31 Days of Possibility

Day 31: Fulfilling Your Destiny [31 Days of Possibility]

 

Omigosh…omigosh…OMIGOSH…

WE MADE IT! WE’RE HERE!

We have arrived at the 31st day of these 31 Days of Possibility!

Wow, what a trip, huh?

I don’t know about you, but I sure wish there was a refresher of the territory we’ve covered, so we could kind of absorb the information in an easy flow. A convenient summary would be swell, don’t you think?

By golly, YES! I think that’s a terrific idea! Wait one minute…

[Running to grab Allen, the faithful hubby and editor...]

Okay, I’m back – and this is our lucky day, because Allen has agreed to help me go through the whole #31dop series, day by day, and help me pluck out a short idea and/or paragraph from each blog post that best captures the thrust and spirit of that day’s theme.

You know what’s especially cool about this? Our micro-process here, in doing this, is pretty much the same 3-step process that works in terms of FULFILLING OUR DESTINIES:

  1. We take some time to look back at where we’ve been, grab the highlights, notice the stuff that jumps out at us, step back, and see it all as the radiant and awesome unfolding story it is…
  2. Then, we arrive exactly where we’re at (in the NOW, if you will), so we can breathe, feel, consider, and tap into our Intuition for some guidance and direction, and especially a hint at what our next micromovement or action step may be.
  3. Finally, we Trust the Process yet again, and go toward the direction of our beautiful, wondrous, infinite Possibilities by taking that bold, joy-filled, INSPIRED ACTION!
All the thumbnail images are also links to the original blog posts, so if you feel like need or want to check out the whole post, or the video for that day, it’s all right there for you. Easy and fun, that’s my motto. :)

Okay, Piece of cake, right? Are you ready? Let’s go!!

 

Focus on POSSIBILITY…

…and your chances of seeing new solutions, connecting with awesome like-minded collaborators, and exploring great new opportunities increases exponentially. Possibility: it’s infinite, man!

More than anything…

…Trusting the Process is an exercise in SURRENDERING. So breathe, and Trust the Process. Manage expectations. Learn the Yogic art of “Observation without judgment.” And adopt a new favorite phrase: “How fascinating!”

By taking bold, joy-filled action…

…based on your God-given flash of insight, you’re granted a Portal of Possibility. Walk through this portal, and the course of your life shifts toward a different outcome, one that’s more aligned with your purpose and destiny than ever before.

To choose POSSIBILITY means…

…to see things that may not yet exist, to know things in your heart that you can’t explain with words, and to let go of ideas and beliefs that no longer serve you, even as many around you try to keep you in the safe, comfortable padded cell of “Reality.”  (“Reality.” Ha! What a joke!)

The thing is…

…you have to open up. You have to believe. You have to choose, time and time again, to play on the side of your infinite possibilities. You have to trust the brilliant minds, thinkers, dreamers, and thought leaders who have come before you and spent their lives seeking, studying and learning about this thing called “PURPOSE.” And most of all, you have to learn to trust YOU.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 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.

We are entering the domain…

…of The Social Realm. Ten years ago, five years ago, even two years ago – different worlds, different rules. Now changeadaptation, 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.

The proliferation of ideas…

…and information via the Internet has empowered the curious and talented to branch out further and faster than ever before. Discovery is about being reached by the people destined to reach you, and then giving back by choosing to be a co-creator of advancing ideas, stimulating minds, and turning your passions into consumable data in some form or another.

To tap into the might and magic…

 …of making Conscious Connections, we must have a deep trust and faith in the idea that more is going on than meets the eye right now. Yes, NOW. Literally.

We must also know that small acts of kindness and consciousness, especially when done with Intention, DO MATTER. We are ENERGY. We are vibrational beings existing together in this world, and even something as simple as clicking “LIKE’ or sharing positive and powerful art and ideas across our social channels builds over time. It nudges the overall trajectory of human evolution and potential.

Have you ever been positively STUNNED…

…by the information or resources that find you, or the people or communities you happen to come across at exactly the right moment in time? Allen and I call it QUANTUM SERENDIPITY. Led by our instincts, fueled by our energy, nudged by our emotions, and catapulted by the ever-optimized algorithms, we meet the right people, find the best resources, attract the perfect opportunities. Part math, part mindset, and part magic, QUANTUM SERENDIPITY is what brought this blog post to you today.

There’s the world as we think it is…

…as it appears in front of us, in its natural form. And there’s the world through the lens of Mobile Magic. This is where moments and places and people are captured, colored, played with, altered, and manipulated based on the viewers’ point of view – psychologically, spiritually, literally, and emotionally.

Allies see you…

…they get you, on a cosmic level. They recognize when you’re doing something more than just your job, and they let you know it matters, even when (and especially when) you may not be able to see the forest through the trees. Allies create opportunities for you, send clients your way, invent scenarios where you can shine, and use their own talents, position, and circumstances to expand and amplify your POSSIBILITIES here on planet Earth.

Vigilant Positivity is…

…an iron-fisted decision to do everything you can to spend the rest of your living moments choosing light instead of darkness, levity instead of melodrama, and love instead of fear.
 

When we shift…

…into a spirit of Gratitude, we become a self-feeding machine of perpetual love, grace, awareness, humility, humanity, and yes, POSSIBILITY.

Day 23: Belief [31 Days of Possibility]

Our Beliefs are the gatekeepers…

…of our Possibility. They are the bouncers of our Ultimate Possibility Party. They are the things that either allow us to pass through to the life of our dreams, or they keep us playing small, spiritually bankrupt, in pain, unfulfilled, and all the while thinking we don’t have a choice.

Day 24: Fearlessness (Ha!) [31 Days of Possibility]

Our Possibilities exist…

…outside of our comfort zones. Anything could happen out there! The ego’s whole identity is wrapped up in staying the same, what is a known quantity, and how things are, in the most unthreatening one-dimensional box available. Fear keeps us semiconscious, even sound asleep, cowering from scenes and situations that will probably never, ever happen.

NOW is where all the groovy stuff is. Seriously…

…worrying about the future is pointless, because the future doesn’t exist – you can only think about the future NOW. Obsessing over the past is useless, because it is nothing more than a memory – a memory you’re thinking about NOW. The ONLY thing that exists is this very moment, the one that’s happening to you RIGHT NOW. This is the way it always has been, and this is the way it always will be.

Tapping into our Intuition…

…is about seeing, feeling, sensing, and processing patterns, both in the vast world around us and in the cosmic soup of our rich inner universes. Our linear minds tell us a fraction of our “realities.” Intuition is an enlightened intelligence that flows far beyond and through our allegedly rational minds. Ideas collide. Experiences mesh. Patterns emerge. We see them, feel them, and KNOW THEM. We’ve pressed the override button long enough. We must re-learn how to honor our intuitive gifts – our intuitive ways of being – and let them guide us to and through the lives we were born to live.

Meditation is…

…melting into your body and ALLOWING sensations to happen as they will. It’s understanding your BREATH is an ever-present tool and resource for you that you can return to any time, no matter the situation, no matter what else is going on…AND your breath is filling you up with the same air that’s been exhaled by trees, caressed by mountain tops, lavished by moonlight, and given to you by some unseen force that wanted you to experience these lush and precious moments in the land of the living.

Day 28: Leadership [31 Days of Possibility]

Chances are…

…you have the vision, courage, passion, stubbornness, stamina, creativity, curiosity, flexibility, originality, and heretical insanity to step up and take your place as a bona fide Leader in this hyper-evolving world. The time is NOW. Not five years from now or even five minutes from now, but N-O-W. You can’t wait for permission, though. You have to step up to the plate. Seriously, if you feel a tug to lead, don’t ignore it. Make a decision, say “Yes,” and commit to taking action.

Day 29: Playing Your Game [31 Days of Possibility]

When we’re PLAYING our own GAME…

…we’re entering all moments, scenes, and situations like an improv ninja. We’re on high alert for opportunities that inspire us, engage us, and attract our attentions on a visceral level. We use our Spidey senses to feel out where our skills and talents may best be used, and how we could enhance moments and outcomes for others.

If you’re serious…

…about finding your Portals of Possibility and walking through them to create and discover the beautiful, joy-filled, adventure-ridden life you want and deserve, YOU MUST TAKE ACTION. It’s always, ALWAYS best if it’s Inspired Action. Joy-filled action. Action with a purpose. Action driven by an impulse within you to play, create, grow, love, live, share, reach, connect, expand, ignite, or cause a ruckus.

