The Role of the Sacred In Crafting Your Dream Life

Do you consider yourself to be a religious person? Or a spiritual person?

It’s something that I’ve struggled with somewhat for as long as I can remember. I’ve always wanted to have faith, to have a certainty or sense of knowing or trust about what’s coming.

I grew up Episcopalian, aka mainline Protestant, aka Christian, in a fairly liberal, “low” church that saw more diverse families than I ever saw in my classes at school. It wasn’t unusual for our pastor (a woman) to have us dance around the church, singing a song that wasn’t in our hymnal, or have us engage in discussion groups during worship.

Nevertheless, even with her occasional elaborations and interpretations of the beautiful Episcopal prayer book, I still grew up with a fairly “by the book” religious education.

Going through confirmation classes, I did my fair share of questioning, but I’m also a rule follower, so it didn’t occur to me to do anything but complete the classes and get confirmed in the church.

When I went to college, for the first time I felt like I had a wide variety of options for where and how I would worship. Some of my friends became Pagan (intriguing, though it never occurred to me at the time to seek it out), but after trying out an Episcopal church service in town (nice, but nothing too memorable for me), I found my home at our college Protestant services.

These ecumenical services brought together students and staff from very diverse backgrounds, and they were designed to give everyone a little taste of the familiar. So we’d sing a “traditional” hymn or two that I might have sung growing up, and we’d have a praise and worship part of the service, led at the piano by our African-American pastor who had grown up Baptist and gotten his bachelor’s degree in music. For that section, there was no need to hold the hymn in our hand – the pastor would call out the lyrics and we’d follow him for the cues.

There might also be another hymn or two from a different hymnal, and perhaps we’d have a guest performer, and every other week, I’d sing with the gospel choir, where I was usually the only white singer and learned every song by ear – an incredible contrast with my strict, traditional, white, Western music education. It was a wonderful immersion in another culture and a new experience for me.

I’d stand on the stage with the choir, singing gorgeous music that filled and uplifted the space, and I’d be in my element. Afterwards, people would come up to me and say how transformed they were by my solo, or how much they enjoyed our performance, how moving it was.

I always wished it would move me that way. I felt like something was missing, something was wrong with me. To be fair, music did sometimes give me glimpses of God, just brief moments, when all the musical parts would come together perfectly. But otherwise, I’d always feel like there’s something wrong with me. Jason Robert Brown describes it well here when he requests, “Let the music begin.” and “Longing to feel what you feel…music of heaven to open some path to your soul and let something glorious in.”

After leaving the utopia that my bubble of a college experience was in many ways (definitely lots of privilege there), I spent the next year traveling the country with a children’s theatre, followed by a few additional years of searching when I settled down in New Hampshire. In weeks that I had some flexibility on a Sunday, I made a point of checking out a local church (in hopes of finding the connection I’d been seeking). I enjoyed the contemporary Christian experience from a music standpoint, but found it didn’t resonate with me in terms of beliefs. I found lots of mainline Protestant services that reminded me of home (similar, but different), and I got angry at the Catholic church a couple of times. I also had a couple of truly frightening interactions that I won’t get into here.

Later, I found a ton of satisfaction as the accompanist at churches I found a home in. I loved the communities I worked in, and in addition to those occasional transcendent music, I was delighted to help other people find those connections to God through my music.

In more recent years, I’ve loosened up my definition of spirituality. Maybe I’m never going to feel that clarity I’m seeking every Sunday. Maybe it’s more a question of creating a practice of contemplation, where I seek wisdom, get in touch with my inner knowledge and seek connection with the universe. I connect with nature. I read. I engage in challenging conversations. Creating sacred time for myself each morning has evolved into one of my favorite things about my day, and I’m so thankful to have a morning routine that truly lights me up and makes my day better.

Working with my clients, I’m finding it’s really important to encourage them to take time for themselves to check in and be still each day. We all need that time for ourselves, and the consistency of a morning (or evening) routine offers us so many benefits. For some it’s meditation, for others prayer or reading and journaling, but it is essential.

