When we are at the airport and getting ready to check our luggage, they always ask, “Has anyone asked you to carry something for them in your luggage? Has anyone else packed your bags?” Have you ever wondered how much of what weighs you down is not yours to carry? What beliefs do you carry around in your baggage that don’t really belong to you? When we unpack the stories in our luggage, what we find is that we are carrying around stories that belong to our parents, our grandparents, our family, culture, tribe. Most of those stories are not ours. They are not who we are. They belong to others and need to be unpacked, they need to be left with those that they really belong to. That is the luggage that needs to be checked. Release it.
“I can’t”. . . , “it’s not possible”. . . , “I’m not good enough”. . . , These are the lies the demons of your past use to scare away the possibilities of the present.
– Dr. Steve Maraboli
There is a movie that Lucille Ball made with her husband about a trip they were making in a car that was towing a big trailer. Along the trip the character Lucille was playing kept putting in these large stones or rocks of everyplace they stopped. Finally the weight was so much, they couldn’t tow the trailer up over the mountains. This is the same for us.
How many of us walk around being weighed down by the baggage of our journey? You can’t possibly embrace that new relationship, that new companion, that new career, that new friendship, or that new life you want while you’re still holding on to the baggage of the last one. Let go . . . , and allow yourself to embrace what is waiting for you right at your feet.
– Dr. Steve Maraboli
Our mind has these filters. They sort through everything that we see and do, looking for proof of our beliefs. We carry with us all of these heavy stones, which are stories of our past. At some point the weight of the stories will pull us down, if they are weighted with negativity. We need to unpack all of the “I should of’s” and “I shouldn’t have’s” and leave those stones at the side of the road you are traveling on. We need to lighten the load, by releasing everything negative.
I am like a book, with pages that have stuck together for want of use. My mind needs unpacking and the truths stored within must be turned over from time to time, to be ready when occasion demands.
The problem with our stories, is that they are usually one sided. This is because our “truth” is never the entire truth. It takes courage to break those chains and redefine your own life. What we need to do is examine all of those stories. We need to unpack the stories and ask, why they are important? What about our true values do they reflect? What about them brings us joy and happiness? What do they tell us from a space of self love and trust? When we focus our light on the things that build us up, the things that were dragging us down will disappear on their own. They can’t exist in our authentic light of love and truth.
Sometimes you don’t realize the weight of something you’ve been carrying until you feel the weight of its release
Our minds do not know the difference between actual events and our imagination. Most of us carry these unconscious beliefs formed as a small child before we really understood what was really happening. For example, when I was around four years old, I walked in on my mom having an affair. Shortly thereafter my mom and dad divorced. As a four year old, I assumed the responsibility of breaking up the marriage. I felt that I wasn’t to be trusted, and that it wasn’t safe to be seen.
That program ran my life all of my childhood and most of my adult life. When I figured out what was creating the pattern of “my foot on the brake and gas at the same time”, I released that story. I had nothing to do with the breakup of my parents marriage. Now this pattern no longer shows up in my life. Most of us have patterns created by a small child, that were made up by our imagination to explain something that we didn’t understand..
The things you want are always possible; it is just that the way to get them is not always apparent. The only real obstacle in your path to a fulfilling life is you, and that can be a considerable obstacle because you carry the baggage of insecurities and past experience.
– Les Brown
So take a few moments and ask yourselves the questions we talked about. Loosen up the load; put down the bags; unlock the chains and let them fall to the ground; unpack those bags. Set yourself free. Reminds me of the lyrics from 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover – Just slip out the back Jack and set yourself free.
Sometimes the most difficult part of any journey is believing that you’re worthy of the destination. The one where you see that goal, that dream or what it is that you have always longed for. You are brave enough to face the challenges and strong enough to see it through the end. Never be afraid to take that first step. With each new step, bringing you closer to it. Believe it! You can do it.
– Brigitte Nicole
We all have those days. The days when nothing is seeming to go the way you planned. That day when every mistake you made in the past year, shows up on your desk within 5 minutes of your sitting down. Those days when you feel that the very idea of being able to control anything in your life, is life’s great joke on you.
“Life has many ways of testing a person’s will, either by having nothing happen at all, or by having everything happen at once” – Paulo Coelho
If you could see what was being hidden in each of our lives, I think that you would be more loving to one another. There is a video that was done, where little thought bubbles come up as the camera goes down the halls and elevators in a hospital. Someone is saying goodbye to their dying father. One man was just told the tumor was benign, while another was told he has cancer. An elderly woman with oxygen has been waiting for a heart transplant for 69 days. An exhausted nurse is at the end of a 12 hour shift. “
Those are the days when you need someone to hug you and say, “You are Good Enough. You are Capable of Handling this. You are Important. You are more than Worthy. You are LOVED. You are NOT ALONE.” These are the days that you need all of the light and love that the world can send you. What you have to remember, is that at this very moment, someone in the world is either sending you that love, or is in need of you to send that love.
