Friday, August 31, 2012

"Does People Pleasing Make You Happy? Take The TEST And Find Out!"

How many times have you said, “Yes” to someone when you’ve wanted to say, “No”?
I’ve often had a gut feeling that I needed to do something a particular way, and then someone has suggested I do it another way and followed their guidance only to feel frustrated afterwards, realizing that my first instinct was the best course of action.
Earlier today I was at the Getty Museum with my family for a children’s concert. I could see my three-year-old son was getting tired as he hadn’t taken a nap. As we sat on the beautiful emerald green lawn, my intuition said, “Stay close to Dominick, he’s tired.”
“I better go be with Dominick to be safe,” I said to a family friend.
“He should be fine, there’s lot of kids running around and it’s a nice big grassy area,” she said.
I thought to myself, she’s probably right, she’s had two kids, I don’t want to be the over-protective mom, so I sat on the blanket and went against my instinct.
A few minutes later, Dominick ran down the lawn and couldn’t slow down. We didn’t see the height of the wall, even though there was a line of flags hanging to prevent kids from jumping from the grass onto the concrete. My heart dropped into my stomach as Dominick fell almost three feet off the wall onto the hard ground. The security-guard who was meant to be stationed there, wasn’t.
My mind flashed to spending the rest of the afternoon in the E.R. I was terrified. My husband Nick leapt over the barrier and scooped up Dominick. I couldn’t believe he was okay, apart from some light scrapes on his hands and knees. “Thank you angels,” I whispered to myself.
I didn’t want to be the mom who pushed back. I wanted to do what I thought was the polite and respectful thing to do. I didn’t want to seem like I was paranoid and overreacting.
I was reminded that in my desire to be loved and accepted that I was doing something to make someone else happy.
The most important question to ask yourself is, “Am I feeling intuition or fear?”
It is much easier to see clearly for someone else when you have no emotional attachment to the outcome. However, if you have strong feelings or are fearful about how things could turn out, it will be very difficult for you to clearly evaluate whether you are being guided by your intuition or driven by fear.
One of the most common questions I get asked is, “Should I stay in this relationship or end it?”
Over and over again, I see that the person asking the question already knows the best course of action to take, but they don’t want to hurt the other person, even though it is hurting them by not making a decision.
When I was in my dating days, I found the more friends I talked to about my confused feelings and asked for their advice, the worse I felt. I didn’t have the confidence to make a choice because I feared making a mistake.
I’ve learned that failure is the road to success. If I hadn’t gone through my dating nightmares, then I wouldn’t have been ready for my lovely husband.
When I used to give dating advice on my TV show in the U.K. I was secretly confused over guys. I felt like such a failure, but I later learned that I wasn’t confused, I had very low self esteem.
Here is a mini-quiz for you to see if you have a habit of people pleasing?
1. You’ve been looking forward to a morning off and starting your day at 10am and your boss or a client calls you the night before and asks if you can come in at 8am. What do you do?
a) Pretend that you have another commitment and then feel guilty for telling a white lie.
b) Agree to start at 8am.
c) Say that you have planned for a quiet morning but are happy to do 8am the next day.
2. A new movie is out that you’re excited to see, and the person you’re dating, who you’re really into, wants to see a different movie that isn’t your type of genre. What do you do?
a) Arrange to see the movie with a different friend but wish that your date was with you.
b) Tell them you don’t mind seeing the movie of their choice but feel disappointed.
c) Let them know you’d like them to see the movie with you, even though it isn’t their thing, you’d be so happy if they’d go with you.
3. It’s your good friend’s birthday, but it’s at an expensive restaurant, and you know it’s going to be a big check and you want to stick within your budget. What do you do?
a) Say you’d love to be there to celebrate but you’re not feeling great and eat dinner at home.
b) Go to the dinner and feel anxious most of the night and spend over your budget because other people have ordered lots of drinks and you only got an appetizer.
c) Tell them you’re on a budget and would like to get a separate check and have a great night celebrating.
Mostly A’s: You take care of yourself but it doesn’t feel good. You are being out of integrity with your needs. It’s time to build courage in being honest about what you want and letting the other person know that you care about them to.
Mostly B’s: You are being a doormat. You probably know that. You see yourself saying, “Yes,” when you want to say, “No,” but it’s like you can’t help yourself. This means you have some deep buried mindset patterns that need to be acknowledged and healed.
Mostly C’s: Congratulations! You have good self-esteem. You are true to yourself and create win-win situations in most of your relationships. This doesn’t mean it is easy for you, but the more you practice, the better you will feel about yourself and set a great example for others.
I’d love to hear what insights you got about yourself from the quiz.
Love & miracles,
Joanna Garzilli
Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Easy Marinara Sauce!

Easy Marinara Sauce


  • 2 stalks celery
  • 2 small carrots
  • 1 small onion
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes


  1. Place carrots, celery and onion in the base of the food processor and pulse a few times until vegetables are coarsely chopped. I do mine pretty fine since the kids like it better but leave it chunkier if you prefer.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add celery-carrot-onion mixture and stir to coat with the olive oil. Turn heat down to medium-low and saute the vegetables about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more. Turn heat to medium-high and add the white wine. Bring to a simmer and reduce for 5 minutes.
  3. Pour in the tomatoes and stir them to incorporate the vegetables. Fill one of the cans with about 1/2 cup of cold water and pour it back and forth from one empty can to the other to loosen any tomato pulp still clinging to the inside of each can. Pour the water and tomato mixture into the saucepot. Bring sauce to a simmer and reduce the heat to low and cover the pot partially with the lid. Simmer the sauce for 45 minutes, stirring periodically, until it has reduced slightly and thickened in consistency. Season with salt to taste (about 1/2 teaspoon) and serve.
Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

Cucumber Margarita!

