Category Archives for Passion and Purpose

Bridging The Gap Between Knowledge And Action

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The biggest gap in your life is between what you know and what you do.

  – Bob Proctor

It is up to us to be a prisoner of our past, by remaining in it; or to be a champion of our future by building it. If your life path was to travel from one of these formations to the next one and so on to the end, how would you do it?

There is always a gap between intention and action.

  –  Paulo Coelho

You could anchor yourself and rappel down the mountain, then walk to the next peak and scale up that peak.  Then cross the peak, rappel down the mountain and repeat over and over again.

We are human.  We are not perfect.  We are alive.  We try things.  We make mistakes.  We stumble.  We fall. We get hurt.  We rise again.  We try again.  We keep learning.  We keep growing.  And we are thankful for this priceless opportunity called life.

  – Unknown

Or, you could become a bridge builder.  You could build a temporary bridge out of ropes or wood, or a bridge designed with stone or steel that would last for many years.

Listen to your heart.  It knows everything.

  – Paulo Coelho

Neither way is wrong or right. Just different choices. We could for sake of argument take opposing viewpoints on the better, faster way to walk this path. We could discuss how those that follow us would make better speed with some type of bridge.  Or how scaling up each peak would define us, and make us stronger. For me, rock climbing would be facing the fear of falling to my death.  It would test my faith in ropes, cords, carabineers, slings, anchors , and harnesses.  At the end of the day, the analogy is that each of us has our own path of divine destiny to walk.  There really isn’t a right or wrong way to walk the path.  The lessons will come to us regardless of what we choose.

The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things.

  – Rainer Maria Rilke

Some time ago I self identified a pattern that I have.  I call it one foot on the brake and one foot on the gas.  It began with a childhood experience when I was four years old.  I was very motivated to the best in school and when I was an adult to climb the corporate ladder.  I was also very introverted and didn’t like to be seen and noticed.  This pattern of drawing attention to myself by being a master at my job, and then shrinking back when I got the attention used to drive me crazy.

Mind the gap – it’s the distance between life as you dream it and life as it is.

  – Cate Blanchett

I finally through years of self improvement identified this pattern and starting working to shift and transform it.  Every time I feel like I am walking in slow motion, or pushing a boulder up hill, I know that this pattern has reentered my life.  It is an energetic signal that I am being blocked in some way.  Have you ever had a project you wanted to complete and every time you sat down to work on it, you would remember something else you had to do.  It might be an email that simply must be written and sent now.  It might be laundry or dishes that have to be done.  You notice a spider web on the ceiling that must be removed.  You have to run to the store.  Your mind is looking for something to distract you away from the project.  Suddenly the whole day is gone and you didn’t work on it at all.

Put gaps in your life:  moments to reflect, prepare, meditate and breathe.

  – Jody Adams

For whatever reason your life pattern is trying to shift you away from the project.  There is something about this project that it wants to avoid.  In some manner, this project is pushing up against the boundaries you have set in your subconscious.  It sees a danger, and so it works hard to gently distract you away from it.  The completion of the project will in some way change and shift your life – it could be that you are aware of it, or it could be some unforeseen possibility that your subconscious wants to avoid. 

In my case, I started shifting the pattern first by writing these blogs.  It felt safe because I am unseen and unknown to you.  Then I started speaking on stages about my transformational work.  This was also not too hard, because with the lights on a stage, it is hard to see the audience.  They aren’t up close and personal.  The hardest thing to shift was being able to walk into a room and not be terrified of meeting and having conversations with strangers.

Negativity is born in the gap where love has been excluded  Gaps occur in places where we are afraid to see ourselves.

  – Deepak Chopra

What I have discovered though is that this pattern is really great at camouflaging itself.  It has chameleon qualities.  When I started with this Facebook page, I knew that I needed a website for the blog posts.  Instead of 30 – 45 days it took me nine months and the hold ups were all from me.  It took me months to actually sit down and start writing my first book.  I am now creating a webinar series to go deeper and share my Transformational Compass™, as well as the launching of my first book and what we are calling our Ambassador program.  Again “Cami” my life pattern of putting on the brakes has been showing up.  The good news is that it is taking less time for me to recognize what she is doing and shift her efforts at slowing me down.

I may not have gone where I intended to go. But I think I have ended up where I needed to be.

  – Douglas Adams

Many teach that we came into this life to have a certain experience. Mine seems to be dealing with this pattern of foot on the brakes, when I am pushing hard on the gas to accomplish a goal. Now I recognize it has chameleon like qualities. I know that when I feel like I am not progressing towards my goals, I have to go looking for that sneaky lizard.

Love is a beautiful things to bring into the gap of life’s unknowns.

  – Lysa TerKeurst

Here’s to the space, the gaps, the pauses, the silence.  Here’s to embracing five minutes of slow everyday.  Here’s to savoring that cup of tea, hot chocolate or glass of wine.  Here’s to watching the wind in the leaves.  Here’s to sitting in a swing and enjoying the feeling of flying as we swing up into the sky.  Here’s to lying on a sandy beach and listening to the surf as the waves come into the shore and retreat back into the ocean.  To the smell of the salt air and the cry of the seagulls.  Here’s to lake fishing along the shoreline, casting out the line and sitting in companionable silence as you reel it back in and cast again.  Here’s to listening to the laughter of our children and grandchildren.  Here’s to sharing a meal with new friends and old friends.  Here’s to a roasting marshmallows and making smores around an outdoor fire pit..  Here’s to turning off our phones and having a conversation.

The best thing in life is to go ahead with all your plans and your dreams, to embrace life and to live everyday with passion, to lose and still keep the faith and to win while being grateful.  All of this because the world belongs to those who dare to go after what they want.  And because life is really too short to be insignificant.

  – Charlie Chaplin

This life pattern is my GAP – Gods Area of Preparation. This is where I learn about new ways that my life pattern has shifted, and I learn new ways to build bridges to close that gap.

The winds of life will try and pull you off course.  The space between your values and behavior is called the Integrity gap.  It is the places where what you say you are doing and what actions are actually taking place, have a gap.  It isn’t that you are purposefully not living in integrity.  It is that sneaky chameleon who has disguised itself to put up road blocks to the actions that you intend to do.  Going back to places where you feel like you might have the brake and gas on at the same time.  Once you recognize the patterns, it becomes easier and easier to remove the brakes and have your actions spring back into gear. 

Can you see GAPs in your life pattern? Do you see where you need to learn to build bridges to close off the gap to get to your destination?  Don’t be afraid to explore and discover what the broken pieces of you are trying to say.  Mosaics at made from broken pieces, and they are a beautiful work of art.  All of life experiences come together to create who we are.  To expose the divine gifts we have, we rearrange the pieces to uncover the hidden treasures we have buried deep within us.  To show us just how every shattered dream, served to provide just what was needed to move forward in strength.

Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending out lives running from it.  Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not early as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy – the experiences that make us the most vulnerable.  Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.

