Jack Canfield tells a wonderful story of an elderly woman who is meeting with her minister to plan out her future funeral. She tells him all the things that she wants around her and she says that she wants a fork. Puzzled the minister asks her why a fork? So she says, “when they have the potlucks at the church you know you are going to have a special desert, when they say to save your fork. The fork is to remind everyone that the best is yet to come.”
When a friendship, relationship ends, or a loved one dies, it can seem like our broken heart is all that we have left. There can be no happy ending. That is when we need to remember the story of the fork. We need to remember that the best is yet to come. We may not even see a glimmer of what it could be. We may look at the broken pieces of our heart and think that there is no way it can be mended. “new beginnings are often disguised as painful endings” Lao Tzu
But what we are doing is not really mending the heart. It is giving the heart a new beginning. Think of a clear calm lake. No waves, just a perfect surface reflecting all that is around it. Now pick up a stone and throw it as far as you can into the lake. As it hits the surface, it creates a ripple on the surface of the lake. It starts small and expands out to the entire lake. Eventually the ripples expand to the point that the surface of the lake is completely calm again. “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” Arthur Ashe.
However the lake has been forever changed. It now contains that stone on the bottom of the lake. This is our heart. Our heart will never be the same, as it contains both the love and heartbreak that occurred. It can come back into it’s new shape, and look the same, but it has been forever changed. It is always a new beginning. “I feel a new beginning coming towards me and I’m running to it with open arms.: Unknown.
So when someone or something breaks your heart, know that eventually the ripples of sorrow, loss and pain will expand out and fade away. Our heart has been forever changed by the loss, but remember the fork – the best is yet to come. A new beginning. “Every day is a new beginning. Treat it that way. Stay away from what might have been, and look at what can be.” Marsha Petrie Sue. Trust in the magic of new beginnings. Look forward to what is coming next.
Our feelings and emotions can at times be overwhelming. I remember when my mom passed away, that in the evenings I would get deluged with emotions of missing her, being mad at her for dying, hurting so much that I just crawled into a ball and cried until I couldn’t breathe. There are times in your life, when your whole body is crying in such deep pain, that it takes everything you have just to take another breath. It feels as though your soul is on fire. It is hard to remember that feelings are just visitors, and we can let them visit, and then let them go back out the door they came in.
An entire sea of water can’t sink a ship, unless it gets inside the ship. Similarly, the negativity of the world can’t put you down, unless you allow it to get inside of you.
– Goi Nasu
Like a person surfing the waves, we can learn to ride these overwhelming emotions. We may crash and fall off our board, but we can choose to get right back on and ride the next wave. To me riding the wave is allowing the emotion to flow right through us, just as the wave reaches the shore and dissipates into nothing.
Life is like riding a wave. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.
– Eric Carlson
Sometimes your heart needs more time to accept what your mind already knows. I think the reason that grief or anger can get us stuck in these emotions, is because we don’t allow the emotions to flow through. They can get caught in a rip tide inside of us. We fight releasing them until we are exhausted. Sometime we struggle and we battle ourselves, denying how we are really feeling. Other time we wallow in these emotions, holding them to our hearts and refusing to let them flow. Either way they will keep pushing us to the shore and then dragging us back out to sea, until we are so exhausted, that the rough surf literally beats us into the sand.
Allowing the emotions to pass through helps us to heal from the hurt. We recover much faster, and we can begin choosing good memories to dwell on. We can progress into appreciation for the time that we had with what we have lost. The truth is that we haven’t really lost anything. People and things come into our lives, serve their purpose or reason for being there, and then move on to the next thing. The important thing is that we had them in our lives for the time they were with us.
When we have a bad memory come up, we can just ride the wave to the shore, and then consciously allow it to fade into foam and dissipate. It doesn’t have to drag us back out again. We can release the hold we have on it, and let the feeling fade away. As the last bubble of the foam pops, then it is time to let it go. Then we can consciously decide that we want to raise our vibrations up into higher levels. We can raise the vibration out from the sadness, grief, or anger. We can start attracting good feelings into our space. We always have a choice, even when we think that we don’t.
When stress and bad days hit, we are designed to reach out for the help we need. But our natural tendency is to withdraw instead. We shut down, hole up, limit ourselves to our own little worlds.
– Holley Gerth.
It is important when the bad days hit, to reach out to someone we love and let them help us.
Allow yourself to really feel, your feelings. It’s okay to bare your soul, breakdown or cry because through that breakdown comes your breakthrough.
– Rashida Rowe.
Letting those who love us help us, is practicing self care. It is reflecting back to those who love us, how much we love and trust them to be with us in our hour of need. And sometimes when those that we love say they are okay, we need to hold them tight and look them in the eyes and tell them that we know that they are not okay. And that in itself is okay, because we are going to keep holding them tight until they can breathe on their own again.
Taking a few deep belly breaths, placing our hands on our heart, and consciously reaching for something that will help us raise our awareness into something positive. I always think of the laughing baby when the dad tears the paper video or cute kittens and puppies, or a favorite song like Pharrell Williams “Happy” song. Music has the wonderful ability to speak to us, to express what is in our hearts, that we can’t express in words. As the “Happy” songs says, “happiness is the truth”.
Have you ever heard of the question – If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, who would you want to have to a dinner party? Eleanor Roosevelt is on my list. She seems to have been a remarkable woman. Her advice?
Do one thing everyday that scares you.
