There is a funny thing about how time works in fairy tales. At the end of the adventure, they say “and they lived happily ever after”.
The reality of time is that it takes your whole lifetime to live through the happily ever after part. You don’t get to your star with a one and done journey. A life purpose isn’t a one and done. The journey will last your entire lifetime.
Your life purpose might be experienced in different ways in different times in your life, but it is always the same life purpose.
“At the end of life, what really matters is not what we bought, but what we built; not what we got, but what we shared; not our competence, but our character; and not our success, but our significance. Live a life that matters. Live a life of love” – Unknown
The story you are living in this moment is just a chapter in one of those books where there are over 1,000 pages and this one is the 4th one in the 12-book series. There are a lot of hills, valleys, lakes and oceans to walk. It is a lot of walking to follow your star.
There are multiple ways in which your life purpose will be lived from the moment you are born, to the moment when this body dies, and you go on to the next adventure. So, while you’re not who you used to be in this moment, you also still have time to become who you came here to be.
“Fear comes from not knowing what to expect and not feeling you have any control over what’s about to happen. When you feel helpless, you’re far more afraid than you would be if you knew the facts” – Chris Hadfield
There are times in your life journey when you:
The actual danger you perceive versus what danger you are in usually don’t match up. Danger is a thing, and fear is your reaction to it. It’s not the thing that will stop you.
It is your imagined fear about the thing. This is because what fear tells you is happening, is entirely different than reality.
Think about when you were learning to ride a bicycle. There were some fears involved with learning to ride, as everyone crashes. Some people just skin their knees or elbows. Some people break an arm or leg.
When I was a kid, there were no helmets, so some people when the crashed had a head injury. Riding a bike can be dangerous, but you determined the risk was worth it, because everyone else was riding a bike. So, you overcame your fear, and learned to ride despite the risk.
“A mistake should be your teacher, not your attacker. A mistake is a lesson, not a loss. It is a temporary, necessary detour, not a dead end” – curiano.com
Most fears originate from a lack of understanding about what is happening or could happen. It is a lack of knowledge and experience.
You know from watching everyone who learned to ride a bicycle before you – those crashes are going to happen. You will make a mistake:
Each crash teaches you something. Going back to your bicycle – when you got personal knowledge of your bicycle, the fears you had in the beginning went away. No one is afraid of the bicycle itself, but rather the fears of being hurt from crashing that the imagination produces.
Here is the interesting point – did the bicycle change or did you change to eliminate those fears?
It was you.
In his book, “An Astronaut’s Guide To Life On Earth”, Astronaut Chris Hadfield talks about how he realized what his life purpose was as a 10 yr. old child watching men walk on the moon. He shaped his entire life to support that dream of being an astronaut.
From 10 years old forward everything was focused on what he perceived as his life purpose. I am sure that he had times when he questioned what he was doing. I am sure that he had friends and relatives that said his chances of actually going into space were limited, especially in the years where NASA had to downsize the space program.
This got me to think of other life long goals such as professional sports. Say you decide that you want to be an Olympic Athlete – you would choose the sport that you have the most natural talent, passion and drive for. Then you would eat, sleep, and drink that sport everyday for years.
It’s really different from what Chris did – he had stages of accomplishment he went through based on the above list.
It wasn’t enough to just learn to fly a plane. You also had to acquire a needed job skill in addition to being a pilot. He had to develop a certain mental headspace that a test pilot has – being able to run towards risk instead of avoiding it.
Unlike the Olympic Games in which you have many competing, only a couple of pilots go with each flight. So your second profession has to be what else is needed on the Space Station and you have better be a master of it too.
He had vertigo – a fear of heights. He trained his mind that it was ok to be up high, if there isn’t the possibility of falling. The best thing about space flight, was that he really couldn’t fall. He took that fear, recognized his fear and the facts around his fear, and realized he doesn’t have to live in fear.
He talked about how when they strap him into his seat preparing to lift off how it is hot and cramped. Behind his back is a parachute/survival kit and it makes for an uncomfortable position, which you have to deal with for a few hours’ minimum – even so, he couldn’t imagine any place else he would rather be.
Those words to me perfectly describe a person who is in the zone, on course to completing a life dream. A person who at that moment is totally on purpose. The hyper-focus is so clear, that nothing distracts or impedes you.
He describes that moment when you switch from hoping something is going to happen, to knowing it will. That moment of lift off, when you know it is a sure thing.
The closest feeling, I could come to is when you step up on the stage for graduation and walk across to get your diploma. At that moment you know that nothing can take away your sense of accomplishment in putting a period to a lifetime goal. It feels like magic, winning, and that feeling of knowing all of your hard work paid off.
You can listen to his 2014 Ted Talk here where he talks about his experience of going blind while out on a space walk. It was all of the years of preparation which enabled him to stop the panic that anyone would have and creatively figure out how to fix the issue. As he stated in the quote above, the best answer to stop fear is competence.
As always, we are here to help in any way we can.
Every adventure starts out as a journey of self-discovery. Part of the discovery is who you are deep down inside. As you learn about the parts of yourself that you have hidden away even from you – you will learn to face your own shadows.
“When you know yourself you are empowered. When you accept yourself you are invincible” – Tina Lifford
What are your shadows? They are the parts of you that you disowned as a child because you were made to feel that they weren’t acceptable. They peep out at you, when you see the same shadows in other people.
What triggers you to instant anger, shame, rejection of others – there is your shadow. Once you face and embrace your own shadows, you will quit attracting them into your life experience of others.
The values you have at your core, also come from your childhood. Some of them are from your parents. You either choose to emulate their values or you could go 180 degrees in the opposite direction.
For example, my mother used to say in complete truth for her, “Do as I say, not as I do.” One of my core values is not being a hypocrite, because this was a real hot button for me. My other core values of being truthful and honest, come from this same place. The one thing that I will not tolerate from my friends and family is being lied to.
“If you don’t know yourself, you don’t know your nature. If you don’t know your nature, you don’t know where to exist. By knowing your nature, knowing yourself, you know what to be and how to live. And that only comes from knowledge of self, knowing yourself.” – RZA
“Knowing yourself is life’s eternal homework” – Felicia Day
Part of really knowing yourself, is understanding what are your core values, and where did they originate? When you begin on the journey of self-discovery you will find things that surprise you. You will find things that may dismay you.
