Tips & Tricks

Seeing the Positive Side of "Trying"

 

Trying something new can be daunting.

It can feel like running up a hill, only to find one of those walls from "American Ninja Warrior" in front of you. You run up the wall and just as you're about to reach the top, you make a spectacular fall. In front of an audience, no less.

Have you ever felt like all eyes were on you - looking at whether you'll make it or not? Does the mix of emotion (excitement for what's ahead and fear of failure) stop you in your tracks, before you even try something?

The word "trying" was such a "bad" term to me that I even tried (ha!) to cut it out of my vocabulary for the past year. 

In my head, the word's definition was intertwined -- it was a mixture of "doing something knowing that it would end in failure," or "giving a cop-out excuse to someone to get them off your back." 

Like, "Can you get this to me by Monday?" "I'll try." No one likes getting that as a response! Or "Did you get the results you wanted?" "I tried." 

It wasn't until I did an intuitive reading for someone that the whole notion of "trying" came up. I had always thought it was a word that was so shameful that it should never be spoken again (just ask my husband).

But the Akashic Records always manages to enlighten me on things I thought I was sure of. 

The reading said:

"We recommend looking at the word “try.” We know it is something of a loaded word because it might imply trying something new and perhaps not meeting your expectations, it could mean trying something different and it teaching you things that you wouldn’t have looked at otherwise, and any number of emotions that may feel at ODDS with one another.

We recommend looking at the POSITIVE spin of the word -- that implies, experimentation, no attachments to the outcome, and a WILLINGNESS to test things out.  

Try things out - like trying on a new dress or trying on a hat. There is no harm in doing so."

The whole notion of "trying" having a positive spin was absolutely new to me (and my ego).

Apparently I had crafted such a perfect story about the word that I had prevented myself from truly "trying" -- to put things on and test them out, with my mind clear to see all the possibilities that could happen. And if it fails spectacularly, to have the ability to try again with the same possibility of success, as opposed to replaying stories of the future disappointments or failures. 

The reading even gave an image of a little girl trying out the monkey bars for the first time. Each time she tried and fell, she would pick herself back up again and try again.

All the response that came afterward -- crying, hurting, being disappointed in herself, etc. -- was just that  -- a response AFTER the initial "trying". I had associated the two things so closely that for a long time, any mention of the word "trying" meant that the mind was already projecting into that moment of it "not going as you had wanted or planned." 

Reflecting on 2016

Looking back at the past year, I definitely saw a mix of areas where I tried new things both AS IF I were trying on a new dress (and if it didn't work, I'd just try the next one!) and AS IF I were "trying something on" from my story of the future just not working out.

I tried holding meetups for the first time and had some moments when I felt like I was running up the American Ninja Warrior wall. Sometimes there would be a ton of sign-ups, then barely one. Every time I tried it, I iterated based on the results -- testing different themes, locations, dates, formats, tickets, and exercises until I got to the method that worked.

If I had given up earlier, then I wouldn't have met so many amazing people every month with shared challenges and hopes. 

I tried giving mini-readings to people I didn't know, even in group settings, and I saw the huge impact they had in people's lives and what they thought was possible. I started owning my gift even more because now hundreds of people have had little sparks of light catalyze their lives so that they can be truly free.

I tried playing the ukulele after not doing so for years (after my first time didn't go as magically as I had imagined) and now I can play three of my favorite songs! (Including, Train's "Hey, Soul Sister") It helps when all the chords are the same. :-)

Purpose Tip:

My tip for you is to reflect back on your 2016 and see where you tried new things from a positive place or from a place of "story." What happened? Were there any differences between those approaches?

Now, for the rest of this year, try something new -- as if you are trying on a new hat or learning the monkey bars. If you fall, pick yourself back up - know that any emotional responses are not at all associated with "trying" and then envision the beautiful possibilities again. 

Let me know how it goes! 

And I invite you to try out a mini-reading with me!

If you haven't experienced this before, whether you're excited or unsure, then take a leap of faith and try it out. I promise you that our conversation will spark clarity and confidence so that you can take the next step in creating a life of joy. 

Sign up for a complimentary 30-minute strategy session and intuitive reading (value $150)*. Hundreds of people have said my mini-readings are "profound," "gets right to the heart of what's going on," and "life-changing."

* Valid only for people who have never received a reading from me before!