– Eleanor Roosevelt
I don’t live up to this quote, but I do try to do things that scare me. First I procrastinate on them a little, though. Most of the things that scare me, are things that I have never tried to do before. So every year part of my goals, are to do things that I don’t currently know how to do.
Do you remember when you were a kid and you got your first bike? I remember being so excited to be able to ride a bike like all of the bigger kids did. It was a symbol of growing older. A lot like getting your drivers license or turning 21, a true milestone. First though you had to have training wheels. It took a time or two to figure out that they were keeping you from falling, because you had to learn to trust them. Then came the day that you had probably been whining about, the day they took the training wheels off. You were ready to balance the bike and ride it all alone. After a fall or two, you figured out how to balance the bike and from then on you were no longer a baby.
What I remember most, is that even though I was scared of falling and getting hurt, I wanted those training wheels off. Being accepted into the big kids group was more important than letting the fear stop me. Always remember that when you are scared, you are thinking about doing something that requires you to be brave. Riding a bicycle without training wheels for a 5 year old is being very brave.
If it’s both terrifying and amazing then you should definitely pursue it.
What is something that you have done this past year that required you to be very brave? What were the training wheels that you removed, the thing that you were depending on, that you needed to let go, so that you could grow?
When I took my drivers training class, it was part of high school. The class started right after school, and the first time behind the wheel you had to drive off a side street bordering the high school. All of your friends would gather around the stop sign, waiting for you to drive the car out of the lot and up to the stop sign on the side road. Of course, there were several sudden jerking stops as you drove toward the stop sign and all of your friends would laugh. It was like a hazing in a way, because it eventually happened to everyone you knew. At some point we would all be the object of ridicule. But at the same time, it was like – cool, I’m driving a car!
These are the two examples that I keep in my head when I am trying to break through and do something that scares me. Both of those things scared me, but at the same time, it was cool, look at what I am doing! It also helps to have mentors like Eleanor Roosevelt. People that you admire, who you can look to for guidance. Albert Einstein is another of my dinner party guests. He said:
A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.
– Albert Einstein
I think that sometimes we are scared to want something so badly that it hurts. We are scared of not only failing, but of succeeding and then being disappointed. Of succeeding only to lose it later. So we tell ourselves that we are afraid of failure, but in reality, we are afraid of success not being enough. Of success not lasting.
Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.
– Brian Tracy
I have really thought about this fear of failure/success. What I have discovered for me, is that rather than a real fear, it more a feeling of anticipation. That feeling that begins and ends in the stomach. Like riding the roller coaster as it climbs up and up to the sky, and then hurtles you down to the earth, whipping you back and forth through the turns. The wind blowing against you, your stomach lurching up your chest as you hold on tight. Then all of sudden the ride is over and you are running back to the end of the line to do it again. This kind of fear is telling you that being scared can be a thrill. That what you are about to experience is worth breaking through the hesitation and going full out.
Life is inherently risky. There is only one big risk you should avoid at all costs, and that is the risk of doing nothing.
– Denis Waitley
They say that at the end of a persons life, what they talk about is the things that they didn’t take the risk and try to do. Being in love, is one of those risks. Being afraid of being vulnerable, of being rejected, they hold back the words. At the end of their life they regret not telling people how they really felt, not saying “I love you” enough to those that mattered to them. When they had the opportunity, they shrunk back telling themselves, “they know how I feel”. While that may be true, what any person wants and needs is to hear those words.
If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.
So whether it is learning to ride a bike, drive a car, ride a roller coaster or say “I love you” – don’t let fear hold you back. Be brave. Say the words, do the deeds. Feel the fear and do it because it is scary. Do the things that both excite you and scare you at the same time. Live your life as fully expressed, as bravely, and as committed as you can. Just maybe if you can do that, you’ll get more than you ever could have imagined.
All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.
– Walt Disney
I used to work for a company that owned hospitals and healthcare centers, doing accounting. The majority partner in the business would have the same order for lunch, every single day. A turkey sandwich with potato chips. Every single day, he ate the same lunch. They ordered lunch from TGIF, so it wasn’t like he didn’t have any other options.
I think many of us live in a rut. Stuck in a groove we can’t get out of, whether it’s our job, family drama or the little frustrations of everyday life.
– Brian Pinkerton
I always wondered if he ate the same breakfast every morning, and the same dinner every evening. He was definitely a man stuck in a rut. Rush Limbaugh says that when you are in this experience, you “are out of contact with your own genius”. We all have this happen in our lives at some point and time. The rut is a place of safety. We are in fear of the unknown, so the rut is a place of safety, because it is always the same. When we turn the page, who knows what might happen?
Sometimes following your path means: getting lost, being stuck, going backwards, forging ahead, blazing your own trail, and eventually . . . , making your way home.
So what Zella is telling us, is that being in a rut, can actually be part of the journey – the point is once we recognize that we are stuck, that we start going backwards, or forging ahead out of the rut. That we blaze our own trail off the beaten path to our destination. That we escape the rut, to get back in contact with our personal genius. This is because living our lives on purpose through our personal genius, is when we know that we are home.
Changing a behavior is like driving down an old, rutted, dirt road. In order to get out of the rut and onto a new path, you need to jerk the wheel really hard. If you don’t jerk the wheel hard enough, you’ll just bounce right back on the same, old, rutted path. So for change to happen, hold on tight, jerk that wheel as hard as you can and get ready for a happy ride. Change is just beyond, on the other side.
When we listen to our personal genius, our souls voice, it leads us to amazing places. We find ourselves living and doing things that before we would only read about. Things that we could never imagine ourselves doing. It is a conscious choice to listen to this voice that emanates from deep within.