Day 31: Fulfilling Your Destiny [31 Days of Possibility]

And now the time has come…

…to FULFILL YOUR DESTINY! You know what it is. Don’t be afraid! Check in with that crazy-powerful heart of yours. Listen to the whispers. Feel the tugs. Believe in the best, most happy and inspired version of yourself and your life. What are you doing? What action could you take today to get you one step closer to where you know you’re meant to be? Do it! Own your future! Walk through the Portal! Feel the trajectory of your life shift toward the direction of your Infinite Possibilities!

Feel it and know it and believe it, everyday. See the scenes in your head, feel the gratitude in your heart. Honor the guidance of your Bliss.

You’ve got this thing.

Wahhooooo!!!!

Please, don’t be shy, let me know what kinds of action you took, big or small. Keep me informed of your journey. Share your victories with me! I would LOVE to hear from you. I said it before and I’ll say it again - it’s been all about you from the beginning.

I’m inspired to sign off with a couple of clips from one of my all-time favorite books: Oh, the Places You’ll Go!, by Dr. Seuss:

You have brains in your head.

You have feet in your shoes.

You can steer yourself

any direction you choose.

You’re on your own. And you know what you know.

And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

And  will you succeed?

Yes! You will, indeed!

(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)

KID, YOU’LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!

 

Hey. THANK YOU. I’ve truly enjoyed our journey together. You’ve been a wonderful companion.

So here’s the video for Fulfilling Your Destiny. Peace out, don’t be a stranger, and I’ll see you in the Vortex of Being, Knowing, and Doing! ;)

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Have you enjoyed this 31 Days of Possibility series? Why not share it with your friends and favorite connections so they can go on this adventure 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!

INSPIRED action. No pressure, right?

We’re already time-crunched and feeling overwhelmed by the choices at our disposal and the tools and resources always throwing themselves at us:

  1. How the heck do we decide what to do in the measly amount of time on our hands…
  2. How the heck do we make sure it’s “INSPIRED”???

Great news! Not only isn’t it as hard as it sounds, it is best when it’s EASY. Not just “not a pain in the neck,” but “EEEEAAASSSYYYY!”

Here’s what you need to know about Inspired Action:

  1. It feels GOOD. Inside. At your core. In your heart. Through your spirit. If there’s a twinkle in your eye or an upturn in your lips when you’re thinking about the Action in question, it’s likely of the Inspired sort.
  2. It feels EASY. Your focus is not on the barriers or the time or the inconvenience or the pain or logistics involved. Your focus shifts to your creative happy place, where everything feels like it can be done lickety-split, whether it actually winds up taking 30 seconds or three hours.
  3. It feels FUN. There’s a giddiness that accompanies it. Suddenly you’re transported to the YOU of 5-10 years old, where you could grab a stick and a rock and be fine for hours, or build a pioneer homestead with your Lincoln Logs for your Barbie Dolls, or play in your blanket fort and know it’s a castle or a spaceship or an igloo, and time didn’t matter, and there were no doubts or critics or naysayers or Opinionators to cramp your style or taint your trip.

Whether you’ve checked out one or all blog posts and/or one or all videos for this 31 Days of Possibility series, you must know this:

If you’re serious about finding your Portals of Possibility and walking through them to create and discover the beautiful, joy-filled, adventure-ridden life you want and deserve, YOU MUST TAKE ACTION.

It’s always, ALWAYS best if it’s Inspired Action. Joy-filled action. Action with a purpose. Action driven by an impulse within you to play, create, grow, love, live, share, reach, connect, expand, ignite, or cause a ruckus.

Our feelings lead us. As we get better and better at Trusting the Process, our instincts and Intuition show us the way.

We’ve been trained to think “HARD” is a virtue. We’ve been convinced by our family, colleagues, and culture to put a premium on struggle and sacrifice and wheel-spinning toil, and to believe they’re the way of the worthy citizen.

These traits, these choices, work for some people. If you’re exploring and hoping to amplify your POSSIBILITIES, there’s a good chance you are not, authentically, one of these people.

Neither am I.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll work my butt off – IF I love what I’m doing. If I don’t love what I’m doing, I get sad, resentful, angry, bitter, confused, spiteful, resistant, negative, rotten, squirmy, sarcastic, and eventually, depressed. It feels wrong, it doesn’t work, and I know it’s a waste of my time on this Earth.

I know this is not what was intended for me, and I know YOU should not be sad, resentful, angry, bitter, confused, spiteful, resistant, negative, rotten, squirmy, sarcastic, and eventually, depressed, either.

Inspired Action is taking the ball and running with an idea, project, or mission when no one asked you to…and loving every minute of it.

It’s stepping outside of your comfort zone and deciding to: Pick up the dusty guitar, call the realtor, dig out your old watercolor paints, write an email to an editor, choose the fabric for your curtains, show your boss the plan you sketched out last weekend, book a much-needed vacation, invite a mentor to lunch, upload a photo to Facebook that shows you in flow doing whatever it is you do best…etc. etc. etc.

Inspired Action is YOU aligned with your Purpose,  Vision, Passion, and Possibilities.

It’s an inside job. You know it when you feel it. And when you feel it, you gotta gotta gotta gotta gotta gotta GOTTA do something about it!

You gotta do something!

Do SOMETHING!

TAKE ACTION!

That’s the game.

Get the message, feel the nudge – then train yourself to evaluate the scene so fast and with such confidence that whatever you decide to do next is without a shadow of a doubt the exact right thing for you to do.

We’re the conduits of ideas and Possibilities. We hang out on this planet while the ever-flowing stream of  Universal Intelligence flows right over our heads, around our bodies, through our homes and habitats, just waiting for the right body to heed its needs and feel its desires.

Be ready. Be the body. Be the conduit. Let the intention fulfill its destiny!

 

Sometimes taking Inspired Action is nothing more than watching a quick video about Taking Inspired Action. Here ya go!

 

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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!

Day 29: Playing Your Game [31 Days of Possibility]

 

“In knowledge work we need to manage for creativity – in effect, we don’t want predictability so much as breakthrough ideas, which are inherently unpredictable. … So if a team wants to truly create, there is simply no way to precisely define the goal in advance, because there are too many unknowns. Embarking on this kind of project is akin to a voyage of discovery: like Columbus, you may begin your journey by searching for a route to India, but you might find something like America; completely different, but perhaps more valuable.” – Gamestorming

 

It is quite likely there are several – if not dozens – of people who have an idea of what you should do with your resources, in your job, with your talents, in your life.

Some of these passionate Opinionators may be people you love and respect, perhaps family members, spouses, great friends from childhood, mentors, teachers, and/or even your own children.

Others may be bosses, coworkers, members of your community or bridge club or Facebook cliques.

Today, let’s do something together.

Let’s close our eyes and hold these people in our hearts for a moment. Then, let’s breathe in, and say to their little heart-surrounded avatars, “Thank you so much for your opinion. I really appreciate you taking the time to think about me, and to spend your attention and energy considering what I should do with my time, talents, resources, and life.”

(Let’s try our best to say this with loving kindness, instead of bitterness, resentment, anger, spite, or scathing sarcasm, okay?)

Now, let’s exhale. Ahhhhhhh……

Then let’s open our eyes, smile, and walk forward to the beat of our own drum, in the direction our own heart (5,000 times more energetically powerful than our minds, remember!). Let’s head toward the light, so to speak, where our soul and Intuition truly want us to go.

It’s time to PLAY our own GAME, and it’s time to realize it’s up to us to make it the only game in town.

Think about it:

We’re here together because we’re willing Pioneers of Possibility.

To truly subscribe to the path of our infinite and infinitely wondrous Possibilities, I think it’s essential we agree to embrace this idea of PLAY.

“It is a happy talent to know how to play.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

It's a happy talent to know how to play!

 

The power of PLAY, as a mindset and a success strategy, cannot be overestimated. The Play instinct is fueled by a sense of wonder and levity, and celebrates the virtues of Creativity, Imagination, Storytelling, and Discovery.

When we’re PLAYING our own GAME, we’re entering all moments, scenes, and situations like an improv ninja. We’re on high alert for opportunities that inspire us, engage us, and attract our attentions on a visceral level. We use our Spidey senses to feel out where our skills and talents may best be used, and how we could enhance moments and outcomes for others.

Sometimes we’re stealthy, like a good game of Capture the Flag, or Hide and Go Seek. Other times, we’re right out in front for all the world to see (and maybe even target), like Dodgeball.

Whatever the environment, though, we trust our own instincts, and know we’re nimble enough and resilient enough to handle whatever life doles out.

