There comes a time when the desire for transformation demands action. Never let your fears be the deciding factor, of taking that action. “Obstacles are like wild animals. They are cowards, but they will bluff you if they can. If they see you are afraid of them…, they are liable to spring upon you; but if you look them squarely in the eye, they will slink out of sight.” Orison Swett Marsden
Action is required when the change comes from within us. The choice to enter through the gates of greatness, is an internal change initiated by our desire to live a fully engaged life. This change requires of us, just a touch of insanity because it means that we will no longer live a life of conformity. It requires from us that we recognize and let go of beliefs that no longer serve us. We begin by setting intentions and making conscious designs of how we want to change our life. Something new is birthed into existence when this happens. Like the caterpillar we emerge from the chrysalis a new creation.
There comes a time when the caterpillar has to make the chrysalis. He has to overcome the fear of what is going to happen when he closes it off with himself all wrapped up inside of it. He has to let go of the fear of will he be able to breathe. How will he eat? What happens if it something goes wrong? How will he get out? “It is when I struggle that I strengthen. It is when I am challenged to my core, that I learn the depth of who I am.” Dr. Steve Marboli. It is the struggle of the transformed butterfly to emerge from the covering that the wings become fully functional. If you “help” it to escape, it will deform the wings and it will never be able to fly.
There is a story told of how an arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. When life is dragging you back with difficulties, it means it’s going to launch you into something great. So just focus, and keep aiming. I have always loved this story, because it is by the action of pulling back the arrow that it launches us through the gates of greatness. It is such a great analogy of understanding that struggle is part of advancement.
Cheryl Strayed said “fear, to a great extent is born of a story that we tell ourselves.” I don’t know how many of you remember back to the late 70’s, but there was a gas crisis. We had lines around the block to get gas, and you could only get it on even or odd days depending on your license plate number. It was around this time that all but two states, decided that we had to pump our own gas, it was all self service.
Now I had never had to pump gas. I told myself this big fear story about how I was going to do it wrong, blow up the service station or something equally horrible. For quite a while I got away with leaving my husband with the almost empty tank, until one day it happened. The tank was on empty and I had to pump my own gas. Well as you can guess it was simple and easy. I didn’t pour gas all over the station, I didn’t implode, nothing caught on fire. I laughed about my fears when I drove away – it was just a made up story, by my fear of the unknown. Richard Bach said, “The meaning I picked, the one that changed my life: Overcome fear, behold wonder.”
That is what I learned from that experience. Fear isn’t meant to shut me down – it is meant to wake me up to wonder. I had let this fear limit how far I could drive. I had let it stop me from filling up my car with gas. I have always pulled that memory out when fears start getting in my way. Fear was making me a prisoner, and overcoming that fear set me free. Free to go have adventures, to embrace transformation and change in my life. To take actions, which is to take risks. Risk is always present when I am doing something that I don’t know how to do. This is what bravery and courage is, not the absence of fear, but the ability to push through the fear and by taking action, to do it anyway. There is nothing more liberating that doing something we didn’t think that we could do. No matter how simple or easy it actually turns out to be.
W. Clement Stone said, “Thinking will not overcome fear, but action will.” It is the actions that move us forward. Actions say who we are, whereas the words, or talking about something, simply say who we want to be. What we have to remember is that our lives are a message to all of those around us. They see our actions that we take, how we go forward in the world, and that is how they see us.
Think of the iconic movie characters. Rocky who fights against the odds and wins. Indiana Jones who will find the treasure, then have to fight the bad guys and win against impossible odds. John Wayne; The Lone Ranger; Darth Vader; Luke Skywalker; Bilbo Baggins; Gandalf; – when you say the names, you see the characters that they represent. The reputations that the characters earned, by the actions that they each took – both good and bad. Each one has a message to the world.
“Adversity introduces a man to himself.” Albert Einstein. Think about Luke Skywalker and how when he was training with Yoda and entered the cave. He asked what he would find inside and Yoda said, “whatever you take in with you”. He took into the cave his fears of Darth Vader, but what did he see when he took the mask off of Darth Vader? His own face. His own fears that he would become what he hated. That somehow he would fail and become evil too. That is the story of his fear. When he faced that fear, he saved not only himself, but also his father Darth Vader. He inspired his father to change back from his evil ways.
