About Beth Marshall

Author Archive | Beth Marshall

Are you Creating by Design or Accepting by Default?

Lately I’ve been spending a lot of time writing and sharing about my personal journey, whether it’s in individual conversations (friends, family, and clients) or through the stories that I’ve been sharing in some co-authored books I’ve been proud to birth with other amazing women.

And one of the #1 things that I talk about is the moment when I chose to take my life back as my own, after realizing that I was living a mediocre existence and that I was allowing my joy to be stolen by a “good job” and the good money that came along with that job.

In 2007, when I began exploring the next part of my path, I spent a lot of time examining my stories and beliefs (relating to money and beyond money, too) that had kept me in a job that I’d known for quite some time was not the best fit for me. I realized by spending time in thought about all of this that I’d accepted the traditional stories about success and achievement and that “more” was better.

As I looked at all of what I believed and the impact it was having on my future (let’s just say as a workaholic there wasn’t much other than work on my mind or long workweeks ahead of me), I decided I didn’t like what I saw. I had dreams of being a wife, a mother, and of fully allowing myself to make a major contribution in this world. And let me tell you, as great of a profession as accounting is, living in a world with lots of black and white and very little gray wasn’t supporting me in allowing my unique self to flourish that’s for sure.

The stories and beliefs were strong about the traditional path, and yet I didn’t want to be traditional and simply accept what others told me – I wanted to color outside the lines and create a life where I could thrive and use my uniquely-given gifts. Only one problem – I had no idea how to get to that place and I felt stuck and trapped in the world that I knew (even if I knew I was accepting what others told me by default).

So I set about creating my life by design. Which meant going backward before I could move forward.

Going backward meant examining my stories and beliefs (about everything, including money) so that I could heal them, and then deciding that I wasn’t going to allow my past to cause me to react unconsciously to things in my life (which had the result of me creating my future based on my past). Reacting might be the comfortable thing to do because it was based on what I knew, however in a way I found it predictable and frustrating…I had a brain of my own, so why wasn’t I using it to decide whether what I’d learn really aligned with the life I was really wanting?

And as I examined my stories and beliefs, something became very clear to me – that I was no longer willing to blindly accept what others had told me and what was traditional. Instead, I wanted to break the patterns of moving through life without deciding in the present moment who I wanted to be and what I wanted to have happen in my life. I didn’t necessarily know all of the answers right away (and I still don’t!), and at least I was starting to “be in the question” as one of my favorite mentors would say.

When I made this shift to be in the question rather than pretend to have all of the answers, this is when I was able to truly begin creating my life by design. Because I was able to declare what I wanted, take steps toward my future based on what showed up in my life, and course correct along the way.

The best result from this way of thinking was that I was no longer bound to only one way of doing things – and this meant I was FREE!

In my experience, when we can break free from the patterns of our past and instead consciously create relationships with ourselves and with our money to design our lives in an intentional way, this is where the magic happens.

So, is it time for you to create your life by design instead of accepting it by default? If yes, what is the next step you can take (and keep in mind, it may be a step back to look at how your past is influencing your future!)?

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Is Money the Source of Your Joy?

You may have noticed recently that I’ve been sharing a lot about the launch of my co-authored book, Inspiration for a Woman’s Soul: Cultivating Joy – I’m SO proud of the brave stories that myself and the other authors shared about their tragedies and triumphs in life that have marked their journey! (And I have to admit that it’s pretty darned cool that we hit 4 (yes, four!) Amazon best-seller lists during the first few days of our launch, and that it’s inspiring thousands of women around the world. 🙂 ).

And what I’ve noticed while being part of this project and inside of the conversations with my clients and others who I’ve been talking with is that the concept of joy is often misunderstood. What is joy? What creates joy in my life? What are the barriers to joy for me?

As I’ve been in these questions with others, what I’ve learned is that often times people are making a connection between joy and money – that, in essence, once they have more money they’ll be able to then be joyful.

While I’m not judging how/what people think, for me this is a HUGE mistake in terms of being able to attract joy in our lives. We’ve got it backward!

What do I mean? When people believe that when they have the money first, then they’ll experience joy they are waiting on an inanimate object to show up and create what they want in their lives.

Instead, what if we chose to create joy in our lives first, and then as we walk around our lives happy and full of energy, accepting and being grateful for the amazing things that we already have, then we were able to attract more money into our lives?

YES, it actually works this way!

It is our “inside job” to choose joy first, and then generate the irresistible energy behind it that has us walk around our lives glowing and radiant which is like a beacon in our world to attract the abundance that we say we want.

