How to live the life you WANT! (book review)

Find-Your-Passions-Book-Cover

(Click photo for larger view and more details!)

It’s not very often that I read an e-book and love, love, LOVE it….but this one from Tracy McCullough (creator of TheLoveVitamin.com) ROCKED my socks off!

Please note, I do not profit from you purchasing this book through the links on this page. I simply LOVED the book and want to pass this great info along to all of you! 🙂

I literally couldn’t put down my copy of Find Your Passion & Live Your Dreams, and I bet you won’t be able to, either, if you:

  • want a more fulfilling life (the kind that makes you wake up feeling excited)
  • can’t figure out what on earth your passion even is
  • need help finding the courage to follow your heart
  • are looking for ways to find the time and/or money to pursue your dreams
  • struggle with believing in yourself or your dreams
  • constantly procrastinate
  • are too scared to leap into the unknown
  • want to make a living from your passion

It’s also a great book for those of us who are already taking leaps to follow our dreams. First, it’s always great to get a behind-the-scenes peek at someone else who has done the same in their own life. And, second, the book is full of new tips and interesting perspectives that you likely haven’t come across before that will help propel you even further along your heart’s path!

Through her extremely honest accounts in this e-book, Tracy shares just how she felt at every step along the way to reaching her dreams – and all of it really resonated with me! Good stuff! From how it feels in the beginning when your confidence sucks and you find excuses around every corner…to how rewarding and fulfilling it is when you finally give in and start tuning into your intuition…to how amazing it feels when you start reaping the rewards (the emotional kind and the monetary kind) of taking the scary leaps to follow your dreams!

This 100+ page book is jam-packed with concrete “do-able” action steps, real-world examples that make things crystal clear, and lots of great step-by-step exercises to increase our confidence and get us taking action now!!

As Tracy says on page 17, there’s one thing for sure….No one ever looked back on life as they were dying and said, “Wow! I’m so happy I didn’t follow my dreams!”

Alright, so it’s time everyone! Get out there and start discovering your passion and following your dreams!

And if you need a little nudge or some invaluable tips, be sure to order this book!

Not sure if it’s right for you? No worries, Tracy is so confident in her work that she’ll happily refund your money if you’re not completely satisfied! Gotta love that! See there….one “risk” already conquered in your journey! 😉

Oh, and I’d LOVE to hear your thoughts after you dive into this awesome book! So be sure to come back here and comment below when you’re done!!!

See ya soon!
Christy

Please…Stop ignoring your inner voice!

shaving hair 2

Yes, you! I’m talking to you! You…the one who has been pretending not to know that you are “supposed” to be taking a certain action – quitting your job, leaving a relationship, moving to a new town, expressing your true emotions to a loved one, checking in with your doctor…or whatever it may be!

Please, stop ignoring that inner nudging! It’s your built-in guidance system, and it’s trying to steer you toward the best version of you!

Although it can be scary to think about making the “leap” and trusting your gut (especially in a society so dedicated to weighing the “pros and cons” of things all of the time), it’s been my experience that “leaps of faith” (when rooted in truly listening to one’s own heart), will not disappoint! Sure it’s scary! Definitely uncomfortable…and filled with all sorts of “what ifs.” Yes, I know. But just stick with me here, and open your mind to taking even one small leap that you haven’t had the courage to take before. Start with something small. And when it works out (and the “worst thing that could happen”….doesn’t happen), you’ll build your confidence in the process and work your way up to bigger leaps of faith.

It’s so easy to imagine all the things that could go wrong if we decide to start making the changes we desire in our lives. But if you sit down and really concentrate, I’m sure you could generate a list just as long of all of the things that could go wrong even if you don’t make those same changes! Yes, that’s right…tons of awful things could happen to you right now…as you sit there in your comfort zone with a white-knuckle grip on all of your perceived sources of security. Not to be harsh, but the fact of the matter is that nothing is guaranteed. And if you never take a leap, at least one of those “things that could go wrong while you’re sitting there” is definitely going to happen – you won’t be living the life you dream about! Sigh…(not good)!