Get the new year started off feeling empowered and clear. 

In a Relationship Rut? 3 Things You Need to Know to Get Back into Gear

What happens when you're in a committed relationship and things suddenly get rocky? 

One day, you’re in love, and the next, your world is falling apart. You ask yourself, “Was I that oblivious to the problems in my relationship? Am I not trying hard enough?” 

Or, deep inside you just knew something was wrong. You didn’t know how, but there was an underlying worry that kept showing its face whenever things got tough. 

Whether you’re on the verge of, or freshly picking yourself up from, a breakup or divorce, you will regain a sense of understanding and peace of mind with these three points. 

Karen Shares Her Transformation

I've learned a lot after coaching over 100 high-achieving people who want to make an impact on the world. While they may initially come to me for different reasons, like for example feeling stuck in their career, my clients find that relationships come up as a top priority -- both how they relate to other people and also how they treat themselves. 

Today, I'm going to share Karen's story. She’s a journalist who recently found herself in a situation she never anticipated: 

"I had plummeted emotionally after a breakup with someone whom I'd been in a relationship with for years, and friends with for nearly two decades. I couldn't accept nor make sense of the forced separation and deep unentanglement that would have to take place afterwards.
I was a wreck. I couldn't eat or sleep and I experienced constant heightened anxiety, self-doubt and panic attacks. I had incredible support from friends near and far, but I needed something more. 
I wondered if having a purpose reading could somehow help me make better sense of myself and reclaim my me, my core."

Karen and I met and over a few hours, we discussed her purpose -- what it is, how it has manifested over time, how it related to her relationship, what blocks exist and what actions she can take.  

"The purpose reading with Julie resonated right from the start. Almost immediately, I burst into tears because the opening message was something that I'd internally been aware of since I was a child but hadn't exactly had the words to articulate nor the need to tease out and actively realize.
The reading infused me with a strong sense of honest hope."

After the session, I continued coaching Karen, helping her transition back to peace when moments got dark (because the mind chatter comes back!) and offering intuitive guidance to help her connect to her own self again. 

Once she understood her purpose, she was finally able to express herself fully. It's like when you first connect the wires to a new lamp, the light can flicker at first. But over time, it gets used to shining and the connection becomes secure, the light steady. 

“I felt bolder, and I felt more accepting of what was happening. I also felt things more intensely, including pain and loss, but I somehow understood that this was part of it all and part of my process of rightly grieving.
I started seeing signs, or sign posts (including one with a butterfly) that I was in the right place and that there was nowhere else that I could or should be. I started to embody my purpose in ways that I could and can viscerally feel." 

It’s been a few months since, and Karen is exploring what it’s like to express her purpose on a moment-to-moment basis. Aside from experiencing beautiful miracles and moments of joy that she writes to me about enthusiastically, she is on a journey of healing.

The more she is conscious of how her purpose shows up in her life, the more she is learning how to embrace life without judgment. 

So how does this help you to embrace your own relationships or breakups?

 

1. First, like Karen, know that sometimes things happen for a reason that you cannot even fathom right now. 

As Steve Jobs said, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something—your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

An argument or a breakup may seem like the end of the world or the end of all your dreams to get married, start a family, and spend the rest of your life with this person, but it's all going to be okay. And there's probably something really important that you learned that came out of the whole experience. 

When you know your purpose, the path leads to the kind of inner growth, beauty, and magic that only comes with a strong connection to your own self. You will see greener pastures. 

 

2. Your purpose is not just related to your career. It, in fact, directly impacts your relationships with others and with yourself. 

Knowing your purpose helps you understand what truly motivates you and what you have to live for. It helps you articulate what is missing in your life -- the absence of which affects your ability to be your true self. 

When you’re not being your true self, you feel an underlying tension that impacts your relationship with others. 

For example, if part of your purpose is to express your voice and share your story, and you have not done it to the level that your heart knows you can do, then the underlying tension of not being fully self-expressed causes frustration and stress. You lash out or get snappy at work or blame your significant other for your unhappiness, but it ultimately has to do with your own, sometimes unconscious, choices. 

I’ve seen many clients who, after consciously knowing their purpose or the purpose of their significant other, finally “get" it on a deeper level. They embrace quirks that normally would have caused frustration, and see how two people were meant to learn something from each other. They understand the role they played and are able to accept, as Karen did, what the present moment is. 

