All Posts by Sheryl Silbaugh

Freedom From Expectations

Right from the moment you are born, you are taught to pay more attention to what others expect of you, and to ignore your own wants and needs.  You are taught to be “unselfish” and put the needs and wants of others before your own.  As a child were you constantly being compared to others?

  • Did  a parent or loved one ever say “why can’t you be like “so and so”? in comparison to how they dressed or acted?
  • Did you ever hear “why can’t you be an “A” student?”
  • If you were in sports or played an instrument, did you feel like you disappointed your parents or loved ones because you weren’t the best?
  • Were comments made comparing how your body looked – too short, too tall, too skinny; too fat…,  compared to some idealized person?
  • Were you ever made to feel like you took up too much space – like you shouldn’t have any needs at all?
  • Did your parents or loved ones have the “favorite” child and you were just the “extra” one?

Or maybe it was the opposite and you were really talented, got good grades, outshined others.  Did you feel peer pressure to be less than you were capable of being?  Did your friends or siblings make you feel bad because they couldn’t or just didn’t want to put in the effort to excel – and they wanted you to be the same way?

Most schools have the cliques – and the “nerds” were never treated the same as the “jocks”.  Comparisons start at an early age and seem to follow us throughout our lives.  If you spend all of your time trying to live up to, or down to others expectations, it can feel like you’re in an ocean surrounded by sharks.  They surround you just waiting until you can no longer keep your head above water.

“In therapy I have learned the importance of keeping spiritual life and professional life balanced.  I need to regain my balance” – Tiger Woods

I thought that these quotes by Tiger Woods really revealed how from a young age he had spent most of his life, first living up to his fathers expectations, later coaches expectations, and then the expectations of his fan base.  It can cause you to become extremely imbalanced between your career and the rest of your life (relationships with spouse, children, your health, your spiritual life…, etc).

Part of what you have to do is to back off from living up to others expectations, and take the time to consider who you really are or what you really need.  Especially when you are in sports or some other field of entertainment, you can get so caught up in thinking that you are only the “golfer” or the “basketball player”.  Christopher Reeves became known as superman, a sterotype that became his public and private persona.  The truth is, that you are more than just whatever talent you might posses.  If the ability to play golf, or basketball, or play the part of a superhero goes away, you are still the same person.

You need to stop ignoring the calls of your soul/spirit or heart.  You do not have to stop being who you really are inside, in order to fit into the expectations of the world.  Choose to listen to your soul.  Listen to the deepest needs of your heart.  Choose to be free of the shackles of others expectations.

“To being trustworthy?  To being successful?  How committed are you to being a good father, a good teammate, a good role model?  There’s that moment every morning when you look in the mirror:  Are You Committed, or are you not?”  – Lebron James

 

As a mom, you can feel incredible pressure to be “super woman”.  To hold down a fulltime job, and be a fulltime mom, and the sexy wife.  To have the perfect children who are the best at whatever they do.  To drive the kids to sports, to music lessons, to every extraculricular activity.  To have a spotless house with nothing out of place.  You create the weight of mountains on your shoulders and push yourself to always be doing, doing, doing.  Until that day you drop dead of exhaustion.

“20 things that women should stop wearing after the age of 30:  #1-20:  The weight of other people’s expectations and judgments.” – Maura Quint

As a dad, you can feel incredible pressure to work 80 hours a week to meet the ever upward constantly changing goals.  To convince your boss, that you are ready to take on more responsibility, you feel that you have to work longer and longer hours.  To be the last person to leave at night and the first person into the office in the morning.  They may even joke that you must sleep at work.  I always remember this line in the movie “Baby Boom” where the boss says something like “he doesn’t remember how many grandkids he has, but he knows to the cent how much money the company makes on a daily basis”.  So many men fall into the trap of working so many hours to get ahead in their career, that their family suffers from them never being around.

“Expectation feeds frustration.  It is an unhealthy attachment to people, things, and outcomes we wish we could control; but don’t” – Dr. Steve Maraboli

You are not supposed to live your life meeting the expectations of others.  You are supposed to define your own individuality.  To be your own unique person.  To follow your own path.  To choose your own adventure and strike out on the road less traveled.  Be extraordinary instead of the rat in the maze trying to find the same piece of cheese.  You are the person who gets to choose what matters and what doesn’t.  The meaning of your life is whatever you want it to mean.  It’s the meaning that you give to it that makes it your life.

“The secret to happiness and peace is letting every situation be what it is, instead of what you think it should be, and making the best of it.” – Marcandangel

As you leave behind the expectations of others to discover who you are and what’s important to you – remember to allow the same for others that you love.  When you live your life according to who you are, and don’t put the weight of expectations on others on how they should live their lives, you create the space to be happy.  You no longer feel disappointed because you “failed” to live up to the expectations of others – and, you are not disappointed by the actions of others not meeting your own expectations.  You learn to live in the world of “what is” instead of “what it should be”.

“No more expectations.  Just gonna go with the flow and whatever happens, happens”.

Going back to what Tiger Woods said, achieving some kind of “balance” in your life is what is important.  Living according to who you are, and not putting pressure on others to meet your expectations doesn’t mean “whatever happens, happens”.  It doesn’t mean that you don’t try to do better, and be better.  It doesn’t mean that you stop trying to rise to your full potential in your life.  It means that you have a good working balance between taking care of your family, and yourself – which includes your emotional, physical, financial, and spiritual good health.

I thought that this quote from Stephen Hawking was so spot on.  He said, “When one’s expectations are reduced to zero, one, really appreciates everything one does have.”  Sometimes you have  something happen in your life that changes everything.  Maybe you get a medical diagnosis of ALS like Stephen.  What you thought was important suddenly isn’t.  You are just happy that you are still alive.  You experience a freedom, that sort of says – ok, I am in the basement, the bottom of what’s possible.  Anything I achieve from now on is good, great, and better than anyone thought it could be.  Just think of everything that Stephen Hawkins accomplished from that space of “zero”.

So free yourself from the expectations of what others expect from you.  Get still and start from zero –

  • Accept that this is who you are.
  • Accept what it is that makes you happy.
  • Accept what you can be the master of – what your strengths are, your talents and skills that are so easy for you to accomplish?
  • Having balance your life, so that you have time for yourself, your family, your friends, and your spiritual beliefs and practices.
  • Put on your oxygen mask first, then help others.  You can’t help others unless you take the time to fill up your own cup first.
  • Relax, taking a deep breath and just “chill”, take the time to smell the flowers and find the beauty of nature.

Breathe. It’s Only A Bad Day, Not A Bad Life

“She was a true fighter, you could see it in her eyes.  She was not born strong, she was made strong.  She was sculpted to be her own hero when the world let her down, she kept picking herself back up.”  – Unknown

Your power comes from:

 Letting go of what you can’t control – you can’t calm the storm

 Letting go of what doesn’t serve you – stop trying to calm the storm

  Appreciating all the good in your life

  Bringing good to other people’s lives

  Treating your soul like a soulmate and honoring what it tells you

 This is temporary, Breathe through it, the storm always passes

Breathe in the strength, power and courage you need to move on

Breathe out all the pains, frustrations and sorrows that are weighing down your heart

Trust the storm to bring in something better than what it has taken away.

You are where you need to be.  Just Breathe.

The power of the breath cannot be overstated.  When you are stressed out, overwhelmed – when you are in emotional turmoil – your breathing becomes quick and shallow which causes a number of reactions in your body.  Your adrenals are impacted as they release cortisol and start the “fight, flight or freeze” reaction in your body.  Breathing deeply and slowly instantly calms you down mentally so that your body can stop being triggered and relax physically.

