast Cancer Walk in NY. Michelle, who co-organized this event, was diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2011 and declared cancer-free in June 2012. This will be the 3rd year she’ll be walking 39.3 miles with Avon over 2 days with her mother and bestest friends. 
  • Second, if you use my links to the sale, I’ll donate another $10 from your purchase to Courageous HeARTS, a Minnesota nonprofit started by brave heart Lindsay Walz that aims to help heal and empower youth through expressive arts, community building and leadership training.

So. Whether you’re figuring out or living out your passions, and looking for a way to learn about everything from Facebook marketing to how to say NO, be sure to check out the Multi-Passionates Must Haves sale before midnight on Thursday. I wish I’d had all of this at my fingertips seven years ago – and hope it gives you great fodder to help make your dreams come true!