No. Way.

What kind of a person are you? 

What kind of a person do you say you are? 

What kind of a person do you hold on to being? 

What kind of a person are you proud to say that you are? 

How many of the aspects or qualities that you listed are you empowered by? 

How many of them do you wish you could change? 

Either way, the answer I have for you is good news. 

None of that is true. 

There is no "way" that you are, in truth, in fact, written in stone, unchageable. 

If you are empowered by the ways that you see yourself, fantastic. Keep those things, embolden yourself in those areas. Take those aspects to the next level. 

If you are disempowered by any of the ways that you see yourself, this is fantastic, too. Now, you have the opportunity to recognize that those are simply choices that you are making, and you can choose differently. 

Do you think you are shy, quiet, reserved, introverted, self-conscious? 

I'm here to say, that's not true. That's not the kind of thing that can be true or false. 

You may well have acted shy, quiet, reserved, introverted, or self-conscious in your life. I'm not denying that. You may have been that way for many years, maybe for all of the years of your life. I am still here to assert that there is no truth that you ARE - in some fundamental, unchangeable, inescapable way - any of those things. That is simply not how being human works. 

We have all had the experience of being put into a situation, whether tragic, or exciting, or by surprise, where we responded in a way that was very "unlike us". How could that even be possible, if we are fixed in our fundamental nature? It wouldn't be, because we are not. 

I'm not saying that people around you don't WANT you to be a fixed, set way. We find comfort when the people in our lives act the way we expect them to act, when they respond the same way they have always responded, when they operate out of the same range of emotions and actions that they always have. So what? Do you want to make your life all about making people around you comfortable? Or do you want to make your life extraordinary? 

Your choice. 

What if we play a little game? 

What if we do one thing, say one thing, take one action, be one way that is completely outside of the range of "the kind of person" that we think we are? 

I'll start. 

I'm "not a morning person." 

If I didn't know better, I would argue with you all day for the truth of that statement. I feel worse in the mornings. I do my best work late at night. I don't ever "feel like" hopping right out of bed. I don't enjoy going to bed early. I feel foggy in the mornings. I am usually wide awake at bedtime, and I hit my stride in the early afternoon. Thus, at some point, I decided that I wasn't someone who could get up early in the morning like those crazy people who get up at the crack of dawn and have more done that I get done all day, even before I have hit snooze for the fourth time. 

I could be trapped by this way of seeing myself. 
I could decide (as I have done for most of my life) that it means all sorts of things about what I am capable of, what I must learn to tolerate, and what I can do, be and achieve. 
I could resign myself to being a night-owl.
I could even passionately embrace my night-owl-hood, and accept and fully love that "aspect of myself." 

But all that would be a lie. 

It would be a lie in the first place, because it is resting upon a belief that the truth of the matter is that I am - fundamentally and unchangeably - one particular way. 

And that, is not the kind of thing that can be TRUE. It can be the current state of affairs, certainly. It can be my current modus operandi, for sure. It can be the historical precendent, without a doubt. 

But there is a big difference between a way I have been being, and a way that fundamentally I AM. 

Do you see the difference? 

When I start to override my belief about "how I am", I start seeing how I am capable of being another way. How I am capable of changing. Of transforming. Of reconceptualizing. Of reframing. Of growing. Of being whomever and however I choose. 

This week, we have been at a conference, and I have not wanted to get out of bed when the alarm went off. I have argued against the actual need to get up early and workout before the day begins. I have instintually followed a mental path of considering how I could put things off until later in the day. I didn't want to get out of bed early. 

And guess what I did? 

I got up. 

I put one foot in front of the other. 

I worked out in the morning. 

And I felt great. 

So, again, I ask you: what will you choose? 

What is one area of your life where you could simply choose to be the way you want to be? To choose to be the kind of person you long to be? 

Maybe you want to be someone who has a clean house? Then, take an action toward that. Clean up. Put something away as soon as you use it. 

Maybe you want to be the kind of person who is fit, and in shape? Then, take an action toward that. Park far from the store. Take the stairs. March in place for five minutes. 

I was explaining my story to a new friend last night, and I explained: I'm a bit of a shape shifter. Yes, I've been a lawyer. I've been a teacher. I've been a low-energy, burned-out, over-worked person. And, I am not anyt of those things now. It's one thing to change careers. Many people have done that. It's another thing to transform your way of being. It is possible. It can be done. YOU can do it. 

You can start small. Take a tiny action outside of your range, today. 

Where will you begin?

Live or Die. You Choose.

I have an announcement to make. There is something I want to share with you. 

I want you to know why I am here. 

I mean, on Facebook right now. I also mean, in life. I mean, in the world. I mean, in existence. 

I mean: “Why am I here?” “What is my purpose?” “What do I truly want to do with my life?” 

I have been asking myself this question for several years now. 

Sometimes it was a quiet question running through my mind: 
“What the flip am I really doing with my life?” 
“Why am I not feeling fulfilled in life?” 
“What is the meaning of life, anyway?” 
“Why was I even born?” 
“What am I supposed to be doing with my life?” 
"Is this all there is?" 
“Why doesn’t it feel like I’ve ‘made it’ when I have achieved everything I thought I wanted?” 

I don’t know about you, but when I started asking myself those questions several years ago, I couldn’t really stay with the thought process. I didn’t have time to waste thinking about some existential mumbo-jumbo. I had to pay my cell phone bill. I had a project for work with a looming deadline. II had a to-do list two-and-a-half-feet long. I still had to renew my driver’s license, for God’s sake. 

