Taking Responsibility for Your Own Sh%# Even When It Seems Like Someone Else’s Problem

Taking Responsibility for Your Own Sh%# Even When It Seems Like Someone Else’s Problem

This week we wanted to share a Sorcerer School worksheet with you about Human Interaction – as a portion of the world heads into the holiday season to spend time with family …it’s common that our “shit” can come up during this time!

Human interaction is never one sided. We’re always coming into every communication we have with others, with our own perspective, awareness, perceptions, and background; and the person/people on the other end are always coming in with theirs.

When a disagreement is had, no matter how conscious we may be, our ego’s tendency to protect against threat (which can be as small as a fear of not being liked) can put up invisible walls and shift both our perceptions and the way we communicate things.

So even when the communication issue at hand feels like it was created or perpetuated by someone else, there is always room for you to soften just a little more; to release yet another (if even very subtle) layer of ego, and to surrender even more into the ultimate oneness waiting in your connection with another (yes, even if you’re feeling a giant disconnect in the moment!).

Below we’re sharing our Sorcerer School journal exercise to help you with this shift.


The Magical Side of Self-Sabotage

The Magical Side of Self-Sabotage

Have you ever seen that innocent face a child makes when they feel guilty about something?

If you’re a parent, it’s probably a look you know all too well.

Whether it is guilt from an accident or guilt from something they know they shouldn’t do – that’s my current relationship with self-sabotage.

I know all about self-sabotage.

I spent most of my teens and early twenties living in a state of self-sabotage. In fact, it had a cycle: every 7-8 months I would “ruin” whatever good thing I had going for me because I was becoming uncomfortable with how good things were. It was as if I had a certain “threshold for good” I could not cross.

I didn’t know how to handle all the good.

I repeated this cycle until about 23, when I relocated to San Diego, CA to follow my dream of living by the water.

With a free place to stay, it was a no-brainer to relocate and try it out. The cycle continued: drinking, sleeping around, and feeling miserable no matter how much I drank.

Needless to say, you probably recognize the cycle: I hated myself.

But as we always say at MDS: all of this self-sabotage was leading me somewhere.

As I ran out of funds and had no choice but to spend my evenings sober, I had to start facing my empty apartment and the hole inside of me.

At first, I did everything I could to avoid it:

  • Cleaning the house
  • Applying for jobs {I wasn’t jobless, but was working minimal hours due to some transfer paperwork}
  • Going to the local coffee shop to enjoy their delicious, organic coffee
  • Walking a few miles along the ocean, listening to my favorite playlist

And soon I realized, well, I was just dealing with things.

I wasn’t exactly sitting around basking in my feelings and welcoming them in, but as I allowed myself to grow more present within my own body and being, the overwhelming doom I used to feel when sobriety crept in… started to fade.

I want to say I changed, but I think I simply – finally – opened up.

While it wasn’t until years later that I began embracing all the experiences, failures and wins as life lessons, I can look back and tell you every layer of self-sabotage I pulled back had a lesson waiting for me.

Recently (just last Monday, in fact), embarrassed and ashamed, I came face to face with another layer of self-sabotage.

Even though I see it, realize its gifts, and know the shifts I’m experiencing will yield the best results for me, I am embarrassed.

Similar to that child’s innocent face, I knew what I was doing, but I didn’t – because I was self-sabotaging.

Shame rushes in to scold me because I should know better.

I’ve been dealing with my “threshold for good” all year, how could I have missed this rather obvious self-sabotage?

…I could go on and on.

But as you might have figured out by now, in this shame and “threshold for good,” I’ve been finding a lot of magic.

Through this experience, I’ve discovered:

  • How “in flow” my feelings are. Where I numbed in the past, I now free flow my feelings of shame. It’s freeing and liberating every time I lift a layer of it.
  • How resilient I’ve become. There used to be times when I would be down for hours at a time because I could barely handle hardship. While there are times I still need hours or days, I do so now from a space of self-honoring rather than fear or denial, easily regulating and flowing in my resilience.
  • How far I’ve come. Sometimes we spend so much time dwelling on our stories and who we used to be that we forget who we are right now. I do that all the time. This moment reminds me that all those stories, the shame I’m experiencing… I used to experience this every day. Now, I rarely feel that shame and embarrassment.

