soulful sunday

training + dedication + desire

If you correct your mind, the rest of your life will fall into place.
— Lao Tzu

this is a daily practice for me. i know how important it is to focus my mind on what i'm wanting.

so with each and every day, i train my mind

i train my mind

to be open,

to be loving,

to be carefree,

to just be.

climbing a bamboo tree, just because

climbing a bamboo tree, just because


+ i'm expanding, my life is growing

i may be stressed at times

i may get defensive

i may get fired up

but i know

life is too short to worry


all that really matters is love.

wizzie! our love bubble, happy happy happy

wizzie! our love bubble, happy happy happy


in the comments below, tell us how you plan to implement this strategy that Lao Tzu offers us in your life starting today.

with love

derek russell

it's a no, until you ask!

for a long time, i lived in fear. i was afraid. i was afraid to be wrong.

i was scared to hear someone say no to me.

i know, such a simple 2 letter word.

but honestly, it ate away at me.

& not knowing what to do, i let it get to me.

i let hearing that one syllable word control me.

my mind would race with confusion. my head would pound.

it was awful.

but one day after hearing the word no, i understood

i could use that two letter word as motivation + inspiration 

the word didn't need to stop me

& it wouldn't.

here i am appreciating the beauty of the napali coast of kauai in her fullest wonder because i stopped being afraid of hearing no 

here i am appreciating the beauty of the napali coast of kauai in her fullest wonder because i stopped being afraid of hearing no 


why put life on hold?

why wait?

why live the same way day after day?

and if i didn't ask, the answer is pretty simple, no.

so if the answer is a no if you don't do anything, i realized if i did something there was the possibility that it might be a yes.

why wait any longer delaying my potential?

a no is only a no until i turn it into a yes

ask and be surprised

got feedback? i'd love to, specifically, have you handled being told no? how did you respond to turn that no into a yes? what worked and what didn't? 

share your ideas and stories below

with love

Derek Russell

activating my inner power

what is inside my head? who is there? what are these thoughts?

pounding + loud voices + yelling

this isn't me, this isn't who i am. yet i'm sensing these awful demons in my head. why are they flooding my mind? there is no use for them - they are just there.

i'm confused & i don't like it. i don't like it at all!

i meditate. well, i attempt to meditate. i attempt to quiet my mind down because i know of the importance.

finally...i silence these thoughts.

and i feel i must surrender to the truth. i must accept life.

because what i am feeling is real yes but it doesn't need to be me. it doesn't need to stay with me. and when it comes again, i know i must have the self-love to surrender it right back, and let it fade away.

i'm just extremely anxious.

anxious about life, anxious about finding my first home.

i hate making excuses so i won't; this is my opportunity to grow

everything i need is coming to me when i need it.

i am patient. my dream home is coming to me effortlessly, easily, and quickly

i am ready for this growth. it's what i've been manifesting into my life.

i said yes & the universe is answering.

the beach is that way :)

the beach is that way :)


with arms wide open,

kara + i are ready. we're game.

we're ready for our new chapter together

ready to expand our souls

ready to listen to the love that is within us

ready to share our beauty with you.

i can see myself in our home. and let me just say this, the home is my absolute dream home. expansive views, lots of natural sunlight, and my own artist's studio!

and the home complements our adventurous lifestyle - it truly brings the outdoors in. it's in the best location.

i can feel it coming to us - it's right there, oh so close

i feel how magical and inspiring this place is. how my world opens up even more when i am there. i can feel my creative business really soar. how my love is shared. everything i see, everything i touch is beautiful. the love - the love that speaks the real me - shines so bright!

i'm so excited. these feelings feel so good!

as always, surrendering without love and without taking action is worthless so I want you to take a moment and listen to your feelings, is there something you desire but are not getting?

in the comments below, share with us specifically what it is - and the really important piece - tell us how when you see yourself with your desire how it makes you feel. is there another actionable insight you’re taking away from today’s message?

thank you, as always, for sharing and commenting with such kindness, enthusiasm and clarity.


