Lani Voivod | @LaniVoivod

Okay kids, we’ve laid down the groundwork of this 31 Days of Possibility thing. During the first 14 days we’ve covered fundamentals positively essential to our success.

Process, Purpose, Storytelling, Branding, Vision, Passion, Imagination, Creativity – all this and more have been up for our thoughtful consideration.

Now we’re entering an environment that makes some people ecstatic, others twitch, some people curse (like my Dad), and still others so doggone uncomfortable they downright refuse to have any part of it. (My Mom is in this latter segment of the population.)

We are entering the domain of The Social Realm.

Ten years ago, five years ago, even two years ago – different worlds, different rules.

Now change, adaptation, and adoption – of communication stylings, technology, human interaction, societal expectations – have all been turned on their heads many hundreds of times, and all we can do is hang on with white knuckles and a smile, and hope for a clean change of panties, if and when necessary.

Gone are the comfortable days of linear growth, where we could kick stones on the proverbial road of life as forces evolved steadily and dependably, without much input from us.

Our reality is one of EXPONENTIAL GROWTH now, and -

Oh. Wait a minute…

We interrupt this program to show you another two-minute video from my new favorite “Wonder Junkie” I met on Day 12 of this Possibility Quest: Jason Silva

(I have to – I just found a video of him talking about my obsession from 2012, Mr. Peter Diamandis, author of Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think. Yayyy synchronicity!) 

 

Okay, so were you able to grasp the essence and implications of that quickie video?

Even though Mr. Silva is fast and animated and blessed with vast amounts of benevolent ADD, was he successful in conveying how INSANELY RAPIDLY technology is advancing, how “technology is a resource-liberating mechanism,” and ABUNDANCE is the wave of the very, very, VERY near future?

Silva mentioned in that video “The Rising Billion,” which I first saw referenced in Diamandis’s awesome 2012 TED Talk, “Abundance Is Our Future.” “The Rising Billion” actually refers to the THREE BILLION new minds that will be entering The Social Realm by 2020. They’ll be coming onto the World Wide Web (do you remember how awe-inspiring that feeling is, to realize the world is literally at your fingertips, or nowadays, in the palm of your hands?!!!), connected to ideas and information, resources and entertainment for the very first time.

Their potential as a market force – and especially for empowered creativity, collaboration, inspiration, and radical connectivity to people, passions, and POSSIBILITIES – will be off the charts, just like ours!

Think of it – as of 2013, we’ve got about two billion of the Earth’s population hooked into the Great Omnipotent Server.

In less than a decade, THREE BILLION NEW MINDS will be joining the global conversation, the Petri Dish of Possibility.

Talk about Making Way for CRAZY!

So this here Social Realm, it’s a really big deal.

Thanks to filter bubbles, the content that finds its way to us is an inch wide and a mile deep, leaving out massive of amounts of news and information that could help us be a tad less self-centered and a tad more conscientious about what’s happening in the world.

Relationships are becoming virtually mathematical, with algorithms often determining the details of what we see in our friends’ lives.

And speaking of friends, we’ve got more connections than ever before, and more strange glimpses into pseudo-connections’ lives, but many of us spend less and less face-to-face time with our true blue besties than ever before.

Is this a bad thing? Many think so…

But maybe it’s just simply different.

Let’s face it, “The Good Old Days” have always been viewed through a veil of crinoline and booze, no matter what generation is looking back at them wistfully. As Carly Simon said, “THESE are the Good Old Days!”

Which brings us to our real power – our choices, our OPPORTUNITY, as Possibility Seekers. Here are some guidelines for our grand and wondrous quest:

  • Smile at the Chronic Complainers who insist the world is going to Hell in a hand basket (whatever that means), but don’t be one of them. Ever.
  • Always and actively look for the solutions – they exist!
  • BELIEVE the solutions exist, and they’re far more important and interesting than the “problems.”
  • Take advantage of the resources and superpowers of our unique and extraordinary time! Channels for communication, information, socializing, collaboration, innovation – they’re all here, right now, waiting for you to inject your passion, creativity, intelligence, will, wit, and spirit.
  • Remind yourself as often as tolerable of the fact that if you have a smart phone, you hold in your hands more access, power, and technological virility than the President of the Free World did just 25 years ago.
  • Use that power for good!!!! (Pretty please?!!!)
  • Pursue your Purpose, trust your Vision, and always, ALWAYS Follow Your Bliss.

Sort of feels like they could evolve into some kind of Possibility Manifesto, don’t you think?

Now, to complement the idea of how The Social Realm has turned everything in our lives on its head, I present to you, the video for Day 15:

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Enjoying this 31 Days of Possibility series? Why not share it with your friends and favorite connections so they can go on this adventure with you and expand their own possibilities! Share on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram – wherever you like to connect and play the most. 

And if you’d like to connect with us on any of these channels, please make it happen! 

You can find us on Twitter at @LaniVoivod@AllenVoivod@EpiphaniesInc@AhaSummit, and @AhaYourself. Plus, you’re always welcome to ask questions, give feedback, and share some of your own experiences (and hopefully your big “A-Ha!” victories along the way), here in the comments, and on the Epiphanies, Inc. Facebook Page. Allen and I love to hear from you. Here’s to you and your vast and wondrous possibilities!

 

Well, this is a dream come true!

Allen, my handsome and blessedly patient husband, just overheard me mumbling about how I should approach today’s theme about DREAMING, and how it fits into our current quest to expand and amplify our INFINITE POSSIBILITIES. Minutes later, he shot me an email with a link in it.

Turns out I already wrote pretty much exactly what I wanted to write in today’s blog post…five years ago. Here it is:

Dreaming: What’s the point?

In fact, I was so passionate about the ideas in that blog post, we had Stacey Lucas (the incomparable talent and playful visionary behind VeggieArtGirl.com and Veggie Art Girl Boutique in Holderness, NH) design a poster around it, visually immortalizing the message and energy.

Here’s a blog-sized version of the poster, which hangs on our office wall:

 

 

I’m sharing this creative breadcrumb trail with you because it’s kind of reinforcing a lot of the things we’ve been covering during these 31 Days of Possibility

Like how the path of FOLLOWING OUR BLISS is clear and eternal and even unshakable, if we’re willing to pay attention to clues and cues that pop up repeatedly.

Like how TRUSTING THE PROCESS often shows us things in new lights, reminds us of delights we may have forgotten, and helps us arrive at places and opportunities at exactly the right time.

Like how inextricably linked VISION and IMAGINATION are with CREATIVITY, YOUR PERSONAL BRAND, and revealing and rediscovering YOUR PURPOSE.

And like how DREAMING has a way of tying it all together for us, always. 

We spend one-third of our lives asleep. In this way, we are exactly like our smart phones.

We and our smart phones can do so much – take pictures, make phone calls, shoot movies, play Angry Birds, check Facebook, send tweets, set alarms, have heart-to-hearts with Siri, GPS the heck out of any location, obsessively text our friends, lovers, and family members – but sooner or later, we have to put ourselves in the charger and reboot ourselves.

Our dreams are our chargers. They’re the place where everything in our minds, all the input and experiences of the day, gets sorted out.

Our dreams help us rejigger the massive amounts of information we download every day so our subconscious can attempt to make sense of this world and our role in it.

