Letting Go and Saying No

ep514-own-sss-john-mackey-1-949x534I was watching Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday a month or so ago, which is one of my favorite TV shows. In it, she was interviewing John Mackey, the CEO of Whole Foods. While I take away little nuggets of truth each time I watch an episode, I had no idea that this particular interview would profoundly change my life.

While the entire interview was wonderful, one particular part stuck with me. He shared that while he was in college, he was taking a class where one of the assignments was to read a very long, boring book. He decided that he didn’t want to read it, so he didn’t. He then decided that he didn’t want to take the class at all, so he dropped out. He then took this one step further and decided that he wasn’t going to do anything that he didn’t want to do. So he took classes that fed his soul, received hundreds of hours in credits, and left college without a degree (since he didn’t take the classes needed to receive one). He’s stayed aware of this life motto throughout his life and still embodies it today.

I walked away from the interview feeling inspired. I knew that while I was so grateful for many aspects of my life, there were still quite a few things I was doing that didn’t feed my soul. I was still (for one reason or another) doing things that I didn’t want to do. And I set out to see if there was anything that I could let go of and say no to.

I began to look at how I felt while going through my days – who I interacted with, how I spent my time, and what was coming up on the horizon. I started to notice how my gut felt when I participated in each activity or when I thought about doing a particular task. This awareness gave me a barometer – I could tell that when I was doing something simply because I thought I had to do it, I was tight and resentful and tired. And the contrast was that when I was doing something that I truly wanted to do, I felt open and energetic and excited.

I took a look at my calendar and my tasks and my day-to-day activities and began to go through them one by one with a discerning eye. I asked myself these questions:

“Why am I doing this? (Is it coming from my head – because I think I should or because I don’t want to upset or hurt someone or because I’m afraid to let it go? Or is it coming from my heart – because I truly want to do it – because it feeds my soul?”

“How would I feel if I were no longer doing it – if it were no longer a part of my life? Relieved? Sad? Happy?”

“What would I be able to bring into my life if I let go of this particular task/activity/person?”

One by one, I began to take a clear look at my life and put each task through this filter. And this practice has been so liberating and life changing! I started to find so many things that I could say no to and let go of – from doing radio interviews and telesummits that didn’t feel quite right (but I was considering saying yes to because I thought I should or because I didn’t want to hurt anyone) to promoting things for others that didn’t sit well in my soul (that I normally would have considered simply because I didn’t want to hurt anyone or have them mad at me) to not going on a trip where the timing would create extra stress (that I was going to go on because I didn’t want to disappoint anyone) to putting off having difficult conversations (that I didn’t want to have because I was afraid of what they might think of me) to letting go of anything work-wise that kept me from the Soulful Life Sanctuary and connecting with others (which is where I want to devote all of my attention).

The list went on and on.  So once I got clear about the things that I was doing that I didn’t want to do, I started to take action. I postponed the trip. I said no to the promotions and the interviews. I had the difficult conversations. I let go of extra work commitments.

And I started to notice something: an inner strength began to emerge. While my worry was that I was going to feel horrible for saying no and for letting go, the opposite happened. I felt empowered and liberated. I felt free.

I realized that all of the things that I had been saying yes to (but didn’t really want to say yes to) were draining my energy. They were taking quality time from my connection to my soul and my connection with others. And so giving myself permission to let them go freed up circuits for things that I could say yes to (that I wanted to say yes to).

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Now, this doesn’t mean that it’s been easy to let go and to say no. There have been times in doing it where I’ve questioned everything, to be honest. I never want to hurt anyone, and throughout my life I have gone out of my way to keep the peace. But, I realized that doing this has been hurting me, which is something I’m no longer okay with. I also found that when saying no is offered with love and honesty, it usually ends up being okay. There hasn’t been as much friction as I thought there would be. And in some cases, my saying no has brought me closer to the person I was saying no to because it gave us a chance to have a deep, meaningful conversation.

But even if this weren’t the case, I would still stay on this path of arranging my life so that I don’t do anything that I don’t want to do. And while this is still in process, it’s very freeing to be making steps towards a life where I get to spend all of my time doing exactly what I want.

I do believe that it’s possible. I really do.

And not just for me, but for all of us.

We are the conscious creators of our lives, and we are such powerful beings. If something isn’t working, we can change it. If we don’t like something, we can do something about it.