“Could a greater miracle take place, than for us to look through each other’s eyes for an instant?” – Henry David Thoreau
It is when you are living our life from the place of passion and purpose, that you shine the brightest. Knowing that your deepest dreams can be reached. It is when you take that deep breath, and just let the emotions flow out of you, that you can reset yourself. It is hard to be loving and empathetic when you are in survival mode. You need to give yourself the oxygen mask, reset your emotions and then help others. Find that spark inside of you, and let it shine first for you. Then shine it for others to help them find theirs.
Recently driving into work, I was playing a CD with healing sounds. A friend of mine knew that I have been having some health issues, and thought it might help. So I purchased it and have been playing it all week. I realized that every area in almost everyone’s life right now is undergoing some issues. Work layoffs; health issues; injustices in life, and just watching the news can make you a little stressed out about how everything is in a negative place right now. But writing these posts and finding the “good news” articles and videos is what keeps my feet walking down my path of transformation. It is keeping me sane. It is why I write, and why I want to share what I find with all of the other LemonadeMakers out there.
“Remember . . . the entrance to the sanctuary is within you” – Rumi
Then you add in everything negative happening with politics, terrorists attacks; the workplace and school shootings, countries at war within their own borders, or threatening to make war on other countries – it can all feel overwhelming. None of these problems have easy solutions. I think that we are all being called by the Divine to wake up. To be the love and light that the world needs to heal. We all need to heal in some way.
“Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you with leaving happier” – Mother Teresa
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. As we share the lessons of each one’s individual journey, resilience is grown for everyone. Join us for the next conversation and become even more inspired to reach out and pull your dreams into reality.
It’s better to walk alone, than with a crowd going in the wrong direction.
– Diane Grant
When we try to walk down another persons road, it leads to disillusionment and disappointment. That is because it isn’t “our” road. In the book “The Pilgrimage”, Paulo Coelho said that:
It is our decision to walk, that creates the road ahead of us.
– Paulo Coelho
Trying to explain to someone what our personal truth is for the path we are walking, is like trying to explain rocket science to a baby. It isn’t that the baby will never understand rocket science. It is that the baby isn’t yet developed enough to understand. We can’t explain our path to someone who isn’t yet at that same stage of their own truth. It will only create misunderstandings, miscommunications, and lots of frustration. Even we sometimes can’t put into words the necessity for why we have to do something. We just know that we have to do it. It has to do with our being conscious and open minded enough to realize when we are being directed. It has to do with our acceptance of that direction, even when we don’t know why.
It takes courage to keep walking when the path is obscured by confusion. TRUST. BELIEVE. And just keep walking. The way will be revealed.
– Sue Krebs
It is both being courageous and having curiosity, that keeps us forging ahead on the path. It is the journey itself, that grows us as a person. It is our attitude about what happens. It molds us either for our greater good, or for living out life disappointed as a victim of circumstances and bad luck. It is the difference between knowing what you need to do, and doing what needs to be done. It is easy to get the knowledge, but the wisdom only comes from putting that knowledge into action. It can’t just be “book learning”, it also has to be married to “learning in action”.
Getting lost along your path is part of finding the path you are meant to be on.
– Robin S. Sharma
It has been said that it’s never about obtaining the “goal”. It is rather about who you need to become, to achieve the goal. There are many different roads to walk. They go through many different landscapes. It could be a forest path, with giant trees that shadow the land. It could be through sand dunes and along beaches. It could be a path of a river which sometimes meanders slowly, and other times rushes through rapids crushing you against the rocks, and then dumps you down a waterfall. It could be the hot desert or the frozen tundra. Each path will require different skillsets in order for you to become the master of your journey. Different clothing, different shoes, different temperatures to be endured. Different equipment from ropes, boats, sleds etc. . . . It is always your choice of where you step, and which path(s) your choose. If you don’t like the first road you chose, move over to a new one.
You must learn a new way to think before you can master a new way to be.
– Marianne Williamson
It is always our decision to skip and sing our way along the yellow brick road, or to whine, complain, dragging our feet as we ask “are we there yet”? Are you standing in your own truth? Are you walking your own path? Is your heart guiding you? Look for the opportunities to better understand the journey. Look for the helpers to guide us on our path. The destination or outcome of our journey isn’t what is important. It is who we are becoming, what we are actually doing that makes us successful.
I have always loved the saying, “It’s not the destination,… it’s the journey”. This is because the path we choose is our journey. It is where we live our life. It is all of life’s experiences. The good, bad, and the ugly. The messy parts, as well as the glorious adventures. We can see treasures every single day, if we just take the time to notice them. Life goes on, it moves on. It does it regardless of whether we are saying yes to our destiny or running the other way. Since the path to happiness lies in the direction of our destiny, why not say yes? Choose happiness.
Does the walker choose the path, or the path the walker?
