Fear is like the Wizard of Oz, projecting itself onto the screen, frightening you with how powerful it is. When in reality, it is a small man behind the curtain. Don’t be afraid to move the curtain and expose the fear. Finding the blessing in the fear, is the opportunity to open your heart and mind to the idea of change and reinvention.
“Sometimes painful things can teach us lessons that we didn’t think we needed to know” – Unknown
Lessons show up in painful situations. Sometimes you consciously choose to change, because you have taken the time to realize something isn’t working and why. Other times you stumble upon ( notice the word stumble) an opportunity.
Sometimes you trip over something and you catch yourself before the fall, hopping across the floor as you try to regain your balance. Other times you can trip over something that face plants you on the ground, and has you digging rocks off your skin. Either way there are still choices to make.
“One of the happiest moments in life is when you find the courage to let go of what you can’t change” – Unknown
“No matter who tries to teach you lessons about life, you won’t understand it until you go through it on your own” – Unknown
The classic opportunities for reinvention tend to come from two things. With a heartbreak such as; losing a job, ending a relationship, the death of a close friend or family member.
The classic “good but scary” opportunities for reinvention are you go away to college, you move to a new town with a new job, you get the really big promotion such as those COO, CEO, CFO types of promotions or the best of all, you decide to be an entrepreneur and your own boss.
In today’s world, your fill in the blank might be related to the changing world from Covid-19. It might be you are living in a war zone. It might be that you are reaching out to help with refugees in your town. It might be a medical problem with yourself or a family member. It might be trying to figure out what’s next in your career or family life.
“There are things in life we don’t want to happen, but have to accept; things we don’t want to know but have to learn; and people we can’t live without, but have to let go” – Unknown
In today’s world lots of businesses are rethinking how they do business. They are trying to see the gaps and create opportunities to bridge them. Bringing an idea to life is hard work. You can expect it to cost you more personally, financially, and maybe even reputational than you thought it would. There are sleepless nights. You become a master of second guessing your choice to make this move.
“Disney taught me to never stopbelieving in my dreamsHarry Potter taught me that love and friendshipdominates all kind of evilNarnia taught me that we must all grown up& leave our childhood behind,but must never forget itPercy Jackson taught me that there’sa hero in every one of usGlee taught me that no matter how different we are,there’s always that one thing we have in common” – Unknown
But to be truly committed you need to “burn the boats”. This expression is a “point of no return”, where you have destroyed all other choices, and you are left with no options but the intention you started with. It comes from a famous incident when a Spanish Explorer landing in Mexico ordered their ships to be burned. They either would conquer the country or be killed, because they had no way to return home.
So take away plan b, eliminate the lifeline. Go all out for what you are passionate about. Follow your bliss. Look at what is working and not working. What you love to do and hate to do. The key is to get immersed in what you are passionate about and hire help for the rest.
“Each day I am thankful for nights that turned into mornings, friends that turned into family, dreams that turned into reality, and likes that turned into loves” – Unknown
And remember the three most important words in your fear busting vocabulary: Improvise, Adapt, Overcome.
Stay away from people who gossip and spread rumors. They are choosing the path of emotional bullying and negativity.
– Dr Steve Maraboli
This is a really profound quote. It really struck a chord in my heart because I so resonated with the underlying truth. Really sit with the words, “tell me why they were so comfortable to say what they were saying to you”. It is really a hard thing to sit with. I think that we have all been told gossip. Some has been quite mean and spiteful. It can be painful even to hear, especially if is about someone we care about. What did that person really tell you what they had heard?
Be careful who you trust, if someone will discuss others with you, they will certainly discuss you with others.
So what does it say about me, that someone might come to me with some “juicy” gossip that they are spreading about someone I know. What signals am I broadcasting that they think I want to join in and be a part of something like that? How am I telling them that I love the drama of someone else’s downfall?
It’s not your job to stop them from talking behind you, but it’s your job not to let it affect you.
People for the most part will not say to you a mean or hurtful thing about someone that you really care about. People for the most part will not gossip with someone that they know won’t put up with it.
A lot of problems in the world would disappear if we talk to each other instead of about each other.
There are some minor exceptions to this rule, like my father in-law. Years ago we were staying with my in-laws waiting for the closing on our home. I had went up to the kitchen to get something and he was there. He went off on a tear down of his son, about how he was a disappointment , that all of my father in-laws failures could be traced back to his children. He said mean, hurtful cruel things about his son. Finally he ran out of steam, and I just looked at him and said, “so what kind of response are you looking for here? Why are you telling me these things? I love my husband and he isn’t anything like the son that you are describing”, and walked away. He is the exception to the rule because he is so unhappy in his life, and he doesn’t want to take responsibility for how it has turned out, so he goes around trying to tear you down to his level. The only thing you can do with someone who has a toxic personality is limit the exposure to them.
Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.
Years ago I adopted the saying, “not my movie, not my drama”, for when people that I work with start down the road of tearing down someone in their life. My sister says, “not my circus, not my monkeys”. I try very hard not to join in or be around those kinds of conversations. If they won’t let the conversation be turned to something positive, then I excuse myself and walk away.
Someone who hates you normally hates you for one of three reasons. They either see you are a threat. They hate themselves. Or they want to be you.
What we need in our lives is more positive conversations; more love shown in both our words and out actions. More up building and less tearing down. More compassion and less drama. More celebrating of the positive accomplishments of people and less glorification of the tragedy that takes someone out.
