“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.
“It is not the perfection of one’s life but the direction of a life that provides evidence of regeneration” = John Macarthur
My mother had this habit of saying that she was working on “getting it all together”. One day I found this cute little card and I had to buy it for her. It had the picture of a tall filing cabinet with the drawers partially open. There were files half way out of the cabinet with the papers spilling out of them. In one of the filing cabinets was a mouse going through the files looking for something. The caption read “I finally got it all together, but I forgot where I put it.”
“Happiness is not perfection. It’s looking past imperfection and see the beauty of life” – Surbhi Bhosie
Your life will not be fully lived if you are waiting on getting “all of your ducks in a row.” You have to begin where you are. Like the momma duck you need to starting walking and have faith that the ducks will line up behind of you. There is a joke about how when you finally got your ducks all in row, you’ll discover that they’re not even your ducks! It isn’t about perfection. It’s about creating something, anything that gets your closer to your dreams and goals.
It has been said, “If you want to get your ducks in a row, you must first get your head above water.” We are living in a world that is becoming hard to recognize as anything normal. If you work in sports, entertainment, retail, the restaurant industry, the travel industry – you may have lost your income. You may still be employed but working from home with children driving you to distraction. You may be caring for elderly parents terrified that they will get this virus. In one week you have decided that being a couch potato and binging on T.V. isn’t as relaxing as it sounds.
“Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect, it simply means that you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections” – Iliketoquote.com
So with everything in your life going sideways or upside down, how do you find beauty in a world that feels like it is breaking apart? By creating beauty in the world, wherever you find yourself. There is an artist that did this magnificent beadwork on canvas, and then she tore it to explose of the beauty hidden underneath. When you find yourself feeling broken, remember to look for the beauty in the brokeness.
“I realized that to be more alive I had to be less afraid. So I did it. I lost my fear and gained my whole life” – Mantraband.com
In mosaics there is great beauty by taking the broken pieces and creating a new piece of art. It tells a story. Instead of throwing away the broken things in your life, look for ways to incorporate them into a new meaning. Don’t abandon your dreams and goals for 2020. Just look for new creative ways to keep growing your comfort zone and reveal the beauty of hidden possibilities and potential.
“The road remains wide open while your dreams are alive, only fear can block the way” – Fratley
What is it that you are currently focusing on? That is the direction you will find yourself heading. Years ago I was driving home from work one night. I saw that the car coming towards me had wandered into my lane. I quickly steered my vehicle off onto the shoulder of the road. The driver of the oncoming car continued crossing over into my direction. I could not get out of his way and he hit the side of my vehicle on the drivers side just past the passenger door. My vehicle was bouncing back and forth, from side to side. For a moment I thought I was going to roll the vehicle over.
I was sitting in my car, trying to calm my heart down and he came running back to my car. He kept repeating over and over how sorry he was. Apparently he was looking at the concrete wall that had been built into the hillside of a new subdivision and was not paying attention to where he was steering. When you look off to the side of the road, you will unconsciously steer in the direction that you are looking. By the time he realized he was going to hit me it was too late. He had not only left his lane, he had crossed completely through my lane and hit me off the road on the shoulder.
That is why focus is so important. It is so easy to swing the pendulum from one side to the other and not be grounded in the present. If you are too far to the right you might ask yourself:
What is running through your mind as the hamster wheel endlessly spins? Is it negative mind talk or positive “I can do this” thoughts? Have you basically already surrendered your life to fear and anxiety? Instead of listening to the minds endless list of “I can’t because thoughts” what if you turned the sentence around to view it with curiosity – “how can I?”
“Life is a balance of holding on and letting go” – Rumi
Right now there is a lot of things that you can’t control. Right now there is a lot of unknowns about what is going to happen next. The world is shifting and transforming right in front of you. Instead of feeling like running around and screaming “the world is falling” what if you just got still? If you just took a deep breath in and let it out slowly over and over until your mind quiets down? What if you sat in the space of learning to live between effort and surrender?
Something important to remember is that before you try to balance anything, you need to make sure that you are on firm ground. A steady foundation. Ask yourself, what do I need to stay grounded, in touch, in love, connected and emotionally balanced in this moment? You are not going to find it outside yourself. Look within, to find it.