Each morning you awaken to a new day. This day looks like every day you’ve had before. That is unless something happens to shake you out of your rut. This something can be a tragedy, a blessing, or a conscious choice. Two of these lie outside of you and one within. Which is your preference?
– Red Hawk
The choices that come from the outside are harder to deal with. The tragedy knocks us down and makes us a victim. Even the blessing, is a harder choice, because the blessing usually starts out like the tragedy. It becomes the blessing because we realize that we that we were stuck and needed our world turned upside down to shake us loose. The result of the blessing is that we took life’s lemons and made them into lemonade.
Being stuck in the past is like walking forward with your back facing front. You’ll always miss out on what’s in front of you.
How do we recognize that we are in a rut? One sign is reliving the past. It happens because we are comfortable there. We may complain about it, but we make no movement to actually change it. Another is repeating the past mistakes over and over again. Why do we repeat patterns of mistakes? Because we have convinced ourselves that this time will be different. My mom was married five times, and every single man she married, she met in the bar that she was working in. One of the things that every single man had in common? They were all alcoholics. I remember telling her as a teenager, that maybe if she met men some place besides work, it might work out better?
You must learn a new way to think, before you can master a new way to be.
– Marianne Williamson
This is how we get out of the rut. We don’t try to solve problems in our life with the same thinking that created them. We step up and out of the rut. And we begin blazing a new trail. So instead of stepping backward into the rut, step forward into growth. See where life is taking you. Listen to the voice of your soul, and wake up. Live your life with the intention to grow, live your life from your true reason and purpose for being here, and love your life with a passion that is on fire!
When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds. Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.
Life is too short to think small. If you think that something can be done, then it is too small. If you think something is probably impossible, that is the goal to go for. Not because the goal itself is the thing, but because of how trying to reach it will grow you. If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you. Go for the moon shot kind of goals. Moon shot goals involve others in coming together as a community to make the really big goals happen. Moon shot goals help others to reach out past their own boundaries and limitations as they buy into helping you accomplish yours.
The will to win. The desire to succeed. The urge to reach your full potential.., these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.
– Sabine Mondestin
The hard work of the goal is in making the vision clear. When we can see the minute detail, then we can make plans. With plans come steps. With steps, we begin moving into action. We gain a tremendous feeling of confidence when this happens. This confidence, grants us personal empowerment. Empowerment fuels our passion to bring the goals into reality. This is how the miracles begin.
Your limits are somewhere up there, waiting for you to reach beyond infinity.
– Arnold Henry
It is like the infinity circle in which one part feeds and fuels the next part, in an never ending cycle. Clarity fuels the plans. Then plans fuel the steps. Then steps start the wheels moving and we get action. Action gets us excited that stuff is finally happening. Personal empowerment comes from actions taking place. Personal empowerment in turn fuels passion. Passion feeds back into clarity. Clarity begins the whole process again. This is because as the vision starts moving forward into implementation, we get more clarity. Clarity starts new plans. New plans lead to revised actions. The whole cycle begins spinning again.
Until you cross the bridge of your insecurities, you can’t begin to explore your possibilities.
– Tim Fargo
With engagement the divine one moves in with synchronicities and doors begin to open. People show up, all to bring our goals into reality. We are not meant to accomplish things by ourselves. But no one can help us, until we help ourselves.
I used to extinguish under the weight of living, but one day, I reached into my chest, dusted off my courage, and asked myself, “where’s your fire?”
– D. Antoinette Foy
Be strong about your goals, and flexible about your methods. Be willing to try things you don’t think will work. To try things that you have never done. We learn by discovering what will work for ourselves. Has anyone ever tried you train you by having you watch them do the job? They walk you through a program. They tell you what your inputs should be. You go back to your desk, and you can’t remember what to do. Your notes don’t make any sense to you. But when someone sits beside you, and guides you as you do the work, now it sinks in. You learn by doing it yourself. As you do the work, you have the space to think of the questions you need to ask to understand the process. When you just learn the process you are just a cog in a machine. When you understand the process, now you can innovate. Now you can teach it.
When you are not willing to be challenged, disturbed, or offended, you are not willing to explore your weaknesses, or ever reach your highest potential.
– Bryant McGill
When we become visible, we take a huge risk. Because not everyone is going to like us. Some people are going to hate us, just because we are different. There will be those people that will be mean and cruel. That needs to be okay. We need to understand that we are not here for everyone. We are not here with our gifts for those who don’t want them. We are here for those that do. The only real difference between us, is that some of us have remembered why we are here. Others are still asleep to their true purpose. They don’t remember their divine inheritance. They will find fault with what you are doing, without really understanding why it bothers them so much. They act as a challenge to help you reach your highest potential.
If you are persistent, you will get it. If you are consistent you will keep it.
Such an interesting quote. Being persistent is how we learn something. Have you ever listened to a two year old, asking “why”? They are the most persistent creatures in the universe. Persistence is how you learn. Understanding comes from doing it consistently. We literally sink the learning down into our bones. I like to think of learning, as how we learned to ride a bike. Most of us can ride a bike. But how many of us learned how to ride with no hands? Learned how to jump the bike over obstacles? Learned how to do a wheelie? We were persistent enough to learn to ride, getting back on every time we fell. But were we consistent enough to go past the basics and learn all of the tricks of riding a bike – did we become a master?
When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.
