Plant seeds of happiness, hope, success, and love; it will all come back to you in abundance. This is the Law of Nature.
– Dr. Steve Maraboli
I’ve always thought that if I was a flower, I would want to be a dandelion. I love how their seed heads seem to sparkle. When my bright yellow flower matured into tiny seeds, I wanted a little girl to pick me and make wishes. Then blow me all over the meadow, so that I could spread and grow into the whole meadow. A whole meadow of new tiny wishes to be made.
Only the wind knows where it will carry our dandelion souls.
– A.R. Asher
Dandelions are considered to be weeds by many. But they are edible plants, and dandelion tea is very good for the liver, although I guess that dandelion wine might be a better drink – lol. It is a useful plant, not pretentious or hard to grow like some flowers. It is found almost everywhere. It is even a social flower because their deep taproots bring up nutrients not only for themselves, but any nearby plants too. If you plant them around your trees, they release a gas that actually helps fruit to ripen.
What I need is the dandelion in the spring. The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction. The promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our losses. That it can be good again.
– Suzanne Collins
When the seeds disperse they parachute outwards, like they are enjoying even the end of the life to the maximum, with no reservations. They have faith that their landing will continue to their species. This faith is born out by the fact that they have been around since prehistoric times and are not a cultivated plant in most places.
Faith is not belief without proof, but trust without reservation.
– D. Elton Trueblood
Words are like seeds. They have creative power. What seeds are you planting? What choices are you making today, that will be harvested tomorrow, next week, next month, next year? Do you choose to make changes, so that you can excel? Do you choose to listen to your inner mean mind voice or the soft whisper of your soul? Do you choose to be useful, not using and manipulating others? Do you choose to live your life with courage, standing up for yourself and others? Words grow larger when they are examined. The words are like the opening of a flower, from the bud to the blossom.
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to bloom.
– Anais Nin
Why are we afraid of opening from a bud to a bloom? I think part of the reason is that we are afraid of being judged as not worthy. Not a very pretty blossom. Poor color. Bent petals. Not attracting the right kinds of bees, birds or insects to help pollinate others. No scent, or even worse, we stink. We might get attacked by Aphids and look all spotty. A dog or cat might decide we are the litter box. Some child running by could step on us and smash us into paste. Then we won’t even have a chance to go to seed. Our purpose has all been for nothing. We should have just remained in the dark earth and not even tried to shoot towards the sun.
Every crisis contains within it the seeds for transformation and growth
– Jodie Gale
Then there is the whole going to seed part. It is frightening. We must completely fall apart. All of the beautiful petals of our youth fall to the ground. Our leaves turn brown and brittle and fall off. The wind takes our precious seeds and just blows them away. We don’t even get a say where they land. Some landings will be on hard ground and the birds will eat us up. But some will land in moist soil and falling into darkness they will start the germination process all over again. The circle of life begins anew.
The heart is like a garden. It can grow compassion, or fear, resentment or love. What seeds will you plant there?
– Jack Kornfield
When you have a good healthy discussion, the words used are like a seasoning. They bring flavor to the ideas. They change the texture of the meanings when they are used in new and different ways. They expand our heart and mind. They fall into the cracks and grow something new and unforeseen. Words can be hot and spicy, or cool and watery. Mellow words sooth and soften us. They have the saying, “those are fighting words”. Our words can cause us to run the entire string of the emotional scale. What kind of words do you use? Are they growing compassion or hatred? Fear or love? Anger or resentment or are they conciliatory?
For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.
– Cynthia Occelli
Life brings challenges to us. Many times the worst thing that can happen, becomes the best thing that could have happened to us. It sometimes takes us cracking, falling apart in total destruction for us to find the truth of who we really are. To set us on the path that we are supposed to be on. Today someone fell in love and someone lost the love of their life. Today someone lived through an accident that should have killed them, and someone else didn’t wake up this morning because they died in their sleep. Today someone made their parents proud and today someone crushed their parents hearts. Today someone was healed from cancer and someone died from cancer. Today could have been the best day of your life or the worst day of your life.
You have seen my descent. Now watch my rising.
At some point the destruction hits us or misses us. But take heart, because it isn’t really destruction. When life buries us, remember that we are seeds. We will rise back up out of the darkness. We will shine again. Like the ocean tide, we rise and we fall, and we rise again. Where we are headed is much more important that what we are leaving behind us. We keep growing, keep learning, and we try new things. We are human, not perfect, but perfectly imperfect. I am thankful to be alive and still moving to fulfill my dreams and my destiny. I embrace life with grace and courage. I see wishes floating on the breeze, parachuting into a new adventure!
What defines us, us how well we rise after falling.
Don’t follow your dreams . . . chase them!
– Kunal Patel
Dreams come preloaded with a guidance system. They know the fastest way to bring themselves into reality. Give yourself permission to listen to them, to step into who you are meant to be. As little girls we are taught to play small. Not to be too much of anything, because it is prideful to draw attention to ourselves. Nick names such as “Miss Priss”, “Smarty pants” are designed to make us feel even smaller – like who does she think she is? Little girls who aspire to do jobs in the Stem fields have to fight and work harder, just because “girls are not good at those things”.
Little girls with dreams become women with vision.
Dreams also come with more than one path. I say this, because the fastest way is “as the crow flies” which means it is usually the harder path to take. Most of us would prefer the shortcut. The Staples “easy button”. But the “easy” button doesn’t expand our comfort zone. It doesn’t teach us new things about ourselves. We don’t get to explore the depths of who we are and what we are capable of. It isn’t the path to adventure. The “easy” button is not the way to mastery or to accomplishing any great work. It is about settling and living life in a rut, just a hamster in a wheel, running fast and going nowhere. The harder path is over mountains, down steep ravines. You have to ford rivers at flood stage. You trudge through hot dry deserts and lose your bearings in muggy swamps covered with mosquito bites. The fastest way tests your mind, body and soul. It builds you up, strengthening muscles in places you didn’t even know you had muscles. At the end of the day, you may be exhausted, but it is a happy exhausted. You have proven to yourself what you are truly capable of being and doing.
Follow your dreams even if it means standing alone. Be different but stay yourself.
It might be that we are not confident of your ability to take that harder path. I am a huge “Lord of the Rings” fan. When Frodo and Samwise go forward on the journey with just the two of them, they are definitely taking that hard path. I always thought that if the Eagles could rescue them at the end when the lava was coming to kill them, why couldn’t they have dropped them off at the mouth of the cave? What Frodo and Samwise learned was there was a big difference in setting out on the journey to accomplish your dreams, and actually traveling and experiencing the journey itself. It stretched them beyond every boundary. Responsibility, wisdom, self knowledge, self reflection, fears, courage – every word was dismantled, tested in forges of fire, and rebuilt as they took on new meanings.
Everyone has talent. What’s rare is the courage to follow it to the dark places where it leads.