– Garth Nix
Along the way, we live life out loud. We can choose to taste and savor the experiences that that journey brings to us. The more that we can reach out in happiness, joy, and just plain exuberance, the richer our life is. The destination is simply a road sign. A sign that we made it to “X”. Then we begin planning a new destination or goal. It’s all about the road we choose, the path we forge. Who we are becoming. What we reveal and release that is not truly who we are at heart.
By choosing the path, we choose the destination.
– Thomas Monson
Have you ever heard the saying, “you can’t go home again”? The reason why is that while you were away, you changed. You look at things differently. You think that everything changed. But in reality it was you who changed. The house you lived in as a small child, suddenly looks much smaller – the house didn’t change size – but your way of looking at the world changed. We are all far from who we once were, and we are still farther from whom we are growing into. What is really scary is when you go home again, and see those who haven’t changed. They haven’t even put on foot onto their path. They are still stuck back five, ten, or twenty years ago with the same victimhood mentality. They are caution signs to keep walking on your path.
One’s destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things.
– Henry Miller
So cast off the bowlines. Sail out of the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds and see where they take you. Remember that you are always only one decision away from a totally different life. Embrace the journey and it will love you back. Trust your journey, even when you don’t understand where destiny is taking you. It could just be the biggest, most juiciest trip of your life.
Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.
Judging a person does not define who they are, it defines who you are. It is almost impossible to truly understand what another person has experienced in their life. Even if you have experienced a similar trauma, you don’t have the same fears, doubts, sorrows or pain that they have, each of which colors their experience of the trauma.
It’s easy to look at people and make quick judgments about them, their present and their past, but you’d be amazed at the pain and tears a single smile hides. What a person shows to the world is only one tiny facet of the iceberg hidden from sight. And more often than not, it’s lined with cracks and scars that go all the way to the foundation of the soul.
– Sherrilyn Kenyon
That is why the very act of judgment is so harmful. Most of us have the mean inner critic that creates a lot of havoc in our life. We really don’t need the additional bench of outsiders judging us too. Judging doesn’t bring anything positive to the table.
There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.
What doubt and judgment reflects of us is actually small prejudices. These small personal judgments or beliefs we make are deceptive because the are like the thorns – tiny, but dangerous. It works its way into the body and festers, creating an infection than can imperil your life. This is what leads to extremist thinking and actions. It is these thorns that lead to bombings, to being a sniper in a tower shooting innocent people, to so many of the mass murders and terrorist actions we see today.
Allow judgments, expectations, and illusions to fade into the darkness. And in the light, all that remains is love.
– Greig Grippen
True empathy for one another means that we step out of the initial judgment or thought that we have about ourselves or another person. It requires that we look beneath the surface to see what the storms of life have dumped into us. When you peer into the water of a lake, you see the things hidden from view. There is dirt, mud, rocks, sand, sticks, leaves, things that you expect to find. But what else might be there? What has the rain, wind, flooding dumped into the water over the years?
There will always be a reason why you meet people. Either you need them to change your life or you are the one that will change theirs.
I remember that some divers went into a small lake just a few miles from Seattle-Tacoma Airport after a bad storm. The lake is surrounded by office buildings and homes. What they found were lawn chairs, outside tables, and various things that had been blown into the water over the years from the homes around the lake. They also found a very, very, old hand hewn canoe from a tree, thought to be over 150 yrs old. Just like this lake had been hiding many things beneath the surface, so do we. Empathy is what allows us to dive deep and begin to truly understand what might be going on.
We also have to look at the reason we are making the judgments, from a self improvement perspective. There is a saying that every judgment we make about others, is about something that we don’t want to admit seeing in ourselves. So when we make that judgment about somebody’s body being covered by tattoo’s or that they have bright green or purple hair, or that outfit is too young for them and so on and so on. What is that judgment reflecting about us?
“Go to the edge.” the voice said. “No, I’ll fall.” I replied. “Go to the edge.” the voice said. “You’ll push me.” I replied. “Go to the edge.” the voice said. So I went and I was pushed and I flew.
– Zen Proverb
I know that in the past for myself, I noticed that I made judgments about people who dressed differently than I did – in ways that drew attention to themselves, it was because I was jealous. I was too afraid to call that much attention to myself. Now that I know what was underneath of that judgment, it has shifted into being inspired by their courage. What judgments do you habitually make that could be shifted into something positive? Instead of judging others by the results of actions, what if we looked at the initial intentions, exercised empathy and went on from there?
Life is a balance of holding on and letting go.
The rush to judgment is the exact opposite of this. It is a rush to hate on someone, when the true story isn’t even known. The whole concept of bad news traveling fast is because no one has yet gotten all of the facts. When my nephew was murdered, the headline in the paper was about one gang member killing someone in a rival gang. My nephew wasn’t a gang member and had never associated with anyone who was. He was simply walking through the park late at night taking a short cut to a friends house to get his bike and ride home. He was just in the wrong place, at the wrong time. Two days later, the paper corrected itself, on a back page. We see this happen all of the time on the internet. Instead, wouldn’t it be nice to see some comments on lets not make judgments until we hear all of the facts of an investigation?
