Right from the moment you are born, you are taught to pay more attention to what others expect of you, and to ignore your own wants and needs. You are taught to be “unselfish” and put the needs and wants of others before your own. As a child were you constantly being compared to others?
Or maybe it was the opposite and you were really talented, got good grades, outshined others. Did you feel peer pressure to be less than you were capable of being? Did your friends or siblings make you feel bad because they couldn’t or just didn’t want to put in the effort to excel – and they wanted you to be the same way?
Most schools have the cliques – and the “nerds” were never treated the same as the “jocks”. Comparisons start at an early age and seem to follow us throughout our lives. If you spend all of your time trying to live up to, or down to others expectations, it can feel like you’re in an ocean surrounded by sharks. They surround you just waiting until you can no longer keep your head above water.
“In therapy I have learned the importance of keeping spiritual life and professional life balanced. I need to regain my balance” – Tiger Woods
I thought that these quotes by Tiger Woods really revealed how from a young age he had spent most of his life, first living up to his fathers expectations, later coaches expectations, and then the expectations of his fan base. It can cause you to become extremely imbalanced between your career and the rest of your life (relationships with spouse, children, your health, your spiritual life…, etc).
Part of what you have to do is to back off from living up to others expectations, and take the time to consider who you really are or what you really need. Especially when you are in sports or some other field of entertainment, you can get so caught up in thinking that you are only the “golfer” or the “basketball player”. Christopher Reeves became known as superman, a sterotype that became his public and private persona. The truth is, that you are more than just whatever talent you might posses. If the ability to play golf, or basketball, or play the part of a superhero goes away, you are still the same person.
You need to stop ignoring the calls of your soul/spirit or heart. You do not have to stop being who you really are inside, in order to fit into the expectations of the world. Choose to listen to your soul. Listen to the deepest needs of your heart. Choose to be free of the shackles of others expectations.
“To being trustworthy? To being successful? How committed are you to being a good father, a good teammate, a good role model? There’s that moment every morning when you look in the mirror: Are You Committed, or are you not?” – Lebron James
As a mom, you can feel incredible pressure to be “super woman”. To hold down a fulltime job, and be a fulltime mom, and the sexy wife. To have the perfect children who are the best at whatever they do. To drive the kids to sports, to music lessons, to every extraculricular activity. To have a spotless house with nothing out of place. You create the weight of mountains on your shoulders and push yourself to always be doing, doing, doing. Until that day you drop dead of exhaustion.
“20 things that women should stop wearing after the age of 30: #1-20: The weight of other people’s expectations and judgments.” – Maura Quint
As a dad, you can feel incredible pressure to work 80 hours a week to meet the ever upward constantly changing goals. To convince your boss, that you are ready to take on more responsibility, you feel that you have to work longer and longer hours. To be the last person to leave at night and the first person into the office in the morning. They may even joke that you must sleep at work. I always remember this line in the movie “Baby Boom” where the boss says something like “he doesn’t remember how many grandkids he has, but he knows to the cent how much money the company makes on a daily basis”. So many men fall into the trap of working so many hours to get ahead in their career, that their family suffers from them never being around.
“Expectation feeds frustration. It is an unhealthy attachment to people, things, and outcomes we wish we could control; but don’t” – Dr. Steve Maraboli
You are not supposed to live your life meeting the expectations of others. You are supposed to define your own individuality. To be your own unique person. To follow your own path. To choose your own adventure and strike out on the road less traveled. Be extraordinary instead of the rat in the maze trying to find the same piece of cheese. You are the person who gets to choose what matters and what doesn’t. The meaning of your life is whatever you want it to mean. It’s the meaning that you give to it that makes it your life.
“The secret to happiness and peace is letting every situation be what it is, instead of what you think it should be, and making the best of it.” – Marcandangel
As you leave behind the expectations of others to discover who you are and what’s important to you – remember to allow the same for others that you love. When you live your life according to who you are, and don’t put the weight of expectations on others on how they should live their lives, you create the space to be happy. You no longer feel disappointed because you “failed” to live up to the expectations of others – and, you are not disappointed by the actions of others not meeting your own expectations. You learn to live in the world of “what is” instead of “what it should be”.
“No more expectations. Just gonna go with the flow and whatever happens, happens”.
Going back to what Tiger Woods said, achieving some kind of “balance” in your life is what is important. Living according to who you are, and not putting pressure on others to meet your expectations doesn’t mean “whatever happens, happens”. It doesn’t mean that you don’t try to do better, and be better. It doesn’t mean that you stop trying to rise to your full potential in your life. It means that you have a good working balance between taking care of your family, and yourself – which includes your emotional, physical, financial, and spiritual good health.
I thought that this quote from Stephen Hawking was so spot on. He said, “When one’s expectations are reduced to zero, one, really appreciates everything one does have.” Sometimes you have something happen in your life that changes everything. Maybe you get a medical diagnosis of ALS like Stephen. What you thought was important suddenly isn’t. You are just happy that you are still alive. You experience a freedom, that sort of says – ok, I am in the basement, the bottom of what’s possible. Anything I achieve from now on is good, great, and better than anyone thought it could be. Just think of everything that Stephen Hawkins accomplished from that space of “zero”.
So free yourself from the expectations of what others expect from you. Get still and start from zero –
“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.” – Stephen Hawking
Have you ever felt lost? That feeling that says you don’t know how you got to this place in your life. That fear that eats at your soul, causing the “fight, flight, or freeze” to send you literally fleeing into the darkness, with no idea where you are, or where you are going. You have no idea how to extract yourself from the situation that you have somehow blindly created. My visual mind sees the proverb of “painting yourself into a corner”.
‘All progress starts by telling the truth.’ – Dan Sullivan.
If you don’t take the time to listen your inner voice that is what happens. You get lost in the maze of unconscious decisions. You come to a dead end, but can’t remember the left and right turns you made. Unconscious decisions are almost always made from the inner child, who is trying to protect you. Unfortunately the inner child is under the “illusion of knowledge”. What you understood about life at 4 or 5 years old; or 10 or 11 years old; or even 18 or 19 years old; that knowledge doesn’t compare to what you understand at 30, 40, 50, or even 60 years old.
