Making deep change that sticks can feel like such a riddle, can’t it? Whether you’re focusing on your career, creativity, health, or personal growth, making progress can seem mysterious.
You hit the gym everyday for a week … then fall into an ice cream coma on the weekend. You resolve to keep your home tidy … then your in-laws visit and all hell breaks loose. Two steps forward, one step back.
I don’t think there’s any magic formula for making lasting change.
But over the last few years, I’ve noticed 4 essential steps that have supported my growth again and again. (And again.)
I’ve applied these 4 steps to two areas of my life that have been of predominant focus: my relationship to home and my relationship to money.
You see, over the last 5 years, I have done enormous amount of work around home and money. They have been my portals and training ground, where I have stretched myself, dug deep, grown, evolved, and made huge changes, inside and out. I have used these steps over and over … and continue to use them, today.
But before I get to these 4 steps, I want to give a loving mention to my dear friend, colleague, and guide through deep money work, Bari Tessler Linden. I want you to know about her amazing work because there is so much crossover between how she teaches about money … and how I teach about the home. We each have our unique methodology and style, of course — but at heart, we’re both doing ultra-deep work, with a focus on authenticity, meaning, and growth. If your ears perked up when you heard “working on your relationship to money,” check out Bari’s amazing Art of Money program (a year-long “money school”) right here.
As I have worked with my relationship to money and my relationship to home, I’ve been struck by how similar the process has been in each area: I always came back to the same four steps, over and over.
Here are the 4 steps I’ve used in my own life to grow, evolve, and ultimately change for the better in my relationship with money and home:
Step #1 – Awareness
Before we can move forward, we have to figure out where we are. Awareness is square one: get a Big Picture view of where we are, and where we’re going.
It’s wonderful to practice awareness when life is calm, but most of us are drawn into this kind of reflection during times of transition, life milestones, or crisis. It’s at these moments, when we’re called to shift, change, and grow, that we zoom out and take stock of who we are and what’s happening in our life.
In your relationship to home … Get open and curious. What’s happening in your space? Do you love where you live? Does it support you? Do you feel comfortable at home? Do you have enough space? Light? Warmth? Etc.
In your relationship to money … How do you relate to money? Are you awake or asleep? Do you feel like a grown up or a child? Are you in a spending or saving period? Are you happy with your financial situation? How would you like it to be different?
Step # 2 – Examine, Edit and Update.
You’ve probably heard me talk about the importance of editing and updating our space. But this step is also important in our relationship to money. Once you’re present and aware, take the time to examine what’s most important to you, and your life. (This is essential stuff!) What are your greatest goals and intentions, right now? What deeper meanings and values are driving these goals? Are they aligned with your needs and desires? If not, we need to edit and update.
In your relationship to home … Take a detailed inventory of your space and the items in it. Are there things that need to go? Things you need to move? Things you need to add? Do the items in your home make you happy? Do they support and represent who you truly are?
In your relationship to money … Take a focused look at your spending, saving and investing habits. Do you know where you money is going? How do you choose to save and spend? What drives these choices? Do you need to make new choices? Shift your focus? Reframe your wants, needs, desires?
Step # 3 – Take Action & Get Support.
You’ve taken a broad look at where you are in your life. You’ve updated the values that fuel your decisions. Now, it’s time to take action. To transition from where you are now to where you want to go.
And … this is where most of us get stuck. We think it should be easy. Or that it will just happen. But the truth is, significant change (of any kind) usually requires significant growing pains.
For so long I thought I needed to do it on my own. That reaching out for support would be shameful, embarrassing, or “cheating.” Wrong!! Actually getting the support I needed was THE key to making the big shifts I so desperately wanted. Before then, I was stuck repeating things that weren’t working, expecting different results. Support is vital.
In your relationship to home … Where are you stuck? Where do you need help? Ask a friend to come over to help you edit. Hire an organizer, interior designer or me! Get support around staying committed to creating a home that you love and one that truly supports you.
In your relationship to money … Do you need to update your systems? Track more, less or differently? Do you need to hire or consult with a financial advisor? Educate yourself? Work with a financial therapist? Process your feelings of shame, guilt or fear around money? Is all of this so overwhelming, you need help even knowing where to begin? (If any of this describes you, keep reading to find out more about Bari’s Art of Money program, right below!)