  – Brene Brown

 

  – Robin Sharma

 

Don’t Lose Yourself In The Hatred Of Others

_Don't tell me what was said about me.Tell me why they were so comfortable to say it to you__Jay Z

Stay away from people who gossip and spread rumors.  They are choosing the path of emotional bullying and negativity.

  –  Dr Steve Maraboli

This is a really profound quote. It really struck a chord in my heart because I so resonated with the underlying truth. Really sit with the words, “tell me why they were so comfortable to say what they were saying to you”. It is really a hard thing to sit with.  I think that we have all been told gossip.  Some has been quite mean and spiteful.  It can be painful even to hear, especially if is about someone we care about.  What did that person really tell you what they had heard?  

Be careful who you trust, if someone will discuss others with you, they will certainly discuss you with others.

  – Unknown

So what does it say about me, that someone might come to me with some “juicy” gossip that they are spreading about someone I know. What signals am I broadcasting that they think I want to join in and be a part of something like that? How am I telling them that I love the drama of someone else’s downfall?

It’s not your job to stop them from talking behind you, but it’s your job not to let it affect you.

  – Unknown

People for the most part will not say to you a mean or hurtful thing about someone that you really care about. People for the most part will not gossip with someone that they know won’t put up with it.

A lot of problems in the world would disappear if we talk to each other instead of about each other.

  – Unknown

There are some minor exceptions to this rule, like my father in-law. Years ago we were staying with my in-laws waiting for the closing on our home. I had went up to the kitchen to get something and he was there. He went off on a tear down of his son, about how he was a disappointment , that all of my father in-laws failures could be traced back to his children. He said mean, hurtful cruel things about his son. Finally he ran out of steam, and I just looked at him and said, “so what kind of response are you looking for here? Why are you telling me these things? I love my husband and he isn’t anything like the son that you are describing”, and walked away. He is the exception to the rule because he is so unhappy in his life, and he doesn’t want to take responsibility for how it has turned out, so he goes around trying to tear you down to his level. The only thing you can do with someone who has a toxic personality is limit the exposure to them.

Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.

  – Unknown

Years ago I adopted the saying, “not my movie, not my drama”, for when people that I work with start down the road of tearing down someone in their life. My sister says, “not my circus, not my monkeys”. I try very hard not to join in or be around those kinds of conversations. If they won’t let the conversation be turned to something positive, then I excuse myself and walk away.

Someone who hates you normally hates you for one of three reasons.  They either see you are a threat.  They hate themselves.  Or they want to be you.

  – Unknown

What we need in our lives is more positive conversations; more love shown in both our words and out actions. More up building and less tearing down. More compassion and less drama. More celebrating of the positive accomplishments of people and less glorification of the tragedy that takes someone out.

I’m not going to tear you down . . .  if you’re bad-mouthing me, you’re already down.

  – Dr. Steve Maraboli

This even plays out in the feedback we provide around customer service. How fast are we to complain to someone in charge when we are not treated the way we want, but do we have the same rate of speed to ask for someone in charge to praise a persons excellent customer service in taking care of you?

Talking badly about someone else while they aren’t there to defend themselves says more about you than the person you’re talking about.

  – Unknown

This quote takes it a little deeper for me that just avoiding the “drama queens”. It says that the quality of the conversations that I am part of is due in some part (large or small) to what I am attracting – knowingly or unknowingly. Gives me a slice of a shadow that I didn’t realize might still be there to work on rooting out.

I know this will seem a bit crazy, but if you want to know something about me, the best person to ask, is me.

  – Unknown

When I was in high school, I was invited to a slumber party.  I didn’t know the girl well.  I was new to the school, and desperate to fit in.  There was another new girl at school that was also invited.  I am really embarrassed about what happened next.  The girls had a game where as each person would fall asleep they would start gossiping about that person.  I joined in, even though I didn’t really know any of them.  I can remember saying stuff about the other new girl, Denise.  Then feeling guilty I pretended to fall asleep so that I didn’t feel like I had to participate.  Of course, you know what happened next.  They started in our me.  As soon as I could leave without anyone noticing I did.  I walked several miles home, at 3 AM crying the entire way.  I felt horrible for what I did and how they made me feel when they started in on me.  The next day I called Denise and apologized for what I had said.  Denise and I ended up becoming best friends.  It was a life changing moment for me.  I never wanted to feel like that again, and I certainly never wanted to hurt someone like that again.

Let them judge you.  Let them misunderstand you.  Their opinions aren’t your problems.  You stay kind, committed to love and free in your authenticity.  No matter what they do or say, don’t you doubt your worth or the beauty of your truth.  Just keep shining like you always do.

  – Unknown

So remember your life purpose.  Tell your story, your voice matters, yes it is important.  You were born to make an impact.  Pursue your dreams.  Negative people need drama like oxygen.  Stay positive.  It will take their breath away.  Remember what the grandmothers used to say, “Birds peck at the best fruit”.

Some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle and end.  Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next.  Delicious ambiguity . . .

  – Gilda Radner

New Day, New Chapter

You have to power through at any given moment - to say that this is NOT the end of my story.

Not everything has a happy ending, but that’s life.  Just pick up the pieces and move on to the next chapter.

  – Unknown

Something tragic happened here.  A bridge was destroyed or a chasm opened up where there used to be solid ground.  Sounds like some relationships doesn’t it? You meet someone, get to know them.  Start loving and trusting them.  Years may go by with you both the best of friends.  Maybe it is even a sibling or a parent.  Something breaks down in the relationship and everything ends.  It could be gradual or suddenly without warning.  The father cuts off the child because the child isn’t doing what the father wants.  The brother and sister get into an ugly fight, saying unspeakable things as only those who truly know us can.  Years go by without them speaking to each other.  Your best friend cheated with your spouse.  All kinds of stories and possibilities.

The moral of this story is that no matter how much we try, no matter how much we want it . . .  some stories just don’t have a happy ending.

  – Jodi Picoult

Or this could be the job that you thought you were indispensable at.  You worked long hours – days, nights and weekends spent away from your family.  You poured your heart and soul and even your identity into the job and they fired you or laid you off, or the company shut its doors.  No warning, no idea it was going to happen.  You are devastated.  You feel you are a failure.  You feel like you were used up and then thrown out with the trash.

There are moments which mark your life.  Moments when you realize nothing will ever be the same and time is divided into two parts – before this, and after this.

  – Fallen

Or maybe something terrible happens.  Like my sister, your only child is murdered.  The loss of the child ends your marriage and you find yourself lost and alone.  Or maybe it is tragic news for your personal health.  So many possibilities of tragic things that can happen in our life, that leave us lost, alone, afraid and thinking that our life is over.

Anyone who tells you to get over it and stop living in the past clearly doesn’t understand the concept of time.  If you’re feeling it now – it’s the present.

  – Ranata Suzuki

The thing that all these stories have in common, is that we need to grieve what the loss to us is.  We need to go through the stages of grief for the loss, and then let go of the guilt, anger, lost love, loss or betrayal.  It seems that when these things come into our lives we get into a fighting mode.  We fight to hold to what is falling off the edge of the tracks, and then we fight to let it go before it drags us down the chasm with it. 

