You are listening to the Sigrun Show, episode number 387. In this episode, I talked to Rachel Luna about how to design your future.
Welcome to the Sigrun Show. I’m your host, Sigrun, creator of SOMBA, the MBA program for online entrepreneurs. With each episode, I’ll share with you inspiring case studies and interviews to help you achieve your dreams and turn your passion into profits. Thank you for spending time with me today. Building an online business takes time. I share with you proven strategies to help you get there faster. You’ll also learn how to master your mindset, up level your marketing and succeed with masterminds.
Today, I speak with Rachel Luna, a life coach who has gone through tremendous struggles to get where she is today. She’s a best selling author, an international speaker and contributor to the Huffington Post, and has served 10 years in the US Marine Corps. Now, she helps her clients find the confidence and clarity they need to do the big things they were meant to do. In this episode, we talk about how to design your future.
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I am so excited to be here with Rachel Luna, who is coming for the second time on the show. Rachel was one of my first guests, very brave, where nobody knew what this podcast would look like. And now, we’re almost 380 something episodes in and Rachel is back. Welcome on the show.
Thank you for having me back. I’m so honored. Yay, 300. I remember when you first did the show and you’re like, “I’m going to do a 100 episodes in a 100 days.” I was like, “Really? Oh my gosh, you’re so brave.”
And I did, and I did. Then I went to three episodes a week, and then we went down to one ultimately. We’re playing though a little bit with two episodes a week right now. We sometimes do them, sometimes not. It’s like I feel I have a lot to share and I still want to bring on my amazing guests. So we’re playing with it right now. I’m not committing. I’m not committing, not publicly yet.
With my podcast, the first three years, I was like, I’m going to do nine episodes and take a break. We’re finally now committed to once a week, and that’s enough for me.
That’s good, that’s good. Well, the key is consistency.
But Rachel, you’re coming back because you have gone through a powerful experience in the past months or year, almost a year now. And at the same time, you have a good message for these challenging times, because I think when people have gone through something truly difficult where they’re not sure if they will survive the experience or however it will end, and then we have a virus pandemic and recession and it becomes a huge overwhelm for people how to work through all of that.
But before we go into that topic, Rachel, you need to tell the audience because they may or may not have listened to the episode that we did many, many, many moons ago. Tell us a bit your story.
I always feel like my story is not that interesting upfront because here’s the thing; everyone has their own struggles. So the cliff notes, I had a traumatic childhood and I had some eating disorders. Both of my parents died of AIDS. I was promiscuous, AKA I was a ho. That’s how we would say that in New York, and I just grew up feeling like a very insecure person.
Growing up, I remember thinking life had dealt me this very unfair hand. But as I entered adulthood and as I began to do work on developing myself, I realized all these things that happened were such beautiful gifts, if I was willing to see the blessing, the lesson that came through. I also realized that everything that I had gone through, all the hurt, all the pain, all the uncertainty, all the insecurity was just preparing me so that I could help other women overcome their own issues.
So in 2006, I was overweight, I was 40,000 in debt. I was still in the Marine Corps, so I’m a former US Marine. I did nine and a half in the Marine Corps. In 2006, I was overweight, I was $40,000 in debt. I was in the Marine Corps and I found out that my on again, off again boyfriend of three years was actually happily married. When I tell you, yes, girl, I felt like my whole world came out from under my feet because we had made these plans, and we were going to move to Japan and we were going to start a family. He was selling me a good dream.
So in that moment, I remember drinking into a stupor. At the time I was a recovering alcoholic. So I fell off the wagon, went back on the bottle. I woke up and I realized, look, something’s got to change. By the way, this wasn’t the first time in my life that I had had a come-to-Jesus-something’s-got-to-change moment. I had them in college, I had it in high school. Every time something bad happened in my life, I would have this breakdown moment.
We have these come-to-Jesus moments and we have the opportunity, we’re either going to pick a good decision or bad decision. And then some people, and these are the people that I worry about the most and I pray about the most, are the people that just choose to stay right where they are. Because at least if you go make a bad decision, you’re going to learn something. There’s a lesson, there’s an opportunity for growth there. But if you stay in the same place, you don’t get to grow. You stay stagnant, like still water. What happens to still water? You just leave it there. After a while it gets mucky and gunky and nasty. But at least in open water, even if the water gets rough and you get knocked around, you’re still going someplace.