– Erica Jong
The reason of course is that Frodo and Samwise needed to learn many things to enable them to win over the power of the ring and truly destroy it. Without those lessons, the ring would have won. The dark places, are the places where we get tested. Both Frodo and Samwise had to go through their own dark places. When you have been in those places, you reach a completely new understanding of compassion. We all have cracks and dents from our collisions with life. The bent and broken places heal, but they are never the same. We think that surviving the fires is what refines us, when in fact, it is what we do with what happened that tells the story. The end is a new beginning – but are we crossing the threshold with the ashes and tattered clothing or are we like the phoenix rising up out of the ashes reborn?
Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters.
So it is with us. The harder path will teach us what we need to win through to the dream and be able to handle the changes that accomplishing the dream will make in our lives. If we take the easy path, the shortcuts, then we may not have the strength of character that has been tested and forged in the fire. Without this, our ultimate dream may not be able to make it into reality. Fame and fortune is full of stories about the rich and famous imploding in a ball of fire. Suicide, Murder, Drugs, Crime, and so on . . . because they could not handle the changes the fulfillment of the dream made in their lives. Their lifestyle burned the candle at both ends. Soon there was nothing left but a burnt broken stub that could no longer hold a flame. Not many are able to restructure their life after the burn out.
We may place blame, give reasons, and even have excuses, but in the end, it is an act of cowardice to not follow your dreams.
– Dr. Steve Maraboli
So even when the dream points us in a direction that we think is too difficult, that we don’t think that we possess the courage or skills to make happen – it is in our ultimate best interest to pull up the big girl/boy panties and go for it. I always tell myself, that if the divine gave me this dream, then he also must have given me the skills needed to make it happen. There are stars hidden in our soul, and only in reaching for the deep dreams can we find them. We need to make space for the wisdom of our soul to emerge.
So follow the breadcrumbs and storm the castle! Be bold and build your life around the answers that you innate soul wisdom gives to you. If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never get it. If you don’t step forward, you’ll always be stuck in the same rut. Let your passion and purpose collide – once in awhile we need to blow open our minds so that we can truly see what life is offering us.
May you follow your dreams, and always believe in yourself. Keep your eyes on the stars and hope in your heart.
“A lack of clarity could put the brakes on any journey to success” – Steve Maraboli
Okay, I have to confess that this happens to me a lot. I walk into a room to do something specific – maybe I go into the kitchen to grab the dirty dish towels to put in my load of laundry. Then something catches my attention and I think, “Oh, I have to water this plant”. Minutes go by. I have forgotten all about the towels and laundry. I wander into another room with the goal to water another plant, and I get distracted by something else. At the end of the day, I have all of these half finished ideas and projects. Does this happen to anyone else?
Clarity can be hard to come by in today’s busy world. The speed of change is getting faster and faster. How do you slow down to see what is important?
“When you have clarity of intention, the universe conspires with you to make it happen” – Fabienne Fredrickson
Let your imagination wander to what situation in life would be fun, yet also produce instantaneous clarity? The genie with the proverbial three wishes. There he is waiting for you to say what you want. Can you just feel your mind sorting through every wish list that you have ever created? What would be the three most important things you would wish for? With the genie sitting there waiting for the wishes, nothing would distract you.
“Lets go invent tomorrow instead of worrying about what happened yesterday” – Steve Jobs
Clarity of purpose is a mighty tool. The clearer you are about “exactly” what you want, the more your brain will work on how to attract it into your life. The problem is that most of us have “squirrel thinking”. You let the distractions take you out of what you came into the room to do.
“Your dreams are a poetic reflection of your soul’s wishes. Make this the day you take the first step in the beautiful journey of bringing your dreams to life” – Steve Maraboli
My dog had a squirrel as her nemesis. That squirrel could side line her from anything she was doing. She would be so intent on something in the yard, and the squirrel would climb on the telephone pole and immediately distract her. Her food, her treat, her toy, everything was forgotten for the chance that the squirrel would magically fall down the pole into her waiting paws or jaws as the case may be.
“Breathe. The universe is taking care of everything else” – Unknown
What are your squirrels? Mine are exciting new ideas or possibilities. I will be working on a project and a new idea will pop into my mind. Now I am off to research what I can do with it. I am down the rabbit hole and exploring a new universe.
Meanwhile the project I was on is forgotten, half finished and gathering dust bunnies. These half finished projects that you have take up mental space until they are completed. Have you ever noticed for example when you get one of them finished how uplifted you feel? This is because the “weight” of the project has been lifted off of your mind. Pay attention the next time you complete something that your mind or your partner has been nagging at you to get done. You will feel it. What can you do to corral your brain, if you don’t have the magic lamp and genie with three wishes captivating your attention?
“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper” – W.B. Yeats
I first heard of this idea at a seminar – it’s called “a parking lot”. Have a folder in which you capture the gist of the idea down on paper and then you put it in the folder, and park it. This way you don’t lose the idea, but are able to go back and keep your focus on what you were doing. That way you don’t get sidetracked from what you are doing. By capturing it, you can release it for later. Then on a regular basis you go through the folder. You can prioritize what needs to remain in the parking lot, and what should go on the “to do” list.
Years ago I went to see Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s Estate. They had a man made pond at the back of the house. The property runs alongside Potomac River. One of the things they did for food was fish the river. As we know, fish bite when they want to, not at your convenience. So they would bring the fish still alive from the river and put them in the pond. Then when they wanted fish for dinner, they just had to scoop out what the cook wanted. That is what your mental parking lot is like. You park the ideas your mind generates there, and when you are ready for them you can grab them and explore where they go.
“If you’re feeling good, then you’re creating a future that’s on track with your desires. If you’re feeling bad, you’re creating a future that’s off track with your desires. As you go about your day, the law of attraction is working in every second. Everything we think and feel is creating our future. If you’re worried or in fear, then you’re bringing more of that into your life throughout the day” – Rhonda Byrne
I have put several paper tablets in various rooms of the house. I will go into the room to do a specific thing, and then an idea will pop into my head. I used to think that I had to do that thing now, or I would forget to do it later. Now I can park the idea on the paper tablet, and do the thing I actually came into the room to do. If I am at work I use the note pad on my phone to jot down the idea. It emails the list to me automatically at home, and I can print it or write it down in the folder.
“Magic is believing in yourself. If you can do that you can make anything happen” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
If the “squirrel” is a request from someone to attend an event, collaborate on a new project with them etc…, then I try to filter the request through a “time priority sieve” or funnel. What else have I got on my plate that I am already committed to? How much “free time” do I have to commit to this new request? Is this request going to contribute in some way to my current years goals, or will it take needed time away from them? I find that sometimes even though I would love to commit to their request, I have to say “no thank you”. Otherwise the important things I really need to do get pushed aside and my goals don’t get accomplished.
“Each day has a magical moment that helps us to change and sends us out to make our dreams come true” – Paulo Coelho
Now if the Genie would just pop up and grant me three wishes – or maybe our modern day Genie, “The Lotto” would finally give me some winning numbers.