These unconscious decisions are made from the “illusion of knowledge” in which you use the same old childish ways of thinking to make decisions that are incomplete, incorrect, or even self-sabotaging and paint you into a corner. All progress begins with you being honest with yourself. Becoming self aware.
When you wake up to who you are, you become more self aware. Every experience in your life is contained within you. Some parts of those experiences, instead of being healed were judged and rejected as being wrong. They were pushed into the shadows to be hidden. When you begin the process of integrating the pieces of you that you have named as shadows, you begin the process of healing those judgments. Those experiences are not broken pieces of you. They are just mislabeled. Healing them means that you are alive.
What you do with your life from this moment of truth is so important. It is part of the self discovery of who you are. For me, I identify with being a life long learner. Of seeing the connections to everything and everyone in my life. Of being strategic in following my decisions on life’s chess board as far as I can and then making the best decision I can see. I know that many times these decisions will not be the best, but I have left off judging them as shadows. I do the best I can in that moment – and that whatever happens will just create a new learning opportunity. I try my best to remain open to the fact that the “truths” I know today can be changed by the experiences of tomorrow.
I love the analogy of a rainbow. You might think of the primary colors as being the colors of the rainbow. But it is actually the combinations of those colors in millions of shades that make up who you are in this moment. No one else has your colors in the shades and combinations that make up who you are. Don’t reject your colors. Build your own life from those colors, taking in others perspectives and keeping what resonates with you and leaving what doesn’t behind.
Watching my grandkids grow up, I have seen things about my own life, that I never thought about before. In my own childhood I came into adult responsibilities at grade school. I stepped in trying to be the perfect little girl that picked up all of the pieces of motherhood that my mom was dropping or abandoning in living her life. I got breakfast for everyone, made sure they got to school, helped with homework, cleaning the house, and so on. I missed so much of the “fun playtime” of being a little girl, but of course I didn’t know that at the time. I thought how I was being raised was normal.
There were a lot of things I did different in raising my own children, but at the same time my mom still peaked out in what I said and did. I think that for most of us, that is a true statement. There were a lot of great things in how my mom raised us. Almost ahead of her time she had no filters or judgments based on a persons race or sexual preference. For her, it was all about who you were at a soul level.
“The wild woman NEVER FADES, she is constantly shaking loose everything that is not pure soul…,” – Shikoba
When I look at my grandkids I see the “wild soul” in its pure existence. Like my mom and even myself, I see my own children try to tame that spirit in my grandkids. They try to break it up into things you don’t say, how you don’t act in a certain way. I don’t think that the “children should be seen and not heard” way of raising kids is very prevalent today, but I do think that the practice of filters is still hammered into our children.
It teaches them to filter out their inner truth, their honesty about how they are feeling, and instead speak about a filtered, watered down truth so that they don’t go against the rules. Then as adults you have to awaken once again to those truths. To be honest in what you think. To shake off the shackles, the masks, and become once again fully alive.
Most of the time you are not awakened gently. You are awakened by the betrayal of a friend or loved one. You are awakened by loss. You lose a job, a significant other, a divorce, a death of someone close to you. Sometimes it comes from the violence of someone who is supposed to love and take care of you. Sometimes it comes from finally admitting you have an addiction that is destroying your life.
With each challenge to awaken, you grow. You get stronger mentally. Your emotional turmoil, from floundering to find your way, creates a muscle of resilience that helps you bounce back again and again. You learn to give a voice to everything inside of you. You grab hold of that wild spirit that has been trounced on and beaten into submission. You free it, letting it breathe in the freedom of expression in your own unique voice.
“They are scared of women like you. Women with hearts big enough to house a suitcase full of pain, women with laughs so therapeutic they can heal wounds, women with a passion fierce enough to start wildfires. They are scared of what they can’t tame or understand” – The Inner Voice
Each awakening starts a new journey of self discovery. You go back to the beginning and start releasing everything that no longer serves who you are becoming. You let go of the pain. You let go of the victimhood. You let go of the judgments against those who failed you when you needed them most. All of the feelings of abandonment, betrayal, hurts both physical and emotional. You let it all go. It no longer matters to the new person you are becoming. It’s all “water under the bridge”, gone and never to return.
Waking up is not for the faint hearted. Self Awareness is like picking at the scabs and scars to dig down beneath and dig out all of the roots of feelings and emotions that never served you. You begin to see a new life path forward. A path of freedom from the past. The chaos never leaves, because it is within that chaos that growth happens.
The chaos becomes the road sign for a new adventure. For a new journey to uncover more of your “wild soul”. The chaos is the preview of “coming attractions”. It makes your heart beat faster. It slips in the joy of showing the world another piece of your magic. It is the process of learning to know and accept yourself on all levels.
“Within her soul a seed of resilience was planted. Even in the darkness she knew that as long as she kept reaching up towards the light she would grow.” muses from a mystic
When you focus on personal growth and self awareness, you experience life on a whole new level. Your life becomes filled with peace, love, joy, passion and fun – all within the chaos container you have built. You see how to structure your life, design your life – all on your own rules. You have the potential to make your life be anything you want.
It’s time to step out from the stories of who you are. To grow instead that “wild soul”, and start creating the story of how you want your life to be. Acknowledge and free yourself from the past. Heal the present. Listen to your inner voice. Refuse to surrender who you are, to what others want you to be. Love yourself, your body, mind, and spirit -celebrate it. Surround yourself with other “wild souls”. Write out your own story and dance it into life.
Listening to internal guidance can be very hard to do when life is stressing you out. The noise of the chaos around you drowns out that inner voice. Everyone will have an opinion on what needs to be done. People will freely tell you how to live your life, what choices you should be making. They will show up, try to convince you, dazzle you, and intimidate you.
The first thing to do is to drop resistance to what is happening. “It is what it is”. When you stop fighting against it, you find the ability to cope with what is. You lose a loved one, it can’t be changed. Your employer lets you go, it is what it is. Coping can only begin after acceptance of what is. Since you can’t change it, stop pushing back.