Grief never ends . . .   But it changes.  It’s a passage, not a place to stay.  Grief is not a sign of weakness, nor a lack of faith . . . It is the price of love.

  – Unknown

There always comes the day when you feel like you’re actually going to start to live again.  They start gradually.  You find yourself smiling or laughing.  It might shock you at first.  But gradually the grief lessens and the joys start coming back into your life.   You become less scared, less terrified that you are so broken you can’t imagine being whole again.  You start grabbing onto scraps of courage.  You realize that there is a sacredness to tears.  They cleanse our soul.  They speak not only of the grief we are going through, but also of the love we had.  You know that you are turning a corner, when you can hold the grief in one hand and the love in the other and realize that you don’t have to pick one.  You realize that when you put your hands together, they are just opposite sides of the same coin. 

The weird, weird thing about devastating loss is that life actually goes on.  When you’re faced with a tragedy, a loss so huge that you have no idea how you can live through it, somehow, the world keeps turning, the seconds keep ticking.

  – James Patterson

What you realize when you are stumbling through the “dark night of the soul” is that it is like a natural disaster has hit you.  It tore everything you have built off the foundations.  The wood, the windows, the roof, and the pieces are lying around like someone smashed a popsicle fort.  Like Humpty Dumpty, you feel like you can’t be put back together again.  But what you also realize when the pity party has broken up and all of the revelers have left you alone, is that this is also something wonderful.  Because instead of being unhappy with your floor plan; instead of just repainting the same walls and ceilings trying to dress up something you were already unhappy with – you get to rebuild from the foundation up.  You get to build from rock bottom a new solid foundation with the floor plan of your dreams and the best paint colors you can dream up.  You get a “do over” and get to rebuild your life.  You decide, you choose to be the Queen of your own specially designed life.

One day she finally grasped that unexpected things were always going to happen in life.  And with that, she realized the only control she had was how she chose to handle them.  so, she made the decision to survive using courage, humor, and grace.  She was the Queen of her own life and the choice was hers.

  – Kathy Kennet

 A new pattern of thoughts – using the brain in your head, heart, and root chakra – I listen to my soul’s voice of intuition and seek fulfillment of my life purpose.  I realize that I don’t have to have it all figured out to move forward towards my dreams – just the next step.

A new way of using the emotional vibrational scale  – to stay in positive emotions.  When the negative emotions come up, like a wave riding into the shore, we allow them to dissipate into the sand and be released.  We don’t hold on to them, but like the foams left behind as the wave withdraws, the negative emotions simply fade away.

A new spiritual connection to the world – I face myself and fully accept who I am, perfectly imperfect person that I am.  A divine child of God.  With a divine commission to fulfill.

A new belief system –  of being daring and different, not afraid to live out loud who I really am.  I am a person of integrity towards my life purpose and with imaginative vision I seek to walk my own path in love, trust, and grace.

Your life will consist of a series of times when you must reinvent yourself.  We desperately cling to the idea that things should stay the same, but life and growth are about change.  Don’t mistake the end of a chapter for the end of the story.  Lean into the plot changes, and follow your character arc.  If you are in a dark part of your tale, know that this night will not last forever, but you must be brave enough to see it through.  This is not the end, oh no my friend.  Take courage, better things await you.

  – John Mark Green

What Shape Waits In The Seed Of You?

Don't let anyone dull your sparkle

Plant seeds of happiness, hope, success, and love; it will all come back to you in abundance.  This is the Law of Nature.

  – Dr. Steve Maraboli

I’ve always thought that if I was a flower, I would want to be a dandelion.  I love how their seed heads seem to sparkle.  When my bright yellow flower matured into tiny seeds, I wanted a little girl to pick me and make wishes.  Then blow me all over the meadow, so that I could spread and grow into the whole meadow.  A whole meadow of new tiny wishes to be made. 

Only the wind knows where it will carry our dandelion souls.

  – A.R. Asher

Dandelions are considered to be weeds by many.  But they are edible plants, and dandelion tea is very good for the liver, although I guess that dandelion wine might be a better drink – lol.  It is a useful plant, not pretentious or hard to grow like some flowers.  It is found almost everywhere. It is even a social flower because their deep taproots bring up nutrients not only for themselves, but any nearby plants too.  If you plant them around your trees, they release a gas that actually helps fruit to ripen. 

What I need is the dandelion in the spring.  The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction.  The promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our losses.  That it can be good again.

  – Suzanne Collins

When the seeds disperse they parachute outwards, like they are enjoying even the end of the life to the maximum, with no reservations.  They have faith that their landing will continue to their species.  This faith is born out by the fact that they have been around since prehistoric times and are not a cultivated plant in most places.

Faith is not belief without proof, but trust without reservation.

  – D. Elton Trueblood

Words are like seeds.  They have creative power.  What seeds are you planting?  What choices are you making today, that will be harvested tomorrow, next week, next month, next year?  Do you choose to make changes, so that you can excel?  Do you choose to listen to your inner mean mind voice or the soft whisper of your soul?  Do you choose to be useful, not using and manipulating others?  Do you choose to live your life with courage, standing up for yourself and others?  Words grow larger when they are examined.  The words are like the opening of a flower, from the bud to the blossom. 

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to bloom.

  – Anais Nin

Why are we afraid of opening from a bud to a bloom?  I think part of the reason is that we are afraid of being judged as not worthy.  Not a very pretty blossom.  Poor color.  Bent petals.  Not attracting the right kinds of bees, birds or insects to help pollinate others.  No scent, or even worse, we stink.  We might get attacked by Aphids and look all spotty.  A dog or cat might decide we are the litter box.  Some child running by could step on us and smash us into paste.  Then we won’t even have a chance to go to seed.  Our purpose has all been for nothing.  We should have just remained in the dark earth and not even tried to shoot towards the sun.

Every crisis contains within it the seeds for transformation and growth

  – Jodie Gale

Then there is the whole going to seed part.  It is frightening.  We must completely fall apart.  All of the beautiful petals of our youth fall to the ground.  Our leaves turn brown and brittle and fall off.  The wind takes our precious seeds and just blows them away.  We don’t even get a say where they land.  Some landings will be on hard ground and the birds will eat us up.  But some will land in moist soil and falling into darkness they will start the germination process all over again.  The circle of life begins anew.

The heart is like a garden.  It can grow compassion, or fear, resentment or love.  What seeds will you plant there?

  – Jack Kornfield

When you have a good healthy discussion, the words used are like a seasoning.  They bring flavor to the ideas.  They change the texture of the meanings when they are used in new and different ways.  They expand our heart and mind.  They fall into the cracks and grow something new and unforeseen.  Words can be hot and spicy, or cool and watery.  Mellow words sooth and soften us.  They have the saying, “those are fighting words”.  Our words can cause us to run the entire string of the emotional scale.  What kind of words do you use?  Are they growing compassion or hatred? Fear or love?  Anger or resentment or are they conciliatory?

