1.) Start meditating–yes, daily.This is how you tap into that which is divine, within and without. People aren’t lying when they tell you that it works. Whether it’s sitting quietly and looking out a window or a zafu with incense and your hands in the proper mudra, make time for…Quiet. Silence. Stillness. Do whatever supports you getting present.
2.) Do the work; no excuses. Most people start trying to dismantle core issues while simultaneously feeling terrified that they exist at all. This makes really getting at the root more difficult. Examine your core issues until you’re no longer afraid that they exist (from there, feel free to start dismantling them). Do the work, no excuses. Doubly true for life coaches who want to powerfully support their clients.
3.) Quit assuming you’ve got it all figured out–or pretending to. This is a biggie, especially around the internet, where so many are trying to craft an online persona that positions them as an expert, leaving them painfully narrow choices around how they develop who they are.
4.) Ask for honest feedback. I’ve got a man who challenges me because he isn’t going to settle for anything less than he deserves. I trust my closest friends to not let me play life small. I ask them to be honest with me, to not “spare” my feelings, to please do me the honor of telling the the entire truth because that’s how I’ll get another inch of freedom. ASK for the feedback. Ask often.
5.) Speaking of asking? Listen. Listen to your entire life–and then don’t push back! Danielle LaPorte asks this great question: “What is repetitive or chronically inflamed in your life?” I know what my answer is to this question–it’s repetitive that people think I’m coming off with a harsher edge than I’m internally feeling or intending to show.
I used to fight against that, get defensive, try to convince people that the flaw was not in my presentation, but in their perception.
Now, it’s like–How fast can I apologize? I mean, jesus christmas–how many people would need to tell me that they see this exact thing before I’d stop putting it on them? (Apparently, quite a lot, because I didn’t start doing it with fully integrity until a few years ago.)
Listen to your life and what it’s telling you, to what your health is telling you, what people are telling you, your intuition is telling you, your stomach is telling you. Then–don’t push back. Don’t make someone wrong for their feedback. Don’t make your body wrong. Don’t eat that food again. Don’t subvert your intuition. Don’t make your inner critic the “problem” in your life. Listen. Don’t push back.
6.) Take 100% responsibility for absolutely everything that shows up in your life. Listen to your life, don’t push back, and then take responsibility. That person is pissed at you? Take responsibility for your part. Your body’s ill? Take responsibility for stress, sleep habits, eating habits, all of it that is within your conscious control (and look for the unconscious places, too). Inner critic running amok? Take responsibility–because I know that my inner critic only goes into overdrive when I haven’t been taking care of myself in some way.
Julie Daley shared something her teacher had taught her, recently: “If it’s showing up in your life, you’ve already said ‘yes’ to it.” When she said that, the truth of it went right through me. If it’s showing up in my life–it’s here, so accept it and deal with it.
7.) Embrace dichotomies. You’ll be happier the more you realize that everything that’s wonderful is also terrible, in some way, and vice-versa. When you prop someone up on a pedestal, they have no place to go but down. When you decide that a situation is bad, with no redeeming virtue, you leave no room for what might be good. If you don’t embrace life holistically, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment.
8.) Stop pretending that other people “can’t tell.” For crying out loud! I can tell when I’m being judged, when someone thinks I “should” or “shouldn’t” do something, or when someone is disconnected, emotionally. I’m not stupid. Neither are you–you can tell if I do this with you. How about we both stop doing this, and just get honest?
9.) Quit thinking anyone or anything “owes” you. We all deserve respect and love, and that’s about it. We’re all more likely to get it when we don’t demand it. “You owe me” is about the least sexy energy imaginable. Oh!–and–note that this energy is another one of those things that people “can tell” about you when you’re in it.
10.) Prioritize joy. In reality, the blog post you need to write, the business you’re trying to start, the deadline you need to meet, or even the friends you don’t have time for or the temper that you don’t bother to control because you’re “under stress”–none of that is as important as joy.
Every pithy thing you’ve ever read about prioritizing happiness, joy, self-care–it’s all true, every word, and the question is just when enough years of neglect will pile up and finally issue you their bill, payable now, no more extensions.
A rich inner life is all that matters. We are here to create these rich inner lives, and when we take responsibility for our lives and get deeply honest, that’s when the greatest potential is available.
Live big. Now.