The devil whispered in my ear, “you’re not strong enough to withstand the storm.” Today I whispered in the devil’s ear, “I am the storm”.
We are all stronger than we know or think we are. I come from a long line of strong pioneer women. My great, great grandmother came across the Oregon Trail as a young girl. The wagon train that her adopted family was part of was attacked by Indians. She was adopted by the tribe and given to an Indian brave that she had two girls with. One day a French Canadian trapper saw her and offered to take her back to the white people. My great grandmother was hidden in an oak barrel for two days scared that if she made a sound she would be killed. When she reached Oregon and the white people my great grandmother suffered the prejudice of being a half breed. Her mothers tale was one of rescue, her tale was something else.
In my own life, my parents were divorced when I was four because my mother had an affair and became pregnant with another married mans child. She moved us around a lot and it wasn’t until I was in high school that I went to the same school the entire grade. She was married five times and had numerous other relationships looking for something outside of herself, to fill the hole within. At one point when I was thirteen years old we were homeless because we had no where to go when her current relationship failed. That was when I knew that my life would be different. She taught me that you couldn’t find anything outside of yourself to fill the need you had inside. It had to come from within. Even though she made a lot of bad decisions, she was the strongest woman I have ever known. I come from a long line of strong women. This is what they taught me:
Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.
– Nora Ephron
Strong women know that sometimes we just need to sit with the questions until a direction is clearly revealed.
Strong women can sit with another woman in the silence without needing to say anything to break the tension.
Strong women know that when another woman is venting she doesn’t want anything to be fixed, she just needs someone there to witness the removal of the splinter that is causing her pain.
Strong women know that they must make their own light. And if as it sometimes happens that their light goes out, another sister will be there to share hers, until we are strong enough to relight our own.
Strong women know that when the light goes out, we are facing the day, when we question everything. When something so tragic happens that all of our foundations crash into dust.
This is the day when we all circle around our sister as she faces her crisis of faith and reveals the doubts which will birth a new creation. This is the day when we nurture her. When each sister holds the soul of the other ,and whispers the words of transformation.
This is the day of transformation which strips away the old way of being. Rising like a phoenix from the fire, we are reborn, fully transformed.
No longer trying to be what others want us to be, we accept “us” without reservations or restrictions.
Strong women know that when you stand strong for yourself, you are standing strong for all of us. When this belief is fully understood and lived, incredible things happen.
We value who we are, no matter what anyone else thinks.
We forgive ourselves completely.
We trust ourselves wholeheartedly.
We are brave enough to love ourselves just as we are, perfectly imperfect.
We empower ourselves to fully embrace our intuition.
We begin to live our life being the wonderful creation we are.
We fully realize the power of being a goddess, and that nothing can hurt us or stop us, except us.
A strong women doesn’t hold back either the laughter or the tears, because both cleanse the soul.
A strong women doesn’t apologize for knowing how to be both soft and powerful.
A strong women in her essence, her entelechy, is a gift to herself, to her tribe, and to the world.
I choose to be kind because it makes me happy. But I will defend my boundaries and my loved ones without hesitation. Make no mistake: I am fierce.
– Nanea Hoffman
Things do not change. We Change
– Henry David Thoreau
Transformation signifies that I can’t go back to what was. I can only move forward. I really like the thinking process that Jason went through, to get to this realization of treating transformation as a game.
Transformation is my favorite game and in my experience, anger and frustration are the result of your not being authentic somewhere in your life or with someone in your life. Being fake about anything creates a block inside of you. Life can’t show up for you if you don’t show up as you.
– Jason Mraz
When my daughter was around 4 years old, she had to have a root canal done. I was really worried that the experience would make her afraid of the dentist. She had already had a bad experience with a pediatrician, and would cry when she had to go to the doctor. I was referred to a specialist and wow! What an excellent dentist. He was talking to her and telling her some long complicated story. I watched as he gave her the Novocain shot – he had her so involved in his story that she didn’t see or feel the needle in her mouth. He went very slowly, and she didn’t ever notice that she got the shot. At the end of the visit, she was happy and relaxed. I was really impressed. He treated the whole thing as a game. She didn’t have a traumatic experience. It really is all about the attitude that we have about it.
The next part of his quote, is how when we are angry and frustrated in our life, it circles back to us – not something happening outside of us. It might be that we had expectations that were not realistic, and so we are mad that it didn’t happen the way we expected. Or it might be that we had the expectation of failure, and so set ourselves up to fail. We created the block ,and then we banged our head against it in anger and frustration.