For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone.  The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes.  To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.

  – Cynthia Occelli

Life brings challenges to us.  Many times the worst thing that can happen, becomes the best thing that could have happened to us.  It sometimes takes us cracking, falling apart in total destruction for us to find the truth of who we really are.  To set us on the path that we are supposed to be on.  Today someone fell in love and someone lost the love of their life.  Today someone lived through an accident that should have killed them, and someone else didn’t wake up this morning because they died in their sleep.  Today someone made their parents proud and today someone crushed their parents hearts.  Today someone was healed from cancer and someone died from cancer.  Today could have been the best day of your life or the worst day of your life. 

You have seen my descent.  Now watch my rising.

  – Rumi

At some point the destruction hits us or misses us.  But take heart, because it isn’t really destruction.  When life buries us, remember that we are seeds.  We will rise back up out of the darkness.  We will shine again.  Like the ocean tide, we rise and we fall, and we rise again.  Where we are headed is much more important that what we are leaving behind us.  We keep growing, keep learning, and we try new things.  We are human, not perfect, but perfectly imperfect.  I am thankful to be alive and still moving to fulfill my dreams and my destiny.  I embrace life with grace and courage.  I see wishes floating on the breeze, parachuting into a new adventure!

What defines us, us how well we rise after falling.

  – Unknown

Find Your Center And You Can Never Be Lost Again

We can choose to be lost in the labyrinth of our emotions or use these trials to harness our inner strength, but one thing remains

You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking how you’ll escape one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it.  You just use the future to escape the present.

  – Unknown

Do you know someone who thinks these immense detailed daydreams?  They can go on for hours telling you how when they win the Lotto they are going to do all of these wonderful things with their life.  It is always “someday” thinking.  Some fantasy of how someone or something will happen in their life, and everything will finally be the way they want it.  I have had this kind of thinking.  Dissatisfied with what life is, we escape into a fantasy of what we want it to be.  Which is fine if it is the beginning of making a change in our life.  But too many times, we just go round and round the labyrinth twisting and turning, but never finding the end.  We feel like we are doing something, but in reality we are lost and going nowhere.

The point of the maze is to find its center.  The point of a labyrinth is to find your center.

  – Unknown

When I walk the path of the labyrinth, it is like stepping outside of time.  I leave everything behind me as I take the first step across the threshold.  With each step I can feel more and more stories, emotions, entanglements dropping off my shoulders.  The stresses of trying to work fulltime with a demanding career.  The stresses of personal family crisis’s that wobble as I try to balance them.  They tip this way and that and keep me running.  Writing these blogs, finishing the book, making my own personal transformations.  Everything just drops off the shoulders with each new step. 

You are looking for the answers to the questions of life.  Lots of reflecting about what has been and gone.  Looking at the here and the now.  Wondering what is ahead of you.  You are being guided by your own guides.  They will light up your way, and show you the path ahead.

  – Unknown

Finally I enter the center and sit in contemplation.  I convene with my soul.  I realize that most of these stresses are of my own creation.  I am the one who makes the rules, who sets the boundaries, who creates the vortex they whirl around.  So I can set them down.  I can let them play themselves out.  I don’t have to control them, structure them or mold them.  When I walk back out of the labyrinth, I pick up the things I dropped.  What has changed though, is that they are no longer the storm rocking my world.  The sunlight has entered into each and every one, and instead of thunder and lightening, I hear birdsong and crickets.  I feel the warm breeze lightly touching my skin.  I am centered and ready to face reality once more.

The intricacies of life are but common to all; it is how we untangle these twists that paints our individuality in the canvas of destiny.  We can choose to be lost in the labyrinth of our emotions or use these trials to harness our inner strength, but one thing remains constant in our lives, we have the sun in our hands.

  – Dodinsky

One of my favorite scenes in the Star Wars saga, is when Luke is about to enter the cave.  He asks Yoda what he will find inside the cave.  Yoda replies, whatever you take in with you.  This is true for all of us.  The labyrinth may have monsters wandering the path.  They would be our own personal monsters that we took with us.  We have fed and watered them until they grew so large we could no longer control them.  The labyrinth is filled with our desires, memories, fears, and passions.  In them we can find and lose ourselves over and over again.  As the proverb says, “The only way out is through”.  Through dangers and hardships unnumbered the fairy tales tell us how to slay the monsters, because if we don’t figure out how to slay them, they will destroy us.

In the labyrinth, one does not lose oneself; in a labyrinth, one finds oneself.  In a labyrinth, one does not encounter the Minotaur; In a labyrinth, one encounters oneself.

  – Unknown

Our will is strong.  The only power the monsters have is that which we have granted to them.  We can take it away at any time.  Fears are like snowflakes in a snowstorm.  Each snow flake is so small.  But when they are joined by more and more of them, they can soon cover the world with a thick blanket of snow.  They can take visibility to zero in no time at all.  But the cool thing about snowflakes is that it just takes a little heat and they melt away like they never existed.  Every single monster in our labyrinth is like a snowflake.  A little heat and they will all melt into nothing, even the puddle of water will disappear and there will be no evidence that we were ever in danger from them. 

Go on with what your heart tells you, or you will lose all.

  – Percy Jackson, The Lightning Thief

There is always the moment when the light shines down.  When the revelation strikes us and we see that all of the journey’s misfortunates have brought us and our dream to this very moment.  The moment of self revelation in which we can choose to follow the dream across the finish line, or to step backwards into the labyrinth and continue to be lost.  The moment of judging and forgiving ourselves.  The moment of self love or self hate. 

You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going.  What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope.

  – Thomas Merton

When all you talk about is finding your way out of the labyrinth, but you don’t take the steps to leave it, then it is time to ask yourself:  What I am afraid I will leave behind me?  Why am I afraid to love myself?  Why am I afraid to go?  What am I afraid to admit to myself?  The things both done and left undone haunt us here.  They must be faced.  The truth hurts, because it matters.  When the pain of staying finally exceeds the pain of going, you will free yourself.  But if you explore the questions, digging beneath them with curiosity, you can clean up your space and leave without the pain of departure.

 A labyrinth is a symbolic journey . . .  but it is a map we can really walk on, blurring the difference between the map and the world.

  – Rebecca Solnit

Trust your heart and soul to lead you in the right direction.  Even when you think that left is right, or up is down, trust the journey.  The side roads don’t really lead away from the destination so much as they provide needed instruction for the journey.  Just remember to use curiosity liberally.  To tone down the emotions, which can get easily out of control.  Have fun.  Explore, adventure, dive deep, climb high.  And don’t forget the questions – they are like umbrellas.  They protect us from the torrential rain, from the beating sun, and from seagull poop – and that is the most important thing ever.   Trust me.

Your sacred space is where you can find yourself again and again.

  – Joseph Campbell

Remember To Fall Asleep With A Dream And To Wake Up With A Purpose

Follow Your Dreams for They Know the Way

Don’t follow your dreams  . . .  chase them!