What if you just looked at what to let go of – all of the cursed unknowns in your life right this moment, and just surrendered them. What if you got into the space of curiosity – of wonder – of imagination? What if you rethought/restructured what dream needs to take flight and just went for it right now?
Put your trust in your higher power. Embrace change. Embrace life. Expand instead of contract. There is tremendous power in your dreams. Use it to take flight. Start by recognizing your “super powers”, your talents and then find ways to serve others by using them. Do great work even in trying times.
“Know what sparks the light in you, then use that light to illuminate the world” – Oprah
Inside of you is a box of matches. Each of the matchsticks is a gift that you have to Illuminate the world with. Striking the match enables you to bring light to some sort of darkness in the world. The darkness is filled with all of the problems in society we face today.
Each time you light one of your matchsticks, you can see some small part of what is hiding in the darkness. Your light will always shine on something that you can help to change in the world.
If you are brave enough, you strike a match and get curious about the secrets that are hiding in the darkness. Inside of every one of society’s problems lies the seed of the answer to what must be changed.
Those seeds are germinated with your passion. In order for change to happen, it requires that you strike a match, get curious, and get creative about how to illuminate the possibilities within the seeds. Trust your heart and your calling will light the way.
“To be a star, you must walk your own path, shine your own light and don’t be afraid of the darkness, that’s when a star shines the brightest” – Joel Brown
In times of hardship the automatic reflex is to contract, when in fact you need to expand. You feel that life is shutting you out. That failure is condemning you. Life is unfair, so you wail and kick your feet in frustration. You just want to dig a hole and disappear into it forever. Yet this is the exact time you must open your hands to receive.
Receiving isn’t just allowing someone to help you. It is also saying yes to yourself; to risk; to higher potential; to new adventures. Opening doors to new opportunities. Learning about yourself. Life is all about understanding something you’ve known about your entire life – in a new way. Be willing to be a beginner again, for a whole new world of opportunities is just waiting for you.
“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lit the flame within us” – Albert Schweitzer
Somedays it feels like you just can’t motivate yourself to get out of bed. You’re exhausted from beating your head against the obstacles in your life. There are dark shadows obscuring your ability to see what needs to be done. You try to strike a new match to get clarity and nothing happens. You try another match. Then you try a new area to strike the match.
Sometimes you will need to your light to be rekindled from someone else’s light, and sometimes you can help to illuminate their light source. That is the importance of being part of a tribe. Connect to others who are shining their lights to change themselves and thereby change the world.
Instead of just being preoccupied with your problems, you open your heart to the adventures and obstacles of their journey, and your own journey becomes illuminated.
“Most of us are about as eager to be changed as we were to be born, and go through our changes in a similar state of shock” – James Baldwin
Steven Pressfield stated in “The Art of War”, that most of us have two lives; the lives we live and the lives we are capable of living.
Many times the worst danger you face is your own uncertainty that what the light is revealing is something that you can face and deal with. Curiosity may have opened the door, but what you find may still feel like it is going to kill you.
Truth will both refine you and define you. It measures you. It takes caution and understanding to know what to do with the truth of who you are. To accept who you have been in the past. To be in awe of who you are revealing yourself to be today.
Part of the search for understanding who you came here to be, is to understand that change is how you grow those seeds which will crush the obstacles in your path. Spirit understands whatever adversity you face, is also an opportunity. That when you embrace change, change also embraces you.
“Illumination is nothing if you do not share it with anyone. Illumination is about spreading light across entire nations. It’s about wearing that crown that shines like the sun on your head, and getting other minds to synergize with yours” – Suzy Kassem
If you have a vision but no plan, then you have a pipe dream. If you have a vision and a focused plan but lack action, then you’ll have a lot of frustration. This is because you won’t achieve momentum when some days you take action, and some days you don’t. It makes it impossible for you to know what’s working and what isn’t.
If you are not intentional about what you say yes to, and what you say no to, then every day will control you and nothing will get done.
That’s where illumination comes in. That’s where striking your match comes in. You need to learn how to keep your lamp lit. You need to learn how to strike your matches and use those divine gifts with purpose to not only shift and change your world, but the entire world. Find your spark and light up those matches!
