My top 10 self-help books (that really help)

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I know some self help books can get sort of (yawn) BORING.  But I do have a list of favorites that have helped me personally to achieve greater wealth, health + happiness.

My Top 10—

  1. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brene Brown.  I love this book because it deals with two things that are very close to home for me—courage and vulnerability. All of Brenes books are amazing, but this one really spoke to me. If you are ready to ditch feeling small and incapable and ready to recognize your true potential—give it a read!
  2. The Game of Life and How to Play it (Prosperity Classic) by Florence Scovel Shinn.  This book is super old school, but well worth a look. The author show you how to increase your results in your life with the power of the spoken word. It’s basically manifesting 101 using the power of words. There is a strong Christian slant to it, but I consider myself to be more spiritual than religious and I still go back to this book again and again. 
  3. Fire Starter Sessions by Danielle LaPorte. What’s not to love about Danielle? I also love her most recent book The Desire Map, but Fire Starter Sessions in my favorite! This book got me totally fired up and ready to create. 
  4. Carry on Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life by Glennon Doyle Melton. This is part self-help and part memoir. Glennon’s book was one of those that I couldn’t put down—from start to finish. I could relate so much to her (funny  and frightening) stories about addiction and downward spiral. The book is really worth the read if you’ve ever struggled with self worth issues, addiction or shame/guilt in your life. She also has an incredible online community called Momastery. 
  5. 7 Habits of Highly Successful People by Stephen Covey I love this book because it has a lot to do with my topic of CHOICE! I think I first scanned this book on my dads book shelf way back when. It’s old school and highly worth the read. This book consistently makes it on many “best books” lists. 
  6. The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace T. Wattles This book is somewhat of a cult classic and is along the vein of Think and Grow Rich and The Richest Man in Babylon (also great reads . . .)  This book gets into the psychology and mindset of creating abundance. If I notice myself slipping into old patterns, I pick this one up again and get back on track. 
  7. The Law Of Attraction: The Basics of the Teachings of Abraham by Esther and Jerry Hicks. I first learned about manifesting and law of attraction through the Abraham-Hicks material and it has changed my life. They were really the pioneers of LOA and manifesting (even though The Secret would claim otherwise). All their book are great and truly helpful if you believe in LOA and manifesting (try it, it just may change your life!)
  8. Boundaries:  When To Say Yes, How to Say No by Henry Cloud.  I added this book to my kindle awhile ago and forgot about it (hmmm, interesting how sometimes we block out the things that would be the most helpful)  This book is CRITICAL for anyone who struggles with healthy boundaries. 
  9. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. What’s not to love about Elizabeth Gilbert? Her book, Eat, Pray, Love was such an inspiration and Big Magic is another great read by this author. I had a chance to see her recently on her book tour for Big Magic and I love her take on living a creative life. 
  10. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle.  This is just a must. When you can get to the place when you are operating your life from the “right here, right now” place—you win. 

I have about 50 more I could add to this list, but I chose these as my top 10 because I feel each one of them has had a significant impact on at least one area of my life.  The key with any sort of self help or personal development tools—is to make the choice to actually USE them.

They can’t work if we don’t work them. 

What are some of your top self-help or non-fiction books? I would love to know!

Big Blessings,

xxoo

Carrie

 

When life gets messy

1messy lifeWho doesn’t have problems?
 
Who doesn’t have concerns, worries and frustrations?
 
Most of us, living on this planet have an issue every now and then (understatement).
 
We have health concerns, environmental concerns, money issues, relationship frustrations, car problems, boss problems, cranky kids—life problems.
 
It’s not perfect or pretty (or seemingly fair) all the time. Not even.

 

Sometimes life just gets messy (as in red-hot mess, messy)

 
And in the not so distant past . . .  that has bothered me a tad.  It had me asking big questions like—

 

  • Why are we even here if it’s such a struggle?
  • Why do we get on such a great life high— only to have shitty things happen?
  • Why cant it just be easier?
  • Why are people so insensitive (or worse)?​
  • Why can’t we all just be born with lasting heath, endless supplies of money and unquestionable values, morals and common sense?
 
Most of us ask these questions (or similar versions or these) at some point.
 
We all get hurt and we all find ways (hopefully) to rebound when life deals us an unwanted hand.
 
And what if . . . ​
—the problems we have are merely opportunities to grab ahold of an even bigger, more profound level of joy, happiness, health and abundance?
—the struggles, pain and hurdles are simply minor road bumps that (with patience, compassion and maybe a couple bottles of good vino) can propel us closer to living our desires?
 
