Have You Done This Yet?

Hey there.

I’m thinking we could all do with feeling a little better today, so I want you to try something with me real quick that’ll shift things for you.

One of the things I love to do with clients is explore their Peak Experiences – memories of events that spark their soul. It’s foundational to creating the life you want and is super fun to do, so let’s do it. Right here, right now. It doesn’t take too long.

For me, when I think of Peak Experiences in my life, it’s often special moments in the mountains when the light is just right, mountains towering above (or below!), perfect silence pervading, and feeling strong and centered and surrounded by beauty, like everything is perfect and I know it…

It can also be the crazy moments being taken up in the ocean’s swell on a surfboard only to have a pod of dolphins swim by and around and under as the sun rose and hit the waves just right so the dolphins surfing in the waves were backlit by a universal glow, feeling so small and slightly frightened about the vastness that lay below me in the ocean’s depths, yet somehow knowing it was all good…

Or lying by my dad’s side during his last days on this earth, my arms around him as he called me an angel and me being able to tell him how much I love him and to hear him tell me the same as he hovered in that sacred space between here and beyond the notions of “here and there,” somehow knowing that all was right.

Some of my Freedom School students have shared things like the flow they feel when painting or writing; how awesome they feel when giving a presentation on a topic they’re passionate about, as if they are just downloading from another source; an epic night of passion. You get the idea.

It seems the common themes in these experiences aren’t a pretty sunset or big adventure, but rather an innate knowing that all was exactly as it should be.

Perfect, in its own way.

Feeling connected.

Fully alive and present.

In the flow.

Peak experiences help us learn a lot about who we are, our values, how we honor those values.

When was your most recent peak experience? What were you doing? Where were you? Who were you with?

(Tip: if you can’t think of one, what would be a peak experience be for you?)

What does that experience tell you about what fulfills you?

Notice that this experience was a peak experience for you because it honored your deepest values. You were in alignment.

What were some that showed up? Nature? Connection? Passion? Adventure? Freedom?

Now, take that wisdom and see how you can manifest honoring these values more often in your daily life, so that you can feel that alignment.

And I do mean NOW.

Too many people wait until the Big Event happens – the new job, the new degree, the kids leaving for college, finally getting pregnant or having a partner, to fit into their old jeans, or make X amount of $$$ – before they start feeling joy and that their outside life is in alignment with their internal values.

But the catch is that to manifest all those things you want, you need to start feeling that way NOW. Because our thoughts create our feelings, and our FEELINGS drive our actions.

And guess what creates our reality?

Damn right. Our feelings.

Think about that – I know it makes sense intellectually but I want you to really grock this in your bones. Your feelings drive your actions which create your reality.

THIS is why it is so important to feel the way you think you’ll feel when you finally have that thing you’ve always wanted.

It’s the only way you’ll create that thing you’ve always wanted.

So if you want to do what it takes to create your ideal life, don’t wait to feel amazing.

Give yourself permission to feel that way RIGHT NOW.

In fact, it is ESSENTIAL to creating the life you were meant to live.

So take a moment now and think: is there something that reminds you of that peak experience?

Use it to help remember what is important to you….perhaps a rock from that mountain top, a photo in a cool frame, a seashell from the beach, a poem from your loved one. Place it somewhere you’ll see it – often.

Take a small part of each day to connect with your “special place.” Maybe go for a walk after dinner under the full moon, meditate in the morning on your gratitudes for 3-5 minutes, roll in the grass (or snow!) with your dog, make a plan to have a small adventures each week (go to a new restaurant, hike a new trail, go to a new class at the gym).

Whatever you do, try to find a way to stay connected to that peak experience.

Create the space in your life for it to enter more often, in unexpected ways.

To Your Freedom!


If you want to join a tribe of people that will help you navigate this wild and precious life, come check out Freedom School – for rebels like you. It’s not just personal growth for rebels. It’s Jedi training for the new world.

Does Self-Compassion Make You a Wuss?

Maybe you’ve heard of self-compassion. If you’re like me, you may have wondered – out loud:

“Does self-compassion make you a wuss?”

I used to think so.

The first time a friend told me about taking a self-compassion workshop I thought, “Yeah that makes sense that she would need that…but I don’t.”

See, I’m from an immigrant family, and I was raised with the belief that you work hard and buck up and don’t complain and stay tough and THAT is how you rise up. That is how you stay safe and provide for yourself, and your family.

Confidence? Good.
Resilience? Good.
Courage? You bet your ass.

Self-compassion? I didn’t know much about it, so to me it seemed like something that only fragile privileged people had the time – or need – to do.

I knew that self-compassion was needed before you could give compassion in a genuine way. I had been doing Tong-Len and metta meditation practices long enough to know that. But studying it and practicing it and all these … techniques? That seemed like…overkill.

But I was a wrong.

I’ll spare you the details, but I was convinced to do the training myself in large part because it was being offered at one of my fave places on the planet – the iconic Esalen Institute on the Big Sur coast.

Think: clothing-optional hot springs on sea cliffs; getting massages with a view of the blue water as you feel the ocean spray from waves crashing below; organic food grown on the local farm; kombucha on tap…

I know. Some of you are like hellz no – I started running when you said clothing optional. But hey, I went to UC Santa Cruz for undergrad – which was a clothing optional University. That’s another story…

So anyway, it blew my mind. And I learned that you CAN self soothe and it WORKS. I used to think my brain would know it was me and not someone else and that it would say haha! You didn’t fool me! I know that’s YOU hugging yourself and not someone that actually cares about you!

But as it turns out, our brains just…want us to be nice to ourselves.

It likes it. We like it, even though it might feel über awkward at first.

And when we are self-compassionate instead of self-critical – when we turn off the inner mean girl and turn on our very adult ability to take care of ourselves – we calm the f*ck down. And we are ready for…life.

Ready to heal.

Ready to take some risks.

Because we know we’ll be ok.

And the research shows that people that do regular self-compassion practices have better resilience too. In fact, they are starting to teach it in the military to help prevent PTSD!

So no…it won’t make you a wuss.

It’ll help you warrior up for this wild new world we live in.

