The Captain of Your Life

Lately the Universe has given me lots of opportunities to rewrite my life’s direction. It feels like daily I’m being given a fork in the road. Do I go left? Do I go right? Do I stand still and do nothing? Knowing that “doing nothing” is still a decision and response to what’s in-front of me.

Here’s what I’ve come to know and understand…

I, you, already know the direction we’re suppose to go. It doesn’t matter what he says, she says, they say… “they” are simply noise in a made up story. Illusion.

You have to go deep inside yourself, under the noise…way way under the noise to find out what way to go. Breath is the only mode of transportation to this deep beautiful place called your truth. And you’re the only captain able to navigate the journey to this beautiful place…you’re the only one allowed in.

Here in this place of truth you “just know”. You know in every ounce of your being where to step, where to move and what direction is right for you. You “just know”.

In this place of truth there is no fear. There is no questioning. There is no worry. And in your truth you understand that fear, questioning and worry are simply tricks of the mind designed to keep you stuck….stale, complacent, depressed, lazy…feeling unfulfilled or worse, trapped. Your mind says, “Maybe if we keep him stuck he’ll forget about his truth and give up.”

Lucky for me. Lucky for you. Our truth never gives up. And the moment you give it the smallest amount of light the game is on! Your truth gets louder. Your truth gets feistier. And your truth says, “Fuck off! I know what I am. I know what I want. I’m in charge. I’m the captain of this ship. And there’s not a fear, not a question, not a worry that will stop me from living this life in my own way according to my own captain’s orders!”

Then you start moving. And then you start running in the direction of your truth. Faster. Excited. Determined. Fearless. And you don’t stop until you’re standing on top of your mountain.

Eyes wide open you stand at the top of your mountain and breathe in the magic. You stand on the top of your mountain and bath in this amazing view called your life.

Here’s your light. I believe in you.

You were meant to fly. So fly.

“Sweetheart, don’t let anyone put you in a cage and clip your wings. You were meant to fly. So fly.”

This sage advice was gifted to me by my Dad during one of the darkest times of my life. Years ago I found myself in the midst of an abusive relationship. Emotional. Physical. Psychological. And Sexual. One moment I was getting swept off my feet and falling in love, and a moment later that same man I loved was trying to push me out of a moving car. I was a confident young woman rising through the ranks of Corporate America and in a blink of an eye I became meek, filled with fear and began believing that I was the undeserving unworthy soul he titled me.

I remember feeling as though I was standing in quick sand. Early on I felt something was off, sensed manipulation and even began seeing glimpses of abusive behavior behind “romantic gestures”. I saw it, I felt it and yet I couldn’t stop it. I just kept sinking deeper into the sand until I lost…me.

How could a young woman so strong and confident find herself in an abusive relationship?

On the outside I was strong and confident. On the inside I was hurt, angry, lonely, sad; still carrying feelings of abandonment from my Dad “leaving me”. I desperately wanted to cover up all those feelings and fill the empty space inside me with love. I remember just wanting to feel loved. And yet, at the same time I only knew “physical love” – attention, sex, affection, words of affirmation, external acknowledgement and all the fancy things in life. I became addicted to the pursuit of experiencing this physical love in order to fill the void and cover up the sadness. So when the man showed up with an ample supply of physical love I said yes, give me more! And when the man started to abuse me I stayed, because I was scared to death that if I left I wouldn’t be loved again.

Thankfully, with the help of family and a lot of Divine intervention I got out of that abusive relationship…not absent of scars and therapy. Years later I’m so thankful for the experience because that relationship was the beginning of my journey inward. Twenty years later, I now know what love is…physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual. And I have learned that you can only love another person as deeply as you love yourself.

“Sweetheart, don’t let anyone put you in a cage and clip your wings. You were meant to fly. So fly.” The only way out of the cage is through absolute forgiveness and self-love. It took twenty years Dad, but I’m flying.

Love and light.

8 Ways to Live Your Best Life Now

There are moments in life when clarity blesses us with its presence. When the skies open wide and we can see the purity of our existence. A euphoric feeling…physically and spiritually experiencing a connection to all things seen and unseen. These are the moments when the veil is lifted and we get introduced to and understand what it truly means to be alive.

