Believe In Bunnies

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Believe Coaching

Yes, You Can.

If you’ve scrolled social media at all today, it’s likely that you’ve seen a motivational quote or 2 or 200. Maybe you have a cute wooden sign hanging in your living room with a positive affirmation on it.

Perhaps you have sticky notes hanging around your workspace with your goals, your mantra, your ways of being written boldly in marker. I look up from my keyboard and see a hot pink Post-it that says, “I don’t allow any interferences.”

Those who scoff at affirmations, at power phrases, at positive quotes just haven’t experienced the magic… yet. Remember, dear readers, that a belief is simply a thought you’ve had on repeat so much that it embedded itself into your subconscious.

The same way you can tell a lie so much that you believe it yourself, you can make a truth come to life. You think, then you believe, then you live whatever you choose to plant into your subconscious mind. It’s time to consciously harness that power and choose the thoughts you truly want. Those thoughts flow into beliefs and those beliefs shape your existence.

You’re 42% more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down. Please keep in mind that achieving your goals is not like buying a snack from a vending machine; you don’t press the button and what you want flies straight down to you. Ah… maybe I can play with this simile… maybe this is like a vending machine but sometimes the machine won’t take your dollar right away. Sometimes you have to find a crisper bill or some coins. Sometimes the item gets stuck and you have to shake the machine carefully because you’ve heard that 2 people, on average, are killed vending machines yearly (Disclaimer: Believe In Bunnies does not advocate for shaking vending machines or any large machinery). Sometimes you press the wrong button. Sometimes you find change left over from the person before… jackpot!

Marie Forleo writes, “The clearer you are about what you want to figure out, the better chance you have of actually doing it. Clarity equals power.” So, grab that journal and take yourself on a dream walk. As succinctly as you would press B6 to get a bag of pretzels, write the exact thing(s) that you want. Envision it. Write it multiple times a day. Create affirmations and stick those up on the wall or paint them on a pretty sign. Take those moments of downtime to scroll less and visualize with intention more. Marie Forleo goes on to say, “Once you clarify and commit to a dream, mysterious forces begin to stir that would otherwise remain inert.” From those two quotes alone, you know you want to grab Marie’s book Everything is Figureoutable, because it is a solid guide to putting your great ideas into action.

Whose dream are you living? And even if you don’t crave change, are you feeling your best today? If you’re not, well, why not? And what can you do to feel just one notch better? Or get one step closer to a life that feels right for you? Yes, you can. Yes, you can. Yes, you can.

I believe in you… and it’s time that you believe in you too. Let’s do this together.

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Believe Coaching Teacher Life

Default: I Don’t Know

Instant gratification… every answer literally at our fingertips…

We need not retain or think or reflect or discover and when we do, there’s often some glorious person, standing on the sidelines, judging us as weird or a know-it-all or special for having a deep interest, a passion, as sense of curiosity.

I’m reminded of mic-drop moment that Earl Nightingale shares in The Strangest Secret… that men simply do not think.

Please—we’re saying men here in generality. Substitute in “people” before you start man-bashing (or not… it’s your brain).

I watch this phenomenon in my teenage students. When faced with a task or question, they click into “I don’t know” and give up mode immediately. They don’t give themselves moment or several moments to process, think, consider or get curious.

It’s just “I don’t know” and abandon.

I don’t accept that. I reject that and guide them to choose again.

From there, I watch the look of relief and burgeoning confidence.

This happens, almost without fail, when I ask my freshmen to create accounts on a website our school uses to check the originality of their essays. They type in the web address just fine. I show them where the “Create Account” button is… and then they slam on the brakes. “I don’t know what to do here” is the default response for some because, although they are the most internet-savvy generation, they haven’t necessarily registered for something academic, formal, something with “security questions.” They want to give up and they let distraction kick in right away before curiosity and inquiry. It’s easier to just click over to another website than to take 30 seconds to figure this out.

I never yell. I don’t get frustrated. I don’t fill out the registration for them. I sit down beside every student who slips into default give-up mode and say something along the lines of, “I know that you’ve used websites before where you’ve had to log in. I know that if the hottest pair of sneakers was on the other side of this instead of a plagiarism checker, you would fly right through these fields and questions. You already know how to do this. Show me. Prove me right.” I’ve never met a student who couldn’t complete this task. Some need guidance or more time and I readily give them help. But they can all figure it out.