The secret in life is enjoying the passage of time. Instead of clutching onto the past or fearing the future, experiment with letting go into the mystery of life. Float on the river of time, curious about its direction, open to its changing nature. You don’t really know where it’s going, so why not relax and experience the ride?
– Elizabeth Lesser
Instead lets meet in the field, with the idea of laying aside the blame and judgments. Lets allow ourselves to live life without the judgment of wrong doing or right doing. Where instead, we can simply live a more loved filled life. I know that this sounds like an unrealistic impossible place. But even if we could come close to the edges of such a field, think about how much our own lives would improve. About how much the world around us would be improved, just by us trying to live in this space.
In silence there is eloquence. Stop weaving and see how the pattern improves.
“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like” – Lao Tzu
Every year in January the majority of us will set goals for the new year. You may call them New Years Resolutions or goals. They can be personal goals such as your weight or physical fitness goals, or business/financial goals. What ever they are they generally designed to enhance your life in some way.
“Try not to resist the changes that come your way. Instead let life live through you. And do not worry that your life is turning upside down. How do you know that the side you are used to is better than the one to come?” – Rumi
One thing that I have discovered about myself is realizing when I am pushing a goal to happen in a certain way or time frame, life gets frustrating and hard. But if I step back and look at my goal from the aspect of divine timing, I can usually see that the reason why the goal isn’t progressing. There is something that I am missing, something vital to make it happen. When the progress towards the goal starts to become pushing a boulder uphill, I know now to walk it backward down the hill until the pressure is released.
“When we resist change, it’s called suffering. But when we can completely let go and not struggle against it, when we can embrace the groundlessness of our situation and relax into its dynamic quality, that’s called awakening…, Another word for that is freedom – freedom from struggling against the fundamental ambiguity of being human” – Pema Chadron
I step back and re-look at what I am doing. Re-look at the time table. Re-examine the reasons behind the goal to see if I need to adjust what the goal is trying to accomplish. I love the analogy of flowing downstream in a river. There are these little bays or inlets, eddies in the river where you can float in stillness. In these places, you acquire knowledge, skills, make partnerships, etc.., things that will be needed later down river. You have a chance to examine and revise your goals based on new knowledge. Then when the timing is right, you re-enter into the river and flow further downstream.
“People don’t resist change. They resist being changed” – Peter M Senge
When you step out of the river of change, you are trying to keep your comfort zone in place. Change threatens your comfort zone. In the process of trying to keep a stable, balanced comfort zone you step out of the river. You damn up the divine flow of your life.
“It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it” – Lena Horne
Stop struggling against the load, Instead, relax and float. You can float for hours. It is the struggle that makes you exhausted, wastes all of your energy and breaks you down, so that you give up. The struggle and the pushing come from trying to force things to happen a certain way. You can force your foot into a shoe one size too small, but you will only cause blisters and pain for yourself. Drop the expectations,, stop pushing for change, and let it unfold with divine timing.
“Change is never painful, only the resistance to change is painful” – Gautama Buddha
Go within, where the wisdom and clarity reside. Instead of having to defend yourself, or prove something, you discover the compassion to simply let life flow forward and outward in simplicity.
“If you are quiet enough, you will hear the flow of the universe. You will feel its rhythm. Go with this flow. Happiness lies ahead. Meditation is the key.” Buddha
The way you meet an ending impacts the new beginning. Or to put another way, the way you meet change impacts who you are becoming. When a door opens for you, it’s not just something new entering into your life. It’s your life becoming something new.
Change happens whether you want it to or not. So stop fighting change. Stop striving for perfection. Trying to manage change only slows it down, and your experience of change will be impacted by negative emotions. Instead embrace change. Lean into it. Discover what lessons it has to teach you. Take a moment to become curious. Trust that it is leading you into a better tomorrow.
Ending with my two favorite Bruce Lee quotes:
“Empty your mind. Be formless, shapeless like water. You put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle. You put water into a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend” – Bruce Lee
And the second one is:
“There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there. You must go beyond them. I wish you success in growing beyond any plateaus that you are currently experiencing in your life. Be water and flow” – Bruce Lee
This is the year, that I become the warrior woman that I didn’t think I could be.
This is the year, that every morning begins with a cup of the grandest vision I can imagine.
This is the year that I find the gold inside of me, and don’t try to dilute it.
This is the year that instead of allowing that critical voice inside my head to stop me, I will dust off my stiletto kick ass heals and crush it.
This is the year, that I let the wild and crazy girl go free.
This is the year that no one (not even me), can put out the burning desire that rages deep inside of me.
This is the year that “I am already everything I need”, becomes more than just a saying.
This is the year, that my “will” is stronger than fears resistance.
This is the year that I will forgive myself freely, and love myself relentlessly.
