create better life

9 Steps To Create A Better Life

Would you like to create a better life? These are the 9 steps that will take you from a life that frustrates you to the one you envision in your dreams. I learned learned these through my own personal experience.

1 Release any victim mentality and acknowledge and absorb the fact that you have the right, permission, and privilege of creating the life you desire.

create better life2 Envision the life you desire. Seek a divine confirmation that it’s in your highest good.

3 Emotionally engage with your vision. What does it look like? How will you feel when it’s here? Immerse yourself in the vision and the emotions of it. Bathe in it.

4 Make any personal changes you need to be worthy, deserving and capable of receiving and enjoying the vision. Let the vision hold you accountable in the little decisions along the way.

5 Grow a spine. Say no to anything that is outside your vision or will lead you away from it. Say yes to anything that aligns with it. Clear boundaries are essential.

6 Keep refining your vision, allow God to have input into it. What you thought you wanted may not be best for you. Allow the vision to morph.

7 Surrender to God how, when, where and who else is involved.

8 Trust God’s timing is perfect. Live in gratitude that the vision is on its way to you.

9 Embrace it when it arrives and continually live in gratitude and wonder to God for His divine orchestration, mercy for mistakes you made along the way, and generosity. What comes will be much better than anything you envisioned.

Notice nothing in this says you have to think or act perfectly along the way. You’re going to make mistakes and sometimes royally screw up.

You’ll struggle with doubt, negative thoughts and maybe even depression. You may even feel betrayed by and angry with God.

Adjust, get back on track, ask for forgiveness but most of all forgive yourself. You probably will feel you didn’t deserve the blessing in the end. Forgive yourself and accept God’s amazing mercy and grace.

Are you ready to create your own amazing life? Click here to learn more.

About Marnie Marcus

Marnie (Pehrson) Marcus is a best-selling author and marketing and social media consultant specializing in digital content creation and Facebook Ad Management. Get a FREE 20-minute strategy session with Marnie here.

Lose Yourself to Find Yourself

There are a lot of things we can lose in this world, but in the end they are just things. The truly frightening thing is to lose yourself. To wake up to the realization that you aren’t the sum total of your experiences and accomplishments. When everything is stripped away – the stuff, the dreams, the skills, and abilities, your health, and all you’re left with is you, you cry out to God, “What else will you take from me? I’m not even me anymore. Who am I? What am I?”

At last you remember: “I am a child of God, a divine sibling of every other person who has walked this planet. Quite simply I am an extension of God — His representative on earth, a walking embodiment of His love. Nothing else is real. Nothing else matters or lasts.”

Why must we wade through the excruciating to remember and absorb the simple?

Maybe it’s because of what my friend Carolyn Calton often says,

“We learn who we’re not before we remember who we really are.”

The question I will be asking myself each day is “How can I more fully be the love today?”

Today, as I’ve pondered this question, I’ve realized who I need to show love for, first and foremost is me. Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” How can we truly love anyone else if we don’t fully love ourselves?

I’m realizing I need to acknowledge myself, what I’ve been through, the grace with which I’ve navigated this voyage on choppy seas. While going through the divorce, my friend Rhonda Hess gave me an assignment to speak to my own heart like I’d speak to a friend as I went to sleep each night. Tell my heart what I admire about it, what’s good about it, truly embrace and love my own beautiful, giving and loving heart.

It was revolutionary for me at the time, and I’m pulling that exercise back out and using it again. It’s time… past time. It’s time to be the love with me.

About Marnie Marcus

Marnie (Pehrson) Marcus is a best-selling author and marketing and social media consultant specializing in digital content creation and Facebook Ad Management. Get a FREE 20-minute strategy session with Marnie here.

Quest for Love: Angels Intervene

Facebook reminded me that 1 year ago today, I was in a car wreck that resulted in about $5,000 worth of damage to my only car.  I remember that morning well. I was in the throes of a whirlwind romance. It was one of those all-consuming, instant, chemically-magnetic relationships.

