Are You Living the Dream and Not Realizing It?

Are You Living the Dream and Not Realizing It?

I vividly remember the day that I got the keys to my first apartment. It was a studio, probably 400-square feet and I LOVED IT. I had my OWN place. My own kitchen, my own bathroom, and my own front door where I could hang a wreath at Christmas time. It felt like I was living the dream. Until, I thought that having a one-bedroom would be nice.

A year or so later, a one bedroom in my apartment building opened up and I snatched that opportunity, moved down the hall and I LOVED IT. I had a proper living room, larger kitchen and a hallway to my bedroom! It felt like I was really living the dream. Until, my friends started buying houses and I thought it would be nice to own my own place.

Several years later my husband (actually, he was my fiancé at the time) and I bought our first house together. That house — our very first home purchase — was a brand new home. It was a townhouse with super eco-friendly everything, a staircase to the second floor (hello two stories!), three bedrooms, two and a half baths, and . . . (wait for it) a GARAGE. Not only was there storage, but we could park our car inside too.

I couldn’t believe that we had a newly built house. And, it felt huge and luxurious compared to the apartment. That felt like a dream house. A few years later, we had a baby and wanted to be in a different area and to have a slightly bigger house with a separate office. We’re living in that bigger house now. And, sometimes, I think about the next house.

Sometimes, I forget that I’m actually living in one of my dream houses right now

I lived in my dream studio, my dream one-bedroom, my dream first house. But, much of the time that I was living in those homes I didn’t realize that I was living my dream.

Recently, I caught myself being blinded to living my dream once again, but this time it was with time and my schedule. I noticed that I was feeling super crunched on time. Mind you, I create my own damn schedule. And, once upon a time, the idea of a flexible schedule was an unimaginable dream for me.

So then, I compared my current schedule with my “dream schedule” and I was shocked. They were almost identical. Here I was… LIVING MY DREAM schedule, in a home that was once a dream too, and I was blinded to what I was already living.

That doesn’t mean I don’t want to tweak things, dream bigger, or create more. No! I LOVE dreaming and improving. But, while I’m dreaming for the future I’m also paying more attention to the dreams I’m living right now

So, let me ask you, what did you once only dream about and are now living?

Look around at your everyday life from your home and family to your smartphone (isn’t that little device awe-mazing?!). Something was once a dream and it’s possible you’re blinded to it.

When you focus on these things and tell yourself that you’re living a dream, how do they look and/or feel differently to you? 

Once I started focusing on my schedule as “my dream” I noticed a huge shift in my energy around time. Rather than feeling squeezed for time to do everything that I wanted to do, I felt deep appreciation for everything that I GET to do. I feel such awe for my beautiful home, too.

Can you look at one of your dreams that you’re now living and see it with awe and appreciation? 

As we head into the holidays, it’s always a wonderful reminder to think about what we’re grateful for, and it’s also a wonderful time for reflection, wonder, appreciation, and to be in awe of what we’re living right now that was once only a dream.

Writing articles like this one was once a dream for me. I feel such awe for this work and such appreciation for this connection with you. Happy holidays to you. Here’s to living our dreams.


Sarah Papp is a Master Certified Coach with a BA in Sociology from Sarah Lawrence College. She is the creator of the program, Unstoppable Ease, publisher of Ease magazine, and is on a mission to help women leaders stop hustling and instead lead with heart and live with ease.

To learn more about Sarah, go to

‘Parasite’ exposes the fallout of false intentions

‘Parasite’ exposes the fallout of false intentions

“Parasite” (“Gisaengchung”) (2019). Cast: Kang-ho Song, Hye-jin Jang, So-dam Park, Woo-sik Choi, Sun-kyun Lee, Yeo-jeong Jo, Jung Ziso, Hyun-jun Jong, Jeong-eun Lee, Myeong-hoon Park, Seo-joon Park, Keun-rok Park. Director: Bong Joon-ho. Screenplay: Jin Won Hon and Bong Joon-ho. Web site. Trailer.

