Marie Forleo introduction


I'm Marie

You have gifts to share with the world and my job is to help you get them out there.

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Crack. P O P ! Clickity-clack. As I’m writing, my deck (and house) is being pelted with falling acorns. An audible, yet comforting, signal that fall is on her way.

As a kid, I was obsessed with acorns. Every September, I’d spend hours hauling a neon pink wheelbarrow up and down my block, collecting as many acorns as I could.

My parents thought I was a little weird (still do), but I thought these tiny, hat-wearing nuts were simply irresistible (still do). I imagined each acorn contained some secret, magical treasure. Little did I know how true that really was.

Metaphorically speaking, the acorn is a fitting representation of the notion that each of us is coded with unique genius. It holds a sacred blueprint of your one-of-a-kind gifts — your soul’s destiny.

With cultivation and nourishment, those gifts take root. With massive effort and dedication, the seeds of your potential blossom into greatness. You grow strong and majestic, like a mighty oak.  

My life’s work is to encourage that growth.

Both in myself and others. To nurture and fuel. To share ideas, inspiration and support so our roots can collectively deepen as we climb ever higher.

This week, that nourishment isn’t a MarieTV episode. Rather, it comes as an answer to this oft-asked question: “Hey Marie, what are you reading right now?”  

While 90% of my focus is on writing my next book (and will be for a bit), there is something I read this summer that’s too good not to share. My beloved acorns make a cameo, too.

That book is called The Artist’s Journey by the one and only Steven Pressfield.

Steven is the genius behind my all-time favorite book, The War of Art. He’s authored a whopping 18 additional titles, both fiction and non-fiction. We had a fantastic conversation about the value of Turning Pro a few years back and you can catch that timeless MarieTV interview with Steven here.  

The Artist’s Journey is short, punchy and inspiring. It’s about the path we all take when we move past self-sabotage and begin to live our authentic calling. It’s about what happens when we buckle up, pull down the lap bar and create the work that we were put on this planet to create.

On the back cover Steven writes, “You are an artist too—whether you realize it or not, whether you like it or not—and you have an artist’s journey. Will you live it out? Will you follow your Muse and do the work you were born to do? Ready or not, you are called.”

You can devour The Artist’s Journey in a few hours. (I’ve already read it twice.) His prose is both transcendent and bullshit-free. What I learned continues to serve me as I soldier on with my manuscript.

Like all treasured books, my copy is marked with highlights, folded pages, underlines and margin notes. Here are a few takeaways.

The Distinction Between Self-Expression and Self-Discovery

This is a valuable theme that repeats throughout The Artist’s Journey. On page 41, Steven writes,

“I’ve read many times that art is self-expression. I don’t believe it.

I don’t believe the artist knows what he or she wishes to express. The artist is being driven from a far deeper and more primal source than the conscious intellect. It is not an overstatement, in my view, to declare that the artist has no idea what he’s doing.

[…] The artist is not expressing himself. He is discovering himself.”

I’ve seen this to be true throughout my entire career. The whole picture is rarely clear to me in advance. Many times when I sit down to write an episode of MarieTV, I have no idea what I’m doing or how the episode will turn out.

It’s far more of a process of discovery vs. pre-planned self-expression. My initial notions are just that — loose starting points.

This concept of art as self-discovery has never been more true than it is right now. As I’m writing my next book (titled Everything Is Figureoutable) it’s as though the book is telling me what it wants to be. New ideas and perspectives arrive almost daily. Much of which bears little resemblance to the content expressed in my initial outline, nor does it perfectly mirror what I’ve developed in the nearly two decades of my career.

In short, I’m discovering what this book actually is through the act of writing it. Self-discovery vs. self-expression. As Joan Didion once said, “I don’t know what I think until I write it down.”

The value is clear. Spend less time worrying about having everything mapped out perfectly in advance. Instead, show up. Get dirty. Embrace the unknown. Chances are, you’ll tap into something deeper, more expansive and inspired. Rather than feeling forced to express yourself, perhaps you’ll discover something far greater than you could have imagined.

Put Your Ass Where Your Heart Wants To Be

Hands down, this is my top one-liner from the book. When it comes to creating a body of work and taking your Artist’s Journey, it really is that straightforward. No matter what you want to do or make, you must put your ass where your heart wants to be. Day after day. Week after week. Year after year. No matter how grindy, uncomfortable and terrifying it is.

On page 158 Steven writes,

“The great secret that every artist and mystic knows is that the profound can be reached best by concentrating on the mundane.

Do you want to write? Sit down at the keyboard.
Want to paint? Stand before an easel.
Wanna dance? Get your butt in a studio.
Want the goddess to show up for you? Show up for her.”

Put your ass where your heart wants to be. @SPressfield Click To Tweet

Here’s what this passage means to me. That it’s wise to worship at the altars of consistency and follow-through. When it comes to doing the work you were born to do, their collective power can not be overstated.

More plainly: Stop dicking around. Don’t wait for inspiration. Don’t overcomplicate things. Don’t work just when you “feel like it.” Don’t get sucked into the death spiral of perfectionism.

Do the work.

Because life doesn’t demand perfection. Life doesn’t require you to be constantly fearless, confident, or self-assured. Life simply requires you keep showing up.

The Artist’s Journey contains endless gems to take along on your artistic adventures. If this post inspired you, I hope you grab a copy and make it your new creative companion.

(For more, complement this post with my conversation with the incomparable Liz Gilbert.)

Now, I’d love to hear from you.

In the spirit of your own Artist’s Journey, a two-parter:

    1. What are you creating right now?
  1. What’s one thing you can do to move that work ahead — not just today, but every day?

Remember, share as much detail as possible in your reply. Thousands of incredible souls come here each week for insight and motivation, and your story may help someone else have a meaningful breakthrough.

Important: share your thoughts and ideas directly in the comments. Links to other posts, videos, etc. will be removed.

Never forget that, just like these magical little acorns all around, you too were born with everything you need to answer the call of your soul.

Thank you so much for reading, watching and sharing your voice. You make Tuesdays one of the best days of the week.

With enormous love,


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  1. Taryn Pyl

    Thank you for this. I heard about this book sometime ago, bought it and have yet to read it. It’s true. My biggest obstacle are the excuses that keep me from getting started.

    • I feel that Nike slogan coming along haha “just do it”

      • Verusckha

        That slogan is everything!!!!!!

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      I so hear you – getting started can be the hardest part, Taryn. We did an episode a while back with some tips about this exactly, so I thought I might pass that along for a few tips:

      Thank you for tuning in with us! xo

  2. Hello Marie! I love this post – thank you for sharing. I love Stephen’s writing, and have “Do the Work” as an audio version. I find I listen to it often when I’m stuck in procrastination and frustration.
    1. What am I creating right now? I’m working on a USA-version of an online course I’ve run in Australia for over 18 months … I’m an architect who teaches homeowners how to get it right when designing, building or renovating their family homes.
    2. One thing I can do to move it ahead? I have written on the window in front of my desk “I can choose”. It reminds me that what I do each day is a choice (and how fortunate I am to have that choice) – and so to embrace it, step up, and keep choosing to create.
    Thanks for all the amazing work you do Marie – choosing BSchool is what got me started!
    – Amelia x

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      This is so awesome, Amelia – thank you for sharing!

    • Amelia: What a great service you are doing for people. I’m a big HGTV fan (know it? It’s American cable television) and what I truly love about it is seeing people helping other people make home a better place. For me, those spaces we live and work in form us and reflect us, so having there be beauty, comfort, cleanliness, and ease all makes great sense to me. I’m a psychotherapist and am often doing a five-senses check-in as I imagine the space for clients as well. Very valuable work!

  3. I also love Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art! I actually read it because of your recommendation. I will def have to pick up a copy of The Artists Journey.

    I am in the process of creating a new coaching program. I wrote a meditation for it this morning, the “I am enough”meditation. The program is still really new but it’s focused around living the life that you want. Its’s about elevating your confidence and deservability in all areas of your life. The basic premise is that you are perfect for the path that you are on. You have all that you need. It all comes down to trusting your gut, owning your worth and not waiting to be ‘good enough’ any longer.

  4. Valerie

    As always, perfect timing with your email. Off and on for years – my husband has complimented my ability to write and connect with other people. I’m an INFJ, anxiety-ridden, God believing, Universe created, 11-8-11 Numerology-based human being. 🙂 Lots of inspiration to pull from and be inspired by! I don’t post on Facebook as much as I used to, but my husband suggested a weekly blog to share my thoughts on the world. I’ve finally realized (accepted?) that he has a good idea! It would be like a public journal of what I’ve learned that week and what inspired me to make my little slice of the world kinder and gentler. The goal isn’t to make money off it. The goal is to share my story and hope it gives one other person (or more!) a reason to say #MeToo but in a good way. 😉 In an #ImNotTheOnlyOne kind of way. And a #ThankYouSweetBabyJesusThatImNotAlone kind of way. We’ll see where it goes, but I’m excited to take the next step and start actually doing the work. Stop overthinking it. Stop dicking around. Exactly what I needed to hear today. Thank you…thank you…thank you!!!

  5. What are you creating right now?
    Stronger confidence. Not plain fleeting assurance. But full on I’m not afraid of this planet.
    What’s one thing you can do to move that work ahead — not just today, but every day?
    Go outside and explore. This where I’m at right now. Being brave to explore the wilderness of what it means to be alive on this earth.

  6. Thanks for the kick in the ass, Marie! I finished writing my first young reader book…all 17 chapters of it, but now I have lost steam in the editing of them. There’s always something more important to do, I tell myself. But in actuality, the paid work I do now is just a stepping stone to my dream of being a full-time author and creator so getting this book done is the most important thing I could do. And I must, as you and Steven say, “do the mundane” and edit the manuscript so I can just get it out there!

    • Adrienne

      Hey Gaynor,
      Have you thought about asking for help with editing? I love knitting sweaters, but hate sewing them together. You could pay someone to edit or perhaps you know someone who just loves editing and could get you started?

  7. Gail

    Thanks for this Marie. Xoxoxo
    I’m looking forward to your book!
    Every day I wake up, have coffee and spend at least 8-12 hours at the easel as I learn to reveal what is inside me. Practice practice practice. Sometimes I paint a canvas over 5 times before I am done with it.
    I don’t love most of my paintings but I feel I am learning the skill which will allow me to bring forth something important [one day]. I believe this practice could go on for a very long time before it happens, like a miner digging for gold down a very long tunnel.

