Live Your Best Life Using The Power Of Intuition with Felicia Sanders - Conny Graf

Live your best life using the power of intuition. 

I am very excited to welcome Felicia Sanders to the show and talk mental & emotional clutter.  

Felicia wrote two children's books, one is called The Sunflower where she asks: Have you ever wondered what would a sunflower do when the sun is hiding? The other one is called Gustave's Adventures and Gustave is a seal. Both stories are for children and adults alike, on how when we listen to our intuition and not the people around us, if we dare to follow our dreams how we can break through and declutter limiting beliefs.

They are also books to talk about feelings instead of burying them - which creates emotional clutter - and about having real conversations. 

We talk about

  • how we forget sometimes to ask our kids how they're doing. Not just asking "oh, how was you day and then move on to the next topic" but truly ask them how they are doing. 
  • Sometimes life is about learning to turn away from what we are supposed to do and let life surprise us
  • how we don't want to crush that little voice that says "I'm possible, my dreams matter, I matter."
  • that emotions are actually a gift, they are our inner GPS. When we're in alignment with our higher purpose, we feel happy.

Felicia says, her book "Gustave's adventures" is actually a semi-biography of her life. Gustave dreamed of leaving Alaska for Hawaii because a Puffin came back from Hawaii and told Gustave about it and a seed was planted. Well Felicia did go from Alaska to Hawaii, but she left her home when she was 14 because she had a dream.

So listen in to this inspiring story about how to let go of mental clutter and do what your heart wants to do.

If you find value in this conversation with Felicia please share the episode them, because if you found value in it, they will too. 

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Felicia Sanders

is an inspirational author, an entrepreneur and seeker of life. She's the founder of an inspirational blog Camps At Sea and owner of a travel company, Trip It Like You Mean It.

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Reading instead of Listening (Transcript) 

FYI: this text is not polished, I try to keep it as close as possible to how the guest expressed herself/himself . 

Conny Graf
Welcome Felicia I'm so excited to have you on my podcast How are you today.

Felicia Sanders
I'm great Conny, how are you?

Conny Graf
I'm great, too. I look really forward to our conversation. So the topic today is overcoming limiting beliefs and negative mental clutter but I want to start with the book you wrote because I stalked you a little bit on your website, and you wrote something really beautiful. So your book is called "The Sunflower" and you have to know sunflowers are my favorite flowers.... So you write here. "Have you ever wondered what a sunflower would do when the sun is hiding? Its whole identity is created after the sun after all. Find out what is going on in the mind of one sunflower when the sky turns dark. This is an exciting and endearing story told by a sunflower of dealing with the ebbs and flows of life and how it finds its way back of finding hope and courage in the midst of the night."

I think this is so beautiful. And then also, when somebody buys the book that then a seed gets planted, that is also so beautiful. So tell me a little bit more how this all came about,

Felicia Sanders
well you know it's interesting because I love flowers, but I never have, or I don't have the Green Thumb, my mom does. But I always admired the sunflower and so how it came about was actually, I have two kids one is 10 and the other one is seven. And it's probably about February or March of this year (2020), and you know, everyone is kind of trying to figure out what's going on with the world right, and everywhere we turn to is always more negativity.

The more I try to find things out, the more I feel like I'm getting sucked in to the negativity. And What's interesting is, we forget sometimes to ask our kids how they're doing. Not just asking "oh, how was you day and then move on to the next topic" but truly ask them how they are doing. Looking back I think that was a blessing in disguise because typically I mentally make sure that they have a great bedtime story. Me and them bonding time before they go to bed. And so one evening we were laying in bed and I was exhausted. I was kind of exhausted from shielding myself from all these questions that I don't even know the answers to. And my kids were looking to me for an answer.

And we couldn't find any kind of children's book out there that address it, like a deeper message about life, and not trying to sugarcoat things but truly validating what they are feeling. For example the feeling of fear of the unknown, something that we somehow shelf for their adulthood. We can't find any book, and so what's interesting is, they just looked at me and said: "Mom, can you just make up a story, make up one, just come up with one. Because they were just so tired of the same thing over and over or all that stuff on the surface. So I had several ideas, but the sunflower was the one that kind of stuck one evening.