When the have-nots stare down the ample resources of the haves, there’s almost always sure to be a degree of envy involved. “How is it that they’ve come to acquire what we haven’t?” they might legitimately ask. “Why can’t we have some of that?” Those questions have merit, too. But how far are the have-nots willing to go to get what they seek? That’s a crucial issue posed in the new social satire, “Parasite” (“Gisaengchung”).

Times are tough for the Kim family. With money and work hard to come by, the foursome struggles to survive in their cramped, rundown apartment. Family matriarch Chung-sook (Hye-jin Jang) seeks to earn money folding pizza boxes, a job at which she’s not especially suited, while her husband, Ki-taek (Kang-ho Song), a jack of all trades, will take anything he can get. Their son, Ki-woo (Woo-sik Choi), a former military man, can’t seem to find a position that matches his skills, while his sister, Ki-jung (So-dam Park), an adept graphic artist and computer operator, languishes without a job. Things look bleak.

he Kim family (from left), son Ki-woo (Woo-sik Choi), father Ki-taek (Kang-ho Song), mother Chung-sook (Hye-jin Jang) and daughter Ki-jung (So-dam Park), struggle to eke out a living in an economically disparate society in director Bong Joon-ho’s masterful new release, “Parasite” (“ Gisaengchung”). Photo courtesy of NEON CJ Entertainment.

However, when Ki-woo’s friend Min (Seo-joon Park) pays him a visit, a new door opens. Min, a college student who’s planning to embark on a year of overseas study, works as a private English tutor for a wealthy family, a job that pays quite generously. He tells Ki-woo that he’s recommending him to take over in his absence, an offer that his unemployed friend finds tempting but puzzling. Ki-woo doesn’t believe he’s qualified for the job, but Min reminds him of how well he scored on college admissions tests and that he could readily take over for him. Min explains that his teenage pupil, Park Da-hye (Jung Ziso), is the daughter of an affluent businessman, Park Dong-ik (Sun-kyun Lee), and a stay-at-home mother, Park Yeon-kyo (Yeo-jeong Jo). Min adds that Da-hye’s mom is rather dim and gullible, someone who could be easily bluffed into hiring Ki-woo as his would-be successor.

Wealthy businessman Park Dong-ik (Sun-kyun Lee, left) and his gullible stay-at-home wife, Park Yeon-kyo (Yeo-jeong Jo, right), get duped into unwittingly hiring an entire family of employees with dubious plans in mind in the hilarious new social satire, “Parasite” (“ Gisaengchung”). TPhoto courtesy of NEON CJ Entertainment.

Though skeptical, Ki-woo agrees to an interview, during which he discovers that Min’s description of his prospective employer is right on target. He tactfully schmoozes Yeon-kyo, who’s quite impressed with Ki-woo’s alleged pedigree. His hopes and enthusiasm are further raised when he meets his student, to whom he takes quite a shine, an attraction that’s apparently mutual. It looks like the job is his.

During his visit to the Park family residence, a lavish home built by and once inhabited by a famous architect, Ki-woo also meets the family’s young son, Da-song (Hyun-jun Jong), an intelligent but hyperactive youngster with a penchant for creating colorful but bizarre works of art. Yeon-kyo boasts her pride in her son’s accomplishments but says she wishes she could find someone who could help guide him in his efforts, a statement that gives Ki-woo an idea: He says he knows a skilled art instructor who could provide Da-song with helpful coaching, someone with whom he could put in a good word. Yeon-kyo jumps at the chance, unaware that Ki-woo is talking about his sister, a relationship he doesn’t reveal.

Economically oppressed siblings Ki-jung (So-dam Park, left) and Ki-woo (Woo-sik Choi, right) hatch a scheme to become employed by a wealthy family, a plan fraught with unforeseen consequences, in “Parasite” (“ Gisaengchung”) Photo courtesy of NEON CJ Entertainment.

