A gift for you from the Other Side (a.k.a. I can’t believe I’m doing this)

Liv with pic of Nana

Yesterday, I got a visit from my Nana. And then she brought some of your loved ones over, too. It was a day, from start to finish, of appearances and sacred signs that made my heart absolutely race. And that’s really saying something, since I’m pretty used to engaging with the Great Beyond. Let me give you the highlights because there’s a gift in it all for you.

Nana passed away nearly a year and a half ago, but when she was alive, she knew I could see and hear spirits and angels. She assured me multiple times that she’d be popping in, sending signs, and whispering in my ear (i.e. bossing me around!) once she was in Heaven. We had some good laughs – and shed a few tears – about that future reality. But after her passing, I didn’t hear much from her – up until these past few weeks (maybe you saw my Christmas tree story, for instance). It’s like she was picking up steam, gaining the energy and know-how to get through to me in a major way.

A Vivid Dream

Several days ago, I started noticing “spirit chatter” swirling around me, like the faded din of a busy restaurant. I was too busy to get still and tune in, so the spirits found another way to get my attention (they’re sneaky like that!). On Monday night, Nana came to me in a dream – so vivid and real that I was surpised the next morning when I woke up in my bed! In the dream, as I shared on social media, Nana and I were with old friends and dear family, sitting next to each other, having a marvelous time. Everyone was laughing, loving, reminiscing. And then I realized I was the only one who could see her. They weren’t talking to her…they were talking ABOUT her. I couldn’t believe they were missing her being right there!

Don’t forget – you see and hear what others can’t, Nana reminded me. And then she asked that I use that gift to let more people know their loved ones are near…they’re sitting at the restaurant with them, riding in the carpool with them, dancing in the living room with them. Oh! Mission accomplished, I told her. I’ll be teaching that soon! But she already seemed very aware of my recent decision to devote the next year of my online class, Project Light Year, to helping participants deepen their awareness of and connection to spirits and angels.

There’s more to share than you think and more people to reach, Nana said – but I didn’t quite understand. She then demonstrated some of the amazing ways she’s learned to play with time and space – and then I woke up, surprised to be in my bed since I could have sworn I’d just been in a restaurant with Nana.

A Crowded Room

Our interaction had been incredibly vivid and stayed with me into my waking hours, which is how I know Nana was really with me. But I didn’t know how to address the things she’d requested and shown me, so I set them aside and went on with my day. Until, that is, she showed up again. Not in dream form, but standing in my bedroom when I walked in. And this time, she brought a roomful of moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas, children and pets all in spirit form, to back her up. Whoa.

Nana is a social butterfly, so I’m not surprised that she’s already made countless friends over there! She asked me to please listen to them. One man who died in his 50s told me his family tends to doubt or miss the signs he leaves for them. A mother who passed in her 70s showed me “all the pretty birds” she’d like to send if only her daughter would open the window blinds. A yellow lab ran circles around a sleeping baby, proud to be watching over the new arrival. A little boy wanted his family to know – and laugh about – all the funny pranks he’s been playing on them. My heart was racing as they each chimed in about the loved ones they’d love to re-establish an connection with, in a new and wondrous way. “You can help show them we’re right here,” one man said, and my heart sank a bit.

“I don’t have a way to find them for you,” I told the roomful of spirits. “You’d have to bring them to me, nudge them to find the class.”

Nana stepped up then and said lovingly, “We have – but some people can’t afford it, Liv-er. And we need to reach them, too.” Nana always did love a bargain – almost as much as being overly kind to total strangers. So I started to negotiate with the hopeful group of strangers in my room (ha, that sounds so crazy!). I ran through the numbers in my head, worried I’d lose money or send the wrong message about the course’s value. But they didn’t care for any of my discount suggestions – or my irrational fears.