Most importantly, we’re committed to having as much FUN along the way as humanly possible.

PLAYING our own GAME means focusing on our strengths instead of our weaknesses, and using our values, Vision, and sense of Purpose to guide us to the best outcomes possible.

It means Letting Go…Allowing Flow… and rising above the constant stream of noise created by all those adorable Opinionators, naysayers, spectators, and peanut gallery dwellers who chime in about our spectacular unfolding journeys.

No one needs to know what you’re doing or why you’re doing it except you.

Now, it’s FANTASTIC if you decide to share some of your Game Plan with your trusted Allies, but it’s not necessary. Sometimes – especially for us Possibility Pioneers – the things we do and the reasons we do them have little or nothing to do with logic or perceived “reality.” If and when we try to explain ourselves, something as plebian as “language” simply may not cut it. We’re doing our best to live out the stories and callings of our hearts and souls, after all. They speak to us on different levels, from different dimensions.

Still, it’s our divine blessing and responsibility to honor our own journey, and to know deep in the core of our beings that we’re being nudged and led, called and fueled by other magical and mysterious forces than the ones commonly and comfortably addressed by mainstream culture.

So we’re on a covert mission: to heed the call, Trust the Process, and PLAY our own GAME.

And PLAY we will!

5 Fabulous Resources for PLAYING Our Own GAME

As Pioneers of Possibility, sometimes it can feel like we’re all alone at this dance party. WE ARE NOT. In fact, I’ve got five great books that prove this, and can offer insights, opinions, tips, resources, and guidance when we’re feeling particularly OUT THERE on our own CRAZY adventure.

Here they are, in no particular order:

1)   Improv Wisdom: Don’t Prepare, Just Show Up, by Patricia Ryan Madson

2)   Make Your Creative Dreams Real: A Plan for Procrastinators, Perfectionists, Busy People, and People Who Would Rather Sleep All Day, by SARK

3)   Orbiting the Giant Hairball: A Corporate Fool’s Guide to Surviving With Grace, by Gordon MacKenzie

4)   The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich, by Timothy Ferriss

5)   Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers, by Dave Gray, Sunni Brown, and James Macanufo

Great books, all of them.

PLAY ON!

Here’s the video for Day 29: Playing Your Game!

 

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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!

Day 28: Leadership [31 Days of Possibility]

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams

“Enlightened leadership is spiritual if we understand spirituality not as some kind of religious dogma or ideology but as the domain of awareness where we experience values like truth, goodness, beauty, love and compassion, and also intuition, creativity, insight and focused attention.” – Deepak Chopra

“The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant.” – Max DePree

I suppose there are a lot of books on Leadership. As far as these 31 Days of Possibility goes, though, there’s only one:

Tribes, by Seth Godin.

Have you read it?

It’s a tiny little book, just 151 pages. Practically fits in the palm of your hands. But it seems to be the only book that really gets it, in terms of what’s truly possible in our world, like, RIGHT NOW, for you, for me, for us.

Godin speaks of heretics and leverage, movements and the importance of BELIEF. He talks about the rejiggering of power, production, and progress, and how tools and resources used to facilitate conversations, attract like minds, and ignite revolutions are no longer perks of the elite, but completely accessible by whomever cares enough to use them.

At the heart of it, though, he’s talking directly to anyone who knows there’s a better way to live, work, dream, create, innovate, captivate, connect, and communicate, and is willing to do something about it.

Is that you?

Since you’re here, whether you’ve gone day by day though these 31 Days of Possibility, or you’ve followed a few rabbit holes to be here now for the first time, then it most likely IS you.

Congrats! You’ve arrived at your station. Destination? Anywhere you dang well want to go.

I plucked a few of my favorite messages and sentences from my copy of Tribes and plopped them into my DipTic app on my iPhone, so you could see what I think represents the thrust of this spunky little manifesto.

Quotes from Tribes, by Seth Godin

So tell me, did this little Leadership collage speak to you?

Did those tiny collections of words reach out and grab hold of your throbbing heart, or zip into your eyeballs for instant access to your buzzing and swirling neural pathways?

Do you get it? Does it feel good? Are you curious? Intrigued? Compelled?

If not, don’t sweat it. Not everyone is born to be a Leader, and that’s okay. Sometimes a passionate follower is the best person to be to secure the success of any cause or mission, as demonstrated by this FANTASTIC video narrated by Derek Sivers: How to Start a Movement.

But if you felt the tug, listen to your gut. It knows you best.

Chances are, you have the vision, courage, passion, stubbornness, stamina, creativity, curiosity, flexibility, originality, and heretical insanity to step up and take your place as a bona fide Leader in this hyper-evolving world.

The time is NOW.

Not five years from now or even five minutes from now, but N-O-W.

You can’t wait for permission, though. You have to step up to the plate. Seriously, if you felt the tug, don’t ignore it. Make a decision, say “Yes,” and commit to taking action.

The rules simply don’t exist anymore. Technology has leveled the playing field. The greatest assets you can bring to any idea bash are Energy, Passion, and Creativity.

Turn your Mindset on “Vigilant Positivity” mode, and step through your Portal of Possibility.

It’s so cliché to say this, I know, but seriously: There has never, ever, EVER been a better time to play to your strengths, amplify your Imagination, stir up the status quo, DREAM BIG, cause a ruckus, and shake what your mama gave you.

Everything you need to succeed is at your disposal, and will make itself available when the time arrives.

Trust it. Believe it. Go for it!

As Seth Godin says and I totally agree:

“We need you to lead us!”

Check out the video for Day 28: Leadership!

 

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P.S. Just in case you need a bit more of a nudge to heed your life’s call, these leaders have a few choice words for you:

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” – John Maxwell

“A leader is a dealer in hope.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

“Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” – Jack Welch

“Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to high sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.” – Peter Drucker

“A great leader’s courage to fulfill his vision comes from passion, not position.” – John Maxwell

“The leadership instinct you were born with is the backbone. You develop the funny bone and the wishbone that go with it.” – Elaine Agather

“We know that leadership is very much related to change. As the pace of change accelerates, there is naturally a greater need for effective leadership.” – John Kotter

“Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” – John D. Rockefeller

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!

 

 

Let’s be clear: I am NOT the right person to teach you about “Meditation” as most of us think about it. And by “Meditation” I mean the serious, very stoic, extremely sacred and fancy stereotype of Mediation, where someone is sitting still on a cushion in the middle of a candlelit room for hours, incense burning, in a state of exquisitely centered “Om.”

No no – this is NOT me. If that’s who or what you’re looking for, please, run the other way, pronto.

However, due to the hack job of somewhat-unfounded (but wildly passionate) opinions I’m about to unleash, I may be the perfect person to demystify this whole Meditation thing, at the risk of offending trained Meditation experts and practitioners who actually know what they’re talking about.

The reason I’m passionate about Meditation, and why I’m including it here in the 31 Days of Possibility, is three-fold:

1)   I am ONE MILLION PERCENT CERTAIN it’s essential to a healthy, balanced, creative, sanity-leaning life, especially in our nutso, hyper-stimulated, turbo-track world.

2)   I wish someone had demystified the very intimidating and darn near ludicrous stereotype of Meditation for me several years – if not decades – ago.

3)   I truly believe Meditation is the way to ACCESS INFINITY.

So while I know “Mediation” as presented in its most ceremonial sense is a fine and achievable practice for many millions of people around the globe, and there are countless gurus and enlightened resources to teach you this formal version if its your cup of herbal tea…

I’m coming at this as a working 40-year-old wife and mother of two young boys who struggles to find 10 minutes a day to sit still in a quiet place…

Even though I believe Meditation is the way to ACCESS INFINITY.

“If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern.” – William Blake

Okay, so there’s this New Yorker cartoon: Two monks are sitting side by side, meditating. The younger one is looking a bit perplexed. The older one responds, “Nothing happens next. This is it.”

This is the part about Meditation I wish I had understood. Just like Seinfeld was a show about nothing, Meditation is an ACTIVITY about nothing! So naturally, most of us who try it (or watch someone else try it) for a few minutes at some point in our lives will not understand its purpose or value, and will abandon it altogether as freakish hippy hogwash. (And that’s the best-case scenario.)

To make matters worse, no one bothers to tell Meditation newbies and novices that the incessant chatter in our minds is not only okay, but NORMAL. Not only is it normal, it is the very reason Mediation is so darn important to adopt and make part of our daily (or weekly) lives, just like brushing our teeth, or posting on Instagram.

It seems to me Meditation is simply a way of letting the mind know who’s boss.

