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Why Surrender is the most Challenging, Important Step Toward your Dreams

Aerial Adventure Leap of Faith

Surrender is the most challenging, important step toward manifestation. Our minds usually give enough attention to something we want, and intention happens merely by wanting it and dreaming about it. These three combined – intention, attention and no-tension – is the formula to bring any true-self desire into form.

So why is surrender so hard? Why do we try to control everything we can get our graspy hands on? Why do we fear releasing our grip?

My hunch is that we mistake our own emotional or mental imbalance for instability in our lives. That instability causes us to hold on to whatever is perceived as stable for dear life.

On a weekend trip to Catalina with my husband, we decided to experience its Aerial Adventure obstacle course suspended high amongst a eucalyptus grove. While each climb, swing and slide was challenging, I found that the rope free fall to be the hardest.

I knew the pulley system would catch me after a few feet, but standing 30 feet in the air on the platform, I did not want to jump off. I stood frozen while contemplating whether I should go backward through the course, where I could hold firmly to ropes and chains and maneuver my feet along the steps, in order to come back down. The leap was the last obstacle to overcome.

Giving up control and being willing to lean into whatever happens next is like taking that trust free-fall on an obstacle course. We must have faith that the pulley system will work in our favor.

I eventually jumped, and after a second of feeling my stomach in my throat, the ropes caught and I lowered to the forest floor as gently as a leaf while laughing at my prior self’s fear.

We can over-effort over an extended period of time and it’s still not as effective in creating what we want as it is to simply let go. Some of the most respected coaches and spiritual guides (such as Martha Beck, Deepak Chopra, and Gabby Bernstein) all attest that the not-so-secret ingredient to manifesting our dreams is simply surrendering and trusting the Universe/Source/God to coordinate details.

I read a blog by Master Coach Abigail Steidley about what she has dubbed the Slacker Vision Board. It’s no more than writing “Vision Board” on a dry-erase board with subsequent visions listed underneath, and then walking away and forgetting about it. And it works! Brilliant!

I don’t know about you, but I want more of that ease in my life. With all the over-efforting our society has engrained in us and how we place busy-ness on a pedestal of importance, our problem is not will power or dedication. It’s that we don’t have an equal amount of rest, pleasure and play. We are unbalanced.

And when things feel off balance, we have a tendency to hoard perceived stability in the form of things we can control like money, material objects, and salaried jobs. So we amass and we work and we amass some more, but are never satiated. In fact, we continue to throw off our balance and the co-dependent cycle is strengthened.

As scary as it is to give yourself permission to rest, play and then leap, trust that the Universe/Source/God will carry you gently to your intended destination and your dreams will meet you there.

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How to Build Abundance

Rainbow Assortment of Pebbles

Manifesting abundance is not necessarily a linear path. It’s not like you meditate and then your boss gives you a raise (although it could happen!). Abundance works more mysteriously and fortuitously than that.

Over the past year and a half, I’ve focused on shifting my scarcity mindset to an abundance mindset with a variety of self-coaching tools and meditations. And it’s working, although to the outside world it might appear that nothing has changed or that it’s sheer luck.

Like the time I was turning left at a protected green light and an oncoming car ran a red light and totaled my Honda. We had planned to sell it for about $4,500. Insurance gave us $7,800 for the car and an additional $500 to waive any future medical claims.

Or how I absolutely love to travel and three friends invited us on three different vacations. Each offered to pay for accommodations and activities if we covered our own flights. And since my husband has hundreds of thousands of miles banked from years of corporate travel, we fly for free. Hello Hawaii, Mexico and Tahoe!

Abundance is more than financial, though. We can manifest abundance in love, friendship/community, health, career opportunities, and playful activities; you name it! I personally love manifesting wild animal interactions. (And if you follow my blogs, you’ll know that I see an unusual amount of them!)

The key is to realize and acknowledge all the areas of our lives that are plentiful. We bring more of whatever it is that we focus on. If we spend most of our time thinking about what we don’t have enough of, we’ll get less. If we notice and are grateful for what we do have, we’ll get more. Simple as that.

Here are four suggestions to get you started:

  1. Keep a gratitude journal. I begin and end my day with what I’m grateful for.
  2. Throughout the day, notice what you have a lot of. That could be coffee and tea options in the office break-room, blades of grass and leaves on trees as you walk from your car to your front door, or even licks from your dog if you hold your hand out.
  3. Practice guided meditations on abundance. This simple practice has allowed me to connect with my higher self and inner wisdom that knows I’m always safe and will always have more than I need.
  4. Give others what you want to receive. If you want more love, give love freely. If you want more time, give your focused time to others. If you want acknowledgement of your contributions, genuinely acknowledge others. (And do so without the expectance and pressure of reciprocity.)

May you feel loved. May you feel safe. May you know peace. May you live abundantly!


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Manifesting Miracles in Puerto Vallarta

Counting sea turtle eggs

I recently manifested a mini-version of my upcoming Healing & Hatching Retreat. It was a pleasant surprise and completely unexpected.

Everyone can (and does) manifest his/her reality each and every day. Most don’t realize it and chalk it up to luck. If we want it to happen, we call it a miracle. If we don’t, we call it bad luck. The likelihood of occurrence remains the same; all that changes is our outlook.

The formula is simple: Attention + Intention + No Tension = Manifestation.

When we focus our attention, we give energy to our thoughts. When we intentionally direct that energy, we transform it from thought to physical reality. The last step is where most people find this challenging: Surrendering and trusting the Universe/Source/God to coordinate the details.