Our souls dreams lead us into transformation. This transformation requires that we change. Change requires that we initiate some sort of action to make everything happen. When you are inspired by your purpose to seek change and transformation, your mind transcends the limitations or bonds that have kept you prisoner, held in place. the whole world opens up to you. You see things that you missed, because of the blinders your fear had in place.
Your talents and gifts comes alive and expand to fill in the void created by facing your fears. These gifts are that which is needed for transformation. The caterpillar builds the chrysalis, after which the divine takes over, as the caterpillar physically changes into the butterfly. The action of the caterpillar has to happen first. So it is for us. We feel the need to transform. We take the needed action to start the process. Then you transcend your limitations, your gifts come alive and you begin to see the divine purpose you have in being here. You discover that you are a greater person than you ever dreamed you could be.
Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside of you that the world is waiting for. That the gifts you have been given are required in this time and place. That these gifts can help you to overcome any obstacle. Life has a habit of pulling out of us what is needed. So don’t just dream about the life you wish you had. Go out and make that life real. Let your faith be bigger than your fears. Just remember how silly I was to let the fear of pumping gas stop me from having adventures by limiting how far I could travel. Every time you face a fear, you can laugh with me at how silly we were to let it stop us for even 5 minutes.
This is the year, that I become the warrior woman that I didn’t think I could be.
This is the year, that every morning begins with a cup of the grandest vision I can imagine.
This is the year that I find the gold inside of me, and don’t try to dilute it.
This is the year that instead of allowing that critical voice inside my head to stop me, I will dust off the kick ass heals and ignore it.
This is the year, that I let the wild and crazy girl go free.
This is the year that no one (not even me), can put out the burning desire that rages deep inside of me.
This is the year that “I am already everything I need”, becomes more than just a saying.
This is the year, that my “will” is stronger than my resistance.
This is the year that I will forgive myself freely, and love myself relentlessly.
This is the year that my life is a living, breathing, screaming, invitation to believe in better things, not only for myself, but for the whole world.
Do not settle for less than exactly what you want. Your heart’s desires are there for a reason. Chase them. Pursue them relentlessly. Do not lose sight of your goals. They are your very reason for being.
– Franki Durban
As a little girl I learned that other people didn’t like you if you were too smart, and knew all of the answers. I learned that if the teacher was wrong, that you couldn’t correct them, even though they were teaching something that wasn’t true. As a little girl I learned that it was safer to be invisible. I learned to settle for what I got and not to ask for something better. It wasn’t that they might say no, it was that they might take back the little I had just got. Even so, deep down inside I knew that I was worth more than I was receiving.
I also learned that those who were supposed to love you, would let you down. I learned that I couldn’t trust them to do what they promised. I learned that even though they said they loved me, I couldn’t trust them. I understood that even though I might know someone my whole life, I didn’t really know them al all. That people that I thought would never hurt me, could crush my soul. I learned that even with the best intentions in the world, the people you care about will fall short. And I learned that this had to be ok. I learned to love them for who they were, and not what my expectations of them were.
Some people are settling down, some people are settling, and some people refuse to settle for anything less than butterflies.
– Sarah Jessica Parker
It took me years to undo the programming of being less, and settling for less than who I am. I decided one day that I wanted to feel alive every waking moment, no longer hiding in the shadows afraid to be noticed. That I wanted to have a passionate life, full of experiences. That I wanted to shape what was left of my life into wonderful memories. That I wanted to be a part of making my own world a better place. No more just existing, but rather celebrating my life by constantly being “all in”. I wanted friends that laughed with me, not at me. I wanted good conversations. I wanted to be able to share my dreams and have them ask, “how can I help you?”
Don’t downgrade you dream just to fit your reality. Upgrade your conviction to match your destiny.
