Why Does Leadership Matter? Being an Effective Leader

Why Does Leadership Matter? Being an Effective Leader

Why does leadership matter? Well, showing up and being fully YOU (which is the mainstay of leadership) not only serves your family, your community, and your work environment, but it also is the best way to keep vibrantly alive, creative, optimistic, and totally involved in your own life adventure long term.

Leadership Matters

Whether you are aware of it or not, anytime you take responsibility for evolving an aspect of your life you are taking a new course and being a leader.

At its simplest, leadership is how the world expands and goes to a higher level. And it does so through you and every other person who, through much effort and a willingness to uncover the deepest self, takes that self to the next higher level over and over again.

Being a leader involves dealing with your emotional responses to a variety of situations, getting intimate with the right questions and identifying your wants and needs—then figuring out how to make them happen. By leading yourself, taking the next step, finding creative solutions to complex problems over and over, you end up making a substantial difference, not just in your own life but in the world around you.

Clear vision

Leadership brings opportunities, adventures, and learnings. It gifts you a competitive advantage.

When you are passive and do not take responsibility for your own growth and develop self-leadership skills, you are more likely to blame others for your lack of opportunity, unsatisfying work environment, and overall absence of hope. But if you step up when you see a gap, a lack, or an opportunity, not only will you fill that gap and address that opportunity, but you will begin shaping the world around you into the way you would like it to be.

Every single human being has the spark of leadership potential within them and can become a true leader. The question is whether they activate that inner spark or not. The external circumstances—the family and social and work environment—do not matter. You don’t need to research leadership development programs or take a transformational leadership course. Great accomplishment and solid leadership can be developed anywhere, anytime. Here’s an example.

A most significant impact

I was raised in South Africa. I have seen how difficult it is in developing nations for students graduating from high school to find jobs and growth opportunities. Often, in many situations like this, it’s easy for young people to develop their leadership potential by taking on negative leadership roles, running guns or smuggling drugs.

I remember one group of about 30 students with nothing but time on their hands and an absence of hope who ended up choosing to turn all the obstacles they faced into opportunity. Determined to do something good for the public sector with their time, they decided to fill all the potholes in the streets around where they lived until the area that was once derelict and unsafe became cleaner and drivable.

Pretty soon family members and the senior leaders in the community started to follow their lead. This led to a string of other community projects unfolding. Word got around and suddenly the group found themselves in the spotlight being interviewed by different people, including international media networks. This resulted in scholarships for each of the 30 young people and the promise of a job offer to each one upon graduation from college.

Talk about creating something from nothing! Talk about a great accomplishment of solid leadership! Somehow these young people realized that they had what they needed to begin a journey of great social value. They found common goals that tapped their inner leadership and leaned on their sense of altruism and servant leadership that ended up inspiring millions. They threw their whole selves into making a difference.

Next Step

What you tell yourself about who you are and what you can do makes a substantial difference. It’s part of being a leader. Leaders talk themselves and their communities into bigger possibilities. They are not victims. Instead they see opportunities where none seem to exist.

Look around. Do you like what you see in your family? In your school or business? In your community. Your country? And if you don’t like what you see, what can you do to change it?

Here are a few things to get you thinking:

  • Write down a time when you were a leader of some sort.
  • Describe the event. It can be as simple as playing “Follow the Leader” as a kid. Were you always a follower, or did you always try to lead? Or was there a balance?
  • How did it feel when you led? Leadership is often ignited by a decision about an event. Have you always been that way? If not, when did that start for you and what was happening for you at the time?
  • How did it feel when you followed?
  • Now that you are an adult, where and how do you play follow-the-leader? Or do you lead? Under what circumstances?
  • Do you wait for opportunity to come to you? Or do you identify opportunities and “go for it,” showing others the way?
  • Write down your thoughts, feelings, and actions around these questions.

Next, write down something you would like to have happen that will require you to lead the way—if only lead yourself!

  • How will doing this affect you?
  • How will it affect those around you?
  • What new skillset do you need to develop to make this thing happen?
  • What one new thought, feeling, and/or action can you take to start actualizing what you’d like to have happen?

Leadership matters. Own yours!

I look forward to showing you how to unleash your fullest potential and discover your leadership abilities.  For more information about my 2024 events click here.

How to Make Happiness a Habit – Simple Tips to Being Happy

Lady smiling holding a yellow balloon with a smiley face

How to Make Happiness a Habit - Simple Tips to Being Happy

Very few of us are taught to make happiness a habit. In fact, the very idea of making it a daily routine is a little strange. But developing a happiness habit is one of the biggest secrets to creating good health and a more satisfying life.

Positive emotions are what help you to find and stay on the path to success – whatever that may look like for you. Obviously, happiness is a feeling that’s right up there near the top of the positive emotions ladder. It’s the juice that you need to help build resilience, develop courage, and firm up your commitment to make meaningful changes happen.

A Tool for Creating Emotional Well-Being

Happiness is one of the emotions that turns on our creative brain. It encourages us to imagine and take risks. Happiness also helps us to identify goals that are in alignment with the type of change we want to make happen.

Having good intentions and making resolutions are all fine and dandy. But do those good intentions and resolutions you’re making light you up? Do they jazz you? Or are you trying to set them in motion because they fit in your comfort zone? Because people on social media advocate them? Because you’ve heard good things from different people about them? Or are those good intentions flowing from your personal north star?

Here’s a simple exercise to help you find out:

  1. Write each one of your intentions on a single piece of paper
  2. Place those papers on the floor — make sure there is enough room to keep them a good distance apart
  3. Slowly walk about the room and notice your feelings as you approach each different intention
  4. Do you feel lighter in a good way as you approach your proposed new habit? Or heavier? Or blasé? Are you a happier person just thinking about developing that new habit? Do you feel a sense of accomplishment is just waiting for you if you go there? If so, then you know you’ve hit on something you can easily weave into a daily routine that is guaranteed to bring more positive things into your life, increasing your levels of happiness.

Healthy Habits, Bad Habit - They Take the Same Energy

For many of us, the idea of deliberately setting out to make happiness a habit sounds contrived or like a lot of hard work. That said, I would like to point out that sadness and anger and other attitudes that erode your emotional well-being take equal amounts of time and effort to keep them in play. They’re also an excellent way to create mental health issues and other bad things in your life.