In no time, Ki-jung is working as an “art therapist” for Da-song, a position on which she sells Yeon-kyo after convincingly pointing out the recurring “troubled” imagery in her son’s artwork. And, thanks to a referral from Ki-jung, Ki-taek soon becomes the Parks’ new family chauffeur after the crafty art therapist sets up the disgraced now-former driver (Keun-rok Park) into being fired based on trumped-up allegations. Something similar occurs when Ki-taek manipulates the dismissal of the family’s long-time housekeeper, Moon-gwang (Jeong-eun Lee), creating an opportunity for a glowingly recommended Chung-sook to fill the now-vacant caretaker position.

Given this good fortune, one would think the Kims would be grateful for their newfound prosperity. However, having gotten a taste of the good life, they look for new ways to feather their nest even further – and by even more nefarious means. And, when the Parks go away for a camping weekend to celebrate Da-song’s birthday, the Kims move in to their employer’s home to party down, unapologetically availing themselves of the comforts of affluence. They enjoy ample food and drink and celebrate their unforeseen luck.

Affluent but clueless housewife Park Yeon-kyo (Yeo-jeong Jo) sets up her family for unexpected fallout when she hires a scheming band of domestic employees in director Bong Joon-ho’s “Parasite” (“ Gisaengchung”). Photo courtesy of NEON CJ Entertainment.

But the festivities take an unexpected turn when a late night visitor – Moon-gwang – appears on the doorstep, claiming she’s come by to collect something that she left behind in her hurried departure after her unforeseen termination. By giving the former housekeeper access to the house, the Kims set off a series of events that will change everything. It’s a situation further complicated by the Parks’ unexpected early return from their weekend getaway. Suddenly, all of the Kims’ gains are on the line, an ominous development that doesn’t bode well for the future as things go from great to disastrous in short order. Now what?

When seeking to improve one’s lot in life, is it acceptable to do whatever it takes – even if it means resorting to underhanded tactics? In all likelihood, the answer would depend on who one asks – and what their circumstances are. Those responses – and the outcomes they’re intended to engender – depend on one’s beliefs. And those beliefs, in turn, play an important role in what manifests, thanks to the conscious creation process, the philosophy that maintains we draw upon the power of those metaphysical building blocks in realizing the reality we experience. However, given that our beliefs faithfully materialize what we’re thinking and feeling, we had better be careful what we ask for, as the characters in “Parasite” find out for themselves.

The Kims, for example, believe that life has shafted them and that they’re perfectly entitled to, and justified in, pursuing whatever it takes to make up for lost ground. What starts out as a mostly genuine employment opportunity quickly transforms into a scam, one that pays off handsomely but that also is rife with pitfalls waiting in the wings. But, given the family’s history of desperation, they’re willing to take the chance to get the result that they believe they’re owed.

Similarly, the Parks are also anxious to get what they want, and they’re willing to do what it takes to obtain the desired result, even if they aren’t as diligent as they could be in investigating their prospective employees. In fact, as members of the affluent class, they probably feel good about themselves in offering employment to those in need, that their “generosity” makes up for whatever economic disparities set them apart from the working class that is otherwise unable to share in society’s good fortunes. Because of this perceived magnanimity, they’re able to sleep comfortably at night, even if they’re unaware that their actions have unwittingly contributed to the problems that caused such fiscal inequality in the first place.

In both of these instances, the families engage in the practice of un-conscious creation or creation by default. The Kims and the Parks each do whatever it takes to get their desired outcomes, regardless of the consequences or the impact on others. This approach to the manifestation process can indeed be a perilous one, because focusing on the result at all costs can lead to all manner of unanticipated – and undesired – side effects. This is particularly true where individuals prey on one another – like parasites – to attain what they want. It’s truly a path fraught with potential trouble – and disastrous endings.