What if the problem has a purpose?
 
Because haven’t you noticed that when you experience something challenging and you approach it from the  “glass half full” perspective—you come out the other side of that with a greater sense of knowing, faith and acceptance?
 
When you can make peace with what is + see the potential gift in the problem—you win.
 
It comes down to this—you have two choices in regards to how you handle snafus, issues, drama + problems—

 

  • You can see every problem a gift. You can see perceived problems as beautiful opportunities for an even deeper sense of acceptance, love and faith. You can see your health issues, your money issue, and your relationship issues—as a great big chance to get super honest and real about what you are truly feeling and thinking in life. It’s a chance to be 100% accountable for your energy. ​

 

  • Or there’s always choice two. Choice two is to stay stuck, give into the problem, believe it and go down the rabbit hole of despair, disease, distrust and fear. Choice two is the one that perpetuates the lie that we are powerless. Choice two, if we don’t learn from it and turn it from foe to friend—is the one that can wreak havoc on your otherwise incredible life.  This choice moves you further away from the life you want. It’s simply the choice to survive (or nose dive) get by, exist and feel more as a victim in life. 
 
You have two choices—to thrive or survive.
 
And when you choose well (in spite of what trials and tribulations are manifesting in your life)—you turn your problem into pure passionate potential.
 
Bad ass, unwavering, passion-filled potential.
 
When you decide to make peace with the problem—you say ‘yes” in an even bigger way to your desires.
 
It’s how we create miracles. It’s how we go on when the going gets tough.
 
So next time you feel irritated, annoyed or let down, ask yourself—”what is this problem teaching me, or asking me to step into and how can I learn quickly, efficiently and lastingly?”
 
Because don’t we all want to learn, move on, grow and be better than we were the day before?
Don’t we all want to be happier, healthier, wealthier and more in alignment with our souls truth?
 
I say yes.
 
Bucket loads of love, goodness + joy your way.

xo

Carrie

 

The art of whining and how to quit that

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“The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude.”
             – Friedrich Nietzsche

So I’m not really going to write about the art of being a whiner, in the sense that I really think it’s an art—and to be appreciated or revered like the Mona Lisa. 

Rather, I want to whine about the whiners. 

And if you don’t know what the official definition of a whiner is, see below and thank you to the almighty Merriam Webster—

whiner (noun)

  1. a person who makes frequent complaints usually about little things

I think we could expand that definition to include big things as well.  There are plenty of people who make a habit out of whining about the big things—taxes, politics, environmental and social issues, etc. 

But the MAJOR difference I see between whining and constructively bringing awareness to “big” topics —is that whining generally doesn’t involve any sort of solution and it tends to be a repetitive pattern–sort of like a broken record. 

I mean, most of us don’t LOVE taxes, but is whining about it 24/7 really doing anything? No it isn’t.

Yes, we can bring awareness to important topics, but in order to fix a perceived problem—we have to quickly switch our predominant focus (vibration) to solution based thinking. 

The truth is—we’ve become a society of chronic whiners. And why is that? We have more “stuff,” more supposed freedom and more choices than ever before—yet we whine, we whine and we whine a little more.

We complain about little things like our iPhone reception, the horrible wifi connection, the traffic, how much we don’t like our ______our_______and our________.  And we complain about the larger, much more pressing issues—but it seems few actually get out in the trenches and do something about it. 

We like to complain A LOT for a society that supposedly has A LOT.  So . . . .maybe it’s not the stuff that makes us happy (big hint). 

Or maybe it’s that the complaining is actually a pretty big clue that our lives are—

  • out of balance
  • not appreciated enough
  • or a big combination of both

The point is—if you care anything about living a life that is energetically awesome, joy filled and full of things you love—whining won’t be instrumental in getting (or keeping) you there. 

Whining ruins things. Whining makes you feel icky. It is an insidious little jerk that winds up sucking the sparkle and light from your soul. 

So, what this article is really about isn’t the art of whining—it’s about the art of appreciating. 

Because appreciating is really the opposite energy of whining. And appreciation is what gets you happy, healthy, abundant and just basically like a puppy frolicking in a spring meadow full of flowers (I know, it’s dorky, but isn’t it a cute visual?)

