One of My Biggest Dreams Just Came True

by Cathy on January 18, 2016

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I am super excited to tell you about a long held dream of mine that recently came true.

I’m getting the opportunity to be part of The Creative Awakening Cruise that’s going to Cozumel, Mexico in February.  I’ll be doing my workshop: Tools To Make a Living Doing What You Love on the trip.

I’m so excited to do this and I also want to share what got me here and what I’ve learned along the way in the hope that if you can relate, it helps you.

The first thing people ask me when I tell them about the cruise is, “How did you get that gig?”

Here’s how it happened:

Besides the fact that I’ve been holding the vision of doing something like this everyday for the last three years I also spoke this vision out loud to friends and colleagues:  “My goal is to be on a plane once a month traveling to awesome places to speak to and inspire entrepreneurs.”

In addition, I’ve done lots and lots of work with various healers and coaches to remove the thoughts and patterns that have been holding me back from having the things I want in my business.

That was an investment that has paid big dividends.

I’ve also successfully done the workshop that I’m doing on the cruise a number of times last year.  So when the opportunity came, I was ready.  I could stand in the fact that I knew I had something to offer.

I have a new saying “fortune favors the prepared.”

All of the above was how I planted the seeds.

Here’s what I didn’t do:

I did not look for trips or cruises like the one I’m going on and try to pitch myself

I did not just wait around and hope someone would offer me an opportunity.

Instead, I followed and inkling and did what I like to call, raising my hand.

I found out about this trip because I was on someone’s e-mail list who is also teaching workshops on the cruise.  When I read through the info, my first thought was, “why isn’t there a cruise for entrepreneurs where I could give a workshop?

Then when I read through the description, I saw there was a workshop being offered on social media and I figured what I offer is in a similar vein so…

I raised my hand and threw my hat in the ring.

I asked the person who sent out the e-mail (who I also know) if I could have an introduction to the cruise organizer.

I spoke with her, told her what I did and asked her if there might be space for my workshop on the trip.

She took some time to do research on me and think it over and got back to me with a yes.

While waiting to hear back from her, I noticed something..

I realized that while I really did want this opportunity, I didn’t feel like I was going to be crushed if I didn’t get it.  And if she said no, I wasn’t going to launch into a story about what my work not being good enough. I understood that it just might not be the right fit.  And most importantly, I knew that there will be other opportunities in the future even though I had no idea where they would come from.

This is a big switch from how I’ve operated in the past.

In the past, I would have had a hard time raising my hand for this opportunity because the possibility of hearing no would have been soul-crushing.

I am thankful that I have moved past that now.

Why am I telling you any of this?
“Between the wish and the thing, life lies waiting.”

After  shutting down my business for almost three months during “The Summer of I Don’t Know” because I was burned out and tired of pushing and getting so little for it, I have been obsessed with finding the place of inspired action.

I no longer create programs or take speaking engagements if I’m not genuinely excited about what I’m doing.

I’ve stopped doing things because I think it’s good for business.

I’ve stopped creating from my head and started creating from my heart.

Once I know what I want to do, THEN I use strategy to fit it into my business model and promote it.

But I no longer create from a logical place.  I did it for years, and it never took me where I thought it would.

Learning to get out of your own way, learning to step out of fear and scarcity (I found out nothing can grow there!) and helping you align with the power that is your passion is exactly what the workshops on the Creative Awakening Cruise are designed to do.

If this speaks to you, please consider joining us.  It would be my great joy to have you there.

And besides you’ll be with a group of like-minded people while sailing to beautiful Cozumel.

The details are HERE

“We have the power, knowledge and equipment to build a world beyond our wonder.

Only loss of nerve can defeat us.

That is all.