A chief reason why this course is so problematic is that it lacks a fundamental component of effective belief formation and subsequent manifestation – integrity. By failing to be truthful with ourselves, our beliefs become “tainted” by considerations that can derail or thwart what we claim we seek to create. The Kims, for instance, say they’re looking for gainful employment, but all the while they’re secretly plotting to find ways to rip off their employers and acquire other perks. Given the deception involved, is it any surprise, then, that things can go awry? A little integrity could go a long way toward staving off problems, but such a result would depend on integrating it into the belief formation process from the outset, something a parasite is unlikely to do, as seen here.

This powerful cautionary tale serves up an important warning to anyone seeking to use the conscious creation process to improve his or her lot in life. It may be tempting to take short cuts, fudge matters or compromise our principles when convenient, especially if doing so gets us the results we want quicker, more easily or in greater measure. But we could also be playing with fire if we do so, even when we feel justified, potentially leaving us even worse off than when we started, and what would that get us?

Dissecting the struggle between the classes through the lens of human nature and personal motivations – regardless of class status – provides the foundation for this rip-roaring dark comedy, one of those rare films that grabs your attention and holds it from start to finish without letting go. Building on themes explored in such previous works as “Snowpiercer” (2013), writer-director Bong Joon-ho presents a riveting, ruthless offering that undeniably makes its point but without being heavy-handed or cartoonishly over the top. In doing so, the filmmaker dishes out a wealth of utterly hilarious humor about subjects that ultimately prove to be no laughing matter. Easily one of the year’s best, especially in its razor-sharp writing, the fine performances of its excellent ensemble cast and a thought-provoking message that should give us all a lot to think about, this superb release never disappoints and consistently satisfies.

“Parasite” is already generating considerable awards season buzz, a tremendous accomplishment for a foreign language film. Having deservedly captured Palme d’Or honors at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, the event’s top prize, the picture is amassing ample clout as an Oscar contender in multiple categories, including best film, again, a remarkable coup for a foreign language offering. The picture is playing surprisingly widely on domestic movie screens, and it’s pulling down bigger-than-normal box office numbers for a non-US release. But, then, given the well-deserved accolades “Parasite” is garnering, those accomplishments are genuinely merited.

It’s unfortunate that we live in a world where so many unfairly go without. One would think that the fortunate would be more willing to share their abundance with those in need. What’s more, it’s understandable that the destitute would take drastic measures to preserve and protect themselves. However, when the downtrodden begin resorting to means like those used against them to obtain what they want, are they any better off in the end? One could say that they are themselves no different from the parasites who have oppressed them. And we all know what ultimately happens to parasites in the end.

Copyright © 2019, by Brent Marchant. All rights reserved.

Finding Yourself Again … At Midlife

Finding Yourself Again … At Midlife

I’ve lost myself at least 100 times. It didn’t happen overnight, it never does.

In my relationship, it started with little things. I started cooking—and eating—what my partner liked, even though I preferred other foods. My partner didn’t like symphony, so I didn’t renew my season tickets. By themselves, these are not big things—but combined with all the other ways I gave to others in my life, it’s no wonder I felt like I didn’t know myself anymore.

Maybe you can relate?

Maybe you’ve given slivers, or even chunks, of yourself up to:

  • Raising kids—yours, his/hers, the neighborhoods
  • Caring for aging parents—no one is ready for the role reversal thing
  • Being an employee—“sure I can take on an extra project—again”
  • Or maybe you’re the boss (the buck stops…) or a volunteer (you always say yes and they know it) or a BFF (you’re the dependable one!)

And so it happens, little by little you stop doing what you like to do, stop making time for self-care, put the pause button on your dreams. And you almost forget who you are. Yet in the quiet times you remember. You see something, hear something, smell something that pokes you. “I used to love to…” you hear yourself say.

Or you find a photograph of yourself, run across an award you won, stumble onto a note someone wrote you. And you notice your chest aches a little. That ache—that’s your heart talking to you. It’s not a bad thing. That’s a good thing. You’re still in there, still able, still willing. You just need to remember how. How to say no, of course. But more importantly, how to say yes. Say yes to your heart, and to the things you want for your life. Say yes to this being your time to thrive.

