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The Answers Are Always Inside… You Just Have to Listen For Them and Be Brave Enough to Act

Back in 2008 I learned about the Law of Attraction for the first time—a universal principle and law of physics (much like gravity) which says you will attract to your life whatever you focus on, think about, believe, feel and act on. Meaning your life as you currently see it is made up of all the things you have previously focused on, thought about, believed, felt and acted on.

I took the law of attraction to heart when I learned about it, and decided that I would learn how to use it to create the life of my dreams. Because if I can have anything and create anything and be anything, so long as I focus on it, think about it, believe it’s possible, feel it as already being true and then taking aligned action… then why not have my dream life?

In late 2008, I was working with a writing coach who was helping hold me accountable to getting the first draft of my first novel written. And around that time I was making my decision for whether I would self-publish or go the traditional route.

And I had an idea one night… what if I wrote about what I wanted to see in my life as if it was already true? 

So I grabbed this blue journal I’d been saving for something special, and started writing about my dream life, as if it was already the life I was living. I’d write about my day and how it went. I’d write about my ideal day. I’d write about things, like being on movie sets and having my novel turned into a movie. I’d write that I had a publishing deal and my book was about to come out.

And then one day not long after I started this daily journaling practice, I got a call from my writing coach—her clients who had just started their own small press publishing company heard about my novel and wanted to offer me a publishing deal if I was willing to make changes that fit the message of their company (my first novel was a romance and this publishing house was focusing on love and relationship books). Now the deal didn’t come with any money up front, but it would’ve covered the costs of publishing the actual book and getting it out there.

I hit the panic button!!

The stuff I was writing about in my special blue journal was coming true!! No, it didn’t look quite like what I was expecting, but that’s because I wasn’t being specific enough (something I learned years later was a key to manifestation). But it had shown up. And so fast I couldn’t handle it.

I had somehow intuitively tapped into my power as a writer and creator, by deciding to write about my dream life as if it was already my real life. 

And it fucking scared me. So much that I quit. I stopped doing this journaling practice. My special blue journal sat there on my coffee table for months, collecting dust, until I eventually threw it out.

Then in 2016, this journaling practice came back to me full-force through a mentor of mine who had used that exact practice to build a multi-million dollar empire where she gets to do what she loves all day every day and get paid for it.

This isn’t a first occurrence, either.

So many times in my life and in my writing business I’ve second-guessed what I was doing or I’ve told myself that I didn’t know enough yet and needed to learn more. And then I’d spend months wasting time and money on coaches and programs that I really didn’t need and that didn’t really help me, because I didn’t need them.

Don’t get me wrong—I’ve made some seriously awesome investments in myself and in my business, in coaches, mentors, workshops and programs that were amazing and that helped me get where I am today. 

But then I’ve also invested in coaches, mentors, workshops and programs that I purchased out of fear, out of lack thinking and out of believing that I wasn’t enough. And it was those investments that ended up being a total waste of my time and money. (Not at all the coach or mentor’s fault, totally my own for not trusting my intuition and believing in myself enough to know that I’ve got this.)

We’re born with this amazing inner guidance system that supports us and gives us hints and messages to point us in the direction we want to go (even when we’re not consciously aware of it). But we’re not taught how to use it or that we should trust it.

We’re told that following your heart is foolish and a waste. We’re told that intuition alone isn’t enough of a reason to do something or not do something, especially when it makes no logical sense whatsoever.

But if you just pay attention to what’s really going on in your inner world and listen for the messages it sends you and then actually act on the stuff that feels aligned for you, you can create the most amazing, incredible, beyond-logic results and life. 

I now run my entire business almost 100% on intuition. Yes, I have strategy and I know the principles of how to get the results I’m after. But as far as what to offer to my community and what to create or write always comes 100% as a Divine Download (that’s what I call intuitive ideas).

And over the last year of my life, I have learned how to trust in that guidance and in those Downloads. Anytime I act on those ideas, they always bring me closer to my goals. (Acting on Divine Downloads is now a core value in my business.)

And whenever I ignore them and try to do the logical thing or the thing that seems like the right choice on paper, that’s when things just don’t quite work.

