Interview with Nancy Levin, Bestselling author of  Jump… and Your Life will Appear

Nancy Levin, Aspire MagAspire Magazine is honored to introduce you to Nancy Levin. Nancy, bestselling author of Jump … And Your Life Will Appear and Writing For My Life, is a Certified Integrative Coach through The Ford Institute For Transformational Training. Since 2002, she’s been the Event Director at Hay House, Inc. producing experiential events and innovative conferences, focusing on self-empowerment, health and spirituality, while weaving in her own story and poems to connect with audiences around the world during keynotes, workshops and seminars. When she’s not on an airplane, Nancy lives in Boulder, Colorado where she received her MFA from Naropa University.

In Jump… And Your Life Will Appear you share a powerful 10-step process of change that really spoke to me.  How did those steps emerge – and how do you know they work?
Once I traversed my greatest fear and found myself on the other bank of the river, so to speak, I noticed that a clear path revealed itself to me. I saw that the stepping-stones (the 10 steps, I personally took toward my own flavor of freedom weren’t only applicable to this particular journey, but to making any major change.
In my case, of course, the jump involved a divorce, but for my clients it has worked with any kind of change—switching jobs or careers, moving to a different part of the world, setting boundaries, doing something totally new, increasing the capacity for self-love, or simply moving out of fear into profound courage and love. Whatever you want to change, wherever you want to jump, these steps are here to support you. How do I know these steps work? I’m living proof! And so are the clients I coach.  
You share that the first step is “Admit to Yourself What You Already Know” – but don’t we already know what we know? 
The big jump that I’m most passionate about is facing what is true. It’s only through facing the truth that we will be able to fulfill our potential and live a life of alignment. When something is “off” in your life, you know it. And when you’re unwilling to accept it, it takes an incredible amount of energy to stay in denial—energy that could be used toward letting go of the old and inviting in the new. That’s what I learned when things finally fell apart. The new was so much better. If I had just been able to let go sooner, I could have started that new life years before. 
What happens when you stay in a situation that isn’t working, denying your own desire for too long? 
Your needs, your health, and your well-being begin to demand to be heard. Even if you don’t heed that call, the truth will come out. Unfortunately, it will come out sideways. Perhaps you’ll become ill or depressed and shutdown. Or if you’re like me, you’ll find yourself expressing those needs in destructive, self-sabotaging, self-abandoning ways. I betrayed myself by pretending to be someone I was not. I betrayed myself in my marriage for eighteen years. And that marriage was a long time to be away from me. Still, underneath the façade of perfection, somewhere deep down where I dared not look, I knew my marriage wasn’t working. I knew for a long time that I wasn’t really happy. But it took me years to admit to myself what I already knew.
Your journey since jumping has been a transformational one.  What’s a key lesson that you’ve learned from your journey?
I’ve learned that betraying yourself can never be the price you pay to avoid betraying someone else. We don’t serve anyone if we are pretending. We only serve their façade—the part of them that is in denial and unwilling to admit what they already know. We don’t owe anyone the denial of who we are. Ultimately, our souls are longing to be whole and free. If you ignore the whispers, if you’ve frozen out feeling, your soul will start screaming to be heard and take you out at the knees.
 
Nancy, forgiveness is a hot topic lately, please share why it’s so important to the process.
I believe that transformation isn’t truly possible without forgiveness, both of yourself and others. If you’re still holding on to negative, judgmental energy that could be used more productively in your life, ask yourself what you need to forgive in order to move forward. Is there some feeling of resentment that’s holding you back—either toward yourself or someone else? Are you resisting your birthright to pleasure, joy and love? Forgive and release any negativity that has a hold on you. And then breathe in freedom. You have a whole new future ahead of you!
 
The term setting boundaries sounds so restrictive. One of your teachings is that boundaries create freedom – I like that perspective. Can you expand on that?
As children, we learn to respond in ways that bring us the least stress and trouble—and that often means allowing ourselves to be moved by others’ wants and needs. But as adults, we have to learn to get past our ingrained fears and make clear choices. Many of us have an inner dialogue that tells us we’re not enough, that we’re not lovable. Refusing to set healthy boundaries is one of the primary ways we express that belief.
We have to stop taking it personally when someone disagrees with us. We have to stop believing that if we disagree with someone or ask for what we want, we’ll end up alone and unloved.
 