In little moments like this, it would be easy to just yell, “Do it!” or create the account for them… or give them a zero for not having an account. But this way uncovers a channel in their brains, clears the brush from the default path and reminds them that they can. These moments compound to empowerment, resilience, and autonomy that is often overlooked in the default ways we learn to do things.

 

How often do you, dear readers, stop before you even start? Talk yourself out of trying something new, a recipe, an activity, a training, because it’s unfamiliar?

Sure, it’s easy and comfortable to stay right where you are… but you can’t grow there. And I know that you have some amazing feats to tackle and gifts to share.

Working to shift the default from “I don’t know” to “Let’s figure this out!”

Learning… unlearning… relearning.

Much love.

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Believe Coaching Purpose

Cheers.

I don’t journal daily. I vision cast and write about my goals and the movement I’m forging alongside you beauties but I don’t write about my day or my feelings with consistency… except here.

I do keep a precise calendar. You can’t manage time but you can manage activity. You’ve heard me say before that I would make a great personal assistant… and I am a great one, to myself.

As I sat down to write to you today, I flipped through the 52 weeks of 2019 in my calendar. I looked over everything I did and everything we did together, dentist appointments to yoga classes, coffee dates to Iconic and Young Living Convention. The year whipped by and, boy did we get a lot done!

My vision, what I’m working towards, what I’m “getting done” but will never actually be done, is to help people work through the pressure and develop themselves fully to in turn better serve themselves, their families and their communities. I work to reaffirm to you that you matter, that you spend so much time and energy supporting everyone around you– it’s time to support yourself! I work to slow down and surrender on my own journey, to “do” less and go deeper… for me, with you, for every being.

You can set a resolution. You can write down a goal. You can put down those practices as trivial and useless.

Or you can join me in the movement.

As I crack the spine on my 2020 calendar, I’m inspired… inspired to see and to hear about the peace you are bringing into your daily routines. I am eager to hear about the milestones you reach and the new goals you set for yourself as you find and use those beautiful metaphorical wings that have been poised to open up for so long now. I sit here motivated to serve, to support, to light the way for you, especially in those moments where the darkness creeps in.

And mostly I sit in gratitude, as many of you reading this light the way for me so very often.

I’ll grab a pencil when I’m done here today and start to fill in some magic for 2020 on the calendar. I’ll also grab my treasured teal marker and circle July 18, 2020… you can do the same and then smile with anticipation to find out why… I love a teaser!

In the meantime, take this as full permission to take care of yourself. You don’t have to wait until the clock strikes midnight on Tuesday into Wednesday. You can start this very moment. Chances are you’ve already started, so take this as a moment to re-up, step up and shine. Dream big and know I am here to walk the path with you. Let’s shine together.

Cheers to another magical year. Much love!

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Believe Coaching Energy Purpose

Want & Feel

I’m going to push you today.

I was on a call with my coach on Friday and she presented us with an idea that has been swirling around my head ever since:

Are you doing what you want or are you doing what you feel like?

Follow me here… because those two things often aren’t the same, particularly if you’re not getting the results you want in your personal or professional life.

You want toned abs. You feel like lying on the couch and watching season 5 of Schitt’s Creek again. So you lie on the couch. You tear up when David and Patrick get engaged. You look down at your belly and the thoughts flood in: I’ll never have the body I want. I can’t. I won’t. I don’t. I’m so lazy. I’m so this, that, whatever. Maybe the thoughts go into outside blame: this diet/exercise program doesn’t work. I don’t have time. I don’t have help.

And so it goes.

But in reality, dear ones, the external factors are controlled by you. You chose to do what you felt like rather than take a step toward what you say you want. No judgment. Nothing “wrong” with that… just getting aware.

I’ll run another scenario for you: You want more organization in your home. You feel like you have to go to your friend’s whatever party. And you don’t feel like paying someone to help you get organized.

So you chose to spend your time at and your money on what you think you should (or shouldn’t) and, again, you don’t get what you want.

One more scenario. I’m trying to connect with all of you here.

You want a romantic relationship. You don’t feel like meeting new people. You don’t feel like “putting yourself out there.”