 Take the first step: See it to believe it. Making a shift starts with a vision. It begins with you imagining, and then believing in, and then manifesting what you want for your next chapter in life.

 So how do you do that?

First, you pause, if just for a moment. And if you can be a little patient, pretty soon it starts to happen. You begin remember who you were, once upon a time. You reconnect to the little girl in you. The one who hasn’t yet decided (or been told) that she’s not smart enough or pretty enough or worthy enough to ask for—and get—what she wants for herself. Who hasn’t yet fallen into the habit of putting everyone else’s needs first.

Because before you were a spouse, parent, colleague, boss, caretaker, volunteer … you had a grand vision for your life. And it’s a pretty safe bet that over the years you’ve traded at least parts of that vision in. Some of your trades were upgrades and others were compromises. Some you made consciously, others happened when you weren’t looking, and sadly, some may have even been stolen.

If you just nodded, maybe it’s time for you to have a midlife awakening. Reconnecting to your vision: a guided journey. Are you even the slightest bit curious about what’s still possible? Do you want to know what part of those dreams are still alive in you? If so, there’s good news. I have a hack to help you find out. It involves your childhood photos. If you can, get out your old yearbooks, photo albums, and scrapbooks. If now doesn’t work, print or bookmark this for later and then make an appointment with yourself. Just you. This is a solo journey. Start sifting through your photographs. Take your time.

As you go through the images, look into your own eyes. What were you thinking about your future then? What did you want to be when you grew up? What made you happy? Did you have a favorite summer job? Were there hobbies you got lost in, instruments you loved to play? Parts of the world you longed to see? Really look at that girl in the photos. Allow her heart to join with yours. Wrap your arms around her and pull her close. Simply ask. Pick a favorite photo of yourself from the pile. Take a long look.

Now, close your eyes and take a deep, cleansing breath in through your nose and let go with a long slow exhale through your mouth. Do it a second time…inhale in, and exhale….and for good measure take a final deep breath in, deeply into your belly, and a long slow release of anything that could get in your way. With your eyes still closed, place your right hand over your heart.

Sit there a moment before you raise your left hand and place that on top of your right. Another deep breath might feel good right now so, go ahead. And now, with all the compassion you have given so freely to others all these many years, ask your heart this one sacred question:

What, dear heart, do you want?

Wait for a moment for an answer. It won’t take long.

Open your eyes.

Don’t should all over yourself.

The question “What do you want?” is the starting point for all of what really matters. Because there are no shoulds in that question. There was no qualifier about being practical. No talk about what’s it cost or who will take care of your parents or the grandkids. Just what do you want?

When I asked myself the question, I had a one-word answer. The word was teach. I wanted to be a teacher when I was a young girl, but instead, I followed the money and went into business. Then, at 53, when I realized I still wanted to teach, I became a coach. In the process, I discovered my bliss. It felt like coming home. It can be that simple if you let it. The message from your heart may not be career oriented. Your word might be freedom or travel or animals or God. When your heart whispers a message in your ear, she wants you to hear it.

So, how about it? What if you made a quick trip to revisit your earlier dreams and see if there are any worth resurrecting? If you’re reading this, it’s not too late.

I can help you with one more step…

I want to gift you with a tool I call my “Wild Cards.” The Wild Cards serve as prompts to help you initiate a discussion with yourself. Use the cards for meditation, for journaling or in any other self-reflective process you like. When you direct your attention inwards, you begin to receive answers, and new possibilities begin to appear.

Sheree Clark is a Midlife Courage Coach, TV show host, inspiring speaker, and accomplished author. Sheree has written and presented on topics ranging from creating your life vision to overcoming career burnout. She appears in a weekly segment on KCWI channel 23, while maintaining a busy practice called Fork in the Road, where she coaches clients one-on-one and in groups on attaining creating an authentically fulfilling life.