Our dreams are like our soul’s Switzerland.

They serve as the safe, neutral in-between land where we can work out our fears, explore our fascinations, and dive into ideas that may or may not be acceptable for public expression or consumption.

Whether you remember your dreams upon waking or not, they’re happening. They’re essential to our own growth and evolution as human beings, and they’re goldmines of inner wisdom, guidance, creativity, and POSSIBILITY for our waking selves.

The importance of our dreams and the role they serve in our lives has been majorly downplayed. It’s like having a Ferrari in our garage, but only ever using our scooter to travel from place to place, because it’s easier, and we don’t really understand the power we have under the hood, sitting in that garage, waiting to take us for the ride of our lives.

Luckily, the power of our dreams and what we can do with them seem to be emerging into the mainstream for our thoughtful consideration, slowly but surely. One great example is this two-minute video by AsapScience called “The Science of Lucid Dreaming.” Check it out:

 

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Our brains are magnificent cauldrons of vast and mystifying potential. The more we experiment with them, stir the ingredients, and learn how to fine-tune our unique Potions of Possibility, the more magic we can invite into and create during our waking lives.

“Dream on, dream on, dream on, dream on ‘til your dreams come true!” – Aerosmith

As it says in that poster up there:

It’s your life’s mission to:

  • Dream well
  • Dream often
  • Dream big
  • Dream with passion and purpose
  • Dream with love, compassion, and sincerity…

…And live your dream.

Dare to do it. It’s your life’s mission, after all. :)

Now check out this dreamy video:

 

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Enjoying this 31 Days of Possibility series? Why not share it with your friends and favorite connections so they can go on this adventure with you and expand their own possibilities! Share on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram – wherever you like to connect and play the most. 

And if you’d like to connect with us on any of these channels, please make it happen! 

You can find us on Twitter at @LaniVoivod@AllenVoivod@EpiphaniesInc@AhaSummit, and @AhaYourself. Plus, you’re always welcome to ask questions, give feedback, and share some of your own experiences (and hopefully your big “A-Ha!” victories along the way), here in the comments, and on the Epiphanies, Inc. Facebook Page. Allen and I love to hear from you. Here’s to you and your vast and wondrous possibilities!

“The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.”  -Carl Jung

Do you consider yourself creative?

It seems there’s a fairly notable segment of the population that insists they are simply not creative, and nothing you can tell them will change that opinion of themselves.

I often wonder what the heck these folks think it means to be “Creative.” As if, because they don’t make an elaborate quilt every week, or take pottery classes, or paint religiously, or have a degree in interpretive dance, or sport blue hair and a pierced nostril, they simply cannot and will not accept the label.

But Creativity is not an arbitrary trait some of us have and others don’t, like the ability to curl our tongue the long-way onto itself. (I, alas, cannot do this party trick. <Sigh>)

Creativity is in us, because we’re human. We’re ALIVE.

The urge, ability, and impulse to create are part of our biological makeup. Our bodies themselves are in a constant state of creation – systems working together, cells multiplying, synapses triggering actions, absorbing information and input, then processing it all so it can interact with and/or reenter the world in new ways and forms.

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.” – Steve Jobs

Embracing our Creativity is paramount in our epic and awesome quest into POSSIBILITY.

It wasn’t until fairly recently in the spectrum of human evolution that “Creativity” took on such gravitas that so many people don’t feel like they can call themselves card-carrying members.

Not so long ago, folks were just plain ol’ creative as part of their everyday lives. There was TIME to be creative. Needlepoint and butter-churning and cornhusk dolls. Tinkering in man caves, working on cars for hours. Making meatloaf and fancy schmancy Jello molds to bring to neighborhood potlucks. Building a tree house, or a rock wall. Writing letters to friends. Singing in the church choir.

Beehive hairdos, for cryin’ out loud – now those were creative!

The act of Creativity didn’t have to have an art gallery opening or a producer or publisher attached in order to feel worthy or justified. Sometimes it was out of necessity; other times, out of joy. Either way, it was an outlet that most had access to, and that was a very wonderful thing.

Letting our minds wander. Seeing our hands happily absorbed in the task in front of us. Feeling our hearts playing with the objects they love. These gifts of Creativity become active meditations of life and Possibility. They feed our souls and fuel our spirits.

Perhaps most importantly, they remind us we’re here to do more than send some emails, check our cell phones, watch movies others created, sit on furniture others designed, and eat crappy food other people packaged and processed.

We are here to live and love and EXPERIENCE ourselves in these bodies, and to create with the playthings around us.

We’re here to make connections no one else can, based on our unique experiences and perspectives. We’re here to synthesize ideas, follow the cues of our joy and the clues of our bliss, and CREATE what we will.

And sometimes, what we must.

One thing we must do is create spaces in which we can unleash, express, and share our Creativity!

“Every creative person has myriad ways to block creativity. Each of us favors one or two ways particularly toxic to us because they block us so effectively.” – Julia Cameron

Hey, we all get blocked sometimes. It happens! But in our culture, it seems Creativity has lost its priority seating to pretty much everyone and everything else in the stadium.

Unless you’re being “Productive” – i.e. doing very practical work that in some way directly or indirectly contributes to: a) Your bottom line, b) An up-leveling of career or status, or c) Your muscularity – you’re considered any or all of the following:

Flighty, cute, lazy, indulgent, selfish, weird, irresponsible, lost, dismissively adorable, ego-inflamed, anti-social, uncomfortably mysterious, a freak, immature, unambitious, or directionless.

I think society puts these unattractive labels on non-closeted Creatives because they make society feel uncomfortable. Seeing a Creative CREATE in any medium, in any way, without excuses or “justifiable reasons” reminds the Blocked Masses that it CAN be done. There ARE ways to live differently, make other decisions, and find outlets for creative exploration. But change is hard, and the blocks are all too easy to come by.

“If you hear a voice within you say, ‘You cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” – Vincent Van Gogh

If you count yourself among the Blocked Masses, and you want to free yourself once and for all, here’s the book for you:

The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity, by Julia Cameron.

It’s a 12-week course, and it works miracles. If you can find or create a group to keep you accountable along the process (and it IS quite a process!), I highly recommend it. It’s amazing, humbling, exciting, and terrifying, depending on what week you’re in. Along the way you’ll feel everything from vulnerability to invincibility and everything in between. It’s truly extraordinary. I can’t recommend it enough. Even if you don’t consider yourself blocked but would love to reach a new level of Creativity and Possibility, do it. You will not be disappointed.

If you’re saying to yourself, “Oh, I’d love to do something like that but I just don’t have the time,” then you really, really have to do it, NOW. Make the time. Your Creativity needs you! Besides, as Julia Cameron says herself, “The essential element in nurturing our creativity lies in nurturing ourselves.”

“Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things.” – Ray Bradbury

Unblock. Play. Engage. Experiment. DO!

A lot of people don’t even try to dabble around in their Creative playpens anymore because they think they have to be good – or even perfect! – at something before they even try it.

Fugghedaboutit!

Get messy! Screw up! Laugh at yourself! Surprise yourself!