Do you aspire to have a consistent morning practice? If you’re working to create the life you want, it may feel daunting to acknowledge where you are now compared to where you want to be. I encourage you to take one small step today to get aligned with your dream life.

Does the dream version of you make time for a prayer each morning? Practice gratitude before bed? Take a walk outside? You may not have the car of your dreams, or the abundant bank account, or the dream schedule, but I’ll bet there are steps you can take today to make your present more like your future.

So while spirituality or religion isn’t a requirement as you create your dream life, it’s important for all of us to have some grounding practice that centers us each day. And honestly, sometimes even very religious people, on the outside, aren’t taking enough time to do the work on the inside.

If you’d like help with this, let’s get on a call to discuss how I can help you get there.

Do you have a sacred practice? Does it light you up? If not, what’s one change you can make this week to get you more aligned with your future and best self?

P.S. Ross’ new holiday ukulele album (it’s gorgeous!) is available now – what a perfect gift for a friend or yourself – and Ross’ online ukulele course is now available for purchase, less than half price until the end of the year. And my new Facebook group is a great place to chat about next steps in your life and career!

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Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums! His latest is a holiday ukulele album, and pre-orders are half price!
  • Become a beta tester for Ross’ new online ukulele course!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Listen to, subscribe and review our theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com. 

Hello Childhood, My Old Friend

A mistake that I used to make, prior to my personal development journey and even early within it, was to think that I had a “normal”childhood, without much to complain about, so didn’t need to bother examining my childhood for “childhood wounds”, “limiting beliefs” or issues from my past that might explain my current struggles. (Quotes to note my discomfort with the idea.)

Oh my goodness – how wrong I was! SO MUCH of what I struggle with today is related to my childhood. Does that mean I had bad parents? Nope! On the contrary, I think I had great parents, and I’m super lucky for all of the blessings I had and have, and for how supportive and attentive they were while also fostering my independence.

But the deeper I go in my personal development, the more I see issues popping up that make MUCH more sense when I put them in the context of my childhood.

Issues around food insecurity, where I get oddly possessive about my food? The recipe was a passion for food + seeing emotional food eating modeled + a few episodes of a family member eating my leftovers. Hello, food obsession!

Over the top anger when someone doesn’t suffer the consequences of their actions? Oh, of course, I remember, that’s something I saw play out as a kid.

Some of my struggles and personality quirks can’t be as directly tied to one incident, but it’s easy to find examples of the behavior that contributed to my mindset on that issue.

It is 100% normal for our childhood experiences to shape how we interact with the world. And we can’t change the past. But it is our choice how we choose to move forward and act today.

Personal development is the super power that gives us the tools to act more deliberately.

Does this resonate for you? Join my new Facebook group or contact me for a free exploratory coaching session, and let’s dive more deeply into this!

P.S. Two HUGE things in our world this past week. Ross’ new holiday ukulele album (it’s gorgeous!) is available for pre-order (you’ll pay half price if you purchase before it drops on December 7th, and you get a few tunes on the spot), and Ross’ online ukulele course is now available for purchase! Both are just in time for the holidays, whether as a gift for a friend or yourself. Please take a look and consider purchasing and/or sharing with your friends and family!

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Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

How To Make The Holidays Work For You

It may be cliche at this point, but it’s that time of year when it’s common to take time to be grateful. I know I’m not alone in having a dedicated gratitude practice, and if you haven’t yet tried it, whether for November or any time of year, I definitely recommend it.

A lot of people are struggling with the holidays and how to celebrate this year. Although many people have already been celebrating holidays during COVID virtually (Jewish people in particular have had several holidays come and go at this point), Thanksgiving is such an “American” holiday in a lot of ways that it affects the majority of us in some way, rather than certain religions or parts of the country.

As a coach, I’m noting two simultaneous threads or thoughts popping up:
a) An extra awareness of gratitude – if I’m healthy, if I don’t have COVID-19, if my family is safe, if I’m employed etc. I know I have a LOT to be grateful for right now
b) It’s so frustrating/I’m so angry/I’m so sad because I want to be spending the holidays with my family/without masks and social distancing but I’ve gone virtual and/or made major modifications and changes due to COVID-19

It’s okay to have mixed feelings.

