Category Archives for Passion and Purpose

Awaken To Your Soul’s Destiny

Do Not Let Those Who Are Sleepwalking,Stand In The Way Of Your Awakening

It took me years to find the magic of self transformation.  Each transformation I go through, awakens me a little more. It is a personal and sacred journey each time.  Each time I get curious about something, I know that my soul is sending me a new message to wake up.  It’s time to make another transformation, another change, another shift in my life.

I survived because the fire inside me burned brighter than the fire around me.

  – Joshua Graham

I now know that I no longer have to walk through the dark night of the soul, to transform my life.  I think about the experiences in my past, and what I learned going through each experience of death and rebirth.  It is the death of something that needs to be released, something that no longer serves me but rather belongs to the old sleepwalking me.  It is the rebirth of the real me.  The parts of me that I hid deep within.  It could be something about myself that I disowned as a child.  It could be the dream that I was told wasn’t possible coming back to life.  It is the realization that I am whatever I choose to become.

I realized that strong souls are forged living through the fires of hell.  That the fire itself is healing, The fires may feel like they are consuming us, but they are refining us.  They burn off the false truths that we cling to.  Like false messiahs they promised they would keep us afloat, but it was all illusion.  They were shown to be false prophets of our subconscious, seeking to keep our souls bound, unmoving in chains.  The fires consume the false beliefs, freeing our souls rise up from the ashes like the phoenix.  We rise up  with wings of faith and soar into a brightly shining divine destiny.  

What matters most is how well you walk through the fire.

  – Charles Bukowski

While I prefer to live the rest of my life, proactively seeking transformation, I can still honor the forges of hell for the deep truths that they provided.  I am climbing up to the top of the next mountain summit, to view the next horizon of transformation.  Within each new transformation, there is a pattern that reappears in every persons life.  This pattern weaves itself through the tapestry of our life.  In one corner we have the scene of our home and family life.  In another section of the tapestry we find our employment or career.  In another scene we see the health of our physical body, while another reflects the health of our spiritual body. 

In all these scenes there is a common thread that winds through.  For myself, for years it was the fear of being seen.  What is so interesting is that I discovered this thread came from my mother and was actually her own pattern.  When I realized that it didn’t belong to me, it was as though the thread dissolved, and could no longer be located in my life tapestry.  We all have threads in our tapestry that don’t belong to us.  They belong to friends and family.  We need to pull and release these threads back to their true owners.

Other common threads or patterns in the tapestry are my own.  My fears, which hold me back.  They are like the loose hairs that thread and wind themselves into your laundry.  The fears wind around and through the patterns of the cloth.  Have you ever taken a item of clothing out of the dryer only to find stray hairs wound into the fabric of your clothes?  It isn’t part of the material, but it somehow has wound itself into the material.  When you pull on it, it will break, but it is really hard to get all of the hair out of the material.  That is what these patterns of fear are like.  We pull at them, and break them up.  But there always seems to be a part of them still there. 

I have a need to be all on fire, for I have mountains of ice about me to melt.

  – William Lloyd Garrison

There are also “not enough” threads which are the spaces were the material creates these little pills – the thread gathers into these little knobs, which affect the look of the item.  They are formed from abrasions in day to day life.  Places where we felt judged, not appreciated, ill-used.  These “not enough” threads get created from stories we have told ourselves all of our lives.  These stories, although we would swear are true, are in fact illusions.  When we get curious and start examining why we are rubbing our life the wrong way, we are able to shift these stories.  When patterns are broken, we transform the chaos into new beliefs.  Beliefs of being strong minded; strong souled; strong bodied; and strong hearted.  An awakened soul.

The most beautiful people I’ve known are those who have known trials, have known struggles, have known loss, and have found their way out of the depths.

  – Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

The reason people awaken when they do, is because they have finally stopped agreeing to things that insult their soul.   They wake up to the fact that they are no longer owned by the desires outside the body, but have awakened to their true nature.  Their heart is on fire, and they burn off the chains that have been holding them in place. 

Be true to life by being true to your purpose.  As you become present and thereby total in what you do, your actions become charged with spiritual power.

 – Eckhart Tolle

We are in fact spiritual beings, that are awakening to our purpose in becoming human.  We turn inward to remember why we are here and what we came to do. 

Go, knock at the door of your own heart.