Here are 4 simple tips to turn a bad case of the whines into a better case of appreciation and gratitude (because this is what gets you the goods)—

  1. Pay attention. Most people are super detached from who they really are and how they are showing up in life.  Choose to pay attention to the overall vibes you are putting out into the universe.  Committing to becoming more aware of what you are offering is critical. 
  2. Notice patterns and major “themes” that you tend to repeat. Do you manage to feel a great deal of gratitude in certain situation or at certain times? And in other situations, notice it heads south into the deep, dark abyss of whiner-land?  Note those times that you feel deep gratitude and appreciation and—DO THAT MORE.  And note those times you head towards the dark side and—DO THAT LESS. 
  3. Appreciation journal. Create an appreciation journal and before you go to bed every night and write down what you appreciate in your life. If you’re too tired or lazy to do this—go back to step one and start over.  The more you find to appreciate, the more to appreciate will find you. 
  4. Practice, commit and repeat. Turn these simple few steps into a new habit. It only takes about 30 days to change a behavior and the same amount of time to create a better habit. 

You can’t fix a problem by putting the majority of your energy and focus on what’s wrong. You fix a problem, big or small (world hunger or a hangnail)—by focusing on the solution and then bringing action and appreciation into the mix.  

Is it idealistic (or nearly impossible) to try to find something to appreciate in the face of something painful or horrible? Yes, it can be. But it’s the key to being able to change it.  Plus, it just feels way better than staying stuck in feeling bad, powerless, frustrated, angry or resentful. 

Let’s choose to create habits and ways of being that support living beautiful lives—lives that we find more to appreciate and be grateful for than we do to complain about. 

Lives that our dear grandmas would be proud of. 

Here’s to you!  I know you will choose wisely. 

Big blessings,

Carrie

The key to being happy, healthy + wealthy

Sometimes getting clear about where we are in life can be a bit like ripping a band off super fast. band_aidIt may hurt a little, you may make a funny face and afterwords—you’ll realize it wasn’t such a big hairy deal after all.

THE TRUH IS—happiness, health and wealth are choices.

You may think that statement is unrealistic, call me a dreamer, or my favorite—an idealist.

And let’s be clear before you virtually throw a book at me—I am not discounting that people have real problems.

People don’t have money—they grow up poor.

People are born with health issues that were clearly NOT their choice.

And there are people who, no matter how hard they try—can’t find happiness.

I agree—people have problems. I agree—life can be hard.

I agree—we don’t always get to choose what happens to us, the family we are born into, or our genetics.

I get that life can deal us a bad hand.

And what I also know—is that no matter what sort of shit storm life throws your way—you can still choose to be happy.

You can still choose to create wealth.

You can still choose to work towards being healthier, no matter what your genetics.

The point is—you can mold, shape and manifest (if you wanna get all spiritual) a life that feels better to you (or that is closer to your dream life) by simply learning to be way, way, way more choosy about your choices.

Here are some examples (and they work if you actually do them…so do them gosh darnit!)

Instead of feeling_____________ when I am driving and that person doesn’t use their turn signal, I choose to feel___________ (you are working towards putting something a bit more positive and good feeling in the second space)

Rather than thinking______________when my checking account balance is under $50, I will instead choose to think______________(you are aiming to come up with a feeling that is a slight improvement from the first feeling. If you truly feel panicked about not having enough money, you probably won’t force a feeling of total confidence about it. But you can find a thought/feeling that is a bit better than panic)

I could really tell that person to_______________ right now, but I will choose to think, do or say ____________because that is a better energy and I know (in the long run) this will raise my vibration and deliver boatloads of life goodies my way. 

My back hurts, I will never lose this weight, my parents were like this, so I am stuck with it. Basically, my health is_________.  And I also know that I co-create my reality with thoughts, feelings and actions, so if I truly want to be a health machine, I better change my thoughts, feelings and actions. I will work on feeling more___________about my health and come up with ways to support a healthy lifestyle rather than adding to the negative energy that perpetuates it. 

*** so the idea here is to fill in the first blank with the actual thing you may feel in that instance. And the second or third blanks, you are reaching for a better thought or feeling. It does NOT have to be fake or forced, just a slight energetic improvement. And in the end, even if all this hocus-pocus manifesting stuff doesn’t work (I wholeheartedly DON’T believe that, because I am living, breathing proof it does) you will at least learn a method to feel a bit better when the going gets tough. 

So fill in the blanks of your life with new, better feelings and thoughts. It really does work, but not if you only think about it here and there and get lazy pants about it. 

If you want the change, you gotta change. You have to choose differently. 

Rip that bandaid off and get it over with already!

xo

Carrie

p.s  always cheering you on…..always. 

How about a little soul cleanse?

How about a little soul cleanse?

Today feels like a great day to begin a soul cleanse.

