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4 Steps to Personal Transformation

Photo by Karrah Kobus
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. ~Anais Nin

Sometimes the path of life comes to a crossroad. One direction ends in stagnation while the other leads to transformation.

When I entered my junior year of college I had a sudden identity crisis. I had always been an athlete throughout high school and junior college, and a fairly good one at that. A very shy person normally, my abilities in sports gave me confidence and brought out leadership skills I didn’t know were within me.

How to Plan the Unexpected

Photo by Sandra Lara
Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans. ~John Lennon

Plans are what I’m good at.

I plan my meals, outfits, weekends. I plan what I’m going to say when confronted by a certain someone, what my life will look like six months from now and how I’m going to spend the tax return that hasn’t yet hit my account.

I plan because I like control, because the only surprises I like are of the party variety and because I don’t want to have to face anything that I’m not entirely ready for.

Yesterday I was forced to acknowledge the very real possibility that my job may not be here in the next six months. Possibly even the next six days.

Facing Challenges

Editor’s Note

Danielle is an intuitive genius when it comes to business and life. Check out her wonderful guest article on facing challenges and a quick exercise to identify tools you can use to overcome challenges.

When I got fired from my own company, I cried myself to sleep and got up the next morning and did crazy Kundalini yoga in my living room to the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Soul, soothed.

When my marriage hit the snowbank, I knew just the poetry book to read obsessively, the right astrologer to call, and that Green Smoothies were better than the pack of Marlboro’s I craved.

When I had a book deal in jeopardy, I knew just the person to call to give me straight up strategic counsel, and that if I dropped everything that afternoon and went to my favorite beach, the right answer would come to me.

The End to Worry

Photo by JUCO
Do not anticipate trouble or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight. ~Benjamin Franklin

A friend and I were on a beautiful hike through the redwood. It was early morning, and the mist still hung in the trees, but the sunlight had started streaming through the branches, little beams of heaven.

“I hope I locked the car,” she wondered out loud.

We both looked at each other and started laughing. Here we were in arguably one of the most beautiful and special places on the planet, and she couldn’t help but worry about the car doors.

The Illusion of Time

Photo by JUCO
Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save. ~Will Rogers

Last Saturday morning, as I sat at the corner coffee shop with my mom cradling my daily caffeine fix, I found myself going into a long rant on all the things that were currently irking me in my life. The list was a long one, and I was convinced that each problem was valid.

But as my mom steered me in the direction of brainstorming solutions for these problems, I quickly and easily came up with reasons why they wouldn’t work.

Discover Your Personal Values

Photo by Lisa Devlin of Gala Darling
Editor’s Note

When Cat introduced me to Leah earlier this year, she said "Leah is one of the most mindful people I've ever spoken with". After experiencing her work—both written and drawn—I agreed. Take the time to read the story below. It's worth it. One of the most conscious piece of writing I've read. Enjoy!

“At the end of your life” a friend once asked, “What do you hope to have happened?”

I thought it was a great question and decided to give him a thoughtful answer, so I pocketed it for later and bought myself a month for the assignment.

For a while my mind flooded with questions of plot. Will I fall in love? Will I have kids? Will I know passion in my work? Will I touch lives? Will I change the world for the better? What will my regrets be? Where will I have traveled? Where will I have lived?

Will I have really traveled? Will I have really lived?

How to Ignite Personal Change

Photo by Vanessa Paxton
The outer conditions of a person’s life will always be found to reflect their inner beliefs. ~James Allen

The first step to create personal change is to recognize the reoccurring patterns in our life that no longer serve us. Lately, I started to see that such a pattern surfacing in my life story.

The first time I took on an assignment for a newspaper, one whose readership was larger than most of the blogs I had been writing for, I was terrified.

I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to properly pronounce the subject’s name, that I wouldn’t be taken seriously because of my inability to look older than 21, that I wouldn’t be able to write fast enough to take down the most pertinent details.

But more importantly, I was afraid that I wasn’t a journalist and I would never be recognized as one.

29 Life Lessons in 29 Years

Photo by Rosie Hardy
Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? ~Mary Oliver

This morning, as I scurried out of my mom-in-law’s home, I was carrying three bags: a Yoga bag, a purse on one shoulder and a leather bag on the other shoulder–tightly packed with iPad, laptop, chargers galore, client cards, and a journal.

My mom-in-law, Janis, had this calm, knowing smile as she eyed my resemblance—Cat, The Bag Lady.

She is the most present woman I’ve ever met. And lately, a reminder to just-slow-down. So, I felt the need to explain the ambitious look:

9 Ways to Overcome Negative Emotions

Photo by MAJ Aaron Haney
All emotions are pure which gather you and lift you up; that emotion is impure which seizes only one side of your being and so distorts you. ~Rainer Maria Rilke

My teenage years were difficult ones because I got bullied all the time.

The bullies called me names. They made fun of me. They spread rumors about me. They took my belongings and refused to return them to me. They once locked me in a classroom.

Not surprisingly, I became angry, resentful, fearful and depressed. I would cry myself to sleep, and I would dread the thought of having to face the bullies in school the following day.

Moreover, I developed a short temper and I’d react violently whenever I was provoked. I even allowed my emotions to overwhelm me to the point where I stopped talking.

How to Have a Healthy Relationship

Photo by aeschleah
All the flowers of all the tomorrows are in the seeds of today. ~Proverb

Our relationships with the people around us are among the most important aspects in our lives. That’s why we go through such an emotional roller coaster ride when our relationship is in trouble and we crave to have that healthy relationship.

The possibility of losing the one we love and the relationship we’ve invested so much time in can be utterly daunting.

Take me for example. I consider myself to be in a loving, satisfying and healthy relationship with my partner. But from my perspective, it wasn’t always like that.

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