It’s Valentine’s Day! Which means it’s time to add more spice to your life! (And yes, this means adding a few “Shades of Grey” too…but more on that later.)

Did you know that variety — the spice of life — actually causes dopamine to be released in your brain? Dopamine is a feel-good chemical; it gives us the feeling of pleasure and euphoria. So by simply changing things up, we can give ourselves a natural high. Wow!

If you found this little nugget of info interesting, you’re going to LOVE today’s Jacquie Straight Up. In today’s video, I share my top three tips on adding this much needed variety to your life, including my #1 tip on how to get a little kinky!

Right now, as I’m writing this, I’m running a hot bath, pouring myself a scotch, and flipping through the latest edition of Vogue. Yup, it’s been one of those weeks. And I’m finally allowing myself to relax.

I’m just back from a seriously intense business training week in the Caribbean. I was challenged, educated, and inspired by some incredible minds. It was truly amazing, and I am so grateful for the opportunity.

But I have to admit, this conference really put my business goals under the microscope — my mind can’t stop spinning! The pressure is on! 2014 looms large! I have so much to do!

But then suddenly I realized — I need to stop stressing, at least for a moment.

QUESTION:

Hi Jacquie,

Where is your book being sold? Did you self-publish or get an agent/publisher? I am on the verge of querying my novel, so any words of wisdom about your publishing decisions/journey would be greatly appreciated.

~ Novelist

ANSWER:

Hi Novelist,

Thanks for your question and congrats on completing your book! My book is available on Amazon.com in ebook form as well as in paperback. For the ebook version, click here, and for the hard copy, click here.

I decided to self-publish my book right off the bat so I did not even attempt to find an outside agent or publisher. By all accounts, those who should self-publish are people who are control freaks or impatient…I fall into both categories apparently!

QUESTION
“Dear Jacquie,
I was recently approached by a man, who for some reason, thought I was some sort of animal he would like to take home and mount on his wall. (Okay, so I’ll be honest, I kind of like that – there’s a reason why I own leopard heels.)

But after our first “outing,” it took him five days to contact me again (via email). Whatever happened to the “chase”? Not only am I now bored, but what’s his name again…oh yeah, I forgot…

Am I giving out the wrong vibe? What do you do when you like being in the game, but don’t want to be “Tag you’re it”. Do you have the rules to “engage”?

-Hunted in Heels

ANSWER
Dear Hunted in heels,
You like being in the game so jump in, leopard pumps and all, and play it for all it’s worth.

QUESTION
“Dear Jacquie,
Life meant a certain reality for me that was lived throughout most of my days as an adult. But now, everything I believed in, craved, adored, and stood by has become the past, and I am opening myself up to the possibilities of re-inventing myself again, loving differently, meeting new figures in life, and wildly discovering new adventures. So, why is it that when you walk through that door of opportunity does a cloud of memories hold you every day at hostage, reminding you not of the exciting future, but of what you have left behind?”
-Prisoner of the Past

ANSWER
My dear Prisoner of the Past,

Thank you for your letter. The most important thing that I have to say to you is this: In order for you to move forward with your new and fabulous life, you MUST make peace with the past.

QUESTION
“Hi Jacquie,
How lucky I am to have met you through your site. You make me smile and feel that everything will be OK in my life and that I don’t need to marry, live in the burbs and be a ‘certain something’ because that’s what’s required from a woman at 30.

My question to you is this: before one even starts to dream, how does one find the courage and energy to dream? I have struggled with a wacky divorce and the death of my father all in one year…I feel like I have no energy left to dream, but I also desperately want meaning. What is the source of that vital dream energy and what inspires you to keep going, dreaming and come back to connecting with yourself/who you truly are?”
- Searching Soul

ANSWER
Dear Searching Soul,

Thank you so very much for your question.

QUESTION
“Hi there Jacquie,
I love your response to Disillusioned Dreamer. I’m currently working on my exit strategy from the corporate world and your advice has inspired me to keep on going. I’m investing not only money, but time and energy as I prepare to take the leap. I don’t have a question, but rather a request for some words of wisdom from someone who has found success is so many areas of her life. I’m so proud of you.”
- Budding Entrepreneur

ANSWER
Hi Budding Entrepreneur!

All actions begin first with a thought; our thoughts are so powerful. The next step is making a decision…again, so powerful, as a single decision can change our lives. Next up is massive action — it sounds to me as if you are in this phase of your entrepreneurial journey, so kudos to you!

QUESTION:
“Just a question on all this dreaming: I’ve been dreaming and visualizing a lot — and have been doing this for some time, and almost live in my head rather in the reality that is not so nice — and yet my dreams don’t seem to come true, opportunities seem in short supply, and things that should work out, don’t. What do you think is happening?”
- Disillusioned Dreamer

ANSWER:
Well, hello Disillusioned Dreamer!

This is a tough one because in no way do I want to trivialize the difficult time that you have been having by giving you some rosy, glib answer. However, I most definitely have an opinion and I hope it helps you.

The first thing that pops into my head when reading your question is this: the universe, the force, whatever you want to call it is trying to tell you something — perhaps you need to make a 180 degree change in your life?

QUESTION:
“Is it just as simple as thinking/dreaming/visualizing what you want and it comes to you?” – Dreamer

ANSWER:
Hey Dreamer,

Let’s just say that step one is as simple as that! And you need to keep dreaming and imagining until answers start to show up for you and beyond…this could take a while. Don’t give up the dream. Life will eventually start to show you signs, some in the form of opportunities – big and small. Keep an open mind and be braveTake the opportunities! Believe the signs. Once you know what path to follow, obviously major ACTION will be required to make your dream a reality. Lastly, NEVER give up. Do you know that Colonel Sanders went to 1,008 restaurants with his fried chicken recipe until the 1,009th one agreed to add it to the menu?

QUESTION:
My biggest challenge when I start to, as you say, dream big is…entitlement. Somehow, as soon as I dream about what I would really like, my ‘other brain’ says: ‘Oh no, you don’t deserve that.’ It’s really quite frustrating.” – Blondie

ANSWER:
Blondie my darling,

When you feel that you do not “deserve” wealth and/ or a worry-free happy and enjoyable life, how do you explain the people who HAVE those things and what makes THEM deserve it and not YOU?

Think about it for a second – It is not academic brain- power. There are PLENTY of super-rich not so smart bunnies running around out there. Think of some sports stars, some musicians, etc. Conversely, there are plenty of POOR and brilliant scientists, mathematicians.