So I’m looking at the bottom of this bottle of vodka and I’m thinking to myself, this can’t be my life. I’m supposed to do more than this. And I hired a life coach and I remember she told me, “You should be a life coach.” And I thought, “Are you crazy? I am a mess. Who is going to listen to me?” I’m the last person that needs to be a life coach. And what she said to me, I’ll never forget. She said, “Listen. Yeah, people are not going to listen to you now, but you’re going to change. You’re going to grow. And when you become the woman that you’re trying to be, they’re going to ask how you did it. You have such a great story and you’ve been through so much, you’re going to be able to help so many people.”
In that moment, I thought, “I don’t want to talk about the fact that I’ve been the other woman. I don’t want to talk about my eating disorders. I don’t want to help anybody through depression. No, I don’t want to do this.” I want to help people, but I don’t want to talk about these negative things because no good can come from, was my limiting belief. Well, thank God for life coaches because she really helped me reframe. I ended up losing the weight that I needed to lose in the Marine Corps. I got myself out of $40,000 in debt, plus ended up saving $20,000 all in about a year.
I remember this one, very, very powerful thing that I did, Sigrun, along with prayer, because I’m a big woman of faith. So for me, it’s always God first, but I believe that faith is not enough. I think that we deceive ourselves when we think that faith and belief and think, believe, receive is all that it takes. It’s not. You have to back up your faith with works. You have to take action, you have to be the co-creator in your life. So I was praying, I had faith and I was also journaling. I remember at the time I had two journals, I had one journal that I would write in, and then I had another journal that I called it, my vision book.
Basically, it was a vision board, but in a journal format, and I had these different pictures of the life that I wanted. And there was a picture of me getting married. The guy was in a uniform and then there were two little stick figure children. And within 18 months of just journaling consistently, I had met and married my husband, we had our first daughter, we were financially secure. It felt like all of my dreams came true because I was able to open my eyes and recognize that I had more power and authority than I was allowing myself to exude.
Because I had such a traumatic childhood and because I had been in therapy since the first grade, because remember my biological mother died when I was three and a half years old, and so I was in therapy to deal with that pretty much all my life, and then losing my father, so all those other therapists would pacify me and they would let me stay stuck in my victim story. They would feel bad for me because I was the girl who lost her mom when she was just a little girl and it’s so sad or whatever. But one therapist said to me, “You’re not a victim. I don’t know who you’ve been working with, but I’m not going to tolerate that here because that’s something that happened, but it’s not who you are.” I remember leaving her off as being real pissed off because I felt like you should feel bad for me. I had this horrible life.
But I realized as I went home that night, that she was the only one telling me the hard truth. She was the only one reminding me that I had control. And especially in a situation like the one that we’re facing right now with coronavirus, at the time of this recording, a lot of people might sit back and we might start to tell ourselves this story of, I don’t have control. I can’t leave my house. I don’t know who’s infected. I can’t control what’s going to happen with my finances because I lost my job or whatever story we’re telling ourselves. But the reality is that we do have quite a bit of control over our circumstances. And on top of all that, I think it’s really important that we recognize that we have a lot of opportunity in this season.
That’s another thing. We keep calling it, during these uncertain times. Sigrun, life has been uncertain from the day we were born. There has never been anything except for death to be certain. So people say, “Well, now my job is certain because I have a steady paycheck.” Right, you had a steady paycheck until you didn’t have that paycheck anymore. But your employer never promised you that you’d have this job forever. No employer has ever promised you, you were going to be in business forever and I can guarantee that, because they can’t. No matter what, life has always been uncertain. And if we just accept and come into agreement with that truth, all of a sudden everything that we’re going through right now with coronavirus, has a whole different lens.
Let me also remind you that this is not the first time in the history of the world that there has been a pandemic. There have been pandemics through other generations. This is just the first time that our generation is experiencing a pandemic. But if we are to be people who walk and claim our power and authority, then we will do our due diligence and recognize that success leaves clues, history leaves clues. So, how do we deal with the debt then, and how can we innovate and make it better?
If you look back, recessions. Recessions happen every 10 to 12 years like clockwork. Now, does that mean that this recession is going to be just like the others? No, I’m not going to sit here and say that we’re going to be fine in four months. I don’t know. But I do know that millionaires and billionaires are born during recessions. So this is your opportunity to innovate. This is your opportunity to look at your deepest pain and say, what problem can I solve from this place? And then you got to go out there and you put your offers on. You sign up for Sigrun’s workshops and create your offer in 48 hours, and you go out there and do the thing. That’s my little soapbox spiel in history.
I want to bring you back to journaling. You said you had two journals. Can you explain in more detail?