I am more than enough to go all out, and pursue every dream that I have. My abilities are not something that I have to hide from, that I have to be scared of. No one should be afraid to be the magnificent person that God made them to be. As Franki said, the hearts desires are there for a reason. They are our very reason for being.
If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.
– Jim Rohn
No one should settle for the ordinary, hum drum existence. The habit of working all day to make an employer rich. The habit of crashing on the couch and watching TV until you go to bed – only to repeat it day after day. Risk the unusual and pursue a dream. Go for more. This “settling” is not what God put you on this earth for. You are not the kind of person who settles.
Trust the timing of what shows up in your life. There comes a time, when you realize that you have been sleeping through your life. You get a wake up call. Trust that it is happening for a reason. Don’t push the snooze button and miss the call because you overslept.
There is more in us than we know. If we can be made to see it, perhaps, for the rest of our lives, we will be unwilling to settle for less.
– Kurt Hahn
No more settling. Pursue a passionate life. That is our true destiny. It’s not easy, but it is worth it.
One of my favorite stories comes from Love, Medicine and Miracles by Dr. Bernie Seigal. A young man wanted to become a violinist. His parents said no, become a lawyer. He went to law school and started practicing law. He then developed what was diagnosed as terminal cancer. Thinking he was going to die, he got a job playing violin for an orchestra. Years later, he was still alive because he realized he was on the wrong path. He had to live his life, not the life of his parents. Knowing when to walk away is wisdom, being able to do so is courage. Isn’t it amazing that cancer is what gave him courage enough to walk away?
We have all been placed on this earth to discover our own path, and we will never be happy if we live someone else’s idea of life.
– James Van Praagh
Our bodies know when we are not living our authentic life, and we will receive a wake up call. It is important that we listen, look within, and then have the courage to make the changes that need to be made. It is also important to realize that just because we are walking down the right path, doesn’t mean there won’t be obstacles. Our need of courage includes being courageous enough to know that we will still make mistakes, experience disappointments and despair.
Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is perspective, not the truth.
– Marcus Aurelis
This is where the ability to look about and within becomes important. It doesn’t mean that we are on the wrong path just because something goes wrong. It could just mean that we need to grow more, to be able to continue the journey. U-Turns don’t take you back the way you just came. Life’s road twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. So when you complete a U-turn it is just like turning down a side road. You can’t go backwards, although it seems like it some days. Trying to go backwards is very disappointing, because we can’t recreate what we left behind. We changed and so did everyone else.
The light at the end of the tunnel is your life; it’s the tunnel that’s temporary.
– Michael Josephson
Don’t allow yourself to become the boulder blocking the path. This is what happens when we try to go backwards. We block our own path. We might recreate similar patterns of self destruction. If we do, that is when we know that it is time to listen to the heart. Our heart and soul are like the magnetic needle on the compass. Always go to “true north” and you will be on the right path.
Don’t feel sorry for yourself if you have chosen the wrong road. Turn around.
– Edgar Cayee
I have always maintained that U-turns are part of every journey to some place that I don’t know. I expect them, I laugh when they happen. U-Turns can be really interesting. What I have learned in my life is that every single experience has something important in it that I needed to learn. I may only understand later, why that piece of knowledge was required.
I have been in the mortgage industry for almost 35 years. So I have lived through good and bad cycles in the financial industry. Years ago I had a good job, but the owner of another company kept calling me to come and work for him. Finally after months of getting his phone calls, I gave notice and went to work for him. This job would end up being a U-turn for me.
He had hired a free lance writer to create a manual for the mortgage brokers he worked with, and she seemed unable to finish the project, so as part of my job I took that project to completion. Then two weeks later I was laid off, when the interest rates hiked up and his business slowed down. I really yelled at myself, because I felt I had made a wrong decision in taking that job and should have stayed where I was.
Sometimes a wrong turn can get you straight to the right track.
– Marva Ezzat
We ended up having to move out of state in order for me to find work. But what happened next, was really interesting. The Savings and Loan I went to work for needed manuals written for their servicing department, and because I had that experience I got the job of being both an underwriter and a trainer. I created several training programs for them, as well as the servicing manual.
