After the Leap and Before the Landing: Your Time Between-Dreams

(This post is part of the “LifeWork Renewal 101″ Series. The series introduction is HERE.)

Image of woman leaping - suspended between an ending and new beginning


Have you been there…

suspended in a kind of limbo somewhere between a major ending and your next beginning?

I certainly have. Several uncomfortable journeys there in fact.

It’s maddening.

Endings are hard enough. By the time you come out the other end, you’re tired and feeling more than a little beat-up.

You’re ready for relief. Ready for something better. And honestly, ready for some certainty.

But instead, you often find an uncomfortable pause. A between-place that can extend much longer than the practical-brain can stand.

It’s not what you were expecting. And you wonder what you might be doing wrong.

Recently I met Ellen

and her story reminded me powerfully about this normal but daunting territory…

Ellen doesn’t dabble.

She dove into law. She did the mountain of schoolwork, passed the bar, and invested all of her effort and talent. Then she entered misery.

Never a wimp, she gave the profession 10 unhappy years of her life (not counting her years of education.) And, like many doomed relationships, she desperately tried to make it work. She changed positions and explored several different legal roles: Public Defender, Prosecutor, and more…

And found misery in every one.

Ellen’s battle to make her profession work took it’s toll. The stress and misery wore at her pride, ate at her self confidence and, eventually, impacted her health.

Finally, with the gut-deep feeling of standing on a cliff edge, she leapt – quitting, and leaving law for good.

More than a Career Change

It took real courage. It took some good therapy. But when she left Ellen knew it was the only way to get her life back. Beyond leaving law, Ellen was leaving behind her way of choosing. [Read more...]

LifeWork Renewal 101: Ten Truths for the Journey to Your Brilliant NEXT

Image of Man looking across to a summit - ready for career renewal










You’re on a Journey of Renewal

You may have your own title for this – less grand and optimistic sounding.
Maybe your way of talking about it sums up the challenge of your current situation:

  • “I hate my job.”
  • “I’m in transition.”
  • “I’m exhausted but need to keep going.”
  • “I lost my job, my marriage, my spark, my dream…”
  • “I know I don’t want this anymore, but I don’t know what I DO want.”
  • “I’m figuring out what’s next.”
Or perhaps you speak for the part of you that’s already committed to finding a new way. Something like:
  • “I’m ready. Ready for something more.”

However you express it, know that the loss of your old dream is neither a mistake you made, nor a problem with some logical solution that you’ve somehow missed. Most simply – you’ve outgrown it.

And now Life is calling you to discover new brilliance.

Change – Where the Journey Begins

Change happens.

Your change may be external: your job went away, a relationship ended, your nest is suddenly empty, a loved one died, the housing market collapsed…

Or perhaps your change is more internal:

  • A career path that used to be comfortable has begun to feel too small.
  • Important parts of your life that were satisfying have lost meaning.
  • Work that used to energize now drains you.
  • A goal you achieved and enjoyed  is starting to feel like a jail.

Whether something INSIDE has changed and old roles no longer fit, or an OUTSIDE change has mugged your old life, here you are.

Welcome to transition. The journey has begun.

(And, as you’ll discover here at Brilliant NEXT,  you’re in very good travel company.) [Read more...]

Reduced to Joy


Ready for more real joy in your work and life?  What if fear, doubt, past wounds, and every obstacle were actually your teachers? Are you open to their lesson?



This soulful and inspiring On Purpose interview is with Mark Nepo, poet and philosopher who has been called “one of the finest spiritual guides of our time.”

He has published 14 books and 8 audio projects including, Reduced to Joy (voted best Spiritual Book of 2013 by Spirituality and Practice), Seven Thousand Ways to Listen and the #1 New York Times bestseller, The Book of Awakening.  In November 2013 he was a guest on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday.

In 1987, Mark was diagnosed with a rare form of lymphoma.  The heart of that journey and its aftermath has greatly informed his work.  Ever since, he has been a student of all paths and his work has explored the common unity of all spiritual traditions, focusing on how we can experience that unity when we lean into life and hold nothing back.  

You can hear the full interview replay or download the mp3 file using the audio player at the top of this post. You can also listen to this interview, as well as past and future interviews, by subscribing to our free iTunes podcast => HERE.


