Success is an Inside Job

5 Questions to Assess, Acknowledge,
and Celebrate your Life in 2018!

Youth strives for outer signs that
demonstrate success.
The sage sees success as an inside job
and has learned to value attitudes
rather than temporary trinkets.

If today you seek to increase your net
financial worth,
you may or may not succeed.
If today you seek
to increase your serenity and wisdom,
I guarantee you will succeed.
— William Martin, The SAGE’S TAO TE CHING

There’s really no magical line that denotes the end of one year and the rolling into the next, except those we’ve created on our calendar pages and spread sheets.

Yet many of us still focus on establishing a measuring stick for time. We engage in a variety of mental gyrations aimed solely at defining this year as a personal success or failure. Our judgement of the year is based on a metering system that evaluates our external world.

In the aftermath of the holiday season, whether we feel joy and peace, or exhaustion and relief, we find ourselves anticipating the promise of a fresh start.

To make any change or transformation, I know it is essential for me to first assess and acknowledge what is true for me now! I do that by shifting my attention within and asking myself questions. 

Self-inquiry (partnered with breath) is the most effective way I know to summon the clarity and guidance of my inner wisdom. The answers that come- help me discern, what about my Life expands me and what aspects have served their purpose and are ready to be shed.

I invite you to ask your inner sage to illuminate a new level of your awareness, to grant you love and acceptance, and to partner with you in the celebration of your Life as reflected in 2018.

Begin by looking at 2018 in retrospect. One at a time,
ask yourself each of the following questions out loud.
After you have asked, take in a deep breath
and be open to receive the answer
that comes with your exhale.



  1. Which of my personal accomplishments brought me the greatest satisfaction and self-respect?

  2. What discovery did I make about myself through my surrender to an aspect of my Life that was painful?

  3. What contribution did I make that elevated the Life of another?

  4. How did I demonstrate taking personal responsibility for my choices and behavior?

  5. As I acknowledge my abundant blessings, for which am I most grateful?


 Thank you for being part of my journey in 2018, for showing up
and for being you!

I wish you love and acceptance, Peace, Joy, and Harmony.

Listen for the Whisper

5 Questions to Ponder to Help you Navigate Holiday Energies

With a thousand different voices ringing in my ear
I listen for the whisper that only the heart can hear.
— Jana Stanfield

It’s that time of year when everything appears to accelerate even faster and Life’s chaos is expressed more fanatically than ever!

 It can be especially challenging to find the joy, love, and peace that I believe- are the true gifts of this season.

 Whether with family of origin or of choice, holidays can bring out the best and the worst of behaviors. The oughts and shoulds blare loudly from both outside and in, no matter how we might have grown or now live our daily lives.

A strange phenomenon occurs when we come together to celebrate holiday traditions. Stranger still, can be the experience we create for ourselves by the cyclic thoughts and triggered feelings of old wounds and beliefs of our past.

If you find yourself in secret agreement with me, know that there is hope for all of us! 

When I notice I’m getting sucked into the holiday frenzy, I remind myself of  the tools that can help me navigate this volatile period. There are things I can do to support myself and the experience I want to have.

Here are 5 questions I ask myself. Asking myself questions connects me with the heart of my best self. The whispered answers offer me courage, direction and support. All that is necessary is to give myself permission to show up and interact from this place.

 Try it for yourself: Ask yourself a question aloud, take a deep breath, and allow your answer to come with the exhale.

1)        What one thing can I do to demonstrate self-care?

Consider adding conscious periods (even moments) of Being Alone.

Escape to the outdoors, focus on the gifts of nature, Breathe in…Life.

Excuse yourself to the restroom if that’s what you can do! Give yourself a time out from people and situations that activate you. Take a breather/ break from any negative energy-  especially if that energy emanates from you. Do anything in the moment that shifts your focus to self-care!

 2)  What invitation or obligation can I graciously decline?

Saying yes when you really mean no - is one of the greatest ways you can sabotage your happiness and fuel your self-judgement. Without needing to figure out why you do it, could you honor your inner voice? It is enough to graciously decline without needing to offer excuses or explanations.

 3)  Where can I give of myself to others?

Giving of yourself does not mean depleting your gifts or ignoring what you value. Giving of things is rarely what brings Joy. And if it does, it is short lived. It is not the thing itself that generates a hold on our hearts, but the feelings and the act of sharing that continues to live on in our memories.

Look to see where you might give of yourself differently this year.

Be what you love and give that to others.

 4)  Which holiday tradition or activity do I choose to celebrate?

My Mother use to say that the holidays were “Moms Big Production.” Trying to do it all to please everyone can leave you exhausted and perhaps feeling resentful . Yet there are those specific traditions that fill your heart and represent what you love about the holidays. Give yourself permission to selectively choose to participate in those. Listen to the whisper to create new ways to celebrate and generate fresh joy in your holiday traditions.

 5)  Where can I accept and be compassionate with myself and others?

