Category Archives for Taking Action

Overcome Fear, Behold Wonder!

 _May I have the courage today to live the life I would love, to postpone my dream no longer. But%2

Updated 12/27/2018

There comes a time when the desire for transformation demands action.  Never let your fears be the deciding factor, of taking that action.

Obstacles are like wild animals.  They are cowards, but they will bluff you if they can.  If they see you are afraid of them, they are liable to spring upon you; but if you look them squarely in the eye, they will slink out of sight.

  – Orison Swett Marsden

Action is required when the change comes from within us.  The choice to enter through the gates of greatness, is an internal change initiated by our desire to live a fully engaged life.  This change requires of us, just a touch of insanity because it means that we will no longer live a life of conformity.  It requires from us that we recognize and let go of beliefs that no longer serve us.  We begin by setting intentions and making conscious designs of how we want to change our life.  Something new is birthed into existence when this happens.  Like the caterpillar we emerge from the chrysalis a new creation.

Each time we face our fear, we gain strength, courage, and confidence in the doing.

  – Theodore Roosevelt

There comes a time when the caterpillar has to make the chrysalis.  He has to overcome the fear of what is going to happen when he closes it off with himself all wrapped up inside of it.  He has to let go of the fear of how will he be able to breathe?  How will he eat?  What happens if it something goes wrong?  How will he get out?

It is when I struggle that I strengthen.  It is when I am challenged to my core, that I learn the depth of who I am.

 –   Dr. Steve Marboli

It is the struggle of the transformed butterfly to emerge from the covering that the wings become fully functional.  If you “help” it to escape, it will deform the wings and it will never be able to fly.

Having courage does not mean that we are unafraid.  Having courage and showing courage means we face our fears.  We are able to say, “I have fallen, but I will get up”.

  – Maya Angelou

There is a story told of how an arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward.  When life is dragging you back with difficulties, it means it’s going to launch you into something great.  So just focus, and keep aiming.  I have always loved this story, because it is by the action of pulling back the arrow that it launches us through the gates of greatness.  It is such a great analogy of understanding that struggle is part of advancement.

Fear, to a great extent is born of a story that we tell ourselves.

  – Cheryl Strayed

I don’t know how many of you remember back to the late 70’s, but there was a gas crisis. We had lines around the block to get gas, and you could only get it on even or odd days depending on your license plate number.  It was around this time that all but two states, decided that we had to pump our own gas, it was all self service.

Now I had never had to pump gas.  I told myself this big fear story about how I was going to do it wrong, blow up the service station or something equally horrible.  For quite a while I got away with leaving my husband with the almost empty tank, until one day it happened.  The tank was on empty and I had to pump my own gas.  Well as you can guess it was simple and easy.  I didn’t pour gas all over the station, I didn’t implode, nothing caught on fire.  I laughed about my fears when I drove away – it was just a made up story, by my fear of the unknown.

The meaning I picked, the one that changed my life:  Overcome fear, behold wonder.

  – Richard Bach

That is what I learned from that experience.  Fear isn’t meant to shut me down – it is meant to wake me up to wonder.  I had let this fear limit how far I could drive.  I had let it stop me from filling up my car with gas.  I have always pulled that memory out when fears start getting in my way.  Fear was making me a prisoner, and overcoming that fear set me free. Behold wonder!

You gain strength and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.  You must do the thing you think you cannot do.

  -Eleanor Roosevelt

Free to go have adventures, to embrace transformation and change in my life. To take actions, which is to take risks.  Risk is always present when I am doing something that I don’t know how to do.  This is what bravery and courage is, not the absence of fear, but the ability to push through the fear and by taking action, to do it anyway.  There is nothing more liberating that doing something we didn’t think that we could do.  No matter how simple or easy it actually turns out to be.

Thinking will not overcome fear, but action will.

  –  W. Clement Stone

It is the actions that move us forward. Actions say who we are, whereas the words, or talking about something, simply say who we want to be.  What we have to remember is that our lives are a message to all of those around us.  They see our actions that we take, how we go forward in the world, and that is how they see us.

Think of the iconic movie characters.  Rocky who fights against the odds and wins.  Indiana Jones who will find the treasure, then have to fight the bad guys and win against impossible odds.  John Wayne; The Lone Ranger; Darth Vader; Luke Skywalker; Bilbo Baggins; Gandalf; – when you say the names, you see the characters that they represent.  The reputations that the characters earned, by the actions that they each took – both good and bad.  Each one has a message to the world.  They have become archetypes of certain attributes.  Each name invokes a certain feeling in us.

Adversity introduces a man to himself.

 –   Albert Einstein

Think about Luke Skywalker and how when he was training with Yoda and entered the cave. He asked what he would find inside and Yoda said, “whatever you take in with you”.  He took into the cave his fears of Darth Vader, but what did he see when he took the mask off of Darth Vader?  His own face.  His own fears that he would become what he hated.  That somehow he would fail and become evil too.  That is the story of his fear.  When he faced that fear, he saved not only himself, but also his father Darth Vader.  He inspired his father to change back from his evil ways.

Your fear is 100% dependent on you for its survival.

  – Dr. Steve Maraboli

Our souls dreams lead us into transformation.  This transformation requires that we change.  Change requires that we initiate some sort of action to make everything happen.  When you are inspired by your purpose to seek change and transformation, your mind transcends the limitations or bonds that have kept you prisoner, held in place.  the whole world opens up to you.  You see things that you missed, because of the blinders your fear had in place.

Always go with the choice that scares you the most, because that’s the one that is going to help you grow.

  – Caroline Myss

Your talents and gifts comes alive and expand to fill in the void created by facing your fears.  These gifts are that which is needed for transformation.  The caterpillar builds the chrysalis, after which the divine takes over, as the caterpillar physically changes into the butterfly. The action of the caterpillar has to happen first.  So it is for us.

The thing about being brave is it doesn’t come with the absence of fear and hurt.  Bravery is the ability to look fear and hurt in the face and say, move aside, you are in the way.

  – Melissa Tumino

We feel the need to transform.  We take the needed action to start the process.  Then you transcend your limitations, your gifts come alive and you begin to see the divine purpose you have in being  here.  You discover that you are a greater person than you ever dreamed you could be.

Believe in yourself and all that you are.  Know that there is something inside of you that the world is waiting for.  That the gifts you have been given are required in this time and place.  That these gifts can help you to overcome any obstacle.  Life has a habit of pulling out of us what is needed.  So don’t just dream about the life you wish you had.  Go out and make that life real.  Let your faith be bigger than your fears.

What you fear will  not go away by constantly thinking about it.  It will go away when you see it for exactly what it is.

  – Unknown

Just remember how silly I was to let the fear of pumping gas stop me from having adventures by limiting how far I could travel.  Every time you face a fear, you can laugh with me at how silly we were to let it stop us for even 5 minutes.

If Your Dreams Dont Scare You, They Aren’t Big Enough

if your dreams dont scare you

Updated 12/09/2018

Never give up on what you really want to do. The person with big dreams is more powerful than the one with all the facts.

  –  Albert Einstein

This is so important when you are looking at the big dream, because 99% of people will tell you all the reasons why it can’t be done.  What Albert Einstein was really saying, is that the big dreams lay outside of the box of rules on how things are done.

People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

  – Confucius

We shared a story about a pilot who was born without arms and flies with her feet at the controls. Another story featured a woman born without legs who surfs and skateboards competitively. These two women have big dreams and accomplish them because they believe they can find a way to make it work. They defy the odds. They don’t let missing arms or legs be a limiting factor to their dreams. 

More recently on America’s Got Talent there is the wonderful story of a young woman who lost her hearing as a teenager, who writes her own music, plays ukulele and sings beautifully.  She spent a few years raging against the world for taking away her dream to be a singer and then figured out a way to do it anyway.

Janine Shepherd is a public speaker and author of several books including “Defiant: A Memoir”.  Shepherd had been an aspiring Olympic cross-country skier. She was nearly killed when she was hit by a truck during a training bike ride. Paralyzed and immobile for six months, she was given a grim picture for recovery.  Not only did she teach herself to walk again — she learned to fly — becoming an aerobatics pilot.  Her TED Talk is:  Janine Shepherd: How Can We Redefine Ourselves After A Tragedy?  Her story is amazing because she took her story and reformed it to continue to push the edges of her potential, not settling for the Janine Shepherd, disabled story.

