The Beauty of Obstacles and How to Turn Them into Strengths

The Beauty of Obstacles and How to Turn Them into Strengths

All too often, we stop short of our goals because of obstacles that often have their origins in prior events or previous generations. And yet obstacles are actually clues to the future we want and desire. They are actually pivot points to our strengths, rooted in our family system’s desire for change and evolution.

An obstacle is an invitation to refocus and stop seeing an obstacle—to look with curiosity and see it as an opportunity to turn sickness into health, poverty into abundance, and limitations into liberation.

For example, nobody in Paul’s family has a degree. The family ethic is all about hard work. He is really good at sketching and wants to be an architect, but his unconscious loyalty to the family’s work pattern makes him hesitant to venture into an arena he knows nothing about. This becomes an obstacle.

Now, obstacles are often solutions that have outlived their usefulness. Paul’s family emigrated from Puerto Rico. No one in the family spoke English. Blue collar jobs were the only option and that kind of work kept the family afloat. Then “blue collar” became a fixed pattern that couldn’t allow growth. 

It is when Paul focused on his passion and deep desire to create beautiful buildings, that he could see a different path forward. His desire outweighed the old pattern. 

When he is able to look at his heritage and can see the steps that led to who he is, he finds himself filled with gratitude and acknowledgement. Understanding that his desire to add to the family system is rooted in gratitude enables him to focus on and fulfill his own dream. Thus, he turns the obstacle into a strength. 

Once we understand what an obstacle is trying to show us, we very quickly realize that it is trying to grow the system through us and then we can shift the pattern.

While the system’s most important goal is to survive, its highest ideal is to thrive. We don’t want to stall out at the point of our parent’s success. We want to soar beyond it, growing the system and expanding its opportunities. Thinking about obstacles as portals to possibility aligns the head, heart and gut in a whole new way. When these three are aligned, there is no confusion, and everything is focused and invested in a single direction. 

The First Step to Leveling-Up: Being Willing to Look

The First Step To Leveling-Up: Being Willing to Look

Some areas in our lives are a little more sensitive than others and we tread carefully. Then, there are the places we just don’t go. Maybe the subject matter is frowned upon. Maybe it’s considered too much, too tender, too taboo—for example sex, politics, abortion, or vaccines. But sometimes we don’t address issues because we fail to even see them as issues. It’s just “the way it is.” We make assumptions and then we make those assumptions the “truth” and wonder why we can’t move forward in life

The opposite of making assumptions is being willing to look. When we start to explore our assumptions with curiosity, quite often they fall apart. Nobody could run a four-minute mile until 1954, when Roger Bannister broke it at age 25. As of this date, over 1600 athletes have broken the “impossible speed barrier,” and the four-minute mile is now a standard for professional middle-distance runners.

Being willing to look is the fountain of growth.  When we can explore the areas where we are stuck and be willing to see what else is possible, we unlock a whole new range of options. 

To this day, in some families only men are allowed to go into business because they supposedly are the only ones who have business minds and women do not—until a female family member comes along who is willing to look at the assumption and kick it to the curb because she wants to go into business and won’t let anything stop her—especially traditional assumptions!

Take “Becka” for example. She felt stymied in her career life until she realized that the “stuckness” wasn’t hers. Willing to look at what was holding her back, she became aware of the family pattern. She remembered all the times she was told that “Business isn’t for girls!” And she put that pattern in its place and moved beyond it.

Frankly, when it’s time for a pattern to be released and transformed, when it’s time for a family system to evolve a pattern that wants to stop, it’s inevitable that a pattern-breaker like Becka is born. She may be the first one in generations to start a new pattern, simply because she was willing to look. By seeing the patterns and giving the “stuckness” a place in the system, she was free to create something different. 

When you are the one who is willing to look, shift can happen. When we shift from seeing something in a certain way, as “impossible” or as a “chore,” or “forbidden,” we find ourselves pulled past the excuses and reasons to not go there. We engage possibilities and level-up.

This is how you and your systems evolve.


Quantum Leap Your Career by Developing Engaged Relationships

Quantum Leap Your Career by Developing Engaged Relationships

For many of us, more than anything else, our career is about creating and maintaining a source of revenue and security. Over the years, we end up operating in a hierarchical relationship structure where “the boss  knows best,” and we just keep our heads down and do what is expected of us. 