I’d been up late the night before skyping this man who lived 2,000 miles away.  In fact, I’d spent literally 60 hours in the previous week talking with him. I know, it sounds insane, but we were both off work for Christmas break and the connection was unreal.

wrecked nissan sentraI was making a left turn out of the high school toward the middle school to drop off my youngest son. I looked both ways. There was a line of cars turning right into the high school. The visibility is never great there and there’s always a bit of risk involved. Not seeing anything, I pulled out to suddenly see a van careening into my little Sentra. It hit us so hard; it pushed my car until it looked like I’d been turning right instead of left.

I remember praying that it wouldn’t crush Elijah who was sitting in the back seat behind me.  Finally, my car stopped and my side of the car was completely flush with the van. I checked on Elijah and he’d actually slept through it. He woke up and asked, “What happened?”

Thank heavens, he was fine. I was shaken, but no injuries. The first officer who appeared on the scene was the middle school’s School Resource Officer. He came to the passenger side of my car, and I rolled down the window to speak to him.

He asked if we were okay. I confirmed we were, and he said, “I don’t know if you remember me, but I’m Morgan’s son, Chris.”

A wave of relief washed over me. I wouldn’t have recognized him, but I’ve known Morgan since I was 11. She was my favorite Sunday School teacher as a child. I’d grown close to her over the previous three years as her sage advice helped me navigate the divorce and re-entering the dating world.

Never once did she try to set me up with her single-again son. Although, when she mentioned him in passing there was always a little hit…  “Hmmm.” While we’d gone to church together as youth, I honestly didn’t remember him at all. I wouldn’t have recognized him. But there’s no denying he’s Morgan’s son. He looks so much like her.

More officers appeared on the scene and Chris went back to the school. At the time, I beat myself up for not seeing the van. How did I not see it? Was my mind so love-struck over the budding magnetic romance? Was I not as observant as I should have been because I hadn’t gotten enough sleep?

I didn’t feel sleepy. I don’t think I was that out of it. At the time, it was a real hardship for me to come up with the $1,000 deductible to get my car fixed. I tried to look on the bright side. My car got a new front end (which it needed), and at least I had the rental car option on my insurance.  I had something to drive.

Heavenly Intervention

What I didn’t know then was that a year later I’d be blissfully married to Officer Chris Marcus! It makes me wonder if there was some kind of heavenly intervention at work.

The relationship I was in turned out to be a major heartbreak.  Had I ended up with this man, it would have meant sacrificing a lot of who I am. We did not share the same core values or beliefs.  Those variations and major communication issues eventually drove us apart two months later.

If we’d followed through on our discussions of marriage, it would have been one of the biggest mistakes of my life. I was literally making a left-turn when I needed to be turning right. Interesting symbolism, don’t you think?

Did my angels orchestrate this wreck as a wakeup call to alter my direction? Were they saying,

“Hey, you’re going the wrong way, Marnie! Chris Marcus is the man you’re supposed to be with! Look! Here’s the answer to your prayer right in front of your face every day as you drop off your son!”

Or was it my higher self that knew I was off course and took drastic measures to get me on a better path? What mysterious forces were at work?

Perhaps I’ll never know the answer in this life. But one thing I do know. This is a perfect example of the Law of Polarity which states that within every “bad” experience is an equal and opposite “good.”

The things that look horrible often are the best things that will ever happen to us. Now, if I can just remember this as I face other life challenges. Thank you, Facebook, for giving me some invaluable perspective by reminding me what I was doing a year ago today!

And thank you, God, for rescuing me and setting me on the right path!

PS: As proof that God never helps just one or two when he can help more, after my wreck, the county finally put in stop signs. They also added a bigger turn lane to correct this poor visibility spot which had been the scene of multiple wrecks.

About Marnie Marcus

Marnie (Pehrson) Marcus is a best-selling author and marketing and social media consultant specializing in digital content creation and Facebook Ad Management. Get a FREE 20-minute strategy session with Marnie here.

Quest for Love: A Masterpiece in the Making

Have you ever watched someone throw pottery? Sometimes things seem to be shaping up nicely and then the potter smashes it flat and starts over. The pottery rarely looks like a masterpiece along the way. If you were to stop mid-process you’d see flaws and misshapen pieces. Sometimes it looks absolutely nothing like the final product.

