Lisa Robbin Young

[Note:  for the past 9 years, I’ve posted an annual re-cap of the highs and lows, lessons learned, etc. You can find previous years here:  2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018 ] 

It's my birthday - or will be by the time this post goes live. That means it's once again time for my year in review, for those among you interested in the inner workings of me, myself, and I. If you're new to this ride, you might want to check some of the previous years' posts to catch up. Otherwise, strap yourself in, because we're taking a ride in the way-back machine to this time last year.

Evaluating 2018

One of the phrases my clients are probably tired of hearing me say is "Plan. Do. Evaluate." It was something I learned from my kid when he lived in the wilderness camp for two years. They did it every day. I'm not so gung ho, so the beginning of a new year is a great time to look back, see what went well, where things went off the rails, and begin to formulate a new plan for this year.

My 2018 theme was Wealth and Health. My definition was "finding the appropriate balance for me between making a living and having a life; Working in a way that affords me the ability to enjoy my life, while experiencing wealth and happiness at a deeper, soul level, with a sense of peace and contentment I’ve never had before."

So that was the "plan" part. The "doing" didn't go as well as I'd imagined, but not nearly as bad as I'd feared. My 2017 theme was Collaboration, and I doubled down on that in 2018, bringing on a few new (and amazing) part-time team members to round out the organization. I got a LOT better at trusting Jeanie to do the work... maybe a little too well. There were times when I found myself with little to do - and no motivation to step things up.  I found myself going through a mild depression about half way through the year that lasted most of the third quarter. More on that as we look at how I fared in my 5 Key Area goals.


This year, I wanted to trust more deeply. Opening myself to a loving relationship wasn't really on my mind when I set my goals for the year, but nothing sets you up to trust more deeply like new love. I met and fell hard for a guy that checks boxes I didn't even know I had. That was one of the biggest surprise blessings of the year. It hasn't been easy to let go of old stories, patterns, and habits. 10+ years of marriage creates some deep ruts in the routine patterns of your brain. It also came with challenges that really forced me to examine my beliefs about life, God, and really, everything. The year-end result is exactly what I'd hoped for, even if it didn't happen the way I'd planned. I know myself more deeply. I trust my decisions more fully, and I feel infinitely more confident in my relationships because of it.

About mid-year, I got the intuitive guidance that I needed to pare down everything and get ready to move. So I did. I put nearly everything in storage, expecting that I'd go on the road once my youngest was back home with his dad. That didn't happen. At the very last minute, I found a new apartment on the opposite side of town and I've been there ever since. It worked out so effortlessly, that it felt like Divine timing.

Trust the process, right?

We had some clients complete the Incubator earlier than expected (all but one was a Chaotic creative, which is another story for another day). That also called me into a deeper relationship with my sense of Faith. It's easy to say "letting go of a client makes room for something even better". It's another thing to believe it and live by it. I expected this might happen as the Incubator grew - a function of needing to refine our screening process as our pool of applicants grew. Several clients were entering a business downturn when they came to us (normal in every business), and when cash flow slowed, it scared me a bit. I had to lean harder into my Faith, trust the process, and keep showing up to do the work in front of us.


This year's goal was a continuation of last year. I needed to continue to rehabilitate and strengthen my relationship with myself. My ex remarried in a surprise wedding in China, which created a lot of unexpected emotional stuff for me. As an advocate for my child (who still lives with my former husband), there were a lot of unanswered questions about his new stepmother and stepbrother. As someone still friends with my ex, it was another emotional blow in the trust department.  The emotional tailspin found me unable to complete the Creative Freedom shooting season, and we ended with only 10 episodes - my shortest season to date.

I spent the rest of the summer hanging with my kid and my new sweetheart, digging into those relationships for some stability and comfort. Intellectually, I knew that I had no longer been attached to my ex husband for well over a year, but emotionally, the marriage started a grieving process I didn't even know I needed. So I took it easy all summer, until we were able to finally tell my son the big news. Initially, he seemed shocked, but took it well. As time has gone on, however, he's had some emotional "leaks" that indicate he's trying to wrap his 12 year-old brain around what's happening to his family.