To learn more about Sheree, go to

Racing Thoughts? Four Breath Techniques to Tame Your Monkey Mind

Racing Thoughts? Four Breath Techniques to Tame Your Monkey Mind

Take a moment to imagine one of those vintage windup monkeys: You know, the ones with the yellow-and-red-striped outfits, bulging eyes, and creepy smiles on their faces. Turn the key, let it go, and the monkey goes nuts, making screeching sounds with those brass cymbals.

Now, imagine that you’re the windup monkey. Well, your body is. And your mind is the key, winding itself again and again with every experience, thought, and emotion. Each time you wind the key, the tension in the mind and the body builds. You can feel the resistance growing tighter and tighter—and you know there are only so many times you can keep turning the key until the spring snaps. So you wind it just enough, then let it go and watch the monkey do its thing.

Unfortunately, at times, when we’re too wound up, we also screech, showing our teeth, and feel like we’re banging our head against the wall. The term “monkey mind” has never felt so fitting, huh?

Why we could all use a “daily unwind” breath routine.

Needless to say, our minds are busy—maybe busier than ever, with technology keeping us plugged in to the office and at home 24/7. As obvious as it sounds, a “daily unwind”—a release of all the tension that builds up in our heads throughout the day—is a must. Just like you brush your teeth every day, think of it as a nonnegotiable. Taking a daily unwind can be as simple as tuning in to your breathing. Think of the breath as the “off switch” for the mind, shifting the nervous system from high alert to rest-and-rejuvenation mode.

Do a few neck and shoulder rolls, and then give one of these mind-clearing breath techniques a try:

1. Mind-shift breath.

This type of breath immediately clears the mind and re-energizes the nervous system. It calls on us to breathe in a little more air than we typically would. Inhale through your nose, pause when you reach lung capacity, and then take a couple of more tiny sips of air and hold for a moment. Release by exhaling fully through the nose. Repeat two to three times.

2. Active acceptance breath.

If you’re feeling stressed about something going on at work or at home, chances are that negative energy is wasting a lot of your mental power. Fighting to keep something at bay takes far more energy than just letting it go. Think of your breath as a tool to help you open the dam and release that toxic negativity.

Whenever you’re feeling the physical or emotional effects of stress—tightness in the chest, shallow breathing, racing thoughts—take a long, deep breath and hold for a moment. Then, exhale fully with the sound hmmmmm. Repeat three to five times, and follow it up with the mind-shift breath three to five times.

3. Flowing-water breath.

For this practice, sit comfortably near any body of flowing water. If you can get to an ocean or river, awesome! If not, an indoor fountain, or even a video of running water, would work too. The sights and sounds of flowing water can soothe the mind, connect us to nature, and flush out lingering pain. Just sit and gaze at the movement of the water, simultaneously listening to its sound. Give it time, and you might find that your mind begins to follow the flow of the water as your thoughts, emotions, and mental activity begins to drain out of you.

4. Looking-glass breath.

This relaxation exercise can be done anywhere. All you have to do is to look at something without really looking at it. Choose a point in front of you, then soften your focus like you’re looking past or through an object. As you do, begin to notice your field of vision opening up as you become aware of other things in your environment—the sounds, smells, and physical sensations all around you. Do this for a couple of minutes, and then close your eyes and notice how your mind has slowed down.

I hope these exercises help you become more naturally and effortlessly present, mindful, calm, and alive. Monkey mind, be gone!

Originally published in MindBodyGreen

Rajshree Patel is a mind and meditation expert and international self-awareness coach, teacher, and speaker. Through her unique blend of intuition, humor, and ancient techniques, Patel has guided government leaders, families, Oscar-winning filmmakers, Fortune 500 executives, and individuals from all walks of life in understanding how the mind works, how to let go of stress, and how to be more resilient and fulfilled in their personal and professional lives. She has given talks and led programs at organizations including Amazon, Microsoft, Lyft, Salesforce, NBC Universal, IBM, LinkedIn, Gap, The World Bank, Shell Oil, Morgan Stanley, Harvard University, IIT, and more. To learn more about Rajshree, visit


Isn’t it Time for Simplicity?