I’m not going to tear you down . . . if you’re bad-mouthing me, you’re already down.
– Dr. Steve Maraboli
This even plays out in the feedback we provide around customer service. How fast are we to complain to someone in charge when we are not treated the way we want, but do we have the same rate of speed to ask for someone in charge to praise a persons excellent customer service in taking care of you?
Talking badly about someone else while they aren’t there to defend themselves says more about you than the person you’re talking about.
This quote takes it a little deeper for me that just avoiding the “drama queens”. It says that the quality of the conversations that I am part of is due in some part (large or small) to what I am attracting – knowingly or unknowingly. Gives me a slice of a shadow that I didn’t realize might still be there to work on rooting out.
I know this will seem a bit crazy, but if you want to know something about me, the best person to ask, is me.
When I was in high school, I was invited to a slumber party. I didn’t know the girl well. I was new to the school, and desperate to fit in. There was another new girl at school that was also invited. I am really embarrassed about what happened next. The girls had a game where as each person would fall asleep they would start gossiping about that person. I joined in, even though I didn’t really know any of them. I can remember saying stuff about the other new girl, Denise. Then feeling guilty I pretended to fall asleep so that I didn’t feel like I had to participate. Of course, you know what happened next. They started in our me. As soon as I could leave without anyone noticing I did. I walked several miles home, at 3 AM crying the entire way. I felt horrible for what I did and how they made me feel when they started in on me. The next day I called Denise and apologized for what I had said. Denise and I ended up becoming best friends. It was a life changing moment for me. I never wanted to feel like that again, and I certainly never wanted to hurt someone like that again.
Let them judge you. Let them misunderstand you. Their opinions aren’t your problems. You stay kind, committed to love and free in your authenticity. No matter what they do or say, don’t you doubt your worth or the beauty of your truth. Just keep shining like you always do.
So remember your life purpose. Tell your story, your voice matters, yes it is important. You were born to make an impact. Pursue your dreams. Negative people need drama like oxygen. Stay positive. It will take their breath away. Remember what the grandmothers used to say, “Birds peck at the best fruit”.
Some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity . . .
– Gilda Radner
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“When you look away from a homeless person, you diminish their humanity and your own” – Father Murray, as quoted by Brene Brown in her book “Rising Strong”
This simple sentence really speaks volumes. What is it that would make someone turn away from a homeless person? Have you ever pretended to not see someone? Are you afraid connect to that person? Why is it so hard for some to make eye contact with anyone?
“Be grateful for every compliment you receive – don’t shrug it off. When you are open to receiving, you will receive more from the universe” – Unknown
I was once at a seminar where one of the group things we did was to move around the room and hug. No words were allowed. Just a real, heart-felt hug and move on to another person. Most of us connected after the hug, looking into the other person’s eyes before moving on to the next person. Some people had a really hard time with this. Their eyes darted around and they could not maintain the steady looking into the eyes of the other person.
“When you give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed” – Maya Angelou
One woman in particular really connected with me. When I look deeply into another person’s eyes, it feels like I fall into their soul. I see them. I see their stories. Their triumphs and failures. So much joy and pain. I saw all of those things and she felt it. We had a heart to heart connection. She came up later and handed me a card and quickly walked away. When I looked at the card, it was a drawing with the heart in the middle. I realized that she wanted to acknowledge the connection, but she wasn’t ready to talk about it. It was a beautiful moment.
“Everything comes to us that belongs to us if we create the capacity to receive it” – Rabindranath Tagore
We had both been moved, because we saw and acknowledged that we had both been through hard times and it was ok. We were ok, because of the love and kindness of others.
“Always show more kindness than seems necessary, because the person receiving it needs it more than you will ever know” – Colin Powell
Do you think that when you look away, that you are trying to avoid connecting on purpose? Have you put them into a “this person is not like me” bucket? You might mentally label them as “street people”, “homeless”, “bums”, “addicts”, etc. Putting them into some “other” category that says “not me”? It might be that you are afraid that you might be in their shoes someday? Like it is somehow catching? Are you judging them for somehow failing in life?
For myself, I find that usually if I am looking away it is because I feel inadequate to know how to help, or at that moment I don’t have any cash on me which is what they are asking for. So I avoid eye connection out of my own inadequacy.
“It’s really important to be able to receive love and receive compassion. It is as important as being able to give it” – Pema Chodron
Brene Brown in her book, “Rising Strong” relates it to not wanting to admit that you need others in your lives. That you can’t do it all alone. That you are afraid to receive, and so when others are asking for what they need in order to survive, it throws you for a loop. Because you don’t want to imagine having to depend on the kindness of others in order to survive.
“Sometimes people have a hard time receiving what they want. Why? Because they feel they don’t deserve it” – Notes from Nora
I can identify with the difficulty of having the capacity to receive. In some areas of my life, I have no problem. I grew up as a hand me down family, so I have no problem with second hand furniture or clothes. However, if my needs are more personal, then it is another matter. Like if I can’t do it all myself, I am somehow a failure. I’m supposed to be the strong one, the giver – not the receiver.
“You are important enough to ask and you are blessed enough to receive back” – Wayne Dyer
Someone once talked about this, and it really helped me adjust some of my attitude around this. They talked about hiring someone to clean your home. The way they looked at it, by hiring someone to come and clean your home, you were helping another woman help support her family, and why wouldn’t we want to do that? It really changed the thought from feeling guilty that I wasn’t super woman and doing everything myself, to I can help another person to support their family by hiring them to do my house cleaning or yard work.