And just in case you’re wondering if it’s all about whispering nice things to yourself and giving yourself hugs, there’s also a FIERCE side to self-compassion.

There’s a yin and yang to everything, and self-compassion is no exception. The yin side if the soft, holing, receiving side. The yang side is the ability to protect yourself like a fierce mama bear – creating and sticking to healthy boundaries, saying, “No,” and having your own back.

You need both.

Try these things the next time your inner critic won’t shut up:

1) Say kind things to yourself. Stuck on that? What would you say to a friend in the same predicament? Say that to yourself.

2) Ask yourself, “What do you need right now?” (that you can give yourself). And do that – the nap. The walk. The bath. The ugly cry. The friend you can call who will listen.

3) I never thought I’d say this when I was riding my BMW enduro through the Oregon foothills or with my legs going numb after hours in a hanging belay on the walls of El Cap, but…try to give yourself a damn hug. There, I said it. Don’t shoot me. You can also try a warm hand over your heart or your belly. It can seriously work.

Or it might not. There are dozens of self-compassion practices just like there are dozens of types of birth control pills – not all sit well with everyone. So you just have to try it.

And hey, don’t let people walk all over you. Don’t tolerate BS. Don’t say, “Yes!” just because you’re afraid to disappoint. Practice that fierce self-compassion as well.


This month in Freedom School we’re diving into this for the entire month, so hop on over and join us. If you’re super resistant to the idea of self-compassion, you might be just like me and know, somewhere deep down, that this is the thing that will crack you open.

Why Do-Overs Are the Best

Regrets are brutal, right?

They are energy vampires. Happiness slayers. Joy slammers.

The thing is – we wake up every day with the potential to start over!

That cliché about “today is a new day” is totally true…even though you may want to roll your eyes if someone said it to you in the moment.

Here’s why:

When we feel regret about something – your last relationship, your birth experience, your mistake on the job, how you handled your last argument with your partner or friend – we they have a spider sense for a moment in the future that might feel similar to that event that brings up regret.

Then, when we feel that moment of resonance with the past – that moment when we’re like, “Hmmm….I really hope I don’t fuck this up again” – we can use it as an opportunity to create a new response.

We are allowed to have a ‘do-over.'”

Really? Yes.

For example, I think about how lately I’ve been leaning more into my morning ritual, and making sure I prioritize it so that I start the day off fresh and inspired and grounded. This helps me feel at ease with all the mornings that I wasted away with lazily sleeping in (which, BTW, is perfectly fine if it doesn’t bother you or throw off your day!), gluten or wine hangovers, or ruminating about all my worries.

I’m making up for those big time, because my NEW mornings are infused with freakin’ magic, peeps. My mornings, even before a day filled with ho-hum errands, are started with much-needed spiritual refining and tuning-in.

There’s more about mornings in particular that help with do-overs.

Mornings are energetically in alignment with all beginnings – so we can harness that and create a new experience and oust the regrets – every morning!

Ayurveda places a big emphasis on moments and transitions throughout the day. Each moment, each day, is so full of potential for changing how we experience life.

I’ve been working with many of my clients in developing these morning rituals as well, and they are reporting massive results – more energy, more creativity, more groundedness, more juicy living.

In Freedom School this month, we even did an entire class on how to create your daily rituals – because each new day gives a chance for a new beginning, and each closing of the day opens up a new cleansing of what came before.

Think of how you start your days.

Do you wake up at the last minute so you are rushing out of the house and spilling your tea or coffee everywhere?

Do you lie in bed for minutes or hours putting off shit you need to get done?

Do you feel foggy and sluggish because of eating unhealthfully or living a less-than-healthy lifestyle?

You can indeed do it differently in the morning. And really, when you honor and reshape your mornings to a ritual that serves you best, you can honor and reshape previous experiences too.

Cool, eh?

There’s more: every MOMENT – not just morning – is also fertile with opportunity to create something new.

What about the rest of your day?

Do you spend your free time perusing other people’s successes and feeling bad about where you are at?

Do you go to bed checking your email and thinking about all the shizzle you have to get done tomorrow?

Do you say “I’m sorry” just for speaking or taking up space or asking for advice or help?

These are all energy suckers!

You can instead examine why you are apologizing.

You can examine why you are obsessed about everything you have to do tomorrow (what’s the story you tell yourself about what happens, or who it means you are, if you don’t get everything done?).

You can examine why you are jealous about someone else’s success and are focusing on that instead of creating your own.

Often the motivator is some kind of regret, and we just need to stop that living-in-the-past shizzle if we are going to move forward with a life of freedom!

Create a NEW way of approaching things when those feeling come up.

But I know that there are times when we just…drop the ball.

What about when you really fucked up?

In Tibetan Buddhism there’s a four-step formula for making amends with a regret (also applicable to apologizing). This doesn’t have to do with anybody else, though. It can be ANY regret – even letting yourself down.

Having a proper process for making amends can help you start over. I’ve found it helpful to remember, because it keeps my apologies legit.

Here are the 4 Steps to Making Amends

• Recognize that either there was an experience you regret having had, or that perhaps you did something wrong – or let’s take the judgment out of it and change “wrong” to “something you weren’t so proud of”

• Sit with the feeling of remorse and regret so that you don’t half-ass it and have it lingering sneakily behind you for months or years. Feel it fully, knowing you can release it. Don’t create a story behind it. Just feel it.

• Move into a place of compassion for yourself (and the person you’ve harmed if it’s applicable). Notice the whole “compassion for yourself” part! Don’t skip over that! In fact, start with it.

• Then set the intention that you won’t do it again and take a positive action. So if you stole something, you could give something away when you saw someone in need. If you hurt someone with aggressive language, you can more openly and quickly forgive someone for the same infraction and send them loving kindness. And really, set the intention to not do it again and mean it. Apologies don’t mean shit when someone keeps making the same mistake over and over and just says they are sorry without meaning it.

If you regret something and it is taking over your mind, choose RIGHT NOW to do something to offset it.

And when you find a moment that resonates particularly powerfully with a regret, make a strong intention that how you handle it will help you release the old regret.

Once you’ve decided to let go, and you’ve taking positive action, then truly release it. It’s time.

Do-overs are the best.

How are you going to do-over something soon?