It’s okay to have moments when you feel wrapped up in the love of your family/friends, whether it’s a partner or child or parent in your bubble or a virtual meal full of love and conversation and good memories.

It’s okay to in the next moment feel anxiety that your parents are going to do x, or feel resentment that you can’t do your usual holiday celebration, or feel jealous of y, who lives with their family while you are living and celebrating alone.

I hope that during this challenging time, you will give yourself forgiveness. We are all carrying so much right now.

If someone else’s life looks glamorous on social media, remember that that is just the tip of the iceberg that you’re seeing. The glamorous surface life may be only a passing moment in a chaotic day or week or month.

Here are a few things I recommend making time for this week, whatever your plans are. (Perhaps you’ll have some extra time since you won’t have your usual holiday commute to the in-laws?)

  1. Make a gratitude list. This can take many forms, and all are valid. Start or end each day by acknowledging five things you’re grateful for. Start a gratitude journal, whether it’s a big beautiful book or a note on your phone. Begin your Thanksgiving meal/Zoom call/family walk by having everyone share something they are thankful for this year.
  2. Make time for exercise. Personally, I think stuffing myself is kind of part of the fun of Thanksgiving – even if I don’t leave the main meal feeling overstuffed, I love indulging in rich fall foods in the meals and days that follow. Most of us, at least in the corporate sector or education, are also lucky enough to get time off this week. It can be tempting to use that time to relax on the couch, but making time to take a walk or stretch or lift some weights will give you more energy for the festivities and encourage you to enjoy your indulgences more, without guilt.
  3. Carve out time for yourself. I love my family, but as an introvert who isn’t always her best self at large family gatherings, I’ve worked hard over the years to set boundaries for myself. For me, part of a successful holiday season is making time for my morning routine and making sure I have time to relax on my own. If you’re having trouble seeing blank space on your calendar, even if it’s virtual gatherings, take a moment to block out a morning or an hour for you each week. It will help you to be at your best when you are with your family too.

Whatever your plans are this year, I hope you’ll take this advice to heart. No one has your best interests at heart in the same way you do, so go create the holiday schedule that will light you up and invigorate you.

Take care, and Happy Thanksgiving!

P.S. Thank you so much for your support of this blog throughout the year! If you appreciate it, we’d love for you to share it with a friend or support us with one of the methods below. Thanks, and have a great day!

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Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Capital One 360 is one everyone can take advantage of to save money! Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Listen to, subscribe and review our theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com. 

Returning to Quiet

“True happiness is found in seemingly unremarkable things. But to be aware of little, quiet things, you need to be quiet inside. A high degree of alertness is required. Be still. Look. Listen. Be present.”

Eckhart Tolle

I’ve been returning to quiet lately.

About a month back, after several weeks of feeling anxious and unsettled, I decided my morning routine was due for an upgrade. The timing coincided perfectly with Sarah Jenks’ announcement of her #sacredstart program, so I went for it.

I’d built up a morning routine I loved over a few years, and it looked something like this:

Journaling; educational reading; taking a walk for at least a half hour outside, usually with an educational or inspirational podcast; having a healthy breakfast

With Sarah Jenks’ inspiration, my new morning routine looks something like this:

Journaling; educational reading, taking a walk for at least a half hour outside, usually with an educational or inspirational podcast; setting up a beautiful altar with elements from nature; aromatherapy (roll-ons due to cat and a small RV); pulling an inspirational card from my Sacred Garden deck; meditation; a cup of tea with oat milk; sacred reading

The extra elements only add 15-20 minutes to my morning (and yes, some days I wish I had that extra time back, at least a little bit), but they have TRULY made a world of difference in my mood. Anxiety is practically gone. I’m feeling so much more grounded and empowered.

What we experience is our desperate search for happiness where it cannot be found…[the key] was not lost outside ourselves. It was lost inside ourselves. This is where we need to look for it.