 –  Rumi

That is where you start looking for your answers.  Enlightenment is a destructive process because we have to let go of things, stories really, that we have told our sleeping selves were true.  With each awakening we leave behind something or someone.  It takes courage to tear down the stone walls that we built to keep ourselves asleep.  Those stones were hidden deep within us, like unseen anchors they held us in place.  With enlightenment, we begin cutting through the iron chains with a sacred energy that comes through our divine connection.  Heating up the links until they snap apart, setting us free.

It takes courage to endure the sharp pains of self discovery, rather than choose to take the dull pain of unconsciousness that would last the rest of our lives.

  – Marianne Williamson

By realizing who we are at our deepest level, we find our personal genius.  That unique gift that the divine gave us, is like the fingerprint of our soul.  No one else has the same personal genius that we have.  Each personal genius is required to fulfill their life purpose and ignite their passions into action.  We are all like individual puzzle pieces sent to the earth to fulfill a divine purpose.  That we why some of us feel the force of Rumi’s words, “do not go back to sleep.”  Because the world is waiting on each of us to fulfill our divine purpose.

This Universe is not outside of you.  Look inside yourself; everything that you want, you already are.

 –  Rumi

Transformation, is a process.  If we fail to involve all of the steps in the process, what we end up with is temporary change.  We change for a few weeks, or maybe a few months, but eventually the rubber band of will power will snap and we will return to the previous habits and lifestyle.  Change is temporary.  Transformation is required to truly shift our life, our DNA, into a totally new being.  With each one of us that awakens, our gifts bring us one step closer to universal peace and harmony.

Behind the mask of ice that people wear, there beats a heart of fire.

  – Paulo Coelho

So be curious, and take that first step down the path to awaken.  Then be curious and take the next step to enlightenment.  Then be curious and take the next step to transformation. Then be curious and take the next step to the next horizon.  Then be curious and awaken just a little more.  Get curious and become even more enlightened and transformed again and again.

The meaning of life is to find your gift, the purpose of life is to give it away.

  – Joy J Golliver

 

Make Your Life Extraordinary

_I really do think that any deep crisis is an opportunity to make your life extraordinary in some wa

Refuse to be an extraordinary person trapped in an ordinary life.

  –  Zaro Dean

A little step can be the first step in the beginning of a great journey. Live a life that is a story worth telling.  I heard one of those kinds of stories today.  The story teller had me laughing so hard throughout his story.  It was the story of how one day when he was having a bath, he wondered if anyone had ever rowed a bathtub across the English Channel.  Now you might think that this kind of dream is very silly, I know I did.  But as he told it I was simply amazed.

They say that in an average lifetime we spend six years dreaming.  How many of those dreams have you brought into reality?  How many have you made even a small effort to bring into reality?  Tim Fitzhigham and his story is remarkable, because he made a really crazy dream come into reality.  Just think what you could accomplish if you put in half of the effort that he did?

It helps that as part of his career he is a comedian.  So he didn’t take himself too seriously.  Now you may or may not know but a man by the name of Thomas Crapper was an inventor of the toilet.  Hence the reason why his last name is very famous.  Tim first went searching for someone to donate an appropriate bathtub to row across the channel and the company Thomas Crapper and Co Ltd donated a copper Victorian style bathtub to which he attached a kind of pedestal. 

Next he had to learn to row a boat.  Then he had to request permission to sail across the channel from both Britain and France.  The British thought it was a fine idea, the French not so much. They actually made an amendment to their law to prohibit sailing bathtubs across the channel.  Tim was successful in getting the British Navy to make his bathtub a registered boat, so that he was now in compliance with  French law.

Now what is really amazing is that in getting all of this accomplished Tim talked to British Rear Admirals and even the Queen of England to make sure that he could in fact sail his bathtub across.  He tells his story on the British equivalent of a TED talk and it is really, really funny.  The French tried to remove him from his boat partway across the channel and to blow it up.  He told them that since his bathtub was a registered  boat, and he was the captain of said boat, that doing so without his permission would constitute an act of war.  Since it was true they had to leave him with his boat.  He didn’t make it due to an injury on his first try, but he did make it upon the second try.  He raised 20,000 pounds for a charity, and you can hear him tell his story on The Moth Radio Hour on NPR entitled,  “All At Sea”.