Take a belly-dancing class. Learn Mandarin. Buy (and use) a watercolor set. Write a Haiku a day for a week. Knit a hat. Carve a pumpkin. Design an exotic flower arrangement and give it to your best friend. Bake bread from scratch. Learn the Macarena, once and for all. Like Maya Angelou said, “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”

“Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.” – Norman Vincent Peale

Still need a little bit more of a nudge to get you off and running into the truth, beauty, light, and delight of your Creativity and its Infinite Possibilities?

Check out this wonder-filled TED Talk by Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love: “Your Elusive Creative Genius.” Not only does she describe the many facets of the untamable Creative Process with passion and flair, she tells it like it is. And even in its daunting majesty and mystery, it is beautiful.

If you don’t have 20 minutes for Ms. Gilbert’s TED Talk right now, don’t worry. Just cruise your eyeballs over this little ditty by Lewis Carroll:

“When you are describing,

A shape, or sound, or tint;

Don’t state the matter plainly,

But put it in a hint;

And learn to look at all things,

With a sort of mental squint.”

Learn to look at all things with a sort of mental squint, and you will forever be tapped into the flow and magic of your singular, spectacular Creativity. :)

And now, a word from today’s video portion of this whole “Creativity” riff:

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Enjoying this 31 Days of Possibility series? Why not share it with your friends and favorite connections so they can go on this adventure with you and expand their own possibilities! Share on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram – wherever you like to connect and play the most. 

And if you’d like to connect with us on any of these channels, please make it happen! 

You can find us on Twitter at @LaniVoivod@AllenVoivod@EpiphaniesInc@AhaSummit, and @AhaYourself. Plus, you’re always welcome to ask questions, give feedback, and share some of your own experiences (and hopefully your big “A-Ha!” victories along the way), here in the comments, and on the Epiphanies, Inc. Facebook Page. Allen and I love to hear from you. Here’s to you and your vast and wondrous possibilities!


 

 

INVITATION

If you are a dreamer, come in

If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar,

A hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer…

If you’re a pretender, come sit by my fire

For we have some flax-golden tales to spin.

Come in!

Come in!

- Shel Silverstein

Hi.

I’m writing to you tonight from a really lovely B&B up in Whitefield, New Hampshire – way up in the Great North Woods region – called The Lion and the Rose.

Thank you, by the way. I’m here because of YOU and this whole Possibility adventure. You see, the things I’ve been learning and tuning into have been nudging me to consider solutions and opportunities I may not have been open to before.

For example…

If you saw my video from last night about “Following Your Bliss,” you may have noticed I looked a little, er, tired, to say the least. (One old college friend compared me to a zombie, and I’d say he was insulting Zombie Kind with that one.)

I was immersed in this process, these ideas, this journey of expansion from probability to POSSIBILITY, and it is truly fascinating to me…

And yet I still had the noise of the kids, the dishes, the phone calls, and the stuff of life that we all normally do our best to block out, until we can’t anymore.

As luck would have it, I was the guest speaker today at White Mountains Community College – more than two hours North of where I live – for a Launch Box series to help business owners, entrepreneurs, and folks considering new opportunities.

“A-Ha!” A solution presents itself!

Instead of squashing the feeling of needing some true-blue alone time, I decided to take my own advice and say “YES” to Possibilities. Since I knew I just needed a few hours of quiet, of creative space (and perhaps a Jacuzzi, also), I booked a room here and made it happen. (Thanks, Allen!)

I had to.

My job – my joy – tonight is to dive into IMAGINATION. This topic is too rich and wonder-full to treat like any ol’ theme.

And now, I’m flipping out because I’m so excited. I know why I had to have this special time and space.

Drumroll, please…

It is my honor and privilege to present to you Mr. Jason Silva.

Now, I suppose it’s possible you may already know this guy, but just in case…

Not only is he pretty easy on the eyes, he’s a self-proclaimed “Wonder Junkie,” “Epiphany Addict,” and The Atlantic called him “A Timothy Leary for the viral video age.”

He’s been on CNN, CBS, and at SXSWi ‘13, and has been featured in publications as diverse as Forbes, Wired and Vanity Fair. He was also a big hit at TEDGlobal2012, where he shared his passion for (and two-minute video about) “Radical Openness.”

Jason produces what he refers to as “shots of philosophical espresso,” and they are exactly that.

In exquisitely human and PASSION-fueled verbal riffs that are enhanced by cutting-edge filmmaking perfect for our culture’s ADD-primed audience, Jason pours all his contagious awe and ENERGY into bleeding-edge ideas designed to shove us right out of our intellectual comfort zones and into a new realm of thinking, connecting, creating, and IMAGINING POSSIBILITIES.

I may not have time to read all of Stephen Hawking’s or Richard Dawkins’ work (or Timothy Leary’s work, for that matter), but I certainly have 2-3 minutes to gawk at a turbo-quantum-art-infused-mind-bending-neuron-fest that is a Jason Silva production!

So I say all this as an impassioned introduction as I share with YOU a video Jason Silva made about – you guessed it – IMAGINATION.

Please watch it. Then watch it again.

Let it move you, connect with you, affect you, and inspire you.

He’s covering some incredible stuff in here, and I believe it’s the fastest, most fun, and powerful way to convey the power, beauty, magic, might, technology, art, and POSSIBILITY of the human imagination.

YOUR imagination!

 

Did you catch all that? Are you still thinking the same way as you were three minutes ago? (If you say “Yes,” you’re either lying, or you’re dead!)

“As technology continues to increase our possibilities, what we’re seeing is a shrinking of the lag time between what we dream about and what we create.” – Jason Silva

Here’s the deal about IMAGINATION:

Images made by MRI technology show that remembering (i.e. recalling actual things that have happened in our lives) and IMAGINING (exploring possibilities that have yet to take place!) send blood to identical parts of the brain. In other words, our brains simply cannot (and usually do not) differentiate between our “real” memories, and the dalliances of our imagination.

If we play in our minds long enough, with enough passion, intention, joy, and playfulness, our neurotransmitters cannot differentiate between what actually happened in our lives vs. what we’d like to happen. Thus, they can can – and often will! – create opportunities and make connections where none existed before. IF we choose to play, and take advantage of this mind-blowing situation.

Our imagination is like a muscle…

If we invest time and energy into strengthening it, building it, expanding it, and demanding more of it, we can bring into this world a whole bunch of things that aren’t even on our Radar of Possibility right now.

Think of our imaginations as the ultimate multidimensional workshop or crafting studio, with unlimited amounts of tools, found objects, inspirational delights, and radical resources. We can use them or ignore them, but we have at our disposal the tools and technology necessary to build or create anything we set our minds to build or create.

For whatever reason, most of us have put arbitrary limits onto the power and ability of our imaginations.

We have mistaken what we see in front of us as an accurate representation of all there can be.

This – our “reality,” right now – is not all there can be. Far from it. This is only the beginning.

Start playing games with your mind. Think up crazy alternatives to what’s happening in front of you. Conjure wild, wacky solutions. Consider other possibilities besides the one you’re currently experiencing. Imagine different places you may be living, other passions you may be pursuing, other truths you wish were in front of you.

Fill in the details with lush colors, lusty emotions, and fearless abandon.