Glennon Doyle in her book Love Warrior said: “I have met myself, and I am going to care for her fiercely.” She outlines phases that we go through in life. The typical hero journey where life is good, then tragedy happens, and then we find our way out. In the process we make discoveries about who we are, and we make changes in how we show up in life.
At this moment in time the whole world is in a unique place. The whole world has been going through a massive hero’s journey. It began at the beginning of 2020.
STAGE ONE: LATE STATUS QUO (pre Covid)
You are living in your comfort zone and life is rolling along. You might be hitting a few speed bumps once in awhile, but on the whole, life is good.
STAGE TWO: FOREIGN ELEMENT (Covid)
…Bam! An unexpected event occurs. The foreign element of Covid instantly and urgently, changes everything. Your entire life is turned upside down. And it’s not just you. It is happening to everyone around you too. From normal minor things such as getting groceries, to something more major such as the kids being home-schooled. If you’re lucky you’re working from home, if not you may have been furloughed or laid off from work. You’re required to wear a mask everywhere. You’re told to shelter at home.
STAGE THREE: CHAOS
You may have thought at first that this would be a very temporary situation. Maybe a couple of months. But instead those couple of months go past a year, and you find yourself entering into a weird “new normal”. Then just when you have adjusted to this new normal, it happens again. Your kids are going back to school – but what does that look like? Is it safe? Your job is calling you back to fulltime in the office, but you like working from home fulltime. You feel like you get a lot more done each day, and who needs that commute? Plus now you can be home when the kids get home from school. Just the thought of going back to that old daily commute puts your stomach in a meat grinder. Or maybe you want to have the ability to do both, having one or two days in the office and 3 or 4 days at home.
The world has changed and what you thought you knew cries out for reexamination. What you’d hoped for, planned for, or predicted before Covid has changed. It may no longer be possible or even desired. You need to figure out what really matters to you. This is not a pleasant process because it is filled with so much uncertainty, both for you, your family, and your employer. But if you just take the time to do the work, it will get you somewhere important. The feeling of being in this chaos phase can be likened to taking a car engine apart – there can be confusion as to what is wrong, what needs to be replaced. But if you work through the process of clearing up the confusion, you can make some really important and life changing discoveries.
STAGE FOUR: TRANSFORMING IDEA
STAGE FIVE: INTEGRATION AND PRACTICE
This is the stage where you try out those new ideas from your epiphany. Your employer insists on everyone coming back to the office fulltime. You suggest a hybrid workplace. You have done the research and have the data to support your idea. Maybe it just starts out with coming back to work in the office every other day; two days a week or three days a week. Suggest that in 30 or 60 days you both reexamine how it is working out. You follow other companies and what they are doing. You discover some best practices to implement. You generate and discard several ways of transforming the workplace until you find the one that fits your workplace culture.
This same concept works for any new ideas you want to implement in your life.
STAGE SIX: NEW STATUS QUO
This happens when your breaking outside of the comfort zone shifts into the new comfort zone, the “new normal”.
STAGE SEVEN: START DESIGNING YOUR LIFE
Pick a regular time several times a year, in which you can take out those kaleidoscope “eyes” and start to DESIGN and prepare for A NEW ADVENTURE.
You can be pro-active. You can choose how the stage resets. Your washing machine has more than just one cycle. Instead of waiting for the foreign elements to bring in chaos, you can choose to start the process of enlarging your comfort zone now. Be pro-active. Instead of just imagining what you want to do someday, “I’ll finally write that book” or “I’ll finally travel to a foreign land” or whatever you always say your going to do someday. You still won’t have the time, the money, or whatever you think that you are lacking in this moment when someday comes. You just have to go within and shift to stage four and start transforming your idea to make it happen today.
While it is always good to know your limits – it is never good to accept them at face value.
Your current limit is just that – a current limit. There are so many ways to exceed those limits. It may mean leaning a new skill. It may mean using leverage to get around it. When the Apollo mission had to figure out a way back home, the scientists took an inventory of everything they had and figured out a way to make something they didn’t have.
Water is another great analogy. In order to get around obstacles, it can use the power of a rushing flood to break apart an obstacle. It can freeze up and expand thereby crushing an obstacle. It can flow deep within the surrounding area to get under an obstacle. It can be fog, rain, hail, sleet and snow. It can work with the wind in a hurricane. Knowing your limits means thinking outside of the box to discover a way around or through the limitation and still be able to achieve the desired results.
Be like water. Be magical. Design something new and wonderful.
“You can’t tame the spirit of someone who has magic in their veins.” – SageGoddess.com
When was the last time you did something that was both scary and exciting? When was the last time you felt that mix in your stomach that said simultaneously, “No don’t do it?” and “Come on lets make this happen“?
“Do one thing every day that scares you” – Eleanor Roosevelt
What if doing one thing that scares you, was on your “to do” list every day?
What else would you put on this list? What pops into your head?
How many days would you push that scary thing, to the next day on your “to do” list? 1 day, 2 days or everyday?
How many things have you thought about trying, but put off or backed away from? How many things have you been scared to even try?
If you did try and failed, did you quit?
If you tried to surf once and fell off the board, did you say – “Forget it, I will never be able to do this?” The odds of being able to surf on the very first try are so high I couldn’t even type out the number. To learn to surf, you try and learn something. Then you repeat it over and over, wave after wave, until you have learned enough to stand up on the board and ride it into the shore. And even when you are an expert, one thing you know for sure – you are still going to fall off the board.
Using your imagination, would you be able to put a new or scary thing to try on the list every day for a month?
If you never try, you won’t know what you can do. I don’t believe that anyone really lives up to their full potential. You are capable of so many things that you won’t ever think of to try. When my mom was in a early 50’s her best friend talked her into a art class. My mom didn’t believe she could draw or paint and I don’t think beyond school drawings she ever tried. But her best friend had started painting porcelain tea cups and wanted to get better at it, so she convinced my mom to sign up for the class just because she didn’t want to do it alone.