So it’s not about working hard first to create the money so that we can then have joy. We get to decide how/when we’re going to create joy in our lives, and then let the energy of that unleash into our space and the world and wait to see the amazing money manifestation machine start clicking away.

Not sure just yet if you’re buying into this process? I understand, so let me share some personal examples to illustrate my point.

Example #1 – I’ve known since I was a young child that I was born to teach. And as an adult, I’ve realized that not much gives me joy than to support others in learning something new and possibly even breaking through something that’s holding them back. So, I’m always in “teaching” mode and listening for opportunities to contribute because it creates such joy for me that my head hits the pillow at night fully satisfied that I made a difference. As a specific example, a few years ago I spent hours upon hours creating a free event for others called The Financial Health Telesummit – it was filled with financial experts talking about different aspects of financial health (taxes, financial planning, insurance, etc.) and supporting others to learn more about those financial concepts and take action in their lives to educate and empower themselves around money. You might notice I said it was a free event; I made no money directly from it (although I share the information now as an information product), and I dove all in with my heart to make a difference. The result? 8 new private clients in 35 days (and not one of those clients came from the telesummit either – they just “randomly” showed up!) and by far the best financial month I’ve ever had in my business. And it was joyful and fun to do every single minute of the program!

Example #2 – This past month (October 2015), I had so many opportunities it felt a little daunting at the beginning if I’m honest. The book launch, opportunities to speak at a big conference and in other places, and personally speaking I had some incredible opportunities to take leaps of faith and create the life of my dreams without understanding the outcome (which can be scary). And all throughout this time I was immersed in the idea of cultivating joy and I spent a lot of time revisiting how I wanted to create joy in my own life…and my personal insights were powerful. The results this time were equally profound as I sensed my joy quotient rising and the financial results in my business have begun to substantially grow as well.

In both instances, I focused on JOY as my intended outcome – I allowed myself to enjoy the process and by simply being with what I was doing the results were amazing.

Funny how both times I was focused on joy first, and then the money came. I didn’t focus on the money first and then joy showed up. 🙂

So I invite you to think about what would create joy in your life, and how you can start doing that for yourself today. Not tomorrow, not in one week – TODAY. Life is now and it doesn’t wait for us; every moment matters and it’s never too soon to begin cultivating joy in our lives and creating the lives of our dreams and manifesting the amazing abundance that we all deserve!

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Are You on Your Hero’s Journey?

Have you ever stopped to think about what it would take for you to become the absolute best version of yourself?

Like really — what would you get to do to step into your true brilliance?

I remember what it was like 8 years ago when I said “enough” to the long work hours and stress-filled job I had held for almost 11 years. It was killing my soul each and every day and I wasn’t going to do it anymore. I knew that I was capable of more and that a joyful life of fulfillment was out there waiting for me to show up.

While I didn’t know it at the time, this moment of choice was the beginning of my own personal “hero’s journey.”

Now you might be asking yourself, what is a hero’s journey exactly? There are lots of transformational experts out there with their own definitions and thoughts about what it is, and for me it starts with a simple (notice I said “simple” not easy!!!) desire to be your best self and a willingness to show up with all of who you are.

And during a conversation with a friend the other day about what it takes to be on a hero’s journey, I came up with some basic components that are necessary for walking the path into your brilliant future:

  1. Claim Your Life as Your Own – In my experience (both personally and in observing others), the hero’s journey really gets started when you’re willing to look at your life from a place of being accountable and responsible for your results. Yes, we live in a world where bad things happen and things aren’t always rosy, however in the end the only way to take charge of your life is to really claim it and be willing to own it. Gone are the days of pointing fingers at others or “the system” as the reasons for your troubles, you get to be the captain of your ship and steer it (the good, the bad, and the ugly)!
  2. Get Messy – This part of the hero’s journey is pretty basic – transformation doesn’t come in a nice tidy package with a bow wrapped around it. It’s messy! So in order to let go of what no longer serves you and create room for new things, it is absolutely necessary to be willing to get messy. And there’s a high possibility that there will be failure mixed into the journey for good measure (in fact, I can pretty much guarantee some element of failure to learn lessons…so if you’re a recovering perfectionist like me, get ready to be uncomfortable!)
  3. Go Against the Grain – When the fish are all swimming upstream, it doesn’t seem to make all that much sense to swim downstream does it? Yet charting our own course and creating our own boundaries and “rules” for our life (financial or otherwise) is what it takes to transform our experience beyond the status quo. Because honestly if you do what everyone else is doing you’re going to get the same results…which is pretty much what status quo means (I think of status quo as that “ho-hum-just-getting-by” sort of feeling)! Defying convention and thinking outside the box are hallmark components of what it takes to be on your hero’s path and transform your life.
  4. Dream BIG – While I don’t want to get into a lecture here about spirituality and quantum physics (both because it would be wicked long and because I’m not an expert), let’s just say that the Universe is set up to have you win. And I watch people every day (I used to be one of them) just accept what shows up at their doorstep instead of really deciding what they want and going for it. We are co-creators of our experience with the Universe, and when we play small we aren’t giving the Universe an opportunity to support us in our dreams. So dream BIG, and don’t be afraid to fail while you course correct along the way!
  5. Allow Yourself to Be Supported – So you’ve staked your claim on the life of your dreams, decided you’re willing to get messy, you’re swimming downstream, and you’re taking leaps to dream big – perhaps it’s a good idea to ask for some support? And even better than asking for support, you actually get to allow support (this is always an interesting one for me and I’m getting better at it!). As the sayings go, “Rome wasn’t built in a day” and “it takes a village” – let your dreams be lifted by others and stop pretending that you’ve “got this” on your own all the time. When you try to do things on your own, you block the natural flow of abundance into your life.

So, based on the steps noted above, would you say you’re on your hero’s path? Or are you mired in the everyday status quo of life and craving adventure, joy, fulfillment? Perhaps you’re somewhere on the path and feeling a bit stuck?

If you are indeed mired in the status quo of life (or what I like to call “Groundhog Day” where everything looks and feels the same all…the…time) or you’re stuck, what will it take for you to take the brave next step to claim your life as your own? Are you willing to leave behind what is holding you back and transform into who you are meant to become?

If you’re feeling the urge to pursue the best version of yourself, watch this video that details the hero’s path in greater detail. I hope that it inspires you.

And remember, it is never too late to bravely step into your amazing future!

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How to Surrender and Manifest Greater Abundance in Your Life

Is it just me, or does anyone else really dislike the concept of “surrender“?

For someone like me who for most of her life has been accustomed to proactively taking charge, thinking about sitting back and letting things flow initially gave me heart palpitations.

I mean, how does anyone get anything done if they’re surrendering? Doesn’t it feel out of control? (These are the things I would wonder when people would tell me to “let go” and “surrender.”)

While I used to think this way and be afraid of surrender, now I’m beginning to appreciate the importance of it in combination with taking action. As a business mentor once said to a mastermind group I was a part of, “pray and move your feet.” Said differently, be clear about what you want in your life and take steps to be a proactive participant in the process of creating your life.

I’m also starting to learn that knowing how to surrender is a pivotal part of manifesting abundance. Without surrender, it often feels like you’re pushing forward instead of riding the natural waves of life. Pushing feels like trying to control things, when at the end of the day as I’ve learned the hard way, control of anything in our world is a complete illusion. Yes – you can be a proactive participant in the process of creating your life; No – you cannot also create everything specifically to your liking. You must allow the mysteries of life to surprise you.

I’ve even started to study surrender (see the great book I read recently in the picture above) and the art of manifestation. As I’ve studied these topics, I’ve boiled down some basic steps to manifesting and creating abundance as follows:

  1. Have what you have – Many people would refer to this as the practice of Gratitude, and at its basic core it means to appreciate what you have already created. This step is critical in the manifestation process, and from what I’ve experienced creating abundance in your life when you’re not grateful for what you already have is near impossible. In essence, why would the Universe give you more if you don’t already love what you have now?
  2. Create space – I strongly believe and have experienced time and time again that when you don’t have space in your life for the abundance you want, that it has nowhere to land. Space can be defined as physical space, emotional space, or even mental space. So if you live with various forms of clutter surrounding you, it’s time to clean it up. If you’re feeling emotionally drained from people in your life who keep asking more and more of you, it’s time to draw boundaries and perhaps even put an end to some toxic relationships. And if you’re experiencing high levels of stress, it’s likely time to clear out some mental space to reclaim a more peaceful energy for yourself.
  3. Pursue inspiration vs. doing what you “should” do – We all have many commitments in our lives, particularly as it relates to our professional lives and our family lives. The truth is that for people with jobs you wouldn’t be paid for very long if you didn’t do what was asked of you, and if a mother didn’t take care of her children there would be circumstances there as well. This step refers to the importance of pursuing what inspires us and lights us up as this will generate a positive energy that has a higher likelihood of attracting amazing things into our lives. And while it may not be possible to shift 100% to pursuing inspiration in this moment due to existing responsibilities and commitments, I invite you consider a concept of “crowding the plate” that my business mentor taught me. When we crowd our plate, we are slowly (and over time) adding inspiration to begin to edge out commitments and responsibilities that we are no longer aligned with, which raises our vibration to attract more of what we want.
  4. Don’t be attached – There is a formula shared in the book “Ask and It is Given” that is simple – ask for what you want, the Universe provides it to you, and then you allow it. Notice how I said it is simple, not necessarily easy. Some people don’t receive things well when they show up in their life (especially if they believe they don’t deserve them), and sometimes they’re attached to what something should look like and therefore refuse what shows up because it doesn’t match their expectations! Detaching myself from the outcome of what arrives in my life has been, by far, one of the biggest adaptations I’ve needed to make to allow abundance. This adjustment was necessary because ultimately when we refuse what we are given then the Universe gets confused and frustrated and stops delivering what we ask for (because really, why bother right?)