Then I got a second part time job teaching at South Seattle Community College for an adult education class for loan processors and loan officers. I ended up creating new manuals for this position too, because their manuals were so bad. Both of these jobs would not have been available to me, if I hadn’t taken that earlier job and got the experience of creating a manual.
Move on. It’s just a chapter in your life. Don’t close the book, just turn the page for a new chapter.
So we will fall down. We may even get lost. U-Turns are a given. But as long as we take out that compass, listen to our hearts and the courage in our soul, we will be on the right path. As long as we tune into true north, we can take that step into the unknown, knowing that this is the right path.
Life is full of surprises and serendipity. Being open to unexpected turns in the road is an important part of success. If you try to plan every step, you may miss those wonderful twists and turns. Just find your next adventure – do it well, and enjoy it – and then, not now, think about what comes next.
– Condelezza Rice
Be an original Wild Woman – Shake off whatever is holding you back.
This reminded me of Taylor Swift’s song “Shake it Off” with the lyrics:
‘Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off
Heart-breakers gonna break, break, break, break, break
And the fakers gonna fake, fake, fake, fake, fake
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off”
There are times in our lives where we hear unkind words that have been said about us; where we get those looks of judgment from others as we walk by. When that someone we thought would be our “happy ever after” leaves us. When we have to leave what we love, and move on because what we love is not healthy for us. We lose a job or a best friend. So many things that we have to shake loose and shake off.
All of these situations require us to love ourselves enough, that we remain our own center. That we focus our energy not on looking backwards and fighting to keep the same old way of life, but on building a new life. That we shake off the hurt, the dissapointment, the feeling of abandonment or betrayal. That we forgive ourselves for where we failed and forgive others for not living up to our expectations. Be proud of who you are now.
Decide that your life is yours alone, and celebrate it. Shake off the apologies, the excuses, the blame. Realize that in order to shine, sparkle and glitter, sometimes you need to be cut out of parts that don’t belong, and shine the parts that do.
“Alice: How long is forever?
White Rabbit: Sometimes, just one second” Lewis Carroll
Life seems like that sometimes. I remember years ago that we were driving north on I-5 in Oregon and we had just crested the top of a hill around Roseberg. You could see quite a ways in front of you as the road sloped down into a valley. Ahead of us was a semi tractor trailer and he ran over something like shiny metal in the road. Immediately his tires blew and he started swerving and then the whole rig tipped onto it’s side. For a moment it was like slow motion, I could see so many small details as the whole scene played out like a movie. Then whoosh, time sped back up and my husband was pulling off the road and running back to make sure the driver was ok. He was just shocked by what had happened. But for me, it was the weirdest experience of time I have ever had. It was like the rabbit said, forever came in just one second.
Alice’s courage with the unknown in Wonderland, came from a great deal of curiosity. She fell into an unknown world of adventure, and nothing was as it should be. Sometimes in our life, we feel like that. The world around us seems out of control. We might think like Alice “I knew who I was this morning, but I’ve changed a few times since then”.
In order to embrace change, we need a great deal of courage. Change in our lives today is speeding up, faster and faster. This speed of change is impacting every facet of our lives. It changes the education system, the business world, and our personal lives. I saw a cute video the other day where the family was in a hotel room and the dad handed the telephone receiver to his young daughter to hang it up and she didn’t know what to do. All she had experience with was a cell phone.
Technology changes our world moment by moment. Political upheaval can change borders in a moment. Our belief systems can swing from one absolute truth, to a new absolute truth. It takes a lot of courage to stay in that place of curiosity and not become mired into taking rigid stands against someone whose belief is different from us. It takes a lot of courage to change beliefs that we have had for a long time, and have to finally acknowledge that we have outgrown them.
It takes a lot of courage to have a love affair with the unknown – it means that we are constantly learning something new and each new thing means we let go of an old belief. You may think like Alice “this is impossible” but as the Mad Hatter replied, “Only if you think it is.” My favorite line is “Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
Enjoy the journey, do the impossible, and be a just a tiny bit Mad like the Mad Hatter.