When it comes to understanding the value and purpose of Meditation, I’ve always appreciated the analogy of water. Our minds are like rough seas – lots of choppy water, so much activity on the surface. There’s no chance of seeing anything but liquid chaos.

Meditation gives our minds a chance to settle down, to relax, so suddenly they’re not rough seas anymore, they’re the crystal clear blue-green waters of the Caribbean – and you can see right to the bottom without effort. All those lovely sea shells, and that pristine sand – all right there, ready for your toes whenever you want to sink ‘em in there.

A Quick Story of When I Lost My Meditation Virginity…

One day when I was in my 20s, a wonderful friend and mentor I knew in Los Angeles asked me if I wanted to go to a gathering of Quakers she attended every week. She said it was a group meditation, and explained everyone simply sat there in a room in silence, and if anyone was moved to share anything, that’s what they did.

Always a curious sort up for a new experience, I said yes.

(Besides, I figured she was oversimplifying – that couldn’t possibly be all that really went on.)

Turns out, YES, that was really all that went on! We sat there, for 45 minutes, in group silence, with the occasional person breaking the silence to share something unpredictable – from the off-handed observation about weather to intimate confessions about health issues, prayer requests, lost loves, career concerns, and well wishes for the folks present.

It was the longest 45 minutes of my life.

But now, nearly fifteen years later, I get it. (Kind of.) That was one of their preferred modes of Meditation. Some people like meditating in groups, and that’s fabulous.

Others like guided meditation, mantra meditation, mindfulness mediation, Transcendental Meditation, Qigong, yoga, Tai Chi, and other active meditations, like hiking, fishing, painting, sewing, doodling, knitting, swimming, chopping vegetables, or golfing, I suppose.

Just know the goal is to train your mind to settle and become the still, crystal-clear Caribbean waters as much as possible.

Like so many things in life, it’s very Yoda-esque: You do or do not. There is no “Try.”

There’s no way to do it “wrong.” So many people say, “Oh, I can’t meditate…” or “Yeah, I do it wrong.” No, you don’t! It’s just no one ever told you it really is like the New Yorker cartoon – it’s just sitting there, BEING.

Yes, some people do and will have Earth-shattering visions, epiphanies, and experiences during which their whole worldviews are transformed. But this is not the norm, nor should it be the goal. (After all, once you start thinking your Meditation session is only good if there’s a grand prize of spontaneous enlightenment attached, you’re not dwelling in The Now anymore, are you?)

“Meditation is the dissolution of thoughts in Eternal awareness or Pure consciousness without objectification, knowing without thinking, merging finitude in infinity.” - Voltaire

Even though Voltaire just made it sound all intense and serious, Meditation is nothing more or less than giving your mind a chance to gently let go of the constant stream of input that bombards it all day.

It’s melting into your body and ALLOWING sensations to happen as they will.

It’s understanding your BREATH is an ever-present tool and resource for you that you can return to any time, no matter the situation, no matter what else is going on…AND your breath is filling you up with the same air that’s been exhaled by trees, caressed by mountain tops, lavished by moonlight, and given to you by some unseen force that wanted you to experience these lush and precious moments in the land of the living.

It’s NOTICING all the thoughts coursing through your head, and being centered and trusting and peaceful and courageous enough to watch as the thoughts float away like fluffy clouds in a bright blue sky on a warm and beautiful day.

I say “courageous” because one of the hardest things to do is to let thoughts go when they come into your mind as to-do’s and lists and forgotten tasks, or ideas for creative ventures that you swear you’ll never be able to think up again if you don’t stop meditating and write it down.

Your mind does everything it can to recapture your undivided attention.

Once you realize this, it’s easier to smile at your overactive mind like a parent to a small, attention-hungry, interrupting child, and give it a much-needed break in the timeout chair.

Your mind must learn to give you some space, and let you settle into your human body without its obsessive companionship, so miracles may flow through you when the time is right.

And miracles WILL flow.

In the forms of elevated Intuition, blips of Quantum Serendipity, rediscovered pockets of Creativity, re-ignited bouts of Imagination, reconnected feelings to Your Purpose, Vision, and Passion, and noticeable boosts of Energy, miracles will flow.

In order for the wisdom and magic of the Universe to use your airfield, you have to clear off the landing strip. Meditation clears the way so you can receive your precious cargo.

To INFINITY and beyond!

(I had to go there.) :)

 

Get your “Om” on with Lani in this quick “Accessing Infinity With Meditation” 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!

 

Intuition is seeing with the soul.” – Dean Koontz

“A hunch is creativity trying to tell you something.” – Frank Capra 

“If prayer is you talking to God, then intuition is God talking to you.” –Dr. Wayne Dyer

[WARNING: My Intuition told me to write the following blog post in this way. Considering the subject matter, I had no choice but to take its advice and follow it accordingly…]

I’ve been calling them “rabbit holes” lately.

These nudges I’m compelled to follow, these hunches I have to act on RIGHT NOW that look and feel a lot like a bad case of OCD. These meandering zig-zags of ideas, resources, and people…

“Rabbit holes,” you probably already know, is a vague reference to Alice in Wonderland’s compulsion to chase the neurotic white rabbit…

Which makes me think of Keanu Reeves in The Matrix and how he started his tattoo-following adventure…

Which brings me to today’s topic of 31 Days of Possibility: Tapping Into Your Intuition.

“The only real valuable thing is intuition,” said Albert Einstein. He was a huge believer and proponent of our ability to make decisions from a much deeper and logic-rebelling place than the brain…

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” – Albert Einstein

So many incredible thinkers, innovators, trailblazers, and champions of POSSIBILITY seem to agree with Einstein’s rapturous view of Intuition and its place in our creative process.

But what exactly is this “Intuition” thing, and why should we care?

Well, if you’re Deepak Chopra, you’d explain it this way:

“Synchronicity is choreographed by a great, pervasive intelligence that lies at the heart of nature, and is manifest in each of us through intuitive knowledge.”

Keep in mind Deepak was a mainstream medicine guy before he ever became the New Age guru we know him to be today. He’s written more than 70 books, including 21 New York Times bestsellers – virtually all of them integrating a holistic view of wellness and expansive human potential with a view of soul-tastic evolution steeped in scientific principles. In other words, when he’s the one talking about “a great, pervasive intelligence at the heart of human nature,” he’s not just saying that to be cool. He’s folding in years of experience with and investigation into brain science, philosophy, spirituality, biology, physiology, and breakthroughs in the fields of alternative medicine.

If you’re biased against smarty-pants-doctors and New York Times bestselling authors as some people are, you can always take in what Alan Alda has to say about this mysterious human superpower called Intuition and its role in our creative expansion:

“The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself.”

The WILDERNESS of our Intuition…

Yes, that’s a lovely way to put it.

In our culture, we have built cities around our linear and logical selves, and have abandoned the lush resources and beauty of our wildernesses. We simply rely too much on our over-worked brains to lead us through life, and before we know it, the ride is over, and we never did quite get around to what we were put on this Earth to do. (See Day 5: Your Purpose.)

Not to blame our parents, school systems, political leaders, or any other institution that should have been a wee bit more interested in sharing crucial information with us about how best to navigate our lives and make the most of our gifts and potential – but “Tapping Into Your Intuition” isn’t exactly part of the Reading-Writing-Arithmetic curriculum.

The importance of Intuition, the effectiveness of it, isn’t exactly celebrated overtly. Especially in what’s becoming more and more a data-driven, quantification-addicted environment.

“BIG DATA” – collections of data sets so large and complex that it becomes difficult to process using on-hand database management tools or traditional data processing applications – is an especially huge threat to Intuition’s rich and bountiful wilderness.

“The information is there to be had,” the data dudes say. “We must get it and analyze it and send it to more analysts for further analysis before we make any sort of decision on anything!”

Alas, more information is not always better.

“Listening to the data is important, they say, but so is experience and intuition. After all, what is intuition at its best but large amounts of data of all kinds filtered through a human brain rather than a math model?” – Steve Lohr, “Sure, Big Data Is Great. But So Is Intuition.” via NYTimes.com

Ahhhh, fascinating. It seems we’ve arrived at the place where the big question lives:

Is the human brain – or rather, the human body, mind, and spirit – more effective at making decisions than logic and data and the scientific method and everything else that dwells most comfortably on the left side of the cranium?