“Many people love to give. It’s a great feeling, and they do so with no expectation. But they often are awful at receiving, and really deprive others of that joy of giving. If given a gift, they say, “You shouldn’t have”, “It’s too much”, or the worst, “I feel bad that you got me this”. Ouch. This creates bad feelings during what should be a nice moment, and though their intent was to be selfless and polite, it is actually ungrateful. When a gift is given, “thank you” says that they appreciate the time, consideration, and effort that person has already put forth. Giving is virtuous, but so is accepting gifts gratefully” – Doe Zantamata
You are not meant to “do it all by yourself”. You are driven by your need of community. The phrase, “it takes a village to raise a child” says it all. Open up your capacity to receive. Connect to others. Really see everyone you meet. That connection you make could be just what they need to get through to another day.
“Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time. The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire. This is your moment. Own it” – Oprah
In order to stand out, one must be different. I have always loved the saying “why fit in when you were born to stand out?” by Dr. Seuss. For me it was really hard to make this change, as I had spent most of my life being invisible.
I love using the analogy of a rainbow. It isn’t just made up of red, yellow, blue, green, pink, and purple. It is made up of 100 of shades of every color, and every mix of color imaginable. Take just the 1,000’s of shade combinations of purple in the rainbow. While you might think that no one will notice if one shade is not shining brightly, the rainbow is diminished in its beauty when that happens. It requires every single shade to be there, in order to be the beautiful promise of God. We require every one of you to shine brightly to deliver the promise of God, which he made when he sent you to this earth.
“Let excellence be your brand . . . When you are excellent, you become unforgettable. Doing the right thing, even when nobody knows you’re doing the right thing, will always bring the right thing to you” – Oprah
At work the panel of lights over about 10 desks in a row for some reason turns itself off and on by itself. Since we are surrounded by windows you don’t really notice as it slowly fades to the off position. It does a gradual shut down. But when it turns back on 20 minutes or so later, you really notice the brightness of the light. I missed it subconsciously. It is funny how while I always notice when the lights have turned back on, I don’t notice the gradual turning off. I think that leadership is like this. You may be busy doing your work and not notice right away when leadership is missing – but when it shows up, fully turned on, you notice right away.
Being a leader is an interesting subject for women. In Sheryl Sandberg’s Ted Talk she shared how when she was in school, she was told to not raise her hand so much. I remember the same thing happening to me. The feeling that I was given and even told, was that because I raised my hand all of the time, I was bossy, a know-it-all, too smart for myself. I was making the entire class feel bad. No one else would raise their hand, because I did, and so on. So I shut down and started being even more invisible.
“What’s the greatest lesson a woman should learn? That since day one, she’s already had everything she needs within herself. It’s the world that convinced her she did not” – Rupi Kaur
I started waiting for someone to pick me instead of volunteering, and this carried over into my adult life. I turned down promotions saying that I didn’t want the responsibility, when what I really wanted to say was I didn’t want to risk being told to once again become invisible. I continually pushed down the answers I had for senior management and let others steal the ideas and promote themselves.
I finally had enough and became what I called an agent of change for my own self. I started listening and following my intuition. I stepped out of my comfort zone, stood up and voiced my opinions. And I have kept expanding my comfort zone.
“We need to accept that we won’t always make the right decisions. That we’ll screw up royally sometimes, understanding that failure is not the opposite of success. It’s part of success” – Arianna Huffington
Every mistake I have made is like compost in the garden. It may feel and smell like manure when it happens, but if I compost those failures into my life, I can learn and grow from them. I learned that I can fail and my life isn’t over. I learned that the person who judges me the most has been me, and so I gave the judge permission to cheer me on instead.
“If you look close enough at the world around you, you might find someone like you. Someone trying to find their way. Someone trying to find themselves. Sometimes, it seems like you are the only one in the world who’s struggling, who’s frustrated, unsatisfied, barely getting by. That feelings a lie. And if you just hold on, just find the courage to face it all for another day, someone or something will find you and make it all okay. Because we all need a little help sometimes. We need someone to remind us that it won’t always be this way. That someone is out there. And that someone will find you” – Unknown
I heard a story that Oprah bit her tongue a lot when she first started her talk show. Then one day she had a guest who was a cheating husband. The wife came on the show and she did not know what was going to happen. Oprah watched this woman who was exposed before all of the world, to see her reactions as her world came crashing down on her. Something inside Oprah shifted. She had a meeting after the show and told the producers they would never do anything like that again. That was the moment when her show changed, and truly became her show. I don’t know if it was a true story, but I can certainly believe that something like that happened.
You sometimes do what you think you need to do to pay your dues. You bite your tongue and skate the boundaries of your ethics. Then comes that defining moment when you stand up. Just like Oprah, you say that “this will not happen again”. I will not allow it or tolerate it any longer. You win because you have the talent, the skills, the reputation to back you up. You become the storm that no one can stop.
I love this quote I found, “when you dance to your own rhythm, people may not understand you; they may even hate you. But mostly they’ll wish they had the courage to do the same.” I am going to hang it over my desk. I have spent too much of my life wishing I had the courage to do what I see others doing. Instead I am going to “dance to my own rhythm” and inspire others to do the same.