This is the year that my life is a living, breathing, screaming, invitation to believe in better things, not only for myself, but for the whole world.
This is the year that God is bringing new seasons of growth into my life.
This is the year that new doors of opportunity will up-level my life to a glorious future beyond my wildest dreams.
This is the year that the way I live my life, respects and enhances the freedom of others.
This is the year that I will always speak the truth, even if no one wants to hear, or will listen to it.
This is the year that I shine like a beacon through whatever dark nights come.
This is the year that I dance with change and transformation instead of fighting it.
This is the year that passion and purpose become that favorite dress that I wear for all occasions.
This year when I feel the start of something new, I am going to pay attention and follow the directions.
We all stand at the threshold of a great adventure every day. It can be a scary place, because we all have our individual self doubts. We have to unlearn the programming that says it is selfish to put ourselves first. It is not selfish to love ourselves, to take care of ourselves, and make our own happiness a priority. As they say on every airplane takeoff, in case of emergency, put your own oxygen mask on first, then you can help others.
Every soul is beautiful and precious; is worthy of dignity and respect, and deserving of peace, joy, and love.
– Bryant McGill
You cannot change what is going on around you, until you start changing what is going on inside of you. We need to put on that oxygen mask, so we can take stock of what inside of us is not working. We need to let go of what is not ours to fix, put up with, or allow to continue happening.
We are all born with a purpose and a passion. It is up to you to seek out that purpose and find your passion.
– Billy Cox
We are fragile human beings who can be destroyed by another’s words or actions. If we are not being treated with love and respect, we need to see what value we have assigned to ourselves. The people that we surround ourselves with are a reflection of how we view ourselves. We need to get off the “reduced last chance sale rack”, and get inside the fancy glass case where the precious jewels are displayed.
You are determining the future you every day. Will the decisions you make today lead you closer to the person you want to be tomorrow?
– Brenna Smith
How many times for example has someone said, “Where to you want to go to dinner?” and your answer was that you didn’t know or didn’t care. You do know what you feel like eating, but somehow, you always say, “it doesn’t matter, what you do want?” The scriptures say something like, he who is faithful in little things, is faithful in bigger things. What it is talking about is the principle of patterns. What you do in the big things has been formed by the habits of what you do in the little things. The habit of always putting others before you, started in the smaller things, like what do you want for dinner.
Be authentic! Don’t lower your dreams to fit it with others. If people can’t celebrate your dreams, they are probably not your friends.
– Phineas Kinuthia
We may be afraid that no one will listen to us, so why speak. We may be terrified that they will laugh at our dreams and say they are unattainable. We fear being judged as unworthy, not enough. We don’t want to be all alone and so we abdicate our life away, so that we will be accepted and fit in. This is the story that we tell ourselves so that we don’t have to change.
Instead we can start making choices that feed us, energize us. We can choose to be unstoppable. To be bigger than any worries that are buzzing around us. Those buzzing worries are just scenario’s that no longer serve to build us up. Release what is no longer serving you. Open the window shooing the fly to go buzz its way outside.
Sometimes the hardest thing to do, is also the right thing to do.
The universe is always speaking to us . . . sending us little messages, causing coincidences and serendipities, reminding us to stop, to look around, to believe in something else, something more.
– Nancy Thayer
You are more than you have shown yourself to be so far. You are more than you have been willing to see. You are stronger than you know. Trust your intuition and live a courageous life.
Respect your efforts, respect yourself. Self respect leads to self discipline. When you have both firmly under your belt, that’s real power.
– Clint Eastwood
Today is the day to get up and walk down your sacred path. Choose to dwell in divine possibility. Awaken to the divine guidance that has been sending you messages. Believe in the divine plan, that you are more capable than you ever dreamed. Remember that you will never had to sacrifice your dignity for your destiny. If it feels like that is the choice, then your intuition is telling you to pass that choice by.
Be not the slave of your own past – plunge into the sublime seas, dive deep, and swim far, so you shall come back with self-respect, with new power, with an advanced experience, that shall explain and overlook the old.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
The world needs more poets like Maya Angelou. Her writings are so inspirational.
“Nothing can dim the light which shines from within” – Maya Angelou
When you shine your light, it means that you are expressing your souls purpose in being here. You are living congruently with your souls purpose and your light shines out. Don’t you just love being around people, when they are being their authentic selves? That is true charisma and magnetism. Maya Angelou was such a soul. Desmond Tutu is another such soul.
“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness” – Desmond Tutu
When you listen to the news each morning or evening, it is hard to see the light through all of the darkness. So much of the news is about the darkness in your community, with only the occasional story that reflects the everyday heroes among us.
“If you light a lamp for someone else, it will also brighten your path” – Buddhist Proverb
Then you all have those times when the darkness of the world has settled into your own living rooms. You lose a loved one in death; you lose your job; your family falls apart and that special person that promised to love you forever, leaves you. It could be that due to addictions, your spouse or child has turned into someone that you don’t recognize. Despite everything you try, you can’t reach them. So much darkness can spill across your threshold, like the floods during a storm, safety seems to be an unreachable, forgotten place. You may feel that no matter how many candles you light, the darkness has taken over and you can’t see your way out of it. The pain has spread from your hearts and buried your soul.