I’ve learned from experience during the past couple of years that it feels so wonderful to follow your inner voice, and it really does not lead you astray! My most recent experience with my “inner voice” was the shaving of my head. (NOTE: If you’re not too interested in the soul-bearing example I’m about to share regarding my farewell to my hair, please bear with me as I really feel that you’ll find value in this example regardless of the type of leap you are considering.)

MY “LEAP” – To shave…or not to shave!

So…my husband wasn’t really too “comfortable” with the idea of me shaving my head, but I knew I just had to do it. Even after a month without my hair, I still don’t feel that the reasons why I needed to shave it so badly have been 100% revealed to me….but I do know that I do feel so much more me (if that makes sense to you), and I feel incredibly free without my hair!!! I definitely don’t miss my “bed head,” and I really don’t miss feeling differently about myself from day-to-day based on how I felt my hair looked!

So here’s how it all went down….

I’d been feeling the urge to shave my head quite strongly for several months, but I kept delaying the leap for…ya know, solid “logical” reasons (wink, wink). Actually, looking back on things, I can recall wanting to shave my head for many years, really, but I never really entertained it as an actual possibility until about 6 months ago.

As time went by, the inner nudging became more and more relentless. Finally, one day about a month or so ago….I found myself pushing my hair down with my hands every time I’d catch my reflection in a mirror…and I realized  that I just did not feel like my true self anymore with my hair – although I wasn’t really sure why I felt this way. It didn’t really make sense to me, but the urging was so strong that I knew a head shaving was inevitable.

That night as my hubby and I were going to sleep, I found myself overcome with emotion – I was actually sobbing to him in bed about wanting to shave my head. Emotions sure do have a way of showing you the direction you are supposed to be heading in life! I wasn’t actually feeling sad. I was feeling tormented by the idea of resisting this hair cut any longer. And the emotion was stroooong – like, impossible to ignore. All-consuming, really. Another clear sign that a “leap” was in order! I kept trying to explain to him why I needed to shave my head….not that I had any kind of explanation that would make sense to another human being. LOL! Finally, I realized that there really weren’t “reasons”….it was a feeling. When he realized that my desire to shave my head was coming from a place so deep inside me that I had no control over it, he assured me that he’d support me in whatever I decided to do.

bandana shotThe next morning, I awoke before him as usual. Again, I was feeling like a different person than what was staring back at me in the mirror. I grabbed a bandana and covered my hair in an attempt to approximate what I’d look like with a shaved head. I’m not sure where the idea came from, but I grabbed a hand mirror and stood facing a wall mirror while holding the hand mirror at a particular angle so that the bandana wasn’t too visible in my reflection (as you can see in this photo to the left – feel free to click the photo to enlarge if you’d like).

I took a picture of this pose with the intention of showing it to my hubby so he could get an idea of what I would look like with no hair… but something much more unexpected came from that photograph! When I saw the picture of my face compared to the smaller reflection of my face in the hand mirror in this photograph…it was like looking into my soul….the reflection in the hand mirror seemed like me…and the other shot of my face did not. I can’t really explain it, but that’s how it felt. The whole experience reminded me of that song, “Reflection,” by Christina Aguilera. (You can check out the song in the video at the end of this post –  Perhaps you’ll find something in the song for you, too!) To me, that person in the hand mirror seemed so incredibly happy, content, and “whole.” The strange thing was that I had always considered myself to be perfectly content, happy and whole. So that feeling really caught me off guard! (I also found it symbolic that the reflection of my face is actually over my heart in this photo, which was in no way intentional.)

So….in that moment, I knew I’d be shaving my head very soon! 🙂   Oh, and if you’re wondering….I did still use the photo to “explain” things to my hubby. And, far from what I was expecting….it still made no sense to him. LOL! So funny…because I thought it all seemed so objectively clear at this point! Seriously…from the way I felt, I assumed he’d take one look at that picture and know exactly what I was talking about and relate to how I was feeling. Well…not so much!

