As members of the human race, we all have one thing in common, and that is the desire to better our situation and improve our lives. For many, it’s far too easy to get sucked into the belief that we are limited, that our dreams are impossible and that the ‘good life’ wasn’t really meant for us in the first place.

Sometimes in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, we get caught up in the drama around us and forget who we are on a deeper level. We forget that we are Divine beings having a human experience.

But all it takes is one little spark of inspiration, and we can leave those fearful thoughts behind. Inspiration reminds us that we are not our problems, nor are we bound by our limiting beliefs.

When we are inspired, our spark inside turns into a flame and our lives and those around us are changed. We have the courage to step into the unknown and follow our dreams. We set aside our fears and move forward confidently to play bigger in the world and live the life of our dreams.

But how do we find such inspiration? It can be found almost anywhere, if we’re open to finding it. Perhaps it’s a walk in the woods, watching a child at play, enjoying the scent of a flower or gazing into the eyes of your beloved. Perhaps it’s as easy as reading something that reminds you what a powerful being you are and helps you step away from the story you’ve been telling yourself for so long.

Sometimes inspiration can hit us like a bolt of lightning, electrifying our ideas into action, and other times it’s the voice on a gentle breeze, nudging us to take the next baby step.

Regardless of how we find it, inspiration has the power to change the world. For with inspiration, whatever we can imagine becomes possible. Inspiration has the power to change a boring life into one of What if…?. It opens the floodgates to possibility, brings a smile to our face and adds a bounce to our step.

Want to improve your world? Make inspiration a daily part of your life and things will change. For this reason, I’d like to invite you to visit a website that makes finding inspiration so easy for all of us. Each day, InspireMeToday.com features one Inspirational Luminary who answers the question, If today were your last day and you had only 500 words to leave to humanity, what have you learned that matters?

Imagine how different your world would be if you started each day with the wisdom learned from household names like Sir Richard Branson (Virgin) and Guy Laliberte (Cirque du Soleil) to thought leaders like Jack Canfield (Chicken Soup for the Soul) and Marci Shimoff (The Secret). So far more than 1000 Luminaries have been featured, including me. That’s a lot of inspiration and I’m proud to be a part of it!

This daily wisdom takes but a minute to read, yet acts as a conscious reminder to that spark within each of us, rekindling our fire within. I invite you to read my 500 words of wisdom at http://inspiremetoday.com/brilliance/believe-and-you-shall-see/ and browse through the wisdom of more than 1000 other Inspirational Luminaries, and watch the difference it makes in your life.

Remember, when we get caught up in our own stories and start to forget our own design as infinite beings, it is inspiration that turns the ordinary into extraordinary, fear into hope and the darkness into light. Inspiration reminds us that we are greater than we seem, and more resilient and powerful than we think.

Blind faith is the thing that replaces your fear and propels you forward toward your dream of happiness and success.  When you know, are fully aware of, and appreciate the logical reasons why you “should” be afraid and, nevertheless, you proceed confidently toward happiness and success, you are filled to the brim with blind faith.  This is not to be confused with plain-old foolishness or stupidity, though some might view it as such.  No, instead, blind faith is your infinite internal wellspring of hope, motivation, inspiration and courage.  It is the byproduct of the human spirit in full force and effect.  It is the engine driving you to your vision.  It is what separates those who are envious and bitter from those who are grateful and fulfilled.  I want for you to be grateful and fulfilled, happy and successful.  Don’t you want that for yourself, too?

Okay! So, here are  3 ways to start producing blind faith to propel you forward!

  1. Accept responsibility for yourself, your life and your dreams.  It’s all you and yours.  So, own it.  When it really comes down to it, you are the only one who can realize your dreams.
  2. Surround yourself with your true self and the people, places and things that uplift and empower you.
  3. Recognize your power resides in your choices.  Your choices can either lead you closer toward your dream or farther away from it.  Make sure you know and understand which it is before you make your choices.

Whether you admit it to yourself or not, life really is simply an enterprise in blind faith.  You don’t know how anything is going to turn out or what’s going to happen.  So, why not embrace it, dive in and embark on a blind faith enterprise of your own and start creating and living the life of your dreams?!  Join me!  I’m honored and delighted to be your guide.