– Lao Tzu
How do we let the amazing out of us? We get curious. We think, why not? We question, how come? We imagine, what if? We wonder, who can I collaborate with on this? Curiosity is the compass that leads us to our purpose. Our reason for being here now.
When you are tempted to give up, your breakthrough is probably just around the corner.
– Joyce Meyer
Then we work on our true inheritance, and accept that as we become masters on this earth, that our signature will become our autograph. A signature is so much more than just a splash of ink across the paper. A signature is style. It is a “look”. It is something that says who we are. When we see the Nike symbol, what pops into our mind? Nike is not just about shoes. When we hear the Coca Cola jingle, “I’d like to teach the world to sing” how does it make us feel? Coca Cola is more than just a drink. That is what a signature is.
You will see in the world what you carry in your heart.
– Creig Crippen
We have so much inside of our soul waiting to come out. That is why we risk becoming visible. That is why we can’t think small. Because some part of us deep inside knows how truly magnificent we really are. Each of us is a thread in Gods tapestry. Each of us has a part to play. Each of us has to become visible, in order for the pattern to be seen. Each of us has that special one of a kind signature that the world needs to see, feel, and hear.
Life is too short to not follow your passion and purpose in your life. Passion and purpose are like the infinity loop, in that each one both feeds on and fuels the other. When they are working in tandem, there isn’t anything that you can’t accomplish. This is the space of the “high” where you feel invincible. Where everything just falls magically and magnetically into place. There is purpose in your searching, which is fueled by your passion. You search for the answers in response to the hunger that both drives and fuels your soul. It begins when you get the smallest glimpse of your true potential.
The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.
– William Shakespeare
That time when you were a little child, and you saw someone doing something that just grabbed you, and you thought I want to be that or do that when I grow up. At that moment you saw your true potential. At some point fear of failure, or being told that you weren’t talented enough to be that or do that – something happens that puts a cork in our desire. We bottle it up. We bury it deep inside of us, because we are embarrassed that we ever had that thought. Who did we think we were?
The most wonderful thing in the world is somebody who knows who they are . . . and knows what they were created to do.
– Bishop T. D. Jakes
There comes a time when the need of releasing that cork from that bottle, cascades out of you like a river rushing to the sea. This need is a palpable thing. Your heart knows it needs to released. Your instincts keep calling to you to release it. It keeps showing up no matter how we try to ignore it. It just continues to transform itself over and over again. It might show up at work one time, at our home life another. With a loss of a loved one. With the reconnection to an old friend. It might show up in our spiritual life. It keeps winding itself through our life, until we finally pay attention.
Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticized anyway.
– Eleanor Roosevelt
Within every life, the things that require transformation, are the pieces of misinformation that we have adopted in our life as being true. You probably don’t even know that they exist in your subconscious. For example; If your parents were divorced when you were a child, you may subconsciously feel that if you had been a better child, they would still be married. This might show up in your life with an intense desire to make everyone happy, to put yourself as last, to literally have the welcome mat on your face as people use you, and then leave you. You surrender and abandon your dreams.
You have convinced yourself that the problem is that you just aren’t giving enough of yourself away. If you just try harder you tell yourself, then you can make everyone else happy, and only then you will finally be happy. You keep that dream bottled up. You tell yourself that your vision of your true potential is unattainable. That you must settle. That whole story is a lie, a falsehood. That story needs to be transformed.
I’ve never seen any life transformation that didn’t begin with the person in question finally getting tired of their own bullshit.
– Elizabeth Gilbert
There will be places where our self sabotage shows up. Places where the shadow swings into action to stop you. Going around the bend of the river, we may get damned up by debris. Some busy beaver has blocked the flow and dammed up the river. This debris is all of the obligations that we have loaded upon ourselves. The excuses, “I am too busy or don’t have the time” and “I have no money”, falls into this bucket. The question comes up, what is behind the “but” excuse? We need to get curious. We need to start removing the debris, and figure out where it is coming from. Each of those sticks is tied to some false belief or assumption that we have to identify and then transform. We need to clean up the river so that we can get back into flow with our passion and purpose, back into flow with our God given destiny.
The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.
At places it may seem as though we are motionless, frozen in place. We have allowed the temporary nature of fears, to freeze the river. It may seem like a solid block of ice, but deep beneath the surface, it is still flowing to the sea. It may have become a small dribble, but with the fires of our passion, we can melt the ice returning the river back into its full force.
Passion requires focused direction, and that direction must come from three other areas: your purpose, your talents, and your needs.
Friends and family may try to sidetrack you, by diverting your river to their own benefit, but your need will find a way to get back on course.
At times we appear to be in flood stage, where the passion is so strong that we surrender to it. It is at these times that we learn to trust in divine providence to take us where we need to go. With the force of the floods, overflowing the course of the river, it will speed us past boulders that were blocking our path. We remember that all limitations, road blocks, and diversions are self imposed out of fear. We choose to leap forward over every obstacle as a challenge, we have in fact already conquered.
It must be borne in mind that the tragedy of life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach.
It isn’t a calamity to die with dreams unfulfilled. But it is a calamity not to dream.
It is not a disaster to be unable to capture your ideal, but it is a disaster to have no ideal to capture.
It is not a disgrace to not reach the stars, but it is a disgrace to have no stars to reach for. Not failure, but low aim is a sin.
