what a 4500 year-old tree taught me about doing hard things

I was hiking toward a forest of knotty, twisted, magical trees, many of which are over 2000 years old, and the oldest of which is over 4773 years old. I wondered what it takes for a tree to live that long.

Most of us would enter into some kind of personifcation and think of things similar to what make strong, beautiful humans: good food, water, a comfortable environment, and if we’re lucky, maybe even good parents and friends. Plus good genes.

For these ancient trees, we might think they need good soil, a temperate climate, ample water, good (but not harsh) sunlight, and not too much exposure to harsh winds or bad storms.

The truth, however, is that we would be utterly wrong.

I learned that contrary to what you might think, the oldest living trees on earth grow at elevations between 9,000 to over 11,000 feet – in high desert. The oldest trees grow on outcrops of dolomite, a low nutrient soil. There are high winds. Harsh temperature variations. Periods of long drought. And they only grow here.

These trees were babies and growing at the time stone axes were being used in Europe, the Great Pyramids were being built, and when clay tablets were being used in northern Syria.

Holy shit, right? That’s some serious living…And they didn’t need the easy life.

What if we’re just as wrong about what makes strong, beautiful humans?

I sat with this tree you see in the photo (photo credit: Elliot McGucken), and marveled at the miracle of life it was a symbol of. So beautiful and resilient in such a harsh environment. The things that tree must have seen because it was willing to…endure.

I wondered what would have happened to this tree if it thought that it “should” have been born somewhere…easier. Nicer. Gentler. Or if it thought it should be bigger. Straighter. More green.

After all, it’s what most of us humans do.

We wonder what life would be like if we had different parents, a better partner, a kickass job, a bigger house. If we lived closer to the beach, the mountains, a cultural epi-center, or a river. If we had more money. A tighter butt. Skinnier hips. A higher IQ. If we could climb 5.13 or paddle Class V.

I bet if that tree had all those thoughts, “shoulding” on itself, it would have shriveled up at the first hard drought. Or gotten toppled over at the first big storm, not having bothered to put down strong roots in such an unrelenting place.

That’s often what happens to humans who think, “Poor me.” They give up.

But this tree didn’t think that way. Or maybe it didn’t think anything at all. It just kept living, doing what it takes. Making the best out of what it has. Knowing, trusting, this is exactly where it should be.

These trees loves it here. So much so, that they can’t grow in rich soil or kinder, gentler places. They need these challenges to thrive.

What if humans “thought” more like this tree. What if we didn’t question if who we are or what we have is enough?

What if we thought, “This is exactly who I am supposed to be. I am perfect for this life of mine. This is exactly what is supposed to be happening. I am exactly where I am supposed to be. I was born to be right here, right now. I can do this. I’ve got this.”

I bet life would be different. I bet we’d be a whole lot happier. A whole lot nicer, more productive, and energetic. A whole lot…better off.

Some might argue, “Yeah – and we’d also have no development or evolution or progress for those of us stuck in shitty situations.”

Nah. Those are just more excuses for not choosing to be happy. When we are happy, we are actually open to more innovation, more options, more creativity. When we are happy, we can more easily generate more happiness.

When we endure, when have have survived and learned from getting through challenging times (instead of complain about it and wish things were different), we evolve, we adapt, we are resilient, and we are more confident.

We’ve done hard things. And instead of running from them, we aren’t afraid of them. We take more risks, we think big, We don’t shrink back.

We say, “Bring it on!”

Happiness is a choice. I had a Tibetan spiritual teacher that told me, “If you wanted to, you could be happy Just. Like. THAT!” And he made a dramatic snapping of his fingers high up in the air.

I just stared at him. I had no freakin’ clue how that was supposed to happen.

He told me I had to learn to direct my mind. Think different thoughts. To know that I create my own experience of reality. I needed to turn my suffering into happiness. WTF?

Fast-forward 26 years later, and I think I am starting to get it. This tree…this hella old, knotty, beautiful tree gets it.

Being happy is not easy. But I’m starting to believe that it is actually that simple.

We humans need to experience hard things to grow into something of a true work of art…a beautiful, twisted, gnarled and hearty human being whose life is their masterpiece. If we didn’t suffer, we wouldn’t grow and adapt and be pushed to rise up to the occasion.

We would not learn what we are made of.

This tree was not born wondering if it could make it. We, being silly humans, often do.

Know that you can.

Know that if you weren’t able to handle what you’re in, it would not be happening.

What’s going on in your life that you’d rather have…go away?

If you can actually make it go away, then by all means, do that.

But if you can’t, if you are truly not able to change what’s going on right now, what would happen if you chose to feel better about it? What if you chose to think differently about it so that it served you instead of ate you up?

This, my friend, could be a game-changer.

You’ve got this.


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 Travel on a Budget like a Bad-Ass – Freedom Junkie® Tips for How to Live a Life of Fun, Passion, and Freedom Without Going Broke

I’ve traveled a LOT. I’ve filled two passports in my lifetime so far (I’m 38), and one even had extra pages, which I’m really proud of;) In fact, the first passport I filled was when I was making less than $14,000 a year. It might have even been less than $11,000 a year but I’d hate to exaggerate. Learning how to travel on a budget doesn’t have to break the bank.

I started my independent travels when in college, on scholarship, working for the Outdoor Recreation Department at UC Santa Cruz to make a bit of extra cash. I was also a New York Times campus paper girl. Suffice it to say, I wasn’t rolling in the dough.

And I didn’t just travel. I danced naked at drum circles on the beach and howled at the moon. I somehow still ate sushi and drank nice wine. I went on full-moon mountain bike rides. I went to hot springs on ocean cliffs as the waves sprayed me under the stars. I climbed mountains and kayaked with dolphins. I surfed, and fell in love on rooftops in Kathmandu.

My life was pretty Badass – and stayed Badass even after I graduated and entered “the real world.”

I want you to know you don’t have to work your ass off for only a few weeks of adventure a year. You can live a super FUN life, every day, even on a budget.

Here are some tips I’ve learned after years of preferring time over money of how to travel on a budget:

Freedom Junkie Tip #1 Expand Your Comfort Zone

Many friends said to me, “I wish I could travel like you. I just can’t afford to!” I’d think, “What??? You make $60,000 a year! Or even $90,000 a year! (Or more!) How could you not afford to when I pulled it off making less than $14,000 a year?”

It wasn’t lost on me that I lived out of my Volvo stationwagon with prayer flags, and that my only utility bill was my cell phone.