I would be overcome by that feeling that you feel when you attempt to contemplate something real, something important, something truly human, something deep and existential, and your brain simply refuses to stick with the line of inquiry. The distractions, the anything-but-this thoughts sweep in and you are suddenly preoccupied with all of the mundanities of life. Why did your spouse load the dishwasher wrong again? What day was your kid’s project due again? And, you’ve run away. You are so far from the question of the fundamental reason for your existence, it slips from your consciousness, stashed away as an unfinished sentence, likely to be revived with the next familial death, tragic accident or sudden loss. In other words, at a time when you will be fundamentally incapable (albeit in a different way) with really reckoning with the question. 

So, maybe it will never get answered for you. 

But I stuck with the question. And what you will find, if you do, is the true meaning of fulfillment. If you do not, you will not. 

When I continued to ask myself the question, I took every Harry-Houdini-esque escape path away from sticking with the feelings and thoughts that it raised. I became defensive. At first, I justified my current existence as being my purpose. There was only so much magic I could perform, however. I know that was nonsense. I knew I was not living my purpose. And I had no idea what to do about that. I had no clear vision of what I wanted my life to be about. I had the usual placeholders that involved my relationships, my family, my work. Doing the best I could, being a good wife, impacting those around me, yadda yadda yadda… And for the split second when I could honestly look, I saw that none of those things outside of me were truly the answer to the question of the meaning of my life. 

For the past two years, I have been doing even more tenacious internal work. Digging deep into what — if I could do anything with my life — would I really want me to be my purpose? 

I read hundreds of books. 
I researched the experts on finding your purpose. 
I went to seminars. 
I attended workshops. 
I met with experts.
I masterminded. 
I got coaching. 
I watched videos. 
I did exercises. 
I transformed my daily habits. 
I changed my physical body, so that it was not a distraction. 

And, too, I got stuck in so many aspects of the question. At first, I was so attached to exactly-the-way-my-life-was-at-the-moment-has-to-be-what-I-am-meant-to-do, because otherwise, I would be facing more change than would be comfortable for me. What if I failed in going to the next level? What if this was as good as it gets? Why did I always need to be seeking for more? 

I have been a lawyer. 
I have been a business owner. 
I have been an academic. 
I have been a teacher. 
I have been a mortgage broker. 
I have been an entrepreneur. 
I have been a lot of things. 

And none of those things are the meaning of my life. They have led me here, to this place, and for that, I am grateful. In the beginning, even admitting that I was not living out the purpose of my life was radically difficult. It was a blind spot, too sensitive and painful and raw to look there. 

And even when I was broke, deep in debt, unhappy with myself, feeling bad in my body, spending more time worrying about things that I had to do than I spent actually doing things, even then, I refused steadfastly for months to even contemplate what areas of my life could be considered to be “not working”. 

I justified to myself: 
It was good enough. 
It was better than most. 
It was the best it gets. 
It was the best I could do. 
It was O.K. 
I could survive. 
I can deal with it. 
I will persist. 
It will get better someday. 

I wasn’t wrong. I could survive. I was capable of suffering through, pushing, dealing with things, but why would I avoid doing what I could to make it AMAZING? 

Why keep tolerating the mediocre? 
Why continue just persisting? 
Why accept struggle and suffering? 
Why not shoot for the moon? 

I assume it is because I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know where to start. And, since I had to admit my unhappiness before I could really look at these areas of my life to create them, I feared admitting it, and then being unable to fix it. At least if I was in denial about my dissatisfaction, I didn’t have to really be with it. I could pretend my life was something that it wasn’t. 

At some point, I got clear that what I was sacrificing was MY LIFE. My vitality. My energy. My happiness. My joy. My fulfillment. 

Then, I let the fear go. I gave up the denial. I admitted that there were areas of my life that weren’t as amazing as they could be. Some really were not working, and others were alright, but I was done with being “alright”. I committed to being AMAZING. 


We have one life. 
We have one opportunity. 
We are miracles. 
We are here. 
We can make a difference. 
We can so much more than we believe. 
We can enjoy life to an unimaginable degree. 
We are limiting our joy, energy and love in massive ways. 
We can change. 
We can transform. 
It is never too late. 

And that is why I have spent years deep in personal development, working on myself, on how to be the best kind of human, on how to inspire and motivate myself, and others. 

And guess what? That’s what I’m here to do. That’s what I am going to do. That is what I am doing. 

I am here to share everything that I have learned. 
I am here to teach people how to go beyond what you know is possible. 
I am here to show you how to overcome your limiting beliefs. 
I am here to help you be the best version of yourself, to live your best life. 
I am here to empower others to strengthen their bodies and minds. 
I am here to push you to find and follow your passion. 
I am here to bring you out of the deadness and busyness, into aliveness and vitality. 

So, here’s my question for you: 

What are YOU doing here? 

I mean, on Facebook right now. 

I also mean, in life. 

I mean, in the world. 

I mean, in existence. 

I mean, why are you here? 

When you think about it, notice where your mind goes. If your presumptive answer is something outside of yourself, you are not understanding the question. The reason for your existence cannot be another person’s life. That is their life. We are focusing on YOUR life.  

I want you to look beyond your contribution to your immediate family. It is a given that we want to be the best spouses, parents, and children possible. I want you to look beyond that. I want to know about YOU. I want to know what lights you up. I want to know what brings you joy. I want to know what you would share with the world if you had a platform to share with the world. 

Are you trying to figure it out? Are you looking for an answer, as though it exists somewhere in your head, or in the world? 

Stop it. That’s not where you will find the answer. 

In fact, you will not find the answer anywhere, or at all. 

You will create your answer. 

You will not be forced into it. You will not be cajoled or bribed into it. You will not discover it in a book, a course, a seminar or another person. It will not be demanded by your circumstances. 