P.S. in case you haven’t figured it out, this is how I got the name for my company.  Blind Faith Enterprises, LLC is the company I founded and the vehicle through which I deliver my message and method for success through talks, a self-paced home study program and private 1-on-1 coaching.  Blind Faith embodies my personal philosophy and my approach to life.  And, if you didn’t know, I actually am blind, so, it’s also a little cheeky  —  and, I like cheeky!

This week I want to share a message from my friend, Bernie Hiller who I’ve had the incredible pleasure to learn from a few months ago. Bernie is real, raw and when I was prepping for the TEDxTalk I gave this past weekend (it was an awesome yet challenging experience and I’m still processing it all so more to come on that), I went back to what Bernie taught me about dropping into my heart and distinguishing between my topic and me. I’ll share that with you too at some point because it was pretty earth shattering for me, but for now, here’s Bernie on blocks and fears…

 

ARE BLOCKS AND FEARS GREAT?

by Bernie Hiller

When it comes to blocks and fears, people think, “Wow, those are terrible!”. The truth about all blocks and fears is that they are gifts from your soul. They have been placed in your way for Personal Growth. They are the things that you need to overcome to become POWERFUL. Once you overcome your blocks and fears, you will discover your inner powers. Only Powerful people can achieve anything great in life. When people say, “I would like to have more confidence” the reply is, “You have to do things that challenge you, in order to become the person you always wanted to be.”

You should also know that all fears are just questions that need to be answered by you. When you say, “Can I do this?” Of course you can, but will you do it?

Turn every fear into a question. Like “Can I be a performer?” “Do I have enough will power to leave my job?” “Do I have the courage to live my dream?” Well, if you don’t answer those questions and take appropriate actions, then all you’re left with is the “Fear”. You must answer the questions as they arise, because all your fears are just feelings, not facts.

As a child you are born with only 2 innate fears: the fear of loud noise and the fear of falling. All other fears you have, were given to you and now have been accepted by you. Fear lives in your head, as thoughts that something will not turn out well. The more you live in your head, the more fear you will have.

Blocks are limitations you have put upon yourself. A block, such as, “I’m not good enough” stops millions of people. Les Brown, motivational speaker says, “You have greatness inside.” You will need the courage to find it and then release the blocks that are stopping you.

Blocks and fears are not negative. Only unresolved blocks and fears are negative. They are liberating once you are on the other side of them. The way to live productively is to keep overcoming all the blocks and fears for the rest of your life. Only then will you become the artist and the person that is living at the highest level.

Run towards your blocks and fears; they will unlock your treasure!

www.BernardHiller.com

Does the thought of getting naked send a shiver down your spine? Don’t worry. You can leave your clothes on for this one if you want. I’m talking about a different kind of naked – outlook naked. I’m inviting you to take off your eyeglasses and embrace your naked eye vision of the world.

Your naked eye view is the ability to see everything with fresh, non-judgmental eyes. When you see with your naked eye view, you see things for what they truly are instead of what you think they’re supposed to be. It allows you to see possibility instead of limitation. It allows you to see, accept and love yourself as you are – no judgment.

Back when I could see, my eyeglasses were a part of me. They were a part of who I was and I was comfortable wearing glasses. In fact, I was so comfortable wearing them that just over a year after I had lost any usable sight — I could see light, dark and shadows, I was still wearing my dark-brown tortoise-shell frames with half-inch thick, bifocal lenses. I’d wake up and put on my glasses every morning even though they didn’t do me a lick of good anymore. Sheer ridiculousness – I know that now.

It was pointed out to me abruptly and in the most unceremonious way. A girl that I had just met took one look at me with my white cane, pointed accusatorially at it and asked sharply and matter-of-factly, “Why do you have that stick?” Well, I don’t know if she actually pointed at it, but it sure felt like she did. My throat began to burn, I quavered and paused for a moment and said, “I’m blind. The girl responded as abruptly and matter-of-factly as before. “Why are you wearing glasses if you can’t see?”