Isn’t it Time for Simplicity?

Isn’t it time to release mind clutter or limiting beliefs and behaviors that are no longer serving you? Let’s make room for new empowering beliefs and goals that will help you live a more joyful life.

Deepak Chopra suggests that we ask ourselves each day these three questions about how we are living our lives:

  • Is if fun?
  • Is it easy?
  • Am I getting results

Often when we are experiencing a lot of pain and challenges, it’s the Universe’s way of getting our attention.  The Law of Intention states that we are actually creating our experiences and manifesting  our reality through our thoughts and actions.

The challenges and chaos of daily life sometimes make us forget about the powerful spiritual Laws of the Universe that provide us the keys to creating a life we truly want. Daily practices or special rituals that give us time to clear our head and our energy can be very powerful in helping us access these spiritual forces that are available to each of us.

Please make some time for this simple Releasing and Receiving Exercise to clear any mind clutter by creating space for what you really want.  Follow these steps, and you will notice a shift in your energy, joy and ease.


  • Go to a quiet place where you can focus.  Take 3 deep breaths and slowly tune out everything that is going on around you.
  • Take out a piece of paper and at the top of the paper write, “I AM RELEASING.”
  • Create a handwritten list of what you want to release in your life.  These are beliefs, experiences, or behaviors that are no longer serving you.  You can include any negative thoughts like fear, doubt, worry, scarcity, or relationships. Close your eyes and allow experiences or actions that still haunt you with feelings of resentment, embarrassment, or regret. Since you cannot change the past, you must simply let these things go once and for all.  Write them all down.
  • Put the energy of these experiences or beliefs in this piece of paper. Take your time.
  • When you are finished, you will need to destroy the list. I suggest that you actually burn the paper in a fire ceremony, but please be careful. If burning the paper is not an option, you can also shred it, but the paper must be destroyed. Do not keep the list.
  • As you do this, take a deep breath and release the energy that was associated with these beliefs.


  • Create a new handwritten list of the things that you want to bring into your life.
  • At the top of this new piece of paper write, I AM RECEIVING.
  • Write each of these new statements as “I am” statements.  For example:  “I am bringing more, joy, love and ease into my life.”  Write as if these things are already happening.
  • Think about who you want to be?  How do you want to feel?  How do you want to respond to the moment?  What do you want more of?
  • Put this new list where you can see it.  Take a moment to focus on this list every day.  Really feel the intention you are sending out to the Universe.
  • Write about the miracles and new positive experiences in your Gratitude Journal. Focus on the new joy and abundance that is flowing into your life every day. Notice what is truly important.

This exercise is so simple yet so powerful.

If you do this exercise, please let me know about your experience.  You can post your experience below or email me at  I look forward to hearing from you!

Katana Abbott, CFP® practitioner, is a Wealth Coach™, host of the Smart Women Talk Radio™, founder of the Smart Women Companies with over 1 million subscribers globally, inspirational speaker and author of several books. She began her financial planning career in 1987 and became a Certified Financial Planner™ practitioner. In 2003, Katana created Smart Women’s Coaching® to offer financial coaching and educational workshops for women in transition who are dealing with caregiving, death of a loved one, divorce, retirement or looking to create or grow a business.  She founded Smart Women’s Empowerment in 2008 to bring free financial empowerment resources and programs to women around the world through her team of Contributing Experts.

To learn more about Katana Abbott visit

Creating Ease and Inner Peace

Creating Ease and Inner Peace

 “Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes but when you look back everything is different”  – C.S. Lewis

It’s that time again when we transition from summer into fall and then to all our year-end holidays and deadlines. You may be feeling a bit overwhelmed, so let’s talk about what you can do immediately to create a sense of ease and inner peace.

Power of Inner Connection Summit

First of all, I hope you have signed up for Julia Griffin’s Power of Inner Connection Summit that begins today.  My interview is on Friday, October 4, and I’ll be talking about how our beliefs can keep us stuck and limit our ability to experience true joy and abundance.  You can still access it HERE and enjoy all the interviews!