A funny thing happened. My mom painted this amazing forest scene that I have hanging up in my living room. Her first painting revealed an unknown talent. She would have never known if her best friend hadn’t twisted her arm to sign up for the class. If you never try, you won’t get to feel that satisfying feeling of breaking out of your patterns and doing something amazing.
The funny thing about comfort zones is that they are very static. You have a routine that you follow, day in and day out. You punch the clock in the morning when you get up, and then you punch the clock at night when you go to bed. I remember years ago I worked with a firm that bought failing healthcare businesses and turned them around. On the bottom floor of our building was a TGIFridays. Every day the President of the company placed the same exact order for a sandwich. He never tried anything else on the menu. I always thought how boring.
I love to try something different when I order food in a restaurant. Something I don’t know how to cook. There are so many amazing cultural foods out there. Even in the U.S. they don’t make things the same way in the South as they do in Texas, as they do in California, or the Pacific Northwest, or Duluth, or NYC.
The thing is – unless we break out of the comfort zone, we can’t grow to a new level in life.
“A ship is always safe at the shore but that is not what is was built for” – Albert Einstein
This week, make a list of things outside of your comfort zone. Pick something that could become a hobby that you’ve never tried to do, something with your hands that engages your creative powers. Pick something that could build your confidence and courage to grow that comfort zone just a little wider, a little longer. For my mom it was an art class. It doesn’t have to be something terrifying. It could be something that you always wanted to do but are scared to try. It could be something you don’t think you can do, like painting, sculpting, woodworking, or even knitting.
If you want to go skydiving, maybe the first step is a hot air balloon ride. It gets you up in the air and grows your courage just a little bit. Maybe the next step is just going up in the plane and seeing everyone else take that leap out into nothing.
Sir Edmund Hillary is famous for climbing Mt. Everest. But that wasn’t his first climb. His first climb was in 1939 ascending Mt. Ollivier. Unless you are a mountain climbing fan or expert you would have never heard of his first climb. It was 1953 when he ascended Mt. Everest. The years between were spent expanding his comfort zone to the point that he could attempt and finally achieve the goal of climbing Mt. Everest.
So start small – pick something that expands your comfort zone and begin growing into your full potential. Each victory or achievement builds upon the courage and confidence to get to the next level. Find your own Mt. Everest and go for it!
“There are no great people in this world, only great challenges which ordinary people rise up to meet” – William F Halsey Jr
“And then one day I decided that hurry and stress were no longer going to be part of my life. Stress is self-created; I decided to stop manufacturing it. We can choose an internal calm and joy even amid the chaos” – Brendon Burchard
In times of uncertainty, you tend to fill in the blanks in your life, so that you give yourself a feeling of some sort of control. I can’t control COVID-19; I can’t control political upheaval; I can’t control rioting in the streets.
But I can control what? Most people tend to answer chaos and uncertainty with more inner chaos. Instead try something different.
The question to ask yourself is – does this feed the chaos, or my inner peace? What you need is a change of consciousness. A decision to stop producing stress and instead choose inner calm and peace.
If everyone were to exercise these kinds of controls, it would end all wars, eliminate conflicts and prevent injustice.
“Staying positive doesn’t mean you have to be happy all the time. It means that even on hard days you know that there are better ones coming.” – QuotesCollective.com
“Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.” – Simple Reminders
Pinchmeliving.com has a great meme with 10 Truths You Need to Know for Inner-Peace & Happiness.
credit to Pinchmeliving.com
In finding your inner peace, the path leads through resilience. It’s about focusing on this present moment. You are trying to have an important phone call. One child is hugging you and the other wants you to pay attention to the cat. You have a choice in this moment.
You can go into chaos and frustration, or you can practice resilience by hugging your daughter at the same time you are talking on the phone. You can practice resilience by telling your children to wait a few minutes, and they can have your complete attention. Then once their needs are filled, you can give them something to do, and go back to the work that you are doing.
Resilience has the component of compromise within it. When life throws lemons into your well-planned schedule, you have a choice to practice resilience. You can focus on the negative things that just happened, with pain, anger, grief, and fear and let the bitterness eat at your soul. Or you reach back into your resilience pool and focus on the present moment.
In a storm like a tornado or hurricane there is a calm center, in life you have to find this calm center deep within yourself. When everyone else is running around crazy, you do not have to buy into the chaos.
It’s a matter of practice, but once you’ve been in this calm centeredness a few times, it becomes easy to immediately place that peace like a protective bubble around you. It really is a simple decision that anyone can make, to stand in the center of their own peace.
“We can weather anything if we stay calm in the eye of the storm” – Lolly Daskal
Fear makes almost everyone uncomfortable. Fear is an integral part of risk; of going down the road less traveled; of even thinking of putting yourself into a situation where you would need to dive deep within to bring up some of that untapped potential.
But – if you are brave enough to get your friends to open up to the dreams they have, you will see some of their untapped potential being exposed to the light.
If you are brave enough to open up and share your own dreams, you will learn things about yourself that you didn’t know.
Risk is like a barometer to show you much courage you have allowed yourself to have. You have extraordinary dreams that you would do in a heartbeat, if you could be guaranteed that you wouldn’t fail.
I currently subscribe to an online newsletter called “The Profile” and it features Polina Marinova. She is doing things a little differently. She is doing deep dives on prominent figures and it is really interesting.
I wanted to share some of the things that one her profiles had to say about failure. While this article pertained to pursuing a business, the lessons contained can be applied to any kind of change or transformation you are thinking about making in your life.
Click the link and check her out (you don’t have to subscribe, click and the part that says to check her out), she has both free and paid subscriptions. (everything in quotes is from her article and reading her article inspired me to write this one).
“Failure is not the outcome – failure is not trying. Don’t be afraid to fail.” – Sara Blakely
Sara Blakely says that she is no stranger to failure. She failed her LSAT tests ending her dream career as a trial attorney. She had an interesting dad, who taught his children to celebrate failure.
When she was growing up, each person at the dining room table had to share their biggest failure for the week while they were eating dinner. If they didn’t have one, her father would be disappointed, because that meant they hadn’t put themselves out there to do something impossible. She learned from this that the only true failure is when you don’t try.