Vision tells us our destination. It doesn’t tell us how to get there, it just tells us how we will know when we arrive. Focus is what helps up to do the work to arrive at the destination that vision has uncovered in our heart. Focus is the road to the destination. If we don’t have a vision we can’t have a destination. Without focus, we will find ourselves asleep wandering lost in the forest. We will just keep going in circles back to where we started. Lost, dazed and confused.
If you look back at the last two year’s – did you follow your vision or did you go in circles?
Without focus you travel down the road forgetting where you came from. The journey becomes the destination in a twisted sort of way. You will find yourself trying to fill a bottomless hole by acquiring more of everything. To possess things which promise to make you whole, but which instead create an insatiable appetite for more and more. Without focus life becomes a merry go round that never stops.
“When you are clear on your vision, it will pull you forward and out of bed in the morning” – Sean McCabe
We have all heard the story of the person who worked at a job for 30 years, retires and gets the gold watch. Then after a short while of sitting at home with nothing to do, they die. They never uncovered their life purpose, their reason for living. They dragged themselves out of bed each day and went to a job that didn’t fulfill them. They never discovered the reason they were born. Instead they punched a time clock day after day, month after month, until the years fled. They never found their way out of the forest.
Awaken the sleeper
The only way to find that vision, your life purpose is to look for it. It is deep inside your heart. It is connected to the things that you love to do. It’s not about something that happens in some distant future. It is about the quality of choices you are making in your life this moment. It’s about what you choose to see, to perceive, to feel and what you choose to do in this moment of time. The choices that push you to engage in life at its deepest meaning for you. It changes who you are NOW.
“Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens” – Carl Jung
It’s a funny thing when one day you wake up to your vision. You might have been wandering in circles for years, looking for that one special person or that title at work that said “I have arrived!”. You might have worked your fingers to the bone for years to find elusive fame and fortune. Whatever you thought was the answer to that longing deep in your heart, once you had it, you discovered it wasn’t it. It was just another circle in the forest. Then one day it happens. You finally realize it isn’t outside of you. It’s not a person, a career, money in the bank, a dream house or car. It is something inside of you that is calling you home.
Usually what wakes you up is being disillusioned, disappointed, that feeling you have hit rock bottom. Too many bad decisions and failed plans. When you stop fighting the uphill battle, give up and give in – when you are in that spot of finally understanding what it means to “let go and let God” it finally happens. Your heart feels calm, whole and centered. Your soul comes alive and feels truly safe for the first time because finally we are listening to the inner voice.
Listening with your heart and soul
Your vision becomes clear as you climb a high tree and see the way out of the forest of lost causes. You understand the connections to what has happened in your life and how each trial and tribulation, each circle around the forest was teaching you something vital that you needed to learn. Peace with your past, present and future permeates your bones. You see far off the destination your soul is leading you to. You realize the importance of the journey.
The journey has places where you became confused as to what the right choice was – at the same time that confusion is where you learned something new that stretched your comfort zone. The journey was where you were betrayed and broken by someone you thought loved you and would never hurt you – at the same time it was how you learned to heal your heart. The journey lead to lots of frustration as you tried and failed, over and over to learn something critical to your dreams – at the same time those frustrations lead to more authentic decisions based on your own judgment and not someone else’s.
Make the right choice
Even the parts of the journey where the sadness was a deep pit of despair, you learned to listen the heart, hear the words of wisdom of the soul and recover your happiness and joy.
2022 can be your year of focus, and vision. With the global pandemic, most people have lost focus. Their vision has dimmed. It seems like every time we think that we are moving past the masks and restrictions, this virus mutates into something else.
Instead of waiting for whatever “normal” is going to be and then settling into a new vision, it is time to just do it anyway. Some of your plans will fail dramatically, and you will learn something. Some of them be will duds that don’t even get lift off before they came crashing down – and that’s ok. Plans to go in one direction, will actually come about 180 degrees to go in another direction – which seems wrong but will be exactly right.
Now program your GPS system with your updated vision. Get clear about what it is you want to feel and be open to the feeling and not how or what is going to get you there. Look for signs, clues, and ask for directions. Don’t give up on your dreams. Listen to the voice in your heart and soul. Get back on track to where you are supposed to be.