“Do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do” – Oprah
The Lion is released from the cage, and ready for the grand adventure!
“Much of the pain in life comes from having a life plan that you’ve fallen in love with, and when it doesn’t work out, you become angry that you now have to pursue a new life plan. If you want to tame your inner demons, you must not become too attached to any particular life plan, and remain open to there being an even better happier life plan” – Karen Salmansohn
Have you read Brene’ Brown’s book, Rising Strong? I highly recommend it. In chapter six she talks about boundaries, integrity and generosity. She has this story about saying yes to a speaking job that she didn’t really want to do, but said yes to because they made her feel bad, like she was now too good to speak for them, now that she was famous.
“There will always be a reason why you meet people. Either you need them to change your life or you’re the one that will change theirs” – Unknown
Then it turned out that she had to share a room with another speaker who was a stranger. Since she already wasn’t wanting to do any of this, of course the person she was sharing a room with drove her crazy. It seemed like everything she did was specifically designed to upset her.
Now here is where the learning lesson was pretty interesting. When she got back home she went to her therapist about the whole thing because she was in such a rage about it. And the therapist said, “what if she (the other speaker) was doing that best that she could?”
“When you are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves” – Viktor E. Frankl
The cover photo is how I see this quote from Wayne Dyer. You have the two faces of the inner mind. – the inner sad face being the judge, with an slender thread of being self righteousness woven into it (you/they are not good enough) and the other face being resentment, (who do you/they think you are?). Neither one of those attitudes will bring you happiness with yourself or others.
“The soul usually knows what to do to heal itself. The challenge is to silence the mind” – Unknown
Yet there is a middle ground, the ground of “I am/they are doing the best that I/they can”.
These are the two stories in the chapter that I loved and totally identified with – this first story was about my expectations of others. I had to learn not to expect others to do the same speed and quality of work that I do. All it did was frustrate me and make me angry, (they aren’t pulling their weight) and I was actually making them feel like they couldn’t do their job correctly, which was never my intention. The lesson from Brene’s book was: “Crap” as one man said, “if he’s really doing the best he can, I’m a total jerk, and I need to stop harassing him and start helping him.”
“Train your mind to see the good in everything. Positivity is a choice. The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts” – Marcandangel
The other story was something I came to acknowledge years ago with my own mom. She was one of those women who didn’t know how to deal with children and probably shouldn’t have had any – but she was a great best friend once you were of high school age or older. I just accepted my mom for who she was, the wonderful qualities she had, and stopped trying to force her to be the “TV mom with the perfect home”.
From Brene’ Brown’s book, one woman’s realization with her own mom issues – “if this was true and my mother was doing the best she can, I would be grief stricken. I’d rather be angry than sad, so it’s easier to believe she’s letting me down on purpose, than to grieve the fact that my mother is never going to be who I need her to be.”
It really is finding a way to change the way you look at something. Shifting your perspective, shifts the meanings you are assuming and assigning to the situation. It changes everything. When you come from the space that everyone is doing the best they can, there will be times when you get taken advantage of. But you can’t let that tiny minority rule your life.
“Smile despite the circumstances and laugh throughout the pain. Life is full of hardships but it is how you deal with them that will, in the end, define you” – Unknown
What I know is that my life is better when I hold out the space for you to be the best that you can be. Somehow 99.99% of the people show up as the best that they can be, when I am in that space.
“When we know better, we do better” – Maya Angelou
May the sun bring you new energy by day. May the moon softly restore you by night. May the rain wash away your worries. May the breeze blow new strength into your being. May you walk gently through the world and know its beauty all the days of your life.
– Apache Blessing
In my family we have a story that has been passed down through the generations. My great great grandmother was orphaned at a young age. She was adopted into a family and they decided to immigrate out west on the Oregon Trail. Somewhere along what is now Wyoming and Idaho, the wagon train was raided and my great great grandmother was taken captive. The family story only talks about her being a child, but not an age. She grew up and had two little girls. One day a French Canadian Trapper was trading with this tribe and spotted her. Late that evening he snuck back into the Indian camp and was able to get her alone. He asked if she wanted to return to her people. She said yes, but she wouldn’t leave without her daughters. So they made arrangements to meet the next day.
For two days my great grandmother traveled in the back of the wagon hidden in an old barrel. She was told not to make a sound or they would all be killed. After two days the trapper felt safe enough to let the girls out of the barrel. They ended up near Eugene, Oregon. My grandfather would not admit that he was part Indian. He was too ashamed. He feared the prejudice. By contrast his sisters kids all attended the Indian School.
Like the grasses showing tender faces to each other, thus should we do, for this was the wish of the Grandfathers of the World.
– Black Elk
My husband family has a story that is recorded in the Indian Archives of his Great Great Grandfather, who was a Cherokee Indian living in Georgia when the Trail of Tears happened. His story is of an American Indian who married a white woman with the last name of Tisdale. They had one son. Love Deer, my husbands ancestor was the sheriff in their town. He saw what was happening after gold was discovered in the Indians land. He saw the hardship of the “relocation” of the Indians of his tribe. He saw finally that no matter how “white” he became it would never be good enough and he knew that the day had finally come when he would be forced to relocate with his family.
Let us put our minds together and see what life we can make for our children.