I felt the final stitches of my family ties unravel this year. My last trip back to Michigan brought some joy, but a lot of pain, and it became clear that it's not my home anymore. It's where my kids live. It's where some of my best friends are. But it's not home.

2018 was a year of immense clarity for me in my relationship to myself. I've gotten much better at being my own advocate - before I need to learn a hard lesson about boundaries. 🙂


On the one hand, this year was a joke in the physical fitness department. I didn't hit my goals and I found myself undoing all the progress I'd made in 2017. On the other, I learned a LOT about my body. A trip to the ER got me more focused and curious about how nutrition really affects me. I learned that iron is inversely related to blood pressure. So if my iron is higher, my blood pressure is lower. I didn't learn it from the ER doc who was treating me for a migraine, tho. I learned it from donating blood at Red Cross. This year I learned a LOT about what works for my body (and what doesn't) - mostly through trial and error. I learned that, while I'm grateful for medical doctors, they're overworked and focus on symptoms more often than causes. It's up to me to be in the know about my body and what it needs to be healthy. I've been lazy about that all my life. That changed this year.

My emotional funk also did a number on my mental well-being this year. Despite having a fantastic relationship with a guy that I see as a real blessing in my life, it wasn't all sunshine and rainbows. We each hard plenty of relationship fear and baggage that was triggering us, and it took patience to drop the baggage and hold each other instead. Suffice it to say that 2018 was an emotional roller coaster that gave me a lot to be grateful for after a LOT of emotional labor to be ready for those blessings.


It was a banner year at Ark Entertainment Media. We did more than double our previous year's earnings, making it one of the highest-grossing years of my entrepreneurial career. We expanded the Incubator this year, which helped bolster revenue, but book and course sales were higher, with an average 33.73% of my revenue coming from leveraged offerings. My goal was 60%, so I fell short, but with the business downturn in Q3/4, I'm pleased with the final outcome, since we're on track to do even better in 2019.

One of the interesting things that I discovered was that Portable Coaching is a great feeder to my other offers. In fact, by the end of the year, most of the people who started Portable Coaching had graduated to A-Club or another program. Since I didn't market it heavily, the program didn't get many new enrollments. On the other hand, A-Club doubled in size this year, and our retention rate is still around 80% with an average member lifespan of about 20 months. Still one of the highest in the industry, as far as I know. And we just added private coaching as a "consistency incentive" to stick with the program, so I think we're going to do even better as we move forward.

I added coaching because I realized how much more progress people can make with even just a little help from me. Clarity matters, and a good coach can help you get that clarity quickly.


After the launch of my book, Creative Freedom, I saw a flurry of activity from radio stations, podcasters, and other media outlets that wanted to talk about the book and my process for helping creative entrepreneurs make good money doing what they love. My goal is at least one interview or guest post a month, and that's a goal I'm maintaining this year. We're entering year three of the Creative Freedom brand and season 5 of the show is just around the corner. Yes. I got out of my funk long enough to develop a content plan to re-launch the show very soon.

My 2019 Theme: Free to be me

I feel like I lived in a sense of Health and Wealth last year, but it certainly didn't look at all like I expected it to. I'm glad 2018 is over, and i'm already soaking up the rays of 2019. It's a beautiful day in Nashville today, and, for the first time in a long time, I have fun plans to be with someone I love on my birthday. That is no small thing for me. It's more meaningful than me winning the lottery without buying a ticket. More meaningful than bigger gestures. Just staying true to what I really want and seeing that become reality. I want more of that in my life, and this is a great start to my year.

My 2019 Theme Song: I Don't Want To Be

It's a #BraveNewYear for me, and as Gavin said, I don't want to be anything other than me. The writer. The Performer. The Singer. The teacher and coach. The friend, lover, and mother. Just me. And be well-compensated for it. This year, it's about a new album, a new publishing division (got a book inside you? Let's talk!), and new ways to reach even more creative entrepreneurs to help them own their dreams without selling their soul. There's more, and it'll come in time, but for now, that's the news that's fit to print. I'm off to enjoy my birthday!

