“Cherish your solitude. Take trains by yourself to places you have never been. Sleep alone under the stars. Learn how to drive a stick shift. Go so far away that you stop being afraid of not coming back. Say no whenever you don’t want to do something. Say yes if your instincts are strong, even if everyone around you disagrees. Decide whether you want to be liked or admired. Decide if fitting in is more important than finding out what you’re doing here. Believe in kissing” – Eve Ensler
It was really interesting in locating a photo for this quote. I looked up woman in solitude, and 90% of the photos showed women who were depressed, some even suicidal with a hangman’s noose besides one woman and suicide by pills in several others. I couldn’t believe that solitude was paired up with depression and suicide.
Solitude is critical to being able to love oneself. This is not being an isolationist, which could become unbalanced when taken to extremes. But rather as a sign of being balanced, because you are happy with your own company. Being alone doesn’t make you lonely. It took much longer than I thought to find a photo that actually displayed that kind of joyous feeling within it.
As a woman you give so much of yourself away. You constantly see to the needs of others. Solitude is how you can balance this out, so that you are not giving too much of yourself away. Solitude is strength.
At various times of the year, it is vital to have some solitude to review the past few months and do some deep thinking for how you want the rest of the year to be for you.
“Nowhere can man find a quieter or more untroubled retreat than in his own soul” – Marcus Aurelius
In reading anything that talks about the “crowd mentality”, it talks about how if you feel you must always be with people, it can be a sign of weakness. This is because you may become prone to follow whatever everyone else is doing, just to belong.
I think most everyone would say they are afraid to stand out, not be “normal”, or speak out against a crowd. The real dividing line is do you let that fear stop you?
There is nothing more freeing and empowering to like your own company and be your own person no matter where you are. It is more fun to be considered weird. Be the orange fish in a sea of blue fish. Go your own direction. Be weird.
I love the first quote because it shows great courage to do things like take trains to somewhere you have never been by yourself. To go so far away that you lose the fear of finding your way home. That you will do something that you know in the depths of your soul is yours alone to do, even when everyone you know disagrees.
“Solitude is the soul’s holiday, an opportunity to stop doing for others and to surprise and delight ourselves” – Katrina Kenison
I believe that you have that kind of courage, but sometimes you are still letting life hold you back. I believe this is true of all of us.
There are moments of indecision. Of not being sure of your way. In the end, the only way out, really is, to go through. To step past the place of safety on the sand. You need to actually cross over the line into adventure, stepping into the sea.
“True happiness is impossible without solitude…, I need solitude in my life as I need food and drink and the laughter of little children. Extravagant though it may sound, solitude is the filter of my soul. It nourishes me, and rejuvenates me. Left alone, I discovered that I keep myself good company” – Sophia Loren
Only by being alone with yourself can you come to true honesty with who you are, and how you are being reflected in the world. It is in this place of honesty, you are able to authentically release the parts of you that are not you, and own in the real world the parts of you that are crying to be released into life.
Only to the extent that you expose yourself to the changing tides of the sea, can you transform into who you are becoming. I think that we all want to find out what we are doing here, and we can’t do that staying safely on the dry land. You have to step over the line to experience adventure. Here is to smooth sailing!
For an idea of something that you can do with relative ease, try Forest bathing. It is the practice of immersing yourself in nature in a mindful way. It has a whole range of benefits for your physical, mental, emotional, and social health. It comes to us from Japan and is known as Shinrin-yoku. ‘Shinrin’ means forest and ‘Yoku’ stands for bathing.
Forest bathing in nature allows the stressed portions of your brain to relax. Positive hormones are released in the body. You feel less sad, angry and anxious. It helps to avoid stress and burnout, and aids in fighting depression and anxiety. Immersing yourself in the solitude of you and the forest is very healing to the body, mind, and soul.
A forest bath is known to boost immunity and leads to lesser days of illness as well as faster recovery from injury or surgery. Nature has a positive effect on our mind as well as body. It improves heart and lung health, and is known to increases focus, concentration and memory. Certain trees like conifers also emit oils and compounds to safeguard themselves from microbes and pathogens. These molecules known as Phytoncides are good for our immunity too. Breathing in the forest air boosts the level of natural killer (NK) cells in our blood. NK cells are used in our body to fight infections, cancers and tumors. So spending time with these tree is a special form of tree bathing.