Cucumber Margarita

I feel a bit like a traitor posting this. When it comes to cocktails, I’m a purist – booze, ice, maybe some more booze, and just enough mix so that the first drink doesn’t kill you on the spot.
But when my dear wife and I had lunch the other day at our favorite Mexican restaurants, they had a Cucumber Margarita on the menu. It might have been the fact that it was 95°F outside with 150% humidity, but damn, that actually sounded good.
“Really?” My dear wife gave me a look when I ordered it.
“No, it’s good.” The waitress assured me. “They infuse Cuervo 1800 Silver with cucumbers and then mix it with fresh lime and a little simple syrup.”
The drink arrived on the rocks. It had a pale yellow color and smelled a little like honeydew melon. I took my first sip – wow – summer in a glass! It was a real margarita alright, but with a bright, fresh, green taste and smooth finish.
I offered it to my wife. she took one sip and said with a smile, “Well, we got some cucumbers at the farmers’ market, didn’t we?”

I don’t think I had the car in the garage before she was in the kitchen cutting and pouring. For our test run we went with one sliced pickling-sized cucumber put in a jelly jar filled with Sauza Añejo and stashed in the fridge for 24 hours.
2 double old fashioned glasses, filled with ice
4 ounces infused tequila, strained (reserve a couple slices for garnish)
Juice of 1 lime (about 1/4 cup)
2 ounces simple syrup (recipe follows)
2 teaspoons orange liqueur
Combine tequila, lime juice, syrup, and orange liqueur. Divide into glasses. Top with a cucumber slice and maybe a sprig of fresh mint.
Simple Syrup
Bring 2 cups water to a boil. Stir in 2 cups of granulated sugar. Reduce heat to low and stir just until the sugar dissolves completely. Remove from heat and let cool.
The Verdict: ★★★★★Were I you, I’d start investing in the cucumber market right now. I think there’s going to be a run on them.
Just 24 hours of infusing pulled all of the bite out of the tequila and replaced it with mellow hints of melon and mint. Almost like Midori, but not so sweet. Very refreshing. I could see a pitcher of these making a summer day just slide right on by.
For the next batch I’d go with a blanco tequila for a little more bite, and try a 3 to 5 day soak time. Better start cutting the cukes now.

Lisa Ekanger Your Preferred Realtor!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

You may discover that your greatest weakness is lack of self-confidence.

"Resolve to throw off the influences of any unfortunate environment, and to build your own life to order. Taking inventory of mental assets and liabilities, you may discover that your greatest weakness is lack of self-confidence.
Self-Confidence Formula (abridged)
"I fully realize that no wealth of position can long endure, unless built upon truth and justice; therefore, I will engage in no transaction which does not benefit all whom it affects. I will succeed by attracting to myself the forces I wish to use, and the cooperation of other people. I will induce others to serve me, because of my willingness to serve others. I will eliminate hatred, envy, jealously, selfishness, and cynicism, by developing love for all humanity, because I know that a negative attitude towards others can never bring me success. I will cause others to believe in me, because I will believe in them, and in myself. I will sign my name to this formula, commit it to memory, and repeat it aloud once a day, with full faith that it will gradually influence my thoughts and actions so that I will become a self-reliant and successful person! ~ Napoleon Hill
Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The only real way to shift your paradigm is to go through, not around the pain.