Father Thomas Keating

We live in such a busy and demanding world. When we add into it extra stresses, whether it’s facing racism or sexism or homophobia or ableism, whether it’s COVID-19 or bullying co-workers or toxic family or food insecurity, it can feel impossible, or nearly so, to stay grounded or find happiness.

I love this quote, because it reminds me that we can run around the world chasing happiness and still never find it. You won’t find lasting happiness in a bottle of wine or a pint of ice cream. You won’t find it in a night at the movies or a night with a lover. You won’t find it playing with your kid or visiting your parents.

You find it in yourself.

We have to set aside time each day and each week for quiet, for stillness, for going inside and listening to what there is to hear. That’s where you’ll find the inner knowing that tells you the next step in your business, the next step for your family, and the next step for you. If we never get quiet, we’ll never hear it.

Growing up, my favorite book was The Secret Garden. My parents started reading it to me when I was only six, and I connected so much with the young orphan child, feeling out of her element, transported from being the center of attention (at least from servants) to being abandoned and out of her element, to exploring outside and discovering a world of nature and life she’d never known.

I certainly didn’t grow up as a rich, neglected kid in India, but there was something about the journey Mary makes, from selfish and self-centered to an integrated, full and beautiful life with nature and friends and her new and chosen family, that I felt so comforting.

Mary discovers a secret garden that’s been neglected, and it’s not until she does a lot of inner work that she’s able to find the key to it. It’s in doing further work on herself that she eventually finds the door and is able to enter into it.

We all have a secret garden waiting for us. To find the happiness in that garden, we need to make time for quiet and reflection. Grab a journal, spend five minutes in solitude, do a walking meditation. Get quiet, and see what the whispers offer you.

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Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Capital One 360 is one everyone can take advantage of to save money! Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Listen to, subscribe and review our theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com. 

Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway

It’s been coming up for me a lot this week: the eagerness to move forward, to take a few more steps on the journey toward a better and more fulfilling life. Oh, but what’s that right behind us? The fear, of course! Right behind the desire to take another step or two is the fear sweeping in, to say wait, what if you lose all of your work, what if it doesn’t turn out the way you’re planning, what if there’s an emergency and won’t be available for your loved ones?

Hello again, fear. You’re always there, waiting in the wings, when we take a step forward in our business or elsewhere in our life. I’m sure you can relate. For me in my life, here are some of the times it’s made sure to pay a visit:

  • When we decided to buy a used RV and travel the US
  • When we decided to start a theater company
  • When we decided to stop workcamping and focus 100% on building our own businesses
  • When we decided to spend the summer touring the Pacific Northwest
  • When I decided to be a tour manager for a trip to Slovenia, even though I’d never flown internationally
  • When we decided to return to NH and do a fully staged musical (even though we hadn’t done so in 4 or so years)
  • When we decided to slow down our travel and focus on next steps

Every time we choose something awesome and bold to do, surprise! In comes the fear.

  • Sometimes it’s a voice in our head telling us “can you really do this? What if ____”
  • Sometimes it’s a well-meaning family member or friend concerned about our security or our safety
  • Sometimes it’s a well-meaning person reminding us of how four or five years ago, x didn’t work

Our lives have been a series of calculated risks. We can never know if a particularly project or life choice will work out for us in the long run. Instead, we can carefully weigh our options, consider the level of risk vs. level of reward, and consider if the worst-case scenario is something we’re willing to handle and capable of handling. (And that worst-case scenario? It’s always useful to think about all the things we’ve been able to handle before, that we wouldn’t have predicted we could handle. We can get through almost anything, honestly. )

So if you’re considering a new step, whether it’s a career break, a new job, a kid, a hobby, going back to school or a big move, I’m here to tell you: feel the fear and do it anyway! If you’ve done your own version of a risk analysis, whether it’s a pros and cons list, a heart to heart with your loved ones or a gut check, and you’ve got whatever runway you need, it’s time to go for it.

After all life isn’t guaranteed, and we aren’t getting younger. What’s one step you can take toward your dream today?

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Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Capital One 360 is one everyone can take advantage of to save money! Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Listen to, subscribe and review our theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com. 