I then heard someone in the crowd say, “You have to let them choose the price.” And the room filled with shouts of support. Wait, what? Choose their own price? For a full year of inspiration and connection? That suggestion sounded totally ridiculous (this is my livelihood, after all). But that idea also sounded beautifully, inexplicably right. If you do this, word will get around to all the right folks, another spirit said. Looking at all those loved ones gathered, eager to let their people know they’re okay and still around, I got all choked up. How could I say no?

By then, it was time to pick up my oldest at school. I almost missed my turn, I was so distracted thinking about how I’d make it work! There would be lots of administrative hoops to jump through; I knew I’d need to bring Jill, Happiness Manager for my biz, up to speed. As soon as we got back home, I pulled my phone out of my coat pocket and found that it was already calling Jill. I quickly ended the call before she answered – not even sure how to describe yet what was going on and what we needed to do. But it was crystal clear that Nana & Company wanted to get the ball rolling!

A Gift from the Other Side

The truth is, on paper, this makes no sense for my business – offering a whole year of content at an undetermined price, only days before class begins. But in my heart, I know none of that matters. I can feel the vibration of this request from on-high pulsing through me. I am choosing to trust it will all balance out, that the perfect people will be called to it, that an army of angels has my back. So here we go…

The regular price and our 12-month payment plan are still available – but now you’ll find there is a Pay-What-You-Can option for the 2016 edition of Project Light Year, which kicks off next Monday (1/11). Read about the class and community, then notice if your heart feels pulled to be part of it. If it does, scroll down to the Pay-What-You Can option and change the default amount – currently $1.00 – to the price that feels doable and perfect for you. All I ask is that you come to this experience with an open mind, an open heart, a grateful spirit and deep compassion for the tribe you’re becoming part of.

heaven - pay what you can

If you already signed up to be part of Project Light Year 2016, I want to be fair to all of you dear hearts. So watch for an email in your inboxes, giving you the opportunity to request a partial refund if the class fee you paid stretched you too thin.

Whenever I quiet my fears, whenever I calm my ego, whenever I listen to divine visitors and celestial whispers, amazing things unfold. I have no doubt this will be the case again. There are things I will be sharing that I don’t even know yet. There are people I’ll be meeting who will be blessings in my life. There will be stories and connections that will fill me up with glee. 2016 will be a year of pure magic and it’s only just begun.

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.

the courage to shine is full of crap

"As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same." - Marianne Williamson (from a post on finding the courage to shine)

The one thing people often say to me that never ceases to surprise me is this: “You are so brave.” It takes my breath away every time they say it. I look behind me, to see if they’re talking to someone else. I laugh out loud at the absurdity of it. Because the truth is I rarely feel brave.

I feel scared just like everybody else. There are plenty of days when I have toe-curling fears about scarcity and credibility and purpose and love and keeping up with those freaking Joneses, too. It’s just that I know in my bones, and recognize it much faster than I used to, that those fears do nothing but steal my shot at living a joyful life.

When I chose NOT to drive off a bridge in 2003, as I’d fantasized about a thousand times during my journey through postpartum depression, I did not feel brave. I didn’t feel like a courageous mama soldiering on to create more light; I felt like a coward who couldn’t pull the trigger and had bills to pay, so I stuck around, focusing on surviving (but certainly not thriving).

When I left corporate life in 2007, and even threw myself an “independence day party,” I did not feel courageous. It felt like a necessity; like my soul was shriveling up and needed room to breathe, and that there was something more waiting for me – I just didn’t know what it was. Our financial advisor told me leaving would be risky, and she was totally right (we wound up in DEEP debt). But I left anyway, knees knocking, because I had experienced a whole bunch of signs from the universe that felt more wise and soul-stirring than any spreadsheet. Some people would call that irresponsible, others might call it blind faith. It was not a smooth transition, but it delivered me to joy.

When I had a second baby the next year, I was petrified. But I’d had a moment of clarity – a brief flash of faith – nine months before. I prayed, I talked to the angels and I set my intention, saying that if a calm, quiet, happy baby was available to come into our lives the following spring, I could make myself ready for that. I later wrote in my journal – like hours later – that I was already regretting that move, fearful it would actually come to fruition. And it did. I learned four weeks later that I was four weeks pregnant. I was scared shitless of repeating the traumatic birth and downward spiral of 2003. But there was no turning back – and Tru was born at the end of April; the calmest, quietest, happiest baby ever.