The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.  Attitude to me, is more important than facts.  It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do.  It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill.  It will make or break a company  . . .  a church . . .  a home.  The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.  We cannot change our past . . . we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way.  We cannot change the inevitable.  The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude.  I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it.  And so it is with you  . . . we are in charge of our Attitudes.

  – Charles R. Swindell

So what are some tools you can use to lasso those big dreams into the barn? One suggestion is to have either a half day or full day block of time to write and brainstorm about the ideas on how to accomplish your dreams.

Another suggestion I read recently was to have what they called “implementation intentions”. We have all heard of intentions being set to bring something into your sphere of influence to assist you with a goal in your life. This is setting an intention with steps to implement the intention into reality. I have done this in my life without realizing what I was doing.

Dreams become reality when intentions turn into actions.

  – Unknown

Years ago one of my sons got engaged in the month of February. The wedding date was set for August and my goal was to save enough money to be able to pay for their honeymoon for them. I had it budgeted out and while it was a little tight I knew that I could stretch and make it happen. Then in March they decided to move the wedding to the end of May. I looked at the numbers and I had no idea how I was going to be able to pay for it in less than 60 days.

I sat down and starting writing out how happy I was that I had come up with a way to pay for their honeymoon. I wrote about how wonderful the wedding was and how much they enjoyed their honeymoon. I put ever ounce of energy into the writing, with the words emoting all five senses as I wrote out how they loved Mexico – the sound of the surf, the smell of the flowers, the tastes of the spicy food. I expressed thankfulness and gratitude with every sentence.

After I finished the letter, I still didn’t know how I was going to do it, but I had my intentions pulling in all possibilities. About a week later I received a phone call out of the blue about a property that we have in Upstate New York. We owned a 10 acre parcel next door to our second home free and clear and the neighbors across the street wanted to purchase it for $17,000 and do a fast cash closing. With that money and what I had in savings, the honeymoon was paid for.

Set your intentions, be open to miracles, let go and let God take guided action.  Let your dreams unfold like a beautiful flower.

  –  Anna Taylor

That was a big dream that scared me, because I had no idea when the date changed that I could make it happen. I still am amazed at the timing of how it all worked out. I think that this is how all of the really big dreams happen. We start out with the idea, which becomes a goal, which becomes an implemented intention. We get really specific in our minds as to what happened and leave the hows to the universe, while at the same time, using all of our tools to bring our dreams into reality.

Every morning you have two choices:  continue to sleep with your dreams, or wake up and chase them.

  – Unknown

There is a Native American saying, “give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way.” So dream so big that everyone thinks your crazy. Don’t let yourself or anyone else limit you. The time is now to follow your passions. Lasso that dream and bring in home.  The goal is to die with memories, not just dreams of what could have been.

Who Are You?

 

Have you ever been so lost in a relationship trying to be who they wanted, that you lost yourself?

Have you ever been in a job, where you were constantly biting your tongue so that you didn’t lash out at a coworker or your boss who was bullying you?

Did you spend your childhood trying so hard to be the perfect child, that you pushed and pushed all of your rebellious self into a tight box and nailed that lid shut?

We are only as blind as we want to be.

  – Maya Angelou

I think that most of us could answer yes to at least one of those, if not all three.  I spent my entire childhood trying to be the perfect daughter with my mom, because my experience of her was that if you made her mad, she would divorce you (she was married five times). 

When I met my husband, I spent the first few years trying to be the perfect wife to him, and the perfect mother to our children.  I put unrealistic expectations on myself.  I exhausted myself and the not so funny thing about it, is that my husband never voiced or indicated in any way that this was something that he wanted.  I have had jobs where Sunday night I got stomach pains or headaches just thinking about going into work on Monday and having to deal with that toxic environment.

Why do we do this to ourselves?  Why do we allow these kinds of situations to develop?  Are we actually setting them up in the first place?  Why do we stay in them way too long?

You can’t change what’s going on around you until you start changing what’s going on within you.

  – YourTango

What I discovered in myself, was a pattern of behavior on my own part.  I was taking subconsciously that pattern of behavior with my mother “being the perfect child so you are liked and loved” and I transferred it to my husband and children.  I even transferred it to work, thinking that if I just worked harder, smarter, faster, they would like me and treat me better.

You have the ability to quickly change your patterns of thought, and eventually your life experience.

  – Abraham Hicks

The first step to change is to recognize your patterns.  We all have them.  They are a part of our human nature. They begin in childhood.  Most of us had that one parent that we wanted and worked at getting to love us.  We wanted their attention.  We did whatever we had to in order to get it.  Sometimes it was being the perfect child.  For others it might have been being rebellious, because being the perfect child didn’t get you any attention.  You had to be the squeaky wheel.  Maybe you were the family clown, to make everyone laugh and defuse your environment in some way.  What is the pattern of behavior that you had with that parent?  Now look at your life now.  How is that pattern of behavior showing up for you?

 

Once you see the pattern, how it shifts and changes in every aspect of your life, you can begin to shift it.  I called my pattern Cami – because she is so good at camouflage.  I might think that I have rooted her out, but she still shows up.  The thing about patterns is that they have become masters at disguise.  So I am always finding her same old pattern dressed up in different clothes.  When I find her, then I can scoot her out the door, and work on changing the situation that she has created in my life.  It has become a kind of game.  I don’t fail at shifting my pattern.  She just keeps camouflaging how she shows up, and I get to play detective and find her.

Everything has changed and yet, I am more me than I’ve ever been.

– Iain Thomas

Now that I know and recognize the patterns, I see how I have set things up in the past to repeat the pattern of behavior.  It was what I was comfortable with.  I know how to act and react within it.  I find that now I recognize it before it sets itself up.  I can sidestep most of it, because I now know what to look for. 

The 3 C’s in life: Choice, Chance, Change. You must make the Choice, to take the Chance, if you want anything in life to Change.

– via Curianocom

I recognize that “the everything that has changed” is me.  I changed my own self destructive behavior by recognizing the signs before I activated it.  When you know what to look for, it is surprising how clearly you can see it.  My husband used to clean carpets for a living.  Everywhere we went, he would look at the carpets and comment on them.  It was automatic behavior.  We all have it, and making very small incremental changes to that automatic behavior shifts it into new and different patterns.  Slowly over time after he no longer had that job, he just stopped noticing whether a buildings carpets were clean or not.  It was no longer a focus of his behavior.  

One of the happiest moments in your life is when you find the courage to let go of what you can’t change.

  – Unknown

So when you look at your own daily routine, what is holding your patterns of behavior in place?  What small incremental changes can you make in your life?  Do you have the courage to let go of the “safety net” your patterns are holding for you?  Do you have the courage to do something different?  Do you have the courage to release the chains of patterns of behavior that are anchoring you in place?  Great changes in our lives don’t come from remaining in our comfort zone, and it takes courage to walk away from the certainty of our lives, for the unknown that beckons to us.

At some point in your life you’re going to have to start demanding what you deserve and be willing to walk away if what you require can’t be provided.

– r.h.sin

 It really is as simple as looking at your life.  You know what you don’t want, even if the knowing what you do want part is not totally clear.  You know what you have done to create what you now have.  You also know that getting something different is just as simple as asking and then implementing actions to achieve it.  You might have a harder time accepting that you deserve the best things in life.  But you do.  So stop settling for less.  If you still have parts of you buried, dig them up.  Get to know who you are at the most basic parts of you. 

Will it be easy?  Nope.  Worth it?  Absolutely.

  – Elite Daily

Be courageous enough to live the life that you have always dreamed about.  It might not happen overnight, but step by step, accepting what you deserve and working at the small changes, you will progress to living the life of your dreams.

 

You Have The Power To Free Yourself

 

Waking up to who you are requires letting go of who you imagine yourself to be.

  – Alan Watts

We are all on a spiritual journey of unlearning the fears created by our past life, and learning to accept ourselves as who we really are.  At some point in our life, probably multiple times, we let someone else tell us we were wrong to believe in the things we do.  They abandoned us.  They betrayed us.  They ridiculed us. They said and did hateful things.  They made us feel that we were not good enough, that we were stupid, a waste of space, not even useful garbage. 