Or what’s a way you’ve done this already?

To Your Freedom!

PS: grab your spot in Freedom School while the bonuses are still up! It’ll be a no-brainer when you see what they are. Click here here to check it out.

I vowed I’d never be bored…and then this happened

Did you know I was an only child? I was. And a f*cking bored one. I grew up in a ghetto where I wasn’t allowed to play outside because there were so many drive-by shootings. I had 8 pets, an angry mom, and a schizophrenic father so the house was chaotic, and I locked myself in a room with books. And when I finished my books, I was So. Crazy. Bored.

I think without books I would have lost it.

I looked outside – through the bars that protected my window – and vowed to myself, “When I grow up, I will never, ever be bored.”

Well, I pretty much took care of that. You’re welcome, little me. I told ya I had your back.

I don’t think I’ve been bored for the majority of my time as an adult. On the contrary, I spent 10 years as a climbing guide, 7 years of that living out of my Volvo station wagon, 14 years as a midwife catching babies in all kids of places all over the world, filled two passports and am working on the third, started my own business, and managed to create a mandala of a life with all my passions.

But you know what I rediscovered?

Being bored.

On purpose.

It’s fucking mind-blowing.

See, I hated being bored when I was a kid because I didn’t have any agency over my world – or at least that’s what it felt like. I wasn’t choosing to do nothing.

But in the last decade of my life (stop wondering how old I am. I’m rockin’ 46), I’ve intentionally sought out regular silent retreats where I don’t do anything – not even read – except for meditating, eating, basic self care, and walking. For 10 days.

My body releases when I show up at the retreat center and realize with every cell in my being that, as Ajahn Budhadasana said, for 10 days I have:

“Nothing to do. Nowhere to go. No one to be.”

It’s pure bliss.

Sound like torture to you? I used to think it would be too.

But what is boredom anyway?

It’s a thought you have about having nothing to do. Nowhere to go. No one to be.

How can I find it blissful now, and little me (or even 20-something me) found it boring?

We had different thoughts about it. 

That’s it!

So maybe I should re-phrase this.

I still don’t want to be bored. But I find it totally blissful to have Nothing to do. Nowhere to go. No one to be.

I think it’s uh-mazing.

Because when you let go of needing to do shit, to go somewhere or to BE anything else than what you already are, you get to…be happy.

What’s wild is after I come out of retreat – even from one of my daylong mini-retreats I do out at our yurt – I’m filled with creativity. New ideas for new programs and awesome adventures to take and sweet things I can do for my friends or with my sexy mountain man. I remember to schedule massages and sign up for workshops I want to take. I write, I sing, I dance.

I think in being “bored,” I create space for newness to flow in. I create space for my desires to come forth.

The Universe abhors a vacuum. You create one with some stillness, and it will fill it.

And what it fills it with can be pretty amazing.

So what’s ironic is that doing nothing helps me live life more fully.

Sure – at first it may be uncomfortable. You may feel anxious and think, “WTF am I doing? Nothing! This is wrong. I’m wasting my life. I’m doing nothing.”

But eventually, you’ll come out the other side. The side where you know with every cell in your body, 

“OMG. This. This moment right here. This is everything.”

So try not to resist stillness. Boredom. Whatever you want to call it.

Just be with it and let it pass. Then shoot me an email about what you found. Was it messy? Did you survive (I bet you did;)? What surprised you?


Ready to dive deeper into this? Check out Freedom School and see what everyone’s obsessed about. It’s not just group coaching. It’s a mindset revolution that you won’t want to miss. 

When the Going Gets Weird

How gozit? Are you hanging in there…or even thriving?

I joke about how with my introverted nature I am basking in all this time that I have to just be still and not have FOMO that I am missing out on great concerts or parties or events. I used to have to make myself stay in and nurture because despite knowing that solitude energized me, I’d often give it up to carpe the dang diem and go hear that band that was playing way past my bedtime, or head out to the cabin party that a bunch of friends were going to be at (even though I craved some me-time).

I’m sure it’ll hit me at some point, but for now, I’m doing swimmingly well!

I love this quote by Hunter S. Thompson:

“When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.”

That’s what I’ve been choosing to do. Using this time to dig deep and deliver to my peeps.

One of my clients shared an article in our Freedom School FB group titled, “Why the Pandemic Isn’t Time for Self-improvement.”


But when I read it it said that we should allow the grieving and the pain and reflect on the magnitude of what is happening now…not just try to stay busy taking courses or getting distracted etc.

OK. I get that.

But here’s the thing:

In order to know how to grieve in a healthy way, in order to reflect in a wise way on what is happening, guess what you need to have practiced?

Personal growth skills.

Otherwise we end up spiraling or getting depressed or ruminating about all the awful things happening or that might happen. We worry. We fear. We fret.

Notice there is a difference between grieving and spiraling into thoughts about how awful things are.

One serves you. One cleanses, purifies, lightens, allows, opens.

The other constricts, suffocates, buries, pushes down.

The goal in personal growth is never to NOT feel. On the contrary, in Freedom School we talk about HOW to feel – without letting it become overwhelming or leading to unskillful action.

There are three common ways we deal with emotion: resist, react, or distract.

But there is a fourth way that actually helps us process an emotion in a healthy way – and that is to allow it.

Allowing an uncomfortable emotion is NOT easy – especially at first.

My students practice it a ton. And you can bet it’s one of the most important skills they learn, because when we can allow an emotion – when we actually just feel it without adding a bunch of spiraling thoughts and judgments about it – we have true freedom. We are no longer afraid of feeling.

We need to learn to hold space for any emotion.

The spectrum of emotions that we will experience as a human being are normal and natural and part of what it means to be alive. When we can hold the space for any emotion to appear, to be present inside of us without judgment, then we are more likely be able to feel it and experience it in our body.

Without the thoughts that create a story around it.

Then we are more likely to be free.

And that, my friends, takes some personal growth.

Shit is weird. Go pro. Learn to feel your feelings and learn to not let emotions control you or your experience of life.

If you want extra support, don’t forget the two trainings calls I had in March:

Check out the replay of the How Not to Lose Your Sh*t in a Crisis training here (lots of healthcare professionals and their partners asking questions on this one).