Is your To-Do list or upcoming deadlines creating butterflies?  Are you waking up in the middle of the night wondering if you missed something?  Are you worried how you are possibly going to get everything done?  Relax, I have a few tips here to help navigate your busy schedule with more joy, ease and simplicity.

Shift Fear to Excitement

Fear and excitement have the same energy.  They both can cause butterflies, increased heart rate and respiration from increased adrenalin.  I notice that whenever I’m headed out to an event, traveling or doing something new, I get butterflies.  In fact, I find myself feeling this way even when I’m doing something exciting and fun.  You may have too.

I had this experience the other night when I was riding downtown with my husband to a concert. When I shared how I was feeling with him, he said, “Maybe you are just excited.  Did you ever think of that?”  Of course that’s all it is.  I was just excited!  How many other times have I been tormented by fear that was really excitement?

Imagine all the other areas of your life where you are experiencing stress, overwhelm, and feeling just plain stuck.  Could it be that you just need a mindset shift?  Try asking yourself a new question:  “Why am I so excited to be (fill in the blank)?”  The first step here is noticing what’s going on and then shifting your energy and raising your vibration.

Get Grounded

Have you even felt like you have a tornado in your head?  Feeling overwhelmed and unorganized can lead to inaction and a sense of not knowing where to start.  Try this exercise in the morning, and anytime you find yourself feeling scattered.  Close your eyes and breathe.  You can do four sets of the 4-7-8 breath.  It goes like this:

  • Breathe in through your nose to a count of 4.
  • Hold your breath for a count of 7
  • Breathe out through your mouth (like you are blowing through a straw) to the count of 8

Do this 4 times and then bring your energy back into your body, down through the base of your spine and ground through your feet.  You should feel very grounded when you open your eyes.

Brain Dump Method

Now, take all those things that were flying around in your head and write them down.  Get them on paper and out of your head. Now sort through them and list them under three categories:

  • Important and Urgent – Write the things here that you must do and that need to be done right away.
  • Important and Not Urgent – Write the things here that are important, but you can schedule them later in your calendar.
  • Not Important – List everything else here.

 Take the Best and Leave the Rest

  • Look at your list and get rid of anything that you can delegate or simply eliminate.
  • Schedule the remaining items and stay focused until they are completed.
  • If you tend to get distracted with managing projects, this would be the time to consider hiring a coach or an assistant who can help you manage projects so you can focus on what you do best.

Once you have your goals, projects, and tasks identified and prioritized, you can add timelines and deadlines. Remember, clarity and focus will lead to confidence and completion.

If you are struggling with feeling stressed and overwhelmed, you will love the two guests that I have selected to interview this month.  Our first guest is Midlife Courage Coach, Sheree Clark. Sheree will share how we move from fearful to fearless as she shows us how to find the courage to live our lives.   Later in the month, we welcome the queen of ease and Master Certified Life Coach, Sarah Papp. Sarah will give us the formula to creating ease.

If you would like to go deeper on this topic, feel free to take our free course in the Smart Women’s Academy, Unlock Your Financial Power. This is where I share my six-step system to getting things done and creating massive change in your life.  You can use my system for anything from taking charge of your life to your finances and career.  And for those who do this, I even offer a follow up private session with me. Sign up today at the Smart Women’s Academy.

Katana Abbott, CFP® practitioner, is a Wealth Coach™, host of the Smart Women Talk Radio™, founder of the Smart Women Companies with over 1 million subscribers globally, inspirational speaker and author of several books. She began her financial planning career in 1987 and became a Certified Financial Planner™ practitioner. In 2003, Katana created Smart Women’s Coaching® to offer financial coaching and educational workshops for women in transition who are dealing with caregiving, death of a loved one, divorce, retirement or looking to create or grow a business.  She founded Smart Women’s Empowerment in 2008 to bring free financial empowerment resources and programs to women around the world through her team of Contributing Experts.

To learn more about Katana Abbott visit

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