Embrace the uncertainty because when nothing is certain then anything is possible – relax and enjoy the beauty of becoming

Strength  is not found in perfection,

  • It is found in both the moments of trying and in failing.
  • It is found in both the moments of laughing and in crying.
  • It is found in both the moments of tenacity and in giving up.
  • It is found in both the moments of giving, and in receiving.
  • It is found in both the moments of doubt and in believing in the goodness of life, in spite of it all.
  • It is found in the moments of courage, bravery, as you continue your journey through both the up hills and the down hills.

That is real strength.

“The world needs strong women .  Women who will lift and build others.  Who will love and be loved.  Women who live bravely, both tender and fierce.  Women of indomitable will.” – Amy Tenney

“She remembered who she was and the game changed.”  – Lalah Deliah

So much of what you worry about in your life, the things causing you to have anxiety are in reality “the small stuff” of your life.  Many of the deadlines that you push yourself to meet, are self created.  Will the world end if dinner is at 6:30 instead of 6:00?  Does it really matter if your child goes to school wearing a stripped shirt and polka dot pants?  Did the PTA call you to say that you have been condemned as the worst parent in the school because you brought store bought cookies instead of baking home made cookies?  All of these things are “the small stuff”.

“When she finally learned how to let go of the things that didn’t matter, she discovered all the things that really did.  Just breathe.”  – Unknown

  • What is important is that you cooking a healthy home made meal.
  • What is important is that your child’s clothing was clean, neat and that they were happy wearing what they were wearing – expressing who they are as their own person.
  • What is important is that you showed up to support your child and their school.

When the “small things” in life get you down.  When life trips you up.  When life sends you on an emotional roller coaster, don’t forget “you are only human“.  You’re still learning.  It’s okay to have a meltdown.  What is important is that you don’t pack your bags and move into the zone of constant emotional turmoil.  Take some deep breaths, re-center and ground your emotions.  Refocus on what is important.  Let go of what isn’t.  Remember what Cristen Rodgers said, “It’s the risk of falling that makes life a grand adventure rather than a guided tour.”

“And one day she discovered that she was fierce, and strong and full of fire, and that not even she could hold herself back because her passion burned brighter than the stars.” – Mark Anthony

Breathe, Release, Remember…,

“What I know for sure is that we are a resilient people, in spite of the difficulties and challenges of life.  We can look deep within ourselves to resolve our own issues so that our light will be our guide.  And we should reach out and extend to others the lessons we have learned so that they too can be empowered.  I’m reminded of a quote by Maya Angelou:  “When you learn, teach.  When you get, give.”” – Ramona A. Gray

I sure that everyone has seen the classic photo of a lone wolf howling at the Full Moon.  But the truth is that a lone wolf is a dead wolf.  The wolf needs a pack to survive.  When something goes wrong in your life, the first instinct is to hunker down by yourself – to isolate yourself.  But like the wolf you were created to be part of a community, you must have connection to thrive.

Isolation simply creates more issues for you in the long run.  There is nothing that stops your mind from catastrophizing, in an endless loops as it pokes and pricks at the pain, thereby increasing the suffering.  I read an interesting quote today that was talking about suicide.  It said that there is an Arabic saying that goes this way:

“You want to die?  Then throw yourself into the sea and you’ll see yourself fighting to survive.  You do not want to kill yourself, rather you want to kill something inside of you”.

I found this so interesting.  It’s not that you truly want to die, even though your mind is trying to convince you that you do.  You just want to end something that you can’t see ending any other way.  It’s the isolation of those feelings that creates the harm.  When you are in this place you need to be reminded and believe that you are a beautiful soul, that is going through temporary suffering.  Let me repeat that “Suffering is Temporary”.  That you are worthy of having a better life.  If you want to change your life, you must open up yourself like the Lodgepole Pine cone and let the fires of what you are suffering release the seeds to create growth and change.

You need to open up to friends about what is happening.  You need to seek counseling.  You need to reach out and reach up and keep reaching until you have transitioned from being in pain and suffering into a positive outlook for your future.  To see the open doors waiting for you to walk through them.  To grow in the new rich ash filled soil, to flourish once again in the sun.

“Let go of what you expect to embrace what’s there” – Chloe Jones

The Lodgepole pine cone is a squat egg shaped pine cone that embeds its seeds inside with a sticky resin.  The seeds are basically locked into a botanical safe.  You would think that it would not be a wide ranging tree – yet it grows from Alaska all the way down to Baja, California in all different kinds of weather zones.  The secret to their seeds being released is extreme heat, such as in a wildfire.  The seeds don’t just survive a catastrophe, they thrive in its aftermath.  This is the definition of resilience.

Resilience is being endlessly inventive, unrelenting, and forever evolving through the chaos of life’s changes.  It is having the flexibility to adapt to what is happening in the current moment without regard to what happened in the past.  You can’t prevent upheavals from happening in your life, but you can be more adaptable to changing conditions.  By putting yourself in the present moment, taking deep breaths and releasing the emotional charge, you can reset yourself.  You can discard the anxiety that is ripping through you, and put your troubles into perspective.

It is in a fire racing through an area that the opportunity to drop the seeds and grow a new tree emerges.  Change opens as many doors and it closes.  Change is going to happen.  You can’t stop things from ending, but you can reach out to the new beginnings that the change brings.  Be courageous and creative enough to embrace whatever happens.

 

“What I have learned over the past 15 months – and the only thing I know for sure – is that everything is temporary.  Happiness, sadness, control, chaos, highs, lows:  They all come and go.  It’s both unsettling and reassuring to rest in the notion that nothing is permanent.” – Kristen Bell

Rest, Renew, and Regenerate

In the aftermath of a wildfire, the Lodgepole pine seeds can become like a thick lime-green carpet across the ground.  The ash-infused soil is prime with rich nutrients to help the seeds grow.  Unlike prior to the fire when the ground was shaded, now the sunlight shines on the seeds as they shoot forth their new life in the aftermath of the destruction of the wildfires.  When a tragedy strikes like a wildfire, such as a death, divorce, loss of a job or illness – resilience is what will help you to see the future as a period of renewal and growth.

Life’s transitions could mean a relocating to a new area to live or working in a completely different field.  It could mean a new opportunity for growth where you are.  How many stories have you heard from friends or relatives who look back on a divorce or a job loss as the best thing that ever happened to them?  It took a catastrophic loss to wake them up.  To acknowledge to themselves that they were merely surviving their old life.

We all need at least one friend that understands what is not being said.  That calls “bullshit” when you say you are fine.  That won’t leave until you open up and say what’s really happening.  That goes down deep into the conversation, until you release the damn you created to hide all of the pain behind.  When you finally start really feeling it, and let out the pain – that’s when you can begin to heal.

I am blessed with both friends and sisters who are the image of this quote:  “Having a sister is like having a best friend you can’t get rid of.  You know whatever you do, they’ll still be there.”  When I was going through the pain of losing my dad they were there.  When I am going through the pain of my husband illnesses and worrying that he’s about to go through deaths door,  they are there.  When I have a tough night of grief striking my heart with the realization that I’ll never see my grandson again, they are there.

They are there because I reach out and say I need it.  As the sayings goes:  “Friends are like bras, close to the heart and there for support.”  The bra gives no support if you don’t put it on.  So when life sends you into the emotional roller coaster of chaos and change, reach out and let the heat of their love release the seeds hidden deep inside of you for growth.

