Do you want to change your story in the New Year? What do you want your story to look like? What if you could learn to use the tools of story to create the life that you want? I’ve been obsessed with understanding and studying how people change their lives. I like to believe that we all want our story to reflect the type of life that we want to live. I feel that by being the active protagonist in our own story, we can create change by aligning the actions that we take with the outcome that we desire. I am going to share four actions that I took that led me toward personal change and changed my story in the process.
Since writing my book, Change Your Story, Change Your Life: A Path To Success, I’ve been really conscious of the things I wrote about in my book, how action equals outcome when it comes to changing our story. For me, all of the change that I wrote about in my book was focused on the professional side of my life, rather than the personal side. After hitting what I see as my “all is lost” moment, when I lost my job of 15 years, I was able to clearly see that to produce the type of change that I wanted, I needed to take action. I outlined all the steps I took to turn my “all is lost” moment into the best thing that could have happened in my life. I found success again, only, this time, I was a conscious author as I created and redefined my professional path. I understood from being a studio executive/story analyst for all of those years that personal actions equate to outcome. When the wrong actions are being taken, you don’t get the outcome that you desire. So, I aligned my actions in the business world with the outcome that I wanted. My focus was on stopping isolation and creating community through the telling of story on a global level. Everything that transpired over the last 7 years, as I built my business, falls under this umbrella. My focus was clear and my actions aligned with my outcome. Everything in me wants to teach people how to be the active hero in their own story so that their story can reflect the type of life that they want to live.
I was motivated to write this blog was when I received an email from a reader. They wrote:
“I’m reading Change Your Story, Change Your Life, and it’s as if you wrote this book just for me. I have often wished I could be a character in one of my stories so I could just rewrite my life and reading your book makes me think that I really am. Only that story is my life.
I’m at one of my ‘all is lost’ moments, so it’s hard for me to see very far down my road, and I’m hoping your experience will help me map out a course of action that will let me breathe again.”
I loved the truth in this person’s message. They wanted to know how to create change after going through an “all is lost” moment. While in my book, I go into actions that I took to change my professional story, what I teach also applies to your personal story. Here are some actions that I’ve taken to change my personal story.
These are four actions that I recommend taking to change your story: take a wellness vacation, create a healthy eating system, create a workout routine, and connect through internal desire. These actions can foster change on a physical, spiritual, mental, and emotional level.
- Take a wellness vacation – I went to Rancho La Puerta.
- Create a healthy eating system – I did Paleo Delivers and Isagenix.
- Create a workout routine that garners results – I started doing 10,000 steps a day.
- Connect through your internal desire – I fell in love.
Take a wellness vacation. I would say that one of the biggest actions that I took this year that created change was going to Rancho La Puerta. This is a place that focuses on the idea of “renewing your mind, body and spirit on a journey to true wellness.” This choice, this action, is what led me to a greater consciousness of understanding change from within. This is everything that my brand for my business is about. It is also something that blends into my life. The development of story comes down to the development of self. So, by participating in the activities, exercise classes, nutrition and health classes, hikes and meditations, at Rancho La Puerta, I was able to bring it home with me and learn to take stronger actions that led me to greater outcomes. What I learned was that taking a vacation that allowed me to purely focus on wellness was one action that could bring about very positive results.
Wellness Options at all budget levels – Esalen, Miraval, Canyon Ranch, Willow Day Spa, Argyle Salon and Spa.
Create an eating system. Another action that I took that brought about healthy change was I tried different eating plans so that I could pinpoint a system that worked for me. I did Paleo Delivers. I actually did this before I went to Rancho La Puerta. This was an action because it allowed me to really understand food, portion size and healthy choices when it comes to my daily eating habits. The food was outstanding. It opened up my time wise because I didn’t have to worry about cooking, shopping, and figuring out calories and nutrition. I did this for a few months just to see how it made me feel and to learn. It definitely took me a step in the right direction. When I got home from Rancho La Puerta, I started doing a system called Isagenix. I learned about this from Sherry Catlin, who created the Body Bar. I met her when I was at Rancho La Puerta. What I learned with Isagenix was that I had a system in play that worked for my life and supported my desire to be in the best physical shape possible. I needed a system like this. I found that the products tasted so good and the outcome took me in an even stronger direction.
Eating Systems for all budgets – Veestro (vegetarian), buy a Paleo book by Danielle Walker and prepare food at home, Zen Foods Diet delivery, Healthy Chef Creations
Create a workout routine. I learned at Rancho La Puerta that movement is the key to staying young. One action that I took when I returned was that I got a Fit Bit and an Up By Jawbone. This way, I was able to track the steps that I took everyday. I set a goal for 10,000, and I was able achieve this. This simple change in action has changed my life in a monumental way. It helped me reevaluated my exercise routine. I began driving less and walking more. I figured that in NYC, they walk. Why not walk in LA? By walking instead of driving mixed with my exercise routine, I am able to attain my goal on a daily basis. I also started a combination of spinning and yoga. I spin at Soul Cycle. This has added a whole new level of physical activity to my life. My favorite instructors at Soul Cycle in West Hollywood are David, Angela, and Rourke. Their words motivate me from spirit. They make me want to do the physical work even more. With yoga, my favorite instructors are Jake Ferree at Equinox and Aura Yoga and Matthew Reyes at Yoga Hop in Santa Monica. The last action that I took with my physical regime was that I have a personal trainer, Yancy Berry, at Equinox. I found that this helps me to keep a physical routine in place with weights. By taking these actions, I’ve been able to better align with the physical outcome that I desire.