You talk about the importance of visualizing your life of freedom. How did visualization help you move through such a difficult part of your life?
Visualizing myself as divorced gave me a new perspective and allowed me to reframe my situation. It was only then that I could begin to feel excited about the possibilities for my life. You don’t actually have to make the leap in order to reap the benefits of a new possibility. All you have to do is start to visualize different possibilities. By willingly considering what potentialities may exist in the abyss of the unknown, you can begin to imagine yourself free.
 
What did you learn about asking for help? 
I had projected the image of “superwoman,” and it turns out that everyone actually believed me! By asking for help, I learned that revealing my vulnerability made me more human and relatable to others. The result was that we were able to have real connection. I slowly started allowing people to see all of me—my “efficient” self and the part of me who throws up her hands and says, “I don’t know.” Feeling “help-less” wasn’t necessary anymore, though, because help was always available to me. I only had to ask.
You talk about honoring resistance and grief in order to move forward. Can you go a little deeper into your thoughts on this?
Honoring your grief is similar to honoring your resistance, but there’s a subtle difference: Grief is just a feeling; it isn’t a setback. It’s a passing visitor. Unlike resistance, which will do anything to keep you from moving forward, grief simply wants to be felt. None of us likes change. Our natural impulse is to come up with all sorts of reasons why we should stay right where we are. You can expect your mind to start making a case for why change is impossible and why you shouldn’t do it. But you can’t let go of something that you haven’t fully felt, so there’s nothing to do but let the grief come.
The only way you can truly say goodbye to anything is to allow everything you feel about it to be fully felt. This isn’t the same as wallowing in your pain; it’s about allowing your feelings to have their say. No graceful exit can happen until you accept what has been.
Since your decision to jump and say ‘yes’ to yourself and your happiness, how has this new outlook transformed your life? 
As I made my jump and learned to say yes more often, here’s what I realized: There is no destination. You’re never “there.” You’re always becoming. You’ll always be jumping—over and over and over. And that’s a good thing.
When so many new opportunities came my way after leaving my marriage, I thought to myself, “I must remember that it happens this way! If I let go, trust, and jump, I will be safe and showered with extraordinary surprises.” Even though the change was very painful at times, I didn’t die the first time I jumped, and I could remind myself I wouldn’t die the next time either!
Allow the wiser part of you to counsel the frightened part of you. Regular small jumps followed by big leaps are a part of the package. Remember, in order to risk anything, we have to be willing to risk everything.
Linda-Joy About Linda-Joy

Linda Joy is on a mission. A mission fueled by the lessons learned and the wisdom and insights gained on her transformational twenty two year journey from single welfare mom and queen of self-sabotage to heart-centered visionary and inspirational catalyst. As publisher of Aspire Magazine, the premiere inspirational magazine for women, host of Inspired Living Secrets
and the bestselling publisher behind Inspired Living Publishing, Ms. Joy’s passion permeates all of her inspirational multi-media brands – each brand dedicated to supporting and empowering women with a Universal message of hope, love and self-empowerment. She is a passionate believer that there are no failures in life — only lessons to be learned and shared.

Today, Ms. Joy works with select heart-centered, visionary women in bringing their message of love, inspiration and empowerment to her global multi-media audiences through her proven collaborative, authentic marketing model that now reaches close to 30,000 women. Learn more at Linda-Joy.com

  • http://www.herbalwise.net Deserie

    Yes! Yes! Yes! So many times during my reading of this article I wanted to copy down your powerful statements as quotes to share with others. Thank you for the reminders to let go and be authentic.

  • http://www.livingincourageonline.com debraoakland

    Linda, I really relate to what you say about letting people see the “efficient” you and being hesitant to showing the side that needs help. I can relate, trying to do everything ourselves is just too much to handle and opening to receiving is a blessing. I am learning – must be the Leo in me!

    On another note I can say grief IS a passing visitor. As you say, you can’t let go of something that you haven’t fully felt. The graceful exit of grief takes more time for some than others, but new doors open and light streams in. Letting go and jumping with awareness and trust is like a breath of fresh air filling the body, mind and soul.

  • Andrea Patten

    “You’re never ‘there.’” Love it! Thanks for a lovely post.

  • DrMinette

    Totally agree that boundaries liberate us. I am definitely inspired to check out Nancy’s book. Great interview.