Trust Your Inner Voice And Leave Behind The Illusion Of Knowledge

“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.” – Stephen Hawking

Have you ever felt lost?  That feeling that says you don’t know how you got to this place in your life.  That fear that eats at your soul, causing the “fight, flight, or freeze” to send you literally fleeing into the darkness, with no idea where you are, or where you are going.  You have no idea how to extract yourself from the situation that you have somehow blindly created.  My visual mind sees the proverb of “painting yourself into a corner”.

‘All progress starts by telling the truth.’  – Dan Sullivan.

If you don’t take the time to listen your inner voice that is what happens.  You get lost in the maze of unconscious decisions.  You come to a dead end, but can’t remember the left and right turns you made.  Unconscious decisions are almost always made from the inner child, who is trying to protect you.  Unfortunately the inner child is under the “illusion of knowledge”.  What you understood about life at 4 or 5 years old; or 10 or 11 years old; or even 18 or 19 years old; that knowledge doesn’t compare to what you understand at 30, 40, 50, or even 60 years old.

These unconscious decisions are made from the “illusion of knowledge” in which you use the same old childish ways of thinking to make decisions that are incomplete, incorrect, or even self-sabotaging and paint you into a corner.  All progress begins with you being honest with yourself.  Becoming self aware.

When you wake up to who you are, you become more self aware.  Every experience in your life is contained within you.  Some parts of those experiences, instead of being healed were judged and rejected as being wrong.  They were pushed into the shadows to be hidden.  When you begin the process of integrating the pieces of you that you have named as shadows, you begin the process of healing those judgments.  Those experiences are not broken pieces of you.  They are just mislabeled.  Healing them means that you are alive.

  • You begin to accept all of the parts of yourself, as the unique, special person that you are.
  • You pick up those rejected pieces of you and re-own them.
  • You acknowledge that you are not perfect, that you have made and will continue to make mistakes.
  • You understand that you can’t become what your family, friends and the world wants you to be.
  • You  stop pushing away the pieces of you that you are judging as “not good enough”.

What you do with your life from this moment of truth is so important.  It is part of the self discovery of who you are.  For me, I identify with being a life long learner.  Of seeing the connections to everything and everyone in my life.  Of being strategic in following my decisions on  life’s chess board as far as I can and then making the best decision I can see.  I know that many times these decisions will not be the best, but I have left off judging them as shadows.  I do the best I can in that moment – and that whatever happens will just create a new learning opportunity.  I try my best to remain open to the fact that the “truths” I know today can be changed by the experiences of tomorrow.

I love the analogy of a rainbow.  You might think of the primary colors as being the colors of the rainbow.  But it is actually the combinations of those colors in millions of shades that make up who you are in this moment.  No one else has your colors in the shades and combinations that make up who you are.  Don’t reject your colors.  Build your own life from those colors, taking in others perspectives and keeping what resonates with you and leaving what doesn’t behind.

Show The World The Difference Between Breathing and Being Fully Alive

Watching my grandkids grow up, I have seen things about my own life, that I never thought about before.  In my own childhood I came into adult responsibilities at grade school.  I stepped in trying to be the perfect little girl that picked up all of the pieces of motherhood that my mom was dropping or abandoning in living her life.  I got breakfast for everyone, made sure they got to school, helped with homework, cleaning the house, and so on.  I missed so much of the “fun playtime” of being a little girl, but of course I didn’t know that at the time.  I thought how I was being raised was normal.

There were  a lot of things I did different in raising my own children, but at the same time my mom still peaked out in what I said and did.  I think that for most of us, that is a true statement.  There were a lot of great things in how my mom raised us.  Almost ahead of her time she had no filters or judgments based on a persons race or sexual preference.  For her, it was all about who you were at a soul level.

“The wild woman NEVER FADES, she is constantly shaking loose everything that is not pure soul…,” – Shikoba

When I look at my grandkids I see the “wild soul” in its pure existence.  Like my mom and even myself, I see my own children try to tame that spirit in my grandkids.  They try to break it up into things you don’t say, how you don’t act in a certain way.  I don’t think that the “children should be seen and not heard” way of raising kids is very prevalent today, but I do think that the practice of filters is still hammered into our children.

It teaches them to filter out their inner truth, their honesty about how they are feeling, and instead speak about a filtered, watered down truth so that they don’t go against the rules.  Then as adults you have to awaken once again to those truths.  To be honest in what you think.  To shake off the shackles, the masks, and become once again fully alive.

Most of the time you are not awakened gently.  You are awakened by the betrayal of a friend or loved one.  You are awakened by loss.  You lose a job, a significant other, a divorce, a death of someone close to you.  Sometimes it comes from the violence of someone who is supposed to love and take care of you.  Sometimes it comes from finally admitting you have an addiction that is destroying your life.

With each challenge to awaken, you grow.  You get stronger mentally.  Your emotional turmoil, from floundering to find your way, creates a muscle of resilience that helps you bounce back again and again.  You learn to give a voice to everything inside of you.  You grab hold of that wild spirit that has been trounced on and beaten into submission.  You free it, letting it breathe in the freedom of expression in your own unique voice.

“They are scared of women like you.  Women with hearts big enough to house a suitcase full of pain, women with laughs so therapeutic they can heal wounds, women with a passion fierce enough to start wildfires.  They are scared of what they can’t tame or understand” – The Inner Voice

Each awakening starts a new journey of self discovery.  You go back to the beginning and start releasing everything that no longer serves who you are becoming.  You let go of the pain.  You let go of the victimhood.  You let go of the judgments against those who failed you when you needed them most.  All of the feelings of abandonment, betrayal, hurts both physical and emotional.  You let it all go.  It no longer matters to the new person you are becoming.  It’s all “water under the bridge”, gone and never to return.

Waking up is not for the faint hearted.  Self Awareness is like picking at the scabs and scars to dig down beneath and dig out all of the roots of feelings and emotions that never served you.  You begin to see a new life path forward.  A path of freedom from the past.  The chaos never leaves, because it is within that chaos that growth happens.

The chaos becomes the road sign for a new adventure.  For a new journey to uncover more of your “wild soul”.  The chaos is the preview of “coming attractions”.  It makes your heart beat faster.  It slips in the joy of showing the world another piece of your magic.  It is the process of learning to know and accept yourself on all levels.

“Within her soul a seed of resilience was planted.  Even in the darkness she knew that as long as she kept reaching up towards the light she would grow.”  muses from a mystic

When you focus on personal growth and self awareness, you experience life on a whole new level. Your life becomes filled with peace, love, joy, passion and fun – all within the chaos container you have built.  You see how to structure your life, design your life – all on your own rules.  You have the potential to make your life be anything you want.

It’s time to step out from the stories of who you are.  To grow instead that “wild soul”, and start creating the story of how you want your life to be.  Acknowledge and free yourself from the past.  Heal the present.  Listen to your inner voice.  Refuse to surrender who you are, to what others want you to be.  Love yourself, your body, mind, and spirit -celebrate it.  Surround yourself with other “wild souls”.  Write out your own story and dance it into life.

 

 

Start Designing Your Life With The Teacher In Your Soul

Listening to internal guidance can be very hard to do when life is stressing you out.  The noise of the chaos around you drowns out that inner voice.  Everyone will have an opinion on what needs to be done.  People will freely tell you how to live your life, what choices you should be making.  They will show up, try to convince you, dazzle you, and intimidate you.