It’s almost laughable how resistant we are to just play games with what’s possible, even if it’s just for fun. The naysayers in our minds, our inner critics, our nonbelievers, our joyless judges – they’re LOUD, and they don’t want any ideas trespassing into our hearts and souls that move them out of their comfort zones, into scenes, possibilities, places, or arenas that are unfamiliar to them.

The thing is, there is no limit to our imagination.

The question is, do you believe that to be true?

If you do, then there’s no limit to YOU and your POSSIBILITIES, either.

With that in mind, check out the video for Day 12: Imagination!

 

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If you’d like a little taste of IMAGINATION Dim Sum, here are some quotes about Imagination to satisfy your creative hunger from some pretty convincing sources:

“Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” – Albert Einstein

“Everything you can imagine is real.” – Pablo Picasso

“Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.” – Oscar Wilde

“Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.” – John Lennon

“I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the Heart’s affections and the truth of the Imagination.” – John Keats

Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were, but without it we go nowhere.” – Carl Sagan

“Facts are only as interesting as the possibilities they open up to the imagination.” – - Rebecca Elson

Do not – I repeat, DO NOT! – underestimate the power of your IMAGINATION! 

 

Enjoying this 31 Days of Possibility series? Why not share it with your friends and favorite connections so they can go on this adventure with you and expand their own possibilities! Share on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram – wherever you like to connect and play the most. 

And if you’d like to connect with us on any of these channels, please make it happen! 

You can find us on Twitter at @LaniVoivod@AllenVoivod@EpiphaniesInc@AhaSummit, and @AhaYourself. Plus, you’re always welcome to ask questions, give feedback, and share some of your own experiences (and hopefully your big “A-Ha!” victories along the way), here in the comments, and on the Epiphanies, Inc. Facebook Page. Allen and I love to hear from you. Here’s to you and your vast and wondrous possibilities!


 

Here we are on Day 11 of the 31 Days of Possibility, one-third of the way through the official adventure. If you’ve been following the series day by day, hopefully you’ve felt a flow, a purpose, and an intuitive sense to the order of things.

Hopefully, too, you’ve been noticing synchronicities in your life, and experiencing opportunities for you to put some of these ideas and principles into practice.

Whether you’re watching the videos, reading the blog posts, cruising through the Pinterest Board, following the #31dop hashtag on Twitter or Instagram, catching the action willy-nilly via your Facebook News Feed, or you’re receiving the messages from all different directions and channels, YOU are (and always will be!) at the heart of it all. YOU are the reason I’m typing right now.

My intention, my PASSION, is to connect meaningfully with YOU, wherever and whenever you may read this.

Now it hasn’t been entirely easy. My kids have seen much less of me. My husband has been working longer, crazier hours in order to fill in the blanks, as well as to serve as my editor and tech hero when I’m having issues with uploads, downloads, and everything in between.

The areas around my house on which I can rest my eyes without mentally screaming, “This place is a sty!” are getting fewer and fewer.

I just had a bowl of cookie dough ice cream and whipped cream for dinner. At 9:00pm.

I have yet to shower today.

There are TV shows I’m missing, other work projects that are not getting the attention they deserve, and I’m starting to go a little stir crazy because I haven’t exactly been socializing much with the outside world.

Yet somehow, this is all okay, because I feel, for the first time in a long time, I’m connected with my PASSION. And it feels gooooooooood.

Real, real, REAL goooooooooooood.

“There’s a little intuition of where your joy is – grab it. No one can tell you what it’s going to be. You’ve got to learn to recognize your own depths.” - Joseph Campbell

Joy. Yes, that’s it. That’s what I’m feeling. I may be tired, my house may be dirty, my husband may be wondering what we got ourselves into here, but I’m definitely experiencing JOY.

And FIRE.

There’s a little flame in my heart and soul that’s been flickering for a while, always threatening to puff out, always tentatively dancing in the breeze of the day to day.

Now, it’s burning. Like, inferno levels, in some moments. It’s giving me the heat and energy I need to know this is the path for me. These are the things I want to be doing with my life.

This is my BLISS.

BLISS is a pretty intense word, isn’t it? So incredibly far from mere comfort and contentment, BLISS is really in a league all its own.

To follow our BLISS is to feel a deep connection with our work and our spirits, to experience a KNOWING that transcends all (or mostly all) fear and doubt.

Following our BLISS makes us feel vital, purposeful, even miraculous sometimes.

Following our BLISS is the illuminated path straight into our boldest and most wondrous POSSIBILITIES.

But what is this “BLISS” thing, and is it really that important?

Turns out BLISS is far from being just another New Age concept of feel-good twaddle. It’s got some serious human roots.

On the subject of BLISS, Joseph Campbell said the following:

“Now, I came to this idea of bliss because in Sanskrit, which is the great spiritual language of the world, there are three terms that represent the brink, the jumping-off place to the ocean of transcendence: sat-chit-ananda. The word “Sat” means being. “Chit” means consciousness. “Ananda” means bliss or rapture. I thought, ‘I don’t know whether my consciousness is proper consciousness or not; I don’t know whether what I know of my being is my proper being or not; but I do know where my rapture is. So let me hang on to rapture, and that will bring me both my consciousness and my being.’ I think it worked.”

 - Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth, pp. 113, 120

Being. Consciousness. BLISS. (Can you feel the schwing?!)

So following our BLISS is recognized by the ancients as a true and specific way to dive into “the ocean of transcendence,” and move into the space of infinite POSSIBILITIES.

To follow our BLISS is to be driven by PASSION so lovely and fierce it happily and willingly ignores all obstacles, heightens our senses, and forges for us a space of creativity, delight, and flowwwwwwww.

It also presents some seemingly magical opportunities:

“If you do follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while waiting for you. And the life that you ought to be living is the one you’re living, somehow. 

When you can see it, you begin to deal with people who are in the field of your bliss, and they open doors to you. 

I say follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be. 

- Joseph Campbell, as interviewed by Bill Moyers

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, the noted German philosopher, once famously said, “Nothing great in the world has been accomplished without passion.” Since he died nearly 200 years ago, there has been plenty of time for this sweeping declaration to be refuted.

Can you think of anything worthwhile that’s ever been accomplished without passion?

Yeah. Neither can I.

And yet by the time we’ve become our very responsible and mature (ha!!) adult selves, we’ve thrust passion down several notches on the ladder of priorities, right down there with flossing twice a day, reading War and Peace, and being fluent in Chinese.

Mr. Albert Einstein claimed, “I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.”

While I’m not convinced he was as ordinary as he thinks he was, I do believe it was his passion that led him to his greatest and most impactful discoveries, don’t you? You don’t forget to comb your locks for every conceivable photo-taking public appearance because you’re hoping to spark a new trend in hair styling!

Passion is the thing that turns a J-O-B into a life that thrills you and inspires you. As you feel thrilled and inspired, you spread that vibe all over the place, injecting your work with it, and sharing it with those around you.

Passion isn’t a luxury available to a few, but THE means of discovering and living your life’s true path.

Find your passion, follow your bliss. It’s that simple…and that hard, too.

Howard Thurman, author, philosopher, theologian, educator and civil rights leader, gave some excellent advice:

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

We come alive by following our bliss. We come alive with PASSION.

We come alive when we decide to start living the lives we were born to live.

Let’s do this thing, shall we? 

