You will either step forward into growth, or you will step backward into safety.
– Abraham Maslow
On “America’s Got Talent”, Mandy Harvey sang an amazing song. She got the gold buzzer. What she demonstrated through her song and her story is resilience. When she was 18 years old, she lost her hearing from a disease. She had been singing since she was four years old. When she lost her hearing, she did what most of us would do and put away her dream as something that would never be able to happen for her. She stopped singing.
Yes, sometimes the odds are really stacked against you, but no that doesn’t mean you’ll fail. The odds of you even being conceived are so close to nothing that no one in their right mind would bet on your being here. But you are. You’ve already proved you can beat the odds. So, do it again.
– Doe Zantamata
Now here she was on stage to sing. What had happened? Why did she decide to try again to be a singer? The song she sang is one that she wrote. In the song she says that she got tired of not living the life she wanted to live. That she was tired of saying no to her dream. That even though the sky was more gray than blue for her, she was going to try and take her place again. To try and live the life she still felt that she was destined to live.
Wanting something is not enough. You must hunger for it. Your motivation must be absolutely compelling in order to overcome the obstacles that will invariably come your way.
– Les Brown
She got the gold buzzer because of the combination of her beautiful voice, her heartfelt song of struggle, and her determination to overcome her perceived limitations caused by her deafness. She was so hungry that she refused to let her dreams be defeated. What Mandy teaches us is so vital. She had the worlds best excuse not to go after her dreams. She can’t hear her own voice. She can’t hear her music. But instead of stopping her forever, she took some time to heal through what had happened and then she did a very important thing. She got curious.
A challenge only becomes an obstacle when you bow to it.
She got curious about what did she have that she could use. Standing in her stocking feet, she can feel the music through the floor. She then found that she could trust her voice to be on pitch. She trusted her musicians and translator to let her know how the music sounded, how her voice sounded. She found she could trust her body and voice to support her in her singing. Her past of losing her hearing did not mean the end of her life. It meant learning to live her live in a new way, so that she could still follow her dreams.
Anyone can hide; it’s the easiest thing to do. Standing up, facing the truth, and working through problems, that’s what makes you strong.
We all have things in our life that create challenges and obstacles. Some of them are life altering and may seem to close the door to our dreams. We may sit in the dark and bewail what has happened to us. We may have to go through the stages of grief, from anger, betrayal, denial, sorrow and so on. But each day we face a new choice. We can process through those negative emotions and rebuild our life, or stay in the dark ashes of what we thought life was going to be.
When obstacles arise, you change your direction to reach your goal. You do not change your decision to get there.
– Zig Ziglar
Like Mandy, we each of us have something inside of us that is greater than any lemon that life can throw at us. Sometimes when we are deep within the struggle of survival we can’t see it. But it is there, patiently waiting for us to get off the floor and back onto our life path. It helps when we can recall other times in our life when we got knocked down. The times when we faced the battle against our negative mind talk. Against the “not good enough” talk. Against the friends and family who told us to give up, that what we wanted was not possible. Against those who wanted to protect us from ourselves, from disappointment and failure. Remember the fears that you faced down. Remember how you discovered that those fears were all an illusion.
Being a Human Being is all about experiencing all of the wonders of the world.
What if . . . the things that we go through, are ours to go through so that we can both experience the wonders of the world and appreciate them? None of us know what we are truly capable of. If we are just handed all of our desires and dreams, would we see them for what they truly are? Would we grow and expand in our lives? I don’t think that any of us would ever believe what it is possible for us to accomplish.
Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.
– Dale Carnegie
If we could sneak a peak at the end of the chapter that we are currently living, we probably wouldn’t accept the truth of what we read. In the “Wizard of Oz”, Glinda the good witch tells Dorothy – “You’ve always had the power my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself”. The same is true for us. We’ve always had the power to live the life that we dream of. The path to that destination is how we learn to accept it, use it, grow it, and live our life into it. We are all capable of far more than we know. We just need to click those ruby red shoes and say it until we believe it. Then pull up the big girl panties and get it done. No excuses.
If you wait to do everything until you’re sure it’s right, you’ll probably never do much of anything.
– Win Borden[lp-logic ids=”3473″ limit=1][lp-logic ids=”3473″ limit=1 use_content=1] Content to use [/lp-logic]
We must take the time to define our own path. Too quickly we can find the world defining it for us – unknown
What if instead of grocery lists, errands to run, and budgets with bills to pay; you instead created a different list? This list would encompass what your ideal life would look like. I’m not talking about the fancy car, or mansion. It isn’t the number of pairs of shoes in your closet. It isn’t things at all.
If you created this list, you would start with where you would be living:
Then you would look at what your day would consist of:
If you could list everything that was truly important to you – would you have the courage to start building your life around that dream?
What do you tell everyone that you want to do? Now what actions are you taking in your life to make that happen?
Because the disconnection between what you say you want and what you do about it, speaks to the fact of how much you “really” want it. It is an idea you are comfortable with. But if it isn’t happening, then it isn’t an idea that you have confidence in bringing into reality. There is something missing in the connection.
It could be an old dream that you have grown out of, but you don’t want to give it up because you don’t really know what you want instead. The passion which would lead to action is just not there.
It could be that it wasn’t really ever your dream. but someone else’s. Maybe your parents unfilled dream; maybe something you just sort of accepted as being yours because your best friend or partner thought it was something you could do together. While it became the dream you talked about, it was never the dream that was as necessary to your life as taking the next breath.
“You will recognize your own path when you come upon it, because you will suddenly have all the energy and imagination you will ever need” – Jerry Giles
How do you know when you have a real dream that is really a soul desire? A heart commitment?
It feeds your soul. You can’t take a breath without thinking about it in some way. Even when you are on overwhelm you can’t go to bed until you have done something to take another step on that path of making the dream a reality. You are constantly asking yourself what in your life needs to change to help you be the person who can accomplish that dream.
Adventures are when you go someplace new. When you try something for the first time. They can happen in your own backyard, or a 1,000 miles away. It is in the doing of something new that we make discoveries about ourselves.