It’s been a hard lesson for me to learn, to discover that I’ve been insanely intuitive my whole life, but there have just been large gaps of time where I told myself the answer was outside me and that I had to go find it. That I had to hire another coach or join another program or look for the answer somewhere other than inside myself.

But the truth is, the answers are already inside you. You just have to know how to access them and then you have to learn to trust them and act on them.

It’s a process. A life-long one. But it starts with acknowledging that you do already know what you need to do and you do already have what it takes. You’re just not acting on it.

You’re doubting and second-guessing. You’re questioning yourself, worried that you aren’t enough or don’t know enough.

But the answers are still there. 

They may not have flashing red lights that shout out, “this is the right answer!” because there isn’t ever really one right answer; things shift and change as you continue on your journey. But they will always be there, subtly nudging you and guiding you.

It’s your choice whether you want to listen and act or not.

Now sometimes the answer inside you is… you really don’t know enough and you really do need to learn more. This would be if you’re new to something, just starting out or have never gone all the way and finished anything before. Sometimes we do need outside help and support. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

The way to know whether you need that outside help or not is by asking yourself… am I doing this out of fear or lack thinking? Or am I doing it because I honestly know that there are things I still need help with or need to learn? 

If I had asked myself that question throughout my journey so far, I would’ve made a lot of different choices in my life and business.

Again, don’t get me wrong. I’m grateful for my journey. And I don’t believe in regrets.

But I do believe in lessons and always looking for the lesson in the things that I could’ve done different from the beginning. Trusting myself and trusting my intuition (and trusting the Universe) more is absolutely one of the things.

So as I continue to reflect on the lessons I’ve learned over the last 9+ years of blogging and running a business and working full-time for myself (for 5 years), I hope you’ll take away little blips of inspiration for creating your own dream life.

Because that’s what I’ve been doing and what I’m continuing to do. Thanks for being a part of my journey.

Write with a purpose, live with intention,

 

 

#DailyThinkDifferent #DreamLifeOrBust

P.S. Are you ready to become a FINISHER?? Not just a writer who starts a project or goes halfway, but a writer who actually FINISHES what you start? Then stay tuned… I have something awesome coming later this week. 

And if you want to be the first to know about what that awesome thing is, get on my email list here (you’ll also get a free copy of my eBook—The Bestselling Author Mindset Formula: How To Think Your Way to #1). 

15 Journaling Questions for Fiction and Life

When I was in middle school, I started keeping a journal where I wrote about my life, pretty much daily, and kept record of the things that happened to me and my thoughts and feelings about all of it. I did this my entire life on and off, and still to this day I have all of my old journals from growing up. (I don’t know if I’ll ever read them again, but I love having them.)

Keeping a journal is something I do now too. I don’t always detail what’s happening in my life. Sometimes I do. Other times I’m freestyle journaling on questions about life or my dreams or beliefs or purpose or whatever bigger questions are on my mind that day.

And it turns out journaling is not only a great way to document your thoughts and feelings about life, but it’s also great for problem-solving and coming up with ideas.

I now use journaling for pretty much EVERYTHING—from thinking through life to planning out stories to documenting what’s going on to writing my reality to coming up with new products and workshops, and more.

So I thought I’d share 15 of my favorite journaling prompts for writing fictional stories and for life. My recommendation is to do freestyle writing on each of these questions, just to see what bubbles up. Write them by hand if at all possible.

For Fictional Stories

1. What is this story about?

I love this question because it cuts right to the core and doesn’t mess around.

2. Who is this person, really? 

When it comes to developing characters, the more real and three-dimensional you can make them, the better. Asking questions like this will help you do that.

3. What made this person who they are today?

Backstory is an important part of creating a strong character. This question is great for digging deep into that.

4. Why does this scene need to be in the story? 

Scene writing is the actual execution of a story on the page. A question like this will help you ensure your scenes are mission-driven and have a purpose that moves the story forward.

5. What happens in this story?

Another question that points to the plot of the story and figuring out what it is. A story must has something specific happening—an opportunity, a problem to resolve, etc.—otherwise it will become episodic.

For Generating Ideas 

I LOVE journaling for uncovering ideas that are already inside me, I just have to get the junk out of the way first. I recommend doing these prompts as either freestyle writing or as a list.