“You have to find what sparks a light in you so that you in your own way can illuminate the world” – Oprah Winfrey
This is the time when you might believe that everything is finished. That life is over for you. That it is no longer worth living. And that is when a new beginning happens. I love the analogy of photos and darkrooms. The negative is developed in the dark. Then when the chemicals have worked their magic the photo can be seen. Out of the darkness comes a beautiful picture. Something new has been created.
“If you can’t be the light, be the match. You may not be the candle to illuminate the room, but your spark can be the source of it’s light” – Unknown
For most of you, if you look backwards in your lives, you find that the most personal growth was created by the darkness that entered your life. If you can remember that, when you are going through the “dark night of the soul”, then you know that even if life is giving you bushels of lemons at the moment, something beautiful is about to be born. It is at this time that you need to remember these words:
“Give light, and the darkness will disappear of itself” – Desiderius Erasmus
In the words of another wise soul, Martin Luther King Jr start where you are.
“If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl. But whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward” – Martin Luther King Jr.
You have to keep moving forward into the light. You have to find some way to keep the light of your heart alive. Martin Luther King Jr. told us that only light can drive out the darkness, and only love can drive out the hate. Your heart has both the light and the love you need contained within it, if you don’t barricade yourself from it.
“Some days you will be the light for others, and some days you will need some light from them,… As long as there is light, there is hope, and there is a way” – Jennifer Gayle
So when darkness seems to be the only thing you can see, look more closely. LemonadeMakers are all around you. We all have our heart lights shining out into the darkness, helping others to see their way out.
“Strong people don’t put others down, . . . they lift them up” – Michael P Watson
You all have your own stories of the darkness that visited with you. LemonadeMakers know your story, because we have been in your shoes. We will help you back into the light, and you in turn will help someone else. That is what the light of love is all about.
Learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.
– Leonardo da Vinci
Change is a funny thing in our lives. It happens everyday. A seed breaks its shell and begins growing a plant. The Apple Tree blossoms, forms the bud of an apple that grows and ripens. The seeds are sown, they grow and produce according to their kind, and they are harvested, eaten and the process begins again.
In 1963 Edward Lorenz presented “The Chaos Theory” to the New York Academy of Science and was laughed out of the room. Thirty years later, this theory was accorded the status of a “law” when physics professors proved it to be true. The original theory stated that, a butterfly flapping his wings set molecules of air in motion, which moved other air molecules and so forth until a hurricane was set in motion on the other side of the planet. This change effect, states that in our own lives, even a small change can bring about a revolutionary impact in our lives.
We can look at this through the analogy of the ripple in a lake. A raindrop hits the still water and starts a ripple. Then another raindrop, and another, and so on. Each one creates its own ripple. These ripples expand out, and end up striking each other as the raindrops fall. Each of these tiny ripples impact each other to create chaos in the still water. In the same way, our thoughts, words, and the little details and actions that we complete or leave undone each minute, hour and day impacts not only our life, but the lives of others, both near and far.
Every single thing you do matters. You have been created as one of a kind. You have within you the power to change the world.
– Andy Andrews
Your destiny is bound to the destiny of others. They say, “the devil is in the details”. The reason this is true is because it is the details that really change you, and the world around you. You might think that big events change the world, but if you study history and trace backwards, it comes down to something that was thought to be insignificant, that really sets it all in motion.
Think back to something that happened in your life that you can see totally impacted your life. Trace backwards to where the event really started. Not the moment that all of the dominoes crashed down, but to the event that started the dominoes to tilt. A close friend had some major changes happen in her life in the past 10 months. She didn’t see the connections until just this past week. When she saw them, she was astounded at what started the whole pattern to breakdown.
My friend and her husband decided the end of last year to move into a new condo unit. It was a much nicer unit with more space and a great view. The new condo was renting for $600 more a month than they had been paying. It also had additional utilities payments that had been included in their rent for the previous condo. So like most of us, she looked at her monthly budget to determine how they would be able afford the higher rent.
Her old place was next to a Starbucks, and they had been in the habit of going there for breakfast every single day. So the amount of money they were spending a month, was just about equal to their higher rent payment. So she thought they would just stop going to Starbucks, and the higher rent would be easily absorbed into their lifestyle.
They moved into their new home and adjusted their spending habits as planned. This was the detail that escaped my friend when she made this decision, that she saw when she looked backwards. My friend was contracting her wealth energy by making this decision. Starbucks was part of her wealth profile. She felt wealthy by going there everyday, and spending that much money on coffee. It gave her the expansive energy of abundance. She could afford to do this, therefore she was wealthy.