We really can. We’re that powerful.

I would love for all of us to remember this. And to follow in John Mackey’s lead by taking a good look at our lives and start to say no to anything that doesn’t feed our soul. 

It’s such an empowering exercise!

Hugs,

jodi

P.S. – Just 3 weeks left to receive the $50 discount + over $800 in bonus gifts when you join the Soulful Life Sanctuary! You can read all about it here (including some loving testimonials): http://www.soulfullifesanctuary.com

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The Spreading Love Project: 50 Love Notes in 50 Weeks

thank youI have been feeling really loved. Extra loved by each of you. And I’m so very grateful to feel this way. It’s so nice to go through my day knowing that your love is surrounding me – both grounding me and lifting me at the same time. I am so, so grateful to be filled with this beautiful energy. It’s the best gift of all.

I’ve been feeling a stirring from deep within that there’s something extra special to this love. I’ve been feeling that I wanted to sort of capture it and put it into a jar that could be opened whenever I needed an extra “dose of love.” I’ve been feeling that I wanted to find a way to spread it across the world and share it with each of you.

And then I remembered that change starts close to our hearts. Change starts close to home. Change starts by touching one person at a time. Just one. And then the ripple effect of that impact begins to expand into the entire world. 

So while it may not be possible for me to actually bottle up all of this love, I have thought of a way to begin sharing it with one person at a time, with the hopes that it will expand in their hearts and reach one more and one more and eventually will reach us all.

Do you remember the article I wrote a couple of months ago about writing thank you notes and sharing your gratitude for others in that meaningful way? Well, I would like to expand on that article and spread thankfulness and love and gratitude and joy on a regular basis. I would like to make this spreading of love a part of my regular spiritual practice. I would like to “ritualize” it and integrate it into my normal routine.

And I invite you to do the same.

The Spreading Love Project

Each Sunday for the next 50 weeks, let’s choose one person to send a love note to. (Not an email or an ecard but a physical card that we mail.) This love note could also include a small gift, but it isn’t necessary. What matters most is that the recipient knows how much their love has impacted us. We’re thanking them for their love and kindness and whatever goodness they have brought into our life.

It could be someone that we know really well. It could also be someone that we don’t know personally at all – a writer or someone in the public eye who unknowingly has inspired us in some deep way.

Mark a heart on your calendar for each Sunday throughout the rest of the year so you’ll remember to make space for this spiritual practice. And then think about who you would like to spread your love to, and write to them and send it. 

That’s all. 

Easy peasy and so, so meaningful. 

Life changing, actually. 

Imagine the joy that will be received when someone goes to their mailbox and pulls out your card. Imagine how in that moment they will know that they matter, that their love was received, that they are connected to you and to all other loving beings in the universe. Imagine how full they will feel – filled with lightness, loving-kindness, and possibility. Imagine what they will do with that love after they fully accept it into their heart? Just imagine how lives will be changed simply because you said, “You are loved. And I thank you.”

I get goosebumps just thinking about it.

You can get as creative as you would like with your love notes. You can buy them or you can make them yourself. You can use markers and decorate them. You can use fun stickers and glitter. Whatever feels right for you is exactly right. They are a direct expression of your soul.

If you aren’t sure who to choose each week, ask your soul to help guide you. Maybe someone supported you years ago, and you would like to let them know how much it meant. Maybe someone was extra kind to your child when they needed a friend. Let them know. Maybe someone on Facebook reached out and sent love when you were feeling extra down. Send a card to them and share how they made you feel.

If you don’t have their address, it’s okay. You can ask for it. You don’t have to tell them why. And if they ask, you can just say that you have a little something that you would like to send to them.

This is about love. Spreading love to those who have impacted us in loving ways – to those who have sent it to us (either directly or indirectly). 

It feels so good to love. And to be loved.

It’s the best, really.

And I can’t wait to imagine our love flowing all around the world in the form of sweet love notes in so many mailboxes. 

It lights me up just thinking about it.

Tomorrow is Sunday. I will be writing my first note then and will mail it next week. I hope you’ll join me in doing the same. 

Please spread the love and share about this project on Facebook and Twitter! 

Hugs,

jodi

 

 

A Celebration of Love & A Free Gift!