The first thing to do is to drop resistance to what is happening.  “It is what it is”.  When you stop fighting against it, you find the ability to cope with what is.  You lose a loved one, it can’t be changed.  Your employer lets you go, it is what it is.  Coping can only begin after acceptance of what is.  Since you can’t change it, stop pushing back.

Glennon Doyle  in her book Love Warrior said: “I have met myself, and I am going to care for her fiercely.”  She outlines phases that we go through in life.  The typical hero journey where life is good, then tragedy happens, and then we find our way out.  In the process we make discoveries about who we are, and we make changes in how we show up in life.

At this moment in time the whole world is in a unique place.  The whole world has been going through a massive hero’s journey.  It began at the beginning of 2020.

STAGE ONE: LATE STATUS QUO (pre Covid)

You are living in your comfort zone and life is rolling along.  You might be hitting a few speed bumps once in awhile, but on the whole, life is good.

STAGE TWO: FOREIGN ELEMENT (Covid)

…Bam! An unexpected event occurs.  The foreign element of Covid instantly and urgently, changes everything.  Your entire life is turned upside down.  And it’s not just you.  It is happening to everyone around you too.  From normal minor things such as getting groceries, to something more major such as the kids being home-schooled.  If you’re lucky you’re working from home, if not you may have been furloughed or laid off from work.  You’re required to wear a mask everywhere.  You’re told to shelter at home.

STAGE THREE: CHAOS

You may have thought at first that this would be a very temporary situation.  Maybe a couple of months.  But instead those couple of months go past a year, and you find yourself entering into a weird “new normal”.    Then just when you have adjusted to this new normal, it happens again.  Your kids are going back to school – but what does that look like?  Is it safe?  Your job is calling you back to fulltime in the office, but you like working from home fulltime.  You feel like you get a lot more done each day, and who needs that commute?  Plus now you can be home when the kids get home from school.  Just the thought of going back to that old daily commute puts your stomach in a meat grinder.  Or maybe you want to have the ability to do both, having one or two days in the office and 3 or 4 days at home.

The world has changed and what you thought you knew cries out for reexamination. What you’d hoped for, planned for, or predicted before Covid has changed.  It may no longer be possible or even desired. You need to figure out what really matters to you.  This is not a pleasant process because it is filled with so much uncertainty, both for you, your family, and your employer.  But if you just take the time to do the work, it will get you somewhere important. The feeling of being in this chaos phase can be likened to taking a car engine apart – there can be confusion as to what is wrong, what needs to be replaced.  But if you work through the process of clearing up the confusion, you can make some really important and life changing discoveries.

STAGE FOUR: TRANSFORMING IDEA

STAGE FIVE: INTEGRATION AND PRACTICE

This is the stage where you try out those new ideas from your epiphany.  Your employer insists on everyone coming back to the office fulltime.  You suggest a hybrid workplace.  You have done the research and have the data to support your idea.  Maybe it just starts out with coming back to work in the office every other day; two days a week or three days a week.  Suggest that in 30 or 60 days you both reexamine how it is working out.  You follow other companies and what they are doing.  You discover some best practices to implement.  You generate and discard several ways of transforming the workplace until you find the one that fits your workplace culture.

This same concept works for any new ideas you want to implement in your life.

STAGE SIX: NEW STATUS QUO

This happens when your breaking outside of the comfort zone shifts into the new comfort zone, the “new normal”.

STAGE SEVEN: START DESIGNING YOUR LIFE

Pick a regular time several times a year, in which you can take out those kaleidoscope “eyes” and start to DESIGN and prepare for A NEW ADVENTURE.

You can be pro-active.  You can choose how the stage resets.  Your washing machine has more than just one cycle.  Instead of waiting for the foreign elements to bring in chaos, you can choose to start the process of enlarging your comfort zone now.  Be pro-active.  Instead of just imagining what you want to do someday, “I’ll finally write that book” or “I’ll finally travel to a foreign land” or whatever you always say your going to do someday.  You still won’t have the time, the money, or whatever you think that you are lacking in this moment when someday comes.  You just have to go within and shift to stage four and start transforming your idea to make it happen today.

While it is always good to know your limits – it is never good to accept them at face value.

Your current limit is just that – a current limit.  There are so many ways to exceed those limits.  It may mean leaning a new skill.  It may mean using leverage to get around it. When the Apollo mission had to figure out a way back home, the scientists took an inventory of everything they had and figured out a way to make something they didn’t have.

Water is another great analogy.  In order to get around obstacles, it can use the power of a rushing flood to break apart an obstacle.  It can freeze up and expand thereby crushing an obstacle.  It can flow deep within the surrounding area to get under an obstacle.  It can be fog, rain, hail, sleet and snow.  It can work with the wind in a hurricane.  Knowing your limits means thinking outside of the box to discover a way around or through the limitation and still be able to achieve the desired results.

Be like water.  Be magical.  Design something new and wonderful.

“You can’t tame the spirit of someone who has magic in their veins.” – SageGoddess.com

 

Climb Out of Your Comfort Zone

When was the last time you did something that was both scary and exciting?  When was the last time you felt that mix in your stomach that said simultaneously, “No don’t do it?” and “Come on lets make this happen“?

“Do one thing every day that scares you” – Eleanor Roosevelt

What if doing one thing that scares you, was on your “to do” list every day?

  • #1 To Do – Something that scares me
    • Talking to a stranger
    • Trying out for a team sport
    • Rock Climbing
    • Surfing
    • Skydiving
    • Trying out for a movie or TV role or even drama club
    • Asking for a raise
    • Asking for a promotion
    • Interviewing for a better job
    • Asking out that special someone for a date
    • Proposing
    • Speaking in front of a group
    • Networking
    • Asking for the sale
    • …, Fill in the blank

What else would you put on this list?  What pops into your head?

How many days would you push that scary thing, to the next day on your “to do” list? 1 day, 2 days or everyday?

How many things have you thought about trying, but put off or backed away from?  How many things have you been scared to even try?

If you did try and failed, did you quit?

If you tried to surf once and fell off the board, did you say – “Forget it, I will never be able to do this?”  The odds of being able to surf on the very first try are so high I couldn’t even type out the number.  To learn to surf, you try and learn something.  Then you repeat it over and over, wave after wave, until you have learned enough to stand up on the board and ride it into the shore.  And even when you are an expert, one thing you know for sure – you are still going to fall off the board.

Using your imagination, would you be able to put a new or scary thing to try on the list every day for a month?

If you never try, you won’t know what you can do.  I don’t believe that anyone really lives up to their full potential.  You are capable of so many things that you won’t ever think of to try.  When my mom was in a early 50’s her best friend talked her into a art class.  My mom didn’t believe she could draw or paint and I don’t think beyond school drawings she ever tried.  But her best friend had started painting porcelain tea cups and wanted to get better at it, so she convinced my mom to sign up for the class just because she didn’t want to do it alone.

A funny thing happened.  My mom painted this amazing forest scene that I have hanging up in my living room.  Her first painting revealed an unknown talent.  She would have never known if her best friend hadn’t twisted her arm to sign up for the class.  If you never try, you won’t get to feel that satisfying feeling of breaking out of your patterns and doing something amazing.

The funny thing about comfort zones is that they are very static.  You have a routine that you follow, day in and day out.  You punch the clock in the morning when you get up, and then you punch the clock at night when you go to bed.  I remember years ago I worked with a firm that bought failing healthcare businesses and turned them around.  On the bottom floor of our building was a TGIFridays.  Every day the President of the company placed the same exact order for a sandwich.  He never tried anything else on the menu.  I always thought how boring.