So even though right now it hurts and it’s a bit of a struggle, I know even in the hurt that I am safe.

There’s magic waiting for you – all you must do is lean into the lesson.

Whether that is sitting with the feelings, or journaling out the reasons you might be self-sabotaging, it’s all about opening up to the possibilities.

Want to lean in with me?

Hate Is Just Another Sign It’s Time to Grow

Hate Is Just Another Sign It’s Time to Grow

You know those things you just cannot stand? Where you think, “how can anyone stand this?”

This can be anything: A taste. An event. An experience. A type of person.

In moments of experiencing these things, we often use the word “hate.”

I don’t find myself using this word often – and don’t get me wrong, I am a very passionate being. But I lean towards not having any feelings about something rather than flat-out hating it.

This attitude has come from me practicing bringing my stress and panic levels down.

It’s not that I don’t hate anything, it’s that I rarely see the benefit in reacting to things from that negative space.

Reacting is what has landed me in heated conflict that has led to hurt feelings, terminating relationships (both professional and personal) and consequences that take longer to gain back than they did to “earn” them.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that hate is usually driven by a hurt or passion that sits inside of me that I am leaving unacknowledged.

It’s not that I have no opinion, it’s that holding on to hate isn’t serving me.

And honestly, it just doesn’t feel good to hate.

Now, before I get too high up on the pedestal: I still lose my temper about things internally all the time.

I still think in moments of hurt and frustration: I fucking hate this.

But I am always trying to go deeper to see what this hate thing is all about – what is sitting in there? Where is this coming from?

Below, is the step-by-step procedure I use to dip into the hate… and then release it:

  1. Ask yourself: what’s going on?
    I treat these scenarios like I would a concerned friend. I ask myself what’s going on and have a full-on conversation with myself – and it doesn’t always come to light right away.

    At times, I must calm down or just sit with the wave of anger that comes and let it slide through me silently. Every time I let myself just sit with the hate, I realize there is another piece associated with it. There’s something deeper happening in me that’s causing me to have the intense feeling, whether it’s fear or something else.

  2. As you sort through the pieces of what’s happening, pause with each piece.
    It’s never obvious for me right away what’s happening inside of my body. I need time to sit with the feeling to understand it.

As I sort through the plethora of feelings my body is experiencing, I pause with each one momentarily and examine it the way I would a purchase I’m considering. I take my time in this part.

Usually when I hit an item that seems “too bright” – or in this case maybe too painful or frustrating – I know I’ve found the thing that’s at the heart of the issue.

  1. After identifying the “deeper issue,” face it.
    One of the things we do when we’re afraid or hurt by something is avoid it, and refusing to acknowledge it, thinking it will go away. That if we just pretend it’s not there, it might disappear, right?

    Think of your feelings like a boiling pot of pasta. When you put pasta to boil over heat, you’re waiting for it to cook. But what happens if you leave it or don’t turn down the heat? It boils over. It overcooks. You’re left with soggy, overdone pasta and a stove now covered in burnt water marks.

    The more you let an intense feeling boil inside of you, the more destructive you become outside: burning things, soggy-textured pasta and a distaste for life around you. When you face the intense feeling, you avoid the “boiling over” symptoms, and the hurt/consequences are usually much less severe.

  2. Write 5 positive things that came from this experience/thing.
    As you face your demons or intense emotions, it tends to lift the shadow that seemed to cast over it. It gives you a “fresh start” with the thing.

    Once you’ve gotten here, and sitting with the feelings isn’t difficult, ask yourself how you can see things differently. I usually challenge myself to list 5 positive things that came from the experience – and slowly I see myself starting to appreciate the experience for what it is, rather than “hating” whatever brought me here.

And from there, the hate naturally dissolves.

Reminding myself that the hate, the things I fear, or any feeling that tend to “put me out of commission” – it feels like they take over my body – these are all just signs in my body that I am ready to grow.