What I loved about his story is that he is making his life extraordinary.  He received a Royal Navy Commission, he met the Queen, he has written a book about his journey and received international stardom.  All because he came up with a crazy idea and then made it happen. 

Probably over 95% of us would never have set out to do something so crazy.  We would have never believed that any government official would give us the permission.  We wouldn’t have reached out to the Navy or the Queen of England.  We would of thought, they will think I am crazy and not even picked up the phone.  They probably did think he was crazy, but the thing is, they supported him anyway. 

How many really good ideas have we thought of that we could do, but we let ourselves be talked out of it.  We told ourselves who are we to do this thing.  We listened to close friends and relatives that asked us “what are you thinking? Are you crazy?”  And so we let the dream die before it even had a chance to breathe.

Those of us who do reach out to try the crazy idea, usually do so because of a personal crisis in our life. It may be like me, that someone close to you was murdered.  Or it could be like Candy Lightner, the founder of MADD that your child or husband was killed by a drunk driver.  Or it could be like the Susan Komen Foundation that you lost your daughter or wife to breast cancer and set out to find a cure, so that no one else loses a loved one to that dreaded disease.  It could be that because of an accident you were told you would never walk again and be in a wheel chair for the rest of your life.  But you decided that would not be your fate and through hard work and determination you found your way to leave the wheel chair behind.  It could be that now you are working to help others regain their mobility, whether it is physical, mental or emotional trauma that must be overcome. 

Most of us are not quite as crazy as Tim, but we still have the crazy idea that we can make a difference in the world, by transforming our pain into something positive.

I really loved Robin Williams as the professor in Dead Poets Society.  I loved the quote that the purpose of education is supposed to help our youth learn to think for themselves, not just recite rote answers.  That they should seize the day and make their lives extraordinary. 

We need more extraordinary people in our world, because those are the kinds of people that make things happen.  They seize the dream out of their hearts, and they keep trying.  They realize that even the mistakes they will make along the way can be something wonderful. 

So go out today and find your bathtub moment.  The crazy idea that you can bring into reality.  Like Tim you might find that your crazy idea can be done, and along the way you might just meet the Queen of England, and get a Royal Navy Commission.  Who knows what just might be possible.

 

Dreams are the Children of your Soul

_Cherish your visions and your dreams, as they are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your%2Every day we have a choice.  We can live in fear or move forward in faith.

  –  Billy Cox

What does it take to realize the visions and dreams our of soul?  It takes faith as Billy said, but it also takes making that faith become real with a solid belief.  That belief then needs to move us forward.  It takes action to start implementing steps that move us forward with the faith, that we can make it a reality.  As we take action, we develop practices and habits to change from where we started.  These actions propel us forward to where we want to go. 

Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul.  Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.

  – Pamela Vaull Starr

Dreams create transformation in our life.  As we bring our dreams into reality, it requires change.  Some changes come about from letting go of what no longer serves us.  Some changes come about by stripping away who we thought we were, to become who we really are.  As the saying goes, “How does one become a butterfly?  You have to want to fly so much, that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.”

Dreams are . . .  illustrations from the book your soul is writing about you.

  – Unknown

Since the road of life is not a long flat road, but has hills and valleys, it also will take perseverance. This is because we will run across obstacles on our road.  Some things we can take a detour around; some things we will have to break out the tools to build a bridge over; and some things will require that we climb up and down the mountain.  So to perseverance of not giving up, we also need to add in patience and time, because at least for me everything takes longer than I think it will.

Your dream doesn’t have an expiration date.  Take a deep breath, try again.

  – Unknown

All of these things are required, because at every turn and obstacle fear is going to try to tell us to stop.  That this is not working.  That this dream is too big, too much for us to accomplish.  That look how far we have come – we can rest now and this will be good enough.  Fear will try everything it has to get us to just be happy right where we are. 

Carl Jung adds another piece to the picture that we are painting about dreams. 

Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart.  Who looks outside dreams; who looks inside, awakes.

  – Carl Jung 

Daydreams are outside dreams.  What they call “pipe dreams”, because they are so untethered.  Pipe dreams mesmerize us, as they float by.  They keep us asleep. 

Dreams are answers to questions we haven’t figured out how to ask.

