If Marci Shimoff’s name sounds familiar to you, it should! She’s the New York Times best-selling author of Happy for No Reason, as well as co-author of six books in the phenomenally popular Chicken Soup for the Soul series. Her books have sold more than 14 million copies worldwide in 31 languages. Wow! She’s also a featured teacher in the hit film, The Secret. Special thanks to Arielle Ford for introducing me to yet another bright Joy-Follower.
Marci is currently launching a brand new book called Love for No Reason, which offers a step-by-step program for us to live in a state of unconditional love every day of our lives. The more I live my life, the more I realize the importance of love as the foundation – so Marci’s important work has certainly caught my attention. I just started diving into her book, hot-off-the press, and wholeheartedly recommend it!
Just as I would have guessed, my conversation with Marci was enlightening, engaging, inspiring – and her spirit is full of aliveness and energy. She’s the kind of woman you just want to “be around.”
So I’m delighted to introduce a bright light and special friend – Marci Shimoff.
* * * * *
Michelle: Your work is centered around happiness and love. So, what is it that makes you come alive?
Marci: Professionally, my purpose is to help people experience a life of happiness and deep true love, inner love. It’s the thing that I most wanted in life and I believe it’s what we all want – to experience a freedom of love, joy, and an open heart; a life that’s fulfilling.
Personally, it’s living in that way as much as possible! Doing what sings to my heart – for me that’s being in nature, spending time with wonderful friends and family, doing spiritual practices, dancing, moving my body, and experiencing joy on all levels…from the body to the heart to the mind to the soul.
Michelle: We’re good at wanting to overcomplicate life; but listening to you reminds me of how basic life really is.
Marci: What I’ve found is that my heart is the essence to living a life of joy, and as a society we spend so much time living in our heads. Our minds are very good servants but not the masters. I’ve been practicing these tools that I’ve learned, to live with a more open heart, and they really work. We live in a very exciting time – a time when there are all kinds of tools available to us that help us move through our blocks and open us to experiencing the truth of who we are. I go out and collect all these tools and try them out and use the ones that work, and then I share those.
Michelle: I occasionally get overwhelmed with all the tools and resources out there; how do you know which ones to gravitate toward?
Marci: Well, there are different tools that work at different times. One day I’ll find that the one that is really going to work for me is the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), and another time what’s going to work for me is the Sedona Method. And then another time it’s just about stopping and asking myself the simple question: “What’s the most loving thing I could do for myself right now?”
Michelle: Interesting. I can get ‘locked’ into a certain way of doing things because I said I was going to do them that way. I like the idea of giving yourself the freedom to go with what feels right in the moment.
Marci: The best strategy is to have a number of tools in your toolbox. What I love is that they don’t take a lot of time. A couple minutes can shift your whole energy. If you do that a few times throughout the day, you make a huge change with small practices.
Most importantly, have a clear intention for how you want to live. When I wrote Happy for No Reason, I found that so many people wait around for life to change for them to be happier (“I’ll be happier when I…have a better job, lose 20 pounds,” etc.).
The truth is that happiness is a habit. And we can have a lot of power over creating a much happier life for ourselves. The same is true for love. Most people wait around for love to happen to them. That is the opposite of how it really is! You can practice living in a state of unconditional love. These simple practices that I talk about in Love for No Reason are things that will help you feel as though you’re in love all the time, whether or not you have the perfect relationship.
Michelle: What a gift we each have – so many of us don’t realize we all have that power right within us.
Marci: I’ve traveled all over the world and have found that what people most deeply crave is to live a life where their hearts are free and open; where they feel gratitude and feel connected with others.
When we feel connected to others, to nature, to life – there’s a certain vitality and aliveness and ability to enjoy that is palpable.
Michelle: That’s truly living!
Marci: Yes, it’s what life is all about. If you ask people who have had near-death experiences what they’ve learned, many say that we have a final exam and the one question we’re asked is: “How much did you expand your ability to love?”
Why not learn that now? Don’t wait for the final exam and cram for it! Practice that ability to live in a more open state of love no matter what’s going on in your life, and then your life changes. The outside changes because when you vibrate at the energy of love – the highest energetic vibration on the planet – magic happens in your life.
Michelle: Personally, in your own life, how do you know when you’re following your joy; what’s different in your life?