The great thing about this journey is that you have the ability to adopt new values, transform the existing values and basically transform your life from the inside out. You have the ability to attain self mastery.
Attaining true wisdom, means that you have invested in yourself. This means an investment in both time and money. Some things are easy to do by yourself. Some things are easier when you have a coach or mentor that can help you to see the things that you are blind to. You are the one who has to begin the journey to self-enlightenment.
You can start your investment in reading books and eLearning for self-education. Then you could add in a personal coach, begin taking courses with seminar or workshop programs.
The investment in yourself helps you to explore your creativity, innovation, ideas for your life purpose. You learn how to plan and achieve goals with less effort. You learn what motivates you. How to brainstorm new ideas for the vision you have for your life.
Fear will try to hold you hostage to limiting beliefs about yourself. I have always loved this quote, because what you have identified as the fear is never the fear.
It is in the investigation of what is hiding behind the fear, that you can truly identify and then release the real fear that is holding you back from your life.
Reality of Fear:
You’re not scared of the dark – you’re scared of what’s in it
You’re not afraid of heights – you’re afraid of falling
You’re not afraid of the people around you – you’re just afraid of rejection
You’re not afraid to love – you’re just afraid of not being loved back
You’re not afraid to let go – you’re just afraid to accept the reality that he’s gone
You’re not afraid to try again – you’re just afraid of getting hurt for the same reason
It is in being courageous that you accept that vulnerability, is what is going to help you get in touch with your true self. Everything you have experienced in life has a purpose. There are no mistakes or coincidences in your reading this today.
It’s time to focus on you. It’s time to commit to who you are beneath the surface. The world won’t stop spinning because people choose to not accept you, or understand who you are beneath the surface.
“To know yourself as the being behind the thinker, the stillness underneath the mental noise, the love and joy underneath the pain, is freedom, salvation, enlightenment.” – Eckhart Tolle
“You have to get new knowledge and force yourself to really implement what you’ve learned. You have to set boundaries in place for yourself. The important thing is if you don’t know real love, someone will teach you self hate.” – Tony Gaskins
Take swimming as an example. You can read a book about it. You can watch a video about it. You can watch others swim. But your actually learning how to swim means that you have to get into the water and experience how you can move through the water and not sink and drown.
The important part of about truly knowing yourself, is the application of what you are learning through and from all of the different mediums.
It’s about effecting real change deep inside of yourself. It’s about not just planting a seed of knowledge, it’s about watering it, weeding around it and pulling out the things that might stagnate or keep that seed from growing into a healthy plant. It’s about first transforming your inner world, and then your outer world, and then the whole wide world.
“The most important relationship we can all have is the one you have with yourself, the most important journey you can take is one of self-discovery. To know yourself, you must spend time with yourself, you must not be afraid to be alone. Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” – Aristotle
“And then one day I decided that hurry and stress were no longer going to be part of my life. Stress is self-created; I decided to stop manufacturing it. We can choose an internal calm and joy even amid the chaos” – Brendon Burchard
In times of uncertainty, you tend to fill in the blanks in your life, so that you give yourself a feeling of some sort of control. I can’t control COVID-19; I can’t control political upheaval; I can’t control rioting in the streets.
But I can control what? Most people tend to answer chaos and uncertainty with more inner chaos. Instead try something different.
The question to ask yourself is – does this feed the chaos, or my inner peace? What you need is a change of consciousness. A decision to stop producing stress and instead choose inner calm and peace.
If everyone were to exercise these kinds of controls, it would end all wars, eliminate conflicts and prevent injustice.
“Staying positive doesn’t mean you have to be happy all the time. It means that even on hard days you know that there are better ones coming.” – QuotesCollective.com
“Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.” – Simple Reminders
Pinchmeliving.com has a great meme with 10 Truths You Need to Know for Inner-Peace & Happiness.
credit to Pinchmeliving.com
In finding your inner peace, the path leads through resilience. It’s about focusing on this present moment. You are trying to have an important phone call. One child is hugging you and the other wants you to pay attention to the cat. You have a choice in this moment.
You can go into chaos and frustration, or you can practice resilience by hugging your daughter at the same time you are talking on the phone. You can practice resilience by telling your children to wait a few minutes, and they can have your complete attention. Then once their needs are filled, you can give them something to do, and go back to the work that you are doing.
Resilience has the component of compromise within it. When life throws lemons into your well-planned schedule, you have a choice to practice resilience. You can focus on the negative things that just happened, with pain, anger, grief, and fear and let the bitterness eat at your soul. Or you reach back into your resilience pool and focus on the present moment.
In a storm like a tornado or hurricane there is a calm center, in life you have to find this calm center deep within yourself. When everyone else is running around crazy, you do not have to buy into the chaos.
It’s a matter of practice, but once you’ve been in this calm centeredness a few times, it becomes easy to immediately place that peace like a protective bubble around you. It really is a simple decision that anyone can make, to stand in the center of their own peace.
“We can weather anything if we stay calm in the eye of the storm” – Lolly Daskal
Lately there haven’t been any adventures in my life. Between working from home all day and working on LemonadeMakers, I’ve been spending all of my time in front of the computer. I am starting to itch to just go for a drive, anything to get out of the house. So, I started thinking about adventures – what are they all about?
Surprisingly, I’ve been on adventures during the entire lockdown, I just didn’t know it. I’ve read books, listened to podcasts and Ted Talks. All ways to go on an adventure. Have you learned anything new in the past few months? That is going on an adventure. So come on an adventure with me now –
“In order to realize the worth of the anchor, we need to feel the stress of the storm” – Corrie Ten Boom
Change is a scary word. It has a heavy weight to it, like an anchor. When your anchor is hooked in the rocks on the sea floor, it prevents the uncertainties of life from casting you adrift. When life’s chaos erupts in your life, change is the anchor that helps you cast off for a new adventure.
Change challenges you to look honestly at your life. You can’t spell challenge without change. To rise up to life’s challenges, you have to be prepared for change. Every challenge is an opportunity for self-transformation. The change in the challenge is what grows you. Change becomes something to look forward to, instead of something to resist.