– Sitting Bull
Instead he took his rifle and went out into the woods. He lodged the rifle in a tree and shot and killed himself. He knew that his wife’s family would be able to keep her safe if he was gone. The whole story was recorded when my husbands Great Grandfather came of age and wanted to get his Cherokee Citizenship. It is all handwritten from several different families, some who were relatives and some who personally knew the story.
As you develop your awareness in nature, you begin to see how we influence all life and how all life influences us. A key and critical feature for us to know.
– Tony Ten Fingers
So there came a time when both of us wanted to become more familiar with our heritage. I always thought that the two of us falling in love with stories from opposite sides of the fence was like the circle being completed. A time of making everything whole.
By awakening the Native American teachings you come to the realization that the earth is not something simply that you build upon and walk upon and drive upon and take for granted. It is a living entity. It has consciousness.
– Edgar Cayce
I know that this photo is not of an Apache Indian, but it was the closest I could find that fit the prayer. What my husband and I both discovered is the wisdom of our ancestors was so in tune with the earth. Whenever one group of people would go to subjugate another, they would justify their wars with how the people were savages, heathens, and somehow a lessor species of mankind. When you read the stories of Black Elk, and others. When you read about what the white man did to the Indians in order to destroy them, the term savages takes on a whole new meaning.
When you are inspired to be and do your best, you find everything is right in your world. Your influence is operating at its highest level and it is the time to influence others in gratitude.
– Tony Ten Fingers
Just like all peoples, they had very wise men, and they had hot headed men of war. Every story has my version, your version, and then another and another version to it. What has to happen at some point in time, is that all become committed to peace. History can’t be changed. Those impacted by it are dead. Those of us who are ancestors carry the history with us. But that history doesn’t have to become a heavy weight that destroys us still to this day. It isn’t what the wise men taught. These are just a few of my favorite quotes, because they are ageless and you would have thought that they belonged to a spiritual master living today. Good wisdom never becomes dated and it is advice we all need to think about for our own lives.
The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of the people when they realize their relationship, their oneness, with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells the Wakan-Tanka (the Great Spirit), and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us. This is real peace, and the others are but reflections of this.
The second peace is that which is made between two individuals.
The third is that which is made between two nations.
But above all you should understand that there can never be peace between nations until there is known that true peace, which as I have often said,. is within the souls of men.
– Black Elk
Warriors are not what you think of as warriors. The warrior is not someone who fights, because no one has the right to take another life. The warrior, for us, is one who sacrifices himself for the good of others. His task is to take care of the elderly, the defenseless, those who can not provide for themselves, and above all, the children, the future of humanity.
– Sitting Bull
It was our belief that the love of possessions is a weakness to be overcome. Its appeal is to the material part, and if allowed its way, it will in time disturb one’s spiritual balance. Therefore, children must early learn the beauty of generosity. They are taught to give what they prize most, that they may taste the happiness of giving.
– Ohiyesa (Charles Alexander Eastman)
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Without new experiences, something inside of us sleeps. The sleeper must awaken.
– Frank Herbert
It is kind of funny that when we at a certain stage of our journey on life’s path, we have a pat answer for what the life of your dreams is. We would have the house in that certain neighborhood. The beach house. Or maybe we are a big dreamer and we wanted to own an island. We would have that certain kind of convertible sports car. The decked out pickup truck. Maybe we would want a farm with race horses. What ever the list has on it, it would all be summed up with material possessions.
Sometimes the dreams that come true are the dreams you never even knew you had.
Then something happens. It could be the loss of everything from a flood. It could be that our soul partner in life dies from cancer. It could be our son or daughter is killed by a drunk driver. Something dreadful happens and we realize that all of those “things” are not us living the life of our dreams.
Be that strong girl that everyone knew would make it through the worst, be that fearless girl, the one who would dare to do anything, be that independent girl who didn’t need a man; be that girl who never backed down.
– Taylor Swift
My own story comes from the murder of my nephew. What the wake up call did for me was to realize that the life of my dreams was to contribute in some way. I thought I would make a small change with creating LemonadeMakers. That might contribute towards helping society shift away from the hatred and violence. To shift away from living in fear. To transform their lives in helping them to wake up to the truth of their own lives.
The magic recipe for living out your boldest dreams: A pinch of delusion, a dash of audacity and a shot of courage.
– Kirsty Spraggon
My own recipe would be to say that there really is no big secret on how to live the life of your dreams. You just need to breathe. Let go. And know that this one single moment in time, is the only thing promised. So I thought up my own magical dream bold recipe::
Dream Ingredients are like the eggs, oil and milk in a recipe that help to bind the ingredients together. Put Imagination; Inspiration; faith In a bowl and mix well.
Active Action Ingredients are like the yeast, or baking powder that cause the mixture to rise and grow outside the comfort zone. Put Self confidence; Implementation; Determination; Action; Perseverance; Patience into another bowl and mix well.
Magical ingredients are what create the taste and flavor that is special only to you. Put all of your time, talents, gifts, your personal genius and your inspired passion into a bowl and mix well.
Now mix all of the ingredients together whipping with clarity where needed. Taste and add additional seasoning as needed – shots of courage – a dash of daring – a pinch of adventure – a spoonful of risk – several spoonful’s of laughter – if it doesn’t add zest to the recipe it doesn’t belong in the recipe.
Put the mixture into the “never stop believing” pan.
Bake until the impossible has become the reality. Share your “Never Stop Believing Dreams” with everyone you meet. Taste their dreams. Share your best secret ingredients. Experiment with theirs.