Positive emotions are truly a matter of choice. But we have to make it a regular exercise to pay attention to our emotional state and then do the hard work of focusing on positive things instead of bad things. Even if you’re going through a hard time and happiness may seem out of reach now, you can still take steps and do little things over the short term to make a difference.

An Easy Way to Develop a Positive Mindset

For example, here is something to give you hope: If you can find something to be happy about for just 17 seconds a day it will start wiring the happiness habit into your brain. Imagine that! Even in the midst of a hard time, if you can make it a daily habit to set aside just 17 seconds a day to focus on good things—no matter what that might be for you—you will start having a return on your investment within just three weeks.

How? Because happiness floods your body and brain with endorphins—those “feel good” chemicals that are life’s easy way to improved mood and better brain function. By doing little things—like making 17 seconds of positive thoughts and positive emotions a daily habit—you are wiring your body for good health.

Sometimes different things to focus on that can make a big difference are as small as remembering that you are alive. Or that you have a good degree of physical health. Or it’s a sunny day. Or the gas tank in your car is full. If you have a pet, you have instant happiness underfoot at all times, just waiting to happen!

Sometimes just by giving a little something of yourself makes all the difference. How about smiling at someone as you walk past? Or letting someone cut in front of you in traffic? Or holding the door open for someone? Even doing such little things you feel the warmth of that moment of kindness translating into a little sense of happiness.

Another pro tip is to look at any situation, no matter how difficult, and find the good in it. Practice gratitude. Instead of living by the biology of stress, you are consciously creating a pathway to health and success.

Good Things Come From the Right Habits

Before you dismiss all this, let me tell you, from personal experience I know that by applying the lens of happiness—even for just shorts bursts of time—hope is able to stay alive, and possibility can come knocking on your door in surprising ways.

When my mom was diagnosed with cancer, my world imploded. I had to make some very conscious decisions about being happy. There were many days that I came home from the hospital too tired to even think straight let alone make happiness a habit or practice gratitude for even the little things. Some days I just wanted to give up.

But I was lucky. I have two warmly affectionate cats. They were always around waiting to give me some love. My daughter made it a point on a daily basis to call with little things to say that uplifted my mood in surprising ways. My two nieces and friends were always around, making themselves available to get me through a bad day.

At first, all of those things and people felt like a nuisance. They felt like a distraction from the present moment—and every present moment I thought I should be dedicating to focusing on the physical health of my mom. Until I figured out, that to help my mom I needed to help myself by uplifting my own emotional wellbeing and physical health as well.

At that point, I finally realized that all of those blessings of people and animals in my life were a great source of happiness and the way I could start to practice gratitude. It was a discipline and a choice, but I could allow myself to build happiness within myself even during these dark circumstances. Especially during those dark circumstances and bad days.

I knew I needed to focus on positive emotions and start making it a habit to find ways to evoke those positive emotions, not only to survive, but to cheerlead my mom and to help her to feel that life was good and filled with possibilities as well.

The Present Moment

It is a great truth that the present moment is a gift—a present just waiting to be delivered to your doorstep. Circumstances can, and will, change your life—sometimes from one heartbeat to the next. But the same is true of the attitude and thoughts you create around those circumstances.

Only if you make it a regular exercise to stay present will you be able to find the space and the opportunities around you to stop worrying and be happy—if only for the short term. How do you do that? Well—again, often it’s about the little things. Sometimes you can find solace and new ways of uplifting yourself by being grateful for what is not happening in your life. You’re not under too much pressure at work. Thank you! You’re not having to worry about money. Thank you! New friends have shown up and you’re no longer as lonely as you were. Thank you!

New Ways to Get Over a Bad Day

You’ve certainly heard about the effectiveness of having an attitude of gratitude. Personally, I like addressing the altitude of the attitude of gratitude. So, what on earth does that even mean? Well, especially when I’m going through a hard time, I make it a daily habit to push the happiness needle. It’s actually become a fun game for me.

At some point during a bad day, usually when everything is hitting the fan, I stop and ask myself, “What has gone right so far today?” Yes, sometimes my inner self asks my questioning self if I’m crazy even bothering to ask the question. Yet, if I stop and get into the present moment and pay attention, I can usually find at least a half a dozen things that have gone right, even in the midst of a disaster.

And then there is the seriously fun process I call micro-treating.

Exercise: How to Micro-Treat Your Way to a Happier Life

  • Write down all the little things that make you happy. It could be as simple as petting the cat, eating a piece of chocolate, or stopping at the coffee shop on the way home from work and getting your favorite iced specialty drink.
  • Make sure that you sprinkle some of these little things into every single day. At the very least do some on a regular basis. Add them to your calendar if need be.
  • Really notice when you are micro-treating yourself and be sure to pat yourself on the back for doing this. You are NOT being self-indulgent! You are taking really good care of yourself by creating a positive mindset this way, and that should make you happy too!
  • Sometimes you may want to splurge. If there is a movie that you really want to see or an activity that you really want to do, plan that into your calendar too.
  • Congratulations! You are well on your way to teaching yourself that even in the worst circumstances there is happiness you can count on creating for yourself. And remember: If there is an emotional DNA piece in your family (a family pattern) around happiness/unhappiness, your being happy may just be the antidote to the family’s bad habit of unhappiness.

You are far, far bigger than the circumstances of your life. It is time to embrace your happiness and unleash your destiny. You can change your thoughts, change your feelings, change your life, and change the lives of those around you. You can move mountains if you choose. It all starts when you decide to make happiness a habit.

I look forward to showing you how to unleash your fullest potential and discover your superpowers.  For more information about my 2024 events click here.

11 Steps to Creating Positive Change in Life & Thriving

11 Steps to Creating Positive Change in Life & Thriving

We all want positive change in our lives. But most of us think that life is coming at us or happening to us. Often the idea of creating positive change is out of our control. We work hard to go beyond the status quo, but when change doesn’t happen, instead of figuring out a better way and implementing new ideas, it’s easier to think that it’s other peoples’ fault and fall into the blame game. We figure we just aren’t lucky and stay stuck in our comfort zone.