“How dare you settle for less when the world has made it so easy for you to be remarkable” – Seth Godin – Author and Speaker
Your dreams are calling you. Are you answering them? Are you putting them through to voice mail because you don’t recognize the number? If you recognize the number are you putting it through to voice mail because you don’t want to have that inner conversation with yourself? You know that one where you argue with yourself about what you are doing versus what you are telling everyone you want to do. What causes you to procrastinate, to put things on hold? How many of your dreams do you currently have in voice mail waiting for you to pick up the phone and return the call? Is your voice mail now full and you are totally missing any new calls?
“There is no greater gift you can give or receive than to honor your calling. It’s why you were born, and how you become most truly alive” – Oprah
I know that if someone compliments me, the first thought in my mind is discounting what they said. When I was growing up my sister closest in age to me was always the pretty one, the beautiful one. She is 18 months younger and her body matured faster than mine. She is several inches taller than my 5’3″. I was the smart one. This comparison ran through our childhood. To this day she carries that role of not being smart, even though it isn’t true. I carry the role of not being pretty and discount anyone who says that it isn’t true. Isn’t it sad how you prove that those family comparisons are true, simply out of habit? You were told all of your life that this “story” created when you were tiny child is who you are and so you go around making it a self fulfilling prophecy.
“What I know for sure is this: You are built not to shrink down to less, but to blossom into more. To be more splendid. To be more extraordinary” – Oprah
There are days when I get a lot of Facebook friend requests on my personal FB page. I am part of several large groups and whenever they have an influx of new people on their fan page, a number of people will friend request everyone in the group. It might also be that people figure out I am the founder of LemonadaMakers and request my personal Facebook friend page too. There are some requests from men who think Facebook is a dating app. I try to screen them out but once in awhile one makes it through. When they say they like my smile – which is the usual first comment they make, I immediately think something negative like that’s because you don’t see the rest of me.
“No matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid” – Lupita Nyong’o
Do you do that? What is it that causes you to turn away from a compliment about your looks, the quality of your work – anything that seems personal? People could compliment you about your children or grandchildren and you wouldn’t turn away from the compliment. Only if it is personal about you do the alarm bells go off.
“Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start” – Nido Qubein
There was a commercial video I saw a few months back talking about the phrase “sorry” when we mean “excuse me”. It was about how often you apologize when you didn’t do anything wrong. It was by Pantene the shampoo company and it really reflected how many times you use it when you really mean something else. A turn around of this commercial is great. Showing scene after scene of women who did not require validation from anyone else in the room. Women who walked in and owned the room, like the leaders that they in truth are. You don’t have to be the main character in “The Devil Wears Prada” to be successful, but you can take charge without apology.
“If people aren’t laughing at you, your dreams aren’t big enough” – Unknown
We open a office door to talk to someone and say “sorry”. We brush by someone and say “sorry”. The list goes on. Share this with someone to help you keep track of how many times you do this for the next few weeks, or watch to see how many times you see it happen. See how many times you or another women says “sorry” when what should be said is “excuse me”. The suggestion is that we feel undeserving, and so say “I’m Sorry” for taking up your time, for taking up space, for thinking that you might have something to contribute.
“Take charge, and don’t apologize for it” – Elite Daily
Sheryl Sandberg was really talking about this when she said “we’ve got to get women to sit at the table.” She talked about how she went to a conference room for a meeting and the women were not sitting at the conference table, they were sitting around the table in the extra chairs against the wall. They were doing this even though there were empty seats at the conference table. You need to stop letting other people who lack courage or determination to follow through on their dreams, stop you from doing so with yours. You need to live your truth, and trust that you are more than worthy to sit at the table. You need to live your truth and honor what you have to contribute.
“If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you: I am here to live out loud” – Emile Zola
She felt that a big piece of why we don’t take a seat at the table is because we don’t want the label of “bossy” and the other “B” word when we take the lead. You shouldn’t be afraid to be as ambitious as a man. You should ask for what you want – the raise, the promotion, to take the lead. You shouldn’t be afraid to be told you have a beautiful smile.
“The cost of not following your heart, is spending the rest of your life wishing you had” – Unknown
So I am ending this with my most favorite quote by Marianne Williamson because – How dare any of us settle for less when the world is waiting for us to be remarkable!
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others” – Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”
“When you look away from a homeless person, you diminish their humanity and your own” – Father Murray, as quoted by Brene Brown in her book “Rising Strong”
This simple sentence really speaks volumes. What is it that would make someone turn away from a homeless person? Have you ever pretended to not see someone? Are you afraid connect to that person? Why is it so hard for some to make eye contact with anyone?
“Be grateful for every compliment you receive – don’t shrug it off. When you are open to receiving, you will receive more from the universe” – Unknown
I was once at a seminar where one of the group things we did was to move around the room and hug. No words were allowed. Just a real, heart-felt hug and move on to another person. Most of us connected after the hug, looking into the other person’s eyes before moving on to the next person. Some people had a really hard time with this. Their eyes darted around and they could not maintain the steady looking into the eyes of the other person.
“When you give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed” – Maya Angelou
One woman in particular really connected with me. When I look deeply into another person’s eyes, it feels like I fall into their soul. I see them. I see their stories. Their triumphs and failures. So much joy and pain. I saw all of those things and she felt it. We had a heart to heart connection. She came up later and handed me a card and quickly walked away. When I looked at the card, it was a drawing with the heart in the middle. I realized that she wanted to acknowledge the connection, but she wasn’t ready to talk about it. It was a beautiful moment.
“Everything comes to us that belongs to us if we create the capacity to receive it” – Rabindranath Tagore
We had both been moved, because we saw and acknowledged that we had both been through hard times and it was ok. We were ok, because of the love and kindness of others.
“Always show more kindness than seems necessary, because the person receiving it needs it more than you will ever know” – Colin Powell
Do you think that when you look away, that you are trying to avoid connecting on purpose? Have you put them into a “this person is not like me” bucket? You might mentally label them as “street people”, “homeless”, “bums”, “addicts”, etc. Putting them into some “other” category that says “not me”? It might be that you are afraid that you might be in their shoes someday? Like it is somehow catching? Are you judging them for somehow failing in life?
For myself, I find that usually if I am looking away it is because I feel inadequate to know how to help, or at that moment I don’t have any cash on me which is what they are asking for. So I avoid eye connection out of my own inadequacy.
“It’s really important to be able to receive love and receive compassion. It is as important as being able to give it” – Pema Chodron
Brene Brown in her book, “Rising Strong” relates it to not wanting to admit that you need others in your lives. That you can’t do it all alone. That you are afraid to receive, and so when others are asking for what they need in order to survive, it throws you for a loop. Because you don’t want to imagine having to depend on the kindness of others in order to survive.
