When Your Soul is Telling You to Awaken

Have you ever wondered why your life is the way it is? Have you achieved a lot of goals yet still feel unfulfilled? Do you have a pattern that keeps recurring despite all your best efforts to resolve it?

Problems, dissatisfaction, even frustration, anger and despair are your soul’s way of telling you to listen to your heart and walk a new path, this may be in just one area of your life, or it could encompass multiple areas.

What we do a lot of the time is use force to try to change what we don’t want. We do this through our will, by insisting that we have to earn a certain income, live in a specific area, be in a relationship and so on, and then when what we want doesn’t manifest we complain, blame and to try to control. Sometimes we visualise, affirm and apply the law of attraction to manifest our desires. If you’ve done this you’ll know that sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.

Your heart is always the compass for your soul

Every time you make a choice from the heart you are following your soul. Your soul guides you to the choices and lifestyle that will make your happiest.

During my thirties, I took on the job of setting up and managing a financial advisory business for women. At that time this was quite revolutionary as women weren’t able to get home loans easily, many older women whose husbands had died, didn’t know a thing about their money, even how to write a cheque, so a lot of my work revolved around educating women, as well as selling investment products. Despite having a very large media profile I didn’t make a lot of money from commissions, the area that flowed for me was writing, speaking and teaching. When I was offered a column in a women’s magazine my employer insisted our publicist write the article, which the magazine turned down. Secretly I was glad about this as I didn’t want someone else writing under my name and I that’s when I decided then I wanted my own column. I visualised my name at the top of a column and told any journalists I came in contact with I was interested in writing a regular column, before long I was offered my first column and ended up writing columns for four different publications. My intention in writing these columns was to increase my business but I didn’t make that much from them, what I learnt was that I loved writing, and by observing the journalists who edited my work I learnt a lot.

When I decided to write a book I wrote letters to several publishers and three publishers responded, even though all I had was a concept and no great writing skills.

When I decided to become a professional speaker, out of the blue I was offered paid speaking roles, so I took some classes with a speech and drama teacher as I knew I wasn’t at that level.

When I decided to conduct my first public course Financially Free, I advertised a free introductory talk and told the participants that I had never run a course before so I was only charging $20 a week and they could drop out at any time. Half of the people attending the free introductory talk enrolled in the course and I finished with more people in my class than I began.

Many times over the following years I questioned how I could be so successful in some areas and not in others. For many years my cash flow was erratic. I now understand that when I was on the path of writing, teaching and speaking, money flowed, whereas when I allowed my mind to rule and looked for ways to increase my income, my cash flow diminished.

I now see clearly that life told me that my work at the Financial Woman was just a stepping stone, a way for me to gain valuable skills, experience and a profile that would help me in my life’s work, but it was not what I came into this world to do. I feel as if I was born to teach life skills and whenever I stray from that path, then life doesn’t flow as well.

Our stories do not keep us safe

What prevents us from stepping into the life we are born to live is our story. Our stories are what we tell others, and ourselves, about why our life is the way it is. It is the conversation that we repeatedly have with a friend about something that irritates us, or a problem we are experiencing. Our story is such a familiar part of our everyday lives that most of the time we cannot see how it is running our lives as our stories become self-fulfilling prophecies because we place so much attention on them.

Our stories have no power, it is the emotions associated with our stories that influence the quality of our life. The tougher the challenges we face, the more likely we are to get stuck in our stories. When my business and life were at its peak, which was after I wrote Love the Life You Live, my teenage daughter experienced major depression and was very suicidal. Living with all of the associated problems that resulted from her depression took me off my path and I became stuck in my story. It took being kicked out a spiritual retreat in Sedona for me to become aware and surrender. And as I asked for guidance on what to do I received insights and inspiration that led to the development of the personality archetypes I teach, this not only helped me in my relationship with my daughter, they became an invaluable tool in the work I teach.

Imagine you are given a road map, you know where to start and you know your destination, the map gives you directions as to how to get there.  If you don’t follow the map, or if you decide to explore different routes along the way, then it may take you longer to arrive at your destination, or you may get lost.  Your needs are the map for the choices that will make you happiest.