So that’s when I realized….this was between me and my soul. And there was no need to convince anyone else…even my beloved husband! 🙂

shaving hair 2Even though he didn’t understand (and now I realize his understanding really wasn’t necessary), he did help me shave my head. And, after a few days of getting over the “shock” every time he saw me with no hair (a problem I had, as well. LOL!), he was pleasantly surprised that my lack of hair didn’t bother him at all like he had assumed it would. Aesthetically, I’m sure we both prefer me with a hair-do of some sort; but we have both seen how much more I’ve “come into my own” by taking this leap…and “looks” were never a factor in the decision at all (in case anyone is wondering).

So…How about YOU ?!

If there’s something you have been wanting to do but you’ve been resisting it, I urge you to sit down and think about what’s really (I mean….really!) stopping you!!!

Most things in life aren’t “permanent.” And you may end up kicking yourself if you never give it a try.

You may just find that sitting there wondering what you must be missing out on actually turns out to be much worse than whatever outcome you fear if you go ahead and DO it! So GOFORIT !

pooschkesYou only get one chance at this life, so make sure you’re living the life you want to live!!! Believe me…I know it’s scary to step outside your comfort zone. After the last couple years I’ve had (full of leaping), I’m starting to have trouble recalling what my comfort zone even looks like! LOL! But the feeling of FREEDOM is soooooooooo worth all of the “fear conquering” involved along the way!

I blog about a lot of things, but if there was just one message I could spread to the world, it would be to listen to your inner voice! Do you agree? If so, please forward this post in an email message to anyone you’d like to encourage to do so!

Oh, and be sure to “follow” my blog (over in the left margin of this page) in case I decide to purge my soul on the Internet again sometime soon. LOL!

Alright, enough about me! Your turn! I’d love to hear from you in the comments below! What leaps are you resisting….or what experiences have you had with listening to and following your inner voice? Oh, and here’s that song, “Reflection,” that I mentioned above…

5 Tips For Growing Nutrient-Rich Food

5 Tips For Growing Nutrient-Rich Food

Phil with his beautiful, nutrient-rich garden!

We hope you all enjoy today’s guest post from Certified Organic Gardener Phil Nauta of SmilingGardener.com. Be sure and leave a comment for him below if you have questions or would like more info…

5 Tips For Growing Nutrient-Rich Food

I’m so glad that Christy and Chad talk about gardening once in awhile here, because to me, it’s one of the best ways to ensure you’re getting adequate nutrition.

That’s because most everything in your soil goes into the food you grow and then into you, and whatever’s lacking in the nutrient profile of your soil won’t make it into that food.

Eliminating chemical fertilizers and pesticides is a good start, but it’s only a start. That’s what not to feed our plants and soil, but what do we feed them instead?

Just like us, plants (and other beneficial soil organisms) need well-balanced sources of over 80 trace minerals, as well as the basics like plenty of air and water.

So feeding them just nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium isn’t going to result in plants that have the right levels of zinc, selenium, magnesium, and boron, let alone enzymes, vitamins, phytohormones or antioxidants needed for their health or for ours.

There are a few simple things we can do to ensure that our soil, our plants, and we ourselves are getting fully balanced nutrition from our gardens.

This is what I’ve done to dramatically increase the nutrition in my food, and I’ve helped many others do it, too:

First, we can make a great start by feeding our soil lots of organic matter on a regular basis.

The simplest way to do this is by mulching – covering the soil surface with a layer of organic matter so it’s never bare.

Besides the water- and temperature-moderating effects of mulching, it’s also the easiest, most natural way to add nutrition to the soil, without the extra work and destructive effects of repeated tilling.

This will be most effective if we use nutritious materials for mulch. Leaves are a great, nutritionally balanced mulch source that’s widely available for free.

Any deciduous tree leaves will do, but it’s usually best to avoid conifer needles since they contain compounds that inhibit the growth of other organisms.