As we proceed through our lives I think we could benefit by seeing them through the Master Potter’s eyes. God is outside of space and time, He sees us as a finished product — a final masterpiece. He knows what’s being created, and He isn’t the least bit concerned about your screw-ups along the way.

Greek Roman potteryWe, on the other hand, see only flaws, mistakes, and strange shapes throughout the process. As we look at our own lives, circumstances, and other people it would be great if we could get in our minds’ eye a vision of the finished product.

I found this video of the pottery-making process. It’s mesmerizing to watch. Notice the video starts by showing you the finished product, then goes back and shows you how the artist created it. As we watch, we are fascinated by how he does it, but we aren’t the least bit concerned or confused about whether everything will turn out right in the end.

Unfortunately, in our own lives, we don’t always have that end picture in mind. We don’t know where God is going or what He’s creating. When we (or He) smashes our clay flat, we don’t always have the faith that He can still turn it into a masterpiece. But He can.

For us, it is an exercise in faith and trust to believe that no matter how badly flawed or messed-up our lives look, if we allow Him to be the Potter of our lives, a masterpiece WILL inevitably be created.

Along my Quest for Love, sometimes it looked like a pitiful misshapen ashtray. At one point, I felt as if my entire life was smashed flat into an unrecognizable heap. It’s amazing how quickly (in a matter of months) God took that formless heap and shaped a brand new beautiful love story. This process has taught me to look at every aspect of my life with more trust that somehow, in the end it’s all going to work out beautifully.

About Marnie Marcus

Marnie (Pehrson) Marcus is a best-selling author and marketing and social media consultant specializing in digital content creation and Facebook Ad Management. Get a FREE 20-minute strategy session with Marnie here.

Quest for Love: Stop Chasing Carrots

I’ve noticed that there is always a bit of something anti-climactic that goes on when you finally achieve a big dream that you’ve been working toward. Almost always, the goal is achieved in what feels like an ordinary way. So we have a tendency to just roll on with our lives and not fully celebrate the miracle of it.

Also, once we have the thing we wanted, we start seeing the next thing that we’d like to have. We start obsessing over some other thing that isn’t quite right in our world; and that becomes the object of our focus.

I call it “chasing carrots.” If you’re someone who feels like you’re constantly chasing elusive carrots, looking for that “Big Thing,” the “Big Break” or the “Huge Success”… this short video is for you.



About Marnie Marcus

Marnie (Pehrson) Marcus is a best-selling author and marketing and social media consultant specializing in digital content creation and Facebook Ad Management. Get a FREE 20-minute strategy session with Marnie here.

Quest for Love: Discovering Greatness

My friend Anastasia Montejano has a question she’s fond of asking me whenever I’ve been through something difficult or come to a place of resolution and breakthrough. That question is, “What have you learned from this?”

She asked me that question yesterday, “What have you learned this year?” What a loaded question! A lot of what I’ve learned I’ve been sharing in my Quest for Love series of blog entries. But my answer to her question yesterday was a little different than she or I anticipated.

“I’ve learned what makes greatness.”

I could hear the surprise in her voice. “Really? Just that?” she chuckled. “And what have you learned?”

First I’ve learned what greatness is not. It’s not glitz and glamor. It’s not in the sensationalism or the show. It’s not about doing things to draw attention to yourself.

Greatness is in the small acts of day-to-day kindness, the genuine caring, and the big heart.

marnie and chris dancingIt’s like Jesus washing the disciples’ feet. Greatness is in showing other people you care in small, ordinary ways. It’s in making people feel they are important by the way you treat them.

I’ve also learned that a great relationship is built on these principles of kindness and compassion. While I certainly enjoy the chemistry and the passion my husband and I share, there is a deeper richness of connection than I’ve experienced before because our relationship is built on mutual trust, respect, admiration and genuine caring.

I do not know where this awareness of true greatness is taking me, but I feel that I am going to be traveling a much different road than I have before. I am at a time of endings and new beginnings, uncertain as to what will remain and what will depart.

chrislookingatmarnieBut one thing is steady and sure, and it all started by joining my life with a man who embodies greatness. I’m sure he doesn’t see himself this way. He probably sees himself as quite an ordinary man.