It will be created. It will be invented. It will be dreamt up. 

By you. 

You will design the framework for your life. Or, you will not. 

You will life a meaningful, fulfilled life. Or, you will not. 

Are you willing to consider the question? To recognize that the daily distractions and tasks and errands will not get done with joy or energy or love, until you are living a fulfilled life of purpose, with joy and energy and love. You have it all backwards. You think that once you get everything handled, you can turn to designing your life, and creating your purpose. 


Start now, or do never. 

You do not need anything other than what you already have. You simply need to quiet your mind. And open up to infinite possibilities. You need to set aside the limitations and reservations that you believe are facts. You must dream. 

You will die, no matter what. 

Why not live first? 


Allergic Reaction

In the Fall of 2013, Kelly and I were traveling around Europe for a blitzkrieg tour — we were trying to manage Northern Ireland, Ireland, England, Scotland and France, all in about five days. We had completed a full trip around the perimeter of Ireland by car (definitely scarier for Kelly than for me, since I was driving), and we had flown to London from Dublin, and then driven out to Stonehenge for a fly-by photo shoot. We returned to Heathrow and sorely underestimated the time required to go through Customs (another photo shoot of sorts, where they take your picture upon entry and then take your picture when you get to your gate, and perform facial recognition comparison on the two versions of you, coupled to your passport photo for a final check). We waited in a line that seemingly snaked around 1/2 of the United Kingdom, and were finally released to our terminal. I was caught by the random bag checkers, and told Kelly to run to the gate ahead of me to see if he could bribe the gate attendant into waiting for us. We were carrying only backpacks but to say “only” backpacks is a bit misleading. My backpack, for example, probably weighed more than I did. As I watched Kelly hustle off into the distance toward the gate, I lamented the slow pace of the security check and quickly stuffed my things back in the pack as soon as they were done. I shouldered it up, and started off in Kelly’s wake. I was dodging thousands of fellow travelers, narrowly avoiding the aggressively-spraying Duty-Free perfume shop worker, and trying to follow the signs to a gate that seemed to continually recede into the distance.

I saw that I needed to go down one level, and the only options were packed escalators that didn’t allow for variable speed travel, and the stairs. I was starting to breath very heavy at this point, and I was running out of gas. My initial jogging pace had slowed to what probably more closely resembled a stop-and-go waddle, where I would try to muster up the energy to run, and then as soon as I pushed off to do so, I would find my tank empty again, and have to return to walking. I was also moderately panicking because Kelly and I didn’t have cell phones that were active in the UK, so I felt relegated to the Stone Age, and lost in a sea of strangers, starting to really gasp for breath, and drawing some funny looks and probably a few pitying stares. 

I arrived at what should have been the gate assigned to our flight, but there were disturbingly few people at it — approximately zero, in fact. A ran up to a gate agent at the neighboring gate with so many thoughts running through my head and so little oxygen with which to process them. Where was Kelly? Why was the gate empty? Had the plane departed? Why was there no plane visible outside? What was I going to do? Was I suffocating? Were my lungs failing? Would I die here? All of this combined to add crying to the mix of violent things my body was doing, and I gasped and fought for sufficient air to ask the attendant where my flight was. She informed me that this was a remote terminal, which required taking a bus to the plane, and the bus had departed five minutes ago. 

Now I was in full panic mode. Kelly would have known not to get on the plane without me, right? Would he have gotten on the bus? Did I hope that he had, or hope that he hadn’t? I couldn’t think straight enough to decide, and my lungs burned with every new fear that came to mind. I doubled over under the weight of my backpack, hands on knees, and tried desperately to fight for more air. In addition to the myriad immediate concerns I had, I wondered what the heck was going on with my body. Was I really this out of shape? Were my lungs so underutilized that I couldn’t manage to make it to my airplane gate without keeling over dead? I was in a full flop sweat now, no longer needing the fleece jacket and sweater that had barely kept me from freezing at Stonehenge earlier in the day. There was no time to take off the backpack or strip down to a t-shirt, though, when I still didn’t know where Kelly was, or whether he was unwillingly headed to Scotland without me. 

I spun around in circles, searching the area of any signs of that familiar face, and tried to think of a way to communicate. Was there an airport intercom? With so much noise and bustle, I couldn’t imagine one could be effective. And what was going on that I still couldn’t catch my breath? And why was I sneezing all of a sudden? 

The sneezing wouldn’t stop once it started. And I realized that in addition to sweating, my nose was running far faster than I had been. I had to sit down. Or to run again. Or to break through the barrier and run out to the plane to see if Kelly was on board. 

I don’t remember what happened next — it is all a blur of nasal congestion and tears and worries, but I remember the moment that I found Kelly (more accurately, I’m sure, Kelly found me), and we sat down to try to retool our plans for the day. Since we had intended to go to Scotland only for a few hours before flying to Paris to see the Eiffel Tower and the Champs-Élysées, our itinerary needed a pretty decent overhaul. We plopped down in a little seating area, and I felt three inches taller once I removed my backpack. After peeling off my wet outer layers, I started to breath somewhat regularly again, but the sneezing! I suddenly remembered back to many years before when I had taken up running out of the blue, in a desperate attempt to “get into shape” and learn the habit of daily exercise. I pushed myself far too hard out of the gate, and every time, ended up returning home with a runny nose and sneezing that would not quit. I counted six sneezes in ten seconds. People in the airport were starting to stare, and to shield themselves and their loved ones, with increasing certainty that I had a communicable disease that they did not wish to contract. Aha! I knew it! I was allergic to exercise! 