One night getting ready for a party she stumbled onto an idea for a gap in the fashion industry, and that began the creation process for Spanx. She stated that she kept the idea to herself for a whole year while she worked behind the scenes, before she sought validation from friends and family. By the time she told them about it;
She knew that all of the negative comments about her idea would have killed it if she had talked about it immediately. How many ideas have you had, where that happened to you? Her advice? Don’t seek validation from others until you’re ready with proof of concept.
It is common when an idea pops into your head to discount it. Today while writing this blog, a neighbor was mowing his lawn, and the noise of the lawnmower was irritating me. I said to my office partner that someone should invent a solar powered electric lawn mower. It could be that someone has. I don’t know.
I thought about it for a moment and said. “it could have a rechargeable battery that sits in the sun all week just waiting to be popped into the machine. It would be quiet like an electric car, as well as being better for the environment.’ My car is a hybrid and when it is in full electric mode you can’t hear the engine.
Just think that both the lawn mower and the leaf blower could be quiet – I swear that there isn’t a zoom meeting that happened in the past year where someone wasn’t apologizing for the yard maintenance people and the noise in the background.
Now like Sara –
The only difference between Sara (with her initial lack of business, manufacturing, and fashion industry knowledge) and myself is the level of passion she had for it. For me, this is just a wonderful idea that I am happy to give to someone else. For her, it was an idea she was in love with.
“Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know. That can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else.” – Sara Blakely
When you take fear out of the equation, it becomes easy to embrace the unknown. One of the keys to her success, is that she was a fashion outsider, and didn’t know how it was supposed to be done. Her ignorance became her greatest asset.
“I had no idea how things were supposed to be done, and if you have no idea how something’s supposed to be done, I guarantee that you’ll end up being disruptive,” she said. When you are an outsider you see things in a different way, because you don’t know how it’s supposed to go. Beginners mind always starts by asking the question “why” over and over again.
In 2000, Blakely used her $5,000 in savings to start her company, and by 2012, she was named the youngest self-made female billionaire. Sara still owns 100% of Spanx because she never took on outside investors. She sees an opportunity in every failure or disappointment. “Spanx wouldn’t exist if I had aced the LSAT,” she says.
Take control of your mindset by immersing yourself with great books that teach you how to life a positive life. Sara tells how her dad bought her the Wayne Dyer program called “How to Be a No-Limit Person” when she was having a hard time with personal and financial issues.
Most of higher education teaches you what to think, Wayne Dyer taught her how to think. A critical part of using failure to be successful, is that you have the ability to control your own thoughts and confront your self-doubt. “Now more than ever, your greatest weapon is your mindset,” says Sara.
I have followed Wayne Dyer for years. I was privileged to see him at a conference. The world lost a great wisdom teacher when he passed away.
“Success, to me, is finding the courage to live your fullest and biggest life.” – Sara Blakely
How about you? Are you living life to your fullest potential?
As always, we are here to support you – to whisper words of encouragement – to celebrate each and every failure and success!
“Missing puzzle pieces do more than complete the puzzle. They fill in an empty space” – Luanne Rice
Have you ever been working on a puzzle for days or weeks and you get to the end and there is one piece missing? How did that make you feel?
Did you move furniture, sweep under cupboards, and generally take the room apart looking for that last piece to complete the picture? Have you ever taken the extreme measure of taking a photo and sending it to the puzzle manufacturer to see if they can send you that missing piece?
If you found the missing piece underneath something, how excited were you to fit it into place? It’s like a state of grace settles over you. Calmness. A feeling that all is right in the world in that moment. The adrenaline settles down, the anxiety or frustration of lost hours of work dissipates.
Sometimes in life you will miss an opportunity. You might not have recognized it, or maybe you were so busy with the chaos of life, that you totally didn’t see it. Then when you do realize it, do you kick yourself over missing it?
Right now, you may feel like you did with the missing puzzle piece that you looked everywhere to find, that you are now an incomplete picture and everything you’ve been doing up until now is just a big waste of time and effort.
What is wonderful about opportunities in real life, is that there is always another new door just waiting to be opened. I love the saying that “opportunity dances with those already on the dance floor” as it signifies how important it is to be looking for them. You can’t find them if you are not looking for them. Looking for opportunities within your dreams or aspirations are the perfect place to find them.
“If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes then learn how to do it later” – Unknown
Opportunities are supposed to grow you. If you will only take on what you know 100% for sure you can do, where is the growth?
I always think of cats. Some are a living example of grace. They will stretch themselves out in leaping up a tree or a fence. And whether they make it or land on the ground, they always land on their feet ready to try again. Others are scaredy cats are always hiding, afraid of everything.
So which kind of cat are you? The one taking the leap of faith, confident of landing on your feet? Or are you the one hiding under the bed shaking in terror, letting those scary opportunity pass you by?
“You walk in grace, or you walk in fear. You can’t have it both ways”– Carlos Santana
When you are young, you think that you have all of the time in the world to explore a myriad of opportunities. But this is an illusion. Don’t waste time looking backwards. You aren’t going that way.
Don’t waste time by constantly daydreaming about the future. You haven’t arrived there yet, and when you do so many things will have happened between this moment and that future, that you won’t even recognize you have arrived.
You need to let go of what no longer serves you and live in the present moment, where the opportunities are. You need to live in this present moment in order to make space for what is new to come in. When you are not in resistance, the illusion of time “taking forever” is released.
“To turn inward, to be courageous and trust our heart – to lean into our independent judgment – a brilliant opportunity we ignore too often” – Amy Jalapeno
In today’s world problems seem to be multiplying like bunny rabbits.
“The chaos doesn’t end, you kinda just become the calm”– Nikki Rowe
Grace changes everything. It gives you the space to go inward and out of the chaos. To reconnect with your heart and soul. By leaning into intuition and independent judgment you begin to see a way forward.
I read a story that gives a great example of this. Look at movie theaters. Most people will not want to go into the closed space of a movie theater for several hours to watch a movie. And while the day of the drive ins seemed to be past, they now have the opportunity to make a comeback.