To me, he is a treasure trove of wisdom, resourcefulness, hard work and compassion. He’s a man with a Christ-like servant’s heart. He has the bravery of a lion and integrity as solid as The Rock of Gibraltar, all mixed together with fun and optimism.

I look forward to the adventure that awaits me with him by my side.

 

“But whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister.”
– Jesus (Matthew 20:26)

 

About Marnie Marcus

Marnie (Pehrson) Marcus is a best-selling author and marketing and social media consultant specializing in digital content creation and Facebook Ad Management. Get a FREE 20-minute strategy session with Marnie here.

Quest for Love: WOW Me!

As you may know, I was married Friday, September 4th to a wonderful man. You may have been following my story. If not, this link will take you to the beginning.

I want to share with you something significant I’ve observed from this personal journey and how it’s changing the way I think about my business and all aspects of my life.

Chris and Marnie MarcusI had gotten so frustrated with my romantic experiences, that I threw up my hands and said, “Lord, you pick. I obviously don’t know what is best for me. You pick the man you know would make me happy.”

I resigned myself to singledom and left it to God. The man God selected was Chris Marcus. In fact, God let me know Chris was a man who “would love me like I’d never been loved before.”

This answer came BEFORE my heart and mind fully got on board with the idea. It was TRUST in that confirmation from God that led me forward faster than I would have moved otherwise. I leapt because I trusted the inspired feeling that Chris and I could create an amazing love together.

On this side of the altar, I’ve got to tell you, I am in AWE of the fulfillment of God’s promise. It’s as if my Father in heaven made this man especially for me – in every way imaginable. The more I’m with Chris, the more I see the wisdom and wonder in God’s selection.

I never, ever would have thought to ask for the beautiful, blissful things that this man has brought into my life. I had NO CLUE they were an option. I didn’t know men like Chris existed!

The entire experience has me pondering the question,

What else do you have in mind for me, Lord? Bring me the customers you feel would be most blessed by me and me by them. Bring me the projects and work You think would make me happiest. Maybe You have a better place for me to live? Bring it on. Maybe You have a better career path. I’m open to it. What else do You have in mind to bring me joy?”

What if my tenacity in hanging onto what IS or what I think SHOULD BE is getting in the way of the AMAZING things God wants to bring me?

I keep thinking of this verse:

Now unto him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, unto him be glory … by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21

I’m ready to get out of the way and let His power work in me. What do You have in mind to WOW me next, Father? All glory be to Thee!

About Marnie Marcus

Marnie (Pehrson) Marcus is a best-selling author and marketing and social media consultant specializing in digital content creation and Facebook Ad Management. Get a FREE 20-minute strategy session with Marnie here.

boundaries make us feel safe

Quest for Love: The Beauty of Boundaries

There’s something I’ve noticed as I go out on dates with my fiancé. We’ll be shopping or at a restaurant and people are always coming up to him and greeting him. He’s worked at several schools in the area as a School Resource Officer and so he knows tons of people.

What I’ve noticed is there are some young people who want to linger around him longer. Invariably when these young people walk away Chris will say something like, “Boy, that kid did some dumb things last year.”

It’s like the kids who got in the most trouble are the ones that love him best. How can this be? Why would it be? Shouldn’t they be the ones who would like him least? You would think so.

boundaries make us feel safeI believe there are a few things at play here.

  • First, they sense he truly cares about them. He wants them to have a better life. Even though he’s firm, he radiates love and kindness. A lot of these kids just don’t get that anywhere else.
  • Second, people respect people who respect themselves and others.
  • Third, Chris shows teens were the boundaries are. They know where they stand with him. He is very clear about what acceptable behavior is and what is not.

Most of the kids that get in trouble do not have someone in their lives to show them where the boundaries are. Whether teens admit it or not, boundaries make them feel safe and secure. Solid boundaries breed respect and show you that someone cares about what happens to you.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve struggled with boundaries. I’ve felt like holding to them makes me come across as mean or unfeeling. I haven’t wanted to make someone else unhappy by saying “no” or not accommodating their wishes. Many times, I’ve made my feelings and needs subservient to what someone else wants or demands.

