Welcome to my 8th day of giveaways!
(If you missed Days 1-7, no worries! Just scroll down to the bottom to enter!
I’m having so much fun giving wonderful prizes away that I didn’t want to stop quite yet.
So I have a few more days with some amazing offerings. Isn’t this fun?)
Today, I am thrilled to share a heartfelt, soulful interview with you and an amazing giveway, too! I recently sat down with bestselling author Lisa McCourt to talk about how important self love and complete authenticity are for each of us to have in our lives.
Her new book, Juicy Joy – 7 Simple Steps to Your Glorious, Gutsy Self launched today! What I truly love about it is that it contains tons of journaling exercises to help us get to know ourselves better. It’s a beautifully written book with such an important message: love yourself. Our world would be so different if we all learned how to do this. Lisa’s book is a great place to start doing exactly that!
Please read her interview below and the scroll to the bottom for details about all of the goodies that Lisa is giving away (3 great prizes)!
What exactly is Juicy Joy, and why is it so important for all of us to have it?
Juicy Joy is the result of mastering two rare and precious skills. These are the core abilities that determine your happiness, period. No matter what challenges you’re facing, or what obstacles you need to overcome, these two things are what make all the difference between a rich, joyful, passionate life, and a frustrated, numb, painful existence.
The two skills are authenticity and self-love. But in spite of their enormous power, these words themselves have become meaningless to people. No one actually hears them anymore. They’re vanilla. So I wanted to come up with a term to express what the result of developing these skills would be.
The result is “joy,” yes . . . but it’s much more real and deep and all-encompassing than the smiley, fluffy kind of emotion we often associate with the word “joy.” To me, “juicy” grounds the joy – gives it the kind of weight and substance that more accurately describes what people can expect to experience when they go through the seven steps to learning how to live a truly authentic, self-loving life.
We both believe that the keys for true, lasting happiness are self love and complete authenticity about who we truly are. So many of us strive to live perfect lives – even though we know that perfection doesn’t exist. In this quest for something that can never be attained, we end up feeling depressed, overwhelmed, and like we have failed somehow. Why do you think the need to keep our perfection masks on is so powerful?
We grow dependent upon our masks because we falsely believe they’re the reason people love us. No matter how independent or self-reliant we consider ourselves to be, we are tribal creatures simply by virtue of our humanness, and we all have a deep (albeit sometimes subconscious) longing for connection and community with our fellow humans.
It’s abysmally common in our culture to walk around wearing an accumulation of masks we feel we must maintain in order to get respect, admiration, or love from the people around us. It’s exhausting. As a culture, we’re completely stressed out, burned out, and numbed out from the effort we subconsciously put into maintaining these masks.
Juicy Joy teaches you how to identify and drop the masks, one by one, so that the true, core person you most authentically are can come to the surface. We think we have to hide that self, but learning to live as that core identity is so liberating, so exhilarating, so JUICY . . . that it inevitably leads you to having everything you’ve ever wanted. It’s incredible.
How would our world be different if we all took off our masks and showed our authentic selves?
It would be dramatically different because without our masks there would be no illusion of separateness. Everyone would plainly recognize the divine tapestry that binds us all together, and conflict between people would practically cease to exist. But before we can show our authentic selves to others we have to take the steps to reveal that self to ourselves. Most of us are walking around so far removed from our true core being we can barely hear its faint whispers.
That’s why the steps are so important. People think authenticity is about how you show up for other people, but you can only be in authentic relationship with another to the extent that you are in authentic relationship with yourself.
When we feel very close to someone, we sometimes say: “I can be myself with her.” It’s a funny phrase because there is no way any person can actually prohibit you from being yourself. You can always make the choice to be yourself; there are just certain people who make it easier for you by giving you a sense that they won’t judge you.
The best way to bolster your immunity to judgments from others is to learn how to release your judgments of yourself. That’s why self-love is such an important piece of Juicy Joy authenticity. Developing true self-love naturally fosters connection with the people around you because you stop judging them and stop taking their judgment of your personally. Releasing your judgments of yourself frees you to “be yourself” much more often.
What do you think is a good first step for someone to take who is tired of striving for perfection and is ready to live an authentic life?
Pay attention to your desires. Your desires are the truest indicator who you authentically are.