When I declared myself an artist in 2010, I wanted to throw up. I knew artists who would spent weeks on one painting and made thousands of dollars on each piece; I did not feel like a peer to them, but a wannabe, a faker. I remember showing my first mixed media collage, one that I was going to put up FOR SALE, to my family – my parents (art lovers) and my brother (an artist by trade) – and feeling like I couldn’t breathe. They were kind and supportive about it, and it gave me just enough faith in myself to move forward.

When my intuitive gifts began to intensify, and when healers and mediums started telling me I was one of them, I resisted it like crazy. When that didn’t work, I tried to contain it, keeping it to myself and only using it on special occasions (like quietly working with the angels on manifesting really big stuff in my life). When that didn’t work and I started blurting out things I “shouldn’t” have known or seeing dead people in my baby’s room, I told a few friends – who all looked at me like I’d just told them the sky was blue. My intuition was old news to them; they just wanted to know when I was going to tell the rest of the world. Ugh. It took years to choose faith over fear (fear of what people would think, fear that I wasn’t good enough, fear that I’d fall flat on my face) and let my intuition become my way of living (in all ways). None of it felt courageous; it all felt scary.

These stories from my past keep popping up for me, reminding me that whenever I’ve been in the middle of a scary situation – a big decision, a daring move, an uncomfortable conversation – it felt so much bigger than it really was. You have these stories, too.

This may sound silly to some of you (and gross – sorry in advance!). But a year ago, I was in knots about Tru’s inability to poop on the potty. His autism and the developmental delays that come with it made potty training a nightmare. At five years old, he was pooping in his pants or on the floor reguarly. I attended workshops, talked with his therapists, read everything I could about it and no one had a solution. And we felt like we were on a deadline; he couldn’t start kindergarten the next fall if he didn’t know how to use the bathroom. I cried about this. I felt defeated by it. I felt it draining me of my joy. Try cleaning up a big kid’s messes multiple times a day, and you might, too. Eventually, I chose to step back and see each accident as an isolated incident, easy to manage and move on – and trusting it would not go on forever.

And then one day, Brad sat with Tru in the bathroom, encouraging him to relax – as he had many times before – and something clicked. Tru pooped on the potty. Glory, glory, hallelujah!!!! This huge weight was lifted, and all of the previous tension and angst seemed, well, unnecessary. I felt a little silly for having spent so much energy worrying about it. And today, a year later, I barely remember how awful it felt; I have a cognitive memory of it, but not a visceral one. And it serves, now, as a lesson for me about facing the shit I don’t want and knowing the old adage “this too shall pass” is really true. The hard things that feel insurmountable and almost inhumane miraculously pass. We somehow move through grief, we somehow heal relationships (or let go of their hold on us), we somehow survive the big decisions we make. And looking back on them, they look a lot like courage even if we didn’t feel it at the time.

Today, I know my fear is just a bully. When I give it power, it beats me down. When I notice it nagging me, taunting me, I remind myself that there is a light in me, a faith in me, that can cut through the darkness if I let it, if I choose it. The courage to shine is not about waiting to do something until we feel brave enough; it’s about choosing to trust even when we’re scared.

If this resonates with you, consider it an invitation. This post features part of the class email that Project Light Year participants received yesterday, as we wrap up 12 amazing months together. Talk about courage! These women have made incredible changes, lifted each other up, witnessed miracles, created holy wow abundance and so much more. It’s been so good, that I’m doing it again. Registration for Project Light Year 2015 launches today with an awesome early bird sale; click here for details on the class and to get $70 off! Woohoooo!

having faith in facebook: the angel story i’ve got to share!

Angels all around...check out the proof. (via livlane.com)

Around here lately, the angels have been working overtime. So awesome! I know lots of people believe in angels, but not everyone trusts they’re waiting in the wings to help them.