In this scenario, work relationships are largely transactional. I do X amount of work and the company gives me X amount of pay in exchange. I ask my boss(es) for what I need to accomplish my tasks and give them back my completed work. This is a simple and highly functional kind of work relationship that most of us are familiar with. It is also the kind of work relationship that has no real prospects or growth potential to it

However, there is a whole other kind of business relationship that transcends a transactional relationship—a kind of relationship that can propel you forward in your career a kind of relationship that depends upon building your business relationship DNA.

Upwardly mobile employees and visionary leaders engage with other team members. They clearly want to do and become more, and they inspire and ignite that same desire in others. They don’t simply do what they’re told, they come up with ideas to improve goods and services. They are invested in their work, their company and their combined futures. In their desire to do and be more, they unlock discretionary energy, aka passion and enthusiasm, which spills over onto other team members. They invest in knowing their associates, building real relationships, engaging them in ways that are mutually beneficial.

They become stakeholders. As a result, others want to be around them. Inspired team members can’t wait to get to work. They know they’re part of something bigger than themselves and understand they’re contributing to something greater. 

This kind of engaged, motivating, relationship building is available to you as well. But first you have to move beyond thinking of your work as a J.O.B. You have to move beyond thinking of your co-workers and bosses as chess pieces to be navigated and manipulated in transactional ways. You must invest in understanding who they are, what’s important to them, what motivates them, and what their dreams are. In turn, you share who you are and what is important to you.

When you build these kinds of authentic, engaged relationships, everything changes. A more expansive energy field of mutual support and shared accomplishment builds. You naturally move ahead.

The old business saying, “Your network is your net worth,” is highly accurate. If you deliver a high caliber of work while building great quality relationships, you will find yourself coming out way ahead of the pack. Remember, people buy people, not products. 

Rewiring Personal Relationships: From Bad to Good and Good to Great

Rewiring Personal Relationships: From Bad to Good and Good to Great

As you know, your family system is your primary pattern maker and the foundation of all your relationships, good, bad and ugly. Some family patterns are truly delightful. Other family patterns feel entangled and difficult. For example, perhaps you picked up your parents’ ability to set others at their ease as a child. On the other hand, perhaps you picked up their excessive worry about money and penny-pinch every transaction with family and friends, making everyone you come into contact with uncomfortable around finances. 

If you look at the ways you relate to those around you and compare them to the ways that your parents and grandparents relate to those around them, you will begin to recognize familiar patterns. The thing to discern is whether or not the patterns you’re repeating in relationships are healthy and helpful or not. Good relationships enable you to take your place in the world and soar. On the other hand, difficult relationships can drag you down if you don’t stop and take the time to discern the unhealthy patterns in play and consciously work to rewire those patterns from what is to what is possible. 

Mastering relationships opens up the world for you. And one of the keys to mastering relationships is to be curious about how you are showing up in your current relationship dynamics with others. Are you supportive? Fun to be with? Critical? Kind of a drag? Try your best to be impartial and not go into self-judgment as you consider your relationships. Curiosity and willingness to shift your interactions with people, as needed, invites exploration and understanding, which often leads to firmer more lasting relationships both personally and in business.

Think about your most difficult relationship. Do you feel big or small in that relationship? How does this relationship affect your thoughts, feelings, and actions? Do you find yourself thinking unpleasant thoughts about that person? About yourself? Do you feel angry around them? Impatient? Insecure? Do you find yourself crossing to the other side of the street when you see them? (Or wanting to!) 

Stop and consider what family pattern you might be playing out with that person. For example, at one of my events, one of the attendees said she wanted an intimate relationship with a man, but hadn’t been able to establish the kind of relationship she wanted. As I worked with her, it became apparent she had a judgement that “All men are stupid.” Given that assumption, it wasn’t surprising that she was struggling to create a happy relationship! 

I asked where that assumption had come from, and she launched into a story about how her

grandfather had lost his wife’s family fortune. “Grandma always said, ‘Never trust a man with your money child! They just don’t have the smarts to manage things.’ And I believed her.”

Once she realized the judgmental pattern she was reliving and consciously let it go, she suddenly found herself relating differently to men. Much to her surprise and delight, many of them seemed  wonderfully smart and attractive. As soon as she changed her perspective, a whole new world of possibilities opened up.

The same kind of amazing relationship shift can happen for you if you commit to  it!

How to Level-Up Your Career in 2023

How to Level-Up Your Career in 2023

Wherever you are in your career right now, chances are you’re already looking for what comes next. But to build a successful career you must nurture it in much the same way you would a child. Children grow and careers need to do the same. They need constant attention and evaluation. It also helps to explore your career choice(s) through a multigenerational lens.