You know obviously the storyline kind of varies a little bit but it has like the essence of the story of courage and hope. I wasn't trying to sugarcoat that there is darkness in this world, which is kind of an interesting concept you know when you're talking about kids books. Most of us are trying to shield people from talking about the darkness, just be happy, just be light. My daughter came up to me and it was so funny, it was funny but endearing at the same time, so she said "hey let's write a picture book" so it started out as a mother-daughter project because we wanted to do something fun and creative together, we're gonna do something as a family, an uplifting thing to do during the quarantine period. Kind of like what else are we gonna do. And then it turned out to be something more. On my website https://https://campsatsea.com/

I write about how you follow your intuition, the breadcrumbs, so to speak. In the past, if I would have said this to you or if somebody would have talked to me about you should publish a book, I would have thougth you have two heads because it just wasn't something that I had in my plan, no it wasn't on my checklist.

So this is interesting for somebody like me, I grew up with something that is very like, you know, kind of cookie cutter, and this is what you're supposed to be and do. If it's not on my list, I don't tend to pursue it. But that seed somehow was planted in me that evening when my daughter said we should write a book about this. I didn't really take any action yet I just kind of had that feeling in my heart that okay if it's meant to be, show me the way so to speak. I kind of just left it open for God, for the universe, to show me if it's supposed to be. I think it's like when I surrender and when I trust the process is when things are starting to lead. And it's not like I see the whole staircase but I start seeing like ads on how to self publish a book the next day. It was one thing after the next and is kind of like you now are following these little hints.

The subtle hints and that small voice in your heart that says you should do this. It's like finding the right illustrator and the first illustrator that we hired actually did not pan out. So it's funny sometimes you know when you think you're doing the right thing but then something bad, something unexpected happens. You now have a choice, what do you do is like just like the sunflower and the weight of the night. You had invested your money on a certain thing and then something happens and you think maybe this is just not meant to be. Now you have the option to look down, it's so easy because if I turn to my left, if I turn to my right, they are all asking where's the money, where's the profit where is the tangible thing, how are you gonna market your book and so on.

Sometimes it's like learning to turn to the opposite side of me and what I'm supposed to do and let life surprise me. And that's kind of like the essence of how the sunflower came about.

Conny Graf
Yeah, and I think it's so beautiful and I know a little bit from our previous chat what life you had before that and what you had to overcome. It almost sounds to me that you are the sunflower Am I wrong? I feel like you're the sunflower

Felicia Sanders
I hope so, I want to be. It's funny, the hashtag when I launch it was I am this, #Iamasunflower, and my hope is for every kid or reader who resonated with that message, that they do feel empowered to take control over their own life. Sometimes, we kind of..... including myself because you know before for years I let life just happens to me, instead of taking brain and control over it.

But no God is in me and he had actually created this power of mine, like decluttering your mind and limiting beliefs and overcoming that. If we truly believed there is a higher power above us, I think we would live our life differently, we would believe in miracles. Life would become so much more colorful. The problem is: in the dark we can't see. or sometimes it takes courage to look up. Because I was telling my kids, when I went through a lot of hardship, sometimes looking up expose you for more disappointment. Because if you look down at least you know what you're getting. If you look up you also expose yourself to what if there is nothing out there.

But still you don't want to crush that little voice that says "You're possible, I'm possible, my dreams matter, I matter."

I think that's the beauty of when you find yourself love. That's like when you find things becoming so much more magical. It doesn't mean your situations will change right away but was it, Albert Einstein that said you can look at life two ways, where nothing is a miracle, or everything is.

Conny Graf
Yeah, I don't know whether that was Einstein but yeah I heard about that, and it's so true, and whatever you focusing on that's what you see more too. Just like when you said that when your daughter said oh we should make a book and then things started to pop up like that ad about how to self publish your book. Because you were open to the idea, you saw these things, and that's basically what you mean with looking up right?

Because you looked up you saw these things, these signs that then came too, and you said too, oh, you don't see the whole staircase, but nobody sees the whole staircase not even if you are staying in your lane, you just think you do. But even if you stay in your lane or in your box you don't see the whole staircase you just see a few steps ahead if you're lucky or sometimes only one.