My first journal was the vision board book, and the reason why I chose to do this was because I had been in the habit of doing the vision boards. Because at that time, the secret was very popular. And again, I appreciate where they were coming from, but that concept is flawed because thinking and believing are not the only components. You have to back it up with action and works. But I was doing the vision board, but I realized that my vision board was at home and I was at work. So I never got to see it except first thing in the morning and maybe for a minute at nighttime. But let’s be real, I would come home and watch TV, not look at my vision board. So I wanted to do something that allowed me to always have my vision at my fingertips.
Today, what I do is when I make a vision board, I take a picture on my phone and I make it the background to my phone, so that it’s always with me. My vision is always with me. Every single morning I write down my top five goals for the next five years. Why? Because I want that reminder. Even if I can’t work on those goals today, I know that I get to make decisions from a place of empowerment. So when I say yes to an interview, or when I’m deciding, where am I going to spend my time? I’m thinking, is this a good place for me to spend my time today? And what implications could it have for the top five goals?
That is so smart. So is that all in your vision journal? Are you updating it? Well, obviously you’re not doing a vision journal anymore. You used to, but on your phone, you do a vision board. How frequently do you update that?
Wait, let me clarify. Actually, in my journal, probably once a week or every two weeks, I’m still adding pictures in my journal. In my planner, I’m still cutting out pictures. I have a printer that prints out pictures and then the paper is actually a sticker. So I’m still putting the pictures in. I’m still doing the work to keep it in front of me. The one on my phone, that vision board is more of a tenure. So it only gets updated maybe once or twice a year, although longer term things. But in my daily, weekly journal, oh absolutely. Because here’s the thing, if you’re doing it right and if you’re doing it consistently, you’re going to achieve and manifest those things. So then you have to replace it with new things.
So for example, for the longest time, I was journaling about the very house that I’m sitting in. I remember, and I’ll tell you my three step process, because there’s a difference between keeping a diary to emote your feelings and then there’s a difference between journaling to manifest dreams. So in my journal, I was writing about the fact that my dream house had two fireplaces, one in my bedroom, that there was a pool and that there was an entrance to the backyard that it went from the pool into a bathroom, so that water wouldn’t get trapped all around the house. And sure enough, guess what? My house has two fireplaces, I’ve got the pool, I’ve got the side entrance, I’ve got multiple entrances to my home and to my backyard, but I’ve got the one side entrance to the front. And it’s all because I was journaling about this kind of a home for months.
Even when it looked like we weren’t going to get the house, it’s unpredictable, it’s uncertain when you put in an offer. Even if you have the best offer, sometimes the sellers get emotionally attached to someone’s story and will sell it for less because they love the people. Whatever, who knows. So even when it looked like that wasn’t going to happen, then I supercharged my journal and then I used the three steps, which I’ll tell you about in a minute, and I also brought in the visual component. What I started doing was I opened up a Pinterest board and I started decorating the house. I started choosing the furniture, the backyard things. I started looking at paint colors, doing everything as if.
Incidentally, this is the exact, same strategy I practiced that I gave to one of my clients when she was buying her house. And I remember she called me and she was like, “I don’t think they’re going to take my offer. Somebody came in with a higher bid and dah, dah, dah, dah.” And I said, “You get back in your journal, do your three steps. Get up on your Pinterest and you start decorating that house because if you visualize that that house is yours, it will be yours. You keep acting as if, you keep holding the faith. You keep moving forward as if what you’ve asked for has already been granted.” So, I’ll tell you the three steps.
The first thing that you’re going to do when you grab your journal is write anything, even if it’s, I think journaling is a waste of time, I don’t know where to begin, this is stupid, whatever, I’m too busy for this, whatever comes up. You have to allow your subconscious mind and your ego to say its peace. If you don’t allow it to have its moment like a little four year-old kid that wants your attention, it will still be like, “Are you there? Are you there? Hello? Hello?” And you have to give it its attention. So you write whatever, that’s step one.
Step two is shift. What you want to do is you want to make this shift from writing your thoughts or whatever in the day, to adding gratitude into your practice. This is so important. You have to be grateful for what you have right now if you want to have anything more than what you’ve got, because if you’re listening to this episode, you are part of the rich population in the world. We have to acknowledge that, that there are [inaudible 00:20:08]. Oh my gosh, can I just say this one thing?
We are so privileged that many of us during this season are freaking out about, I don’t know how we’re going to pay the bills and not recognizing that there are so many people in the world who have been living what we’re living now as their day-to-day for decades; not knowing where the next meal was going to come from, not knowing if they were going to be able to provide for their family, not knowing if there was a job insight, not having running water, not having internet, social media, a smart phone, wifi. If you have any of that, you are part of the rich population. There’s a really great book called How to Be Rich by Andy Stanley, and he shares all these staggering statistics about this.