To be alive is to be connected. Connection is far beyond relationship. Relationships are everywhere. You’re in relationship with your friends, your family, a significant other and even your pet. Relationships can exist with your co-workers, neighbors and even the barista whose name you never caught.

Relationships come in all forms and show up in all things. You have relationships with things in your life such as your favorite drink, your job, automobiles, money or your home. In fact, most people’s lives are overflowing with relationships; yet we still feel lonely, devoid of that certain “something”, and we desire to find relationships that help us feel complete and alive. What’s missing?

Connection is missing. The reality is you will never feel complete or alive without connection. Life is not about filling your moments with relationships, it’s about creating moments of connection with everyone and everything. Creating so many moments of connection that you yourself become connected to all that is–ultimately becoming one with the entirety of the Universe, God, Spirit, Divine or whatever name you call the creator of all things.

Connection is when relationship transcends the physical and becomes spiritual. It’s not intellectual, and only exists in and from the heart. Your smarts or savvy communication skills or even charisma won’t get you there. You can’t think your way into connection with another human being, animal or favorite “thing”. The minute your brain gets in the way connection is lost. Yet when your connected intelligence is a million times greater than your conscious mind can even imagine.

Connection is the opposite of ego. In fact, if your driven by ego, feel shame, guilt, or fear you become further away from the connection you desire and feel a greater sense of loneliness despite wanting to feel whole. Heart based connection is the only way to live your best life now.

So how do you become connected and alive? Really alive? How do walk through life filled with such divinity that you never again feel lonely or the absence of light? How do have connection with everything around you so that you experience the ultimate life?

1 Authenticity: Authenticity means that you fearlessly acknowledge your ugly parts that need healing and be willing to do the work to heal. Be honest with yourself. You don’t need to tell anyone else the inner truth of your being, but you do need to be honest with yourself and have an honest conversation with your Divine–asking for help. Here’s the reality, you can’t get to a state of connection without help. You also can’t experience a genuine connection with another human being until you remove the dark side of yourself (ego, greed, fear, shame, guilt, resentment, sadness, jealously, etc.) and allow your light to shine.

2 Heart: Intellect won’t get you there. You can’t “smart” your way into connection. You have to get out of your head and into your heart–literally feeling your words, breath and emotions coming from your heart when thinking about, or talking to whichever relationship is in front of you in the moment. This takes practice, patience and quiet moments. To do this you need to breathe deep, imagine that relationship literally sitting inside your heart filled with golden light and genuinely feeling gratitude for that relationship’s presence in your life.

3 Action & Elimination: To experience connection and to live your best life, you have to be willing to eliminate all things in your life that block you from shinning bright. Here’s where the hard works kicks in… you need to make a choice to walk away from the unhealthy relationships and the internal ugliness holding you back. Then you need to actively choose to surround yourself with life-giving relationships that fuel you with the light and meaningful connection you’re looking for.

4 Gratitude: The energy you put into this world is the exact thing you’ll get back–and tenfold. If you’re an asshole, someone else will be an asshole to you. If you’re kind, you’ll experience kindness. Connection happens when you put high vibrational actions such as love, kindness and compassion toward the relationships in your life. When you’re genuinely grateful for all the relationships and experiences in your life the Universe will continue to bring you more relationships and experiences that make you grateful. As your gratitude grows your heart grows! As your heart grows more significant healing happens and you becoming more and more connected to all that is and begin to feel alive!

5 Forgiveness: One of the darkest of all connection blocks… do you need to forgive? Someone else? Yourself? Most often times the first layer of forgiveness is toward others in your life, and the second, deeper and more significant layer is forgiving yourself. Forgiveness is energy. You don’t need to call that person on the phone, send an email or text. The person no longer has to be living. And you don’t need to have a conversation with yourself in the mirror–although you can if you feel guided. Forgiveness is about bringing that relationship into your heart, breathing deep, filling it with golden light and stating your intention to forgive so you can be free. Remember, forgiveness is about freeing yourself.