I walked away wondering to myself — “Good question. Why am I wearing these glasses?” They really were useless to me. So, why on earth was I still wearing them? I told myself then that it was from habit. But as I look back on it now, I realize that continuing to wear my glasses was a manifestation of my outlook. I was unconsciously judging myself. My then outlook included the assumption that happiness and success were only possible if I achieved what I thought was the “ideal” or “perfect” 20/20 standard. I thought I could only find happiness and success if I looked like what I thought happiness and success looked like — and, what I thought happiness and success looked like was the opposite of everything I was.

Despite the fact that few if any of the people I knew met my 20/20 standard, I still managed to view everyone else as being better than I was, better than they actually were, or as being the unique individuals with their own gifts to share that they were. Yet I couldn’t see myself this way. With this warped outlook, clearly everyone but me must be happy. I thought the problem was me. But, the problem was the outlook I had chosen. By choosing to put on my glasses every day, I didn’t have to be blind. I didn’t have to consciously admit to myself that I couldn’t see. And, if I didn’t admit it, I didn’t have to accept my blindness. But I also couldn’t be, know, accept and love myself. And, deep down, I wanted to be loved.

Once I realized this, I decided to go out into the world with my bare-naked eyes wide open. No longer would I hide who or what I was. I was blind, and I wanted to figure out exactly what that meant for me. And, I never put those glasses back on again.

What’s your outlook? Do you find yourself judging yourself – saying I’m not thin enough, fit enough, beautiful enough, smart enough, balanced enough or whatever enough? Who’s 20/20 standard are you measuring yourself against? How might your 20/20 standard be limiting you and how true is this standard really? I’ll tell you, it’s probably not all that true. For me, I thought a blind woman couldn’t be happy and successful, but I am. Who ever thought that one of the most powerful and influential women in America would look like Oprah? Probably not many, if you’re looking through a 20/20 standard outlook. But when you use your naked eye, you see the possibility of what could be.

Putting away your glasses and going out into the world with naked eyes means that you go into the world with curiosity and explore what’s possible. Are you ready to “see” yourself– and life — as you really are? Are you ready to reveal a new outlook that enables you to feel the way you want to feel ? Start by identifying the thoughts and beliefs that make up your 20/20 standard. Bringing awareness to this allows you to question the standard and explore what it looks like to choose differently. And always remember, you’ve got the power to choose. So, if you’re ready to get naked, that in itself is a choice. Let the positive energy of that choice move you forward.

Everyone Seems To Be Moving Closer to Realizing Their Dreams and Living the “good Life” Except for You – So, What Are You Doing Wrong? Your friend just got a major promotion; your cousin just closed on a beautiful house your coworker got that big bonus and you are happy for them – really you are – you don’t even want exactly what they got because you’re on a totally different path… Still you can’t help but feel a slight pang of envy. Why isn’t it you? Why aren’t things flowing in your life the way you’d like? Here’s why and what to do about it.

First of all, envy is completely and 100% normal. Even if few people like to admit feeling envious, most, if not all of us, have been there. And, just like every other feeling it can be a helpful indicator of what you actually want in your life and can point you in the right direction if you approach it with curiosity and compassion.

Envy arises when you are caught in or envision yourself in someone else’s success. The word “envy” actually comes from the Latin to eye or to see. You see them get the promotion the house, the bonus or whatever and you compare yourself to them and want the feeling you imagine they have.

I used to do this all the time. I would constantly compare myself to everyone. The never-ending loop of questions in my head went something like this – Am I as pretty as her? Am I as smart as her? What does she have that I don’t? Why can’t I do what she’s doing? Why can’t I have a life like hers? And on and on…

Then, after all the questioning and daydreaming about this other person and their success, you feel guilty because you know you “shouldn’t” feel that way. You “should” be happy for them, right?? So, why do you feel so awful?

Well, the reason you feel bad for feeling envious isn’t because you’re a bad person. You feel bad because you are taking your energy and attention away from your own vision and putting it on someone else. You are denying and withholding your attention from yourself and that feels bad because deep down you know you and your vision are worthy of your own energy and attention. In other words, feeling envy is a sign that you want your own success. And, giving yourself your own energy and attention is the only way you will ever actually experience your own well-deserved success.