Emotional pain is something that many of us turn away from, or may not even be aware of. It can show up in our lives in a myriad of ways. One of the ways I see it show up in my life is in the form of patterns. Patterns can be a set of characteristics that we operate by, and can often result in “stuckness” or disappointment in our lives.
Patterns, often times, don’t serve us and can hold us back from having a life filled of joy, connection and love. Patterns tend to show up over and over, and what usually happens is we become aware of them, but often don’t know what to do about them.
I spent this past week in the desert finishing up my grad school curriculum for University of Santa Monica. I have to say it was one of the most life-changing experiences of my life.
I cannot tell you what we did there, but all I can say is that I have finally found freedom within myself by going through my pain and not around it. My teachers call it spiritual bypass (the going around part). When we know we have an “issue’ or pattern in our life that shows up over and over, usually in relationship or having to do with finances, it can be easy to “bypass” the feelings that come along with the issue and stay stuck in our pattern.
These feelings may show up as fear, anxiety, dread, hate…you get the picture. And most of the time, these emotions can lead to self-sabotage and stagnation in your life.
An example of a pattern that I have had, in the past, is that I would keep engaging in unhealthy relationships. I would end up with my heart broken, giving away my power and losing myself. Co-dependency felt like my middle name. I saw how this pattern kept showing up in my life and how it was keeping me from having what I really wanted; a co-committed & loving partnership with a man who respects me and adores me. Can you relate?
Patterns don’t only show up in relationships, they could revolve around money, behavior or pretty much anything in your life. But what I have learned is that the only way to break free of these patterns is to take a deeper look at where the pattern started and what beliefs we picked up along the way. And what this means, is going through the pain instead of around it.
Our ego will do everything it can to keep us stuck in pattern. It wants to hold on as tightly as possible, because change is scary to the ego. And because of this, it can be hard to recognize when you have a pattern, because your ego will talk you out of it, in a sense. Your ego will avoid the pain that can come along with a long-lived pattern and keep you running on the pattern hamster wheel.
Once you have an awareness around your pattern, it becomes almost impossible to ignore it, but shifting it means you have to look inside, which is not always pleasant and many people are afraid of doing.
The one thing that I found that has truly helped me break my patterns is to track back to where they originated in my childhood. Most of us pick up patterns from our parents. The way they relate to obstacles in their lives is usually the way we relate to them too. The same goes for emotions, money, people, etc. This is kind of ironic because I have heard so many people tell me that they are not anything like their parents, yet they unconsciously operate the same way their parents did and end up with the same results their parents had. Coincidence? I think not!
My biggest pattern, as I mentioned above has been unhealthy intimate relationships and through using my tools from USM and my spiritual magnifying glass, I dove into my pattern so that I could heal it and create a different outcome in my life.
What I mean by this, is that I took myself back in time to where I thought this pattern started, and even though I knew that I had been engaging in what was familiar or familial (notice they only have one letter difference) what I also recognized, is that not only was my father abusive, and many of the men I had been involved with, but that I had become abusive to myself with the words I would say to myself internally.
I was beating myself up with words. I was in a pattern of self-hatred, self-loathing and self-mutilation of sorts (not physical, but emotional). It’s no wonder that I attracted men in my life that would reflect my own self-abuse and lack of self-love right back to me. I was beating myself up inside. On the outside everything seemed ok to my friends and people who knew me, but on the inside I was stuck in my own abusive prison.
This was a big a-ha moment for me this past week and one that was both exciting and painful. I always thought that I was just following a family pattern, which in a lot of ways I was, but not only was I doing that, but I was also manifesting my inner experience of self-abuse into outer reality. When I truly felt this and got to see it clearly, I surrendered into it and gave it over to the Uni-verse asking for love and support to help me clear this pattern out of my life.
I began to flood myself with compassion & loving while coming into acceptance that this specific pattern is part of me. This pattern has been an aspect of me that have served me up until now, but what I know now is that I no longer need it. I was obviously getting some sort of pay off for it, and now have come to realize that the payoff is not worth the pain it creates.
This practice of being loving and compassionate with myself is what will bring me to a peaceful place inside, so that my outer reality will reflect that. The more I love myself, and am loving with myself, the more that love will show up outside of me.
I am not saying this is easy, believe me, it takes work, commitment, persistence a strong heart and tons of courage & love, but to me it’s worth it. I don’t want to be run by this pattern anymore and I know that I can create a new story for myself by continuing to forgive myself for all of these past “short-comings.”
I knew that the only real way to shift my paradigm was to go through, not around. So, I ask you; what are the patterns in your life that keep showing up? What is the payoff you are getting for staying stuck in this pattern? Can you find a way to bring compassion and loving to yourself? Can you take a small step of kindness toward yourself and take a contrary action that will produce a different result?
I dare you to live boldly and bravely so that you too can experience a life full of love, joy and abundance! Take one step today and acknowledge how amazing you are!
With love and gratitude,
Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Four ways you can begin to get past the hurt you feel.

Photo: George Burns ©Harpo Inc.
The author and relationship expert reveals four ways you can begin to get past the hurt you feel.
Something that we often forget is that we all play a role in the creation of the pain we experience, even if someone else is involved. We don't recognize that we volunteer for that pain. We show up for it. We tolerate it. Once we acknowledge our own contribution, the healing can begin. Here's a four-step plan that can help you stop nurturing the very things that hurt you.

1. End the BPs

One of the ways that people avoid taking responsibility for their role in their own pain is what I call the BPs—blame and projection. Blame is straightforward: Somebody hurts us, and we say things like, "They did this to me. Look what they did!" Projection is slightly different and happens when we blame other people for our problems, even if they didn't do anything to us (in other words, we just don't want to look at what we did).

As long as we're blaming and projecting, we don't become accountable to ourselves for how we accommodate, excuse and tolerate behavior that causes pain—whether it's our own behavior or someone else's. Let's say you stay on a job for 15 years, miserable and complaining. Then you get fired and you're upset. But you didn't want to be there! How many times did you say "I gotta get out of here"?

Well now you're out! Why are you upset with your boss? Because she moved first? You accommodated the discomfort. You went every day. The work wasn't challenging you. But you kept on showing up. How is your boss or company supposed to know you're unhappy? What steps had you taken to either remedy the situation or get another job?

2. Understand Your Whats and Whys

One way to understand your own role is to review what happened: why we did what we did, and what we got as a result. Say you have a friend and you always show up to help her, but when you need her, she never shows up for you. So you end up being angry with your friend.

That's the exact time to do some self-reflection. Did your friend ask for the help you offered? Or did you volunteer? There is a difference—but if the friend did ask for assistance, why did you say yes? What is it that you desired, expected or wanted to get out of the situation? To feel needed or useful? To get her to feel as if she owed you something? Maybe you were afraid she wouldn't love you anymore if you said no. In any of these cases, you extended yourself for you, not her. 

3. Plan for the NosSo many of us don't ask for what we want. To go back to the example of a friend who doesn't help, maybe you never asked for favors but only hoped she'd offer to do what you clearly needed (as you've done for her). Most of us put up with or ignore or excuse whatever it is that shows up.

I experienced this in my own marriage. It was a 40-year-long relationship, and I didn't ask for what I wanted. I accepted what I thought my husband was capable of giving me. I avoided what I thought would upset him. I allowed myself to believe that his needs were more important than mine. That doesn't make him a bad person, and it doesn't make me an idiot. It just means that I needed to learn how to ask.

But to do that, you've got to be willing to hear "no." Just because you ask for what you want doesn't mean that you're going to get it. Take money. Sometimes people will ask for it, and then, when they don't get it, they add on another level of pain because the no feels like rejection to them. They may even wonder if they're not smart or good or cared for enough to deserve the money. They're not ready for the possibility of a negative response, so they stop, paralyzed. But if you are prepared for it, you'll know what your next steps are going to be, and you'll get busy taking those steps instead of getting hurt.

4. Learn the Uncle Boo-Boo Lesson

The way you ask for what you want or need is also crucial. Say you have an uncle, and whenever the family gets together, he gives you a long, unsolicited and unnecessary critique about how you look and what you do. You don't go up to him and say, "Uncle Boo-Boo, I wish you wouldn't make fun of my hair and job at the dinner table."