Whenever there is fear, there is opportunity.  When there is great fear, there is great opportunity.

  – Andy Stanley

It may be that we didn’t live up to the expectations of our family, or at school or work, or with our so called friends.  So we became victims and were abused, bullied, and treated disrespectfully.  Or it may be that they were so dysfunctional and unhappy that they didn’t know how else to treat us.  And we let it happen.  We believed them, we listened to them, and they shattered us.  Then in an act of self preservation we gathered up all of the broken pieces of ourselves and put them deep inside a cage, so that no one could cause further destruction.  

To let go does not mean to get rid of. To let go means to let be. When we let be with compassion, things come and go on their own.

  – Jack Kornfield

Next what happens is that our negative mind talk takes up where the others left off.  It seeks to keep us inside of that cage, because it thinks by doing so we won’t be hurt again.  We will be kept safe.  But at some point that small child inside the cage starts making some noise.  It wants to be free.  It wants to come back into the light and start pursuing our dreams again.  At some point you start becoming conscious of this desire that is building up inside your soul  You have to start taking some risks.  You come to know that you can change your life. That it is a possibility, and not as hard as our mind wants us to think it is.

Being strong means rejoicing in who you are, complete with imperfections.

  – Margaret Woodhouse

In order to trust in the dreams, we go on a spiritual pilgrimage. A spiritual journey of discovering a path to happiness.  Of creating new paths of your own, breaking your own trail.  Of making changes even though they terrify you.  You discover doors to open that you never saw before.  You set yourself free from those shackles.  You used your key to unlock the cage you had locked yourself into.  You know in your bones that you deserve to be free and happy.

Survival mode is supposed to be a phase that helps save your life.  It is not meant to be how you live.

  – Michele Rosenthal

With every choice, with every small change we go on a new heroes journey.  We begin we discover the possibility of a new life.  We stop being who we were and start uncovering who we are.  Hope begins to find a home inside our souls again.  We begin to love ourselves without boundaries.  We open up to the possibility of being loved, and loving others without boundaries.

Hope is the magic elixir that energizes dreams, fuels possibilities, and lets you live beyond the limits of your historical thinking.  It is not a promise that something you want will happen – it is an invitation to enjoy the possibility of what you want while you and life negotiate the eventual outcome.  There is never a good reason not to hope!

  – Michael Neill

This begins the life of taking second chances.  It is the most powerful gift we can give ourselves.  The opportunity to amplify our love.  To see life from the place of our restored hope.  To live a life of value, redeeming those qualities and values we abandoned.  To be made whole again.  To change the story of our life.  To expand out past our comfort zone, the cage we imprisoned ourselves in, and begin living a life of potential and possibilities.

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.

  – Alan Watts

We close the chapter in the story of being a victim.  That might have been who we were when we lost our way.  But now with our transformational compass firmly in our hands we are navigating our way to start living a life of purpose and meaning.  We are climbing back up the mountain in our heroes journey, refined.  Like the phoenix rising from the ashes we take flight.  We are starting out on a new journey, a new sacred destination of fulfilling our destiny once again.

Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations.  If you adopt their attitudes, then the possibility won’t exist, because you’ll have already shut it out – you can hear other people’s wisdom, but you’ve got to re-evaluate the world for yourself.

  – Mae Jemison

When we look at our life with gratitude, even for the stuff that was devastating, it transforms it all into a gift.  It bestows reverence on how God works with everything that happens and turns it into something valuable.  It allows us to see the world through love, and creates these transcendent moments of awe that change us down into the DNA of our bodies.  We experience the world in a different way.  It becomes a daring adventure.  We become the brave heroes exploring the new world.  Yes, we will fall down.  Yes, we will be hurt.  Yes, we will find ourselves working to regain our vision.  But now we know that we can choose our thoughts.  That we can keep what brings us joy, peace, and happiness.  That never again will we find ourselves having to imprison ourselves to save ourselves.  That we can release the things that make us suffer, let them take flight and be free.

I wish for the same thing I’ve hoped for since the beginning.  I wish for a life so brave, so unpredictable, so full of unexpected joys and unforgettable love that no box could possibly contain all my memories.  Such a life won’t be perfect.  It’ll be something better.  It’ll be my own paradise.

  – Patti Smith

 

Embrace Life, Each Day Is A Gift

_Old age is like climbing a mountain. You climb from ledge to ledge. The higher you get, the more

Shel Silverstein is one of my favorite poets.  My kids all read his poems when they were little.  This is one of his poems that I wanted to share, because it is now part of my life with my dad.

The Little Boy and Old Man

“Said the little boy, Sometimes I drop my spoon.  Said the little old man, I do that too.

The little boy whispered, I wet my pants.  I do too, laughed the old man.

Said the little boy, I often cry.  The old man nodded, So do I.

But worst of all, said the boy, it seems Grown-ups don’t pay attention to me.  And he felt the warmth of a wrinkled old hand.  I know what you mean, said the little old man.”

Recently I crossed over from being a daughter to being a parent for my father.  Some changes in your life, tear your heart into tiny pieces.  22 years ago, my mom went on to her next adventure.  She passed away at 56 yrs old from cancer.  I stayed with her and took care of her the last three months of her life.  My aunt and my mom’s best friend stayed with me as she needed around the clock care.  With them by my side, while I had hard moments, it wasn’t traumatic.  I miss her so much with each new family event.  My kids graduating high school.  college, marriages, and of course grandchildren and now great grandchildren. She missed it all.

It was a family understanding that when my dad retired from work that he would move in with us.  And because he had poor heart health, having a triple bypass, he actually retired a little early with disability and came to live with us.  At first he had a motorhome that he lived in, so he could keep his independence.  We had a motorhome pad, with electricity hook ups and everything.  Then came the day he had to move inside, because his health was deteriorating. 

Then we purchased a hospital bed because he was having problems breathing at night, with a lot of coughing and this would allow him to raise it up enough that he could comfortably sleep.  Then more ups and downs.  He acquired a walker because he couldn’t walk more than a few steps before he was out of breath.  Then back and forth to hospitals, ER’s, tests and more tests. Changes of medication when they damaged his kidneys.  Changes of medications to help his heart failures.

My dad has a phobia around hospitals.  An intense fear.  He refuses to go, wanting to stabilize himself with drugs at home.  So that is very trying as it usually means intense discussions with both me and his cardiac specialists.  The drugs have started causing kidney damage and they have to dial back the dosage.  I feel horrible that he becomes defeated.  He sits in his chair and watches TV all day and I know he has feelings of depression and being defeated by his body.  Sometimes I feel like the worst daughter in the world, as I crossed over into being his parent.  I am his advocate when he doesn’t or just can’t understand what is happening and why.

There is a moral task of caregiving, and that involves just being there, being with that person and being committed.  When there is nothing that can be done, we have to be able to say, “Look, I’m with your in this experience.  Right through to the end of it.

Dr. Arthur Kleinman.

Why do I do this?  About 52 years ago, my dad married my mom.  She had six little girls, all eighteen months apart with a set of twins.  My dad has a lot of faults, like all of us.  But he also has some amazing qualities.  One is that when they got married, we were his daughters.  Not his step-daughters.  His daughters.  Not once in 50 years has the word “step” exited his mouth.  I think that many who read this will not understand how important that is to a child.  For me, putting the word “step” before me, makes me less than his own child.  I know how lucky we were that we were never step children.  When my mom died, 22 years ago, we were still his daughters.  No words can express this kind of love.  Believe me, if you met some of my sisters, you would understand how amazing it is, that he still calls them his daughters – lol. 

Of all the lessons I’ve learned through my years of caregiving, the most important is to keep the love connection going.  Just tell them that you love them again and again and again.  You will never say it too much, ever.