 

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Enjoying this 31 Days of Possibility series? Why not share it with your friends and favorite connections so they can go on this adventure with you and expand their own possibilities! Share on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram – wherever you like to connect and play the most. 

And if you’d like to connect with us on any of these channels, please make it happen! 

You can find us on Twitter at @LaniVoivod@AllenVoivod@EpiphaniesInc@AhaSummit, and @AhaYourself. Plus, you’re always welcome to ask questions, give feedback, and share some of your own experiences (and hopefully your big “A-Ha!” victories along the way), here in the comments, and on the Epiphanies, Inc. Facebook Page. Allen and I love to hear from you. Here’s to you and your vast and wondrous possibilities!

 

When I was a young girl, I had this poster on my wall.

It was of a beautiful ballerina, one strong, tight-wearing leg en pointe, the other extended behind her, straight and heroic. Her elegant arms reached forward, spine curved, chest out, head thrown back in what looked like exaltation. She was passion and beauty, displayed next to me every day.

The thing is, the image of this beautiful ballerina was secondary to the words that were tucked at the bottom of the poster:

If you can imagine it

You can achieve it

If you can dream it

You can become it

These words…these words…

These simple, luscious, extraordinary words…

I had no idea the impact they’d have on me during the course of my life. I just knew I felt them, and they felt true.

“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” - Carl Jung

Yes, yes, it all starts inside. Sometimes it bubbles. Other times, it explodes.

But it starts as an inside job, this Vision thing. It’s clarity and stubbornness and determination and exhilaration, often all at once.

Vision is the ability to see what doesn’t exist yet, to know for a fact something is possible, and to understand the “how” is nothing but a bundle of details that have yet to be handled. Small matters, all of them.

“Life is one big road with lots of signs. So when you ridin’ through the ruts, don’t complicate your mind. Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy. Don’t bury your thoughts, put your vision to reality. Wake Up and Live!” - Bob Marley

We are all born with the capacity to have Vision. Our young minds and virgin hearts usually see things with such clarity and honesty it makes a lot of adults uncomfortable.

Whether it’s seeing our first homeless person, or hearing our parents fight over something ridiculous, we know there’s a different choice, a better way. But c’mon, we’re kids! Sadly, it doesn’t take long for the things we see that aren’t quite right to be adopted as “just the way things are.”

Luckily for humankind, some have the ability to hold on to their gifts for idealism, imagination, creativity, ingenuity, and a fierce knowing that “Reality” is a subjective realm, easily manipulated by the ones who dare to play the game.

“Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.” - Cecil Beaton

Vision takes guts.

It can look downright nuts to those who lack it, and will often be treated as such. In our society, Vision is rarely acknowledged or respected unless our efforts and circumstances have found a way to generate vast amounts of money from it.

Elon Musk, Barbara Marx Hubbard, and Richard Branson certainly have vision. But so do so many teachers, artists, entrepreneurs, community leaders, small business owners, designers, filmmakers, parents, healthcare professionals, coaches, musicians, writers, volunteers, caregivers, students, and so many other bold, passionate dreamers and doers.

Thus, those who have and treasure Vision learn how to be egoless about it. Resilience, perseverance, focus, stubbornness, humility, faith, and a BELIEF in POSSIBILITY that goes deeper than marrow, deeper than life itself – these are the skills that must be learned. These are the traits that must be honed over the course of a Visionary’s lifetime.

“If we had a keen vision of all that is ordinary in human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow or the squirrel’s heart beat, and we should die of that roar which is the other side of silence.” - George Eliot

People with Vision know something the rest do not.

They know, at the core of their souls, that if they are able to imagine something, it IS in fact possible. They make it a point to dwell in this space at all costs. They learn to keep their “silly ideas” to themselves when necessary, and to run with them with everything they’ve got when the opportunity presents itself.

Or rather, when they create the opportunity.

“It is very dangerous to go into eternity with possibilities which one has oneself prevented from becoming realities. A possibility is a hint from God. One must follow it.” - Sören Kierkegaard

Visionaries will find a way.

Not to prove others wrong, but to fulfill the yearnings and stirrings of their own hearts and minds. Visionaries don’t fret over the resources or lack thereof. They don’t spend an ounce of their time citing limitations or crying over spilt milk. They’re all business, even when (and often especially when) they look happy, engaged, and free.

Visionaries may ask for permission, but only as a courtesy. They care little about it, because they know nothing – NO THING – will stand in the way of their version of what should be.

“The empires of the future are empires of the mind.” - Winston Churchill

Our minds are more powerful than most people think.

Visionaries know this.

That’s why they’re smiling.

 

Check out the video for Day 10: Vision from our YouTube channel!

 

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Enjoying this 31 Days of Possibility series? Why not share it with your friends and favorite connections so they can go on this adventure with you and expand their own possibilities! Share on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram – wherever you like to connect and play the most. 

And if you’d like to connect with us on any of these channels, please make it happen! 

You can find us on Twitter at @LaniVoivod@AllenVoivod@EpiphaniesInc@AhaSummit, and @AhaYourself. Plus, you’re always welcome to ask questions, give feedback, and share some of your own experiences (and hopefully your big “A-Ha!” victories along the way), here in the comments, and on the Epiphanies, Inc. Facebook Page. Allen and I love to hear from you. Here’s to you and your vast and wondrous possibilities!

 

It’s all good.

No doubt you’ve heard the saying. Hipsters, stoners, Matthew McConaughey, and people who live in Hawaii use it all the time.

“It’s all good, man!” they say, as if they don’t have a worry in the world. As if they’re immune to all the niggling details, the annoying and mundane chores and tasks and deadlines, or the bigger, more serious bummers – the illnesses and struggles and strife of our human existence. On a typical day, many of us may even fight the very idea that “it’s all good.” How can it “all be good” when there’s traffic, or famine, or these fights with our spouses, or the mess that is the healthcare system, or the inexplicable popularity of Gangnam Style?

Good questions, all of them. And yet…

There’s this crazy theory that it is actually, truly all good. Literally. Like, ENERGETICALLY.

The theory is that there’s this Divine Energy, this beautiful Energy, the Energy that made universes, that created flowers and stars, mountains and babies. This Energy – some call it God, others call it Source, and still others call it Chi or Qi – is always flowing, always present. It’s like gravity. There’s no debating it. It just IS. And we, we are either allowing it to flow through us, or we’re blocking it, fighting it, resisting it.

While there are lots of books that explore this notion, all of the works of Esther and Jerry Hicks – i.e. “The Teachings of Abraham” – are particularly committed, focused, and fascinating. Ask and It Is Given is one heck of a read of theirs that comes to mind, if you think you’re ready for it.

One of the things we do to foil the flow of this benevolent Energy is WORRY.

We worry about what might happen.

We worry about what did happen, and what the consequences might be.

We worry about things we can’t control, and events that haven’t taken place yet, and most likely never, ever, EVER will take place.

We worry about what people think, what others do or might do, how others feel or might feel – all without ever really having any way to step into their minds or hearts and know for sure what they’re thinking, or why they might think or behave or feel a certain way.

Have you ever stopped to pay attention to just how much time and ENERGY goes into futile, full-court-press worry?