– Benjamin Elijah Mays
Sometimes the best thing you can do is not think, not wonder, not imagine, not obsess. Just breathe, and have faith that everything will work out for the best. It is in that space between the breathing in and out, that brief space of holding, that we hear the voice of the divine. In this space we have the power to choose our response. Are we going to run from the challenge of having a mighty goal in our life? Are we going to deny our highest dreams and say that this is not our calling? Are we going to create a disaster by not having lofty ideals to strive for? Or are we going to reach for the stars, and really truly own that this starlight belongs to us and only us?
You are here not to shrink down less, but to blossom into more of who you really are.
Gratitude is so important to happiness. Be thankful for what you are now, and keep fighting for what you want to be tomorrow – always shifting and transforming towards the magnificence that is buried deep inside. Everything changes, seasons come and go. We turn around and suddenly we find half the year is over.. Everything on this earth is in a continuous state of evolving, refining, improving, adapting, enhancing…, changing. You were not put on this earth to remain stagnant. You came here to reach certain goals. To fulfill certain dreams. To capture the highest ideal of who you are capable of being. You came here to not only reach the stars, but to reach beyond them.
Brene Brown gives us a hint of what we are seeking when we say we just want to be “normal”.
Because True Belonging only happens when we present our Authentic, Imperfect Selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of Self-Acceptance
– Brene Brown
Being “normal” to most of us, means that we fit in. That we are accepted. That we experience a sense of belonging to a group or tribe. So the first clue to how we achieve that sense of belonging or being normal, is that we accept ourselves for who we really are, deep down inside. We don’t rely or depend on what other people are thinking about us. What they think about us is none of our business. It usually has nothing to do with us. It has to do with how our actions or lack thereof are triggering them. And whatever triggers them is all about their own shadows.
Normal is for people without courage.
So why is it so hard to have that feeling? Because we are so busy rejecting who we really are. An easy example is what most of us do when someone has a camera – we either try to stay out of the photo, or try to position ourselves so that we are hiding whatever part of our body we don’t want to be memorialized by a photo. Then we find fault with how we look in the photo. How many photos do you have of yourself that you actually love? Why not?
Normal is an illusion. What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly.
– Morticia Adams
We feel that we are the only ones who feel the way that we do. So we push the true self down into the basement of our soul, and lock the door. Then we start building a persona to match what we think is normal. Because this persona isn’t who we really are, we can’t really have that sense of true belonging. Instead we run around with this sense of “trying” to belong. What is so funny, is that almost every person in this group that we are trying so hard to fit into, is doing the exact same thing. In fact, there are probably friends of ours who if we all took down the personas and accepted who we really are, are in fact part of our tribe that we don’t think exists.
I tried being normal once. Worst two minutes of my life.
When I was in grade school and Junior High School, we moved every six months or so. Until I was in high school I didn’t attend one school for the entire school year. It was usually two different schools in two different towns. This made it really hard to make friends. What I remember most is trying to be who I thought someone would want me to be, just so that I could have a friend. In High School I first made friends with a group of girls that were on the wild side, because the wild girls were more accepting of new people.
Now where I ran into problems was that I was an “A” student, and the wild girls were not. So after the first experience of being put down for “A” grades, I tried to downplay my grades. Then I started letting them slide into “B’s” to be accepted. But the truth was that I liked school, I liked learning, I liked being the best in the class. So I changed my friends to some that didn’t care what my grades were. They allowed me to be who I was. Their acceptance gave me a tiny sense of belonging, of not sticking out too far above the crowd.
If you are always trying to be normal you will never know how amazing you can be.
– Maya Angelou
Why do we lock our true self into a chest, and bury it on the desert island? Because we are both terrified and amazed by the colors of our soul. We have this push-pull going on. We have a brilliant idea, then we mentally tear it apart. We have a dream we passionately want to go after, then we analyze it to death. A door of opportunity opens in front of us, and we feel an intense pull, but we listen to all of the naysayers and walk past it with dragging feet. Self Acceptance, means that we believe in ourselves. This is risk at its highest form, because what if we are not enough? This is where the loving the imperfect self comes in. No one is perfect, and so by this reality, we will fail sometimes. And that has to be okay.
I heard a voice that told me I’m essential. How all my fears are limiting my potential. Said it’s time to step into the light and use every bit of power I have inside.
– Indea Erie
Alice Through The Looking Glass, in Wonderland and Underground, was always looking for adventures.
Every adventure requires a first step.
– Cheshire Cat, Alice in Wonderland
Alice didn’t like following the rules of “normal” behavior. It takes a lot of courage to go out on adventures. Adventures bring out parts of us that we didn’t know were there. It also shows us parts of us, that we may not like. Adventures teach us to look at things differently. Backwards, upside down, and sideways. Adventures teach us about who we are. “Who in the world am I? Ah, that’s the puzzle”
I knew who I was this morning, but I have changed a few times since then.
– Alice in Wonderland
The more that we takes these adventures and learn about ourselves, the curiousier it gets. This is because like the looking glass adventure, everything is opposite of what we would think. In taking the risk and going on the adventure, what we find is more freedom to be our imperfect self.
Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.
– Brene Brown
How does that work? By being curious, and having self acceptance that we are imperfect, we start to allow ourselves the room to experiment. We start trying new things. We mix up the parts and create something new, different and wonderful. The more we open to change, the easier it becomes to let go of certainty. Self acceptance means that I no longer become that mean, vindictive, cruel person in my mind to myself. I am no longer at war with who I really am. We are all made up of strength and struggle; of giving and receiving; of being first to do something with no guarantee that it will be returned to us or that we will be successful in the doing of it.