In my own life experience I have a large list of “reasons” why I can’t, or why it didn’t work out. But under those “reasons” is the block that I put there to run into. We need to learn how to be honest with ourselves. Not cruel or mean, judging our efforts and calling ourselves a loser. But rather, we need to dig up the block to see what it was sitting on. This hidden knowledge, is the real reason why we are not transforming as we wish. Some of things you might find are the “I’m not enough” excuses. “I’m afraid” excuses. “I will just fail” excuses. I am sure that you could add a few of your own to this list.
I know this transformation is painful, but you’re not falling apart; you’re just falling into something different, with a new capacity to be beautiful.
– William C. Hannan
For growth to happen, transformation is necessary. It brings an opportunity into our lives. We have to show up, for it to happen. We have a choice to take up the challenge it creates, and work with and through it. We can choose to fight it, to try to prevent it from happening. When we resist transformation, it usually creates a crisis in our lives.
Every crisis contains within it the seeds for transformation and growth.
– Jodie Gale
It is so much easier to initiate the transformation, than to be pushed into it with a crisis. Some change is inevitable. It happens whether we want it to or not. Other change is optional. We choose to initiate a process of change, or we choose to not go down that road.
Change can be hard. It requires no extra effort to settle for the same old thing. Auto-pilot keeps us locked into past patterns. But transforming your life? That requires courage, commitment and effort. It’s tempting to stay camped in the zone of That’s-Just-How-It-Is. But to get to the really good stuff in life, you have to be willing to become an explorer and adventurer.
– John Mark Green
For example. We can chose to continue our education to go to college, or to not do so. Either choice is a path that we can take. What we choose may depend on our belief in ourselves to make it happen, the actions that we take to make it happen. If we say we want to attend college, but don’t enroll, apply for student loans, etc… it is like waiting for a train to come down a track that is no longer in service. We can sit there all week, but the train isn’t coming. Life will present open doors to us, but we still have to get up and walk through the doors – we have to take action.
The best way to initiate change in our lives is to do small simple steps that bring joy to our hearts. Take the example of college. You might first start checking out the options. Go online and google “colleges near me”. Bible colleges, Cosmetology or Massage Schools, a traditional community college, a state college. A two year degree or a four year degree? Write down a few of the local colleges and contact the Admissions office and arrange a tour. Meet some of the students and professors. Sit in on a class. Interview with an Admissions officer. Pick up financial aid forms. All of these are small steps to help you start towards your goals.
Maybe you have to work fulltime, and so you go through some of the same steps for an online college. Including finding out from your HR department if the company will pick up some or all of your tuition or book fees, etc..
Once you have taken on some of the smaller action steps, it becomes easier to now turn in the financial aid package and actually enroll in some classes. Of course, some of the changes in your life now will be a little harder to manage, as you now have class work time and homework that needs to fit into your schedule. You will have to make sacrifices in time and money to bring this goal to its completion, but look at what you will have at the end. You have an education; you can now get a better job. You might be inspired to go on towards a masters degree or PHD. But really what you have, is the knowledge that with some hard work and sacrifice, you can accomplish big goals in your life. You can become a change agent.
The best thing you could do is MASTER the chaos in you. You are not thrown into the fire. YOU ARE THE FIRE.
– Mama Indigo
So what are the changes in your life that you have the intention to make? What are the changes you been putting off? What are the things on your “to do” list that remain “just” a good intention? The things that never take flight, because you just keep transferring it to a new piece of paper, never completing them?
Take action! An inch of movement will bring you closer to your goals than a mile of intention.
– Dr. Steve Maraboli
Sometimes you just need to put a different perspective to what you intend to do. Try making a game out of it to get you started. That could be the first step to take you miles down the road of action.
Then one day it happens. We notice that we are missing something. We want more. We wake up to the fact that “more” is not more money; it is not a better job; or house, or car. It is elusive, and we may not know what “it” is, but we begin to figure out what “it” isn’t. It is our birthright, and it is what takes our life from “normal” to “greatness”.
Men like Steve Jobs and Richard Branson figured out what that was for them. And while they had all of the things that people think will make them happy, it was the “more” they woke up to, that actually brought them to greatness. “All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” Martin Buber. They may have started out after all of the material things, but they ended up with the “more”.
Joseph Campbell said , “A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.” This something else is transcendence. Transcendence happens when we “reclaim the visionary, the utopian, the dream of the better or happier world” – when everything that we touch becomes a prayer.
So how do we discover what it is? We have to walk out the door of the safe comfortable space we have created for ourselves, and we have to walk down that path to the unknown. We have to enter the dark forest. You have to embark on the Hero’s journey. It is how you discover the vast resources that reside within you. A hero’s journey – finding the edge of your unknown forest, and entering into the heart of darkness.
