Work Is Love Made Visible: Why I Quit My Job 5 Years Ago

Letter of resignation

I was sitting on the beach in Waikiki the other day and I realized a shocking fact:

As of this year, I’ve been working for myself longer than I’ve ever worked for anyone else.

It’s been more than 5 years since I quit my full-time nonprofit job in DC. And to be honest, at this point I feel like I’m permanently unemployable!

I was only 27 years old when I left my job and made the decision to become self-employed.

And I don’t regret it one bit.

Of course, there have been ups and downs and twists and turns.

For instance, I had no idea that after 3 years, I would end up shutting down my first business to build a new one!

But it was the very best chance I ever could have taken on myself.

Today, I wanted to honor this milestone in my career by sharing the blog post I published on my old website the week I submitted my resignation, which was back in December 2009.

If you’ve been thinking about taking the leap, I hope reading these words from that pivotal time in my life offers some insight for your journey as well.

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4 Steps to Creating an Online Travel Vision Board

I’m a BIG fan of visualizing your ideal life and using vivid images to paint a picture of exactly what you want your future to look like. This year, I decided to take my powerful goal-setting process to the next level by updating my travel bucket list and turning it into an online vision board. And I have to tell you…this exercise was SO inspiring!

Keep reading for my simple instructions on how you can make your own online travel vision board and use it as constant motivation for success in your life and business…

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How to Have a Good Day, Every Day

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One of many colorful murals in San Miguel

One thing I love about San Miguel de Allende is how everyone walks everywhere. I leave my Airbnb apartment at about 10am this morning with two main objectives: 1) to find the cute little coffee shop I’d seen during my wandering over the weekend and 2) to pick up my ticket for the jazz festival(!) this weekend.

It’s a cool morning, about 65 degrees, but the sun is rising to warm the day. I hear dogs barking as I walk up Jose Maria de Arevalo, passing the street market and deli, a tortilleria and the panaderia on the corner that makes the best apple-cinnamon muffins for just 8 pesos or about 60 cents each.

The sidewalks here are very narrow, so you’re either squeezing past a bunch of people or stepping down to walk on the cobblestones, large and uneven under your feet. I step up and down, up and down, dozens of times.

The calles are still wet from being cleaned by various shopkeepers and residents. There is very little litter here.

I walk down Avenida de Guadalupe and up Insurgentes, past several florerias lined with colorful bouquets and carnicerias with their cases of beef and chicken and ham.

I walk across Canal, the buildings bright yellow with the sun, cobblestones turning copper in the light. People look up as they pass by with a polite “hola” or “buenos dias,” walking dogs, carrying children, running errands for the day.

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You’re Never “Too Old” to Follow Your Dreams

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A few months ago, I called my bank to change my address for one of my checking accounts.

When I told the call center operator that I had recently moved to Hawaii, she gasped and said, “Oh my God, I’ve always wanted to live there!”

I’ve gotten used to people saying things like that when I tell them I live on a tropical island, so I just kept going with the process of completing my transaction.

Or at least, I tried to.

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How to Create a Personal Altar in Your Home (Even if You Have a Small Space)

1545648_866836023342365_2693814071271888944_n As a faithful student of personal growth and the field of positive psychology, I’m a big fan of any practice that invites more happiness and fulfillment into our lives. Over the years, I’ve developed many habits that have enhanced my outlook on life and helped me achieve some of my big goals.

Now there is one tool that I’ve been wanting to incorporate into my life for a long time…a personal altar! There are a lot of different variations out there, but a personal altar is essentially a sacred space in your home that serves as a “spiritual center” where you can focus on being your highest self. It also consists of specific items meant to invite positive energy into your life. Last week, I took the time to gather all of the items I needed to set mine up and I can already feel the powerful spiritual shift it’s made in my living space.

Here are some basic guidelines you can use to create your own personal altar…even if you have a small space!

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How to Make a Digital Vision Board in 5 Simple Steps

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Last weekend, I went to the Hawaii Auto Show here in Honolulu. There were shiny models from all of the major car dealerships on the island, including some sports car brands I had never seen up close and in person before, like Ferrari! Now, I’m not much of a car enthusiast, but sitting in the driver’s seat of all those luxury cars helped me visualize what MY ideal car would be. And as you can see below, I now have a black BMW convertible on my digital vision board!

What is a digital vision board and why should you create one?

A digital vision board is a collection of images that represent your desired future in an online format. The two biggest benefits of digital vision boards is that you can take them with you wherever you go and they take less time to create than the traditional physical vision board. You can make as many versions you want for as many goals as you want!

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A Daily Gratitude Practice to Attract More Abundance into Your Life

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I love this gratitude journal by Catherine Price!

“There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle or you can live as if everything is a miracle.” – Albert Einstein

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned over the past year is how the spirit of gratitude can positively impact your life. Although I don’t have every thing I want, somehow I ALWAYS have every thing I need. And acknowledging just how blessed I am has caused even more blessings to pour into my life this year – in the form of people, opportunities and even income.

Studies have shown that cultivating a sense of thankfulness in your everyday life is also good for your mental health and emotional well-being. Psychologist Robert Emmons demonstrated this in the research for his book Thanks!: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier, finding that:

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How to Set a Positive Intention for the Week

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“A good intention clothes itself with sudden power.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Even though I work from home, the beginning of the week always feels “busy.” As soon as I wake up on Mondays, I sense looming deadlines. All I hear in my brain is go go go ring ring ring do do do. Needless to say, it’s not the most conscious way to enter the week!

To help me get centered in my life and work, I like to start the week off by setting a positive intention.

This is a practice that extends from my years of writing poetry. One of my professors would always instruct us to “get centered” by sitting still in a quiet place before beginning to write. Setting weekly intentions has helped me reduce the feeling of overwhelm in my business. There’s always so much to do – so many emails to respond to, so many great projects to work on, so many people to connect with, etc. This strategy has helped me to get focused and stay productive each and every week.

When should you set your weekly intention? Well, it’s best if you can do this exercise at the beginning of the week, on a Sunday or Monday. But you can and should feel free to do it on any day and at any time you have a moment to sit down and be still.

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How to Overcome the Fear of Success

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“We often hesitate to follow our intuition out of fear. Most usually, we are afraid of the changes in our own life that our actions will bring.” – Caroline Myss

Which one are you more afraid of: failure or success?

When it comes to following your dreams, do you worry more about not being able to cope with negative feelings when you mess up or not being able to handle the level of increased responsibility that success often brings? Most of us think we fall in the first camp of not wanting to fail. But many of us are actually more fearful of what might happen if we actually achieved that big goal we say we want.

It can be scary to think about all the different ways your life could change as a result of losing all the weight, making more money, attracting a great man, finding a better job, moving to an exciting new city, etc. Your friends might think you’ve “changed” (you have). Your family might doubt your drastic choices (they will). Your co-workers might be jealous of you (yup, that too).

But freedom comes when you are able to accept the truth that your own self-actualization is worth more than the discomfort you have to go through to get there. Here are two strategies to help you overcome the fear of success and step into the greatness that you were made for.

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