Along with Einstein, these two gentlemen seem to have their opinions on the subject fairly worked out:

“Intuition will tell the thinking mind where to look next.” – Jonas Salk

“There can be as much value in the blink of an eye as in months of rational analysis.” – Malcolm Gladwell

And then there’s the way our Intuition actually cooperates with our brain:

“‘Just like the brain, there are neurotransmitters in the gut that can respond to environmental stimuli and emotions in the now — it’s not just about past experiences,’ [says Judith Orloff, MD, author of Guide to Intuitive Healing: Five Steps to Physical, Emotional, and Sexual Wellness]. When those neurotransmitters fire, you may feel the sensation of ‘butterflies’ or uneasiness in your stomach. Researchers theorize that ‘gut instinct,’ which sends signals to your brain, plays a large role in intuition.” – Colleen Oakley, The Power of Female Intuition, via WebMD.com

Go with your gut. Got it.

So, what’s the problem? Why are so many people scared of even the idea of “Intuition,” often casting it off into the dismissed heaps of soft skills that are cute and campy but not really useful in our results-driven world?

“We see that the intellect, so skillful in dealing with the inert, is awkward the moment it touches the living. Whether it wants to treat the life of the body or the life of the mind, it proceeds with the rigor, the stiffness and the brutality of an instrument not designed for such use.

[…]

The intellect is characterized by a natural inability to comprehend life. 

Instinct, on the contrary, is molded on the very form of life. While intelligence treats everything mechanically, instinct proceeds, so to speak, organically.” – Henri Bergson, French philosopher and winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, via Maria Popova on BrainPickings.org

Wow, those Nobel Prize-winning French philosophers sure sound smart.

Even when our logic-based society isn’t dissing Intuition’s practical magic, our own inner saboteurs are hard at work, blocking our natural impulses and abilities to grow and evolve…

“Fear, desire, and panic can all get in the way of intuition. It’s important to really focus on that inner voice.” – Judith Orloff

Enough of that! We’ve learned too much together over these past weeks to give Fear and all its bully friends any more power over our lives.

Tapping into our Intuition is about seeing, feeling, sensing, and processing patterns, both in the vast world around us and in the cosmic soup of our rich inner universes.

Our linear minds tell us a fraction of our “realities.” Intuition is an enlightened intelligence that flows far beyond and through our allegedly rational minds. Ideas collide. Experiences mesh. Patterns emerge. We see them, feel them, and KNOW THEM. We’ve pressed the override button long enough. We must re-learn how to honor our intuitive gifts – our intuitive ways of being – and let them guide us to and through the lives we were born to live.

“Close both eyes to see with the other eye.” –Rumi

Do you feel like you’ve lost touch with this uber-powerful internal guidance system? Here are seven easy ways to tap into your Intuition, so you can explore and amplify your awesome and radiant POSSIBILITIES:

1)   Meditate

2)   Go into nature

3)   Journal

4)   Close your eyes and LISTEN – to your inner voice, as well as to the cues and clues around you

5)   Open yourself up – whether physically with yoga, or by seeking and joining new communities of people who elevate your ideas and spice up your views of the world

6) Follow Your Enthusiasm

“’When you’re trying to make a new decision, pay attention to what feels exciting and energizing and what you’re curious about,’ [said Lynn A. Robinson, M.Ed., … author of … Divine Intuition: Your Inner Guide to Purpose, Peace and Prosperity]. Enthusiasm is one way intuition guides us toward our personal path to success. If something is boring or draining, try to move away from it, she said.” – Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S., “Connecting to Your Intuition to Enhance Your Life,” via PsychCentral.com.

7) Make Space for Your Intuition!

“You get your intuition back when you make space for it, when you stop the chattering of the rational mind. The rational mind doesn’t nourish you. You assume that it gives you the truth, because the rational mind is the golden calf that this culture worships, but this is not true. Rationality squeezes out much that is rich and juicy and fascinating.” – Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

Choose rich and juicy and fascinating. Play on the side of your Infinite Possibilities!

Be your Possibility’s greatest advocate. Lean on and into your Intuition. It’s there to serve you, with customized knowledge and insight into who you are and who you’re meant to be.

See the rabbit holes, go with your gut, and dive on in.

(C’mon, you know you want to.)

Your Intuition will guide you to the next phase of the adventure with inimitable grace, confidence, and panache.

 

Watch the video for Tapping Into Your Intuition (recorded at 4am) here!

 

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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!

 

Okay, this is about to get very personal, but I’m hoping my honesty here will serve “The Greater Good,” or at least help one person who may have gone through or is going through a similar experience.

About seven years ago, I hit a rough patch in my life. I was dealing with what I now call THE ANGER – this uncontrollable crazed lunatic within me that felt like a separate entity, taking me over like a too-graphic-for-the-MPAA scene from The Exorcist.

I was just freakin’ ANGRY, and it was like an out-of-body experience. I’d see myself screaming my bloody head off at Allen, my dear, amazing, loving and incredibly saint-like husband, and a piece of me would be crying inside: “What the heck are you doing? Why are you doing this? What is going ON?!!!”

It never had anything to do with Allen. It was this ANGER, this beast, that was a tyrant. It wanted to be heard. It wanted to GET OUT. I could control it in front of everyone else, but Allen became the unfortunate receptacle of any and all crap I could dole out in human form.

Once, I stomped my foot down on my kitchen floor so hard in a tantrum-fueled rage I cracked the tile and limped for months. Another time I literally threw a butter knife across the room and dented the wall.

I’m not proud of any of this. In fact, it’s downright embarrassing to admit.

It wasn’t ME, my True Self, and I knew this – I think that’s what hurt the most. I was so out of control with my emotions. I was so frustrated with so many things in my life. This ANGER felt so disconnected, and yet it was just consuming me and chucking itself out into the world through me every chance it could get.

Allen was in the room when I stomped my foot and threw the butter knife and exhibited many more acts of ridiculous rage over the course of many months. He was a witness to this side of me, otherwise I don’t think I would have believed it had happened. I count my blessings every day that he was strong enough and loved me enough to see me through this period, which I know in my heart is a thing of the past, one of those darn “Learning Experiences” that gets us to our next level, but are soooo grossly unpleasant while we’re in the midst of them.

Anyone who knows me now doesn’t really believe I was ever like that, or capable of such nonsense. Like I said, I was as shocked as anyone. And yet I remember talking to a beautiful, positive, light-filled friend who worked at our town’s library one day, who was around 40 years old, so had a bit more experience than I did in motherhood, marriage, and life. I was feeling especially vulnerable that day, especially broken, and she caught me off guard with a kind comment.

I felt tears burning behind my eyes as I softly said, “I don’t know, I’m just so…so…ANGRY all the time…”

She looked me square in the eyes and said, “Yeah, that happened to me, too, when I was about 32.” (I was 33 when she told me this.)

I didn’t believe her. She was literally one of the gentlest, kindest spirits I knew. But she told me enough of her own experience to convince me she had indeed gone through something similar, and there was hope for me. That maybe, just maybe, this was something bigger than me, some kind of hormonal female right of passage, that if I could only find a way to get through it, I could survive it…

Amazing Grace and Hallelujah, “The Way” came a few weeks later.

I went walking with another girlfriend, another radiant light-filled spirit, this one in her 50s. She, too, said she had a similar experience in her early 30s. She then recommended an audio book that would ultimately rock my world, or at least, my perception of it and my experience in it.

“Have you heart of Eckhart Tolle?” she asked. I said I hadn’t. “He’s got this book, The Power of Now, and it’s really quite wonderful. I would listen to it instead of reading it – he’s a different kind of guy, and I think the information he shares would best be received that way.”

I wasn’t a real big fan of audio books. Since I worked from home I didn’t have a daily commute, so chunks of time to just listen to some guy’s book wasn’t really something I thought I had available.

Still, there was something in her voice that got through to me. I went to the library, got it out, and popped it into my car’s CD player at my next opportunity.

When I first heard Eckhart’s voice, I busted out laughing. The only thing I could think of was every “Saturday Night Live” skit I’d ever seen mocking the New Age movement. Stuart Smalley came flying into my mind’s eye and would not leave.

My inner voice was literally heckling me like a boozed-up comedy club patron:

“Ha! Seriously? Is this what you’ve become? A pathetic mother and wife driving around in an SUV listening to some weird voice saying, ‘Tune Into the Now,’ complete with weird gong-bells and gaps of meaningful silence?”

Luckily, I trusted my older, wiser friend enough to tune out my inner heckler long enough to check out what Eckhart was saying. The funniest thing is, it was his strange and extremely serene New Age voice that kept me listening, despite my heckler. It was positively hypnotizing to me, mesmerizing…

And what he was saying changed me.