In the end, I’ve enabled other people to not only run over me, but also I have enabled them to be less than their best selves. My marriage disintegrated partly because I wasn’t willing to say, “This behavior is unacceptable.” I voted with my silence for behavior that eventually transformed into bad habits that didn’t serve either of us.

The more I get to know Chris, the more thrilled I am to have someone in my life who knows how to lovingly set clear boundaries. He’s a great role model for me and my children. Just one of the many blessings of having him in my life.

About Marnie Marcus

Marnie (Pehrson) Marcus is a best-selling author and marketing and social media consultant specializing in digital content creation and Facebook Ad Management. Get a FREE 20-minute strategy session with Marnie here.

lead with what you believe

Quest for Love: Lead With What You Believe

As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog, I learned that first and foremost, I needed to be true to me. So, with greater resolve, I dusted myself off and tried the dating thing one more time.

I’d learned the hard way that shared core values are critical to a good relationship. So, I edited my online dating profiles to lead with what I believed. I prefaced the following statements by saying I was looking for a man who believes what I believe.

lead with what you believeI believe…

  1. In being actively engaged in a good cause & proactively doing my part to make the world a better place.
  2. In looking for the good, hoping for the best, & going for the ideal. Yes, you may fall flat. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, & keep going. There’s another try around the corner.
  3. That God loves us and that Jesus Christ is our merciful, loving Savior who will heal all our scars if we let Him. The only real mistake is letting go of Him.
  4. Honesty & integrity are vital. Relationships only work where there is trust.
  5. Anything is possible when you know what you want, why you want it, and are willing to commit to it and take inspired action.
  6. Work isn’t only necessary, but can also be beautiful, fun and rewarding.
  7. Physical intimacy should be reserved for marriage, & thoroughly enjoyed within it.
  8. People aren’t all good or all bad. When we look for the good & expect it in others, they tend to rise to the occasion. (They also tend to fall to our low expectations.)
  9. You get better results from praise and acknowledgement than nagging and negativity.
  10. We need less government, more personal responsibility, and with God’s help a better world.
  11. In letting other people be themselves. I thrive best around people who give me the space to be me, and I enjoy watching other people thrive too.
  12. In being kind, grateful, expressing acknowledgement & responsiveness.
  13. That true intimacy is built on love, caring, trust, respect, connection and commitment.

After a few weeks of dating Chris, he told me what stood out to him in my profile was #7. He said he saw that and knew he’d found a woman of value. He was tired of women who threw themselves at men. He was looking for a quality woman who shared his core values. He wanted “something real.”

What a refreshing change! Finally, a chivalrous man who honors womanhood, protects my virtue, and accepts me as I am. He is brave, honest, and genuine. What you see is what you get. What I see is someone who genuinely cares for people, is kind, friendly, makes the world a better place, and has a BIG heart. No wonder he stole my heart!

About Marnie Marcus

Marnie (Pehrson) Marcus is a best-selling author and marketing and social media consultant specializing in digital content creation and Facebook Ad Management. Get a FREE 20-minute strategy session with Marnie here.

love yourself first

Quest for Love: To Thine Own Self Be True

I hesitated to share this part of my story with you because it requires being more vulnerable than I wanted to be.

As this blog came to me in the night, I asked, “Really? You want me to share this? I don’t think I can do that.”

“Just write and see what comes,” came the reply.

Since you’re seeing it posted, it means writing it somehow allowed me to share the weakest point of my life with you in a way that I could stomach. So here goes…

Of all the men I dated, there was one who stole my heart instantly. We were drawn to each other like two mega-strong magnets. Within weeks we were talking marriage and a possible elopement. We connected on so many levels, and the chemistry was instant and intense.  I was convinced he was “my SAM.”

The only fly in the ointment was he was struggling with his faith. He hadn’t been to church in some time and didn’t know if he believed what we’d been taught anymore.