Our career choices are often the result of an event, a calling, or inspiration. But it can also be the result of unconscious patterns/programs we picked up from our family system. The family system has more influence on our lives than anything else. If we were fish, the family system would be the water we swim in. Which means we often don’t have the awareness to look beyond it or avoid repeating its influence

So, if you’re currently trying to level-up, the first insightful piece of work to do is to sit down and think about what sparked your career. Is there a limiting or a liberating pattern behind your career choice? For example, let’s say growing up you heard: “In our family we’re all academics.” Or maybe, “This whole family is blue collar and proud of it!” There’s nothing wrong with being an academic and nothing wrong with working a blue-collar job. But both of these sentences set a limiting pattern in motion that can result in you unconsciously limiting your career choices.

And if you think hearing “We are a family of entrepreneurs” opens the door to more possibilities than the two sentences above, you’re right. It does—to a degree. But what if you yearn to be a librarian? Or work in marketing? Not so much. If you grew up hearing “We just want our children to be happy. It doesn’t matter what they choose to do,” lucky you!

Another thing to do is ask yourself “What do I tell myself about my career?” Do you have thoughts like “I wish I were doing something else.” Or “This feels like a dead-end road I’m on.” What do you make this mean about you and about others?  Does anybody else in your family have similar thoughts? Also reflect on whether you’re proactive in your life or not. It makes a huge difference! If you want to level up, you’ve got to take charge of your life. You can’t afford to sit around passively accepting a dead-end career path that’s not for you!

But being passive and proactive are also patterns we pick up from our family system. When did that pattern begin for you?  What was happening in your life at the time?  Who else in your family is an active go-getter? Who is passive? Who has hopelessly accepted their fate?

Now for the good news. You are NOT limited by your history! Leveling up means moving past family patterns and programs. It means not settling for a career you don’t enjoy. It means actively engaging in an adventure to find out what YOU want and what suits you. And that journey begins with allowing yourself to imagine what it is that you REALLY want. 

Don’t censor your thoughts and feelings. Just be willing to look. And if you’re struggling with that first step, ask yourself, “Am I even allowed to have wants and desires of my own?”  (Is there a pattern of self-denial and guilt or fear in your family?) Once you get in touch with your desire(s), ask yourself, “What might happen if I invested in these wants and desires?” Imagine yourself soaring into a whole new life of your own design.

Desire is the gateway to a new experience. Until we imagine new possibilities they can’t exist. This isn’t just leveling up. It’s transformation. And it’s okay to do that! (Listen out for that little voice that tells you that you can’t have this or don’t deserve it. That’s just another thought pattern!

Come join me at one of my live events where you’ll have the opportunity to experience personal breakthroughs that are swift and lasting. 


How to Level-Up Your Life in 2023

How to Level-Up Your Life in 2023

Welcome to the start of another year! Are you filled with resolutions to do better? Feel better? Make more money? Find the love of your life? Great! However, realize it’s next to impossible for these things to happen if you continue to think, feel, choose and do the same things you’ve been thinking, feeling, choosing and doing in the past!

It’s January and time to rewire your brain and level-up. So, how do you do that? Well, it’s human nature to change only when we truly want something or desire a particular effect, and guess what? You’ve taken the first step! You want something! You desire something! Maybe you want to lose weight or get fit. Whatever it is, as long as the want is strong enough, movement in that direction is irresistible. 

Unfortunately, most of us are wired to see change in terms of work and effort. (Maybe you learned that from your parents or somebody else in your family line?) But what if you were to look at it differently?  What if you tied change to a reward or a win that really stirred something inside of you? Now we have the makings of an adventure, a desire/dream that has the power to pull us past old limiting patterns forever.

Let’s take finances. Far too many people feel that money is a precarious commodity. There’s never enough. It doesn’t grow on trees. It can’t buy love. Etc. Remember, our thoughts, feelings, and actions around money (and pretty much everything else!) often originate in our family system. We continue the thoughts and speak the pat family sayings and make the same choices as if they were our own. Sound familiar?

Thankfully, a limiting family financial pattern doesn’t have to continue with you. Here’s a great example.

One of the regular attendees at my annual Disney event struggled every year to afford the trip.  She always bunked with someone else to lower the cost of accommodations and stressed about everything else. Last year I worked with her specifically on her money issues before the event.  Unsurprisingly, there was a profound fear in her family system around making ends meet. She learned early in life not to spend money at all just in case

The change came when she expressed a desire to have a different experience at the next Disney event. I asked her what one new thought around this desire this would be and she came up with two. “Hey, maybe I could have my own room,” she said, all excited. “And have enough money to enjoy the full Disney experience in the park without constantly worrying about it.”