Unless you’re the Dalai Lama or Matthew McConaughey himself, it’s a lot. It’s shockingly a lot.

“What’s past is prologue.” – William Shakespeare, The Tempest

Another way we block and resist this benevolent Energy that’s always flowing (yes, ALWAYS!) is by obsessing over our pasts, and then agreeing to some set of imaginary rules that say past events and actions craft – and even predict – the future.

With extraordinary attention to detail and the capacity to replay certain mishaps or memories that took place at another time in our lives, starring a younger, less experienced version of ourselves, we take the feelings and plot points, the discomforts and pains of loves lost, dreams squashed, hopes dashed, plans gone awry – we take all this unpleasant stuff and we serve it up as a big, giant platter of “PROOF.” Proof we can’t do something. Proof we are failures. Proof that we were wrong about the whispers of our hearts, the longings in our souls, and the gifts alive in our singular spirits.

We carry this platter of “proof” with us throughout the day, and we hold it up to others and ourselves. Then we mistake this platter of “proof” for REALITY – both the “Reality” of what IS, and the “Reality” of the limits of our potential, possibilities, and for what we may still yet become.

This is not Possibility talking!

This is fear, habit, doubt, shame, inexperience, stubbornness, pride, sadness, loss, anger, heartache, depression, confusion, angst, brainwashing, pain…it is any or all of these things, but it is not POSSIBILITY.

It’s time to let all that go.

It’s time to say thank you for everything that has come before us, for all the struggles, all the memories, all the unique incidents that have made us what we are today, and to let it go, like a kite in the wind, like a bubble from a wand.

Then, and only then, can we step through our Portals of Possibility, and step into the lives we wish to create today from the place of who we actually are, from the experiences we have carved, that have strengthened us, nurtured us, and trained us to fulfill our glorious destinies.

It’s time to allow FLOW.

“Nothing that you want is upstream,” says an emphatic Esther Hicks, as she channels Abraham at one of her workshops. (Let me reiterate – the Hicks’ books and philosophies are quite different from mainstream thinking. Just saying.)

Are you arguing with that idea right now? Is your brain searching for ways and scenarios to refute the premise that nothing we want is upstream?

Hmm. Interesting.

Now imagine if we worked that hard, that automatically and passionately, at seeing, feeling, believing, and justifying the notion of FLOW…

You could decide instead – nay, realize! – that what you want is actually downstream from where you are now, and all you have to do is stop fighting against the current.

“Resistance is futile.” The Borg, a la Star Trek

Lao Tzu, Ram Dass, Louise Hay, Deepak Chopra, Byron Katie, Eckhart Tolle, and so many other spiritual thought leaders say most – if not all – of our pain and struggle in our lives comes from a fierce and consistent disharmony with whatever’s happening in the moment.

This moment, right now, is all we ever have, all there ever is, and all that’ll ever be. The past happened “in the now.” The future will happen “in the now.” But it is, and will always be, NOW. (More on this “Now” thing in a couple weeks… ;) )

The thing is, once you get over the trippiness of this premise and start seeing it for what it is – like, The Truth – it gets more and more apparent that yes, by jove! I DO in fact resist the idea of what’s happening, a lot! And this constant conflict, this fighting what’s happening right in front of me – it doesn’t feel good. It’s frustrating. It’s counter-productive. And ultimately, it’s EXHAUSTING.

Let it go. Allow the FLOW.

Dude, seriously. It’s the only way. There IS a flow. You CAN get in your metaphoric canoe and decide to point it downstream, so it can carry you, and so you can enjoy the scenery, and enjoy the journey. Yes, it takes practice, and grace, and perhaps even some like-minded friends or teachers or changes of scenery, or a combination of all the above. But you CAN do it, especially as you step further and further into your blossoming POSSIBILITIES.

Don’t believe me? Take it from Jason Mraz:

“Frustration and Love can’t exist in the same place at the same time, so get real and start doing what you would rather be doing in life. Love your life. All of it. Even the heavy s*** that happened to you when you were 8. All of it was and IS perfect.”

–Jason Mraz

Jason Mraz wouldn’t lie to you.

And neither would I.

Now goooooooooo with the flowwwwwwwwwww…

Check out the video for Day 9: Letting Go… Allowing Flow… from our YouTube channel!

 

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Enjoying this 31 Days of Possibility series? Why not share it with your friends and favorite connections so they can go on this adventure with you and expand their own possibilities! Share on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram – wherever you like to connect and play the most. 

And if you’d like to connect with us on any of these channels, please make it happen! 

You can find us on Twitter at @LaniVoivod@AllenVoivod@EpiphaniesInc@AhaSummit, and @AhaYourself. Plus, you’re always welcome to ask questions, give feedback, and share some of your own experiences (and hopefully your big “A-Ha!” victories along the way), here in the comments, and on the Epiphanies, Inc. Facebook Page. Allen and I love to hear from you. Here’s to you and your vast and wondrous possibilities!

 

Aren’t we beautiful?

All this lovely skin, made up of cells, made up of atoms, made up of nuclei and electrons, made up of protons and neutrons, made up of quarks, and then maybe Higgs Boson particles, and so on, and so on, and scoobie-doobie-doobie…

There’s no end to it, you know. As maddeningly impossible as it is to imagine how small these elements are, the space in between our teeniest tiniest parts has been compared by some to a fly in the middle of a football stadium, and by others as the distance between galaxies, relatively speaking.

Which means we’re not solid. We’re, well, space.

We’re vast and empty nothingness in human form

We look solid, don’t we, though? But we’re not. We’re Energy. Vibrating, chargeable, changeable, transferable Energy.

We have these things that look like bodies, and around them whirl energy fields. Seriously! These energy fields can be seen and measured by certain medical equipment, certain high-tech thingamajigs.

Some people even have gifts and talents for seeing this miraculous Energy around us. Isn’t that something?

So here we are, these beautiful bundles of Energy, made up of the same stuff stars are made of. And most of the time we’re just cruising along, living our fascinating human lives, busy with so many things, minute by minute, day by day, oblivious to the truth of our makeup.

We run errands and make casseroles, play racquetball and go to the DMV. We love and yell and kiss and cry. We feel sorry for ourselves, and get angry at others. We hold people’s hands while they’re dying, and change newborns’ diapers and think their poop is the cutest, most darling thing we’ve ever seen. (Well, maybe I took that one too far, but you get the idea.)

And all the while, we’re vibrating. Our Energy, it’s swirling and twirling, reaching out, interacting with other Energy that passes through its field, and communicating in ways that can’t typically be seen by the untrained eye, but can often be felt, if we know how to tune into it.

Imagine if we all decided, every last one of us, that we would be responsible for our own swirling, twirling, vibrating Energy…

Imagine if we all agreed to take responsibility for the vibes we sent out into the world, and then agreed we would be graceful and compassionate enough to lovingly forgive anyone who wasn’t quite as good at managing their vibes as we were.

Wouldn’t that be something?

Maybe it’s time for a group nap?

Have you ever seen a preschooler who was way, way, wayyyyy overtired?

You look into his eyes and they’re anything from half-mast to downright feral looking.

A really overtired preschooler knows how to throw one heck of a tantrum, too. Howling, kicking and screaming, throwing himself on the floor – it’s quite a sight to behold!