No! Wishes may or not be granted. First you ask for what you want, and then you inform Uncle Boo-Boo of a specific, clear consequence. You say to him: "I'm no longer giving you permission to speak to me in that manner. And if it continues to happen, I will no longer be a part of these gatherings, and I'm going to let everyone else in the family know why."

People often engage in behavior that causes pain because there's no consequence. You have to create that consequence; otherwise, the asking is just wind in the air. But I want you to remember: You're creating a boundary—not a wall that isolates you, just a boundary, one that can be communicated with compassion. So when I get ready to speak to Uncle Boo-Boo, I'm not going to yell at him in front of the whole table. I'm going to say, "Uncle Boo-Boo, can I speak to you for a moment?" Then I'm going to take him on the porch, in the hall or in the living room where there's no one else and discuss my need, because this is between him and me. If I am feeling pain, I'm no longer going to permit, facilitate or deny it. I'm going to own it and deal with it, and then, no matter what he says in response, I can begin to heal. This is a natural process. Over time, you'll have more awareness. You learn to accept more of who people are, and, most importantly, you learn to accept more of who you are.

Iyanla Vanzant's most recent book is Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're Going Through (SmileyBooks).

Read more:
Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

Friday, August 24, 2012

"Tell everyone you know: My happiness depends on me!

"Tell everyone you know: "My happiness depends on me, so you're off the hook." And then demonstrate it. Be happy, no matter what they're doing. Practice feeling good, no matter what. And before you know it, you will not give anyone else responsibility for the way you feel-and then, you'll love them all. Because the only reason you don't love them, is because you're using them as your excuse to not feel good."
- Esther Hicks
Lisa Ekanger Your Preferred Realtor!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Now THIS is a cool house!

Would you live in a glass house? This one is architect Carlo Santambrogio’s concept home to showcase his glass furniture line, but you could own one—for $6200 per square foot. Does not include Windex.

Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

What IS this problem? Well, it's a dream killer.

Written by Mastin Kipp
I've written about this topic before - but I feel that it needs a little refresher.
What IS this problem? Well, it's a dream killer. And if it's not corrected, it will derail not only your dreams, but your purpose and fill you with all kinds of resentment.
Do you want to know what this problem is? Maybe you have it, too? :o) I kid, but only a little bit.
Here's the problem: Making your parents approval more important than following your dreams.
The basic storyline goes something like this: I have a dream, but that dream seems reckless. My parents want me to do something that will pay the bills, but that doesn't line up with my dreams. I don't want to let my parents down, and sometimes I don't want to be happier than them, or challenge them, because that would make me a mean person. So, instead of following my dreams, I'm going to give up and take the "certain" path, where I can make money - and put my dreams on the back burner, because, after all, not EVERYONE gets to live their dreams.

Now. Before I write one more word, I want to point something out. Our parents, for the most part, Love us. And the way that they are showing that Love is by wanting us to have financial certainty. But you see, in that process, what many parents do without knowing it is participate in killing our dreams as well.
It's totally normal to want your kids to be safe and protected and have food and shelter. Pretty normal. The thing is, so many of us choose what we think is the "certain" path that leads to financial security. And we come to find out that with a majorly shifting job market and economy, that those jobs we were going for some how disappeared.
We asked a question in the old jobs market, which was, "How can I extract value from my employer?" That is, what are the benefits, is it a secure company, do I have "job security", etc. But, the world is changing and we are being called to ask a new question - and that question is, "How can I give my gift to the world and solve a problem in the world by doing so?"
We are shifting from a money driven world to a purpose driven world. And many of us don't know that we can and will be supported in giving our gift to the world and solve problems in the world. This reminds me of a quote from Jesus in the Gospel of Thomas in which He says, "If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you don't bring forth will destroy you."
It's a simple message: Give your gift to the world and you will be provided for; don't give your gift to the world and good luck.
And deep down, this is what we want. And many times we give up on this because we want to take the "certain" path that our parents want us to go down.
But you see, our mothers are not our mothers and our fathers are not our fathers. The Uni-verse is both our mother and our father and It planted a seed of potential within us, a gift that we must give the world. We love our mother and our father, but it is not their approval we seek, but rather our own internal approval knowing that we are living in our purpose. This can be a painful switch.
The journey from needing parents approval to hearing their advice but making our own choices in alignment with our purpose is called re-parenting. And it's necessary if we want to live our dreams. If we don't do this, we will be at risk of killing our dreams. And no one wants that.
Our parents love us. This is not making them wrong; it's simply a call to see life in a slightly different way - where our choices are Self-Approved, instead of parent-approved.
Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

Monday, August 20, 2012

by hookedonhouses on August 5, 2009
With the movie Julie & Julia set to open this week, it got me wondering about Julia Child’s home, which she referred to in her memoir, My Life in France, as “My little house in Cambridge.” Here’s what her house looks like today (via Centers & Squares):
Architectural Digest published photos of Julia’s home in 1979. Here’s what it looked like then:
Did you know her house is across the street from the poet e.e. cummings’ birthplace? Well, it is! And as a former English major, I feel compelled to tell you things like that.
Here’s her famous kitchen, where so many of her cooking shows were taped over the years, and which she called “the most loved and most used room in the house.”
According to the blog Centers & Squares:
The Childs’ home was like many wonderful old houses we see in Cambridge – little changed in decades. And like so many others it was purchased by a developer and transformed.
A sleek and stylish kitchen was designed, six new bathrooms installed, central air conditioning, central vac – all the bells and whistles that are popular with buyers today in the price range.
The newly renovated house was sold in 2004 for $3,755,000. It has since changed hands again for $3,700,000.
Here’s what the kitchen looked like when Julia lived there, and then after it was renovated (via It’s hard to believe it’s the same space!
I saw the trailer for the movie “Julie & Julia,” and it looks like a lot of fun. It tells the true story of Julie Powell (Amy Adams), whose blog makes her so famous, she gets a book deal, and then they turn her story into a movie. (Sounds good to me!)
Country Living has a fun article about how Child’s kitchen was recreated for the film “Julie & Julia.” Here’s what it looks like in the movie:
After retiring, Julia sold her Cambridge house and moved to California. The kitchen was donated to the Smithsonian museum, which I think is just so cool (below). You can see it and read more about her amazing life here. (Photo via Mae’s Food Blog.)