I hate that. I want to change that.

I have been aware of angels swirling around me all my life, but one thing they’ve made very clear over the years is that it’s their honor, their joy, their mission to help ANYONE who asks. One of the reasons I started Project Light Year was to create a year-long opportunity for open-minded, open-hearted women to feel less alone – totally supported as they invite more meaning and magic into their lives.

And oh my gosh, it’s working!!

Each month we focus on a new topic (pssst! you can still sign up through this weekend & catch up!). First, we focused on the power of intention and right now, we’re flying with the angels – connecting with those celesital beings who have been seen and celebrated in nearly every culture and spiritual tradition since the beginning of time.

I cannot even explain how awesome it’s been to witness all the magic happening here. 

white feather = angels in your midst (say hello!)There are so many aha moments, energy shifts, and signs from the the universe being shared by participants. In our private forum, for instance, sooooo many have posted photos of white feathers suddenly showing up in their paths over the past couple of weeks (no down pillows in sight). Hello, angels!

I’ve been so tickled by the ways the angels have stepped up their game with me. too. Even though I know they’re around, sometimes it just makes my heart flutter to feel or see tangible evidence of their presence. And over the past few years, I’ve noticed a pattern: when I share info about angels with others, the angels do something cool to let me know they’re thrilled.

This month? The angels have started following me on Facebook. 

It takes no special talent or super power to talk to your angels. They're always listening. (via livlane.com)A few days ago, I was excited for some upcoming interviews with Project Light Year contributors about their knowledge of and experiences with angels. I decided to share my excitement via a quick post on my Facebook page and added the image on the right, which was originally part of a blog post from last summer about angels. I posted the photo to Facebook with a brief message, hoping it would reach the people who needed it that day. But when I returned to the page just 20 minutes later, my jaw dropped. The post had already been shared 100 times!

(Now, this calls for a little Facebook footnote: anyone who runs a Facebook page for their business can see how many people have viewed their posts. When someone who follows my page likes a post and shares it, it then appears on their personal Facebook page. If their friends like it, they might share it again…to their pages. Each time that happens, more people see a post and the number of “views” increases. Got it? Cool.)

With around 1300 followers, most of my Facebook posts garner 200-800 views. I think the biggest number I’d reached before this month, thanks to a few folks sharing the posts, was a few thousand. But 100 shares in 20 minutes?! As soon as I saw that, I knew the angels were responsible for guiding so many people to that post. By the end of the day, more than 300 people had shared it and over 16,000 people had seen it.

High five! I figured it was a one-time publicity push from the heavens above – but I was wrong. 

I’ve posted plenty of other nice things (though none about angels) on my page over the past week, and all have received a typical and sweet response – a few dozen “likes,” a couple of shares, a few comments. Love engaging with my peeps over there! But yesterday, I swear the angels swooped in again. 

I believe in magic and miracles...and you.I decided to share the new design for my I Believe greeting card. It celebrates having faith in the things we can’t see, including angels. I posted it on Facebook, and hours later my jaw dropped again. Even more people had shared this post than the previous angel-related one. The last time I checked this morning, it had been shared 730 times with over 35,000 views.

OH. MY. HEAVENS. 

I’ve done a lot of research on Facebook marketing over the years (there’s a whole science to generating more page likes and it’s pretty nauseating). But the so-called social media gurus have nothing on the soulful media gurus waiting in the wings; angels thrilled to help, especially when it comes to sharing their light and helping anyone feel less alone.

Think about it: if the angels have time to share pretty pictures on Facebook, they surely have time to help you, too. Just trust. Just ask. And when you feel them around you, tell somebody. Because when we spread the love and share the light, magic happens.

*****

Note: Registration for Project Light Year ends this Sunday, Feb 23rd. You can still catch up on content we’ve covered and join our amazing community; we’d love to have you (and the angels would too!).

remember who you are (an ode to bravery)

Remember Who You Are

wall mural in oakland, california

Apparently, I’ve had so much going on inside, that I forgot to report back to the outside. I stopped by my own blog this morning and was shocked to see I haven’t posted here in weeks.