The biggest gap in your life is between what you know and what you do – Bob Proctor
It is up to you to be a prisoner of your past, by remaining in it; or to be a champion of your future by building it. If your life path was to travel from one of these formations in the above photo, to the next one and so on to the end, how would you do it?
You could anchor yourself and rappel down the mountain, then walk to the next peak and scale up that peak. Then cross the peak, rappel down the mountain and repeat over and over again.
We are human. We are not perfect. We are alive. We try things. We make mistakes. We stumble. We fall. We get hurt. We rise again. We try again. We keep learning. We keep growing. And we are thankful for this priceless opportunity called life – Unknown
Or, you could become a bridge builder. You could build a temporary bridge out of ropes or wood, or a bridge designed with stone or steel that would last for many years.
Neither way is wrong or right. Just different choices. You could for sake of argument take opposing viewpoints on the better, faster way to walk this path. You could discuss how those that follow you would make better speed with some type of bridge that you are building. Or how scaling up each peak would define you and make you stronger. For me, rock climbing would be facing the fear of falling to my death. It would test my faith in ropes, cords, carabineers, slings, anchors, and harnesses.
At the end of the day, the analogy is that each of us has our own path of divine destiny to walk. There really isn’t a right or wrong way to walk the path. The lessons will come to you regardless of what you choose.
The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things – Rainer Maria Rilke
Some time ago I self-identified a pattern that I have. I call it one foot on the brake and one foot on the gas. It began with a childhood experience when I was four years old. I was very motivated to the best in school and when I was an adult to climb the corporate ladder. I was also very introverted and didn’t like to be seen and noticed. This pattern of drawing attention to myself by being a master at my job, and then shrinking back when I got the attention used to drive me crazy.
I finally through years of self-improvement identified this pattern and started working to shift and transform it. Every time I feel like I am walking in slow motion, or pushing a boulder up hill, I know that this pattern has reentered my life. It is an energetic signal that I am being blocked in some way.
Have you ever had a project you wanted to complete and every time you sat down to work on it, you would remember something else you had to do? It might be an email that simply must be written and sent now. It might be laundry or dishes that have to be done. You notice a spider web on the ceiling that must be removed. You have to run to the store. Your mind is looking for something to distract you away from the project. Suddenly the whole day is gone, and you didn’t work on it at all.
Put gaps in your life: moments to reflect, prepare, meditate and breathe – Jody Adams
For whatever reason your life pattern is trying to shift you away from the project. There is something about this project that it wants to avoid. In some manner, this project is pushing up against the boundaries you have set in your subconscious. It sees a danger, and so it works hard to gently distract you away from it. The completion of the project will in some way change and shift your life – it could be that you are aware of it, or it could be some unforeseen possibility that your subconscious wants to avoid.
In my case, I started shifting the pattern first by writing these blogs. It felt safe because I am unseen and unknown to you. Then I started speaking on stages about my transformational work. This was also not too hard, because with the lights on a stage, it is hard to see the audience.
They aren’t up close and personal. The hardest thing to shift was being able to walk into a room and not be terrified of meeting and having conversations with strangers. Of not being judged as “not enough”. Of feeling like I was an imposter. Negative thoughts of self-judgment. Places I was afraid of. “Who was I” to think I had something to say you would want or need to hear?
Negative thoughts are like rotten or missing boards on a bridge. It is scary to think of stepping out on this bridge. What if I fall?
This pattern of “having a foot on the gas and brake at the same time”, is really great at camouflaging itself. It has chameleon qualities. When I started with this Facebook page, I knew that I needed a website for the blog posts. Instead of 30 – 45 days it took me nine months and the hold ups were all from me.
t took me months to actually sit down and start writing my first book. Every time I start something new, “Cami” my own personal chameleon puts the brakes on. The good news is that it is taking less time for me to recognize what she is doing and shift her efforts at slowing me down.