Love peeking inside famous houses? Visit my Celebrity Houses page!
Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Empathy is one of the main keys to success.

Written by Mastin Kipp
If there's one thing that I've learned so far in my life, it's that we are NOT responsible for how other people see the world. AND - at the same time, in any communication - it is the responsibility of the person DOING the communication to communicate in a way that the receiver will understand.
This is where empathy comes in. Empathy is one of the main keys to success that I know. Not just in business, but in personal life as well.
Webster's defines empathy as, "understanding and being sensitive to the experience of another." If we can do this, not only will we be able to understand ourselves more, but we will also be able to understand others. And in this sweet spot is where magic REALLY happens.
There's a saying in Al-Anon, they call it the three C's - and they apply to the actions and problems of another, or the recognition that we are truly powerless to control someone else... The three C's are:
1. I didn't cause it.
2. I can't control it.
3. I can't cure it.
These three C's ask us to remain humble in our approach to others and hint that AT BEST all we have is influence. But the idea that we are not responsible for the actions of others in our lives is both profound, and at the same time, can also sound very cold.
I am not suggesting that we don't CARE about others, of course not. This blog is not intended to turn you into a narcissist. But what I'm trying to highlight is the idea that when we realize we are off the hook for the experience of other people, we begin to take our power back. Of course we want to be loving, to care, to provide aid, support and nurturing to those who we love - and at the same time know that we are not responsible for how the other person reacts.
The paradox of this is that we are also partially responsible for how the other person reacts. Because in our communication, if we have empathy towards another and understand where they are coming from and what their beliefs are, we have the best chance at influencing them. If we only talk from OUR limited perspective and take only our beliefs to be true, then we are living in a smaller world.
Only thinking life should be how you see it isn't empathetic or understanding, it's simply just a projection of your worldview onto ALL things. Empathy and understanding call us to open our hearts, to see the point of view of others and to speak from a place that would resonate most with them. While at the same time knowing that we are off the hook for how THEY show up.
As with most things in life, Truth is a paradox. When we can accept that, we have taken a leap into a larger world.
So, if you are taking on the responsibility for how others feel or expecting others to only see your way and life isn't flowing, how could you apply these principles to your life today?
Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Why arent you living your Soul's Goals?

Why arent you living your Soul's Goals?


I don't have:

*enough time
*enough money
*enough education
*the support from my friends
*my parents approval

Or, the best TWO - I'm not READY and don't DESERVE to live my dreams.

All these reasons are true and NOT true. It depends on how you look at it. That choice is YOURS! And MOST of the time, when we are setting goals, we are doing so from a place of thinking about what OTHER PEOPLE want, instead of who WE ARE.

YOU need to remember your dreams, shed the need for otherpeople's approval, find out WHY you were born and turn your limiting beliefs into empowering reasons WHY you MUST live your Soul's Goals! Stay Tuned!
Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Photo: Simple!
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  • Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

    Your Soul is infinite, unchanging and radiant.

    What is sexy to you?
    We are bombarded with millions of images each day telling us what sexy is.
    Magazines, celebrities, television, internet all sell you their version of sexy.
    Trying to get you to buy it.
    Wear these clothes. Use this perfume. Drink this wine. Buy this jewelry. Look a certain way.
    Sexy is not something you can buy.
    It is what you are.
    Sexy is SOUL.
    True sexy is not based on anything outside yourself since everything outside is transitory.
    Real sexy is when you are connected to the unchanging core of your being.
    Sexy is who you are BEING. It is not something you DO. The more connected you are to your true Self, the sexier you will become and the more alive you will feel. It’s about how you feel about yourself. Then your soul shines so brightly through you that you radiate the force of your Spirit.
    Your personality may be imperfect. Your body will surely change over time. But your Soul is infinite, unchanging and radiant.
    Your soul has no wrinkles. Your Soul does not age. It just IS.

    In our pursuit of sexy we have lost our Soulfulness.
    There are thousands of courses, books, classes and coaches all teaching you how to be sexy.
    Do you know that in the US, in 2010:
    $10 billion was spent on cosmetic surgery.
    $14.4 billion was spent on make up.
    $82 billion was spent on clothes.
    As a culture we have become so obsessed with looking good on the outside, but disconnected from the source of real aliveness on the inside. You can look good on the outside, but if you don’t feel good on the inside what’s the point?
    Ponder this:
    Real sexy is being connected to your soul and living boldly.
    Real sexy is accepting and loving yourself exactly as you are.
    Real sexy is being fully self expressed.
    Real sexy is living your heart and generosity of spirit.
    Real sexy is daring to speak and live your truth as honestly as possible.
    Real sexy is being willing to live with an open heart and be vulnerable with those you love.
    Real sexy is not taking yourself too seriously or life for that matter.
    Real sexy is when you live fully in the present moment.
    Real sexy is when you are living for a purpose bigger than your self.
    When you are tuned in to your Soul, you will be turned ON to The universe.When you are turned ON to The universe, your soul shines brightly. All those around you will feel it.
    As you are connected to your Soul, and let it shine you will attract people to you who can see who you REALLY are. Then those that you attract into your life will be much more authentically aligned and real.
    When you are connected with your soul, you begin to live for a bigger reason than your self. You begin playing a bigger game than the ego’s game of survival, selfishness and never ending seeking. You move into living service and contribution.
    Your soul doesn’t need anything since it is Everything.
    When you know who you truly are, you become authentically sexy.
    Mandela, MLK, Mother Teresa, Bruce Lee, Bob Marley, Chuang Tzu, and such were some of the sexiest people alive.
    They were fully surrendered to their soul, and being lived by a purpose bigger than themselves.
    Are you ready to be sexy for real?
    Then know that: You are Infinite. Beyond birth. Beyond death.
    You Soul is Free.
    Let your soul shine.
    Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

    If you're doing it right, you are going to be totally scared!