Joan Lunden

It is scary to cross this transition from daughter to parent.  It was different from my mom, as I never felt I became her parent, I remained in caregiving mode.  It is scary to see that in the near future, he will go on to his next great adventure, leaving all of us behind him.  We are both scared right now.  What happens when we let our fears get ahold of our mouths?  We shout, we get angry, we say hurtful things.  But it is just us being scared.  Caregiving is hard, but it is also so rewarding.  I can remember when I was taking care of my mom, that some of my sisters were absent because it was too hard to watch the lung cancer take away her ability to care for herself.  I learned what the true meaning of words like grace, dignity, love, sacrifice really were deep under the surface of the meanings we usually give them.  I am again reminded of it now everyday.

To care for those who once cared for us is one of the highest honors. 

Tia Walker

I wanted to share my story because I know that many of you are doing the same as I am.  Day by day watching a loved one fade away.  Sometimes with a fight and sometimes with a whimper.  It is hard to watch, and harder to experience it happening to oneself.  I wanted to say how while all of our experiences are different because of the people involved and other circumstances, I know how hard this is.  I know how fulfilling it is one moment and utterly draining the next.  But this is still a gift.  A gift of grace, love, and all the other virtues. 

Caregiving often calls us to lean into love we didn’t know was even possible.

  Tia Walker

You are not alone, even when it feels like it.  If you feel overwhelmed, please join a caregiver group, whether online or up front and personal.  It helps to share what is going on and they can help you with getting assistance when it is needed.  Believe me, it is hard to find help when you don’t even know where to start and what is available.  Even the strongest person can have the weakest day of their life and having access to someone who knows and understands what is happening is priceless.

Remember the power of your angels.  Remember to be guided by love and take strength in the good memories, when those you care for are having a bad day and giving you waking nightmares.  And remember the grace of how those things we can’t change, can change us.

When we are in a state of severe loss, of pain and grief and a darkness of the soul – that is when life is at its hardest to bear.

But if we just take a deep breath, followed by more deep breaths we can walk into the middle of the chaos. It’s messy in the middle, but in the middle we have the space to start working through the story of our loss. And as we walk through the story, we eventually reach the end.

The end is the place of new beginnings. Our life has been forever changed by our tragedy. We must remember in this space of pain, grief, and loss that the new beginning will be waiting for us.

The sun will shine. The stars will shine brightly. New people will come into our lives. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel, if we only will open once again to breathe in the love.

Heart’s Destiny

_The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched.

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.  I want to know what you ache for, and if you dream of meeting your heart’s destiny.

  – Oriah Mountain Dreamer

Orian Mountain Dreamer is one of my favorite writers.  I invite you to read her books, they are small but mighty.  The Invitation is what this quote is from.  The poem is a wonderful deep dive into important questions that probe who we are and why.

If light is in your heart, you will find your way home.

  – Rumi

Our words have power.  When we hide how we feel, what we think, we are trying to live our life using someone else’s light.  We can’t find our way home that way.  There is always some truth behind the words that are followed by “just kidding”.  When we say “I don’t know”, there is always some knowledge that we judge as being incomplete and so we say we don’t know – when in fact we do know something about it.  When we say, “I don’t care” we are not being truthful.  We think if we put our emotions in a cage and don’t let them out we can’t be hurt.  The reality is that we are hurting ourselves.  When we tell others that we are “ok” when we aren’t, we rob them of the opportunity to help us.

May you always be guided by the light that shines forth from within you.

  – solitaryview

Life is always about the meaning that we give to it.  If you take a lamp as the analogy, our soul is the light inside the lamp.  The things that happen to us are the glass that surrounds the light.  That glass doesn’t matter, it is the heart and soul – the light that matters.

We tell ourselves stories about the events in our life, to give us some meaning to what is happening. Some of us are writing horror stories, or stories that leave us drained from fears and worries. Others of us, write stories about the gifts we received as we travel through life.  From the wonderful things that happen to us, as well as the tragic things. The best way to count your blessings is to look at life through a variety of lenses. To bring things into and out of focus. To look into the depths of our souls to see what the storms dredged up for us to look at.  When we sift through it all, we can let go of everything that doesn’t serve us, realize the lessons we have been taught, and grow into who we came here to be.

Harness the power of today!  Seize the blessings of today!  Make something happen, enhance your life, make someone laugh, help a friend.  Love, love, love.

  – Dr. Steve Maraboli. 

There is a big difference between making something happen and forcing something to happen.  Forcing something to happen isn’t natural.  It is like forcing yourself into something that doesn’t fit.  Have you ever laid on the bed to force your stomach to be flat so you can get your jeans buttoned and zipped up?  Or forced your foot into a shoe that you loved, but doesn’t really fit?  You might be able to get the jeans fastened, but it hurts your stomach when you try to sit.  You might be able to walk in those shoes for a little while, but eventually you have to take off the shoes because they hurt your feet so badly.  What you will left with is blisters to prove vanity isn’t a good idea to live your life by.

And I know how broken you are, how heavy you feel, but still, you have to find the light in you.  You have to hold on to it with care and never let it go, even if it drags you to the end of the world.

  – r.m. drake

But making something happen is all about taking small steps to bring into reality what you are dreaming of.  It is catching the light of your soul and holding it up into the darkness, so that you can see where to go.  It is taking the voice or dancing lessons because you want to be in theater.  It is taking leaps of faith when you don’t know how to do something.  It is going for the brass ring as the merry go round flies around and around.  It is learning a foreign language for a trip of a lifetime to a foreign land.  It is taking big, medium and small actions, not just dreaming about it,  You don’t just sit there doing nothing to make it happen.

Whenever you hear or read anything of a spiritual nature that moves your soul you are not learning something . . , you are remembering what you have always known.  It is a gentle awakening.

  – thewellnessglow.net

Have you ever went somewhere new and experienced deja vu?  That feeling that what is happening at this moment, has happened before?  Have you ever learned something new and it was just so natural and easy that you didn’t even need instructions to do it?  For me, it feels like something that I have dreamed about, is now happening in real life.  That my mind already knows and sees the connections, like it was programmed into being.  I think that when this happens, we need to pay attention.  That we are in that moment doing something that is important, even if our minds do not understand it.

The Words I Speak Are All In Languages I Do Not Speak

And yet, when you get here, you are not given instructions.  There are no diagrams about how you are meant to live each day or directions on how to assemble some semblance of happiness.  You are not even told what colors to paint your feelings or given a purpose and a reason for your life.  You have to make all of it up.  You have to make all of it up yourself.

  – Iain S. Thomas, from “I Wrote This For You”

No matter if we are in the first month or the last  month of the year, take the time to reflect on what the year so far has been for you.  To see the places where life has been a blessing.  To see the places where you let your dreams fall by the wayside.  Pick them back up.  Dust them off.  Find within them the things that you are looking for.  Go beyond your means to make them come true for you.  Draw down deep within the story of them and bring it into reality.  Transform the pain and regrets of this year and past years into the blessings and joy of a new year.

Years end is neither an end nor a new beginning, but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us. 

  – Hal Borland. 

The journey of life teaches us that growth happens when the dream is bigger and brighter than you ever thought it could be.  In the pursuit of that dream, it will illuminate your heart, capture your mind, and free your soul from the small box that you held it in.  You will discover that there are hidden maps within your soul.  That there are clues and invitations to walk through doors that will open your mind up to things you never dreamed could be true.  But you can only make those kind of discoveries when you listen to your heart.

That is my wish for all of you today.  That you listen to your heart; that you hear the whisper of your soul and find the dream that is so big, that you too can grow beyond who you are today and enrich the universe.

Shine The Light Of Your Soul To Live To Your Highest Potential

When we are clear in heart and mind . . , only then shall we find courage to surmount the fear which haunts our world.

  – Albert Einstein

I tend to get an idea of something I need to work on/with.  Then it percolates in my brain and I start attracting thoughts and ideas.  The things I read in books or emails, from dreams, and the conversations I have with others.  Then one day the brain has gathered enough material to put together a post. 

Recently I was reading an email from “Tanya – Sistership Circle” on being a Warrioress (Wonder Woman) Archetype.  She talked about how the word Warrioress is given an incorrect meaning for most of us, in that we think of a warrior as being in battle in a war.  Not necessarily so. 

It is about being courageous enough to welcome failure on the trail of success.

It is about having the strength to blaze the trail, instead of following behind others.