Workouts for all budget levels – Walk, do the stairs at Montana and Ocean in Santa Monica, do weights at home and get some Body Bar DVDs
Connect through internal desire. I fell in love. One action that I took to attract the kind of love I was seeking was that I started focusing on what I wanted internally with a relationship versus just externally. I wanted spirit, intellect and joy. By understanding my internal desire, it helped to attract the type of relationship that I knew I wanted to experience. I like to believe that the universe hears us and brings us what we need when we’re ready. I met Chris when I was speaking at The Big Island Film Festival in Hawaii. I knew him for two years before we started dating. One of the things that I love about our love story is that had I not lost my job, I would never have created a business that led me to speak at The Big Island Film Festival, and I would not have met the love of my life.
In closing, there are so many actions that we can take to illicit change in our lives. Many of these actions involve little to no money and just doing the emotional work from within. I share my personal stories with you in hopes that they can inspire you to create the change you want in your own life. The key to changing your story is aligning your actions with the outcome you desire.
The idea that we are all evolving or that we all have the ability to evolve to a higher consciousness is a hot topic in the media. Authors are taking us on a journey into a deeper awareness of ourselves. Lecturers are covering concepts like how to find joy and true happiness and how to help us lead a more authentic life. We are learning the lesson that all the answers lie within. We are discovering the beauty of looking inside ourselves instead of externally for our happiness. The concept of being able to find real fulfillment inside is a gift. It makes you feel all your prior hard knocks in life happened for a reason — to move you toward something greater. It seems that people of all ages are moving into this place of awareness. I question what the key is to evolve to this place since we all seem to arrive at different ages and points in our lives.
It feels as if there is an invisible realm full of guides who are keeping score of our individual falls and triumphs. It’s as if once our falls begin to outweigh our triumphs, we begin to evolve. We are humbled. We are vulnerable. We may first try to distract ourselves with things like work, exercise, shopping, alcohol, drugs or anything that numbs us to the pain. When we tire of the distractions, we finally are free to move toward something more meaningful. We reach for books, listen to talks, share authentic connections, attend concerts and the list goes on. Our intention is just to feel better; we may even be on the quest for a quick fix. But what we soon recognize is that there is no quick fix to evolving. In story, I coin this as the character shifting from ego to spirit after going through a number of obstacles. In life, I think we go through this shift from ego to spirit on a daily basis. If we are truly evolving, our friendship with the spirit grows stronger. The ego starts to lose ground and begins to feel neglected. This is when change begins.
When we begin to trust our instincts and our vision clears so we may see the full potential impact of our present-day choices on our future, we begin to transcend. When our pain outweighs our pleasure, something has to shift. We recognize that sometimes the choices we make positively or negatively affect others and as we evolve we become more aware and adept at thinking before making decisions. When we actually move into something more, we think about how our choices and our goals could help the greater good. We move into a heightened place of awareness or higher consciousness and we begin to absorb and interpret the sights, sounds and experiences of our life in a new, more evolved way.
I just returned home from a magical experience at a place called Miraval. It is just outside of Tuscon, Arizona. The buzzwords I heard at this place were “mindfulness”, “being present”, “finding your joy”, “breathe” and “moving in a more authentic direction”. The people vacationing there came full of stories and, more impressively, full of hope, as well as vulnerability. Miraval is one of those havens where people can go when they want to dig deeper into themselves and grow to a place of deeper awareness, a place of more. There are life-affirming lectures of all types, a huge array of spa services, every type of exercise imaginable and part of your daily room rate goes toward a massage. On top of that, the food is excellent, served in well-portioned, charming arrangements that are very reasonable calorie-wise. As if that was not enough, it is all-inclusive, except for the alcohol (i.e. once you pay the daily room rate, you do not have to tip). In other words, you can just let go and not worry about anything other than being present or breathing. Miraval also offers a wide array of activities (some of these are at an extra charge) that are designed to help you move past your fears and to feel the gift of evolving.
Since I am currently exploring this concept of how our goals cannot only benefit ourselves but the greater good as we evolve into something more, I plan to do a series of blogs that discuss some of the books that have fallen into my lap at the perfect time – those books that you read at the exact right time in your life – that explore this idea to help guide you to a stronger place of being. This is a message that benefits us all. It is an important one. We all have felt or feel the desire to evolve into something more.