THE NOW.

“To make the journey into the Now we will need to leave our analytical mind and its false created self, the ego, behind. From the very first page of this extraordinary book, we move rapidly into a significantly higher altitude where we breathe a lighter air. We become connected to the indestructible essence of our Being, “The eternal, ever present One Life beyond the myriad forms of life that are subject to birth and death.” – from EckhartTolle.com

I still don’t know how I made it to 33 years old without ever really hearing much about The Now. In so many ways, it’s everything! (For a great summary of The Now as explained by Eckhart himself, check out this interview: “The Power of Now and the End of Suffering.”)

The signs of its importance were there, though.

Nine years before I was introduced to The Power of Now, I was working part time in a bookstore in Los Angeles. As would often happen in this environment, a passionate conversation erupted between a customer and me.

“Have you ever heard of the book Be Here Now, by Ram Dass?” he asked.

“Ram who?” was my response. He ran over to the philosophy section and grabbed this weird, dusty purple book off the shelf.

“You have to get this,” he said, shoving it at me. “This book changed my life. It will change your life, too. I guarantee it.” I was making a measly $6.75/hour in this store at the time (I was definitely not there for the money! Turns out this is where I met Allen, so fate wanted me there, but I digress…), and with my employee discount the book cost me just about an hour of my time. I shrugged and decided to trust this stranger’s opinion.

I got home and dove right into this bizarre tome. I had never seen anything like it before, nor have I since.

The first part was this autobiographical story about Ram Dass, formerly Richard Alpert, a Harvard psychiatrist-and-professor-turned spiritual leader whose story includes hanging out with Timothy Leary in the 1960s and stumbling upon his path to posterity by way of long-weekend acid trips in the name of science and academic discovery.

(Absolutely riveting, by the way…)

Alpert got to the point where he wanted to stay at the enlightened level without needing the drugs, so he went on a pilgrimage to India. (Again, too magnificently OUT THERE to pass up!) He learned so much, and his mind was so convincingly blown, he came back and started spreading the word of what he learned.

His message was this:

It’s all happening IN THE NOW. The secret to life, the universe, and everything as we know it is to BE HERE NOW.

The second section of this book appeared to be acid-infused doodles, ramblings, and swirling profundities on brown-bag-like paper. (Sooo, like, WOW, man. Right on…Peace!) The third section was a sort of step-by-step instruction manual for curious human beings called “Cookbook for a Sacred Life.” (Turns out this was an intro course to the Hindu religion, but I had no idea about that at the time.)

I was 25 years old when I was absorbing all this. While fascinating, most of it was simply over my head and beyond what I could handle then. However, it did introduce me to all the things that interest me now, and that have fueled the fires of my own tire-kicking journey of “Why are we here? What’s the point?” for the past 15 years.

So all this brings us to – surprise, surprise! – THE NOW.

THE NOW, where it’s all happening. Now, where I’ve just shared a few deeply personal stories and experiences, just in case someone reading this (YOU, perhaps?) needs to hear this and will be inspired and/or changed by any or all of it, like I did, like I was, when I first came to it.

NOW is where all the groovy stuff is. Seriously.

Worrying about the future is pointless, because the future doesn’t exist – you can only think about the future NOW. Obsessing over the past is useless, because it is nothing more than a memory – a memory you’re thinking about NOW. The ONLY thing that exists is this very moment, the one that’s happening to you RIGHT NOW. This is the way it always has been, and this is the way it always will be.

Right here. Right now. Nothing else exists. Honestly.

If you’re like me, you’ll fight this premise for quite some time, until you hear it from different angles and different sources, then play with it often enough that it sinks in. Sooner or later, you will see and feel the truth of this seemingly outrageous premise.

Fight it, question it, do whatever you need to do. All I ask of you is to ponder it, wonder about it, keep an open mind, and consider the Possibility of it any and every chance you get.

When it comes to blowing the roof off your own wild and wondrous Possibilities, being here Now, and harnessing the power of Now, is the grooviest thing you’ll ever do.

If this is resonating with you, get over your inner heckler and dive into the luscious and infinitely awe-inspiring NOW.

Whether it’s by way of Eckhart Tolle or Ram Dass or your own favorite NOW guru, learning about the head-smacking simplicity and utter magnitude of its impact – when you’re ready to learn it – will knock your socks off. It will rock your world. It will change everything you thought you knew about the world, and more importantly, what you thought you knew about yourself.

Let’s just say I haven’t thrown a butter knife across a room since I learned about the power of The Now, and THE ANGER has taken a permanent vacation from my mind and heart. Without a doubt, learning about how to understand, appreciate, and harness NOW – as a moment and a philosophy – has made me a better mom, wife, daughter, sister, business owner, friend, and human being.

For NOW, I am very, very grateful. And since NOW is all I have and all I’ll ever have, this is a wonderful, beautiful thing.

Check out the video for Day 25: The Now, with a special guest appearance from Rodney the Dinosaur!

 

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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!

 

Day 24: Fearlessness (Ha!) [31 Days of Possibility]

“True morality consists not in following the beaten track, but in finding the true path for ourselves, and fearlessly following it.” – Mahatma Gandhi

“Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.” – Marie Curie

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

You are going to die.

Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but someday. It’ll happen.

And guess what? I’m going to die, too.

I’m not saying this to depress us. I’m saying this because it’s not said out loud enough, and because of this, our fear of death dances around taunting us, hiding in our shadows, but never getting the attention it deserves, and thus becoming the annoying younger sibling who will bug us brilliantly and obsessively until we snap.

By doing our best to ignore death’s inevitability, as individuals and as a culture, we think we can escape it.

We can’t.

So I’m slapping it on the table in front of us. Yup, it’s true. You, me, we are going to die, someday.

That’s pretty much the worst thing that can happen, right? And it’s going to happen. So instead of fearing death, we can accept it now, and move on to the topic at hand…

Fearlessness. (Ha!)

When it comes to these 31 Days of Possibility, I’d say FEAR is the pink elephant in the room – False Evidence Appearing Real, as the popular acronym says.

Fear, fearlessness, and the giant gap in between these concepts – this is the subject on the table today.

“The enemy is fear. We think it is hate; but, it is fear.” – Gandhi

I’ve heard quite a few times over the years that the opposite of love is not hate, the opposite of love is fear. The first time I heard this, it really shook me. Yeah, I think it’s true! Fear IS the big, bad wolf of our beautiful POSSIBILITIES, and it must be stopped!

Fear is at the root of all unfilled dreams, most of our pain and suffering, and the lion’s share of our worries and sadness. Fear is such a wily and dastardly foe that most of us are afraid to even address it. Oh the irony! It lurks in the darkest corners of our minds and gets bigger and stronger the longer we ignore it. It’s the whisper that tells us we can’t do something, or we’ll embarrass ourselves, or we’ll [GULP] FAIL. And for some reason, we believe it. Year after year, lie after ridiculous lie, we hang our heads and hand Fear our power, and ultimately, our lives.

Heartbreaking. Totally and utterly heartbreaking, our relationship with fear is.

“So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt’s First Inaugural Address

FDR was right! Fear is a lily-livered leech, a Machiavellian parasite that unscrupulously hijacks one of our greatest strengths – our Imagination. Fear takes the best of our Imagination – our glorious ability to invent scenarios and stories and worlds on a whim and at will – and it throws in anything it can to keep us from changing, to keep us from moving forward, to keep us where we are because it is fueled by one belief: Change is bad, and the devil we know is better than the devil we don’t.

If our ego is the mafia of our minds, doing everything it can to keep the world it knows under control, under its rules, always ruling with that iron fist, then Fear is the big lug that does all the dirty work.

Our inner mafia does not want to play with or acknowledge our Possibilities.

Our Possibilities exist outside of our comfort zones. Anything could happen out there! The ego’s whole identity is wrapped up in staying the same, what is a known quantity, and how things are, in the most unthreatening one-dimensional box available. Fear keeps us semiconscious, even sound asleep, cowering from scenes and situations that will probably never, ever happen.

“Fear is not a trivial matter. In many ways, it restricts our lives; it imprisons us. Fear is also a tool of oppression. Because of fear, we do many harmful things, individually and collectively, and people who are hungry for power over others know that and exploit it. We can be made to do things out of fear.” – Judith Lief, Starting on the Path of Fear and Fearlessness

To make matters worse:

Fear expands to fill the space you give it.”

