I attended a graveside service today.
Our dear friends' were due to have a beautiful baby boy this week, but a few days ago he stopped moving. My friend had a c-section, but wasn't able to bring her precious baby home. This morning we stood around his little casket and cried.
Our hearts are broken.
And as I stood there this morning, I thought about what it means to be human.
There is so much we cannot control as humans. We are powerless and weak. There is not much that stands between life and death for any of us. It's no wonder that our brains are on overdrive trying to protect us. We are vulnerable and our primitive brains know it even if we do not.
But being human also means that we have a pre-frontal cortex that can process thought. The thoughts we think in our brain release chemicals into our body which create all our feelings.
And so this means that being a human requires us to feel.
Today, I felt...
There are 50 days until the end of the year!
And...50 days until the end of the decade!
(See how I did that? I'm so good at math!)
So, what would you like to see happen in your life in the next 50 days?
It's entirely up to you.
Remember, as much as we'd like change to happen immediately or overnight, change is always a process of becoming that happens indistinguishably day by day.
You are not entitled to change. You have to pay the price.
The other day I reread something James Clear wrote in his book, Atomic Habits:
"Your outcomes are a lagging measure of your habits.
Your net worth is a lagging measure of your financial habits.
Your weight is a lagging measure of your eating habits.
Your knowledge is a lagging measure of your learning habits.
Your clutter is a lagging measure of your cleaning habits.
You get what you repeat."
So, I'm offering you a 50 day challenge!
Think of one outcome you'd like to have when the new year arrives and then find the habit that will create that...
Today on my Instagram feed I saw the first Christmas trees going up. Lights are being strung and ornaments are being hung. Yep, already.
I think there is a good reason for this. We all just want to feel better. And for many people, nothing feels better than Christmas. So up go the trees and the decorations and on goes the holiday music.
Every year, a little earlier. Because we all want to feel better—the sooner the better.
Last year I learned a little exercise you can do to feel better immediately—any time of the year. It's called a "Rampage of Appreciation."
Set your timer for 2 minutes.
Write as quickly as you can for 2 minutes, writing down everything you appreciate, everything you're grateful for—from the tiniest things (stamps and eyelashes and pebble ice) to the biggest (life and love and agency).
You can look around the room you are in and notice everything. Notice your hand moving across...
Since this week is Halloween, I wanted to give you a little scare.
Last Saturday morning at 6 a.m., my brother started the Javelina Jundred, which is a 100-mile race through the Arizona desert. He ran all day and finished the race just after midnight at 12:22. When he finished, he had run for over eighteen hours straight.
Pretty scary, right?
The whole reason he signed up and trained and raced was because he wanted to. He wanted to see what he was capable of. He wanted to see how much pain he could endure. He wanted to see where his limits were. (He hasn't found them yet.)
I coach a lot of people who want things in their lives. But then they come up against the universal reality...it's hard. It's always hard.
We want to get up early. And it's hard.
We want to eat right. And it's hard.
We want to love difficult people. And it's hard.
We want to live our dreams. And it's hard.
What if you didn't...
As you probably know, I was trained as a life coach at The Life Coach School. The founder of the school, Brooke Castillo, developed a way of explaining how the world works and how we get all the results in our lives. She called it, "The Model."
In a nutshell, the model says:
> we have thoughts that create our feelings
> these feelings fuel our actions
> our actions accumulate to give us a result.
The model allows you to see that you are never at the unwitting effect of your life or the people in it. You are actually creating your life with the thoughts you think. And every result in your life is there because you first had a thought.
Last weekend I went to the "Modelthon" in Dallas. I got to see Brooke coaching real people with real problems. She's beautiful and funny and smart.
But what I really got to see was the model in action—applied over and over...
Did you see over the weekend that Eliud Kipchoge broke the 2-hour marathon barrier? That means he ran 4:34 minute-miles for 26.2 miles to become the very first human to run the distance under two hours.
Before the race he said, "I don't know where the limits are, but I would like to go there."
I think, for each of us, there is a desire to push past our current limits—we'd all like to see what's really possible for us.
The trouble is, out where the edge of our limits are, it is scary and painful. And we each come equipped with a human brain that naturally avoids anything scary and painful.
What Kipchoge did on Friday was uncomfortable, it was demanding, it was even probably excruciating. And I am certain that his brain vehemently resisted both the pace and the length of what he asked his body to do, all the way through.
But he did it anyway.
And that is the secret for anyone who wants "to go there."
See, the key to reaching past your personal limits...
Traditionally when we think about our goals, we think about the end. We imagine the achievement and how incredible we will feel when we get there.
The beginning is also fun. When we set the goal, we are often excited, motivated, and energized.
Setting the goal and reaching the goal both feel pretty awesome.
But in the middle of the goal, it doesn't feel exciting. It doesn't feel incredible. It actually feels kind of terrible.
And most of the time, we think that something has gone wrong.
We think, "I didn't know it was going to be like this. I didn't know it was going to feel this bad along the way." From the excitement of the beginning and our idealized view of the end, it's easy to gloss over that long, painful middle part.
This happened to me this week. I finished my coach training ("Yea! This feels so good!") only to realize that I'm only halfway to my goal. The entrepreneurial part of my program begins...
My daughter has been in China for the last month, teaching English to school children. On Saturday morning she called us saying that she had been at the police station all day, being interrogated for hours.
Yesterday, she spent 19 hours there again.
They told her that she can't teach any more and she may need to come home.
She was heartbroken.
To be clear, she is feeling heartbroken, and disappointed, and sad, because of her thoughts.
And that's okay. That's exactly as it should be. She needs to be sad right now. We are sad for her as well.
When we understand that our thoughts are creating all our feelings, we often think that this means we don't ever have to be sad. We can just choose different thoughts and feel happy all the time.
But this isn't what we really want. There are times when we want to be sad and think thoughts that create disappointment and heartbreak.
Our power comes from knowing that we created the sad—not the...
When the people in our lives are suffering, we want to fix things. We want to control their experiences, change their circumstances, and help them find different thoughts and feelings so they can feel better.
However, this is only because we suffer when we see others suffer. In many ways we want them to feel better so that we can feel better.
As humans, we think we know what's best for others. We think if we can change the way they are thinking and feeling, they can have less suffering.
But while this may feel compassionate, it isn't. And it doesn't allow us to access the power of divine love.
In this episode of the podcast, we talk about what to do when others are suffering and how to find compassion and peace and love without wanting to get in and change other people’s models or circumstances—even when they include pain and suffering.
These ideas can transform the way we love and the way we show up around the other people in our lives when they...
Our brains are programmed to notice problems in order to ensure our survival. So they are always on the lookout for the ways we don't have enough—sometimes all we can see is our lack and deficiency.
It seems like there is never enough time or money or energy or resources. We think our lives are less somehow and we know that we will never personally measure up and be "enough."
It turns out that lack and deficiency in any area of our lives is only a thought. It's only an opinion and it's just one way of seeing the world. We just happen to think these thoughts are true! This is because our brain believes two things:
1. Resources are finite and there is never enough
2. More is always better
But what if we're wrong about both of these things? What if we've always had more than enough, an abundance of everything we need and we just haven't recognized this truth?
Abundance is totally available to every one of us, no matter our...