  – Kunal Patel

Dreams come preloaded with a guidance system. They know the fastest way to bring themselves into reality.  Give yourself permission to listen to them, to step into who you are meant to be.  As little girls we are taught to play small.  Not to be too much of anything, because it is prideful to draw attention to ourselves.  Nick names such as “Miss Priss”, “Smarty pants” are designed to make us feel even smaller – like who does she think she is?  Little girls who aspire to do jobs in the Stem fields have to fight and work harder, just because “girls are not good at those things”.

Little girls with dreams become women with vision.

  – Unknown

Dreams 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”.  But the “easy” button doesn’t expand our comfort zone.  It doesn’t teach us new things about ourselves.  We don’t get to explore the depths of who we are and what we are capable of.  It isn’t the path to adventure.  The “easy” button is not the way to mastery or to accomplishing any great work.  It is about settling and living life in a rut, just a hamster in a wheel, running fast and going nowhere.  The harder path is over mountains, down steep ravines.  You  have to ford rivers at flood stage.  You trudge through hot dry deserts and lose your bearings in muggy swamps covered with mosquito bites.  The fastest way tests your mind, body and soul.  It builds you up, strengthening muscles in places you didn’t even know you had muscles.  At the end of the day, you may be exhausted, but it is a happy exhausted.  You have proven to yourself what you are truly capable of being and doing.

Follow your dreams even if it means standing alone.  Be different but stay yourself.

  – Unknown

It might be that we are not confident of your 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?  What Frodo and Samwise learned was there was a big difference in setting out on the journey to accomplish your dreams, and actually traveling and experiencing the journey itself.  It stretched them beyond every boundary.  Responsibility, wisdom, self knowledge, self reflection, fears, courage – every word was dismantled, tested in forges of fire, and rebuilt as they took on new meanings.

Everyone has talent.  What’s rare is the courage to follow it to the dark places where it leads.

  – Erica Jong

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.  The dark places, are the places where we get tested. Both Frodo and Samwise had to go through their own dark places.  When you have been in those places, you reach a completely new understanding of compassion.  We all have cracks and dents from our collisions with life.  The bent and broken places heal, but they are never the same.  We think that surviving the fires is what refines us, when in fact, it is what we do with what happened that tells the story.  The end is a new beginning – but are we crossing the threshold with the ashes and tattered clothing or are we like the phoenix rising up out of the ashes reborn?

Each morning we are born again.  What we do today is what matters.

  – Buddha

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 accomplishing 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.  Fame and fortune is full of stories about the rich and famous imploding in a ball of fire.  Suicide, Murder, Drugs, Crime, and so on . . . because they could not handle the changes the fulfillment of the dream made in their lives.  Their lifestyle burned the candle at both ends.  Soon there was nothing left but a burnt broken stub that could no longer hold a flame.  Not many are able to restructure their life after the burn out.

We may place blame, give reasons, and even have excuses, but in the end, it is an act of cowardice to not follow your dreams.

  – Dr. Steve Maraboli

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. There are stars hidden in our soul, and only in reaching for the deep dreams can we find them.  We need to make space for the wisdom of our soul to emerge.

So follow the breadcrumbs and storm the castle!  Be bold and build your life around the answers that you innate soul wisdom gives to you.  If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never get it.  If you don’t step forward, you’ll always be stuck in the same rut.  Let your passion and purpose collide – once in awhile we need to blow open our minds so that we can truly see what life is offering us.

May you follow your dreams, and always believe in yourself.  Keep your eyes on the stars and hope in your heart.

  – C.M.V.

Clarity of Purpose Is A Magical Gift

Magic Wishes will get you clear on what matters by getting rid of everything that doesn't

 

A lack of clarity could put the brakes on any journey to success.

  – Steve Maraboli

Okay, I have to confess that this happens to me a lot. I walk into a room to do something specific – maybe the kitchen to grab the dirty dish towels to put in my load of laundry. Then something catches my attention and I think, “Oh, I have to water this plant”. Minutes go by. I have forgotten all about the towels and laundry. I wander into another room with the goal to water another plant, and I get distracted by something else. At the end of the day, I have all of these half finished ideas and projects. Does this happen to anyone else?

Clarity can be hard to come by in today’s busy world. The speed of change is getting faster and faster. How do we slow down to see what is important?

When you have clarity of intention, the universe conspires with you to make it happen.

  – Fabienne Fredrickson

I let my imagination wander to what situation in life would be fun, yet also produce instantaneous clarity? The genie with the proverbial three wishes. There he is waiting for you to say what you want. Can you just feel your mind sorting through every wish list that you have ever created? What would be the three most important things I would wish for? With the genie sitting there waiting for the wishes, nothing would distract me.

Lets go invent tomorrow instead of worrying about what happened yesterday.

  – Steve Jobs

Clarity of purpose is a mighty tool The clearer you are about “exactly” what you want, the more your brain will work on how to attract it into your life. The problem is that most of us have “squirrel thinking”. We let the distractions take us out of what we came into the room to do.

Your dreams are a poetic reflection of your soul’s wishes.  Make this the day you take the first step in the beautiful journey of bringing your dreams to live.

  – Steve Maraboli

My dog had a squirrel as her nemesis. That squirrel could side line her from anything she was doing. She would be so intent on something in the yard, and the squirrel would climb on the telephone pole and immediately distract her. Her food, her treat, her toy, everything was forgotten for the chance that the squirrel would magically fall down the pole into her waiting paws or jaws as the case may be.

Breathe.  The universe is taking care of everything else.

  – Unknown

What are your squirrels? Mine are exciting new ideas or possibilities. I will be working on a project and a new idea will pop into my mind. Now I am off to research what I can do with it. Meanwhile the project I was on lies forgotten, half finished and gathers dust. These half finished projects that we have take up mental space until they are completed.  Have you ever noticed for example when you get one of them finished how uplifted you feel?  This is because the “weight” of the project has been lifted out of your mind.  Pay attention the next time you complete something that your mind or your partner has been nagging at you to get done.  You will feel it.  What can you do to corral your brain, if you don’t have the magic lamp and genie with three wishes captivating your attention?

The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.

  – W.B. Yeats

I first heard of this idea a few weeks ago at a seminar – it’s called “a parking lot”. Have a folder in which you capture the gist of the idea down on paper and then you put it in the folder, and park it. This way you don’t lose the idea, but are able to go back and keep your focus on what you were doing. That way you don’t get sidetracked from what you are doing.  By capturing it, you can release it for later.  Then on a regular basis you go through the folder. You can prioritize what needs to remain in the parking lot, and what should go on the “to do” list.

Years ago I went to see Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s Estate.  They had a man made pond at the back of the house.  The property runs alongside Potomac River.  One of the things they did for food was fish the river.  As we know, fish bite when they want to, not at our convenience.  So they would bring the fish still alive from the river and put them in the pond.  Then when they wanted fish for dinner, they just had to scoop out what the cook wanted.  That is what our mental parking lot is like.  We park the ideas our mind generates there, and when we are ready for them we can grab them and explore where they go.