I asked her to come up with one new feeling around this choice. Excitement was her feeling. Then I asked her what one new action she could take to bring her dream to fruition. “Well,” she said, “I suppose I could bring in a little extra money each month.” I asked her to make a list of ways she could make that happen, which she did with alacrity. Experiencing her new thought and new feeling, this didn’t feel like a chore. It was exhilarating. It wasn’t long before she’d found a part-time side job that brought her exactly the money she needed. That wasn’t really work either. She was too busy feeling excited, counting down the days and adding up the money. A sense of accomplishment grew as she leveled-up.

The cherry on top came when she saw her room. She was the only one at the event with not one, but two balconies and an amazing view. Double reward! This one desire and its outcome put her relationship with money on a whole new track. Suddenly she didn’t fear money. It had become an accessible ally. 

The idea of changing patterns and achieving goals doesn’t always feel easy. However, when you tie them to something concrete and exciting—something you truly desire with all your heart, something fun and inspiring, something deeply, personally satisfying—the journey becomes an adventure. And the rewards are amazing. The long-term effect of rewiring your brain builds the winner effect. It brings happiness, direction, purpose and self-confidence. It shows you who you are capable of being if you invest beyond the shadows of your programs and doubts.

Now, it’s your turn.  What do you desire? What dreams to you want to make your reality this new year? Here are a few tips to help you along.


  • Write down one thing that you would like to accomplish this year. (It must build enough excitement to pull you beyond your resistance.)
  • Remember resistance to change and effort is often tied to old family patterns. (When did you first start feeling this? Who in your family system resists change? Identifying the pattern source helps.) On the other hand, excitement is tied to the new chapter.
  • Make sure your dream/desire is something your brain and body can believe and feel. (When the heart, head, and gut are in alignment, a state of cohesion is achieved and the new desire can become your new truth. So, the desire your brain tells your body is really important.)
  • Leveling-up is not a one-time thing. Let it become a well-cultivated habit. 

Come join me at one of my live events where you’ll have the opportunity to do a deep experiential dive and enjoy swift and lasting breakthroughs and transformation. Check out upcoming events and products.


Did You Hero or Zero Yourself This Year?

Did You Hero or Zero Yourself This Year?

I have a question for you.  How often do you take the time to notice and congratulate yourself on something you did right? 

Not very often? Never? It’s unfortunate, but most people are very quick to turn to their inner critic and beat themselves up over what they didn’t do well. At the same time, most of us are very slow to notice the things we actually accomplished and got right.

We’ve been raised to focus on and fix what’s wrong with us. But focusing on the wrongs all the time builds a platform of self-defeat that is rickety at best. Constant criticism won’t make you happy, and it won’t support your growth.

Inspiring personal evolution and supporting one’s dreams is like trying to grow a houseplant. Just like any other living thing, people need a little sunshine, pixie dust, and validation to thrive. They need to be noticed and approved of when they succeed—just like giving a houseplant water to grow. 

Coming to the end of the year, now is a good time to sit down and notice what you got right this year. For example, what one new thought, feeling or action did you have around relationships, money or career that grew you? Take the time to think about it and make a list. Seriously. Recognizing and acknowledging your growth provides you with fuel to go out and do the same thing again next year. 

And your dreams don’t have to be gigantic. The breakthroughs needn’t be enormous. They just need to be important to you. So, where have you stretched yourself in order to move in the direction you wanted to go this year? Teaching yourself to recognize growth trains you to get excited about YOU. It stimulates your brain, heart and gut to move towards creating the hero in you. 

Again, it doesn’t matter how big or how small your accomplishments were. Where did you take the time to show up as the best you possible? 

Write down your moments of accomplishment in the comments section below. We’d love to hear about some of your proudest moments this year! And next year, focus on making yourself a hero!

Using the Holidays to Create Your Own Miracles

Using the Holidays to Create Your Own Miracles

The holidays, it seems, are the most perfect times for limiting family patterns to come marching in the door. They seem almost purposefully designed to elicit our deepest insecurities and most disproportionate emotional reactions to things.