When I’m trudging through giant change in my life, I often don’t even realize the magnitude of it until I emerge again on the other side. And by then, it feels impossible to explain the details, to organize the synchronicities and revelations in a way that matters to anyone else.

But I still wanna try.

I want to write an ode to bravery. I want to tell you it’s worth it – the vulnerability, the nervousness, the speaking up and the calming down. I want to highly recommend the self-reflection that feels blinding and brutal  right up until it doesn’t, suddenly revealing the brightness of you.

I want you to experience the glory of remembering who you are. The little one with the pure heart, the sparkling eyes, the bursting joy, and the innate trust that all is well. She’s still in there, playing hide-and-seek. Go inside and get her.

These past few months have rocked my world. Some shifts felt like earthquakes, others were subtle and sweet. Last summer, opening up here about my lifelong back-and-forth with the Great Beyond opened me up to receiving more. In the fall, saying yes and leaning into an 18 day conversation with Spirit left me (and many others) speechless. Gutted. Reborn. Radiant.

Saying yes – the deepest yes – to who I am and why I’m here has been met with so many yeses in my work. In December, my intuitive Firecracker Calls were already sold out through March (what!? yes.). Spirit comes through clearer than ever now; I am merely the channel for leading women to their own YES and it feels like such an honor every time. And then, to be guided into creating Project Light Year, a year-long experience that – only a few days in – is already revealing such huge shifts and amazing results for the women who said YES to it? It’s just the most beautiful gift. (You can still say yes to joining us, by the way)

I share this because I want to be your proof. A dangling carrot reminding you it works, it’s worth it. When you decide to be brave, to speak your truth, to trust the universe, to amplify your light, to remember who you are…feel free to tell the doubtful shadows that I told you to. I’ll be your scapegoat. And then, as you deepen your yes and see it reflected back into your life, your heart exploding like fireworks, pass it on. Become the one who tells the others that it works, that it’s worth it. Be the proof. I dare you to say yes.

on the most depressing day of the year, how about this?

the purpose of life via liv lane

Feeling a little blue today? Join the club.

Today has already been declared the most depressing day of the year. In fact, it has a name: Blue Monday.

Over the years, researchers have found that the first Monday after New Year’s Day is the roughest on our psyches. Folks are depressed about heading back to work, braving the cold weather, facing post-holiday debt, and realizing those New Year’s resolutions are already bombing. Even our tweets are depressing today, according to one study.

I gotta say, I’m not surprised. We are so damn hard on ourselves, we become pros at playing hard-to-get with happiness. 

This was so apparent to me recently, as I chatted with the mom of one of my kid’s friends. By our culture’s standards, she has it made. She has a fancy-pants job. She has a huge house, beautifully decorated. She has a nanny who cooks and cleans and carpools. Sounds pretty great, right? And yet every time I see this mom, she’s a walking ball of stress, disappointed or depressed by something her life – her kids, their school, her husband, her job, the weather.

“Maybe if I lowered my expectations, I’d be happier,” she told me one day. The thing is, I know lots of people whose happiness strategy is to keep their expectations low simply so they won’t be disappointed. And that doesn’t result in deep joy either.

So what’s the answer? Well, how about this…

How about expecting the best without placing limitations on how the best will come to be?

How about allowing space and time in our lives to discover what actually brings us great pleasure, rather than expecting it to come from the things that seem to make other people happy?

How about counteracting every moment of disappointment with a quick hit of gratitude for something else?

How about trusting that God (or whatever you call the loving force that brought you here) wants us to be happy and continually offers opportunities – new friendships, new lessons, new venues – for discovering goodness?

How about eliminating the parameters we’ve placed around what happiness is and how to achieve it, so that we can feel it percolating within us all the time?

Happiness wants to be part of your life, every day. How about it?