A loss of nerve.” – James Dillet Freeman

May 2016 be the year you let your enthusiasm lead the way…
Big Love,

 

 

 

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How I Finally Hit 10K A Month In My Business

by Cathy on September 6, 2015

Malibu BeachWow, how things have changed.  Last year at this time, I  stepped away from my business to because of severe burn out so that I could re-think things.  You all read about it HERE.  I let everything go so that I could rest and started from zero in September 2014.  In July of this year, I celebrated a financial milestone I never thought I would hit and had my biggest month ever in  my business.

What a difference a year makes.

When I think about what enabled me to go from total burn out to the biggest success I’ve ever had–there are a number of things.  Some of them had to do with strategy but I think the most important thing was getting rid of what was in my way emotionally and energetically.  And that basically came down to one thing:

the thought that I should be further along than I was in my business.

I stopped fighting the way things were and allowed them to be what they are.  I stopped condemning where I was in my life and in business and that freed up a lot of energy—energy that I used to take the actions that got me to where I am now.

I came into acceptance.

While I knew I wanted more for myself and my business, I came to the place where I could bless where I was and be grateful for my circumstances at the time. Instead of having my gaze fixed on how far is still had to go, I focused on how far I had come.  And I stopped thinking that if I just kept bitching about it, things would magically change.

In fact it was just the opposite.  The negativity only made everything more difficult and painful.

As I’ve said many times before acceptance isn’t the same as resignation.  Acceptance is allowance and as Carl Rogers said in relation to human beings:

“A person won’t change until they feel accepted for who they are.”

The same is true with life circumstances.

My teacher, the brilliant Mark silver used to say:  “you can’t change something if you refuse to accept it, you can’t move from where you’re not.”

In the process of changing my thoughts about my business, I saw that the same pattern—harping on what I didn’t like was also operating in other areas of my life.

I was never too busy to complain about my living situation.

In the course of working with a healer over the winter, I wrote this piece about wanting to be other than where you are.

Maybe you can relate:

I have an incredible unobstructed view of the Hudson River from my bedroom window.
A view that is pretty spectacular..

It recently it occurred to me that I have very little appreciation for my location or this amazing view.  As a matter of fact there are days where I don’t even see the river even though it’s right outside my window.

And that’s because I’m busy being somewhere else.

Instead of gazing out my bedroom window and enjoying what’s right in front of my face, I’m looking at a different water view.  I’m in the other bedroom which is my office staring out a window that looks out onto a busy street with my eyes closed breathing deeply and trying to visualize my happy place.

Here’s what I see in my visualization:

It’s a bright sunny, 80 degree day and I’m driving north on the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu and right outside the car window is the Pacific Ocean—beautiful… blue.. shimmering…
Every once in a while I can hear a wave crash which is music to my ears.  I take a deep breath to get a whiff of the seaspray—I want all of my senses to experience this place.

You see I’ve always felt my true home was California even though I was born in New York and have lived here my entire life.  For most of the time living in California was a distant dream that I chose to fantasize about instead of trying to make it a reality. but lately, I’m really feeling the pull toward California.

And so you’ll find me at least a couple of times a day in my office with my eyes closed visualizing this drive down the PCH.  And to make the whole experience more concrete and specific, I’ve started seeing myself going to this deli called the Malibu Kitchen and Market–I was there once and I know Id be frequenting it if did in fact live in Malibu.  It would be my place and so therefore has become part of the fantasy because going there says to me:

I live here now.

I play and replay the same scene: We just moved to California, I drive over to Malibu Kitchen to  get my morning coffee and take a seat at one of the tables out side.  I take a deep breath and as I exhale, every shard of unhappiness, tension and fear in my body dissolves and evaporates and I feel myself really land and I think:

I  am finally home.

The wanting to be other than where i am—over

The feeling that I’m not in my right place— over

And I tell myself so that every cell of being hears it:  I can be happy now.

I’m flooded with joy—it just feels too much almost.  Because after all that fantasizing—to actually be here—it’s just incredible!

And I say again to myself–I live here now.