“Don’t be afraid to take on big challenges. They give the best rewards” – Spencer Christensen
When the anchor is pitched into the sandy seashore unattached to the ship, it serves no purpose.
The anchors in the photo below are not doing what they were designed to do, which is to hold you steady in life’s storms.
This year you have risen to a few challenges. You never know with supply chain shortages what you will find missing at the store; first you’re required to wear a face mask outside your home, then not – but maybe still depending on where you live or where you go; maybe you decided when schools began again to continue home schooling your children; and remote working from home or hybrid or fulltime back at the office; all have been challenges to both you and your household.
Failing to reach your goals, another year of watching your dreams slip through your hands, struggling to make ends meet—all that is far harder than rising to the challenge of going on a new adventure. This pandemic is a wake-up call to focus on your personal growth.
“Often what feels like the end of the world is really a pathway to a far better place” – Karen Salmansohn
What’s funny is realizing that every single challenge is an adventure. Adventure’s not only challenge you to change your normal routine, they teach you new things. For example working from home – now you know if you like working from home. You’ve got a whole new respect for the teachers that teach your children nine months of the year. Your company has discovered that they may not even need an office.
“Focus on what only you can do. Give the rest of it away.” —Elise Mitchell
You don’t have to be the bravest or smartest person. You don’t have to know how to do everything. You just have to be courageous enough to realize that every decision you make has some risk attached to it. You can’t face a challenge without change happening.
So go for the challenge that makes you smile instead of anchoring in around your limitations in life. Sitting in an empty field with your anchor raised up, is anchoring in to those limitations. You are not looking ahead. You are anchoring to your past.
If you think that you can’t sing, get singing lessons. It’s not the mountain you conquer when you take action. It is your past beliefs and limitations that are being conquered. It is you refusing to buy into “I can’t do that”.
Taking on challenges you’ll see that you are capable of doing more than you thought. You see that it wasn’t as hard as you thought. It will strengthen your mind, gaining self-confidence. How you handle what happens to you, determines how far you go. Challenges can take you apart, refine you, and change who you thought you were.
Hope is not a growth strategy. Action is the only answer to a challenge. You are in a time of disruption. Life is ripe for opportunity, as well as full of danger. Both action or inaction create risk, meaning it impossible to avoid risk. So take the risk of action – go on an adventure!
Learning is an adventure. Learning will challenge your habits, your beliefs and stretch your comfort zone. Travel the universe while sitting in your living room. It is the perfect time to challenge yourself to climb a new mountain.
Every minute of attention that you focus on events outside of your influence, is a wasted minute. Focus on what you can control, ignore the rest. To thrive, you need to adapt yourself to a changing world. Focus on what you love doing. Choose a goal that you’ll enjoy chasing for the next five years, minimum, to ensure you’ll follow through.
“Strength doesn’t come from what you can do. Strength comes from overcoming the things you thought you couldn’t” – Unknown
Play to your strengths. A hedgehog is great at rolling up into a ball to protect itself. Decide on your hedgehog concept to be really good at ONE thing. Focus on what you can be the best in the world at.
The synergy that happens with a group that takes action is beyond amazing. Multiple solutions abound when you’re open to all suggestions from your tribe.
LemonadeMakers is a tribe of people who get together to talk, share, and help each other through life’s changes and transformations.
Finding a mentor doesn’t just mean finding a person who has done what you’re trying to do. It doesn’t have to be a real live person. There are great mentors from historical biographies. YouTube, Ted Talks, or watching a video by personal development experts, are all great examples of finding a mentor. There are great inspirational movies out there too.
From the movie Peaceful Warrior:
“Socrates: Everyone wants to tell you what to do and what’s good for you. They don’t want you to find your own answers, they want you to believe theirs.
Dan Millman: Let me guess, and you want me to believe yours.
Socrates: No, I want you to stop gathering information from the outside and start gathering it from the inside.”
What’s important in your life? Write down in your journal how you currently spend your day, minute by minute, then create your ideal daily schedule. As you work to close the gap between the two lifestyles, you’ll find time you didn’t know you had. You’ll discover you are more productive than you thought.
Do not schedule every minute of your day. Many of the activities and obligations that you thought were important, have turned out to not be necessary. Taking action requires blank spaces in your calendar—for solitude, room to breathe, creative space—so protect this freedom.
Personal growth means knowing there’s always more to learn. Start now by learning about ways to have a happier life:
There’s at least one person in history, in your social circle, in a podcast, in a TedTalk – who has faced a situation almost exactly like yours and wrote about it. There are 1,000 of YouTube videos that can teach you how to do anything from applying makeup, to changing your cars oil, to building a shed, to programing a software program. Challenge yourself to learn something new.
Fear makes almost everyone uncomfortable. Fear is an integral part of risk; of going down the road less traveled; of even thinking of putting yourself into a situation where you would need to dive deep within to bring up some of that untapped potential.
But – if you are brave enough to get your friends to open up to the dreams they have, you will see some of their untapped potential being exposed to the light.
If you are brave enough to open up and share your own dreams, you will learn things about yourself that you didn’t know.
Risk is like a barometer to show you much courage you have allowed yourself to have. You have extraordinary dreams that you would do in a heartbeat, if you could be guaranteed that you wouldn’t fail.
I currently subscribe to an online newsletter called “The Profile” and it features Polina Marinova. She is doing things a little differently. She is doing deep dives on prominent figures and it is really interesting.
I wanted to share some of the things that one her profiles had to say about failure. While this article pertained to pursuing a business, the lessons contained can be applied to any kind of change or transformation you are thinking about making in your life.
Click the link and check her out (you don’t have to subscribe, click and the part that says to check her out), she has both free and paid subscriptions. (everything in quotes is from her article and reading her article inspired me to write this one).
“Failure is not the outcome – failure is not trying. Don’t be afraid to fail.” – Sara Blakely
Sara Blakely says that she is no stranger to failure. She failed her LSAT tests ending her dream career as a trial attorney. She had an interesting dad, who taught his children to celebrate failure.