I love to try something different when I order food in a restaurant.  Something I don’t know how to cook.  There are so many amazing cultural foods out there.  Even in the U.S. they don’t make things the same way in the South as they do in Texas, as they do in California, or the Pacific Northwest, or Duluth, or NYC.

The thing is – unless we break out of the comfort zone, we can’t grow to a new level in  life.

“A ship is always safe at the shore but that is not what is was built for” – Albert Einstein

This week, make a list of things outside of your comfort zone.  Pick something that could become a hobby that you’ve never tried to do, something with your hands that engages your creative powers.  Pick something that could build your confidence and courage to grow that comfort zone just a little wider, a little longer.  For my mom it was an art class.  It doesn’t have to be something terrifying.  It could be something that you always wanted to do but are scared to try.  It could be something you don’t think you can do, like painting, sculpting, woodworking, or even knitting.

If you want to go skydiving, maybe the first step is a hot air balloon ride.  It gets you up in the air and grows your courage just a little bit.  Maybe the next step is just going up in the plane and seeing everyone else take that leap out into nothing.

Sir Edmund Hillary is famous for climbing Mt. Everest.  But that wasn’t his first climb.  His first climb was in 1939 ascending Mt. Ollivier.  Unless you are a mountain climbing fan or expert you would have never heard of his first climb.  It was 1953 when he ascended Mt. Everest.  The years between were spent expanding his comfort zone to the point that he could attempt and finally achieve the goal of climbing Mt. Everest.

So start small – pick something that expands your comfort zone and begin growing into your full potential.  Each victory or achievement builds upon the courage and confidence to get to the next level.  Find your own Mt. Everest and go for it!

“There are no great people in this world, only great challenges which ordinary people rise up to meet” – William F Halsey Jr

 

Shhh….. Can You Hear It?

 

The world around you is a very busy place.  Always someplace you need to be, always something you need to do. It seems almost like someone is turning up the speed to go faster and faster.  It can become so loud you can’t hear yourself think.

Do you ever feel like you are on a roundabout and can’t get off?

It can seem impossible to find even a moment to just be silent.  To gather your thoughts; to just quietly think about your life.  But those moments are necessary.  They are to be valued more than anything else that may seem to be grabbing your attention.  The world shouts – so who do you listen to?  Can you hear the whispers over the chaos?  Can you hear the whispers in the noise and confusion?

It is in those moments that you need to hear your soul’s whispers.  That you need to hear your inner guidance.  

Sometimes when you are so busy, you aren’t paying attention to the whispers.  Then life grabs you and shakes you to slow down.  That happened to everyone this past year.  For the space of 12 months, Covid hit and everything stopped.

Concerned about my job, I kept my head down and worked.  Worries over having enough toilet paper seemed to be a high priority.  I wasn’t listening, so again life grabbed me.  My dad who had been living with us for 15 years passed away.

This time I stopped.  I listened for guidance.  The guidance was to move.  So we sold our home in California and moved back to Washington state.   You can tell when you are listening and following the whispers, because everything moves so smoothly.  Within three days we sold for full listing price.  No hiccups from the buyers.  Both real estate agents couldn’t believe how easy the whole transaction was.

The decision to move was based upon my husbands health.  He had just been diagnosed and started treatment for cancer right before Covid hit.  The guidance was to go build that dream home we were going to retire to someday.  Someday was now.  It was the time to make that happen.

Then a few months later life grabbed us again.  My 3 year old grandson was hit and killed by a delivery truck.  That stopped us in our tracks for some time.  Pain beyond tears.  Loss comes unbelievably fast.  Like a thief it strikes you and it steals away a piece of your heart.  Grief is the calling card it leaves in its place.

Like the waves hitting the shoreline, the grief flows in flooding you with pain and then for moments it recedes.  As the waves continue coming back into the shore they become a catharsis.  It brings something new into your life that fills in the cracks of your heart.  Peace expands your hearts ability to keep beating.

Everyone reading this knows this to be true.  No matter what has happened in your life in the past 1-2 years, when you are brave enough to share it with someone, you will find someone who has felt that pain, known that grief, walked that mile.  The important thing is to not get so caught up in the loss, grief, recovery that we forget to listen.

“We need to give each other the space to grow, to be ourselves, to exercise our diversity.  We need to give each other space so that we may both give and receive such beautiful things as ideas, openness, dignity, joy, healing, and inclusion”  – Max de Pree

Life can strip you down to the core.  It clears away the stupid concerns about finding toilet paper, rice, or yeast.  It brings you up close and personal to the basic truth of who you are – someone special.  It reminds you that your life can be filled with meaning, a purpose driven life.  It isn’t about the job, the house, the car, or any other material thing you possess or think you should have.  It is about the bare, basic fact that you can change.  You can change not only who you are, but by living a meaningful life, you can change the world.  It reminds you of what is important.

For the past year, I haven’t written much for LemonadeMakers.  It was this past month, when despite being fully vaccinated that my husband caught one of the Covid variants.  He almost died.  I had to climb out of the “I have so much going on, I don’t have the time” soundtrack buzzing in my head.  I listened and realized that writing this blog is what keeps me centered.  That it is what keeps me sane.  That this is what helps me change, and this is what helps to change the world.

“Deep breaths untie the fog.  Listen to the song of your soul.  to the lyrics of love.  To the whispers of self, and hold on to what is valuable.”  – Linda J. Wolff

So I say listen.  Stop and just listen for the silence.

When the noise has all faded away, then listen even deeper.

Listen for the whispers.  Listen to your souls guidance.

“The water is always deeper than what it reflects” – Marty Rubin

 

 

A New Life

The Oregon Trail was 2,170 miles, beginning in Independence, Missouri and ending in Willamette Valley, Oregon.  The ruts in the trail grew as high as 5 feet deep in some places.  When your life has been completely shaken up, one of the first things to do is to look at the ruts in your own life.  Where are the places that you have created a rut so deep that you can’t see the possibilities that are all around you?

“Put blinders on to those things that conspire to hold you back, especially the ones in your own head” – Meryl Streep

This year I think that a lot of people are just like me.  Their lives have been shaken up completely.  Working from home, my dad’s passing, and now we have sold our home and are getting ready to move to another state.  We will be staying with relatives while we build a new home.  Some changes might have happened to you, some changes might be from decisions you make.

Moving to a city where we don’t know anyone will certainly get us out of a few ruts.  The voices in your head will tell you a lot of stories about things to be afraid of.  If you are moving to a new city and state like us, the voices might talk about how hard it will be to make new friends, to get used to a small town.  All of which is nonsense.

“We can’t be afraid of change.  You may feel very secure in the pond that you are in, but if you never venture out of it, you will never know that there is such a thing as an ocean, a sea” – C. Joybell C.

Covid-19 is a change, an event.  Losing your job is a change, an event – even if it was your choice to leave.  Having a loved one cross over to their next great adventure is a change, an event.  Having your life partner leave you, is a change, an event.

It is hard to think of being open to these kinds of changes.  They shift and change everything in your life.  They demand you look at areas in your life that you haven’t examined in a while.  That you see where you were so comfortable that you resisted growth in your life.  They push you into a transition period.  These events require you to grow and adapt to what being without someone or something in your life means.  That you look past your fears and create a vision as to who you are now becoming.