6 Letting go: This can be the hardest part of the equation. To feel connection you need to let go of all emotions, attachments, situations and relationships that no longer serve your highest greatest good. This does not mean ignore, sweep under the rug or bury deeper. On the contrary, it means being authentic and honest with yourself and the Divine about what you need to release and eliminate in all aspects of life. This takes courage. It requires you to let go of control and trust that the Universe will replace everything you let go with new relationships that allow you to become your greatest self and provide you the meaningful connections you deserve.

7 Commitment: To experience connection you need to put a stake in the ground and commit to doing the emotional and spiritual work it takes to become alive! You need to choose to stay in the game even when times get tough, scary and you’re faced with the dreaded unknown. Equally important, you need to commit to being kind to yourself through the process, and be willing to embrace the emotion, uncertainty and spiritual surprises along the way. Once you commit to a life of connection, light and love, I guarantee you’ll never look back because the experience in this new life will feel too damn good.

8 Self-love: You come first, period! Not your children, not your significant other, not your pet, your job or your friends. You come first. If you’re not taking care of yourself you will never achieve a meaningful connection with anyone or anything else, and every relationship in your life will suffer. Until you can authentically look into the mirror and say, “I love you!” with confidence, and foster a meaningful loving connection with yourself, you will never be able to experience a Divine connection in any other relationship. Self-love is the magic pill you’ve been waiting for, and to genuinely achieve it means you’re actively practicing step 1 – 7 and living your best life now!

Gina Soleil, is a life-sytle and business author, motivational speaker and executive coach. She teaches leaders globally how to create a business where people are energized, feel good and are happy. Visit ginasoleil.com and follow her on Twitter.

Are You the 20% Who Will Be Happy?

Life lessons have the ability to shape you into the best image of yourself–if you allow the transformation to happen. There’s always choice. Become the butterfly and experience happiness or fight the current in order to stay status quo. The choice is always yours….

20% of you reading this blog will choose to become the butterfly; clearly understanding that flying is so much faster than trying to walk everywhere you want to go. Why only 20%? In order to fly you need to lighten your load. You can’t take flight while trying to carry baggage that weighs more than your wings.

Baggage comes in the form of emotional suffering: loneliness, resentment, inability to forgive, EGO, unresolved anger and sadness just to name a few. The older the baggage the heavier the weight–even a small little micro experience of unresolved hurt can harden and turn into a ton of bricks.

20% of you will crush the bricks! You’ll take out your sledge-hammer, and with all your might, no matter how much work it takes, you’ll turn every brick into powder until all the heaviness simply blows away in the wind. And then poof! You take flight.

Today is simply reflection…

Are you one of the 20%?

 

 

The Lesson Facebook Taught Me

Sometimes you just need to go off the grid…

In November, right before the election I took myself off social media. As an empath, I needed a break from the emotional energy permeating through the Web. Little did I know what the Universe had planned for me.

I found myself immersed in this thing call ‘quiet’! It was amazing. I hadn’t realized I was living with this constant buzz in my head of information overload until all of sudden there was nothing. Not to mention I found myself with SO MUCH EXTRA TIME. Time was everywhere! I had no idea how much time I was wasting until this little app called Facebook was off my phone.

Let me be clear… I’m not saying Facebook or other forms of social media are bad. In fact, I love it! The ability to stay connected with friends and family via technology is fantastic–until of course it turns into an addiction that gets in the way of being present with real life. Bottom line, social media is a great ‘tool’ until it turns into your love affair. Anyone getting turned on by your phone more than that special someone in your life?

My big wake-up call, aside from needing to break free from the increasing surge of negative energy erupting during the November election, was when my 9-year old daughter started obsessively asking me how many ‘likes’ she got on her photos… Huston, we might have a problem!

So I jumped off the grid, decided to surround myself with authentic life-giving (versus energy sucking) people and began the quest of ‘doing me’. I replaced my Facebook time with working out, taking some classes, travel, focusing on my career, being present with ‘real life people’ and amping up my spiritual practice. The result–magic happened! 6-months later my career has never been better, I’m surrounded with genuine people who choose to put positive energy into this word and I feel great–ready to take on world!