  8. Anouschka Van Den Bosch

    Well, no surprise in the timing of this article reaching my mailbox. I have been working my way through depression for the past year and a half and with great support and tools of my own, I am finding my way out of it, very slowly. This week I have been on vacation in the mountains of British Columbia and spending time connecting with nature and animals. I am also reading lots and everything is leading me to the same thing: “Get your butt to where your heart is”
    I know my time in HR is done. After 20÷ years my heart is no longer singing and I need to let go of what once was my passion. I will set my ass into the direction of my heart and go to my passion for horses intertwined with my love for life and career coaching.
    My first step is to immerse myself in The Masterson Method study work in which I will be certified in two years. The is my hearts desire to bring body work to horses. My second step is to promote my life coaching business and stop being afraid. I will be retired from HR in two years and will be working with horses and life coaching my little heart out. And I hope to find Steven’s book at the airport!!
    With love, Anouschka

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      Beautiful, Anouschka. Your heart and courage come through so clearly in your post, and it’s wonderful how you’re working diligently toward the next chapter in your life. We’re cheering you on all the way!

  9. When I began writing my book around overcoming stage (and video) fright, I thought I knew exactly what I wanted the book to be, a mirror of the process I use with my clients. But now that I am in the writing of it, like you, new thoughts and ideas are emerging that are hinting at a change in the outline for sure and possibly even the core message. Yes, a discovery for sure. Which makes it all the more interesting to do.

    I’m super inspired to pick up this new book. Thank you.

  10. Marie, your voice has become part of my inner soundtrack ( you have no idea how many people in my circle now say “it’s figureoutable”- and for that I am so very grateful. I am working on a travel club- have launched twice, modest results, something wrong with my offering. Thanks for the reminder that I need to stand back up! Wonder what my inner limiting stories are? Any advice on how to identify them?

  11. Nina

    So, this post has come at quite a pivotal time for me.
    I am on this ascending journey and I feel it. I just got done finishing 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins (Great book!). I gained so much inspo there. I realized that I have to simply start SImply start. Yeah, it sounds easy.

    I write erotica, want to write a TV show, write poetry on life and human observation and even started a book on erotica and on self reflection and observation. I’ve tried creating several blogs only to stop. All of my creativity, I’ve haulted. Possibly because of a mixture of fear and thinking that – no one cares. People care. I just haven’t put it out there yet.

    I graduated a few months ago (I’m 22) from college and was in a depression for a while. Then I became a Branding Consultant. Who knew? I have a Bachelor’s in Public Health, thought I’d be having this great career or SOMETHING there, but nope. My skills and innate talents lead me to something I actually love. And THAT client just asked me to be her personal coach.

    Needless to say, all of this is coming as a wonderful, scary, amazing and terrifying surprise. That all I have to do is two things: ask and action. That’s all the universe requires of me.

    To the self-discovery thing – uh, YEAH. Yes, creativity is all about self-discovery. I didn’t start erotica until I realized that being a virgin (yup) and discovering my sexuality didn’t have to be through someone else. It could literally be through my own writing of what I picture sex to be, what my deepest desires are, and I could pair that with something that I already love to do (and, am very good at), writing.

    Put my ass where my heart is. That’s going to be written down – right now.

    Hold on.

    Okay, written. That’s just so…. Fucking perfect. There’s no better call to act on what you know you need to act on.

    This post was just so valuable. Thanks Marie.

    I need to start, right now actually. My ask and action list follows:

    1. I want to write a poetry book. I’m going to write the book.
    2. I want to become an erotica best-seller. I’m going to finish my erotica short stories and self-publish them.
    3. I want to have many clients for personal coaching and branding consultant(ing). I will e-mail contacts and let them know what I do and ask if anyone is in need.
    4. I want to be smarter, more alert and awake. I will read. This makes me feel and be all of these things.

    Hope you all resonate on some level. It’s an arduous journey to believe that what’s right in your face is literally, right there asking you to take action.

    xo Nina

    • Crystal

      Hi Nina.
      I too, just graduated in May with my master’s in Creative Writing. I have written several pieces and didn’t allow myself to move forward with them because I felt that I didn’t have the credentials to do so. So I went back to school and now I’m 50 years old, trying to figure what to do with all of this knowledge and ability.
      Well, like you, I started an editing and indie publishing company. I want to publish my own book and my own book will be my first published piece. However, my business was created to help others with their manuscripts and hopefully I can direct other writers who are finding it a complete headache to hunt for that almost impossible traditional publisher. As well as utilize my master editing skills.
      After reading your journey and your list, I realized that I could have elaborated on Marie’s questions a tad bit. I have a list just as yours and I plan to do every bit of it. Though I am considerably older than you, you have motivated me to push ahead. Good work ‘Young Pen’. And God’s speed to you in your endeavors. You expressed what I truly needed to hear.

    Made me think of you. He is chewing my necklace as we speak.
    Happy Autumn!

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      So cute! Happy autumn, Elene!

  13. Heather Beer

    Thank you.

  14. Thank you Marie for sharing. I love Steve War on Art which I read this summer. I followed my creativity in 2010 when I left teaching maths and went to study fine art. I spent 7 years of studying and during these years I discovered who I am as a person and my calling and purpose as a painter helping people experience divine peace and the beauty of creation. It was a journey of challenges and still is but its the way to grow. All this in my 40s with a family. Thanks a lot for your encouragement.

  15. Hi Marie,
    Thank you for this message… I so needed it today. I have been choking on self doubt, and paralyzed with indecision.
    I am working on a new wallpaper design, and for various reasons I am stalling…( my first design was successful, nervous my second and third designs won’t be as well received)… I blocked off a chunk of time this afternoon for more drawing ( I hand draw these things, then digitize them. I know this is like, the longest way possible to do it, but I love the look of india ink and I can’t get that look drawing digitally!), and I almost convinced myself not to draw today because I am getting over a cold, and an appointment that I was supposed to have this morning fell through, I decided my day was ‘off’ and so I was going to just say forget it.
    No. Just because there is a deviation from my original plan, doesn’t mean the whole dya is shot.
    Truth is, drawing is one of the things that I can do no matter how I’m feeling- it actually energizes me.
    I will get back on track now. And off the internet.
    Thank you so much for this.

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      Stephanie, we’re so glad this message came at just the right time. I hope you have a fantastic time drawing today!

  16. I think this may be my favorite post you’ve written! Thank you.
    Just ordered 3 copies of Steven’s new book and can’t wait to dig in. Sending you so much good juju on your book writing adventure and can’t wait to hold it in my hands one day.
    I’m half way through writing my second book and couldn’t agree more about how the book tells you what it wants to be. Thanks again for the wonderful inspiration this morning. It was just what I needed to hear!

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      Thank you so much for the sweet note, Erin! We’re so glad you’re enjoying Steven’s work too – we’re big fans!

  17. Kristin Booker

    I’m starting to drawing again. Years ago, when I was just out of school, I had a boss tell me I had too much business acumen for him to let me sit behind a desk and draw all day. After years of people telling me how unimportant this skill was, I put my drawing supplies down and didn’t touch them for 22 years. I just started again last year, and working through two decades of emotional scar tissue – along with my skills getting super rusty – has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. But I’m heading home shortly to grab my drawing supplies and put my ass where my heart wants to be. Thanks, MF. 🙂

  18. Angelique Alberty

    Hi Marie,
    Thank you for what you do. Your work is truly an inspiration and you unknowingly have helped me through some hard times in my life. I am very inspired by this post and have just purchased “The Artist Journey” and can’t wait to discover the journey within.

    Please don’t stop being you. There are so many people like me who need inspiration and encouragement.

    Thank you.
    All the best,

  19. What are you creating right now? I started a podcast called ‘Look for the Helpers’ where I interview everyday helpers that are making the world a better place and share their stories. I have been completely inspired by these stories and my next step is to turn this project into a documentary series.
    What’s one thing you can do to move that work ahead — not just today, but every day? Research! I ‘m not sure how to even get started making a documentary series so my goal is to do some research every single day to figure out my next step.

    Thank you Marie for your inspiration! I recently attended a Women in Leadership conference for my work and they asked us to list our role model. I listed you! 🙂

  20. The War of Art and your Marie TV interview with Mr. Pressfield propelled me to make some hard choices – I gave up cable TV, closed my social media accounts, and got to work turning pro. I finally was able to attend BSchool this year, and ta-daa, launched my business officially.
    The Artist’s Journey, no doubt, will be another much needed boost as I (answer to question #2) drastically reduce the amount of scrolling I do on Facebook (yes, I went back in hopes of using it to better market my business, HA!) and the number of videos I watch on YouTube. I’m doing that so I can (answer to question #1) successfully lead the two courses I’m launching this year AND finally finish writing at least one of the three novels I currently have in draft mode. :-).

  21. Hello beautiful souls! Theses days I am constantly hearing this message along the lines of “don’t wait for inspiration or the perfect idea; just sit down & let what comes out flow”. I just launched a soul-based transformation coaching business and I’ve been stuck on my opt-in/freebie for weeks! I’m really hung up on it being epic! Like super valuable, super original & very intentional. Originally, I thought not to force it, it will come to me. But now, I’m thinking we have to meet somewhere in the middle. I show up for my future idea by sitting down & writing what’s in my heart (even if it doesn’t yield anything “publish worthy”) and eventually it WILL rise to the surface. So that’s my take-away & action step… sit down & just write what’s in my heart. Thanks Marie!

  22. Diana

    I have been wanting to become a writer for a pretty long time. I read books about writing, I devour all kinds of novels, I journal sporadically – but last week I finally SHOWED UP to a writer’s workshop. A collaborative space with kind souls who encourage each other AND I have finally started to actually WRITE! A tidbit everyday – but it’s progress & feels really good! I know it’s fear that has held me back & I am determined to overcome it.

  23. Love, love LOVE!

  24. Lisa Ditalia

    Hi Marie,
    Thanks for the confidence boost weekly and for doing your incredible work, I am always finding pieces of inspiration and fun in all that you do! I have taken up painting and I’m now obsessed with it. Ive created over 20 paintings in six months and feel the muse had been laying dormant for so long that when I finally picked up the paintbrush, she went crazy. Busily emptying out her souls desire onto the canvass. Its therapy, freeing and a beloved hobby. Now to get it out there and make some sales! Got any brilliant ideas do that task?

  25. Azita Kashani

    Steven Pressfield is great, I loved his book “Nobody wants to read your sh**” (although the title seems a bit discouraging;-)! Very applicable tips and explanations – whatever you write (I was writing for my website when I read it)! I have though just got around to ordering his book “The War of Art”, so am going to read that before I get his latest – although I totally resonate with the message that you often don’t know what is going to “come through” when you first sit down to write 🙂 Thanks for the recommendation Marie<3!

  26. Crystal

    So, Marie, you first asked what is being created right now.
    I have to answer a fictional novel with some coming of age aspects, but most of all it is real and to the point of how grown folks can mess up the lives of kids.
    You also asked what can be done to move that work ahead – – today and everyday.
    Simply for me: Just do it!
    When I read this post the one thing that stuck out was that I don’t write manuscripts. Manuscripts direct me in what to write about them. I get a premise or a prompt and the rest is left up to that entity that I call an angel and some call a demon of creativity or at least the desire to create. Being a creative writing major I studied and came to understand that there is something so deep inside of the artist (for we all have some form of creativity) that it can’t be ignored. And with that this is where we have the eccentricity’s of today.
    What a quirky world for that universal artists. No pun intended. I swear!