When she was growing up, each person at the dining room table had to share their biggest failure for the week while they were eating dinner. If they didn’t have one, her father would be disappointed, because that meant they hadn’t put themselves out there to do something impossible. She learned from this that the only true failure is when you don’t try.
One night getting ready for a party she stumbled onto an idea for a gap in the fashion industry, and that began the creation process for Spanx. She stated that she kept the idea to herself for a whole year while she worked behind the scenes, before she sought validation from friends and family. By the time she told them about it;
She knew that all of the negative comments about her idea would have killed it if she had talked about it immediately. How many ideas have you had, where that happened to you? Her advice? Don’t seek validation from others until you’re ready with proof of concept.
It is common when an idea pops into your head to discount it. Today while writing this blog, a neighbor was mowing his lawn, and the noise of the lawnmower was irritating me. I said to my office partner that someone should invent a solar powered electric lawn mower. It could be that someone has. I don’t know.
I thought about it for a moment and said. “it could have a rechargeable battery that sits in the sun all week just waiting to be popped into the machine. It would be quiet like an electric car, as well as being better for the environment.’ My car is a hybrid and when it is in full electric mode you can’t hear the engine.
Just think that both the lawn mower and the leaf blower could be quiet – I swear that there isn’t a zoom meeting that happened in the past year where someone wasn’t apologizing for the yard maintenance people and the noise in the background.
Now like Sara –
The only difference between Sara (with her initial lack of business, manufacturing, and fashion industry knowledge) and myself is the level of passion she had for it. For me, this is just a wonderful idea that I am happy to give to someone else. For her, it was an idea she was in love with.
“Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know. That can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else.” – Sara Blakely
When you take fear out of the equation, it becomes easy to embrace the unknown. One of the keys to her success, is that she was a fashion outsider, and didn’t know how it was supposed to be done. Her ignorance became her greatest asset.
“I had no idea how things were supposed to be done, and if you have no idea how something’s supposed to be done, I guarantee that you’ll end up being disruptive,” she said. When you are an outsider you see things in a different way, because you don’t know how it’s supposed to go. Beginners mind always starts by asking the question “why” over and over again.
In 2000, Blakely used her $5,000 in savings to start her company, and by 2012, she was named the youngest self-made female billionaire. Sara still owns 100% of Spanx because she never took on outside investors. She sees an opportunity in every failure or disappointment. “Spanx wouldn’t exist if I had aced the LSAT,” she says.
Take control of your mindset by immersing yourself with great books that teach you how to life a positive life. Sara tells how her dad bought her the Wayne Dyer program called “How to Be a No-Limit Person” when she was having a hard time with personal and financial issues.
Most of higher education teaches you what to think, Wayne Dyer taught her how to think. A critical part of using failure to be successful, is that you have the ability to control your own thoughts and confront your self-doubt. “Now more than ever, your greatest weapon is your mindset,” says Sara.
I have followed Wayne Dyer for years. I was privileged to see him at a conference. The world lost a great wisdom teacher when he passed away.
“Success, to me, is finding the courage to live your fullest and biggest life.” – Sara Blakely
How about you? Are you living life to your fullest potential?
As always, we are here to support you – to whisper words of encouragement – to celebrate each and every failure and success!
“It takes courage to grow up and turn out to be who you really are” – E.E. Cummings
Are you really happy, or just comfortable? Raising your anchor and leaving the comfort zone is the beginning of all change. Courage comes into play when you have traveled far enough away that you lose sight of the shore.
All of a sudden fear will raise its head and start creating as much chaos as possible. Fear knows that the more it churns the waters, the more likely you will panic and return to the safety of your comfort zone.
“We have to be honest about what we want and take risks rather than lie to ourselves and make excuses to stay in our comfort zone” – Roy T. Bennett
Have you ever watched “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”? Part of the story line was about his relationship in life compared with his best friend. His best friend was strongly anchored to his shoreline, his comfort zone. Ferris Bueller was all about challenging every rule or restriction in his life. In the movie he says, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
As soon as Ferris Bueller’s friend watched his dad’s prized auto go through the window and crash down the hillside, he realized how uncomfortable his comfort zone was. He talked about the lack of relationship he had with his father, and how this crisis was going to force his dad to pay attention to him.
He was definitely coming outside of his comfort zone. He was owning how much he needed to change his life and start living it instead of just existing in it. He had to reach the space where remaining the same in his comfort zone had become untenable. The space where it was scarier to remain in his comfort zone, than to change the relationship with his dad.
“The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide you’re not going to stay where you are” – John Pierpont Morgan
Have you ever completely redecorated a room? You might start with one piece that you find that really speaks to your heart and soul. Then as time goes along, you are subconsciously looking for something that will tie into the theme that is being created in your head. In your minds eye you might start out with a beautiful photo of sea turtles swimming underwater in the ocean. Then you find a shelf made out of driftwood. Then you find a frame with sea shells and some fish netting. And so on. Until one day you look around the room and it feels complete. It feels like home.
“The woman I was yesterday introduced me to the woman I am today which makes me very excited about meeting the woman I will become tomorrow” – Unknown
When you are “redecorating” your life by stepping outside of your comfort zone, you will start with just one thing. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you are throwing out what you have.
It could mean that it needs to be updated or repurposed in some way so that it now fits perfectly with how you are redesigning your life. Maybe it needs a fresh coat of paint. Maybe you saw something on a DIY show where they reconstructed an old dresser for a new use.
For example, why not take that anchor you were using to stay in your comfort zone, and use it to instead anchor in grace? Grace is one of my favorite values in my own life.
“It’s not only moving that creates new starting points. Sometimes all it takes is a subtle shift in perspective, an opening of the mind, an intentional pause and reset, or a new route to start to see new options and new possibilities” – Kristin Armstrong
What’s important, is to realize and really fully embrace, that imperfect action is better than no action. It is really easy to procrastinate getting started with something that is new and challenging.
I have the “perfectionist” trait of thinking that I just need some more information before I start. So I will research something new “to death”, finding myself going down rabbit hole after rabbit hole with google dragging me along to trail to “one more thing”.
I find the same thing when I am searching for the new photo for a quote for a post. I finally had to limit myself to searching five pages. If I haven’t found it by then, I reword my search criteria. Otherwise, I was searching down 20-30 pages and still not happy with the results.