Another week/month/year goes by. You don’t get what you think you want because you’re choosing to do what you feel like rather than go toward what you want.

 

And I get it. A lot of the things that we want are big, scary, out of our comfort zones, require us to stretch and change… so we sit in the pocket of what we feel like rather than aligning what we feel and what we want to achieve.

A lot of these things that we want require or simply come to us with more ease if we ask for or pay for help, but we feel like we shouldn’t be vulnerable or shouldn’t spend our money this way.

I said I was going to push you today, so here it goes. Today, just get aware of what you want, what you feel and what you’re doing. You don’t have to make a change, unless you’re called to do so. Just examine it today.

I suspect there are some really bright light bulbs going off for you.

If you’ve gained any awareness today, email me: believeinbunnies@gmail.com

I’d love to hear your stories!

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Believe Bunnies Coaching Energy Purpose Rescue Teacher Life

I’m Not Busy

Don’t get me wrong—there’s lots of activity happening at headquarters but I do not feel busy.

Last week, a dear friend posted a graphic on Facebook, prompting scrollers to describe her life using only GIFs. I have a GIF obsession, so of course I was into this. For this friend, I posted a Green Acres GIF (don’t be surprised that those are sparse) because she’s a Glamazon who lives on a farm.

Several dozens of us reposted the graphic for ourselves. I was having a Valerie Cherish moment, so I picked GIFs from The Comeback for most. Then I waited for mine to roll in.

Of course, most featured rabbits (side note: that overly populated “rabbit island” in Japan isn’t cute to me—those poor rabbits have no care, no food and no shelter. But I know your intention in posting that one wasn’t bad!) and some others featured a theme of Zen, rainbows, unicorns and yoga mats. Then, there were the ones that got me: the ones that looked or even said chaos or chaotic.

Radical honesty: my life does not feel chaotic from the inside. And I sincerely hope I don’t portray that it is chaotic or unmanageable.

I used to feel tired all the time. I used to feel like I had no time for anything, like I was always busy, like there wasn’t enough time in a week to do what I had to do in a day. Ironically, that was when I was working one job, living with my family and not volunteering. I perceived my daily life as one of overwhelm and exhaustion. It didn’t help that I was hanging around with a lot of people who spun that same story in their lives, doing little more than just getting by, complaining the whole way through.

Now, I don’t feel busy because I am clear on what I am doing, why I am doing it and I am faithfully judicious with my time. Time hasn’t changed. I’ve learned to manage my activities. My Green Acres Glamazon is the one who taught me that you can’t manage time but you can manage activity. But even before I knew it in those terms, I was making it happen. The key, for me, is routine and consistency. It’s setting up systems to make it all work with efficacy and ease. I now work that same job, run two businesses, volunteer daily, co-manage a household and sleep 8+ hours a night. I don’t say this to impress you; I say this to impress upon you that you can feel at ease and get it all done. Manage the activity. The time is going to flow on its own.

A typical weekday looks like this for me:

4:30 am: Meditate, write, reflect, sometimes yoga

5:15 am: Get ready for work

6:45 am -2:30 pm: Work the day job

3:30 pm: Reflect, regroup, straighten up the house

4:30 – 7:30 pm: Volunteer work, business work

8:00 pm: Sweet dreams, babies.

 

With routine, I can get everything done and feel a flow, feel at ease. There are days that vary from the quick list above, for sure. Things come up but since I have a solid routine that works for me (my way is not for everyone!) I’m able to manage special events, the unexpected or whatever else life can throw at us.

I know many of you, dear readers, are still retching at the thought of getting up at a time that begins with a 4, unless it’s to catch an early flight somewhere. You don’t have to follow my way! This is what works for me. I am far less effective at anything I attempt to do, particularly writing and “brain work” in the evening. Remember there’s nothing wrong or weird about being a night owl or an early bird. Know thyself and soar.

I promise that there’s little chaos, and when it does creep in, I know how to breathe, step away and manage it. You too can feel at ease and feel like you’re getting it all done, whether you do one thing or all the things. Overwhelm and exhaustion does not have to be your story any longer.

 

Ready to set up your routine? I’m here.

