• 49 is the best age to be

    I’m 49 today. 49 freakin’ rocks. I love 49 more than any other age I’ve ever been. Who would have guessed that 49 would be the age I’d feel more right about myself, more worthwhile, wiser, sexier, more ME than any of those commonly-regarded-more-desirable ages that preceded it? If you’re not 49 yet, I’m telling you . . . hold onto your hat.

    ‘Cause here’s what happens: You find your groove. You’ve been around the block enough times to know what you want, and you’ve finally figured out that knowing what you want and surrendering fully to that desire is what will create it for you. You’ve stopped dreaming and started expecting. You’ve become a master at the art of expectation with full-on juicy anticipation, so the Universe has happily begun to plop every bit of it into your lap.

    Whatever age you are now, I want you to understand that getting older is the bomb! You stop settling, and start settling IN instead. It actually does take some adjustment! Creating shitloads of wonderfulness for yourself can feel awkward as hell until you get used to it. But little by little, you allow it. You settle into the bliss. You settle into the trust that it really does belong to you now, and you deserve it, and you can bask in its yumminess with full abandon.

    If you pay consistent attention to who you are, and continually strive for greater levels of authenticity and vulnerability and connection with your fellow humans, the aging process will naturally be an ever-more enjoyable and glorious journey for you. I guarantee it.

    From where I sit this morning, 49 is just the beginning. A shiny, shiny, glorious beginning.

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  • What will you do in 2012 to show more outrageous love to YOU?

    I’m liking 2012. I’m the new featured article today on Hay House’s awesome website, I rang in the New Year with lots of laughter, love and cherished family. From right here, right now, 2012 looms like a shiny, radiant bucket of promise and wonder and juicy, juicy possibilities. I’m wishing you every good thing this year. You have all you need to create whatever your heart is most longing for. You are meant to love your life and your self, and you are powerful beyond your imagining. Make 2012 the year that you claim your freedom, your passion, your YOU. I’d love to be part of your journey. 

    Read my New Year’s Day article at the link above!


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  • Want to FEEL delicious, succulent Juicy Joy — right now, in every cell of your being?

    I’ve been spending some quality time with my vision board today, and I’m moved to share with you a clipping from it that instantly evokes the rich essence of Juicy Joy:

    O, to take what we love inside,
    to carry within us an orchard, to eat
    not only the skin, but the shade,
    not only the sugar, but the days, to hold
    the fruit in our hands, adore it . . .

    There are days we live . . .
    from joy
    to joy to joy, from wing to wing,
    from blossom to blossom to
    impossible blossom, to sweet impossible blossom.

    — Li-Young Lee, from “From Blossoms”

    Feel that?

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  • Letting Children Express Their Natural Enthusiasm and Joy – Reclaiming Our Own Juicy Joy That Was Stifled in Childhood

    me & katy at 2I believe most of us are not experiencing the full-out joy, abundance, and love that we are here to experience. And I believe each of us is solely responsible for our own Juicy Joy. I have a few theories about the origin of our miserly tendencies to stifle our joy, and one of these theories was formed about six years ago, on vacation with my kids.

    We had been waiting for almost a year for our turn to stay at the brand new Animal Kingdom Lodge that had just opened at Disney World. My son, who was seven years old at the time, was just a tremendous animal lover. He had jungle scenes painted all over his room, stuffed animal monkey collections, the works. My daughter, Katy, who was two years old, had naturally caught the contagious excitement, and she knew something really spectacular was waiting for us on this vacation.

    We checked in kind of late and went out on our balcony, and I think we saw a deer off in the distance, but nothing really amazing that first night. The hotel was set up in a U-shape, with a Disney-esque African savannah in the middle where the animals would make appearances. Trees were beyond the savannah, for the times when they didn’t feel like socializing. We’d been told the best time to see the animals was morning, so we went to sleep.

    Being two years old, my daughter was the first one awake the next morning. I picked her up and I didn’t want her to wake up my son, so I decided to take her out on the balcony for a while since it was still pretty early.

    I pulled back the curtain and I saw the most spectacular display of animals. There was a watering hole where they’d come to drink – giraffes, zebras, all kinds of antlered creatures . . . I stepped out onto the balcony with Katy, and she lifted up her sleepy head.