It is about living a life of conviction and, 

being able to bounce back with resilience when it doesn’t work out the way you wanted.

It is about cleaning up our vision so that we have clarity, instead of chaos..

It is about taking action and breaking down the patterns of self sabotage,

that keep you from your brilliant potential.

It is about being humble in the truest sense of the word

(that does not mean disparaging your gifts/talents).

It is about living a life of P’s – Purpose, Passion, Persistence,

and Persevering even when the road gets rough.

It is about being independent, AND living with community,

because it takes a village to raise us up (even when we are adults).

There are actual studies that prove when you stand with your feet spread out and your hands on the hips (Wonder Woman Pose) that it actually makes you confident.  In June 2012 Amy Cuddy gave one of the most watched Ted talks of all time, “Your body language may shape who you are” in which she states that simply holding this pose for one minute causes your body chemistry and your behavior to change. 

May my heart be kind, my mind fierce, and my spirit brave.

  – Kate Forsyth

Now there is some controversy over her study, but I am of the belief that I can make statistics say whatever I want them to.  How many times have you seen studies which contradict each other? Such as bacon (or any other food) is bad for and then another that states it is good for you?  There is no accounting for the belief of the mind healing the body of diseases.  So think positive and get up and stand like a super hero!

Do not wait to find courage, it will find you when you take your first steps forward.

  – Mari Huertas

Confidence helps us to break out of the fears that are holding us back.  Every single person reading this post is telling someone something that they want to accomplish.  Speaking for myself, I have had a goal that I have been working towards now for a few years.  I keep telling myself that I am not yet ready to do it.  There is something else I have to learn how to do.  

The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.

  – Socrates

It is like building a bridge across a chasm.  You need supports to come up from the bottom of the valley, or from the sides of the ravines.  You need wood or stone materials to build with.  You need a way to nail, screw or cement the structure together.  You might need plans from an engineer.  Then people to help you build it.  All of this comes together before you even start the structure.  Then there is the financial components that need to be in place to pay for the land you are building on, the materials and the labor to do it.  Now with all of these moving parts it can be overwhelming as fear sets in.  Fear of failure or success.  Fear of looking foolish.  Fear of starting and not being able to complete the structure because of lack of money, materials, or manpower.  So many fears creep into you, that you keep making lists and looking for what else you might need.

If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.

  – Lao Tzu

Have you ever noticed that if you look at something more than a second when you are driving down the road, that your vehicle starts to go in that direction?  If what you are looking at in life, is not what you want in your life, you need to change direction.  You will end up where you are putting your focus.  This is how fear becomes the self fulfilling prophecy.  We are attracting the bad we don’t want to happen, because it is what is filling up our thoughts.  

You are responsible for your life.  You can’t keep blaming somebody else for your dysfunction.  Life is really about moving on.

  – Oprah

Part of being human is that we are imperfect, we all have flaws, we all have dysfunction.  We need to take responsibility to do better and be better.  We do better when we accept our failures and work on changing those dysfunctions.  We all have rough edges  in our personalities. We can rub others the wrong way. It is our responsibility to determine if we have rough edges that need to be sanded down, and to make those changes. It isn’t our responsibility to help someone else sand down their own rough edges.

May your heart be brave and your soul have courage, while you travel your path to greatness

– Amara Honeck

If we have a door that sticks for example we can do several things:  We can push and shove it open and closed and fight with it.  We can let it warp, bend the hinges, damage the door handle and just let it get worse until it no longer functions or falls apart.  Or we can fix it.  Maybe it just needs a little planning on the top, bottom or sides where it is rubbing.  Maybe it needs the door handle or the hinges replaced, or installed in a new area of the door.  Maybe we just need to repair the frame itself.  We can fix it or let it get worse.

Selfless service alone gives the needed strength and courage to awaken the sleeping humanity in one’s heart.

  – Sai Baba

Whenever we think that we are in fear, then it is time to awaken our heart.  Whenever we think that we are all alone, it is time to awaken our heart.  When we are in the space of love, it widens out our awareness of life around us.  Love helps us to connect every aspect of our life with our purpose.  Love awakens and kindles anew our passion for life and why we are here.  Acting out of love in any situation takes our intentions to the highest heights.  We discover in that space peace and acceptance of what is, and we see the way clearly to act upon our good intentions.  Love roots out fear.  Living with a heart, soul, spirit of love we can fully encompass our highest potential.

Are You An Amateur Or Professional Change Agent?

 

You can’t change what’s going on around you, until you start changing what’s going on within you.

Zig Ziglar

What is the difference between a professional or an amateur, and what does that have to do with change?  Many things, but the first thing that comes to mind is this:  An amateur stops with the initial change, while a professional understands that the first change is just the beginning and that many more will follow. 

So an amateur might be the caterpillar that builds the chrysalis and thinks he is done.  He has changed his life.  While the professional takes a much longer viewpoint and realizes that he not only needs to build the chrysalis, but that there will be changes within the chrysalis and that at some point, which those transformations have been fully completed, he will need an exit strategy.  Then he will need to emerge into a new world, and that this world will expect more changes and transformations out of him.  Just like the butterfly, there is a new life to be fully explored.  The chrysalis was just the beginning.

Life is not always fair.  Sometimes you get a splinter sliding down a rainbow.

Terri Guillemets

We must live a multidimensional, multifaceted life.  The first viewpoint is just that – a first.  There are so many angles to view life from.  Part of that process of becoming a professional, is realizing that feedback or coaching shouldn’t be viewed as negative.  It shouldn’t be viewed as a personal attack, even if it is delivered like one.  I remember years ago reading something that really changed my life.  If someone is telling you that you did something wrong, and you didn’t do it – you should still listen to what is being said.  The very fact that it is being said means that somewhere in the garbage being unloaded on you, is a gold nugget.  Instead of getting mad, hurt, angry and yelling at the world for being unfair – look for the gold nugget.  We all have weak spots – things that we don’t see or recognize about ourselves.  Finding out what those are and working to bring them into our circle of competence is what will make us successful in any endeavor.

You have to fight through some bad days to earn the best days of your life.

Nick Matthews

Professionals accept failure as a learning tool.  In sports such as baseball or basketball you learn that you can’t hit a homerun or have the basketball shoot through the hoop every single time you try.  But you can analyze your process and use the failure as a tool towards growth and mastery of the sport.  In the same way, the more consistent we are with our process of change, of transforming our lives through the failures, the better our outcomes will be.

Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds, cannot change anything.

George Bernard Shaw

Knowledge is power, because we know what to do.  But the application of that knowledge is what is really important.  It is the correct application of knowledge that brings true wisdom to the fore.  It is this – the knowledge of why the rule is there, tells us when it should be followed and when it should be broken.  It is the understanding of bringing humanity into our decisions.  Of understanding when the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one, or when the needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many – both can be true.  It is the focus of both long term and short term results that tell you which way is the right way.  It is understanding second level thinking.

Old ways won’t open new doors.

Ashley Bridget

When we first meet someone, we make a judgment about the person.  Based on what they look like, how they present themselves, how they talk and move – we make a superficial judgment about who they are.  If you were to meet me on the street, because I dress very casually, and love to shop second hand stores and don’t live in an upscale neighborhood you might make a certain kind of judgment about me.  If you heard about how poor our family was when I was growing up and that I left school my senior year and didn’t get a college degree you might make another kind of judgment about me.  If you heard that I am a Director at one of the top five banks in the world, you might make another kind of judgment about me. 

Don’t judge my choices if you don’t understand my reasons.

Susan Surillo

All of those would be superficial and not take into account a million things that are also true about me.  Second level thinking goes beyond the superficial where most of us live our lives.  Second level thinking is deep, complex, and convoluted.  It is the kind of thinking required to play chess well.  It looks at all of the moves that can be made on both sides of the board, and levels that up to all possible plays with each new move.  It looks at each piece of knowledge; at where the decision paths converge and at when they then separate.  It creates a consensus of all of the data and of all of the probabilities, then it comes to the best decision based on everything that is known and can be guessed.

One of the happiest moments in life is when you find the courage to let go of what you can’t change.