Have a vision
Believe in yourself
Get out there, own the day
Create your own personalized dream map, claim your own unique goals of change and transformation; refine them into goal crushing gremlins; and finally, to truly understand what your motivation around those goals is all about.
What I love about life is the ability to always make a change. To do something different. To be someone different. It’s all about choice.
There are many people who look at their lives and decide they have no choices. That life is somehow against them. That they can’t be any different. It is the excuse of people who feel hopeless and helpless. But the reality is that you do get to decide how you are going to live your life.
Is this the life
you want to live?
There comes a point where it all becomes too much. When we get too tired to fight anymore. So, we give up. That’s when the real work begins. To find hope where there seems to be absolutely none at all – Christina Yang
When you are in the middle of life’s storms it may seem like all of the trees have been blown over. The roots were just not strong enough to keep the tree anchored in the soil. The homes around you may have suffered extreme damage and become uninhabitable. They weren’t maintained or strong enough to survive the hurricane force winds. When every structure you have created in your life has been ripped apart – what then?
That is the moment to notice that you are still here. You may not be standing; you may have been knocked down. But you are not out. It is in this moment of realizing that you have survived that you can take stock of your life. Because it is in this moment you learn that you were strong enough to survive. That you get to decide what happens next.
Is this the person you want to be?
Are these the relationships you want in your life?
Is this the job/career you desire?
Is this the BEST YOU CAN BE?
Can you be stronger?
I’m sure that you have heard the saying “let go and let God”. It is one of my constant reminders to myself. It feels like letting go is easy. It’s sort of like handing over the trouble to someone else to handle. It relieves you of the responsibility of fighting for how you want things to turn out.
At the same time, it is human to keep the comfort zone the same. So, while you are busy telling yourself that you have let go, you are in fact fighting to keep things the same.
How do you know if you’re fighting to keep it? By noticing that you haven’t really moved on. You have the same furniture in your comfort zone, you just moved it around. In order to have a real change in your life, no matter how painful it is, you have to let it all go and move on. You need to have a moving sale, “all must go”. You have to donate that old furniture and get new furniture. It’s the only way we can continue to grow.
Letting go is a release. If you have the balloons all stacked up and tied together, they aren’t going anywhere. It’s when you untie all of the balloons and let them go one by one. It’s when you let the wind take up each balloon and blow it across the sky until you can’t see it anymore – that’s when you have really let it go. What you are letting go of is not the dream itself, but the version of the dream you were trying to fulfill.
I think it is human to have some really deep-seated desires, beliefs, wishes that you know aren’t ever really going to happen. You were raised to believe in fairy tales, in the tooth fairy, or Santa Claus, in the white knight in shining armor that was going to sweep in and rescue you. You told yourself they weren’t real. You thought you had released them. Then something in life happens, and you realize you are still holding out for that forgotten dream.
It’s that kind of faith, in realities not yet beheld, that keeps us going. And once in a while something comes into your life that gives you hope. The hope that just maybe that thing you are still hoping for, fighting for, might just come true. That you are going to turn the corner and have your breath taken away by the surprise of how it shows up.
The best thing in life is to go ahead with all your plans and your dreams, to embrace life and to live life 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
I think that sometimes we don’t see it, because we are demanding that it to show up in a certain way. When in reality it has been in front of us all along. It’s like the love story when the boy or girl is looking at someone as being their soul mate, when in reality the best friend they’ve had their entire life is the one. They didn’t see what they already had.
I think that is what new endings are all about. To realize that the fairy tale is just slightly different than what you have been looking for. That the dream is here right in front of you, just waiting for you to see it in its disguise. Waiting for you to realize you’ve had your own keys all along.
This year you have some dreams that you are working on. You have some goals that you are struggling with. It might be that you are ready to break out of your comfort zone. To go to that next level in your life. To realize your full potential in your job/career; your personal relationships; your health; financial or spiritual goals.
Life changes when you realize you have the keys to your happiness in your own hands. Don’t let them go.
Message us for more ideas on how to do this.
We are just about 1 1/2 months until the new year. It is the perfect time to do a year end review of 2021. Did you make some new years resolutions, goals, plans for 2021? How did you grow and make progress, and what have you overcome in this year?