  – Unknown

The dreams of your soul are a totally different kind of dream.  They are the DNA of your soul, the blueprint of what you have been divinely gifted with to achieve in this lifetime.  But in order for us to birth these dreams, and raise them up into the reality of this world, we have to wake up.  We have to become aware.  That is when our life starts to have true meaning.  When we awake to our life’s true purpose.  God speaks to us in dreams.  Dreams of the whispers of the soul.

Dreams are the guiding words of the soul.

  – Carl Jung

That is what made Martin Luther King Jr. speech about “I have a dream” so powerful.  The moment he put down his notes and spoke from his heart, the dream he had been given by the divine came through with such crystal clear clarity that it grabbed the soul of the world.  It was a powerful dream and even though he has passed on from this world, every year we remember this dream.  And even though he is not here to bring it into the full reality of what it can and will be, it is still progressing.  This dream has perseverance.  It keeps on going and it will keep going until it comes into full reality. 

Trust in dreams for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.

  – Kahlil Gibran

We all have a dream inside of us that is just as powerful and just as necessary to this world.  Please, please don’t let the dream die with you.  Bring it out of your heart.  Add the faith, the belief to know that you can change into who you need to be in order to make it a reality.  Know that it will take perseverance, that it will take patience and time, but you can become the person that you need to be to make it happen.

Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul.  Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.

  – Mother Teresa

I look at my own journey with LemonadeMakers and I can tell you that this dream has changed my life.  That it is constantly challenging me to make more changes to become the person who can not only hold this vision and dream, but to become the person who can shout it from the mountain tops and be heard around the world.  If we all join hands, and collaborate together to change ourselves, we will change the world. 

So many dreams at first seem impossible.  And then they seem improbable.  And then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.

  – Christopher Reeves

Life’s Storms

 Storms without a nameWhip the seas into FuryWinds screaming Through torrents of rain.Waves crashing against%

Revised 5/13/2019

I wrote this poem on a Sunday not long ago. It had been banging around in my head for awhile wanting to be released. So I took some quiet time while everyone was asleep and let it out. The entire poem is printed at the end of the post.

There is no growth without change. You’ve got to let go of some old stuff. And that can hurt. Often when I’m in the most pain, I realize it’s coming from my trying to control everything. Or resisting the changes that come with the progress. But you see that light . . . , that beautiful next level . . . , and that’s what you have to focus on.

  – Ali Brown

I found this quote after I wrote the poem and was struck by how much of what I am trying to express in the poem is in her quote. We have to release what no longer serves us. That can be the story that we have been telling ourselves that holds us in chains of fear about success and failure. It can be the story that we tell ourselves that we are not capable of being more. And the stories we tell ourselves go on and on.

The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny,

  –  Albert Ellis

This control is when you stand up on the ship of your own destiny and release the anchor holding you to your stories. You drop the weight that holds you in place. You open to the winds of change.

You can’t calm the storm, so stop trying.  What you can do is calm yourself.  The storm will pass.

  – Thimber Hawkeye

It takes a lot of courage to stand up to the storm of fears and doubts. To realize that as you set sail on your ship, that there will be those who you leave behind, because they are still chained to their own stories.  When I thought deeply about this I thought of Pompeii.  The volcano was going to erupt.  It had been giving signs of the coming destruction for months.  The people who were awake and listening, left the island behind.  But so many of the people didn’t believe what they were seeing on a day to day basis.  And they left fleeing to safety too late.  I am sure that they fully believed the lies they were telling themselves, the false stories about how safety lay in staying – not in fleeing with nothing to their names, to untold dangers.  No, for them staying was the only smart thing to do.

You however, face your fears of not knowing how you will steer the ship, or even where the next safe harbor will be.   You have the courage to face the fears of the unknown, to face the lies that you told yourself and make the right decision – to face and live through the changes that are coming.

And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through; how you managed to survive.  You won’t even be sure whether the storm is really over.  But one thing is certain:  When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in . . . , that’s what this storm’s all about.

  – Haruki Murakami

There comes a time when you just have to listen to the music of your soul and set sail to the unknown. And so the journey begins. 

Life’s Storms

Storms without a name whip the seas into a fury, winds screaming through torrents of rain.
Waves crashing against the shore, bring in lost and forgotten debris.
Stand tall on the deck of your ship, as the birds scatter beneath the howling winds,
Let it blow away what no longer serves you. 

You feel the backlash of empty words with no truth, the shadows are winning.