So, what to do? Stop looking out the window and start looking in the mirror. Instead of longingly peering into the success of others, reflect on what you are thinking and feeling. Put your full attention back on yourself and ask what it is that you really want; how do you want to feel in this situation and beyond; what will make you feel happy and successful.

When you do this, you will transform your feelings of envy into the empowering and liberating feeling of empathy. You will be able to not only whole-heartedly celebrate the success of others’, you will be able to celebrate yourself and your successes as well.

This past Friday was my wedding anniversary. And, I didn’t spend it with my honeybunny sharing a fabulous meal in front of the fireplace with a nice glass of wine for me and craft beer for him. Nope, not this year. I spent my wedding anniversary 200 miles away with Oprah at her #TheLifeYouWanttour stop in Newark, New Jersey. And, I am completely unapologetic about it and don’t regret it one bit. Do you think that is selfish of me?
angela-oprahFlat
A lot of the people in my life were confused by this. I got quite a few huhs?, a couple of “aw, that’s too bads” And more than one person quipped “I guess the honeymoon’s over”. But it made perfect sense to me and my husband, Lance.

You see, I’d rather create a life I love with the man I love and celebrate the life we’ve created together than conform to traditional notions and celebrate a day by looking back at the day that was “supposed” to be the “happiest day of my life.” Frankly, it was an incredibly beautiful and important day in my life, but the happiest day of my life is today, right now, each and every day I reaffirm my choice to live and love deeply and fully into my vision with Lance by my side.


I have a calling, a vision for myself and my life. I was put here for a purpose. I have been blessed with a life that has both challenged me and taught me exactly how to overcome limitations, see possibilities, seize opportunities, realize my dreams, reach my highest potential and create a life I love living. What’s even more is that I’ve also been blessed with the uncanny ability to guide others to do the same in their own lives and have been blessed with the gift of my voice to share my message and method with the world. And, Lance not only gets it, he lovingly and sometimes very matter-of-factly holds me to it. I am blessed and deeply grateful for all he has and continues to do to support me. So, when I told him that the closest Oprah Life You Want Tour stop was on our anniversary and 200 miles away, he didn’t miss a beat. His only response was “You have to go.” So, I went.

It was indeed a fabulous experience. Now, after the #TheLifeYouWantWeekend with #Oprah and her trailblazers, #IyanlaVanzant, #RobBell, #ElizabethGilbert, and #MarkNepo, my vision is even more clear, even more strong and I am even more committed to making the difference I know in my heart I am meant to make. I am renewed, revitalized and ready to serve. My perspective is sharpened and I am ready for change, growth and evolution. And, I was met with change as soon as I got home…

When I got home Sunday night, things were different. While I was away doing inner work, completely unbeknown to me, Lance was at home preparing for my return. He tore out the old carpet in my boudoir and laid new hardwood flooring. He also Rearranged the furniture in my boudoir, our bedroom and the living room. Insert Helen Keller joke here, LOL! But, I wasn’t angry or disoriented. Rather, I was pleasantly surprised, curious and excited. The new lay out was fresh, open and spacious. It worked so much better than how it originally was that I couldn’t help but think- why didn’t I want to do this sooner? The reason is because sometimes growth can be daunting- especially when you are thinking about everything that goes into it and don’t have a supportive person to remind you of your vision and help you create the conditions necessary for realizing it.

What’s your calling? Your vision? Do you have people in your life that get it and hold you to it? Where are you holding on to the way things are supposed to be or were in the past? What in your life needs to be rearranged to better accommodate who you actually are and the life you want? And, do you have a person who supports and encourages you to live into your vision? If so, show them your gratitude for their presence in your life. If not, seek out people who can and will help you.

Sometimes you need another person to wake you up to your true potential so you can begin to see your own vision for yourself and your life. As I told #Oprah when I met her, I do not belong in the audience; it’s time for me to turn up the volume. And, that’s true not only for me, but you as well. You do not belong in the audience, watching your life play out. You deserve to be center stage in your life actively and consciously fulfilling your roles as you define them. You are the greatest leader of your life and you have the power to choose to follow your vision, follow your heart and fulfill your dreams. So, yes, my dear, the honeymoon’s over! Your life’s waiting for you to claim it, shape it and live it.