In Germany an architect wanted to create the communal aspects of watching a movie as a group. So, he launched Windows Flicks, which projects a movie on large exterior building walls. People living in apartment complexes can watch through windows, patios, or balcony’s and drink a glass of wine and take in a movie while practicing social distancing.
What kinds of projects might you brainstorm for reinventions of businesses that may be facing extinction? The architect in Germany is fundraising for the German cinema industry, so he was able to both provide a reinvention of watching a movie with others and supporting a business that needs to reinvent itself.
Any crisis can give you the opportunity to reinvent your life in some way – will you take a leap of faith, or hide under the bed scared?
I love this concept. It takes a fire in your soul to put actions to your dreams. To keep walking your sacred path to your destiny, even when it feels like the sky is falling. Grace from the heart tempers this fire, so that it is the exact amount of heat to get your feet moving. Grace changes everything.
And remember, you never have to walk alone. Grace is always a step in front of you, and all you have to do is open your arms to receive it.
Sometimes a sentence can grab your attention and send you down a rabbit hole. This sentence grabbed me and shook me awake. “You have to stop just completing and begin living.” I immediately thought of the difference between doing and being.
Doing is all about completing. It is a “to do” list. You complete the objective, tick off the box, and immediately start on the next thing on the list. At the end of the day, you might be able to proudly look at a completed list, but the question begs to be answered – at what part of the day did you begin living?
What are the things you can shift in your life to make those changes easier? How can you get off the treadmill of doing and start living the life of being.
“The highest level of creativity consists in being, not doing” – Marianne Williamson
Who or what are you becoming? How you are being reflects how you are growing. If you are too busy doing, then no growth is happening.
It begins when we enter school. We are taught to excel at doing. To give the answers they want, the ones in the book. Creativity is frowned upon in most subjects. If you espouse a different opinion on what the writer might have meant, it becomes the “wrong” answer. I always thought it was funny, how someone other than the author could know beyond any reasonable doubt what the writer might have been alluding to.
This continues through grade school, junior high, high school and even the colleges and universities. A lot of very successful creative minds left college partly because their creativity was being squashed. They all have the entrepreneur mindset. They all have some things in common, which includes doing things different than the norm. They look at what is, and wonder what else could be?
Oprah has said that she was hired for a T.V. news show as an anchor. Unknown to her at the time, the other anchor didn’t want her on the show. Several months later he got his way and she was demoted. It was very devastating. Within every “failure” there is a nugget of gold. She lost her job, but her demotion put her into a talk show format. She said that the minute she took on that show, she felt like she had arrived home.
That is a sign – when your “job” feels like home. You know that this is what you are meant to do. It is being a “creative”.
Steve Jobs found this out when Apple ousted him. It took him awhile to recover “who he was” because he had become so identified with the company, that he had stopped being and was just doing. It essentially created a mid-life crisis. He was looking at all kinds of possibilities from politics to becoming an astronaut. He went on to launch both Pixar Animation Studios as well as NeXT.
“I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter into one of the most creative periods of my life,” Steve Jobs
He then goes on to say pretty much what Oprah said: “I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love.”
“Once you shift your order of priorities from “having – doing – being” to “being – doing – having” your destiny will be in your hands” – Sadhguru
This reminds me of putting batteries into something. Batteries have a positive and a negative side. If you put them in backwards, they don’t work. It is only when the connections are correct that they “turn on” the item.
When you approach your life with “having – doing – being” you have the heaviness in your life. You are pushing the boulder up hill. You might make it to the top, but the success won’t be fulfilling.
It is only when you approach your life from the “being” first, then the doing and having come afterwards. Then your batteries are fully charged and working to speed you up to the hilltop. The success is fueled by your passion, love and creativity. You are a human “being” loving all parts of your life.
Both Oprah and Steve Job’s had failures. Those failures led to connecting or reconnecting to “having – doing – being” in the right order. You have these wonderful talents, They take the form of creativity, which becomes the doing part. When you are living your life from the having your talents expressed through creativity, then you enter the being part of your life. This is because you are living your divinely planned destiny in those moments. The more of those moments you connect with in your life, the more on purpose you are.
“Being free from the fear of failure means you can focus more clearly on what you’re doing – and will be more likely to succeed” – Zen Health
It’s like you have these batteries not only installed correctly, but they are being recharged or fueled by your living the “having – doing – being” in the correct order. You may not see it today, or even tomorrow as some things take a while to grow and mature. But there will come a time when you look back and you will be awestruck how every little misstep, mistake, and seeming failure adds up to bring you exactly to where you are supposed to be. In that moment, you will be so grateful that things didn’t go the way the mind planned, but instead the way the heart directed.
“Consult not your fears but your hopes and dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do” – Pope John XXIII
You may at this moment be facing a similar landscape in your mind. Your mind is filled with fears of:
How do you embrace hope instead? You begin small and when the mind says “I can’t” or “I don’t” you replace those thoughts one by one as they appear. You approach it as a curious question, “I wonder what if?” I did this, or said that? Then as you strengthen those hopeful thoughts you can begin to replace them with:
Hope is stronger than fear and you can fill your hopeful space with courage to forge ahead into the great unknown. To explore all of the possibilities of a moment, and choose the one that fills your heart with the most hope.
“May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears” – Nelson Mandela
Every morning you have a choice. You can rise up with the light laughing at the fears you had last night. Or, you can roll over whining and cowering in fear, as your mind carries you deep down into the darkness.
Every day you can hug the world with a great big bear hug. Or, you can curse the world because you don’t yet have want you want, or need from it.
Every evening you can dream big dreams, longing to give more laughter, joy, and love to the world. Or, you can dream nightmares where you are all alone, abandoned and just waiting for death to take you away.
“Hope is the fuel of progress and fear is the prison in which you put yourself” – Tony Benn
Emotions can heal you or control you. Fear based emotions are toxic.