Check out the replay of the Mindset Reset training here.

I hope you learn even just ONE tool that you can use right away to help you in these unusual, weird times.

And remember: you’re not alone.


If you want to join a tribe of people that will help you navigate this wild and precious life, come check out Freedom School – for rebels like you. It’s not just personal growth for rebels. It’s Jedi training for the new world.

The Fear of Being Average

You know that thing we do when we compare ourselves to others until it hurts? It’s totally normal. In fact, one of the most common causes of suffering in us humans is the desire to see ourselves as “above average” (a different way of saying we want to see ourselves as better than others) – and the vast majority of us suffer from this…which is why we compare so much. To see where we stand. When I first read that factoid as I was researching info for my next course (one on self-compassion!), I really really really wanted to feel that I was not victim to this desire (because that would be kind of average, right?).

But I so. totally. am. I have an overwhelming fear of being…average. I don’t want an average income. Or an average marriage. Or an average car, travel schedule, house, wardrobe, or stack of graduate degrees. I don’t want average grades, careers, weekend trips, or stories to tell by the so-not-average campfire.

I want a fucking extraordinary life. Waaaaay above average.

I have had a fear of being average since I learned what was possible if you proved you were above average in this world (aka school). Being above average got me out of the ghetto and into my Freedom Junkie way of living. It got me amazing opportunities: scholarships, grants, adventures, jobs…lots of good things. I was terrified of what would happen if I ever lost my ability to rank as above average. Indeed, the idea of losing my mind like my father did (he had schizoaffective disorder) was the scariest thing I could imagine. It was my above-average mind that…kept me safe. The fear of being average was such a big part of my life that it even drove me to hound my urooncologist when I was first diagnosed with kidney cancer to find an alternative to removing my kidney and chucking it.

I was sitting in a meeting with him at the uro-oncology unit of UC San Francisco (he happened to look like the Dalai Lama in a lab coat, which helped with our negotiations;). He told me that my tumor was in a part of the kidney where all the blood vessels come together, and that to remove the tumor while my kidney was still attached to me – and have a good chance of complete tumor removal without causing other severe complications – was very, very small. So they would have to just remove my kidney altogether.

Then he said the thing that got me researching my ass off: “Don’t worry. You’ll be fine with having one kidney. In fact, studies have shown that people who donate a kidney have the same level of happiness as the average American.”

Oh heeeelllllz no, Dr. Man.

“Ummm. No offense…but I am way happier than the average American – and I plan to keep it that way,” I replied. What I I didn’t say out loud was that the idea of being an average American was freaking me out. I just saw myself watching TV on a couch and having the big adventures of my life be camping out for Black Friday sales. I got on the internet that night, and while I was watching multiple YouTube videos of the surgery I was about to undergo, I saw an interesting blip on my Google search page: “UCSF: #2 renal transplant facility in the country”

Hmmm. So if the issue is they can’t cut the tumor out safely while it is attached to me, why not remove my kidney, cut the tumor out, confirm the margins are clear, then put it back in me?”


I called my surgeon the next morning. “Interesting. I’ll see what the tumor board has to say,” he said in response to my suggestion. (Since this was such an involved surgery, you have to get the OK from everyone on the team – in this case, uro-oncology, the transplant team, and other hospital folk.)

The next day he called: “OK. We decided that we can try the autotransplant – but one of the main reasons is because you are a rock climber and have a higher risk for trauma than the average person, and thus may have a higher need for 2 kidneys.” Woohoo! Being above average saves my scared ass again! (But that is soooo not the point I am trying to make here;)

What’s poignant here isn’t the fact that I got the team to try a new surgery. What alarmed me was that the fear I felt when thinking I might end up average was all-consuming. Yes, the outcome was great for me in this scenario – but it always haunted me that it was my fear of being average that was the driving force. That it had been the driving force behind so many of my actions in the past.

So what’s wrong with striving to be above average when so many cool things can come of it? Like awesome adventure travel, getting to keep your organs, and free tuition, to name a few? When you have a “fear of being average” as your main motivation, you are also susceptible to a deep, wounding type of suffering, because your happiness is based on something outside of you: how you compare to others.

And as long as your happiness depends on where you stand in relation to others on the scale – even for something as noble as adventure or compassion or generosity – you will never have the kind of deep, radiant confidence (aka ziji!) that comes from knowing your own inherent self worth. So you know those days when you internet troll or just perseverate endlessly while comparing your life to others on Facebook or in “real life” – someone in a similar field as you or in your social circle or tribe – and you wonder why they seem happier or more loved or more famous or more exciting or more wealthy or more adventurous or more kind and compassionate or more relaxed … or more anything than you?

Yeah that. That’s from our fear of being average. The Comparison Carousel. Round and round. “Where do I stand now?” we wonder. All. freakin’. day. It’s exhausting.

I used to think only my friends and others with FOMO (fear of missing out) had this type of fear, and that it was this fear that helped them have such amazing lives of adventure. But then I started to realize that we all have the fear of being average. It’s why scapegoating is so common when times get tough – when there is an economic depression or scarcity of jobs, racism and discrimination increase as people strive to prove in a scarcity environment that they still have the one-up on others.

Don’t take this lightly, folks. This tendency to want to be above average creates more suffering in us as individuals, as well as worldwide in small communities, large countries, and in international relations. You may not realize the degree of suffering this causes if you manage to stay “above average” in the categories important to you or your culture for a long time…until you start to get exhausted running the race; start to fall behind; or finally find that person who is smarter than you, prettier than you, sexier than you, more adventurous than you…just better than you all around (all else created equal). And you will find that person. There is always – always – going to be someone “better” than you are at something (except, of course, at your own unique purpose;).

When that happens, you feel crushed. Or suddenly depressed, even though you have achieved some amazing shizzle in your life. Or you feel devastatingly not enough. I know some of you may be wondering if this means we should all strive to be “average.”

Absolutely not.

This life is precious, a gift like no other; to be born in your body on this planet with the ability to create life experiences and a mind to dream…its all a miracle and you would be a fool to not take full advantage of it and make the most of this life. I want you to live an extraordinary life.