  27. I’m so excited to dive into Stephen’s book. I’m equally excited to read yours when it’s ready, too Marie.

    I so relate to what you shared about discovering as you go along. I never could have “planned” the business I have today, and each time I sit down to write I’m pleasantly surprised by what comes out.

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      Love it, Nathalie! It’s always great to hear from you ♥

  28. Thank you for sharing and just a few minutes ago I looked in my garden up too the oak tree. To find out it is a summer or a winter oak. And I read that the oak is a strong and calm tree where you can sit by his roots and feel the relaxing nature. And that is precise the thing that I want to give too others…

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      What a beautiful sentiment, Carla!

  29. I so love the idea of moving past self-sabotage into our authentic calling. The world misses out on what we have to offer when we don’t live up to our full potential. We can do this!

  30. Kathleen

    I am going on retreat this weekend and this is the book I picked to read. Thank you for confirming!

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      Oh how cool, Kathleen! That’s the Universe aligning right there 😉

  31. karen

    Thank you Marie! Yet again — you have provided me with the inspiration I needed to hear right in this minute. I have made the commitment to be a maker — a ceramic artist. I get stuck because I don’t see how my career will develop. Truth be told, there are lots of opportunities all around me — but I stall and waver and wait. Your message is so right on. I just need get in my studio everyday and make art. It’s my happy zone — so why in the world wouldn’t I be there everyday?!!

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      We’re so glad to hear this was just the inspiration you needed, Karen. How strange that the things that make us happiest are sometimes the things we stall and procrastinate on the most … realizing that alone can make diving into the studio a no brainer!

  32. Oh! Acorns are banging on my roof as well. And squirells are preparing for winter stealing all the walnuts from my walnut tree ! Than you for your book recommendation. I have read Think Like an Artist: and Lead a More Creative, Productive Life by Will Gompertz which was great. So, can’t wait to start reading this one.
    I am constatnly working on creating and builing a mindfulness coaching and photcoaching brand as well as my blog and photogallery. I have a photoproject to finish and send to a photo competition, I am just getting started on a writing project of 12 short stories. And I am a B-school student with a whole lot of things to catch-up on after vacay! Love, love, love B-scholl. To move forward more steadily I should say NO more often to myself and others staying focused on my goals. Love to all! Kash

  33. I feel like this came at the perfect time! Thank You! The first words that got me hooked were

    “Metaphorically speaking, the acorn is a fitting representation of the notion that each of us is coded with unique genius. It holds a sacred blueprint of your one-of-a-kind gifts — your soul’s destiny.
    With cultivation and nourishment, those gifts take root. With massive effort and dedication, the seeds of your potential blossom into greatness. You grow strong and majestic, like a mighty oak. “

    Right now, I am growing an organization, first through the creation of jewelry, that takes what we learn from Our environment (Life AND nature) and utilize what we learn to Live Life in Our highest & truest expression of Self.

    However, from what I read in today’s post, it’s not about self-expression, it’s about self-discovery. And that rings so true!

    To be entirely honest, I am not sure exactly what I need to do to continue the growth of eLa~eLu, but I DO know that it will lead to self-discovery of not just myself, but everyone that makes a connection with eLa~eLu, and through that it will flourish into its greatest potential.

    Again, thank You for being You!

  34. Lutece

    Marie, thank you so much for this post!! It came at the exact time that I needed it. I’ve been struggling lately with creating the life I desire and I know I deserve. All I have been feeling is unhappiness and a sense of being stuck. I’ve become the queen of limiting beliefs even though I desire so much more for my life, to live with purpose. What I have realized from your post is that I’m not doing the work, and all I have to do is just start.
    1. Right now I’m creating a women’s wellness and empowerment coaching program/business. I want to coach clients 1:1, and eventually host retreats centered around outdoor adventures.
    2. One thing I plan to do to move my work/mission ahead is to schedule 1 hour every day that will be strictly dedicated to building my program. Whether it is working on designing my website, writing a blog post, or sharing content on social media; it will get done. All I have to do is just start. ?

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      Yes, Lutece! You got this!

  35. Mary Maki-Rich

    I am a lover of acorns as well. The darned squirrels bury them in a front garden bed. Two years ago, I paid my grandson 25 cents for each little oak tree that had sprouted. Hmm. I thought maybe I would owe him 10-20 bucks when he was done. Ahh, but no, he cost me over 200 smackers. It was indeed a big acorn year. And I would have a forest of oak trees in my yard right now if I had not done this.
    One year, I was teaching kids about seeds in school. As I delved into the subject of seeds in September, I noticed seeds everywhere. I hadn’t noticed this until I put my attention there. Floating in the air, getting stuck on my sweater, dropping from the sky. The world is filled with seeds of opportunity and we just have to notice that the seeds are there for growing. Open our eyes.
    Creating now: My darned website/ ooof
    One thing to move ahead: write my “about me.” I am really stuck here…

    • How lovely! I really loved your perspective on seeds. Made me smile. 🙂
      I just finished my website (took me about 6 months). It is so much work, but such a source of pride once it is all said and done. For your about me, I suggest you start with writing topics about yourself that you would like to share. Like bullet points. Then, the things you most want to discuss will stand out to you, you can embellish on them, and eventually it will turn into your “about me”. Remember, you can edit what you write. Just start writing and the direction of where you want your writing to go will come to you.
      I used @estonegraphics (on Instagram) to create my website. Super fast and great work.
      Cheers and best of luck to you!

  36. Jennifer cookson

    I was introduced to Steven’s work by Marie, and I cannot wait to read this next book, written for us artists and probably anybody who is choosing to to live on the side of creativity. We are worth it and the world is ready for our genius, always!

  37. I started to do art 5 year ago. Now I’m making prints and paintings. I’m discovering myself and make more and more things and I very love it.
    I still have never made even 1 cent from my art. And I don’t have friends in this industry with whom I can speak about it..
    So, all these years I discover myself but I already don’t understand for what.
    I thought I will have friends or so. I went away from my friends which are not interested in arts, coz I thought I would find new ones. But I was wrong.
    I thought I could make at least a bit money, I tried to connect with people, but I don’t have results.

    It seems I need to stop all of it because the reality said that it is not my way, but I don’t know how to live with the memory of these 5 years of failed “journey”. It is horrible: to love what you make but have 0 feedback.
    I dont know what to dream about instead of it. Or if to go further — how to sure myself that in the future situation could change.
    So, I took extremely lucky ticket to make beauty and feel alone, quite hard Journey I could say..

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      Oh Marusia, I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve invested so much time and energy, and not see the support yet that you were hoping for.

      You might really like checking out the MarieTV episode Marie mentioned above with Elizabeth Gilbert: – she has such amazing wisdom for creatives, especially if you’re feeling stuck, so that’s a great place to look for some nuggets of wisdom.

      Elizabeth Gilbert also has a podcast called Magic Lessons that you might really enjoy too – she interviewed several people about their struggles around art and creativity, and offered them advice and wisdom. It’s free and you can find it by googling “Elizabeth Gilbert Magic Lessons.”

      Beyond that, I wanted to mention that that no time is wasted. Regardless of where you go next in your journey, the time you’ve spent investing in something you love is a gift, and it can be a huge asset regardless of whether you keep on with your art, or if you decide to shift in another direction. Doing anything with heart and dedication is a beautiful thing!

  38. Q1. What are you creating right now?
    A1. I am creating a community of jump ropers, current and former competitive jumpers.
    Q2. What’s one thing you can do to move that work ahead — not just today, but every day?
    A2. Record or write, then post about the sport of jump rope or my thoughts on the community and creativeness it fosters. Be visible everyday. Show up.

  39. I’m trying to get my blog, The Unbound Book Club, to reach more people. I want to create more content, grow my email list, have more interaction and eventually start seeking sponsors. It’s been a slow process and patience is not necessarily my strong suite. I know I need to keep writing. Keep sharing, and post more than once a week. I also know I need to give to get. Start making connections and promote it like I know it deserves to be. Any ideas on the first place to start are more than welcome! I need to start acting like I belive in it the way I say I do. And believe in the content I create too!

  40. So beautifully said and much needed for many of us to hear!! I totally agree about discovery vs expression. When I sit down to make art, 99.9% of the time I don’t know what I want to draw. I just make some lines, shapes, dots or whatever flows through me. And the end result is freaking surprising! In fact, as I was planning my instagram post this morning, I ended up writing a 4 line poem 😀 Didn’t even think let me sit and write a poem while I am doing this mundane work or planning my posts 😛
    What I’m doing right now – focusing on marketing my biz
    What I need to continue – keep showing up, even if I don’t see any results. Be consistent, keep going, correcting along the way…follow my heart but use my brain to take action 🙂

  41. I put my ass where my heart wanted to be and unfortunately it didn’t’ pan out – just got further in debt. A year ago I had no purpose, no idea what I was going to try next, no idea how I was going to get out of poverty. If you had told me a year ago that today I would be excited about neurological socks and insoles I would have told you to commit me! LOL

    Now I have a purpose and a rewarding career helping people of all ages, from all walks of life, and with all kinds of health issues. From reducing senior citizens’ risk of falling by improving their balance, to helping chronic pain sufferers in dire need of relief, to helping children with ADHD and autism, to enhancing an athlete’s performance with this cutting edge technology!

    By helping others I’m helping myself and there’s no greater feeling! I would love nothing more than to create works of art and inventions but at this time they just can’t pay the bills. One day! But in the meantime I’m proud to help my company with their mission to help 1 billion people, 2 feet at a time.

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      So lovely, Shannon! What a beautiful example of finding purpose exactly where you are 🙂

  42. Hi Marie,

    Thanks for this piece. I think the more people who read Steven’s work on the creative process the better. I am amazed by how he can make the most mystical ideas so concrete and practical.

    I am presently working on two ´complementary but distinct projects. Four years ago my wife and I moved to the small town where she grew up in the north east of Brazil. We came for many reasons, not least of which was to support her elderly parents.

    I retired from high school math teaching to follow my passion of sculpture. I make welded metal and wire figurative sculptures. I am currently completing a commissioned piece – a wire portrait of a client’s whippet.

    However, after moving here it quickly became apparent to me that you never really leave teaching. I have given free drawing, math and English lessons and now want to start a foundation that develops and mentors independent learning. Although people live in humble circumstances there is free WiFi and pretty much everyone has a smart phone. Nonetheless very few locals use this technology for educational purposes. This will be the goal of the foundation.

    What steps can I take every day? On the sculpture front I have developed much better work habits. I took a while to get out the hammock (it is a tough life in the tropics) and start seeing my art as a job, rather than a hobby (turning pro…). The strategy that worked for me was my little black book. I record the time I go to my workshop and the time I return religiously. Tallying up and keep a monthly score; my objective is to reach the “magical” 10 000 hours. Not because of some sort literal belief in the number but because it is the clearest measure of how much I worked each day. Their are no distractions in my workshop so this really does keep me honest.