1. What should I call this book?

Book titles can be challenging to come up with because you need to get one that will tell the reader what to expect while leaving some intrigue. Write down as many ideas as you can think of, even if you think the idea sucks and you’d never in a million years call your book that. By writing every idea down, you’ll get the sucky or crap ideas out of the way so the good and great ones can come through.

2. What should my next book be about?

I love to brainstorm and I’m constantly writing down ideas for books, blog posts, guest posts, products, workshops, you name it. I don’t create everything that I write down, but by generating ideas on a regular basis, I’m able to tap into my creativity and uncover gems that I do create and put out into the world.

3. What do I want to create right now?

Whenever I’m in the mood to be creative but don’t know what I feel like creating, I’ll ask myself this question. Whatever pops out that feels like a HELL YES is what I choose. Sometimes that’s baking a dessert or making a craft or writing a short story or drawing or creating a new product or workshop… whatever I feel in the moment.

4. What book could I write right now?

This one is similar to number 2, I just like this wording and feel it brings out a totally different response in me. So I use this question all the time to brainstorm my next book idea. And I often get multiple ideas that I really like, so I’ll add them all to my running ‘write this’ list. It’s impossible to run out of ideas when you’re constantly generating them.

5. How can I make this better?

Whenever I ask this question it always takes the thing I’m asking it about to the next level, whether that’s a scene in my story, a product I’ve created, a workshop I’m teaching or a book I’m writing. Ask this question. Ask it often.

For Life 

And now the journaling prompts that relates to life. I love these because they force you to see the issues or areas of life that you’ve been ignoring or pushing away. Confronting at times? Sure. But worth it.

I recommend you freestyle write these as well.

1. What do I want?

You can’t get what you want in your life if you don’t know what you want. This question will get you clear on exactly what you want, so you can start going after it.

2. Why do I want it?

This question is super important! Because you can’t just want something just to want it. Well, OK, technically you can, but that doesn’t mean you’ll get it. You need to have a reason for why you want it. The “why” behind the things you want will be the driving force for you actually getting them.

3. What do I need to be doing in my life every day that I’m not doing right now?

I told you it was a little confronting, but it’s also a great way to recalibrate your life on a regular basis. I’m always asking myself this question and adjusting course where necessary.

Alignment is important when it comes to achieving your goals and the success you want in your writing life. If you’re not aligned—for example, if you want something, but you’re not taking the actions required to get it—then it won’t happen. Alignment is everything.

4. How can I take better care of myself right now?

I like this question because as a writer, your body and your mind are your tools for doing your work in the world. And it’s hard to do your writing consistently or at the level you want to do it at when you’re not taking care of yourself.

This will help you identify the places where you could be doing a better job.

5. What does my dream life look and feel like? 

One of my all-time favorite questions and one that I ask myself almost daily. Not just in my journaling but in my visualization practice too. Because the more I know about what my dream life looks and feels like, the easier it is for my to picture it and feel it as real.

Give one or more of these a try and if you get something really good out of it, I’d love to hear about it.

Write with a purpose, live with intention,

 

 

#DailyThinkDifferent #DreamLifeOrBust

P.S. Are you currently revising a story or getting ready to? I’ve got something awesome coming later this week that will give you a process and a strategy for getting your story revised and ready to send to an editor and Beta Readers. 

More details soon… Get on my email list so you’re the first to know when it goes live and you’ll also get my free training + workbook–From ‘Eh’ to ‘Awesome’: 9 Questions to Turn Your Idea Into an Actual Story. 

What Would You Need To Believe To See The Reality You Want To See?

That’s a question I ask myself A LOT. What would I need to believe to create the reality I want to see?

Because your thoughts and beliefs create your reality. 

So if you want to achieve something or have something show up in your life, you need to be directing your thoughts and beliefs toward that goal or that thing. And the more you do that, the more your brain will accept it as real until one day it actually will become real.

You’ll be able to see it, hear it, touch it, maybe even taste it and smell it (depending on what it is). It will have manifested in your life.

The more you give your time to directing your thoughts and beliefs, and focusing on the things you want to create, the easier and faster you’ll see these things show up. 

This whole ‘thoughts become things’ may seem crazy when you first hear it. It’s contradictory to everything you’ve been told about life and how the world works.