Because of that, what I do want to encourage is this:

Do not let your motivation be to feel like you are better than others, or “above average.” Let your motivation in life be to live your best life. To live your gifts into this world. Screw what anyone else is doing. Only you know if you are living life full-on. And that is all that matters.

After all, in reality, we are all average. As Dr. Kristin Neff, a Developmental Psychologist from the University of Texas at Austin (and self-compassion geek!), points out, “To be human is to be average.” It’s true. We all have our strengths (the things we do really really well), and the things we do just so-so (sort of average)… and we also have our weaknesses – those things that we just suck at, or have a lot of room for improvement.

The key to sustainable happiness – and indeed the true inner confidence that follows – is to accept that we are all beautifully average. The world needs us all to be average at most things! Then, we can focus on our gifts – those things we do really really well – and leave the rest to the other average humans that rock the things we suck at. We don’t have to do it all or know it all (ahhhh…isn’t that relaxing!?). While the reality is that we may need to stand out from the crowd to get certain jobs or attain certain accomplishments, we don’t have to be better than someone else to be happy.

Indeed, the opposite is true. Embrace your averageness;) Live an extraordinary life on your terms. When you release the desire to be above average and embrace your true gifts and the preciousness of this life…ahhhhh – that is when the fun begins. The freedom. The adventure. That no one can take away from you.

Since this tendency to have a fear of being average exists in almost all of us, don’t beat yourself up about it when it arises. Just notice it. Notice it as part of the average human experience. Then do things differently. Choose to be motivated from your own heart’s desires…what makes you happy, no matter what else others are doing.

Stop comparing.

When you see yourself comparing, ask yourself what you really want in this life, and what is one action you can take right now to move you closer to it. Embrace your “average,” and focus on extraordinary living from your heart Recognize the common humanity in all of this – that you are not alone in your fear of being average.

That we all fear it. And that is it precisely our averageness that beings us closer as humans….And it is precisely the unique gifts that every single one of us has that, when expressed fully, make this life extraordinary. It is savoring each moment, staying present, being kind to ourselves and each other, manifesting your gifts and living this life as the greatest adventure of all time that will give you the radiant inner confidence to know you are crushing this whole carpe-the-dang-diem thing.

Only you know when that happens. And that’s all that matters.

Try this:

(adapted from Kristin Neff’s book, “Self Compassion”)

1. make a list of 5 culturally-valued qualities you have

2. make a list of 5 culturally valued qualities you have in which you are average

3. make a list of 5 culturally valued qualities you have in which you are below average

Now, can you look at this list and embrace it fully? Can you accept the fact that we ALL have traits in which we kick ass, fall within the bell curve, or need to leave to someone else – which ultimately makes us all…average? And can you feel in your bones that just because you – and everyone else – is actually quite average does NOT mean you cannot live an extraordinary life?

It just means you are finally…free.


Ready to dive deeper into this? Check out Freedom School and see what everyone’s obsessed about. It’s not just group coaching. It’s a mindset revolution that you won’t want to miss.

How to Get Shit Done

Let’s be honest – we all have a hard time doing shit that we say we want to do sometimes (or a maybe lot of the time!). Like exercise in the morning. Eat less sugar. Drink less. Write that book. Have that difficult conversation with a toxic friend.

We’re diving into how to get things done in Freedom School this month, and I was thinking a lot about why it can be soooo hard to do something we really want to do.

On a Saturday.

Yeah. I know…I really DO geek out on this stuff;)

Why do we have ongoing to-do lists? Why do we tolerate a sense of overwhelm, stress, busyness, and a constant feeling of things being incomplete?

I wrote this reaaaally long post in our FB group that I thought I’d share with you here, because it addresses some of our struggles with getting shit done. If you have a low attention span today, just read the bold parts

First, let me ask you: What is it in your life that you’re struggling with that prevents you from getting what you want done?

And here’s what I want you to think about it: if you always kept your word to yourself, if you always did what you said you were going to do, if you always followed through on your best-laid plans, if you always were disciplined in the actions that you wanted to take, how would your life be different than it is now?

One of the reasons why some of us humans underutilize the special part of our brain that allows us to plan into the future (it’s a uniquely human trait!) is becausewe’re constantly letting ourselves down.

We make plans, and then we don’t follow through on those plans, then we just think making plans is a waste of our time and we stop doing it and we live our life in “default” mode. Doing what we’ve always been doing, instead of what we wantto be doing.

It takes much more effort to overcome our primitive brain – that’s focused on instant gratification – than it does to live in default mode, to just keep doing what you’ve always done. It’s so much easier to just keep doing what you’ve always done.

Doing things differently requires – or seems to require – more effort, and our brain is meant to be efficient. Default is way easier.

I remember when I first started being a coach and I started setting big goals for myself and my husband (then boyfriend) came to me one day and he’s like, “You know, it’s so crazy what you do,” and I said, “What do you mean?” He’s like, “You just say you’re going to do something and then you just do it. It’s wild to me.”

Now, I want you to think about that. Why is that so wild? Why is that so surprising? Why are some people just talk? I don’t think it’s because they mean to be, I just think they don’t know how to follow through with themselves.

It’s super important to do what we say we’re going to do – it builds self-respect and self-trust and a sense of pride and integrity.

So what’s a busy freedom junkie supposed to do?

1. The first thing that I want to tell you is that in order to overcome your primitive brain, which will be the loudest part of your brain, you have to plan ahead.

Calendar your to-do list. I just wanted to get that out here in case you didn’t read anything else.

BUT before calendaring items you need to create that to-do list. Get it out of your head because some of you have all these unfinished to-dos in your brain and you don’t realize that having

to think about them over and over again and the feelings that they bring up of incompleteness, is negatively affecting you. So it’s really important to empty it out onto a piece of paper. For some of you, you could probably write for 10 minutes. It’s totally fine.

What will happen when you’ve done this list is your brain will basically have nothing left to complain about because it will all be on the list.

2. Now cross off the items you really don’t have/want to do.There are a lot of “shoulds” we tend to have one our to-do lists.

And remember (this may be controversial…but that’s how we roll!):
You don’t have to take care of your children. You don’t have to bathe. You don’thave to eat. You do not have to wake up in the morning.