What do you find there? You explore the caves of the past and you wake up to the dreams of the future. You let go of the life of existence, of “go to work, come home, eat dinner, watch TV, go to bed and repeat over and over again”.
Traveling down into the depths of the abyss we recover treasures of life. We recover the dreams we let die; we see that the stories that we have told ourselves about past hurts are not entirely true. We become excavator’s and dig up the bones of the past, and let them blow away like dust on the winds of healing. We see that most of the problems in our life have been mirrors being held up to us, but we were too blind or too scared to acknowledge the truth. By exploring the darkness we become enlightened.
We become curious, our mind opens up to new ideas. Changes begin as we see new worlds to explore that have lain beneath the normalcy of our past life. We see possibilities instead of complications. We wonder. We release. We transform. We heal and become whole for the first time.
We realize that although we were damaged, we survived and that makes us dangerous. Because we now know how to not only survive, we know how to become whole again. We become those that Rumi spoke about when he said, “the wound is the place where the light enters you.” We become both a mentor and a teacher for ourselves.
Being a mentor to oneself with love, light, grace and compassion. Being a teacher to yourself with rage, darkness, fear, and judgment. We are both, and both are required for the heroes journey. Speaking love to overcome rage, speaking light to overcome darkness, speaking grace to overcome fear and speaking compassion to overcome judgment.
“I guess that’s the thing about a hero’s journey. You might not start out a hero, and you might not even come back that way. But you change, which is the same as everything changing. The journey changes you, whether or not you know it, and whether or not you want it to.” Kami Garcia
Check out our current event page, to see when our next webinar is scheduled and join us in learning more about not only the Heroes Journey, but about the entire process of transforming our lives. See Lemonademakers.org/events
“Alice: How long is forever?
White Rabbit: Sometimes, just one second”
– Lewis Carroll
Life seems like that sometimes. I remember years ago that we were driving north on I-5 in Oregon and we had just crested the top of a hill around Roseberg. You could see quite a way in front of you as the road sloped down into a valley. Ahead of us was a semi-tractor trailer and he ran over something that looked like shiny metal in the road. Immediately his tires blew and he started swerving and then the whole rig tipped onto its side. For a moment it was like slow motion. I could see so many small details as the whole scene played out like a movie. Then whoosh, time sped back up and my husband was pulling off the road and running back to make sure the driver was ok. The driver was just shocked by what had happened. But for me, it was the weirdest experience of time I have ever had. It was like the rabbit said, forever came in just one second.
“Dare to dream again. For dreaming is the language of your soul, and nothing your soul truly desires could ever be wrong or impossible” – Jacob Nordby
“I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person then” – Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
It takes a lot of courage to have a love affair with the unknown. It means that you are constantly learning something new. Each new thing demands that we let go of an old belief. You may think like Alice “this is impossible” but as the Mad Hatter replied, “Only if you think it is.” My favorite line is “Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
“May I have the courage today to live the life that I would love. To postpone my dream no longer. But do at last what I came here for and waste my heart on fear no more” – John O’Donohue
It took me years to find the magic of self transformation. Each transformation I go through, awakens me a little more. It is a personal and sacred journey each time. Each time I get curious about something, I know that my soul is sending me a new message to wake up. It’s time to make another transformation, another change, another shift in my life.
I survived because the fire inside me burned brighter than the fire around me.
– Joshua Graham
I now know that I no longer have to walk through the dark night of the soul, to transform my life. I think about the experiences in my past, and what I learned going through each experience of death and rebirth. It is the death of something that needs to be released, something that no longer serves me but rather belongs to the old sleepwalking me. It is the rebirth of the real me. The parts of me that I hid deep within. It could be something about myself that I disowned as a child. It could be the dream that I was told wasn’t possible coming back to life. It is the realization that I am whatever I choose to become.
I realized that strong souls are forged living through the fires of hell. That the fire itself is healing, The fires may feel like they are consuming us, but they are refining us. They burn off the false truths that we cling to. Like false messiahs they promised they would keep us afloat, but it was all illusion. They were shown to be false prophets of our subconscious, seeking to keep our souls bound, unmoving in chains. The fires consume the false beliefs, freeing our souls rise up from the ashes like the phoenix. We rise up with wings of faith and soar into a brightly shining divine destiny.
What matters most is how well you walk through the fire.