A few months later, she noticed that her business was slowly contracting and they were month over month earning less money. This in turn caused her to further retract her spending habits. Then my friends husband told her he was leaving her. He had reconnected with his first wife and decided to divorce my friend, and begin a new life with his ex-wife.
My friend was devastated, as she hadn’t seen it coming. It was like she was getting hit after hit. At one of their meetings to discuss their divorce, she finally got enough courage to talk to him about what had happened. She asked him, when his feelings for her changed? He told her that it was after they moved. He felt like they were losing their lifestyle, and that it started with Starbucks and then continued on to other things. He didn’t want to live that way.
That was when the “lightbulb” went off in her head. Starbucks had been the energy of her feeling wealthy. When she made that decision, that started the rain drops hitting her lake. The more raindrops that fell, the more the ripples contracted her wealth energy, which caused her business to lose more revenue. Those ripples hitting upon each other changed every bit of positive flowing energy in her life. It was contraction after contraction in every aspect of her life.
Perhaps the butterfly is proof that you can go through a great deal of darkness yet become something beautiful. While she has been through hell the past few months, as soon as she saw the connections forming she immediately started shifting her energy back into the space of abundance. Her business has fully recovered, and is currently more successful than it was this time last year. She learned a powerful lesson that has been known for centuries.
Everything is alive; everything is connected.
She feels that if instead, she had thought expansive thoughts, such as what can I do to increase my revenues to afford a higher rent, that her business would have grown and expanded. They would not have had to reduce their lifestyle, and things would have continue along the same path with her husband. Now while we can’t say for sure that her marriage would have not ended, but it certainly seems possible that she is correct.
Think back into your own life when you had a situation like my friend. A time when life started going downhill fast. A time when one domino after another seemed to be falling. A time when you hit rock bottom. Now trace it back to right before it all started falling apart. There in that space, you made a decision, that was probably a decision of contraction. There was something there that was a tiny detail, that you didn’t realize was connecting your life and holding it all together.
When one tugs at a single thing in nature, one finds it attached to everything else.
– John Muir
This is so important to remember. Contraction of energy will cause our connections to spin out of control. It is expansion of energy that grows into abundance. It is expansion of energy that creates love and compassion to one another. This is what we need more of, both in our personal lives and the world. It is the answer to all questions, expansion of love.
Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together,… all things connect.
– Chief Seattle
In 2013, in Oregon, teenage sisters Hanna (age 16) & Haylee (age 14) lifted a tractor to save their father pinned underneath.
In 2015, in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Nick Williams lifted a four-wheel-drive vehicle to save a young boy pinned beneath its tire.
In 2015, in Vienna, Virginia, Charlotte Heffelmire was able to momentarily use incredible strength to free her dad from a GMC pick-up truck.
“The only thing limiting us in life is our belief that there are limits” – unknown
What do these three things have in common? They are what you call miracles, extreme feats of strength. Adrenaline on overload. What they demonstrate is that the rules, boundaries and limitations don’t exist. Why? Because you can blast through them, when you don’t stop to think about it. These examples show people who did something their logical mind’s would have told them was impossible. But because someone they loved was in danger, they did the impossible.
“I don’t think people should have boundaries put on them, by themselves or society or another gender, because it is our birthright to experience life in whatever way we feel best suits us” – Hilary Swank
There was a commercial at Super Bowl XLIX for Always #LikeAGirl. In the video an adult female show them what it’s like to run like a girl, then a young female teen, and preteen female and last a little girl. The older girls ran in an unreal way that was weak and ineffective. The younger girls ran as fast as they could. The commercial highlighted the fact that most women when they hit puberty, take in limitations to what they can do and be.
“Our beliefs are just thoughts with emotions tied to them that we’ve taught ourselves to believe are true” – JV Crum III
As teenagers, in order to fit in, you started holding back on what you were capable of. 75-80% of your negative thinking patterns come from negative beliefs that you have made up about yourself. When I started school, I was four years old, turning five in November. I entered first grade, because my school didn’t have a kindergarten. So I was very small and always 1-2 years younger than everyone else in my grade. I was chosen last for any sport activity. I formed the belief that I wasn’t good at sports. Because of this belief, I never tried. To this day, I am not active in any sports. This is just a belief, and only my reality as long as I let it be.
“Beliefs have the power to create ad the power to destroy. Human beings have the awesome ability to take any experience of their lives and create a meaning that disempowers them or one that can literally save their lives” – Tony Robbins
Ernestine Shepard, is a body builder. She believes that age is nothing but a number. Because of that belief she is doing some amazing things. When she was 56 years old she decided to become a body builder. In 2010 she entered the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest female body builder. At 83 years old she is still going strong. “I am out running/walking at 3:30 a.m. in the morning with a group of people, seven days a week,” Ernestine told the Miami Times. “I eat very healthy and eat five meals a day every day. My gym schedule consists of going five days a week and doing a variation of 100 sit-ups per day.”