You don’t even have to live.

You have freewill as a human. There is nothing on that list that you have to do. You certainly don’t have to vacuum. You do not have to cook dinner. You do not have to do laundry. You don’t have to do any of it. So stop telling yourself that you “have” to do any of it.

Like Ajan Buddhasana says, “Nothing to do. Nowhere to go. No one to be.”

There are things that you think you think you “should” do, but you don’t want to do them, and you don’t have to do them. I give you permission right now to just never do them. Take them completely off your list!

You’re likely going to have consequences for not doing them. I want you to decide it’s OK to have those consequences for those things that you’re not going to do. Just like your reasons.

Let it be OK to not invite some people over if you’re not that into them. To have your groceries delivered instead of going to the store (one of my FAVES). To let your kiddo go to after-school care so you can get in a workout. To eat mac and cheese because you spent so much time writing your new book that you’re too tired to roast veggies.

I didn’t even do the Christmas presents thing this year. We were in the Philippines. I rented a house with two pools and a karaoke bar and invited the whole family and 30 of us partied for 3 days. No presents. I thought there’d be a huge rebellion. Nope. Apparently people prefer a 3-day party with karaoke 😉

3. Then you break down the items that made the cut – that you REALLY want to focus on – down into smaller steps.

This is super important – especially if you have a really hard time doing shit like going to the gym. Break it down into: I’ll get dressed for the gym at 7:30am. I’ll drive there at 7:45am. etc. Sometimes “going to the gym” seems too big, so the smaller steps help. This also makes allotting enough time a bit easier.

4. Now put ALL of these items into your calendar.

Here’s why: you have to consciously and deliberately supervise the primitive brain.

Now, what does the primitive brain like to do? It likes to get pleasureimmediately. That means resting, that means overeating, that means candy, that means alcohol, that means drugs if they’re available; anything to get a little short hit of pleasure is what that primitive brain has evolved to do for us.

Some of us just aren’t using our brains for what we want our brains to be able to provide us. It’s like you’ve gotten this amazing package of software in the mail and you’ve just left it in the box. That’s how some of us are using that higher portion of our brain.

But the thing with calendaring is that when you work, you’re going to be so much more productive, because if you give yourself a whole day to get your to-do list done, you know what you get done? Mostly nothing.

5. Once everything is on the calendar, you throw away your to-do list.

Now you just rely on your calendar. Ongoing to-do lists drain energy. When you put something on your calendar, consider it’s as good as done. Do it.

Remember: When the times comes, you’re going to want to eat Cheez-its in front of Netflix because your primitive brain is like, “That would be so much more fun.”

But you’ve already decided ahead of time because you know what your brain does ahead of time? It uses the prefrontal cortex, which always has your long-term best interests at heart. It’s always thinking, “If we do all these things, then we’ll have this book done and then we can sell the book.” Or, “If we do all these things, then we’ll have a business.” I”f we do all these things, then we’ll have a clean house.” “If we do all these things, then I’ll lose weight.”

If you don’t do all the things then you just stay where you are and your default mode is to just keep doing what you’ve always done.

When you overcome those urges for that instant gratification to switch into thedelayed gratification and to do the work that gives you the delayed gratification, that’s when your life completely uplevels

because you start obeying and working from the prefrontal cortex which has your best long-term interests at heart instead of acting like the primitive toddler brain that is the loudest, yelling one.

So when you come to 12 o’clock and it’s time to clean the closet and your primitive brain is rebelling, you can say, “I hear you, your opinion is noted, and we’re going to clean this closet out,” because at the end of the day, you’ll have the clean closet and the blog post written and the kitchen will be clean and dinner will be ready and you will feel PROUD.

And you won’t have done it in such a frenzied, panicked, exhausted way. You will just be honoring yourself the whole time.

Here’s what I’ve noticed to be true: When you do this, it actually energizes you because you’re honoring yourself. You’re following your commitments. You’re not thinking about all the stuff that you haven’t done. You’re not worried about all the procrastination that you’ve done. You’re not rushing because you have so much urgent stuff to be done. You’re just honoring your calendar.

Whew! OK – I hope that helps you have some ideas for how to really start getting some momentum on those things you’ve been putting off.


Ready to dive deeper into this? Check out Freedom School and see what everyone’s obsessed about. It’s not just group coaching. It’s a mindset revolution that you won’t want to miss.

12 Essential Questions

A lot of people ask me what I do for the New Year since resolutions seem to resonate less and less with how people wanted to enter into this important transition. After all, more resolutions are broken than kept, and that doesn’t feel like a way to enter the New Year with integrity.

With the traditional resolutions, people often find themselves stuck in the same place year after year – even with having the best of intentions and setting achievable goals that seem totally doable. Goals they really really want! Some have been wanting them for decades! Let’s stop that stuckness right now.

It’s time to shake, woman…shake! 

It’s time to step into your wildness, your true desires, your heart-centered visions for your life with the most astute observation, integrity, wisdom, generosity and compassion that you can muster

Before deciding what you want to create in the upcoming year and setting your intentions for those, it is absolutely essential to reflect upon and learn about yourself and your patterns so that you don’t repeat the same mistakes and find yourself in the same old rut – again. Not doing this is why many intentions – aka “resolutions” – fail.

It’s only in knowing what we do right now that we can choose how to do things differently, or choose what patterns to keep and which to let go of. Doing things differently when something isn’t working, and keeping up the things that actually serve us, is how we create better experiences in our life – and lasting happiness too. Yummm right?!

That’s why I want to share with you my personal list of favorite Year-In-Review Questions to help make sure your whole being is prepped for making your next year the Best Year Yet. I’ve found that I create the most success in my life – personally and professionally – when I take the time to reflect on the past with the intention of learning and growing (and not for ruminating or lamenting!).

While creating goals and setting intentions are an important part of actively creating a kick-ass New Year, I’ve learned that BEFORE we do that, we need to reflect on what journeys we have been through, what has happened within us in the past year, so we can approach the next year more skillfully and with deeper wisdom.