Moral to the story is that Facebook had nothing to do with my woes, but I was using social media to cover up the spiritual healing that my soul desperately needed. I was putting all my energy and effort toward the external elements that may or may not ‘like’ me (along with so many others in this world); rather than looking in the mirror and choosing to take the time to heal the parts of me that were disconnected and desiring to be whole. Social media was simply a distraction so I didn’t have to face what I was really being called to do. And it was a teacher that provided a valuable lesson to help me grow.

Where am I now? Back on social media and loving it! That said, with balance and an understanding that it truly is just a tool to help us connect in this busy world. And for that I am grateful.

Gina Soleil, is a speaker and acclaimed author of Fuel Your Business: How to energize people, ignite action and drive profit. She blogs and speaks about how to create a business where people are energized, feel good and are happy. Email Gina Soleil and follow her on Twitter.

What My Yoga Practice Has Taught Me About Business

By: Charles Edge, Director of Professional Services at JAMF Software

This may sound a little surprising, but yoga and business have a lot in common. Yoga teaches us about depth and focus. But as I’ve yoga can also provide valuable lessons about how to successfully run a business. And not just in regards to emotional IQ. Here are some of the top lessons that I’ve brought to how I do business from my practice.

Make Self-Care a Priority
Running a prosperous business is impossible if you feel down or exhausted. Similarly, a bad mood isn’t good either. If you want your business to thrive, you need to thrive. Yoga teaches you to care for yourself because it is a practice that you do for ‘yourself’. You may have noticed that a lot of times you don’t feel like doing yoga, but when you do it, you’re invariably happy you made that choice. When running a business, always remember to take care of yourself because if you don’t then your business will suffer as well.

Don’t Look at Everyone as your Competition
Everyone in your yoga class has their own yoga practice. There is no point is looking at what others are doing because every pose they do is to bring peace to their mind, not yours. Just because one finds peace in a certain place in a given pose doesn’t mean that you will too. Business is the same; don’t try to do something your competitor is doing. You should do things that make you happy because that is the true path to success!

Set a Certain Goal or Intention
In yoga, we set an intention for our practice. And obviously a business cannot be established without having an intention. Think about your mission, how you want your customers to feel, and what you’d like to accomplish. Have clear answers to all these questions and make sure to communicate that with your partners, clients and the world using social media, as that’s a true message that will resonate.

Find Balance
In yoga, it is important to find balance between challenges, play and restoration. The same goes for business. All work and no play will not get you anywhere as after a while you will start hating your own business. Obviously, this is the last thing you want to feel where a business is concerned. Don’t forget to give your employees flexibility in this same way, as happy and well balanced employees produce better results.

Trust your Gut when it comes to Making Decisions
In yoga, you make your own decisions by going with your gut feeling with each pose and the stress you decide to put your body under for each. You should do the same in business as your body is the best advisor when it comes to making decisions. Not sure about whether you should get into a contract with that client? Listen to your body and figure out what it is telling you to do. The answer is often crystal clear with a little silence.

Take a Deep Breath
One of the most important aspects of a yoga practice is your breathing habits. As Apple recently acknowledged with the addition of the Breathe app, even they are promoting deep breathing. In business, pretty big decisions can be made in less time than it takes to take a deep breath. One of the things I consistently have to learn the hard way is to take a deep breath, or even a few hours, to make a decision. Trust your gut, yes. But that isn’t to say that you shouldn’t think through each issue that arises as thoroughly as required.

Be Real
Being phony and yoga are incompatible. Yoga demands you to be as real as you can be, and that lesson is very important for business. If you aren’t authentic in the business world, people will eventually notice that and that will reduce your ability to impart change, making you less effective and negatively impacting your business.

Be Patient
Patience is a virtue. We hear all the things about patience and try to be mindful and not rush around in life. But it’s more challenging than you might think. Most can’t do a tripod or side crow in their first yoga class. Daily meditations and practice help to keep you mindful and keep your expectations in check. Because matching expectations and needs with timing are the key to properly planning the future of your businesses.

Innovate the Things
Innovation is necessary in todays changing business climate. Yoga is about training your body to consistently do the poses that have been handed down to us through history. But it’s also about coming up with new techniques to help you get grounded. This might be throwing a little changeup into a Sun Salutation or it might be introducing a new option or feature for customers that surprises and delights existing customers and makes it easier to source new customers.