Felicia Sanders
Exactly, and because I came from a world where, like I said before, I'm a very type A and you know and the way I was raised and the society conditioning, it gives us the impression that if we stick with certain path or chose a certain path in life, that it's more secure or that I can predict what you will be in five years. I used to actually be in those roles where you help people to predict what they want to be in five years and 10 years and, planning is everything and I'm not discounting that by any means but it shouldn't also shield you from the ability to decipher when something great is knocking on your door.

What are you gonna do, are you gonna just like play safe? If that's what your calling is, that's great, but when something is calling you for something more or something different.... you know what's interesting is, the sunflower is actually not my first book that I launched. It's not the first book that I have written, it's actually the Gustav Adventures Volume One that's coming up in two weeks that is the first one that I wrote but

Conny Graf
that's the seal, no? He's a seal, Gustaf?

Felicia Sanders
Yes Gustaf is a seal and he had a dream about leaving Alaska for Hawaii. It's an interesting kind of a mix of travel, which I love travel and so I thought, why don't I mix a little bit of travel and a little bit of inspirational story, and a little bit of educational facts. Because most seals don't go beyond five miles out of their home, and that was kind of like a known fact for our harbor seals and this seal. Not only that, he was the littlest one, but he had a dream, because a Puffin came back from Hawaii and he planted a seed, and he received that seed.

The same thing, you can you can plant seeds but only like a few plants bloom, that's the same concept. And it's not because the seeds were bad but it's the soil, and are you gonna keep watering it and are you gonna bloom. And, the seal was kind of a semi biographical of me because as you can tell, I was born in Indonesia and I left my home when I was 14 years old and I am on my own since then. I was like the seal who had a big dream but everybody around him told him that he was gonna fail because he's just a seal. But he has the power, is he gonna let those voices control his destiny or is he going to break through his limiting beliefs? It's a book with small tips where kids and parents can embark on this exciting imagination but also is very practical in life because a lot of people actually don't pursue things because they fear of failures.

Conny Graf
Yeah, so what made you, pull the trigger or actually busting through the limiting beliefs back then when you were 14 and you left your home? What had happened, what was it, one specific thing or did you just wake up one morning and you knew you had to do it?

Felicia Sanders
So I think it's a combination of both. It's a combination of a lot of things actually it's not just one morning. I think everybody kind of knew what is the right thing, a lot of people ask, what should I do What should I do and then you listen to them, and they usually already know what they're supposed to do right,

Conny Graf
They are waiting for permission.

Felicia Sanders
Yeah, it's almost like a confirmation but sometimes you're also in your own self denial. Usually for me it's like when I start speaking it out, and you kind of like huh. I guess that was because I knew the answer was in my heart. And for me, it's a combination, when I was nine when my dad had this amazing opportunity and brought us over to Colorado. I was nine and I spoke no English, and we live in Colorado for about a year. And, you know, from being the only kid and fearing the unknown and I couldn't sleep for months, because I was terrified of what my first day of school is going to be, speaking of like fear of the unknown that was kind of my first aha moment where I was asking myself, how am I gonna make friends, as simple as that.

And it was so sudden because it was something that my dad had been gifted by the company and it turned out to be such a blessing. So I think that was the beginning if I have to look back, that was the beginning of kind of my awareness of Gosh, there's so much out there that I should open myself up to. To your point earlier, I should look up instead of like looking at what I think I know, and trying to dictate to my situation by what facts looks like. I am very analytical so sometimes it's very easy for me to get drowned in this is why I should not do something, but then my heart will say another thing. So, coming back from the experience in the US I knew I wanted to go back because I had such a great experience, I have so many friends and I told them I will come back and find you. It was bizarre for a kid to say goodbye.

Then I was able to travel to Europe for a very short period of time, and this kind of launched this love for travel but I never really thought it was supposed to be a part of my path, and it wasn't until I was 13 years old. Long story short, my dad was diagnosed with a very rare disease. He's probably one of the most disciplined type of person, he's very successful in his job and he works a lot. Basically, one Christmas Eve he was so sick that he had to be flown to Singapore, which is another country, a short flight over. But because he was so sick he couldn't breathe. And when he got admitted to the surgery room, the surgeon basically told my mom and me, that he only have 1% chance of making it. So the fact that he's living today is definitely definitely a miracle. But it also kind of changed my perspective as a kid what's important and what I strive to pursue in life. Because he was only in his early 40s when he almost died and I realized how short time is.

