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Manifesting Your Own Jackpot

“Luck is the dying wish of those who want to believe
that winning can happen by accident.”

This quote comes from an inspirational video that I watch from time to time, and it reminds me of the curiosity that was stirred within me over the last few weeks as the Powerball jackpot grew to a previously unforeseen amount of almost $1.6 billion.

As I watched, I saw people scrambling to buy their tickets before the drawing while talking about what they would do with the jackpot money if they won. They shared their dreams with others, whether it was about purchasing material items, taking dream vacations, or quitting their jobs to find work that they loved.

And I found myself asking, why are these folks waiting to DREAM? Life is happening right now in this moment, and the likelihood of winning the jackpot is so slim yet their dreams are so rich. The dreaming doesn’t have to stop!

I shouldn’t be surprised though, because I see it all the time with my clients when we start their program talking about their dreams. Often, it’s been so long since they connected with what they really want in their lives because they’ve been stuck in the “ho-hum” of everyday life thinking that’s all they’re entitled to.

When the reality is that we’ve all been gifted with things to offer this world, and it doesn’t take a lottery to remind us of that. Each and every day, we have an opportunity to live into our gifts that we were given to share, and sometimes that starts with the simple willingness to stop and consider what your gifts are…because how can you share them if you don’t know what they are? We all have the ability to change our own lives, right now and in every moment, regardless of whether we win $1.6 billion.

The truth is, the jackpot is already inside of you. You don’t need to wait to win the lottery to begin living your dreams and sharing your gifts with the world, you simply need to remember to tap into your inner jackpot by making a choice to use and share the gifts that you’ve been given! (And yes, in my experience tapping into your inner jackpot will result in manifestation and creation of actual financial abundance in your bank account!)

Need inspiration? Check out this short 6-minute video by Steve Harvey about what it looks like to connect with your gift and JUMP into your life!

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How to Create Financial Forgiveness for Yourself

“How the hell did I get into this mess?”

“I’m nowhere near as far along in saving for retirement as I should be, I’m doomed.”

“I’m really embarrassed that I have this much debt and that I’m this far behind financially.”

In my initial conversations with potential clients, statements like these are extremely common. It’s one area of life where it is very easy to slide down the slippery slope of “I’m a screw-up” or “I’m not good enough” and land yourself in a heap where all you’re doing is beating yourself up for a wide variety of possible reasons (i.e. having high levels of debt; difficulty paying bills; feeling like you didn’t use money as well as you could have; etc.).

And what I want to say today is that beating yourself up is going to get you NOWHERE. Because if you want a different result, you first get to pull yourself out of the non-supportive energy of the past in order to stand powerfully in a place to create your new financial future. In order to do this, you must ultimately forgive yourself.

As we approach the turn of the calendar year into 2016, I want to offer you a CHOICE to turn things around for yourself if you’re feeling the negative energy of financial decisions of your past. If you want to forgive yourself for getting to the place that you are right now, follow these steps below to come to terms with where you are and shift through to a new place:

  1. Accept and acknowledge where you are now – I teach about “Financial GPS” in the sense that if there’s a new place you want to get to financially, the most efficient way to do that is to understand where you are right now, in this moment. Without knowing that, it will take much longer to get to your destination! Also, if you’re resisting the truth of your situation, it won’t be possible to heal what you’re not acknowledging. So if you want to truly leave your financial past behind you, sit down to ask yourself 3 key questions: 1) What’s working? (and yes, there will be at least 1 thing that’s working, even if it’s simply the fact that you’re ready to shift!); 2) What’s not working?; and 3) What do you get to add/remove? By asking these 3 questions, you’ll get a pretty solid picture of where you are right now (what’s working and what’s not working) and the path to your new financial future (what do you get to add/remove to create different results).
  2. Forgive yourself – If you’re like me, this can often be the hardest step to take when you’re clear that you’ve been a contribution to whatever mess it is that you’ve made (be it financial or something else). I recently realized that I’d been beating myself up pretty badly about some things that weren’t working well in my life, and the decision to forgive myself and begin anew was a powerful one. Within just a few days of deciding to forgive myself and allow myself to see the situation differently (and that I had choice to change things going forward), my energy was lighter and more focused. When you are able to forgive yourself for whatever financial results you created (or haven’t created), your energy will also become lighter and from that space you’ll be best able to decide what the next best steps are. If you’re looking for how to begin forgiving yourself, there are a variety of different forgiveness techniques readily available online. One of the techniques I’ve been working with lately that I love is Ho’oponopono. It is very simple, yet in my experience very effective. In essence, the repetition of 4 simple phrases begins to release the energy and allow forgiveness.
  3. Celebrate and allow healing – Once the energy of forgiveness has been set in motion, you’re more likely able to see the lessons in the situation that you’ve created. While there are indeed certain things in life that are beyond our control, I believe that we are always creating our own reality even if it’s something that is less than favorable. We’re creating our reality to learn the lessons that are perfect just for us (yes, even if it’s not fun!). Therefore, the healing can truly begin when we allow ourselves to sit peacefully to learn the lessons of our respective situations. And as we see the lessons that we’ve created for ourselves, we can also take the time to celebrate the lessons learned as part of our overall growth toward a more powerful and peaceful relationship with money. Allowing ourselves to celebrate where we are (even if it only feels like a small or partial victory), as opposed to telling ourselves what we’re doing wrong/what’s missing, will contribute to a more positive energy and faster healing.
  4. Ask for support – Often as we acknowledge what’s not working and the lessons that we’ve learned, we also identify that there’s something we can use support with as well. There is no shame in asking for support – financial professionals like me love to support others with our expertise! Think of it like hiring a driver to get you more effectively from point A (where you are) to point B (where you want to go) in your “Financial GPS.” You may even want someone to support you in identifying what point B looks like for you.