– Charles Bukowski
While I prefer to live the rest of my life, proactively seeking transformation, I can still honor the forges of hell for the deep truths that they provided. I am climbing up to the top of the next mountain summit, to view the next horizon of transformation. Within each new transformation, there is a pattern that reappears in every persons life. This pattern weaves itself through the tapestry of our life. In one corner we have the scene of our home and family life. In another section of the tapestry we find our employment or career. In another scene we see the health of our physical body, while another reflects the health of our spiritual body.
In all these scenes there is a common thread that winds through. For myself, for years it was the fear of being seen. What is so interesting is that I discovered this thread came from my mother and was actually her own pattern. When I realized that it didn’t belong to me, it was as though the thread dissolved, and could no longer be located in my life tapestry. We all have threads in our tapestry that don’t belong to us. They belong to friends and family. We need to pull and release these threads back to their true owners.
Other common threads or patterns in the tapestry are my own. My fears, which hold me back. They are like the loose hairs that thread and wind themselves into your laundry. The fears wind around and through the patterns of the cloth. Have you ever taken a item of clothing out of the dryer only to find stray hairs wound into the fabric of your clothes? It isn’t part of the material, but it somehow has wound itself into the material. When you pull on it, it will break, but it is really hard to get all of the hair out of the material. That is what these patterns of fear are like. We pull at them, and break them up. But there always seems to be a part of them still there.
I have a need to be all on fire, for I have mountains of ice about me to melt.
– William Lloyd Garrison
There are also “not enough” threads which are the spaces were the material creates these little pills – the thread gathers into these little knobs, which affect the look of the item. They are formed from abrasions in day to day life. Places where we felt judged, not appreciated, ill-used. These “not enough” threads get created from stories we have told ourselves all of our lives. These stories, although we would swear are true, are in fact illusions. When we get curious and start examining why we are rubbing our life the wrong way, we are able to shift these stories. When patterns are broken, we transform the chaos into new beliefs. Beliefs of being strong minded; strong souled; strong bodied; and strong hearted. An awakened soul.
The most beautiful people I’ve known are those who have known trials, have known struggles, have known loss, and have found their way out of the depths.
– Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
The reason people awaken when they do, is because they have finally stopped agreeing to things that insult their soul. They wake up to the fact that they are no longer owned by the desires outside the body, but have awakened to their true nature. Their heart is on fire, and they burn off the chains that have been holding them in place.
Be true to life by being true to your purpose. As you become present and thereby total in what you do, your actions become charged with spiritual power.
– Eckhart Tolle
We are in fact spiritual beings, that are awakening to our purpose in becoming human. We turn inward to remember why we are here and what we came to do.
Go, knock at the door of your own heart.
That is where you start looking for your answers. Enlightenment is a destructive process because we have to let go of things, stories really, that we have told our sleeping selves were true. With each awakening we leave behind something or someone. It takes courage to tear down the stone walls that we built to keep ourselves asleep. Those stones were hidden deep within us, like unseen anchors they held us in place. With enlightenment, we begin cutting through the iron chains with a sacred energy that comes through our divine connection. Heating up the links until they snap apart, setting us free.
It takes courage to endure the sharp pains of self discovery, rather than choose to take the dull pain of unconsciousness that would last the rest of our lives.
– Marianne Williamson
By realizing who we are at our deepest level, we find our personal genius. That unique gift that the divine gave us, is like the fingerprint of our soul. No one else has the same personal genius that we have. Each personal genius is required to fulfill their life purpose and ignite their passions into action. We are all like individual puzzle pieces sent to the earth to fulfill a divine purpose. That we why some of us feel the force of Rumi’s words, “do not go back to sleep.” Because the world is waiting on each of us to fulfill our divine purpose.
This Universe is not outside of you. Look inside yourself; everything that you want, you already are.
Transformation, is a process. If we fail to involve all of the steps in the process, what we end up with is temporary change. We change for a few weeks, or maybe a few months, but eventually the rubber band of will power will snap and we will return to the previous habits and lifestyle. Change is temporary. Transformation is required to truly shift our life, our DNA, into a totally new being. With each one of us that awakens, our gifts bring us one step closer to universal peace and harmony.
Behind the mask of ice that people wear, there beats a heart of fire.
– Paulo Coelho
So be curious, and take that first step down the path to awaken. Then be curious and take the next step to enlightenment. Then be curious and take the next step to transformation. Then be curious and take the next step to the next horizon. Then be curious and awaken just a little more. Get curious and become even more enlightened and transformed again and again.
The meaning of life is to find your gift, the purpose of life is to give it away.