    Written by Mastin Kipp
    The great lesson of life is being able to dive HEAD FIRST into the unknown with the faith that all is working out for your best interest. The unknown is where EVERYTHING that you truly desire resides! It's true.
    No one you know who has achieved anything worthwhile has done so with the certainty that they were going to make it. This is why life is both a MYSTERY and an adventure.
    The question truly is, are you going to say YES to the adventure, or not?
    I think I have been more scared this year than any other year of my life. There's been so much expansion, which is RAD - but it's REALLY forced me to take a huge dive into the unknown. All these things that are so rad that are happening in my life are firsts... and it's a LEAP into the unknown. I have no idea if the book I'm writing for Hay House is gonna be any good; I have NO idea if the series I am doing with AirBnb is going to be any good; I have NO idea if people are going to like what I have to say at Marie Forleo's "Rich, Happy, Hot LIVE" in NYC or at the Hay House Ignite conference in NYC. When I do online courses, I have no idea if they will ever make a profit. I have ZERO control over my mentoring clients and if they choose to stay or go.
    All that I do I do every day facing the unknown with a smile. I believe that The Uni-verse has my back and as long as I am adding amazing value to the world, then value will be provided back to me.
    It was really scary and hard to get to this point, and it's still scary and hard. There's no certainty that anything will keep going the way that it has. And, I tell you what, it's REALLY scary. And at the same time, I would have it NO other way! This IS the adventure of life and it's what we are being called out into.
    It's time to face the unknown with a smile and with the faith that your gift WILL sustain you as you add value to the lives of others. The Uni-verse LOVES to support a GIVER and someone who makes the world a better place. It's hard to trust this when we've never tried, I am still not quite used to it, but it's getting easier.
    Also, when we face the unknown, we are always on our toes and forced to be more creative and work from a place of hunger. That hunger and creativity, combined with the genuine desire to serve is the magical formula for innovation and creating a life lived on YOUR terms.
    Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

    Tuesday, August 7, 2012

    You can't please everyone and you're not supposed to.

    Written by Mastin Kipp
    I think one of the main things that stop people from living an AMAZING life is the fear of what others will think about them. I know this has stopped me PLENTY before!
    So, instead of being brave and stepping out into the world where criticism, cynicism and prejudice lay, we sit back in our comfort zones afraid to make a stink. And what happens? We slowly die a death worse than anything else, a daily spiritual death of PLEASING OTHER PEOPLE and silently creating resentment, anger and all the likes within us.
    If left unchecked we can literally shrivel up and die, first emotionally, then spiritually, then physically. It is only those who are brave enough to go face to face with the opinions of the world that make a splash in life!
    You can't please everyone and you're not supposed to.
    You see, as you are living and expressing your truth, some people won't like it. Others will. And to let the "haters" win by keeping you quiet is not what you were sent to do. You were sent to stand up for what you believe in, express your truth and be humble to the fact that you are learning more and more as you go along.
    In my life, I've had to address this issue in the recent few days. A blog I wrote for the Huffington Post about why I believe Jesus would support gay marriage. That gave me a wonderful opportunity to practice this virtue.
    Now I know this is a controversial issue. I know there are people who are going to disagree with me. I know there are also probably some Christians who are going to call me the devil (and they did), but that didn't stop me from writing this article.
    Why? Because in my heart I HAD TO. I wrote it for Huffington Post because I believe that is where it belongs. I try my very best to keep my opinions out of TDL when it comes to the issues at hand. And the intention of this blog is not to talk about the issue, but to express the process that I went through and the fear I felt by standing up for something that I believe in.
    You see, if we wait to stand up for what we believe in until everyone agrees with us, we will be waiting the rest of our lives. Disagreement is what makes life so rich. Debating each side of the issue is what makes life so much fun. We need liberals AND conservatives. We need the right and the left - that's why we have two arms and feet; it's what keeps us BALANCED.
    And knowing this, instead of taking the feedback (both positive and negative) personally, what I am doing is simply viewing ALL of it (good and bad) as information.
    And NONE of that information will stop me from being me. And when we are being ourselves, that is when the magic happens. The Uni-verse, The Divine is calling us forward to express and be the truth in our hearts. It is BOLD, but it is necessary if we are to life-fulfilled, happy and fully expressed.
    Don't wait for the world to agree with you; get about the business of expressing and living your truth so that you can start giving YOUR unique gift to this planet. We need you to. And whether I agree with you or not about what that gift or message is, I FULLY support you expressing it and living it, just as I would ask that you do for me around this issue! :o)
    Lisa Ekanger Your Preferred Realtor!

    Monday, August 6, 2012

    Everything you take for granted is a blessing.