So you have to first come into agreement with the fact that even though you want more and it’s okay to want more, you still have more than most. So you’re going to shift and you’re going to say, I’m so grateful and excited now that … That’s your shift statement. Another shift statement that you can say is, even though all of this has happened, I’m so grateful because now … And then you’re going to step into step three, which is script.
You are going to script your reality as if it’s already happened. So for example, this morning in my journal, I wrote, “Oh my gosh, I’m so excited. My book was chosen by Oprah for her Oprah’s Book of the Month Club. I can’t believe it. I have been waiting for this day for so long. She finally picked me. This is amazing. And in the very same week, I got a call to be a cohost on The Real.” Because that’s one of my goals, I want to be on The Reel. But I write it as if it’s already happened. Now, what happens when we do this, there’s some psychology here that I want to make sure that we’re aware of why we do this.
I talked about why we do the write. Why we do the shift and the script is because the shift helps your subconscious brain get into agreement with the fact that you recognize that some of what you’re about to write isn’t your reality yet, but you’re excited and hopeful. The scripting is because when you start writing things like that, the ego doesn’t want to be wrong. The subconscious is always looking for evidence to help you bring into life the things that you desire. Once I wrote in my journal Oprah, picked my book for Book of the Month Club, guess what? My subconscious is like, “Well, we better finish the book because if we don’t finish the book, how is she going to pick it?”
When I said I got chosen as a cohost for The Real, my subconscious was like, “We need to make sure that we are updating YouTube and really promoting it and talking to producers and studying the show, because we got to know when that opportunity is there.” So your subconscious is going to start to look for evidence of the things that you’ve written. And if it doesn’t see it, it’s going to prompt you.
So two things are going to happen. One, it’s either going to prompt you into action or two, it’s just going to give you no rest. You might not take action, but you’ll feel very uncomfortable. And I love discomfort because the more uncomfortable you become that you get closer to your breaking point of I … When people are so done with their current situation, that’s when the real change happens. So this method, I call it the Faith Activated Journaling method. I have tested on hundreds of students, hundreds of students in my program and it works.
Just things like jobs being manifested, children. I’m actually pulling up some of the manifestations just to show you that it’s not just me. One said, “Happy to report that I signed up to coaching clients through my IG stories. A big difference when I haven’t signed up anybody in months.”
So journaling, a lot of people say they do that in the morning and every day. Does that work the same way? Are you going through all these three steps every single day?
I do. Me personally, I do. And actually, sometimes I just skip steps one and two because I’m so used to scripting now that I start most journal entries with, thank you, God. I’m so grateful. Today is a wonderful day. I’m grateful for whatever. And I go on a gratitude rampage and then I put some “I am” statements because I love to affirm myself. And then I just script whatever it is that I want my reality to be. But that’s because very rarely do I need to write to get things off my chest because I’m so conscious of my thought pattern that I’m expressing myself throughout the day.
But there was recently, a couple of weeks ago, where something didn’t work out the way that I thought it was going to work. This is pre corona, so I didn’t even have corona as an excuse, but I remember writing in my journal, “I’m so disappointed. I’m thinking all these thoughts and these thoughts are making me feel.” And that’s really important because too often we’ll say, I’m feeling angry, I’m feeling sad. You’re making me feel this, you’re shaming me. No one makes us feel anything. People do things, and we think a thought about whatever they’ve done or said. We give it meaning and those thoughts and that meaning is what creates the feeling.
You cannot have a thought without a feeling. The reason why people are unable to articulate their thoughts is because they’re so used to ignoring their thoughts. They’re so used to bypassing the thought and just focusing in on the feeling that they don’t have awareness of the little, limiting belief and the lying voices in their head. So I’m very, very hyper aware.
The minute I feel anything, like yesterday, I felt anxiety and I’m not really an anxious person, so I thought that was weird. And I was like, wait a second. Where’s this coming from? What was I thinking? And for a moment, I was like, I don’t know. What was I? So when you don’t know what you were thinking that led to the thought, go back. Think about the last time you didn’t feel that emotion. When was the last time today you didn’t feel anxiety, you didn’t feel sadness, you didn’t feel depression? What were you doing then? And then what happens after that?