Tomorrow is not guaranteed. So the fact that he went through that and lived I felt like if not now when? And that was kind of my awakening I guess as a child. What if I have to be the first person to pursue my dream and take the risk. I better go big or go home. So that's kind of I would say in a nutshell, the combination of things but definitely my dad almost passing away. The true awakening of why I said, what's my legacy. I know it's not for everyone but it's for me it's important.

Conny Graf
I think it's always important that we listen to ourselves, it's not everybody's wish, or goal or purpose to go and do big things. You can do big things in smaller, much smaller roams too. But I think the important message is to listen to yourself and do what your heart tells you to do. You talked about that the head tries to analyze and rationalize and whatever, and tries to talk us out of the things that the heart tells us we need to do. So, you talked about overcoming the fear and the fear of failure and overcoming these limiting beliefs. Not everybody has such an event in their life where some loved one almost dies or they almost die. Often you hear that's when lives are changing but would you have some suggestions or tips what somebody could do to overcome fear of failure?

Felicia Sanders
Yeah, definitely. What's interesting Conny, even though I had the so called traumatic or, unique experience as a kid, in my adulthood, once I became comfortable in my so called life, like work, like having a great job, having beautiful kids and I sometimes almost forgot how to live. I don't know if that even makes sense but that's kind of what happened to me because like although I went through all this traumatic experience but later on, I had a great life but I was still kind of stuck in that mentality. That I would do this thing one off, but then I would go back to my shell and still do the checklist, because that's what I've been kind of letting myself believe that's what I should be doing.

And so I think it's a journey to be honest and it wasn't until probably several years ago, and the key is truly to be honest with yourself. I'm being a little dramatic right now but for example, if you're gonna die tomorrow, aks yourself, are you happy. Are you happy with your life? Ultimately, everything that we're doing in life is to be happy at the end. In the end why we work is ultimately to give us that freedom to live the life that we're happy in. And hopefully give that life and experience to the people who are the people that we love. But, in a nutshell, it is to be happy in the end.

So if you're not happy, then you probably want to start questioning why am I not happy and start following the first steps.... like going back to that staircase analogy. You don't have to see the whole thing but our emotion lead us. And this is what I stress in my websites and all my blog post. A lot of people struggle with emotions, and I've been labeled and I don't consider myself emotional, I actually come from a culture where emotions are usually not exposed. But what I learned and am trying to help my kids to deal with is that emotions are actually a gift. They are our inner GPS.

When we're in alignment with our higher purpose, we feel happy. That's why when we give we get a lot more, because that's in alignment with our higher purpose and just by being a human being while we're here. But, the thing is to learn how to embrace emotions as strength and not be like overwhelmed and drowned by them. Interestingly, why I named my website Camps at Sea is, because the sea symbolize emotions, and it symbolized the unknown. Going back to Gustaf's story, he had the option to stay in the island that he's comfortable in. There's really nothing wrong with where he is, other than the fact that he was feeling unfulfilled. He knows he was being called to Hawaii, and oftentimes when somebody says hey I don't know if I am, where I'm supposed to be, we feel like we're being judged like, oh you're being ungrateful, or you're just going through a phase.

Where as you know deep down in your heart, it's not just a phase, that you probably not where you're supposed to be and that's okay. I think just taking the courage and giving yourself permission to be okay with not being okay that's the first step of acknowledgement it's like the same thing as if you'd go to an AA meeting. The first step is always acknowledging that you have a problem.

And that's probably the magical potion, when you know, there's something that you're supposed to do and you're to follow that first step. That's when you see the magic of life. Life is not supposed to happen to you, life is happening for you. I think when you have that shift in your mind, that's when you know you don't have to know everything on how you're going to make it. You don't have to know all the things, not everything has to be planned on my agenda of launching a book, I start building authentic connection with fellow inspirational people who have the same or similar mission in this world.