If you’re feeling good, then you’re creating a future that’s on track with your desires.  If you’re feeling bad, you’re creating a future that’s off track with your desires.  As you go about your day, the law of attraction is working in every second.  Everything we think and feel is creating our future.  If you’re worried or in fear, then you’re bringing more of that into your life throughout the day.

  – Rhonda Byrne

I have put several paper tablets in various rooms of the house. I will go into the room to do a specific thing, and then an idea will pop into my head. I used to think that I had to do that thing now, or I would forget to do it later. Now I can park the idea on the paper tablet, and do the thing I actually came into the room to do. If I am at work I use the note pad on my phone to jot down the idea. It emails the list to me automatically at home, and I can print it or write it down in the folder.

Magic is believing in yourself.  If you can do that you can make anything happen.

  – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

If the “squirrel” is a request from someone to attend an event, collaborate on a new project with them etc…, then I try to filter the request through a “time priority sieve” or funnel. What else have I got on my plate that I am already committed to? How much “free time” do I have to commit to this new request? Is this request going to contribute in some way to my current years goals, or will it take needed time away from them? I find that sometimes even though I would love to commit to their request, I have to say “no thank you”. Otherwise the important things I really need to do get pushed aside and my goals don’t get accomplished.

Each day has a magical moment that helps us to change and sends us out to make our dreams come true.

  – Paulo Coelho

Now if the Genie would just pop up and grant me three wishes – or maybe our modern day Genie, “The Lotto” would finally give me some winning numbers. 

Expectations Change The Way You Deal With Reality

 

_Expectations are resentments waiting to happen_ Anne Lamont

I think that the cats expression says it all.

Expectations always hurt.  Life is short . . .  So love your life . . .  Be Happy . . .  And keep smiling  . . . That’s Life.

  – Unknown

We work really hard for something and when we get it, it doesn’t meet our expectations and we are disappointed. We plan a wonderful vacation and because we are not sharing the plans in detail with everyone in the family, one of us is planning long days doing nothing but reading or napping; while the other one has nonstop activities planned – one or both of us is going to be disappointed, resentful, and probably ruin the vacation.  There is this fine line between people disappointing us, and us expecting too much from them.

Accept the fact that some people didn’t intend to let you down.  Their best is just less than you expected.

  – Thema Davis

I remember when I finally got the big promotion. I had worked so hard for so long to get to this Senior Vice President position. I didn’t go to college, and so I didn’t have a degree like everyone else. Every job description says they require one. So to finally get this promotion was a big thing for me. My goal was achieved and all the hard work was worth it. Then my boss says, “you know titles aren’t really important”. I could hear the balloon of my enthusiasm pop and blow across the room. I think I was more deflated than the balloon as I left his office.

When you release expectations, you are free to enjoy things for what they are instead of what you think they should be.

  – Mandy Hale

The thing about expectations is that they generally build up to something that isn’t possible to maintain or isn’t realistic in the first place. When we release the expectations, we are free to enjoy what we already have. I always think of body weight/size being one of those things that we sometimes put unrealistic expectations around.

Learn to love without condition.  Talk without bad intention.  Give without any reason.  And most of all, care for people without expectation.

  – Unknown

Have you ever looked at photos of when you were younger? You see yourself with a fantastic body and remember how you were always going on a diet to try and get skinnier – how you were never happy with how you looked. What do you see when you look at that photo now? Do you realize you were already a healthy weight, that nothing was wrong with you – your butt wasn’t too fat, your chest wasn’t too flat, your thighs were not really thunder thighs?  Learning to love ourselves and others just as we are at this moment is a huge lesson.  Learning to not gossip or talk hurtful about ourselves and others is another powerful thing to practice.

God, help me find the middle ground between unrealistic expectations and no expectations at all.

  – Melody Beattie

Expectations make us want something other than what we have, when what we have is already a great thing. We fail to enjoy the here and now, always looking for something better, something that is missing. When we let that balloon go and watch the air release and send it buzzing and flapping across the room, we realize how good life already is. It then leaves room to be pleasantly surprised when the great things do happen in your life.  When we are attached to outcomes by means of expectations, it is sort of like the bandaid stuck to a hairy place on the skin.  At some point it is going to have to be ripped off, and it is going to take some hair and skin with it.  It is going to hurt.  If we can learn to let go of expectations and simply accept what is, we will be much happier.  Hope, but never expect.

Never expect.  Never assume.  Never ask.  Never demand.  Just let it be.  Because if it is meant to be, it will happen, the way you want things to be.

  – Unknown

This doesn’t mean to me that we don’t do our best to accomplish our dreams and goals. I believe in doing my best. I also believe that I shouldn’t beat myself up when my best isn’t getting it done. I believe that when that happens, I just need to regroup and figure out an outside the box idea.

Never forget that you are one of a kind.  Never forget that if there weren’t any need for you in all your uniqueness to be on this earth, you wouldn’t be here in the first place.  And never forget, no matter how overwhelming life’s challenges and problems seem to be, that one person can make a difference in the world.  In fact, it is always because of one person that all changes that matter in the world come about.  So be that one person.

  – Buckminster Fuller

I also believe that my expectations should be about me, not other people. I believe in what others are capable of being, I see the greatness in them. I also know that not everyone is interested in being everything they are capable of being, or they are refusing to see their greatness. I let that be. When they are ready, I will hold up the mirror of my belief in them, until then I will wait.

GIVE.  But don’t allow yourself to be used.  LOVE. But don’t allow your heart to be abused.  TRUST. But don’t be naïve.  LISTEN.  But don’t lose your own voice.

  – Unknown

So have gratitude and appreciation for where you are. Have dreams and goals to meet that raise you up. Give the best you have. Be happy with where you are. Go out and do something remarkable!

I love when people that have been through hell walk out of the flames carrying buckets of water for those still consumed by the fire.

  – Stephanie Sparkles

Don’t Let Insecurities Run Your Life. Fight For Your Dreams.

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How 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?

There is no greater gift you can give or receive than to honor your calling.  It’s why you were born, and how you become most truly alive.

  – Oprah

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.  Isn’t it sad how many of us prove that these family comparisons are true, simply out of habit?  We are told all of our life that this “story” created when we were tiny children is who we are and we go around making it a self fulfilling prophecy.

What I know for sure is this:  You are built not to shrink down to less, but to blossom into more.  To be more splendid.  To be more extraordinary.

  – Oprah

There are days when I get a lot of Facebook friend requests on my personal FB page.  I am part of several large groups and whenever they have an influx of new people on their fan page, I think that people will friend request everyone in the group.  I also think that some people figure out I am the founder of LemonadaMakers and request my personal Facebook friend page too.  However it is happening, there has also been some of those requests that even though I try to screen them turn out to be men looking at my picture and requesting a friendship. When they say they like my smile – which is the usual first comment they make, I immediately think something negative like that’s because you don’t see the rest of me.

No matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid.

  – Lupita Nyong’o

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.

Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.

  – Nido Qubein

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 it when we really mean something else.  A turn around of this commercial would have been great.  Showing scene after scene of women who did not require validation from anyone else in the room.  Women who walked in and owned the room, like the leaders that they in truth are.  We don’t have to be the main character in “The Devil Wears Prada” to be successful, but we can take charge without apology.

If people aren’t laughing at you, your dreams aren’t big enough.

  – Unknown

We open a office door to talk to someone and say “sorry”. We brush by someone and say “sorry”. The list goes on. Look for it in the office for the next few weeks.  See 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.

Take charge, and don’t apologize for it

  – Elite Daily

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 she went to a conference room for a meeting and the women were not sitting at the conference table, they were sitting around the table in the extra chairs against the wall. They were doing this even though there were empty seats at the conference table.  We need to stop letting other people who lack courage or determination to follow through on their dreams, stop us from doing so with ours.  We need to live our truth, and trust that we are more than worthy to sit at the table.  We need to live our truth and honor what we have to contribute.

If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you:  I am here to live out loud.

  – Emile Zola

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.

The cost of not following your heart, is spending the rest of your life wishing you had.

  – Unknown

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”

Receiving With Grace

We don't have to do it all alone. We were never meant too.

When you look away from a homeless person, you diminish their humanity and your own.

 –  Father Murray, as quoted by Brene Brown in her book “Rising Strong”.

This simple sentence really speaks volumes. What is it that makes us turn away from people? We pretend we don’t see them. Why are we afraid connect to that person? Why is it so hard for some of us to make eye contact with anyone?

Be grateful for every compliment you receive – don’t shrug it off.  When you are open to receiving, you will receive more from the universe.

  – Unknown

I was at a seminar last weekend and one of the things we did was to move around the room and hug. No words were allowed. Just a real, heart-felt hug and move on to another person. Most of us connected after the hug, looking into the other person’s eyes before moving on to the next person. Some of the people had a really hard time with this. Their eyes darted around and could not maintain the steady looking into the eyes of the other person.

When you give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.

  – Maya Angelou

One woman in particular really connected with me. When I look deeply into another person’s eyes it is like I fall into their soul. I see them. I see their stories. Their triumphs and failures. So much joy and pain. I saw all of those things and she felt it. We had a heart to heart connection. She came up later and handed me a card and quickly walked away. When I looked at the card, it was a drawing with the heart in the middle. I realized that she wanted to acknowledge the connection, but she wasn’t ready to talk about it. It was a beautiful moment.

Everything comes to us that belongs to us if we create the capacity to receive it.

  – Rabindranath Tagore

We had both been moved, because we saw and acknowledged that we had both been through hard times and it was ok. We were ok, because of the love and kindness of others.

Always show more kindness than seems necessary, because the person receiving it needs it more than you will ever know.

  – Colin Powell

I think that when we look away, avoiding connection, we are putting people into that “other” category. We might called them “street people”, “homeless”, “bums”, putting them into some “other” category from us. Are we afraid that we might be in their shoes someday? Like it is somehow catching? Are we judging them for somehow failing in life?

It’s really important to be able to receive love and receive compassion.  It is as important as being able to give it.

  – Pema Chodron

Brene Brown in her book, “Rising Strong” relates it to not wanting to admit that we need others in our lives. That we can’t do it all alone. That we are afraid to receive, and so when others are asking for what they need in order to survive, it throws us for a loop. Because we don’t want to imagine having to depend on the kindness of others in order to survive.

Sometimes people have a hard time receiving what they want.  Why?  Because they feel they don’t deserve it.

  –  Notes from Nora

I can identify with the difficulty of having the capacity to receive. In some areas of my life, I have no problem. We were a hand me down family growing up, so I have no problem with second hand furniture or clothes. However, if my needs are more personal, then it is another matter. Like if I can’t do it all myself, I am somehow a failure.

You are important enough to ask and you are blessed enough to receive back.

  – Wayne Dyer

Someone once talked about this, and it really helped me adjust some of my attitude around this. They talked about hiring someone to clean your home. The way they looked at it, by hiring someone to come and clean your home, you were helping another woman help support her family and why wouldn’t we want to do that? It really changed the thought from feeling guilty that I wasn’t super woman and doing everything myself, to I can help another person to support their family by hiring them to do my house cleaning or yard work.

Many people love to give.  It’s a great feeling, and they do so with no expectation.  But they often are awful at receiving, and really deprive others of that joy of giving.  If given a gift, they say, “You shouldn’t have”, “It’s too much”, or the worst, “I feel bad that you got me this”.  Ouch.  This creates bad feelings during what should be a nice moment, and though their intent was to be selfless and polite, it is actually ungrateful.   When a gift is given, “thank you” says that they appreciate the time, consideration, and effort that person has already put forth.  Giving is virtuous, but so is accepting gifts gratefully.

  – Doe Zantamata

We are not meant to “do it all by ourselves”. We are all driven by our need of community. The phrase, “it takes a village to raise a child” says it all. Open up your capacity to receive. Connect to others. Really see everyone you meet. That connection you make could be just what they need to get through to another day.

Be The Change You Want To See

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Do the one thing you think you cannot do.  Fail at it.  Try again. Do better the second time.  The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire.  This is your moment.  Own it.

  – Oprah

In order to stand out, one must be different. I have always loved the saying “why fit in when you were born to stand out?” by Dr. Seuss. For me it was really hard to make this change, as I had spent most of my life being invisible.

I love the analogy of a rainbow. It isn’t just made up of red, yellow, blue, green, pink, and purple. It is made up of 100 of shades of every color, and every mix of color imaginable. Take just the 1,000’s of shade combinations of purple in the rainbow. While you might think that no one will notice if one shade is not shining brightly, the rainbow is diminished in its beauty when that happens. It requires every single shade to be there, in order to be the beautiful promise of God. We require every one of you to shine brightly to deliver the promise of God, which he made when he sent you to this earth.

Let excellence be your brand . . .  When you are excellent, you become unforgettable.  Doing the right thing, even when nobody knows you’re doing the right thing will always bring the right thing to you.

  – Oprah

At work the panel of lights over about 10 desks in a row for some reason turns itself off and on by itself.  Since we are surrounded by windows you don’t really notice as it slowly fades to the off position.  It does a gradual shut down.  But when it turns back on 20 minutes or so later, you really notice the brightness of the light.  You missed it subconsciously, and it is funny how I always notice when the lights have turned back on, I don’t notice the gradual turning off.  I think that leadership is like this.  We may be busy doing our work and not notice right away when leadership is missing – but when it shows up, fully turned on, you notice right away.

In the future, there will be no female leaders.  There will just be leaders.