Somebody is going to mess up the turkey. Somebody else is going to drink too much and say the wrong thing. Children will scream and cry. Aunt Mary will complain loudly about undisciplined children. Mom will tell us how we got it wrong. And the inevitable green bean casserole is going to sit untouched in the middle of the table, insulting somebody’s valiant culinary efforts.

In my family it was the same thing every year, with people trying to cram too much food into full stomachs, which always led to short tempers and unpleasant blowups after dinner. Then, about five years ago my mother wondered what might happen if we ate Thanksgiving dinner without dessert – which almost caused a riot until she finished her thought, which was that we could keep dessert for later and eat it along with leftovers. 

What a concept! That one new thought led to fewer tummy aches and a lot more pleasantness in the family. And then there was the joy of eating dessert later on when we really were hungry for it! 

One small change, one big dividend.

So, what patterns do you find yourself struggling with over the holidays? Now is a great time to create a new pattern. All it takes is one new thought, one new feeling, and one new action. Good places to look are where you feel the most stressed during the holidays. Ask yourself how it could be and make a suggestion!

And please, drop us a line to let us know what new pattern you started this holiday season. The more you share, the more we all grow! (link to share comments)

Looking for gift ideas?  Give the gift of inspiration and transformation this year.

To Whom Do I Owe Thanks?

To Whom Do I Owe Thanks?

As we approach the holiday season, it’s time to thank those who have supported us in life and contributed to our success.  All the nice people who’ve given us compliments, propped us up when we were sad, and given us encouragement when we wanted to quit. 

Those are the easy ones to thank. But what about others? People who’ve contributed significantly to our lives by saying “No,” and shutting a door?  What about parents who did not “see” us or encourage us much?  What about parents who weren’t even there at all?

These people are a little more difficult to thank. And yet these kinds of people often contribute more to our lives than we can imagine.

A client, “Rebecca,” came to a constellations event determined to somehow find peace with a father who had abandoned his family when she was tiny.  Her opening words to the group were, “I’m a very successful woman, no thanks to that jerk, my father.” 

Not a promising beginning. Right? But we went ahead and set up a constellation with representatives for assorted members of her family, including her father and stepfather. 

As she stood there, looking at the representatives in her constellation, Rebecca’s knees were locked, and her jaw was tight, her anger palpable. Then, to her surprise, the representative for her stepfather moved over to stand in front of the representative for her father. Her surprise deepened when the representative for her stepfather gave thanks to her father. “Without you leaving,” he said, “I would never have had the opportunity to raise a child.” 

Rebecca found herself oddly touched, but the next sentence took her breath away. The representative for her father responded, “I wasn’t old enough to be a father. I couldn’t have given her what she needed.” 

Rebecca burst into tears. “I never thought of it that way,” she said. “My biological father hasn’t done well in his life.  Now I realize that had we had stayed with him, I wouldn’t have had the life I do now.”  Turning to the representative for her father, Rebecca said, “Thank you for giving me a very different chance at life. I am grateful.”

Needless to say, this reframing gave Rebecca a very different attitude towards her life and family!

All too often, we forget that our parents and others around us are on a journey of their own.  They’re not just parents, or friends, or teachers. They’re individuals. It’s also super important to realize that sometimes when a door closes, an entirely different possibility is asking to emerge in your life. It may not have a pretty bow or look like you wanted, but it will have the gold you need to create an incredible chapter in your life.

Make the Holidays Magical Not Tragical

Make the Holidays Magical Not Tragical

Sometimes it can be a little difficult to find that ignition point for transformation. But when you are in the heart of magic it becomes a whole lot easier. Imagine being in a place specifically designed to inspire and illicit the best of who we are. Imagine the inner magic you can make happen there!

Kids naturally live the “wow” factor everyday. All of life is their playground. But most of us adults need a little help to get there. Disney World is specifically geared to open your eyes to wonder and put you in touch with an open heart once again.

“Uncle Walt” was well aware that transformation is entirely possible through openness, enjoyment and belief in self. He built an entire world around those principles. And look at his success!

So come work and play amidst “wow!” Let it ignite a fire in you as it invites you to drop your guard and experience transformation through joy. 

During the day, we will go deep to uncover the inner capability and resilience that belong to only you. With an open heart and mind and a little “pixie dust,” the incredible will happen for you. 

In the evenings, you are invited to be kid at heart again and open up to what’s possible through play at the parks.

Be the master magician of your own adventure and discover what happens when you put down resistance and explore Capability and Resilience DNA.

Join us at our Disney World event at The Beach and Yacht Club November 10-13! By the end of this event your life will no longer be the same.