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Natalie Ledwell: Hi, I'm Natalie Ledwell, and this is The Inspiration Show. Now, my guest today is the beautiful Marci Shimoff. Now, you may recognize her from the book or the movie The Secret. Now Marci is a New York Times bestselling author and the female face to, of the Chicken Soup of the Soul series. Well, actually Marci is one of the bestselling female non-fiction authors of all time. And I have personally read her books like Happy for No Reason and Love for No Reason which I absolutely love. They're really, really easy to read and it got such great practical information that's very easy to apply. Now, she's been a top trainer for many fortune 500 companies and she's in paired of more than 500 national and regional TV and radio shows around the country. So I'm absolutely honored that she was able to spend some time sharing her vast knowledge and experience with you here on the show. Okay, no more stalling, enjoy the video.
Natalie Ledwell: Hi, I'm Natalie Ledwell and this is The Inspiration Show. Now, today, I have a very special guest with me. Now, this lady is actually the bestselling non-fiction women's author. She's a New York Times best seller, she co-authored six of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books, she has two books of her own: Love for No Reason and Happy for No Reason. And so, without further due, I'd like to introduce you to Marci Shimoff.
Marci Shimoff: Great to be here with you Natalie.
Natalie Ledwell: Now Marci, actually, I'm going to be asking you five questions.
Marci Shimoff: Okay.
Natalie Ledwell: This will going to be the five questions that I ask all of my guests and we are really interested to hear that your thoughts on the end and the answers for these.
Marci Shimoff: Okay. They're not true or false questions huh?
Natalie Ledwell: Not True or False. So, the first question is, you know, I've notice that you are someone who actually lives your life with passion. Now, has it always been that way for you? And what is your background before this?
Marci Shimoff: Well, I have to say I was very fortunate in that, when I was 13 years old I found out what I wanted to do with my life. I was 13 years old and I saw my first professional speaker. It was 1971, which make.., a lot of you are doing your quick math, and I'm in my 50s. 1971 and I went to see Zig Ziglar speak and, perhaps you heard about Zig Ziglar he is certainly a classic, amazing man. And I saw him inspiring a whole room full of people and I said that's what I'm here to do with my life. I knew immediately. I went home and told my parents that I have decided what I'm gonna be when I grew up, and that's was a professional speaker or a motivational speaker. And they have no idea what I was talking about because that profession didn't exist. They were very disappointed: they wanted me to be dental hygienist because my dad was a dentist. But my mom teased me, she said, "Honey, you sure talk enough, you might as well get paid for it." So, I had a vision early on, but there were lots and lots of obstacles. Back on those days, it wasn't a profession, there was nothing I could do to study to become a professional speaker. So, I did the closest thing I knew how to do, which was, I got an MBA in Training and Development. I started my career by teaching business writing courses in Fortune 500 companies. I hated it, business writing but it was the only job I could find. And I had to teach five-day business writing classes, where we'd focus on where to put commas and semi colon and how to edit things. And I thought, "This is torturous." It felt torturous. But at the time inside I felt like, "Well, there must be some reasons for this", but I had no idea what the reason was. And reason was revealed the number of years later when I was writing The Chicken Soup for the Soul books and discovering that every skill that I needed, and order to be a good Chicken Soup for the Soul editor or co-author, I had honed during those years teaching business writing.
Natalie Ledwell: Yeah, I know this well. That kind of leads to my next question. Cause of often its fine threads that lead us to our passion or to what it is that we end up doing. You know, what happened with you to get you from the job that you hated into doing what you love now?
Marci Shimoff: Well, let me share with you a formula that I learned from one of my first life coaches a man named Bill Lavasi and it's a formula of, I believe of the Law of Attraction formula, for me, it's what always been the formula I'm using to manifest things in my life. And its three steps, they're intention, attention and no tension. Now, everybody's familiar with the intention step: be clear about what it is you want to create. Most people are clear about the attention step: put your attention, your thoughts, your words, your feelings and your actions behind your intention. But what people aren't so clear about is the no tension step. No tension means let go, relax, be in the inner state of peace and happiness. And that's when things happen. When you're holding on too tight, they don't happen. And that's what I found in my own life. So what was happening to me was, I was clear on my vision, I wanted to be a professional speaker. I wanted to, my ultimate goal was to help influence millions of people's lives, to truly help them live better lives. So that was clear, I put a lot of attention on that, through many years of focusing on that trying to get as far as I could in my career. But, I hadn't done the no tension step. I had a lot of stress behind that, efforting. I was efforting and efforting. Until one day a very dear friend of mine, who you know, Janet Atwood, took me aside and said, "Marci, you're hitting your head against the wall, you're not progressing right now because you are too stressed out," and she said, "I'm taking you away on this seven-day-silent meditation retreat." Now I had not been silent for more than two hours before that in my life. So, this is not an easy thing to do. But I went away with her, and, of the fourth day of silence, in the middle of the one of my meditations, a light bulb went off in my head and I saw the words Chicken Soup for the Woman's Soul. No one had thought of any of this specialty Chicken Soup for the Soul books before. Jack Canfield had been my mentor in the area of self-esteem but the only book that was out was the Original Chicken Soup for the Soul book. And as soon as I saw that light bulb in my head, I saw those Words chicken Soup for the Woman's Soul. I knew that was it: I knew that, that was going to be the thing that would propel me to my next step. There was only one problem, and he problem is did I still have three more days of silence. I just had the great epiphany of my life but I couldn't tell anybody about it. But as soon as the silence was over, I ran to the closest pay phone, I called up Jack and I said, "I got it, the Chicken Soup For the Woman's Soul," and he said, "Oh my god, I can't believe nobody's thought of it," and he called up the publisher and the publisher just said, "Great idea." And that was that, and a year later I had my first book the Chicken Soup For the Woman's Soul came out and it went to number 1. And that week, on the New York times best seller list. But I absolutely know, that I wouldn't have happened, had I not done that step of no tension. So that whole formula for people: intention, attention and no tension, we need all three of those.