– Joy J Golliver
“Refuse to be an extraordinary person trapped in an ordinary life” – Zaro Dean
A little step can be the first step in the beginning of a great journey. Live a life that is a story worth telling. I heard one of those kinds of stories recently. The story teller had me laughing so hard throughout his story. It was the story of how one day when he was having a bath, he wondered if anyone had ever rowed a bathtub across the English Channel. Now you might think that this kind of dream is very silly, I know I did. But as he told it I was simply amazed.
They say that in an average lifetime we spend six years dreaming. How many of those dreams have you brought into reality? How many have you made even a small effort to bring into reality? Tim Fitzhigham and his story is remarkable, because he made a really crazy dream come into reality. Just think what you could accomplish if you put in half of the effort that he did?
It helps that as part of his career he is a comedian. So he didn’t take himself too seriously. Now as you may or may not know, a man by the name of Thomas Crapper was an inventor of the toilet. Hence the reason why his last name is very famous. Tim first went searching for someone to donate an appropriate bathtub to row across the channel and the company Thomas Crapper and Co Ltd donated a copper Victorian style bathtub to which he attached a kind of pedestal.
Next he had to learn to row a boat. Then he had to request permission to sail across the channel from both Britain and France. The British thought it was a fine idea, the French not so much. They actually made an amendment to their law to prohibit sailing bathtubs across the channel. Tim was successful in getting the British Navy to make his bathtub a registered boat, so that he was now in compliance with French law.
Now what is really amazing is that in getting all of this accomplished Tim talked to British Rear Admirals and even the Queen of England to make sure that he could in fact sail his bathtub across. He tells his story on the British equivalent of a TED talk and it is really, really funny. The French tried to remove him from his boat partway across the channel and to blow it up. He told them that since his bathtub was a registered boat, and he was the captain of said boat, that doing so without his permission would constitute an act of war. Since it was true they had to leave him with his boat. He didn’t make it due to an injury on his first try, but he did make it upon the second try. He raised 20,000 pounds for a charity, and you can hear him tell his story on The Moth Radio Hour on NPR entitled, “All At Sea”.
What I loved about his story is that he is making his life extraordinary. He received a Royal Navy Commission, he met the Queen, he has written a book about his journey and received international stardom. All because he came up with a crazy idea and then made it happen.
Probably over 95% of you would never have set out to do something so crazy. You would have never believed that any government official would give you the permission. You wouldn’t have reached out to the Navy or the Queen of England. You would of thought, “they will think I am crazy” and not even picked up the phone. They probably did think he was crazy, but the thing is, they supported him anyway.
How many really good ideas have you thought of that you could do, but you let yourself be talked out of it. You told yourself who am I to do this thing? You listened to close friends and relatives that asked you “what are you thinking? Are you crazy?” And so you let the dream die before it even had a chance to breathe.
Those of you who do reach out to try the crazy idea, usually do so because of a personal crisis in your life. It may be like me, that someone close to you was murdered. Or it could be like Candy Lightner, the founder of MADD that your child or husband was killed by a drunk driver. Or it could be like the Susan Komen Foundation that you lost your daughter or wife to breast cancer and set out to find a cure, so that no one else loses a loved one to that dreaded disease.
It could be that because of an accident you were told you would never walk again and be in a wheel chair for the rest of your life. But you decided that would not be your fate and through hard work and determination you found your way to leave the wheel chair behind. It could be that now you are working to help others regain their mobility, whether it is physical, mental or emotional trauma that must be overcome.
Most of you are not quite as crazy as Tim, but you still have the crazy idea that you can make a difference in the world, by transforming your pain into something positive.
I really loved Robin Williams as the professor in Dead Poets Society. I loved the quote that the purpose of education is supposed to help our youth learn to think for themselves, not just recite rote answers. That they should seize the day and make their lives extraordinary.
We need more extraordinary people in our world, because those are the kinds of people that make things happen. They seize the dream out of their hearts, and they keep trying. They realize that even the mistakes they will make along the way can be something wonderful.
So go out today and find your bathtub moment. The crazy idea that you can bring into reality. Like Tim you might find that your crazy idea can be done, and along the way you might just meet the Queen of England, and get a Royal Navy Commission. Who knows what just might be possible?
One of my favorite stories comes from Love, Medicine and Miracles by Dr. Bernie Seigal. A young man wanted to become a violinist. His parents said no, become a lawyer. He went to law school and started practicing law. He then developed what was diagnosed as terminal cancer. Thinking he was going to die, he got a job playing violin for an orchestra. Years later, he was still alive because he realized he was on the wrong path. He had to live his life, not the life of his parents. Knowing when to walk away is wisdom, being able to do so is courage.