No sunlight, every battle lost, and shadow is winning. No rescue. 
The lack of love, the hunger for life is insatiable, an open mouth that wails to be fed.
You can’t undo what has been done, it doesn’t serve you. 

Thunder rolls and lightning flashes exposing what still needs to be released.

Let it go out the door, don’t run after it as if falls off the deck and into the sea.
Feel the weight of the past, as the sounds of the anchor being lifted vibrate through your body,
The anchor being lifted from the bottom of the sea, the sound of your journey echoing onward.

Change, the anchor of our soul, it both drops into the sea, and is pulled back up into the ship,
Change moves us ever forward on the journey, unearthing the destination clue by clue, star by star.
Change reveals the next adventure, the next treasure that we are seeking,
Change reveals the next harbor in which to rest our soul

Bright morning stars, as day breaks open the dawn releasing the light, as it climbs the clear sky,
Light breezes blow as it fills the sails, with the dust blown clear, we see what has been done.
Every color sparkles as it plays upon the sea, as we awaken, transformed once more,
We hear the music of our soul, whispering as the journey begins again, echoing ever onward.

Getting onto the Right Path

12650892_1300710919944004_1731674982206343112_nOne 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.

  – Unknown

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

If you want to soar in life, you must first love yourself

12540657_1291141434234286_3757116894986566950_n

If you want to soar in life, you must first love yourself.

You have to love yourself because no amount of love from others is sufficient to fill the yearning that your soul requires from you.

 – Dodinsky

So many of us have put the cart before the horse when it comes to love. We spend all of our time “earning” the love of others by being who they want us to be. By doing everything in our power to make their life perfect. We expend our body and soul and at the end of the day, nothing turns out the way we wanted it to and we are left feeling “not good enough”. 

When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.

  – African Proverb

There is a show on PBS called “Home Fires”.  It takes place in England during WWII.  It about a group of women who are part of a women’s group that contribute to the village and the war effort.  In the first season there is one woman whose husband abuses her.  Like all abusers he makes every time he loses his temper to be her fault.  The real issue at hand for the story line is that he is a newspaper writer who can’t get enough work.

A few of her best friends figure out what is happening, but at the point in history there really isn’t anything they can do about it.  She is too ashamed to admit what is happening.  The times that she struggles to fight back, he leaves her self worth in even more tatters.  At the end of the first season, one of her friends was successful in getting him a war correspondent job without him being aware of it.  He left the village to go to the front, and the character has the opportunity to start loving herself and building up her self esteem, so that she doesn’t fall back into the same situation when he returns.  One of the underlying contributors of why women stay is that they don’t love themselves enough to gather up what remains of their self worth and self trust, to leave and not look back.

Love yourself enough to take the actions required for your happiness.  Love yourself enough to cut yourself loose from the ties of the drama filled past.  Love yourself enough to move on.

  – Dr. Steve Maraboli

We may not be in such an extreme situation with our self love, but you only have to listen to the comments we make to ourselves, to know that it is something that we can all work on.  When we live our life this way, we bought into a lie, that loving ourselves first will take away from the time and effort we are spending to get others to love us. We think that the only way to be worthy of self love is to prove that others love us first. Why would we attract the love of others, if we don’t even love ourselves?

Falling in love with yourself first doesn’t make you vain or selfish – it makes you indestructible.

  – Unknown

Trying to in essence purchase the love of others by our self sacrifice of ourselves, is like trying to fit the square peg in the round hole, we can push it, twist it, and pound the peg until it shatters, but it will never fit. It won’t fill that yearning from our soul, that begs us to put “love us” first.

5 Things to Quit – right now.

  • Trying to please everyone
  • Fearing Change
  • Living in the past
  • Putting yourself down
  • Overthinking

We have the power to choose where we are going. We have the power to stop trying to get attention from those who hurt us. We have the power to stop hating our body, our personality, and the pieces of us that don’t fit in the square hole. We can start with loving ourselves, saying “I love my thighs just as they are”, “I love my imperfect smile”, “I love that I snort when I laugh”, “I love me”.  We can get the truth of the situation into our bones – nobody will ever love us more than we love ourselves.  It is critically important to our health and happiness – both physical and mental – that we treat ourselves right.

I have an everyday religion that works for me. Love yourself first, and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.