“It isn’t the changes that you do you in, it’s the transitions.  Change is not the same as transition.  Change is situational; the new site, the new boss, the new team roles, the new policy.  Transition is the psychological process people go through to come to terms with the new situation.  Change is external, transition is internal – William Bridges

With Covid-19 you are going through social transitions.  It might be that habits such as shaking everyone’s hands are gone forever.  I’m a hugger.  If I liked you, I hugged you.  If feels so restrictive not to do so.  However, now I hesitate because I can no longer judge if it is appropriate, or will be received by someone.  I feel called to ask if I can hug you first.  There is a psychological transition that Covid-19 is forcing on the entire world, to come to terms with what all of the changes being required by this event are doing to us.

“We resist transition not because we can’t accept the change, but because we can’t accept letting go of that piece of ourselves that we have to give up because the situation has changed” – William Bridges

The easiest example that comes to my mind is when work changes a software program or simply changes how a certain part of your job is done.  You are resistant to unlearning to do something that has become ingrained in you.  To learn to do your job in a different way. 

Someone decides that a part of your job actually should be done by a different department as it makes more sense to do so in their eyes.  You might not not agree and resist the change.  You might resist learning a new software program.  You might resist training someone who is to take over that part of your job.

“Change comes more from managing the journey than from announcing the destination” – William Bridges

Same thing happens when Facebook changes how your page looks.  When Apple updates your phone and changes how your phone looks.  When your banking app updates and changes how you access your accounts. 

Almost daily you are faced with some upgrade, some update that requires you to do something different.  When you look at these kinds of small events, changes and transitions don’t look so scary. 

  • What if you took the attitude you have about an app having an update, and used that same feeling, attitude about all of life’s shifts and transition’s? 
  • What if you viewed everything as an upgrade? 
  • What if you looked at it like you are just getting an upgrade from flying coach to flying first class? 
  • What if instead of resisting transition, you enjoy it?

Embrace change, no matter what kind of change it is.  When my dad passed a couple of weeks ago, it created a space in my life.  I have been taking care of him for 15 years.  I pass by his room and miss seeing him.  The tendency we all have is to fill up this space with something.  Instead on the advice of a dear friend, I am just letting this space be.  I am ignoring this frantic message in my head telling me to fill it up.

“The moment in between what you once were, and who you are now becoming, is where the dance of life really takes place” – Barbara De Angelis

I want to let life show me instead – what is it bringing into my life as possibilities?  What is that part of my life is transitioning into?

With the passing of my dad, and moving to a new city and state, I want to learn what this new world can be.  I want to take advantage the possibilities.  I want to honor the space between “no longer” and “not yet”.  The space of no longer living with the “caretaker” label.  The space of “??”, the space of living comfortably with the unknown and “yet to be”.

“The most powerful times in our lives can be the time between times, or life’s transitions that give us the opportunity to choose” – Bill Crawford

You have experienced some sort of event in your life recently, or may be you are experiencing it right now this moment.  Take time to have the space between what was, and what is now coming into your life.  Realize that you have a multitude of choices.  If you have lost a loved one, take the time you need to grieve, to let go, and to open up.  If you have lost your job or business, you still need some space to grieve what you lost.  Be open to transition from a title or position that you once had and see the possibilities of learning something new.  Of a new career or business, a new beginning.

“She understood that the hardest times  in life to go through were when you were transitioning from one version of yourself to another”– Sarah Addison Allen

When you allow that space to create the vision of where you want to go, it is the space of growth.  It is messy.  It is uncomfortable.  You will experience feelings you didn’t know you had in you to feel.  It is welcoming change and loss, because that is where the growth happens.  That is where you learn something new about yourself and what you are capable of. Where you can see the opportunity to evolve.  To transition into new beginnings.

The first Saturday of every month we get together on Zoom to talk about our challenges, to encourage each other, and provide inspiration to continue on our individual journeys. As we share the lessons of each one’s individual journey, resilience is grown for everyone. Join us for the next conversation and become even more inspired to reach out and pull your dreams into reality.

Commit To Your Dreams!

I invite you to join us on September 12th (because the 5th of September weekend is an American Holiday) for a purposeful gathering. Our intention is to create moments of life-changing conversation on how to make 2020 the year of achievement.

Chances are that what you’re struggling with, others are too. What life questions you have been asking yourself, others are asking themselves too. Get clear on what you want and how to obtain it. If your 2020 dreams and goals are already stalling, get recharged and refocused. Learn how to pivot to success. Join us for a gathering that no one will forget.

I Am The Storm

“Strong women aren’t simply born.  We are forged through the challenges of life.  With each challenge we grow mentally and emotionally.  We move forward with our head held high and a strength that can not be denied.  A woman who’s been through the storm and survived.  We are Warriors!” – Unknown

There are moments in everyone’s life where their knees hit the floor.  Moments when you are in the middle of a devastating experience.   When you feel like your sinking beneath the waves for the last time and you aren’t going to be able to reach the surface again.  That moment when you feel that death is a welcome experience, just to get away from the pain.  That is the moment when you discover that place deep inside your soul that is indestructible.

“Within every woman there is a healer, a lioness, a wild warrioress, a priestess, a goddess.  Never for get that.  Give yourself wings” – Unknown

When you are in that place of –

  • disempowerment
  • feeling isolated and alone
  • when all of your plans were destroyed
  • you are uncertain of being able to survive

At those moments it is necessary to reinvent who you are – at the basic core of your soul.  Nietzsche said that when you are in the place where your entire life is lying all around in the wreckage, it is critical that you look at that as a time of opportunity.  It made me think of Steve Austin in the Six Million Dollar Man.  They rebuilt his right arm, both legs and one eye and made him bionic and better than he was before.

“We fall.  We break.  We fail.  But then, We Rise, We Heal, We Overcome” – Unknown

What Nietzsche came to call this was the moment of loving your fate.  Where you would say that whatever is happening here is what I need to happen.  You look at it as an opportunity, a challenge.  A place to find your inner strength or resilience to bounce back not just back to where you were.  But better than before.  The belief here is that nothing can happen to you that is not positive.

I have read several article’s and just bought both the book and the movie for “Just Mercy” by Bryan Stevenson.  In his book he talks about how everyone shares the condition of brokenness.  There are different levels of brokenness, but it is the brokenness that serves as a connection.  It’s part of the human condition.

There is a difference between brokenness and breakable.  Brokenness can be healed.  You gain comfort and meaning from the fact of being healed.  Storm Warriors can be broken but they are not breakable.

Being breakable means that there are too many pieces that are missing and it can’t be fixed.  Take a tea cup for example.  If it is broken, the pieces can be glued back together and it is still a tea cup.  But if the tea cup is shattered into a million pieces, the magic of healing can’t happen.

When my nephew was murdered our family faced a choice of being broken or being breakable.  Being broken meant that we worked through our grief, anger and pain.  Working through those emotions would lead us back to love and forgiveness for the person who took his life.  Being breakable still leads to grief, anger and pain.  But it doesn’t stop there.  It continues down the track of becoming a victim, of being vengeful to point of cheering when the death penalty takes their life.  Of taking that victimization even further down the track into denying any compassion and as a result denying our own humanity.

“I expect to pass through this world but once; if, therefore, there can be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again” – A Quaker

LemonadeMakers was our choice.  We chose to take resilience to a whole new level.  We chose to heal our brokenness.  We chose to become Storm Warriors.

Until the late 1700’s there were no life boats.  So when sailors had a shipwreck almost all would be lost at sea.  When the life boat was invented, at first they remained on land and would be used to go out to sinking ships to rescue those on board.  Storm Warriors was what they used to call the men that would go out in the storm to rescue those in shipwrecks.  Many of these Storm Warriors lost their lives trying to save others.