Isn’t it amazing that cancer is what gave him courage enough to walk away? He demonstrated how true the maxim is that every cloud has a silver lining. Can you think of examples when you went through a dark time only to find at the end that it gave you what you had always dreamed and wanted?
“We have all been placed on this earth to discover our own path, and we will never be happy if we live someone else’s idea of life” – James Van Praagh
Your body knows when you are not living your authentic life, and you will receive a wake up call.
“Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is perspective, not the truth” – Marcus Aurelius
This is where the ability to both look around you, and within yourself becomes important. It doesn’t mean that you are on the wrong path just because something goes wrong. It just means that you need to grow more, to be able to continue the journey. U-Turns don’t take you all the way back. They just take you back far enough that you can take the turn you missed. Life’s road twists and turns. There are no two directions that are ever the same. So when you complete a U-turn it is just like taking a right hand turn. You can’t truly go backwards, although it seems like it some days. Trying to is very disappointing, as you can’t recreate what we left behind. You changed and so did everyone else.
“The light at the end of the tunnel is your life; it’s the tunnel that’s temporary” – Michael Josephson
Don’t allow yourself to become the boulder blocking the path. This is what happens when you try to go backwards.
If you do, that is when you know that it is time to listen to the heart. Your heart and soul are like the magnetic needle on the compass. Always go to “true north” and you will be on the right path.
“Don’t feel sorry for yourself if you have chosen the wrong road. Turn around” – Edgar Cayce
I have always maintained that U-turns are part of every journey to some place that I don’t know. I expect them, I laugh when they happen. U-Turns can be really interesting. What I have learned in my life is that every single experience has something important in it that I needed to learn. I may only understand later, why that piece of knowledge was required.
I have been in the mortgage industry for almost 40 years. So I have lived through good and bad cycles in the financial industry. Years ago I had a good job, but the owner of another company kept calling me to come and work for him. Finally after months of getting his phone calls, I gave notice and went to work for him. This job would end up being a U-turn for me.
He had hired a free lance writer to create a manual for the mortgage brokers he worked with, and she seemed unable to finish the project, so as part of my job I took that project to completion. Then two weeks later I was laid off, when the interest rates hiked up and his business slowed down. I really yelled at myself, because I felt I had made a wrong decision in taking that job. I felt I should have stayed where I was, safe in my comfort zone.
“Sometimes a wrong turn can get you straight to the right track” – Marva Ezzat
We ended up having to move out of state in order for me to find work. But what happened next, was really interesting. The Savings and Loan I went to work for needed manuals written for their servicing department, and because I had that experience I got the job of being both an underwriter and a trainer. I created several training programs for them, as well as the servicing manual.
Then I got a second part time job teaching at South Seattle Community College for an adult education class for loan processors and loan officers. I ended up creating new manuals for this position too, because their manuals were so bad. Both of these jobs would not have been available to me, if I hadn’t taken that earlier job and got the experience of creating a manual.
“Move on. It’s just a chapter in your life. Don’t close the book, just turn the page for a new chapter” – Unknown
So you will fall down. You may even get lost. U-Turns are a given. But as long as you take out that compass, listen to your heart, and keep creating the courage in your soul, you will be on the right path. As long as you tune into true north, you can take that step into the unknown, knowing that this is the right path.
“Life is full of surprises and serendipity. Being open to unexpected turns in the road is an important part of success. If you try to plan every step, you may miss those wonderful twists and turns. Just find your next adventure – do it well, and enjoy it – and then, not now, think about what comes next” – Condoleezza Rice
If you want to soar in life, you must first love yourself.
“You have to love yourself because no amount of love from others is sufficient to fill the yearning that your soul requires from you” – Dodinsky
So many of you have put the cart before the horse when it comes to love. You spend all of your time “earning” the love of others by being who they want you to be. By doing everything in your power to make their life perfect. You put others ahead of yourself and at the end of the day, nothing turns out the way you wanted it to. You are left feeling like a failure, just “not good enough”.
“When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you” – African Proverb
There is a show on PBS called “Home Fires”. It takes place in England during WWII. It’s about a women’s group that contributes to the village and the war effort. In the first season there is one woman whose husband abuses her. Like all abusers he makes every time he loses his temper to be her fault. The real issue at hand for the story line is that he is a newspaper writer who can’t get enough work, so of course he takes it out on someone he is supposed to love.
A few of her best friends figure out what is happening, but at the point in history there really isn’t anything they can do about it. She is too ashamed to admit what is happening. The times that she struggles to fight back, he leaves her self worth in even more tatters. At the end of the first season, one of her friends was successful in getting him a war correspondent job without him being aware of her having a hand in it.