  – Sheryl Sandberg

Being a leader is an interesting subject for women. In Sheryl Sandberg’s Ted Talk, and she was talking about how when she was in school she was told to not raise her hand so much. I remember the same thing happening to me.  The feeling that I was given and even told, that because I raised my hand all of the time, I was bossy, a know-it-all, too smart for myself. I was making the entire class feel bad.  No one else would raise their hand, because I did, and so on.  So I shut down and started being even more invisible.

What’s the greatest lesson a woman should learn?  That since day one, she’s already had everything she needs within herself.  It’s the world that convinced her she did not.

  – Rupi Kaur

I started waiting for someone to pick me instead of volunteering, and this carried over into my adult life. I turned down promotions saying that I didn’t want the responsibility, when what I really wanted to say was I didn’t want to risk being told to once again become invisible. I continually pushed down the answers I had for senior management and let others steal the ideas and promote themselves.

With every experience, you alone are painting your own canvas, thought by thought, choice by choice.

  – Oprah

I finally had enough and became what I called an agent of change for my own self. I started listening and following my intuition. I stepped out of my comfort zone, stood up and voiced my opinions. And I have kept expanding my comfort zone.

We need to accept that we won’t always make the right decisions.  That we’ll screw up royally sometimes, understanding that failure is not the opposite of success.  It’s part of success.

  – Arianna Huffington

Every mistake I have made is like compost in the garden. It may feel and smell like manure when it happens, but if I compost those failures into my life, I can learn and grow from them. I learned that I can fail and my life isn’t over. I learned that the person who judges me the most has been me, and so I gave the judge permission to cheer me on instead.

If you look close enough at the world around you, you might find someone like you.  Someone trying to find their way.  Someone trying to find themselves.  Sometimes, it seems like you are the only one in the world who’s struggling, who’s frustrated, unsatisfied, barely getting by.  That feelings a lie.  And if you just hold on, just find the courage to face it all for another day, someone or something will find you and make it all okay.  Because we all need a little help sometimes.  We need someone to remind us that it won’t always be this way.  That someone is out there.  And that someone will find you.

  – Unknown

I heard a story that Oprah bit her tongue a lot when she first started her talk show.  Then one day she had a guest who was a cheating husband, and the wife came on the show not knowing what was going to happen.  When Oprah watched this woman exposed on stage for the world to see her world come crashing down on her, something inside her shifted.  She had a meeting after the show and told them they would never do anything like that again, and that was the moment when her show changed and truly became her show.  I don’t know if it was a true story, but I can certainly believe that something like that happened.  You sometimes do what you need to do to pay your dues, but there does come that defining moment when you stand up and say that this will not happen again.  I will not allow or tolerate it and you win because you have the background to back you up. You become the storm that no one can stop.

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.

  – John Quincy Adams

I love this quote I found today, “when you dance to your own rhythm, people may not understand you; they may even hate you. But mostly they’ll wish they had the courage to do the same.” I am going to hang it over my desk. I have spent too much of my life wishing I had the courage to do what I see others doing. Instead I am going to “dance to my own rhythm” and let someone else be inspired to do the same.

Do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do.

  –  Oprah

The Lion is released from the cage, and ready for the grand adventure!

Mystical Journeys

When going on a mystical journey, let your heart be your compass, your soul your guide and you will%2

All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.

  – Martin Buber

When going on a mystical journey, sometimes we feel like we are lost. We pull out our compass and try to determine where the path is taking us. We get this timeline in our head with a “to do” list.  We check off boxes.  We get frustrated when things are not on schedule and going to plan.  And God laughs at us.  This is not how we in fact take a mystical journey.  There are no “to do” lists or timelines.  There are lots of experiences.  There are side roads.  There are accidents.  There are detours.  And they are all part of the plan.

Your journey has molded you for your greater good, and it was exactly what it needed to be.  Don’t think you’ve lost time. There is no short-cutting to life.  It took each and every situation you have encountered to bring you to the now.  And now is right on time. 

  – Asha Tyson

Our experience of life so far may not have required that we don the clothes of a hero. So we don’t know that we have the “super” cape in our closet, just waiting for the opportunity to spring into action.  There are definitely dark places within the journey.  Places of being lost, in despair. The constant negative voice telling us to give up.  Telling us we have done all that we can.  That what we are trying to do is impossible.  That is when it is time to call for help.  To reach out to have our spirits filled with joy, light, and courage to face down the darkness and complete the journey.

Today, I call upon my Higher Power to deliver me from the impossible to the possible: from darkness to light, and from fear to courage.

  – Byrant McGill

Mystical journeys don’t have any short cuts. If we try to short cut the journey, we end up lost in the forest, chased by our fears until we are exhausted. Mystical journeys can sometimes bring us to our knees, heads bowed and hands open to receive divine help and guidance.

Let your heart be your compass, your mind your map, your soul your guide, and you will never get lost.

  –  Ritu Ghatourey

We open our hearts to receive the gift of moving from fear to courage. From impossible to possible. We open to receive exactly what we need, even though it might be different than what we want. We draw in the mentors, allies and challengers because we need all of them to continue the journey.  The journey is really all about discovering who we really are. 

The mystical journey drives us into ourselves, to a sacred flame at our center.

  – Marianne Williamson

We are not the stories handed down to us from our childhood.  Not the “your just like your mom, dad, etc . . . relative” stuff we hear as we grow up.  Not who our friends and relatives want us to be, and who we pretend we are so that “everyone” will love us.  Who are we really deep down inside? 

Your life is a journey. Turn each new road into an adventure of humility; each rocky path into an exploration of self, and each soul you meet into a teacher of compassion.

  – Millie Mestril

When we were a baby and toddler up to the time when we start getting told no and had to learn about inappropriate behavior.  There was a time when we behaved and acted like who we are, the wild child.  And then we started learning a million rules that squashed us into who our parents and loved ones wanted us to be.  A large part of the mystical journey is digging up that person we started out as in the beginning.  It is peeling off the all of the habits, attitudes, and appearances that are not truly who we are. It is not how we dress ourselves up to impress others.  It is not the house, the car, the title at the job.  It is all about “Who You Really Are” down deep at the soul level.  That person needs to be unveiled, unlocked and allowed to come out and play in the real world.

By being yourself, you put something beautiful into the world that was not there before.

  – Edwin Elliot

When we dig deep within ourselves we literally can feel what is what and wrong for us on a cellular level.  It is learning to trust how our body instinctively reacts to things.  To following the directions of the heart and soul.  Following our passion.  Trusting the journey to be right on time and in the exact right place that we need to be.  It is not always easy.  The easy thing is to lie to oneself.  To tell yourself that this is not part of your journey.  To find the easy way back down the mountain and leave behind the heroes journeys to someone else.  Each day we have a new blank page to write our life on. Each day has the possibilities of new beginnings.  Each day has a measure of courage to shift the ending of yesterdays story into something positive and up-building.  It can take a lifetime to find our own truth, or it can take a short time if we are willing to roll up our selves and stay the course of personal transformation.

In the end, she became more than what she expected.  She became the journey, and like all journeys, she did not end, she just simply changed directions and kept going.

  – R.M. Drake

 

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