True: Lifestyle and comfort zone count. When you don’t require your outside temperature to be in homeostasis 100% of the time, it’s much more affordable. It’s really expensive to do otherwise (e.g. “The Venetian” in Vegas)

What do YOU need to feel comfortable and have a good time? Do you REALLY have to have air conditioning all the time when its a wee bit hot out? Do you REALLY need to have Starbucks coffee wherever you go? Do you REALLY need to have feather pillows and hot water (even if it is 90F out)?

If so, plan on working a LOT to pay for short vacations, because it is pretty tough to meet those standards in most awesome vacation spots, so it will cost you a pretty penny. (Although I have to admit that my friend Chris Guillebeau has managed to do the 4-star thing on a budget too. That’s advanced, but learnable!).

When you expand your comfort zone, you have a whole lot of options that open up – and a lot of great adventures to be had as well!

Freedom Junkie Tip #2 Go for the experience, and not the things

A lot of people come back from vacations talking about how awesome their vacation was because their hotel had an infinity pool and they had a kick-ass flat screen TV and the weather was awesome. Those things ARE all awesome. However, if you can’t afford the TV or the infinity pool, know that meeting a local because you were friendly and social, then getting invited to a party by them, then eating new and strange food they cooked over a fire, and partaking in a neighborhood illegal lobster hunt (before you knew it was illegal), makes for a way better “No shit, there I was!” story. By the way, this doesn’t just happen while traveling. I had the best time in San Francisco – the city I was BORN in – when I ran into some people, socialized, and got invited to the $5 Party Bus for a raucous evening of live, mobile, performing art. My friend found was telling me about how he managed to go on a great trip in his caravan. He doesn’t have a ton of money but he got a great loan from Auto Finance Online. I’d say its worth a look if you’re interested in finding the right caravan for your travels.

Be present, and stop wanting to be doing something or being with someone or being somewhere other than what is happening right now. There is so much juicy life to be had in the here and now, so many opportunities for mini-adventures if we’d just stop looking past the present.

Freedom Junkie Tip #3 What to eat, drink, and buy

Don’t drink too much alcohol unless you budget for it. Alcohol is the most expensive thing in restaurants at home or when you travel. You can get an entire dinner in Thailand for $3 but then spend the same for a glass of wine.

Cook a lot and eat out less while at home AND while traveling. People who cook really well, making yummy simple meals, are badass – and people will think it is really cool that you can do it too.

Learn to LOVE – absolutely LOVE – beans and rice.

This is obvious but I wanted to remind you because people used to make fun of me for doing it as a kid: get your clothes used. In fact, get lots of things used. Don’t buy crappy used. Buy quality used. Shabby chic but the for-realz shabby chic. The pic of our yurt in Alaska – everything recycled – is to the left.

Don’t be afraid to eat street food when traveling unless you ALWAYS get really sick. Some people are constitutionally weaker in the GI tract. Go to the busy people. Street food is under scrutiny by locals as well, and locals know who has nasty street food or who doesn’t take care of or clean their equipment well.

Having said that, be willing to get a little diarrhea and not be pissed about it. Traveling to cool places means new cool bugs. If you practice general sanitation guidelines like washing your hands, carrying hand disinfectant (and using it), and drinking clean water, you’ll be fine enough. A tablet of ciprofloxacin 500mg will take care of most stomach bugs anyway. And Pepto Bismol is the shit. Ha Ha.

Beer is cheaper than wine. Stick to beer or the local moonshine, or go to the wine specials section and buy by the case.

Freedom Junkie Tip #4 Independent Budget Travel

I still employ a lot of the tactics I used back when I was less financially abundant when I travel now. I call it “Dirtbag By Choice.” Budget travel is more exciting to me, even though I don’t “have” to travel that way. And these days, I find it is also safer, as independent travelers are less of a target for mean people (like terrorists) than if you’re hanging out in a 4-star hotel (we were sleeping on a cargo boat in Timbuktu when terrorists came to a hotel in the city).

The most expensive thing about traveling to the places I go to is the plane ticket. After that, if border crossings are involved, it’s visa fees. After that, it’s beer.

Having said that, here are a few tips on budget travel:

  • Be willing to spend more on a ticket to travel someplace with a super low cost of living. I would save up and fly to Nepal for $1800, and spend $600 the whole month I was there. Conversely many of my friends blow $400-600 per DAY in Vegas or Hawaii. Or freakin’ Disneyland with kids. It’s even better if you can stay longer after traveling so far. I’d stay in Nepal for 3 months at a time. However, if $1800 freaks you out, or you can’t stay for longer periods of time, or both: you can get to Mexico on Alaska Airlines for around $300-400 fairly regularly. And two fresh fish tacos with yummy guacamole and a cold Tecate or Dos Equis will cost you about $5-6. Beach camping is free in many spots.
  • Celebrate that you can still eat, drink, and sleep well on a budget if you go to the right places. I could spend $400 a month in India while eating and drinking VERY well. Yes, I had to go face to face with cockroaches twice, and a rat once. But that is CHEAP! And know that in most countries, those things are in fancy places too. They’re just better hidden;) In Thailand I could stay in bungalows on the beach – ON THE BEACH with a wonderful fan, which I much prefer over A/C – for $15-20.
  • What if you don’t like to travel to developing countries but want to fly somewhere? Hawaii. You can camp. And cook over a fire. And rent your own kayaks instead of going on a tour. I went to Hawaii and spent: $300 plane ticket (Hawaiian Airlines) from SFO, free camping (or tops it would be $10/night), a bowl of tasty poke with rice $7-9, cook breakfast (actually not that cheap to buy groceries there, ironically!) $6. Car rental was $180 for the week (90), and gas was $120 for two, total. One week in Hawaii, all inclusive per person: around $640. I brought my own snorkeling gear.
  • Don’t travel at peak times. Avoid spring break, Holidays, etc. Look into the Holidays of where you are going too. I once went to Istanbul during Ramadan, which was followed by their Spring break. Domestic flights were booked for two weeks straight over my Holiday. You can view all domestic flights here if you’re interested in booking some.
  • Be flexible with your dates when buying plane tickets. A day can make a huge difference in airfare. I was going to fly to New York once and saved $350 by leaving a day earlier.
  • Get a frequent flyer rewards credit card and use it to buy EVERYTHING. And pay it off in full every month. Some people even get several rewards credit cards. That scares me. But I admit to having two, which I pay off in full. I earn at least 2-3 round trip tickets a year (to fly to the equivalent of Europe for each one, miles-wise), because one comes with a companion fare of $99 a year as well. I once bought a car on my credit card and paid it off the next week (I’d saved for it)…but I got the points!
  • Use airline consolidators. These are different than companies like Travelocity or Kayak. I saw a ticket on Travelocity to Dakar for $3200. When I called the consolidator, it was $1600. Now THAT’s what I’m talking about!
  • Travel WITH someone. Splitting things like cabs/rickshaws/meals/a bottle of wine is way cheaper. However, make sure they are trained. My boyfriend used to debate whether $3 more is worth it for an attached bathroom. It is if he wants to have sex. He now knows to not ask if I think it will be “worth it.”
  • Don’t go with a tour. Maybe a package deal can be worth it if they get good airfare plus hotel…but I tend to move a lot from city to city, so I never come out ahead with the hotel deals. However, I once bought a plane ticket/hotel combo to Baja and never used the hotel portion. The airfare was just cheaper that way. I know. Weird.
  • Plan ahead– tickets are always more expensive when you buy within 2 weeks…unless you’re like me and call last-minute and say, “Hey, I have 3- days off. Where can I go for super cheap right now?” Sometimes there are crazy-good last-minute deals, but you’ll have less choice about where to go. Vegas seems to pop up a lot…which is cool because I don’t gamble, but I do like climbing in Red Rocks. This also applies to different experiences you can participate in. For example, buying pre-booked tickets for a whale watching California experience would be more reasonable than buying one on the day. Plan ahead and you WILL save yourself money.
  • Use independent travel guides like Lonely Planet and The Rough Guide to help you do things your own way. Get on their forums and discover killer sample itineraries for wherever you want to go. People can even give you updated ferry schedules etc for cities you want to visit!
  • I sometimes get the itineraries from cool travel companies like Mountain Travel Sobek (who kicks ass, by the way – I used them for Bhutan because you HAVE to go with a guide in Bhutan and it was epic). Once you get their well-researched itin, you can then figure out how to do their itinerary on your own. Sahweet! I did a four-day itin in Cambodia en route to Bhutan from Bangkok. I planned a four-day layover in Bangkok before flying out to Bhutan. Their cost for the Angkor Wat “additional leg” of the trip? $650 per person for two or more, $985 for a solo traveler. Mine? $450-500 (with plane ticket). BTW I just want to point out – if you can afford Sobek, go on at least one trip with them. They are crazy good. And thanks for the itin tips, Sobek;)
  • Carry a mosquito net (if applicable) so you don’t have to stay in a fancy hotel just to avoid getting malaria. Plus, if you ever want to sleep on an open-air cargo boat like I did on the River Niger in Mali, you can do so comfortably.
  • Take second class trains and busses. You don’t need first class. It is usually freezing from out-of-control A/C in first class, and you won’t get to meet the locals. The exception is some buses, on which first class is the only way to guarantee your bus MIGHT have brakes (“guarantee” and “might”…oxymoron?). But in those countries, even first class is cheap. Third class is usually nasty – even to locals. I don’t do it unless I absolutely have to.
  • Be a woman. Once I met my boyfriend, my travel budget got cut (except maybe it wasn’t as bad as I thought because we split things). I used to get so much free stuff. Flights. Food. Drink. Sailing trips. And no, I didn’t even have to have sex for it. In India, there are freakin’ LINES just for women. You can bypass 30 men to get in the lady’s line and get the last two tickets to Shangrila. Sahweet!

Freedom Junkie Tip #5 Camp

Sleeping outside is one of the coolest things to like to do. You can do SO MUCH for so cheap, be in stunningly beautiful places, and usually meet hilarious characters – especially if you’re willing to go a bit out of your way.

Learn to like sleeping on the ground. You will get to do much cooler shit for hardly any money if you don’t need a fancy bed. You can get a comfy sleeping mat, or better yet, backs tend to like firm surfaces, so you can try to learn to like something as simple as a carpet then more power to you! Most would enjoy investing in a really comfy sleeping pad if you need to. The super luxurious ones can cost up to $200+, but you’ll sleep like a baby, and you’ll save that in hotel room rates immediately.

Go to national parks: I buy a national park pass every year. $80 Unlimited admission to National Parks and Monuments (those can be $20 a pop!). Camp in the walk-in campgrounds so you don’t have to spend $20/night on camping. Or spend $20 a night on camping. It’s still cheap.

Check out alternative sleeping structures – some parks and tourist outdoorsy spots have SUPER nice things to rent out like yurts (that some with wood and kitchen supplies) which are really popular on the Oregon Coast, treehouses, fancy canvas wall tents…there are lots of new creative things to stay in! And most are quite romantic…at least for me!

If you have to choose, go for more time than money. There’s a saying:

On either side of the socioeconomic spectrum exists a leisure class

The luxury of time exists with the very rich or the un/underemployed. I fell in the latter for a long time (by choice). Not a lot of money, but a hell of a lot of time.

In my experience, having made anywhere from $11,000 a year to a super awesome 6-figure income, I had a LOT more time to have fun when I made less money. I have spent years learning how to make money AND have more time, but barring you taking the time to do the same, don’t sweat it if you are in a time vs money situation. If you have time, USE IT. Once you make a lot of money in the traditional sense, time costs more;)

(Note: If you don’t have a hell of a lot of money AND not a whole lot of time, we need to chat.)

Freedom Junkie Tip #6 What to Do

Do yoga. You will deal with all discomforts – mental and physical – much more skillfully and with more grace. Also, BONUS! : You’ll be much more comfortable sleeping on cargo ships and enduring long bus rides…and sleeping on the ground (which, as we’ve established, is uber fun).

Learn a little bit of the language and cultural customs wherever you go, even if that’s only a different part of town – and even it’s only basic phrases and simple niceties. When you travel – especially budget travel – you have much more interaction with locals, because pretty much the whole world is on a budget. Knowing their language will make interactions much more pleasant and interesting. Pictionary skills are awesome. And hand gestures. Get proficient at these.

Smile. Not only do people open their hearts and homes to pleasant people, you can get lots of free shit and at least avoid a lot of hassles by being pleasant, both here and abroad. As one Jersey cop told me, “You’ll catch a lot more flies with honey than with vinegar” Why he said that is another story;)

I’d love to hear more ideas about how to live a Badass Life on a budget. Please leave a comment below and share your ideas with us! I’ll definitely reply. Promise;)

PS: for more Über useful tips and beta on adventure travel on a budget and lifestyle-based businesses, check out Chris Guillebeau’s stuff like “Frequent Flyer Master” and his other programs. He’s all about freedom (like us!) and we speaka da same language. This is my affiliate link, BTW, because he and I help each other out. So I may get to buy a coffee on you if you use it, and it doesn’t cost you any more either. Sahweet 😉

Note: Ana Verzone (Neff) is a personal life coach, mentor and FreedomJunkie® She helps individuals awaken their lives of freedom and personal success with confidence, clarity, self-love, and passion. Her monthly Ziji Up! ™ eZine goes out to hundreds of subscribers. If you are ready to take your life and your world to the next level, you can learn more about her coaching programs and download her FREE Getting Clear Guide by visiting FreedomJunkie.com.