Gem of Wisdom:  

“One of the greatest allies and resources in my life, and the most difficult, is to wait. In my cancer journey… Only waiting revealed what was the right next step.

“Time and again I’ve been humbled to discover that the things that matter most take time – to reveal a path, a way, a light. Even for me to understand the language of the next step…

“So the most difficult thing, and the thing I’d offer anyone who has any kind of question about who they are and what they’re called to do, is to open our heart. And lean in. And wait. So that a kind of conversation can begin.”

[Read more...]

Project Your Best Self


Is your personal style reflected in what you wear?  What if you could express yourself more fully with the clothes that are in your closet right now, would you?


This energized On Purpose interview is with Carmen Adriana, founder of the FabInjection Wardrobe Salon and the author of, The Fab7:  How to Love Getting Dresses.  She is known for her supportive and honest approach to personal style.

Carmen has worked with multiple celebrities and has been a stylist for The Today Show, CNN, ESPN, AMC TV and for Fashion Week in New York City.  Clients remark on her “excellent eye” when it comes to know what will look great on them as she seamlessly weaves individuality with the latest trends.

Gem of Wisdom:  

“Get clear and make sure you love it.”

One Small Step:

Who is Your Best Self? 

Consider what it is you want to express and then be mindful of what you want to wear.  Consider what it is you’d like to look like and then execute that.  It all starts in your mind.  If you’re not sure about the style you really like, then start with someone you like.  I like a combination of Jennifer Aniston, Jackie O, and Jessica Rabbit. 

[Read more...]

It’s Never Too Late


Have you given up on dreams for a fulfilling career – out of fear, or busyness, or because you feel it’s too late?  What if it wasn’t too late, would you say, YES, to your dreams?


This On Purpose interview is with returning guest, BJ Gallagher, a dynamic workshop leader who has appeared several times on The Today Show, and in the pages of the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times and The Huffington Post.  We talk about how it’s never being too late to change careers and about the impetus for the 2nd edition of her empowering book, It’s Never Too Late to Be What You Might Have Been: A Guide to Getting the Life You Love.

Gem of Wisdom:  

It’s Never Too Late

A favorite quote from E.M. Forster:

“We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”

One Small Step:

Celebrate What’s Right

  • What are 3 simple, doable things I can do today that would make me happier in my career?
  • What can I do?  Don’t let what you can’t do stop you from what you can do.
  • If something bad happens, think like a cat. – How can I land on my feet?  How can I make this work for me rather than against me? 

[Read more...]

Find Your Visual Voice!


Is your unique value lost in all the competing noise?
What would it take for your purpose and the true value of your work came across brilliantly and powerfully – for all to see?


This engaging On Purpose interview is with Polly Dithmer. Polly and her husband Roel brought together over 50 years combined experience leading major projects for top design and architectural firms worldwide to co-found Imagine-Red. Together they’ve developed a process to help businesses find their “Visual Voice” – a powerful brand that’s a catalyst for a business to shine, attract ideal clients, and thrive at a new level.

Hear about Polly’s own path to true livelihood and how it’s led her to serve her clients with a unique blend of high-level design skills combined with coaching expertise.


Gem of Wisdom:   

“Trust your gut on what you’re doing.

“You’ll know what the right thing to do is. But don’t be surprised if the universe throws you a curve ball.  I really love the fact that we think we really need a complete change, yet when we just tweak something it can change our whole life.”

  [Read more...]

What Makes You Come Alive? A Journey to Purpose


Can your work really express your passion and unique gifts?  What’s the revolution going on in our relationship with work?


This energizing  On Purpose interview is with Sean Aiken, the creator of The One Week Job Project – an inspiring journey across North America in which he worked 52 jobs in 52 weeks to find his passion.

He’s been featured in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, TIME, Globe & Mail, on CNN, 20/20, The Rachael Ray Show, Good Morning America, MTV, CBC, CTV, and countless other media outlets around the world. His book, The One Week Job Project, is published by Random House USA and Penguin Books Canada.

Gem of Wisdom:

A question I like is, what would you do it you weren’t afraid?

For me it’s a question that allows me to distinguish very clearly if I am being immobilized by  fear.

One Small Step:

Why do you do what you do?

In each action you take this week, think about how it relates to the bigger picture; or how can you change your perspective of it to see it as an act of service.

  [Read more...]