Have you ever been totally gung-ho about a project, then everything starts falling apart- I mean everything- and you’re fed up, beaten down and ready to throw in the towel for good? It happens to the best of us. It happened to me this past weekend big time and here’s my secret process of how to get through it.

Give in, but don’t give up!

Give in to the feelings. Admit You’re overwhelmed, frustrated and angry. Admit that your plan isn’t going as planned. Admit it to yourself and, better yet, admit it to a member of your CPR (core personal revitalization) Team. Give in and let yourself feel whatever it is you’re fighting feeling. Open up and share it with a trusted member of your CPR Team- preferably the member who has the most Unwavering faith in you and your abilities- the person who really, truly on a deep level loves and gets you.

Once you’ve voiced your thoughts and felt your feelings, admit that you are ready to throw in the towel. Say it out loud. Warning, this isn’t for the faint of heart and only works when you’re pursuing the right goal. Say it in your own words. For me, that was “No more. I’m done.” Say it resolutely with loads of conviction.

Then, listen. Listen to what your CPR Team member says. See if what they say rings true to you. While you’re listening, pay attention to your reaction. And, listen to the small voice inside yourself. Now, wait… What do you hear? What do you feel? What thoughts pop into your head?

What always happens when you’re in alignment with your true purpose is you feel a small kernel of ridiculousness. You will feel a pang of sorrow, disbelief and regret at your “No more. I’m done” statement. You’ll likely think “what am I saying?”, “that’s not true”, “I can’t give it up” or “I don’t want to give it up.” You will think and feel this because deep down you know it is your true calling that will allow you to reach your highest potential. Stay there, stay with that kernel of ridiculousness and start to envision your end goal. Remember what it is you are after. Remember the reason you started this project in the first place. Remember the purpose behind it. Let yourself sink into the feeling of your end goal.

Giving up will seem ridiculous. And, you will automatically shift into searching for a way to continue to pursue your goal. And, what you’ll have done is said “No more. I’m done” to the negative feelings and doubts. It’s the ultimate fake out and come back. It works!

Don’t give up. Don’t give up on yourself or your vision for your life. There is a reason for it and why you have it. It will lead you to the life you love. So, when things are going all wrong and you start throwing that pity party and asking “why me?” It’s because you are you and nobody else can do it like you. Give in, but don’t give up.

It’s nice and helpful to set and have goals, but you only accomplish great things and experience tremendous joy when you have the right goals. Take this short 5 question quiz to find out whether you’ve got your sights set on the right, truest, highest goal for yourself.

  1. When you think about your goal, are you eager, excited and willing to take steps and bold actions toward realizing your goal, even when you are afraid?
  2.  If you had to remain anonymous to accomplish your goal, would you still want it? (Think Clark Kent/Superman, Peter Parker/Spiderman- no one knew it was them saving lives; Would you live your dream if no one else could know it was you who did it?)

  3.  Can you identify the core value or guiding principle that reaching your goal represents to you? If you don’t know what a core value is read my previous blog post here.
  4.  If you never pursued your dream goal or gave up pursuing it right now, would you feel a nagging sense of loss, incompletion, regret or dissatisfaction when you look back at your life?
  5.  Do you get lost in or lose track of time when you think about, talk about or are engaged in actions related to your goal?

If you answered no to any of these questions, you may be chasing the wrong goal. The right goal for you should light you up and fuel you forward. When your goal does this, you will naturally develop stick-to-itiveness because the goal sticks to you and not the other way around. Take time to evaluate whether the goal you are chasing is truly the goal for you or just a goal you think you want or think you should accomplish. It will not only save you heartache and disappointment in the long run, it will make the journey to your goal that much sweeter.

Watch out for these signs! Do you ever do any of the following?