A soul cleanse—oh yes, yes, yes!!! What the heck is that, you ask?

A soul cleanse is a deep look into what is working/not working in our lives.

A soul cleanse begins with asking— “what uplifts me, what inspires me, what turns me on and gets me fired up, makes me laugh, smile and feel playful?” 

What makes me feel good. Really good?

And conversely it asks “what is dragging me down, sucking my energy, leaving me feeling depleted, bored, sad and tired?”

What is making me feel crappy? 

A soul cleanse is about weeding out what doesn’t feed your higher purpose in life. And it makes room for more light, love and connectedness to the Source of all life.

Then take note. Allow this new space of openness, shedding of old s**t and letting in of the wanted, the pure, the beautiful and the true.

And if this feels to . . . woo-woo . . . too “out there”—then simply do a little mini cleanse. This can be cleansing your e-mail account of old emails and unsubscribing from lists that don’t add something of value to your life.

It can be getting super honest and clear about what you choose to do with your extra time in life. Is watching TV at night really uplifting you? (and the answer can be YES. The answer doesn’t have to be NO. If watching a couple hours of mindless TV at night helps you relax and it’s working for you—then the only thing you need to drop is the guilt about it and just enjoy it—guilt free.)

You could also do a mini juice cleanse (I am starting the blueprint cleanse in a couple days . . . LOVE this one. I always come out of a juice clean feeling super alive.) Or you could commit to removing junk food from your life for a couple weeks.

The sky is truly the limit. The point of a soul cleanse is to just accept, own and embrace the fact that you have all these delicious CHOICES in this life. And what you choose—impacts your life on so many levels.

So, I say—CHOOSE THOSE THINGS THAT GET YOU CLOSER TO THE TRUTH OF WHO YOU ARE—YOUR SOUL.

Ask that beautiful soul, today, right here and now—what you can do for it.

And just listen. Listen to that part of you that knows, knows exactly what it is that you need.

xo

Carrie

11 Daily Habits to Create Personal Excellence

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Excellence is a habit, just as much as a lack of excellence is a habit.

But what is excellence?

In my world, which is a world based on a strong connection to the divine (God, Source, Spirit, whatever word you choose)—excellence isn’t so much about the stuff you have, the letters after your name, or the tax bracket you are in.

And it is for sure not about being perfect.

It’s about the quality of life you have.

Excellence (in The 2 Choices world)—is about how you feel and how connected and in love with life that you are. It’s also about feeling a sense of inner success—that you’re on track, pointed in the right direction and feeling generally super ON FIRE about your life.

It’s about your evolution, and your overall energetic offering to the world.

Yep–it’s about energy.

And yep—it’s about the CHOICE  to do things in a way that get your energy up**, so you can attract more divine gifts (quality food, nice things, luxury, travel, love, health, joy, harmony).

Excellence is a habit. Happiness is a habit. Success and living lives that really feel good—are all habits.

And habits are a choice. And if you’ve been following me for anytime at all—you know I am all about the power of choice.

If we truly desire to change any little or big thing in our life—and create a sense of excellence—we need to choose it.

And then choose it over and over and over again (create a habit out of it).

Yes, Aristotle is spot on—excellence is a habit. And I may add to that—

Excellence is a choice.

The following list is what I personally follow on a day to day basis that has turned my life around—180 degrees. 

And I say this with a sense of humility, grace and gratitude.

There is no chest pounding here.

It’s an honest soul share—from me to you.

I was broke and broken. I was confused, sad and angry. I felt lost and bored with my life.

And then I found a way out. That way out (and through) has gifted me with—world travel, incredible personal and professional relationships, peak health, financial abundance, real joy, and  a deep sense of gratitude. .

I want everyone to feel this way.

The list . . . 11 Daily Habits to Create Excellence

Creating your own unique personal excellence routine is one of the most amazing forms of self love and self care that you can gift to yourself.  I fully encourage you to use the one I created, or come up with your own!

Just as we get into habits that don’t support our dreams and desires and life—we can create new habits that do support what we want.  And in the end—it is a choice.

 

If anything, remember that each day, how you live your life—is a gift and a choice.

 

I sincerely hope you choose to love the heck out of each day.

 

xo

Carrie

p.s.  I will be in Paris, Provence and Rome this May-June, scouting for retreat locations, book business + to follow through with a spiritual calling that has been growing stronger and stronger (it has to do with Mary Magdalene). Excited to share this next evolution with you all. 

 

 

**up also meaning aligned, pure and free of mixed vibrations or energy frequencies.