“Fear is a lot like the crap I have in my kitchen junk drawer. No matter how large or small the space, the minute I let my guard down the drawer fills with rubber bands, paper clips, broken tape dispensers, ballpoint pens, business cards, half-eaten chocolate bars and screwdrivers. I’ve discovered that junk and fear will fill up exactly as much real estate as I give them. If I’m not careful I’ll end up on an episode of Hoarders. So, I’ve learned to stick my fears in a tiny closet and I try to be ruthless about cleaning it out.” – Devon Corneal, “What I Know About Fear Now That I’m In My 40s” via HuffingtonPost.com

So, what could we possibly do to get a grip on our Fear? How about this advice from Bohemian-Austrian poet Rainer Maria Rilke:

“Let everything happen to you

Beauty and terror

Just keep going

No feeling is final”

Hmmmm. Could we do this?

Could we embrace the impermanence of things, see our lives for what they are, and ALLOW (and thus disempower) Fear? Could we do this because we’re so smart, and/or so experienced in life by now that we know by allowing Fear to flow through us – to let it rear its ugly head and then, when it sees no reaction, leave the scene – we could be free from its bony grasp once and for all?

The gesture of fearlessness is a simple gesture of accepting whatever there is. It’s not the “whatever” of adolescence, which combines “couldn’t care less” with a little bit of aggression. This “whatever” is the whatever of truth. Things happen because other things have happened. Karma is true. This is what’s happening in this moment. It can’t be other than this. This is what it is, and that truth is always soothing.” – Sylvia Boorstein, “The Gesture of Fearlessness and the Armor of Loving-Kindness

But…but…HOW?! How do we just LET GO??!!!

Turns out we could decide to enter The Cave of the Blue Dragon.

I found this bit of awesomeness on ShambhalaSun.com, a website focused on “Buddhism, Culture, Meditation, and Life.” Quite frankly, I don’t really understand where the author of the article got it – he says it’s from one of his favorite Zen koans, but I couldn’t find the thing online immediately, so I’ll have to trust him on this.

Still, the idea of this Blue Dragon’s Cave is too viscerally cool not to share…

“The cave of the blue dragon is ominous.

Only the fearless dare to enter.

It is here that the forest of patterns is clearly revealed.

It is here that the one ripe pearl is hidden.

The cave of the blue dragon is where we store all of our stuff—our psychological bilge, so to speak—and it’s very difficult to go there. It takes a certain degree of fearlessness to do that. The process of zazen engages that. It engages the fear, in order to empower fearlessness. When stuff comes up, we don’t use zazen as another vehicle for suppression. When something keeps coming up in meditation, that’s a signal that you need to deal with it. You need to process it. You need to process it thoroughly and fearlessly, to feel it and experience it, then let it go and come back to the moment.” – John Daido Loori, The Cave of the Blue Dragon

According to Wikipedia, “zazen” is considered the heart of Zen Buddhist practice. Zazen is “a meditative discipline practitioners perform to calm the body and the mind, and be able to concentrate enough to experience insight into the nature of existence and thereby gain enlightenment.”

Can meditation really put us on a path to Fearlessness, which is a path of our own exquisite freedom?

Signs point to “Yes.”

The question is, are we wiling to walk into our own Cave of the Blue Dragon? Are we willing to face our fears head on, see what they’re about, look them in the eye, thank them for their time, slap them on the back, and then LET. THEM. GO. ?

“When it comes to the fearless life, the divine gives nothing freely… save to those who freely give themselves to discovering the truth about their own fearless selves. The good news is that this supreme confidence and calm already lives within you, needing only your realization of its unshakable presence in order to empower you with the fearlessness you seek.” – Guy Finley, 7 Laws of Fearless Living, via HuffingtonPost.com

Jeez, we might as well check out the Blue Dragon’s Cave while we’re here. We might as well go after that one ripe pearl. It’s there – I know it’s there, and if you’re reading this, I bet you know it’s there, too. It’s there for us. Let’s grab it. Let’s say:

“Fearlessness. (Ha!)”

Might as well. We’re going to die someday anyway. Be a darn shame to waste a moment of our time here being afraid of anything else when that sucker’s the unavoidable truth of it all.

Might as well take Eleanor Roosevelt’s advice and “Do one thing every day that scares you.”  Might as well get over, by whatever means necessary, the small stuff that holds us back, so we can unleash our potential, and step into the magical, mysterious, ever-lovin’ world of our POSSIBILITIES!

Check out the video for Day 24: Fearlessness (Ha!) in the 31 Days of Possibility series!

 

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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!

Day 23: Belief [31 Days of Possibility]

“Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“Believe that with your feelings and your work you are taking part in the greatest; the more strongly you cultivate this belief, the more will reality and the world go forth from it.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

“Some things have to be believed to be seen.”  - Madeleine L’Engle

We have traveled over, around, and through some fantastic territory already during these 31 Days of Possibility. And to be honest, there have been many times where I thought I’ve figured out the answer, the key, to busting through our own limits, and more importantly, to exploring, accessing, and expanding our own infinite and wondrous POSSIBILITIES.

From Vision and Passion and setting our Mindset to one of Vigilant Positivity, to the life-changing effects of practicing Gratitude as often as we can – all of these things – all of them! – are essential to the growth and amplification of our divine gifts, power, and Possibilities.

Yet today, today’s topic, today’s theme, may just be the motherload. We may have reached the zenith of The Truth, once and for all.

Today, we bring to the forefront the magic and might of BELIEF.

According to Wikipedia (a perfectly reliable and accurate source of information if there ever was one, ha ha), “Belief is the psychological state in which an individual holds a proposition or premise to be true.”

A lot of people think we’re born into our belief systems. The thinking goes that, for the most part, our Beliefs are determined by our haphazard geography – where and how we’re raised, and by whatever type of social structure that’s most present and influential in our young lives.

But in this short hyper-focused time I’ve had to dive into the behemoth that is Belief, I will tell you my heart is racing, my insides are vibrating, and it feels like my soul is pounding out of wherever our souls like to hang out.

Why? Because the common assumptions about Belief simply aren’t true.

Our core Beliefs are buried deep in our subconscious. They profoundly influence who we think we are, and even more, who we think we can become. These deep-rooted Beliefs wind up not just informing the world around us, but truly determining our lot in life, literally our environment, and what we do with it and in it.

This is a big deal, because our Beliefs are the gatekeepers of our Possibility.

They are the bouncers of our Ultimate Possibility Party. They are the things that either allow us to pass through to the life of our dreams, or they keep us playing small, spiritually bankrupt, in pain, unfulfilled, and all the while thinking we don’t have a choice.

We do have a choice. Biologically, energetically, scientifically – we have a choice.

I’d like you to meet a man named Bruce Lipton.

Bruce spent decades of his life as a respected and ambitious cellular biologist. He’s a former medical school professor and research scientist. For most of his career, he operated under very rigid scientific principles, and a core set of assumptions that his very smart and esteemed colleagues and communities have accepted as truth for some time now. Namely, that the nucleus is the brain of a cell, and the information in that brain determines the cell’s function and destiny.

Turns out this is completely wrong!

It’s the MEMBRANE, not the nucleus, that is the “brain” of the cell.

Why is this important? Because cell membranes have receptors that assess and process the environment in which they live, and it’s this information – the PERCEPTION of the environment – that determines the fate and fortune (or misfortune) of the cell.

We humans are nothing more or less than 50 trillion cells. We – our lives, our “realities” – are a product of these Perception Receptors. Our PERCEPTIONS, which are essentially our BELIEFS, create our reality.

“The way we SEE life, the way we RESPOND to life, changes our genetics and behavior, and also affects the way we live into this world.” – Bruce Lipton

Here, let Mr. Lipton explain it to you himself in this three-minute video, which you can also find on the homepage of his website, BruceLipton.com:

 

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If you’re curious to go deeper, to learn more about this, I strongly recommend Mr. Lipton’s book, The Biology of Belief, Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter, & Miracles. It’s an utter and complete paradigm shifter.

If reading isn’t your thing, but you think you could spare a little over an hour to unlock and absorb the secrets of the Belief universe, check out this presentation on YouTube: Biology of Belief – by Bruce Lipton (full documentary).

“You need to believe in things that aren’t true. How else can they become?” – Terry Pratchett

Now maybe, for whatever reason, you’re still on the fence about how important Belief is in the scheme of expanding and amplifying your magnificent Possibilities. Never fear! I’ve hand-selected some pretty compelling people and resources to get you excited and inspired about exploring your Beliefs, re-evaluating the ones guiding your life and results so far, getting rid of the ones that no longer serve your Vision, and adopting ones that’ll unleash your AWESOMENESS, once and for all.