The fact is, luck doesn’t just happen. You choose it. When you ask yourself what you really want, create clear goals, and take the small steps to move beyond the current situation and finally affect positive change, you realize at a very deep level that YOU are the creator and driver of your own adventure.

There’s More to Life & You Create It!

Have you ever noticed that there are some people in ordinary jobs who do better than others and turn out to be success stories? They do well financially, have a better life than most, and seem to be happy. But what is different about them?

They understand how to find happiness within themselves. They know how to make a plan of action and use it to motivate themselves to go after their north star, make the needed changes, and go get those dreams. They are aware that the quality of their interactions with others matter. They understand that creating positive change within themselves results in those better relationships and improved finances.

These are the people who go the extra mile, who do just a little more, who boost friends with a smile. People around them feel seen and understood. Negative feelings vanish. Everybody wants to be part of their game. They become role models.

No Victims Here!

These are the kinds of people who have stumbled onto another important building block for success in their personal and professional lives. They somehow know that it doesn’t matter where you come from or what your circumstances are, that it doesn’t matter whether you know the “right people” or have the greatest support network. They know they have the ability to create a happy mindset – even in the worst situations when negative people are all around them.

Such people are always in “choice.” They choose happiness and make it a habit. They set good intentions and create a plan of action. They also tend to be highly resilient and can shift and make needed changes, learning new skills when necessary. Not only do they maintain a glass-half-full attitude, they have learned that the empty space in the glass is exciting because it is theirs to fill!

Taking Positive Steps

Things happen in life. But that doesn’t mean you need to cave to circumstances and negative feelings. You look at heroes in the movies and wish you could be like that too. And the fact is, of course you can! You are capable at any point in your life of creating meaningful changes when you choose it consciously.

Set goals, create an action plan. Be willing to move out of your comfort zone. It’s the time of year for a fresh start and New Years’ resolutions. Make some! Your good intentions and hard work will get you all the way to your goal. You just have to take the first step and start walking.

All those self-help books you’ve been reading are wonderful, but now it is time to do something with that knowledge and make the needed changes. Unless you start applying what you’ve learned, and create a sense of urgency for change, they will just stay nice ideas stuck in a book someplace on a forgotten shelf. And that’s defintiely not the right path to take, now is it?

11 Steps to Creating Positive Change - How to Make Successful Changes

The secret to creating meaningful change in your life is all about feeling it. So, the first thing I want you to do is to identify something you would like to achieve. Is it a better life? More free time? More love in your life? More money? A sense of real success?

Be sure that what you choose makes you feel strong emotions—desire, happiness, excitement, a sense of urgency. This is part of the energy that will get you motivated and carry you past the first step. Now:

  1. Identify all the reasons standing in the way of you doing what you desire.
  2. Burn them or tear them up.
  3. Take the time to identify 10 steps that you think will facilitate you getting to your goal. (Yes, it sounds like a lot, but most of you will need that many!)
  4. Write them down.
  5. Understand that the steps will not always be in sequence.
  6. Understand that no step is too small. A small step is still a step towards your goal!
  7. Make sure that all the steps you write down take you towards your goal, not away from it.
  8. Set a timeline for accomplishing your first step.
  9. Congratulate yourself on each step that you accomplish. (This is what all champions do. It’s one of the main reasons that they get results.)
  10. No trash talking. If negative feelings come up, acknowledge them and then move on.
  11. When you achieve your goal, acknowledge it, celebrate it, and share it if appropriate.

Congratulations! When you do this exercise and take these steps seriously, you will be well on your way to creating the better life you’re intending for yourself. You simply have to show yourself that it’s possible.

Now … identify your next action plan and goal! Once you’ve taken the steps and made things happen for youself, no matter what might stand in your way, there’s a real fire of excitement that builds. And you’re building it. Remember, the passion of desire can move mountains!

Be sure that what you choose makes you feel strong emotions—desire, happiness, excitement, a sense of urgency. This is part of the energy that will get you motivated and carry you past the first step. Now:

What Next?

The point of this exercise is to show you how capable you really are when you consciously identify what you want and take action to achieve it. To lock in and ramp up the magic of the exercise above and teach yourself to consistently create the life you want, I suggest two action plans.

Option 1: We all like gold stars. Get yourself a journal and dedicate a page to each step that you’ve identified. As you complete each step, give yourself a gold star and write down how you felt about achieving that step.

Option 2: Buy a book that holds business cards—you can get them at any office supply place. Write down each step on a piece of paper. As you complete each step, fold up that piece of paper and put it into one of the card holders. Write down any thoughts and feelings about that step and place them in the same holder.

These actions help you build a treasure map directing you toward positive change. They also provide you with tangible evidence that you are on your way. And at the completion of each goal you set, give yourself 5 stars. (At least!)

I look forward to showing you how to unleash your fullest potential and discover your superpowers.  For more information about my 2024 events click here.

Limiting Belief Examples

Same thing goes with other examples of systemic language. Every profession, every club, and every sport have their insider lingo. Culturally, we  taught a lot of catchy phrases, like “No pain, no gain.”  (Thank you, Jane Fonda.) Or “Only the good die young.” (Thank you, Billy Joel.) But what a terrible, unconscious patterns to learn to live by! 

Sure, there are positive cultural influences. For example, we’re schooled to believe that developing successful habits and successful thinking is how to be successful in life.  But we just can’t escape the less healthy cultural influences. A client of mine, Joe, has two boys. He also has a big heart and is easily touched by kindness and even unkindness. He has been careful to model emotional availability to his sons. And yet, recently, when they all were watching a movie and he found himself moved to tears, he was surprised when his oldest boy admonished him, saying “Dad, men don’t cry.” 

Joe knows where that comes from, he’s been told it all his life.  He also knows that he is strong and successful. And yet he still feels a little shame when he does cry. He asked me, “Is it possible to be fully male and strong and yet cry?”  

I said, “Of course! you just have to keep challenging this commonly held, but erroneous assumption, whenever it rears its head. When you do this, not only does it change the situation for you, but for your sons and other men as well.”