As you move in the direction of your greatest need your actions often trigger your greatest fears.  Your fears represent the aspects of yourself that would serve you to let go of.  For every fear there is a gift, so when you act on your strengths you not only bring your gifts to the world, you release your fears.

When you trust your heart you can apply the law of attraction to your life with 100% confidence that the right people and opportunities will come into your life to support you. If what you are doing doesn’t work, then reassess. Ask yourself, is this what you really want, or is the way you think you can have what you want? Your heart knows the path in life that is the easiest, and it is the one that will make you the happiest and allow you to grow into the best person you can be. Trust it.


Your Archetypes Contain a Map for your Soul

Carl Jung was, to my knowledge, the first scientist to talk about a map for your soul and personality archetypes. Jung described archetypes as “a pre-shaping possibility”, and while I am not a scientist, I’ve discovered, through my own life experiences, that each one of us has an inbuilt guidance system which is always guiding us to the life which will make us happiest, whether we follow that path is up to us.

When I lived through a prolonged period of extreme stress there wasn’t much in my life that flowed.  It didn’t matter how hard I worked, how much I worked on myself or how positive I tried to be nothing really changed. It was only when I reached breaking point and decided that if I wanted to have any quality of life I needed to accept the things I could not change, that my life started to flow again.

Becoming an accepting person changed my life but it wasn’t easy, and as it’s one of my life lessons, it still challenges me at times. During that time in my life I went to bed every night asking a different question. I never heard a voice which said, ‘this is what you should do’, life would be easier if we did and it can be so easy to miss signs when we have preconceived ideas of how answers should come, or what they should be. My answers came in the form of dreams and insights. I didn’t get the answer I expected – I got something much greater, an understanding of how our personality contains a map for the soul.

I started writing down my observations and discussed them with my daughter Laura Hartley. Laura has had a tremendous input into the development of the nine personality archetypes, sometimes showing a greater insight than I have. Our personality, which is made up of three personality archetypes, acts like a map for the soul which shows us what motivates us, the fears we need to face, the lessons we need to learn, the potential within us and the gifts we have to share.

If we only had one archetype life would be straightforward, but as we have three natural personality archetypes the interaction of these archetypes, combined with learned behavior is what makes our life path unique.

Some archetypes have a very clear path to follow, they are here to make a difference. Some combinations are clearly here to learn to love and trust themselves and to move beyond worrying about what other people think so that they can share their gifts. Other combinations clearly need to overcome their own insecurities and take responsibility for their dreams. Every archetype comes with positive and negative traits, fears and lessons to learn and gifts to share.

My gifts are to serve, love and share my wisdom. This has given me a very clear vision of what I want to do with the rest of my life. Sometimes though, when life isn’t flowing we can feel stuck, this is when understanding what motivates us can support us to move through our fears.

The soul knows what it came here to do and it is always supporting you and guiding you to the place in life that makes you happy. Pause and listen – what is your soul calling you to do?

If you want to understand your personal map come along to my Dharma Retreat to be held in Sydney in August. http://www.annehartley.com.au/dharma-retreat/ 

To Hear Your Intuition You Need To Quiet Your Mind

On 19th October 1987 I was working as a financial planner. This was the day that the media dubbed as ‘Black Monday’ when stock markets around the world crashed.

On the Friday prior to the crash I received a memo from the company that I worked under which said that they were uncomfortable with the current trends in the market.  They urged caution and left it to our discretion as to whether we should tell our clients to withdraw their money.  This was not as straightforward as it may seem because if every financial planner and broker advised their clients to sell they would create the very crash they hoped to avoid.  I had to think carefully about the repercussions of my advice.  So, I meditated on what to do.  Following that meditation, I followed my intuition and informed my clients about our concerns and left the choice up to them.  I spent the day on the phone contacting as many people as possible.  None of us expected the market to crash quite so quickly or to fall as much as it did.

Some clients acted instantly, even going in person to the investment company’s offices on the Friday and putting in their redemption requests.  These clients pulled out at the peak of the market and made money as their requests were lodged prior to the actual stock market crash.  Afterwards I asked some of these clients why they acted so quickly and in most cases they told me that they followed their intuition.