Why Adventure Is Essential To Your Evolution

This moving away from comfort and security, this stepping out into what is unknown, uncharted and shaky – that’s called liberation” ~ Pema Chodron

You should know that I have always qualified adventure as being a very personal word. My definition of adventure doesn’t have to be yours.

But to give you an idea of what I mean, consider that you can feel adventure when climbing a mountain; you can feel it overcoming a physical challenge like a marathon, or cancer; you can feel it when you risk your heart to be with your soul mate. I even feel adventure when I go to a new city, check out a new restaurant, try a new yoga pose, or learn a new skill.

Good ol’ Merriam says: (n) ad-ven-ture

1: an undertaking usually involving danger and unknown risks

2: an exciting or remarkable experience

Adventure often involves risk – but not necessarily danger. It can be very self-limiting to confuse the two.

While I don’t think danger is an essential part of spiritual evolution, I do think occasionally taking risks is. This is because what we “risk” is often as simple as losing “what is familiar” to us, and not nearly as dangerous as it initially feels. Yet being willing to risk losing the familiar can open up worlds for us.

However, keep in mind that adventure can also be as “easy” as “an exciting or remarkable experience.” Ahhhhhh….

So why exactly is adventure – and the risks we take with adventures – important to our evolution?

When we are focused on spiritual evolution (inward and outward freedom) and things get routine, our minds grows dull, and the negative thought patterns and limiting beliefs that we all have, which we work on mastering daily, are harder to break.

Things feel more permanent and real.

We think we have “proof” that they are permanent and real because nothing seems to be changing.

They appear that way because to be efficient, our brains choose – and prefer – to travel down the same neuronal pathways and do things the same way they’ve always been done. Therefore, we get the same results.

And nothing changes. Then we say, “See! That’s how things are!”

The problem – and solution – and coolest thing ever – is that things are not so permanent and “real.” When we think they are, that’s when we are not free. That’s when we think we don’t have a choice. That’s when we suffer and get stuck. That’s when we give up.

It becomes the Same. Old. Shit. Everyday.

Our brains have an inherent need to find patterns, which help them work more efficiently. Because of this, simply doing things differently feels like a risk for most of us, and we try to avoid change.

It takes energy to do things differently, and the brain naturally resists change. This was more helpful when our lives needed us to primarily be in survival mode.

It is less helpful when we are trying to evolve.

But when we remain open to change – to the fact that we have choice in our lives with not only what we do, but also in how we think – it creates new neuronal connections, new pathways that allow our thoughts and our actions to create a new life – the life we want.

Life lived your way!

Change is new, we don’t know what to expect, it feels…weird! We have lost our sense of familiarity, and we perceive it as a risk, or as unsafe.

But let’s admit it…even though it is uncomfortable, we tend to feel most alive when we are on the edge, when we are stretching ourselves. This is because when we take those risks – whether to simply try something new, or do something terrifying – we grow!

So guess what is a bona fide scientific way to help your mind be open to change, to new thought patterns, new neuronal pathways and networks…to freakin’ neogenesis of the mind!?

Trying new things.

Doing things differently. Stretching out of your comfort zone aka = Adventure.

I’m not shizzling you.

There’s a great study from the UK where they took a group of individuals and had them do several things:

      • Pick from a list of opposite characteristics every day, and BE in that opposite for a set period of time (a few hours, the whole day). For example, outgoing – shy; likes to talk sports – likes to talk philosophy; optimistic – pessimistic, etc. If you were normally outgoing, you’d spend the time that day “being” shy. If you liked to talk sports, you would spend the time brushing up on chatting about Kant or Descartes.
      • Eat a new type of food twice a week
      • Read something they’ve never read before twice a week (didn’t have to be a book)

And guess what? Over 70% of them lost 11 lbs – at least.

WTF does that have to do with anything?

The conclusion was that they lost weight because they started to realize that everything was a choice – including what and how much they ate. Some of the participants commented on how they would ask themselves why they were eating what they were, if they were actually really hungry, and if they really needed it. And not just with food. With everything.

It makes sense. Afterall, they practiced different ways of being every day, which must have opened up some new ideas about why they were choosing to be in their “normal” state of being so much.

Interestingly, this is the same theory that scientists have about one of the reasons why yoga – even non-strenuous styles of yoga – helps people lose weight. Awareness.

** When you do new things, when your mind is asked by necessity – on a regular basis – to change it up and not fall into the same pattern, it is more malleable. **

You are then open to more options in how you think, the thoughts you choose to focus on, the way you respond, and the way you choose to spend your time…

You are also likely to have less attachment (the bad kind…not the kind to Nutella!) when you don’t do the same dang thing everyday, which means you can adapt to change more readily and easily.

And remember, things are always changing. It’s resistance to it that messes us up.

Too much change can indeed be stressful. But I’m just asking you to juicy things up a bit – a little new salsa here and there, an adventure flick instead of that dark Euro drama (I can’t believe there’s a category for that on Netflix!), oh yes – even a new hanky panky move. Or hell, go to Mauritius instead of Hawaii this year!

Isn’t this all so exciting?! This means that your mind – which, in my belief, is the root of most of our suffering – is malleable, there are methods to increase your successful evolution, and it can become the source of happiness. True happiness.

You can start to eliminate the negative thoughts that run in the back of your mind all day (or on the days of heavy funk, maybe they’re more at the front of your mind). You can create new opportunities and experiences. You can feel more ALIVE and passionate about your life.

That’s good shizzle.

I guess that’s a huge reason for why Freedom Junkies do the crazy things we do. Maybe we didn’t know it when we were younger. Perhaps we thought we just didn’t want to be bored.

But now there is a better understanding of the effect new experiences have on the mind. We now have insight into the effects of new experiences on our sense of freedom, both inside and out – and the reality of that freedom as well.

When you experience how good it feels to be open to change and to not fear doings things differently, when you see glimpses into how free and FUN life is when you create daily opportunities for new things to happen, you too will become addicted to daily adventures.

We now know that adventure (done your way) it is a need, and not merely a want. At least if you want to evolve;)

So how about we make this a party?!!

Let’s get out there and do some new things. You don’t have to do what I do. Or what anyone else does. We all dance to our own drum. Do what works for you – just do something new, something differently – regularly.

Then, see how working with your mind becomes easier. You can more likely respond instead of react. “Create” instead of “fall victim to.” Choose the compassionate and skillful reaction instead of the aggressive one you’ll later feel guilty or ashamed about. Make healthier choices for you body.