Emotions are fueled by your perceptions of what is happening. You have a choice to perceive what is currently happening in your life as a train wreck, the worst trip of your life. Or, as a learning opportunity; a mission to where no one has gone before; an adventurous quest in which you find your purpose in life. Your perceptions reflect the reality that you are creating.
Positive emotions are creative emotions. When you look at your world through the lens of love, you become creative. Singing, painting, writing poetry, dancing, crafting beautiful objects out of your imagination. Love is the passionate search for your own personal truth. A calling down deep within your soul longing to be expressed. It’s a part of God, and it is an act of reaching out to the greater good. That is what births hope.
“Hope is the only thing stronger than fear” – Unknown
It’s a funny thing how fear and hope are connected. It is like the oyster which takes an irritating grain of sand and turns it into a pearl. Fear is the oyster who is afraid of the hope that the sand is bringing to the oyster. So it coats it over and over, hoping to bury it and by seeming accident it creates something beautiful. Inside of every fear you have is that grain of sand. Irritating you to make another choice. You keep trying to cover it over, but eventually the fear is broken open and there in the middle of the shell is the beautiful pearl just waiting to be plucked out.
It’s an interesting dichotomy that both fear and hope are entwined together. Where you find one, you will always find the other. It’s just a matter of looking back at your past experiences. Follow the thread of how fears are born from uncertainty. You might be learning something new. You are afraid to fail. Fears becomes that irritating grain of sand.
But as you learn and take in knowledge about it, you start to gain some experience of what this is going to be like. That grain of sand starts getting a coat of confidence. You start to gain some confidence that you can figure this out. You acknowledge that you will make mistakes. But those failures or mistakes can actually provide vital information. Another coat of confidence coats that grain of sand.
If you understand that every experience is in fact a learning tool, it will in turn build more confidence. Slowly those fears of failure turn into hope that you haven’t bit off more than you can chew. Hope provides even more confidence and slowly the uncertainly disappears. Your grain of sand has become a pearl of wisdom and dreams being fulfilled.
“When it rains look for rainbows. When it’s dark look for stars” – Unknown
Always look for the reasons to smile. My sister and I were talking earlier about the Covid-19 and how the enforcement of staying at home has been affecting people. A friend of hers back east has lost three friends to suicide in the past few weeks. It has certainly been a trying experience for a lot of married couples. Jada Pinkett Smith was talking about her marriage to Will Smith and how she has now realized that she doesn’t really “know” her husband at all, even after 25 years. She says that she goes straight to “fight” and that isn’t an option when you are forced to remain at home under quarantine. They are choosing to “go through some stuff” and become best friends again.
It is raining right now. Are you looking for rainbows? When the darkness comes into your head and heart, do you look for the stars? Again look back at the cover photo – are you choosing to see the beautiful green meadow with the sun shining through the fog – or, are you choosing to just see the rain and the darkness of your life’s current event. When you look back at the cover photo do you only see the reflection of the death of everything in it?
Don’t be afraid of your fears. They are a sign post telling you that something is coming into your life that is going to change everything. Instead of feeling a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach, imagine that your fear is in fact anticipation. The anticipation of opening that oyster to find a beautiful pearl just waiting for you to pluck it up and wear it proudly.
Never let fears stop you from pursuing your dreams. Don’t let your fears of what might happen, mean that you don’t make anything happen. Come join us for our next Zoom call. Bring all of those creative “hope” juices to the table and let’s see what we can make.
365 days a year LemonadeMakers posts a blog about something positive and potentially life changing. I write about my own life, the struggles I’ve had and the struggles I am in the middle of. I write about the beliefs I’ve come to adopt. I write a lot about change and transformation.
“You and you alone make the decision as to how you view the experiences in your life and it’s important to know who you are; not to judge, not to focus on your flaws and imperfections, but to discover who you want to be and decide if you’re living by choice or chance” – Live Purposefully Now
It started with my nephews murder and my writing myself out of a dark time. Right now we are all dealing with some aspect of the Covid-19 in our lives as well as the “normal” life lemons that show up for all of us.
“Choice is the most powerful tool we have. Everything boils down to choice. We exist in a field of infinite possibilities. Every choice we make shuts an infinite number of doors and opens an infinite number of doors. At any point we can change the direction of our lives by a simple choice. It is all in our hands, our hearts, and our minds” – tinybuddha.com
LemonadeMakers just recently hit the milestone of 100,000 likes/follows on our page. In connection with that milestone I asked for some comments about how LemonadeMakers has impacted your lives. Some of you responded and it made us so happy to see that LemonadeMakers was able to have a positive impact for you.
Just three of the many comments received:
“Every morning you have two choices: Continue to sleep with dreams or, Wake up and chase your dreams. The choice is yours . . ,” – Unknown
“Life isn’t always easy. I struggle day to day. But I choose to live life to the fullest and keep reminding myself that I am stronger than anything that stands in my way” – Tanya Masse
I have been thinking about how while we have reached this 100,000 milestone, most of the people who have become fans don’t see our posts. On an average day less than 2,000 people see our posts reflected in their daily feed. I get complaints from both friends, relatives, and fans that Facebook doesn’t show LemonadeMakers on their news feed. LemonadeMakers wants to support you during the struggles of your daily life. In order to support more positivity in your life, here is how you can make sure that Facebook is reflecting LemonadeMakers in your newsfeed.
To edit your News Feed preferences on your phone:
(I suggest at this point you type in LemonadeMakers, because if you are like me you have hundreds of friends and pages you have liked over the years). You are limited to 30 picks for prioritizing who you are seeing first.
Your selections aren’t ranked #1, #2, etc. It is random how it comes up.
Notifications: If you really don’t want to miss LemonadeMakers posts, you can get notified each time we post.
Please note that we do post more than one post a day, so if notifications annoy you, don’t activate this.
On the Facebook mobile application on the bottom right hand part of the screen is a little bell – if you click on the bell it takes you to all of your notifications. You will see not only a LemonadeMakers notification, but any friend requests, birthdays and people who are asking you to like their pages. That way you can find us really easy if you missed our posts when they popped up.