But even as contradictory as it sounds… there’s this weird feeling in you that, it may actually be true. Because when you hear it, your ears and your brain perks up. It resonates with you.

Or it might scare the fuck out of you.

Because the idea that you’re in control of what shows up in reality and that your beliefs and thoughts create the reality that you see around you… that puts a lot of responsibility on your shoulders.

You have to actually take control of yourself and your life. 

The whole ‘thoughts become things’ scares me at times, too. But I’ve practiced it enough now to know that it actually DOES work. And it’s INSANE at times when stuff shows up in your life after you’ve thought about it.

And the Universe is always giving you little signs and signals to tell you that what you’ve been thinking about and focusing on is showing up. I see signs of my dream life ALL the time.

Lately I’ve been writing in my journal that my novels get turned into movies. This is my ultimate dream for my fiction—to turn my novels and my stories into movies on the big screen, with big-name actors and actresses. And of course, I get to help with the screenplay and have a cameo in the movies 🙂

Now no one would know that I’ve been writing about this in my journal unless I told them, right? (I haven’t told anyone until right now.) And yet the other day, a girl in my free Facebook group posted the craziest message… she had a dream that she was on the movie set for my novel, SoundCheck. 

HOW CRAZY IS THAT??!!

OK, maybe that’s too woo-woo for you and you’ll brush it off as coincidence or random. It’s totally fine if you want to do that.

But here’s what I know: coincidence doesn’t exist. It’s not random when things happen that you’d usually call a coincidence. 

It’s a sign, a signal from the Universe that what you’re asking for is unfolding. All you have to do to continue seeing signs and signals, is to KEEP GOING.

So I ask myself all the time what beliefs (and thoughts) I’d need to have to see what I’m asking for show up in my life.

When I look at this novel-to-movie dream, some of the limiting beliefs that pop up for me are:

  • No one I know has ever done this
  • What makes me think my stories are good enough to be on the big screen?
  • Being a Hollywood screenwriter is a pipe dream
  • There’s too much competition for me to achieve this dream
  • Millions of other novelists have this exact same dream—to see their novels as movies on the big screen—what makes me think I’ll be one of the novelists who actually does it?

YUCK!

Thoughts and beliefs like that are NOT going to help me achieve my goal of having my novels turned into movies. 

That’s why I have to ask myself what I’d need to believe in order to create what I want to see, so I can dig out those limiting, negative beliefs and thoughts that are going to hold me back.

When I think about the beliefs I’d need to have to align with my novel-to-movie goal, I think of:

  • Nicholas Sparks, Sophie Kinsella, JoJo Moyes, Stephenie Meyer, Kathryn Stockett… just a small handful of novelists who have seen their novels turned into movies. If it can happen for them, it can happen for me.
  • I know my genre and I know my readers and I know my stories would make awesome chick flicks
  • You can do ANYTHING you set your mind to… even this
  • There’s no such thing as competition because no one else can ever be me
  • Shared dreams are powerful connectors between writers, and it motivates and inspires  them to know what’s possible for one writer is possible for another

BOOM!

Beliefs and thoughts like that are much more likely to get me to my end result of seeing my novels turned into movies. 

And that’s why I spend time each day creating and crafting my reality, exactly as I want to see it. First by writing about it in my journal as if it’s already my real life; and then visualizing it and feeling as if it’s already real; then going into my day acting like it’s already real and taking action in alignment with the belief that it’s real.

I taught a workshop locally last weekend all about my Bestselling Author Mindset Formula, and after I explained my daily mindset practice to the group, one man raised his hand and said that what I’m doing is a self-hypnosis exercise that focuses your brain.

And that’s really what writing your reality and crafting your thoughts and beliefs is. It’s reprogramming (or self-hypnotizing) your mental computer to focus on, think about and believe what YOU want it to.

Not what society has told you to think and believe. Not what you were taught to think and believe. Not what you see other people thinking and believing.

But what YOU want to think and believe.

That’s what matters. That’s the only thing that matters. Yes, action is involved too. You’re not gonna create your dream life sitting on the couch watching Netflix. You have to take daily actions that align with your goals.

But you knew that already.

What’s hard is getting yourself to take the actions and take them daily and consistently, like you know you need to be. And that’s where the beliefs come in.