Recently,  there’s an alternate scene that’s started to play out inside my head once I arrive at the Malibu Kitchen

It’s 3 months after we’ve moved there and I’m sitting at Malibu Kitchen and the magic has worn off.  And it  just feels like another place.  and lo and behold, I’m still the same person I was when I left NY with the same issues I had when I lived there. and instead of feeling elated that I’m where I’ve always dreamed of being, all I can think about is :

the 25 pounds I gained when I started my business and what will I do about it .

My business not being  where I want it to be, and on top of it, I don’t really know many people here so I’m lonely.

In *this* visualization I’m wearing the same ugly sweatpants/dirty t-shirt/ no make up/ hair in a ponytail look I’ve been wearing in NY since I started my business.

So now my fear is: What happens if I do finally get to live in Malibu and nothing changes and I don’t feel any different?

As it turns our I’ve already been down that road.

I had a similar situation before I started my business when I was working at my full time job.

The way I like to tell it was that I didn’t take that job of my own free will.  I had to take it because of our financial situation at the time.

I thought I’d be at this job for 6 months and then be able to go back to living my life.  Instead, I ended up being there almost 5 years.  By the 4th year, when I had become a life coach and started my business on the side—I was counting the minutes until I could get out of there even though I had no set date or even any idea when it would happen.

I was so sure that once I quit my job and could work on my business full time it would be the end of the suffering and I would finally be FREE!!!!!

I really wanted to do something that mattered, and I wanted to change people’s lives for the better.

I wanted my work to be meaningful—not just to me but to others.

And like my visualizations with Malibu, I’d envision myself with my business, having the freedom to make my own schedule—having plenty of “me” time to meditate, exercise and do the things I enjoyed all while doing the work I wanted to do and making a big difference in people’s lives.

I could not wait to get out of that job and start my new life.

When I finally quit my job in December 2009 it was like being sprung.  Finally Free.

I’d say I was about 1 1/2 years into my business when it hit me.  “This is NOT what I signed on for.”  This is way harder than I ever imagined.

At least at my job my nights and weekends were my own.

At least at my job I got to the gym every day on my lunch break.

I used to leave work at 5:30- 6:00 at the latest.  In my business at 7:00, I was just starting what I used to refer to as the night shift.

Once I started my business I was lucky if I made it to the gym twice a week.

Because I was working from home, I used to try and save time by not taking a shower and just wearing the same ugly sweatpants and t-shirt every day.

As a matter of fact, I used to sleep in the t-shirt that way, all I had to do was put on the sweat pants when I got up.

dee-sgusting.

I certainly didn’t feel free and I was suffering in a totally different way which felt a lot worse than how I was suffering when I was at my job.

So much for freedom.

I felt like a sweat shop factory worker.

There’s nothing worse than wanting something so badly and finally having it happen only to realize that you’re still miserable.

Boy does that suck…

But it made me realize, like the book title:  wherever you go, there you are.
Because when you’re waiting to be rescued, when you’ve got all your eggs in one basket, when you’re sure there’s a paradise waiting for you somewhere else other than where you are in the moment, you’re not present in your life and most importantly,

You’re missing the NOW.

And sometimes now, this moment right here, is EVERYTHING.

But you can’t have that everything when you’re sure that whatever your soul is craving comes from outside of you or someone else.

Or like me and California, thinking that if you’re just in the right surrounding, life will magically change.

Have you ever heard the saying, “You can put whipped cream on a mud pie but it’s still mud underneath?”

I actually worked with a healer around the issue of moving and she asked me a very powerful question: what is it that you think you’ll have in California that you don’t have here?

Besides never having to wear a down coat again (which does count for a lot since I despise winter and love warm weather) I didn’t really have an answer for her.

And she, being the brilliant person she is then said: “Build the life that you think you will have in Malibu and then take it with you.”

I’d love to give you my easy five step program to being present and living in the now only I don’t have one.

The only thing I can tell you is if there is a situation or circumstance or thing or person that you believe deep down will completely change your life —I would ask you to answer for yourself:  Once I have X, then I’ll have( fill in the blank).