When I choose to follow the steps above, there’s something magical that takes place as the opportunities that arrive in my life are perfectly aligned with my skill set and abilities. And when that happens, I’m able to serve others in a powerful way and share my gifts which gets that abundance machine all fueled up to manifest amazing things.

As has been true for me, life is truly about what Barbara Stanny referred to in her latest book as “receptive surrender.” And while Ms. Stanny defines that term specifically in her book, Sacred Success, my interpretation of “receptive surrender” is that when we’re able to focus on being present and release our need to control (i.e. surrender), the Universe can use the space created by surrender as a place to deliver our dreams!

After years of fighting it, I’m finally ready to put down the sword and allow the life of my dreams to arrive…how about you?

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You First, then Your Money

I always smile when I’m flying somewhere and I see the flight attendant begin his/her safety presentation. Inevitably, they get to the part where they put on the oxygen masks and remind us that if we’re traveling with small children to put our own masks on first.

And while thankfully I don’t look to put an oxygen mask on in my every day life, I always smile at the amazing metaphor the in-flight oxygen mask is for our lives.

Because if you’re not putting your own mask on first, how are you going to be at your best to support others? How will you be able to create abundance in your life?

As July came to a close and August began this year, quite honestly I was highly emotional and wanted to rest and be quiet. It had been a long 18 months of traveling and personal growth and my soul was crying out for a break. I had reached “that point” that most of us know about…the one where your mind is foggy and you don’t know what direction you’re headed in and you want to take naps all day.

Generally speaking, I do a good job of taking care of myself and it snuck up on me and I ended up exhausted without much of a warning. This time it was exhausted in a different way though – years ago I would experience physical and mental exhaustion after working countless 70-80 hour weeks, and this time it was more emotional exhaustion. I felt directionless and uncertain…so many things felt like they were changing. I was also concerned about how long this phase was going to last since I really don’t enjoy drifting along without energy or a sense of drive. The emotional exhaustion was impacting my body, my confidence, and my desire to spend time with others (I was so tired and my introvert just wanted to hide and chill out!).

And then after surrendering to the soul whispers to “rest,” the tide eventually turned. With several weeks of resting with some light work added in here and there (the minimal amount necessary to keep things moving), I started to feel stronger. And just the other day, I saw this:

All of a sudden it clicked. This time had been created for me to reconnect with my intuition. As the quote shares, when I connect with that relationship first and foremost, only then can I powerfully step into other relationships including my relationship with money. For too long, I had ignored the whispers to take my self care to the next level (i.e. healthier eating, increased meditation, etc.), and instead had insisted on pushing forward. Even if I didn’t want to admit it, it was indeed impacting all of my other relationships and my ability to be present.

So, I’ll ask you this after hearing my story – can you hear the whispers in your own life to slow down and listen? Check in with yourself, and see what, if any, course corrections are necessary to fuel you to build a strong and healthy relationship with your money and to step into your best life. Because without fuel in your gas tank, getting from point “A” to point “B” and creating abundance in your life is going to be all that much harder.

Sometimes life shows up with lessons that we don’t understand and perhaps that we don’t necessarily want to learn. I didn’t want to slow down and take a month-long rest, and yet somehow my soul knew it was exactly what I needed in order to be prepared for the next part of my journey.

Are you putting on your own oxygen mask first?

Are you present enough to see the signs taking place around you every day?

Are you taking yourself for granted as the foundational pillar upon which the rest of your life will be created?

Don’t wait until it’s too late…take some time today to stop, breathe, and listen.

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