How to Change your Thoughts and Feelings ... and Your Life

As we speak so we think and feel. We are teaching our brain to tell our body a story it can believe. When we change a language pattern, we change our thoughts and emotions. Let’s take money as an example. Many of us speak, and thus believe and act, in alignment with money patterns already in existence.  For example, we’re taught that having money is vitally important. We’re also taught that having money is bad, wrong, and greedy. We hear the words, “Money is the root of all evil.” 

Yikes! How to create a positive mindset around money with those kinds of conflicting truths?

The difference between those who struggle materially and those who succeed does NOT just hinge on their environment or circumstances. It rests, in very large part, on the systemic language and multigenerational family patterns they inherit and embody. It also depends on your willingness to change limiting systemic language and implement the power of positive words.

Give your Money DNA a Boost


If you have “money issues,” start carefully monitoring how you talk about money. How often do negative money sayings crop up in your mind? How often do you find yourself saying, “Oh, I can’t afford that” or “I wish I could afford that”?

Your money DNA can be changed by asking yourself a simple question: “What if something different is possible? What if I could afford it?” Right there, you’ve opened the door to a whole new possibility.

Do you judge people who have money? Stop it. Instead, find inspiring examples of people who are addressing some of the world’s problems precisely because they have accumulated wealth, been wise stewards, and can put money to good use. 
What happens if you begin to view money with respect and even affection?  What happens if you say (gasp) “I love money” or “Money and I are good friends!” When you do this—when you change your systemic language around money—you are rewiring your brain AND your life. Imagine that? You are able to change your financial circumstances one new thought, one new feeling, and one new action at a time.
And if you find yourself thinking this kind of simple change won’t make a difference to your finances, I challenge you to look at your limiting systemic language and put one new thought, feeling and action around money into play for one month. Also look out for other kinds of sabotaging thoughts/language/actions, like, “Nothing I do ever works.” Or “It would take an Act of Congress to change my financial situation.”)
Systemic language is HUGE.  Changing your language can help you rewire your brain for success and change your money mindset. Explored and employed consciously, you can begin crafting and more fulfilling and exciting life.
Elevate your money mindset! Join me at our special Disney World event November 5-8, 2023. 
For more information click here.

Breaking Generational Patterns and Learning how to Enjoy Christmas Again

Breaking Generational Patterns

Breaking Generational Patterns and Learning how to Enjoy Christmas Again

Okay, maybe you don’t celebrate Christmas or any holidays. But the holiday season can still be filled with stress, rush, overindulging, disappointment, family conflict, and stress followed by a major sigh of relief when it’s all behind us. Even our holiday movies are filled with family catastrophes before they end in happiness. This is an ancient global meta pattern. But can breaking generational patterns help us to find joy at this time of the year?       

The holidays—whether you celebrate them or not—often times are when ancestral pain and multi-generational patterns are on full display. Yet, the potential for having fun during this time of year is enormous. All you have to do is take a look at things a little differently and learn how to deal with family stress and other triggers during the holidays

The happy mindset

In the West, the holidays are designed and expected to deliver a happy mindset and miracles. In fact, it is the one time of the year when a large number of people around the world—including non-Christians—are not resistant to great things happening. For example, soldiers putting down their rifles, crossing enemy lines, and joining one another in festive celebration for the day.

Why don’t we teach ourselves to take advantage of that?  If we tune into that energy—the energy capable of remapping the brain for peace and brotherhood—creating the rewired brain, we stand a really good chance of creating a great festive season and delivering some miracles of our own.

In place of glum duty, we can consciously create benevolence, generosity, fun, and laughter. Having to go to Aunt Sally’s house for a turkey dinner can turn into an adventure. Even if you’re a vegan, you can still create a special dish everybody can enjoy. (Including you!) Now, suddenly, by expanding yourself there is a little more happiness in you and in the world. You’ve had one new thought (the special dish), you’ve also had one new feeling (excitement), as you’ve taken a new action (creating and bringing the dish). 

The secret habits of happiness

Doing little things for ourselves and others is one way we evolve our happiness quotient. It isn’t about huge steps at a time, although it can be if you choose. It can be something as simple as noticing what’s going well even in the most difficult moments.

How to find happiness within yourself is a process starting with one new thought, feeling, and action at a time. Building on that step-by-step process, you begin to create strong relationships and joy. You begin rewiring and remapping the brain—your brain. Now a continuation of your sad or disappointing life is no longer the inevitable future.

Once you take this magical journey with commitment, it becomes very clear that you are not a victim, but a co-creating master of your own life and quite capable of unleashing the miracle of a happy mindset any time of year, any time you want, for any reason you choose.

Happily excited

The miracle of the holidays is that they call for the best in all of us to show up, take action, and offer a chance to make happiness a habit, not just something that happens at a set time of year. If you choose, you can make the entire year—your entire life—a festive season where you look forward to living every day, happily excited to be on this earth, capable of anything. Even turning a dreadful holiday dinner with Aunt Sally into a feast everyone can enjoy.

How to build a happy life

Want to know how to build a happy life? One way is to treat everyday like a holiday, a holy/wholly day where you unleash your joy and embrace life fully, simply because you can.

A good way to begin is by asking yourself what’s possible and “How can I make a positive difference?” There are opportunities every single day to be kind, to smile, to listen or to offer a helping hand. Most of these actions don’t cost a penny, but they make all the difference to others, to ourselves, to our own peace of mind, and to our relationships.

The more you invest in creating your own magic, the less entangled you are in multi-generational shackles. And this festive season is the perfect time to begin writing your own new chapter.

Quick exercise:

  • What one limiting thing do you say, think, or feel about the holiday season?
  • When did that start for you?
  • What was happening in your life at the time?
  • Is that still true?
  • Does it serve you?
  • Is it time to change that story?
  • What one new thought, feeling, and action can you take to begin activating a happy mindset no matter what time of year it is?
  • Contemplate the difference that will it make to you and those around you.

Remember, your happiness quotient is truly in your own hands. And it all starts with breaking generational beliefs and patterns—no matter what sets them in motion. 

This year I want to challenge you to consciously build your happiness mindset starting with this festive season. Notice what one thing you can do to contribute to the miracle of rewiring your brain to think your way to better patterns and a happier more fulfilled life.

I look forward to showing you how to unleash your fullest potential and discover the superbeing in you.  For more information about my 2024 events click here.