Learn to love, honor, and appreciate your feelings. We’re so used to denying, resisting, and attempting to manipulate our honest, heartfelt emotions that we become completely desensitized to their messages. Every emotion you feel is a direct message from divine source energy, and we’re taught to constantly sabotage this precious communication system.
To know your feelings is to know you. Decide right now to honor and embrace every feeling that comes up for you. It takes practice because most of us are not in that habit. Start by simply setting the intention for yourself every morning when you wake up: “Today, I’m going to check in periodically and ask myself what I’m feeling.” You might set a goal of deliberately observing your feelings at least once every hour. Then every time you look at a clock, let that serve as a reminder to check in with yourself.
Whenever you notice having a positive feeling, make a point to appreciate it. Your positive feelings are always a cause for celebration and the more you celebrate them, the more you’ll have.
When you notice a negative feeling, consciously welcome that feeling, too. Invite it in. Observe how your default would be to resist the feeling, or push it away or deny it. Choose to do the opposite. Put your hand over your heart or your gut or whatever helps you to intensify the experience of the feeling. Mentally pull back into the “witness state” and observe yourself. Say to yourself, “How interesting that I’m feeling this right now.” Doing this will remind you that you are not the feeling; you are separate from it. Ask the feeling what its gift is, and remain open for an answer to come to you, even if it doesn’t right away. Try to feel grateful for the feeling and whatever it’s here to teach you.
The need to please and put ourselves last is so pervasive in our culture that oftentimes the topic of self love can cause some to feel defensive or feel that it’s selfish to put yourself first. In your book, you talk about how self love is selfish, and that’s actually a good thing. Can you explain what you mean by this?
Until you learn how to love yourself enough to generate authentic joy within YOU, you are powerless to do anything to truly uplift anyone else. The only way to ever truly affect another’s happiness is when you’re so filled up with happiness yourself that it authentically spills out of you; you have surplus to share.
It’s the same with love. When someone who doesn’t love herself claims to love someone else, it’s just not a pure love. It’s tinged with a palpable neediness that makes it hard for the other to accept and freely receive the love. When you don’t fully love yourself first, love becomes a barter commodity, and you’re constantly measuring what you get against what you believe you’re giving. You feel frustrated when you inevitably come up short and that just serves to feed into the cycle of feeling unlovable.
People who don’t understand what real self-love is are afraid that learning skills for self-love will turn them into exhibitionists and narcissists. But exhibitionists and narcissists are actually sadly lacking in true self-love. Becoming authentically self-loving means becoming exquisitely aware of your truest nature, and accepting that core-you so deeply that you feel blissfully comfortable in your own skin, all the time. When you live from that serene, self-loving place, there’s no need for exhibitionism.
Exhibitionists are trying to attract attention for the masks they choose to wear. They create a persona and try to convince everyone that persona is who they are because they’re terrified for anyone to know the true person underneath it. Narcissists, too, are very much out of touch with their core beings. Often delusional, they cling to their imagined sense of importance and superiority over others, which is the opposite of genuine self-love.
When you authentically love yourself, you can’t help but love everyone else. You start to feel the energetic, undeniable human connection that binds us all, and loving others in all their perfect imperfection becomes a natural, unavoidable extension of your own self-loving practice.
What is your favorite way to love yourself and fill up your own cup?
JuicyFeels! Long before I ever thought of writing up my JuicyFeel methods and turning them into energy-shifting exercises for students, they were my personal, private, go-to tools for shifting my own energy into self-loving overdrive. JuicyFeels are like guided visualizations, but they’re more personalized and far more powerful because they allow you to actually feel, in your body, the feelings that lead you to vibrate in accordance with bringing in your desires. I fill my own cup with my delicious JuicyFeels every day!
You talk a lot about the law of attraction – how has knowing that our thoughts and beliefs become our reality changed how you live your life?
When I first learned about the Law of Attraction, I worked hard to eradicate my negative emotions, being sure to consciously replace them, as soon as they crept up, with better-feeling thoughts. It didn’t take long for me to realize that practice was doing me more harm than good. I was missing the point.
Now I’ve learned to simply stop resisting any natural human emotion that comes up for me. When you don’t resist your anger, or your sadness, or your pain, you allow it to move through you; cleanse you. You’re able to find the gift in those emotions and you almost start feeling good about them.