I just trust that the right people are going to come and support this because it's not my mission only, this is like somebody else's higher than me purpose. I'm just spreading, how it happened to me and maybe somebody else who listens to my story can resonate and I can help them going through their life and hoping that they know they're not alone, and they're not crazy and, there is a purpose, there is a higher purpose. Don't give up, you know, don't ever give up on your dream.

Conny Graf
Yeah, and I laugh about, like your books look on first sight that they are for children but I don't think they're just for children, they're just as much for adults. I remember you told me too that you had a lot of good feedback from adults and even from seniors and I think the reason is because in our society, not just in the one you were coming from coming from but also in Switzerland where I grew up... and I don't know exactly how hard it is here in North America, maybe a little bit less but talking about feelings and emotions is always like, we'd rather talk about the weather than something of substance. And I think your books really help with that and and that's what's so beautiful.

Felicia Sanders
thank you, Conny, that means a lot because I am not a.... you know, it's funny because my mom is very emotional and I love that about her but then my dad is not so I was growing up always trying to figure out how to communicate, so both of them can receive it because they say communication is all about perceptions right. Perception on how you're receiving the information. But all I know is, we can't tell our kids and even we can't tell anybody, whether it's a senior, or our grandparents, "oh you're okay" or "you're just going through a phase".

If we only listen to understand, and not only have conversations to respond, and it's hard because sometimes we have our own lens, we want to add our values, we think we know better. But it's interesting because the deepest conversation that I have with my kids happens just like that on a bedside table, when we're both feeling so called beaten up by life. Like on one evening, and I wasn't trying to sugarcoat things in front of them. I was tired and I think it's important for them to see that, as their parents to just admit that you are not perfect all the time. You know there is darkness in this world, but that's okay because like in darkness that's when you can see the stars and the moon. And I think that the beauty of life is, you have to learn how to dance. a dance of disguise. It's not like you're fearing oh my gosh my world is gonna end.

The same thing running a business, sometimes we fear what happens if this doesn't happen, what if it's not gonna work out.... but the beauty of life is being in the moment, and trusting that it's gonna work out, and you go from there.

Conny Graf
Yeah, that's beautiful, I think I want to end like this because that's so beautiful words that you said, we can't really get anything better. So where can people find you? I will put a link to your website and to your books in the show notes, but do you have social media where they could stalk you?

Felicia Sanders
Well yeah please do stalk me, I would love actually get together with the like minded people, this is why I do what I do because I love being in the same tribe, I call it my tribe. So you can find me on Instagram that's usually where I am, posting my daily affirmation and daily inspirational. You get to know my thought process the good and the bad. I think my point is I'm not trying to sugarcoat things.

I am posting things that are uplifting of course, I'm trying to uplift people, but it's important for people to see like the real me and some of the struggles that I go through daily. Just because you take the plunge doesn't mean the wave hasn't hit you yet you know, so it's on Instagram @campsatsea, and then I'm also on Facebook it's @campsatsea and all the information should be on my website as well https://www.campsatsea.com.

And actually, Conny, before this podcast I actually created an ebook, specifically for the topic that we're discussing about overcoming failures and how to have a fearless mindset. It's to help people because I didn't know for the longest time that I have a fear of failure to be honest. Because it kind of masked itself in in day to day behaviors, so that I did not know. It actually ties to the fact that I don't like to fail, and I was a type A person, a straight A student, so it actually kind of works against me when I started embarking on this journey. I was so afraid because there is no guidebook, there is none for parenthood, you know, like a guidebook for idiots, like somebody hasn't mapped it out for me and I was so fearful of that, and I did not know what that was, that was the fear of failure.

So, anyway, that ebook is free, so if you go to the website Camps at Sea that's available for your audience.

Conny Graf
That's awesome, I hope a lot of people go get it because the fear of failure, I totally can relate, just starting this podcast that needed some extra looking up to the sun. And so that's really beautiful that you wrote that and I will put that in the show notes as well.

Well, thank you very much Felicia that was so awesome that you took your time to come on my show and talk about your beautiful books and story. I will recommend them everywhere.

Felicia Sanders
Thank you so much for having me 

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