“Believing takes practice.” – Madeleine L’Engle

The first video you simply must check out if you’re into following the mischievous and elusive White Rabbit that is Belief is a fabulous vintage seven-minute video of Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich. The video is a fantastic summary of the tenets of his wildly popular book, complete with the exact step-by-step process of how to get everything you want out of life.

 

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“Whatever the mind can conceive and BELIEVE, the mind can achieve, regardless of how many times you may have failed in the past, or how lofty your aims and hopes may be.”  – Napoleon Hill

I especially love the beautiful expression of GRATITUDE Hill shares at the end of that video, which he says will seal the deal of your heart’s desires for you if you say it consistently after his manifestation process. Here it is, if you want to read it aloud, just to feel it on your own tongue:

“I ask not, oh Divine Providence, for more riches, but more wisdom with which to accept and use wisely the riches I received at birth in the form of the power to control and direct my mind to whatever ends I desire.”

Did you feel it? Did it feel silly, or powerful? Are you willing to give it a try? I know I’ll be making it a habit as soon as I can stick it in my cheesecloth-like memory!

Hill’s conviction in that above video, as well as his history with mega mogul Andrew Carnegie, PLUS the 20 years it took him to interview the 500 millionaires that informed the Think and Grow Rich philosophies, is all I need to BELIEVE. :)

“No one’s ready for a thing until they believe they can acquire it. The state of mind must be BELIEF, and not mere hope or wish.” – Bob Proctor, paraphrasing Napoleon Hill

The next guy I’d like to throw in front of you is Bob Proctor.

I first learned about Bob Proctor from The Secret, and since then I’ve heard many people tell me he’s a guy who knows what he’s talking about. In the video below, Mr. Proctor talks about our Belief Systems, and ends with a flair:

“Let me leave you with this idea: Who are you? Find out who you are, and [FINGER SNAP] just like that, take control of your life.”

 

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“The moment we believe that success is determined by an ingrained level of ability, we will be brittle in the face of adversity.” – Josh Waitzkin, via Eduardo Briceno’s TEDx Talk, “The Power of Belief – Mindset and Success”

Finally, I have to share a snippet I caught from the King of Self-empowerment himself, Mr. Tony Robbins.

“If you honestly BELIEVE in your own capabilities – your capabilities to learn, to change, to adapt, to expand, to achieve personal breakthroughs – then your possibilities in life are literally unlimited. And you know what? You’ll find references to back this up, to make yourself feel even more certain. And all personal breakthroughs, we must remember, begin with a change in our beliefs.” –Anthony Robbins, The Power of Belief

I’d love to know what you think of any or all of these ideas, people, and resources. Does this resonate with you? Did anything click? Are you at least motivated to do a little research on your own? Boy, I hope so…

If you’ve got your own sources and recommendations about Belief and Possibility, by all means, please share them below in the comments!

Meanwhile, check out the video for Day 23: Belief

 

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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!

“If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough.” - Meister Eckhart

“Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.” – John Milton

Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.” – Brian Tracy

I woke up this morning with the urge to cry in the back of my throat.

I wasn’t sad – I was grateful. Wildly, wholly, deeply, fiercely, terrifically grateful.

First, I knew this was the day in these 31 Days of Possibility specifically intended to celebrate the power of GRATITUDE. (That sure helps!)

More than that, though, I was struck by how important my heart knows Gratitude is to living a happy, healthy, and fulfilled life, and how lucky I am that I created this special opportunity to really immerse myself into the awesomeness of it.

When we shift into a spirit of Gratitude, we become a self-feeding machine of perpetual love, grace, awareness, humility, humanity, and yes, POSSIBILITY.

But what IS Gratitude?

“Psychologists view [gratitude] as being able to maintain a world view that appreciates the positive. That may sound like optimism, but unlike simply expecting the good, “appreciation” requires recognizing that happy outcomes are not just the result of your own hard work or moral uprightness, but depend on the efforts of others and, for the more spiritually-minded, on divine providence as well.” – Maia Szalavitz, Why Gratitude Isn’t Just for Thanksgiving

So Gratitude is a feeling and a state of being…

And it’s also an active decision to consider LIFE in all its flawed and wondrous glory.

When we put our big girl panties on and take a moment to absorb our lots in life through the lens of Gratitude, we boost our chances of touching the miracle of simply being here, alive, exactly as we are, where we are, and who we are.

Gratitude begets gratitude. Paying attention to our blessings and taking the time to SEE and FEEL all the gifts we’ve been given makes us realize just how often so many of our gifts and blessings go unnoticed and underappreciated.

“Gratitude is the sign of noble souls.” – Aesop

Dr. Emiliana Simon-Thomas, the science director of UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, says studies consistently show that people who keep a gratitude journal are 25 percent happier than those who don’t. “The people who did the gratitude [journal] showed increases in happiness, reductions in stress, reductions in vulnerability to physical symptoms, such as headaches,” she says.

In his passionate article and videos about “Why Gratitude Is Good,” Robert Emmons, “the world’s leading scientific expert on gratitude,” says Gratitude has the power to heal, to energize, and to change lives.

“I think gratitude allows us to participate more in life,” says Emmons. “We notice the positives more, and that magnifies the pleasures you get from life.”

“The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

Like sooooo many teachers and thought leaders from a huge array of academic disciplines and spiritual walks of life (I first heard it from Oprah), Emmons recommends keeping a Gratitude Journal, a simple list of five things you’re grateful for every day, or even every week.

“It helps guard against taking things for granted,” explains Emmons. “Instead, we see gifts in life as new and exciting. I do believe that people who live a life of pervasive thankfulness really do experience life differently than people who cheat themselves out of life by not feeling grateful.”

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” – Gilbert K. Chesterton

As luck would have it, so would I. Now, that is…

I’ve got to be honest – the first 2 or 12 or 257 times I heard about the power of Gratitude, I couldn’t hear it. How could obsessively saying “Thank you” lead to incredible personal transformation? Isn’t that just what your mother taught you to say when someone held the door for you?

But then I tried it, more than a decade ago. I grabbed a journal, and started writing five things I was grateful for every day. My only rule for myself was that I couldn’t repeat something I wrote before. (This was so I didn’t get lazy about being grateful. I’m silly like that.)

Pretty soon I started going through my day amazed at how many things were worth noting in the journal. “Oooh, I’ll have to remember to jot that down!” I’d say when I hit a series of green lights on the way to an appointment, or when a cashier opened up a new register at the grocery store, or when my husband surprised me with the new Alanis Morissette CD.

Suddenly it seemed my whole life was filled with cool surprises, gifts of all shapes and sizes, and seeds of happiness I never really noticed before.

It truly is a powerful and fast-acting life booster!

“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.”  – Eckhart Tolle

Over the years, my practice of keeping a Gratitude Journal has been utterly imperfect. But one thing’s for sure – my life is definitely happier and my headspace is better when I’m keeping one.

These days fairly regularly, I maintain my practice on my iPhone with a fun little Gratitude Journal app by Happy Tapper. I can add photos to my entries, too, which gives me a really cool scrapbook of gratitude-infused memories – another gift that keeps on giving!

When I’m really on it, I’ll have my sons write five things they’re grateful for in their journals. Or rather, my 10 year old writes in his journal, while I take dictation for my 5 year old. From play dates to video games to pizza to weekends to karate lessons to a long list of friends and family members, once they get in the flow, there’s no stopping what they can come up with on their own. It does a Mama’s heart good, and always gives me more to add to my own list.

If you’re like me and you have to hear about the power of Gratitude from a bunch of different sources, from a slew of different perspectives, before you jump onto the Gratitude Bandwagon with both feet and a sassy smile, here are a few great quotes I’m hoping will do the trick faster for you:

“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

“Got no checkbooks, got no banks. Still I’d like to express my thanks – I’ve got the sun in the mornin’ and the moon at night.”  – Irving Berlin

“The unthankful heart discovers no mercies; but the thankful heart will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings.” – Henry Ward Beecher

“One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.” – Carl Jung

Thich, Irving, Henry, and Carl are pretty convincing, don’t you think?

“He who does not reflect his life back to God in gratitude does not know himself.” – Albert Schweitzer

Practice gratitude. Be grateful. Know yourself. You are the bee’s knees. You are the cat’s meow. You’re truly, completely, unconditionally one of a kind. You’re the one bringing attention to this moment, right here, right now. It’s all about you. It always has been, and it always will be.

Thank you!

Check out the video for Day 22: Gratitude, in these 31 Days of Possibility!

 

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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!