We all have the choice to start anew each day and leave the past behind us if we choose to forgive and heal. These steps will allow you to unearth and identify what isn’t working in your relationship with money, and make the necessary shift to forgive yourself and move forward into creating a new possibility for your financial future.

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Check Your Rearview Mirror before Creating the Road before You

After writing my last article about the importance of looking at your past beliefs, I realized that looking behind you isn’t just helpful when it comes to understanding the money beliefs that hold us back so that we can shift them. It’s also helpful when it comes to allowing yourself to acknowledge your growth and what you’ve learned!

As happens to everyone from time to time, a few weekends ago I had a moment where I was telling myself that I hadn’t done enough and I was focused more on what hadn’t happened than what I’d actually created. And let me tell you, the energy around it wasn’t fun and I was committed to moving through the unpleasantness as quickly as possible. (If you don’t know, focusing on what’s not working rather than what is working is a surefire way to attract more of what’s not working and I didn’t want any of that!)

So instead of beating myself up about what was missing, I set forth to read all of my journals for 2015 to review what had happened so far and to be with my thoughts about what I’d created. As a recovering overachiever, I always get to be present to the times when the not-so-nice voice in my head tries to remind me “you’re not doing enough!!!”

And what I read in my journals honestly brought me to tears – more than once. It was clear that while some things hadn’t yet happened, that overall I’d done some pretty amazing things! Just a few of the items I included on my list were: skydiving for the first time, co-authoring 2 best-selling books with other amazing women, and completing my transformational trainer certification.

I will admit that I’m proud that the list of things I’ve accomplished this year was lengthy (and my recovering overachiever had conveniently forgot many things), yet perhaps more important than all of the things that I’d done was the woman I now have the opportunity to be in the world. My mindset and the way I think about things has been forever upgraded, and for the better.

After completing my review of my journals and reflecting, I was able to be grateful for what was, for what is right now in this moment, and for where I am as a result. In the weeks since I completed my review, I’ve been gifted with additional opportunities to see my growth over the last 4-5 years including volunteering at a workshop this past weekend that I attended myself in April 2011. What a trip that was to see how much that one workshop alone had forever altered my point-of-view!

Whatever is guiding me to look backward lately is insistent, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to take it easy on myself instead of beating myself up. I’ve created amazing things and I’ve been doing the hard work, and I get to acknowledge myself for that.

And at the same time, I get to gather myself together to gain awareness of what isn’t yet working and charge forward to continue creating the road before me that leads to my dreams. It’s only in looking backward that I can identify what I’ve already created and what I get to address to course correct going forward.

One of my favorite quotes ever to illustrate this point was by the late Apple icon, Steve Jobs. It’s from a commencement speech that he gave at Stanford in June 2005:

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart even when it leads you off the well-worn path; and that will make all the difference.”

Will you take the time to look backward, connect the dots, and pave the path ahead with clear intentions?

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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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Distinguishing Net Worth from Self-Worth

You are NOT the balance in your bank account.
You are NOT how much money you earn.
You are NOT your debt balances.

On a regular basis, I work with clients to support them in learning a scientific approach to money management which includes systemizing their use of cash flow to maximize the amount of freedom and choice that they have in their lives. As part of that process, we review what they earn, what they spend, and their account balances (i.e. bank accounts, credit cards, etc.).

And it always amazes me how often when I’m reviewing income, expenses, and balances (both bank accounts and debt), how often the client will feel such tremendous guilt and shame if they happen to be in a situation where they aren’t doing as well as they would like to be. It’s as if they take the information we’ve compiled and interpret it as a direct reflection of themselves.

So let me let you in on a little secret…your net worth is not your self-worth. So don’t confuse the two.

Your net worth is simply a calculation of what you own (assets) minus what you owe (liabilities). That’s it. It’s intended to be a benchmark at a point of time to evaluate your financial health. Think of it like a scorecard, if you will. Once you have your initial benchmark, the name of the game is to increase your net worth over time, primarily by saving money (increasing assets) and getting out of debt (decreasing liabilities). At any given time, your net worth is simply a data point that you can use to make future decisions about how to use your money.

Money is a tool to be used to support your life, not as a representation of your value in this world. You were born whole, perfect, and complete and even if your financial life isn’t going as well as you would like it to be, you are still that whole, perfect, and complete person. Yet money is indeed an emotional topic, and it’s very much one of the final “taboo” topics of our time…because as my client told me just this morning, “I felt this hole inside of me before because I was embarrassed about my financial situation. Now I know that I am not my money and my money is not me – it’s just a tool that I can use to support my goals and dreams!”

Building a strong financial foundation starts with understanding that you are separate from money. Money is simply a means of exchange used in today’s society. When you take the time to understand how your money can support you, you are able to empower yourself in your life!

So if today your financial situation isn’t quite what you’d like it to be – perhaps you’ve got more debt than you’d like or you don’t have much in savings – remind yourself that you are not your financial results, and that where you stand right now is simply information that may allow you to begin to more proactively strengthen and build a financial foundation fit to support you in your amazing future!

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