I love this quote with this photo. When you are climbing, you have to have singular focus on what you are doing. Where is the next hand grip? The next place to wedge in your foot? Constantly looking up the wall of rock to find the easiest way up.
It is very easy to find reasons why we can’t do something. Can’t however is usually masking “I don’t want to”, “It’s too hard”, “too much effort”, “it won’t work”. These are all rungs up a ladder that goes nowhere.
At work I hear things, like I am stuck at this job because no one is hiring people over 50 yrs old. Or no one is hiring anyone without a college degree, or you need more experience than I have. No one in the past five years has been promoted or received a raise, so you have to go outside the company to get ahead. Whatever the complaint, the “reason” will be something that they can’t control or change.
All of these reasons why something won’t work will stand in our way as long as we have a belief in them. I love the work of Byron Katie because her four questions show us the fallacy of believing these “reasons”.
1. Is it true? (Yes or no. If no, move to 3.)
2. Can you absolutely know that it’s true? (Yes or no.)
3. How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?
4. Who would you be without the thought?
Then she does what she calls the turnaround question – the turn around question puts the thought to the opposite end of the statement. The purpose of this is to welcome all your thoughts and experiences with open arms, so that you lose the resistance to what is actually true.
The 2nd question is my favorite, because in reality we can never know that our “reason” is absolutely true. This is because no matter what the rule is, there is always an exception to the rule. Most of the things that we believe about ourselves and others are just stories our minds have made up. None of them can pass question #2.
The follow up with question #4 – who would you be without that thought? You would be the person who uses focus to accomplish the dreams and/or goals that are set before them. In this photo, you would be the woman who climbs up the wall to the top successfully.
In our other examples, you would be the person who finds their dream job, because they focused on what they wanted instead of what they didn’t want. You would be happy for having accomplished what you set out to do, and didn’t allow negative thoughts to cloud your judgment or stop you in your tracks.
Pooh Bear once said “when you see someone putting on his big boots, you can be pretty sure an adventure is about to happen”. Adventures are sure to happen when we look at our life and realize that some changes need to be made.
We all have these dreams and aspirations that get buried under “to do” lists. We check off daily house cleaning chores, grocery shopping, taking kids to sport or music programs, taking care of elderly parents and the list of duties and obligations go on and on.
What sometimes happens is that we start perpetuating and growing the list of responsibilities because we start hiding behind the reasons and excuses of not having enough time to work on dusting off the dream and working to bring it into reality.
For years I told myself that I didn’t have the time to write. I had a fulltime job that entailed lots of overtime, four kids to raise and a husband to take care of. Where in all of that was time to find a quiet space to write? So I told myself, when the kids grow up, then I would write. Well the kids grew up and still there was a large list of reasons why I didn’t have the time.
What was really happening is that I was terrified that I didn’t have anything worthwhile to say. That you would read what I wrote and laugh your head off, or even worse stop reading after the first paragraph and I would just hear the sound of silence or boredom.
I think that Facebook was the thing that started me dipping my toes in the water. I would find a quote I liked and do a paragraph or two about the quote on my personal page, and it stayed small because Facebook limited me to the number of words. I would spend more time cutting out words than it took me to write it. Anyway friends and family liked the post (which I thought meant they were just being nice) and then something interesting happened. They started complaining when I wasn’t posting anything.
Then Facebook took away the word limit and they grew a little larger. Then I started this LemonadeMaker page. I started creating my quotes on a photo and expanding the writing a little more. And before I realized what was happening you showed up and not only liked my post, you commented on it and liked the page. I started believing in myself, because you gave me the confidence to believe in myself.
That is what I believe is true of all of us. We are all BRAVER than we believe we are. I put my thoughts out and what I found is I can have a conversation about them and you may or may not agree with me, and that is ok. I discovered that I could survive differences of opinion. We are all STRONGER than we think we are. We are all SMARTER than we think we are.
I have a different way of looking at the world. I love to find multiple meanings in words. I think that words are like colors and have these shades of color waiting to be explored. It gives each word depth and height and width. As people we have these hidden sides to us. When you look at the stories of those who go through fiery experiences in their lives you see what they learn about themselves and others. It gives new meaning to what humanity is all about.