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Believe Coaching Energy Healing Purpose

Spirit Junkie Live, Part 1

I had the blessing to work with one of my greatest teachers Gabby Bernstein earlier this month. I got that blessing by saying yes to what my heart and mind called for, rather than make excuses or sit on the curb, eating a plant-based sandwich, watching opportunity cruise on by.

You gotta go for it, my friends. Buy the ticket. Get on the train. Sign up for the course. Just go for it. The resources are there. They’re wherever they are now… and they are on their way to you, if you truly align with your desire (and if you’re already lost, it’s time to set up a call with me!).

To sit in the audience and be led by Gabby is nothing short of magic. Loyal readers know I’ve written about this several times (and expect more because we have VIP tickets to Gabby’s Super Attractor book tour in NYC next month). So, dear ones, here are my three bestest takeaways from the morning session of Spirit Junkie Live.

  1. Confidence comes from my ability to rely on a power greater than me.

Gabby opened up the morning with an anecdote about confidence, weaving the tale to define confidence as I’ve noted above. Often we mistake dominance or showing off for confidence. The loudest person in the room isn’t the most confident. We know this logically, but emotionally or subconsciously, we sometimes find ourselves playing small or leaving the situation entirely when the loud one starts up.

Reprogramming time: Let them do their thing and you do yours with your quiet, humble, calm confidence. You got this… and you don’t need to scream or overshare about it.

  1. Sometimes you have to show up broken.

Real talk. No filter. Zero Fs. All of these colloquialisms we use… and then we hide our reality in shame. We only post perfectly staged pictures. We back out of commitments if we aren’t at perfection. We hide our tough times, even from our inner circle. Gabby said, “Don’t be ashamed of your difficult times. It’s a disservice to the world when we allow our shame to keep us silent.”

Reprogramming time: Get real with yourself first, then release and share when you are ready. Let go of the need to call yourself stupid and feel embarrassed if you took your receipt but left your purchases on the counter at Staples on Thursday (me). Now, I know that’s not technically a broken moment… but I felt ashamed when that happened. I’m the one who teaches people to pay more mindful attention to their lives and I was so distracted that I left my construction paper and markers (I swear I teach high school) on the counter. I felt so dumb that I almost didn’t go back for the stuff. I seriously contemplated leaving it, even knowing in my conscious mind that no one in Staples knows or cares who I am and that leaving something behind is not a big deal. At all. But the thought of going back triggered my need to appear a certain kind of put-together.

I used my coaching skills on myself, talked it out with my best friend and ultimately went back to the store. The action of picking up the purchase was nothing— the broken was in the mind-mess that cropped up. I’m certainly not “fixed” now, but I feel like a piece was put into place by the mind work that happened around this moment.

  1. Scarcity of any commodity is an illusion.

This gem of wisdom came from Gabby’s coach Rha Goddess. We are abundant, people! Stop feigning like you don’t have time, like you can’t sleep, like there isn’t enough money. When you rock that mindset, more scarcity comes to you. We are programmed to be busy, tired and broke… but Rha said that’s all an illusion and if you’ve ever heard Rha speak, you know that her words are truth.

Reprogramming time: Pick one area where you feel lack or scarcity. Take an honest look at what you have in that area and if it really needs change for you to feel better and function better. Start with affirmations. Then, maybe you’ll incorporate habit changes and formation. Like everything else, this starts in the mind, in believing you can. Rolling your eyes? Feeling defeated? Then it’s definitely time to schedule that call with me.

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More from Spirit Junkie Live soon. Much love.

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Believe Bunnies Energy Healing Purpose Rescue

Why I Stopped Eating Meat…

and why I’ll never bug you to do the same.

You know those memories that are like movies in your head? This is one for me.

I was standing at the counter of the kitchen/living room/bunny room combo in our first house, sometimes referred to as The Little House. I was cutting a packaged chicken breast and I stopped. I looked over my right shoulder at our boy Tater Tot, our first born. The thought flashed through my mind: Why am I spending all of my free time saving one and now I’m slicing and eating another?

Taking meat out of my diet never, I mean never, occurred to me. Paradigm, our mental programming, has meat as a part of our diets. That’s just what we eat, right? I never thought about it beyond flavor and enjoyment before. It never had a face before.