Intense feelings are my body’s way to bring something to the surface and move through a process – and the discomfort I feel leads to a lot of relief and gratitude for the feeling once I move through it.

It can be hard to remember that in the midst a bad day or an extremely frustrating moment or situation.

I’d love to hear from you: what other intense emotions are “signs” for you that you’re about to move through something? How do you deal with them?

My Failures Are Worth More Than a Business Degree

My Failures Are Worth More Than a Business Degree

I was born with an uncanny ability to put my foot in my mouth. That, coupled with a tendency toward impulsive decision-making, an aversion to authority, and a total disdain for the superficiality of most societal norms, has led to a lifetime of moments involving bewildered, judgmental, and disapproving looks from the casual observer.

Over the years, I’ve been fired from jobs, said some silly things to the wrong authority figures resulting in near-disaster, and made many decisions that I’m very grateful were not caught on video.

Even considering all that, nothing compares to the ways I’ve screwed up since I became an entrepreneur. Nothing compares to the money it’s cost me, the sleepless nights I’ve endured, and the snap decisions that took more time in the long run simply because I didn’t stop to think about them the first time. Most importantly, nothing compares to the immense gratitude I have for these mistakes.

As I’ve founded four companies, the growth I have experienced through my own process of trial and error adds up to far more than any negative consequences from my mistakes ever could. In exchange for each impulsive decision and strategic oversight, I’ve discovered insight that informs my path going forward. For every poor hire, miscalculation, and poorly invested dollar, I’ve cultivated more power, strength, and inner peace than I could have dreamt possible before I made the leap into entrepreneurship.

And for as many benefits as I have personally reaped from my failures, my business has received just as much in rewards of growth, profits, and a transparent company culture that leads to an enormous amount of fun had amongst productivity.

 As entrepreneurs, we’re seeking expansiveness. We want to experience the rush of watching our ideas realized, the validation of our creations being received by the outside world, and the aliveness that comes from spreading our passions across the planet.

Yet we get so caught up in the perfection of that process that many of us never get there.

You can’t blame us, though. Anyone with a vision as strong and a calling as deep as many entrepreneurs today has no choice but to hold steadfast to that deeper knowing that caused them to start down this path in the first place.

If we’re lucky, the only thing that outweighs the voice that tells us we have to get it all right is the drive to get it out there and, even more importantly, the recognition that sometimes “right” is actually what looks wrong.

 As I’ve learned that holding steadfast to my own growth is the most important part of the journey, I’ve also realized that the rocky ride was where the perfection really was — and where the biggest opportunities actually lie. In other words, each time I’ve surrendered to getting bucked off the bull, I’ve stood back up with more love for life and more clarity of purpose than I previously possessed.

It’s not only through the full-on, breakdown-for-days failures that I have experienced expansion. In every little up and down, every day spent creating and re-creating, every step forward and all of the fears that came with it—in each of these adventures in the day-to-day nature of running a business—I’ve gained far more knowledge than I could have hoped to garner through any top-notch MBA program.

We expect that an education from a good business school automatically ensures successful entrepreneurship. But even on that path, it takes a solid amount of failure to eventually create success; because it is only through the failure that inevitably occurs that you can call in the joy, the peace, the full expression, and, ultimately, the success.

And though it’s not for the nimble-hearted, it is a process available to anyone willing to commit to it.

Here are a few tips for choosing your own business as a school of growth:

  1. Follow your gut.
    Your gut feelings are always leading you down the best path for you. Even when they don’t look logical—and often they don’t—your spidey senses will lead you to exactly where you need to be.
  2. Incorporate growth strategies into the way you lead.
    To find fulfillment, your employees’ work must also be a platform for their own growth. Lead with the growth principles that will help your business thrive by infusing them into your company’s culture. If you don’t feel comfortable or ready to do this yourself, bring in an expert to assist you.Alternatively, find a transformational course or methodology you believe in, make it a requirement for all employees to go through it, and use it consistently in the workplace.
  3. Own your experience as a co-creator of everything.
    “It’s all a lesson” isn’t just some cheesy saying that we use to talk ourselves out of feeling crummy when bad things happen.Everything that happens has a message or gift to deliver if you’re willing to look for it. When we recognize we are the co-creators of our lives, we’re able to gain unexpected benefits from every experience and circumstance that presents itself.
  1. Let feelings lead.
    Many leaders possess a misbelief that feelings will become a distraction that will negatively affect their bottom line. However, as humans, we have feelings, and there’s no escaping them. When you allow your feelings to be a healthy part of your business and company culture, it produces the opposite effect than most people expect – improved communication, productivity, morale, and profits.
  2. Invest as much in the internal game of business as the external elements.
    Human beings are the ones running their businesses. And humans have internal landscapes that will always be a part of any situation they’re involved in.To think your internal landscape doesn’t affect your business creates a huge disconnect, so you must give priority to your own internal growth. Internal growth is a practice, and there’s always somewhere deeper to go.In this journey, it can be important to have the guidance of someone who has taken his or her own growth journey deeper that you’ve gone, to support you in breaking past the next level of whatever you may be facing. When your business is founded on a greater calling or a vision that’s bigger than you, the next-level version of you is as important to your company’s growth as it is to your own growth.

What would shift if you stopped fearing failure and started embracing it?

Can you imagine the more expansive version of yourself and your business that might be possible if you could show up fully, even in your imperfections?

Share your comments below!

Why Disconnection Is the Key to Reconnecting

Why Disconnection Is the Key to Reconnecting

Do you ever have those days – randomly, out of the blue – where you wake up just feeling… odd?

It’s as if there’s been some kind of interruption. As if you’ve disconnected from the moment.

Personally, I don’t believe in coincidences or “things happening to me.”

For a self-actualized thinker like myself, I like to look at every moment as a learning opportunity. (Which can be both good and bad.) But sometimes being disconnected spins me into a myriad of stories and thoughts that leave me in a panic.

Picture this:

I’ll be mid-conversation and lose my thought because something else came to mind.

Or I’ll be writing a blog post or marketing campaign and suddenly the inspiration is sucked away by a consideration of someone outside of my target market.

The mind flurries begin:
Wait, what was I thinking/saying?


I will pause to try and get back my train of thought or what I was saying.

If I struggle to restart the thought, I feel a panic rise. Another flurry of thoughts scurry in.

What is going on?
Is something wrong?
Are you not happy?
Is everything okay?
Is this peeling back another layer?
What are you hiding?

It’s like an overprotective parent jumping at every cough or sneeze, thinking that something is wrong with their child. My thoughts spiral and suffocate the disconnection to tears.

My mind is attempting to control my experience and feelings. It can’t lean into the unknown. It’s scared.

Can you imagine how awful it would be to be around someone always trying to shape and control your experiences? (You’ve probably even experienced this.)

If you’ve been there, even for just a few minutes, you probably know how uncomfortable it can be.

And over the last few months, I’ve been really trying to teach myself to disconnect.

Shut off.

I know how this sounds – and let me be clear, it isn’t numbing out. It isn’t not feeling.

I’m compartmentalizing my thoughts into a safe place. Where they can be stored and nurtured until I’m ready to receive them in a calmer state.

Even if they seem unnatural, and you need to be careful about how you use them, moments of disconnection can be a valuable part of your process.

While they feel odd, and can even lead to that feeling of an identity crisis, disconnection is just another part of the human experience.

As with everything you experience in this life, it has its duality.

While disconnection can lead you into a place that feels unfamiliar, and also feeling similar to an identity crisis, there is a grounding that occurs as a disconnect courses through you – if you let it.

As you disconnect, you can explore.

You can greet both new and old feelings.

You can decide how you will respond to said feelings.

Without disconnection, we would never feel that familiar warmth that is settling back into our bodies.

We wouldn’t feel that surge of energetic confidence when we come to a decision or our truth on a topic that was really plaguing us.

We would never experience the magic of reconnecting.

We’d love to hear from you below on what comes up for you when you disconnect, does it feel scary? Like you’re slipping into the unknown? Like you’re not sure if you’ll “come back”?

Share with us, we’d love hear about your duality!