Because it’s never about the circumstance/situation/relationship we’re chasing.

It’s what we think that thing will give us—or as I like to say, the thing under the thing.

I needed to answer this for myself in regard to Malibu–what do I think will happen in my life once i am living in California?

Well, I will be very happy that I’m living near the beach.

I experience a certain ease and happiness in beautiful weather.

And, very important: the thought of never having to wear a down coat again makes me want to jump for joy.

But the big thing that lures me is it’s a chance to start over and leave the past behind.

And that newness, that possibility feels so delicious to me.

It’s a chance to reinvent myself.

A chance for me to bring my best self into my life

And the truth that I don’t want to see is that I don’t need to be living in California to start over, to reinvent myself, or to live in possibility.

I can do that right here and now.

I have a favorite saying:  “Every moment is a fresh start, including this one.”

There have been days when I clung to that statement for dear life.

And I’m ready to live it.

And while it will always be my dream to live in Malibu, it doesn’t mean that being there is an answer to anything.

The amazing life that I think exists there I can start building here, now.

I don’t have to wait to get to California to live the life I want.

In fact, it’s wherever I am because I am the magic.

Not the place, not the weather, not the people.

Me.

And the same goes for you.

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Vulnerability in business. Brene BrownI was at event a couple of weeks ago where the topic of being vulnerable in business came up and the question of how much is too much to reveal started getting tossed around.

I get this question from my clients all the time.

A lot of people feel that if they reveal too much about what they’re struggling with, it will be turn off to potential clients.

When I first started my business, I was very invested in giving the appearance of having it all together and being successful–even when I was a hot mess.

But what I’ve learned over the years is the more you allow yourself to be vulnerable, the more it allows people to connect to you.

My teacher, Mark Silver once wrote a newsletter about a program launch he did and some huge mistake that was made in the process. I remember feeling such a sense of relief.  The thought that someone with a business the size of his could make such a big error gave me space to make mistakes and not have to feel like a total idiot because of it.

What a gift that was.

At the end of last year, he wrote a newsletter where he talked about how disappointed he was at how the year went in his business and how he was taking some time to grieve about all that didn’t happen.

At the time of reading that, I was trying to push past the fact that I had a very tough year personally and financially and put on a brave face and get on with it.

When I read that newsletter I started sobbing.

Someone else was having the exact same feelings I was about a similar situation and which allowed me to have some compassion for myself, instead of pushing the feelings down.

Neither of those newsletters made me think any less of him as a mentor or business coach.  As a matter of fact, the courage he displayed in sharing what was really going on in his business elevated him even more in my eyes.

I believe that sharing our struggle is a sacred act. 

Every time someone shows their vulnerability, it connects us to our own humanity and makes us want to move closer to them.  It lets us feel like we’re not the only ones having a hard time and knowing you’re not the only one goes a long way in the effort to bounce back from difficulty.

We’re all battling something.

I think what makes the screw ups most painful is the judgement–“it’s not OK, I should have known better.”  We somehow think other people don’t make those mistakes and that there’s something wrong with us when we do.​

When it’s not appropriate to share

There’s a big difference between putting out a personal story because you’re in pain and you can’t hold it in anymore and telling a vulnerable story because you know it will help someone else to see themselves in it and not feel so alone.

While it may not be appropriate to talk about something while it’s happening–you may want to save the story about your almost having to declare bankruptcy until you’ve arrived on the other side–telling that story to your life coaching clients after the fact will inspire them and help them to persevere.

In my experience, it’s been the times when I’ve written things that feel so raw and tender that I cringe when I hit send that have been the times where I get an overwhelming response from people.

We are all in this together.

Your struggle is someone else’s struggle, and when you take the time to share it openly and honestly you connect to the person’s heart, you let them see themselves, and you give them hope.

It takes a tremendous amount of bravery to be vulnerable.

Someone needs your bravery today–

Love,
Cathy
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Have you ever known what you really want to do but buried the idea because you think no one will want it?