Ross and Jamie Featured On Podcast – NH Unscripted

“We never wanted to take on something that we knew we wouldn’t be able to do, that was just a complete pipe dream, but we always wanted to challenge ourselves as well.” – Ross & Jamie on NH Unscripted

Last week Ross and I got to meet Ray Dudley, host of podcast NH Unscripted, over Zoom. We shared so many fun stories with him, including the origin story, about Not Your Mom’s Musical Theater, the company we founded in 2010 in New Hampshire.

If you enjoy theater and musical theater, it’s a must-listen, but if you’re not, it’s also got lots of inspiration and takeaways for people who are motivated to do their thing and craft the life of their dreams.

Give it a listen where podcasts are found, including here, or give it a watch below.

And if you do, please let us know what you think! Lots of humor, lessons, and inspiration.

“So we just found a piano and just went for it. And there was a restaurant across the street – they were our captive audience…..we’d finish a song, and they’d start cheering!” – Ross and Jamie on NH Unscripted

Have a wonderful week, and take care of yourselves and those around you – if you’re an American especially, they probably need it this week.

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Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Capital One 360 is one everyone can take advantage of to save money! Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Listen to, subscribe and review our theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com. 

What if your success was inevitable?

Self-doubt is so, so common, and when you’re a business owner and/or a creator (or aspiring to be either), it’s common to find yourself plagued with doubts. What if this investment doesn’t pay off? What if I lose my clients? What if the economy goes south? What if I’m not as good at doing __ as I think I am?

It’s so easy to get on the doubt train, and when you get started, it can be so, so challenging to get off. And yet we know that those negative thoughts feed on themselves and sabotage our progress. What we focus on tends to be what we bring forth, or manifest.

So what if, instead, we make a conscious effort to change the conversation. When those worries and fears creep in, can we give ourselves a reset? Let’s try a mantra, or an affirmation – a phrase that you will repeat over and over again, in your mind and, if you dare and ideally, outlead.

Your success is inevitable.

Try it again.

Your success is inevitable.

So the big question: what would you do differently (in your business, in any area of your life) if your success were inevitable?

Ex. If you struggle with relationships, and you’ve been holding out on getting back in the dating game out of fear. What would you do if your success were inevitable? You’d keep trying, right? And maybe you wouldn’t put so much weight on a given date or interaction, laughing off the awkward coffee conversations knowing that sooner or later, you’d find the person of your dreams, and it would all work out.

Ex. If you knew investing $2,000 in your business now would translate to making $100,000 in your business next year, would you do it? I certainly hope you would! The cost/benefit analysis is clear.

So much of our success or failure, ultimately, stems from our confidence. If we believe with 100% confidence that we will be successful, that confidence is contagious. Our clients and potential clients see the way we ooze confidence and go yes, I want some of what she’s having! The people we date sense our charisma and our detachment from the outcome of a given moment and want to spend time with us. And while failure is really common, the sooner we show up and give it all, the sooner we take the next steps in our business and our life’s growth, the sooner we will get there. Instead of this do I or don’t I, will it work or will it not, we move on to the next step in our journey. If this particular venture is going to fail, wouldn’t you rather know now? I would!

I recently invested about $2,000 in a coaching mentorship. I’ve been loving coaching, feeling an incredible passion for helping people to achieve the life of their dreams, and I wanted some extra confidence to help me in building my business. I could have kept going it solo, but I knew that this calculated investment felt truly aligned for me – I was a little fearful, of course, as we often are before we commit to something or purchase something. But it was all I could think about, and I was super excited about it.

So I went for it. And I was so passionate about it, showing up with enthusiasm each week for my studying, my business and my clients. I know that investment will pay off in dividends as I’m now a more confident and skilled coach ready to work with more clients, create new offers and help people achieve their goals.

So I challenge you today: what would you do if your success were inevitable?

Leave me a comment, write about it in your journal or send me a message and share. Don’t let fear hold you back- there is so much you’re capable of. The world needs you.

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Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Capital One 360 is one everyone can take advantage of to save money! Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Listen to, subscribe and review our theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com. 