Warren Buffet has been named the second richest man in the world and no matter how much money he gives away; he just keeps getting richer.  For many years’ people listened to his advice because he was rich.  However, in 1999 he went against the trend when he predicted the downfall of Internet stocks and some people called him a ‘has been’. Warren kept saying, ‘I know it’s going to change I just don’t know when’.

Buffet’s predictions were later proven to be correct and he attributes his success to what he calls his ‘inner scorecard’ which is his ability to follow his inner guidance and not be swayed by other people’s opinions.

To Hear Your Intuition You Need To Quiet Your Mind

If you have lived with an internal critic for a long time, then it’s most likely you have stopped listening to your intuition.  The two just don’t co-exist very well.  And that’s because the inner critic is always second guessing every choice you make.  So the first thing you need to do is make it okay to be less than perfect, or decide that everything is perfect exactly as it is.

The easiest way to start accessing your intuition is to quieten your mind and ask questions and I prefer to do this just before going to sleep or prior to meditating.  You can ask for guidance, inspiration, an idea, whether you should trust someone, or take a job. there is no point though in asking if you are not prepared to listen to the answers that you receive.  Intuition only works if you act upon it.

Problems can either be stepping stones which help you uncover your gifts or they can keep you stuck in your fears.  When I first became interested in personal development, I felt that the authors of the motivational books I read led a problem free life so I always expected to reach a point in my life where I wouldn’t face any more major challenges—I was so wrong.  Problems are a part of life and everyone experiences them.  Often positive people don’t talk about what is going on in their lives, so it’s easy to assume that their lives are better than ours.

Wayne Dyer said, and I’m paraphrasing because I can’t remember the exact quote, ‘When you have a big dharma (purpose), you get big problems’.  Problems are not a form of punishment—they are opportunities to let your fears go so that you can grow to your full potential.

Your Purpose Finds You

Rachel said, “I am falling over with happiness”.  When Rachel started training as a life she followed all of the recommended instructions we give exactly. She never missed a session. She put in the recommended study time. She asked for advice and acted upon it. When it was time to practise coach, an acquaintance who worked for a charitable group, asked if she would be interested in coaching some of the people they helped, the long term unemployed. She accepted, and the coaching was so well received that she was offered a paid contract as a life coach to start once she graduated.

The synchronicity that Rachel experienced, is something that has happened many times in my own life. It occurs when you do what you love, when your thoughts, words and actions support the life you want to create, and when you are ready for opportunity.

Most people who live rich, purposeful lives don’t always know what their life purpose is when they start out, but as they take steps to do things that they have always wanted to do, their purpose reveals itself.

What prevents some people from finding their purpose is their intellect. When you get stuck in the left hemisphere of the brain, which uses logic and reason, to make life choices you miss out on so much. Sometimes you just have to have faith and trust your heart. The right hemisphere of the brain, which you access when you meditate, is where your intuition resides, by accessing this hemisphere more often your ability to make wiser choices improves.

I am an expert at helping people create rich, meaningful lives. I have a long track record of success, but I can’t help everyone and that is because some people aren’t ready yet. There are people that I know I could help but they insist on doing it their way. If they persist they generally get there, but it often takes a long time.

Your Purpose Finds You

The most prevalent reason that keeps people stuck is their fear that they are not good enough. If you feel this way I would suggest you say to yourself every time this thought enters your mind, ‘So what?’

Adopt an attitude that you will try what you love and if aren’t any good at it choose to  just keep working at it until you are. If you don’t like it, congratulate yourself that you at least had the courage to try. You gain something from every experience.

You don’t have to agonise over finding your life purpose, your purpose finds you, when you trust your heart.

The Passion Factor

If you had told me when I first started working that work could be so much fun I wouldn’t have believed you. Back then I had the mindset, as did most people, that you found a career and worked in it for the rest of your working life, with or without passion. Thankfully that way of thinking is behind us and now if you are brave enough you can create work that you love, and a whole new adventure for yourself at any life stage.

The older style of career counselling focused on skills and how to utilise those skills to create a new career. What I discovered is that you don’t need to have the skills or specific knowledge to change careers. As long as you have a strong desire, the willingness to do the work, the courage to take the plunge and persist, you can always acquire knowledge. What is most important is finding a job, career, business and lifestyle where you can fill your most important needs. If you can fill one need that is great, but when you find work that fulfils multiple needs, you discover your passion.