    For the foundation I need to write. Before any fund raising can take place I need to be able to explain my ideas in the clearest possible terms. A daily writing habit – a blog maybe ? I know what Pressfield would tell me to do!

    Anyway thanks for the great post and all the other fascinating interviews and inspirational videos .

    Neil Preece

  43. Marie, thank you so much for this! I’ll be adding this to my reading list (currently have a stack of about 6 books next to my bed!)

    Recently, I’ve been called to write. Since I was a little girl I always wanted to be a writer. It was so amazing to me that a writer could transport me to a different place and time, and when I read books, I could visualize places I’ve never been to.

    I’ve been working on the obstacles I set up to sabotage myself, which includes making more work or other projects… well because the book is really personal and I’m not even sure if anyone would read it. But I know why I want to write it, as it is about my struggle with anxiety and a impulse control disorder I managed to overcome later in life. It’s my hope that it will help others who have suffered from the same patterns to know that they are not alone.

    Thank you always for the inspiration. Your podcasts and emails help me so much in staying focused, even when that big voice of self doubt gets in the way.

    Right now to help me stay focused I’ve been reading Essentialism, and I’m blocking off time on my calendar to write.

    Question, do you have an episode or workshop on how to launch a book idea? Do you recommend going the self publishing route, even if you’re a newbie?

    By the way I love the story about you know who in “How to Get Anything You Want.” It re-lit the fire under my ass to get back to writing even though it’s so so difficult for many reasons!

    PS. I look forward to your book launch!


    • Hailey - Team Forleo

      Thanks so much for your kind words, Charina! We’re thrilled this post was so timely for you as you’re working on your own book. It’s wonderful that you’re already implementing some productivity habits to help you work toward your writing goals.

      While Marie ultimately decided to self-publish her first book, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all formula when it comes to doing so, and we recommend exploring all of your publishing options to determine the best fit for you. As you shared, the process of writing a book is deeply personal and it’s important to partner with others who you feel support your vision and values.

      While publishing isn’t something we cover specifically, your message reminded me of a few episodes of MarieTV that may provide some clarity and encouragement for you: &


        Thank you Hailey! I’ve listened to the episode with Cheryl Strayed, and I absolutely love her. I’ll be giving the second episode a listen!

        Cheers 🙂

  44. Thanks for this book recommendation, Marie! I haven’t been able to finish any books this year that I’ve started, which is a new thing for me. It was quite frustrating at first but some of the books I’ve picked up haven’t really sparked any interest in me. I’m taking it as everything else in my life if a book eventually sticks it will stick when it needs to. Can’t force it. Looking forward to looking into this one though!

    To answer your 2 questions:
    1. What are you creating right now? I’m rebranding my entire website/blog. I decided to focus on my Instagram and Twitter posts instead of blog posts because I didn’t want to be completely inactive through my platform. And honestly, I’ve never felt more comfortable with what I’ve been creating all summer. What started as a summer break (I was hopeful to relaunch everything by this month) has turned into a longer project. I’m listening to what my life is telling me. To take my time and not have a deadline that will actually rush me instead of allowing me to do my best work with this.

    2. What’s one thing you can do to move that work ahead — not just today, but every day? Have faith that I will be able to show up in my most authentic self no matter what it is. Really focus on my message above the scale of posts or content I create. And all in all, have patience. Like you said sometimes you don’t even know what you’re going to write/create until you sit down and do the work.

    And that’s exactly what I work on daily. Doing the work. Showing up and letting what I create speak more than me.


  45. Love me some Steven Pressfield! His writing style is one of my favorites!!!
    I kept hearing his voice in my head when writing my mother-daughter empowerment book…and when I FINALLY finished it (only took 3 years!), it felt amazing! Was the longest labor I was ever in!!! I also composed and recorded a companion album of original songs (one song per chapter)!
    Right now I’m working on creating an online course for mothers and daughters that’s educational, inspirational, interactive, and highly entertaining! I’m super excited about! Stay tuned!!!

    • Hailey - Team Forleo

      Wow, Sheira! Huge congratulations on completing your book and album– it sounds like it’s a beautiful gift not only for your own daughter, but for women everywhere. We’re so grateful for your commitment to supporting the unique relationships between mothers and daughters and we’re sending along our very best wishes for your new course!

  46. Love Mr. Pressfield.
    Read “The War of Art” the first time 10 years ago. What a great kick in the butt!
    I continue to revisit parts and have often shared Steven’s thoughts with students.
    I hadn’t heard about this latest effort and will be checking it out.

  47. Thank you Marie. So timely for me! I’ve had my own business channeling Spirit for others for a few years but sharing my website with a friend. I’ve been getting messages for a while that it’s time to go out on my own and to create a new offering that guides people to (re)connect with their Souls. Spirit has given me the title but not the full content – and I was holding off until I had it and it was perfect. Ha! After watching your call in show video and getting some encouragement from friends, it struck me – I’m putting up a barrier to taking this next step. The barrier of perfection! Using “getting to perfect” to hide behind, not taking the step out on my own as my true Self. No more! I’ve decided on November 1st to launch my own site. Yesterday, I contacted my web designer to start creating my new logo and website. I’ve started to put together the site content without knowing what the new offering is going to look like. I trust that the information will flow when it needs to. And I’m very excited to be moving forward. Thank you again for sharing your truth today. It helps me know I’m not alone and also reaffirms my trust that the information will download! Lorraine

  48. Love this. I wrote a book called ‘Stop Waiting, Start Creating’ a couple of years ago and a big part of it was showing creative ways to start and then keep going, even in the face of the unknown.
    Right now I’m creating the European tour for my Creative Futures workshops. Seven countries involved so far and I’m adding creative energy to it every day.

    • Hailey - Team Forleo

      Awesome, Lisa! We love that you’ve explored similar ideas in your own work. Congratulations on your upcoming workshop tour– it sounds like it’ll be a total blast!

  49. Oh my!! I have been searching for a new book and EVERYTHING has been ho-hum at best… until today! I freaking LOVE you Marie! You are fearless and you SHOW UP, not only every day but authentically and that to me is the most inspiring. You don’t give a sh*t, in the best possible way of course, and THAT is what has empowered me to own my voice, love my voice, and SHARE my voice after 39 years of keeping it locked up. I bought two copies of this book, one for me and for a dear friend who has been singing my praises to people that have helped me grow my business in 5 short months. He and I are going to reach this together and dive in to do the work, show up, and to put our ass where our heart is!! LOVE LOVE LOVE this! My answers: 1) Right now I am creating the platform on which my business will grow from here on out and it’s mine. For years I have been asking and polling and seeking and doubting and wishing and comparing and waiting… you can see why that has been exhausting. Now, the platform is mine and while I value the importance of expanding my brain and approach, I am no longer willing to sell out or sell myself short because someone else thinks my ideas aren’t right. I am excited to roll out my new platform in the middle of December; and 2) I am moving that work ahead by putting these new ideas into action every single day! I am a big fan of ready-FIRE-aim and similar to the quote, “The artist is not expressing himself. He is discovering himself.”, I am discovering what everything looks like as I go, in real time.. I am having a blast!! It has been so much fun these last few months doing what feels right in my heart and it is working! I feel like me and my business represents that which means that my clients feel more connected, heard, and taken care of in a way I hadn’t been able to until now. So, here I am, as an artist, discovering as I go and no longer being afraid to trust myself to know the way and to try it out as soon as I can. When I am aligned with my values and myself, there is never a mistake because it always came from a place of love and trust and authenticity. I am FIRED UP! Thank you for this inspiration!

    • I am turning 32 tomorrow…and it wasn’t until I reached my 30’s that I truly found my voice and the ability to use it. Your words touched me and made me feel compelled to tell you that you still have so much life to live…and with all the life experience you’ve earned, now you have the tools and the voice to make the next 39 years everything you want them to be. I send you well wishes for your growing company!

  50. Cam

    This is exactly what I needed to hear today.
    It seems like we frequently hear the message, “Show up!” or, as someone mentioned, “Just do it.” But it doesn’t always hit. Here’s why it did today–

    1) I’m a plant-based chef.
    After making my way from New York to San Francisco, circumstance swept in and, within 24 hours of being on the west coast (for the first time), I had nowhere to live. Keeping my cool and remaining open to whatever was meant to come next landed me in SoCal, Venice, one week ago today.
    First of all- it’s freakin’ beautiful here! By the second day I’d met the founder of a co-working group who was thrilled when I asked if he’d be interested in me catering their next event. He gave me a [very] small budget and asked me to prepare something for the following week (this Thursday). He also asked for my website, social media, credentials, etc. Cue the palm-sweats…
    I don’t have the formal training or schooling that so many others doing the exact same thing can point to. My experience is just that: experiential. Not only that, I also started setting up an IG for my acorn-of-a-brand only to feel the excitement and momentum of doing what I love – cooking for people – start to fade. It was replaced with feelings of inadequacy and compare shlager.

    Last night, after a particularly sweaty yoga class, I reminded myself that there’s a reason when things don’t feel right. I don’t need to be giving my energy to the marketing and branding aspects of my endeavors if it makes me feel this way. Instead, I need to do the things! Experiment in the kitchen, get messy, make new things, use new ingredients, flavors and textures. Cook for people!
    I reached out to PLANTLAB, a plant-based culinary and wellness school that happens to be located, “coincidentally”, five minutes away. In my message I explained that I do not have the funds at this time to enroll in a class or program, but that I’m an excellent dish-washer and that I just want to be there; to be in the environment with experts championing the future of food, health and wellness.
    *fingers crossed*

    Thank you, Marie. For yet another cosmically-timely nugget of wisdom.

    Much love

    • Hailey - Team Forleo

      We’re so glad this message resonated with you at the perfect moment, Cam! Congratulations on taking some exciting next steps toward your dreams. Modern marketing is all about growing your business in ways that feel authentic and sustainable for you and it’s wonderful that you’re trusting your intuition in the process. Plus, if your catering business leads you to opportunities to work with other people you admire, it’s a total win-win! Keep up the great work, we’re sending lots of good vibes your way.

  51. Riikka

    Thank you Marie,
    I love this discovering rather than expressing. I just came back from CTI coaching seminar, it was the last out of 5. I get to create my BIO for my website to come.
    I have all the tools from B-school, so I will be diving in 🙂
    This is the beginning of a new chapter in my life. Being the author of my life is very empowering and ah so exciting!!!

  52. I am really stepping up to being a confidence + clarity coach for women with a message to share and a passion to share it. I have been doing this for years but it’s been evolving and expressing itself in many different ways, and now is ANOTHER one of those times. And it’s so freaky! One thing I SO ADMIRE about you Marie is how consistent (or so it seems) you have been with your brand and I feel like I jump all over the place. In the same ball pin mind you but in many different directions. My legs are tired. And I am willing to STAND in my power as I own this new part of myself even though I have no idea how the business plan looks. 🙁 JUMP. There’s nothing quite like heeding the call to self-expression – it’s truly my passion. Now I need to own it.