Some people will make goals that are giving something up for a limited time or forever. Lent is a religious practice that does this.
Some people will make goals to bring something new into their life.
What you discover every single year is that change is hard. And if that change is motivated by will power alone, it will not last.
“In order to save myself, I must destroy first the me I was told to be” – The Dreamer
So how are you doing on those goals, plans and intentions to change?
What is your definition of progress?
Having 20/20 vision means that you have done the work to see the connections to what you have decided to change and where you are going with your dreams in this new year. You have spent the time to map out the new year so that you can make some actual progress towards those dreams, instead of letting fears and excuses stall your journey.
“Maybe the journey isn’t so much about becoming anything. Maybe it’s about unbecoming everything that isn’t really you, so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place” – Unknown
Instead of hiding who you are, be bold and step out into the world proclaiming “I am here”. Stop hiding your dreams, thinking that way no one can destroy them any further. Learn to trust your heart and listen to it. Give up on settling for what is possible, and demand your part in the dance of life.
“Ten years from now, make sure you can say that you chose your life, you didn’t settle for it” – Unknown
There is only one way to truly know who you are deep down inside. You have to get in touch with your own soul. You need to be by yourself, and sit with yourself, and just listen. Looking back at your life, find the places where you were really happy. Find the things that are so easy for you to do, that others find hard or impossible. Trace back all of the threads that have your name engraved upon them. Start picking out and removing all of the threads that are not you. Look for the gold and silver pieces and toss out the dross. Now look for the patterns that are left.
It is never too late to be who you were meant to be
The threads of genius that are all you, can now be taken up and made into whatever pattern you want. It is never too late to be who you were meant to be. When you make this journey deep into your soul, you will discover that your life can only change by completely shaking it up. You need to remove what doesn’t belong and then figure out how to rearrange what does. It is an individual journey that defines who you are. You can only discover your truth by looking for it down deep within and then integrating it into your life. 20/20 vision is a lifetime adventure. This journey is for you alone. Embrace it and live it fully.
“To make the right choices in life, you have to get in touch with your soul. To do this, you need to experience solitude, which most people are afraid of, because in the silence you hear the truth and know the solutions.” – Deepak Chopra
So, how do you make this the year that you transform your life? You do it by finding the pattern that you fit into. If you were to read everything about changing your life with new years resolutions, goals and plans that has been published just this month you might find it overwhelming. Everyone has different ideas about what works. What they really mean is what worked for them.
It’s an individual journey, one size does not fit all
What I have found is that it is really all about making the connections to what I am taking away or adding to my life purpose. I pick what sounds right deep inside of me and leave the rest behind. When I do this, it becomes an infinity loop of expanding energy to keep doing the work. I want to share this process with you, so that you too can be like Goldilocks and find the pieces that fit just right.
“The spiritual journey is individual, highly personal. It can’t be organized or regulated. It isn’t true that everyone should follow one path. Listen to your own truth” – Ram Dass
It’s an individual journey and one size does not fit all. Making your dream a reality isn’t easy. It is sort of like having a puzzle that has the same picture that others have, but your puzzle pieces are cut slightly different. You are missing some pieces and so you discover that they are not inter-changeable. Some pieces might fit, but others won’t. So you have to go to a lot of different puzzles to find the missing pieces that will fit. It’s a risk because each piece that doesn’t really fit, becomes a failure on your part.
“. . . it’s a life’s journey of finding ourselves, finding our power, and living for yourself, not for everyone else . . . ” – Mariska Hargitay
If you don’t take the risks, make the changes and transform your life, then your destiny will not be fulfilled. In order to make this a little easier I would love to share with you what I have found. It’s a method of taking bits and pieces from all different methods of change and transformation and creating a pattern that allows me to plug in things that work for me.
You decide what methods of change work for you
This isn’t just about a vision board or an accountability partner. It isn’t just about will power or a positive attitude. Make 2022 be the year that you don’t get overwhelmed and quit. That this time frustration doesn’t get you stuck in the mud of “it’s just isn’t working” and you give up. It’s about getting past the negative mind talk and making real progress towards your dreams. It is about getting on the road of good intentions and actually getting somewhere.
What I know for sure is that we all hit walls of failure, fatigue, and flat tires. It helps to have a few tricks up your sleeves to handle them. Then they just create slowdowns and maybe a few detours, but don’t stop you completely.