As you grow, you develop the ideal of where your true belonging could be – the place, the home, the partner, and the work. You seldom achieve all of the elements of the ideal, but it travels with you are the criterion and standard of what true belonging could be.
– John O’Donohue
It is this strong sense of belonging, of self acceptance, of self love, that enables us to have the courage to live an imperfect life as our true selves. Don’t fear failure. Take ownership of who you are and be proud of it. Take chances, like they are lucky gold tickets, because they are. No matter what, do not stop being the weird, crazy person that you are meant to be.
Do I hide my value or discount the gifts that I have for this world?
Am I tightly guarded, afraid?
Do I feel like I am stuck in the mud, unable to move?
We can only be kept in the cages we refuse to see.
– Stefan Molyneux
What cages have you freed yourself from, or are working on freeing yourself from?
These cages have been created from stories that we tell ourselves. Stories of our unworthiness and insecurities. Maybe you have totally different cages locked away in the darkness than I talk about below. What I do know, is that we all have cages, and we all have the keys to unlock them.
Most human beings live like a bird in a cage whose door was blown away. Out of habit, too busy gold-plating the cage, they do not soar to the ultimate possibility.
– Jaggi Vasudeu
For many years I kept the real me hidden and locked away. I wanted people to love me, so I hid away all of the insecurities and made a strong mask to wear in public.
I was a daughter to a wonderful mom that I loved, but was always afraid that some day she wouldn’t love me, because I had not been the perfect daughter. This was my own story, not hers.
I am a sister, who has been more a mother to my younger sisters and brother, than a sister. I love them all dearly and wanted to protect them from all dangers, but I failed them. This was my own story, not theirs.
I worked myself up the corporate ladder of a major bank, becoming a “master” at mortgage finance and earning the title of Director. Yet at the same time, I was hiding away the insecurity of being found out to be a fraud. I was a high school drop out without a college degree. This was my story, and I release it, and release it, and release it (lack of formal education is a sticky belief for me).
I am a wife to my true love, my best friend, my partner. Through 44 years we have seen good times and bad. We have four wonderful children, and now have 13 grandchildren, and soon to be great grandparents. Many times I smiled on the outside and was dying on the inside, because I didn’t know how to communicate my own needs. So instead, became a martyr for everyone else’s. This was my story, not theirs.
I am a student of life. I am confident and unsure. I am terrified and excited. I am a young girl and an old woman. I wish on stars and dream dreams. I have been through many transformations, walking through the valley of fire and shadows. I have stepped off the edges of cliffs so I could soar across chasms. I have climbed up steep mountains, only to ride the rushing rivers back down into the valley.
I am just like you. A woman of many talents, conflicting emotions, and insecurities. I have set myself free from many of the stories I told myself. because the stories themselves were just cages to keep me contained. There are more cages that await, more doors to be opened. I have a handful of keys to the cages, and I am continuing to transform every time I use a new one.
People only get really interesting when they start to rattle the bars of their cages.
– Alain De Bottom
Have you started rattling the bars of your cage? It starts with learning to love all of the parts of yourself.
I have set myself free from the cages I created with the above false stories – the cage of perfection; the cage of protecting others from life experiences; and the cage of not having a degree; all of which were locked inside the larger cage of “I am not worthy” and so must earn your love and respect with every step, knowing that nothing I do can satiate that kind of thinking.
I love myself as I am today, perfectly imperfect. And, I love myself for who I am transforming into.
Have you ever said, “I would be happier if my (fill in the blank, my spouse, my job, etc…) weight were 10 lbs. less?” I am going to use my weight as the example, but you can substitute anything in your life, that is currently not bringing you into a state of joy. As you read through this, you can just adapt the process around your job, your spouse, your family, your finances, etc…
Never put the key to your happiness in someone else’s pocket.
This includes the pocket of your self saboteur. Have you ever counted calories? Have you counted steps? Weighed yourself every day to see if you released a single pound? I know I have. I have a Fitbit and I watch the numbers go up until I reach that 10,000 step mark. I worry over what I am eating and snacking on. What I recently discovered about this, is I am in fact disempowering myself.
Old ways won’t open new doors.
A new way of saying Einstein’s definition of insanity. I am “trying” over and over again to have better control, so that I can become healthier. Old ways that didn’t work the first time. It is sort of like banging my head against the door, hoping this time it will open for me. I keep “trying” to get myself out of the obesity designation. What I am in fact doing, is disempowering myself from being successful. I am empowering my view of my weight, to have complete control of my eating and exercise habits, setting myself up for self sabotage. I have put the keys to my happiness in the pocket of my self saboteur.
Find a heart that will love you at your worst and arms that will hold you at your weakest.
That heart and those arms need to be mine, not someone else’s. When something isn’t working, then what I do is study, research, read and listen. It never has failed me that someone will say something that triggers my mind to go down a rabbit hole and come up with something that my heart and soul have been trying to communicate with me.
Dear Destiny, I am ready to listen now.
When I walk every day, I listen to podcasts. I have Tony Robbins, TED Talks, a NPR show called Scratch, EWomen’s Network, Success Magazine, and several others that I listen to. I listen to whatever is next on the list. This past week, I pieced something together from several different podcasts that became an “aha” moment. I needed to listen to my inner genius. Those who listen to their inner genius often end up changing their world. So I asked myself, “What is it still possible for me to do?” Notice that I said do, not try.
I have been trying to discover through hits and misses what is contributing to the weight I have, and what I might do to be more successful in releasing the weight. It isn’t as simple as diet and exercise. What I received this week was a couple of keys.