Choose happiness. Oh, SNAP! The bonuses are endless!

We all need adventure. We need it to evolve ourselves – and our world. Go git you some.

Take a moment to share below what new adventures you’re going to add to your life, knowing it will help free your mind and create more freedom in the world you experience.

Note: Are you interested in taking this to a deeper level? Keep an eye out for registration for my 2015 Freedom Sessions Adventure Mastermind. We will spend the entire year as an intimate tribe, going on three amazing adventure retreats, working with our minds and inner beings methodically and metaphysically, learning what our old stories are, skills to unravel, debunk, and oust unhealthy thought patterns and beliefs, and rewriting our new life stories – making change more permanent and lasting. This helps us effectively creating the lives we desire – finally! – and we’ll be having FUN while we’re at it;) Use the contact form by clicking here if you’d like to learn more. It will be juicy!

Days 114 to 117 – Full On Forgiveness

I’m at the Telluride Mountainfilm Festival and it has been full on for the last few days: amazing powerful films (Fambul Tok was one that particularly moved me), fun evenings, mountain bike rides in the San Juan mountains (pic to the left) and being inspired every which way I turn.

This film fest is not just about adventure films. It’s about social awareness (this year’s topic is Population) and hanging with a tribe of people hell bent on making a difference in this world.

I have so much to write about, but I only have my iPhone and my thumbs would fall off…so more later. But in the meantime, ponder this:

Fambul Tok (“family talk”) is about the grassroots reconciliation process that was created by Sierra Leonians after the horrifci civil war. Brothers had raped their friends sisters, best fiends killed each others’ parents, a man watched as someone killed his children as he his behind a bush to save his life and hopefully the rest of his family…horrid events that most of us are privileged to not have to ever witnessed.

But community is the most important value in the culture of Sierra Leone, and after the horrors, it was hard to come back as a family/community – and this proved unbearable for the survivors.

Me and Thai at the ice cream social – Mountainfilm, Telluride, CO

In this movie, people gathered around a campfire and forgave the atrocities committed by another- a woman hugged her rapist (who expressed remorse and shared how he had no choice but they were going to kill him otherwise), and they danced together around the fire. Two best friends reunited after one had first beat his friend then killed his friend’s fathers by slitting his throat (under command of the rebels that captured him at gunpoint). They now grow a garden together.

I tell you, it was fascinating to watch. I will write more about this later, but it made me think:

1) our culture would have said they had a choice, that they could have been killed rather than commit those atrocities. But in Sierra Leone, they completely understood the human desire to preserve their own life, and this helped forgive

2) forgiveness is a state of mind that can happen so quickly if we let it

3) what do I value so much that it puts my pain second? (like in Sierra leone, it was the need to live like a family again. The pain of isolation and living as insidious was more awful than the pain of what had happened)

…I have many thoughts on this. I’d love to hear yours, and I’d love for you to watch this if you get a chance!

Note: Ana Neff is a personal life coach, guide and FreedomJunkie™ She helps individuals awaken their lives of freedom and personal success with confidence, clarity, self-love, and passion. Her monthly Jedi Juice™ eZine goes out to hundreds of subscribers. Her Full-On 365 blog posts stem from her commitment to living full-on, every day, for 365 days in a row. If you are ready to take your life and your world to the next level, you can learn more about her coaching programs and download  her FREE Getting Clear Guide by visiting anaverzone.com (note: it’s new look will be up to rock your world soon)! Sign up for her next FREE Jedi Juice Training call on the Law of Attraction at anaverzone.com/jedi-juice

Days 101 to 105 The Good Fear – FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)

Well dog my cats! I went pack rafting today and didn’t shit my pants! I have this thing with drowning…and the way I tend to address my fears is dive straight into them. Inevitably they seem far less freaky than what my mind was making up. Buuuuut with whitewater kayaking or pack rafting, it feels a little harder to embrace being dumped into a rapid, upside down. It’s that “airway” thing, I guess.

The depths of the ocean freaked me out, so I learned to scuba dive. It was much prettier and mellow down there than the dark muddied world of ugly gray breasts that I’d made up whenever a strand of seaweed would brush against my leg at the beaches in Santa Cruz.

Heights made me dizzy so I learned to climb, and discovered that getting over that fear for the kick ass views was well worth it.

Here I am after packrafting Clear Creek, where it runs into the Klamath River

I was afraid to have my heart hurt again, so I flung it wide open for my soul mate, who is – as I write this on my iPhone on the banks of Clear Creek – on my mountainbike riding uphill 8 miles to go get the car, which we left at the put-in upriver. We’re uber happy, to say the least;)

In any event, until recently, I allowed myself to be afraid of whitewater, because I figured it’s ok to be afraid of <em>something,</em> right? But then whenever my friends did it, I felt like I was missing out. They’d come back all tan and happy, and with this cool shared experience. And deep down, I knew I could do it. And deep down, I wish I was better at it. So, I did it:)

Hey! There is it again! That fear I’ve written about a few times: FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out.

Well thank God for FOMO. Without it, I might be better rested and comfortable, but because of it, I keep having amazing new experiences, meeting absolutely amazing people, playing in the wilderness, getting stronger in body, mind, and spirit…and heart. And I feel ALIVE!

Of course, you don’t have to be on whitewater or a mountain to feel alive. We all have our own thing for that.

What is yours? What helps you feel alive?

And what are you fearing you might be missing out on? What could you do to drop into it and have a cool experience?

Does it require you to call a friend, or go on a date by yourself and check out that new wine bar and hit up that long yet awesome movie you’ve been wanting to see? Does it mean you need to stop protecting your heart so much that you don’t take anymore risks?

FOMO is a good fear – at least for me. The fear of missing out often overpowers the fear of whatever it is before me. And I grow as a result. I mean, I’m with my freakin’ soulmate!!!

It keeps me on my toes, taking inner and outer risks, and opening to the opportunities that the Universe present before me.

This planet is so utterly, epically, über amazing. Being human is such a precious gift. Our spirits and hearts are so much more resilient and magnificent than we can ever imagine them to be.

So, what’s your FOMO? Please do share below! I’d love to hear from you.


Note: Ana Neff is a personal life coach, guide and FreedomJunkie™ She helps individuals awaken their lives of freedom and personal success with confidence, clarity, self-love, and passion. Her monthly Jedi Juice ™ eZine goes out to hundreds of subscribers. Her Full-On 365 blog posts stem from her commitment to living full-on, every day, for 365 days in a row. If you are ready to take your life and your world to the next level, you can learn more about her coaching programs and download  her FREE Getting Clear Guide by visiting Anaverzone.com (note: it’s new look will be up to rock your world soon)! Sign up for her next FREE Jedi Juice Training call on the Law of Attraction at anaverzone.com/jedi-juice

Days 74 to 77 – Alaskan Tidbits

thai and ana matanuska
Matanuska River Valley (me and Thai)

Alaska has done it again. Won my heart. Lifted my spirit. Grounded me in my body and my being and to this earth.