“I don’t believe I luck. Luck = leaving things to chance and the outside world. I believe in being harbingers of our fate, determining our own path, taking action and creating our own destiny in life. This is your life and it is your to create. Don’t ever let others do it for you.” – Celestine Chua
Figuring out something for the first time usually has some trial and error involved. Some frustration, when you swear you are following directions and it isn’t looking like the instruction sheet says it should. It is when you discover that the manufacturer drilled the holes in the wrong spot, or didn’t provide enough screws or you are missing vital parts.
Sometimes the words scatter from your mind, like leaves being tossed by the wind. You reach out to catch them, and they skitter away, as though playing tag with you. The words are carved into the leaves, like pain and joy, just as they are forever etched into your soul.
The leaves fall from the tree without regret. You release them, and then quickly reach out to try to gather them back to your heart. Even though they leave scars, they are familiar and portray themselves as your bosom friends.
Yet as time passes, you realize that you have to let the dead things go. As the leaves fall to the earth, they cover up the path you have been walking. They don’t want you to leave them behind.
Don’t let anything or anyone define you. You are what you are, because of what you make of tough situations in your life – Demi Lovato
It is time to raise your eyes up to the sky. To see that although you may have lost the path, the limbs of the trees are now bare, and you can see the hills beyond the trees. You can see the stars up above, reminding you that life is enduring and goes on. It is time to release the old way of life and embrace something new. Clarity comes into our lives when we release the old.
The seeds of successful change and transformation are planted when we release the failures. Things fall apart, so that new things can come together.
Some days breakfast should start with dessert. When I am thinking deep thoughts about what is hanging in the balance of my life, it helps to turn things upside down. How do you know when it is time to let go of something? That it is truly dead? That you aren’t giving up just at the point of when it was finally going to work and come together perfectly?
Is the greatest strength in the hanging on or the letting go? Separation needs to happen, in order for you to come to the best decision possible. You need to get quiet. To go deep within. To step outside of the expectation, the desire, the frustration, divorced from all emotions clouding your judgment. To become still, motionless – to step into the pause between the inhale and the exhale.
Stay true to what makes you different. As long as you’re unique, you’re irreplaceable – Olivia Wilde
Return to the root of your soul.
Listen to the silence, and let it touch your imagination.
Watch as the wind catches your imagination and lifts off. The leaves blow, dancing to the silent music that only they can hear. Lifting off they uncover a new path. You step softly onto it. And slowly lifting your wings, you start whirling and twirling in the midnight air.
The leaves spin all around you, and you find the freedom to let them drift where they may. No longer feeling that you have lost anything. Realizing that it is in the separation that we become free to shed the old and transform into the new.
It isn’t saying goodbye to the old you with regret. It is the joyous heart of welcoming the butterfly as she emerges from the chrysalis and stretches out her wings to take flight.
The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our sense to grow sharper – W.B. Yeats
Entelechy is an interesting word. It is according to Wikipedia: the inner strength directing life and growth to become all one is capable of being. Just as the acorn is the entelechy of the Oak tree, a caterpillar is the entelechy of a butterfly.
We go through transformation to release all the things that we have acquired through life that don’t really belong to us. They aren’t part of the essence of who we really are. So, transformation isn’t so much about changing who we are, as it is about releasing who we are not and accepting who we are.
Pay attention to what centers you, calms you, makes you feel grounded and rooted in your life. When you go for a walk in the woods, what are you naturally drawn to? A river or brook or even a fountain? A meadow, an old oak tree?
The beach with the smell of the salt in the air, the wind blowing your hair, and the sounds of the surf rushing to the shore and pulling back into the ocean? Whatever it is that says, “this is home”? Bring more of that into your life.
Make an appointment in your calendar to take time to connect to that feeling. It brings you back to your roots. It is your true north. The magnetic path that your feet want to walk. If you can’t believe in the magic of this connection, you will never find it.
Never stop believing in yourself. Remember that those who have succeeded will encourage you. And those that have failed will not – Olianna Portnoy
“You have to grow from the inside out. None can teach you; none can make you spiritual. There is no other teacher but your own soul” – Swami Vivekananda
Your soul comes with your purpose already planted within it. Your gifts are inside, waiting to be discovered. The divine will is waiting to be expressed through your life.
Unfortunately, you forget what you already knew as a small child. You get lost. This is where the divine teachings can assist you.
The universal laws point you in the right direction. They lead you to re-discover what you have forgotten.
One of the Laws of the Universe. But what does it really mean when you look at it through the lens of your life?
I love the vibrant health of this tree in our featured quote. It is not only fully supporting itself, it is also providing for the area around it. Everything is vibrant, growing and healthy.
You have the light of the truth being reflected in the lamps to light the darkness down in the root system. They shine at night to show the way as you go seeking the truth among your deep roots. You have the butterfly of transformation.
You have the fruit of both the foliage around it and the tree itself. This fruit attracts you as you go seeking food for your soul. It is so beautiful, and it invites you to come and rest.
I was listening to a CD by Guy Finley and he talked about the importance of balance in how we show up in the world, comparing it to a tree. Picture the tree having a root system as you see above. This root system is as deep underground, as the trunk and branches of the tree that extend high above the ground. It is about balance of the structure of the tree. The balance of the trees roots below support the outward growth above.
He stated that if a tree that didn’t have strong deep roots (roots deep within), it would be in danger of toppling over. This was because the growth above ground wasn’t being fully supported. In turn, if all you did was work on the root system, then you would have stunted growth above, no fruits. There has to be a balance of inner and outer work, all happening at the same time.
We see this in the Ying/Yang symbols. In giving, you are going up the outward growth of the tree and in receiving you are going down into the root system. In breathing in, you are going to the root system, and in breathing out you are going up the growth of the tree.
I thought about this in my own life, and watching the lives of others that I see out in the world. We have all seen a number of people who achieved something great in their lives, who later implode through drugs, drinking or sexual escapades. Think of the Hollywood stars that have overdosed, the politicians and scandals that they have had. Even religious leaders have their fair share when they have built an empire that came crashing down on them.
These are all examples of a root system that couldn’t support the upward growth.