Step # 4 – Make peace with this: everything will change again.
Oh, yes, it is so true! As soon as you get it all set … put a structure into place… heal that emotional wound…make things irresistibly beautiful…something will change … and yes, you will need to start the process all over again.
Whether it happens immediately or eventually, inevitably something will happen and shift. And then, we need to gain awareness, examine our values, and make a new plan for action again. The process repeats. That’s what growth is all about! And the sooner we make peace with this journey, the more fluid and natural the process will become.
The truth is: our relationship to space and money are life-long relationships, ones that touch every aspect of our lives, and will continue to grow and evolve along with us, as our lives unfold.
A life that stays the same is destined to be miserable and boring. Nothing is static. Fantasizing that we can achieve some kind of constant state of joy and happiness is unrealistic — and ultimately keeps us locked in a jail of unfulfilled expectations and disappointments.
Life is fluid. With so many ups and downs. Twists and turns. What is most important is that we stay awake, alive and aware. From this place we can be present to all the beauty life has to offer, in all of her ever-shifting ways: from each moment, week, month, or year, to the next.
If you’d love to grow and deepen your relationship with your home this year, I encourage you to connect with me. Sign up for a personal free, 30 minute call with me here. Together we’ll talk about ways you can start taking action, right away.
If working on your relationship to money is on your radar this year, you’ll love Bari’s Art of Money program: a year-long “money school.” It’s all about creating a more positive relationship with money, in deep and extremely practical ways. I’ve personally been in Bari’s amazing community for the past two years, and can say: the comprehensive content, skilled teaching, and supportive community Bari provides are like nothing else I have ever experienced. I have no idea what my relationship to money would look like today, without Bari’s love and guidance. And I’ll be continuing with The Art of Money again this year — it’s just that good!
If you’re interested in making your own deep and practical shifts around money this year, I encourage you to check out this unique program: The Art of Money 2015. It only opens once a year, and everything’s kicking off February 1st.
Also be on the look out for an intimate interview I did with Bari for her Art of Money Road Show coming out this week! I share my money story in more detail and talk openly about what the journey has been like for me over the last several years. It was a good one so be sure to check it out if this resonates with you.
Wishing you a beautiful week!
Happy New Year! Can you believe it is 2015? Holy moly time is flying!
This was the first year (maybe ever) that I didn’t travel over the holidays. In fact, we didn’t make any plans at all. Instead we played everything by ear and ended up spending most of the last two weeks relaxing in the comfort of our own home.
At first it seemed like the holidays were going to be depressing, boring and lonely. Shouldn’t we be out seeing friends, skiing in Lake Tahoe or throwing a last minute New Years Eve Party? But the truth was, even though all those ideas sounded fun, I wasn’t up for it this year.
Instead, I laid on the couch A LOT, watched movies, read books, worked on a 2015 photo album (something I intend to do every year but never get to) and slept like I was a teenager again. We made a mess of the house, cooked simple meals and enjoyed the spaciousness of having nothing to do. Our time together turned out to be more lovely than I ever imagined. (We did venture out to see some NYE fireworks.. checkout this awesome picture my husband took!)
As I have been getting back into the swing of life this week… work, meetings, appointments, setting goals, taking down the holiday decorations, etc. I have been reflecting on the sacredness of home.
So often we take for granted the four walls and roof we live under.
Home is such a gift… and not only for the ways it provides us with the luxury of shelter (something so many don’t have) but also for the ways it allows us to slow down, drop in and be real with ourselves and those we love. Home holds us through life’s highs and it’s unexpected lows. It is a witness to our most sparkly self and the self who can be messy, overwhelmed or stressed a lot of the time. It really is haven for rest, reflection and rejuvenation if we allow it to be.
As I look around my home, I feel incredibly grateful for all the ways it supports me and my life. It not only is a beautiful and comfortable place to come home to at night but it is also a clear reflection of who I am and where I am in my life. When I take the time to think about it, I am in awe of the laughter that has been had here, conversations sparked, tears shed, milestones celebrated and memories made. It truly is a sacred space. (And one that provides nourishment at a level so far beyond the physical.)
With the New Year in swing, I invite you to take a moment to reflect and give thanks to your home. I also invite you to think about the ways you can show your home more love, appreciation and respect this year. Do you need to honor it? Clean it? Organize it? Bless it? Spend more time in it? Make it more beautiful? What are the ways you can deeply acknowledge your home as a vital aspect of who you are. How can you work in partnership with it to create a space that you not only love but also supports your best life?