Marci: When you experience Love for No Reason, you know it. You can feel it. There’s a great questionnaire in my book to help you see how much you are living in that state. I interviewed 150 Love Luminaries – people who are living in this state of love that doesn’t depend on “circumstances.” Here are some of the qualities that they reflected; they:
–Are fully present in the moment
–Feel a sense of oneness and connection to all people and nature
–Trust they are supported by a friendly universe
–Live in the flow of their feelings
–Experience physical vitality
–Feel empowered without ego
–Are equally comfortable giving and receiving love
–Are compassionate and nonjudgmental toward themselves and others
–Feel a universal love flowing through them
There are 14 Love Keys that will help us access this state. I recommend that people practice one of those Love Keys each week. And within a very short period of time, they will experience their life transformed.
Michelle: What keeps you on-track so that you’re always coming from this place of unconditional love?
Marci: The intention I set. We’re at the beginning of the New Year, and my suggestion is that everyone pick a theme for the New Year. I think the most wonderful theme for this year is the theme of love, unconditional love. It keeps your attention focused on that as your number-one priority for the year.
The second step is to pick something to practice every week that moves you in that direction of more love and expansion. So for example, one week it might be focusing on your vitality. Another week it may be practicing self-love. Next week it might be to create a sense of safety in your life.
Michelle: It seems as though once we tap into this state of unconditional love, everything else falls into place and life becomes easier.
Marci: This experience of living with love is the one thing that changes everything.
You know how you feel when you first fall in love? And the traffic on the road doesn’t bother you because you’re singing in the car? Or the person in the grocery store line in front of you doesn’t annoy you and you see only their positive qualities, not how slow they’re going? It’s because your world has been colored by how you’re experiencing love.
So imagine what it would be like if you were feeling that way all the time! And that’s what I’m talking about so that you have that feeling of being in love…but it’s being in love with life.
Michelle: That reminds me of one of my favorite quotes by Arthur Rubinstein: “If you love life, life will love you back.”
Marci: I love that one! I’m writing that down – I wish I would have had it for my book! One of my favorites is by Emmet Fox: “If only you could love enough, you would be the happiest and most powerful being in the universe.”
Michelle: Very powerful. All of this talk about “love” is reminding me, too, of a statement I often post on Twitter: “Always come from a place of love. Always.”
Marci: And this is not a “Hollywood” or “Hallmark card” type of love we’re talking about, either. It isn’t just some airy-fairy thing. It’s grounded. It’s measurable. There’s a science behind love. When you are experiencing this state of love, you have different biochemicals in your body – more endorphins, oxytocin, and serotonin. This is a real physiological state that we’re talking about, and you can train yourself to live in this state of love. In my book, you’ll find all kinds of stories of people who are living in this state
Michelle: What’s the most important suggestion or tip you’d like to leave readers with?
Marci: Here’s a simple technique from the Institute Of HeartMath. The Inner Ease technique – it primes the pump for Love for No Reason:
1) When you feel stressed-out or your heart shuts down, acknowledge that you’re feeling out of sync
2) Take a moment and do heart-focused breathing – put your hand over your heart and pretend that you’re breathing in and out through your heart
3) Imagine that with each breath you’re drawing in a feeling of inner ease and infusing your mind and emotions with that balance and self-love
4) When the stressful feelings have calmed, affirm with a heartfelt commitment that you will anchor that state of ease as you move through the rest of the day, and set the intention
Michelle: Wow, what if we all started out our day like that?!
Marci: I truly believe that the best way we can contribute to our world is through each one of us feeling more joy and love and peace inside ourselves.
There’s a Chinese proverb that says: “When there is light in the soul, there will be beauty in the person. When there is beauty in the person, there will be harmony in the house. When there is harmony in the house, there will be order in the nation. And when there is order in the nation, there will be peace in the world.”
So when we all feel that light and love in our own souls, we will create peace here on the planet.
* * * * *
Michelle’s final thoughts: Special thanks to Marci for opening up her heart to share the good news about love with us. I can’t wait to delve deeper into her book, because I don’t know of anything more essential…than to live your life from a state of unconditional love.
I encourage you to buy this important book.
What will your New Year theme be? Cheers to peace on the planet. :)