So, if you find yourself in relationship patterns or stuck in a rut, it might actually have to do with knowing and expressing your own true self. 

 

3. Your ego mind will try to convince you that you are not worthy of love. When you live your purpose, you naturally exude passion. 

After a breakup, people are quick to judge themselves. Don't let your own ego chatter convince you that you will never meet another person or that you can't be loved. 

When you are expressing your purpose and not paying attention to your ego mind chatter, you actually are in a positive state of mind to take new actions and see the possibilities around you. You become more open-hearted, leading you to creative ways to rekindle an existing relationship or discover a new one that is aligned with wonder and unconditional love. 

Many of my clients find themselves meeting new people -- romantic or otherwise -- that they never expected or imagined existed. They feel called to create a profile on a certain dating platform. They decide to attend a friend’s party when normally they would have stayed home. They reconnect with themselves and finally prioritize doing the things they are passionate about. They even manifest their ideal relationship.

So, when the ego chatter strikes, remember to let your true self shine. Allow yourself to be relaxed, excited and spontaneous. Otherwise, the people you are meant to meet cannot find you in the dark.

***

Are you ready to discover how knowing your purpose can clear the heartache and give you peace of mind?

Learn more about the “Discover Your Purpose” session and get back into gear with a conscious heart, a sense of purpose, and a connection back to your true self. 

Let’s start a new chapter.

If this blog post resonated with you, let me know! I'd love to hear from you in the comments below.

My Office - where inspiration meets urban space

A new favorite spot to work - the Mulberry Street Public Library in SoHo, which is the site of a former chocolate factory.

A new favorite spot to work - the Mulberry Street Public Library in SoHo, which is the site of a former chocolate factory.

One of the first things people ask me when I tell them that I started this social enterprise is, "Do you have an office space?" It might be because I came from the world of real estate and urban planning where co-working spaces and commercial space were common terms. Or, people think deep conversations on purpose should take place in dark, wood-paneled rooms with stuffed, leather armchairs.

As someone who worked for years in an office that had no natural light and only grey cubicle walls, I found myself craving sunlight, beautiful decor, color, historic architecture, and greenery.

Now that I could craft my own workspace as an entrepreneur, I decided to reflect on what office space I currently have and then share some tips on how to make the best of your current office situation, if it happens to be just a bit dreary and uninspired. 

I'm now blessed to be spending a lot of time in...

>> Coffeeshops - the home of the entrepreneur seeking variety and freedom. With numerous meetings and coffee chats in Manhattan now, I spend most of my time working in cafes because I don't have a set office space (other than when I work at home). Like many entrepreneurs now, I'm amassing a mental map of places throughout the city with good wi-fi, nice decor, ambiance, iced tea (because I don't drink coffee) and restrooms.

Favorites: Financier Patisserie at 35 Cedar St. in Lower Manhattan for their madeleines and French decor; Maison Kayser for their delectable almond croissants and booth seating; and, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf near City Hall for their cheerful customer service and variety of seating types. 

>> Restaurants - nothing beats deep conversations about purpose over good food. Whenever I do a purpose reading, I always ask my client to recommend their favorite quiet restaurant, one that won't rush us for our intuitive purpose reading and coaching session. Having done 41 of these purpose sessions so far, I've had the immense joy of sharing delicious meals with people while discussing purpose and sharing my lessons learned, as if we're old friends talking about the meaning of life.  

The great thing about New York City restaurants is that nobody cares what other people are talking about at the next table over.  In fact, it is highly likely that most of the conversations in a given restaurant touch upon how people are seeking better jobs, relationships, and more purpose, but who don't know what to do.  It feels both anonymous as well as touching when you notice the shared humanity in all of us, looking to be happy and be connected to something greater than us. 

This will likely change over time once I reach a point of needing office space (and I certainly rent private spaces if absolute quiet is necessary), but talking over a meal together will always be part of the initial purpose reading experience when clients discover their soul's purpose.   

Favorites: Qi, a Thai restaurant near Times Square with remarkably elegant decor and delicious food; Japonica near Union Square with an amazing bento box dinner; and, Souvlaki, a cute Greek island getaway in the Lower East Side. 