[Note:  for the past 7 years, I've posted an annual re-cap of the highs and lows, lessons learned, etc. After the roller coaster that was 2016, I'm pleased to say it was more up than down. You can find previous years here:  2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016

Plan, Do, Evaluate.

It's a simple concept that was drilled into my family when my eldest went off to spend 2+ years in a wilderness camp for boys with emotional difficulties. Make a plan, execute to the best of your abilities, and when it's all said and done, evaluate what went well, what didn't, and how you can improve for the next set of plans.

With the spate of childhood icons and heroes that died this year, it would be easy to tell 2016 to "suck it", but looking at the whole year opened my eyes to just how good things really were.


Ringing in the new year at Pam's. Pina Coladas anyone?

My 2016 Theme was Radiance. My biggest faith goals were focused in on faith in myself and my abilities as a performer and coach. There were days - weeks even - when it took every ounce of my being to feel the slightest bit radiant. Months where it didn't feel like I was shining at all.

Moving away from my family and friends was an act of courage that took a lot out of me. I landed in a great spot, and I still had to learn how to be on my own. Never in my entire life have I ever lived completely alone. I either had a kid, a room mate, or some other family living with me.

I started the year thinking that radiance was something other people saw through me. I ended the year realizing that I shine for no one but myself - and only then can that light be seen by anyone else.

"It's just the fear of falling that makes my lose my grip ." - Step By Step, Annie Lennox


The Fine Line, photo by Rachael K Albers of RKA Ink

I had some impressive money stuff happen. 2016 started with the SOLD OUT launch The Fine Line. THAT was incredible. I actually had PR people reaching out to talk about possible radio airplay. Most of it didn't pan out, but it was nice to be approached like that, considering it's been about 10 years since the last album.

Creative Freedom season 2 was abbreviated due to my relocation to Nashville, but it got great reviews and I'm gearing up or Season 3 and a new podcast to add a new dimension to the shows. My friend and client, Pam, offered her basement space as a studio, which gave the show a much needed upgrade in look and feel. We also upgraded the audio, and added new graphic elements designed by Tracy Lay at Digivisual Design. She and I sat down early in the year and started fleshing out the new direction for my branding. I'm looking forward to a new web site in 2017, too! Tracy is an amazingly gifted artist, and I'm one lucky gal to have her in my corner.

 I grew revenue back into 5 figures after a planned downturn in 2015. I launched 2 new experimental programs to support creative entrepreneurs: Accountability Club and the Incubator - both of which did exceptionally well. I even won the lottery - without playing!

Not knowing how it would pan out, A-Club lasted the entire year with impressive retention rates. Only one enrollee dropped before the end of the year. The Incubator has been a long-time dream of mine that I had been sitting on, waiting for it to be "perfect" - the curse of many Fusion creatives. So I decided to launch it imperfectly and SOLD OUT before the initial enrollment period closed.  I was going to re-open the enrollment period in January, but it looks like we're going to be full from wait list applicants. So I'm be rolling out Accountability Club enrollment instead (doors are open now, hint hint).

I also saw a sharp increase in sales for Direct Sales Classroom - again, with no promotional effort on my part. Truly passive income is a joy to behold! The downside is that it's unpredictable, so I either have to build it into my marketing plan for 2017 or just enjoy it when it shows up. For now, the plan is just to enjoy it. I've already got other fun stuff in the works, including Creative Freedom Live in October!

"There's a road I have to follow, a place I have to go. Well no-one told me just how to get there, but when I get there I'll know." - Step by Step,  Annie Lennox

The move created a bunch of unplanned expenses on both the personal and professional front, but thanks to Profitability 2.0, I had my most profitable year EVER in business: more income, more free time, and more fun - thank heaven!

It was also a great year for media coverage. The work I did with Creative Freedom and the 300 songs project saw about a dozen placements in podcasts, interviews, and guest posts across the interwebs.  People got excited about my research into the creative entrepreneur spectrum and many took my free quiz to discover their own creative entrepreneur type.