  53. Thank you for this!! I was so excited to see that Steven Pressfield has a new book out! I bought the audiobook this morning and have already listened to it once and am listening again. He never fails to inspire me! To answer your question, the most important thing I do each day is get my body moving in some way, whether it’s running, walking the dog, or doing an online workout video. It helps motivate me to action more than anything else. I also do a short mindful meditation, and it works wonders on my outlook throughout the day.

    • Hailey - Team Forleo

      Awesome, Rebecca! We’re thrilled to hear you’re enjoying Steven’s new book– we hope it sparks some new takeaways each time you listen. It’s also wonderful that you’re already making movement and meditation part of your daily routine– you rock! Thanks so much for sharing.

  54. What I’m working on: I was looking through images on the US National Archives for inspiration when I came across a group of photographs documenting women in the 1940s who started to work while men were off at war. I was caught off guard when I noted these women were worthy of being photographed and labelled by their profession (most of which were cabbies), but not a single one included their names.

    It felt right to spend time painting these women and then using traditionally “female” or decorative materials like embroidery and gold leaf in a way to spend time with them and honor their memory. As I began painting, I realized I would also name each woman as another means of honoring their memory and influence in the lives we live today. It is a series I’ve begun entitled Anonymous Women.

    I’m in the thick of it right now and what I need to do everyday is commit more time to working on them. Embroidery is S L O W moving and I need to book part of my workday everyday to this work right now. It’s appointment time ART time for Carrie.

    I also want to give everyone a little shout of encouragement. It’s only recently I feel I found my voice as a creative and it’s taken 36 years to get there. It’s okay to be where you are and it’s never too late. (Look up Grandma Moses if you are still worried about it being too late. She started exhibiting her art in her 70s and well into her 90s!)

  55. Oh my goodness this post couldn’t have come at better time… I, too am writing a book ~ and have been for an embarrassingly long time. I have read ‘The War of Art’ and Turning Pro, and just bought The Artist’s Way on Audible.

    Some days it’s easier to get into the flow than others. Some days I write a lot, others I stare at a blank page for longer than I’d like to admit. Some days I’d rather clean the bathroom than sit in front of my screen!
    When we’re diving into a creative endeavour, chasing after our goals, saying yes to our dreams, we’re going to be facing resistance. Call it fear, call it procrastination, call it excuses. But it’s there. And it’s REAL. But I totally agree, we gotta simply keep SHOWING UP.

    Thank you for the resource and continued inspiration! I need BUTT GLUE!!!

    • Hailey - Team Forleo

      We’re so glad this message connected with you at the perfect moment, Carol! Congratulations on the progress you’re making on your own book. You’re totally right– resistance and procrastination are all too real (your comment about cleaning the bathroom cracked me up)– but they’re a clear sign that we’re pushing ourselves and creating something new. Sometimes the best way to move forward is to show up, sit down, and do the work right where we are. Thanks so much for being here today!

  56. Stefanie Mead

    Found taped on a friend’s refrigerator was this soul searching question. “What would I be doing now if I weren’t afraid?” Trapped by our own personal experiences of loss, rejection, times of intense despair and loneliness, it’s easy to get sucked under the weight of our own fears. Dogma plays a huge role. I tell myself it’s my life, don’t listen to negativity, weed out the controllers, the dark minutia, the noise that keeps me from moving forward. Happily I tell my friends, ‘Do you really care what someone tells you? You’re on your own journey, get on that train and ride! Enjoy every moment, the dark and the light, the rough and the smooth, the highs and the lows, be everything you want, and don’t be afraid.”

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      Beautiful, Stefanie! And you’re so right––we’ve only got one life to live and it would be unfortunate not to follow the soul’s calling just because someone didn’t approve of the dream it called us toward.

  57. Great article, Marie, thank you! Definitely sounds like a book to check out.
    I am creating two children’s books at the moment, and it really is about just sitting and doing them, no matter what else is going on, finding the time to sit and write.
    Little by little, bit by bit, it comes together.
    Thanks again.

  58. Cherie

    Self – development is propelling my soul to were it wants to be

  59. I love this.
    Not only am I currently reading The War of Art, but my business is called Map Your Potential -> the idea mapping, not as an absolute requirement but a skill that requires a bit of intuition and some trust in the gaps to make real progress.
    I am an artist in that I am crafting my life one moment at a time. I move it forward each day by taking time to reflect, by momentarily pausing to journal or even just letting myself rest, breathe and recuperate between tasks. <3

  60. I’m a working actor and I have a few projects I’m preparing for. I’m creating characters and working hard to tell their stories from a place of authenticity.
    God showed up for me in a big way today. I know this is not by accident and I’m gonna keep showing up for him with a grateful and willing heart. <3
    "If you want the Goddess to show up for you, show up for her!"
    Daily meditation and prayer. Not just for my own peace, but to connect to my purpose and serve in the best way I can.
    Thanks, as always Marie! <3

    I'm getting my copy of "The artist's journey" tomorrow!

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      It’s so cool that this post showed up for you at just the right time––what synchronicity!

  61. Great article. I’m speaking for over an hour for the first time in a couple of weeks! And it’s true – that I didn’t know what I wanted to express till I began, now I know more of who I am and what my message is – simply by having to get clear. By accepting this task.
    Terrifying hell yes!
    But really gratifying.

    Thanks again 🙂

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      Awesome, Kate! We’re sending good vibes your way and know you’re going to do an amazing job. We’re proud of you for showing up and saying yes, even when it’s scary.

  62. Erlinda Budoyan

    Hi Marie!

    Thanks so much for your encouragement.
    What am I doing? completing my first booklet ” Mystery of the Kingdom”
    One thing I do? Reviewing the Pages and Checking something to improve.
    Thanks, Marie. My passion is to share my faith with those who seek more knowledge about the Lord. I shared to them what I’ve learned and applied in my life. I appreciate very much the Audio I got from you the first time. The Lord bless you more, so you can encourage more women, and men too. have the best day ahead.

  63. Julia

    A year ago when my father was dying I was being bullied by a boss in a thankless office job. When they saw my paintings they said “you’re in the wrong job” – I couldn’t have agreed more, but needed to pay the bills. Shortly afterward, the bullying got worse and I had to leave for my psychological health.

    On the positive side, over the past year I’ve exhibited and sold three paintings, all symbolic works about my father’s death. Creating them at times made me weep.

    I’ve seen many technically perfect artworks which have made me feel inadequate, however I have since come to believe that the viewer needs a piece of the artists soul to connect to, and that is more compelling than perfection.

    When I was in my 20s my father said “maybe you could make a living out of painting”. This kept repeating in my head after he died, as if he was telling me to do that now. Now in my 40s, I’ve decided to give 100% instead of the 25% I was used to giving and it seems to be working.

    The money challenge is always there and has reared it’s ugly head again, but no matter how I make money I have decided that I will not sacrifice the artist within for anyone!

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      Wow! It sounds like you’ve been on an incredible journey. I’m so glad you’re not being bullied anymore and you’re creating with your whole heart. Something tells me your sweet dad is proud of you. <3

  64. Erika B

    Hi Marie,
    This is the mmmptenth time I’ve heard of this book, which does it. I will buy it and keep it close for the dark and cold season.
    I love the phrase
    ‘I don’t believe the artist knows what he or she wishes to express. The artist is being driven from a far deeper and more primal source than the conscious intellect. It is not an overstatement, in my view, to declare that the artist has no idea what he’s doing.’ My lightbulb went off 🙂 I have been told many a time that you can and should deliver services to the world that you are not necessarily master of yourself as long as you feel the passion and pull to do it. I am having a really hard time to accept this concept as I want to be the expert at anything I do before helping others…
    I have however accepted this fact and have already started a re-branding journey to share my passion about business in a new way and just trust that it will lead me where I need to be. Poopin’ my pants, but I’m still doing it!

  65. I so love these weekly love bombs from Marie. They always challenge me to think more deeply about what I’m doing and why.
    What are you creating right now?
    I’m on a mission to create better relationships – two minutes at a time.
    What’s one thing you can do to move that work ahead — not just today, but every day?
    Spend 80% of my time developing relationships. I’ve created the beautiful, affordable, inspirational app…I now need to get it in front of as many people as I can.
    Thanks Marie and Team Forleo. xxoo

  66. I just finished my book “It took me 10 years to lose 10 pounds.”

    Pro Habit to move that work ahead?
    Take The Copy Cure by … Marie Forleo (!) to ensure my weekly blog reaches people who are trying their best to lose weight without success.

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      Congrats on finishing your book! We’d be honored to see you in the program. 🙂

  67. Marie, thank you, this came at just the right time! Maybe because fall is coming, I feel a change in the air.
    I’ve struggled for a few years and put many other things/people first, but it always comes back to writing, I’ve got to make time for it.
    To answer your questions:
    1. What are you creating right now? — a website (oy, wordpress!) and content for my blog (scary!)
    2. What’s one thing you can do to move that work ahead — not just today, but every day? —several things: make time; no excuses; take action. (sounds easy, but fear and guilt can trip you up) — I’m workin’ on it! =)

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      Sounds like some exciting things are on the horizon! Keep up the awesome work. 🙂

  68. Steven and Seth are my two favourite writers by a big margin. The Artist’s Journey is beautiful and powerful.

  69. what a great post, just what i needed to hear and be reminded of. Art as self discovery is SO Spot on – i am going to find Steven’s book immediately. He sounds like my kind a guy.
    amongst other things, I am working on a comedy webseries at the moment and find the stop start of once weekly meetings with my fellow creators so difficult because there is no flow. I know that what i need to be doing is writing every day so that i can keep the flow even though we only meet once a week. infact i struggle with flow in many areas of my work – i have become so addicted to constant distraction that to sit down and do anything from start to finish is incredibly difficult for me and its starting to make me unhappy. everything feels half done, begun and disguarded – so there’s the challenge. To Turn that around. See… i had no idea i was going to write that when i started this comment. 🙂

  70. Fern

    I simply love you Marie! You have been such an inspiration in my life & this note and information from you lights up my world! Always inspiring! xxoo

  71. I started writing poems when I was 12. Actually, they wrote me. When I was overwhelmed with emotions and didn’t think anyone could hear me or understand, the words poured through me onto the pages . . . sometimes between the blinding tears of heartbreak and betrayal, sometimes fueled by liquid courage on bar napkins, sometimes in the depths of depression and sometimes by the light of love.
    In my late 20s/early 30s, I started rereading the poems once a year. This annual ritual wasn’t about living in the past. To the contrary, it provided an opportunity to
    – reflect on where I’d been
    – acknowledge how far I’ve come
    – and see things differently.
    The written poems were filled with perspectives that sometimes literally changed before my eyes.
    Our reality is shaped by the perceptions we hold.
    Our perceptions are shaped by the stories we tell ourselves.
    However, every story has many sides.
    1. The facts.
    2. What we think happened.
    3. What others think happened.
    4. What we think it means – the stories we tell ourselves about what
    5. How we choose to remember what happened – victory, lesson, tragedy,
    When we are able to step back and look at what happened from a different perspective, we are able to
    – re-solve the story
    – by re-membering the pieces
    – and re-write the True story
    It’s been said you’re the sum of the 5 people you hang around most. I disagree. I believe you’re the sum of whom you listen to. The most important story is the one you believe.