“Every morning wake up and ask yourself, “What five little things must I achieve today for this to be valuable day?” – Robin Sharma
“It’s not about perfect. It’s about effort. And when you bring that effort every single day, that’s where transformation happens. That’s how change occurs” – Jillian Michaels
When you’re ready to make a change in your life, excuses lose their effectiveness. Excuses are thieves. They steal away your time. If you listen to them, you will fritter away your life until one day you wake up and that thing you were going to invent from that idea you had is on the market and someone else has become a millionaire from it.
Have a goal; schedule your time to put it into action; accept responsibility for what does and doesn’t work; then take more action, and keep taking more action until it is completed.
Consistency is what leads to success. If you only practice an instrument once a month, you will never be a successful musician. You need to be stingy with where you are spending your time. Don’t spend it doing things that are not moving you forward in your journey.
Spend it doing the things that fill you up; things that move the needle. Things that make you feel brilliant, powerful, beautiful and brave.
This is so important. Share what you have overcome with others. I have shared a lot about my nephews murder and how that changed my life. I wanted everyone to know that you can move through the most heart wrenching pain and come out the other side thriving.
Share your story with others. Share it with me. Somewhere someone is staring at the mountain that they have to climb. They are thinking they can’t do it. Every loss creates a challenge through change. It all starts with choice. You can stay in the river and look at the mountain, and stare at it all day.
Or you can start walking.
Just remember that we are here to listen, to offer support, and share with you as you walk up and down your own mountains of loss and change in your life – as well as help you celebrate your bravery.
“Uncertainty and mystery are energies of life. Don’t let them scare you unduly, for they keep boredom at bay and spark creativity” – R. I Fitzhenry
The uncertainty of life is what makes it so much fun. Uncertainty is fundamental in nature. It is a messy imperfection of life. But it is also the adventure of choosing a path and not knowing where it goes. It is the curiosity of going someplace new and imagining what you might discover about yourself in the process.
I love the thought of this idea of not even knowing we have wings until they are forced into opening up. Unraveling feels so scary, like you are coming apart. But unless you reach that moment, the wings do not unfurl. They won’t appear until they are needed.
“It is how we embrace the uncertainty in our lives that leads to the great transformations of our souls” – Brandon A Dean
Has anyone ever said to you, “I don’t know how you do it” about something in your life?
The answer lies in realizing that you can handle anything when you aren’t given a choice. It defines who you are and who you are becoming, because every single choice is just that – a choice you make.
“Decisions are the endless uncertainties of life that we’ll not know if they’re right until the very end, so do the best you can and hope its right” – Lily Collins
“Our lives are defined by opportunities, even the ones we miss” – Eric Roth
There is something called the Uncertainty principle. It is part of quantum physics. It says that in the world of small particles, one cannot measure the property of the particle, without interacting with it in some way, which creates an unavoidable uncertainty into the result. Which means that the act of the observation of something, changes the thing irrevocably.
What this means in layman’s language is that the idea of a predictable future based on the choices you are making in this moment is impossible. You can guess at probable outcomes of a choice. Based on those probabilities, you can make flexible plans.
So for my choice of taking the “really lost” train track – there are a number of probabilities that would be reasons why the train isn’t going that way.
In the uncertainty principle for life, there is a grid for breaking down the complexity, volatility, ambiguity and risk of uncertainty. Gaining clarity defuses some of the uncertainty in life.
Ambiguity is like a sunrise just cresting the horizon. At first you can’t see clearly as everything still is shadowed. But the more that light is reflected out from the sun as it reaches higher in the sky, the more that what was in the shadows can be clearly seen. With ambiguity, gaining more knowledge about it creates clarity about it.
Clarity also breaks down the complexity of the subject, as you can clearly see where things connect and don’t connect. The more you know, the easier it is to take volatility out of the equation.
“Clarity and simplicity are the antidotes to complexity and uncertainty” – General George Casey
Clarity starts with curiosity. Being open to exploring the unknown. It is the journey of self discovery of why you are here. Clarity comes with conviction and true originality. It is experienced in the stillness of the soul. Simplicity is ultimately a matter of focus in breaking down the complexity. The clarity of what your intentions are actually based on.
“Live your life as an exclamation, not as an explanation” – H. Jackson Brown Jr.
It is about taking the train track that will infuse your life with action. When you take a tea bag and put it in a cup of hot water, the hot water becomes infused with the tea in the bag and makes a cup of tea. The longer the bag is left in the cup, the stronger the tea becomes.
Living your life as an exclamation point says that you aren’t sitting at home dreaming of making a choice on which track you are going to take. It means you are making the choice by getting on the track and forging forward. Put a period on the end of the choice. The period says you are making something happen.
Be prepared to embrace change with each new step on your journey. When the track ends, start laying new track.
“Enjoy the beauty of becoming. When nothing is certain, anything is possible” – Mandy Hale
There is a Japanese Proverb that says, “Fear is only as deep as the mind allows.” This implies that you have some choice in the matter. Than if your mind focuses on other things than fear, that you can control how deep that fear is allowed to go.
There is such beauty in the creation process. When I find the perfect quote and picture it gives me such joy. No one achieves full mastery. There is always another level to grow into. And with each new level there will be failures, growth, and beauty. So don’t wallow in the failures. Don’t allow the failures to stop you. Unfurl those wings and fly.
“Embrace uncertainty. Some of the most beautiful chapters in our lives won’t have a title until much later”– Bob Goff
You are writing your life journey, page by page, day by day. Sometimes in writing these blogs the title is the first thing I type. Other times it is the last thing I type. Don’t be afraid to make space for the unknown. Sometimes the feeling needs to be explored before you can name it. Life’s most precious gift is uncertainty. Cherish it. Life always unfolds perfectly if you let it.
“Life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving; we get stronger and more resilient” – Dr. Steve Maraboli
You have this vast reservoir of untapped potential. The only way you discover it, is when life throws lemons at you. That is when you learn to reach down deep inside to tap this reservoir.
Like pulling up a bucket in a deep well, you must bring up your hidden potential to the top. As you go through life’s storms, you learn how to develop that potential into what is needed to reach the top of your destination.