Most of our angst and hurt feelings come from unresolved issues and embellished memories of our past. So it’s easy to see how holiday events and reunions with families could naturally aggravate our bruises.

When we recognize that others might be having their own challenging and uncomfortable experience, our need to judge and resist them diminishes.

And when we let go of judging others, we feel less judged ourselves.

Choose to accept that everyone is doing the best they can in the moment, including you. Choose to be compassionate and discover ways to demonstrate that this season!

 With love & light, I honor the place where you and I are one.


Deliberate Effort

Your relief has come in response to some deliberate effort that you have offered. For when you are able to consciously find relief, then you have regained creative control of your own experience, and then you are on your way to wherever you wish to go.
— Abraham-Hicks

Whether it be an escape from a negative relationship, reassurance while taking a risk, or simply the alleviation of a persistent irritant, we all want to experience a sense of relief and freedom.

Yet rather than trust the clear voice of our intuition, its gift of Good Orderly Direction, we sometimes feign ignorance. We justify taking the easier, softer way. This particular path rarely makes us feel better or changes anything.

We lose sight of the direct correlation between our conscious participation and our ability to affect change. We fall into complacency and begin to complain that we are the victims of our situation.

The truth is we are not limited or immobilized by any circumstance. It is our state of mind and our need to judge, that has us believing we are powerless.

Gandhi tells us, “Happiness is when what we think, what we say, and what we do, are in harmony.”  

It is essential to actively take charge of our thoughts and the language we use with ourselves and others. It is our responsibility to be intentional in our actions, to listen to our inner guidance for our next right step!

We’ve got to roll up our sleeves and stay focused on what we want. When we stay the course and are willing to do what it takes to plow forward, new possibilities and rewards abound!

And here’s the really good news:  When we make conscious choices and take action that honors and respects ourselves, we create and set into motion ~ the highest and greatest good for all others as well.

Ponder This:

Where in your Life are you ready to consolidate your efforts to take back your creative control?

Consciously Unplug

Surrendering to what is… frees the answer to what’s next.
— Sambo Reigns

The last couple of weeks I found myself feeling assaulted and then defensive.

It’s my response to the disrespectful and negative energies being perpetuated onto our humanity and to our precious Mother Earth. 

Lives slaughtered, anger, resentment, and fear viciously demonstrated, is both senseless and incomprehensible. With each new account I began to feel more powerless and depleted. It was difficult to breathe.

In my every day activities I found an endless stream of fresh trash and garbage every where I went.  Whether at the Rec Center, the bike park, the grocery store parking lot, or Evergreen lake, there was a total disregard for personal responsibility and preservation.

I found myself disheartened by the dog poop and cigarette butts bordering all my favorite and familiar trails. The excess of it all snatched my attention and forced me to disconnect from the beauty that was still there, peaking through. 

I continued to pick up trash while making condescending remarks about the dog owners and the health of the nicotine addicts. At one point I found myself laughing at how awful this all was and then really “needing to do something” about it!

Finally I recognized what was happening. I saw that my focus on all this dark energy had distracted and derailed me. I saw that I was now resisting doing my own part and had joined the ranks of “feeling resentful and angry.”

Awareness is such a powerful ally! In this instance it stopped me in my tracks and demanded to be acknowledged. I took a long deep breath, regrouped and listened. Like a bolt of lightening, the next right steps were revealed to me. They immediately helped me realign with my serenity, gratitude and acceptance.

Try these 3 life-saving steps for yourself:

  1. Unplug from the hype. Whether it is the news, FB, email, criticism, or someone else’s drama ~ if it is unsettling, move away. Let go of being a captive audience. Unplug yourself from the connection! A client shared with me recently about her experience with listening to NPR. She said she had always enjoyed listening in until now. She found every time she tuned in these days, she felt anxious and frustrated. Rather than accompanying her while she worked, she found it to be distracting and uncomfortable.  She made a decision to just unplug for a few days. Good idea.
  2. Give Yourself a time out. Give yourself permission to sit this one out for a bit. What if you gave yourself an extra 5 minutes in the shower to luxuriate in the soothing water and your gratitude?  What if you just didn’t go to that event or party? How would it feel to stay home in your lounge wear? You could read, watch a movie, or even have a meaningful conversation with a loved one. What if you gave yourself permission to saunter rather than rush, just for now?
  3. Nurture in Nature. Mother Earth always has a way of comforting and healing us when we allow it. Walk out your door and head to the closest gathering of trees, water, or meadow that you can find. No iPod, headphones, or conversation. Look. Listen. Smell. Feel. Be one with nature and allow her grace to fill you up and bring you home. BREATHE in Life and remember who you are and what is true.

Whatever we are thinking and feeling in the moment are our predominant points of attraction. When we consciously shift our focus back to ourselves and our role in any situation, we can see the seduction of evil and release from it. We are free to choose how we contribute our loving, positive energy to the world.



What one action could you take to remove something in your environment that doesn’t contribute to your wellbeing?

If you choose, please share your action in the comments below.