 

learn about project light year

cruising past the big kids: inside my life as a fly girl

Spread your wings and #fly | LivLane.com

When I was a little girl, I could fly.

I’m not talking about the times my dad would lift me in the air and twirl me above the crowd, nor about my great big imagination carrying me off to faraway places.

I’m telling you heart-to-heart, hand-to-God: I flew. I realize it sounds preposterous, impossible. I don’t understand it myself, but have such vivid memories of it that I’ve never doubted it. And that’s saying something, because I’ve doubted a lot about my lifetime of paranormal, hard-to-believe experiences.

I can still feel myself, primarily while I was four- to eight-years-old, sitting on the front step of my childhood home, frequently aware of otherworldly beings in my midst – loving protectors, ethereal guardians. They kept me company, made me feel safe and sometimes, on my favorite days, they helped me fly. Only up and down the sidewalk of our tree-lined avenue, mind you; they were very respectful of my parents’ rules – no leaving our side of the street! 

All I had to do was move my arms like I was swimming the breaststroke to pull my body forward. I could see the sidewalk three or four feet beneath me as I’d make my way up and down the block. It was the most incredible feeling; I was absolutely giddy, my whole body buzzing with glee and awe. Were they out-of-body experiences? Astral travel? Lucid dreams? I have no idea. They felt real – and they still do, all these years later.

The last time I remember it happening, I reached the end of our block and looked across the street to see a bunch of the cool neighbor boys driving their Big Wheels and bikes in circles on a driveway. One stopped cold and looked straight at me. I felt instant panic, my feet fell to the sidewalk and I ran home. I remember how heavy my body felt as I ran down the block, and how my heart ached, unsure what he saw but sensing that I’d done something wrong or abnormal – and that he might tell others. That fear kept me from flying again – literally and metaphorically.

Heart - Born to Fly on Swing hi-resI clipped my wings, so to speak; dimmed my light. I was very cautious about whom I shared my not-so-normal experiences with, growing quieter as the years passed. But I never forgot the flying.

Over the past few years, I slowly came back into my own, embracing and sharing the gifts of my intuition and connection with the Great Beyond. The past year has been particularly big on that front; I started 2013 by choosing THRIVE as my word of the year, feeling ready to bloom in new ways. But I had no idea how transparent I’d actually become about this deeper awareness.

Has it been scary? Absolutely. Has it been worth it? Without a doubt. For the first time in decades, I feel like I’m taking flight again. I have no plans to zoom down the block anytime soon (ha!), but I want to keep close the complete joy and fearlessness that felt so natural all those years ago.

So, it seems only fitting that my word of 2014 – the one that will guide me in my decisions and attitude this year – is FLY. I want to feel free, uninhibited, and filled to the brim with amazement for where I’m going, and the support I have to get me there. No more worrying about the big kids telling on me; I’ve got nothing left to hide. Ready, set, fly.

 __________________________

Want to fly with me this year? I’d love it! Here are some fun ways to stay connected in 2014…

Did you choose a word of the year for 2014? I’d love to hear it and what motivated you to choose it. Wishing you a brilliantly light-filled year, dear ones.

the secret nobody knows: finding my way back to abundance

finding my way back to abundance: the secret nobody knows

My hubby bought a new jacket and matching snow pants last week, perfect for sledding with the kids. He looks like a million bucks in them, even though they only cost $18 – at the Goodwill. Oh, how we’ve changed.

A decade ago, the only reason we had to visit a Goodwill store was to donate clothes and household items we no longer needed, in hopes they might find a second home. We never imagined one day we’d need – much less choose – to shop there.

Back then, we both had full-time jobs that paid very well; we wouldn’t have batted an eye at buying Brad’s snow pants and jacket at a high-end store…at full price (a discount would have been a victory, not a necessity). We went out a lot – for dinner, to shows, to family events. We paid loads of money for our young son to attend a full-time, top-notch daycare. We finished our basement and added a bathroom in our urban bungalow. And when that house felt “too small,” we moved to the ‘burbs – into a house with plenty of space (and a great big mortgage). We said we were blessed…but I’m not sure we really knew it.