Natalie Ledwell: I know, cause it's hard when you're on that side of it, when you actually in stress of everything and in the situation to have to step outside of it. So those are fantastic advice. Now, I know that, from experience success is not an easy ride. There are things that you need to do: there are, you know habits or things that you do day to day that actually keep you focusing, keep you on track. What are some of the things that you do day to day?
Marci Shimoff: It is only the day to day habits that really matter, because day to day habits make up what our life is. And so, I have, what I try to do is introduce a new habit a week in to my life
Natalie Ledwell: Okay.
Marci Shimoff: Now sometimes it takes a couple of weeks for a new habit to take hold. So, a week to three weeks I would say. And some of the things that I do, are to take care of my body, I mean, I really do my best to take care of my body. I do an Ayurvedic, health treatment which is based on Vedic or Indian form of medicine, east-Indian medicine: I wake up in the morning and I do something called an abhyanga, which is a an Ayurvedic massage, oil massage, that I do before I take my shower: I meditate every day: I focus on gratitude as much as possible: I surround myself with wonderful positive people, in various mastermind groups, a support groups for the last 25 years: exercise for me is a very big deal. I think that in different times in people's lives think that we need different things, and to focus on different things but I really believe on a holistic approach to living our best life, I think it has to do with mind, body, heart, soul, relationships, our living our passion, living our purpose, and taking responsibility for our own lives. So, those are the seven areas, are the areas that I focus on.
Natalie Ledwell: Absolutely, especially when it comes to health, like all the money in the world worth nothing if you don't have the health to enjoy it.
Marci Shimoff: Absolutely.
Natalie Ledwell: Really. I often get a lot of aimers, which I'm sure they can rely to this as well. People asking, what to do when they face with adversity. For example, when people, they find it hard to visualize abundance, when they can't pay their bills.
Marci Shimoff: Alright.
Natalie Ledwell: So, what sort of advice you have for those people?
Marci Shimoff: Well, first of all, that is the most important time. When you're experiencing the lack that is the time when you need to be focusing on the abundance, the situation that you would like to create. And to really, gratitude, I believe the fast track to happiness is the fast track to success, is to focus on what is you already have, that will grow, you know, when we put on our attention on grow stronger with our life. So if you are challenged by health, I want you to focus on every bit of appreciation you have for the health that you do currently have. If you're challenged right now by finances, by lack in your finances, I want you to focus on appreciating on every bit of abundance that you currently have. Same with relationships, if you're having problems on relationships. Make a list of all the ways that you feel supported in your relationships, in all the ways when your relationships are working. So by focusing on, what you will appreciate, appreciate in life, what will you appreciate grows. And that to me is key number one.
Natalie Ledwell: Absolutely, I loved that advice. Now, and now is gonna be difficult to narrow this down to just one. But if you could give people listening today one actionable step that they could take to make a difference in their lives today, what would that one step be?
Marci Shimoff: Okay. In addition with gratitude..
Natalie Ledwell: Yes.
Marci Shimoff: I would say there is one other fast track to greater, openness of heart, greater love, and greater happiness in life, which is ultimately what we all want. We all want more love, more happiness, that's the purpose of our life, so one of the most important keys to that is forgiveness. We cannot live a life of open-hearted flow in love, when we are holding on to anger and resentment and grudges. So one my favorite technique that I use a lot every day is the technique called ho'o-ponopono. Now the good news is it's a lot easier to do than it is to say.
Natalie Ledwell: Absolutely.
Marci Shimoff: Ho'oponopono is based on the Kahuna Hawaiian tradition of forgiveness or mending, and it's very simply four phrases, if you have a piece of paper and a pen, I want you to write down these four phrases, they are: I'm sorry: please forgive me: thank you: I love you. And in any order: I'm sorry: please, forgive me: thank you: I love you. And what you do is to have in mind the situation or the person with whom you're having a hard time forgiving and we all have these situations, where we just.., you know there's that block in your heart. And I want you to spend five minutes closing your eyes and feeling those phrases towards the person that you are having the trouble with. "I'm sorry: please, forgive me: thank you: I love you," and it doesn't matter whose quote fault it is, in your heart, I'm sorry: please, forgive me: thank you: I love you. And then spend few minutes feeling that towards yourself as well. If you do that five to seven minutes a day, the next week or two weeks, I guarantee you, you'll experience shift in your life. So use your own life as an experiment and just try it.
Natalie Ledwell: Thank you so much, and thank you much for coming in today. Now if you wanna find out more about Marci if you go to happyfornoreason.com, you'll be able to find that some more about her, I've read both for Happy For No Reason and Love for No Reason, that is the book I've listen the one of the holidays, so, fantastic.
Marci Shimoff: Oh, great. Thank you.
Natalie Ledwell: So thank you gain for your time today. And guys, that's all for today, remember to live large, choose courageously and love without limits. Bye for now.