That had actually been the “diagnosis” I had gotten those years earlier. Or, more accurately, I was diagnosed with “exercise-induced allergies”. But it got me a lot further off the hook to say I was allergic to exercise, and that’s certainly how it felt to me. Throw in the towel, there’s no way working out can be good for me when it leaves me feeling like a sniffling, sneezing, I’ll-never-rest-without-cough-medicine caricature. 

I remembered that the trigger for this allergic reaction had been my heart rate going above 200 bpm. Once I entered that range, it was pretty much a guarantee that the next few hours, days, or even weeks would require a case of tissue boxes, and would result in a red, chapped nose and the annoyance of a general malaise that has lots of symptoms, but doesn’t feel terrible. I just looked and sounded like I felt terrible, so maybe it wasn’t so bad. I was sure that the running, plus the backpack, plus the stress had skyrocketed my heart rate into its highest range, which was probably around 220 bpm. This attack would not pass quickly. 

I managed to stop sneezing for long enough to book a new flight and avoid getting thrown in quarantine, and quickly went in search of the nearest pharmacy, to stock up on nasal spray, decongestant and the London-esque version of Chap Stick. 

We had an amazing trip to Paris and I was particularly thankful for the hot muller cider at the Christmas Market on the Champs-Elysées. But the rest of the trip, and even the long-haul flight home was punctuated my sneezing fits and an unimaginably runny nose. Needless to say, we weren’t working out in our hotel rooms, or committed to any kind of daily fitness at this point. 

But that’s not to say that we hadn’t been trying. This process, like this post, is very long, and winding, and has peaks and valleys. We had tried several times to make going to the nearby YMCA part of our routine, but the number of days per week that we were able to get out of the office, to the gym, and not feel tried and haggard by the end of the day were few and far between. And when we did make it to the YMCA, I shudder now to think about how I spent my time there — either mindlessly running on the treadmill, repetitiously stepping on the StairClimber, or randomly approaching weight machines and arbitrarily doing a few reps until I felt satisfied that what I was doing could be called “working out.” 

And I thought that was what you were supposed to do. I thought you were either supposed to know what to do, or that what I was doing was what you were supposed to do — what pretty much everyone else there was doing. Some limited, repetitive movement, without much variation in intensity, and lacking in much of any functional fitness benefits, and the only muscle confusion that I experienced was the confusion of not knowing precisely how to sit myself down on any given machine, or which lever to pull where, and at what weight. 

Fast forward to today (I promise this is going to tie together, and bless your heart for reading this far, if you have made it), and the same laborious breathing, the same intensity of exertion has a wildly different impact on my body. That trip and the resulting sneezefest was probably a significant factor in my choice — albeit six months later, in April 2014 — to purchase P90X3 and try out one of those “weird, home-workout programs from TV”. 

Because if I had a hard time getting to the YMCA down the street every day (and I definitely did), and even when I did get there, I didn’t have appreciable results that benefitted my daily life, maybe working out at home would help. 

Maybe clearing some space in the living room was possible. 

Maybe we could move an end table or push the couch to the other side of the room without disrupting the delicate consumption-based imbalance of its current setup, where its sole function was to hold our lazy butts when consuming television, or serving as a place to eat dinner when we were inspired by an advertisement to actually get up off the couch to go get something else to consume. 

And it wasn’t a straight line from there to here. 

It wasn’t a miracle cure or a magic pill or an instantly gratifying kind of thing, even though I had spent years searching for that. It took almost a year for us to get into a rhythm that could reasonably be described as consistent or habitual, and it took another year for us to solidify that habit to the point of shifting to something that it’s weird NOT to do, versus being something that was kind of miraculous if it actually got done.  At this point, I haven’t missed a day of working out (or intentional rest and recovery) in almost two years. 

And my allergy to exercise? 

I don’t know if I still have it or not, but it certainly isn’t any impediment to a strong, healthy, exercise-filled life. It turns out, being in shape makes it quite difficult to rocket your heart rate to anywhere near 220, because my heart and lungs are so much stronger now, and my muscles so much more efficient and powerful, that I can do almost anything I want to do with my body and still feel closer to the comfortable range of experience than to the holy-shit-what-is-happening-to-my-body kind of thing. I’ve been intensifying the new “Clean Week” workouts we’ve been doing this week in our accountability group, and I am breathing hard and fast and with just as much intensity by the end of the routine as I was that day at Heathrow, but there is no burning in my lungs, there is no weakness in my heart, there is power and strength and capacity. And thank goodness, there is no seriatim sneezery or Rudolph-esque red nose in sight. 

I have been thinking a lot lately about why I am so passionate about sharing the benefits of exercise, and so many of the reasons are so overly simple, but truly profound. The biggest of which is that we are mortal (Sorry, meant to say: spoiler alert!), and someday, we may have to fight for our lives, in a long and protracted battle, or an acute and intense one. And we don’t have to be resigned to losing those fights. 

We are warriors. 

The strength that I build in thirty minutes a day gives me the confidence to know that if there is a battle to fight, that I will be strong enough, conditioned enough, and brave enough to fight and win. 

If I can build this daily habit, with an alleged allergy to exercise itself, you can, too.


The War of Love

By: Kelly Roberts, The NOW Nation

I got into a fight with Lauren Roberts in London.

We are sitting on the couch in our flat and I am working on a graphic design project when she asks me several questions about how I’m going about it, and ends with: “Why would you do it that way?” 

My internal reaction to Lauren’s question is immediate. I begin running through a list of justifications and defenses for my actions. My weapons are drawn and defenses raised, before I am even aware of what is happening.