Or are you running a business that doesn’t feel quite right or just feels like a lot of work?

Many of the people that I work with come to me for business coaching but what I’m really doing with them is helping to align their business with their purpose.

Because at some point (usually very early on) their original impulse for the work they wanted to do got thwarted.

I’ve worked with some of the most gifted, intuitive practitioners on their business and I’ve seen them go from being led by their intuition when they do their work to completely abandoning it when it came to working on their business.

Instead of allowing a vision for their work to emerge organically, they tried to figure out in their head what they should do and how they should offer their work.

The key to finding your soul work is to look at your own journey. Especially the things you’ve struggled with. Most especially the things that almost broke you.

That is what prepared you to do the work you’re meant to do.

If you want to get a picture of who your ideal client is, all you need to do is look in the mirror.

99% of the people I work with are the profile of their ideal client. They’re helping others with something they’ve either struggled with themselves or are passionate about because they’ve watched someone close to them go through it.

Life has exquisitely prepared them to do the work they’re meant to do.

But often what stops them from taking that path is they’re convinced that no one will want to pay for the work they want to do—or they need to make money now and have another way to do it, so they talk themselves into doing what feels like the more sensible thing.

What I find is that it’s usually less about the money and more about their own vulnerability.

The fear of being vulnerable and risking criticism and rejection shows up as fear of survival.
They end up doing the thing they think will earn money and burying the thing they know deep down inside that they’re meant for.

They’re convinced nobody will want it, when really they’re just terrified to put it out there because it’s so personal.

And I totally get it.

Ironically, worrying about money or trying to figure out how to make money doesn’t really help you make money. It’s actually the opposite. When you’re worried about money, you’re in survival mode and that cuts you off from your creativity and any and all divine assistance that might be on your path.

What helps you make money is to tap into your genius work and put it out in the world in a way that feels great to you.

The formula followed by all geniuses is: do what you like to do best and do it to the best of your ability.

Success comes as the automatic consequence of aligning one’s life with high power energy patterns.

How Do You Do That?

You do the thing that lights you up.

Or for some of us, you do the thing you’re truly passionate about, the thing you know life has prepared you for even though you’re scared shitless.

Following your passion and having a cause aligns you with your power.

Coming from a place of enthusiasm and inspiration is contagious.

When you’re inspired by the work you’re doing, you inspire others. And when you’re a source of inspiration, people want to be around you.

What Electricity Has To Do With Being On Purpose

When there is an electric current running through a wire, it creates a magnetic field around the wire. The higher the power of the current, the greater magnetic field it generates.

And so it’s the same with human beings. The more passion and joy you have around an activity the more magnetic you become.

Passion and enthusiasm generate power.

When you get to the place where you see how the struggles you’ve been through in your life have prepared you to help others with the same issues your business is aligned with your purpose.

I’ve seen this over and over. Clients stop doing what they think they should do and start doing what they want to do and clients start showing up

Following your heart is a business strategy.

But What About Making a Living?

Don’t get me wrong–it’s not that you don’t have to have systems and structures to get your work out in the world–it’s just that when it comes to claiming the work you’re going to do–deciding what problem you want to solve and who you want to solve it for–that’s an inside job.

When I work with my clients we are either in one of two spaces.
the CREATION space or the STRATEGY space.

The CREATION space is where your dreams and talents and purpose lie.
The CREATION space is where the work you want to do in the world lives
The CREATION space is where the words to describe your work and your mission exist.

STRATEGY space is the actions you take to get your business out there. It’s writing newsletters, networking, creating strategic partnerships, blogging, doing webinars, all the actions you take on behalf of growing your business
You are in your right brain when you are accessing the Creation Space and your left brain when you are accessing the strategy space.

When you are in the CREATION SPACE you don’t allow in questions like:

“Will anyone want to pay for this?”
“What can I do that people will want?”
“What if no one responds?”
“What will my friends/husband/family/anyone whose opinion means something to me think?”
“Will I be able to make a living with this?”