Key #1 – Don’t try. Trying doesn’t last long. Trying is one of those words that sounds positive, but doesn’t have a high energy vibration to it. Falling back to the famous Yoda quote – “Don’t try, Do or don’t do.” Instead the key that fits into the transformation door, is to commit myself to “mastery” of releasing weight and becoming healthy. Mastery is hard work. You have to learn something completely. To take it apart and put it back together again. To understand the purpose and reason for every single part, and the actions it plays. It takes time. But when you become a master at something, it doesn’t just change you, it transforms you.
Mastery reflects understanding diet and nutrition, not generally, but as it applies to my individual DNA and my physical body. It reflects understanding how the feelings I am feeling each day (my moods, and memories) enter into the equation. It is about paying attention to my instincts or gut reactions to the pain and pleasure that is happening to me moment by moment. And lastly it included my thinking or my intellect.
There are powers inside of you which, if you could discover and use, would make of you everything you ever dreamed or imagined you could become.
– Orison Swett Marsden
Key #2 – Realize that my mind plays this game of chaos. I can tell that my weight is affecting my general health. I am exhausted. I have digestive issues among other things happening. But my mind likes the chaos it understands, better than the chaos it doesn’t know. It started from fear. It said it was trying to protect me from unwanted attention. It told me that I didn’t want to be like my mom, and hurt people that I loved. So add in a few pounds, plus a few more. Still getting attention, don’t worry, just add a few more pounds. My own subconscious good intentions will kill me. I needed to forgive myself, and let go of the need for protection.
Forgiveness is not something we do for other people. It’s something we do for ourselves to move on.
Key #3 – I am changing the interior landscape a little each day. I really never practiced self care. It was always care for everyone else first, and I got whatever was left over. So it is like going from the hard dry desert to a beautiful flower garden with a stream flowing through the middle. I had to dig up the soil. I had to put in some fertilizer to bring it up to optimal healthy soil that would support the growth of the flower garden. I then planted seeds. I watered them. I weeded out what doesn’t belong or bring me joy. I brought in some nice chairs to sit in. A small table to put a nice glass of lavender lemonade on. I transformed the desert of “not taking care of myself”, into a place that empowers me to do self care.
Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.
– Helen Keller
Key #4 – Gratitude. Every day I am finding things about my body, my health, the way I am taking better care of me – ways I can be grateful that I have this opportunity to bring back vibrant health to me. Gratitude pays homage and honors the steps I am taking. It says that while I am not where I want to be, I am making progress. It says that I don’t have to beat myself up on the days I fall short of 10,000 steps, or have the strawberry shortcake for dessert. It says that I will continue to be committed to bringing my body into a completely healthy state. The “friend” needs to be “you”. Self Love.
I’m a success today because I had a friend who believed in me, and I didn’t have the heart to let him down.
– Abraham Lincoln
If we find ourselves spending a lot of time and money, and not making any progress, we are in fact stuck in neutral. It feels like we are in drive, because we are counting calories, we are weighing in, we are restricting our food intake, but we are in fact stuck in park. This is evident when day after day, no weight is released. Our subconscious mind has us stuck in the chaos we know. We are blindfolded as to what is really happening.
Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swamps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists . . . it is real . . . it is possible . . . it’s yours.
– Any Rand
When we are not reaching the goals, we need to stop. Take a deep breath and look at what we are doing. First look to gratitude to where we are on the map. Then look to the patterns of the familiar chaos – what is eating up our time, energy, money, contributing to our frustrations? What story are we buying into that creates the “I am too tired” to walk tonight?” What food cravings around caffeine, sugar, processed foots, fast foods are we having because we are bored or stressed out? These stories are our self sabotaging patterns. If we can start to recognize them, then we have the potential to transform them.
The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential…, these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.
When we have mapped out where we are, then we are ready to put the car back into drive and put our foot on the gas. We do this by getting deeper into personal mastery. The neutral gear is calling our attention to some part of the chaos, that is not working for us any longer. Something that needs to be down shifted, released and/or transformed. Once we have gotten this new piece of knowledge into the head, drawn it down into our heart to become wisdom, then we can release our passion to fuel our motivation. We can realize our expanded potential and unlock a new door in our life of transformation.
We have always possessed the keys of transformation. The divine puts the doors of opportunity in front of us, over and over again. It is up to us to put the key in the lock, and go through the door. When we do that we discover untold potential and mastery within ourselves. We have more natural potential in each of us, than we could use in 100 lifetimes. Don’t let this life go by, not even using a small fraction of it.
Questions provide the key to unlocking your unlimited potential.
– Tony Robbins
Women who run with wolves have discovered something about themselves, that allows them to leave behind the fear that is expressed because of going outside the comfort zone. They see beauty in being able to walk alone or with the pack. Because they are unafraid they are called names. Labels like defiant, incorrigible, impossible, wild and untamed by society. They wear these labels with pride.
You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, and how you can still come out of it.
– Maya Angelou
When we live with fear, we are always “Finding-Excuses-And-Reason
We are all filled with longing for the wild. There are few culturally sanctioned antidotes for this yearning. We were taught to feel shame for such a desire. We grew our hair long and used it to hide our feelings. But the shadow of the Wild Woman still lurks beneath us during our days and nights. No matter where we are, the shadow that trots behind us is definitely four footed.