“Sometimes people have a hard time receiving what they want. Why? Because they feel they don’t deserve it” – Notes from Nora
I can identify with the difficulty of having the capacity to receive. In some areas of my life, I have no problem. I grew up as a hand me down family, so I have no problem with second hand furniture or clothes. However, if my needs are more personal, then it is another matter. Like if I can’t do it all myself, I am somehow a failure. I’m supposed to be the strong one, the giver – not the receiver.
“You are important enough to ask and you are blessed enough to receive back” – Wayne Dyer
Someone once talked about this, and it really helped me adjust some of my attitude around this. They talked about hiring someone to clean your home. The way they looked at it, by hiring someone to come and clean your home, you were helping another woman help support her family, and why wouldn’t we want to do that? It really changed the thought from feeling guilty that I wasn’t super woman and doing everything myself, to I can help another person to support their family by hiring them to do my house cleaning or yard work.
“Many people love to give. It’s a great feeling, and they do so with no expectation. But they often are awful at receiving, and really deprive others of that joy of giving. If given a gift, they say, “You shouldn’t have”, “It’s too much”, or the worst, “I feel bad that you got me this”. Ouch. This creates bad feelings during what should be a nice moment, and though their intent was to be selfless and polite, it is actually ungrateful. When a gift is given, “thank you” says that they appreciate the time, consideration, and effort that person has already put forth. Giving is virtuous, but so is accepting gifts gratefully” – Doe Zantamata
You are not meant to “do it all by yourself”. You are driven by your need of community. The phrase, “it takes a village to raise a child” says it all. Open up your capacity to receive. Connect to others. Really see everyone you meet. That connection you make could be just what they need to get through to another day.
“Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time. The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire. This is your moment. Own it” – Oprah
In order to stand out, one must be different. I have always loved the saying “why fit in when you were born to stand out?” by Dr. Seuss. For me it was really hard to make this change, as I had spent most of my life being invisible.
I love using the analogy of a rainbow. It isn’t just made up of red, yellow, blue, green, pink, and purple. It is made up of 100 of shades of every color, and every mix of color imaginable. Take just the 1,000’s of shade combinations of purple in the rainbow. While you might think that no one will notice if one shade is not shining brightly, the rainbow is diminished in its beauty when that happens. It requires every single shade to be there, in order to be the beautiful promise of God. We require every one of you to shine brightly to deliver the promise of God, which he made when he sent you to this earth.
“Let excellence be your brand . . . When you are excellent, you become unforgettable. Doing the right thing, even when nobody knows you’re doing the right thing, will always bring the right thing to you” – Oprah
At work the panel of lights over about 10 desks in a row for some reason turns itself off and on by itself. Since we are surrounded by windows you don’t really notice as it slowly fades to the off position. It does a gradual shut down. But when it turns back on 20 minutes or so later, you really notice the brightness of the light. I missed it subconsciously. It is funny how while I always notice when the lights have turned back on, I don’t notice the gradual turning off. I think that leadership is like this. You may be busy doing your work and not notice right away when leadership is missing – but when it shows up, fully turned on, you notice right away.
Being a leader is an interesting subject for women. In Sheryl Sandberg’s Ted Talk she shared how when she was in school, she was told to not raise her hand so much. I remember the same thing happening to me. The feeling that I was given and even told, was that because I raised my hand all of the time, I was bossy, a know-it-all, too smart for myself. I was making the entire class feel bad. No one else would raise their hand, because I did, and so on. So I shut down and started being even more invisible.
“What’s the greatest lesson a woman should learn? That since day one, she’s already had everything she needs within herself. It’s the world that convinced her she did not” – Rupi Kaur
I started waiting for someone to pick me instead of volunteering, and this carried over into my adult life. I turned down promotions saying that I didn’t want the responsibility, when what I really wanted to say was I didn’t want to risk being told to once again become invisible. I continually pushed down the answers I had for senior management and let others steal the ideas and promote themselves.
I finally had enough and became what I called an agent of change for my own self. I started listening and following my intuition. I stepped out of my comfort zone, stood up and voiced my opinions. And I have kept expanding my comfort zone.
“We need to accept that we won’t always make the right decisions. That we’ll screw up royally sometimes, understanding that failure is not the opposite of success. It’s part of success” – Arianna Huffington
Every mistake I have made is like compost in the garden. It may feel and smell like manure when it happens, but if I compost those failures into my life, I can learn and grow from them. I learned that I can fail and my life isn’t over. I learned that the person who judges me the most has been me, and so I gave the judge permission to cheer me on instead.
“If you look close enough at the world around you, you might find someone like you. Someone trying to find their way. Someone trying to find themselves. Sometimes, it seems like you are the only one in the world who’s struggling, who’s frustrated, unsatisfied, barely getting by. That feelings a lie. And if you just hold on, just find the courage to face it all for another day, someone or something will find you and make it all okay. Because we all need a little help sometimes. We need someone to remind us that it won’t always be this way. That someone is out there. And that someone will find you” – Unknown
I heard a story that Oprah bit her tongue a lot when she first started her talk show. Then one day she had a guest who was a cheating husband. The wife came on the show and she did not know what was going to happen. Oprah watched this woman who was exposed before all of the world, to see her reactions as her world came crashing down on her. Something inside Oprah shifted. She had a meeting after the show and told the producers they would never do anything like that again. That was the moment when her show changed, and truly became her show. I don’t know if it was a true story, but I can certainly believe that something like that happened.
You sometimes do what you think you need to do to pay your dues. You bite your tongue and skate the boundaries of your ethics. Then comes that defining moment when you stand up. Just like Oprah, you say that “this will not happen again”. I will not allow it or tolerate it any longer. You win because you have the talent, the skills, the reputation to back you up. You become the storm that no one can stop.
I love this quote I found, “when you dance to your own rhythm, people may not understand you; they may even hate you. But mostly they’ll wish they had the courage to do the same.” I am going to hang it over my desk. I have spent too much of my life wishing I had the courage to do what I see others doing. Instead I am going to “dance to my own rhythm” and inspire others to do the same.
“Do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do” – Oprah
The Lion is released from the cage, and ready for the grand adventure!
“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware” – Martin Buber
When going on a mystical journey, sometimes you feel like you are lost. You pull out your compass and try to determine where the path is taking you. You get this timeline in your head with a “to do” list. You check off boxes. You get frustrated when things are not on schedule and going to plan. And God laughs at you. This is not how you are supposed to take a mystical journey. There are no “to do” lists or timelines. There are lots of experiences. There are side roads. There are accidents. There are detours. And they are all part of the plan.
“Your journey has molded you for your greater good, and it was exactly what it needed to be. Don’t think you’ve lost time. There is no short-cutting to life. It took each and every situation you have encountered to bring you to the now. And now is right on time” – Asha Tyson
Your experience of life so far may not have required that you don the clothes of a hero. So you didn’t know that you have the “super” cape in your closet. Your “super” cape is just waiting for the opportunity to spring into action. There are definitely dark places within the journey. Places of being lost, in despair. The constant negative voice telling you to give it up. Telling you that you have done all you can. That what you are trying to do is impossible. That is when it is time to call for help. To reach out to have your spirit filled with joy, light, and courage to face down the darkness and continue the journey.