  1. You get so excited that you tell everyone about your ideas when they are only an idea and before you’ve tried it on or committed to a plan.
  2. You hesitate, doubt and/or second guess yourself when it’s time to invest in making your dream reality whether it be an investment of your time, money or energy.
  3. You look to friends, family or advisers to tell you exactly what and how you should do things and get disappointed or discouraged when they aren’t as excited as you are about your dream or how you want to do things.
  4. You make your dream secondary. Your dream isn’t a part of your life- you keep it separate. There’s the real world, life and all the stuff you have to do and somewhere on the back burner is your dream that you’ll get to, eventually.
  5. You think realizing your dream is going to be easy and happen in the blink of an eye.
  6. You got the idea to pursue your dream because you saw somebody else doing it and thought- “that looks fun, easy, lucrative… I could do that!”
  7. You think it’s never your fault. You catch yourself blaming other people , situations or circumstances for why you can’t have what you want or why you haven’t realized your dreams.
  8. You’re only focused on reaching your goal and think, when you finally reach it, you can finally stop working so hard and start enjoying yourself.
  9. You keep changing your end goal, jump from idea to idea and have difficulty following through.

If you can relate to one or more of these signs, you may be perpetually stuck in dreamland and never actually realize your dream because these signs are all symptoms of having the wrong goal or not having a clear enough vision of your real goal. To actually accomplish your goals and realize your dreams, you must be the true and greatest leader of your life. This means you must know, understand, accept and love yourself and what it is that your own head, heart and soul tell you. You must hone your vision, optimize your outlook for success and be willing to be who you want to be. You’ve also got to be practical, grounded and realistic about what it’s going to take to get there.

So, if any of these 9 symptoms are showing up in your life, don’t worry. There is a proven solution for overcoming all of them and it’s to make sure that you are pursuing your truest, highest goal- not anyone else’s.

Stay tuned because, next week, I’ll tell you the top 5 ways to tell whether your goal is the right, true, real goal for you.

The most powerful words you can say are “yes” and “no”. The choices you make, determine not only whether you are successful, but whether you are happy. So, what are you saying yes to and what are you saying no to? Are you saying yes to the things that will actually make you happy and successful? More often than not, you aren’t!

We are so willing to say yes to someone else and not to ourselves. We are so willing to say yes to all the things we think we are supposed to want, that we think will get us ahead- that extra project, one more committee. Yes, to someone else to another external demand another item on your to do list, another item on your plate yes because when I get that or accomplish this, I will be successful and then, I’ll be happy, then I can focus on me.

At the same time we say no, no time to rest, no time for re-fueling, no time for personal development, no time to work on myself so I can happily and more full do all the things I’ve said yes to. The message you’re sending to yourself is I’m only good enough when I’m striving and working hard and I’m not worthy of my own time. I’m not worthy of being happy and feeling successful and supported while I accomplish all that I want to accomplish.

Rarely do you flat out say no to yourself. It’s a bit more subtle than that. Have you ever considered investing in a program or service for yourself and you hear yourself saying “now isn’t the right time,” “I’m too busy,” “I can’t afford it,” or “I need to get myself together first” Even though you really want the support and believe it is what you need. That is you saying no to yourself.

Think about it, was it your plan to be overwhelmed and not put together now? Didn’t think so. When do you plan to be less busy and more put together? nd, better yet, how do you plan to find time to focus on you or get yourself together so you can finally feel happy and supported? Do you have a system or support in place? Likely not. Otherwise, you would have used it in the first place.

SO, how did you end up feeling stuck and overwhelmed with all these things on your plate and no one truly supporting you the way you want and need? The truth of the matter is you said yes to it. You said yes to that extra project, yes to that additional committee, yes to added responsibility and leadership, which is wonderful, but you also said no to yourself; no I don’t have time and energy to devote to being the leader of my life.

Get this, professional advancement and personal development are not mutually exclusive. In fact, when you do both simultaneously, you get where you want to be quicker and easier. When you say yes, I’m taking on that new leadership role on that committee and yes, I’m investing in myself so I can show up fully, powerfully and as the best “me” possible in that new role, you become unstoppable.

Find a way to say yes to yourself today. You are at least as important as your goal. After all, even if your goal is bigger than you, you are the one who has to accomplish it. So, you’ve got to take care of yourself.

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