I was pretty awesome at manifesting whatever we desired: more money, great trips, new opportunities. I trusted the universe would take care of us and frequently set my intentions on creating more material goodness in our lives. It was easy to do when things felt easy.

Eventually, I longed to leave my high-stress communications career; it was wearing me out, and I wanted more time with my son. So I envisioned all I desired – flexibility, creativity, financial stability – and trusted it would come. And it did. I left the corporate world in 2007, able to make even more money doing freelance work, writing my blog and hosting a new radio show. For more than a year, all I’d envisioned came easily, but my energy was off. I had a hard time adjusting to working from home and frequently felt worried or isolated.

This is what almost no one knows: that our precious little life caved in on us. The recession hit in 2008 and I felt it big-time. Clients pulled their projects. Radio sponsorships dried up. My income dropped by 80% and, as we lived our two-income lifestyle on one income, thinking it was temporary, our savings disappeared. In the meantime, I had a baby (oh, bliss! oh, bills!). Soon after, I needed minor surgery. And then the furnace broke. And the washer/dryer. And the air conditioner. The hits just kept on coming – hits that would have been tricky to manage even with my old income. We got by on credit cards, assuming we’d bounce back to our old normal sooner than later, and that we’d be able to pay all quickly-ballooning bills with ease. But reality set in as creditors started to call; every unrecognized number on the caller ID made me sick to my stomach. I considered going back to work, but our youngest son’s mounting special needs left us perplexed and paralyzed, unsure how and where to place him all day long; the thought of it weighed heavy on our hearts.

We borrowed money. We leaned on my parents (hardest request I’ll ever make, but they were amazing). We sold books, toys, jewelry, baby clothes. One day, I pawned a ring Brad had given me years before just so I could buy groceries. I was a ball of nerves, trying to keep up appearances while feeling like a total failure. 

Saving money turned into a part-time job: clipping coupons, finding deals, shopping at secondhand stores. And you know what? I got really good at it. Getting a cart-full of groceries for $50 or a kid’s Halloween costume for a buck was an energy high. I felt good figuring out new ways to help my family and increasingly optimistic about our ability to climb out of debt. I was reminded of the buzz that comes from feeling productive, being resourceful, trusting the universe. And I made a conscious decision to follow that high.

when you focus on the sweet stuff, the sweet stuff multiplies. via livlane.com

I started focusing more on the blessings in our life (there were still so many). Instead of feeling disgruntled when Facebook friends posted pics of their tropical trips or expensive family outings, I chose to be genuinely happy for them. I sought out learning opportunities with payment plans and scholarships, determined to figure out how to turn my creativity into revenue. I started tapping into the power of intention again, envisioning our family beautifully secure and content. I fed off every moment of inspiration, every bright spot in each day. 

My small business was gradually reborn; I leveraged my marketing expertise and keen intuition to mentor women who felt clueless about marketing or intuition. I taught classes. I sold my art. I gave speeches to whomever would have me. I made mistakes and brushed myself off. Every step felt big, every sale I made felt like a miracle (still does, quite frankly).

It’s been a bumpy ride, to be sure, but so much goodness has flowed into our lives as we’ve intentionally focused on gratitude (best fear-fighter ever), cultivated positive energy, revamped our relationship with money and created new sources of income. Now, to pay for something we need or want – whether secondhand or high-end – is so much sweeter now, having known the crippling anxiety of serious debt. I still clip my coupons and get jazzed seeing the price go down at the register. We still high-five over perfectly good snow pants found at the Goodwill. And I thank my lucky stars that Brad and I grew together through this, rather than apart.

Until now, almost no one knew this chapter of our story. But over the weekend, I got choked up while finalizing a payment plan for Project Light Year in response to many women wanting to join but needing some help to do it. I realized the powerful shift from once needing such assistance to creating it for others. As I sat there, breathing that in, I realized I should tell you I’ve been thereI get itI know the shame of it and fear in it. I realized I should tell you that even though things could always be worse, they can also get so much better. I realized that should I reveal this piece of my journey, it might provide a little light for yours.