He leaves the village to go to the front, and now his wife has the opportunity to start loving herself and building up her self esteem. The hope being that she doesn’t fall back into the same situation when he returns. One of the underlying contributors of why women stay in abusive situations is that they don’t love themselves enough to gather up what remains of their self worth and self trust, to leave and not look back.
“Love yourself enough to take the actions required for your happiness. Love yourself enough to cut yourself loose from the ties of the drama filled past. Love yourself enough to move on” – Dr. Steve Maraboli
You may not be in such an extreme situation with your self love, but you only have to listen to the comments you make to yourself, to know that it is something you can still do more work on. When you live your life in such a way that reflects you’re coming in last, you buy into a lie. A lie that loving yourself first will take away from loving others. A lie that says the only way to be worthy of self love, is to prove that others love you first. How could you attract the love of others, if you don’t even love yourself?
“Falling in love with yourself first doesn’t make you vain or selfish – it makes you indestructible” – Unknown
Trying to in essence purchase the love of others by the self sacrifice of yourself, is like trying to fit the square peg in the round hole. You can push it, twist it, and pound the peg until it shatters, but it will never fit. It won’t fill that yearning from your soul, that begs you to put “love us” first.
5 Things to Quit – right now.
You have the power to choose where you are going. You have the power to stop trying to get attention from those who hurt you most. You have the power to stop hating your body, your personality, and the pieces of you that don’t fit in the square hole. You can start with loving yourself, saying “I love my thighs just as they are”, “I love my imperfect smile”, “I love that I snort when I laugh”, “I love me”. You can get the truth of the situation into your bones – nobody will ever love you more than you love yourself. It is critically important to your health and happiness – both physical and mental – that you treat yourself right.
“I have an everyday religion that works for me. Love yourself first, and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world” – Lucille Ball
What if for the rest of this year you devoted yourself to loving you more? Your choices will change your life. Make peace with your mirror and watch your reflection change. The loss of judgment in your eyes. The removing of the wrinkles of anxiety across the forehead, that you aren’t good enough. The curve of the smile of self confidence, that says you are amazing and you are rocking that outfit. The glow of inner peace and love that fills your space with light. And – LOL – Best hair day EVER!
I love this quote with this photo. When you are climbing, you have to have singular focus on what you are doing. Where is the next hand grip? The next place to wedge in your foot? Constantly looking up the wall of rock to find the easiest way up.
It is very easy to find reasons why we can’t do something. Can’t however is usually masking “I don’t want to”, “It’s too hard”, “too much effort”, “it won’t work”. These are all rungs up a ladder that goes nowhere.
At work I hear things, like I am stuck at this job because no one is hiring people over 50 yrs old. Or no one is hiring anyone without a college degree, or you need more experience than I have. No one in the past five years has been promoted or received a raise, so you have to go outside the company to get ahead. Whatever the complaint, the “reason” will be something that they can’t control or change.
All of these reasons why something won’t work will stand in our way as long as we have a belief in them. I love the work of Byron Katie because her four questions show us the fallacy of believing these “reasons”.
1. Is it true? (Yes or no. If no, move to 3.)
2. Can you absolutely know that it’s true? (Yes or no.)
3. How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?
4. Who would you be without the thought?
Then she does what she calls the turnaround question – the turn around question puts the thought to the opposite end of the statement. The purpose of this is to welcome all your thoughts and experiences with open arms, so that you lose the resistance to what is actually true.
The 2nd question is my favorite, because in reality we can never know that our “reason” is absolutely true. This is because no matter what the rule is, there is always an exception to the rule. Most of the things that we believe about ourselves and others are just stories our minds have made up. None of them can pass question #2.
The follow up with question #4 – who would you be without that thought? You would be the person who uses focus to accomplish the dreams and/or goals that are set before them. In this photo, you would be the woman who climbs up the wall to the top successfully.
In our other examples, you would be the person who finds their dream job, because they focused on what they wanted instead of what they didn’t want. You would be happy for having accomplished what you set out to do, and didn’t allow negative thoughts to cloud your judgment or stop you in your tracks.
What does the term, “the sky’s the limit” mean to you? For me, it is where the comfort zone meets “what else is possible?”
What is stopping you is the unwillingness to live beyond this reality.
It is an extension of “what is possible”, that is beyond what “normal” is for me. It is where all of the magic is, approaching life from that attitude. All our of limitations are self installed. We choose them either by accepting them from someone else, or our own inner critic forming them after a failure. The sky is not the limitation, we are. We see these limitations in our professional life, our personal life and our spiritual life. Some of these limitations come from our culture, through the “roles” we play with our friends and family.