Unknown

It is the realization that the first answer we think of, the first thing we think is the right way to go is rarely so.  It is knowing that absolutes are almost never the right answer or the right way to think.  That black and white thinking keeps us in first level thinking and keeps us in the large amateur crowd.  We need to be curious and consider all of the probabilities and possibilities.  We need to understand that true reality is not what we want to see, but what’s true.  Get curiouser and curiouser.  Take the time to deep dive into exploration; into letting our minds run, and look for the inspiration to do and be different.

We cannot become what we want by remaining what we are.

Max Depree

So it all comes down to being curious.  To up-level our thinking to the second or even third level.  To looking at reality – not from what we want it to be, but what it is.  From making big and little changes, even micro changes – but always making new transformations in our lives.

Curiosity Brings Satisfaction

_Never lose a holy curiosity_Albert Einstein

Updated August 20, 2018
 
Curiosity is lying in wait for every secret.
  – Unknown
Cats are the most curious creatures. They creep up on something and watch it so intently. They want to touch and experience everything. They live life as a big adventure. We need to be more like cats.  They are curious because it is how they learn. 
 
Be curious always!  For knowledge will not acquire you:  you must acquire it.
  – Sudie Back
 
Curiosity is the tool that can be used to open any door. It is the key to the lock. The starting point. It is the only way to both start and progress on the journey to self awareness.
 
The secret of making dreams come true can be summarized in four C’s.  They are curiosity, confidence, courage and constancy; and the greatest of these is confidence.
  – Walt Disney
 
Curiosity keeps us engaged. Like adventurers, we discover new worlds and possibilities. We see things we never noticed before. Looking beneath the surface, entire new worlds and ideas open up before us. 
 
It reminds me of Disney movies like “Honey I shrunk the Kids”.  When the kids were miniature, blades of grass became like  trees.  Insects both hunted them and saved their lives.  Everything they thought they knew about the backyard, shifted from this new perspective.  That is what curiosity brings us, new perspectives.  The ability to see something in an entirely new way.
 
The future belongs to the curious.  The ones who are not afraid to try it.  Explore It.  Poke at it.  Question it and turn it inside out.
  – Skillshare.com
 
Like a charging station, curiosity gives us energy by bringing excitement into our lives. We spend energy being curious and exploring, and at the same time we are renewed by what we discover. It is like the infinity symbol going around and around and never ending. Each discovery leads us to another “what else is possible?”. 
 
Be curious, not judgmental.
  –  Walt Whitman
 
Being curious requires that we have an open mind. That we be open to not only learning something new, but also to unlearning what we have outgrown. We also need to be open to relearning about things we thought we understood, but which take on new meanings as we dig deeper into them.  We become like Alice in Wonderland and follow the rabbit down the hole, with no idea how many things in our life might be turned upside down.  “What if” becomes a mantra.
 
Curiosity is the spark behind the spark of every great idea.  The future belongs to the curious.
  – Skillshare.com 
 
Creating a life filled with happiness and love starts with curiosity and self awareness – asking the right questions and not being afraid of the answers. Being 100% honest with ourselves, will produce insight into not only the problem that presents itself, but the solution that comes from a new perspective. It is about looking under the facades that fear creates, to delve deep and unseat that fear.  When we approach every challenge in our life from a loving peaceful curiosity, “what then?”
 
I’m always curious to know about your past, because that’s the place from where you belong and it will let me know how you build yourself.
  – Vishal Rastagi
 
I find personally that this is where the hard part comes, making a decision to put the solution into action and just doing it. Making the positive change usually means both stopping a practice and starting a new practice.
 
The cure for boredom is curiosity.  There is no cure for curiosity.
  – Dorothy Parker
 
This is where you change a “should” into a “must”. If you just think or say, “I should do this or that” nothing will happen. The should has to turn into a must, which has a vibration of action embedded into it.   Isn’t it interesting to think about the fact that whatever is currently happening in your life that is causing stress, pain, and conflict – is in fact, part of what you came here to experience?  That this thing is creating change in your life also helps you to fulfill your divine destiny?  That it is awakening our soul to be able to gently touch the lives of others, to help them wake up to their own divine gifts?
 
Curiosity, especially intellectual inquisitiveness, is what separates the truly alive from those who are merely going through the motions.
  –  Tom Robbins
 
The “should” is like the lazy dream that never goes anywhere. The “must” is like the emergency vehicle speeding down the road with lights flashing and sirens wailing. Everyone gets out of the way, because you are on a mission that can’t be stopped.  Following your passion is not for the faint hearted.  It is not a recipe filled with simple ingredients and easy to read instructions.
 
It is hard work.  You will fall down.  You will want to quit almost every day.  It will stretch you.  It is a life path filled with obstacles.  It will be one challenge after another.  It is how you change and grow.  BUT . . . , if you are willing to sacrifice all to your passion, it is the most fulfilling way to live life.  Truly it is the only way to live life.
 
The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward.
  – Amelia Earhart
There is an old saying, “if wishes were horses, then beggars could ride”.  It highlights the difference between a “wish” and a “purpose”. 
 
A wish has no power, no passion, no fuel to move it into reality.  It never makes that decision to act. 
 
Once you have that airplane in the air (the decision to fly implemented) then the rest is just follow through.  This is where the curiosity fuels our passion and our passion fuels more curiosity.  It is what moves us to not only start the engine, it also gets us to taxi down the runway.  It is that intense desire to feel that experience of flight. 
 
It is the curiosity to know that experience first hand, to not just be a passenger in our own life.  It seeks ways to become fulfilled.  It is why we saved every penny for flight school.  It is why we studied when our friends were out having a good time.  It is why we showed up for every flight lesson, even though our stomach was tied up in knots of fear that we could die.  It is why we overcame the fears of what could go wrong, and focused on how to make sure that everything went right.
 
Life begins again in each new moment, in each new breath that is taken in and then released.  When we truly live in the arising moment, this is where true happiness lives.  It is how we create a meaningful life.  By being so curious that fears voice is lost in the passion.
 

Go Where There Is No Path, And Leave A Trail

Over every mountain there is a path, although it may not be seen from the valley.

Theodore Roethke

Everything you see in your life at this moment, is the result of choices you have made.  The door in the photo is clearly open, but you can’t really see the steps through it or what lies beyond it.  Some of the choices we have made in life, lead us in directions that we didn’t even know were there.

Sometimes behind the waterfall, there is a path into a valley that no one has discovered.

Sometimes we fall through a hole in the ground, and discover a buried city.

Sometimes we have a flat tire on a desert road, with no spare tire to change it – and we find a dusty path that leads to a hidden cache of gold.

There is always a choice of following a paved road with lots of signs, or walking down a dirt path.  To stay safe on the paved road or taking on the risk of the unknown dirt path, and seeing for yourself the genius of the universal design for your life.

Of never trying to see what is behind the waterfall in the first place (it is dangerous and you might fall down and hurt yourself); to climb out of that hole you fell into (it’s probably full of spiders, snakes, and rats) and ignoring the possibilities of discovery all around you; to stay beside that car on the hot desert road and wait for someone to rescue you (so much more sensible than striking out on your own).

Some beautiful paths can’t be discovered without getting lost.

Erol Ozan

So stop being so worried about the million and one things that can go wrong.  Start instead dreaming about, and getting excited about, what is around the next corner.  Whatever we chose to be the next destination, we should always aim just a little higher.  If we are aiming for the lower mountain, we won’t know if we could have climbed the higher one instead.  Don’t put off the higher mountain as your goal, thinking that you need to be realistic, that you need to go in small definable steps.  As the saying goes, “Shoot for the moon.  Even if you miss, you’ll land on the stars”.   Don’t be afraid to get lost.  Even landing among the stars, changes you, your world, and maybe even the whole world.

No one saves us but ourselves.  No one can and no one may.  We ourselves must walk the path.

Buddha

Friends, loved ones, mentors, teachers – they can all set us on what they think is the right path for us.  Sometimes they are right, sometimes they are wrong, and sometimes they are “almost” right.  It is up to us to decide what the correct life path is for us, at this point in our lives.  No matter what path we take in life, no matter where we go or end up, we take a little bit of everyone we know with us.  Haven’t you heard those voices in your head?  Your parents, your favorite aunt or uncle, your grandparents, those special friends from school – those voices that make insane comments about what is taking place in front of you?  Mine are these comedian’s talking commentary during a boring office meeting.  My son Sam’s voice comes into play during movies when they are doing anything military or medical, telling me they are doing it wrong.