“Today, I call upon my Higher Power to deliver me from the impossible to the possible: from darkness to light, and from fear to courage” – Byrant McGill
Mystical journeys don’t have any short cuts. If you try to short cut the journey, you will end up lost in the forest. You will be chased by your wolves of fear until you’re exhausted. Mystical journeys can sometimes bring you to your knees. With heads bowed and hands open to receive divine help and guidance.
“Let your heart be your compass, your mind your map, your soul your guide, and you will never get lost” – Ritu Ghatourey
Open your heart to receive the gift of moving from fear to courage. From impossible to possible. Open up to receive exactly what you need, even though it might be different than what you wanted. Draw in the mentors, allies and challengers, because you will need all of them to continue the journey. The journey is really all about discovering who you really are.
“The mystical journey drives us into ourselves, to a sacred flame at our center” – Marianne Williamson
You are not the stories handed down to you from your childhood. Not the “your just like your mom, dad, etc . . . relative” stuff you heard as you grew up. Not who your friends and relatives want you to be. You know, the one you pretend to be so that “everyone” will love you. Who are you really deep down inside?
“Your life is a journey. Turn each new road into an adventure of humility; each rocky path into an exploration of self, and each soul you meet into a teacher of compassion” – Millie Mestril
When you were a baby and toddler up to the age when you started getting told no. When you were taught about inappropriate behavior. When you learned that trying to get your way through crying or throwing a fit got the opposite reaction to feeling like you were loved. There was a time when you behaved and acted like who you were, the wild child. And then you started learning a million rules that squashed you into who your parents and loved ones wanted you to be.
A large part of the mystical journey is digging up that person you started out as in the beginning. It is peeling off the all of the habits, attitudes, and appearances that are not truly who you are. It is not how you dress yourself up to fit in or to impress outsiders. It is not the house, the car, the title at the job. It is all about “Who You Really Are” down deep at the soul level. That person needs to be unveiled, unlocked and allowed to come out and play in the real world.
“By being yourself, you put something beautiful into the world that was not there before” – Edwin Elliot
When you dig deep within yourself, you literally can feel what is right and wrong for you on a cellular level. It is learning to trust how your body instinctively reacts to things. There is a story in Love, Medicine and Miracles about a man who is an attorney. He finds out he has terminal cancer. So he quits his job and goes around playing his Violin or Cello because playing music is what he always wanted to do, but his parents made him get a degree in law. Guess what happens? His cancer goes away. The storyline of the book is about the miracles that happen when we are listening to our heart and soul.
Follow the directions of your heart and soul. Follow your passion. Trust the journey. Then you will be right on time and in the exact right place that you need to be. It is not easy. The easy thing to do is to keep lying to yourself. To tell yourself that this is not part of your journey. To find the easy way back down the mountain. To leave behind the heroes journeys to someone else.
Each day you have a new blank page to write your life story or journey on. Each day has a new beginning. Each day has a measure of courage to shift the ending of yesterdays story into something positive and up-building. It can take a lifetime to find your own truth. You can shorten the time if you are willing to roll up your sleeves, do the work and stay the course. Personal transformation is both the journey and the destination. Enjoy the journey!
“In the end, she became more than what she expected. She became the journey, and like all journeys, she did not end, she just simply changed directions and kept going” – R.M. Drake
To me knowledge isn’t just about books, school, or job training – places where you learn something new. Sometimes you learn something that seems simple, but on closer examination you see how this one thought changes everything you knew. It turns your world upside down, because you realize that the story that you have been telling yourself was based on bad information.
It is like when you are watching a detective on a TV show solve a murder mystery. All of the evidence seems to be pointed to the one person. Then they discover one clue and that whole shows shifts as they follow that thread to the real murderer. Every new thing that we learn is like the thread. Unfortunately in real life, detective’s that refuse to see anything but their initial thought are the ones that put the wrong person in jail.
You need to be open to following it. You need to allow what you think you know for sure, to be flexible enough for you to let go of what no longer fits. Don’t be like those detective’s that allow their pride, unconscious bias, or prejudices to keep them from catching the real bad guy. The new information becomes the new belief.
“Knowledge without wisdom is like water in the sand” – Guinean Proverb
I remember that the church I went to when I was a teenager had a rumor going around that one of the women who attended had a new boyfriend. Someone had seen her at a restaurant hugging a strange man, and they had kissed each other. When she was finally asked about it, it took her a minute to realize that they were talking about her meeting her brother. He was passing through town and they met for dinner. The story was wrong. The truth changed the whole dynamic of what was witnessed. This happens in our schools with history, science, etc . . where the school books become outdated. New information is discovered that changes the story.
This makes this concept of learning new knowledge, and letting something go make perfect sense. Each new thing that you learn, usually requires an adjustment of your viewpoint or story around something. You take in the new knowledge, getting curious about it, and that is what I think leads to wisdom. Tennyson observed, “knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers”. It is experience that takes the knowledge to a new level. And we can only gain experience by either creating some sort of action around it, or watching as someone else creates an action around it.
“Doubt is the key to knowledge” – Proverb
Wisdom to me is more than just an observation. I have always said that I would rather learn from the mistakes of others than make them myself. If I see someone touch a hot stove and get burned, I am determined to make sure that the stove isn’t hot before I touch it. It is a process of following where the knowledge leads. Asking the “why” and the “what if” questions. Not letting someone inform you that you can’t do it that way.
It involves looking at the way something “has always been done” and saying how could you improve this process. It is all about following multiple pathways to determine the best use of the knowledge. This is how companies like Uber stepped in and changed an industry. It is why Richard Branson ended up creating Virgin Airlines. It is taking existing knowledge and saying, “What else is possible?” and then doing something about it.
They say that you can’t communicate or teach wisdom. I don’t know that I believe that entirely. I think that teaching stories do that if one is listening with an ear to, “how can I apply that in my life” kind of attitude. I agree that many people may not use that filter when they are listening, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t learn to.
There was a kind of fad years ago that started in the religious communities (I think?) where when you were going to make a decision you would ask yourself, “What would Jesus do?”. I remember this because my son who was in high school at the time and was a real joker, would say “What would Chuck Norris do?”. It really doesn’t matter who your person is, as long as they have the kind of wisdom that you are trying to incorporate into your life.
If you can find a mentor that you think is a really wise person, (like Jesus) and ask yourself that question before you take action, wisdom will show up in your actions.
I think that imagination comes into play with Tennyson’s observation that wisdom lingers. If we take what we now know and play with it down the pathways of imagination, not only will wisdom be revealed, we have the opportunity to increase the knowledge with new discoveries. This is where I think that some of the modern day inventions came down from the last century.