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      Beautiful, Tami! I can tell you’re a poet because even your comment reads like a poem. 🙂 Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us––it’s spot on.

      • Thank you, Mandy.
        Balboa Press published a collection of my poems in November 2015 to help everyone go through the process.

  72. Monique Took

    This was amazing Marie! So needed to hear this reminder to get my butt into gear, to stop trying to figure everything out and just START. Thanks girl x

  73. Hello! I LOVED this post and had to comment – I resonate so much with the fact that I have no idea what I am creating but rather I find out what I am creating as it is being created through me. Right now in the evenings I am working on painting a huge mandala and sharing my creative process on my Instagram page each morning, it feels so vulnerable and exciting. At lunch I do a quick and easy painting to get creative but not focus to much on technique but more on color. I am no stranger to putting myself where my heart wants to be and I paint everyday and have done so for the last three years. 🙂

  74. Thank you, Marie. I have art burning inside me and this is exactly what I needed to hear. Will get my copy and get my ass going.

    Big love,

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      You got this, Mayke! It really is true what Marie says: “the world needs that special gift that only YOU have.”

  75. Hi Maria! Thank you for the recommendation, I have one of his other books and have been meaning to pick up this one. Thanks!
    Your love of acorns has lead me to recommend a book to you too if you don’t mind. It’s called The Soul’s Code, by James Hillman. In it he talks about something he calls “the acorn theory.” In a nutshell (ha), it’s the idea that our lives are shaped by a particular image/daimon/destiny, just as the oak is imprinted inside the acorn. And we live our lives toward (or away) from that. I think you’d find it fascinating.
    Thanks for everything! – r

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      Very cool! Thank you so much for the book recommendation. The Soul’s Code sounds wonderful and we’re always looking for something good to read.

  76. Molly

    I love this, and it’s great timing! “The artist is not expressing himself. He is discovering himself.” This quote really frees me up. I think I’ve been waiting until I “have something to say” in order to make art. I would extend this quote to say “life is about discovering yourself”
    I am taking a year long sabbatical/adult gap year, and my answer to “ what are you creating” is: how I want to live the rest of my life, or at least the next decade. Once my gap year started and I had a lot of downtime, so much stuff came up; old wounds from my childhood, cracks in my current relationship. I’m doing a lot of self reflection, but I realize I need to get out there and just start projects, because it is through these experiences that we learn.
    I can’t wait to read this book!

  77. Akiko

    Hi, Marie. Thanks so much for another life saver episode (although it is not a video) at the right time! I loved what you said and this was exactly what I needed to hear TODAY. I’m getting ready to start my own business for some time, and got my very first paid client this month! However, I’m still slow and not confident what to do next, but I just got to do it… I’m also reading Gabby’s ‘The Universe has your back’ (whom I learned through an interview with you) and in it Gabby is talking about ‘showing up’ a couple of times, so when I heard you say ‘show up’, it did resonate with me well.

    So, my As to your Qs are;
    What are you creating right now?
    I’m creating my career path and life work which benefits not only people but also our mother nature through a healthy eating with an ecological mind.
    What’s one thing you can do to move that work ahead — not just today, but every day?
    Acting as pro everyday! No excuses…just do it!

    Thanks again.
    Love xxx

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      Yay, Akiko! Congrats on your first paid client!

  78. Marie, this post inspired me to tears. I can’t wait to get my hands on this book and thank you so much for bringing it to light for me.

    I’m currently working outside my 9-5 to bring the stationery and art prints I design on the side to retail stores. This work is my passion and sadly I don’t always “get to it” on a daily basis. (Definitely guilty of working when I feel like it at times, especially when tired after a long day!) But once I’m in it, time flies and my soul is soothed. 🙂

    I’m going to place more emphasis on creating a small and quick to-do list for my side business every night before bed. You’ve made this suggestion in the past and it truly is so helpful and keeps my head clear the next day on what my priorities are. It also makes me feel more accomplished to check off even the smallest feats. One step at a time!

    Thank you!
    xoxo Jessica

    P.S. – My toddler adores acorns and pushes her mini car down our street, filling the back compartment with acorns and leaves. 😉

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      That’s exciting, Jessica! We can’t wait to hear what the future has in store for you. 🙂

  79. I haven’t heard of Steven Pressfield, but after reading the few quotes and your enthusiastic recommendation I just went and bought the audio and ebook combo. So excited! This sounds like just the book to help me with my new moon intention of dedicating myself to my soul’s work! Thanks for sharing Marie xo

  80. Your comments about self expression and self discovery really hit home. I have never really known what I wanted to do but often discovered it later. Sometimes just went for it but always discovered new things about myself in the journey. I am a perfectionist and it has gotten in my way so much. It still does. One thing I know though is not to give up so I am still trying to start that little business. I have deleted a lot of emails but never one from. You truly do inspire and motivate and set a great example. Keep on keeping on and I will too.

  81. I resonate with your post about acorns. Acorns are the symbol for my business, It’s Never Too Late to Bloom! A photo of acorns is on the cover of my first book which was published on Amazon in December 2017: Simple Ways to Transform Your Life: Lessons Learned by a Late Bloomer. They symbolize the possibility and potential we all have.
    My thoughts are described below in the following excerpt from the book in the chapter on Growth.
    “We see others growing and changing and wish we didn’t feel so stuck. This was me when I was younger.
    One day, I noticed an acorn on the road. I thought, every acorn has the potential to become a mighty oak tree. But that particular acorn would never reach its potential because it wasn’t in a supportive environment in which to grow.
    That acorn inspired me as I worked as the “Hope Coach” with the individuals in the homeless shelter. I provided a supportive environment for transformation so that they could grow. I took the risk of moving out of my own comfort zone and brought hope to people who were hopeless when I met them. This experience reinforced my
    passion to help people grow, which is my sense of purpose and my vision for the future. I believe that it is never too late to bloom!”
    I was hired to work at the homeless shelter for a grant and which was the topic of my dissertation: Development, Implementation, and Evaluation of a Comprehensive Adult Education Program at a Homeless Shelter in White Plains, NY.
    “I was fifty-six when I finished my degree. I never thought I would work with homeless adults. This was the most creative, energizing, empowering, and exciting time I had had in my working life.”
    I am a B-Schooler–Thanks for you inspiration!!

    • Heather-Team Forleo

      We love hearing about all of this beautiful work that you’re putting into the world, Barbara. Thank YOU for being a special part of our B-School family. Here’s to acorns!

      • Thanks so much Heather. Marie Forleo and your team always inspires me!

  82. Silvia

    I discovered Steven Pressfield through you, but I haven´t read this particular one yet. It reasonates so much with me and it makes total sense. When I write, create materials and content for conferences I keep surprising myself: Where did that come from? Did I write this? it always feels like someone else did it. I love how Pressfield explains this process of creation, not expressing yourself but discovering yourself. Creating something is the best way of getting to know yourself deeply, isn´t it?
    Also love the book “Big Magic” by Elisabeth Gilbert and how she talks about the ideals travelling and finding the person who is going to bring them to life.
    Thanks for sharing Marie. And I can´t wait to read your book! Best wishes,

  83. Ahh, Marie. Love that imaginative, childlike joy. My acorns each represented a tiny wood nymph/elf. Many of them got faces with marker or fingernail polish.

    Right now, I ‘m getting started creating my first online course, born from my psychotherapy practice around relationships. I specialize in infidelity treatment, have written a book on healing for the offender, do a ton with every aspect of healing all kinds of relationships and enjoying the healthiest versions of ourselves and others.

    What trips me up as I get going is the distraction of ever-more branches. Shall I focus on infidelity? on female empowerment (another area of specialty)? on communication patterns and shifting them from the foundation up? on the simplified and effective paradigm of personality typology that informs my work? There’s SO MUCH and it can’t all go in this course.

    Choice overwhelm has me paralyzed at turns and much of my progress comes in fits and starts.

    • Heather-Team Forleo

      Beth, Marie often reminds us to ‘simplify to amplify’- paring down anything in order for the message to go further. You’re so right, it can’t all go in the course, but what can that is going to amplify your mission the most? Only you know the answer best.

      • I have been thinking about this a lot! Thank you, Heather. I listened to Marie talk to the author of The War of Art this morning as well. And if I put the measure of which thing do I feel the most resistance with or the need to grow in order to do it, this helps clarify the direction. I’ve also got my big 3 Life-time Goals written down and they DO guide me as I make these choices. So, lately I have been getting correspondence and in-life clients from my book, Healing for the Offender and people have asked for more. It seems wild to me, but I do bet there’s a need (and a call) for a better step-by-step model for healing after an affair than is available to people online and in the “usual” therapy models. (Yup, makes me nervous.) I love this specialty and I know how to help. I’m starting to get very clear on the truth of “needing” to do this next. Thank you, Heather, and Marie (so much of your stuff contributes to this clarity) and all of Team Forleo for doing what you do!

  84. Marie, I got the visuals of you as a kid collecting the acorns with your wheelbarrow. How precious were you, my fellow weirdling?

    I just put the book in my reading list. I’m a creative. An actor, life coach for creatives, artist, writer and activist. And I’ve felt uninspired. From all the flotsam and jetsam that comes with swimming the waters of social media, to creating content and all what is going on in our world…it’s a lot for the creative soul. Thank you for the book recommendation.

    • Heather-Team Forleo

      Social media can be a swamp of weirdness sometimes, Eileen. Here’s hoping you find just the right amount of inspiration and motivation within the pages of Steven’s book. xo

  85. Stacy Bergstein

    I can’t wait to read the book. I recently decided to just let my worry about everything go..where to live, what job to take, what car to buy…etc…etc… Since I have done that, things have been coming to me. I got a job that pays me enough to live and allows me the freedom to concentrate on my photography and graphic design work/skills. It also gives me time to tutor kids in the afternoon which is something I have been wanting to do for a while now. The job I took is going to pass me tutoring clients and I met a guy who is going to give me private photography lessons. This all happened effortlessly. I still took action but it was easy and things came to me.

  86. Keri Schultz

    Wow. Total synchronicity! I just opened this email and noticed it mentioned acorns, so I made sure I read it and didn’t lose it in my daily inbox purge. I felt this way because on my daily walk Tuesday morning, I noticed the acorns on the street as they cracked beneath my feet. I got lost in my head thinking about how amazing it is that inside of that acorn is a mighty oak tree, and how incredible and amazing that is. Then when I read this blog further, I saw you basically said the same thing! AND you mentioned you had posted it on Tuesday! I hadn’t read the blog, so I didn’t know that. THEN! As I read further, you talked about this book and it is about EXACTLY what I’ve been pondering deeply this past week. I’m amazed at the synchronicities in life and messages and confirmations from my guides that Source is always there. Just amazing.☺️??? I’m definitely getting that book.