Derek Russell soulful sunday

the ultimate question, why?

the other night i was curled up in a blanket with my wife, kara, chatting + sipping tea - sounds charming, i know. we don't have a tv so it's what we do. and yes, we actually enjoy this time together without the television.

anyways, i happened upon an article while surfing my news feed earlier that day and shared with her what the cheapest countries were to live in. i was shocked at how low the cost of living was in some countries. $70/month rent to live in a one bedroom apartment in nepal? and only $50/month for heat, electricity, water & trash? 

man, i could move there and live for an entire year for what it costs to rent here for one month! that's how they do it i exclaimed to her.

a sad expression formed on her face, I'm confused, i thought we were looking for a house?

and this was our opportunity to connect

we opened up about our feelings. what we wanted? what we needed? and then we let down our guards and voiced our fears. i confessed my fears of security and money. and how i wanted to make sure we lived the life we wanted but wasn't sure how to do it. and the fear of not having the time to experience everything i want to do. i put it all out there in the open - something i've been afraid to do in the past. it felt so good to bond with her. to really share my deepest fears & feel her support back for me. she poured her heart right back, and we shared a really special moment.

and we did something unexpected!

we exposed what i believe is the ultimate question, why? why do we do the things we do?

kara's eyes sparkled - i love when they do this by the way, "love is the answer"

i almost fell over when i heard her say those words, literally i was stunned.

no, not because i disagreed with her but more - i completely agreed with her!

i ran to get my computer.

i pointed at the screen, i wrote those exact words on my homepage earlier that day "love is the answer"

this is why i do what i do - love!

that's us on our honeymoon.  i love you kara

that's us on our honeymoon. i love you kara


i’d love to hear why you’re doing what you're doing. please leave me a comment below.

and as always, thank you in advance for sharing with such compassion and insight. so many souls come here each week for inspiration and support, and you never fail to deliver.

with love + excitement,

derek russell soulful sunday

discovering what i need

what do i need? what do i need? i've been wrestling internally with this and its starting to show on the outside. but i'm learning more and more about myself each and every day. 


because i was lost. i lost track of who i am. and i forgot why i am here. 

with the rapid growth of technology these days we easily can compare our lives to others with a few clicks of a mouse. remember when a mouse was a mouse. you know a fury little critter hiding in your walls? 

instantly we can see our best friend from college traveling around the world, another heading up a tech start up company in the bay area, another celebrating their son's 5th birthday, and on and on. we even see people we don't know and start comparing our life to theirs. how are they able to be so...successful, happy, loved? and where am i? what have i done?

while i think social media is great, i constantly find myself comparing what i have done to others. and this is not me. i am not one to compare. 

but i question myself more. what is it that makes me ME? and is it okay to be me? why am i this way? is something wrong with me? maybe this is all a part of life, i'm certain it is. i just wanna know the lesson meow - my heart pours out

i've always been one to push through events even if i need to force myself to do things. even if it feels against the waves. maybe this is my strong will or determination. but why did i always feel pain afterwards. is this what my life has in store for me i always thought, more pain?

and so I'm thankful for being introduced to the power available to all of us. the higher vibrational energy that we can access anytime, anywhere. the divine.

through years of practice. through years of confusion. i'm starting to see the true picture. no, i don't need to choose pain. because i choose pleasure.

choosing pleasure over pain is a choice. a choice that sounds so simple, but is so very hard to do.

i've started meditating more. i've started saying more affirmations.

i say yes to life. i say yes to love. i say yes to financial freedom. i say yes to joy.

That's me celebrating under a 1600' waterfall in Kauai. Life is Beautiful

That's me celebrating under a 1600' waterfall in Kauai. Life is Beautiful


it's when i listen to my needs and care for myself that i discover what i need. and when i give myself the self-love i deserve, my worlds truly opens up for me

i’d love to hear from you. choose one question, or several, to respond to in the comments below.

  1. what’s the most important, concrete step you’ve already taken in your life to discover what you need?
  2. what’s one thing you know you should do to take better care of yourself, but you’re not doing yet? 
  3. what’s your single biggest fear? 

Let’s turn your knowledge into action right now.

as you may know, gifted souls come here each week for inspiration and guidance so please leave as much detail as you can. your share may be exactly what someone else needs to hear to have the breakthrough they’ve been looking for!

and if you found value in this post, please pass it along to your friends and family. include your own discovery of what you need on your own blog and be sure to link back to my post, where you found the inspiration to discover yourself.

thank you as always for reading, commenting and sharing. you make me smile with happiness

sending my love

derek russell soulful sunday