Hopefully this helps you stay connected with us. Another way to stay connected is our monthly Zoom call. Click in the box below to register. We have a lot of fun conversation. I bring some ideas and everyone has the opportunity to join in the conversation or to just sit back, relax and listen.
“It’s not circumstance. It’s not chance. It’s the choice we make that determines the destiny of life” – RVM
There is an old curse that people used to say, according to various fiction writers. “May you live in interesting times.” It was meant to imply that you would live in times of great change and unrest. You might be wondering if you are today, this moment, living in interesting times. If you are, how do you “aim true”?
In thinking about this I wonder if you are in fact living in a time of great shifting and upheaval. Think of the change in a landscape after a volcano has blown its top. We used to live outside of Seattle, WA and I remember going camping, hiking and fishing around Mt. Saint Helens. When the mountain had its huge eruption, the landscape totally changed. You would walk down the same path as before, only it wasn’t the same. The eruption changed the landscape into something surreal.
Are you experiencing changes on a personal level, such as going to a grocery store with a list of items that you can’t find? For those few items you do find, are you being limited by the store as to how many items you can purchase?
One of the things I love to do is get curious about patterns and shifts in life. During WW II all of the men went off to war. This left factories without workers and so many women were called upon to join the workforce to keep the machines running. It was a time of great upheavals and shifts. When the men came home they expected the women to go back home to the kitchen. Women had stood in the place of their husbands or boyfriends and worked a fulfilling job for several years – as well as keeping care of the home and children. Many of them didn’t want to go back home into their old roles as solely a wife or mother. They felt that they could be more than that, and wanted it to continue.
Overnight it seemed that the roles of a man and woman had shifted. They had turned a corner and it wasn’t possible to just go back to the way it was. It’s taken a long time for those roles to continue shifting and solidifying into true equality. It is still going on to some extent.
It feels like you may be about to have a similar experience of what happened to the workforce during WW II. What if the result of this virus is that you are about to experience a “turning of the corner” moment, in multiple ways of how you used to live your life?
“Happiness is letting go of what you think your life is supposed to look like and celebrating it for everything that it is” – Unknown
Malls have been slowly dying for the past 10 years or so. Is this the end of malls?
Working from home has been moving one step forward, two back for a few years. Where I work it wasn’t encouraged. It was well tolerated for a few years, but lately they had decided they wouldn’t approve it for fulltime employees who wanted to shift from the office to home any longer. Now of course for those states on lockdown everyone who can work from home is. If this home lockdown truly continues for a couple of months, will businesses have turned a corner and begin abandoning commercial multistoried office buildings? Will working from home become the “norm” of the future?
Has the virus killed ISP data caps? Internet providers have been lifting the data caps due to everyone being at home and using the internet – both for work and entertainment. Once you have given something away for free, it is very hard to put the genie back into the bottle. It becomes a negative experience for your customers and they will go to someone who is still not capping their online connections.
What if we have just “turned the corner” for movie theaters? You see Disney and several other companies releasing the movies to either buying the movie or streaming it and paying to view it. If this was to continue there would be need to be a drastic change to how much it cost to make a movie in order for the industry to survive. Would the mega dollars paid to the big stars go away? Would movies become all computer generated, with voices being the only real part of the movie?
What about the million dollar contracts for sports stars if the big arenas were no longer deemed safe?
Once you start down the rabbit hole of wondering, there is no telling where you might end up. The world is full of patterns. The patterns continue until they transform, collapse or end. When you are in the middle of a pattern that is in transition, it is really hard to recognize what is happening. Even if you recognize that a pattern shift is being played out, it is really hard to determine where it is going. It is impossible to guess how fast or slow the change will be, or how much it will impact you. You just know that transformation is in motion.
If you go back to the caterpillar to butterfly analogy you are inside the chrysalis and you are still just goo. Until you break free of the chrysalis you won’t know what it is that you have transformed into. You won’t know the true impact on your life. What corner(s) have you just turned that you can never go back from? It is like one of those pictures that you can connect the dots on. It is only after the transformation has been completed that you can see what you have transformed into.
I feel like there is an elephant trying to go through a door and it has gotten itself stuck. On the other side of the door is a brand new world to explore. I can get glimpses to see that it is a new world. I can’t however know how much of a change has actually occurred.
Will we all be working from home and will commercial real estate transform all of those buildings into housing? What would that mean for your goals that you are aiming for in your life?
Will the majority of people order groceries and have home delivery? Will grocery stores become more of a shipping facility than a store where you walk down the aisles and buy more than you planned on because of impulse buying? What would that mean for your goals that you are aiming for in your life?
Will drones become the future of deliveries? Will self driving cars that self sanitize become the way of getting from point A to point B if you do have to leave home? What would that mean for your goals that you are aiming for in your life?
All questions and answers can be discussed and explored – but nothing will be truly known until the elephant clears the doorway. Even then it will take time to fully realize that the corner has been completely turned. Before you can see how much the new direction impacts your life.
What you have in this moment though is the ability to be curious. To explore, not with a depressing attitude that the world is changing and you want it to remain the same. But with a curiosity that says, “I wonder what happens next?” “Do I aim high or low with my life goals and dreams?”
I firmly believe that there are going to be some great opportunities when we clear that doorway – when we turn that corner. You can make guesses. You can get curious and talk with others – but only from the perspective of good things are about to happen. This isn’t said to try and make light of the health and economic devastations that are happening. It is said to let you know that you don’t have to let fear take over your life.
You can’t control everything that is happening, or is about to happen. You can take the recommended steps to protect the health of yourself and your family. But once you have taken those steps – then go back into curiosity. Go back into wonder. Stay in the positive emotions of love, joy, happiness. Tell fear that it is in quarantine. Don’t let it out to take over your life.
Come and join our conversation on April 4th. Let’s talk about whatever is showing up for you and how you can turn the corner on fear and change your relationship with it. Let’s talk about your dreams and goals and how you can still be proactive in bringing them into reality. This isn’t the time to go into retraction with your life. It is instead the right time, to proactively take whatever positive steps you can to keep moving forward. To keep expanding the love, joy, happiness, curiosity in your life.