    To answer your questions for us…

    1.) What are you creating right now?

    I’m working on painting projects, building my business and want to start writing a book, but I wasn’t sure where to begin or how to organize my thoughts and my story. This is yet another synchronicity with this blog post. I just need to start somewhere, wrote what comes out, and make sense of it later.

    2.) What’s one thing you can do to move that work ahead — not just today, but every day?

    Be consistent. Keep moving. Keep doing. And trust that everything will unfold as it’s supposed to.

    • Hailey - Team Forleo

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Keri! We’re thrilled to hear Marie’s message connected with you at the perfect moment this week. It’s so beautiful that you’ve been noticing the acorns (literal and otherwise!) in your own world. It sounds like you have some incredible creative projects in the works and we hope Steven’s new book provides an extra bit of clarity and encouragement for you as you continue bringing your vision to life. We’re sending along our very best wishes and can’t wait to hear how your ideas continue to grow and evolve!

  87. Jen

    The great secret that the profound in is in the mundane really holds true to me. What I’ve found is that making even a small effort in relationships and in business goes a long way, gets noticed, and makes a difference.
    I like to play and have fun, but I also like to kill it in business. When I get discouraged that I’m not getting traction because I’m playing too much, I’ll keep a sticky note titled “Wins” and each time I do something that symbolizes keeping traction, I write it down. I like seeing at the end of the week all the things I did. Sometimes I forget and seeing that encourages me that the little things can and do add up to make a big difference.
    I agree too about the self expression vs. self discovery. I love love love when I do something how it will turn out different than I intended because I’m discovering things by doing. Such a good twist!

  88. I’ve just read Pressfield’s book, “The Artist’s Journey” and I 100% agree with it – and I have 21 traditionally published books in print and ebook. I have lived the crazy-sounding stuff about your daimon. Now I have just written a draft of a book which has a fantastic initial premise, but is basically a giant heap of manure with a few good bits in it. (No, it really is a Giant Heap of Manure, I’m lucky enough to have a friend who’s an excellent editor and he thinks so too) I am now having to wait until my daimon arrives with the real and proper book and I’m very frustrated. Showing up doesn’t help, writing more guff doesn’t help. I’ve been here before with another book and impatience doesn’t work either. It’s awful.

    • Jillian - Team Forleo

      Hi Patricia, we’re so sorry to hear that you’re feeling frustrated with the process of your newest book. We’re sending along as much positive and helpful energy as we can, and we’re wishing you all the best as you continue to show up, practice patience, and ultimately decide whether you want to continue moving forward with this book.

  89. Great article. It’s well written and I loved reading it.

  90. Brian

    When inspiration comes, I have a tremendous desire to start, to set pencil to paper, to capture the moment before it is lost on the breeze of daily life. Sometimes I wake up with a painting complete on my minds eye, which is a real treasure. Othertimes, a feeling or a discussion leads me on a path.. Like talking about music or dance with another creative soul .. a warm, tender, magical experience. This painting has such a creative idea and grows with implementation. It is at once both sensual and expressive, as it flows from within, collecting thoughts and dreams along the way, which turn to paint and the touch of bristle on canvas.
    Brian.. (with a muse of Jacquie)

    • Jillian - Team Forleo

      This is so beautiful Brian, thank you so much for sharing your process and how you experience inspiration. It sounds like you have a deep and expressive relationship with your muse, and we’re sending along encouraging energy your way!

  91. jO

    Dear Marie

    Is beautiful these words you share. First, a will use that question: what are you reading right now?” to start conversations with knowns and unknowns

    Second, I want to thank you for this inspiration cause it was a long time that something doesn’t make sense to me, or wake my “yes, I’m in that situation” Cause a loved reading “a process of discovery…Spend less time worrying about having everything mapped out perfectly in advance. Instead, show up. Get dirty. Embrace the unknown.” Its me in this moment, its like “Rework” by David Heinemeier Hansson and Jason Fried says: Planning is guessing. So, welcome surprises,

    1. What are you creating right now? I’m working on my master thesis about waking up the interest of people in San Cristóbal de las Casas so that Yellow River recover its life and natural beauty. This Master has been a process of discovery. A process to learn how to learn by myself and to create learning spaces through conversations and co-creation.
    2. What’s one thing you can do to move that work ahead — not just today, but every day? Design my learning process about identifying the things that interest me and to understand the whole system so I can invite others to create solutions to create positive change in the environment and in people. And them, design my training for every single day

  92. I’m preparing to share my messages of revelations of prayer of songs wherever necessary. Nice talking to you Marie Forleo. May God bless you.

  93. Adrienne Montezinos

    In writing my screenplay, I often found that the act of writing is an exercise in discovery—I created note cards to help with scene structure and used them to give myself achievable, bite sized assignments. When I sat down to write the scene, the characters spoke to me. I often go back to read the dialogue and crack myself up, because I don’t remember writing it! Now I am overwhelmed again! I need a process for the next phase in making the film, but for now, taking small steps to move the project forward is helping.

    • Jillian - Team Forleo

      Adrienne, it sounds like you have a beautiful system for moving your creative work forward! As you begin to tackle these bite-sized goals, new ones will be revealed, and you’ll be able to handle those just as gracefully. We love hearing that your own work is causing moments of laughter and delight in you!

  94. Tina N. Fields

    I was also always attracted to acorns. I drew a face on one once, to go with the hat. The realization that something so small could grow into something so big was always a bit stunning to my ten-year-old mind.
    Fall is my very favorite season. So, as the trees slowly start to turn, here in northern Michigan, I’m conscious of summer’s winding down, and I feel that exciting briskness of the beginning of autumn. Our Oak trees are dropping acorns. The squirrels are dashing about gathering them up. We’ve filled up the wood crib, so we can enjoy our warm fires all winter long. Soon, we’ll put away the pavilion tent where we eat most of our family meals all summer long. It’s changing, and I’m changing, too.
    I’m working hard at publishing a small community good news paper. It’s free to the community. To support it, I’m seeking advertisements from the businesses who want to reach my audience – the people who are interested in the great things the kids are doing in school, the compassionate outreach programs of our churches and charitable organizations, the innovations of our library, the coming together of ordinary people to help when a family is in need, and many other bits of really uplifting news. My community loves my paper.
    Here’s where I have to work on my own “acorn”: I am doing almost all of every aspect of the business at this time. I am the publisher, the editor, one of the writers, one of the photographers, the layout technician, occasionally one of the graphic artists, the accounting department, part of the delivery team, and the sales staff. I do, finally, have a “help wanted” ad in the paper, seeking commission sales people. It’s hard to acknowledge, but there isn’t enough time or enough of me to get all of this accomplished in an orderly and timely fashion. I am forever scrambling, pushing hard against deadlines (such as when the printer has to have the file for printing).
    There are moments when I have a sense of looming impossibility. Frankly, it is your motto that “everything is figure-out-able” that has kept me going.

  95. I’m a huge fan of yours. I’ve been following you for the last 2 years and I truly consider you my “inspiring muse” 😀 This is the first time I comment, but I don’t miss one single email/video/post from you!

    What are you creating right now? – I wrote a book (which I’m too shy to show anyone) and I’d like to develop a course for empowerment and self-development. My dream is to help other women to find their inner power and beauty and not to let anyone second-guess them, mainly not themselves.

    What’s one thing you can do to move that work ahead — not just today, but every day?
    Now that I’m done with my masters I have more time to dedicate to this project. In fact, all the time in the world. So I will edit the book, create the program and the courage and means to show it to the world!

  96. Hi Team Forleo,
    You said you wanted details, this is going to be a long one 🙂

    It’s been exactly a year since I last wrote a comment on your blog. It was about getting professional help with my runaway emotions. And I did get help. And I have worked incredibly hard over the last year, led by my intuition (and the conversation with Brendan Burchard about how important emotional regulation is) to get a handle on depression and anxiety through doing EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing), DBT (dialectical behaviour therapy). I also clarified my vision which is to end affective disorders (mood disorders). A lofty goal, I know.

    Only 4 months after starting my DIY psychology therapy my partner was diagnosed with very advanced and aggressive leukaemia. I know in my bones that I could never have loved and supported him through the six months of intensive therapy he went through if I didn’t have the EMDR and DBT tools and skills. I would not have been able to be there for him, because I would have caved in under the pressure of my own issues. He passed away two months ago. Against the odds, we got to spend the last 3 weeks of his life at his cabin which he built with his own hands, timber by timber. It was his pride and joy, his life’s work. It was a precious time with many mixed feelings. Because I had learned ways to process my emotions, in real time, I was able to be present and loving most of the time. I was able to be a comfort instead of being anxious and depressed myself. I am so proud of the EMOTIONAL work that I have been doing the last year. I’ve learned that I am as strong and resilient as I only imagined myself to before.

    What I am working on now is continuing the emotional work on myself. I’m learning how to regulate my nervous system and repair my attachment (through Dr Steven Porges, Dr Peter Levine and Dr Gabor Maté’s work).

    What Steven Pressfield says about art being self-discovery resonates with me. I thought I started painting 5 years ago to feel alive and do what I love but what I have discovered is that painting is stretching and pulling me to grow in ways that I have never imagined previously. Painting’s gift to me was to prove to me that intuition is real – that’s it! AND that I can trust my intuition. I’m nearly 50 years old and I have only experienced deep feelings of connection, love, safety, security, joy, wonder and alignment since I started listening to my intuition (and staying at home with my daughter – thanks to Marie and B-school).

    My logo is a tortoise with a labyrinth as a shell, representing being very slow, but also wise because of self-discovery and growth. I believe that I will get where I want to be and that the gift of quitting my regular job has been this process of self-discovery and growth.

    For the longest time, I got so caught up in making progress in my new career, measuring success only by financial achievement. I now know that the deep inner emotional work that I am focussing on with laser-sharp accuracy, is my new measurement of success.

    Being brave enough to step into the process of self-discovery and growth IS my biggest success. I can now see how the rest of what I want will come when I continue my “yellow brick road”.

    Thank you so much for the work that you do.

    Because of your work I have made tough choices that have changed my life in the best possible way.

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      Oh, Sonja. <3 Our hearts are both joyful for you and sad that your sweet partner passed away. It sounds like you've truly been on an incredible journey and have picked up some life-changing skills and wisdom along the way. We're really proud of you for not being afraid to work on yourself and being present for your loved ones when they need you most. We're sending so much love your way and we can't wait to see what adventures life has in store for you.

  97. I picked up the book on your recommendation. I am a BIG fan of Joseph Campbell and have used the hero’s journey as a framework for my own journey as well as for many of my workshops and courses. I enjoyed exploring the idea of a hero’s journey preceding an artist’s journey.

    This book is a quick read that will affirm what many creatives already know.

    On one point, I disagree with Pressfield when he says, “The artist is not expressing himself. He is discovering himself.”