What I never realised when I was younger is how important creativity and intellectual stimulation are for me. I dabbled in sketching and painting, although I wasn’t very good I found a passion for it. I wanted to write but all of my bosses told me to forget it. However, I always felt that I was meant to write and as I pursued that avenue people came into my life to help me develop my writing skills. I expected that to be as far as my creativity went. Now a whole new world has opened its doors to me.

When I first started coaching I discovered that it was a creative process. Being able to understand people and knowing how to motivate and guide clients required creativity and that was stimulating. Then I discovered that I actually enjoyed writing courses. I love learning and research. I love teaching. I love meeting people from all walks of life. Last year I started making training videos and found them to be a lot of fun. Now I am thinking of creating a cartoon series for teens to teach them how to love their lives and every time I think about it, I feel joy bubbling up inside me. There is no end to the opportunities ahead of me.

The Passion Factor

I was having a chat with someone when I said, “I want to die kicking and screaming saying ‘I’m not finished yet’”. I could die tomorrow and be content with the person that I am and the contribution I have made with my life, while at the same time I want to do so much more. I want to live every moment of my life feeling alive, feeling this effervescence bubbling up within me.  This feeling was not given to me exclusively, you can have it too. It takes courage to risk failure, to face your fears, to break free from the tribe, and there are challenges to face.

I thought long and hard about writing Love the Life You Live because I wondered how could I, as an obese woman, tell people how to love their lives. I have had people say to me, ‘You don’t look the way you’re supposed to look’. At the time it hurt momentarily, but that blip was nothing compared to the feeling I get when a book reader tells me how much my book has changed their life.

Choose to be part of the minority who live a life filled with joy because you dared to trust yourself. Engaging in your passion on a regular basis is what makes you feel alive.


How do you know when life tells you it’s time to face your fears?

Several years ago I started coaching a man who was tired of working in the corporate world. At our first session Carl (not his real name) told me about a business that he had always wanted to own, but he dismissed that idea by saying, “There is no money in it”. Not long after we started working together, Carl was offered a well-paying position in the corporate world which he accepted.

Carl continued to work with me on and off over the years and made progress in his personal life and he improved his management skills, but he still wasn’t really happy in his job and didn’t know what he wanted to do. It took another change of job, which precipitated a midlife crisis before Carl finally listened to his heart.

Carl has now invested his life savings in the dream he told me about at our first session. He doubts that he will make as much money from this venture as he did as a corporate executive, but he’s chosen lifestyle and personal satisfaction over money. I personally think he has such great ideas, skills and such passion that he may surprise himself, but time will tell. When I caught up with a very excited Carl he said, “What always held me back before was fear. I simply wasn’t ready to face it.”

I hear a lot of reasons as to why people can’t have what they want ranging from: confusion, lack of money, lack of support, no skills, insufficient time, not intelligent enough, and not good enough. These are only the outer manifestation of fear. Problems, confusion or dissatisfaction, are mirrors which show you the fears you have yet to face.

Some people think that they are facing their fears, and have gone after their dream, but it didn’t work out and they settled. The reality is often that it was easier to give up than to face their real fear.

When I started my life coaching business I knew I had found my passion so I made a commitment to myself to do this work regardless of whether I made a living from it or not. I was prepared to get a day job that paid the bills and coach in my own time if I needed to, and there were times when I did just that. There have been times when my business has flowed and times when it’s been tough, but one of the things that I love about myself is that I never, ever give up. If it feels right, and I love what I am doing, I look at what I have to learn from the situation and then I address the fear.

Face Your Fears

The gifts that comes from facing your fears are freedom and joy. Freedom to live life on your terms, to be yourself, and joy that makes waking up each day worthwhile. There are too many people who just get by, don’t be one of them. The only thing that stands between you and the life you were born to live is fear. When you face the fear, accept responsibility and take steps to turn your dream into reality the people, money and resources come into your life to support you to turn that dream into reality.

It’s been a few years now since Carl started his business and business is booming. He said he is happier now that he has ever been.