So what is the root system in our analogy?
It is the inner work that you do on yourself. The roots remind you of where you have been, and who you are today. It takes work to get to know your shadows. To uncovering what I call the popsicle stories. The stories you created as a child, to explain something that you couldn’t understand at the time. It is the judgments, traumas and dramas you grew up with. It takes deep inner work to discover what they are, and how they play out in the patterns of your life. You must go back and claim your past. It is what helps you to understand your present.
It is through the developing of your relationship with the divine, that you are able to align your souls purpose in being here now. It is about asking the right questions to yourself that you discover “your way home” to your true self and your purpose in being here.
It is exploring and questioning every truth you have acquired throughout your life. Some of those earliest truths contradict to some of your latest truths. Some of those older “truths” or stories need to be released. They no longer serve or support your inward and outward growth.
You need to discover that, as in the Wizard of Oz, you already have what you are looking for outside of you. It lives deep inside of you in the root system. You already know “the way to home”.
Home is the place of balance in this analogy. The bedrock of the foundation cornerstone. The place where the outward growth of “who you are in this world” is equal to, and growing in proportion to the inner growth of the root system of your tree. It is the place of awakening.
You have filters in your mind, which serve as a protection. These filters both serve you and sometimes hurt you. This is because you miss seeing things that have always been there.
Have you ever driven down a road that you use all the time and see a store front for the first time? Earlier this year a large commercial building was totally removed so they could build a new structure. I drive by it 4 times a day, going back and forth to my office from home (I go home for lunch). I didn’t notice the building was being torn down until they had completely removed all trace of it.
This is because my filter removed it from my field of vision. This has happened to you too. The more conscious and awake you become the more you can learn to remove the filters so that you can see those open doors of opportunity.
Several years ago, after the murder of my nephew and the collapse of my sisters nonprofit that she had created afterwards, I discovered my souls purpose with LemonadeMakers.
LemonadeMakers after several years of inner growth preparation it is starting to grow above the ground. The trunk and branches have been growing, and we are about to have a whole lot of pieces of what I have been working on finally come together.
Supporting LemonadeMakers has changed me in ways that I can’t even believe myself. I have grown and changed so much personally. I have seen just how important it is to invest in yourself, and have a personal coach. The time, effort, and money spent means that I have taken the zip line through the jungle, instead of traveling on foot and breaking the trail.
Without coaching I know that I would have probably given up. The hero’s journey with this business has suffered setbacks with our website when I spent a lot of money and the service provider went out of business. Then with the financial freefall of 2007-2012 recovery when I suffered a large loss of income. With the support of good friends, the support of great coaches, and my own blood, sweat and tears, whatever roadblock that appears, I manage to keep going and keep growing.
From the place of my own experience in transformational growth, I encourage you to seek out personal coaching in some way. It is hard to see what is happening deep within the root system below you, or high up at the tips of your branches. A good coach, friend or mentor is a mirror reflecting back to you what you can’t see. We all need that friend that removes the toilet paper trailing behind you when you walk out of the bathroom, or smooths out the wild hair in the back of your head.
Just remember that every second is a fresh start to begin nurturing the roots and the branches of your tree. Every day is what you chose to make of it, how you are living your dream out in the world. When you have unrestricted flow between the roots and branches of your tree, you will see the greatest harmony flow into your life. You will think of something, and make the connection, and produce the result almost without effort.
Contact LemonadeMakers if you want to see if having a personal coach is your next step.
There is a candle in your heart, ready to be kindled. There is a void in your soul, ready to be filled. You feel it, don’t you?
Mind, body, heart, soul, the physical body, the spiritual body – bringing them into harmony is like being the orchestra conductor for a symphony. You have all these different instruments that you bring together to create this fine blend of harmonious sound, and not just a cacophony of sounds. To weave the notes together to make a beautiful piece of music. The rising out as a soloist and then the weaving back down into the harmony. There is a space in this vast room for improvisation like in jazz, where they create bridges that lead in new directions as well as bring the music back to the beginning.
Everyone’s life is an evolution of emotions, spirit and beliefs. The storyline changes, plots thicken, main characters mature and new spiritual journeys begin. This is true of inspirational authors. Their books represent only stages of their life. New triumphs of the soul have yet to be written.
– Shannon L. Alder
Instrument’s in effect disturb the air around them evolving into sounds, music. The notes played arise out of the no-thing-ness of creation to blend into other vibrations thereby creating sounds that can fill you with peace, ecstatic joy, with a feeling of living outside of your own world. You can reach any emotion with music, making people smile, laugh or bringing them down into intense sorrow. Have you ever listened to a soundtrack from a movie and you can tell from the soundtrack this is the battle scene, the kissing scene, the near death and triumphant rescue scene? You don’t even have to know the movie and you can tell based on the emotions within you, what must be happening in the movie at that particular point. It is like going on a musical journey of someone’s personal soul journey, their heroes journey of personal transformation.
The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential . . . these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.
Each instrument is an individual point of consciousness for just those few minutes of playing a masters creation. You can shift different instruments in and out of the piece and the piece totally changes. Some changes are small, such as having three violins instead of four, or major such as all of the violins being silent. In the same way small shifts in our mind, body and soul can be used to help us reach out and achieve our dreams, to reach our highest potential.
Always choose the path the feeds the soul
Music provides a detailed road map to where you are going with the piece being played. There is a tangible vision of how it should be performed. But there is also a space for the individual playing the piece to do their own version. They can speed it up, slow it down. Have you ever listened to various musicians cover a song where they take the song to a whole new place? It is so interesting to me because when I have a favorite song and someone switches it up, sometimes I am “Wow that sounds wonderful”, and sometimes I am “Wow that really doesn’t work”. It all depends on how tied I am to the original song. The more connected I am to it, the more I want it to remain the way I heard it the first time. No one way is the right way for everyone. Always choose the one that feeds your soul. That feels like the perfect fit – not too small or too big, but just right.
Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.