The two hardest tests on the spiritual road are the patience to wait for the right moment and the courage not to be disappointed with what we encounter.
– Paulo Coelho
If you are a baker you know that timing is critical. Solid even heating is important. And sometimes even with the best ingredients, a soufflé falls flat. Sometimes you realize halfway through the baking cycle, that you forgot some important ingredient. Sometimes life just happens. Just because the recipe didn’t work out as planned doesn’t mean that your dreams have forever fallen apart. You can always bake a new cake or soufflé. Your dream doesn’t need rescuing. You just need to try again. You can always bake a new reality.
Between your dreams and your reality, there is no distance. There is no time. Wake up to your dreams. Live them as the reality that they are.
What that meant for me personally was to wake up myself and realize that I wasn’t really living the life of my dreams. I was just working to pay for stuff. I realized that I could help others to wake up too. To imagine a new story for all of us. While the story is different for each of us, it begins the same. Discover and uncover who you really are at the soul level. It is a journey to remember who I was, before the world told me who I had to be. To let that person come out and create your new story. For me it has meant stepping out of my comfort zone again and again. Following the vision, I am as surprised at who I have become. I am amazed at who I am still becoming.
So – follow your instincts. Be curious. Dream Big! Love what you do. Love learning. Keep an OPEN HEART and a STRONG SPIRIT. And Most of All – HAVE FUN!
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“You must learn one thing. The world was made to be free in. Give up all other worlds except the one to which you belong” – David Whyte
“That which you call your soul or spirit is your consciousness, and that which you call your “free will” is your mind’s freedom to think or not, the only will you have, your only freedom, is the choice that controls all the choices you make and determines your life and your character” – Ayn Rand
“Life is like a game where you seek to overcome the obstacles that stand in the way of achieving your goals. You get better at this game through practice. The game consists of a series of choices that have consequences. You can’t stop the problems and choices from coming at you, so it’s better to learn how to deal with them” – Ray Dallo
“In order to be who you are, you must be willing to let go of who you think you are” – Michael Singer
“. . , What I can do is offer myself, wholehearted and present, to walk with the people I love through the fear and the mess. That’s all any of us can do. That’s what we’re here for” – Shauna Neiquist
“I want you to always hold your head up and follow your dreams wherever they take you. Don’t you ever listen to the people out to hurt you or make you cry. Listen to your heart and be better than them. No one gets ahead by hurting others. The only real peace anyone will ever have is the one that comes from within. Live your life on your own terms and make it a happy life. Always. That’s what’s important . . . ,” – Sherrilyn Kenyon
“You will never be able to escape from your heart. So it’s better to listen to what it has to say” – Paulo Coelho
“You don’t always need a plan. Sometimes you just need to breathe, trust, let go, and see what happens” – Mandy Hale
Never settle. Fight for the life, the career, the dreams, the love that you deserve.
– Mandy Hale
Women cry not just when they are sad. They cry when the are angry, frustrated, and misunderstood. They also cry when they are in joyous exultation, happy beyond bearing. When a divine truth enters a woman’s life, it strips her bare. These are tears that need to be honored. It is time to say goodbye to something that no longer bears the resonance of truth for us. It is time to say hello to a new truth. Playing with the fire of truth, we burn away the parts that no longer belong and refine what remains.
I will not trade my authenticity for your approval.
– Wild Woman Sisterhood
I went to see the Wonder Woman movie this past weekend. I enjoyed it, as I watched her face her idealisms being shattered. I watched her as she refined herself, her purpose in her life. The decision she made to leave the island. The decision she made to liberate the village. The life changing decision that she made in facing up to Ares and his taunts. Ares demonstrated in front of her that mankind wasn’t worth her sacrifices. I loved the principle that was celebrated, that it really didn’t matter if the people were judged as being worthy of her sacrifice. She wasn’t their judge about such things. She was doing what she did for her own beliefs that she held sacred.
Transformation is the journey you are on. You are exploring the wisdom of your soul. You are shedding old ways and beliefs that no longer fit who you are becoming. Be brave, dear one. You are becoming your authentic self.
It reminded me of when you are walking down the street and you see homeless people panhandling. Many would say, “they are not worthy of our hard earned money”. That, “they will just use it for drugs or alcohol”. That somehow, “they deserve the situation that they have landed themselves in”. My hope is that this movie gets us to rethink about the automatic judgments we make. The condemnations that we believe we are justified in holding. That we open our hearts instead to look for a different way. A better way to help those who have lost their way. We can’t change their lives for them, they have to do that. But we can give them a helping hand, a hand up, not just a hand out. That we can help to empower them to see, that they are worth something still. That they have a powerful story that can help save others.
If you are not free to be who you are, you are not free . . .
– Clarissa Pinkola Estes
There are days when the frustrations of running up against road blocks make you want to blow up the road, and disappear into the wilderness. You can’t let those days make you run away. There are too many people out there that are looking to you to show them the way to follow their dreams. Hold on to sisters who are fellow dreamers and action takers. When your flame is being blown out, they will shelter you from the wind. They will help you to regroup. They will be your saving grace to keep you from going dark. Each time we get into a level of frustration that has us wanting to “tap out” of life, we need to reassess what we are doing. If the actions we are taking are not getting us where we desire to go, then we need to reassess and regroup. What else is possible? How can we redefine what we are doing?