If you live near the coast, seaweed is an amazing source of perfectly balanced nutrients and natural plant growth hormones. Collect it from the beach after a storm and put it in your compost or spread it right on top of your soil as a mulch. If that’s not easy to access, liquid kelp fertilizer is now widely available at garden stores.

In fact, the sea itself is an amazing source of perfectly balanced nutrients for soil and plants. You can apply seawater directly to the soil at as much as 1 cup per square foot, or buy very concentrated sea mineral products.

In case you’re concerned about the salt, it isn’t a problem at normal application rates, when balanced with all of the other minerals in seawater, unless you happen to have too much sodium already.

Glacial rock dust is another excellent, balanced source of mineral nutrients that will benefit your soil and plants, no matter what conditions you start with. You can find this at some garden supply stores.

Finally, compost is not only an important source of nutrients if made well, but a great way to breed the beneficial microbes we want in our gardens.

By making sure that we consciously feed our compost balanced nutrients, rather than just treating it as a scrap heap for organic waste, it can hugely add to our garden’s fertility.

These are just a few simple suggestions to get you started. The main thing is to get started!

I was amazed and relieved to discover, after years of thinking and reading about the problems with the industrial food system and how important it is to try alternatives, that I really enjoy getting my hands in contact with the earth. Feeding my soil turns out to feed my soul as well as my body.

Feel free to ask me any questions below about how to grow more nutritious food.

Do you already use some of the methods I mentioned? Or do you have any tips of your own? Let me know below.

About the Author

Phil Nauta is a SOUL Certified Organic Land Care Professional. He teaches practical organic gardening tips to home gardeners at SmilingGardener.com.

Following Our Hearts…

on way home from Apache

It was pretty surreal driving home from the dealer with our baby hitched to us for the first time!

If you ever feel that you are “supposed” to be doing something, I highly recommend following that path to see where it leads!!! It’s been my experience that the journey itself is worth it…regardless of whether or not you ever “get” to where you thought you were headed!!!

Chad and I have just barely begun with our most recent “leap of faith” – acting on the “feeling” that we should travel full-time in an RV…and work remotely! It’s only been 5 weeks since our desire to “hit the road” appeared, and I can tell you already that the journey has been SO incredibly worth it….regardless of where this series of events is ultimately headed!

Several friends and family members have reached out to us because they were concerned that something was wrong. Quite ironic, actually, because life has never felt so right as far as we’re concerned. But I suppose that’s what following your heart does for ya, huh? 😉 (In their defense… from their perspective this whole idea just “sprung up overnight.” It also seemed that way to us at first, actually, but in hindsight we can see a whole series of events in our lives that, although we didn’t understand the meaning of them at the time, have actually been leading us to right here for quite some time. That will have to be a whole future blog post of its own!) For now, here’s a bit to catch everyone up to speed on our situation…

sunset on way home with RV

First sunset “on the road” (on our way home from the RV dealer!)

About 5 weeks ago, I announced on our Facebook page that Chad and I were selling our home and our stuff and hitting the road full-time in an RV. The reasons why are too many to mention here, but I hope to blog about them all very soon. Shortly thereafter, I posted that we were not selling our house, after all, and were planning to just travel a lot, basically.

So for the past few weeks, we’ve been pursuing that plan and shopping around for a camper that would serve that “part-time” purpose. I plan to blog about that in more detail eventually, but for now suffice it to say that “Plan B” just wasn’t coming together. Ultimately, we realized it wasn’t working out because it’s not what we truly felt we were being led to do. Intuition is so incredibly persistent, huh?! You can try to deny it, but the heart wants what the heart wants! So…..we’re back to “Plan A” (well, sort of) and things feel “right” again.