In jazz there is a free flow of creativity among the players. The leadership of the piece of music being created is passed like a baton. Each person has a unique contribution to the piece and at the same time, there is a collaboration to the piece. A shared rhythm, melody and harmony is created because you build and shape the music as you go. No one tries to lord it over the others, but rather hearing the direction one person is going, the others try to uplift it to an even higher plane of existence. In this way, as each player changes their playing of their own instrument, they change the sound and direction of the music being played. Not by directing it, but by exploring it. As you explore yourself and shift and change, so does every other player. You can see them sitting there, eyes closed, faces of joy, totally lost in the journey the music itself is directing. The result sounds like they already knew where they were going, but in fact it was the exploration that directed the destination.
Unless someone can look into the core of your heart, and see the degree of your passion, or look into the depths of your soul and see the extent of your will, then they have no business telling you what you can or cannot achieve. Because while they may know the odds, they do not know you. Nor do they know the power of your angels.
– Sandra Kring
It is interesting that when I write, especially poetry I hear music playing in my head. It is usually a combination of different songs that kind of blend themselves in and out of the writing. There is an emotional connection to the heart and soul when I write. I can feel the searching for the right words, both from the meaning of the word and the vibration of the word. For example, hope and faith. I tend to go with faith, because to me the vibration of the word hope is lower. It is more of a maybe word, whereas faith to me has an expectation that it will be so, that it will happen. Hope has more of a maybe, I don’t know vibration to it. That is my own personal relationship to the words. Others would have a different relationship to the words and that is ok. But what this does is to allow me to touch the personal passion I feel when I write. Music does the same thing, touching emotional vibrations.
Once your mindset changes, everything on the outside will change with it.
– Steve Maraboli
What is the mindset that changes everything? It is having the courage to take risks, by wearing our heart on our sleeve. To feel the emotions of everything we come in contact with, and not let it take us out, but rather let them flow on by. It is about have the capacity to sacrifice the “I want you to like me” feelings, so that I can tell you want you need to hear, instead of what you want to hear. It is being vulnerable enough within ourselves, to pull out all the bits of behavior and personality we have taken on to be accepted. And leaving out in the open all the bits that make us who we are that we have hidden away, as not being worthy. It is the wearing those bits of who we are at a soul level, that connects our life to our consciousness.
Once you realize that the road is the goal, and that you are always on the road, not to reach a goal, but to enjoy its beauty and its wisdom, life ceases to be a task, and becomes natural and simple, in itself an ecstasy . . .
– Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
Living our truth; reaching for the stars; falling to the earth and trying again – that is the road we are on. We have to be willing to be rejected because we live real, authentic lives. We have to be willing to mark out our boundaries not our of fear of others, but love of ourselves. When we change our mindset and live out loud who we are – that is when we are brave enough to climb that ladder. When we have the courage to reach higher and higher into our true potential – that is when life itself is an ecstasy.
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“Keep going. Everything you need will come to you at a perfect time” – unknown
Just keep swimming. The storm clouds will pass, and the sun always shines once again. It may seem like you are walking through the valley of shadows and death alone, but that is an illusion.
There is the invisible spiritual world that is always by your side. There are friends and relatives that may not know how to help, what to say or do – but they are cheering you on. There are people in this world who every night pray for those who feel they are lost on life’s journey.
Just as your faith can move mountains, your doubts are what put them there. Stop creating barriers that you have to fight to get over.
“Have the courage to make the change, the strength to see you through it, and faith that everything will turn out for the best” – unknown
Some leave you because they are not interested in a transformational journey any longer. They wish to stay safe within their comfort zone and make no waves that might swamp their little boats.
Some you leave because you realize that you can’t continue to carry their weight and still walk your own path. You have to cut the chains that are dragging you down.
Out of the best of motives, you find that you have done too much for someone, and you have to stop. It only hurts them to continue. You are not giving up on them. It was just time to release them to their own journey, and for them to find their own way. It is not the end of your story, just the end of their part in your story. And that is ok.
“Note to self: None of us are getting out of here alive, so please stop treating yourself like an afterthought. Eat the delicious food. Walk in the sunshine. Jump in the ocean. Say the truth that you’re carrying in your heart like a hidden treasure. Be silly. Be kind. Be weird. There’s no time for anything else” – Nanea Hoffman
If you have never read any of Caroline Myss’s books or heard her speak I highly encourage you to check out her body of work. To me she is that really critical aunt that drove you crazy as a kid, but you learn to love and appreciate as an adult. Because everything that she says is total reality, no sugar coating, and is the best advice that you could get.
The whole reason to be on the path to personal self-transformation is to realize that there are parts of you that are not in balance. To learn how to bring them back out of the shadow and into the light. You can’t do that work unless you are willing to be totally honest with yourself.
“Facing personal truths and purging yourself of addictions or manipulative habits requires strength, courage, humility, faith, and the other qualities of a soul with stamina, because you are not just changing yourself; you are changing your universe. Change one coordinate in your spiritual compass and you change your entire life’s direction” – Caroline Myss
“May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears” – Nelson Mandela
If you are willing to make a few mistakes, to have a few failures, you can learn how to release the monsters from under your bed. You can take on one monster at a time. You can talk to it and learn its story, its reason to exist. They were created when you were small and most of their stories are just bits of truth wrapped up in drama, trauma, and misunderstanding.
If you can unwind the experience, you can help them take off their masks and their costumes. You can take away their illusions. You can help them understand that their help was exactly what we needed at the time. You can thank them for protecting you. And if you can change one small thing for them, you can transform their relationship with you.
One small change at a time, one degree makes all of the difference.
“It takes courage to grow up and become who we really are” e.e. cummings
Walking on the path of the transformation life, you sometimes find your path ends with a large body of water that needs to be crossed. You might swim across, but sometimes that body of water has a strong current, rapids or even is close to the drop off of a waterfall. So, swimming might seem too risky.
You could look for a way to build a bridge across. But you might decide that you don’t have the “know how” to build a bridge.
You could build a boat to row across, but maybe you don’t have the funds to buy the lumber.
Or you could fly.
What you must never do is to be afraid of doing whatever is needed to get across that body of water. Because the worst thing that can happen is that you build a house alongside that body of water, and never even attempt to get across. That is guaranteed to give you a life of regrets. To be always wondering “what if?” What if you could have flown across?
