Paige Elizabeth’s new book Leading an Intentional Life is a straightforward, refreshing, and at times, personal look at how to overcome your pain, defeat your resistance to positive change, and ultimately, find peace with yourself and those around you.
Paige does a fabulous job of getting right to the heart of the matter by not holding back in the honesty department. As a life coach, she has helped many clients change by making them realize their role in the equation to getting what they want. For example, early in the book, she talks about a client who described the perfect man she wanted to find. Paige replied, “So, you want a Ferrari? Can you drive a stick shift?” When the client didn’t understand, Paige added, “You want Mr. Perfect, but would you know how to react to his generosity? Would you be what he needed?”
Sometimes we are not ready for what we want. Drawing on psychology and the Law of Attraction, Paige explains that in order to become ready, we have to overcome our ego and its fear of change. We have to resist resistance before we can allow what we want to manifest. Manifesting is not easy, but, as Paige explains, where most people go wrong in trying to manifest is in not becoming people who are ready to receive what they want. Lottery winners are a perfect example. They want the money, but when they get it, they don’t know how to handle it, so they end up losing it.
Many things get in our way of leading an intentional life. One of them is focusing on what others want rather than what we want. Paige states, “People will try to usurp your power, but no one should take charge of your destiny.” Unfortunately, sometimes the person usurping our power is us, or at least we play a role in the usurping. One of my favorite stories in the book illustrates this point. Paige gave an assignment to a client who didn’t know how to say no. The assignment was to say no to everyone for the next month no matter whether she wanted to do what was asked of her or not. When the client told Paige she would follow her advice, Paige shouted at her to tell her no instead. Talk about a way to reinforce an idea. The client got it after that.
As a student and teacher of yoga, Paige also believes in karma and brings it into the discussion, showing how it is similar to the Law of Attraction. She quotes a friend who told her, “People are born with their own contracts. You cannot save them from their karma or rob them of their dharma. Only they can do that.” Paige defines karma as “beliefs, feelings, and thoughts,” and dharma as “purpose.” We cannot fix anyone because they are in their own karma. But we can seek to raise our own state of vibration to improve our situation. That said, we can’t go from depression to joy overnight. We have to start where we are, in our default state, and work on raising our vibration gradually.
We also have to watch out for addictions that hold us back. Yes, there are addictions like drugs-Paige understands that because she lost her brother to drugs-but there are also feelings that can become addictions. Trying to be on a joy high is an example-and it can become exhausting. Constantly seeking emotional release is another. Paige shares how at one point she cried a lot until she realized she had become addicted to crying. We cry because it provides release to us, but Paige cautions that when doing something drains your energy, it is not release but addiction.
One other area Paige addresses concerning intention that personally frustrates me is people who say “I don’t know” or can’t make decisions. Paige gives an example of a couple trying to decide where to go to eat, both saying, “I don’t know where I want to go,” and eventually ending up eating where neither wants to. (I’ve known a lot of people like this.) But not knowing isn’t just about food. Not knowing can mean not knowing what you want to do with your career or your life. Paige calls “I don’t know” a cop-out-the fear of doing the work to figure it out and the fear of making a wrong decision. She encourages people to start where they are and just decide what they do or don’t like. If they only make mistakes or just keep learning what they don’t like, that’s okay because it is bringing them closer to what they do like.
Many of us also use “I don’t know” because, as Paige says, “Most of us exist in the people-pleasing gray. Black and white thinkers are the minority. The struggle is with getting clear in your direction, instead of wondering why you’re not happy.” Paige offers advice to help us achieve that clarity so we can then have set intentions for what we want and pursue them. We also have to commit to doing the work. We can’t try something for two days and then give up because it’s not working. We have to commit to the long haul. She also warns us there will be lulls, but-and I love this because I’ve seen how true it is in my own life-we have to see the lull as a test, asking us if we really want what we say we want. Paige states, “Every single time there has been a lull, it has proceeded a breakthrough of success. Meaning, don’t tell yourself the lull is what you manifested. No, the lull is the way through to what you are manifesting.”
Ultimately, what all this advice adds up to is learning self-love. Once we learn self-love, we also learn how to love others for who they are. And we learn that we don’t need love from others. Paige states, “It’s a powerful place not to need someone else. The compulsion to be perpetually in a relationship drops off in the place of self-love. A person with self-love realizes that they will never find love. The difference is that a person with self-love will be compelled to give love, not seek it. Real love is not concerned with what it can get. Real love is concerned with what it can give.”
None of the steps Paige offers toward leading an intentional life are easy to take, but Paige convinces us they are all doable. She proves it by sharing her own traumatic story that led her to knowing these things to be true. I also know, from personal experience, they are true. I hope you will take this journey with Paige toward leading an intentional life. You won’t be the same afterwards, but you will become more truly the person you’ve always wanted to be. Don’t let fear stop you. It’s not as scary as you may think.