So for me, I recognized that what was causing the anxiety was I had been on a coaching call and I was just really taking on feelings and their thoughts and their energy. And I was just sad for them. I was holding space for them in a negative way. So what did I do? I moved my body, which by the way, incorporating movement may not sound like it works with journaling, but it absolutely does. So after you do your journal practice, what you want to do is you want to incorporate some kind of movement so that your body can shift through subconscious thoughts. It can remove any limiting beliefs, any of those little things that you are not consciously aware of. If you can move your body, you’ll work through it faster. You’ll manifest quicker.
So journaling has been described to me differently. You are basically talking more about designing your future versus being obsessed with your thoughts. How do you think this approach works now in the time of a crisis? Is this a more helpful way to actually not be too deep into your own thoughts of thinking of all the bad things that are happening right now versus, “Hey, let me design how my world is going to be after all this is gone, past”?
Yeah, and that’s why we do step one. We acknowledge because no one’s asking you to ignore or act as if it’s not happening. So you write, you acknowledge like, “Listen, I’m scared.” Whatever is coming up for you. “My mom is this, my family has that, I have a history of whatever and I’m scared. But I’m so grateful that I have more control and power and authority than I’ve been giving myself credit for.” Because what I know that I got to do this week is this week I showed up embodying the best version of myself. This week I took every possible protective measure for myself and my family. I was able to actually enjoy this time being at home. I was productive. I cleaned that little corner in my house. I wrote a chapter in my book. I had quality eye contact, family time with my children and my spouse.
I really took advantage of this very difficult situation and made it the best that I can. And I’m so glad because when everything finished, I was the one that came out on top. When we were finally able to leave our houses again, because I had no longer been spending money on takeout every night, I had savings in the bank. By the way, that’s like my story. I used to eat out all the time. We were doing takeout three, four times a week. Well, now I don’t want any stuff from the outside of my house. So I’m like, man, we’re saving so much money. This is amazing.
Well yeah, it’s seeing all the positive things that are still happening, despite it all. And then having a vision, how you want to go out of it. So you shared all the steps. What, besides journaling, should someone be doing to make sure they are not stuck in those negative thoughts?
I think that more than anything, this is the time for you to be part of a community of people who are positive. People who do journal, people who are choosing to see that despite all of the tragedies and the unfortunate situations that are occurring around our globe, that there’s a lot of opportunity. There’s an incredible amount of opportunity. I think that if you can connect in to people who think the way that you and I do, Sigrun, you’re going to have no choice, but to thrive.
It’s interesting because like you mentioned before … I don’t know if you mentioned, but I had been diagnosed with breast cancer in the summer of 2019. And thank God, journaling was a big part of my healing, by the way. I journaled and I visualized myself healed and whole, and I wrote pages and pages of how my cells were healing themselves and how cancer cells were just miraculously disappearing. I wrote everything that I could about it, but it’s interesting because then people started calling me a cancer survivor. I remember thinking, I don’t like that.
I don’t like that phrase because I’m a former Marine, and I think about military. We don’t want to just survive the war, we want to win the war. We are champions. So to me, it’s like, no, no, no, no. I’m not a survivor. I’m a champion. I’m thriving through this. I didn’t just survive. Just survive means, man, you barely came out on alive. No, I came out stronger, I came out better, I’m winning. All I do is win every single day, all day. No matter what anybody sees on the outside, I’m winning.
That’s so inspiring. I think for anyone listening, whether you start to journal every day or not, just the way you look at life, Rachel, with everything that you’ve gone through in your child too and then your cancer story, you give people so much hope and I want to thank you for that.
Thank you. Thank you for letting me run my mouth and share my story with your amazing community.
So, what’s the best way to find you online?
Well, I would love to offer your audience to grab the first chapter of my book, Girl Confident. So go to girlconfident.com. The reason why I invite you to get that is because there are some exercises in that book that will help you clear out your limiting beliefs and past stories, so that you can have a more productive journaling session. Then of course on Instagram, I’m at Girl Confident, and my website is rachelluna.biz.
We’ll link that all up in the show notes, Rachel, and I want to thank you so much for coming on the show. Stay healthy, stay safe. Thank you so much.
Oh, you know what? I forgot to tell them, go listen to my podcast, Real Talk with Rachel Luna.
Of course. Of course, we’ll link that too.
Thank you for having me, Sigrun.
Go to the show notes at sigrun.com/387, where you can find a link to sign up for my new Telegram channel where I will keep you updated on everything that’s happening so you never miss out. Plus, all the links to Rachel Luna.
Thank you for listening to the Sigrun Show. Did you enjoy this episode? Let me know that you listened by tagging me in your Insta Story or Instagram post using my handle, Sigruncom, and the hashtag, Sigrunshow. See you in the next episode.