It takes 4 weeks for you to notice a change. It takes 8 weeks for your friends to notice. It takes 12 weeks for the rest of the world to notice a change. It takes 1 day to decide that you are enough.
I wonder how many times our change actually took place, and we stopped working on it on week 3 because we couldn’t see it happening? Maybe you have achieved something new, and then you threw away because you were still looking at yourself through the old filter. You couldn’t see what you had actually accomplished, so you just went back to the same old you?
Don’t wait until you’ve reached your goal to be proud of yourself. Be proud of every step you take toward reaching your goal.
Imagine you have a potters wheel in front of you. You are sculpting a bowl. You look at it and it isn’t what you were trying to make. Do you take the clay and throw it against the wall? Do you blame the clay or the wheel for not producing your work of art the way you wanted it to be? Or do you simply squish it back down and start over? If our bowl is to be molded to what we want, maybe we just look for ways to do it differently. What can we add, or take away? Go faster or slower spinning the wheel? More or less water? Create definitions higher or lower? We have millions of choices to get where we are trying to go. We also have millions of chances and changes to make in getting us there.
Transformation is often more about unlearning, then relearning.
– Richard Rohr
I always think about babies for this. They learn to roll over to change what they can see or touch. Then they learn how to get their legs underneath them so that they can move them and learn to crawl. Then they start using leverage against furniture to get them to stand up on their legs. Then they start walking and from there they start running, climbing and jumping. Each step fed into the next step. They don’t crawl once they have learned to walk. They let go or unlearn the crawling piece as they transform how they get around the room by walking, running, climbing and jumping.
The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.
In this same way, each new thing we learn essentially replaces a previous truth. At one time I was a roller, then a crawler, then I let those old truths be replaced with the next level of learning. All of those old levels of learning were necessary to get me where I am today. But they are not what is going to get me where I am going tomorrow. When the new door of opportunity for learning and growth opens up, go through the door. Don’t stay a roller or a crawler, stuck in a cramped space that no longer allows any room for new growth. Don’t settle. Shoot for the stars. Any time we find ourselves stuck in a cramped space and not growing, we need to accept responsibility for being there. In some way we are inhibiting our growth and transformation. Then step through the door to growth and transformation. Adjust your sails to catch the wind and fly across the waves.
Everything you want is out there waiting for you to ask. Everything you want also wants you. But you have to take action to get it.
– Jack Canfield
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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
Wherever you go,
Whatever you do,
No one can take the Fire out of your soul,
the Stars from your eyes,
the Passion in your heart.
Those are yours forever.
Do you remember that famous line from “The Wizard of Oz”? Almost at the end, Glinda the Good Witch says, “You’ve always had the power to go back to Kansas”, then the Scarecrow asked why she didn’t say anything at the beginning of the journey? And Glinda replies, “She had to learn it for herself.” The same thing is true for each of us.
“Have faith in your journey. Everything had to happen exactly as it did to get you where you’re going next” – Mandy Hale
I love the thought of curiosity in our travels. Around the next corner, you never know what might be waiting for you. Your focus will reflect what pops out at you. You will notice the sun shining brightly, or the clouds coming to cover it up. You will see rainbows or the coming thunder storm. It is all a matter of the filters that you are viewing your life from. Each experience adds up to who we are at this very moment. And each moment, presents change and a new you. Who are you becoming, as you journey down the road of life?
“The journey between what you once were and who are you now becoming is where the dance of life really takes place” – Barbara DeAngelis
When you have some specific goals in mind, time seems to be so slow. You feel like you’re wading through the mud, with each step taking so much effort. Stepping down into the mud, feeling the cold water flooding inside your boots. Even your toes are struggling to get a grip on the sole of the boot, as you’re trying to lift your foot out of the mud to take the next step. Fighting against the boot as it remains stuck in the mud. You tug at your boot. Finally getting it loose you struggle with the weight of the mud that is still attached to the boot. You keep trying not to lose your balance and do a face plant into the mud. It takes forever just to take a few steps in the right direction.
Have you ever felt that way? Your have to remind yourself that each experience in your life, has been right on time. Your are never late according the divine destiny. Each step, and each situation that showed up at your door step right on time. Right now you may be experiencing sickness, a job loss, work furlough, stress around your financial future, worried about putting food on the table. That would be you stuck in the mud. It’s hard to tell where to take the next step.
“I am learning to trust the journey even when I do not understand it” – Mile Bron
Each obstacle that you encounter, every mountain that you climb and then hike back down again, strengthens your muscles. Some of the muscles are physical, some mental, and some are spiritual. Learning to pace yourself so that you don’t get injured or tired and quit. Learning about the importance of not getting caught in the mind whirlpool of indecision. Learning that even when you think that you’re abandoned by God, you are in fact always being supported. The breakdown teaches you so much about yourself. You are stronger than you will ever know. No matter what is falling apart in your life this minute, you can conquer anything and anyone.
“Maybe the journey isn’t so much about becoming anything. Maybe it’s about unbecoming everything that isn’t really you, so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place” – Summer Saldana
It is also important to take the time to give thanks to every single person that has been a part of your life’s journey so far. The wisdom of the mentors in your life. The love of family. The blessing of friends, who are only a text, IM or phone call away. You can Skype girlfriends from around the world, and see their faces and feel in your soul how much they care and support you. Remind yourself to stop feeling that world is passing you by. Enjoy the journey. If you have a habit of getting so involved in planning, in working, in taking action, that you spend all your time “doing” – push the pause button and take time to just “be”. To remember that joy and happiness are found within the journey itself, not as a reward for reaching a new destination.