This was a year of family transitions. In no particular order, my youngest hit double digits. My eldest turned 20.  My youngest cousin got married. My eldest Aunt was diagnosed with cancer. I moved to Nashville, and my husband and I have filed for and are now waiting on the outcome of our divorce.

The boys visited me in Nasvhille, and we all spent Thanksgiving and Christmas together. My husband and I are not just civil, we're friends. I don't think I could have said that for most of our marriage. Our relationship is SO much better this way. It's a lot easier in many respects (and yes, harder in others). We each brought our own expectations to our marriage. When those expectations didn't get met, resentment, frustration, fear, and anger were the predominant emotions that one or the other of us was dealing with on a daily basis. We both decided early on in the process to focus on the kids. I told my husband that my goal was to be able to sit across from him at our kids' weddings and still be friendly to each other. We both came from divorced parentage, and we wanted our kids to have a different, more empowering picture of what divorce could look like. So far, so good. Without the expectations of marriage between us, we both seem happier and able to appreciate each other's company on the whole. There's a lot less taking each other for granted, and a LOT more gratitude.

Liam's still trying to wrap his brain around having parents that aren't married to each other, but he seems to be adjusting well. Forest is stepping into adulthood and flexing his wings to fly. I pray for him daily. He's got a good head on his shoulders, but - like any Chaotic creative - gets distracted easily when it comes to matters of the heart.

"I know you're hurting but don't let the bad things get to you." - Step By Step, Annie Lennox

Saying goodbye to my mastermind group was probably one of the hardest 'family' relationship moves of the year. For the past 3-4 years, these local women have been my rock, my source of comfort & joy, and generally great models of human beings in my life. Plus, they give great hugs.

That's been the hardest transition of all. Living completely alone means I can go days at a time without any physical touch. I used to get hugs every day from one person or another, and I find that's the thing I miss the most right now. Sometimes I'll intentionally brush the cashier's hand when they give me back my change at the store, just so I have some human contact. It sounds creepier than it is, I promise.

I was grateful that my transition to Nashville was eased by Tajci Cameron and her wonderful family, who hosted me for a month, while I figured out my living situation. I only know a handful of people in the state of Tennessee, and Tajci's family welcomed me like I was one of their own. I also got to reconnect with a couple of my theater peeps who had moved to Tennessee long before I ever did. They're not in Nashville, but they're close enough to make it a day trip.


I continued my challenge to read more good books, and was fortunate enough the help launch a few into the world. Nely Galan made a splash this year with "Self Made," Mike Michalowicz brought "Surge" to life, and Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy gave us "Living Forward" - a book about developing a plan for your life, not just your work. In fact, I researched and reviewed nearly a dozen planning tools this year as I set about the re-launch of The PEACE System and Dreamblazing - tools I continue to use to map out the direction of my life and work.

Overall, I read about 50 books - some new, some old, some repeats, and for the first time, I gave myself permission to STOP reading books that just didn't do it for me. As a recovering "all or nothing" girl, that was a HUGE awareness for me.

In the physical fitness department, I've managed to increase and get more consistent with my physical exercise, and eliminated most of the gluten and dairy in my daily diet. That was one of the hardest personal tasks for the year, but moving to Nashville made it a LOT easier. I simply don't bring it into the house! That's also made it easier to avoid it when I go out to eat, because I don't miss it anymore. In all, I've lost about 10 pounds since I relocated, and the downward trend seems to be continuing, with a small uptick while I've been back in Michigan for the holidays.

"Don't give up. You got to keep on moving on. Don't stop." - Step By Step, Annie Lennox


I got my dream car... and then this happened:

My son survived the quarter-mile rollover  with minimal injuries, but the car was not so lucky. It happened, believe it or not, on the same day Ben and I went to meet with the divorce lawyer. It was a blessing in disguise, since the Jeep was the one asset that was posing a problem for the divorce. Once the car was totaled, it wasn't an issue anymore. And thank GOD for gap coverage - it paid off the outstanding loan, which set me up for a big upgrade this fall:

My own car, my own apartment, and all the responsibilities that go along with them. You'd think that someone who works regularly with 6 and 7-figure income earners that this would be no big deal. But it's YYUUUUUUGE. My husband and I committed to a lower standard of living based on some old money stories that caused part of our marital problems.  When I got clarity around that, I gave myself permission own who I am and what really matters to me. Part of that is a strong sense of freedom and interdependence, which made the move to Nashville a logical one.