At the time, I was volunteering for maybe a year or two with the Long Island Rabbit Rescue Group. At this point, I was spending 7 or more hours per week volunteering, between answering emails and phone calls, covering shifts at foster homes and other various tasks. In addition to working full-time, 7 hours is a big chunk of “free time”—that’s more time than I was watching shows on Bravo in a week! So, there I was at the counter, one hand on the chicken breast, one hand on the knife, one heart and one mind at a turning point.

From that day, I gradually removed animal products from my diet. First went the white meat, anything remotely resembling the little loves we rescue. Then, everything else started to go. I just didn’t want it anymore—just didn’t make sense for me anymore. I could no longer make a value distinction between a dog and a cow, between a rabbit and a chicken, between a cat and a pig. I value them all the same now.

And that’s just the thing. I value them… my values. And my values do not have to be yours. I will never bug you to eat the way I do. I would have never made this change and definitely would not have stuck with it so faithfully if I didn’t have a meaningful reason, a true “why” behind it all. Please, do what feels right for you. Eat foods and make choices that take you to the best version of you, that make you feel happy and energized. If you are eating something that causes you physical pain afterward, it might be time to put that down and make a different choice. And that applies to what it is and to quantity!

Making the change to a plant-based diet was far less difficult than the paradigm will have you believe. And I’m happy I made my transition before this influx of processed “vegan junk food” hitting the mainstream shelves now. Delicious, sure… but not necessarily nutritious. My label-reading-ninja skills come into play with food as much as they do with personal care and household products.

Living my life my way… and always respecting your choice to live your life your way. That’s really all it is. That’s simply why I’ll never bug you to stop eating meat, to foster an animal, to do anything that you’re not necessarily interested in doing. Trust, I am nothing but delighted when I hear that someone is making a choice that honors the life of a living thing, but I know darn well that if anyone tried to force this way of eating and thinking on to me, it would have been repulsive. To paraphrase my coach Melissa, people don’t dislike change but people do not like to be changed. And to quote the guru James Hetfield, “Life is ours… we live it our way.”

Much love.

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Believe Coaching Energy Healing Purpose

Now Read This!

My dream life, which I live from time to time and will live full-time some day, consists of coffee, quiet, sunshine and reading. I’m often asked for book recommendations and am known to ask people what they are reading.

“What are you reading?” will be a standard question on the talk show I’ll have some day.

As Summer Denise gets extra time to turn the page, I thought this is the perfect time to share three must-reads from my mental list of approximately 6 million books that I think everyone should read!

  1. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

Have I gifted you a copy? If we are close in real life, I probably have. This little book is such a life-changer. The content, the agreements, are so straightforward that you almost feel like you must be missing something when you first read it. You are not missing anything—these truly are four simple agreements that, when you hold them with yourself, your life just feels lighter and better. The people around you will notice it too.

If you’re not super-spiritual, fret not. I think of this book as entry-level spirituality. And I’ll be surprised if you only read it once.

  1. The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein

Loyal readers, you knew Gabby would make an appearance on this list. She’s my teacher, my friend-in-my-head… I have the honor of working with her in person again next month and I’m beyond inspired. Her work has set me on this beautiful path of living in my authenticity and becoming one of the happiest people I know.

Recently, someone asked me how I first “found” Gabby and, while I pride myself on having an exceptional memory, this I cannot remember. I guess the universe just put her work in my path. I’m glad I listened.

  1. The Hours by Michael Cunningham

I had to get a work of fiction on here and this is one that has both literary merit and accessibility to the non-English major. It is also the only work for which I can say without hesitation that the movie is as good as the book. For real. So treat yourself to both.

 

Once you get through those three, let me know; I have 5,000,097 more books to recommend to you. Oh, and while I have you… what are you reading?

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angels Believe Coaching Energy Healing Purpose Teacher Life

My Wings

Sharing one of my most vulnerable and treasured stories, originally published by University of Wellness.

I am unafraid to talk about my struggles, probably because I don’t view them as struggles, problems, hurdles or even speedbumps. They are just factors of or moments in my journey.

Do you perceive a hurdle in the distance and just stop running, for fear that you won’t clear it?

Yes? Ah… that’s what those wings are for.