When you become a Storm Warrior, there is no possibility of being breakable.  Breakable isn’t a word in your dictionary.  A Storm warrior leaves resilience behind in the basement, as you race up to the penthouse.  It is that place where there is no comfort zone.  There are no boundaries.  No limitations.  It is the place you arrive when you have blown past “the zone”, the runners high, the world records.  You have not only exceeded all expectations, you put yourself in a whole new zip code, a new dictionary definition of what can be accomplished.

  • To become bionic
  • To “bounce back”
  • To rebound without collapsing
  • To withstand shocks
  • To rebuild your life with stronger foundational materials
  • To see life from a whole new level, without limitations
  • To cope and adapt to challenging situations successfully

 

 

Resilience is a skillset you use daily in your life.  Being a Storm Warrior is a part of you that emerges when it is needed.  It is sort of like driving a normal car with gas for everyday, and having a dragster with nitro for when you are a Storm Warrior.  Most days when you don’t need a nitro super power to live your life.  But when those really bad days happen and tragedy strikes, you need to be able to pull out all the stops with your dragster and put some power into your life.

“People who have it tend to also have three underlying advantages:  a belief that they can influence life events; a tendency to find meaningful purpose in life’s turmoil; and a conviction that they can learn from both positive and negative experiences” – Amanda Ripley

Resilience is the strength of spirit to recover from everyday adversities. When you experience disappointment, you find the hope and courage to carry on. Humor lightens the load when it seems to heavy. You overcome life’s obstacles by tapping into a deep well of faith and endurance. At times of loss, you seek out others for comfort. You grieve and then move on. You create new memories. You discern the learning that can come from hardship. You don’t cower in the face of challenge. You engage fully in the dance of life.

The first Saturday of every month we get together on Zoom to talk about our challenges, to encourage each other, and provide inspiration to continue on our individual journeys. As we share the lessons of each one’s individual journey, resilience is grown for everyone. Join us for the next conversation and become even more inspired to reach out and pull your dreams into reality.

Commit To Your Dreams!

I invite you to join us on July 11th (because the 4th of July is an American Holiday) for a purposeful gathering. Our intention is to create moments of life-changing conversation on how to make 2020 the year of achievement.

Chances are that what you’re struggling with, others are too. What life questions you have been asking yourself, others are asking themselves too. Get clear on what you want and how to obtain it. If your 2020 dreams and goals are already stalling, get recharged and refocused. Learn how to pivot to success. Join us for a gathering that no one will forget.

Your Life Purpose Is The Way Home

There is a funny thing about how time works in fairy tales.  At the end of the adventure, they say “and they lived happily ever after”.  But the reality of time is that it takes your whole lifetime to live through the happily ever after part.  You don’t get to your star with a one and done journey.  A life purpose isn’t a one and done.  The journey will last your entire life time.  Your life purpose might be experienced in different ways in different times in your life, but it is always the same life purpose.

“At the end of life, what really matters is not what we bought, but what we built; not what we got, but what we shared; not our competence, but our character; and not our success, but our significance.  Live a life that matters.  Live a life of love” – Unknown

The story you are living in this moment is just a chapter in one of those books where each book each over a 1,000 pages and it is just one of the 10-12 books in the series.   There is a lot of hills, valleys, lakes and oceans to walk. That’s a lot of walking after your star.

There are multiple ways in which your life purpose will be lived from the moment you were born, to the moment when this body dies and you go on to the next adventure.  So while you’re not who you used to be in this moment, you still have time to become who you could be.

“Fear comes from not knowing what to expect and not feeling you have any control over what’s about to happen.  When you feel helpless, you’re far more afraid than you would be if you knew the facts” – Chris Hadfield

There are times in your life journey when you will go through a storm, or walk through the desert, or climb a mountain, or feel like you are drowning in overwhelm.  The actual danger you perceive versus what danger you are in usually don’t match up.  Danger is a thing, and fear is your reaction to it.  It’s not the thing that will stop you.  It is your imagined fear about the thing.  This is because what fear tells you is happening, is entirely different than reality.

Become skilled at facing fear.  Think about when you were learning to ride a bicycle.  There were some fears involved with learning to ride, as everyone crashes.  Some people just skin their knees or elbows.  Some people break an arm or leg.  When I was a kid, there were no helmets, so some people when the crashed had a head injury.  Riding a bike can be dangerous, but you determined the risk was worth it, because everyone else was riding a bike.  So you overcame your fear, and learned to ride despite the risk.

“A mistake should be your teacher, not your attacker.  A mistake is a lesson, not a loss.  It is a temporary, necessary detour, not a dead end” – curiano.com

Most fears originate from a lack of understanding about what is happening, or could happen.  It is a lack of knowledge and experience.  You know from watching everyone who learned to ride a bicycle before you – that crashes are going to happen.  You will make a mistake:

  • You might grab the brakes too hard and flip the bike head over heels
  • You might spin on gravel and lose control
  • You might turn too sharp and lose your balance
  • You might go too fast and not be able to stop
  • You might get distracted and hit a parked car
  • All of which will crash your bike.

Each one teaches you something.  Going back to the bicycle – when you got personal knowledge of your bicycle, the fears you had in the beginning went away.  No one is afraid of the bicycle itself, but rather the fears of being hurt from crashing that the imagination produces.  Here is the interesting point – did the bicycle change or did you change to eliminate those fears?  It was you.

“You have to have confidence in your ability, and then be tough enough to follow through” – Rosalynn Carter

In his book, “An Astronaut’s Guide To Life On Earth”,  Astronaut Chris Hadfield talks about how he realized what his life purpose was as a 10 yr old child watching men walk on the moon.  He shaped his entire life to support that dream of being an astronaut.

  • As a teenager he learned how to fly,
  • Learning how to make decisions and stick with them – it’s a skill that’s required for long term dreams.
  • He went into the Airforce as a pilot,
  • He got a degree as an engineer,
  • He became a test pilot,
  • He then joined NASA for the space program.

From 10 years old forward everything was focused on what he perceived as his life purpose.  I am sure that he had times when he questioned what he was doing.  I am sure that he had friends and relatives that said his chances of actually going into space were limited, especially in the years where NASA had to downsize the space program.

This got me to think of other life long goals such as professional sports.  Say you decide that you want to be an Olympic Athlete – you would choose the sport that you have the most natural talent, passion and drive for.  Then you would eat, sleep, and drink that sport everyday for years.

It’s really different from what Chris did – he had stages of accomplishment he went through based on the above list.  It wasn’t enough to just learn to fly a plane.  You also had to acquire a needed job skill in addition to being a pilot.  He had to develop a certain mental headspace that a test pilot has – being able to run towards risk instead of avoiding it.  Unlike the Olympic Games in which you have many competing, only a couple of pilots go with each flight.  So your second profession has to be what else is needed on the Space Station and you have better be a master of it too.

“Become so confident in who you are that no ones opinion, rejection, or behavior can rock you” – Unknown

He has vertigo – a fear of heights.  He trained his mind that it was ok to be up high if there isn’t the possibility of falling.  The best thing about space flight, was that he really couldn’t fall.  He took that fear, recognized his fear and the facts around his fear, and realized he doesn’t have to live in fear.