So you know this kid needs a nap, and needs one badly. If only you could convince this beautiful child to trust you! If only you could just bring the child in the other room and let the child fall asleep safely, soundly, maybe even in your arms, or while you’re scratching his back…

A good nap can solve just about anything, and yet as adults we so often insist that we have to fight through it, kicking and screaming, snarling that we don’t have time, or there’s too much stuff to do to be so indulgent as to abandon our responsibilities of the moment, act like a 4 year old and NAP, for crying out loud!

“We are stardust.We are golden. And we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden.” – Joni Mitchell

Imagine if we allowed ourselves to do what we needed to do to manage our Energy, so we could be the best version of ourselves for the people we love, for those who count on us, as well as for our own goals and dreams, and for the world around us.

There are so many simple ways to manage our Energy. Napping is one. Exercise is another. Taking a long hot shower, going for a walk, meditating, petting your dog or cat, eating healthy, nourishing foods, looking at a flower for five minutes, practicing yoga, kissing someone you love…

These strategies – these CHOICES – work.

When we understand that we are Energy, when we see ourselves as nothing more or less than vibrating stardust, our approach to the world and how we do things might, just might, shift, just a weeeeeeeeeee bit, in the right direction.

At the risk of sounding flowerchild-esque, I do believe at the depths of my being that the “right” direction is the one toward light and love, of compassion and smiles, rather than that anxious-tired-angry-afraid-frustrated-sad-confused explosion of ickiness and achiness that so many of us carry around and spread like germs because we don’t know (or think we don’t know) any other way.

Energy 2.0

This Energy – this radiant, vibrating Energy we manage every moment of every day – is now bolstered and amplified by technology, social platforms, and communication channels that spread our Energy far and wide, across continents, into living rooms and bedrooms, straight into brains, smartphones, and tender moments.

You are a seeker and/or aspiring virtuoso of Possibility, are you not?

As a seeker of possibility, a dreamer, a trailblazer…

As someone who is ready to be the storyteller of his own life, the bold and bodacious hero of her own story, may I make this gentle suggestion:

Do everything in your power to learn how to harness and channel and direct and celebrate that beautiful, mysterious, miraculous Energy of yours.

Align your thoughts with the highest vision and version of yourself and your life.

See and feel yourself as vibrating Energy, and know that you can change the frequency of what you’re focusing on, of what you’re bringing to you, and of what you’re putting out into the world.

And during the times when this gift, this task, this responsibility feels too impossible or harrowing to manage, please – oh please! – do yourself and everyone else a favor.

Take a nap. 

Check out the video for Day 8: Energy!

 

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Enjoying this 31 Days of Possibility series? Why not share it with your friends and favorite connections so they can go on this adventure with you and expand their own possibilities! Share on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram – wherever you like to connect and play the most. 

And if you’d like to connect with us on any of these channels, please make it happen! 

You can find us on Twitter at @LaniVoivod@AllenVoivod@EpiphaniesInc@AhaSummit, and @AhaYourself. Plus, you’re always welcome to ask questions, give feedback, and share some of your own experiences (and hopefully your big “A-Ha!” victories along the way), here in the comments, and on the Epiphanies, Inc. Facebook Page. Allen and I love to hear from you. Here’s to you and your vast and wondrous possibilities!

In 1996, I met Joseph Campbell for the first time.

Not in person. (He actually died in 1987, so that would have been weird.) As a name, mentioned by some now-forgotten screenwriting teacher, back in another life when I was living in Los Angeles.

Soon after I heard his name, I saw his name on a book, The Hero With A Thousand Faces. It jumped out at me at a bookstore where I was working part-time.

But it wasn’t until I brought my Wookie-loving boyfriend (Allen, later to become my husband and father of my children) to a traveling pop-culture tour in 1999 called “Star Wars: The Magic of Myth” in San Diego that Mr. Campbell finally received my full and undivided attention. It seemed at every turn, I was reading about how Joseph Campbell’s work inspired and influenced George Lucas so deeply that Lucas often credited it for the off-the-charts success and enduring popularity of the whole Star Wars saga.

An American mythologist, writer and lecturer, Campbell is still one of the most awe-inspiring dudes I’ve ever encountered. His life work was an active and ultra-passionate mash-up of psychology, comparative religions, world cultures, and the myths and legends hooked into our spirits and souls for thousands of years. (If you ever have the chance to check out Bill Moyers’ interviews with Campbell during the renowned six-part PBS television series “The Power of Myth,” I highly recommend it!)

He’s also the father of “The Hero’s Journey,” a 12-part structure culled from myths across time and cultures that seems to live at the heart of virtually any and all enduring stories, legends, and characters, from Jesus and Buddha to Huckleberry Finn to The Wizard of Oz to The Lord of the Rings to The Matrix to Harry Potter. (And of course, Luke Skywalker and Star Wars.)

 

 

Here’s the kicker: This structure, this template, it’s more than a storytelling tool. The Hero’s Journey is an archetype embedded in our human psyches, deep in the mysterious goop of our beings. This structure is popular not because of the stories that were built from it, but because it is IN US. We feel this, we know this, on some level or another.

We are the heroes of our own story

That “Call to Adventure,” that “Meeting With the Mentor,” that “Inmost Cave” thing – these plot points are a framework for our own lives. We can literally look back at our own memories and misadventures and see how certain people, places, and things plop right into the framework. Play with this, and you’ll soon see how certain decisions you’ve made became major turning points, how trials became essential plot twists that led you to a new level of knowledge, growth, or enlightenment.

The question is, as it so often is: Are we willing to travel our own Hero’s Journey?  

Are we willing to be the storytellers of our own lives? To overcome our customized odds, face our own demons, trust our allies, go down certain scary roads all by ourselves, and ultimately return with The Elixir, so others may benefit from our blood, sweat, tears, and victories?

What are the stories you tell yourself?

Who does your wildly imaginative and probably very stubborn mind keep insisting you are? What are the limits you’ve believed so long you’ve accepted them as truth? What story or stories do you keep playing in your mind and heart, consciously or unconsciously, that keep you from the Story of the life you truly want to live? The life you were born to live? The life you deserve?

These stories we tell ourselves, the ones that don’t serve us or our Life Purpose, they bleed out into the world. Ultimately, they become the stories that others believe about us, because we’ve told bits and pieces of these stories so often and so willingly.

 “I’m not any good at that.”

“I have the worst luck!”

“I never get what I want.”

“My boss has it in for me.”

“My weight is holding me back.”

“I don’t have any time.”

“I could never change directions at this point in my life.”

“I’m too old.”

“I can’t make a living doing what I love.”

“No one understands me!”

“I’m all alone.”

“I don’t deserve it.”

We’re so good at telling these stories, we’ve gathered tons of evidence, tons of selected memories and plot points to support their “truth.” For better or for worse, they make us feel safe, they give us our identities, and they become our lives.

But the stories we tell ourselves can either thwart or amplify our POSSIBILITIES.

If we’d like to expand and amplify our Possibilities, we must:

1)   Own our immense power as the storytellers of our own lives.

2)   Write the story we want to live through the actions we take, the people we play with, and the choices we make.

3)   Share the story of our new dreams, goals, and vision with the people and networks around us, so they can join the adventure we want to fulfill.