What might you have accomplished in your life, if you had just risked continuing down the path of a transformational life?
What is necessary is that you are stronger than your excuses. Whenever you hear yourself say the word, “but”, you need to stop what you are saying. Because whatever follows but is an excuse. You don’t need to unpack your backpack at the word “but” and build a home there. What you need to do is to get a shovel and dig under the excuse to find the pattern of sabotage that is underneath the excuse.
Root out the pattern and recognize it as a fear. Shift and change how you are dealing with that fear. Doubt has built another mountain, and you can refuse to climb it. You can instead have faith in yourself, in your friends and family, in your spiritual beliefs, and know that if you built that mountain, you can take it apart and keep on your journey.
“When it is all finished, you will discover that it was never random” – unknown
When I look back at what I thought were mistakes, I see these links. I took a new job, which ended three months later. I was laid off and I couldn’t find work. I lost my car because I had no money. I moved out of state. I got a new job and the reason they hired me?
It was because of what I was doing at that job for three months. That experience led to a promotion for a position that I had been aiming for, to teaching at two different community colleges, to creating and running a training program for seven branches of a savings and loan bank. None of which would have happened without that job for three months.
So was it a mistake? I don’t think so. Nothing in that string of experiences was random. I was following the path of self transformation. Sometimes the path kicks you butt, and sometimes you kick it back.
So, what do we do? You swim. You just keep swimming. You make mistakes and you keep swimming. You try new things and you keep swimming. You change yourself, your world and you just keep swimming.
I hope this year, you make mistakes.
Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world.
You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.
Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, wherever it is, art, or love, or work, or family, or life.
Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, DO IT.
Make your mistakes, next year and forever.
– Neil Gaiman
“Dreams are illustrations from the book your soul is writing about you” – Marsha Norman
Such a beautiful idea, dreams coming from your soul, as illustrations of what you can accomplish with your life. What kind of life did you imagine when you were five? Ten? Twenty? Forty? Sixty?
Your dreams are waiting patiently for you to come back and try again. But it isn’t a matter of doing the same things that already failed to bring your dreams into reality.
It is all about you transforming and changing yourself, so that you can become the person who can support that dream. I think that is why many fail so many times. You keep thinking that you just need to keep climbing the same slippery slope. And every time you slide back down, you think you just need to try harder.
“Even though the future seems far away, it is actually beginning right now” – Mattie Stepanek
Dreams serve a dual purpose. They grow you, shift and change you in order to accomplish them.
And they bring something wonderful into the world, to shift and change others besides yourself. Dreams are realities not yet beheld.
The story of the Starfish –
What you are doing right this minute, is the beginning of that future. Even if it is as simple, as saving one starfish.
“Don’t downgrade your dream just to fit your reality. Upgrade your conviction to match your destiny” – Shinzoo.com
When you work on becoming the person you need to become, to bring your dream into reality, how do you know what you need to transform within yourself? The clues are like key holes in the walls that you built out of your fears.
Take for example the fear of public speaking. It is said to be one of the most common fears that everyone has. You probably have this fear. So the wall of fear that you have built is designed to avoid any situations in which you might be asked to speak. Your body will fight against you. Some people go into hot/cold sweats. Some become nauseous and even throw up. Some people get that deer in the headlight look and forget everything, including their own name.
You have to discover what is lying underneath the rock called fear of public speaking.
Get curious as to what is underneath your own fear rock.
“Do what you have to do, until you can do what you want to do” – Oprah
When you pick up a literal rock, you might find dozens of different kinds of insects buried underneath it. Within your rock of fear, there it isn’t just one answer buried underneath it. It is usually several different items that are weaved together to create the illusion of a huge unmovable boulder of fears. But as you unwind and untangle each fear, acknowledge it, and see how you can transform it, the illusion of the boulder shrinks down into a manageable fear rock.
As you transform those fears with speaker training; As you practice and become well prepared; you realize that your speech isn’t about you. It’s about helping your audience. You discover that giving a speech can be a wonderful experience. Having some butterflies in your stomach before speaking is normal. And having some nervousness with the first couple of sentences is common. You are planting the seeds of your future success in bringing your dreams into reality.
“Let us make our future now, and let us make our dreams tomorrow’s reality” – Malala Yousafzai
What makes it a “Life Transformation” is the realization afterwards, that while it might not be perfect, you did it! That someone in that audience needed to hear what you have to say. You spoke to that one starfish and helped it get back into the ocean.
You gain the confidence to realize that if you can conquer what might have been a crippling fear about being a public speaker; what else could you transform in your life that has been holding you back?
When you do something this transformational, you literally shift every cell in your body and become a new person. You can’t go back to that person you were before. Like the caterpillar, you just emerged from the chrysalis and spread your beautiful butterfly wings and took flight.
As you transform yourself with change after change, you discover that your dream itself keeps growing. So the journey keeps going.
Along the way you will meet people who tell you logically, that you are wasting your time trying to save a beach full of stranded starfish. You will experience epic failures. You will be disappointed by other people who you thought were in the dream with you for the long haul.
If you stay true to your dream and honor your imagination and never, ever, give up – you will be a winner in bringing that dream a lot further than you could have imagined at the beginning.
Here at LemonadeMakers, we are happy to have those kinds of deep conversations, to help you figure out what is underneath the fears that seem to be holding you back from living your life purpose. Contact us anytime.
Sometimes you need to take a break from everyone and spend time alone, to experience, appreciate, and love yourself – Robert Tew
I have a confession to make. Years ago, when all four of my children were little, I used to hide in the bathroom. Sometimes the mommy, mommy, was just too much. I didn’t want to referee who had what toy, who pushed who, or be the mean mom making them clean up their room.
I was tired out from working all day, coming home and fixing dinner, making sure their homework was done, that they all had their baths, and had clean clothes for the next day at school. I just needed five minutes alone.
If your kids are like mine were, you didn’t get the five minutes alone until they were in bed, and after the 15th excuse to get out of bed, they had finally fallen asleep.
By then of course, you are too tired to even think, and you are falling asleep on the couch. Just a few minutes of peace.