Being on a spiritual path does not prevent you from facing times of darkness. But it teaches you how to use the darkness as a tool to grow.
When we go on a hero’s journey, the walls that we have built around us, to limit us, get torn down. When you take any really great story, you find within it what Joseph Campbell called the Hero’s Journey. My two favorite stories are “Star Wars” (the first three with Luke) and “Lord of The Rings”.
The main character (Luke or Frodo) is going through a “normal” or boring life. Nothing much is happening. Then there is a call to adventure (Luke has R2D2 show up and Frodo has Gandalf), something new is introduced into the characters life. This alters the hero’s destiny. At first the hero refuses the call to adventure – this isn’t for me. I can’t get involved. This can sometimes be because the hero knows that the role that you play within your family, or tribe will be forever changed once you cross the threshold.
Our worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God’s grace. And your best days are never so good that you are beyond the need of God’s grace.
– Jerry Bridges
Then the hero encounters the mentor – someone who gives advice and gets him ready. It could be someone supernatural, mystical or angelic. The hero crosses the threshold – leaves home and enters into the adventure. There are tests, allies and enemies are encountered in the journey which teach the hero a lot about him or herself. Plan A and possibly Plans B and C fail, as the hero experiences setbacks and has to rethink how to proceed.
Because you are alive, everything is possible.
– Nhat Hanh
The hero has faith which leads them to access higher levels of knowledge and abilities to meet the tests with. The hero sees their limitations and ultimately has to defy and defeat them in order to pull through. The setbacks all lead to the ultimate crisis of life or death, where the hero struggles to complete their destiny (Luke battling the evil emperor and Frodo himself and the ring). Now the hero gets the reward – they have won out over the enemies. Many times the loses are mourned even as the victory is celebrated. The hero begins the journey back home, forever changed by the journey. The old limitations of what the hero thought they were capable of have changed. They have been forever transformed.
The reason people awaken, is because they have finally stopped agreeing to things that insult their soul.
I believe that we all take numerous hero’s journeys. We take them in our personal lives, our professional lives and our spiritual lives. We take small journeys and we take “dark night of the soul” journeys. Each time we need to transform our lives, we take a hero’s journey. We reinvent ourselves, we improvise, adapt and overcome our self made limitations. We get creative, we become flexible and adjust as we experience paradigm shifts.
There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.
– Bruce Lee
So don’t tell me the sky’s the limit when there are footprints on the moon. Use your imagination and creativity, to discover that the possibilities of your world are limitless.
Ernest Holmes said, “Life is a mirror and will reflect back to the thinker what he thinks into it.” This time of the year is a great time to reflect back on what transpired for the past twelve months of our life. What happened to the goals or resolutions that you set for the year? Did you achieve them? Did you give up on them? Did you rise up or fall down?
Looking back helps us to see what we want to bring into our life. I trust that I deserve unconditional love. That I can have happiness and success every day in my life. That I can trust my wings and fly. I trust that I am right were I need to be, and that 2016 is going to be an amazing year.
If you look at your reflection in the water, you see of surface of you. But if you put your hand through the reflection, you can see what lies beneath. The question I always ask myself is “why am I doing this to myself? How can I do better?” Through the years of yo-yo dieting I have asked myself this question many times.
It is not the things that happened in my life that define me, but how I coped and adjusted through them, that made me who I am today. Somewhere along the way, weight became a protection. I release that. Somewhere along the way, my will power that had always controlled my life was crushed. I release that. I release the self destructive way of thinking.
Last year about half way through I hired a health coach because I haven’t been successful in losing it and keeping the weight off. So I ask myself “why am I regaining the weight?” The past few months new things have been brought up from the depths beneath the surface and released.
I am working on being a better person, and that includes my body, mind and soul. For whatever reason, the body fights back. So the reflection that I see right now, is showing me who I was. I am reflecting back to it, who I want to be.
I have been listening to all of the talk about Carrie Fischer and what she looks like today, versus almost 40 years ago when they filmed the first Star Wars movie. It is really sad that some of us feel the need to say negative things about how someone looks. Speaking as someone who is overweight I can testify that it doesn’t help me to lose weight. It doesn’t make me feel motivated to do anything positive. It just makes me feel depressed, because it is something that I am working on. I think Carrie Fischer is an amazing woman, who has had her struggles, just like all of us. She is courageous because she does it in the public eye, and says what she thinks. She is my hero.
So what do I do when I see someone extremely gorgeous? I stare, I smile, and when I get tired of holding up the mirror, I put it down
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