>> Art, nature,  and community spaces - how you inspire me! I grew up going to my neighborhood public library when I was a kid, so the first thing that I did was to reactivate my New York Public Library card and try out these free workspaces whenever I was in between meetings. I finally checked out the New York Public Library's Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, which is my new favorite office (can you imagine that despite growing up in NYC, I never actually went inside this iconic building??). Next time you're in the Bryant Park area, I recommend doing the audio tour to fully appreciate its architectural history and saying hello to Patience and Fortitude, the two lion statues out front. 

One of the many beautiful rooms in the New York Public Library's Stephen A. Schwarzman Building at Bryant Park in New York City. 

The grand lobby and staircase of the New York Public Library's Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. 

Another new favorite is the beautifully renovated Mulberry Street library in SoHo (pictured at the top of the page), with brick-walled reading rooms, high ceilings and armchairs, all in a former chocolate factory.  I've also eagerly embraced the natural light and fresh air of doing work outdoors when the weather is nice. I've worked at a waterfront park on Roosevelt Island overlooking the Manhattan skyline as the sun set, and have taken a break at the High Line to revel in the seamless combination of native plants, architecture, and public art. 

Favorites: New York Public Library's Schwarzman Building at Bryant Park; Mulberry Street library in SoHo, and the city's beautiful parks. 

Here are some tips to live a transformed life in your office environment -- 

1. Set your intention to visualize your ideal environment, and then create it.  Physical spaces have energy. Take the time to notice what places inspire you. You may discover that your day-to-day may be missing some element of sunlight, colorful decor or quiet beauty that naturally makes you feel calm, creative or balanced.  Reflect on what your ideal physical place to work is.  Humans are like plants. We crave an environment that allows us to flourish, and it is up to us to determine what inputs go into creating this positive environment for each of us.

For me, it's sunlight, variety, the ability to come and go as I please, and architectural beauty. For you, it might mean that you love the smell of soil and need to have more plants nearby, or that you need to give yourself permission to take breaks outside because walking without a destination in mind actually lets you think more creatively. (All of these have come up in various intuitive purpose readings before). 

Know what you want, down to the minute detail of your ideal workspace and how you'd FEEL when you're there. Then, go out and have fun creating what you desire.

2. Rely on your intuition to guide you to beautiful or helpful resources.  I tend to rely on chance to let me pass by a neighborhood library or a cute pocket park where I can be present or take a sound meditation break (when you focus on listening to each sound, like the birds singing, the sound of people chatting, the rumbling of the subway, etc).

You know that fantastic public space pictured above? Recently, my inner voice said, "You know, you really want to check out the Schwarzman Library. You've somehow never been there and you grew up in New York City!" Other people would then mention this library to me in multiple conversations, and then the thought kept popping up repeatedly. Finally, after all these signs, I heeded the inner voice weeks later and made time to go. And of course, I loved it! I was like a kid in a candy store. 

I also rely on chance to find books that seem to "pop" out at me while I browse at a library or bookstore. My husband happened to find a book on interpreting financial statements the Warren-Buffett-way that was hidden in a stack of books about writing and publishing. He immediately picked it up because it was so out of place that it felt like a sign. He also happened to be thinking about the topic at the time!

3. Never underestimate the power of inspiring spaces. Some people just get used to working in a dreary environment and think they just don't have time to do anything about it. Do not give in to your ego's attempts to rationalize this away! 

One of my clients wanted to replace the carpeting in her office, and she was surprised at how quickly it was done after she decided to put in a request for it. I'm sure other people would have made up all sorts of excuses, saying their boss wouldn't like it, or the company wouldn't pay for it, but it never hurts to try. You might be surprised at what is already budgeted in, or what lengths a company is willing to go to retain happy employees.

Remember that what you do to your workspace can easily affect your mood. Getting rid of clutter is one way to freshen up appearances and allow for more breathing room (literally). Adding colorful photos of your family and pets can do wonders. Adding light is also essential. It could be one of those full spectrum lamps that provide natural light, or even a cute nightlight from Ikea (below) will work.

I actually put this nightlight on my desk and it made my day every time I looked at it and turned it on. Even the smallest tweaks that you do to your workspace -- with your happiness in mind -- will make a huge difference.

Ikealight.JPG

 

What are your best places to work? What kind of workspace do you crave? What changes, small or large, do you want to make (or have already made) that made a difference in your mood? Share your suggestions so that other people can benefit from your ideas!