Because when you believe something is already true, you’re much more likely to take action and do the work. When you believe it’s possible for you to have, do and be something, you’ll turn off the Netflix and get to it. 

But when you have beliefs and thoughts that contradict the goal you have, that’s when you’ll use Netflix (and procrastination, and binge-eating, and wasting time on Facebook) as a way of sticking your head in the sand and avoiding the work.

Which is why you’ve gotta get your mind to your goal before your life will get there. Beliefs create thoughts which create actions which create results. 

Want to hear the best part?

You can get wherever you want to go in your writing life, by starting right where you are right now. And by consciously deciding that you will direct your thoughts and beliefs toward the outcomes and results you want to see in your life.

I really challenge you to take this one on. To spend 5-10 minutes a day consciously directing your thoughts and beliefs to where you want to go. Do it first thing in the morning if you’re able to. (Here’s a book and journal that can help you do this.)

Direct your thoughts and beliefs every day for the next 90 days. Report back.

Expect miracles. 

 

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What old belief(s) are you going to let go of? Create a new belief(s) and share it in the comments. 

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Want to reprogram your beliefs and thoughts so you can align them with the writing goals you have? Grab a free copy of my eBook–The Bestselling Author Mindset Formula: How To Think Your Way to #1 here

Write Your Reality: A Guide to Creating Anything You Want

I’ve always been big on journaling. I kept a journal most of my life, especially during my teen years. But lately my journaling has gone from something I do once in a while to something I do on the daily, most days twice a day.

As a writer you already know how powerful the written word can be. We use our words to change people’s lives, get them thinking and understanding things in new ways, and to entertain them and conjure up memories, emotions and connection.

So why not use our words to powerfully create our own realities?

This was a question posed to me by my mentor a few months ago, and I took it to heart and started writing my intentions every single day in my journal. I even did a video recently sharing all about my journaling practice.

But like anything else, journaling and doing mindset work shifts and grows as you do. So what I was doing when I made that video and what I’m doing today are slightly different. Essentially I’m still doing the exact same thing—writing the intentions I have for my writing life and my life in general.

Except now I’m breaking it down into three sections that help me to be even more specific and to see faster progress.

Now when I write my reality I write it in this order:

  1. Big-picture vision/goals—I write out my intentions for my big-picture: the kind of homes I want to own, the car I want to drive, the writing dreams I want to achieve, the impact I want to make on the writing world. For example, I write things like, I own a bungalow by the beach in Southern California, I drive a 2-door blue Jeep Wrangler, I am a New York Times Bestselling Author, I am the go-to alignment, kick-ass motivation and success mindset coach for emerging authors and authorpreneurs.
  2. Thirty-Day Goals—these are the goals that I have for the next 30 days. This will be much more specific than the big-picture goals and will include things like what I want to achieve in the next 30 days, any projects I want to work on and/or finish, anything I want to buy, etc. So, for example, I’ll write things like, June 2016 is my biggest book sales month of the year so far. I sell 1,000+ books in June 2016. My new eBook, The Pro Writer Mindset, is written and finished and it’s freaking awesome and when I launch the book on June 14 it hits #1 in its category on Amazon.
  3. What I believe (or want to believe, if I don’t already)—this is where I’ll write out the “rules” I want to live my life by. They’re not rules like typical rules, but more what I want to make true for me and the things I want to believe into truth. So, for example, I’ll write things like, Selling books is easy. I am abundant and unlimited. The Universe has my back.

Doing a break down like this each time makes it easier for me to stay focused on the big-picture, while also using the power of intention to create my day-to-day life (which is why I now do the 30-day goals along with the big-picture stuff).

As I’ve started doing my journaling like this, I’ve had incredible things start to happen.

So far for the month of May I’ve sold 523 books (and there’s still all of today left)!!!  And while I did just put a new book out there that has been a huge hit (Align Your Writing Habits to Success), I know a lot of this has come directly from the intention-setting I’m committed to doing every day, because it’s helping cement the mindset I need in order to think like and act like the author who sells that many books each month.

I’m using the power of my thoughts and intentions to create a reality where I sell hundreds of books every month (and more). I’m creating a reality where I make a great living from my books and my writing. Because that’s the reality I want to live in.