How to Move Forward in Life When you Feel Stuck

How to move forward in life when you feel stuck

How to Move Forward in Life When you Feel Stuck

Learning how to move forward in life when you feel stuck can at times feel overwhelming. Most of us don’t learn how to stop holding onto the past.  Something happened to us early in our lives that has us stuck, and we can’t move forward out of anger, fear, confusion, sadness or maybe bitterness. 

Or perhaps something happened to a family member in the past and we inherited family trauma. A high percentage of the time we have good justifications for feeling the way we do—especially if we’re dealing with ancestral pain. 

But here’s the one simple question to ask yourself about all this: “Am I really enjoying holding onto the past? Does it feel good being stuck?”

Chances are the answer is “No.” But you might feel safe in the misery because being miserable has become so familiar. And you might feel safe because you feel like you are fitting in by repeating family patterns. But none of it feels good.

Ghosts of Christmas past

Remember Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and the miserable miser Ebenezer Scrooge? He and his family lost all their wealth in the Napoleonic Wars and he spent his lifetime regaining that lost wealth. But did he have to reject all happiness, warmth and generosity while doing so?

It took a near death experience for dear old Scrooge to realize how much life he was missing out on by carefully nursing his bitter miserliness. What is it going to take for you to stop holding onto things from the past and transform your own wounds? What is it costing you?

That person who wronged you is probably getting on just fine with their life. If you’re waiting for them to open their eyes and realize what they did to you, feel sorry about it, and apologize, you may wind up severely disappointed and embittered. You might waste many many beautiful moments and beautiful days and stewed and been angry over what is basically spilt milk—history—the past—done and over done.

It's up to you to break generational trauma

If you find yourself holding onto the past and old hurts, it’s truly worth checking to see where that originated and what unresolved pattern is waiting to be seen. Once you can see it and give it a place, you no longer need to be stuck. Maybe something happened to an ancestor that was so offensive or traumatic that it created an epigenetic imprint on your family system.

Perhaps somebody cheated your great-grandfather out of the family farm and ever since then the whole family has been suspicious, rejecting everyone who offers assistance and everything that looks like a good deal when it comes along. Maybe there are disputes over land and nobody knows why. Maybe the inherited family trauma has passed down to you and you pinch every penny until it screams, never accepting help from anyone and wonder why.

Maybe that Scrooge pattern is looking for you to finally put down the ancestral pain and allow the happiness, finances, and land ownership to build and flow again. I remember a client of mine who came in near the holidays a few years ago, complaining about “stupid Christmas” and how much he hated it. How everyone in his family just went through the motions, exchanging awful gifts and eating a dreadful Christmas meal before they all, duty done, went their separate ways.

“Pain travels through family lines,” I said. “It’s up to you to break generational trauma. You actually can choose to enjoy Christmas..”

He frowned and said, “That isn’t allowed in my family.”

“Why not?”  I asked.

He had no idea, but after talking with his father he reported that his great-grandmother had died on Christmas Eve. The family had gone through the motions to give the kids a decent Christmas that year. But after that nobody ever enjoyed Christmas again.

Recognizing the pattern of pain and duty that had been passed down through his family system, he saw that he could, indeed, break the generational cycles and change the situation. He dove into Christmas preparations with determination and no small amount of glee. “It was the best Christmas ever!” he declared with a grin at our next meeting. “I did it! Three generations of misery were finally put to rest with a celebration for the ages. I’m already making plans for next year!”

Healing ancestral trauma

We all carry emotional wounds and scars that have traveled through our family line, passed down generation to generation. The thing is, each one of us has a choice. Like Scrooge and like my client, we all have the ability to search out and identify ancestral pain patterns and then consciously move beyond them.

If you truly want to make a difference in the world, it begins with creating your own happiness. And that begins with understanding what lives in your family system and unleashing its hidden potential. When you are willing to look, things are able to change. You are the one your family system has been waiting for.

May all your dreams come true this season, may your hearts truly be merry and bright. And may you finally realize that for that to happen, you must be willing to look, and then shift. Above all, I wish you good shift this holiday season and happy adventuring in the coming new year!

To find out how to move from stuck to happy and thriving, join me at one of my events in 2024.  Our mission is to make the unconscious conscious and the invisible visible, so that you can fulfill your destiny—a happy one! 

Using the Power of Higher Emotions to Accelerate Your Success

Higher Emotions

Using the Power of Higher Emotions to Accelerate Your Success

We all experience what I call lower-level emotions, low frequency emotions that seriously run us, and not in a good way. You know what I’m talking about. Those low vibrational emotions we have that twist our stomachs into knots and keep our thoughts buzzing in our heads like angry bees. 

They’ve been with us since we were small. In fact, both high and low emotions have been with us long before we were even aware of them. Some originated in our ancestral family members generations before us.

It’s the lower-level emotions that keep us sad and stuck, frustrated, afraid, and driven by stress hormones. And then, there are other times when life feels good. Everything flows smoothly. The trees look greener, the flowers look prettier, and we experience a general sense of wellbeing. We are living in the higher emotional states of joy and possibility. 

What causes high and low emotions?

What triggers one or the other? We quite often see that our stress hormones are activated when we are stuck in low vibrational emotions related to an old pattern. Our survival emotions kick in and we become reactive—and not in a good way.

Conversely, when we tap into our higher emotions, like joy, happiness, excitement, love and passion, the opposite happens, and we become creative. Interestingly, our positive inspirations quite often have their origins in the future. 

Visualization for success

We’re not only able to have memories of the past, but we are also quite able to create memories of the future. We call this imagining or visualizing. When we allow ourselves to really go there, visualizing a future self or doing a visualization for success, we unconsciously end up experiencing higher emotions because the imagined future creates emotional excitement inside us. And when we’re experiencing higher emotions, the elevated frequencies enable us to potently impact the quantum field. These are the times when we accomplish the incredible.

The magic of elevated emotions is that they tell the body a story it can believe that is stronger than the current limiting story that you’ve quite possibly inherited from your ancestors.

Elevated emotions provide the juice that takes you past excuses all the way to the finish line. 

Visualize your future self

When we repeatedly and vividly visualize a bright future utilizing higher emotions, we move beyond limiting ancestral patterns and voices that keep us stuck in low vibrational emotions. For example, family sayings like “You have to be practical” and “You have to be sensible” and “Don’t get on your high horse” or get “too big for your britches.”