If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one.

Dolly Parton

I believe that we have at least three careers in our life, and that they can be completely different.  We shouldn’t confuse the path we are walking with the destination that we are going to.  Once I have mastered something, I get bored.  When I get bored, I know it is time to start exploring something new to learn, to have a new destination.  I am still walking my life path, the path of learning more about the world, about me, and what new sights are on the horizon.  There are times that the path can be a little blurry, because I haven’t yet discovered where the path is taking me.  So I keep walking and I get curious.  I know that when the path gets crystal clear, I have a new destination and new life experiences coming into focus.

You drown not by falling into a river, but by staying submerged in it.

Paulo Coelho

This doesn’t mean that I am just sitting on the path waiting for it to define itself.  When I sit, it is like stepping off the deep end of the river and just sinking to the bottom.  If I sit, the world tries to define me.  To make me fit someone else’s mold, to do the things that they want me to do and be.  Then I lose myself, sitting submerged and wondering why I can’t breathe.  I have to take the time, the effort and the work to define the path, so that each step brings the focus sharper and more defined.  I have to swim back up to the surface of the river and determine which shoreline I want to step onto.

If you could have seen the end from the beginning, would you have chosen a different path?

-M 2013

Sometimes when we are walking down the path we have chosen everything goes wrong.  A forest fire races through the valley and destroys all of the vegetation.  The river overflows its banks and takes out the bridge we were walking across.  A 40 car pile-up in the fog totals our car.  Sometimes what seems like a life ending event, is actually the first step on a new path.  We had developed expectations of where the path should be taking us, and so we were actually sleep walking down the side path.  Because of our expectations, that path might have led us to the correct destination, but without the right experiences.  Have you ever seen someone famous implode right after they achieved critical acclaim for their talents?  Hollywood, Politics, Musicians – we’ve all seen them reach a pinnacle of success, then drugs, alcohol, sexual exploitation – and down they tumble into scandal.

Not until we are lost do we begin to find ourselves.

Henry David Thoreau

This is due to not having strong enough roots to support their growth.  Somewhere along the path to finding themselves, they didn’t get lost.  They missed valuable life experiences that would have grounded their roots.  That would have forced them to grow deeper and discover more about who they were.  Because they didn’t have these valuable experiences, they allowed others even with the best intentions, to rescue them from falling on their face.  They covered things up. They didn’t let them experience the results of bad choices when they were small failures.  So they just kept being rescued and didn’t learn the life skills of what failure really means.

Remember when life’s path is steep, to keep your mind even.

Horace

What we  discover from failure is that sometimes it is the best thing that ever happened to us.  We see new ways to do something, which we would have never seen if everything went according to plan.  We discover wonderful character traits that were only exposed because we felt we had no other choice than to force ourselves to up our game.  My favorite movie scene is from “Facing The Giants” in the death crawl scene.  The player goes all of the way down the entire length of the football field, thinking that he is only trying to make it to the 50 yard line.  He couldn’t see where he was, and he was crawling with another player on his back.  At first the coach is only trying to get him to the 50 yard line, then he realizes the player has more in him than either of them knew.  We are all like that player, capable of so much more.  It is the difficult parts of life that open up the possibilities of our tasting some of that greatness we have buried deep inside.  So remember “to keep the mind even” – not letting doubts or over-confidence tilt us.

The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.

W.B. Yeats

Each day is a new adventure in walking our chosen life path.  Each day we can walk it in wonder, looking to see what is going to cross our path today.  We can be curious.  We can slow down and actually see what is on our right side, our left side, and directly in front of us.  Don’t miss the flowers that you’ve never seen in that color or shape before.  Look for the squirrels, bunnies, little lizards laying on the warm rock and enjoying the heat of the day.  Rest when you are tired.  Walk in the moonlight or lay back and count the stars.

I suspect the truth is that we are waiting, all of us, against insurmountable odds for something extraordinary to happen to us.

Khaled Hosseini

This is your life path, your journey.  The world is full of friends, lovers,  and new brothers and sisters waiting to get to know us.  The destinations are fun to get to, to master some aspect of your life.  But really, life is lived on the path, during the step by step walking, dancing, singing, along the road to the newest destination.  So don’t forget to enjoy it.  The journey is – Your Happiness.

Our Words Matter

 

And, yes, words matter.  They may reflect reality, but they also have the power to change reality – the power to uplift and to abase.

William Raspberry

I think that all of us heard the nursery rhyme, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but word will never hurt me”.  And all of us have been hurt by the words of others.  Sometimes the words of bullies as they seek the soft spot that will create pain.  Sometimes the words of loved ones, when we fight and say mean and hurtful things to those we love.     Japanese scientist, Masaru Emoto did an experiment in a elementary school classroom in which he placed two jars of cooked rice.  Each day the kids in the classroom had to pass by these jars and say the words taped on the jar.  On one jar the words were “Thank You” and the other jar the words were “You Fool”.  After 30 days the jars were removed.  The jar with “Thank You” contained rice that looked like it had been cooked that morning, white and fluffy.  The other jar with the words “You Fool” had shrank into a black shriveled gelatinous mass.  Words have an energy that affect both the speaker and the listener.  

Words matter and the right words matter most of all.  In the end they’re all that remains of us.

John Birmingham

There are others words that matter.  The words that we say to ourselves in our heads.  Like “your so stupid” or “you always make the wrong decisions” or “You’ll never get it or do it right”. . , and so on and on.  Words that say that we are not good enough.  Never say words that make your body or your accomplishments in life a joke.  Stop name calling and self criticism to yourself, as well as others.  We are all at any moment in time doing the best we can, with what we know and understand in that moment.  We can all do and be better.  It requires us to be conscious of the words coming out of our mouths.  Surround yourself with positive, uplifting words.

You’re going to come across people in your life who will say all the right words at all the right times.  But in the end, it’s always their actions you should judge them by.  It’s actions not words that matter.

Nicholas Sparks

Do we put actions to our words, our intentions to be better, to do better?  Do we keep trying to walk towards a better life, or when we trip and fall down do we sit there in lamentation and say it’s no use.  That we are who we are, and we can’t do it.  I always think of babies when they are learning to walk.  They tip over and over and over.  They fall so many times.  And each time they get up and try it again.  Although they can’t tell you, they are learning from each failure how to achieve balance.  It isn’t something learned on the first, second or even 50th try.  But they all – 100% of them keep trying.  And once they are walking it seems like almost instantaneously they are running.  They don’t let anything hold them back.  Do we put the same kind of actions to the words that we speak?

No matter what people tell you it’s words and ideas that can change the world.

Robin Williams

Just as words can create wars, they can also create positive change in the world.  Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” words changed the world.  Look at what has happened in the past few years with the movements that have been created to bring something positive out of their own pain as survivors, or of families of those who lost loved ones.  Drugs, gun violence, racism, those sold into sexual slavery, sexual harassment/assault – all have created hashtag movements – #MeToo –  #NotOneMore – #TakeAKnee – #BlackLivesMatter – #BringBackOurGirls – and so on.  Your views of what was done to try and make positive change may not agree with all of the attempts to find social justice, but they do prove that words and ideas can change the world.

In every encounter in life we either give life or drain life.  Their are no mutual exchanges.

Brennan Manning

Always remember that your words carry weight and bearing in the lives of others.  Choose them wisely.  When we speak words of hate, we find ways to support those words.  We actually see the world through a “lack” mentality.  We blame all of our problems on “Them” – whatever group “Them” is.  We see the world through that lens and it distorts what we see to fit the viewpoint we have adopted. 

The same is true of having a positive outlook on the world and the changes that take place in it every day.  Every day someone’s smile brightens the life of another.  Every day a policeman or fireman or paramedic saves the life of someone.  Every day someone says no to drugs.  Every day someone refuses to join a gang and live a life of violence.  And every day someone who has been caught up in a world of drugs, alcohol and violence says no to continuing to live that lifestyle.  The life we life and the world that we see is viewed through the lens that we have created.  At any moment in time we can change the lens.  Right now at this moment, someone is reading or seeing something that moves them to change that lens.  To start one more time living a life that brings positive change not just to their life, but those around them, spreading it to the whole world.