Writing your reality is a simple, but extremely powerful exercise that I highly recommend you get into practice with. And you don’t have to do it as a journaling exercise. You can do it however works best for you. Some people like to meditate or pray, others like to visualize or do affirmations.

Doesn’t matter which vehicle you choose, so long as you’re doing some kind of intention-setting on a daily basis.

You create your reality. You are in control. And the sooner you see that, the sooner you can take advantage of the tools available to you to help you take control: your beliefs, your thoughts and your actions.

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How do you create your own reality?

Want to surround yourself with a community of like-minded emerging authors and authorpreneurs who are all taking control of their writing destinies by writing their realities and taking actions that move them forward on their writing goals every single day? Check out the Bestselling Author Mastermind, a kick-ass motivation and success mindset group.

Image courtesy of freephotocc

You Can Have Any Writing Life You Dream Of, But…

Every writer I come across has big dreams. Not all of them will admit to it. Some will tell you they just want to write and publish a book for themselves, so they can say that they did it and if they never sell a single copy, that’s OK.

But you can see a fire behind their eyes when they talk about it. You can tell there’s a whole lot buried in there that wants to come out and see the light of day.

Except you’ll never see it, because some writers just aren’t willing to step up and claim what they want.

But you’re not one of those writers. I know this, because if you were, you wouldn’t be here right now reading this.

No, you’re a writer who has big dreams. Who wants to be a New York Times bestseller and see your novels turned into movies on the big-screen with big-time Hollywood actors playing your Protagonist, Antagonist and love interest. And you’ll get to help with the script and have a cameo in the movie, as well as walk the red carpet at all of the movie premieres all around the world.

Or maybe it’s just me?

Either way, here’s one thing I know: you can have ANY writing life you want. ANY.

If you want the kind of writing life where writing is a hobby and you keep your day job, you can have that. If you want to write full time, you can do that. If you want a writing life as massive as someone, like Stephen King or J.K. Rowling, you can have that too. (Yes, REALLY).

It just comes down to a few things:

  1. Are you willing to believe it? Belief is the number one thing needed to make a dream come true. If you don’t believe or can’t believe in the writing dream you want for yourself, it will never happen.
  2. Are you willing to show up every day and do the work? If you’re not, you’ll never have the writing life you dream of, and I can tell you that with one-hundred percent certainty. Dream all you want, but when it’s all said and done, the successful writers are putting in the work, day in and day out.
  3. Are you willing to write your own rules and create your own reality? An important question, because if you’re not (and that’s OK), it’s gonna be pretty tough to achieve the dream writing life. And the reason is you’ll get stopped by or stuck in the societal norms of being a writer that tell you things like, you can’t make money; being a writer is a hobby, not a real job; writing is hard and takes a long time to be successful at; you’ll never make it to #1…whatever limited things you believe right now. Those things will hold you back and keep you from the success you really dream of. So you have to be willing to step outside what other writers believe and create a new normal for yourself.

Hey, if it was easy to have the dream writing life, everyone would have it. It takes work–both internal and external–to make it happen.

But it CAN happen.

Literally anything is possible in today’s world, so long as you believe it is and then act like it every single day. 

And just ’cause I love examples, here’s one for ya: let’s say you want to sell 50 books a month. That means you need to find 50 people a month wiling to pay money in exchange for your book. As long as the book is available digitally and easy to access (like on Amazon or BN.com), it can totally happen. And pretty quickly, depending on the work you put in.

There are billions and billions of people in this world. A very large percentage of those people are online. And you only need to find 50 of them. Fifty out of billions and billions? Seems pretty doable, doesn’t it?

And that’s the thing I love the most about being an authorpreneur in the digital age. The internet has dropped all barriers between the creator and the consumer and you can connect with people from all over the world and sell your books, services, products, etc. to the people who want and need them most.

This puts you in the driver’s seat, giving you total control of your writing destiny–where you end up and what you create along the way. Empowering, isn’t it? Kinda makes you want to sit your ass in a chair and write something right-freaking-now.

So it’s true, you really can have whatever writing life you dream of. But you’ve gotta believe it and act on it every single day.

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What are you going to do today to move closer to your dream writing life?

Featured image courtesy of LassenNPS