"Just like a new excursion upon an open road, I've got the will to take me just where I want to go." - Step By Step, Annie Lennox

In an effort to learn the town and get out more, I picked up driving for Uber/Lyft from time to time. It's made for some interesting experiences and great stories. I've met some nifty people that taught me about both Nashville and myself.

My 2017 Theme: Collaboration

NOT doing everything by myself. Asking for help, support, and the genius of others. Just because I live on my own, doesn't mean I have to be ALONE. I want to do more work directly with amazing people. I'm launching FOUR initiatives this year: Portable Coaching, Income Generator, Business Accelerator, and Creative Freedom Live. All of them are designed to be hands-on collaborative tools to help creative entrepreneurs make more money doing what they love without selling their souls to do it.  Oh, and I'm still in the throes of writing Creative Freedom (the book), so I've got plenty on my plate this year!

I've also started making other changes to my business model - like creating a full-year promo calendar so that YOU can see what's coming down the pike for my business. One of the things that's always bugged me about the Internet Marketing world is that most product launches have a 2-week window for you to make a buying decision. That's great for them, but hard on you, because if you haven't already budgeted for it, you very often feel pressure to buy. A real business doesn't plow money into every shiny object that comes along. They make a spending plan for the year and budget for their expenses. Once it's complete, you'll know what's coming up so that you can make a smart plan for your life and business. You'll also be on the inside track for early-bird offers that are only available to my subscribers. This is something I've wanted to do for years, but like the Incubator, I kept waiting for it to be perfect - which, of course, it never will be.

My 2017 Theme Song: Step By Step

Collaboration often means slowing down a little at first. That's a challenge for Fusion creatives, and one I'm ready to take on. This will also be the year I step back during the summer. Our new custody arrangement means my youngest will be with me during the summer, and I'm re-structuring my business to accommodate that change. I want to be fully present as much as possible with my kid, and I'm currently looking at support team options to make the transition smooth.

2017 is going to be a fun adventure! I just have to take it one step at a time.

"Step by step. Bit by bit. Stone by stone. Brick by brick." - Step By Step, Annie Lennox

[Editor's note: This is the sixth in an annual series of posts I write to focus my efforts for the new year. You can find last year's post here.  Here are links to parts 123 and 4.]

Inspire. Brave. ENTHUSIASM! Uncommon.

Each year, I try to pick a word or phrase that reflects my focus, my "theme" for the year. Then, at the end of said year, I look back and evaluate, before rinsing and repeating for the new year. For 2013, that theme was "Inspire".

Let's take a look at 2013 and see how much "inspiring' I embodied.

I launched the year with a goal to record 300 songs. I fell short. I'd say embarrassingly short, but I'm not embarrassed by the results:

  • My youtube channel ended the year with well over 412,000 views and 178 subscribers. Considering I started the year with, I think 5 or 6 subscribers, I'm pretty happy with that.
  • More than 50 songs found their way through the recording studio to completion. If you count the songs I performed for Christmas Unplugged, that's about 55 tunes!
  • I was blessed to work with nearly a dozen gifted and talented musicians this year on various projects, including my first-ever commissioned recording for a colleague's spiritual retreat.

I learned a LOT about what it really takes to make a quality recording in your home. More than I thought I needed to know, frankly. I learned how grossly out of my depth I am with the audio engineering process, and how it's a lot more art than science.

I think I'll stick to the art I'm good at, thanks.

Still, 50+ songs is nothing to sneeze at, and while we had some hiccups on the copyright issues with some of our broadcasters (I'm talking to you, SoundCloud!), I finally got my music heard by new fans all over the world... a bucket list item for almost 30 years.

I also met and began working with an uber gifted arranger, and we started working on the tracks that will be on my new album - my first recording in almost 10 years!