A writer dreamed up something fantastic for his story line. Maybe it was Captain Nemo and the submarine and the deep sea divers. Then a scientist read that story and said, “I think I can invent something like that”. So they started experimenting and through trial and error came up with something. It wasn’t yet what he really wanted, but it was a first step.
Other brilliant minds got involved and we ended up with all kinds of inventions for moving through the seas and exploring the deeps. But it all began in the mind of someone who was using his imagination for a story to tell.
“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see” – Henry David Thoreau
So learn something new everyday. Use your imagination, be curious and see what pathways it leads you down. Be adventurous, always seek out the “why”. Miracles will happen if you use your energy to bring your dreams into reality. Live your life fully into the possibilities of “What if?” and “Why not?”. Remember that you are made of stardust and shine brightly.
The first Saturday of every month we get together on Zoom to talk about our challenges, to encourage each other, and provide inspiration to continue on our individual journeys. As we share the lessons of each one’s individual journey, resilience is grown for everyone. Join us for the next conversation and become even more inspired to reach out and pull your dreams into reality.
May the sun bring you new energy by day. May the moon softly restore you by night. May the rain wash away your worries. May the breeze blow new strength into your being. May you walk gently through the world and know its beauty all the days of your life.
– Apache Blessing
In my family we have a story that has been passed down through the generations. My great great grandmother was orphaned at a young age. She was adopted into a family and they decided to immigrate out west on the Oregon Trail. Somewhere along what is now Wyoming and Idaho, the wagon train was raided and my great great grandmother was taken captive. The family story only talks about her being a child, but not an age. She grew up and had two little girls. One day a French Canadian Trapper was trading with this tribe and spotted her. Late that evening he snuck back into the Indian camp and was able to get her alone. He asked if she wanted to return to her people. She said yes, but she wouldn’t leave without her daughters. So they made arrangements to meet the next day.
For two days my great grandmother traveled in the back of the wagon hidden in an old barrel. She was told not to make a sound or they would all be killed. After two days the trapper felt safe enough to let the girls out of the barrel. They ended up near Eugene, Oregon. My grandfather would not admit that he was part Indian. He was too ashamed. He feared the prejudice. By contrast his sisters kids all attended the Indian School.
Like the grasses showing tender faces to each other, thus should we do, for this was the wish of the Grandfathers of the World.
– Black Elk
My husband family has a story that is recorded in the Indian Archives of his Great Great Grandfather, who was a Cherokee Indian living in Georgia when the Trail of Tears happened. His story is of an American Indian who married a white woman with the last name of Tisdale. They had one son. Love Deer, my husbands ancestor was the sheriff in their town. He saw what was happening after gold was discovered in the Indians land. He saw the hardship of the “relocation” of the Indians of his tribe. He saw finally that no matter how “white” he became it would never be good enough and he knew that the day had finally come when he would be forced to relocate with his family.
Let us put our minds together and see what life we can make for our children.
– Sitting Bull
Instead he took his rifle and went out into the woods. He lodged the rifle in a tree and shot and killed himself. He knew that his wife’s family would be able to keep her safe if he was gone. The whole story was recorded when my husbands Great Grandfather came of age and wanted to get his Cherokee Citizenship. It is all handwritten from several different families, some who were relatives and some who personally knew the story.
As you develop your awareness in nature, you begin to see how we influence all life and how all life influences us. A key and critical feature for us to know.
– Tony Ten Fingers
So there came a time when both of us wanted to become more familiar with our heritage. I always thought that the two of us falling in love with stories from opposite sides of the fence was like the circle being completed. A time of making everything whole.
By awakening the Native American teachings you come to the realization that the earth is not something simply that you build upon and walk upon and drive upon and take for granted. It is a living entity. It has consciousness.
– Edgar Cayce
I know that this photo is not of an Apache Indian, but it was the closest I could find that fit the prayer. What my husband and I both discovered is the wisdom of our ancestors was so in tune with the earth. Whenever one group of people would go to subjugate another, they would justify their wars with how the people were savages, heathens, and somehow a lessor species of mankind. When you read the stories of Black Elk, and others. When you read about what the white man did to the Indians in order to destroy them, the term savages takes on a whole new meaning.
When you are inspired to be and do your best, you find everything is right in your world. Your influence is operating at its highest level and it is the time to influence others in gratitude.
– Tony Ten Fingers
Just like all peoples, they had very wise men, and they had hot headed men of war. Every story has my version, your version, and then another and another version to it. What has to happen at some point in time, is that all become committed to peace. History can’t be changed. Those impacted by it are dead. Those of us who are ancestors carry the history with us. But that history doesn’t have to become a heavy weight that destroys us still to this day. It isn’t what the wise men taught. These are just a few of my favorite quotes, because they are ageless and you would have thought that they belonged to a spiritual master living today. Good wisdom never becomes dated and it is advice we all need to think about for our own lives.
The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of the people when they realize their relationship, their oneness, with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells the Wakan-Tanka (the Great Spirit), and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us. This is real peace, and the others are but reflections of this.
The second peace is that which is made between two individuals.
The third is that which is made between two nations.
But above all you should understand that there can never be peace between nations until there is known that true peace, which as I have often said,. is within the souls of men.
– Black Elk
Warriors are not what you think of as warriors. The warrior is not someone who fights, because no one has the right to take another life. The warrior, for us, is one who sacrifices himself for the good of others. His task is to take care of the elderly, the defenseless, those who can not provide for themselves, and above all, the children, the future of humanity.
– Sitting Bull
It was our belief that the love of possessions is a weakness to be overcome. Its appeal is to the material part, and if allowed its way, it will in time disturb one’s spiritual balance. Therefore, children must early learn the beauty of generosity. They are taught to give what they prize most, that they may taste the happiness of giving.
– Ohiyesa (Charles Alexander Eastman)
Difficult things take a long time, impossible things a little longer.
The mind and the eye are an interesting thing to think about in regards to our dreams. The eye sees so much more than the mind can allow in. We all have what is known as a reticular activator which acts as a filter for our brains. What the eyes sees gets filtered into things that form a picture in our mind or what we are seeing.
Think about certain things that happen in your life. Two examples might be getting pregnant (you or your significant other) or buying a new car. When we aren’t getting a new car or pregnant, we are not interested in those things. Our reticular activator screens that information away from us – because it isn’t something we are paying attention to.
But the minute we are pregnant we start seeing pregnant women everywhere we go. We didn’t see any yesterday and now today already we have seen five pregnant women. Same thing with buying that new car. Driving down the freeway in our new car, we are passing or being passed by people driving a car just like ours. We go shopping and see two cars just like ours parked in the lot. Where were they yesterday? They were there, they were just being filtered out.
Someday everything will all make perfect sense. So for now, laugh at the confusion, smile through the tears, and keep reminding yourself that everything happens for a reason.