Please Be Careful With Yes

“You can’t have yes without no…if you’re not careful with your yeses, you start to say no to some very important things without even realizing it.” – Shauna Niequist

Are you careful with your yeses?

I used to give out my yeses with ease, but the problem is it can really burn you out. As I’ve tried to cut back on stress and live a more intentional life, I’ve had to become more intentional with my yes.

It’s so easy to say yes to please someone, to avoid an awkward conversation or to believe we have time for all of the things.

News flash: We do not have time for all of the things.

When you say yes to everything, you’re saying no to other things. If you agree to volunteer at one event this weekend, it might mean missing date night with your partner. If you agree to babysit your sister’s kids, you might not have time to get your homework done or write your book or get your home renovation project complete on time. If you clean your son’s room before your party, will you have time to cook everything on your list?

Supply your own examples and it will quickly become obvious how true this is. We’ve got 24 hours a day, and most people need 8 of those to be asleep. Even if you can walk through life as a zombie, you’ve still got the same 24 hours as everyone else. So let’s get more intentional about how we use that time.

Say no and see what the universe allows you to say yes to. (Hint: sometimes it’s conscious – if I say no to x, I’m saying yes to y. Other times, you’ll find you say no without knowing what’s next, just because it feels right. And sometimes life delivers a big and beautiful surprise, soon or not so soon, when we do that.)

Shauna Niequist’s book Present Over Perfect is brilliant, and when I first read it, I felt like I could have written it – it resonated so much. I’m now on read number two (after many months away from it) and it’s just as brilliant. If this resonates with you, or if you just want a book that encourages you to slow down and savor things a bit more you’ll definitely want to read this.

Practice saying no this week. What can you say no to?

Please comment here with a story of saying no, whether it’s a plan for the future or an anecdote of how it served you in the past. I’d love to hear how this is inspiring you or making you think!

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Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Capital One 360 is one everyone can take advantage of to save money! Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Listen to, subscribe and review our theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com. 

Top Tips For Facing Your Fear

What a wild time to be alive, friends! I hope you’re prioritizing your own health and well-being. There’s so much stress and vitriol in the world, and if we let it consume us, it really will.

I read this quote this week and it really resonated with me. It can be really helpful to stop and articulate, with words (out loud or in writing, or even with imagery) how we’re feeling and what we’re fearing. Putting a name to it can make it easier to face. 

Here are some of the things I’m fearing right now: 

  • I won’t build my business to the level I dream about
  • I won’t be able to visit family and friends for a long time
  • I won’t be able to attend my friend’s wedding
  • I won’t be able to safely share my views & background and be my authentic self under our next administration
  • I’m not doing enough to help the causes I care about
  • My BIPOC and LGBTQIAA+ friends and those with disabilities (basically anyone that isn’t a white male, TBH) won’t be safe in the near future

Putting it down makes it clear that that’s a lot to navigate! No wonder I feel stressed sometimes, despite my healthy habits. 

Here are some of the things I’m pursuing to clear my fears: 

  • Daily work on my business & accountability checks with my mastermind & mentors
  • Weekly calls and video calls with friends and family, plus emails and text check-ins
  • Daily and weekly work to encourage voting, educate those around me and assist anyone with questions
  • Supporting the causes I care about, financially and with my time and energy

It’s so, so important to not only articulate what’s on our minds, but, when we’re in the right headspace, make a plan with concrete steps to feel better. If we’re feeling scared of the unknown, what’s one thing that’s within our control that we can make progress on? If we’re frightened that x might happen, what’s one step we can take that will listen the blow if it comes true? 

For instance, if we’re afraid that a wildfire could burn our house down, we should pack an emergency bag & create a plan. 

If we’re afraid of the outcome of an election, we should vote and encourage our friends to do the same, and lend our support to the causes and people we care about if we’re able to do so. 

We can’t eliminate the possibility of the things we fear, in many cases, but we can eliminate the fear by tackling it head on with the pursuit of new things, as Susie Moore says. Taking concrete steps feels good, mentally, physically, and emotionally. 

Can you relate to any of these? What is one thing you can do today to face your fear?