My husband was a wonderful man who in the summer would take the kids on overnight camping trips. For one whole weekend, I would stay at home alone. I slept in. I read a book. I would wallow in alone time and recharge. It was a mini mommy vacation. When they came home Sunday night all excited about fishing, I was a whole new mom, ready to listen to every story and adventure.
If you really love someone, there’s no such thing as not having enough time for them – unknown
For some reason now that the kids are all grown and out on their own, I have filled my life up with so many things to do. It took a while to notice that I have let the habit of alone time disappear. I am following my own advice and putting this time down on the calendar.
It is really important to carve out the space to be able to soul search. To recover energetically. To be able to do some deep thinking, following the rabbit down the rabbit hole. To just be without any agenda or schedule or purpose. It is a part of having a healthy relationship with yourself. It is a part of loving yourself and making time for just you.
Alone time is when I distance myself from the voices of the world so I can hear my own – Oprah
I love to garden, to crochet, and I have always wanted to play the piano. I want to go on a hot air balloon ride. I want to travel to Scotland and see where my dad’s family came from. I want to explore medieval castles all over Europe.
I have been neglecting this part of my life because of not balancing myself between my day job, taking care of my husband and his health issues, being there for the grandchildren, and the amount of time it takes to promote and build LemonadeMakers. The “I should be’s” overwhelm the “I want to’s“.
But what I know from life experience and lots of years of education, is that it is just as important to take the time to recharge my batteries.
So, like the sailor in the ship, you need to make course adjustments, to make sure that you don’t keep losing yourself in life’s often conflicting priorities.
Remember to take those moments, or those weekends to smell the roses. You will come back reenergized and ready to take on whatever life is getting ready to throw in your direction.
Isn’t funny how you will look at someone as being “the overnight success” story. There is no such thing as the overnight success. Every step that we take in bringing our dreams into reality has a price. People don’t see the 10,000 hours you put in to become the master that you are today. They don’t see the hours that you continue to put in to hone your gifts into the genius category. What if instead of getting mad about someone’s cutting remarks, we stayed silent. And to take it one step further, what if instead of crying about what they just said or did (which is what they want) you laughed out loud about it? What if you said, “if you hate this, just wait – I have more achievements that you can be mad about coming.” And my personal favorite, “If you don’t like me and still watch everything I do, you’re not my haters, you’re my fans.”
Silence your critics.
Ignore your haters.
Delete your cynics.
– Robin Sharma
The sad thing is that we listen to the critics at all. We can have 10 people come up and gush all over us, how wonderful we are, so inspiring. And then one person finds something negative to say about us, usually personal and not having anything to do with the job we do, and that is all we think about. What if we turned it around? Instead of taking it personally and getting wounded, what if we took it as a sign that we have something within us that needs to be released. Thanking them, literally, because they just made you aware of some personal work that you need to do for yourself? Just a little housecleaning to track down where that hurt you just felt is actually coming from.
When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.
– African Proverb
I have always loved the quote from Theodore Roosevelt. It puts everything into perspective, because most haters are not putting themselves out there to accomplish their dreams. They become haters because the truth that you are living, shows up the lies they are telling themselves. They become haters because every time one of us puts ourselves out there, it reflects to them that they aren’t fulfilling their own personal destiny. Every time we get back up from the failures, and keep going until we win through, it is like a stake in their hearts because they are too afraid to fail and so they don’t take even the first step into the arena. They know that they have a divine destiny, a life purpose. Instead of listening and following their souls calling, they smother their heart when it cries out to them to walk into the arena and get dirty.
It is not the critic who counts; nor the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deed could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, who face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs; who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
– Theodore Roosevelt
So how do you unlock your own potential? You get curious. You look for open doors to walk through. You go on adventures. You read, watch and listen and then think, think, think. You wonder what if? What could I just do next? What happens when I? Like Alice in Wonderland, each step down the path brought something new into her life. She realized that every single day she was a totally new person; that nothing was impossible; and that all of us are just a little bit mad; and it is always tea time.
“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?’
‘That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,’ said the Cat.
‘I don’t much care where -‘ said Alice.
‘Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,’ said the Cat.
‘- so long as I get SOMEWHERE,’ Alice added as an explanation.
‘Oh, you’re sure to do that,’ said the Cat, ‘if you only walk long enough”
Whenever I hear the word relentless, I think of a small child. You know that age where they ask “why”? Why is the sky blue? Why do dogs bark and cats meow? Why, why, why? At first it is cute. Then it drives you mad. Children are great examples of being relentless when they want something. How many times as parents have we said no, only to give in later because we can’t take it anymore? But like a lot of excellent childlike qualities at some point most of us lose that quality of being relentless. We stop asking because they will just say no. We don’t ask because what if they say no and we put ourselves out there just to be shot down. We don’t want to be annoying, or look foolish or be a failure, and . . . . . so we make excuses. We place the blame on others. We start looking around for things that won’t be hard to do.
Why Do I Succeed?
I am willing to do the things you are not
I will fight against the odds
I will sacrifice
I am not shackled by fear, insecurity or doubt
I am motivated by accomplishment, not pride
If I fall – I will get up
If I am beaten – I will return
I will never stop getting better
I will never give up – ever
That Is Why I Succeed
Find a purpose in life so big, that it challenges every belief you have. That it challenges you to do things and try things that never occurred to you before. Instead of following the crowd, break out and find your own path. Change the way you think. Your story gives you so many clues to your life purpose. Your dreams are like sign posts pointing you in the direction to go forward and bring them into reality. Your souls voice is you refusing to be quiet and invisible. We can’t know your story until you tell it. Whether that is from speaking, writing, acting, dancing, singing – whatever form it takes, it must be told. Your story isn’t about being a victim, it isn’t about the tragedy that happened. Your story is about how you overcame “all that stuff”, and how you took life’s lemons and made the best lemonade in town.