I believe this is why “resolutions” are now often seen as clichéd and de-valued. People usually enter into resolutions without mindfulness, true emotional investment, or reflection on what would really make a difference, and a solid plan. Those things are the difference between a “good idea” and a “goal.” A good idea is just that – an idea. A Goal/Intention/Resolution, on the other hand, has a clear vision and a plan – a plan based on reflection and wisdom gained.Starting here is an essential part of building a good foundation for your next year.

After years of doing this every December, here are my favorite questions to ask myself. Have fun doing this! You are going to learn and grow from it, which means you’ll be far less likely to make the same mistakes and be more able to create your ideal life. Juicy, baby!

Pick a time when you have some quiet, uninterrupted space, light some candles (I’m into candles;), pour a glass of your favorite beverage, take a few moments to breathe deeply and calm your mind, and start in on creating the life of your dreams.

12 Essential Freedom Junkie Questions to Review Your Year - and Learn To Make the Next One Your Best Year Yet!

1) What am I most proud of from this past year?

2) WHO helped me achieve that – and did I thank them?

3) WHAT helped me achieve those things (habits, systems, choosing helpful mindsets, letting go of toxic relationships, etc)?

4) Who (or How) was I BEING in my life when I was most content this last year (confident, laid-back, present, slowed-down, adventurous, generous, healthy, compassionate…)?

5) Where could I have invested more energy (and “energy” means time, money, emotions, attention)?

6) What blocked me from investing that energy?

7) How can I remove some of those blocks/obstacles for the upcoming year?

8) What and/or Who did I take for granted this year?

9) How can I honor those people or things more next year?

10) What did I do to nourish my spiritual growth (retreat, regular practice, new supportive relationships, etc)?

11) Was it enough? If not, how can I add to that?

12) What was my take-home lesson from my most intense or powerful experiences in the past 12 months? (Everything happens for a reason!)

I dare you to take one action today based on these reflections. When you write things down – and share them – they take on even more power. If you’re shy, feel free to simply journal or send an email to me about what you plan to do. I’d really love to hear from you!

Have fun reflecting on your past year. It’s a truly valuable and simple “Jedi skill:” to actually learn from our past!

*** If you’re interested in a really awesome way to make the next year your best one yet, join Freedom School. It will set you up to live the best version of you in the year to come. This is an amazing group of rebel women committed to creating lives of freedom, adventure and purpose. You can even gift a Freedom School membership to someone that you know could use the boost and come together! You’ll dive into getting clear about: what you want, how to clear your life of the things you don’t, skills for living an authentic life so you are out there being YOU and not what other people want you to be, and more.

If creating the life you love includes drinking less in the New Year, Freedom School also gives you access to Drink Less, Feel Free, a 4-week program where you learn ways to free yourself from overdrinking. The tools here worked for me – and hundreds of others. You can also give it as a gift to someone you love that has repeatedly told you they wish they didn’t always overdrink. Life is too short to waste hungover or feeling guilty, right? Plus, saying you’ll do something and then not doing it screws with your self-confidence. This program is set up to give you the support and accountability you need.

The Truth About Freedom – 3 Common Mistakes People Make

When I started my business and chose “Freedom Junkie” and “Freedom Sessions” as a part of my brand, I have to admit that I was feeling pretty original. Most coaches were focused on manifesting “success” and finding your “true purpose” or your “genius work,” or living your “dreams.”

These are not bad things! However, Freedom as a word was something that a smaller, more wacky, unconventional and renegade group of coaches focused on. After call, convincing people freedom was da bomb was a lot harder than convincing them to want to be rich or successful…or happy for that matter. As with anything awesome, the word “freedom” eventually caught on in the coaching world, and now you can find the word Freedom everywhere!

But what does this really mean? Does this mean more people are actively looking for more freedom, or that more people are truly teaching how to create more freedom? I sure hope so!

Unfortunately, it seems that for most, things haven’t changed outside of the verbiage used. I’m seeing a lot people say, “Make more money and [therefore] have more freedom!” “Work from your laptop and have more freedom!” “Become an entrepreneur and have more freedom!”

While these are all fun things to have in life, these aren’t really the things that bring you TRUE freedom – they’re just twists on the words success, passion, and location-independence, for example. Do they help you with freedom? Sure! But do they address the root of freedom? No.

We use the word Freedom rather nonchalantly, but the word Freedom implies freedom from something. We can free ourselves from external constraints with financial abundance, location independence, self-employment….

But what’s the ONE THING we are all really seeking freedom from?

We are ALL seeking freedom from suffering. Not even freedom from pain, but from suffering! As the famous quote by the Buddhist teacher Haruki Murakami goes, “Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.”

The {often} hard truth about freedom is that it is so profoundly about the work you’re doing on the inside. In their pursuit of freedom, most people don’t remember these key points:

3 Common Mistakes People Make When Seeking Freedom

1. Forgetting that you first have to own your shit.

Freedom must begin here, with the knowing that life is in YOUR hands and no one else’s – not with your militant boss, your insensitive boyfriend or your mean sibling; not in your past with your controlling/abusive parents, not your crappy neighborhood or the fact that your parents didn’t help you pay for college, not your short stature or your frizzy hair. NONE of that has to do with your freedom in this moment, right now. Until this fact is absorbed, there will always be excuses instead of solutions. And here’s a tweetable, amiga:

You cannot create freedom with excuses.  (Tweet it!)

2. Not knowing what you want and what it feels like

First, get clear about what freedom FEELS like to you, because freedom is a FEELING. Focus on how your body experiences freedom, what it feels like to be free, really conjure up that feeling and its vibration and tap into it. This is the only way you will truly ever be free. If you have no idea what freedom will feel like to you, you won’t ever know when it’s arrived, and you’ll keep seeking in all the different places for it – which are often simply distractions. Unless you actually FEEL free, the other stuff that’s supposed to get you there doesn’t really matter. So be sure you are clear about how you want to feel and experience this whole Freedom thing;)

Once you’re clear about what the Freedom feels like for you, start to get detailed about the other aspects of Freedom.

There are 5 “currencies” of Freedom, not to be mistaken for freedom itself. These are:

  1. time
  2. money
  3. energy
  4. creativity
  5. location

When you are clear about what you want to achieve with each of these forms of freedom moolah, you can more easily see what ISN’T giving you freedom. For example, if you are clear about what you want in a relationship, if you are in a bad or even simply mediocre/”maybe” relationship, you can more easily walk way from it.