I am so glad that I take the chance each day to express my thoughts, as those thoughts are creating a community of souls that I believe are filled with simply amazing people – and yes that means you! You encourage me each day to express my thoughts and I hope in turn that I can encourage just one person each day that life is not only worth living – but that we are all brave enough and strong enough to climb to the tops of mountains, and explore the depths of valleys and swim in the oceans.
What does the term, “the sky’s the limit” mean to you? For me, it is where the comfort zone meets “what else is possible?”
What is stopping you is the unwillingness to live beyond this reality.
It is an extension of “what is possible”, that is beyond what “normal” is for me. It is where all of the magic is, approaching life from that attitude. All our of limitations are self installed. We choose them either by accepting them from someone else, or our own inner critic forming them after a failure. The sky is not the limitation, we are. We see these limitations in our professional life, our personal life and our spiritual life. Some of these limitations come from our culture, through the “roles” we play with our friends and family.
Being on a spiritual path does not prevent you from facing times of darkness. But it teaches you how to use the darkness as a tool to grow.
When we go on a hero’s journey, the walls that we have built around us, to limit us, get torn down. When you take any really great story, you find within it what Joseph Campbell called the Hero’s Journey. My two favorite stories are “Star Wars” (the first three with Luke) and “Lord of The Rings”.
The main character (Luke or Frodo) is going through a “normal” or boring life. Nothing much is happening. Then there is a call to adventure (Luke has R2D2 show up and Frodo has Gandalf), something new is introduced into the characters life. This alters the hero’s destiny. At first the hero refuses the call to adventure – this isn’t for me. I can’t get involved. This can sometimes be because the hero knows that the role that you play within your family, or tribe will be forever changed once you cross the threshold.
Our worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God’s grace. And your best days are never so good that you are beyond the need of God’s grace.
– Jerry Bridges
Then the hero encounters the mentor – someone who gives advice and gets him ready. It could be someone supernatural, mystical or angelic. The hero crosses the threshold – leaves home and enters into the adventure. There are tests, allies and enemies are encountered in the journey which teach the hero a lot about him or herself. Plan A and possibly Plans B and C fail, as the hero experiences setbacks and has to rethink how to proceed.
Because you are alive, everything is possible.
– Nhat Hanh
The hero has faith which leads them to access higher levels of knowledge and abilities to meet the tests with. The hero sees their limitations and ultimately has to defy and defeat them in order to pull through. The setbacks all lead to the ultimate crisis of life or death, where the hero struggles to complete their destiny (Luke battling the evil emperor and Frodo himself and the ring). Now the hero gets the reward – they have won out over the enemies. Many times the loses are mourned even as the victory is celebrated. The hero begins the journey back home, forever changed by the journey. The old limitations of what the hero thought they were capable of have changed. They have been forever transformed.
The reason people awaken, is because they have finally stopped agreeing to things that insult their soul.
I believe that we all take numerous hero’s journeys. We take them in our personal lives, our professional lives and our spiritual lives. We take small journeys and we take “dark night of the soul” journeys. Each time we need to transform our lives, we take a hero’s journey. We reinvent ourselves, we improvise, adapt and overcome our self made limitations. We get creative, we become flexible and adjust as we experience paradigm shifts.
There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.
– Bruce Lee
So don’t tell me the sky’s the limit when there are footprints on the moon. Use your imagination and creativity, to discover that the possibilities of your world are limitless.
“Love is the bridge between you and everything that you desire.” Rumi. We all came into this world to learn, to experience what life is about, and leave a legacy.
Tonight I saw the new Tom Hanks movie, Bridge of Spies. I found it very interesting how he was able to stick to what he knew to be right, even when it endangered his life and that of his family. He didn’t take anyone’s word for “you did what you could, cut your losses and accept what is left”.