She has been on Oprah and recognized throughout the world for what she is doing. She teaches an Energy Fitness Class at a gym. She has a video created by Prevention Magazine. She is an excellent example of how it is never to late to take a negative belief about yourself, and break through any self imposed limitation with a new positive belief.
“Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve” – Mary Kay Ash
All of us continue to allow limitations to rule our lives as adults. Some limiting beliefs are conscious and some unconscious. You need to realize that it is all just an illusion, a false belief of your imagination. At one time there was a saying that if God meant for man to fly, he would have been given wings. The Wright Brothers refused to allow that limiting belief keep them from their dreams.
Your beliefs challenge you to get creative. You can choose to rise up and create what is needed to be successful. Failures come when instead of rising up, your mind creates road blocks. Your mind comes up with all of the perfectly good reasons why it can’t possibly work. Why you are “not enough” of something to make it happen. This path of limited thinking leads to failure.
“You can have anything you want, if you are willing to give up the belief that you can’t have it” – Robert Anthony
People with boundary problems have distorted attitudes about who is responsible for failures in their life.
The excuses list could go on and on. The truth is that you have built boundaries all around your excuses and painted yourself into the proverbial corner. The corner is limiting, but it feels safe. You lack the courage to step over the line and actually risk pursuing something you want. You are just plain afraid of any change in your life. It happens to everyone all the time.
“Boundaries are for those who are too afraid to take the leap” – quoted from @Business Beware
If you accept a limiting belief, it will become your truth. What walls have you built over the door of opportunity that you are ready to blast into bits? What limiting belief are you ready to let go of?
Share with us your limiting belief that you are letting go of. Your share will help all of us to do the same.
Join us for our monthly Zoom call and lets talk about what can be done to get out of the corner and take the risks that opportunity put in front of us. Let’s open that door and see what happens.
Years ago, when I was young, I had opinions on what would I do, if “such and such” happened in my life. I think that when most of us hear of an experience that someone has, we think “well if that happened to me, this is what I would do”. You might not agree with the decision that another has made, when your imagined senario happened to them. The lemons that life gives you are not supposed to paralyze you. They are not supposed to make you bitter. They are not supposed to make you give up on life. They are to help you dig down deep and discover what you are capable of.
“Who I am and what I am capable of doing has always managed to surprise me” – Jodi Picoult
When life does hand you lemons (your imagined scenario), and you are the one trying to make lemonade out of it, many times you come to a totally different decision. There are many reasons for this. Each of life’s lemons come to you wrapped up in a different series of circumstances. You could look at multiple experiences of someone losing a loved one to violence, and you would find that each instance was handled in a different way. This is because although the label may be the same “man killed by random shooting”, the circumstances in each case tell their own unique story.
“You can’t judge my choices without understanding my reasons” – Unknown
In 1995 Tariq a pizza delivery man was shot and killed by a 14 year old gang member. Initially Azim, Tariq’s father could barely function. But he came to understand that the 14 yr old boy named Tony who killed his son, was also a victim. He felt called to forgive Tony, and became friends with Tony’s grandfather and guardian. He started a foundation to help kids stop killing other kids. He began talking with kids in schools about the realities of that lifestyle and the importance of making right choices.
“From the onset, I saw victims on both ends of the gun. I will mourn Tariq’s death for the rest of my life. Now, however, my grief has been transformed into a powerful commitment to change. Change is urgently needed in a society where children kill children” – Azim, Tariq’s Father
He made lemonade out of his lemons. This foundation (http://tkf.org/) has grown into an organization of 13 full time staff members and 30 volunteers that mentor over 20,000 students each year. In the article I read, in 13 years they had touched eight million kids (the foundation is now over 24 years old). But I would bet that if you had asked him if this is the road he would take if someone killed his son, this is not the answer he would have given. His unknown road that he journeyed on revealed what kind of man he truly was. This is forgiveness in action.
“If we all did the things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves” – Thomas A. Edison
You are on a road, a journey to discover who you really are. What you are capable of becoming.
“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path” – Buddha
Azim saved himself by walking the path of true forgiveness. He wanted to not only prevent other innocents from being killed, he wanted to save those other victims – “kids” becoming killers themselves. His difficult road has lead to a beautiful destination – saving others.
What I have learned in life, is to hope that I can emulate the grace I see in others lives, as they grapple with life’s lemons. That until I find myself in that same hard place, I don’t really know what my decision will be. I do know that there is no turning back. So each decision needs to be made in prayer and meditation, with that understanding. The challenge is not just discovering who I am, but loving what I find.
“Find out who you are and be that person. That’s what your soul was put on this earth to be. Find that truth, live that truth and everything else will come” – Ellen DeGeneres
What can you learn from the lemons in your own life?
Who you? A person of deep strength who keeps walking the path, knowing that new wonders are going to be revealed right around the next bend.
“I have always grown from my problems and challenges, from the things that don’t work out, that’s when I’ve really learned” – Carol Burnett
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.
Powered by WishList Member - Membership Software