Home is essential to our well being and deeply connected to feeling grounded, vibrant and alive. – Click to Tweet
In the comments below I would love to know…. how do you appreciate the gift of home in your life? And what can you do to show your space more love and respect this year?
P.S. If know your home needs some serious TLC and THIS IS THE YEAR you are finally ready to make it a priority, lets talk! Sign up for a free 30 minute personal call with me and we will make a plan to get you creating a home you love no time.
Also did you hear? I am offering something new! It is called Interior Life Design. I have gotten lots of requests from people interested in working with me as a coach, but concerned that home isn’t a primary focus at this time. The truth is, the “space we live in” can really be any part of our life.
If you are ready to shake things up and make some serious changes and growth in your life this year…..and/or you are going through some kind of big life transition (marriage, baby, job, divorce) that has you questioning. “Who am I?” or “What is my life about” then I welcome you to contact me. I’ve been coaching clients for over 8 years in all areas of life and would LOVE to support you in truly living your most beautiful life too. Sign up for a free 30 minute personal call today!
“Tradition is not to preserve the ashes, but to pass on the flame.” ~ Gustav Mahler
When I was a child, we had tons of Holiday traditions. One of my favorites: every Christmas Eve, my two younger sisters would sleep in my room. We’d talk, giggle, fight a little (as sisters do), be cozy and stay up far later than we should. Then, we’d wake up at the crack of dawn, excited for the day — and wait for our parents to say it was OK for us to come downstairs. Finally, we’d all descend together, welcomed by a warm fireplace and presents under the tree.
I loved this tradition! But, as you can imagine, there came a time when it had to change. My sisters and I grew up and moved away. Now, as adults, we’re finding our own, new traditions — and balancing them with whatever we can bring from the old.
There comes a moment when traditions must evolve.
It’s important to allow them to shift or fall away. It’s normal to feel some sadness as we outgrow traditions — or even start new ones. Life changes. We change. And it’s important to honor those changes and grieve what we’ve released.
The personal development world is full of suggestions to “cut the cord,” separate ourselves from our parents, and blaze our own trails. There’s certainly a very important place for all this — yet honoring tradition can also be beautiful.
Connecting with our past, history, and lineage can keep us grounded, and help us steer with great intention into the direction we wish to grow. We can cut the cord while still remaining connected.
The Holiday season is a time to honor old traditions and create new ones. To honor what ties us together and to celebrate what makes each of us unique. To look back, look ahead, and be present to the beauty of the here-and-now.
Tradition is built from legacy. But it’s sustained by change.
This Holiday season, step into the flame of tradition. Step into the flame of an ever-evolving, ever-changing life. Step into the flame of the questions:
“Who am I?”
“What can I bring to the essence of my legacy?”
“How can I make this tradition more alive?”
“How can I stay connected to the roots that brought me here and reach into my uniqueness?”
You don’t have to throw everything away to strike out on your own. You can adapt to life’s new twists and unforeseen turns — and acknowledge what’s changed.
Sometimes, traditions shift. Other times, they crack and break.
A loved one dies. Your Aunt and Uncle get divorced. And suddenly, those old traditions don’t make sense anymore. You don’t need to pretend everything’s the same — or even that it doesn’t hurt.
When I worked in hospice, one of the most painful things for people who’d lost someone was going to a family gathering where everyone pretended nothing had changed. Of course, their hearts were in the right place, and they were dealing with their own grief and anxiety as best they could. But not speaking to the loss didn’t make it easier — it made it even more painful.
One of the most healing things we can do when someone dies is to acknowledge them in some way: this can be as dramatic as setting a plate for them, with candle and photo — or as simple as saying a few words in remembrance. Remember and move forward. Breathe and grieve.
When there’s a crack in your tradition, treat it as an invitation to go deeper into what truly matters to you. If you can’t travel to Grandma’s Big Christmas Day Gathering this year, tune into what’s really important about being there. Is it connecting with your family? Great! Phone or Skype them. When you connect with your deepest desire, there’s always a way to bring it to life.
What legacy do you want to create?