I may not have gone where I intended to go. But I think I have ended up where I needed to be – Douglas Adams
Many teach that we came into this life to have a certain experience. Mine seems to be dealing with this pattern of foot on the brakes, when I am pushing hard on the gas to accomplish a goal. Now that I recognize it has chameleon like qualities, whenever I am not progressing towards my goals, I know to go looking for that sneaky lizard.
The best thing in life is to go ahead with all your plans and your dreams, to embrace life and to live everyday with passion, to lose and still keep the faith and to win while being grateful. All of this because the world belongs to those who dare to go after what they want. And because life is really too short to be insignificant – Charlie Chaplin
This life pattern is my GAP – Gods Area of Preparation. This is where you learn about new ways that your life pattern has shifted, and you learn new ways to build bridges to close that gap.
The winds of life will try and pull you off course. The space between your values and behavior is called the Integrity gap. It is the places where what you say you are doing and what actions are actually taking place, have a gap. It isn’t that you are purposefully not living in integrity. It is that sneaky chameleon who has disguised itself to put up roadblocks to the actions that you intend to do.
Go back to places where you feel like you might have had the brake and gas on at the same time. Once you recognize the patterns, it becomes easier and easier to release the brakes and have your actions spring back into gear.
Can you see GAPs in your life pattern? Do you see where you need to learn to build bridges to close off the gap to get to your destination?
Don’t be afraid to explore and discover what the broken pieces of you are trying to say. Mosaics at made from broken pieces, and they are a beautiful work of art. All of life experiences come together to create who you are. To expose the divine gifts you have, you rearrange the pieces to uncover the hidden treasures you have buried deep within yourself. To show you just how every shattered dream, served to provide just what was needed to move forward in strength.
There is a funny thing about how time works in fairy tales. At the end of the adventure, they say “and they lived happily ever after”.
The reality of time is that it takes your whole lifetime to live through the happily ever after part. You don’t get to your star with a one and done journey. A life purpose isn’t a one and done. The journey will last your entire lifetime.
Your life purpose might be experienced in different ways in different times in your life, but it is always the same life purpose.
“At the end of life, what really matters is not what we bought, but what we built; not what we got, but what we shared; not our competence, but our character; and not our success, but our significance. Live a life that matters. Live a life of love” – Unknown
The story you are living in this moment is just a chapter in one of those books where there are over 1,000 pages and this one is the 4th one in the 12-book series. There are a lot of hills, valleys, lakes and oceans to walk. It is a lot of walking to follow your star.
There are multiple ways in which your life purpose will be lived from the moment you are born, to the moment when this body dies, and you go on to the next adventure. So, while you’re not who you used to be in this moment, you also still have time to become who you came here to be.
“Fear comes from not knowing what to expect and not feeling you have any control over what’s about to happen. When you feel helpless, you’re far more afraid than you would be if you knew the facts” – Chris Hadfield
There are times in your life journey when you:
The actual danger you perceive versus what danger you are in usually don’t match up. Danger is a thing, and fear is your reaction to it. It’s not the thing that will stop you.
It is your imagined fear about the thing. This is because what fear tells you is happening, is entirely different than reality.
Think about when you were learning to ride a bicycle. There were some fears involved with learning to ride, as everyone crashes. Some people just skin their knees or elbows. Some people break an arm or leg.
When I was a kid, there were no helmets, so some people when the crashed had a head injury. Riding a bike can be dangerous, but you determined the risk was worth it, because everyone else was riding a bike. So, you overcame your fear, and learned to ride despite the risk.
“A mistake should be your teacher, not your attacker. A mistake is a lesson, not a loss. It is a temporary, necessary detour, not a dead end” – curiano.com
Most fears originate from a lack of understanding about what is happening or could happen. It is a lack of knowledge and experience.
You know from watching everyone who learned to ride a bicycle before you – those crashes are going to happen. You will make a mistake:
Each crash teaches you something. Going back to your bicycle – when you got personal knowledge of your bicycle, the fears you had in the beginning went away. No one is afraid of the bicycle itself, but rather the fears of being hurt from crashing that the imagination produces.
Here is the interesting point – did the bicycle change or did you change to eliminate those fears?