Make this your year of shift, change and transformation. Get 2022 vision, insight and find your missing puzzle pieces. Complete your own puzzle and see the full picture of who you are becoming.
“Sometimes, thing don’t go as planned. Life doesn’t always go the way you hope it will. You can’t plan everything. Life takes you where it wants to – you’re pretty much just along for the ride! Just breathe – Re-Evaluate – Step out of the box – Forgive – Be grateful.” – Namala Lakesh
I believe in plans. But I also believe in being flexible. I believe in taking stock and making constant adjustments. It’s like a sailboat. You are subject to winds and currents, but with the rudder and sails, you have the ability to maneuver into the direction you want to go. Which is why I love the way I plan out my month and year. I make plans and then as life happens I see where I need to make adjustments. To re-evaluate what is really most important in the current time and space to accomplish. That’s why I am sharing this system with all of you. It works!
“She stood in the storm and when the wind did not blow her away, she adjusted her sails.” – Elizabeth Edwards
Sometimes things happen in the reverse order of your expectations. The patience comes in because you automatically put expectations on the plans. You visualize them out step by step, and then life happens. You lose you job, the promised promotion and/or raise doesn’t materialize. Someone close to you is faced with a critical medical diagnosis. The money you had planned for vacation now has to go to put in new plumbing. In short, life happens. You need to adjust your sails.
“Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.” – Michael Jordan
Sometimes obstacles are like the monsters under the bed. You hear a noise. Your imagination runs wild. Your heartbeat goes out of control. Suddenly you are screaming. And it was all in your head. Other times they are legitimate. I remember one of the contestants in America’s Got Talent had been a singer, then tragedy struck. She went deaf from a medical condition. She stopped singing and gave up her career.
“Our life doesn’t always turn out the way we planned, but sometimes that’s because what we planned wasn’t suppose to be our life.” – Gdonell
Mandy said in an interview, “I made the mistake of associating my entire identity with one single dream, and when that dream died, I very much felt like I died. I became a husk of a person for awhile.”
“Life doesn’t always go according to plan. Sometimes heading in a new direction can be scary until you realize you’re headed toward a new and exciting destination.” – Susan Cole
Then she got an electric tuner and spent 10 hours learning to sing each note perfectly. “I couldn’t believe it”, she says, “My perfect pitch and muscle memory all came together.” Mandy Harvey.
“If people are doubting how far you can go, go so far that you can’t hear them anymore.” – Michele Ruiz
Then one day she decided to stop fighting against her dreams and start fighting for them. She began writing her own songs and singing again. She discovered that this real obstacle could be overcome. She discovered that a big chunk of the real obstacle was in her own mind. Singing a song she composed she got sent straight through to the finals on America’s Got Talent. She finished fourth.
“You don’t always need a plan. Sometimes you just need to breathe, trust, and let go and see what happens.” – Mandy Hale
If you take a good honest look at your life so far, you will see times where what you had planned fell apart – and that it was a good thing. You underestimated what you were are capable of. You made plans that were far too limiting in regards to your potential. When you let go of the expectation of the plan, and how it should go – and instead learned to feel your way with intuition, amazing things happened.
“We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.” – Joseph Campbell
You discover hidden talents. You uncover better ways to expand your comfort zones. So when the path you are walking on changes direction, don’t be afraid to keep going. When the sign says “dead end” don’t be afraid to go off the path and create your own. When the wind blows you backwards, grab a tree and hold on. When life challenges you to sit it out, get up and fight to keep moving forward.
“If we can just let go and trust that things will work out the way they’re supposed to, without trying to control the outcomes, then we can begin to enjoy the moment more fully. The joy of the freedom it brings becomes more pleasurable than the experience itself.” – Goldie Hawn
LemonadeMakers is hosting a monthly free class on goals, resolutions, plans – whatever you want to call your means of change and transformation in your life. We discuss on a live Zoom call what is happening that is working and not working. Ideas to try to get us motivated to change and transform our lives. Where we might re-evaluate our plans. How to adjust our sails.
We invite you to join with us the first Saturday of every month. The next class registration is opening today. Come join us! Click on the box to register now.