You can start out with nothing, and
out of nothing, and out of no way,
a way will be made.
—Reverend Michael Bernard
Beckwith; former drug
enthusiast turned spiritual
enthusiast turned inspirational
badass
I used to think quotes like this were a
bunch of crap. I also didn’t understand
what the hell they were talking about. I
mean, not that I cared. I was too cool.
What little I knew about the selfhelp/spiritual world I found to be
unforgivably cheesy: it reeked of
desperation, rah-rah churchiness and
unwanted hugs from unappealing
strangers. And don’t even get me started
on how grouchy I used to be about God.
At the same time, there was all this
stuff about my life that I desperately
wanted to change and, had I been able to
bulldoze through my holier-than-thouism,
I could have really used some help
around here. I mean, overall I was doing
pretty well—I’d published a couple of
books, had lots of great friends, a close
family, an apartment, a car that ran, food,
teeth, clothes, clean drinking water—
compared to the majority of the planet,
my life was a total cream puff. But
compared to what I knew I was capable
of, I was, shall we say, unimpressed.
I always felt like, Come ON, this is
the best I can do? Really? I’m going to
make just enough to pay my rent this
month? Again? And I’m going to spend
another year dating a bunch of
weirdoes so I can be in all these
wobbly, noncommittal relationships
and create even more drama? Really?
And am I seriously going to question
what my deeper purpose is and wallow
in the misery of that quagmire for the
millionth time?
It. Was. A. Snore.
I felt like I was going through the
motions of living my lukewarm life with
the occasional flare-ups of awesomeness
here and there. And the most painful part
was that deep down I KNEW I was a
total rock star, that I had the power to
give and receive and love with the best
of ‘em, that I could leap tall buildings in
a single bound and could create anything
I put my mind to and . . . What’s that? I
just got a parking ticket? You have got
to be kidding me, let me see that. I can’t
afford to pay this, it’s like my third one
this month! I’m going down there to
talk to them right now . . . then, doop de
do, off I’d go, consumed once again by
low-level minutiae, only to find myself,
a few weeks later, wondering where
those few weeks went and how it could
possibly be that I was still stuck in my
rickety-ass apartment, eating dollar
tacos by myself every night.
I’m assuming if you’re reading this
that there are some areas of your life that
aren’t looking so good either. And that
you know could be looking a whole lot
better. Maybe you’re living with your
soul mate and are joyfully sharing your
gifts with the world, but are so broke
that your dog is on his own if he wants to
get fed. Maybe you’re doing great
financially and you have a deep
connection to your higher purpose, but
you can’t remember the last time you wet
your pants laughing. Or maybe you suck
equally at all of the above and spend
your free time crying. Or drinking. Or
getting pissed off at all the meter maids
who have precision timing and no sense
of humor who, in your mind, are partly
responsible for your personal financial
crisis. Or maybe you have everything
you’ve ever wanted but for some reason
you still feel unfulfilled.
This isn’t necessarily about making
millions of dollars or helping solve the
world’s problems or getting your own
TV show, unless that’s your thing. Your
calling could simply be to take care of
your family or to grow the perfect tulip.
This is about getting mighty clear
about what makes you happy and what
makes you feel the most alive, and then
creating it instead of pretending you
can’t have it. Or that you don’t deserve
it. Or that you’re a greedy egomaniacal
fathead for wanting more than you
already have. Or listening to what Dad
and Aunt Mary think you should be
doing.
It’s about having the cojones to show
up as the brightest, happiest, badassiest
version of yourself, whatever that looks
like to you.
The good news is that in order to do
this, all you need to do is make one
simple shift:
You need to go from wanting to
change your life to deciding to change
your life.
Wanting can be done
sitting on the couch
with a bong in your
hand and a travel
magazine in your lap.
Deciding means
jumping in all the way,
doing whatever it takes,
and going after your
dreams with the
tenacity of a dateless
cheerleader a week
before prom night.
You’ll probably have to do things you
never imagined you’d do because if any
of your friends saw you doing it, or
spending money on it, you’d never live it
down. Or they’d be concerned about
you. Or they’d stop being friends with
you because now you’re all weird and
different. You’ll have to believe in
things you can’t see as well as some
things that you have full-on proof are
impossible. You’re gonna have to push
past your fears, fail over and over again
and make a habit of doing things you’re
not so comfy doing. You’re going to have
to let go of old, limiting beliefs and cling
to your decision to create the life you
desire like your life depends on it.
Because guess what? Your life does
depend on it.
As challenging as this may sound, it’s
nowhere near as brutal as waking up in
the middle of the night feeling like
someone parked a car on your chest,
crushed under the realization that your
life is zooming by and you have yet to
start living it in a way that has any real
meaning to you.
You may have heard stories about
people who had these major
breakthroughs when the shit really hit the
fan—they found a lump or got their
electricity turned off or were moments
away from having sex with strangers to
buy drugs when suddenly they woke up,
transformed. But you don’t have wait
until you hit rock bottom to start
crawling out of your hole. All you have
to do is make the decision. And you can
make it right now.