  –  Lucille Ball

What if for the rest of this year you devoted yourself to loving you more?  Your choices will change your life.  Make peace with your mirror and watch your reflection change.  The loss of judgment in your eyes.  The removing of the wrinkles of anxiety across the forehead, that you aren’t good enough.  The curve of the smile of self confidence, that says you are amazing and you are rocking that outfit.  The glow of inner peace and love that fills your space with light.  And – LOL – Best hair day EVER!

Follow Your Dreams for They Know the Way

Follow Your Dreams for They Know the Way

Dreams come preloaded with a guidance system. They know the fastest way to bring themselves into reality.

They also come with more than one path. I say this, because the fastest way is “as the crow flies” which means it is usually the harder path to take. Most of us would prefer the shortcut. The Staples “easy button”.

It might be that we are not confident of our ability to take that harder path. I am a huge “Lord of the Rings” fan. When Frodo and Samwise go forward on the journey with just the two of them, they are definitely taking that hard path. I always thought that if the Eagles could rescue them at the end when the lava was coming to kill them, why couldn’t they have dropped them off at the mouth of the cave?

The reason of course is that Frodo and Samwise needed to learn many things to enable them to win over the power of the ring and truly destroy it. Without those lessons, the ring would have won.

So it is with us. The harder path will teach us what we need to win through to the dream and be able to handle the changes that acoomplishing the dream will make in our lives. If we take the easy path, the shortcuts, then we may not have the strength of character that has been tested and forged in the fire. Without this, our ultimate dream may not be able to make it into reality.

So even when the dream points us in a direction that we think is too difficult, that we don’t think that we possess the courage or skills to make happen – it is in our ultimate best interest to pull up the big girl/boy panties and go for it. I always tell myself, that if the divine gave me this dream, then he also must have given me the skills needed to make it happen. So follow the breadcrumbs and storm the castle!

Wild Woman, You Were Not Made to be Tame

Wild Woman, You Were Not Made to be Tame

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.

Your Dreams Are Calling You…

your dreams are calling youHow dare you settle for less when the world has made it so easy for you to be remarkable. – Seth Godin – Author and Speaker

Our dreams are calling us. Are we answering them or putting them to voice mail, because we don’t want to have that inner conversation with ourselves. What causes us to put things on hold? How many of your dreams do you have in voice mail waiting for a return call?

We all do this in some way. I know that if someone compliments me the first thought in my mind is discounting what they said. When I was growing up my sister closest in age to me was always the pretty one, the beautiful one. She is 18 months younger and her body matured faster than mine. She is several inches taller than my 5’3″. I was the smart one. This comparison ran through our childhood. She to this day carries that role of not being smart, even though it isn’t true, and I carry the role of not being pretty.

A lot of people when they first meet me online will say they like my smile and how my eyes light up my face – I immediately think something negative like that’s because you don’t see the rest of me.

Why do we do that? What is it that causes us to turn away from a compliment about our looks, the quality of our work – anything that seems personal? People could compliment me about my children or grandchildren and I don’t turn away from that. Only if it is personal about me.

There was a commercial video I saw a few months back talking about the phrase “sorry” when we mean “excuse me”. We are apologizing when we didn’t do anything wrong. It was by Pantene the shampoo company, and it really reflected how many times we use “sorry” when we really mean something else.

We open a office door to talk to someone and say “sorry” as we pop our head around the corner and peak in. We brush by someone and say “sorry”. The list goes on. Look for it in the next few weeks, how many times you or another women says “sorry” when what should be said is “excuse me”. The suggestion is that we feel undeserving, and so say “I’m Sorry” for taking up your time, for taking up space, for thinking that I might have something to contribute.

Sheryl Sandberg was really talking about this when she said “we’ve got to get women to sit at the table.” She talked about how when she went into a conference room for a meeting, the women were not sitting at the conference table,instead they were sitting in the extra chairs against the wall. They were doing this even though there were empty seats at the conference table.

She felt that a big piece of why we don’t take a seat at the table is because we don’t want the label of “bossy” and the other “B” word when we take the lead. We shouldn’t be afraid to be as ambitious as men. We should ask for what we want – the raise, the promotion, to take the lead. We shouldn’t be afraid to be told we have a beautiful smile.

So I am ending this with my most favorite quote by Marianne Williamson because – How dare any of us settle for less when the world is waiting for us to be remarkable!