As a blossoming Agent of POSSIBILITY, we’re counting on you to return with the Elixir. No one else can do that for you.

Only you.

Check out the video (including glowing lightsaber) for Day 7 of the 31 Days of Possibility: The Power of Storytelling!

 

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Enjoying this 31 Days of Possibility series? Why not share it with your friends and favorite connections so they can go on this adventure with you and expand their own possibilities! Share on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram – wherever you like to connect and play the most. 

And if you’d like to connect with us on any of these channels, please make it happen! 

You can find us on Twitter at @LaniVoivod@AllenVoivod@EpiphaniesInc@AhaSummit, and @AhaYourself. Plus, you’re always welcome to ask questions, give feedback, and share some of your own experiences (and hopefully your big “A-Ha!” victories along the way), here in the comments, and on the Epiphanies, Inc. Facebook Page. Allen and I love to hear from you. Here’s to you and your vast and wondrous possibilities!

Want to open up possibilities in exponential ways?

Elevate the time and attention you spend thinking about your Personal Brand and how you’re presenting your beautiful self to the world.

I’m not talking about logos or color palettes or taglines either, though depending on your goals and resources that’s certainly a route you may wish to take.

I’m talking about being truly aware of our Personal Brands, especially in the whip-fast, instinct-ridden, avatar-driven domain of the social realm, across our various networks.

In building and owning our Personal Brands, our number one job is twofold. We must:

1)   Project and protect our most authentic selves.

2)   Make it as easy as possible to attract to us the people, stories, ideas, energy, and opportunities we truly want in our lives.

In an alternate universe, this is the easiest thing we’ll ever do. In our universe, though, it’s a doozy. And yet, it’s essential, if we want to live boldly, freely, and passionately in POSSIBILITY.

YOU, INC.

In 1997, a man named Tom Peters wrote an article for Fast Company called “The Brand Called You,” a visionary piece that became a seminal manifesto in the branding world.

In that article (which definitely holds up over time!), he famously said that, “to be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.”

Later in the article, as if holding a crystal ball, he described exactly what we’re living in 2013:

What’s the future of You?

It’s over. No more vertical. No more ladder. That’s not the way careers work anymore. Linearity is out. A career is now a checkerboard. Or even a maze. It’s full of moves that go sideways, forward, slide on the diagonal, even go backward when that makes sense. (It often does.) A career is a portfolio of projects that teach you new skills, gain you new expertise, develop new capabilities, grow your colleague set, and constantly reinvent you as a brand.”

His instincts were spot on. No one sticks with an industry for 40 years anymore, let alone with one company. We’re in a constant state of reinvention, discovery, U-turns and crash-and-burns. Titles and bosses come and go, but our Personal Brands stick with us, for better or for worse, now more than ever before.

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Anais Nin

The thing is, many of us try to water ourselves down, play it safe, stay “in the lines.” This isn’t always a bad idea. You don’t want to be the one who’s over-sharing about a boil on your body on a place where the sun don’t shine. (Unless of course, that’s the type of person you know you want to present to the world.) ;-)

Plenty of people don’t think the social realm is the place to truly be themselves, and that’s okay, too.

Just keep in mind social media and social networking have been around long enough now that our brains have officially adapted to using them quickly and efficiently. Like it or not, we make dozens of impulse decisions as we scroll through our Facebook friends and see the small squares of the people we have met and have yet to meet in person.

Many times, managing these vast networks of people and connections is nothing short of, well, CRAZY.

Even the most patient, conscientious, and contemplative of us are creating, consciously or unconsciously, shortcuts on how to communicate, process information, and maintain connections without losing our minds.

Let’s face it, most of us have friends, and we know who they are, who do nothing but post about when they’re sick, or when their car broke down, or how it’s going to rain or snow tomorrow. These may be lovely, wonderful people in real life, but online, because they may not be aware of their Personal Brands, they’re presenting themselves as Debbie Downers.

I’m not saying they’re doing it “wrong,” but sometimes I do just want to reach through the screen and hug them and hold them and gently and lovingly show them that maybe, just maybe, they might want to take note of other, more interesting, thoughtful, revealing, or creative things happening in their lives and share those things with their friends and connections instead.

But that’s just me.

So how do you boost your Personal Brand awareness?

Breathe, step back, and take a look at yourself through the eyes of your social networks. (They hold fascinating answers for you, especially if you’ve taken the “Observations Without Judgment” tip to heart.)

Then see for yourself:

-       What are you saying, and how are you saying it?

-       Who are you engaging with?

-       What types of conversations are you having?

-       Where is your little avatar being seen, and what groups, ideas, businesses, and communities is it being aligned with?

-       What types of subjects are you actively choosing to be associated with?

-       Who are your allies?

-       What are the organizations you’re supporting and recommending, drawn to and inspired by?

-       What stories do they tell about you?

Clues are everywhere in the form of Likes, social graphs, personalized search results, filter bubbles, news feeds, tagged photos, activity trails, and events, content, and connections that find their way to you.

Take all this in, then look at yourself online as if you’re a brand new, well, BRAND.

Who do you see? What are you about? Who ARE you, according to all this data, this content, this stuff?

If there are things you like, do more of that. Not in love with the whole picture? Shift your focus. Make different decisions. Go in the direction you want to go, and soon you’ll be playing in a different environment. Sure, you may still have things online that reflect a different version of you (as most of us do by now), but they’re way back on Page 37 of a Google search for your name, so what do you care? If someone is interested enough to probe that deeply, let them discover what they will. It’s part of your history, and anyone who doesn’t get that isn’t anyone worth their weight in carbon.

Please, though, I’m begging you, know and believe this:

Transparency and Vulnerability could be your Personal Brand’s greatest assets

So be interesting. Be yourself. Be aware of what you’re putting out there, and in essence, what you’re inviting back into your life.

I am a strong, passionate believer in the Law of Attraction and how what you focus on expands. All energetic evidence (and lots of spiritual schools of thought) points to the fact that what you put out into the world comes back to you in spades.

The technology of social media, the algorithms of the world we live in, truly support this philosophy.

If you want to open yourself up to interesting, remarkable, unimaginable possibilities, you simply have to pay attention to what you’re putting out into the world, tweak as necessary, and spread your vibe with singular confidence, commitment, and flair.

When it comes to building and amplifying Your Personal Brand, that will make all the difference.

And if all else fails, you can always subscribe to the Dr. Seuss school of Personal Branding:

 

Check out the video for Day 6 of the 31 Days of Possibility: Your Personal Brand!

 

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Enjoying this 31 Days of Possibility series? Why not share it with your friends and favorite connections so they can go on this adventure with you and expand their own possibilities! Share on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram – wherever you like to connect and play the most. 

And if you’d like to connect with us on any of these channels, please make it happen! 

You can find us on Twitter at @LaniVoivod@AllenVoivod@EpiphaniesInc@AhaSummit@AhaYourself. Plus, you’re always welcome to ask questions, give feedback, and share some of your own experiences (and hopefully your big “A-Ha!” victories along the way), here in the comments, and on the Epiphanies, Inc. Facebook Page. Allen and I love to hear from you. Here’s to you and your vast and wondrous possibilities!