This weekend we were going to go to Portage Glacier for an adventure. But it rained (and blessed be the friends and thei iPhones with good reception that let us know what the weather was like before we drove all the way over there!).

So we put on the breaks, drove north to the Matanuska River Valley (I always wondered where Matanska was…for realz!) and did the most epic and Living Full-On Every Dayadventurous…CAR CAMPING! We set up a HUGE tent in which there was a kitchen table and stove. We had a portable wood burning stove (it even had a tall stovepipe that threatened to fall over on us and melt our fancy gear) that kept us toasty, and there was fiddle playing, trumpet trumpeting, and iPhone tripping (listen here: iPhone wawa). Even a mandolin. And wine and rum and LOTS of stars.

Cliff Wilson on the backyard ski
Cliff Wilson on the backyard ski

The next morning, after blissful sleeping in, I got bit by my first mosquito of the season (yes, they are the size of birds here, even in early spring). We then skied in our “backyard,” and visited some friends across the valley before skiing back home to our Bibler tents.

That eve, we ran into Anchorage and had an epic Vietnamese dinner cooked for us by Thai’s brother, Tonio, before crashing out in our cozy yurt (which is much more cozy now that it was last month…like 10-20 degrees cozier).

ana greanite mountain
me on an after-work ski, with Granite Mountain in the background

Yesterday morning we drove back to the Matanuska Valley and I had a day of amazing Full On client calls. After our workday, we skied to Granite Mountain before having an incredible dinner cooked for us by friends here in Matsu (and the most ridiculously yummy havarti and parmesean cheese biscuits ever!).

Today, I woke up seeing a breathtaking view (see below). Then Thai went to his clinic while I worked on Full On, and we paused mid-day to make lunch along the Matanuska river bank (cheese quesadillas with egg). After that I had an uber fun Question and Answer group coaching call with my Ziji Up Mastery Program peeps.

Tonight? Arctic Entries storytelling back in Anchorage. The theme is “Pioneers: stories of sourdoughs, homesteaders, and self-starters.” Psyched! And tomorrow we head out for a sailing trip to Homer and beyond.

matanuska river valley
My view of the Matanuska River Valley from the deck

The best part is I have caught up on sleep, and am finally feeling like myself again. I’ve got ENERGY!!!! Watch ouuuuuuttttt world!


Note: Ana Neff is a personal life coach, guide and FreedomJunkie™ She helps individuals awaken their lives of freedom and personal success with confidence, clarity, self-love, and passion. Her monthly Jedi Juice ™ eZine goes out to hundreds of subscribers. Her Full-On 365 blog posts stem from her commitment to living full-on, every day, for 365 days in a row. If you are ready to take your life and your world to the next level, you can learn more about her coaching programs and download  her FREE Getting Clear Guide by visiting anaverzone.com (note: it’s new look will be up to rock your world soon)! Sign up for her next FREE Jedi Juice Training call at anaverzone.com/jedi-juice



Days 66 to 69 – Creating Kicks Ass

Living Full-On Every DayCreating kicks ass. I know this, because I had my first free three-day weekend in a while (meaning not only did I not have schedule work, but I also had no other plans made) and I chose to focus on Freedom Junkie and create. And you know what? It was awesome. Of course, it would have even more awesome if I were able to do what I did in the wilderness with a view of snow-capped rugged peaks (hmmmm…perhaps that magazine cover with me using an iPad while backpacking isn’t so far from reality as I had originally thought…). However, being able to look out my window and see the distant hills, the blue sky, these gorgeous tree blossoms, and know that I  would have uninterrupted time to create was such an indulgence.

I have often thought about the time available to us in our youth. Sometimes seemingly wasted time, with us lacking the wisdom to “make the most of it.” I have often wistfully yearned for the freedom to have a thought, and ponder it for hours. The hours! What a luxury. And here I gave myself permission to geek out on Ziji for an entire weekend. No answering any calls except from my partner or my mother. No errands. No laundry. Just pure creation. And I couldn’t wait for it to start!

The result? No more jotting down notes while driving, no more dictating blog ideas into my iPhone. No wishing that I was able to completely focus on my genius work (not something I am good at, or even excellent at, but something that fills my cup, that nourishes my soul). I immersed myself in Ziji and it was phantastic;)

I created four new Free Training Calls (aka Jedi Juice). I named them Jedi Juice because of the total badass-ness of the power of creation they open you up to…and because Yoda es el señor). I decided I was going to offer them for free. I got super psyched to pick the topics most important to my Ziji peeps. I got uber invested in offering unbeatable value in everything I offered. I stayed up until 4am writing. I slept in. I did yoga. I went on runs in the hills. I had ideas and I thought about them. For a long time. Uninterrupted.


I was on a creative retreat, and I’d never really taken one before.

The first day of this stretch, I held a Ziji Up Mastery Program group coaching call. Then I sat in a steamroom for 30 min and  afterwards I got a 90 minutes massage. Then I sat in the steamroom again. Then I created two new programs that night. Talk about return on investment! I stayed up awhile, but I was jazzed.

So…create! Go forth and freakin’ create! When you are doing something you love, all the work and what you create it is merely love manifested – not burdensome.

What fills your creative soul? Is it singing? Writing? Dressing up or doing your hair or makeup? Is it planing a backcountry expedition? Is it organizing a trip to a remote part of the world? WHAT IS IT?

You must find the answer if you don’t know it yet. If you do know it, DO it and BE it now.

We are creative beings, and to manifest our creative destiny is one of the greatest gifts we can leave this world. If you don’t think you’re “creative” because you don’t know how to draw or because your outfits are boring (“How did she EVER think of wearing socks on her ARMS?” you wonder), or because you’re a science geek, think again.

We are all creative, and we must find our own way of expressing it. Maybe for you it is dance, writing love letters, telling jokes, or cooking, mountain biking, or building a boat! Those are creative acts. Those acts are you expressing yourself in your own way, doing it in your style.

Bring it. The world will be a better place because of it.


