04/03/2012 07:29 am ET Updated Jun 03, 2012

Luck vs. Empowerment: 5 Tools to Claim Your Power

It seems that almost everyone I meet is reinventing his or her life. There has been a global shift in our economy, and many have been laid off from their jobs. Others have found lifelong careers coming to an end. Some are just waking up to the fact that they're unhappy. More and more people are pursuing their heart's desire.

Recently Andrea Quinn, an empowerment coach based in Los Angeles, shared her point of view on this topic at her monthly Empowerment Lecture Series.

"So you got fired from the job that you hated?" Andrea asks with a smile. "Good! Now you have time to write that novel you've been meaning to write." Heads are shaking "yes" in agreement. She evidently strikes a chord with many of the men and women in the room who have been thrown into personal reinvention.

Andrea's topic this month was luck. She told us she doesn't believe in luck; instead, she believes in flow.

You know the feeling of being in the zone, the feeling that you've got a groove going, that things are happening easily and without resistance? The feeling of being excited, passionate, inspired and happy? This is Andrea's definition of flow.

And then there's the feeling when things seem hard, everything's difficult and just not going your way. This isn't bad luck, it's just that you're not in flow. You're out of sync with your life's purpose. More importantly, you're not listening to your heart.

"Don't say you have good luck or bad luck. Don't give your power away," Andrea continues. "Take your power back and know that what's happening has nothing to do with luck and everything to do with you!"

"There are no positive or negative people, only empowered or dis-empowered people." If you're negative, it only means that in some way you're dis- empowered. If you're positive, then you're empowered.

This might bring up some questions. For example, how can you tell when you're in flow? How can you tell that you're following your heart's desire? What if, while following your heart, you meet resistance? Does this mean you're doing something wrong?

Here are five tools to help you answer these questions and more.

  1. Take five. In order to lead with our hearts, we have to be connected to them. One thing Andrea recommends to her clients is taking five minutes a day to just breathe (build up to more when you can). Sit in a quiet place, close your eyes, place your hands on your heart and breathe. You'll create a channel and your answers will come to you.
  2. Stop the insanity. While you're on your path you might hit resistance in the form of fear, fatigue and frustration. Usually this happens when we've been trying to break through that same closed door, hitting it harder each time. Stop the insanity. Ask yourself this question, "How do I feel?" Then listen for the answer. You might just be in need of a nap.
  3. Change course. Don't do the same thing over and over if it isn't working. Try a different approach. Sometimes we become too attached to strategy, and then we're in our heads. Instead, find your way by connecting to your heart and move forward from there. Watch how things change when you make these adjustments. You'll feel empowered, and staying the course will be much more fun.
  4. Keep the faith. Although we have a picture of our end goal in mind, many times that picture isn't accurate. In fact, often, the actual outcome is even better than we imagined. When you feel confused, nervous or scared, keep the faith and get out of your head and into your heart. You might be heading outside of your comfort zone, so those butterflies in your stomach are to be expected. Breathe into them and keep going. Being uncomfortable is a good sign -- a sign that you're doing something different. Taking this step in a different direction is what it might take for your desires to manifest.
  5. Stay the course. Patience, like most things in life, is a practice. It took Kathryn Stockett, the author of The Help, five years to write the book, and it was rejected by 60 literary agents before she found representation. It might look like an overnight success, but it took a lot of determination, faith, persistence and patience.

So, when it seems you have the "luck of the Irish," remember it's more than luck. You've taken your power back! Your head and heart are working together, in sync, and you're living an empowered life.

For more by Carolyn Ziel, click here.

For more on mindfulness, click here.