It was you.
In his book, “An Astronaut’s Guide To Life On Earth”, Astronaut Chris Hadfield talks about how he realized what his life purpose was as a 10 yr. old child watching men walk on the moon. He shaped his entire life to support that dream of being an astronaut.
From 10 years old forward everything was focused on what he perceived as his life purpose. I am sure that he had times when he questioned what he was doing. I am sure that he had friends and relatives that said his chances of actually going into space were limited, especially in the years where NASA had to downsize the space program.
This got me to think of other life long goals such as professional sports. Say you decide that you want to be an Olympic Athlete – you would choose the sport that you have the most natural talent, passion and drive for. Then you would eat, sleep, and drink that sport everyday for years.
It’s really different from what Chris did – he had stages of accomplishment he went through based on the above list.
It wasn’t enough to just learn to fly a plane. You also had to acquire a needed job skill in addition to being a pilot. He had to develop a certain mental headspace that a test pilot has – being able to run towards risk instead of avoiding it.
Unlike the Olympic Games in which you have many competing, only a couple of pilots go with each flight. So your second profession has to be what else is needed on the Space Station and you have better be a master of it too.
He had vertigo – a fear of heights. He trained his mind that it was ok to be up high, if there isn’t the possibility of falling. The best thing about space flight, was that he really couldn’t fall. He took that fear, recognized his fear and the facts around his fear, and realized he doesn’t have to live in fear.
He talked about how when they strap him into his seat preparing to lift off how it is hot and cramped. Behind his back is a parachute/survival kit and it makes for an uncomfortable position, which you have to deal with for a few hours’ minimum – even so, he couldn’t imagine any place else he would rather be.
Those words to me perfectly describe a person who is in the zone, on course to completing a life dream. A person who at that moment is totally on purpose. The hyper-focus is so clear, that nothing distracts or impedes you.
He describes that moment when you switch from hoping something is going to happen, to knowing it will. That moment of lift off, when you know it is a sure thing.
The closest feeling, I could come to is when you step up on the stage for graduation and walk across to get your diploma. At that moment you know that nothing can take away your sense of accomplishment in putting a period to a lifetime goal. It feels like magic, winning, and that feeling of knowing all of your hard work paid off.
You can listen to his 2014 Ted Talk here where he talks about his experience of going blind while out on a space walk. It was all of the years of preparation which enabled him to stop the panic that anyone would have and creatively figure out how to fix the issue. As he stated in the quote above, the best answer to stop fear is competence.
As always, we are here to help in any way we can.
“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 have tried and failed in, but with what is still possible to do” – Pope John XXIII
Everyone has dreams. How many times have you said the words, “I thought of that idea, but didn’t know how to accomplish it” – or “that could have been me being rich and famous, I thought of that idea years ago”? I believe that the universe downloads great ideas to many, because most of us will never chase the dream into a reality.
When you are a dream chaser you realize that the person who you are, has just been constructed out of the myths you have told yourself since you were a child. That this person who was created out of ideas, beliefs and images – is not really who you are.
Those myths don’t define you, and they are not who you are deep inside your soul. The dream is your soul’s way of clearing out all of the things that no longer serve you. It draws out of the center of our soul, who we really are.
“Walk with the dreamers, the believers, the courageous, the cheerful, the planners, the doers, the successful people with their heads in the clouds and their feet on the ground” – Wilfred Peterson
When you decide to become a dream chaser, it changes your life forever. This is because this decision means that you have decided to become someone different than you have been. You realize that in order to bring your dream into reality, you have to become who the dream is calling you to be.
You need to serenade your dreams. Ranging from a simple love ballad to the romantic symphony. Music that reflects the intensity of your love of the dream you are chasing. You bleed the words of your soul’s poetry onto the page of your dreams. You spill out your heart’s desires, creating a flood of emotions. You float across the dance floor of your dreams, stamping your feet with the intensity of the Paso Doble. You paint out your dreams in swirls across the canvas, blending in the colors of your life as you paint it into existence. As the conductor of the orchestra, with the baton leading the intensity of the music, you create a tapestry of tones and colors across the mind.