Push Your Limits
You need patience, but you also need to push your limits where appropriate. In yoga, this means stretching a certain muscle just a little bit more each session, getting better at a pose, getting straighter, deepening a stance. In business, this means going after a slightly larger customer, creating stretch goals, and striving to always be better.

Empathize with Others
Leadership in yoga is instructing. And when you’re instructing it’s important to look around the room and be cognizant of where each person is at in their practice, and inspire your students to keep getting better. Provide gentle reminders to stay within limits, not constantly look around and push harder because the person next to you is better at a certain pose than others, and be willing to change out the plan based on the students in the room. In business, a critical aspect of leadership is to look around your organization and push the boundaries, but not so far that you instill a sense of fear or overwhelm those around you.

And here’s a bonus lesson! Keep going. Perseverance. Patience is one thing, but the ability to keep going, week after week and year after year, to inspire consistently rather than in fits and spurts, and survive the lulls that invariably come over time, that is perseverance. And that is what keeps you going through the good times and the bad.
Follow Charles Edge on Twitter: www.twitter.com/cedge318

Why Failure Is More Important Than Success

success-consists-of-going-from-failure-to-failureAs an entrepreneur of ten years I’ve learned all too well what failure feels like. The perpetual wheel of reinventing myself has been the only constant in my life. Ups and downs, highs and lows; the roller coaster of perceived failure can be exhausting.

I deliberately use the word perceived. Isn’t failure the exact purpose of life? We’ve all been bred to strive for success, attain perfection, sacrifice our dreams for obligation and “win”, but we forget that failure is a necessary part of success.

I love this quote from Winston Churchill, “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” Brilliant. All too often we view success and failure as polar opposites, when in reality they’re one in the same.

Success happens when we go outside our comfort zone, stretch ourselves beyond recognized limits and experience new people, places and things. Success happens outside “normal”, and the only way to reach it is to walk though failure without losing your enthusiasm.

Success and failure are symbiotic–without one the other is not possible.  So whatever your perceived failure is right now embrace it. Maybe you’re experiencing failure for the first time, or maybe you’re sitting by me in the roller coaster of ups and downs. No matter the number of failures in your tally box, know that each failure is simply a message that says, “Congratulations, you’re living life!” Then take a deep breath and get ready to walk through your next failure knowing you’ve already achieved success.

Gina Soleil, is a speaker and acclaimed author of Fuel Your Business: How to energize people, ignite action and drive profit. She blogs and speaks about how to create a business where people are energized, feel good and are happy. Email Gina Soleil and follow her on Twitter.

The Benefits of Having a Positive Attitude

By: Kristian “KG” Goldsmith 

imagesI’m sure there some skeptics who will read this and probably not agree with me. However that’s great because these are the people that holds us back from reaching our goals. Otherwise referred to as the naysayers. There is so much we can benefit from having a positive attitude, not to mention the profound effects it has on our quality of life.  Some peoples attitude towards life is also a reflection about their attitudes towards themselves. There has even been scientific studies done proving that the benefit of have an optimistic or positive attitude contributes to many health challenges. Like cancer and health problems creating  personal joy on a day to day basis means we live happier and healthier.

When you think about gratitude it gives you a powerful influence on your outlook. No matter how bad things get focus on the small blessings. This helps you shift your thought process and focus in a positive direction. You will begin too worry less about anything you currently don’t have or want.

Choosing happiness and being happy is not about circumstances or any other uncontrollable forces. It’s about making a decision. Then making up your mind to be happy about the decision you have made, plus not dwelling on it.

Take a look at your view on problems. Instead of looking at them as problems view them as challenges. The definition of the word problem means:( something that is difficult to deal with: something that is a source of trouble, worry. difficulty in understanding something: a feeling of not liking or wanting to do something). If when you hear the word problem and your view is like this your energy is already drained before you make any attempt to repair what has happen. By substituting the word challenge here is what you hear:(a call or summons to engage in any contest, as of skill and strength.) Seeing an experience as a challenge will focus your attention on a positive outcome with very little effort.