This isn’t a loud, demonstrative, or obviously argumentative fight. My mother trained me early and often, by force of switch, ruler, belt, and hand, that talking back is not an option. No, this is character assassination by sniper, perpetrated in the mind, utilizing my arsenal of stored up petty wrongs and grievances, which I have been cataloguing for this exact purpose.

I answer her with an attempt to deflect the conversation: “I’m doing it this way because I’m doing it this way.” 

She gets up from the couch and goes about her business. I sit there and ostensibly continue working, but now I’m using jerky and exaggerated movements, as if to assert my righteousness. Externally, I’m quiet and appear focused on my computer, but the exterior calm belies my internal turmoil.

I take Lauren’s questioning my actions as an impugnment of my intelligence, decision-making ability, and manhood. I interpret Lauren’s intention as accusatorial and not inquisitive. I feel like I am being told that I've done something wrong. Suddenly, in my mind, we are at odds, and not on the same team, so I feel distance between us. My mindset turns adversarial and I begin to view all of our interactions through this new lens. I continue working, doing it the way I am doing it, armed and ready to combat any future hostile infiltration. 

I sit there, walled off emotionally, my ego feeling superficially protected. I get to be right, and there is a certain rush of being in battle mode, as I start tabulating all the ways that I am being unjustly injured. 

My posture of justification and defensiveness causes me to withdraw further and further into myself, taking me out of the current moment of life and isolating me within the dank cellar of my mind, where I take counsel and comfort from the corpses of real and imagined injustices of the past.

The energy that is generated by this self-righteous indignation is not a creative force. It does nothing to forward what I am out to create in life. At best, it is a distraction from my ability to enjoy life and create the world I want. This energy creates distance, separation and loneness. At worst, it is the beginning of a slow dissolution of my ability to feel love and affinity for the person I love the most in this world. 

The weight and pain of recasting my friend and lover as my betrayer and adversary suppresses my joy, my self-expression, and my power. If I allow it, another layer of scar tissue will form from this self-inflicted wound, eventually becoming an impenetrable armor of distrust, self-justification, and isolation.

Can you relate? 

Assuming you are human, too, I imagine that you can. 

So, what do I do, and what can you do, if you do not want separation to creep into your relationships? How can you prevent it from happening, especially when starting down the path is an automatic response that begins before we are even aware it’s occurring?

The first step is to pay attention to your moods and behaviors and to be honest about them, with yourself and others. Being honest takes work and constant practice for me. 

As soon as you realize that you are creating separation between yourself and someone you love, give up the right to defend yourself and let go of the intoxicating rush of being justified in your anger. 

I take a deep breath. Or several. This calms my body and breaks the flow of negative thoughts. 

Recreate what you are committed to having the relationship be like. Paint a mental picture of how you actually want it to be, and experience the positive emotions associated with that vignette. Make the choice for it to be that way, NOW!

Ask yourself: if your relationship was exactly how you want it to be, right this moment, how would you act? What thoughts about your partner would you have? What would you say? What would you do? Take full responsibility for your actions and words. Give up being the victim. Clean up anything you need to with the other person. 

This is not about you putting up with either physical, mental, or verbal abuse. Sometimes taking responsibility looks like setting boundaries, and not allowing the other person to violate their own integrity and humanity by treating you in certain ways. That may mean ending abusive relationships.

What this is about is you standing in your own power, irrespective of the actions of others. This is about you creating and living the life of your design and not surviving an automatic and reactionary life. 

Within the hour of realizing that I was creating separation, I shifted my thoughts and behaviors back to love and affinity for Lauren. A fight that would have lasted for days early on in our relationship, never had time to fester or grow into a lasting barrier between us. 

The next day we enjoyed the Queen’s Walk and ended the day watching the sunset at Big Ben. Together. 

You hold the power to make your relationships great. 

Will you create wonderful memories or breed anger and resentment? 

The choice is yours.


Work. Pay bills. Sleep. Eat. Repeat. Die.

Have you ever felt like you were meant for more?

That you weren't just here to be born, pay bills and die?

I remember years of my life when I felt like that was all there was. Paying bills. And dying. It wasn't living, that's for sure.

I know that most of the messages in today's society are more geared toward lose-lose situations. I want to tell you something. 

That is not how the world really works.

The win-lose or lose-lose paradigms are meant to sell you more shit, to continue to feed your addictions, to placate yourself with living vicariously through television and escapism. The idea that either you are screwed, or -- if you are not -- you are screwing someone else by winning -- is entirely flawed, made-up and nonsense.

The real world is win-win.

The real world is not a zero-sum game.

When I am joyful, my joy multiples and is given to you, and can create joy in you, which only serves to heighten and enhance my own joy. It's a simple example, but it's really all you need to know. Win-win is real.

Remember to, 
Live NOW with Lauren Roberts 

How to be Consistent

By: Kelly Roberts, The NOW Nation

I am not consistent in areas of my life that are important to me. It’s been this way as far back as I can remember. I take on a new habit to learn a new skill or move my life in a different direction, but within days, or even hours, I’ve quit.

It must be a matter of willpower, right? 

I give myself pep talks. I promise myself I’ll try harder.  Those pep talks don’t last, and I inevitably break my promises. I know I must lack something that successful people possess.

Maybe I can find a tool that can help me.

I search for another book that I can read, different iPhone app, or a better plan that I can develop, which will allow me to be successful.  As each of these hopes fail time and time again, I began to see myself as someone who loves to start new things, but lacks follow-through.




Here’s the reality: I am a consistent person. 

I exercise every day. I drink a shake packed full of superfoods and antioxidants daily. I drink coffee religiously and follow a plant-based diet. I brush my teeth and shower most days. I shave every 3-4 days. I lace my shoes up when I put them on. I read, I do personal development. I carry out long conversations with myself in my head.