A surface view of my journey looks like a fairy tale, the only child with adoring parents who, after nearly 50 years together, still hold hands with each other. The girl with the solid upbringing in a safe, middle-class town, who attended a private university and soon after graduation landed a high school teaching job on Long Island, NY… cue the Happily Ever After music.

But that’s just the surface. Do you ever feel like what your life looks like on the outside doesn’t match how you feel on the inside?

A deeper dive into my journey reveals bouts of depression (common) and living someone else’s dream (even more common– am I right?!).  I’ve been working with my therapist since 2005, when I was student teaching. I couldn’t put my finger on the problem at the time– I was supposed to be so happy, so satisfied with how everything was falling into place in my life!– but my spirit was feeling the crush of living someone else’s dream. Even as I write this, the anxious lump in my throat is returning, the lump I lived with for decades.

I was tired all of the time. I was overwhelmed. I was unsure about what I was doing and why I was spending every waking hour doing it. I see you nodding along as you read this.

14 years later and I’m stepping into my greatness. I made the conscious choice to find a better way.

In therapy, the great and patient E. guides me as I work through the “stuff.” Because I’ve committed consistently to doing the work on myself, I feel better than I ever dreamed was possible.

Now I have energy. Now “stuff” feels manageable (and I know what to do and where to healthily turn when it doesn’t). Now I am sure. Now I know my dream.

I found my wings– they were back there the whole time! Are you ready to find your wings?

Enter coaching– a modality to help harness and implement my gifts. Just like my T-ball coach helped me learn to swing a bat at 5 years old, just like my senior English teacher taught me how to “show, don’t tell” in my writing, coaches I work with now help me align my gifts and my dreams. They help me set a plan for success and accountability. They help me clear a path to fly.

Now that I think about it, I am living a fairy tale– but for the fairy tale to feel “right,” I had to position myself as the hero. I am not a character in someone else’s story. And just like in the fairy tales of our youth, the hero soars when she lets others, in those stories talking squirrels or fairy godmothers, in my story, coaches, help her plan, execute and follow through.

Now I coach to pay forward the invaluable gift that was granted to me. I am committed to helping others find their true happiness.

Much love.

~Denise

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Believe Coaching Energy Purpose

We Need You.

Imagine if a flower decided not to bloom because there were so many other flowers in bloom already?

That doesn’t even make any sense, right?

So why are you holding back on your dream because someone else is “already doing it”?

Tell that to the four yoga studios in a two-block radius in the town just west of here. Tell that to the two dollar stores in one shopping center in the town just east of here.

Tell that to the four tattoo shops within a nine-minute drive or the over 25 nail salons (I stopped counting) in the town in which I grew up.

The world needs your gift.

The rest of this post is a Choose Your Own Adventure. If you know your gift/dream, keep reading. If you don’t know your gift/dream, scroll down to the next paragraph.

You know your gift/dream: I already told you that we need you. I believe in you (even if I don’t know you yet). But you have to believe in you. If you aren’t rocking that gift or living that dream, it is likely that there is fear holding you back. Yes, fear, even if it doesn’t feel like your typical definition of fear. I held back for so long (and still hold back in many ways) because I was afraid to leave what’s viewed as security, afraid of judgment, afraid no one would care. I got over that when I realized that judgment will happen and that helping even one being live a happier, safer, more purpose-drive life is worth the risks. Identifying those fears and finding courage through them takes daily work. Start by getting quiet with yourself and thinking about your “why nots.” If you need to talk through it, you know how to reach me.

You don’t know your gift/dream: Been there. We’ve all been there. I remember, clear as this beautiful June day, sitting on the living room floor in our previous house, feeling so empty because I didn’t know what I wanted or even, to some degree, what I liked. I asked the Universe for an answer. I listened for the answer and took action. If you would have told me then that I’d be doing any of the projects I’m rocking now… I would have insisted you were talking about another person, perhaps from another world. Oh, but this isn’t about me. Sorry. Only child syndrome. Your gift. Your dream. It’s in there. It’s just being bound and gagged by paradigm, by other people’s thinking, by what you think you should be doing. Time to break free. If you need to talk through it, you know how to reach me.

 

And here, my dear readers, the adventure does not end; we’ve only just begun. Go bloom. We need you.

 

 

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