    It took her a moment to process everything. Then she just went crazy with excitement. She started shouting, “AMINALS!! AMINALS!!!” And as soon as she did, every single animal jumped and ran off into the trees. Disappeared.

    I heard this broad, collective “AWWWWW,” and for the first time I noticed that everyone who was staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge had come out on their balconies to witness this silent, reverent morning gathering of the whole menagerie.

    I said to my daughter, “Katy, honey, you scared them away . . .”

    Her sweet face just crumbled. Huge tears started streaming down her face. And then I started to cry, too, as I realized that it was my embarrassment about all the people on their balconies that caused me to react to her that way. All she was doing was expressing her natural joy and excitement over something that was so wonderful to her.

    And I thought about how I do that to my kids – how we all do it – even in our mundane, day-to-day activities. When my son was young, he would express his joy at the beach by running, full-out, as fast as he could down the shoreline. I stifled his joy by stopping him and calling him back.

    My daughter used to express the joy she got from her spaghetti by standing up in her chair in the restaurant to sing and dance about it. And of course, I stifled her pasta enthusiasm when I made her get down. Just think about how many times in an average day we ask children to REIGN IN the natural joy and enthusiasm they’re feeling!

    It is inevitable, under these conditions, that a child would form the subconscious belief, “feeling and expressing my joy full-out is wrong, wrong, wrong.” It is inevitable that a child would start to subconsciously equate his unbridled enthusiasm with feelings of unease, so that whenever a situation felt too good, too joyous, he would subconsciously feel a need to cap that happiness before it made anyone upset.

    My point today is not about whether or not parents should rein in the expression of emotions, but about acknowledging that this IS one of the ways we indoctrinate our offspring into our culture. This is how every one of US grew up, whether we had fantastic parents or awful parents. For some of us, the message was more barbed than it was for others, but the way our society is structured, it’s unlikely any of us escaped messages about limiting or censoring joy, or escaped forming the limiting beliefs these stifling messages generated.

    As with practically every Juicy Joy practice, the first step to rewiring these limiting beliefs is AWARENESS. Pay attention to your subconscious tendencies to limit the amount of abundance, love, and joy you allow yourself to experience and express. When you notice that feeling of unease when things seem “too good to be true,” make a conscious decision to enthusiastically push past it – to deliberately bump up your threshold for joy. It may take many baby steps, but with every small step you’ll be inching toward an ever-juicier and more joyful existence!

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  • Why Present-Moment Awareness Is Blissful and Engaging for Kids, But Causes Frustration and Disappointment for Parents and Teachers

    My 12-year-old son is the most amazing teacher for me on my spiritual path. I call him Present-Moment Man. He somehow manages to structure most of his present moments so that they’re filled with the things he loves, and these pursuits are so engaging that it’s impossible to pull him out.

    I believe present-moment awareness comes naturally to kids, and we adults usually do everything we can to beat it out of them. Kids know life should be fun. Kids know you should follow your bliss, engage in things that excite you, and learn whatever you are naturally, in that moment, inspired to learn.

    My son will enthusiastically and quickly comprehend an impossibly-worded manual for some advanced electronic device that I’d rather cut my foot off than try to figure out. He’s a skilled and avid videographer who seems to intuitively know how to use any complicated equipment related to this passion. But the basics of 7th grade math elude him; the monumental burden of actually writing down and following through with homework assignments repeatedly proves insurmountable; and I still have to ask him to brush his teeth in the morning.

    I admit that I’ve spent many years trying desperately to “rehabilitate” my son – to cure him of his insistent present-moment tendencies so that he would more successfully fulfill teachers’ and society’s expectations of him. But he has proven himself incurable on that front.

    He is the happiest, funniest, kindest, and most insightful person I’ve ever known, in spite of frequent academic failures, teacher disappointments, parental frustrations, and the ensuing consequences I impose on him. He simply, peacefully, refuses to expend any genuine effort or energy on anything that does not resonate with him. I still try – valiantly and in vain – to teach him the importance of caring about all of his schoolwork. But secretly, I’m envious . . . and a silent part of me cheers him on.

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