    It can be both. Often one turns to art to express their feelings and in the process discovers herself. For example, if one is feeling angry, she may paint to release the stress of that and in the process discover the underlying issues, triggers, childhood wounds, karmic patterns, or limiting beliefs.

  98. Heather-Team Forleo

    Hi Kathryn! We’re so glad that you picked up the book. Your perspective into the artist is quite interesting. Art truly can give the gift of expression and discovery. We’re so glad that you shared your insights with us.

  99. I love the press field book. As a composer, I have used his ideas to write more music in the past month than I had in the last year. It has helped me to just get busy.
    Thank you Marie for bringing this book to my attention.

  100. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

    I LOVED his War of Art – it was a gamechanger for me, such an awesome book. One of those that you have to keep re-buying because you recommend and lend it to so many people 😉

    I hadn’t realized he had a new book out, I’m excited to read it!

    My A to your Q’s …
    1. I’m writing a new book to support & inspire new/aspiring female entrepreneurs <3
    2. One of my best ways to move it ahead is sticking to the fabulous habit of Morning Pages (from Julia Cameron's amazing Artists Way book). It frees me up to show up and Do. The. Work!!

    Thank you! I can't wait to read your new book, it's going to be brilliant I'm sure!

  101. Edna Dinwiddie

    Wow! I can’t wait to get a copy of this and add it to the top of my reading list! Right now I’m trying to figure out how to break the cycle of working 4 jobs and never seeming to have enough money to save to move forward in my plans. I’m GOING TO start a podcast just interviewing regular people with stories to tell. I’m GOING TO help my mom join social media and launch her jewelry and basket making company. She is too talented to not share this with the world. I’m GOING TO stop being so afraid of failure and just sit down and write out what it will cost to get everything started and go with it. Even if that means just purchasing a very simple computer to replace the one I have that is on it’s last leg. I’m GOING TO get going. I’m not going to stand still and watch others achieve their goals anymore. It’s my turn now!

  102. Thank you again for your nice blog post. What I’m creating now, is just a sense of purpose to give back to the world and to the younger generation. I had a lot of experiences and setbacks and made a lot of mistakes. I would like to take time to give back and help ensure others don’t make the same mistakes I did. I can move this work ahead by just taking steps towards giving back and also by watching more of your videos. You are touching and inspiring.

  103. I’m creating a more financially and energetically sustainable coaching practice that deeply serves my people. One thing I could do both today and daily to move it forward is to connect with people more without overthinking it. I think I might start by sending an email to a former client to check in.

  104. Hi Marie,

    Let me first say, you’re such an inspiration!

    Right now, I’m starting my Interior Design business. I have created my website, social media pages and I’ve created marketing material to get clients to work with.

    One thing, I can do, to move ahead, is to not get, consumed with my personal responsibilities of being a wife and mother. I need to prioritize my time, so that I can be successful with my business.

    • Julia - Team Forleo

      Thank you so much for being here, Lataya! We’re thrilled that you’re finding Marie’s work inspiring. And how exciting that you’re building your Interior Design business, it sounds like you’re well on your way!

      I have a feeling you’ll find this episode really helpful when it comes to prioritizing your time so you can keep moving ahead in your business: We’re cheering you on over here!

      • Lataya

        Thank you Julia! I appreciate the video you sent me about prioritizing. ?

  105. Hi Marie!
    Artists Journey sounds spot on. The question most artists and creatives get asked is, “What were you inspired by or thinking when you painted, wrote or created this?”.
    Craziest question to ever ask. For one, it’s about how the listener or viewer interprets the piece and second, who the hec knows where it came from? Lol!!
    All I know is you just have to keep going. Keep the right people around you, even if they are online like Team Marie. Keep learning and being inspired by whatever that turns out to be. Music, driving, traveling or just breathing deeply on a cold Sunday morning while sipping on some great herbal tea.
    My ass should be sitting in a cafe in New Mexico getting ready for a long day of building my soil fertility, growing nutrient dense peppers and produce for the best ingredients for my product, Pintxo Sauce. Helping and inspiring another farmer to to build their brand, build their soil and promote their value-added business like they should. Like they can! Breaking throuall of the self-doubt, following through in Recovery (NA) and carrying that message to those who want it. Reaching out for help without pride or ego clouding my mind up with limiting beliefs. Opening every email I get from my Meetups, Marie Forleo, Gary Vee, Curtis Stone or Jean Martin Fortier.
    Those last two guys, like you Marie have been soooooo generous and thoughtful and consistently help me make more progress. Daily. Doing the legwork, not expecting anything without it and sharing the best of me to those who will listen. Becoming a better listener and finding the best approach for unfamiliar topics like Permaculture. A movement I have embraced full on. I have been fiven three scholarships by three different programs and all because I shared and owned my truth with them. Matt Powers, Erik Ohlsen and Didi Pershouse have given me a chance at another life just like NA has done.
    All I can say is what I’m learning is all based on living with principles and sharing what you have learned.
    Being a rebel, being cool, even competition is a disease of the mind and I simply don’t participate. Alcohol and drugs snatched up my life quietly and quickly it seems now. At 48 years of age, I feel like I’m just beginning to live the life I love and feel truly blessed to have made it through the idiocy of my youth.
    Yeah, there are definitely some take-aways, no denying. But still, so much time wasted. Literally. Chef, musician and filmmaker, always surrounded by partying. There’s nothing like experience to teach others. You can’t read about doing push-ups, you just have to do them to get results.
    Time to be regenerative. Reconnect and turn away from the systematic distractions of the mass media and public relations campaigns that are keeping us buying and destroying.
    So now I have to seek hep again.
    With an absurd student loan debt and a beautiful plan for our business, I have to find a way to break through my financial wreckage. To fund what will be a beneficial asset to my community. A regenerative market garden and permaculture learning site in New Mexico. It is named after my grandmother, whose mother Casimira Aragon was a farmer. Her family survived the great depression because they were self-sustained in Santa Fe. I plan to walk in her footsteps now.
    Time to grow again.

    Love you guys! Let’s rock 2019
    Happy New Year everyone. ???
    Jay V

    • Jay Valencia

      Apologies for the typos. ??

      • Hailey - Team Forleo

        Happy New Year, Jay! Thanks for stopping by and sharing some of your story with us. We’re sorry to hear about the obstacles you’ve faced in the past, though it’s wonderful that you’re using them to fuel your dreams. We recognize your commitment to giving back to your community and honoring your grandmother’s legacy through a sustainable garden and we’re sending you our very best wishes for your business and beyond. Thanks for being a part of our world!

  106. vanessa gowora

    Steven Pressfield is a genius, I love everything he writes. I have yet to read the book, but the Art of War was a book I leaned on whenever I felt I couldn’t make it to the end of the road. Thank you, for sharing this, I will definitely look for that book.

  107. Liz

    Marie, thank you so much for this and for everything you do. I feel like I’ve gotten a spark and drive back that has been gone for who knows how long. You make me feel like I can do amazing things, and you are such a great role model. Excited and nervous about my new adventures, but happy to have you to (virtually) back me up. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    • Julia - Team Forleo

      We’re always here to cheer you on, Liz! We’re excited for you as you embark on new adventures and are so glad you’re feeling that spark reignited. You can absolutely do amazing things, we believe in you and your special gifts!

  108. Thank you Marie and team for making the best episode ever, (and I’ve been watching for years!)
    As an artist putting in the work but not feeling success for 30 years, this episode was a relief. Recently, I left my “job”, stepped up my game from amateur to pro with resistance hitting me squarely in the face. Looking forward to retaking b-school with a pro-perspective and work ethic.
    Grateful for many gems of information!

  109. Thank You, Marie!!! Just what I need to hear to set my butt on fire!
    The one Big takeaway for me was to put it all in a page, where it is manageable and succinct.
    I loved all the insights into the resistance as well because that is something I have heard all my life and that gets seared into the subconscious mind. NO, YOU CAN’T!
    This message is not unique to me but has become part of the collective subconscious which is reason enough not to listen:)


  110. Definitely agree!

    And I believe that showing up is actually a lot more important than doing the work.

    Because if you don’t show up, you’re not going to get anything done anyway.

    But if you show up, even if you do just 5 minutes of work, that’s infinitely better than not showing up and not doing any work at all.

    Show up often and get things done!

  111. Tracey


  112. FrankWar

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  113. Oh Marie & team, I bloody love you! It’s so funny that I was just having a lunch break and thought let’s have a browse through Marie.TV while I chew down my lunch.. And a few clicks got me to this post instead.. I don’t think it’s a coincidence as I just wrote The Artist’s Journey in my Books to read list this morning after seeing it pop up like a gazillion (okay 3) times on social.

    What you shared in this post resonated so much with the journey I am on now. 1) I’m creating my online coaching business and this has been a long time coming. I’m super passionate about coaching and have been for a long time, probably since I first saw Oprah on her talk shows. Since it’s been a few years I was in the entrepreneurs space dabbing my toes in running a marketing consulting business when I did B-school in 2016, I have been terrified and not sure if I’ve “still got it”. The other thing is, I feel coaching is my true calling and something I was brought on earth to do, so if I fuck up, I feel like it would be the end of the world… (cue crying eye balls out emoji)

    As a recovering people-pleaser, perfectionist, and sometimes too “smart”-for my own good, I often waited for that inspiration or for the “right” circumstances or time which has made me put this off and overthink the hell out of it. The marketing business was rather easier, because other needed my service and word of mouth referrals came in steadily until I wasn’t feeling it so much anymore and a steady 9-5 came along, which was amazing for a change… But now this is a big shift, even if I still have a different 9-5… It’s me saying to the big wide world, hey I want to be your coach and I’m here to serve… Terrifying and exciting because for the first time I feel like, this is me showing up for myself..! Also I always wanted to be three steps ahead of the game, which disconnected me from and frankly disrespected the process. (Holy crap, just discovered the disrespect as I reflected and typed this!).
    So.. I just figured out my niche, to work with high achievers and ambitious people and empower them to thrive with courage and confidence, and redefining their own version of success that feels true for them. Truth is, I know that this is not my final niche, but I can be of value to them and it feels good right now. Again, me thinking three steps ahead. But I’m giving myself permission to just sit in the process and freaking enjoy the journey. The reality is that I don’t know if this is something I will want to grow big. (OK I lied… I DO! I have big big massive dreams, like Marie Forleo and Oprah Winfrey kind of big, which really excite me.) But I also think I need to honour what comes my way. Because I also have a 9-5 career in Fundraising for an amazing charity. As a fellow multi passionate, I know your journey, Marie, has taken about 7 years before you fully switched gears into your coaching/business. And I use you as my big dream example you know. 2) Now I work to shift my nerves into the energy and excitement that fuels and stems from my passion for coaching. I work honour the process and trust that this will get me to where it needs to land, but I also allow myself to keep dreaming big. Most of all, I’m trying to learn as I go, just enjoy it, dance in between and show up to be myself fully.

    Thank you Marie and team Forleo for you ever inspiring work. You light me up and I love you <3 xoxo

  114. Gabrielguesk

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