(Note: For info on the payment plan for Project Light Year, just scroll to the bottom of the info page here. I’d love for you to join us!)

here’s who i’m spending 2014 with (squeal!!!)

Christmas star ornament

Merry-making is at full tilt around here. Our boys are so excited – love watching them delight in the magic of it all! But gosh, isn’t it shocking to realize 2013 is almost over?

I love the week between Christmas and New Year’s because I intentionally review my year and plan ahead for the next one. It’s so powerful. I’m already buzzing with excitement for 2014 because, for the first time, I’m leading a YEAR-LONG program designed to help brave hearts like you soulfully create your brightest year yet – and be in community with each other, exploring and sharing and adding light to your lives. Project Light Year is going to be amazing.

Project Light Year with Liv Lane and 8 "dream team" contributorsAnd today, my heart is so incredibly full as I get to introduce you to 8 amazing contributors; a virtual dream team of teachers and visionaries, intuitively and artfully helping women create their best lives. And they can teach it because they have lived it; every single one of these women has transformed her life to do what she loves, to grow from grief and hardship, to live with great purpose. Ready to meet them? Drum roll, please…

Lori Portka: Lori is pure light; she is a brilliant artist whose vibrant paintings honor the beauty of life, cultivating “happiness through art.” Her inspiring work around the art of gratitude will play a huge role in Project Light Year; if you don’t know her yet, you will fall in love with her pronto. Promise.

Susannah Conway:  Susannah is an awesome photographer and author who’s led thousands of women around the world through her soulful online classes, dedicated to leveraging creativity and self-reflection for deep healing. Totally pinching myself over her being here.

Leigh Hopkins: After two decades of working in public education reform, Leigh realized her amazing intuitive gifts could be leveraged for another kind of reform: helping women achieve a greater sense of well-being and connection to their intuitive wisdom. As founder and director of Viva Institute, Leigh is a beacon of light for so many; can’t wait for her to help participants step deeper into their inner knowing!

Kelly Rae Roberts: If you’ve stepped into a gift shop in the last several years, chances are you’ve seen Kelly Rae’s life-affirming work, given that she’s one of the most successful licensed artists on the planet. She’s a girl with a deep, giving soul; her art shows it…but I also know it. Her being here is such a gift.

Laurel Bleadon-Maffei: If it weren’t for Laurel, Project Light Year might not even exist! During an intuitive reading with her, I received guidance to bring this idea back to life – the one I’d sketched out but put on hold. I was instantly energized to finish what I’d started – and I knew Laurel had to be part of it. The messages she receives and shares from angels and spirits are beautiful (no wonder over 60,000 people have followed her on Facebook!).

Rachel Awes: Rachel is like a walking rainbow. A gifted psychologist and soulful artist, her work lifts up people from their most vulnerable places and illuminates goodness in all of our journeys. Her words are like silk on your skin and her joy is contagious. Can’t wait for the ways in which she’ll color our year together!

Michelle Stimpson: Michelle is a one-of-a-kind life coach, guiding women through positive change for over a decade with tremendous success. I’ve never met someone with more integrity and with such passion for living life to the fullest. And the ways she manifests magic in her life is so awe-inspiring; prepare to be wowed!

Carissa Paige: I have maintained for years that Carissa is a real-life fairy, feathers and glitter tucked in her knapsack along with her paintbrushes. The way her intuition and dream life lead her through art-making and storytelling mesmerizes me, and her courageous heart inspires me. So thrilled she’ll be sprinkling her fairy dust on all of us throughout 2014!

See what I mean?? Total dream team. If you’re ready to join us for 12 months of magic-making, soul-deepening, intention-creating, spirit-guiding, purpose-finding content and connection, then click here for Project Light Year. Can’t wait to shine bright with you, all year long.