He talked about how when they strap him into his seat preparing to lift off how it is hot and cramped.  Behind his back is a parachute/survival kit and it makes for an uncomfortable position, which you have to deal with for a few hours minimum – even so, he couldn’t imagine any place else he would rather be.  Those words to me perfectly describe a person who is in the zone, on course to completing a life dream.  A person who at that moment is totally on purpose.  The hyper-focus is so clear, that nothing distracts or impedes you.

He describes that moment when you switch from hoping something is going to happen, to knowing it will. That moment of lift off, when you know it is a sure thing.  The closest feeling I could come to is when you step up on the stage for graduation and walk across to get your diploma.  At that moment you know that nothing can take away your sense of accomplishment in putting a period to a lifetime goal.  It feels like magic, winning, and that feeling of knowing all of your hard work paid off.

You can listen to his 2014 Ted Talk here where he talks about his experience of going blind while out on a space walk.   It was all of the years of preparation which enabled him to stop the panic that anyone would have and creatively figure out how to fix the issue.  As he stated in the quote above, the best answer to stop fear is competence.

What are your dreams, visions, your life purpose?  Are you on track to bring them into reality and complete them?  Have you allowed distractions to side track you?  Are you unclear on what your life purpose is or how to bring it into reality?

The first Saturday of every month we get together on Zoom to talk about our challenges, to encourage each other, and provide inspiration to continue on our individual journeys. As we share the lessons of each one’s individual journey, resilience is grown for everyone. Join us for the next conversation and become even more inspired to reach out and pull your dreams into reality.

Commit To Your Dreams!

I invite you to join us on July 11th for a purposeful gathering. Our intention is to create moments of life-changing conversation on how to make 2020 the year of achievement.

Chances are that what you’re struggling with, others are too. What life questions you have been asking yourself, others are asking themselves too. Get clear on what you want and how to obtain it. If your 2020 dreams and goals are already stalling, get recharged and refocused. Learn how to pivot to success. Join us for a gathering that no one will forget.

 

Embrace The Wholeness Of Who You Are

Every adventure starts out as a journey of self discovery.  Part of the discovery is who you are deep down inside.  As you learn about the parts of yourself that you have hidden away even from you – you will learn to face your own shadows.

“When you know yourself you are empowered. When you accept yourself you are invincible” – Tina Lifford

What are your shadows?  They are the parts of you that you disowned as a child because you were made to feel that they weren’t acceptable.  They peep out at you, when you see the same shadows in other people.  What triggers you to instant anger, shame, rejection of others – there is your shadow.  Once you face and embrace your own shadows, you will quit attracting them into your life experience of others.

“One of the most courageous things you can do is identify yourself, know who you are, what you believe in, and where you want to go.” – Sheila Murray Bethel

The values you have at your core, also come from your childhood.  Some of them are from your parents.  You either choose to emulate their values or you could go 180 degrees in the opposite direction.  For example, my mother used to say in complete truth for her, “Do as I say, not as I do.”  One of my core values is not being a hypocrite, because this was a real hot button for me.  My other core values of being truthful and honest, come from this same place.  The one thing that I will not tolerate in my friends and family is being lied to.

“If you don’t know yourself, you don’t know your nature. If you don’t know your nature, you don’t know where to exist. By knowing your nature, knowing yourself, you know what to be and how to live. And that only comes from knowledge of self, knowing yourself.” – RZA

“Knowing yourself is life’s eternal homework” – Felicia Day

Part of really knowing yourself, is understanding what are your core values, and where did they originate?  When you begin on the journey of self discovery you will find things that surprise you.  You will find things that may dismay you.  The great thing about this journey is that you have the ability to adopt new values, transform the existing values and basically transform your life from the inside out.  You have the ability to attain self mastery.

“The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you.  Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision” – Neil Gaiman

Attaining true wisdom, means that you have invested in yourself.  This means an investment in both time and money.  Some things are easy to do by yourself.  Some things are easier when you have a coach or mentor that can help you to see the things that you are blind to.  You begin the journey to self enlightenment.

You can start your investment in reading books and eLearning for self education.  Then you could add in a personal coach, begin taking courses with seminar or workshop programs. The investment in yourself helps you to explore your creativity, innovation, ideas for your life purpose.  You learn how to plan and achieve goals with less effort.  You learn what motivates you.  How to brainstorm new ideas for the vision you have for your life.

“Your power comes from the courage in your heart and the passion in your soul. Feel it. Be it. Live it.” – Christine Arylo

Fear takes a partial bit of truth and then makes the worst catastrophe possible all around it and sells it to us as the absolute truth.  Fear will try to hold you hostage to limiting beliefs about yourself.  I have always loved this quote, because what you have identified as the fear is never the fear.  It is in the investigation of what is hiding behind the fear, that you can truly identify and  then release the real fear that is holding you back from your life.

Reality of Fear:

You’re not scared of the dark – you’re scared of what’s in it

You’re not afraid of heights – you’re afraid of falling

You’re not afraid of the people around you – you’re just afraid of rejection

You’re not afraid to love – you’re just afraid of not being loved back

You’re not afraid to let go – you’re just afraid to accept the reality that he’s gone

You’re not afraid to try again – you’re just afraid of getting hurt for the same reason

It is in being courageous that you accept that vulnerability, is what is going to help you get in touch with your true self.  Everything you have experienced in life has a purpose.  There are no mistakes or coincidences in your reading this today.

It’s time to focus on you.  It’s time to commit to who you are beneath the surface.  The world won’t stop spinning because people choose to not accept you, or understand who you are beneath the surface.

  • What makes you happy?
  • What makes you feel at peace?
  • Focus on loving what you think is weird about yourself.
  • Focus on loving your personality flaws.
  • Focus on your true purpose in life.

“To know yourself as the being behind the thinker, the stillness underneath the mental noise, the love and joy underneath the pain, is freedom, salvation, enlightenment.” – Eckhart Tolle

“You have to get new knowledge and force yourself to really implement what you’ve learned.  You have to set boundaries in place for yourself.  The important thing is if you don’t know real love, someone will teach you self hate.” – Tony Gaskins

Take swimming as an example.  You can read a book about it.  You can watch a video about it.  You can watch others swim.  But your actually learning how to swim means that you have to get into the water and experience how you can move through the water and not sink and drown.  The important part of about truly knowing yourself, is the application of what you are learning through and from all of the different mediums.

“Knowing yourself has to always come from within.  The outside can inspire or guide you, but knowing has to come from within you.” – Jaggi Vasudev

It’s about effecting real change deep inside of yourself.  It’s about not just planting a seed of knowledge, it’s about watering it, weeding around it and pulling out the things that might stagnate or keep that seed from growing into a healthy plant.  It’s about first transforming your inner world, and then your outer world, and then the whole wide world.

“The most important relationship we can all have is the one you have with yourself, the most important journey you can take is one of self-discovery.  To know yourself, you must spend time with yourself, you must not be afraid to be alone.  Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” – Aristotle

The first Saturday of every month we get together on Zoom to talk about our challenges, to encourage each other, and provide inspiration to continue on our individual journeys. As we share the lessons of each one’s individual journey, resilience is grown for everyone. Invest some time in yourself and join us for the next conversation and become even more inspired to reach out and pull your dreams into reality.

Commit To Your Dreams!

I invite you to join us on June 6th for a purposeful gathering. Our intention is to create moments of life-changing conversation on how to make 2020 the year of achievement.

Chances are that what you’re struggling with, others are too. What life questions you have been asking yourself, others are asking themselves too. Get clear on what you want and how to obtain it. If your 2020 dreams and goals are already stalling, get recharged and refocused. Learn how to pivot to success. Join us for a gathering that no one will forget.