If I were to catalogue my week, or look back through my Snapchat stories, I could list dozens of things that I do consistently. My life is full of consistencies and follow-through. Sure, there may be certain things that I am not consistent with, but I am not an inconsistent person by nature. 

So, what gives? 

I understand the benefits of consistency. I’ve read The Compound Effect several times. I lost 70 pounds and eliminated the need  for high cholesterol medications through consistent exercise and smart food choices. I have not been sick in years because I consistently give my body the nutrition it needs with my shake. I know from personal experience that taking consistent actions toward a commitment works.

Here’s the thing: Knowing doesn’t produce results. Taking action produces results. 

I have a commitment to sharing on social media. And we’ve established that I have lots of experience with being consistent. I know that consistency produces results. I am even capable of taking the action that there is to take, I just can’t do it consistently. Why am I not being consistent in any area that is so vital to my joy and fulfillment?

There has to be something hidden from me. Some blind spot that I can’t see. I’ve recently gone to work on finding this blind spot, and here is what I have discovered: 

I’m afraid. 

It’s as simple and as complex as that. Simple, because fear is something that I can punch in the face. Complex, because it was so difficult to even recognize the fear.

Before making this discovery, there was no way in hell I would ever publicly admit to being afraid. But this year, I’ve shifted my relationship with fear from one of avoiding, ignoring and denying, to using fear as an indicator of where to apply myself in life.

Until now, I was never even confronted with telling others about my fear, because as far as I knew, I wasn’t dealing with fear. Like they say, what you don’t know can’t hurt you. But, truth is: it can rob you of the life you want.

I was unable to recognize or admit to myself that fear was the thing holding me back. If I momentarily suspected fear was at play, my Ego would step right in and nip that inquiry in the bud. After all, I am the hero of my own internal narrative, and heroes do not allow fear to drive either their actions or their reactions to life.

My fear is that I will become successful, that I will fulfill on my commitment to share and contribute to others.

Here is what my fear sounds like, if I let it run wild in the chambers of my mind: 

“If my voice is heard, there will be expectations placed upon me. Just look at what happened to Richard Simmons when he tried to retire! I will have to show up every single day and participate in life. I’ll have to continue to work on myself as a human being, and to fail forward, and to do so publicly.”

“What if I run out of things to say? What if my writing and communication skills don’t improve? I know fulfilling on my commitment will mean doing live videos, and I will have to talk off of the top of my head, instead of editing my thoughts. I can’t do that!”

“Some – maybe many – people will disagree with me, some will make fun of me, others will say mean things about me. What happens when I say something stupid? Will I lose any respect I might have gained from putting myself out there?”

“People close to me have rejected and invalidated my views in the past. What if that happens again in the future, but on a massive scale?”

Wow, that’s a lot of hidden baggage to unpack! I’m terrified and exhausted by that future. I want to slam the lid back on that Pandora’s box! Forget I said anything! Nothing to see here! 

I had no idea that was all lying under the surface, until I realized that it was fear that I was looking for.

I thought that my life was too busy, and that I lacked the self-discipline to keep my promises to myself. The real reason for my inconsistency – fear – was hidden from me. 

We generally recognize our overt fears, the stick that is loud and painful on our backside. The other MO of fear, being the carrot, is more insidious. It is the whisper, not the shout. That whisper sounds like our own voice and it brainwashes us into believing that we are a certain type of person, a person not capable of taking the consistent actions that will lead us to a life we love. It rewards us with the safety and comfort of the familiar and known. Of staying where we are, instead of moving forward. 

Fear shapes our psyche and causes us to avoid what it considers dangerous activities. The activities that create personal growth will cause us to fail along the way. It is safer for the Ego that we believe ourselves to be incapable of obtaining our desires, and thus, never even take the first step. 

Fear drives us away from our dreams with procrastination and distraction. We allow TV shows, our phone notifications, and one urgent fire in our lives after another to prevent us from taking consistent action. Eventually, we forget that we even dreamed and dared to see something greater for ourselves and our lives.

Recognize your inconsistency and resistance for what it is: 


Now, you can act against it. Don’t allow fear to lull you into the comfortable dialogue of all the reasons and excuses you use that keep you from taking the actions that will produce the results you want for your life.

That is my discovery, my heart, my contribution for today. I give it to you because I am afraid to do so. You can agree with it. You can disagree with it. You can like it, or think that it is foolish and silly. You can take action as a result of having read it, you can ignore it, or allow it to fade into the background of your busy life. 

Of course I want to make a difference for you, but my success or failure today is, in a way, immaterial. Yesterday, I picked up my pen and captured my thoughts. Today, I composed this post and published it to my timeline. Tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, and the day after that, I will take action. 

Where are you stuck in life? What promises to yourself do you consistently break? Look very closely, and see if there might be fear hidden there.

Fear is a bully, a shadow. Shine a light on it. 

Disappear the invisible carrot that fear is dangling in front of you by setting aside comfort, anonymity and passivity. Comment below and tell us about an area of your life where you have not been consistent, where you can’t seem to make regular and steady progress toward your goal. Say what has stopped you in the past. Then, see your reasons and excuses for what they actually are: FEAR! Fear will always be a part of life, but you can change your relationship to it by recognizing it, seeing it for what it is, and taking action anyway.

The Motivation Manifesto

Kelly Roberts (aka Coach Kelly Roberts) bought this book for me today, and it was exactly what I needed. 

"This is the ultimate misery: living a life that is not our own. 