When these thoughts come up and you engage with them, it prevents you from getting access to the work you’re meant to do in the world.

Here’s the thing to remember–when you are in your power–money flows from there.
The goal is to do great work.
The outcome is money.

The big mistake entrepreneurs make is they focus on how to make money as opposed to doing great work.

They’re chasing the outcome instead of focusing on achieving the goal.

The more worried you are about getting clients and making money, the more you get into thinking and strategy and get out of feeling and using your intuition. And you keep getting further and further away from your creativity and it’s your creativity that’s going to make you money. It’s your passion that’s going to draw people to you.

THE MORE YOU CAN BE YOU–THE MORE POWERFUL YOU ARE.

OK so now you might be thinking really, can it just be that easy?

Coming up with a niche, branding and positioning for your business is about listening to your own voice, having the courage to do things your way and not following the herd. And that’s what I help people do. It definitely doesn’t come from trying to figure out what people want or what will sell. Not when you’re in the business of healing, self-help, or transformation.

The big secret to getting your business totally stand out from everyone else’s is to be yourself–completely and unapologetically.

That’s what will support you in being successful. When you’re being yourself and working with who you really feel called to work with and you’re doing your genius work things become effortless. You remove all resistance. Because you’re in the flow.

So the first step is listening to the still small voice inside that’s telling you what you came here to do. So you’ve got to get out of your head and into your heart. Then it’s positioning that work in a way that speaks to those you want to help..

Once you have that foundation in place THEN you can start to listen to your audience (the ones who value what you do and the way you do it) and see what they need.

That’s what I call the second intersection which is the place where the work you love doing and the problem your ideal client is struggling with meet.

The idea that you have to do something that is meaningless to you just to earn a paycheck is old outdated thinking left over from the industrial revolution.

And we all need to let that crap go.

NOW.

This is a NEW time

WE are creating the new paradigm.

I believe that in the next generation, the idea that someone would take a career path that wasn’t based in their gifts and passions because they thought it was secure will seem as outlandish as bloodletting to cure disease does to us now.

We are here to turn the tide.

Yes. You. Can.
Love,
Cathy

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Here’s What’s Been Happening That’s Breaking My Heart

May 9, 2015

Today I’m going to take a detour from our regularly scheduled programming which was originally going to be about launch strategies. There’s something else on my mind that I’d like to share with all of you. It has been my great to joy to have a business that supports the coaching and holistic communities by […]

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I Can’t Stand When People Are Vague

February 8, 2015

You know what really pisses me off? When coaches tell you what to do, but not how to do it. So here’s part two of last week’s topic:  How Much Is Too Much?. And if you weren’t interested in the topic the first time, then you sure don’t need to read this. For everyone else, […]

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How Much Is Too Much?

February 1, 2015

I’ve been doing some speaking lately on my favorite topic of Painless Promotion and I’d like to share some of it with you here. I’ve had many clients come to me after they’ve put together great programs that no one signed up for. They’re usually in despair because they’ve made the assumption that people don’t […]

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What Jeff Daniels Taught Me About Perspective

December 24, 2014

Recently I read article in New York Magazine about the actor Jeff Daniels.  You know, Jeff Daniels, star of the HBO series Newsroom and all around amazing actor? Yes, that Jeff Daniels. I was surprised to learn that prior to starring in Newsroom, he considered his career to be marginal.  Even after lead role in […]

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The #1 Thing That Stops You From Promoting Your Business

December 19, 2014

Anyone who knows me is very aware that winter is a real struggle for me so I’m on the look out for things to be happy about.  The show that nature puts on every single night outside my bedroom window is pretty amazing.  I’ve made a ritual of going in there at sunset and watching. […]

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How To Come Up With Something That’s Never Been Done Before

September 13, 2014

This is a photo my husband took this summer when we were in Monument Valley. There was something about being in such wide open space that allowed me to let go of anything I was worrying about and just be with the experience. It was the best place to begin the summer of I don’t […]

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