As you journey down your road, you will start climbing the higher elevations in life. You might have this idea that the hill you are climbing will get you to the top. Then you reach the top of that hill, only to discover that you are still in the foothills. You haven’t even started on the mountains waiting for you.
“She was unstoppable, not because she did not have failures or doubts, but because she continued on despite them” – Beau Taplin
This is where courage comes in. The courage to continue despite the fears. The foothills were testing your strength. As you sit there looking up at a mountain, it would be perfectly normal to let fear take over and stop you in your tracks.
Your mind is getting busy at this point creating all of the possible means of falling down a mountain. From instant death, to hitting a crevasse and breaking multiple bones as you fall deep within the earth. Rolling down the mountain pass covered in snow, creating an avalanche that buries you alive.
Courage doesn’t make those fears your mind is making up go away.
“Resilience is knowing that you are the only one that has the power and the responsibility to pick yourself up” – Mary Holloway
Part of resilience is based on compassion for yourself as well as others. Compassion for yourself teaches you that failure is not fatal. That when you have the courage to continue despite life’s setbacks, success will happen.
Every morning having the courage to get started again, is like being reborn. A fresh start. Each day what matters is what you do that day to continue towards your destination.
“Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful” – Joshua Marine
Part of the overcoming of challenges, is being able to organize your suffering, so that you only have to bear the pain that is absolutely necessary. This allows you to not be overwhelmed by what is happening.
You begin to see the connections to what has happened, and how the lessons you are learning are actually needed for the balance of this journey. When you approach life from this perspective, you understand that each challenge brings in an experience.
Each experience brings more maturity, skills, and values into your life.
“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength” – Mahatma Gandhi
Sometimes the new reality seems to be two steps backwards. You have choices as to how you handle that.
What you do next is what matters most. It’s the courage to continue, one step at a time, one day at a time. It’s that next step forward.
“Some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default” – J.K. Rowling
You could probably write down a long list of failures in your life. Some small and some so large they almost buried you under the grief and negative emotions of “not enough”. You are not someone to sit around in sackcloth and ashes bemoaning the unfairness of life.
You are out there picking up courage wherever it can be found. You realize how much worse your life would be, if you were home just sitting on the couch and not even trying.
“I’m not sure if resilience is ever achieved alone. Experience allows us to learn from example. But if we have someone who loves us – I don’t mean who indulges us, but who loves us enough to be our side – then it’s easier to grown resilience, to grow belief in self, to grow self-esteem. And it’s self esteem that allows a person to stand up” – Maya Angelou
Every single failure should be proudly worn on a necklace as badges of courage. You have towered over your circumstances each and every time. Embrace the beauty that your life is reflecting.
Your future dreams are being held in the gift of time. When divine timing thinks you are ready, your dreams will unfold, one by one.
How can you make progress so that you can draw your dreams into reality?
You can stop thinking that ignoring your negative emotions will make them go away. What happens instead is that they become buried deep within you and start roots. Those roots manifest themselves in your being triggered every time someone else’s behavior mirrors that same emotion. Each root becomes an anchor designed to hold you in place, which keeps you from growing into who you are capable of becoming.
At this point in your journey you are being given time to dig up all of those roots. When you expose them to the light of day, they will shrivel up and turn to dust. How do you expose them?
Encourage yourself by looking for what is working in your life at this moment. What things can you be in the space of gratitude in your life right now? Where do you see room for more of your potential to come out and shine? Ask those who know and love you where your greatness is if you can’t see it for yourself.
Realize that it takes time to heal and go through all of the stages of grief. The stages of grief don’t only apply to the loss of a loved one in death. It also applies to divorce, loss of a job, most kinds of trauma, even to children leaving home to go off to college. Take whatever time is required to unpack all of your baggage.
Understand what life lessons are there, and what needs to be let go of because it doesn’t serve you any longer. It takes time to peel back all of the parts of you that don’t belong to you. It takes time to expose and accept the parts of you that you have hidden away. Your life can’t be transformed by waving a magic wand and poof you’ve changed. It is changed step by step, bit by bit, day by day.
When life falls apart, you think that everything can be solved by just going home again. You think that “going home again” is about a place. But it isn’t. Those memories of home are all based on a time, which is in the past. It is why you cannot truly “go home again”. So this chasing of home is not about a place. “Going home again” is more about you chasing a feeling of love, security. Something that you feel will help you cope with whatever life is currently throwing at you.
“Productivity is how you run away from yourself. Creativity is how you become yourself” – Brianna Wiest
When life throws you lemons, you think that you need to do something. You just don’t know what that something is. You think that you’re waiting for help. You think that if you ask everyone, someone will tell you what the right thing to do is. Even though, at the back of your mind, you already know what that is. So all that you’re really waiting for, is a time when you’re forced to do it.
When life has fractured you into pieces I want you to remember these things:
Instead of judging yourself by all of your shortcomings or things you failed to do, why not instead let your life be defined by how much you are loved by others. Repair your foundation in life, your core beliefs and values. Rebuild and repair your cracked walls and ceilings, as represented by your archetype’s and the labels you identify yourself by. Sweep up the broken glass and create a mosaic of your life with gold filling in the gaps, these represent windows that you look out of – how your see your world. Remember you are made of beautiful things.
“You may not see it today or tomorrow, but you will look back in a few years and be absolutely perplexed and awed by how every little thing added up and brought you somewhere wonderful – or where you always wanted to be. You will be grateful that things didn’t work out the way you once wanted them to” – Brianna Wiest
Life is a journey. There are patterns you will see as you travel to your many destinations. Life is sometimes remarkable, sometimes terrible, sometimes strange and yet hauntingly beautiful. Look for the surprises underneath the wrapping paper. When the moments of despair happen (and they will happen) bring out all of your beautiful memories and hold them close. Remind yourself that whatever is going wrong now, that this storm will also pass.
The first Saturday of every month we get together on Zoom to talk about our challenges, to encourage each other, and provide inspiration to continue on our individual journeys. Join us for the next conversation and become even more inspired to reach out and pull your dreams into reality.