Note: Ana Neff is a personal life coach, guide and FreedomJunkie™ She helps individuals awaken their lives of freedom and personal success with confidence, clarity, self-love, and passion. Her monthly  Freedom Junkie ™ eZine goes out to hundreds of subscribers. Her Full-On 365 blog posts stem from her commitment to living full-on, every day, for 365 days in a row. If you are ready to take your life and your world to the next level, you can learn more about her coaching programs and download  her FREE Getting Clear Guide by signing up at anaverzone.com! Sign up for her next FREE Jedi Juice Training call at anaverzone.com/jedi-juice

Days 48 and 49 – Being Oversensitive Sucks

Yesterday was a mellow day of sleeping, fixing up the yurt, then eating pizza with friends as we watched footage from our epic weekend (see below). There was such an awesome sense of community all weekend, and it was nice to fade into the rest of the week with a nice eve with amigos. It would have been even better had I not had my little uber-sensitive gremlin come up again. It had been awhile, so I was taken off guard. Can I pretty please blame it on my new birth control pills? Arrrgh.

I got all sensitive about how hard I was having to work the past few months and as a result, how I wasn’t as fit as I normally am (because of so many various reasons that we have all made up in our heads about that one before) and not being as, well, fun because I didn’t have as much energy as usual. I did that whole “I’m going to compare myself to other people” crap and that is never a good idea. Then I blamed my partner for comparing me, which he totally wasn’t (You should have seen me try to pull off that one! Good thing he’s on my gremlin’s* ass). Then I felt shitty about all that. Then I felt shitty about feeling shitty because deep down I know my life is sahweet and life is too short for feeling shitty!

Then I did the full on thing and said to my partner, gulp, “I’m sorry for freaking out,” and totally owned  my crap. Then today I did my mental Jedi juju stuff and told my gremlin to get the fuck out of my head and heart and let me live the bad ass life I am destined to be living. Yes, sometimes you need to be that harsh with The Gremlin. Sometimes it is good to say something sweet, like “Thank you for trying to protect me, but I don’t need that anymore.” And sometimes you just need to tell it to shut the f#*k up (I am trying to minimize my swearing for my mother…at least for this paragraph).

*What’s a gremlin? A fancy coaching term for it is also The Saboteur. The gremlins/saboteurs are the voices that tell you you are not capable or deserving enough to be happy and fulfilled. Like when one of my Freedom Junkie coaching clients says she wants to write a book, her gremlin says it is too expensive, or that she has nothing original to say. Another client’s gremlin tells her she can’t possibly have a career with her art because that is not “realistic.” One of mine (and apparently of many friends and clients) is that we aren’t worthy of love because if someone really knew who we were, they’d realize we aren’t perfect.

WTF! How crazy negative is that??!!! Very. And we ALL have them. Watch. Just for a day. Or an hour, even. You’ll notice them a lot. But don’t get down on yourself about it. It’s the way our brain works, and it is re-wireable. And you’re not broken because you have them. You are human!

It is best to learn about and acknowledge your gremlins, maybe even personify them (like have them look like the mean schoolteacher or a troll) and then come up with a system to shut them up. Where saboteurs speak from is fear, NOT TRUTH. You MUST remember this. NOT TRUTH.

When you hear a voice of TRUTH, it is very different. It speaks in a compassionate and clear voice. It is not one of fear or anger or belittling.

And know that saboteurs come up right when you are about to do some seriously bad-ass living, like right when you are about to be totally content in your relationship, or right when you are about to feel confident enough to quit your job, or right when you are about to come completely out of debt. Or right when you just had an epically fun weekend with your boyfriend and awesome friends skiing in the Alaskan backcountry, for example. They often cause us to (duh) sabotage our own happiness at these crucial moments.

So get out of your own way, and tell your gremlins to shut up so you can get on living you awesome life. It can be tricky. Trust me: this morning, when I decided not to drop into my saboteur’s story, I had to dig deep to believe that I was not hearing truth in those words, and I had to dig deep to come up with what I knew to be true. It was more difficult than usual because I have been so tired. But thankfully, I’ve had years of practice, which makes it much easier over time (I promise!). If you need some help with your own gremlins, let me know! A team often helps;)

For now, I am going to resume my bad ass life and head out for another ski. Did I mention the sun sets at 8:15 in Anchorage these days. Supah sahweet!

PS: As promised, here is more footage from the past few days:


Above is a video of one of our earlier runs

Below is a video of Tony and his dog, Pup Pup, on the first run off the summit of HaleBop (after you’ve admired Tony’s moves, rewind and watch Pup Pup run in his fresh tracks…awesome!)


Note: Ana Neff is known as the Freedom Mentor™. She helps individuals awaken their lives, their businesses, and their success with radiant inner confidence. Her monthly Ziji Up! eZine goes out to hundreds of subscribers. If you are ready to take your life and your world to the next level, you can learn more about her coaching programs and download her FREE Getting Clear Guide by visiting www.FreedomJunkie.com


Days 44 to 47 – Rest and Backcountry Skiing (not an oxymoron!)

Yeehaw! When you need to rest, rest. It’s so much easier living full on when your have the energy to do it. I did NOTHING Days 44 and 45 except sleep in, get a massage, read, and drive to a sweet backcountry Alaskan powder hut. I went to bed those nights and slept HARD.

The day after driving to the hut, we all slept in because the shutters were still on the hut windows blocking out the light. Once up (at 10??!!!) the 8 of us (plus two dogs) made an epic breakfast of eggs, coffee with Bailey’s Irish cream (for breakfast?! Yes! St. Patrick’s Day!). We then donned our wigs to eat breakfast and head out to ski. But before that we had a morning work party and chopped wood, brought it back to the cabin with sleds, and put in a new door on the hut.

After all that we hiked up epic backcountry terrain (BTW if you’re ever cold put a freakin’ wig on your head. They are WAY warmer than hats!) and skied down amazing fresh powder. And I mean AMAZING. Plus the views were epic, the weather was spectacular, and the company was hilarious. Not to mention it was awesome to have two other women along the trip to balance out all that testosterone.

I am not a big skier. When I was younger it was too expensive and when I was older it seemed scary to fall going so fast. But I’ve slowly grown into it after I picked up a pair of tele skis, and am digging spending a lot more time on snow this season;) Plus, Alaskan powder makes in much less scary to fall!

I have a cool videos of us skiing (with me singing really bad operatic soundtrack on one), and will post here in an update. In the meantime, all I’ve got are the wig pictures above.

When I speak of resting, I can’t describe how key it was for me to take time for myself and listen to my body. Rather than forcing myself to go go go
the first day of skiing, I decided to sit atop a ridge as everyone did a lap up and down. I sat there and took in the views, the utterly beautiful silence, the glistening sparks of snow in the sky that looked like fairy dust, and felt the sun warming my face. Granted I was wearing five jackets but it was surprisingly warm on that Alaskan ridge in winter. It felt so good to REST. Plus at the end of the day I wasn’t too tired to don the wigs again and laugh for a few hours. I really was tired at the start. I could feel it intensely. Hiking was so hard. It was barely fun that day…but that all changes soon!