Attempting to mentally override a natural emotion because you’re afraid it will draw bad things into your life causes that emotion to bury itself within your energetic body. You might successfully get it out of your conscious level of awareness, but the energy it takes to suppress it creates a vibration that is just as powerful as your conscious attention. From a Law of Attraction perspective, your vibrational frequency is what draws things to you. Your vibrational frequency is definitely affected by where you choose to place your deliberate attention, but unfortunately it is also affected by your un-deliberate attention.
There’s an iceberg model often used in psychology to illustrate the ratio of conscious thoughts to unconscious ones. Picture an iceberg. The bit sticking out above the waterline represents your conscious thoughts. The big-ass chunk beneath the waterline represents the energy of the beliefs you’re storing that you aren’t even aware of. When you deny any emotion, you’re just shoving it down beneath the waterline. When an above-water belief conflicts with a below-water belief, you experience it as a vague, uncomfortable discord within you. It drains your energy and prevents you from beaming out clear vibrational signals to attract what you want.
I deeply believe our ultimate purpose is to feel joy, love, and expansion and everything we experience is designed to bring us closer to that end. Knowing there’s a gift in every emotion allows me to keep my feelings above the waterline of my conscious attention so that I can blend them with gratitude and learn from them, which always, unfailingly, leads me to greater joy, love, and expansion!
One of my favorite parts of your book is where you say that our soul’s plan doesn’t need to be one of struggle. So often we think that if learning comes too easily, it’s not really learning. You say that the lessons are only hard when we fight against them, and we can train ourselves to go with the flow. Can you share a bit more about how we can go about doing this?
One of the basic tenets of Juicy Joy is that the Universe flat-out adores every one of us, wants us to be gloriously happy, and is always orchestrating on our behalf. Accordingly, every single thing that happens to us is for our benefit somehow. Everything we experience comes bearing a gift.
We all have unwanted circumstances pop up in our lives. How we treat these circumstances determines how quickly and easily we’re able to move through them, and it also determines how often they come up for us. Fighting against our circumstances, or putting a lot of energy into struggling with them or denying them, all results in an unproductive, often prolonged state of suffering. Some might argue that the suffering is what provides the learning opportunity, but I no longer believe that to be the case. While learning can arise from periods of intense suffering, it doesn’t have to happen that way.
With the right tools for decoding the messages in our life situations, we can get the “lesson” quickly and move through it to a more comfortable, wiser, more joyful place pretty quickly. The more we practice with these tools, the speedier we get with our learning and the less painfully the Universe needs to pound us to get its messages through to us.
You only had to learn the capital of Wyoming once in elementary school to be forevermore excused from that particular geography lesson. In the same way, the Universe will be delighted to graduate you once you get the point. The moment you internalize what the Universe is trying to teach you, you won’t have to experience that particular flavor of unwanted circumstance ever again.
I love how you include writing exercises throughout your book. I believe that journaling is an essential part of personal growth. How has your own journaling practice helped you grow into the person you are today?
Since I can’t ever remember I time when I wasn’t a regular journaler, I’m not even sure I can comment intelligently on the difference between having a journaling practice and not having one! I know that as a very young child, journaling was my lifeline. There was nowhere else in my life that I felt at all comfortable expressing my true thoughts and feelings, so my journals took on enormous significance for me. I know my journaling practice has been the only thing that’s kept me connected, throughout my life, to my inner voice, my true core.
Without my journals, I definitely would have lost that connection and I think that’s what happens to so many people today with all the pressure we feel to be and do so many things to fulfill others’ expectations. When my Juicy Joy students begin their NakedWriting exercises, they’re often astonished to re-awaken that long-dormant communication system and begin hearing the faint whispers of that inner voice they’d lost track of.
So many of us (myself included) are guilty of reading a personal growth book and want to be “healed” or “cured” immediately afterwards. Even though we all know that it doesn’t work like that, we still long for a quick, easy fix. Can you talk a bit about how important it is for each of us to take responsibility for our own lives – to not only read the books, but make a conscious choice to do the work and bring lasting change to our lives.
In the introduction to Juicy Joy I make a big deal about imploring the reader to do all the exercises because I so very much want the book to be monumentally transformational for every person who reads it. But the truth is, I know that’s not possible. It IS up to the reader to take responsibility, but I believe readiness is an even bigger factor in determining how much a reader will get out of Juicy Joy or any other self-dev book.
A reader’s readiness can be the result of having done a certain amount of previous personal work, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes a person is ready for a true and lasting paradigm shift simply because of a specific accumulation of life experiences.