These are all limiting ways of teaching  to switch our creative brain off and stay small within the confines of dysfunctional family patterns, which in turn allows us to belong to the family and repeat the same old dynamics. So often, when we grow up under disadvantaged circumstances, we are led to believe that this is all there is—that this is our lot in life (and usually somebody else’s fault).

Yet, if we continue to positively use imagination, visualization and higher emotions, our goals get bigger. And with each small or large success, we get bigger as we rewire our brains from limitation to possibility.

Watch talent programs

I’m always struck by those contestants on talent shows who come from harsh circumstances and how they use passion, commitment, and elevated emotions to overcome those obstacles.  Sometimes, when the contestant is asked to talk about their past, many of them crumble and go back into the sadness and struggle that has defined their origins. You can see it in their eyes and body language. The loyalty to the old system and way of being is still there. 

But then watch. It’s when they acknowledge their difficult origins without letting go of the future that the magic happens. They hold onto the positive vision of themselves, and the power of their higher emotions carries these people all the way to the winner’s circle. You can clearly see both old and new patterns at play. 

So, next time you’re tempted to stay stuck, remember that this is a choice. You can put positive emotions in play any time you want. It may take a few steps. It may even take many. But the price of staying stuck is so much harder than the work it takes to elevate yourself.   

Yes, identifying, using, and hard-wiring higher emotions takes practice. But when you make this an integral part of your own evolution, it gets easier and easier. And then it gets to be fun as you see the new changes happening!

Join me at one of my events to learn how to identify, experience and integrate your own higher emotions. To find out more, click here.

How to Develop a Winning Mindset by Celebrating Success

How to develop a winning mindset

How to Develop a Winning Mindset by Celebrating Success

Have you noticed how few people know how to develop a winning mindset? How difficult it is for many people to even accept a compliment?

There’s a really good reason for being unable to accept compliments or acknowledge our success. Typically, this refusal to shine is tied into dysfunctional family patterns that teach us to be self-effacing and to project an odd sort of “humble” demeanor, all the while bursting inside to share all that we are.

A dysfunctional meta pattern

We’re taught growing up that above all, we’re supposed to succeed. And most of us struggle to do just that. Yet as soon as we get there, many of us attempt to hide our success. Why?

Somewhere along the line, humanity decided that being humble meant we should hide ANY signs of success. Either that or at the very least hide any sense of personal pride in our accomplishments. Instead of exuding positive money beliefs, acknowledging success, and developing a winning mindset, we focus instead on how we need to fix things and how wrong we are about this and that. We focus on how to not seem greedy or happy about having money. If that is our day-to-day perceptual lens, success is virtually impossible.

Not only does this do us a disservice, but we also effectively cover up the clues for others to follow. We stop others from learning how to be successful and happy in life through following our example.

All this is the result of a meta pattern in society that basically says, “Don’t brag.” The problem is, this mindset is what is holding you back from achieving your goals because “Don’t brag” is often misinterpreted as “Don’t celebrate success.” But If I can’t feel good about my success. If I feel ashamed of my success and good fortune, why bother trying to succeed in the first place?

Dysfunctional family patterns

Inability to acknowledge your success may feel as though it ensures you belong in your family. Playing small may be familiar and comfortable because your family system prides itself on modesty. Playing down your abilities may make you feel safe because everybody else refuses to shine. But it also equals inability for both you and your system to thrive.

When Natalie came to see me, she was conflicted. Her family stressed the importance of being nice, polite, and humble. Rich people were not to be admired or associated with. But Natalie was a successful CFO who had taken her company all the way through a successful merger, resulting in millions of dollars in her pocket. And yet nobody—even her family—knew she was a multi-millionaire because she never talked about her accomplishments. She was still driving the same old beater car and bargain hunting for clothes like she always had. 

Breaking family patterns

She was actually at the point of deciding whether to give all her money away. When I asked her why she would do this, she said belonging in her family was more important than any financial success. When I asked her whose example she was following—who she was being loyal to—she thought about it and her eyes flew wide.

“Oh my gosh, my father! He came from a family who struggled financially and had negative money beliefs—they thought it was evil. And yet he actually managed to make a fortune. But he never acknowledged his success and ended up carelessly losing it all. He retired broke!”

Natalie was carrying the same pattern of inner thoughts. By not acknowledging her success, she was staying well inside the family pattern and sowing her own seeds of destruction. Breaking the family’s pattern and showing her family how to succeed at work and how to think big hadn’t even occurred to her.   

It was only when she could see the havoc the pattern was wreaking that she could acknowledge her own success and break that family pattern and allow success to belong alongside kindness and politeness. 

Acknowledging success

So, why is the inability to acknowledge success so prevalent?  Well, some of this may originally stem from a need to stay safe.  Back in the bad old days, being super successful also meant you were at risk of being conquered by the next invader and losing everything, including your life.

But now it’s time to learn the importance of celebrating success. Acknowledging success and helping others know how to have a winning mindset and create success creates bigger opportunities for more and more people. More people breaking generational patterns of smallness, means less jealousy and envy, and more collaboration resulting in bigger resource pools and a happier world.

Acknowledging our successes, big or small, is the first step to moving our lives forward—and everyone else’s! When we can imagine the possibilities of celebrating success, teaching ourselves to acknowledge our successes and helping others do the same, we are changing the world. This is how humans grow.


Investing in achieving ever-greater goals and expansion, we could set centuries of old patterns of envy and greed aside and be victims no more, but masters instead, setting in motion new patterns of prosperity and possibility.

To unleash your own possibilities and discover the power of acknowledgement and expansion, grab your copy of ‘Decoding Your Emotional Blueprint’. To learn more, click here. 

How to Achieve your Dreams and Goals in Life: Visions of What’s Possible

how to achieve your dreams and goals in life

How to Achieve Your Dreams and Goals in Life: Visions of What's Possible

 In my last blog I mentioned “ghosts” of the past showing up in our lives and discussed how to overcome limiting beliefs. And one of those ghosts I mentioned is the tendency most of us have to only see what’s wrong with us. Growing up, we’re so carefully taught to look for faults and weaknesses to correct and heal that we often don’t acknowledge and appreciate our strengths!