    "Everything you take for granted is a blessing. Everything you fear is a friend in disguise. Everything you want is a part of you. Everything you hate you hate about yourself. Everything you own does not define you. Everything you feel is the only Truth there is to know.
    Everything you wish for is already on its way to you. Everything you think creates your life. Everything you seek for you will find. Everything you resist will stick around. Everything you let go of stays if it's supposed to. Everything you need is right where you are.
    Every time you bless another your bless yourself. Every time you blame another you lose your power. Every time you think you can, you can. Every time you fall you must get up and try again. Every time you cry you're one tear closer to joy. Every time you ask for forgiveness, all you have to do is forgive yourself.
    Everyone you see is your reflection. Everyone you know mirrors you. Everyone wants to be happy. Everyone wants to live in joy. Everyone seeks a higher purpose. Everyone breathes the same breath. Everyone needs love to survive. Everyone has a purpose to fulfill.
    Everyone's the same as everyone else. We just get caught up in labels, names, skin color and religion. Everyone's the same as everyone else. No one wants to feel the pain. Everyone's the same as everyone else. Everyone is dying for love to remain."
    - Jackson Kiddard,
    Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

    Sunday, August 5, 2012

    33 Signs You’ve Found Your Life’s Work.

    Written by Lissa Rankin
    When I work with patients, I always ask them whether they’re doing their life’s work, because I truly believe that how we spend most of our day, and whether it’s in line with our life’s work, affects our health. When I ask a woman if she’s doing her life’s work, way too often, she stares at me blankly.
    So how can you tell? How do you know if you’re doing your life’s work? There’s no easy answer to that question other than, “You just know.” But to give you a sense of what it feels like to discover and then commit to fulfilling your life’s work. I’ve created this list of signs for you.
    33 Signs You’ve Found Your Life’s Work
    1. You’re scared shitless.
    2. You notice that the pieces of the puzzle of your life’s work all line up, and you can tell that The Uni-verse has got your back.
    3. You feel like you’re on a rollercoaster (simultaneously exhilarated and nauseous).
    4. There’s a “plunk” sort of feeling in your gut that affirms that you’ve found your life’s work.
    5. Your whole life – the triumphs and the setbacks – suddenly makes sense.
    6. Magical things start happening, and although you feel a sense of wonder, you’re not surprised.
    7. None of your choices feel safe.
    8. Everybody suspects you’ve officially lost it.
    9. You’ve quit listening to what everybody thinks.
    10. You feel guided.
    11. You’ve got butterflies in your tummy.
    12. You feel like you’ve risked everything, but it’s all okay.
    13. You feel a wee bit lonely, because nobody has ever blazed this trail exactly the same way you have.
    14. The nightmares are replaced by dreams that affirm your direction.
    15. You feel spiritually in tune.
    16. There’s a good chance you have no employer matching your 401K contribution.
    17. You naturally attract those that help further your life’s work.
    18. You’re pushed to the very edge – and just as you start to question your life’s work, everything falls into place.
    19. The money shows up right when you need it.
    20. You sometimes wonder if you’re totally nuts.
    21. You feel giddy for no apparent reason.
    22. You have a sense that you’re on the right path, even if you don’t know where you’re going.
    23. You’re life’s work might seem hard to others, but for you, it’s a piece of cake.
    24. Others are better off because you’re doing your life’s work.
    25. You feel a perfect mix of total panic and inner peace beyond comprehension.
    26. You can’t wait to do your life’s work every morning. In fact, it’s hard to drag you away from it, even on vacation.
    27. You’d do your life’s work even if nobody ever paid you for it.
    28. You find yourself turning down other work, even if it’s more stable and more lucrative.
    29. You’re on a mission, and you know it.
    30. You don’t notice aches and pains the way you used to.
    31. Your health improves.
    32. Abundance just appears in your life in unexpected ways.
    33. You smile more than you ever have in your life.
    Keep in mind that your life’s work doesn’t have to be a job. Your life’s work could be raising 21 children. Or volunteering in Africa or at your local soup kitchen.
    As someone who has found her life’s work, I can say with absolute certainty that you know it when you’ve found it.
    Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

    Saturday, August 4, 2012

    When we take time to actually understand people, our lives will change.

    Written by Mastin Kipp

    When we take time to actually understand people, our lives will change. There seems to be a theme in many of my clients lives lately, where they will complain about someone - and make them wrong for what they are thinking or how they are feeling.
    Let me tell it to you straight - YOUR EMOTIONS ARE VALID AND REAL! Don't let ANYONE tell you otherwise!
    When we begin to have respect for the thoughts of others and we begin to cherish the feelings of others, as we do our own - we step into a larger world. Think about it. If you made a list of all your character defects - and saw that part of yourself loud and clear, would you say that even though you know you are that way, you let yourself off the hook? Well, then let us see others with Love and compassion and let them off the hook, too.
    This doesn't mean we have to tolerate abuse or anything like that, but it does mean that we can choose to see and encourage the best in others. And when we do that, a strange thing starts to happen - the best of who they are begins to emerge.
    If we are constantly looking for what's wrong, if we are constantly trying to see how someone messed up - we miss the miracle and we miss the blessing that is his or her presence in our life.
    So when it comes to other people - I have a question, and answer honestly... What are you looking for in them? Are you looking for what's right? Are you seeing them as doing the best that they can - are you giving compassion to them at the same level that you give to yourself or those that you Love?
    AND - if you feel that other people are only looking for what's wrong in you - can you send them Love and Compassion because you know that this is nothing but a projection of how they feel about themselves and has NOTHING to do with you? This is how we are being called to see the world - with the eyes of Love. We see the innocence; we see the pain of others and we do not take it personally because we know it is just a part of their projection. And, we know that we also project onto others, so we do our best to stop that and to send only Love. Sometimes, you have to send Love from a distance, but send Love anyway!
    Do you have the courage to see life this way? Can you let go of the past hurts and step into the brandnew-ness of this 'now' moment? Can you feel the Love within you that is dying to express and know that when it is expressed, it will be returned to you 100-fold?
    This is the way of things - do you have what it takes? Leave a comment on the blog and let me know!
    Lisa Ekanger

    Thursday, August 2, 2012

    You are enough, right now, as you are.