Sometimes a sentence can grab your attention and send you down a rabbit hole. This sentence grabbed me and shook me awake. “You have to stop just completing and begin living.” I immediately thought of the difference between doing and being.
Doing is all about completing. It is a “to do” list. You complete the objective, tick off the box, and immediately start on the next thing on the list. At the end of the day, you might be able to proudly look at a completed list, but the question begs to be answered – at what part of the day did you begin living?
What are the things you can shift in your life to make those changes easier? How can you get off the treadmill of doing and start living the life of being.
“The highest level of creativity consists in being, not doing” – Marianne Williamson
Who or what are you becoming? How you are being reflects how you are growing. If you are too busy doing, then no growth is happening.
It begins when we enter school. We are taught to excel at doing. To give the answers they want, the ones in the book. Creativity is frowned upon in most subjects. If you espouse a different opinion on what the writer might have meant, it becomes the “wrong” answer. I always thought it was funny, how someone other than the author could know beyond any reasonable doubt what the writer might have been alluding to.
This continues through grade school, junior high, high school and even the colleges and universities. A lot of very successful creative minds left college partly because their creativity was being squashed. They all have the entrepreneur mindset. They all have some things in common, which includes doing things different than the norm. They look at what is, and wonder what else could be?
Oprah has said that she was hired for a T.V. news show as an anchor. Unknown to her at the time, the other anchor didn’t want her on the show. Several months later he got his way and she was demoted. It was very devastating. Within every “failure” there is a nugget of gold. She lost her job, but her demotion put her into a talk show format. She said that the minute she took on that show, she felt like she had arrived home.
That is a sign – when your “job” feels like home. You know that this is what you are meant to do. It is being a “creative”.
Steve Jobs found this out when Apple ousted him. It took him awhile to recover “who he was” because he had become so identified with the company, that he had stopped being and was just doing. It essentially created a mid-life crisis. He was looking at all kinds of possibilities from politics to becoming an astronaut. He went on to launch both Pixar Animation Studios as well as NeXT.
“I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter into one of the most creative periods of my life,” Steve Jobs
He then goes on to say pretty much what Oprah said: “I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love.”
“Once you shift your order of priorities from “having – doing – being” to “being – doing – having” your destiny will be in your hands” – Sadhguru
This reminds me of putting batteries into something. Batteries have a positive and a negative side. If you put them in backwards, they don’t work. It is only when the connections are correct that they “turn on” the item.
When you approach your life with “having – doing – being” you have the heaviness in your life. You are pushing the boulder up hill. You might make it to the top, but the success won’t be fulfilling.
It is only when you approach your life from the “being” first, then the doing and having come afterwards. Then your batteries are fully charged and working to speed you up to the hilltop. The success is fueled by your passion, love and creativity. You are a human “being” loving all parts of your life.
Both Oprah and Steve Job’s had failures. Those failures led to connecting or reconnecting to “having – doing – being” in the right order. You have these wonderful talents, They take the form of creativity, which becomes the doing part. When you are living your life from the having your talents expressed through creativity, then you enter the being part of your life. This is because you are living your divinely planned destiny in those moments. The more of those moments you connect with in your life, the more on purpose you are.
“Being free from the fear of failure means you can focus more clearly on what you’re doing – and will be more likely to succeed” – Zen Health
It’s like you have these batteries not only installed correctly, but they are being recharged or fueled by your living the “having – doing – being” in the correct order. You may not see it today, or even tomorrow as some things take a while to grow and mature. But there will come a time when you look back and you will be awestruck how every little misstep, mistake, and seeming failure adds up to bring you exactly to where you are supposed to be. In that moment, you will be so grateful that things didn’t go the way the mind planned, but instead the way the heart directed.
“Consult not your fears but your hopes and dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do” – Pope John XXIII
You may at this moment be facing a similar landscape in your mind. Your mind is filled with fears of:
How do you embrace hope instead? You begin small and when the mind says “I can’t” or “I don’t” you replace those thoughts one by one as they appear. You approach it as a curious question, “I wonder what if?” I did this, or said that? Then as you strengthen those hopeful thoughts you can begin to replace them with:
Hope is stronger than fear and you can fill your hopeful space with courage to forge ahead into the great unknown. To explore all of the possibilities of a moment, and choose the one that fills your heart with the most hope.
“May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears” – Nelson Mandela
Every morning you have a choice. You can rise up with the light laughing at the fears you had last night. Or, you can roll over whining and cowering in fear, as your mind carries you deep down into the darkness.
Every day you can hug the world with a great big bear hug. Or, you can curse the world because you don’t yet have want you want, or need from it.
Every evening you can dream big dreams, longing to give more laughter, joy, and love to the world. Or, you can dream nightmares where you are all alone, abandoned and just waiting for death to take you away.
“Hope is the fuel of progress and fear is the prison in which you put yourself” – Tony Benn
Emotions can heal you or control you. Fear based emotions are toxic.
Emotions are fueled by your perceptions of what is happening. You have a choice to perceive what is currently happening in your life as a train wreck, the worst trip of your life. Or, as a learning opportunity; a mission to where no one has gone before; an adventurous quest in which you find your purpose in life. Your perceptions reflect the reality that you are creating.
Positive emotions are creative emotions. When you look at your world through the lens of love, you become creative. Singing, painting, writing poetry, dancing, crafting beautiful objects out of your imagination. Love is the passionate search for your own personal truth. A calling down deep within your soul longing to be expressed. It’s a part of God, and it is an act of reaching out to the greater good. That is what births hope.
“Hope is the only thing stronger than fear” – Unknown
It’s a funny thing how fear and hope are connected. It is like the oyster which takes an irritating grain of sand and turns it into a pearl. Fear is the oyster who is afraid of the hope that the sand is bringing to the oyster. So it coats it over and over, hoping to bury it and by seeming accident it creates something beautiful. Inside of every fear you have is that grain of sand. Irritating you to make another choice. You keep trying to cover it over, but eventually the fear is broken open and there in the middle of the shell is the beautiful pearl just waiting to be plucked out.
It’s an interesting dichotomy that both fear and hope are entwined together. Where you find one, you will always find the other. It’s just a matter of looking back at your past experiences. Follow the thread of how fears are born from uncertainty. You might be learning something new. You are afraid to fail. Fears becomes that irritating grain of sand.