6000 likesI am so excited to share that Soul Speak’s Facebook page has just passed 6,000 fans! This is truly wonderful, and I wanted to think of a special way to celebrate all of us coming together to connect with our souls and also each other.

I thought of two ways that I would like to celebrate.

First, to share my gratitude, I created a free gift for you: 5 affirmation cards that can be printed out and put up around your home – loving reminders for all of us to embrace our life. 

I’ll share them all here, and you can click on them to print them out. They each measure 5″x5″ and are saved at high resolution. You can print them on cardstock and put them up where you’ll see them often – on your mirror, on your vision board, on your fridge – anywhere you look often! Let these loving words seep into your consciousness. :) (Here is a link to print them all out at once.)

Card 1:

affirmation gift card1

Card 2:

affirmation gift card5

Card 3:

affirmation gift card4

Card 4:

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Card 5:affirmation gift card2

A Celebration of Love

Second, I would love to have us all come together to spread some love and let it flow into the world. A few months ago, many of us came together on Facebook and all set the intention for one minute to focus all of our energy on visualizing love pouring out of our hearts and landing where it was most needed. I get chills now just thinking about how powerful it was. I could feel my body vibrating faster and my heart felt so absolutely filled with love.

I think this celebration is a perfect time to do that again! Because we’re all in different time zones and spread out throughout the world, I’ll choose four times through the day on December 16th for us to come together and spread some love around the world.

Here’s how it will work:

On Monday, December 16th, let’s come together at these times to focus our energy on spreading love: 

  • 11 am pst
  • 3 pm pst
  • 7 pm pst
  • 11 pm pst

Please choose whichever times you can make and stop by Soul Speak’s Facebook page and comment on the thread saying that you’re there. At the top of the hour, we’ll all close our eyes and meditate for 5 minutes – visualizing love pouring out of our hearts and flowing into the world. And we’ll visualize it coming back into our hearts, flowing through our bodies, and flowing out again into the world.

And then, after the meditation is over, we can come back and share how the experience was for us.

I believe that our love has the power to change the world. And it starts with moments like these – consciously choosing to focus on love, to expand our love, and to share our love. 

This is something that we can do – that we can give. And I can’t think of a better way to celebrate our loving, growing community than to open our hearts and share our love with the world!

I hope you’ll join us!

Please help spread the love by sharing this post on Facebook and Twitter!

Hugs,

jodi

P.S. – Tomorrow is the last day to sign up for the Soul Connection Virtual Retreat! There’s just one space left, and I would love for you to join us! Click here to learn all about it. (Please email me before you check out to make sure the spot hasn’t been filled.)

A Thankfulness Experiment (Want to Try It?)

thank you

Most of us always feel thankful for so many beautiful souls in our life. But then we get busy and move onto the next task or appointment or project or day or month or year… and we don’t always stop and take a moment to express our thankfulness.

I have a theory that thankfulness expands – the more we think about it and share about it, the more it takes over our life (in a good way!). To show you what I mean, I would love for you to try this thankfulness experiment (please take your time with it – it probably won’t be done all in one sitting):

1. On a scale of 1-10, write down how thankful you are feeling right now in this moment.

2. And now, take a few moments to think about 10 people who you are thankful to have in your life. Choose people who have brought you joy or lifted you up or have showered you with love. Choose people who bring a smile to your face and a light to your spirit when you think about them. Choose people who brighten your world. Write each of their names on a piece of paper. And then write down how thankful you are feeling right now in this moment (on a scale of 1-10).

3. Next, write 10 letters expressing your thankfulness to these 10 different people. (You can write a letter and mail it, you can send them an email, or you can write them a message on Facebook.) Let them know what they mean to you. Your letter doesn’t have to go on for pages and pages, but it does need to come from the heart. Share how their love and their presence has helped you. Share how grateful you are to have them in your life. And then send it off with love. Take time to really tap into these feelings of gratitude and appreciation. Sit with them and allow them to soak into your body. After you have finished writing the last letter, check in with yourself and write down how thankful you are feeling right now in this moment (on a scale of 1-10).

4. Finally, send the letters. Take some time to imagine your loved ones reading your sweet words. Imagine your kindness floating throughout their body and swirling through them. Imagine how appreciated they must feel in this exact moment. After you have spent a few minutes imagining how they are feeling, write down how thankful you are feeling right now in this moment (on a scale of 1-10).