    Written by Mastin Kipp
    Consistently, human history shows that many of mankind's core assumptions about the world have been wrong. Let's take a look:
    The world is flat - wrong.
    The Earth is the center of the Uni-verse - wrong.
    Metal can't float - wrong.
    Man can't fly - wrong.
    Going faster than the speed of sound is impossible - wrong.
    Women aren't equal to men - wrong.
    African-American's are separate but equal - wrong.
    An African-American will never be President - wrong.
    What are our core assumptions TODAY that are wrong? The universe is a place FULL of POTENTIAL and POSSIBILITY - not just for mankind, but also for us in our lives.
    Just like we have thought some crazy things in the past, in each of our lives we have limiting beliefs that, like the beliefs listed above, are just plain ole wrong.
    What thoughts or excuses do you have about your life that are holding you back?
    Here are some common ones:
    I'm too fat.
    I'm too skinny.
    I'm too old.
    I'm too young.
    I'm under-qualified.
    I'm over-qualified.
    I don't have enough time.
    I'm not enough.
    I'm not worthy.
    I don't have enough money.
    No one will like this idea.
    I will die if I fail.
    All of these beliefs and many more start to come when we expand our possibility and step out of our comfort zones. Know this - your limiting beliefs and excuses are DEAD WRONG.
    Here's the truth.
    You are enough, right now, as you are. You can schedule your time; find other ways besides money to make it happen. You will fall down and you will fail, but those things are just lessons. The only true failure is the failure to stop trying.
    Your dreams, your desires are REAL and can BE if you take consistent action towards them. Every time we expand, we will be met with limiting beliefs.
    Take the time to notice them and then just move on anyways. Let's strengthen our minds to be conditioned to believe empowering thoughts instead of disempowering thoughts. Let's train our minds and take action over time to prove these empowering thoughts right.
    What limiting beliefs, excuses and the like are you buying into? Which ones do you want to throw away today and act in a different direction? Are you willing to burn in the fire of you heart's desire for as long as it takes to make it happen? Are you willing to surrender the outcome to The Uni-verse?
    Let me know, leave a comment on the blog.

    Wednesday, August 1, 2012

    In the garden...

    Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

    Low-Calorie Margarita-Lite Drink Recipe

    Low-Calorie Margarita-Lite Drink Recipe

    Find out how to make Low-Calorie Margarita-Lite Drink from this easy Margarita Recipe:


    • 1/2 cup seltzer water
    • 1 ounce tequila
    • 1/2 ounce triple sec
    • 1/8 cup lime juice
    • 1 teaspoon agave nectar (or Rose's Sweetened Lime juice)


    Combine everything but the seltzer in a cocktail shaker, add ice, shake and pour into a glass with the seltzer.


    Takes a margarita (300+ calories) and reduces it to around 120-140 calories.
    Lisa Ekanger Your Preferred Realtor!

    Do You Like To Be Right?

    Do You Like To Be Right?
    by Christine Hassler on August 1, 2012

    I’ll admit that I have liked to be right. Actually it’s more accurate to say that my ego has liked to be right. Has yours? It’s okay to admit it. There is a sense of satisfaction and gratification that we get when perceived as right. Our egos feel validated, which is great if we want to live our lives chasing after egoic highs. But I have a feeling you’d much rather chase after heart highs that last, wouldn’t you?
    If you answered YES, you have got to totally give up any desire to be right.

    I had an opportunity to practice this last week after I received an email from a friend that I judged as rather reactive and rude. My choice was not to respond at all. Why dignify it with a response? (Do you hear the righteous?). A few days later I did respond and shared I did not feel comfortable engaging with my friend. To that I received another email in which he went into a lot explanation of his experience of the situation and how he perceived my actions. My ego was tempted to justify, defend, explain myself…in other words be “right.”
    Instead I stopped and asked myself, “Would I rather be right or be loving?”
    That question totally shifted my energy from my ego to my heart. I was able read between the lines of my friend’s email and see that he, like ALL of us, just desires to be understood and loved. It was clear to me that I was no more right than he was – we were both just hurt. Moving into further justification or explanation would have exacerbated the situation and gotten us into a tit for tat type of argument. Ever been in one of those? They are no fun and completely unproductive!
    When I surrendered my desire to be right or have my point and actions understood, I was able to respond in a loving way, apologize for my end of things, and create a more loving space for both of us to step into. And it feels so much better to feel loving toward my friend than it does to be right!!
    Trust me, being right is highly over-rated. Being loving is where it’s at!
    I encourage you to look at areas in your life where you are attached to being right. Where are you holding grudges in relationships? Who are you outsourcing your energy to because you are waiting for them to see things from your perspective? What are you obsessing about because you feel wronged? How are you blocking love from your life by your ego’s desire to prove something?
    Choosing love over being right is your key to freedom. Now that doesn’t mean you allow people to walk all over you and have no boundaries in your life. It is possible to be loving AND be clear in your communication with others. But once you express yourself, let it go. Don’t wait to be free inside until you are acknowledged for being right.
    When you get off your position, you create possibilities for miracles.
    When you let go of the need to be right and hang on to your core essence of being love, you experience freedom.
    When you stop caring whether anyone else understands your point of view, you will understand yourself and others even more.
    When you fall in love with forgiveness and out of lust with righteousness, you will experience heart highs (which are so much better than ego highs!).
    Let yourself and anyone else off the hook. Your attachment to your position or story is not serving you. We are all doing the very best we can in every moment. Remember that. Even the people you judged as wrong are doing the best they can. Uplevel your best today by surrendering any desire to be right. Be happy and free instead.
    Lisa Ekanger Your Preferred Realtor!