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
― Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”

 

Be Fearless in the Pursuit of What Sets Your Soul on Fire

be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fireWhat sets your soul on fire? For me it is LemonadeMakers. This is a dream that I will bring into reality, no matter what the cost. We see examples in the CNN Hero Awards every year, of men and women who sacrifice everything that they have to make a difference in the lives of others.

One of the hardest decisions you’ll ever face is choosing whether to walk away or try harder.

  – Unknown

What are you willing to do to bring your dream into reality? Will you walk through fire again and again to make it happen? I have a story to share from a cousin of one of my best friends. Her and her husband have certainly walked through that fire again and again to bring their dream home.

Success is not final.  Failure in not fatal.  It is the courage to continue that counts.

  – Sir Winston Churchill

It started as all good stories start. There was a friendship that became love and then marriage. And then they had the good news that she was pregnant and the children they so desired to have was happening. Then tragedy struck and she lost the baby. Determined they tried again and again, but they couldn’t get pregnant. They went through the doctors and all the treatments, and still no pregnancy.

This couple was not one to let their dream die. They were fearless in the pursuit of the souls dream of having children, and so they went to attorneys to adopt. They were encouraged to become foster parents to increase their chances, since adoptions are very hard to do. They became certified as foster parents and then the good news came. Their attorney had been contacted by a pregnant woman who wanted to give up her baby for adoption. They applied and they were CHOSEN!

But as all good stories go, that was not the end of the story. As the day arrived when the birth would happen, even though the mother had legally signed over her baby, she changed her mind. Devastated they applied to the courts to uphold the agreement, and then the mother disappeared with their daughter.

Time passed and they started to believe that their dream would never happen. They had lost their daughter. They began to resign to live their life without their daughter. They just prayed that she would go to a good family, and be loved as they would have loved her.

But of course our story hasn’t ended yet. The mother had gotten into some sort of trouble, and the baby was now in the foster care system. So once again, armed with lawyers and legal contracts they went to court. But the wheels of justice don’t always turn in the right direction. They had to battle, lose, and re-battle over a couple of years. They would get their hopes up only to be dashed on the rocks again and again.

Someone would give them new hope and every single time they were asked, “do you want to proceed?” and they would scream yes!!!, even though it might mean getting devastated one more time. Burned again and again, they still would not let go of the hope that their daughter would finally come home.

“I love you” means that I care enough to fight for what we have and that I love you enough not to let go  . . ,

  –  Unknown

So at the end of three years of riding the emotional roller coaster of fighting, losing, and fighting again to bring their daughter home, they finally won. The pursuit of their dream, their daughter had cost them a lot money in attorney fees, years of sleepless nights and heartache. The pursuit of they daughter had caused so much hope rising and fears falling in their hearts, but through it all, they kept the belief that they were going to be bringing their daughter home.

My wish for you is that you continue.  Continue to be who you are, to astonish a mean world with your acts of kindness..

  – Maya Angelou

When you have a dream that sets your soul on fire, you don’t let fears wash it away. You don’t let the winds of adversity blow it out. You don’t let anyone or anything, including your own doubts and fears cause the embers to cool. You blow on those coals until they are white hot and you fight for your dream with every ounce of power you can scrape by with. You will let nothing cause you to quit pursuing “the dream”. You have been CHOSEN. Your soul has been set on fire and you pursue it, until it flies into your reality. You bring your dream home.

The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire.

  – WOCAOO.com

One of my favorite movies is “Under The Tuscan Sun” and it tells the story of a woman who sets out to bring her dreams of family into reality. At the end of the movie, she has everything she dreamed of – funny thing though, it wasn’t how or what she expected it to be. So just remember when you have this dream that sets your soul on fire, be open to the reality it might take to be fulfilled.

Don’t tell a girl with fire in her veins and hurricane bones what she should and shouldn’t do.  In the blink of an eye, she will shatter that ridiculous cate you attempt to build around her beautiful bohemian spirit.

  – Melody Lee

See more at my friends blog about her story:https://diamondstodiapersblog.wordpress.com/…/good-things-…/

 

A Strong Woman is the full Circle

A Strong Woman is the full CircleStrong women know that sometimes we just need to sit with the questions until a direction is clearly revealed.

Strong women can sit with another woman in the silence without needing to say anything to break the tension.