I recently read an article about a 10 year old boy in Texas who likes to invent things. In his neighborhood, there had been a baby left in a vehicle in the summer that had died. It really affected him. Now he wasn’t like most of us, saying how could someone forget their child in the car. He wasn’t thinking that they should go to jail. What he was thinking was what could I invent so that when someone makes a tragic mistake, it doesn’t have to result in the death of a baby? So he now has a patent pending for a little cooler that looks like a giant lego, that will turn on when the heat gets too high and the car seat is occupied by a child. By cooling the baby, it makes time for the parent to remember they left the child in the car and rescue them. What struck me about this story is that this totally preventable situation has been happening for years and it never occurred to millions of adults to create some sort of mechanism in the car seat to cool the child and buy enough time for the child to be rescued. How many other opportunities are there out there for some great thinking outside the box that will save lives?
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In fairy tales when the princess was born, the King and Queen would give a feast and the wise women or fairies would bestow gifts on the child. The gifts would range from virtue, to beauty, to wealth, to song.
I believe that you all have these wonderful gifts. They feed into the pattern of what you came to earth to impact. Impact is such a special word, because it has weight to it. A small meteor falling to earth can create a large impact. Every single one of us can make an impact in someone’s life. In fact, we can impact the world.
Respond to every call that excites your spirit. Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray – Rumi
Pattern is another word that has a special energy to it. Every puzzle that is solved, every person who becomes a master at something. it is all a matter of finding the patterns to a thing, and then using those patterns to your advantage.
A person can say what they believe.
They can take actions to demonstrate that they believe, but it is the patterns that result that really tell the true story.
This is because you can’t manipulate the patterns, like you can manipulate words and actions. It is the patterns that create the self-sabotages in your life. It is the patterns that reveal the truth about who you are. They show up in every aspect of the life that you live, revealing not what you say you believe about yourself, but what is hidden beneath the words.
You can shift and change the patterns in your life by letting go of the things that no longer serve you.
It is like that security blanket a small child has. Once the child understands that it doesn’t really need the blanket to be safe, the child is ready to let the blanket go.
You have things in your life that served you once upon a time. But as you grew in knowledge and learned to apply that knowledge wisely, you outgrew some of those old beliefs that kept you safe.
To release the old patterns, you need to try on new behaviors. Release the training wheels off your bike and ride confidently down the street without them. Go out and create totally new patterns, that will serve you in your life now.
Every day is a once in a lifetime event. How much more exciting would our lives be if we embraced this truth and lived accordingly? – Steve Maraboli
What is the thing that your heart aches for? What is your soul’s longing? What dream keeps you up at night?
There are challenges in your life. There are the consequences of bad decisions you made in the past. You have had your heart broken, and you have broken hearts. You have scars both inside and outside of your body. How can you reach out one more time, when you were beaten by life the last time that you reached out?
You must, must, must, let all of the baggage go. Drop it and walk away from it. Otherwise, you will spend the rest of your life drifting through it without purpose, or ever fully understanding how to create a life that fulfills you.
It is in the journey itself that you uncover those gifts that you were presented with when you were born.
It is in the pursuit of genius in each of those gifts that the pattern of your life begins to take shape.
Like the puzzle, at first the colors seem so similar that you don’t notice the variations. The puzzle pieces themselves seem to be the same shape and you can try 20 or 30 different pieces before you find the one that fits perfectly into the space. There comes a point where the picture takes shape, and you can see what the next piece is. It gets easier and easier.
You see all of us start out the journey thinking that we know where we are going, and what we need to bring to the journey to arrive at the destination. But for a special group of us, what we learn is that it is the journey itself, not the destination that truly reveals and uses those gifts we have received.
A strong woman knows she has strength enough for the journey . . . but a woman of strength knows it is on the journey that she will become strong – Luke Easter
As you grow in knowledge, apply the wisdom and step outside the comfort zones in your life, you learn to listen to your intuition. That voice that whispers to your heart. That souls voice says, “go right”. “Stop here”. “Now go there”.
When you follow the directions of the soul, you uncover depths to your life that you never knew could exist.
Your soul reveals that you already know who you are, and what you brought to this life.
All of these things are whispered to you from your intuitive inner knowing. You just need to listen, accept and then act on it.
Trust that your soul has a plan, and even if you can’t see it completely, know that everything will unfold as it is meant to – Deepak Chopra
If I were to ask you what your highest potential is, would you have a ready answer? Would you need to think about it for awhile? What about the first career that you thought you wanted when you were little? A policeman, Fireman, Doctor, Teacher, or maybe even the President? What was it about that career that appealed to you? Why did you change your mind? Why did you give up the dream?
You have everything you need to build something far greater than yourself.
– Seth Godin
Usually we give up a dream because we think we don’t have what it takes to make it happen. This can come from the outside, from parents, friends, peers etc…, or from the inner critic fear, who convinces us that we aren’t good enough to be that person who can make their dreams come true. To catch our potential and live our dreams we have to fight our greatest fears. I believe absolutely that if we are given the dream, then we do have the potential. I believe that all of us are better than we think we can be.
As human beings greatness is not so much in being able to remake the world as in being able to remake ourselves.
When faced with those fears of living out our dreams, we tend to run away. We blame others for what we are afraid that we can’t accomplish. We get involved in time sucking activities. We live down to the lowest level of our potential, figuring that falling off the first stair step of the staircase won’t hurt as much as falling down one or two dozen steps. Then looking up from the ground level, that idea of reaching for the moon seems even further away and less obtainable. We run around with others who are running away from their own potential, so that we feel part of a crowd, safe and secure – “just like everyone else”.
You can see and feel this mindset when you try to make a change. The crowd around you doesn’t want you to make any changes in reaching out to grow into your potential. They see that mirror of you reflecting back at them, and they will oppose it, because they don’t want to wake up to their own true potential. It would mean that they have to grow and change too, and that is just too scary. It is far easier to remain unconscious and in a rut.
Have you even seen pictures of the Oregon Trail with the ruts that were worn into the prairie by the wagon trains? Some of them dug so far into the earth that it was like a wall on both sides of the wagon as they went through. It might make you feel safer, but ruts are filled up with limiting beliefs, uninspired sameness, mental, physical, and career burnout. It is a sure path to being asleep in your life.
I want people in my life who are more interested in my growth than my comfort.