The biggest hurdle to finishing the recordings wasn't a lack of skill, it was a lack of time. The one thing you can't predict going into a new year is what new and unexpected surprises will benefit or befall you. This year was a doozie! We were right on course until April, when I was hit with horrible news about a close friend and my youngest son. That's when everything on the music front took a tailspin.

I launched several new programs including my Dream Big BreakthroughGet Your Year In Gear and the Spotlight Sessions. Not all of them were big winners, but all of them reflected the growth and new direction that 2013 was leading me in. On the direct sales training front, I hosted a year-end livestream conference that doubled as my retirement party. It had a few hiccups, but overall, it was well received and a powerful event to help direct sellers move into 2014 with confidence and know-how to build their own noble empire and inspired life.


We also did a site redesign for the direct sales website as it moves to a publishing platform in 2014. Oh, and my brilliantly gifted designer created a new logo that will go along with this website's re-launch in 2014. Here's a preview.

You might remember the phoenix. We resurrected it from The Renaissance Mom - remember that? I thought it fitting, since my whole life has been about overcoming, rising up from the ashes, and whatnot. The laurel represents achievement, hitting the mark, and the rewards & accolades that come from doing more of your Great Work in the world. I'll tell you more about it in a future post, but recognize that this is a meme for me: owning my dreams and living them fully. THAT is what 2013 taught me and what the focus for 2014 is.

On the home front...

We had a harrowing spring, when a friend of the family was arrested on charges of child sexual abuse - and my youngest was part of all that. We've spent a good deal of the year in recovery mode with him, and he's making amazing progress. My teenager's drama led to more court dates, which revealed even MORE underlying issues that we as a family had no clue about. It was a hellacious year for my family, and I think we've pulled through the hardest part. There's still more court dates to come, but I know we're on the right track, and there don't appear to be anymore oncoming trains on the horizon. My oldest just turned 17, so one way or another that responsibility will not be mine for much longer. His life is truly in his own hands.

"When it all came crashing down in tiny pieces to the ground, I was all alone down here, trapped beneath the atmosphere..."

Learning To Be The Light

I lost (and lost touch with) a lot of friends through this rough patch. It really helps you get clarity on who's got your back when you're going through tough times. I'm grateful for those friends and family members who really came through in our dark hours this year, and hope I'll be in a place to return the favor at a later date. Those who've fallen by the wayside, while painful, remind me of the wisdom of Dr. Seuss: "Those who matter don't mind, and those who mind, don't matter." I respect their needs to honor their boundaries, and pray they do the same for me and mine.

The upshot of all of this was that I got clarity on what really mattered to me. I got to see how much I matter to my kids and to my husband. I got to see how much I wasn't making myself or my self-care a priority. For as much as I preach on it, I still find myself ignoring my own self-care needs when things get stressful.

In truth, things probably get stressful because I'm neglecting my self-care in the first place. Oh the irony!

But because of all that clarity, I made some big decisions relating to my professional life.

On the work front...

I rolled up the sidewalks on my direct sales coaching practice. For the last 8 years I've been a coach and trainer to the direct selling industry as a solopreneur. It's been fun helping people do their best work and live their dreams. It's also been hard, being on the outside of an industry that's more of an old boy's network than anyone cares to admit. Since I'm not a game player, I've really had to forge my own path - and that's a lonely way to work. Plus, it's not the work I was put on this planet to do. I've gotten good at it. I enjoy it, and I know that God has a different purpose for me. So, after two years of hemming and hawing, and much hand-wringing, I got me a job.

Yep. A w-2 filing, income tax-withholding "j.o.b." - I'm still more or less in the sales arena, but it's more in alignment with my ultimate objective - which isn't to have a job  for the rest of my life.

I'm still new here, and one of the youngest turks in the company, but nearly everything I'm doing is right in my wheelhouse. It gives me freedom to travel and, most importantly, allows me to have that financial stability (that I chased for 8 years as a coach) to pursue what God put me on this planet to do: write and perform.