A difficult choice must therefore be made between the comforts of fitting in and pleasing others and our higher motive for Personal Freedom. 

This choice is easier once we reach the levels of maturity and enlightenment that allow us to see that we can be individually free but not entirely apart from our culture and those we love, that independence does not preclude interdependence, that individual uniqueness does not mean that we must be socially or spiritually distant outcasts. We learn that the more we are true to ourselves, the more we can connect with and contribute to the world." 

That's my tidbit of the day. Because sharing is the ultimate form of caring. 

Love, Lauren Roberts

(aka Coach Lauren Roberts, the other half of The NOW Nation)

 The Motivation Manifesto

The Motivation Manifesto

What I am is What I am

I am not any one. 

I am not any one person. 

I am not any one way. 

I am not any one thing.

I am a lover, a lawyer, a friend, a frenemy, a pacifist and a fighter. I have been cowardly, brave, pure-hearted and deceitful. I can be energetic and lethargic in the space of a second-hand’s journey. I am my own boss, I have been my only confidant and I can be my own worst enemy. I am happy, outgoing, bright, shiny, shy and withdrawn. 

Maybe you think, “Well, yes, Lauren, you are a little wonky and idiosyncratic and even extremist at times. I’ve always known that about you.” 

But here’s the craziest part — you are not any one, either. You are not any one way, any one “type” of person, anything fixed at all. 

You hold a multitude. You have acted the fool, been the smartest person in the room, felt accomplished and sat in the dark, contemplating your failures. You have been outgoing and shy, honest and wily. 

I am a myth. You are a myth. The idea that I “am” any certain way — it’s a complete fiction. Don’t underestimate your attachment to your first drafts (even shitty ones), but push yourself to edit ruthlessly. 

We are the authors. 

Do you love the story you are writing? You are living it, so shouldn’t you be loving it? 

Life is a choose-your-own-ending novel, and the publisher is awaiting your final draft. I can’t wait to read all about who you choose to become.


You (Two) To, Too

I am sweating and I didn’t want to be. 

If you know me, you know that I love my work. Right around the time Kelly and I had planned to fire up our daily routine in INSANITY MAX:30, I got really involved in one of my cases. It’s juicy and technical and complicated and loaded with ridiculously complex equations, and I love it. So, it’s easy to get wrapped up in it! An hour passed, and I was making good progress, so why should I stop working when I am on a roll? Yes, I know exercising is important, but this is my job, my livelihood, and there is a lot on the line with this case. So, could you have held it against me if I had skipped out on thirty minutes of working out? I mean, by the time that I worked out, cooled down and showered, I’d have lost a solid half hour. Who has that kind of time to throw around? I certainly don’t. 

But this is where the coolest part of being a human comes in. With a head full of all those thoughts, reasons and rationalities, I stood up from the computer. Just like that! Out of alignment with all that noise in my head. Because I knew what I was committed to. And then, I saw something interesting in the last document out of the corner of my eye, and I sat back down to check it out. But then, I remembered what I had been doing, and I stood up from the computer again. I walked to the living room and told Kelly I was ready now, hoping the video would start before I found another metaphorical squirrel to chase around the house. And it did. But then, I realized that I forgot to set up my phone to record, so we stopped the video, I grabbed my phone from my desk, almost put my hands on the keyboard out of habit, but consciously avoided looking at the fascinating documents on my monitor, got the phone set up, and we were ready to go. Restart and proceed, we did. 

I was so conscious at that moment of how much I didn’t want to work out. I was suddenly thirsty, hungry and had to pee, all at the same time. 

I let the body sensations come and go, quickly falling into the rhythm of the workout, as I have for almost a year now, every day. 

By minute three, I wanted nothing more than to quit. There had to be a reasonable excuse not to do the rest of the workout, right? I mean, 90% of people aren’t doing this to themselves every day. Why do I feel the need to be so special? Can’t I just post some inspirational quotes on Facebook once and a while and consider my contribution to the world of health and fitness a net positive? 

My lungs felt like they were going to explode. I had flash backs to being the kid picked third to last in dodgeball, or laying down in the woods during track practice and pretending I ran the whole circuit without working up a sweat. Basically, I was fully in the headspace of a time when I felt bad and self-conscious about my physical self, and physically, I felt absolutely terrible. 

You wouldn’t have blamed me for calling it a day and begging off, would you? 

If you’re truly a friend, if you truly care about my self and my life, I hope that you would be just a little upset with me. Not the kind of mean, nasty, dominating upset, but just the gentle, because-you-love-me kind of upset. Because you know that I’m committed to feeling great about my physical self. Because you know that I’m committed to being an inspiration and a demonstration to anyone out there who is open to it. Because you know that I am always preaching about how I don’t care whether you want to (because unless you’re just plain weird, you won’t), or whether you feel like it (at any given moment, who doesn’t feel like plopping on the coach and taking a break from it all?), or whether you think you don’t have time (because I’ve seen so many people who literally had NO time, make time, because you can). I am always preaching that your wants, feelings and schedule are only on your side when you decide that they are. So, I hope you wouldn’t just let it slide. 

Knowing that you all were out there, despite feeling bad, lungs burning, tightness in my throat, uncharacteristic tiredness in my body, and calves starting to scream, I said to my immediate desires, my habitual thoughts and my fickle feelings: “I get to say how this is going. And we are doing this.” For me. For you. For life.  

I put the thoughts away. I gave them a little space to run around my head while I got back into the groove of the workout, I worked on being with the feelings (because if my body was already hurting, it was a good time to get a little emotional catharsis out of the way at the same time, right?), and I just kept moving.