You don’t have to wait until you have kids or your parents pass away to create your own traditions. Take a few moments before (or during) the frenzy of this holiday season to reflect on what’s most meaningful to you during this season, and what traditions might bring that alive, for you. Consider…
- Keeping your favorite traditions alive.
- Re-sparking or updating past traditions.
- Releasing old traditions that no longer fit or serve.
- Creating your own, new beautiful traditions.
Home is the container that holds your traditions.
Your home is so much more than four walls and a roof. It’s a sacred space, filled with personal meaning and stories. This year, make conscious choices about what traditions you fill your space with … and just see how alive it becomes!
In Your Home: Are there certain spots that remind you of past events, traditions, or people? Find small, tangible ways to celebrate the memories you love (with a photograph or memento), and/or move things around if they trigger unhappy memories.
In Your Heart: Take a moment to connect to what matters most to you this holiday season. Contemplation and personal reflection? Connection with friends and family? Sensual delights? Identify your core desires and feelings, and make a pact with yourself to reconnect to them over and over again this season — especially when things get busy and stressful!
In the Comments Below…I would love to hear about your favorite holiday traditions!
Wishing you are beautiful holiday season and a happy new year!
P. S. If you liked this post, I’d love for you to share it with your friends!
Happy Holiday Season, everyone!
Today, I’ve got a little something to make your Holidays a bit more glittery and bright. But first: a confession.
A few months ago, I found myself in a kind of scary place.
I had gotten sucked into my computer.
Sure, I was doing (mostly) wonderful things: working on my wonderful business, connecting with new and old friends on social media, and researching. Yet something didn’t feel right.
I took an honest look at how I was spending my time, and how it made me feel. And I had to admit: I felt disconnected. Less alive than normal. Less creative and oomph-y, and way too speedy and distracted for my own good.
Can you relate? Ever feel like you spend more time in front of your screens than anything else?
Scroll here, swipe there. Like, comment. Double-click, “save as.” Copy, paste, OMG, LOL.
Now, I love my digitized, automated, connected world! But sometimes, I think we all need to switch off, ground down, and go at a more human pace.
To make things by hand.
To dream up a creative item, and see it through to completion.
To put more meaning, time, and intention into how we use our minds and our hands.
Making things by hand makes us feel human, connected, and alive in a way nothing else can.
Whether it is cooking a meal from scratch, knitting a simple scarf, or arranging flowers just-so, these simple acts can produce profound benefits:
- They spark different, creative parts of our brain
- They trigger a wonderful sense of accomplishment
- They connect us to our spirit and our unique understanding of beauty
- They slow down our nervous system in therapeutic ways (therapists are now recommending cooking classes to treat depression and anxiety)
- They infuse our days, homes, and lives with more meaning, beauty, and joy.
It’s time to bring back the lost art of working with our hands. Especially for the Holidays. – Click to Tweet
What if you mixed up a homemade facial scrub for your girlfriend, instead of buying one at Sephora? She’d be thrilled at your thoughtfulness … and you would reap all the benefits of making something by hand!
That’s why I’m so excited to discover a gorgeous little program, just in time for the Holidays:
A Handmade Holiday is a beautifully produced set of 15 instructional videos that walk you through making your very own, artisan-quality gifts to give your loved ones this holiday season.
Think: handmade face scrubs, lip gloss and potpourri.
Think: the look of glee on your friends’ faces, as they say, “You made this??!”
Think: the joy and magic of making things with your hands, this holiday season.
This thoughtful program comes to you straight from my dear friend, Becca Piastrelli (of TheDabblist.com). So you know it’s quality stuff! There are instructional videos, printer-ready labels, a private Facebook group, and tons more.
I’m so excited to make these goodies! I often promise myself that I’ll find ideas on Pinterest and make ‘em on my own … but it’s so easy to run out of time, get un-inspired, or just laze-out.
But thanks to the private Facebook group and the ultra-easy and playful instructions from Becca, I’m so excited to make things by hand, this year!
P.S. — Full Disclosure: I am a proud affiliate of A Handmade Holiday, which means that when you use the link above to access the program, I may receive a referral fee. But that’s not why I wanted to share this opportunity with you. I believe that the holidays are a time for friends & family, celebration, giving, making, and magic. I’m using A Handmade Holiday, myself — and I think you’re going to love it, too!
A few years ago, I nearly had a meltdown in the middle of Pottery Barn. Over a sofa.