2014 Theme: Divine Alignment

foolishI've been a storyteller my whole life: stories about overcoming adversity, empowerment, and being more than your circumstances. Sometimes I write them (here on the blog, or in books like this one), sometimes I record them (like the 300 songs project), sometimes I perform them live (as an actor or singer). But it's always been about the stories. It took me a good portion of this year to realize that.

My whole life has been about believing in the possibilities of people. That's my Great Work: I believe in people. I inspire people to see the possibility in themselves. I believe in people when they don't believe in themselves. It's a great (and dangerous) gift to have as a coach - and part of why I think I got so good at it. I've always looked at how I can make something happen, instead of why it won't work. But ultimately, coaching isn't the platform I'm supposed to be using to do my great work.

See, just because you're good at something, doesn't mean that's what you're meant to do. It just means you've had a lot of practice at it, and maybe some aptitude. My aptitude, combined with 8 years of practice gave me a strong foundational skill-set... and created a comfort zone that was difficult to step out of.

"...and now everything is falling into place. A brand new life is calling and I owe it all to grace."

- Learning To Be The Light

Wasn't it Marylin Monroe who said "sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together"?

Yeah. That.

A LOT fell apart this year. Or should I say, it finished falling apart. We dissolved a business in 2012 and FINALLY was able to complete the bankruptcy proceedings this year. Which means, in MANY ways, 2014 is a clean slate.

I got to thinking during my annual planning process, that if it's really a clean slate, what do I want to write on it? How do I really want my life to look as I start down the barrel of turning 40 soon. I had goals and ambitions that I never got around to... until now that is.

There were a lot of nights (and mornings, and lunches) spent in prayer, meditation, & contemplation. I fought with God a LOT, and finally surrendered to a more difficult - and far more satisfying - path for my life. The words that kept coming up for me were "divine alignment" - stepping more fully into who I really am, who God called me to be in the world, and to do more of my Great Work on a global scale.

"You gave me something I want everyone to see."

- Learning To Be The Light

Theme Song: "Learning To Be The Light"

A friend of mine turned me on to this tune by NewWorldSon (thanks, Deb!), and I've listened to it so many times that I think I've burned a groove into my CD. I believe in my core that we're all given at least one Undeniable Gift to put to use for good in this world. This song really speaks to the longing I have in my heart to explore and share my gift with the world.

"Oh God I just want to love on everyone. All I have is Yours to give so let the people come"

- Learning To Be The Light

I know it's not a given that I can just step out onto a stage somewhere and start singing. There's work to be done. I laid some groundwork in 2013. I managed to get my book into the hands of more than 1100 people! I had at least one performance or speaking opportunity in every month of 2013. People got to hear my message - a message I'm still crafting an honing.

Gratefully, people are listening, and telling others, and joining the revolution. It's not just my journey - it's a journey we're all called to make: to own our dreams and share our gift with our world. That's what Divine Alignment is to me, and that's my focus for 2014. You'll hear more about it in coming posts, but for now, I'll let NewWorldSon say it:

"I'm learning to be the light that makes the shadows hide, the light that breaks the curse of pride, the light that takes the weary in it's arms."

- Learning To Be The Light


Happy New Year to all of us. Let's rock this 2014 hard!

[Editor's note: This is part five in a series of year-end posts I write to focus my efforts for the new year. Here are links to parts 1, 2, 3 and 4.]


That was the theme for 2012, and as I look back, I can say I'm pretty happy with where things ended up.

Even though they are far from the mark I set for myself.

And that's okay. In fact, it's actually a good thing. Because it took a LOT of bravery to adjust my sails as the winds picked up and the seas started churning in my life and business.

You may or may not know that I essentially dissolved my business in 2011. That means starting from very close to scratch in 2012. God bless my avid readers, because they are the ones that kept my ship afloat this year.

Ironically, that's probably the truth in every year, but my eyes weren't open to it. (more…)

[Editor's note: this is a re-post from January 2012. Part 4 of a series of year-end posts I write each year. When we migrated to the new site design, all the old posts were archived. Here are posts 12 and 3]

Every year, I pick a word to frame my development. I also pick a "theme song" to underscore my morning mindset work. I get to dig in and rock on each morning with a tune that pretty much sets me up for the day I want to have, the life and business I want to create.