“I am deeply reminded that our life’s journey is a gift, not a given, and that we can never truly know how long the journey will last. All we can do is decide how it unfolds” – Sonia Choquette
The best part of the journey to self discovery, is that it really never ends. Because each time you reach a destination, the new you that it took to get there, looks around and says, “Where are we going to go now?” The journey has way-stops or check points along the way, but each destination opens doors. Doors to new places to go to, new ways you grow into. Sometimes going around the corner to a new destination, is simply learning to look at familiar things with new eyes. The thing that I know for certain, is that the journey is never over. Even when you leave this life, you will still be on a journey.
“You are not on a journey to God; you are on a journey with God” – Dr. Steve Maraboli
Such a profound question – what is life?
I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, that hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity.
– Gilda Radner
When you look around at your friends and family, how many people do you know that “just exist”? They are here. They wake up each day. They take in the breath of life, they eat, they go to work or school, they come home and watch a movie, TV, play video games. They are here, but what else is there in life, besides just being here?
The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.
– Marcel Proust
There is something about asking questions that opens life up. About being curious. Asking yourself the questions that you are afraid to ask, afraid of how the answers might change your life. Questions like, “Why am I not happy with who I am”?
Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact.
– William James
I think that there is more to life, than just existing. I think of some of the stories that I love best. They are made up of characters that progress down a timeline, the hero’s journey. They are walking along a path and something happens. Things go wrong, they change to meet the challenges and come out the other end a different person than the one we met in the beginning of the story.
Time is like a river, you cannot touch the same water twice, because the flow that has passed will never pass again. Enjoy every moment of life . . . ,
They discover things about themselves during the journey. They discover the “fire in the belly”, passion. They learn to speak up and speak out. They learn that they have courage to fight for truth, justice, life and liberty. We root for them to beat the odds and win. Take the first “Rocky” movie. He is employed in a sketchy business as a collector for a loan shark.. He boxes and is made fun of, nothing but a loser and a bum. He dreams of a better life and thinks that fighting in the ring, could be his ticket to be somebody. He gets a one in a million shot at it, wins against the heavyweight champion, falls in love.
Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations.
Boxing was his passion. He learned to have self confidence in his talent. He learned that we can all be somebody if we are willing to pay the price of hard work to make it happen. If we are willing to not give up when it looks hopeless. As the rest of the series of movies show, transformation is an ongoing process. We will learn valuable and painful lessons when we don’t remain conscious of who we are and where we are going in life.
Most of us have been through some sort of personal hero’s journey in our life.
Someday everything will make perfect sense. So, for now, laugh at the confusion, smile through the tears and keep reminding yourself that EVERYTHING happens for a reason.
What did we discover about ourselves? Brendon Buchard tells a story about his own personal journey when he was in college. He had a bad breakup with his girlfriend. She was the one he was going to spend the rest of his life with. So to try and get out of his depression he went on a trip with a college friend to South America. They were driving in a rural mountainous area on a narrow road. The road turned out to be a hairpin curve. His friend lost control of the car, and they went tumbling off the mountain. When he came to he was bleeding. They had fallen down a ravine. He thought that he was dying. In despair he asked himself three questions – Did I live? Did I love? Did I matter?
Thankfully they didn’t die. They both got medical attention, and when he returned to the United States he was a different person. He is an international bestseller with multiple books; he is the founder of Experts Academy and High Performance Academy and is a sought after motivational speaker. How was his life impacted from getting a broken heart? From an auto accident that could have ended his life? We never know how the painful experiences of our life, will be positively used for the rest of our lives.
Life has many ways of testing a person’s will, either by having nothing happen at all or by having everything happen at once.
– Paulo Coelho
I think that we all want to live a life that results in great friends and family that love us. That results in us being happy and passionate about what we do with our days and nights. That results in knowing that we had a positive impact in the world. But sometimes we fall asleep to those dreams. Sometimes we get so beaten down by our hero’s journey, that we give the dream up as being impossible. What I have discovered in life is that we tend to do one of two things. We act without thinking our decision all of the way through and so we end up paying the bill of “unintended consequences”. Or we think about it, and think about it, and do nothing about it. Why? Because we can’t face our fears about “what if?”.
Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they life.
– Lao Tzo
So each morning, what if the first question we ask ourselves is:
If my life is a story, what can I do today to make it a New York Times Bestseller?
What could I do today, that a movie producer would want to make my life into an inspirational movie?
What can I do today that uses up all the best parts of me (my talents), to inspire the world around me to be a better place?
What can I do today that makes people laugh, smile and be more joyful?
Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside of us while we live.
– Norman Cousins
They have a saying, that the best stories are in the graveyard. There are books that never got written; apologies and forgiveness that were said in their heart, but never left their lips. Millions of secret recipes that never got passed on. Don’t wait for the end to ask, “Did I live, love and matter”, but instead ask it each night. Ask if you showed love, and gave love to others each night. Ask if you were able to do one small thing today that mattered to someone. If you can say yes, to these questions each night, you have a wonderful life. You inspire me to try harder, to be better, to live fully in the present. To lose myself in the sunset.
Never, ever underestimate the importance of having fun.
– Randy Pausch
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