I bring this up because we tend to make judgments about how things are working out by what we see with our physical eyes and mind. But they can’t be 100% reliable because of our filtering system. So sometimes this is why the heart and mind are in disagreement. The heart isn’t being filtered by what the eyes see. It sees from a totally different perspective. It knows the blueprint of our dreams. It looks only for ways to bring those dreams into reality. So it makes plans, not on filtered information, but on information imprinted on our heart by God.
The minute you think of giving up, think of the reason why you held on for so long.
I think that a lot of what becomes that one dream that drives us is because of our own life experience. If we were lonely children, we tend to want to make sure that other children are never lonely. That could mean that we are teachers, or in some way child advocates. Maybe we entered the field of being a therapist. Maybe we adopted children or work as a foster parent. In some way, our career, our bent in how we live life would grow in such a way that we could help children not be lonely. Whatever “damage” we feel in our lives, comes out in a compassionate way of helping others never having to suffer the way that we have.
I’m a damaged person, but I have hope and a will to not give up.
– Juliana Hatfield
Hope is what keeps us going. Our hope keeps us strong. There are hills and valleys on every journey. We have to travel through swamps and deserts. Hope helps us motivate towards our goal. When the rains come, the winds blow and the lightning strikes, we may have to take cover and rest until the storm passes, but that doesn’t mean that we are quitting. We never give up our hope no matter how hard the situation is right now.
A strong person is not the one who doesn’t cry. A strong person is the one who cries and sheds tears for a moment, then gets up and fights again.
Sometimes that hope is just a thread, but as long as we act like it is a strong rope we can keep hope alive. In watching a series called “Home Fires” there is a scene where the parents get that telegram stating that their son has been lost at sea during a battle in WWII. The wife gets it and because she can’t bear to read it, she hides it in the kitchen. If she doesn’t see the words, they won’t be true. The husband finds it and is devastated, and confronts her. He opens it and reads it and she looks at him with hope in her eyes. It didn’t say he was dead – it said lost at sea.
Never give up until you’ve given out all your very best. It’s better to fail trying than wondering what could have happened if you tried . . .
There is a part of us that says, there is no way her son is still alive. There is another part of us that clings to hope. That clings to all of the miracle stories we have heard when someone survives something they shouldn’t have survived. What you have to determine in your heart, is what kind of person do you want to be? The person that hopes and prays for a miracle, or the person who has no hope.
Keep the faith. The most amazing things in life tend to happen right at the moment you’re about to give up hope.
In the past few months we have seen a lot of turmoil in our world. There may be days when the news stories make you sad, disappointed, heartbroken or even scarred with what seems to be so much hatred being played out in the papers, TV and online. Remember our reticular activator when everything seems so depressing. What do we have our filters programed to see?
Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing.
– Camille Pissarro
The kindness that is happening in front of us; that we can find it we look for it online, and in the news. Or do we have it programmed to find signs of racial hatred, unrest, violence. The saying is that our life is directed by what we pay attention to. So we need to make sure that those filters are showing us mankind’s wonderful qualities – they are there. They just aren’t what sells papers or gets the ratings. I think that one of the greatest things we could shift in our world is that – the ratings came from stories that reflects the wonderful things that happen around the world on a daily basis. That we didn’t sensationalize the less than 1% and ignore the 99%.
“There is something very wonderful about music. Words are wonderful enough; but music is even more wonderful. It speaks not to our thoughts as words do; it speaks through our hearts and spirits, to the very core and root of our souls. Music soothes us, stirs us up, it puts noble feelings in us, it can make us cringe; and it can melt us to tears;. and yet we have not idea how. It is a language by itself, just as perfect in its ways as speech, as words, just as blessed” – Charles Kingsley
When I write poetry I hear music in my head. It can be a current song, or just snippets of songs that kind of meld together, but I hear music. It’s like the words in each line have to conform in some way to the music in my head. One of my “some day I’m going to do” things is to learn to play the piano. I really want to understand the music from the heart and soul level. I think I could be a song writer as poems seem to be a step away from lyrics. But it is one of those dreams that always plays second fiddle to whatever is currently creating the passion in my life.
“Music touches us emotionally, where words alone can’t” – Johnny Depp
I love movie soundtracks from my favorite movies. Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Star Trek – epic movies that you can watch over and over again. The soundtracks for each of the series have some of the same themes within them from movie to movie, and they have some new music. Lord of the Rings for example has a specific melody for when the hobbits are involved. When I listen to the soundtracks I remember the scenes they are attached to. Battle scenes, scenes when a beloved character is killed, scenes with love, joy, sorrow, and death. Without even knowing a movie you can listen to the soundtrack and you know what emotion is happening on the movie.
“I love music. For me, music is morning coffee. It’s mood medicine. It’s pure magic. A good song is like a good meal – I just want to inhale it and then a share bite with someone else” – Hoda Kotb
One of my nephews got married in Bullhead City, AZ on New Years Eve. We stayed in Laughlin, NV and then went to St George to see my Aunt. We came home Saturday the 2nd, leaving around 1:00 PM and driving back to LA was a nightmare. I foolishly thought that leaving on Saturday we would be able to escape the crawling traffic on Sunday. The six hour drive took nine hours and would have probably been more if I hadn’t cut off at Highway 58 and cut across to I-5 that way and then down to 118 and home.
“Sometimes music is the only thing that takes your mind off everything else” – Unknown
I share this because when you are in solid bumper to bumper traffic people seem to lose any manners that they might have had. People were driving on the shoulders, driving alongside the road on the desert, they were cutting people off, honking horns and of course the hand gestures. Every once in awhile I would have to take a deep centering breath because I could feel the frustration, anger, anxiety coming into my car from the people surrounding us. Music has a way of soothing the soul when you are in these types of tense feeling situations.
“Dear Music, thanks for always clearing my head, healing my heart, and lifting my spirits” – Lori Deschene
The other quote I loved and considered for this post was from an unknown author, “music speaks what cannot be expressed, soothes the mind and gives it a rest, heals the heart and makes it whole, flows from heaven to the soul.” I went with Plato because of “wings to the mind” and “flight to the imagination”. I love the visuals I get with the words, wings and flight.
The beats in a song are like the heart beating. A steady comforting sound. You hear the beating of your moms heart at conception. If you put your ears against your lovers chest you will hear the beating of their heart. It is life pumping through your body and soul until the last heartbeat echo’s off in the distance, and you return to your heavenly father.
There is also a rhythm to music and to beating of the heart. There is even a genre of music called “soul music”. It is a mixture of gospel and rhythm and blues music. It draws your body to move with the music. You might start dancing or clapping your hands, you just have to participate with your body.
“Music unwraps the heart, sings out the prayer. dances the spirit, and opens the soul” – Mary Davis
When words fail you, music can still transport you up the vibrational scale from the depths of despair back into the nirvana of the soul, where beauty, joy and happiness live. It fills in the emptiness that you feel in your soul and like a string draws the soul up towards the light.