Last year, my word was "ENTHUSIASM" (yes, I decided on all caps about half way through the year) - the idea being to infuse more spirit into everything I was doing. My theme song was Matthew West's "The Motions". I would lip sync and sing and conjure my own "rock videos" in my living room - like I was going to be on American Idol or something. It was funny, but it was also a very honest reflection of the kind of enthusiasm I really wanted to imbue in every action, every effort, every everything in 2011.

This year, after a daunting 2011 (hey, I asked for it!), I figured I needed to power up a bit, and picked "brave" as my word o' the year. I also selected Nichole Nordeman's song by the same name (some of the lyrics are in the boxes below). (more…)

[Editor's note: this is a re-post from December 2011. Part 3 of a series of year-end posts I write each year. When we migrated to the new site design, all the old posts were archived. Here are posts 1 and 2]

This is an ongoing topic of discussion for me. Fear is one of my most blogged about topics. So imagine my surprise when I attended a local metaphysical church and received a reading dealing expressly with fear. As accurately as I can recall, here's what she told me:

"For you, fear is everything. Spirit wants me to tell you that you need to put pen to paper, make a list, and write down all that you would do if there were no fear. You are capable of some amazing things, once you get past the fear."

Oh, snap!

The other reading was about a heavy weight that I've been carrying that will be lifted soon. I'm hoping that's something to do with my oldest's graduation from the wilderness camp he's been at for nearly two years now.

But I digress...

For those of you new to, or uncomfortable with the idea of intuitive readings, I try to take an approach that's comparable to what scripture tells us regarding prophecy and those who prophesy. At this moment in my life, I don't believe that anyone has all the answers for my life, so I'm willing to take any guidance that is presented to me and take it under advisement in prayer. It is foolish, to me, to ignore such gifts, and equally foolish to take them blindly at face value. Since I often get intuitive hits myself, I know that you can't always explain how or why you "know" something about someone or a situation. That doesn't negate the value or potential validity of the message being offered.

So as I'm wrestling with this intuitive guidance, my friend, Amy Oscar, decides to launch a December writing circle with this prompt.

Each year, I pick a theme and a song to undergird my doings for the year. This year's song was "The Motions" by Matthew West, because my theme was "Enthusiasm". I wanted to infuse everything I brought to the table with spirit, zest, and life. I didn't want to go through the motions or pay lip service to anything I was about this year. I'd say I hit my goal most of the time, although there was definite room for improvement in this area.

For 2012, I chose "Brave" as my theme, and the song "Brave" by Nichole Nordeman was a perfect fit for my continuing journey. In light of the whole fear thing, I find it equally illuminating that relinquishing fear is part of being brave.

So on my journey, I'm bringing bravery.

My journey includes pit stop destinations of two new books, a new music CD (it's been a few years since the last one), and an interactive television program where viewers can actually be part of the program and help shape the direction of the story lines. And, if I have to, I'll go it alone, but I plan to enlist the help of many friends for this journey (that would be you, and others, silly bean!).

I'm also bringing my can-do attitude, my duct tape, pocket knife, laptop, smartphone, and chewing gum. MacGyver would be proud, me thinks.

Lastly, I'm leaving behind a lot of baggage.

I look at my living room, which is slowly starting to empty out of storage unit mode and back into living room mode. I recognize that I (and my family) have carried around a lot of lifecrap for years and years. Like the boxes in the living room, it will be a slower, more deliberate process to clear out. I am determined to leave as much of it behind in 2011 when 2012 dawns. For me, this is at least as significant as any of the pitstops my 2012 journey may provide.

Oh, and presuming the world doesn't actually end in 2012, I'm looking forward to plotting a virtual retreat during the holidays next year.

Let the games begin!

[Editor's note: this is a re-post from January 2011. Part 2 of a series of year-end posts I write each year. When we migrated to the new site design, all the old posts were archived.]


[Editor's note: this is a re-post from November 2010. Part of a series of year-end posts I write each year. When we migrated to the new site design, all the old posts were archived.]