. . . words are things, and a small drop of ink, falling like dew, upon a thought, produces that which makes thousands, perhaps millions think . . ,

Words Matter Week, 2014

Each day we design the life that we are living.  All of the small daily decisions add up to the day we live.  It is so easy to get caught up in the news.  Depending on the stations we listen to we are fed a diet of everything that is wrong in the world, from a specific viewpoint that always says that the other guy is wrong.  We don’t debate ideas from the news, we fling judgments against other.   We are subconsciously refusing to hear the emotions, the hurts, the “reasons” why they are saying those words that damage others lives.  

 

Words are free.  Its how you use them that may cost you.

Kushanwizdom

Words have meaning in the context in which they are spoken.  Say the word fire – at a family barbeque.  Say the word fire – in the workplace.  Say the word fire – in a crowded venue.  The family barbeque uses fire to cook the food, and it’s a normal safe word to say.  Say the word fire in the workplace, and you will get a negative emotion running immediately.  Either yourself or someone you know has just lost their job, their means of support for themselves and their family.  It is sad, threatening, humiliating, depressing, and so stressful, not only to the person fired, but to the whole office.  You also may feel guilty because you feel relieved that it wasn’t you, that your safe.  Say the word fire in a crowded venue and you have people fleeing for their lives.  You will see them stampeding towards any exit.  Some people will be so scared, traumatized or selfish that they literally run over others trying to escape.  Some people will become heroes, saving the lives of others, even if it means that they die trying.  Words in the context of how they are used reveal things about ourselves that we never knew or acknowledged before.

 

Your words matter.  A wider world is waiting to hear your story.  When will you have the courage to tell them?

Peter Thomson

 

You crafted the stage you’re now on, so that you’d be pushed on to discover your power, the dreams worth pursuing, and the passion to create them into reality. In the lives that we have lived so far, we have created illusions to support who we think we are.  To support who we are capable of being.  These illusions have created and supported your thoughts, beliefs, and expectations.  It is up to us to ask the questions from a place of curiosity as to what of our beliefs are illusions.  To question how we gathered these thoughts and facts into truths that are somehow cemented into unbiased realities that we refuse to change. 

We live in a world of possibilities.  We all have potential that we haven’t fully plumbed or realized.  Facts change every day.  Every day some new scientific discovery is made.  They used to say that man couldn’t fly.  That if God wanted man to fly he would have given him wings.  It was a fact.  Then curious men created planes, rockets, hot air balloons, space ships and so on.  Then flying through the sky became a cemented fact.  Every new “truth” discovered requires that we change a previous truth.  

Curiosity creates the possibility of a new word, or truth.  Words give us a trail to follow.  Intention brings action to the words and creates new truths, new meanings to the words.  It creates a life journey of discovery, of continually learning new things not just about ourselves, but our world.  As the Star Trekkers say, “To go boldly where no man (or woman) has gone before”.  Stay curious, stay hungry for more, live in the moment, and most of all create peace and happiness in your life.

Dreamers Touch The Stars And Change The World

 

For many people, authentic life starts at the time of death – not our own, but someone else’s.

  – Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D.

This is so true for me.  It was the murder of my nephew that changed my whole life.  Up until that time my lived was lived by following what others had either taught me or expected of me.  The lesson I learned from my mother that drove me, was to have a career that earned a great income so that I would not be like her and end up homeless with her children.  In her mind her only option was to return to a marriage that she had left behind because it would provide support for her children. 

At first after my nephew died, it was all about helping my sister survive the storm of grief that ripped her world into tiny pieces that we couldn’t put back together again.  Then once we all knew that she while she wasn’t fully recovered she was surviving and learning what her new life would be, it was time to deal with my own grief.

 

I change the world by changing myself.   I am changing the world by loving myself, by enjoying life, by making my personal world a dream of heaven.  I change myself, and just like magic, other people start to change.

  – Miguel Ruiz

 

I knew that I wanted to bring something positive out of his death and so I started writing my way through my own changing and evolving world.  I had wanted to be a writer since I was a small child.  But I didn’t have any confidence to begin the journey.  Each time my heart and soul drew me into that space I had a ready excuse as to why I couldn’t do it.  I have four children to raise, a fulltime career and husband to take care of.  So I would lie to myself about the reason why I didn’t have the time to write. 

 

People will kill you over time, and how they’ll kill you is with tiny harmless phrases like “Be Realistic”

  – Dylan Moran

 

First it was when the kids were all in school, then I would have time to write.  Then it was when they all graduated high school, then I would have time to write.  Then it was taking care of my dad who had retired early with disabilities, so now I had a new obligation to put off this dream of writing my own stories.  Always there was something more important to be done.  Besides I told myself, be realistic, “no one will want to read what you write”.  As I wrote my way through changing myself and posted it on my personal page, I kept being told by others to do more.

 

The secret of making dreams come true can be summarized in four C’s.  They are curiosity, confidence, courage, and constancy; and the greatest of these is confidence.

  – Walt Disney

 

Self confidence is something that Walt Disney had to have had.  He had businesses that failed and ended bankruptcy. He lost most of his employees and a big contract to a film producer that had been working with him.  What he discovered and what I discovered was that when one door closes another opens.  For him that lead to the creation of Mickey Mouse, who actually has his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  For me, it was discovering that this dream that I had buried as not being worthy of was in fact possible.  The writing on my personal page, created the self confidence to create the LemonadeMakers page here on Facebook and a website that we are slowly expanding to create even more material for our followers.  

 

In the words of Chinese Philosopher Lao Tzu:

“When you let go of what you are, you become what you might be.”

 

As I walk this journey of following my dreams, I get ideas of where it might be taking me, but I don’t really know what I am becoming.  I still feel constantly as though I am in the chrysalis and becoming something new.  I am still being stretched into unknown realms.  I am constantly learning, adapting and regrouping.  I fall down on my face, but I keep getting back up.  I brush off the dirt and dust and look in the mirror.  It is the act of constantly letting go of the life I thought I should have, that I am able to embrace the life that is waiting for me.  It is the constant asking of these three questions that keeps opening new doors of discovery for me.

 

  • If I knew – honestly accepted – that I would succeed at whatever I did, what would I want to do next?
  • If I knew – honestly accepted – that I had millions of dollars in the bank right this moment, what would I do next?
  • If I knew – honestly accepted – that I only had 6 months life to live in this life, what would I do in that time frame with my life?

 

When you ask those questions, sit with them in silence a few moments and see what bubbles up to the top for you.  When you boil some sort of vegetable, a lot of times there is this film of stuff that spreads across the water.  A sort of scum that I always ladle out of the boiling water.  This is what happens when we sit in silence with a question.  Our minds floats up a denial.  It floats up a distraction.  If floats up fears.  Just look at them without judgement and scoop them out and let them settle into the earth. 

Now return to the silence and contemplation and see what bubbles up next.  Write it down and see what else floats up to the top.  Keep writing until you have a list of things that you would do next. 

 

Dreamer:  (n)  A person who visions their ambitions to plant the seeds of their future

/ Dreams are realities in waiting/

 

Now take that list and put the items into two columns, column A and column B.  So that if you had 10 items, you would now have 5 lines with an answer under column A and B for each line.  Now ask yourself which draws me more – item A or item B and circle that answer for each of the five lines.  Now you should have 5 circled items left.  Do the same process, only now taking the first circle item to the next circled item, and keep picking between the choices until you have only one circled item.  You now have the winning thing you would do next.

 

Know what you are doing.  Love what you are doing.  And believe in what you are doing.

  – Will Rogers

 

So lets say just for sake of example it was learn to fly a plane.  Now google local flying instructions and make appointments to interview them.  Pick one and take your first lesson. It’s really that simple to let go of who you are, a dreamer with no action taken to accomplish his/her dreams, and a dreamer who makes a phone call and gets into a plane and takes their first lesson.  If it turns out that you discover flying isn’t something that “rings your souls bell” then go back to your list and go through the items again to see what else might be the next dream to accomplish.

 

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