With our original “Plan A,” we were just days away from putting our house on the market when we realized that there was going to be a lot of work to do and a lot of time (potentially) to wait before we’d be able to hit the road…because we weren’t going to purchase an RV until after we sold our house…and that can take a while. Again, I’ll be blogging here soon about all of this and all of the reasons that we got started on this path, etc. (so register for email updates here if you’d like)….but for now…here’s where things stand…

Christy at Apache

Hitched up for the first time (at Apache Camper Center)

We purchased our very first RV – a fifth wheel that is big enough (??) for us to live in full-time but also affordable enough for us to feel comfortable purchasing it before selling our home. We picked up the RV a couple days ago and found out we have a ton to learn…but it’s waaaaay exciting!!! We’ve gotten a few of our first RV “accomplishments” under our belt now, so we’re on our way to gaining some kind of comfort level with all of this, I suppose (ahhhh…I hope!)…

  1. We (…err…Chad) drove the 25 minutes through town from the dealer to our house without harming anyone or anything (that we know of…). Not bad for the first time towing such a monstrosity, eh?!
  2. We (…err…Chad) backed it into the driveway without knocking over the garage!
  3. We (…err…Chad) unhitched it without it rolling away…and even got it all leveled nicely!
  4. Hey! Don’t think I haven’t done my part, though…someone had to shop for bath mats and throw pillows (and RV floral does not make coordination easy)!
  5. We even survived our first “tragedy”…yes, even before leaving our own driveway. LOL! Apparently if it’s really cold and snowy, you should not pull your slides in on your RV (“slides” are extra parts of the camper that slide out to make your rooms larger by the way). When it’s cold and snowing outside, ice can form on top of the slide roof. When the slide is in, the slide roof (and its accompanying ice) will be inside your RV, as well…which means water will be on your floor as soon as the ice melts. Luckily this occurred to us before we had the slide all the way in, and we aborted and stuck the slide back out. Hopefully we didn’t damage anything by trying to drag that thin layer of ice inside, though? Oops!

    chad and christy

    Home sweet home (?)

Now, we’re busy preparing our RV. It needs new tires and we have some supplies (and courage…gulp!) to gather, etc. Then, thanks to some wonderful friends who will be moving into our home to stay with our dog while we’re gone, we’ll be hitting the road very soon for a while to verify that we love the lifestyle as much as we feel that we will. If it’s a 100% “go,” then we’ll return to Nebraska and sell the house (and most of our belongings) as originally planned.

IMG_9279

Our current property…for sale soon??

Yes, full-time RVing will mean no longer owning our gorgeous 1-acre, country-in-the-city property that we fell madly in love with and purchased just two years ago. And, no, we have not “lost our minds”! But thanks for checking! (hee, hee!). Funny how your intuition can make decisions that are objectively pretty major not really feel all that drastic at all. Seriously, in this moment it simply feels to us like… “It’s been wonderful living here in this amazing place that we still can’t believe we ever found…Actually, it feels like we’ve always lived here (because this place was so perfect for us when we found it)…Okay, well enough of that…let’s see what’s next…”

If you were along for the ride when we found this property two years ago, and you’ve witnessed our excitement and overflowing gratitude over the blessing of living here, then you may find our current endeavor a bit shocking, I suppose. But rest assured…that level of excitement that you witnessed regarding our current life situation…Well, that’s exactly how we feel about our new endeavor now!! In fact, owning this amazing property actually contributed in its own way to our desire to own no property at all…and to not live in Nebraska.

33

Stay tuned for natural recipes and “how-to” videos from our mobile kitchen!

It’s a long story (which I’ll surely blog about later), but the short of it is that living on this property and enjoying all of the nature, trees, peace and quiet, open space and wildlife made Chad and I realize just how much we enjoy (rather, how much we need) that as part of our daily lives. Snuggling on our deck and gazing at the stars on cool fall evenings, laying under our huge shade trees on summer afternoons, and chatting over breakfast on the deck on warm spring mornings made us realize just how much we do not enjoy cold Nebraska winters for one thing! Problem is, if there’s somewhere we’d rather live, we have no idea where that would be…and, of course, warmer places have their downsides, too. So why not just go live…everywhere, right!? 😉

Okay, so cold winters are definitely not the sole driving force behind our desire to hit the road – far from it, actually. But for now….I’ve got an RV to go pack! More to come soon, so stay tuned…