Because he was a man of high integrity and morals, he was able to do what no one else could do. While he couldn’t prevent the guilty verdict for his client (he was guilty), he was able to maneuver the judge into a prison sentence instead of the death penalty. Then when his prediction came true about needing him for a future hostage negotiation, he was able to negotiate the return of an American pilot. And when destiny threw in a twist, he negotiated a second hostage return – a two for one, thereby freeing the innocent college student who got caught behind the Berlin Wall.
Because he was so driven to make the negotiations work, and stuck with it to force what he felt was the right thing to do, he ended up becoming a hostage negotiator with President Kennedy. He was able to free over 1,900 hostages from Cuba, during the Cuban missile crisis and Bay of Pigs.
We are all here for a purpose, some small purposes and others world changing. HIs, was a world changing purpose, as he was able to impact hundreds of lives. Our purpose may or may not impact so many lives, but I believe that each one of us has that possibility. The possibility to ask the divine why we are here. To listen to the whispers of our heart, and the calling of our soul. To hear in our dreams the secrets that tell us why we are here.
That is what the light in our heart is. It is the seed that is waiting for us to plant it. To water and nurture it as it grows into our reason for being here. To dig down into the roots of what we are growing and see the unfolding truth of our own myth,
Each morning is an opportunity to become that which you have been looking for. Stop looking and start becoming. Allow your legacy to shine out, no matter the cost. Shine the light of your heart, on the pathway of love. That is the true bridge to help both ourselves and those around us find our way home.
For years I have had this recurring nightmare that I was a fraud, and not as smart as I think I am. That everyone will see it and point fingers at me and say “you are not that smart”. I was living my life inside of my perceived limitations.
I didn’t go to college and I left school my senior year to get married. I took a few community college courses and loved it, just never had the time and money to get a college degree.
Despite the lack of formal education I have risen to a Senior Vice President position with one of the worlds largest banks. You would think that as hard as I have worked to achieve this, I would not have this fear of being found a fraud. Yet, I have looked at what I can do, and think to myself, “If I can do this, it can’t be that hard” and so I discount and belittle the talents I do have. If I do it first, then it won’t hurt so much if you also do it.
Have you ever said any of these things to yourself? Expressed the fear of being “found out” about who you really are? In what ways could you be limiting yourself?
“I don’t deserve this”
“I’m only here because I was lucky”
“Someone must have made a mistake”
“I feel like a fraud”
“It’s only a matter of time before I’m found out”
“I’m not up to this”
I was watching a new show called “Code Black” and it reminded me of these fears that we all have – of being a fraud for something in our lives. These self doubts that we have, if not addressed can ruin our lives as they will act as an agent of sabotage. What if instead of using this fear as a reason to hold back and second guess ourselves, we instead used it as a measuring stick for our own personal growth?
What if the fear of being a fraud was instead a positive sign, about the goals we have set for ourselves in our personal, work, and spiritual growth. The positive question being, “in what areas do I not feel like a fraud, and how can I stretch myself and reach farther to create that feeling?” The measuring stick being if I don’t feel like a fraud, then I am giving myself limitations in this area.
One of the characters on the TV show “Code Black” who is an intern in the ER didn’t trust his intuition about a probable diagnosis for an emergency room patient. So he went with what the other intern wanted to do with tests, and they almost lost the patient. In talking it over later with one the main doctors running the ER, he was told that the intuitive feeling he was getting was critical to being a good doctor and he had to learn to trust it. Later in the same show he confessed to another intern, that he wasn’t confident in his knowledge and felt like a fraud. The other intern told him, “we all are afraid of being found out that we are frauds”.
When I realized that everyone has the same fear of “not being enough of something” and that we all think that we are frauds from trying to be the perfect person, it released something inside of me. It was like when you twist the swing on the swing set around and around until it won’t twist anymore and then let it spin you around and around. I unwound all the twists I had made inside of me. I realized that I don’t have to be perfect to share something that will help someone else.
It released the frustration of having everything be perfect. I stopped being so exhausted and drained from trying to hide the imperfections I have. I started instead to let people see who I really am. I am perfectly imperfect. I have scars of victory and I can be proud of them. You can be better than I am, and I can celebrate your perfect imperfections too. Your beauty does not diminish mine. I can be free to to know that “I have no limits”.
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