But as you learn and take in knowledge about it, you start to gain some experience of what this is going to be like. That grain of sand starts getting a coat of confidence. You start to gain some confidence that you can figure this out. You acknowledge that you will make mistakes. But those failures or mistakes can actually provide vital information. Another coat of confidence coats that grain of sand.
If you understand that every experience is in fact a learning tool, it will in turn build more confidence. Slowly those fears of failure turn into hope that you haven’t bit off more than you can chew. Hope provides even more confidence and slowly the uncertainly disappears. Your grain of sand has become a pearl of wisdom and dreams being fulfilled.
“When it rains look for rainbows. When it’s dark look for stars” – Unknown
Always look for the reasons to smile. My sister and I were talking earlier about the Covid-19 and how the enforcement of staying at home has been affecting people. A friend of hers back east has lost three friends to suicide in the past few weeks. It has certainly been a trying experience for a lot of married couples. Jada Pinkett Smith was talking about her marriage to Will Smith and how she has now realized that she doesn’t really “know” her husband at all, even after 25 years. She says that she goes straight to “fight” and that isn’t an option when you are forced to remain at home under quarantine. They are choosing to “go through some stuff” and become best friends again.
It is raining right now. Are you looking for rainbows? When the darkness comes into your head and heart, do you look for the stars? Again look back at the cover photo – are you choosing to see the beautiful green meadow with the sun shining through the fog – or, are you choosing to just see the rain and the darkness of your life’s current event. When you look back at the cover photo do you only see the reflection of the death of everything in it?
Don’t be afraid of your fears. They are a sign post telling you that something is coming into your life that is going to change everything. Instead of feeling a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach, imagine that your fear is in fact anticipation. The anticipation of opening that oyster to find a beautiful pearl just waiting for you to pluck it up and wear it proudly.
Never let fears stop you from pursuing your dreams. Don’t let your fears of what might happen, mean that you don’t make anything happen. Come join us for our next Zoom call. Bring all of those creative “hope” juices to the table and let’s see what we can make.
“A crisis creates the opportunity to dip deep into the reservoirs of our very being, to rise to levels of confidence, strength, and resolve that otherwise we didn’t think we possessed” – Jon M Huntsman Sr.
Crisis gives you the opportunity to get unstuck. To actually get up and do something more. To open up the door to bigger things in your life. A crisis gives you the keys to open the cage of mediocrity. It gives you the opportunity to discover:
When you have a crisis in your life, no matter what kind of crisis it is, there is always hope. From the space of hope and faith, you can choose to turn it into an open door of opportunity. The danger comes when instead, you are experiencing a closed door of suffering.
“Sometimes our lives have to be completely shaken up, changed, and rearranged to relocate us to the place we’re meant to be” – Quotes & Thoughts
One of the lessons you can learn in times of crisis is the wisdom of not knowing. Daniel Boorstin said, “The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.” In order to make the best decision in a time of crisis you have to let go of what you think of as normal. Normal doesn’t work in times of crisis. By adopting the wisdom of not knowing you will be better equipped to navigate the changes that the crisis will make as it passes through your life.
“In times of crisis, it’s always better to hop out rather than staying stuck in the chaotic life. At such times, one must form a steadfast resolution to live liberated, whatever be the situation” = Unfathomed Liberal Words
Times of crisis require you to be more open, curious, flexible, and expansive. Openness is a key that opens doors to learning new ways to do things. It opens the door to creativity. When you allow fears to keep you in contraction and frozen, you are experiencing the closed door of suffering. It takes courage to keep the door open. To forget what you think you know, so that new knowledge can be accepted and adapted to what is needed in times of crisis.
Look at what this current crisis is engendering around medical supplies. Everyone is making face masks and shields and discovering better ways to protect the front line doctors and nurses during this pandemic. Scientists are working hard in finding a vaccine. When this crisis has ended the things learned will help millions of people in the future to be better prepared for the next pandemic.
“It is really wonderful how much resilience there is in human nature. Let any obstructing cause, no matter what, be removed in any way, even by death, and we fly back to first principles of hope and enjoyment” = Bram Stoker, Dracula
Resilience is a key factor when in times of crisis. Resilience is what allows you to use the crisis in your personal growth. When you are in times of personal struggle, it becomes somehow easier to let go of the things that are no longer serving you. For example, you might have things that you have held on to from an emotional attachment, but they don’t serve you in any way. They just take up space in the “closet”. Resilience gives you the space to do the inside work.
“The time of crisis is a bell to adaptation. The time of crisis is the one, when your growth is the fastest. The time of crisis teaches you not to sweat away, the next time it appears” – IshitaG.
Doing the inner work is what opens up the space for grace and clarity. When you are seated in the space of grace, you are seated in your soul. The outside world can continue to be in turmoil, but if you are seated in your soul, it no longer impacts you in the same way. From the “breath of acceptance” you can acknowledge what is wrong and starting working on adapting what you already know. You can figure out how to blend in the concept of being open for learning and the concept of approaching that space from a state of clarity. You will intuitively know what is now most important.
“A time of crisis is not just a time of anxiety and worry. It gives a chance, an opportunity, to choose well or to choose badly” – Desmond TuTu
In times of crisis you have a choice to not react to all of the negativity.
When you make these practices part of your life, you not only improve your inner state, you impact your health too. When your inner state is in a place of grace and clarity, it gives you the space to deal with whatever is happening in your outer world. You grant yourself the gift of moving forward with courage instead of hiding in fear and contraction. You make better decisions when your inner space is in a place of peace and harmony. Remember that you always have a choice – you can impact your outer world, or you can be impacted by it.
“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less” –Elephantontheroad.com
All of my favorite books and movies have some things in common. The characters are all curious. They want to understand how and why things are the way they are. They are courageous and not afraid to do the hard things. Because of these two things their characters grow in meaningful ways. This is a time in your life for you to be both curious and courageous. Open the doors to resilience and allow the space of “not knowing”. Start learning what is needed to grow your inner self in this time of crisis. Times of crisis gives you fertile soil. It is the best ground to grow from. Do not let this opportunity pass you by.