I must secretly confess that I do believe the right book, in the right hands, CAN actually result in a nearly immediate cure, or “healing.” In my own personal development journey, it was more a matter of coming to a tipping point. I had done so much work, read so much, absorbed so much, that one day the saturation point finally arrived and I just “got it.”
But I’ve witnessed it happen much more quickly for some people and I believe it’s a matter of timing; they have to be at a point where they truly WANT a shift to occur for them, which means they’re ready to let go of their victim story. When you’re at that point, and the right book lands in your hands, it can absolutely turn your world upside down.
A reporter recently asked me why I’d want to add yet another self-help book to this already-crowded market. I told him I’m thrilled to add my voice to this evolving cacophony of consciousness raising, and I’m thrilled that there are so many different voices. There are billions of people on the planet right now who would be living vastly fuller, richer, more satisfying lives if they had the information in books and magazines like this one. We all deliver and receive information in our own unique ways. My specific life story and my delivery appeals to people who might not resonate with a single other self-help book out there, and that’s true for each of my colleagues as well. I love the fact that so many personal development books and articles are circling the globe right now, shifting human consciousness, and I’m proud to join this peaceful army.
You have lived each step in the Juicy Joy Program. How is your life different from when you first began your journey to now (knowing that we are never “finished” learning and growing)?
Yeah. I like to say I’m the poster child for the popular Richard Bach quote, “We teach what we need to learn.” I’ll always be a people-pleaser. There. I said it. LOL. As far as I’ve come (and that’s quite far, considering where I started!) I doubt I’ll ever fully be free of my knee-jerk tendency to attempt connection with people by trying to be what they want me to be. But the difference is I catch myself doing it now. I have a ready tool-box of tricks to whip out for getting myself back into my ever-more-authentic groove.
When I screw up now, I can witness myself; laugh at myself. It’s like I’m watching a movie about a character I deeply love. I’m rooting for this character, even as she gets into difficult scrapes, has her heart broken. I understand what a lovable, remarkable character this is, so I know she’s going to pull through. I feel her tragedies with her, but always with the clear expectation things are about to turn wonderful. And then they always do.
Anything else that you would like to share?
Yes. Life will start being Juicy Joyful for you as soon as you realize that every moment is a perfect moment. How could it be otherwise? We can only move forward, but loving the hell out of this precise moment, exactly as it is, is the key to moving forward toward the kinds of experiences you most desire. Love and inspiration are all around you, all the time! The Universe wants you to succeed and be happy. Living your unique, personal flavor of Juicy Joy is your highest calling! It’s so easy to love any moment, no matter what it brings, when you passionately love the company you’re keeping in that moment—which will always, without exception, be . . . glorious, gutsy, divine you.
Thank you so much, Lisa, for such a beautiful, authentic, soulful interview!
Lisa has graciously offered to give away 3 prizes!
One lucky winner will receive a copy of her book, Juicy Joy!
Two lucky winners will receive 5 free months to Club Naked!
(Club Naked is the online hotspot for courageous men and women who are ready to embrace authenticity and emotional nakedness as the direct path to a passionate, abundant, juicy-joyful life – with ever-evolving personalization tools, audio and video downloads, take-on-the-go podcasts, and live webinars where you’ll have the chance to interact with today’s hottest self-dev rock-stars.)
Entering is super easy!
- Become a fan of Juicy Joy and Soul Speak on Facebook.
- Leave a comment below sharing one thing you can do today to add more self care into your life.
One lucky winner will be chosen randomly on 4/3!
I can’t wait to read your comments – let’s all start living juicy, joyful lives!
P.S. – Click here to head over to the Juicy Joy launch page today! Lisa is celebrating by offering over $10,000 in bonus gifts and prizes – including our Manifestation Journal Set! So much fun!
P.P.S. – Have you entered all of the other giveaways? There are so many great prizes! Definitely check them out! Hurry though, because many of them end soon!
Click here to win 3 issues of Sprout Magazine.
Click here to win a copy of the book, Ordinary Sacred.
Click here to win a copy of the book, I Believe (which comes with a cd, too!).
Click here to win a copy of the Take Your Fear and Shove it e-course.
Click here to win a copy of the book, The Clairvoyant Path.
Click here to win a copy of the ebook, Trust What You Get + a 15-minute intuitive reading.