Strong women know that when another woman is venting she doesn’t want anything to be fixed, she just needs someone there to witness the removal of the splinter that is causing her pain.

Strong women know that they must make their own light. And if as it sometimes happens that their light goes out, another sister will be there to share hers, until we are strong enough to relight our own.

Strong women know that when the light goes out, we are facing the day, when we question everything. When something so tragic happens that all of our foundations crash into dust.

This is the day when we all circle around our sister as she faces her crisis of faith and reveals the doubts which will birth a new creation. This is the day when we nurture her. When each sister holds the soul of the other and whispers the words of transformation.

This is the day of transformation which strips away the old way of being. No longer trying to be what others want us to be, we accept “us” without reservations or restrictions.

We value who we are, no matter what anyone else thinks. 
We forgive ourselves completely. 
We trust ourselves wholeheartedly. 
We are brave enough to love ourselves just as we are, perfectly imperfect. 
We empower ourselves to fully embrace our intuition.
We begin to live our life being the wonderful creation we are.

How Does One Become A Butterfly?

how-does-one-become-a-butterfly

A caterpillar must endure a season of isolation before it turns into a butterfly.  Embrace the time you have alone, it will only make you stronger.

  – Steven Aitchison

Life is a journey of learning and discovery.  As young children we take in everything we can learn.  We are authentically ourselves.  Somewhere along the line of growing up, we learn to hide who we really are.  To keep ourselves safe.  To avoid ridicule.  To be the perfect person, so that we will be loved.   We have many reasons why we start hiding.  But there comes a time in our life, when we realize that in order to be truly happy, we have to transform back into who we really are.  We need to become the person we were created to be.

Butterflies can’t see their wings.  They can’t see how truly beautiful they are, but everyone else can.  People are like that as well.

  – Unknown

Transformation gives you the chance to rewrite the story of who you are and who you are capable of being. There are many things in our life that we give negative meanings to. But what if you gave pain the definition that it shows you that which is not for you? This would be a positive thing to know – what doesn’t belong to me or my life. Envy is another word that has a bad rap. What if envy simply shows you things which you may wish to empower in your life? That would be a great thing to know – things I want in my life and can empower myself to obtain.

To be nobody but yourself is a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody but yourself – means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight – and never stop fighting.

  – E.E. Cummings

The being that is forming in the cocoon is no longer a caterpillar. For the caterpillar the past is truly a place of reference. It can no longer live there, because that body is gone. Within the cocoon the caterpillars body literally melted into goo, and then formed a totally new body. As the butterfly’s body grows into its new shape, it becomes cramped as the wings want to expand out. It isn’t a place of residence for the butterfly, so it has to break loose and spread it’s wings and find a new home.  Even though everyone who knew you as a caterpillar is expecting you to still be a caterpillar, you can’t go back.  You have to fight to go forward, staying true to who you now are.

I tell you this to break your heart, by which I mean only that it break open and never close again to the rest of the world.

  – Mary Oliver

The butterfly had to break out of the old place of residence and begin a brand new journey, where everything is experienced for the first time. It must break open its heart to begin this journey, because it has to trust its intuition for flying, for finding food, for making a new home. Literally everything for the butterfly is a brand new experience.  You have to have the courage to follow your own heart and intuition.

You will know you made the right decision when you pick the hardest and most painful choice but your heart is at peace.

  – Unknown

Transformation is a scary business. Because I am a perfectionist, I hate doing something new for the first time. I am doing the best I can with my posts, knowing that I will have spelling errors or grammar mistakes in my writing. I can proofread this a dozen times and the minute I publish I find something I missed. When I sponsor the post, I can’t make any changes, so anything I missed becomes a permanent part of the post. I am living with being imperfect in order to just get the post out there.

You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

  – Steve Jobs

When we listen to our intuition, we are right where we are meant to be.  We can impact the people that we share the world with.  It may be a tiny corner of the world.  Or we could be like a comet and affect the entire world as we fly through the night sky.  It isn’t up to us to say how much of an impact we will make.  It is up to us to live life as fully as we can.  To follow the dreams that have been written in our hearts.  To break out of the comfort zone and spread our wings and fly.  It doesn’t even matter if we know where we are or where we are going.  It only matters that we fly.  That we soak up the sun.  The we soar with the breezes.  And if we can do that, then whatever we leave behind will be sufficient.

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