Why is this so? When you are clear about what you want, you can make decisions more easily and with more confidence, and you will be less likely to tolerate something that isn’t clearly what you want, or stall taking action due to being unsure or insecure.

When people vacillate about whether or not they are in a good relationship, or if they “should” be more patient with someone or consider their “potential,” this is likely because they aren’t clear about what they want.

When you are clear, you can say, “Sorry. Homegirl don’t play that.” Or, “I don’t date for potential. That’s sooooo 80s.”


When you’re not clear, you start wondering if it’s your shit, or if it’s because you’re tired or mean or too picky. You start wondering if it’s because you are judging them and you know that is a “bad” thing to do. However, when you are clear, it’s not personal. It’s just the facts, ma’am.

3. Not taking action (or simply taking the same actions you’ve been taking and expecting a different outcome)

Once you’re clear about what you want, it’s time to act on that. Only then will your life start to manifest more freedom. And that action needs to be different from what you’ve been doing. You can’t keep doing the same thing expecting a different outcome!

Only when you start saying, “No” when you don’t feel like doing something; when you stop tolerating, when the fear of not being free is greater than the fear of being alone and you leave an unhealthy relationship…

Only when you ACT on behalf of what you want – and you start banking your freedom currency – will freedom manifest.

It’s not enough to dream and set intentions and talk about it. It’s not enough to get a Freedom tattoo on your back or write down all the ways more money will help you get more time, energy, and passport stamps.

This is where the rubber meets the road. Act, and you shall receive (tweet it!).

So ask yourself this now:

:: What’s my shit? What is my baggage, my mistakes, my habitual patterns that no longer serve me, MY self-limiting beliefs...what part of the way my life is right now is not a part of my creation? (Hint: none of it)

:: What DO I want?

:: What’s one thing I can do right now that will move me closer to freedom – to what freedom means for me?

What does freedom means for you, and how you’re going to start manifesting it. The more free women in the world, the more free communities and cities and countries and continents…and the more free souls to light up the universe!

If you want to join a tribe that is totally committed to creating more true freedom, inside and out, click here to learn more about the Freedom Club.


Ready to dive deeper into this? Check out Freedom School and see what everyone’s obsessed about. It’s not just group coaching. It’s a mindset revolution that you won’t want to miss.

This Thought Will Change Everything

I just got back from an awesome business conference in Dallas. I love going to these events because first, they scare the shit out of me.

I start to dream even bigger, which put my brain into fight-or-flight more because I feel kind of maxed out where I am already. I’m already booking most hours in my day (even if those still include playtime in the mountains), using up most of my money (BTW I put away the minimum I need to for retirement because I kind of suck at saving;), and continuing to move towards a life where I work even less than what I do now.

There’s not many things that scare me these days. But creating a bigger dream, putting it out there, and not having it come true is one of them. I fear that people will see me as a failure, that I will have deep regrets, let my family down, or take on too much and end up in overwhelm. Be broke. Get depressed. End up having to sell everything.

The bonus of being an experienced life coach is that I know how to coach myself, and I do know that ultimately, all those things I just said are thoughts. They may feel like real, actual things that I am afraid of, but in reality, they are just thoughts.

Knowing that my fear is created by thoughts – and not reality – has gotten me past every single obstacle I’ve had to overcome. Hard climbs. The first time I dropped into a steep bowl of fresh powder. Class V rapids. Applying to the top grad school in my specialty – and not a single other school, since I knew that was where I wanted to go. Cancer – twice. Being alone with my baby for months out of the year and for many, many weekends and evenings while also working two jobs. Sometimes three. Getting my doctorate degree with a toddler – while working. Starting my coaching business – and quitting my secure job to dive deeper into my business. Falling in love again after a broken heart. Having my heart broken again.

All those things I said above were indeed real – and they for sure happened. But what creates shitty feelings are the thoughts we have about those things – including fear.

So the second reason I love going to these events is because I am reminded of thoughts that can replace the ones that cause my fear. The big one I came home with, from my colleague Kara Lowenthiel:

“I do impossible things every day.”

Damn straight, sister. I have been doing impossible things. Every. Damn. Day. And I can continue to do so.

So when I dream up something so amazing it scares the shit out of me, damn straight I can do that too. I just need to do what I did for everything else: commit to it. Take massive action until I get exactly what I want – no matter what.

In case it wasn’t obvious, this formula works for you too. It’s simple – but not easy. Creating the life of your dreams takes grit and hard work – but life does anyway. So you might as well be creating your dreams while you’re at it.

The latest dream I’ve manifested? It actually brings tears to my eyes, because when I was at my very first business conference, I was asked to dream big – waaaay big – and one of the things I wrote on my 3×5 “goal cards” was to have a home in the mountains and a home on the beach, because I love both of them (but granite mountains trump all else, I think;). And also because growing up, we always lived in rentals, and until I was a teenager, I slept in one bedroom with my parents and my grandma.

Last year I made both of those things happen. In March, I bought this slice of heaven in Baja California Sur, Mexico (see the arrow? That’s pointing to the spot)

In December, I bought this tiny slice of heaven right at the base of the Sierra Nevada mountains of California, staring right up into the east side landmountains where I learned how to be confident, independent, and a true woman of my own making (pic on the right). The place I most dearly call home. Just beyond a nearby pass is one of the most gorgeous places on earth – Evolution Basin – and I can be there in a heartbeat (well, many heartbeats at 100bpm as I hump over the pass, at least;).

So you see – if I can do it, you can too. But first, you have to dream – you have to allow yourself to want the impossible. Because the impossible only seems that way today. And it only seems impossible because you think it is.

Then you need to tell yourself you can do impossible things. Every day. And commit to that – no matter what.

No matter what.

Did I say no matter what?

No. Matter. What.


Pssst. If you want help creating the life of your dreams, schedule a free strategy session with me by clicking here. I’ll show you how it’s possible to get from where you are now to where you want to be.


Ready to dive deeper into this? Check out Freedom School and see what everyone’s obsessed about. It’s not just group coaching. It’s a mindset revolution that you won’t want to miss.