Summing up a longer story for another day, the short version is that I started this journey into fitness because my mother and grandmother both died of breast cancer before age 50. My Mom was just a couple of years past 40. I am 37. My 38th birthday is this weekend. You do the math. I had to do something. 

So, when this fitness thing began, it started with me walking 10,000 steps a day and trying to take heed of my physical body during any spare moments. Waiting in line at the store? I would stand on one leg and learn balance (and, depending on the length of the line, possibly work up a sweat). Sitting at home watching Netflix? I would sit on a stability ball, do some stretching or work on good posture and core strength. 

It was only three years ago when it started, and then, it didn’t look anything like it does now. For the first year, you probably couldn’t have seen a single change externally. There was no jumping, no sweating, no proselytizing, nothing. Just a little more movement, and a conscious commitment to prioritize my health, vitality and wellbeing. 

But guess what? After about two years in to working on workout out, I finally got in the habit of exercising every day for thirty minutes. And for the past year, we have. Religiously. Daily. All those days we wanted to, and the many more that we did not. Truth be told, it wasn’t a habit that I succeeded at forming without a community. So, I found and made a community. And community worked. Because it does. Because, human nature, and scientific evidence. 

And guess what else? If you’ve come this far into my life (and into this post), you are most certainly a part of that community. So if you don’t have the habit of working out for a half an hour a day, of working up a sweat on a very regular basis, of feeling strong and vital and comfortable in your own skin, then I have work to do. And that’s what I’m doing. That’s why every night, I check into a special little app that has a special place on my phone (thankfully, that is no longer a group on Facebook), and I log my workout and my daily dose of dense nutrition, and I get to see what all the amazing challengers in our groups are doing. I have the opportunity to see their achievements, boost them through their struggles, and encourage them to keep going. Until it’s a habit. Until it is just “what you do” — because that’s when something shifts. 

To fulfill on everything we’re committed to, Kelly and I will be starting a new challenge group especially for lawyers, legal professionals, paralegals, admin, and anyone else whose life seems dictated by the demands of the almighty law. We are filling the group this week, and will start on July 11th.

If you’re not a lawyer, (smart move by you), and we have a challenge grow that has a rolling available start at anytime in the first two weeks of July. Everything is done virtually, the workouts are done at home, on your schedule, and at your current level of fitness, and I promise you will get everything you need to start to form the ultimate habit. 

Come and see what all the fuss is about. Set aside any nonsense about how it won’t work for you, how I’m talking to the other people out there, how this isn’t something that your body and mind need. I call BS. And I want you to experience your body (and mind) as strong, comfortable, flexible, resilient, powerful and full of vitality. We have helped dozens of people, and we are committed to helping tens and hundreds of thousands more. We are just getting started, so get in on the ground floor. 

I’m confident if you have figured out social media sufficient to be reading this, you know how to reach me, but to be clear, you can comment below, private message me, yell out your window (only applicable to those who live really close by), text, call or send a telegram. Or a raven. But please, if you opt for the latter, no three-eyes and no spoilers. 

As much as it might seem otherwise, Kelly and I don’t live (or love) to workout. But we absolutely work out to live (and love). 

And we want you to, too. 

Please ...

Please don't say you don't have enough time. 

Please don't say you don't have enough space. 

Please don't tell me you travel too much. 

Please don't tell me there's too much going on. 

Please don't tell me that you don't think you can do it. 

There are programs for every size, shape and ability level. We couldn't have done this program when we started a year and a half ago either. We didn't start here. But we got here. And it's a great place to be. 

If you want to, have to, or must, say it is not a priority that you are choosing right now. Because that is the only truth if you are not playing this game of health & vitality with us! 

Let's transform the world! Let's bring back play! Let's revel in health and energy and vibrancy! 

Who's in? Join us and Choose Fitness NOW


"Yes, I am ruthless. 

I am ruthless in the sense that I see no need for people to suffer. 

I see no need for people to live lives of 'if only...' or 'I could have been...' 

Or for somebody to be on their deathbed and realize that they had something to give, they had something to contribute. They had something of themselves to express that never got expressed. 

I’m ruthless, ruthlessly against that, ruthlessly for people having ALL of it.”

-- Werner Erhard

Out with the Old, In with the New

Here were my old rules --> 

1. Wear bikinis
2. Take vacations
3. Post photos of myself on Facebook (or anywhere else on the internet)

I followed those rules quite strictly most of my life. And I most certainly NEVER gave a passing thought to combining 1, 2 or 3 above! In fact, I didn't even allow photos of myself to be taken, never mind to be made public! 

Here's to new beginnings: 

Last year, Kelly and I started working out, and we did several rounds of P90X3, which got us strong and in shape. Then we discovered Shaun-T, and we added FOCUS T-25, INSANITY, MAX:30 and P90X2 to the repertoire. We love Shaun-T, Tony Horton, foam rolling, and stability balls, and we just started getting serious about daily Shakeology and using the Performance line to see how far we can go with it. 

I joined as Beachbody Coach to get the 25% discount on products, but immediately saw how much of a difference the company and its people made in my life, and how I could help motivate others to feel amazing about themselves and get healthy, happy and fit, and to uncover blind spots they might have about their own weight loss, fitness or health! Ending the trend of obesity inspires me, because I know how it feels to be hard on myself and my body, and I know how much mental and physical energy extra weight can consume. 

Kelly and I have both seen amazing physical changes, and yet the biggest benefit for me of doing the Beachbody videos—and of being part of the Beachbody community—has been the transformation I have had in how I see myself and how I feel about, and in, my own body.

Tomorrow, we leave for an awesome beach vacation, and I can’t wait to say: Hey Beach, here comes this Beachbody!