On top of this, we’re raised with  a limited mindset and not taught to daydream. In fact, we’re taught the exact opposite. How many of you were told to “Get your feet on the ground and your head out of the clouds” when you were young? Talk about shutting the door on any visions of what’s possible! Can you see how this could be what is holding you back from achieving your goals?

Between these two dynamics—looking for faults and not being accustomed to daydreaming—when some inspirational speaker comes along and tells us “You can do anything! Anything is possible!” we become our own worst enemies and start looking for all the reasons why everything is impossible and why they are wrong instead.

How to achieve your dreams and goals in life

Shifting your mindset for success means that you must learn to say “Yes!” to life. The difference between most people and the great successes in the world is that people who have created BIG things in the world said “Yes!” “Yes” to their ideas and dreams. “Yes” to their potential. When everybody else was shying away from taking a risk, they allowed themselves to dream large enough and passionately enough to motivate themselves to go all the way.

Their success may not have been a cakewalk, but the desire to achieve their dream was stronger than their fears and doubts. In other words, the draw to adventure (which is what a “Yes!” is), was stronger than the need to play safe and small in a limited mindset.

The thing to realize, is that many times, our excuses, limitations, and blockages are not just ours, they’re inherited patterns from our family—emotional DNA patterns passed down through the generations. Grandpa lost the family fortune speculating, and nobody has dared to risk a dime since. Mom didn’t get to fulfill her dream, so how dare I?  Playing out unconscious family patterns, it’s so easy to miss the adventure of life!

Attain the best mindset for success and dream BIG

One of the first things to do to start building your capacity to say “Yes!” is to identify any limiting thoughts, language and beliefs holding you back. Is “Caution!” a kind of family motto? Is “playing small” a dynamic you can see in other family members? Is always “Blending in and not standing out” encouraged? Be aware of these patterns and realize this might well be what is holding you back from achieving your goals

Breaking limiting beliefs is about realizing that a pattern is just a pattern. It’s not YOU. But you are the one who makes meaning of it.

How to set goals and accomplish them

So, how to get beyond the pattern? Well, the trick is to find a dream or goal inside you—a dream that is large enough to excite you, but not so large that you give up before you begin—and let that dream pull you out of old patterns and into a future that’s uniquely yours.


  • Identify a goal that is enough of a stretch that it really excites you. Write it down on a piece of paper and place it at the far end of the room facing inward. Now write down “Where I am now” on a piece of paper and place that at the other end of the room just opposite.
  • Find the place between the two pieces of paper that feels right for you and stand there.
  • Does it feel more comfortable keeping your distance from your dream/goal?
  • Notice your thoughts about your dream/goal.
  • Notice your feelings about your goal.
  • Notice which way you are pulled – closer to the dream or closer to the safety of the pattern of “I can’t” and “Where I am now.”

All the thoughts, feelings, and actions that come up will either stop you from reaching your goal or start you moving in that direction.  With each thought and feeling, notice which way it moves you. The thoughts and feelings that keep you close to “Where I am now” may be tied to inherited behaviors. In Systemic Work & Constellations, we call these the patterns that need to stop. 

The thoughts and feelings that pull you toward your goal will have you moving beyond those patterns, excited to write your own chapter in life. We call this the new pattern that is trying to start through you. The more you feed the thoughts and feelings pulling you towards your dream/goal, the closer you will get. 


  • As you’re walking between one and the other, it helps to identify resources and steps to take that will help you to accomplish your dream/goal.
  • As ideas pop into your head, like “Create a website!” or “Check out classes I can take to learn ____,” write each idea on a separate sheet of paper and place those on the floor and use them as steppingstones to your dream/goal.

As you begin to take these action steps, it is super important to celebrate when you have accomplished a steppingstone goal. That gives you a big dopamine hit to the pleasure centers of your brain that helps wire the “winner effect” into place. And it allows your body to have that delicious sense of accomplishment and happiness.

Visions of the future are only possibilities until you agree to them and say Yes!” Then, taking action, they can become your new reality. 

If you are reading this blog, you know that more is possible for you, then please join me at one of my events. To find out more, click here.

How to Overcome Failure & Achieve Success: Releasing the Ghosts of the Past

how to overcome failure and achieve success

How to Overcome Failure and Achieve Success: Releasing the Ghosts of the Past

Many of us we have a repeating failure in some area of our life that seems to haunt us. Generational trauma patterns of failed relationships, failed businesses, failed creative endeavors, failed self-improvement. We drop the ball in one particular arena so many times, it feels almost fated. It ends up looming so much bigger than everything else in our lives.

How to break generational cycles?

One of the first things to do is realize that most of us have been raised to focus on what’s wrong. We focus on the “bad stuff” so much that even though we might be doing dozens of other things really well, we still focus on what we aren’t getting right. 

The next thing to do is notice the details. If you have such a situation going on, really pay attention to what you’re telling yourself about love and relationship, money, your body etc.  Particularly notice the language you use to describe what’s happening. Here are some negative beliefs examples: “Love is an absent bedfellow. Money doesn’t grow on trees. Fatty fatty two by four, can’t get through the bathroom door!” And quickest and sharpest of all: “Loser!”

How to release negative thoughts

You know the words circulating endlessly through your head. Write them down exactly the way you are thinking about your issue. Don’t censor yourself. Once you have that down on paper, take a highlighter and begin to mark the trigger words and sentences. And be sure to notice your feelings as you do so. What emotions come up? What do you feel in your body when these phrases are spoken? Where are those sensations? 

This is how we start the search for the ghosts from your past and start breaking generational patterns. Your systemic ghosts – those lovely little specters that make you jump and twitch and feel awful about yourself. I call them ghosts from the past because all these patterns, and the words and phrases and feelings that accompany them, might well have been picked up somewhere in your youth or even from the lives of your ancestors.

Systemic Language

Let’s look at words for a moment. In Systemic Work & Constellations, we call repeating phrases that haunt us “systemic language.Sayings can become so ingrained in the speech patterns of family members, they often generate unconscious family belief systems. As such they often end up running the show.