Martin Luther called music, “the art of the prophets” and said “it is one of the most magnificent and delightful presents God has given us.” Music transcends generations of men. It lives on long after the composer has left the earthly realm. It doesn’t require to be translated like words into one’s own language but exists in all languages.
“Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life” – Berthold Auerbach
It has even been said that “music is the prayer that the heart sings.” I know that there have been many times in my life that music was my only escape from the problems I was experiencing. It allowed me to regroup, put myself back together emotionally and go back into life feeling like things would be ok.
“Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness” – Maya Angelou
Years ago when my children were young, I would put on Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and clean my house. It made the housework go so much faster and not seem like such a chore. So whatever is going on with your life, just know that there is some music to go along with it, or to transport you away from it. You can go into deep meditation or get your party started and rock out your soul!
“Today I close the door to my past, open the door to my future, take a deep breath and step through to a new life” – Unknown
You actually do this every single morning. You may not realize it most mornings. It is only special mornings that you truly see what is happening. The first day to a new job. Your wedding day. The day a divorce is final. The day you bury someone you loved. They are all days when you truly see the door to the past shutting behind you. And although you may only have a glimpse through this door to the future, you know that everything will be forever changed.
“Your teacher can open the door, but you must enter by yourself” – Chinese Proverb
If you are lucky you have teachers, mentors or coaches throughout your life. You have them as children, and if you continue to all of secondary education you have them as adults. But there comes a time when you leave school behind you. I am mostly self taught. I dropped out of high school to get married. My parents never encouraged us to go to college. They felt that it would take us away from God. What I did have in my favor was I was smart and I loved learning. Since I started reading I have read several books a week. I would alternate between books that took me to a fantasy world where I could solve the murder; or have an adventure in space; or fight the barbarians in medieval times. And then I would read a book that would teach me something I didn’t know. I’ve been that way my whole life.
I knew my lack of an education was perceived as a liability (even to my subconscious), so I had to kick open doors to get them to let me show them what I could do. I also equipped myself by taking a lot of classes online and job related adult education courses, that taught me what I needed to advance in my career. I started out as a bookkeepers assistant. I move up to accounting. I switched over to mortgage financing. My career has always a series of doors opening to advance up the ladder. My original goal in school was to be an administrative assistant to someone important. I went much further than that, I became someone important who had the administrative assistant.
I discovered I had a knack for knowing what to look for in loan applications. I could see the missing pieces in the story it told. I could see the incongruencies. It was almost like a spot light shined on the issue. I got to where I could almost tell when I picked up a file that there was fraud involved or not. My gift in seeing where the patterns were broken, has served me well.
“Your life is a result of the choices you make . . . If you don’t like your life it is time to start making better choices” – Michelle Pennel
When my mother died my whole world fell apart. All of her lies came spilling out of the closet containing her skeletons. I found myself in a broken world where I didn’t trust anyone, not even God. It took me years to close all of those doors to the past. Years to see that the doors to the future still contained wonderful things for my life. Years of reading books to explore the possibilities. Years of getting certified in Herbal Medicine, as a Reiki Practitioner, and then as a Aroma therapist. I was looking at a second career in these fields when my nephew was murdered. Another couple of years went by. This time I wasn’t mad at the whole world, and I wasn’t even mad at the killer. I was saddened by our loss, saddened that this world had lost such a special young man, who only wanted to help others have a better life.
“Deep within your soul is a door that opens into a world of wonder. Open the door and let the magic in” – Unknown
This time I was trying to figure out what was beyond the door that my nephew had opened to me. I knew from experience that it would require facing fears of the unknown, because every door requires something new and different from you. Expanding your comfort zone. Learning that you have so much more potential than you have ever given yourself credit for. I knew that I would self create obstacles that I would find along the way. That is how fears work. But this door was different. It wasn’t a small round hobbit sized door. No this door was like the door to the giants house in Jack and the Beanstalk. When I looked through this door I could barely figure out the table and chairs let alone what else it might contain. This door was truly scary.
“Follow your bliss . . . , and the universe will open doors where there were only walls” – Connie Hanks
I knew that creating LemonadeMakers was part of going through this door. I knew that everything in my life that I had learned, experienced, literally everything I have acquired would be necessary if I walked through this door. I had a ragged life as a child, I have had some horrible experiences as an adult. I knew that courage would be required to use and share all of it without exception. So I wanted to make sure before I walked through, that I wasn’t going to turn tail and run away from this opportunity. I know from the depths of my soul, that Carl’s death opened this door. I wanted to make sure that I had the courage and conviction that would be necessary to give to LemonadeMakers. That I wasn’t going to try, fail, and quit LemonadeMakers. It felt like I would be dishonoring Carl’s memory in some way if I wasn’t able to be “all in”.
“Most people will go their whole lives and never understand this feeling” – Unknown
So I started writing. Something that my inner saboteur had kept me from doing all of my life. I was convinced I didn’t know enough. That I would only embarrass myself. I was a high school drop out – that is one of my saboteurs favorite weapons. I would like to introduce my saboteur Kami to all of you. She knows all of my weaknesses and pokes holes in the road I travel on. She has blown up train tracks and bridges. She has created massive road blocks. Sometimes it seems like it takes forever to figure out that once again, I have my foot on the gas and brakes at the same time.
When I look back on the very first things I did, it was no more than sharing a quote and a couple of sentences. But I kept expanding what I was doing. Then I learned how to work a couple of software programs to create the quotes with the photos. I created a Facebook page. My writing kept improving. I discovered a new gift in finding the perfect photos and quotes to go together. People started liking things. They started commenting, then sharing. Some people told me that my grammar and punctuation wasn’t all that great. But I kept preserving. I proofread over and over, but some mistakes still come through. I learned to believe that it was ok if everything wouldn’t pass an English teachers red pen. It was my thoughts I was trying to share, and I think that is what is most important.
“Don’t just dream of success; create a plan and act upon it! Your momentum creates the door upon which opportunity knocks” – Dr. Steve Maraboli
Join some of your fellow LemonadeMakers as we go through the door of new opportunities. We have been meeting up once a month with a live Zoom call. It is a huge door of possibility. The kind of doorway that just keeps growing wider and wider so that all of you can step inside. When you open doors, you will find all of your fears waiting for you – but you will also find the keys to the treasures of your heart and soul. I can promise that it will lead you to somewhere you didn’t even know existed. The real you!
It is a free call where we open doors to discuss whatever is top of mind. If you have been encouraged by any of my posts – If you have been moved to make a change or transform something in your life, I hope that you will attend. Everyone is contributing with some great groundbreaking thoughts and ideas. When we have created a good foundation, we will look at new and deeper ways that you will be able to work with us directly in your own growth.
This will be a door that no one can shut on you – only you can shut this door. I hope you will walk through this door with us, because we have some transformations to get done!
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