– Eric Johnson
Why does that matter? Because study after study reflects that as a group, we develop a “sameness” in our actions. Eating habits, exercise habits, even monthly menstruations, it all tends to become regulated to the group. So if you want to reach your potential you need to associate with other people who are trying to reach theirs. People who take action. Who are awake and conscious not only to their own potential, but in the potential of others around them. People who will cheer you on, who will stop when they see you take a fall and help you get back up. There isn’t any competition with this group of people, but rather collaboration in helping each other get up the next level of growth, and celebrating all of the milestones along the way.
To reach your full potential, you have to set goals that will stretch you. You must not be afraid of taking risks. You must learn to recognize opportunities and have the courage to pursue them. You have to make better choices that will provide better results. Finally, you need to avoid the negative influences of other people and surround yourself with successful people who will encourage you to pursue your dreams.
– Zig Ziglar
And you should expect to fall down more times than you succeed. It is part of the process of learning something new. You learn a new language, you will say the wrong words, in the wrong sequence, or just pronounce it so poorly that no one can understand you. But if you immerse yourself in the language and culture (go live in the country that speaks that language with an actually family that refuses to speak your native tongue) you will be amazed at how fast you become proficient.
The problem is when we fall down and get up, at some point when we fall down again, we say we can’t get up again. You fill in the blank of what your favorite excuse is, because anything we say after the word “BUT” is just that an excuse. I wanted to finish college, but . . . “this is too hard”; I wanted to interview for the new promotion, but . . . “I am afraid I it’s too big a leap”; I thought we would be married forever, but . . . “I’m just not cut out for this”. If you can build a visual picture of your life when you have accomplished the dream, it makes it easier to get clarity, to stay focused, to in a few words, “Have a Vision” and accomplish it.
Vision is the ability to see potential in what others overlook.
– Rick Warren
So what do you do if it has been forever since you listened to your dreams? If you have forgotten what wakes you up and fills you with joy of life? First of all you need to believe in your potential being way greater that where ever you are right now. Then think back to what makes you happy. If money, time, and family was all in your favor, what would you do with your life right now? If you knew that you only had one week left in your life, what unfinished dream would you want to dedicate all of your remaining time to? What is it that haunts you, keeps you awake when you give your mind the freedom to think about it? What is the “only if” in your life? These are all places to look for that dream if you have misplaced it. It also shows up in the areas in our life that come naturally to us. Look for the pattern and sew that dream back together piece by piece.
So we have this dream. We map out the path to bring it into reality. We create a Destiny Map. We start building bridges to grow ourselves into the kind of person that dream requires us to be. Then at some point, we see that we have to cross a different kind of bridge. The gap between where we are and where we want to go next, requires us to step out onto a bridge that we can’t see. Like Indiana Jones we have to literally walk across what we see as air, and trust that the bridge is really there. We have to risk everything we have, all of our beliefs in what we are capable of, to cross that bridge. If you are lucky enough to reach this bridge, this is where most dreamers quit. They fail to seize the moment to do something they have never done.
When you are not willing to be challenged, disturbed or offended, you are not willing to explore your weaknesses or ever reach your highest potential.
– Bryant McGill
So expect failure. Expect to be wrong. Expect change. Expect challenging times. Realize that your greatness is hidden in your true potential and keep digging it up until you find it and expose it to the world. Unlock the treasure chest and release your potential. It is a priceless treasure, which doesn’t do us any good unless we are out there distributing it. Dream big. Work hard. Believe in yourself. Be who you really are. Dream, plan, execute!
When everything seems to be going against you remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.
– Henry Ford
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“The best thing you could do is MASTER the chaos in you. You are not thrown into the fire. YOU ARE THE FIRE” – Mama Indigo
The smallest spark ignites the fire of passion that lives deep within your soul. When that passion bursts out, then anything is suddenly possible. That passion says that you will not give up. That you might get knocked down, but you will get back up. That you might fail, but you will keep trying until you succeed.
It is in the trying, failing and trying again that you learn just what you are made up of. It strips away the facades that you hide behind. It exposes the bones of what you are made up of.
The Cherokees teach that your ancient ancestors came from the stars. Science has proven that your body contains stardust. Like the stars you burn with an inner fire.
Your eyes, the windows of your soul, shine with that inner fire. It is that inner focus that drives you forward. That inner fire is like a forge, in that it will burn away all of the things that don’t belong, leaving the pure beauty of your soul’s core.
Focus is like a bellows, which supplies air to the fire so that it breathes. That hot air rises to push you up out of the ashes. It is in that place inside your heart, deep within the soul where joy burns away the pain. Life isn’t ever what you thought it was. It is in fact, all about what it is possible to become. What you are truly capable of being.
“What you want to ignite in others must first burn inside yourself” – One PlanetOnePlanet.com
If you have ever heated your home with a wood fire, then you know the importance of banking the coals at night. When you do that, then in the morning it is easy to get the fire going quickly. You need to bank your inner fires when you are being hard pressed. When you are going through the valley of death and darkness. If you keep the inner core burning brightly, it doesn’t matter what happens outside of you.
You shall rise, lighting the way out of the darkness with a brightly burning all consuming passion, to change yourself and thereby change the world.
What matters most is your own self confidence. Your own beliefs. Your own self love and self-trust. Because when the bridges are burning, sometimes that only way out is through. When you have to walk down that road of fire, you are only going to be able to do it if you believe you can.
Sometimes in order to rise higher, you need to burn the boats containing plans B – Z and realize that plan A is the only option. You have to be all in. You have to surround yourself with those who will not be afraid of the changes you are going through, because they are transforming themselves. People who will believe in your dreams and will fan the flames of your fire. The chain reaction of one heart on fire lighting another, and another until there is light for all.
“You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage – pleasantly, smilingly, non-apologetically – to say “no” to other things. And the way to do that is by having a bigger “Yes” burning inside” – Stephen Covey
Seek that path that demands more from you than you currently know how to give. Motivation comes from that fire within us, an awakened soul.
You have the capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love, and to be greater than all of your hopes, desires, dreams and inspirations.