By the end of the day there were 9 of us and 4 dogs in the little hut. That wasn’t quick breeding – we just had more visitors. It felt so cozy falling asleep with every inch of the hut – including the kitchen floor – strewn with my friends and their pups. Even though there was no running water, we cooked on a wood-stove, and heated the place only with wood, it was relatively light work with so many friends.

The next morning was an earlier rise. But I felt fantastic after having a relatively restful day. So fantastic that I boot-packed (aka hiked) up to the summit of Hail Bob peak with everyone even though there was NO WAY I was going to ski down the steep corniced chute from the top (at this point in my skiing life, at least). I instead climbed back down, which many of the skiers said would be scarier for them than skiing down. Just goes to show its all relative!

We got back and there was an Alaskan moose meat chili ready for us after slow cooking on the wood stovetop all day. We all packed up (at this point there were 12 of us and 5 dogs) and I managed to have kept track of all my wigs (thank you, Ashland friends, for lending me wigs for this event;).

We toasted my 8 years of being cancer-free from renal cell carcinoma, gave group hugs, and headed back to Anchorage. That was after falling flat on my back and ass on ice as we packed up the truck. THAT was the most painful part of the whole trip! I always seem to injure myself in the front country.

Pretty full on for a weekend. But that’s kind of how it goes in Alaska;)

Note: Ana Neff is known as the Ziji™ Mentor. She helps individuals awaken their lives, their businesses and their success with radiant inner confidence. Her monthly Ziji Up! eZine goes out to hundreds of subscribers. If you are ready to take your life and your world to the next level, you can learn more about her coaching programs and download her FREE Getting Clear Guide by visiting www.ZijiLife.com

Days 19, 20 and 21 – Freedom or Security? Duh.

I had a great past three days which were also crazy busy, so thanks for your patience as I catch up here! Lots of things went on…from skiing to gathering with friends to contemplating a Full On Change: selling my house in Ashland. A re-cap:

Day 19: skied at local mountain (aptly named Mt. Ashland)! It was raining in town, and I went uphill and it turned to snow. Skiing was awesome at our little mountain, only 30 minutes away. My telemark turns are getting better. My left knee is a little sore but still usable. And I slept supah well that night;)

Day 20: Pizza and Champagne Party at my friends’ house. AND I walked there. So much more fun than driving!

Day 21: Simplifying. Hmmmm. I am a big proponent of this. But I am not as good as I used to be at implementing this. I admit that have created a pretty sweet life. However, I think I have a few too many forms of shelter. Here they are (I apologize for the crazy layout. I can’t figure out how to get them to line up. NOT my Zone of Genius):


Archival image of my megamyd on a sea kayaking trip in Baja (during 911 BTW. Didn’t know it happened for 3 days!)


My kick-ass Marmot Thor 4-season tent…and my beautiful friend Kristen



A small but much-loved 480 sqft condo in Telluride


my sweet cottage in Ashland
And yes, I do consider my trusty Subaru Outback as a form of shelter. I love sleeping in the back of “Dapple”







So…embarrassing. This is excessive. For me, at least.

One thing that is very important to me is free time. That’s where so much Full On living happens! And when you have lots of “things,” you tend to have to work more, which cuts into your free time. So, I’ve embarked on a mission to cut back on “things” to help free up more time so I can play, love, and connect more often during my days.

I cannot do without my two tents. They serve two very important purposes…one is lightweight and the other is bombproof, and both help me play in the mountains. My Subi, Dapple, I still need to drive. Plus, all three of those are already paid for.

So I’d like to get rid of a mortgage. Who wouldn’t?!

I thought a long time about it. I’ve been thinking about it since last summer, actually.

The winner of the “I’m going to simplify” mortgage dump is (drummmmmmrrrrrollllll) the Ashland Cottage!

Do I HAVE to sell it? No. Would I get foreclosed on if I didn’t? No. Am I stressed about paying the mortgage? No.

Will I lose a lot of money? Yes.

So why do it? Because of FREEDOM.

Some people value security. Some people value freedom. Many people value both. I happen to value freedom more than the average Josephine. It was fun having a secure life for the past few years (did I mention only have had one full-time job EVER and that wasn’t until I was 34?). I showed myself I could do it. But now I am ready to have my freedom back.

And it is much harder to have freedom with debt. Normally a mortgage is considered “good” debt. But when you hang out thinking of ways you can be so much more free without the “good” debt, it doesn’t seem so good anymore. Tim Ferris mentions the freedom that a mobile lifestyle can give you is his awesomely-named book The Four Hour Work Week. I have understood that for years, which is why I intentionally lived out of my car for so many of them.

So, I called my realtor today, and decided to put my home on the market. I’ll eventually look for a property I can get without a mortgage, or rent a sweet little place for a while. But in the meantime, the money I lose from selling my place when the market is what it is doesn’t seem so bad. I think about how I’ve had a lovely place to live for the last few years (rent would have gone to someone else anyway), I will still be able to be here with my friends and community, AND I will have more freedom to work more or work less, connect more, have more meaningful moments instead of “having” to work to pay my mortgage, and my life will be more…simple. More options open up.

I realize that many would not choose this, and usually for them security or not losing money is more important than freedom. And that’s cool. It just makes a good point of how one needs to know what you really value, what you really want, and what living Full On looks like for you. This needs to be CLEAR. That way, your decisions are much easier to make, and the path to take is more obvious. Its so much easier when you know yourself and what you want (and don’t want)! (BTW you can download my free Getting Clear Guide to Your Ziji Life by clicking here).

I also reminded myself I don’t HAVE to sell it. I am in a very good place. If this starts to feel like the wrong decision, I’ll change my mind. But I have to start somewhere. My being is screaming GIVE ME FREEDOM! and I must heed its call. Always remember you have a choice. Always remember you can change your mind. But NEVER let fear stop you from taking action. Fear is different that instinct and intuition. More on that later.

Full On.


Note: Ana Neff is a personal life coach, guide and FreedomJunkie™ She helps individuals awaken their lives of freedom and personal success with confidence, clarity, self-love, and passion. Her monthly Jedi Juice™ eZine goes out to hundreds of subscribers. Her Full-On 365 blog posts stem from her commitment to living full-on, every day, for 365 days in a row. If you are ready to take your life and your world to the next level, you can learn more about her coaching programs and download  her FREE Getting Clear Guide by visiting FreedomJunkie.com (note: it’s new look will be up to rock your world soon)! Sign up for her next FREE Jedi Juice Training call on the Law of Attraction at FreedomJunkie.com/jedi-juice