As we go through life with many challenges and being pulled in many different directions we forget to stop and smell the roses as they say. We are always rushing to get to some place where we still have to get in line and wait again. We have to remember to embrace the journey we have taken to get where we are at today and reflect on life’s simple pleasures. Focusing on simple pleasures allows us to have a sense of balance in our life.

Surround yourself with optimistic people and their influence will feed your sense of optimism. The positive attitudes of people around you can be very powerful force for you and them. Try to list the things you are truly grateful for daily before going to bed each night. Then last but not least, minimize your exposure to negative influences around you. This could be friends family or even coworkers or simply stop watching, reading or listening to the news. You will find it to be much easier to be optimistic and focus on the positive things in you life. Here is one of my favorite quotes: “Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose” Lyndon B. Johnson

The Magic of Mango Pancakes

I have to tell you, I’ve been feeling a little blah the last few days. Maybe I’ve needed some sunshine, more sleep (don’t we all) or a mini vacation. Whatever the reason, all I know is that I’ve been dying for some inspiration. This morning I even woke up saying, “Come on Universe inject me with some kind of energy boost–PLEASE.”

Then around 10:00 am I drove past my favorite little Cuban restaurant Victor’s. The moment I saw this turquoise shack I immediately got a craving for their signature mango pancakes–a giant pancake filled with butter, syrup and mangos with a hot coffee to boot. Absolute heaven.

I walked in and was immediately welcomed by Cuban music, bright fruit plastic table cloths and over 55 years of graffiti all over the walls. I instantly found my body relax as I practically skipped to a table in the back corner. Suddenly I felt alive!

As I ate the pancake and drank my coffee I tried to recall my last personal adventure.  You know the kind. An adventure where you explore the world outside the “normal” routine of life. And my last adventure was months ago. It doesn’t matter how exciting a routine might be, any routine gets boring and has the power to zap energy when it goes on too long. That was my problem, I needed to shake things up and give my soul something different to look at–graffiti and magic mango pancakes did the trick.

Are you feeling blah? Well, if you’re in the neighborhood come join me for pancakes. If not, get outside your normal routine and shake things up. Sometimes all you need is a change of scenery.

Author, speaker & coach, Gina Soleil is acclaimed author of Fuel Your Business: How to energize people, ignite action and drive profit. She blogs and speaks about how to create a life where you’re energized, feel good and happy! Visit Gina Soleil  and follow her on Twitter.

Simple Joy on a Saturday Night

IMG_0273It’s not often life stops long enough for you to exist in absolute peace while simply taking in the joy around you. In these moments you know you’ve been given a precious gift. A gift I hope each of you receive during this holiday season.

Like most of you my life is filled with responsibility, hustles from one thing to the next, a filled calendar and a mind that is constantly on the move. Even as a mindfulness coach, I find myself struggling to schedule five minutes to just sit, relax and breathe–let alone consciously take in the simple joys that surround me. Tonight was different.

Early this evening amongst the busyness of the holiday season, my eight-year-old daughter turned off the TV, walked into the kitchen and asked if we could just hang out together. Now let’s be clear, she was watching her favorite, “How to Train Your Dragon” episode that she begged to watch right before this freak occurrence. I was shocked. In my head I’m thinking, hell yes!

Then a beautiful thing happened. I dropped everything I was doing and time stopped. We went outside and blew bubbles in the cold and blew bubbles in the kitchen. Yep, I’m the mom that lets my kid blow bubbles in the house. We baked pumpkin bread. Albeit from a box, we still did it together. And we giggled while taking 100 selfies that barely turned out. Tonight, time stopped and I relished in the simple joys of complete imperfection that surrounded me. What a gift.

This holiday season my one wish is that you all take time to stop and relish in the simple joys surrounding you. For many people this is a difficult time of struggle and pain, and for others the race of the season can be exhausting. Find solace in the simple joy that comes your way. From a bird outside your window, an artistic swirl the barista put in your latte to that little one (human or pet) that wants a moment of time with you to play. Take notice of the daily gifts of joy that come your way.

Happy Holidays!

Author, speaker & coach, Gina Soleil is acclaimed author of Fuel Your Business: How to energize people, ignite action and drive profit. She blogs and speaks about how to create a life where you’re energized, feel good and happy! Visit Gina Soleil  and follow her on Twitter.