“Dreams are valuable commodities. They propel us forward. They give us energy” – John C. Maxwell
All of this art creates the souls wishes from deep inside of you, out onto the world stage. The distance between your dream and reality is bridged by action. Small steps become long distances, when you just keep walking.
Remember the joy of the babies first step? You would hold out your hands and walk backwards one step, to encourage them to take another step. The next thing you know they are running across the room, the yard, and the world. Small steps become long distances, when you just keep walking towards the souls wishes.
What is most needed at this moment, is for all of us to let lose our passions and come alive. Come alive and go out and do what you see needs to be done. Don’t wait for someone else to solve your problems, or your neighborhoods problems or the world’s problems. Come alive and do something. Join an organization to help others; get involved in volunteering, in politics, in raising your hand and saying, “I can do that”.
Refuse to let the fears and nightmares of other people’s lives distort your dreams. Don’t apologize for having dreams. Don’t stop chasing them because others don’t want you to try to bring them into reality.
Once you’ve started chasing your dreams, your spirit won’t let you stop because your dreams excite your spirit. You develop a deep hunger that can’t be satisfied in any other way. It is your road, your dreams, your life.
Don’t follow your dreams; chase them . . . – Kunal Patel
Dreams are all about transforming. When you listen to your soul’s voice, you see your dreams play out in your imagination. Your imagination is the illustrator to the book that your soul has written out on your heart. It is up to you to read the blueprint designs and go out into the world and build them into reality.
Negative people are like termites. If you let them into your dreams, they will destroy what you are building. Don’t let them get in even a first bite. You are far too smart, to let the negativity of your own mind or that of others stand in your way.
Remember that God put that dream into your heart. He whispers to your soul what the next step is to bring it into reality. You just need to listen, believe and go out and do what you can do. God will make sure the right doors open, but you have to step through them.
What are your dreams, visions, your life purpose? Are you on track to bring them into reality and complete them? Have you allowed distractions to sidetrack you? Are you unclear on what your life purpose is or how to bring it into reality?
“You are capable of far more than you know. Don’t be afraid to unleash your greatness” – Unknown
“It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you’re not” – Unknown
“Anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve” – J.K. Rowling
“When life gives you something that makes you feel afraid, that’s when life gives you a chance to be brave” – Lupytha Marmin
“There is nothing more beautiful than finding your course as you believe you bob aimlessly in the current. And wouldn’t you know that your path was there all along, waiting for you to knock, waiting for you to become. This path does not belong to your parents, your teachers, your leaders, or your lovers. Your path is your character defining itself more and more every day” – Jodie Foster
“Your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God” – Leo Buscaglia
I discovered that I could survive differences of opinion. In fact, I discovered that I could grow through the differences of opinion. While you all have had different experiences in your lives, there is a core of everyone’s experience that is the same. The differences are what makes the variety that we all need in life.
The fact that difference isn’t a scary thing was a major reveal for me. You are all STRONGER than you think you are. You are all SMARTER than you think you are.
I have a different way of looking at the world. I love to find multiple meanings in words. I think that words are like colors and have these shades of color waiting to be explored. It gives each word depth and height and width.
You also have these hidden sides. You can talk to any astronaut, and they all have a similar story. From the time they were small children their dream was to become an astronaut. So, they worked hard to be a pilot. They may have enlisted in the Air Force or became a stunt pilot. They went to college for science and technology. Anything they could do to fulfill that childhood dream.
When you look at the stories of those who go through fiery experiences in their lives, you see what they learn about themselves and others. It gives new meaning to what humanity is all about.
“Don’t be the reason someone feels insecure. Be the reason someone feels seen, heard, and supported by the whole universe” – Cleo Wade
I am so glad that I take the chance each day to express my thoughts. It helps me to work through the questions in my life. It helps to build resilience in my soul. When I look out at the world it is so filled with fear, lack of trust, and uncertainty. As I express research and study the wisdom of others and then express it out on this page, I believe that you are helping to create a community of souls that are looking to the future with hope. Hope that together we can show the world that it is filled with simply amazing people – and yes that means you!