For example, “Love is an absent bedfellow.” Who in your family lineage tragically lost a beloved partner? A loss they never got over, so much so that the sense of absence and loss became synonymous with love? And then that ancestor spoke those particular words so many times, over and over, they turned into a family saying, passed down generation to generation.

A haunting event

But it’s not just language patterns that haunt us. Dramatic events that occurred in our family’s past can turn into generational patterns that show up in us as well. For example, Mary was an obsessive numbers counter. If there was any sharp noise around her—a book falling from a shelf, a glass shattering on the floor—she would find herself counting. The more numbers she could count, the safer she felt. And she just couldn’t shake the habit. 

When I asked what might happen if she didn’t count after she heard a noise, she firmly replied, “Then we will all die.”  Not “Something bad will happen” or “Somebody might die.” But “We will all die.” 

Such extreme language and behavior suggested she might be ‘haunted’ by a systemic ghost of some sort. As we explored, it became apparent that it had all started with a thunderstorm. Mary remembered that from the age of 10 at the first roll of thunder in the distance, she would find herself under a table.

Her family loved to go walking just after storms had passed. It drove Mary crazy, especially if lightning could still be seen in the distance. She would find herself counting to see how far away the lightning was. The further she could count, the safer they were. If she couldn’t get to at least five, she would plead with her family to stay indoors, fearing that everybody would die. 

What was even more intriguing was that she remembered the first time she reacted this way that she was choosing to be afraid, and that somehow being afraid and counting felt “right.” When I asked about her parents and grandparents, Mary remembered that her grandmother also refused to go outside during a storm because her brother had been hit and killed by lightning. She’d told Mary this story when she was about 10 years old. She also mentioned that they did not speak about the brother who had been killed.

Now, the source of Mary’s generational beliefs and counting habit was clear and it was also pointing out an ancestor who had been excluded from the family system by ignoring his life and subsequent death. When I asked Mary what her career was, she started to laugh. “I’m a health and safety inspector,” she replied. 

Shifting generational beliefs

Mary’s fearful actions, her language, even her job, were ALL trying to point out the pattern and the exclusion—the missing member in the family. Once she recognized where the pattern that had run so much of her life had come from, she could retire the fear. Over time, she recognized she was safe when sharp noises occurred. That she could simply go indoors if there were a storm. She no longer needed to count. The generational trauma patterns that had haunted her family system could be seen, given a place, and allowed to retire. She also asked her family for a picture of the great uncle who had died early so she could remember and include him.

What are the ghosts that haunt you?  Pay attention because they contain valuable clues to what needs to stop and start in your own life. 

Want to retire the ghost of financial lack? To unleash your own possibilities and discover the power of acknowledgement and expansion, grab your copy of ‘Decoding Your Emotional Blueprint’ now. To learn more, click here

How to Improve your Money Mindset: Elevating Your Money Mindset

Change Your Mindset

How to Improve your Money Mindset: Elevating Your Money Mindset

As I’ve already pointed out, one of the first things that you need to do to improve and change your money mindset is to start breaking family patterns and quit demonizing money or fearing it.  We are so accustomed to fearing lack or living in a state of survival that we seldom stop to invest in the joy of money and the sense of accomplishment that its presence can bring. 

Elevating your money mindset means that you cannot come from survival emotions inherited from your family system. You want to create new emotional DNA—new Money DNA—and to do that you must stop repeating ancient history. Imagine this: What new thoughts, feelings, and actions might occur for you if you were to begin thanking money and blessing it? 

How to Develop a Wealthy Mindset

One of the fastest ways to change our thoughts about money and have it become a blessing in our lives, is to start thinking about what’s possible when our scarcity money mindset has been set aside. We have to start seeing money as playing a larger role in our lives. Once we begin to realize that money is not just for survival, it becomes a little more intriguing and exciting.

Exploring our dreams and desires is a great way to get the ball rolling. Money usually plays a large role in our dreams. Right? And in the past we’ve all too often set our dreams aside because of  … yep! Lack of m-o-n-e-y. Right? So, to be able to fulfill our dreams, we must do something different. We need to be able to build positive money beliefs by imagining our dreams and setting goals to achieve them without giving in to old sabotaging thoughts and negative emotions.

You want to teach your brain to learn to play … to see your dreams without any financial blocks in the way. You want to give money a goal. You want to entice money with an adventure! That way you give money direction and somewhere to flow.

The more you show money where to flow,
the more it can grow.

Money Mindset Shift

As you imagine fulfilling your dreams, allow feelings like gratitude, excitement, commitment, and determination to flow. These are elevated emotions that support your dreams and invite change because studies show that the brain rewires more easily when thoughts are supported by strong emotions.  

And how fun is letting your imagination go play? If you invest in doing this, instead of killing your dreams with old emotional DNA patterns of lack, you start to draw money and opportunities to you in order to fulfill those dreams instead. You’re rewiring your money brain one new thought and one new feeling at a time.

The next step is to take one new action that supports your dream. It doesn’t matter how big or small the action. The point is positive action! And when you achieve that action or goal, celebrate it. That builds the winner effect in your brain. The more you do this, the more it becomes a habit. Now you are creating new money DNA!

Money Mindset Tips

There is such a thing as a millionaire mindset. And it isn’t just for the chosen few. It’s for those who choose it. It also has nothing to do with your present circumstances. It begins with imagining what’s possible here and now. 

At the same time, however, it helps to be practical. Give yourself just one stretch goal so that you can teach yourself to direct money properly. For example, open an savings account dedicated exclusively to making one dream happen. It doesn’t matter if your first deposit is $5 or $5000. The point is you acted positively on your dream and inspired money to flow.

  • Don’t ever borrow from this account. Designate it as untouchable. 
  • Notice your thoughts, feelings, and actions with every deposit that you make.
  • Notice how your mindset changes as you get closer to your goal.

It may not happen overnight, but if you start taking positive action, change will happen. New thoughts, feelings, and actions around money change everything. When the heart opens to the possibility, the brain can then go looking for opportunities, and the gut is able to kick into excitement and determination mode. 

Chances are that once this becomes a habit for you, not only will you feel more capable and secure, but a little joy and excitement are going to start creeping in. You may even find yourself opening a second account to start funding another dream!

Congratulations! You are now changing  your Money DNA future.