About a year ago, my husband and I received an invitation to a destination wedding in Puerto Vallarta and promptly booked our room at the Hyatt Ziva from the couple’s hotel block. Leading up to this vacation, I had been focusing most of my attention on intentionally creating a retreat that brings together everything I’m passionate about.

The day before we flew to Mexico, I launched the registration to my retreat (ie: hatched it out into the world). Once we boarded our flight, I was in vacation mode and completely surrendered into enjoying a week of exploring a new destination and immersing myself into the local culture.

On the morning of the wedding, I woke up surprisingly early (especially given the 2-hour earlier time difference from home). While my husband lay sleeping, I made myself a cup of coffee and sat out on the balcony to listen to the waves and watch the sun rise.

I casually looked down at the mostly empty beach when I spied people digging a hole in the sand.

Couple Digging Up Sea Turtle Eggs
Spied from my balcony

That looks like they’re digging for sea turtle eggs, I thought.

I leapt up and ran out of the hotel room – in my pajamas without even brushing my teeth – to join them on the beach.

Counting sea turtle eggs
Removing sea turtle eggs from the nest to rebury at the hatchery.

I was beyond elated to watch this experience that I had only read about (and had been busily planning for my own retreat). I had no idea until that moment that the hotel had a hatchery on-site.

One of the hotel staff, Miguel, walks the beach every morning at 7 a.m. looking for mama turtle tracks. He then digs up the eggs, counts them, and gently places them in a plastic bag, which he carries and reburies at the hatchery.

Miguel invited those of us who had gathered to re-bury the eggs at the hatchery. I was deeply honored and excited to do so.

These eggs will hatch on Christmas morning and I can’t think of a better way or day to celebrate the manifested miracle.

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Distinguishing Between Core & Surface Desires

Manifesting what you want

Have you ever really wanted something to work out – new job, new relationship, someone’s approval – and it simply didn’t? Where you’ve put a great deal of time, energy and effort into making it happen and yet it dissipated as quickly as boiled water vapor into the air?

The disappointment can be tangible. And it can seem at odds with the belief that you can manifest whatever you want. So what’s the difference? Why can we manifest some things and not others?

Desire is a complicated and interesting emotion. It’s important to notice the underlying current beneath the object of what you desire. Often what we think we want is based entirely on something else.

For a new job, are you really looking for more stability, more security, more mental stimulation and fulfillment, or to be supported and praised for our achievements? With the new relationship, are you truly seeking love, acceptance, or feeling valued? In regards to someone’s approval, are you looking for validation that you’re enough?

What’s at the base of your desire? What is the feeling state that you hope to achieve?

Once we can identify that, we can address our core needs head on. Otherwise, even if we get the specific outcome we were hoping for (job, relationship, approval — all surface desires), it may not actually satiate our core desire.

With the core feeling state held gently in our attention, like you would cradle a fragile shell. Then set an intention for yourself. That could be any of the following:

May I feel stable. May I feel fulfilled. May I feel supported. May I feel loved. May I feel valued. May I feel that I am enough.

May I…(use your own words).

Then envision already having all the circumstances that you believe will provide you with that feeling state.

Now notice how you feel in your body. Are you looser? Holding less tension? Lighter?

You have just given yourself exactly that core need you identified.

I invite you to meditate on that visualization, including repeating the mantra of choice (from above) for 10 minutes a day for a full week. Then notice how you pull other circumstances toward you that support this emotional state.

You may not get what you asked for, and yet you may find you’re getting exactly what your core self wants.

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What you Fixate on, you Create

Manifest Destiny

Can you imagine what our lives would be like if we were as obsessive about our dreams as we are over tragedy, both imagined and circumstantial?

We manifest what we believe.

Part of me wonders if our collective fear over what we believe Trump will do to America has created the very chaos we’re watching unfold right now. Then we spin up more fears, and it continues to become more insane. One giant self-fulfilling prophecy-spiral built by our anger, fear and sadness.

And this goes for everything we are upset about.

That guy who stole your parking space at the packed festival after you were circling the lot for 20 minutes — two weeks ago. And you’re still plotting your choice words for him if you cross paths again.

That anxiety over whether, if only you had said or done things differently on your first interview, there would have been a second. Now you’ll be stuck at your current job forever stapling briefing packets in some cold basement with cobwebs and mold.

Stress over wondering if your six-month old child will eventually be an addict on the streets because you didn’t realize you were pregnant until after your sister’s wild bachelorette in Vegas. So you fanatically search for articles on the topic and end up binge reading the hundreds of ways parenting can go wrong.

Believing yourself unworthy of finding that special someone because you haven’t yet, therefore you’ll be alone and die among your fifteen cats. And you don’t even like, nor have ever owned, cats.

Think about how much energy is spent in that headspace. That worry over a future state that doesn’t even exist outside of our minds.

If we could harness all of that mental space and emotional energy and put it toward what would make our hearts sing with elation, how would our lives be different?

If we were fixated on pursuing our passions, would we already have brought our dreams to fruition?

If our conversations were boisterously engaged with the steps we’re taking toward pursuing what brings us joy, how much happier would we be overall?

Where our attention goes, we go. We are the creators of our reality.

What do you choose to focus on? What beliefs about your future do you want to run toward?


If you don’t believe you are capable of achieving all you desire, or if you find yourself obsessing over the chaos in your life instead of joy, coaching can help. Let’s talk!