And when I say ‘meltdown’ I don’t mean the pretty, swoon-y kind. (“Can you believe this buttery leather? Wouldn’t this be perfect in the living room?! I’m melting!”)
I mean the panicked, hyperventilating kind: “Ack, this is two month’s rent! Do I really like leather, anyway? What if it doesn’t fit through the front door? I FORGOT TO MEASURE THE FRONT DOOR. This salesperson is going to think I’m an idiot when I tell her I don’t know if this will fit through my door. Maybe not having a sofa at all isn’t that bad?!”
So. Believe me:
I know how incredibly stressful + intimidating it can be to purchase big ticket items for your home.
I am intimately acquainted (both personally and professionally) with the Big Ticket Purchase conundrums. The “pillowtop or memory foam?” debate. The, “do we really have enough overnight guests to validate a sleeper sofa?” debacle. And the “Are we really going to have more dinner parties if we buy an 8-person dining room table?” paralysis.
It’s all this stress, indecision, and self-doubt that condemns SO many of us to living with…things we have had forever, hand-me-downs we don’t love and items that don’t reflect what we truly need or want.
But when we make active choices about our space, the items in it, and the kind of home we deserve, big changes happen:
We sleep better.
We argue less + play more.
We’re more likely to invite friends over.
And we’re more likely to create work we’re proud of.
So let’s pony up and make some of those big purchases. It’s time to say goodbye to Aunt Marilyn’s sofa and your particle board desk from college.
Here are 11 things you can do to make your big ticket purchases way, way less stressful.
1. Plan ahead and pick 2-3 places that have items you might love. If you love streamlined, modern design, you can skip the antique store. If you’re looking for light fixtures, and your usual haunt only has a handful, give them a pass this time.
2. Write down exactly what you’re looking for and what purpose it will fill – in your space AND in your life. Get incredibly specific: color, measurements, finish, materials. Is this desk going to help you write your first novel? Are you buying this dining room table to have meaningful conversation with your family every night?
3. Set aside an appropriate amount of time. Give yourself plenty of time to make an informed decision so you don’t have to rush around and beat up on yourself for not deciding again. This usually means a few hours, if not a whole day.
4. Remember to eat something! This is especially important if you’re bringing your honey. We’ve all been guilty of questionable purchases or snapping at a loved one when we’re hangry.
5. Take breaks. No matter how badly you need a new sofa, no one needs to look at couchs for eight hours straight.
6. Make the experience luxurious. Plan a nice lunch before or in the middle of your shopping day. Before you head out, research a nice restaurant that’s in the neighborhood. You could even peruse the menu ahead of time, so you’ll have something specific to look forward to. (Chocolate souffle is always a welcomed break in my book!)
7. Understand that these big decisions are often loaded with all kinds of emotional stuff. Nostalgia for your childhood sofa, the feel of “success” you associated with your Grandpa’s rolltop desk, what a Big Deal it was when you bought that old bed-frame with your first paycheck — these are all things that come up when you’re buying pieces for your home. Expect that you will have feelings, and allow yourself to feel them.
8. Give yourself permission to leave the store, take a little walk to process feelings, and come back. The bed frame will still be there when you come back. And you’re not contractually obligated to buy something just because you talked to a salesperson for 10 minutes. Promise!
9. Be gentle and keep breathing. You’re a smart, capable, loved human being. That won’t change if you don’t find the sofa of your dreams today.
10. Close your eyes and visualize how the piece will look and feel in your space. Sure, you might feel silly closing your eyes in the middle of Restoration Hardware, but what matters is how that piece looks in your home, not in the mall. When you envision your new space, do you feel happy? Calm? If so, you’re on the right track!
11. Celebrate after you make a purchase! Wahoo! Look at you, making tough decisions and big purchases with panache!
In Your Home: Measure doorways, stairwells, and the space you’re looking to fill. How do you feel about the pieces you have now? Why aren’t they right for that space? How would you like new pieces to be different?
In Your Heart: Before you go shopping, think about the way you want to feel in your home. What words come to mind when you think of an ideal space? And: what do you want your shopping experience to feel like? Set an intention or two for how the day will feel.
In The Comments Below: What struggles do you have when it comes to home shopping and making decisions? Can you relate to feeling paralyzed around a big ticket purchase?
P.S. If you found this useful please share it with your friends to spread the love.
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