Your encouragement gives me the confidence each day to express my thoughts, and I hope in turn that I can encourage just one more person each day that life is not only worth living – but that we are all brave enough and strong enough to climb to the tops of mountains and explore the depths of valleys and swim in the oceans.
What are your dreams, visions, your life purpose? Are you on track to bring them into reality and complete them? Have you allowed distractions to sidetrack you? Are you unclear on what your life purpose is or how to bring it into reality?
LemonadeMakers is happy to talk to you about your challenges, to encourage you, and provide inspiration to continue on your individual journey. As we share the lessons of each one’s individual journey, resilience is grown for everyone. Join the conversation and become even more inspired to reach out and pull your dreams into reality.
There comes a time when the desire for transformation demands action. Never let your fears be the deciding factor, of taking that action.
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.
Your words have power. When you hide how you feel, what you think, you are trying to live your life using someone else’s light. You can’t find your way home that way.
May you always be guided by the light that shines forth from within you – solitaryview
Life is always about the meaning that you give to it. If you take a lamp as the analogy, your soul is the light inside the lamp. The things that happen to you are the glass that surrounds the light. That glass doesn’t matter, it is the heart and soul – the light that matters.
You tell yourself stories about the events in your life, to give some meaning to what is happening to you. Some of you are writing horror stories, or stories that leave you drained from your fears and worries.
Others are writing stories about the gifts they have received as they travel through life. The gifts from the wonderful things that have happened to you, 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 your soul to see what the storms dredged up for you to look at. When you sift through it all, you can let go of everything that doesn’t serve you. You can realize the lessons you have been taught. You can keep growing into who you came here to be.
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. The vanity of false beliefs leaving you with blisters isn’t a good way to live.
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
Making something happen is really 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.
Have you ever gone 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, you need to pay attention. That you are in that moment, doing something that is important, even if your mind doesn’t 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 you 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.
The journey of life teaches you that growth happens when the dream is bigger and brighter than you ever thought it could be.
In the pursuit of your dream, you 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 kinds 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.
You can’t change what’s going on around you, until you start changing what’s going on within you.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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“Curiosity is lying in wait for every secret” – Unknown
“Be curious always! For knowledge will not acquire you: you must acquire it” – Sudie Back
“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 you engaged. Like old world adventurers, you will discover new worlds and uncover new possibilities. You will see things you never noticed before.
Like the book by Jules Verne and the several movie’s that have been made, “Journey to the Center of the Earth” is all about going beneath the surface, where entire new worlds and ideas will open up before you.
“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
“Be curious, not judgmental” – Walt Whitman
Being curious requires that you have an open mind. That you be open to not only learning something new, but also to unlearning what you have outgrown. You also need to be open to relearning about things you thought you understood, but which now take on new meanings as you dig deeper into them.
You become like Alice in “Alice in Wonderland” and follow the rabbit down the hole, with no idea how many things in your life might be turned upside down.
“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 built 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 an old practice and starting a new practice. It’s sort of like when you learn to ride a bike. You start with a tricycle. Then you progress to a two-wheel bike with training wheels. Then you progress to leaving the training wheels behind. You could even progress to being a “trick” rider taking risks in doing jumps and flips.
In each case you leave something behind to progress to the next level of proficiency.
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 that is creating change in your life, also helps you to fulfill your divine destiny? That it is awakening your 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
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.
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 your passion, and your passion fuels more curiosity. It is what moves you to not only start the engine, it also gets you to taxi down the runway, even though your heart feels like it is going to explode. It is that intense desire to feel that experience of flight that creates the passion to move past the fear.
It is the curiosity to know that experience firsthand, to not just be a passenger in your own life. It seeks ways to become fulfilled. It is why you saved every penny for flight school. It is why you studied when your friends were out having a good time. It is why you showed up for every flight lesson, even though your stomach was tied up in knots of fear that you could die. It is why you 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 you truly live in the arising moment, this is where true happiness lives. It is how you create a meaningful life. By being so curious, that fears voice is lost in the passion of the journey.