He said he still believed in God, just not all the rules. I’ve had friends, very good people, who have traveled that path. So I had compassion for him and felt he just needed some time to find his way.

With an immense amount of hormones and dopamine coursing through my veins I prayed about marrying this man and felt as if it was my choice and his. I pressed for a clearer answer and felt like I heard God say, “Love him back to me.”

I proceeded forward. The deeper we got into the relationship, the less clearly I could discern truth from error.

At one point, this man encountered a stressful challenge in his career. I observed that while under this level of stress, he was not a happy or positive person. It also became clear that not only was he questioning his religious beliefs, but also his entire faith in God hung by a thread.

Without his faith, his ability to gracefully cope with stress was minimal, and it began to adversely affect our relationship.

I had a choice to make. Did I proceed with someone who did not share my values, hoping he’d come around? Or did I walk away? I couldn’t bring myself to end the relationship. The magnet was just too strong. So I kept going forward, thinking I could somehow, “Love him back to God.”

Eventually, I came to a point where I questioned my own beliefs. Could I tweak my conscience to believe in an “anything goes, do-whatever-feels-good God?” It became clear if I were to continue a relationship with this man, I would have to choose that God.

My heart was splitting in two.

I was so crazy about this man that for two months I debated about whether the values and morals I’d been raised with were really necessary. I’m ashamed to admit I nearly abandoned my core fundamental values. Yet I believe everyone probably comes to a point where they have to consciously choose.

In the end, it was probably my children who saved me. I knew I had to stay strong for them.

I’m a big Star Trek fan, and there’s a scene from the First Contact movie that typifies my dilemma so well. Data (an android with no emotions) is kidnapped by the Borg Queen. She offers him a chance to have what he’s always wanted – the opportunity to feel human. She activates his emotion chip and implants human skin on his body. For the first time Data knows what it’s like to feel mortal, sensual even.

While the crew evacuates, Captain Picard stays behind to save his friend. In the process he too is captured by the Borg Queen.

In a touch-and-go moment, we wonder if Data has sold out to the Borg Queen by becoming her mate. He seems to be going along with her plan. At the last second, Data rescues the crew and releases Picard. After the rescue, Picard asks Data about the Borg Queen. Here’s the exchange:

Lieutenant Commander Data: [about the Borg Queen] She brought me closer to humanity than I ever thought possible. And for a time, I was tempted by her offer.

Captain Jean-Luc Picard: How long a time?

Lieutenant Commander Data: 0.68 seconds sir. For an android, that is nearly an eternity.

I could say the same thing about the man I dated as Data said about the Borg Queen. He brought me closer to my humanity, my emotions, and my desire for connectedness than I ever thought possible. And for a time, I was tempted by his offer.

It was only for a short time, but for me it felt like an eternity.

In the end, the choice became crystal clear. I could not keep straddling two worlds. I either had to choose this man and walk away from my values and morals. Or I could walk away from the man and choose to remain true to my integrity and to the God I’ve come to know and love.

God won. My integrity won, but not without battle scars inflicted on my heart and soul.

For a long time I felt like God betrayed me with his answer to, “Love him back to me.”  After much prayer and contemplation (without hormones and dopamine coursing through my veins), I have come to believe that answer was not from God. It was either my own imagination or came from another source.

I do not believe it’s my job to love anyone back to God. It’s God’s job to save, not mine. My role is simply to love.

The first person I must love is me. I need to love myself enough to hold to my own integrity. If I betray myself, I certainly cannot love another rightly. As my friend Judy Hansen says, “Be the love.” What another person chooses to do with that love is entirely up to them.

Through it all, I’m learning that Jesus Christ heals hearts. He wears His scars so I don’t have to suffer with mine.

This experience changed the way I selected men. I created and began listening to my affirmations about men and money after this. I also changed the way I crafted my online dating profile. I’ll share more about that tomorrow.

love yourself first

About Marnie Marcus

Marnie (Pehrson) Marcus is a best-selling author and marketing and social media consultant specializing in digital content creation and Facebook Ad Management. Get a FREE 20-minute strategy session with Marnie here.