I would imagine that your thankfulness levels have increased throughout this experiment. I believe that the more we tap into feeling grateful, the more it expands inside of us. And when you multiply that gratitude by 10, I have a feeling it will expand even more!

I would also imagine that your loving heart will continue to expand as you hear back from your loved ones – as they share what reading your words meant to them. And I would imagine that your loving letter will help expand their own hearts, and because of that, they will spread love to others. It’s such a beautiful rippling that goes on and on and on.

I love experiments like this because they show us how powerful love and gratitude are. They show us how connected we truly are. And they show us how easy it is to tap into this thankfulness any time we choose to.

I would love for you to give this experiment a try. See if you can expand your own level of thankfulness. Prove me right by upping your number with each letter that you send! And in the process, you’ll make 10 people’s hearts feel very full. You’ll make 10 people feel very loved.

And that’s always a good thing.

Please help spread the love by sharing this post on Facebook and Twitter!

Hugs,

jodi

Saying Yes to the Creative Flow

creativity copyFor the past couple of weeks, I’ve been completely immersed in a world that I hadn’t allowed myself to be a part of for quite some time: the world of creation.

It’s been a year since I was last here, actually. It’s been a year since I have felt the urge to step into this seemingly endless well of creativity – this vortex of imagination and possibility. It’s been a year since I have felt this magnetic pull and given myself fully to it.

And it’s been absolutely amazing. I haven’t wanted to leave my computer and stop the flow. I haven’t slept as much. I haven’t eaten as much. And to be completely honest, I haven’t kept up with my work responsibilities as much as I probably should. I hear my soul’s whispers, and I want to put into creation what they are asking me to. I want to honor this calling and bring it to life. I want to get it out of me and into the world.

And it’s happening – so wonderfully and so quickly. I had forgotten just how wonderful this feels. For so long, I had shied away from these creative urges – on this big of a scale. To be honest, I was afraid of them. I was afraid that they would overtake me. That I wouldn’t be able to contain them, and that they would completely take over my life.

And in a way, they have. So I guess you could say that my worst fears have been realized. But in a good way. Because what’s being born feels magical to me, and it feels like it’s exactly what needs to be born right now in this exact moment.

Yes. I could push the creative urges back. Yes. I could stuff them down. Yes. I could ask them to come back later. Yes. I could ask them to move onto someone else.

Yes. I could do all of these things. I might have done this in the past. I have done this in the past.

But what I’m realizing is that I no longer am okay with squashing my own lifeblood for the sake of everyone and everything else. I am a creator. That’s what I do. And all of the responsibilities and tasks that lie before me mean absolutely nothing if I’m not truly living – if I’m not saying yes to what matters the absolute most to me: listening to my soul’s whispers and sharing them with the world.

So yes, it’s true that I’m a bit more behind with my writing and my projects and my emails and my seemingly endless to-do list. And yes, it’s true that I am a bit manic and a bit sleep deprived and a bit underfed.

But I’m happy. I feel a different kind of nourishment that comes from deep within – that comes from knowing that I am listening to this wise voice inside of me, asking me to create. Saying that it’s time.

I’m taking this time and allowing this magical creation to be born. I’m giving myself the permission and the freedom to completely immerse myself in this vortex. And I’m so excited to share this creation soon. (You can sign up for the waiting list here if you would like to learn more about it when it’s available.)

I have a feeling that I’m not alone in frequently squashing my creative urges for fear that they will take up too much of my precious time – time that I could spend behaving more responsibly. And I bet you know exactly what I’m talking about when you finally allow yourself to give into this magnetic pull. When you feel that complete wholeness and oneness with the universe because you’ve said yes to your purpose. You feel completely at peace in yourself. Completely alive.

I would love for each of us to give ourselves this gift: the next time we feel the urge to create to let it flow out of us. To allow it to be born. To give ourselves permission to see it through. To make the time for it to come out. To know that it’s important. To trust that it wouldn’t be given to us if it wasn’t meant to be created.

I’m definitely going to continue allowing this creative vortex to pull me in, and it’s my heart’s desire that you will do the same.

It’s just too important for us not to. Seriously.

Please spread the love by sharing this on Facebook and Twitter!

Hugs,

jodi

 

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