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So many times we ask the divine for help, for guidance. The door is open, right there in front of us, but we don’t enter. It could be that what we see beyond that door is not what we were expecting for the answer. It could be that we are so caught up in the drama and chaos that we don’t even see the door. We remain in our self imposed prison, feeling sorry for ourselves, and we are the only ones with the key.
Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.
– Corrie ten Boom
I was reading a book recently and one of the sub plot lines was that one of the main characters had seen in a vision that he killed one of the other main characters. Sometimes what we see is a still point scene, meaning that it is just a flash of what the scene is about. But we don’t see what happened before or after it. Like this photo we just see a green mist. It isn’t until we step through the door that everything becomes clear. To refuse the journey because of what we think might happen, is to live our life with fears chains limiting every move. Be brave. Trust who you are at the heart and soul level. Unlock fears chains and walk through the door.
Fear knocked at the door. Love answered and no one was there.
– Dr. Wayne Dyer
In the book I was referencing, she had been poisoned with a drug that would affect her brain in such a way that she would become a killer, no moral codes, insane. And the same time, the sane part of herself would know everything that the insane part of her was doing. She asked him to kill her. Our divine destiny sometimes leads us to places unexpected. Without knowing the whole story we look out that door and see a scene that we reject wholesale. We judge it without an understanding of what is really going on.
It’s better to look back on life and say, “I can’t believe I did that” than to look back and say, “I wish I did that”.
– Lessons Learned In Life
We need to walk through that door to begin the long journey to ourselves. To unfold our own myths. The ones that you grew up with. Your sibling is the smart one (which made you the dumb one). Your sibling is the athlete (which made you clumsy or uncoordinated). Your sibling is musical (which made you tone deaf). We could go on and on with the comparisons between you and someone else as you grew up. The teachers who told you that you couldn’t do something, weren’t talented enough, whatever the rejection was that you accepted as fact. Then there are the myths that you just told yourself, based on your own low opinion of who you are, and what you are capable of.
If someone offers you an amazing opportunity and you’re not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later.
– Sir Richard Branson
And of course there are the hopes and dreams of those that love us, that aren’t the same as our own hopes and dreams. I remember in the book, “Love, Medicine and Miracles”, one of the true stories was of a young man who had terminal cancer. He was in college studying to become a doctor, because that was what his parents wanted. When he found out he had cancer he quit school and went to play his violin which was his dream and passion in life. Funny thing happened, his cancer went away. When he started living his life purpose, he starting living his life.
When opportunity knocks, don’t let fear hold you back. Open the door and embrace the opportunity that has come forth.
– Live Life Fully
When he stopped letting fear of disappointing his parents stop him from being who he really was, he opened the door to the life he was supposed to be living.
Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end.
– Denis Waitley
The other thing that keeps us from walking through that door is the voice that remembers that one time we fell on our face. A complete laughing stock failure. You don’t want that to ever happen again, so take no chances on walking through the door. We need just enough courage to open that door and step through. We need a new definition of what failure is. Failure is a temporary detour. It is the realization that failure is just a part of the process on the road to success. Failure is not a stop sign. It is a learning experience that we need to fully embrace. To hold it in our arms, to hug it tight. We don’t die from failure. We do however stop living, if we let failure be a stop sign.
I’ve failed over and over and that is why I succeed.
– Michael Jordan
In basketball you miss more shots than you make and you are still a success, why? Because you keep trying, and you don’t sit in the stands and watch, not taking the shot. You keep trying and you even though you miss some of the time, you also score some of the time.
Let the people discover you! You might have the key of the locked doors in their lives! Open yourself to the world; you might be the magic the world needs!
– Mehmet Murat Jidan
So many of us walk through life, trying not to be seen. We are afraid of being judged, as not being worthy, of thinking more of ourselves than we should and being found a fraud. But that is just a lie. The more that we let people in, the more our life opens up. The more that we be who we truly are without the limitations we put on ourselves. The more that we help ourselves, the more we can help others do the same. That is the change that the world needs. To live out loud, who we are in our souls. When we do that, we give others permission to do the same.
When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.
Walk through that door. Don’t let the fear of change, of the unknown. of possible failure, keep you from living your life on purpose.
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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 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.
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.
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 float 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.
So, let’s say just for sake of example it was to 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.