– Clarissa Pinkola Estes
For women who run with wolves, we have discovered S.E.L.F. which stands for Sacred-Empowered-Liberated-Self Care
She sees herself as a Sacred being
She sees herself as an Empowered being
She sees herself as a Liberated being
She sees herself as a Fearless being.
She runs with a vast community of souls, who hold and support her. She knows as a sacred being she is never, ever, truly alone. She is honored as a wisdom keeper, an empowered being that has grounded herself into the earth. Her roots run deep into the earth and support the work she does in the world.
She knows that she is a liberated woman who came to this earth to free those who have become shackled to the stories of not being good enough, pretty enough, or worthwhile. Her purpose is to remind others of their own sacred agreements they came here to fulfill. Of the love we have for each other. To free them from their self made chains and fulfill their own purpose in being here.
She is fearless because for her the word fear is a word of high integrity, because for her it means Face-Everything-And-Rejoice. She knows that she can be grateful for each fear that is faced down and transformed into something wonderful. She is rejoicing because she is working with others out in the world to build a bridge to shift our world from the challenges we see happening today, into a place of unity, love and trust.
If you can change your definition of the word fear, you can change your world. To fearless women, I am honored to be your sister.
Below is a copy of my poem which expresses these thoughts.
The wolf howls at the moon, not out of loneliness,
As he knows he is one with the universe.
He howls out of gratitude to be a member of the pack.
He remembers those he has traveled with in past lives,
He sees those he is traveling with again.
He rejoices in his vast community of souls, knowing that he is truly never alone.
The great spirit has honored the wolf with a voice that sings out in the darkness.
He honors the great spirit by singing to us,
“Do not be afraid, for you are not alone”
“I am here, and I remember you even if you have forgotten”.
Like the wolf I sing out to you, through my words on a page I say,
“I remember you, for we have traveled together before.”
I honor you that you have come again to do the great work before us.
Call out together with me as we gather our relatives that have forgotten their purpose.
Call to their minds our scared agreement to meet at this time and place.
Whisper to them of the great love we have for each other and their hearts will remember.
Gather around as we build the bridge of knowledge and understanding.
This bridge will unite all peoples together in love
This bridge is shifting our world into a new age of unity, love and trust.
We are one,
One love, I love us
One trust, I trust us,
I honor our sacred agreements, I am here.
We crash. We burn, and we get back up stronger, more resilient, and more determined than ever before. We are not victims, we are victorious.
– Garrett Paknis
With each step we add something to our life or, we release something out of our life. That is how change and transformation works. It is taking that step. That step towards our dreams. We don’t look behind us and waste our energy in feeding our fears. We just keep taking another step. Each thing that we release out of our life is something that no longer brings us joy. It no longer serves us. It might be that it is something that we have outgrown. Or it may be made up of disappointments. Something that feels like a failure or setback. We take out the lesson we needed and we release the rest. It is all the parts of the illusion that we are burning away. Those so called losses do not define who you are in reality. Only in fears illusion do they hold any power.
There is no illusion greater than fear.
– Lao Tzu
When we don’t release the illusions we can become frustrated with our life. Frustration is like damming up the river. It tries to keep flowing, but it gets stopped by the dam. At some point the water rises up to the top of the dam. Then it starts to trickle over. It isn’t yet free flowing. We start to realize that the dam is the problem. It is at this point of recognition, that we can at last redirect the energy of the river, to burn away the illusion of the dam, and begin to flow freely again to the sea. When your passion and your purpose are greater than your fears and excuses, you will find a way.
Life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving; we get stronger and more resilient.
– Dr Steve Maraboli
When we can at last see through the illusion of fear, we begin to get bold enough to use our voice to speak our truth. We can be brave enough to listen to the voice of our heart, to our intuition, our souls voice. And we can be strong enough to finally live our life’s purpose with full out passion. We are willing to be vulnerable enough, to be split open and let all our insides spill out onto the table. We are strong enough to be who we really are. To fully expose the parts of us that we had hidden away from fear of being seen. The phrase “do not be afraid” is written in the bible 365 times. A daily reminder to be fearless. So start everyday with this reminder to be fearless, breathing in the faith of walking with courage and fulfilling your divine purpose..
Fear is always triggered by creativity, because creativity asks you to enter into realms of uncertain outcome, and fear hates uncertain outcome. This is nothing to be ashamed of, it is, however, something to be dealt with.
– Elizabeth Gilbert
It is not letting our dreams be deferred to “Someday Isle”. Someday I will have the time; someday I will have the money; someday when the kids are grown and through college. Instead we trace our stories to their roots. We liberate our soul to fulfill our dreams. It isn’t about “what happened to me” (see my pain and feel sorry for me), it is what we choose to do with life’s experiences. It is about look at who I have become, what I “chose” to become. What treasure we found within the experience, the hidden gem. It is about how it has exposed the better me that was hiding inside of it.
The strongest oak of the forest is not the one that is protected from the storm and hidden from the sun. It’s the one that stands in the open where it is compelled to struggle for its existence against the winds and the rains and scorching sun.
– Napoleon Hill
It is pausing as you inhale the breath. To pause listening to the question in the space of the pause. To hearing the answer with the exhalation of the breath. There in that space, is the creative spirit. It is waiting to take you by the hand. To walk the road of fulfillment of the dream. There in that space is the taste of possibilities. It is how that creativity bubbles to the top when we take the time to just breathe and listen.
We get a glimpse in that space of where we are heading. It invites us to plunge into the river and flow to the sea. To learn to dance down life’s road. Be curious, make great discoveries. Observe how the unknown can become joyful.
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