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. |

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.

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.


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!




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.

how to find your people (my favorite magic trick)

when you trust the right people will show up in your life, an amazing thing happens: the right people show up your life

We all know what it’s like to long for someone to show up in our life – a new friend, a new partner, a new colleague, a new client. But do you ever feel like NOT finding the perfect people has become the story of your life? You still long to find them, but suspect and expect they’ll always elude you? You’re not alone.

That’s why I love the conversation I had with my friend Jen this weekend. She’s the photographer behind most of the pictures of me on my site. And a few months ago, she left her job to focus on photography full-time. (Yay!)

Jennifer Liv Olson Photography | in her studio

Jen in her studio

When I asked if November was shaping up to be crazy-busy for her, she shrugged and nonchalantly said, “Not yet.” But this has to be a busy time, I insisted; aren’t families chomping at the bit to get holiday photos taken? Again, Jen shrugged. And then she told me this: since diving into self-employment, she’s gone into almost every month with a wide open calendar, no clients to speak of. But within the first couple of days each month, her schedule has filled up with sessions. Booked solid.

Wow. Most entrepreneurs – especially those in the early days of their full-time businesses – would FLIP OUT over that much uncertainty. They’d look at that empty schedule and wave the white flag of surrender. But not Jen. 

She trusts the people will come – and they do. 

Now, that doesn’t mean she sits around twiddling her thumbs, waiting for the phone to ring. She still promotes her biz and hones her craft, but not frantically, not from a place of desperation, not in a fit of jealousy over what other photographers are doing. Right on.

Seems like so many people are in crisis mode lately, searching frantically for the people they think they need to make their lives better. But that scarcity mentality, obsessing over what or whom we lack in our lives, only magnifies the problem and traps us in a cloudy bubble of negative energy. Whether we need a handful of new clients or one new best friend, the trick is to focus specifically and joyfully on who we do want to walk through that door, and then fully expect they will.

I actually do this every time I launch a new program. A week from today, I’ll begin a new session of The Art of Choosing Beauty. When I created this class, I carefully envisioned the type of participants I wanted to attract: women with open hearts and minds who are longing to feel consistently happy, looking for ways to stay positive, hoping for healing and a renewed sense of hope, and eager to be supportive and supported in a circle of kindred spirits. And you know what? That’s exactly who showed up for the first round and I fully trust that’s who is showing up for this next round. (Is it you?) It’ll be a smaller group this time around, but it will be the perfect group.

There are seven billion of us on this spinning planet. Your people are out there.

Yep. Your best friends, your best boss, your best therapist, your best babysitter, your best plumber, your best client, your best mentor. Get clear on what about them will fill your cup, then silently invite them into your life. When you feel like taking action (making a call, trying a new place, saying hello), ask yourself if you’re being motivated by inspiration or desperation. Inspiration feels lighter, easier, happier, doable. Desperation makes you feel heavier, anxious, stressed, doubtful. And since thoughts create things and our feelings magnify our desires, inspired action (vs. desperate action) helps us attract the right people, the best people into our lives. You might as well start planning a welcome party, time and date to be determined.