There’s a great line from the poet
Anaïs Nin that reads: “And the day came
when the risk to remain tight in a bud
was more painful than the risk it took to
blossom.” This is how it was for me,
and how I think it is for most people. My
journey was a process (and still is) that
started with my decision to make some
serious changes, regardless of what I
had to do to make them. None of the
things I’d already tried were working:
mulling it over and over with my equally
broke friends and my therapist, working
my ass off, going out for a beer and
hoping it would take care of itself . . . I
was at the point where I would try
anything to get my act together, and
Lawdy Lawd Lawd Lawd, it’s like the
Universe was testing me to see just how
serious I was.
I went to motivational seminars
where they made me wear a name tag
and high-five the person next to me
while shouting, “You’re awesome and so
am I!” I beat a pillow with a baseball
bat and shrieked like I was on fire, I
bonded with my spirit guide,
participated in a group ceremony where
I married myself, wrote a love letter to
my uterus, read every self-help book
under the sun, and spent blood-curdling
amounts of money I did not have hiring
private coaches.
Basically, I took one for the team.
If you’re new to the self-help world,
I’m hoping this book will ease you into
some of the basic concepts that totally
changed my life so you can have a
breakthrough, too, without making you
want to run off screaming in the process.
If you’ve already dipped your toe in the
self-help pond, I hope it will say
something in a new way that turns a light
on so you can make some major shifts,
create some tangible results, and
someday wake up crying tears of giddy
disbelief that you get to be you.
And if I can save one person from
ever having to take their inner child on a
play date, I have done my job.
My main focus when I started
working on myself was how to make
money. I had no idea how to make it on a
consistent basis, and was totally
weirded out by admitting that I even
wanted to in the first place. I was a
writer and a musician; I felt it was
sufficient—and quite noble thank you
very much—to focus on my art and let
the money part work itself out. THAT
went real well! But I saw so many
people doing such sleazy and
heartbreaking things to make money, not
to mention those people who were
working jobs that were death-of-athousand-wounds boring, that I wanted
no part of it. Add to that my slew of
other crippling beliefs about the unholy
dollar and it’s a wonder I wasn’t eating
out of a dumpster.
I finally realized that I needed not
only to focus on making money, but that I
also needed to get over my fear and
loathing of it if I wanted to start pulling
it in. This is when the self-help books
started infiltrating my house, and the
name tags assumed their mandatory and
humiliating post above my left boob.
Eventually I took my credit card debt to
unthinkable heights by forking over more
money than I’d paid for all my janky cars
put together and hired my first coach.
Within the first six months, I tripled my
income with an online business that I
created around coaching writers. And
now I’ve grown it to a place where it
affords me the means and the luxury to
travel the world freely, while I write,
speak, play music, and coach people in
all areas of their lives, using many of the
concepts I used to so enjoy rolling my
eyes at and with which I am now
obsessed.
In an attempt to help you get to where
you want to go too, I’m going to ask you
to roll with some pretty out-there things
throughout this book, and I want to
encourage you to have an open mind.
No, on second thought, I want to yell in
your face about it: STAY OPEN OR
ELSE YOU ARE SCREWED. I mean it.
This is really important. You’ve gotten
to where you are right now by doing
whatever it is you’re doing, so if you’re
less than impressed with your current
situation, you clearly need to change
things up.
If you want to live a life
you’ve never lived, you
have to do things
you’ve never done.
I don’t care how big a loser you may
or may not perceive yourself to be right
now, the fact that you’re literate, have
the luxury of time to read this book and
the money to buy it puts you way ahead
of the game.
This isn’t something to feel guilty or
whiney or superior about. But it is
something to appreciate, and should you
make the decision to really go for it,
know that you are extremely well-poised
to knock it out of the park and share your
awesomeness with the world. Because
that’s really what this is all about.
We need smart people with huge
hearts and creative minds to manifest all
the wealth, resources, and support they
need to make their difference in the
world.
We need people to feel happy and
fulfilled and loved so they don’t take
their shit out on themselves and other
people and the planet and our animal
friends.
We need to be surrounded by people
who radiate self-love and abundance so
we don’t program future generations
with gnarly beliefs like money is bad
and I’m not good-enough and I can’t
live the way I want to live.
We need kickass people to be out of
struggle and living large and on purpose
so they can be an inspiration to others
who want to rise up, too.
The first thing I’m going to ask you to
do is to believe that we live in a world
of limitless possibilities. I don’t care if
you have a lifetime of proof that you
can’t stop shoving food in your face or
that people are intrinsically evil or that
you couldn’t keep a man if you were
handcuffed to his ankles—believe that
anything is possible anyway.
See what happens—what do you
have to lose? If you try getting through
this book and decide it’s a bunch of
crap, you can go back to your sucky life.
But maybe, if you put your disbelief
aside, roll up your sleeves, take some
risks, and totally go for it, you’ll wake
up one day and realize you’re living the
kind of life you used to be jealous of.