Listening to internal guidance can be very hard to do when life is stressing you out. The noise of the chaos around you drowns out that inner voice. Everyone will have an opinion on what needs to be done. People will freely tell you how to live your life, what choices you should be making. They will show up, try to convince you, dazzle you, and intimidate you.
The first thing to do is to drop resistance to what is happening. “It is what it is”. When you stop fighting against it, you find the ability to cope with what is. You lose a loved one, it can’t be changed. Your employer lets you go, it is what it is. Coping can only begin after acceptance of what is. Since you can’t change it, stop pushing back.
Glennon Doyle in her book Love Warrior said: “I have met myself, and I am going to care for her fiercely.” She outlines phases that we go through in life. The typical hero journey where life is good, then tragedy happens, and then we find our way out. In the process we make discoveries about who we are, and we make changes in how we show up in life.
At this moment in time the whole world is in a unique place. The whole world has been going through a massive hero’s journey. It began at the beginning of 2020.
STAGE ONE: LATE STATUS QUO (pre Covid)
You are living in your comfort zone and life is rolling along. You might be hitting a few speed bumps once in awhile, but on the whole, life is good.
STAGE TWO: FOREIGN ELEMENT (Covid)
…Bam! An unexpected event occurs. The foreign element of Covid instantly and urgently, changes everything. Your entire life is turned upside down. And it’s not just you. It is happening to everyone around you too. From normal minor things such as getting groceries, to something more major such as the kids being home-schooled. If you’re lucky you’re working from home, if not you may have been furloughed or laid off from work. You’re required to wear a mask everywhere. You’re told to shelter at home.
STAGE THREE: CHAOS
You may have thought at first that this would be a very temporary situation. Maybe a couple of months. But instead those couple of months go past a year, and you find yourself entering into a weird “new normal”. Then just when you have adjusted to this new normal, it happens again. Your kids are going back to school – but what does that look like? Is it safe? Your job is calling you back to fulltime in the office, but you like working from home fulltime. You feel like you get a lot more done each day, and who needs that commute? Plus now you can be home when the kids get home from school. Just the thought of going back to that old daily commute puts your stomach in a meat grinder. Or maybe you want to have the ability to do both, having one or two days in the office and 3 or 4 days at home.
The world has changed and what you thought you knew cries out for reexamination. What you’d hoped for, planned for, or predicted before Covid has changed. It may no longer be possible or even desired. You need to figure out what really matters to you. This is not a pleasant process because it is filled with so much uncertainty, both for you, your family, and your employer. But if you just take the time to do the work, it will get you somewhere important. The feeling of being in this chaos phase can be likened to taking a car engine apart – there can be confusion as to what is wrong, what needs to be replaced. But if you work through the process of clearing up the confusion, you can make some really important and life changing discoveries.
STAGE FOUR: TRANSFORMING IDEA
STAGE FIVE: INTEGRATION AND PRACTICE
This is the stage where you try out those new ideas from your epiphany. Your employer insists on everyone coming back to the office fulltime. You suggest a hybrid workplace. You have done the research and have the data to support your idea. Maybe it just starts out with coming back to work in the office every other day; two days a week or three days a week. Suggest that in 30 or 60 days you both reexamine how it is working out. You follow other companies and what they are doing. You discover some best practices to implement. You generate and discard several ways of transforming the workplace until you find the one that fits your workplace culture.
This same concept works for any new ideas you want to implement in your life.
STAGE SIX: NEW STATUS QUO
This happens when your breaking outside of the comfort zone shifts into the new comfort zone, the “new normal”.
STAGE SEVEN: START DESIGNING YOUR LIFE
Pick a regular time several times a year, in which you can take out those kaleidoscope “eyes” and start to DESIGN and prepare for A NEW ADVENTURE.
You can be pro-active. You can choose how the stage resets. Your washing machine has more than just one cycle. Instead of waiting for the foreign elements to bring in chaos, you can choose to start the process of enlarging your comfort zone now. Be pro-active. Instead of just imagining what you want to do someday, “I’ll finally write that book” or “I’ll finally travel to a foreign land” or whatever you always say your going to do someday. You still won’t have the time, the money, or whatever you think that you are lacking in this moment when someday comes. You just have to go within and shift to stage four and start transforming your idea to make it happen today.
While it is always good to know your limits – it is never good to accept them at face value.
Your current limit is just that – a current limit. There are so many ways to exceed those limits. It may mean leaning a new skill. It may mean using leverage to get around it. When the Apollo mission had to figure out a way back home, the scientists took an inventory of everything they had and figured out a way to make something they didn’t have.
Water is another great analogy. In order to get around obstacles, it can use the power of a rushing flood to break apart an obstacle. It can freeze up and expand thereby crushing an obstacle. It can flow deep within the surrounding area to get under an obstacle. It can be fog, rain, hail, sleet and snow. It can work with the wind in a hurricane. Knowing your limits means thinking outside of the box to discover a way around or through the limitation and still be able to achieve the desired results.
Be like water. Be magical. Design something new and wonderful.
“You can’t tame the spirit of someone who has magic in their veins.” – SageGoddess.com
When was the last time you did something that was both scary and exciting? When was the last time you felt that mix in your stomach that said simultaneously, “No don’t do it?” and “Come on lets make this happen“?
“Do one thing every day that scares you” – Eleanor Roosevelt
What if doing one thing that scares you, was on your “to do” list every day?
What else would you put on this list? What pops into your head?
How many days would you push that scary thing, to the next day on your “to do” list? 1 day, 2 days or everyday?
How many things have you thought about trying, but put off or backed away from? How many things have you been scared to even try?
If you did try and failed, did you quit?
If you tried to surf once and fell off the board, did you say – “Forget it, I will never be able to do this?” The odds of being able to surf on the very first try are so high I couldn’t even type out the number. To learn to surf, you try and learn something. Then you repeat it over and over, wave after wave, until you have learned enough to stand up on the board and ride it into the shore. And even when you are an expert, one thing you know for sure – you are still going to fall off the board.
Using your imagination, would you be able to put a new or scary thing to try on the list every day for a month?
If you never try, you won’t know what you can do. I don’t believe that anyone really lives up to their full potential. You are capable of so many things that you won’t ever think of to try. When my mom was in a early 50’s her best friend talked her into a art class. My mom didn’t believe she could draw or paint and I don’t think beyond school drawings she ever tried. But her best friend had started painting porcelain tea cups and wanted to get better at it, so she convinced my mom to sign up for the class just because she didn’t want to do it alone.
A funny thing happened. My mom painted this amazing forest scene that I have hanging up in my living room. Her first painting revealed an unknown talent. She would have never known if her best friend hadn’t twisted her arm to sign up for the class. If you never try, you won’t get to feel that satisfying feeling of breaking out of your patterns and doing something amazing.
The funny thing about comfort zones is that they are very static. You have a routine that you follow, day in and day out. You punch the clock in the morning when you get up, and then you punch the clock at night when you go to bed. I remember years ago I worked with a firm that bought failing healthcare businesses and turned them around. On the bottom floor of our building was a TGIFridays. Every day the President of the company placed the same exact order for a sandwich. He never tried anything else on the menu. I always thought how boring.
I love to try something different when I order food in a restaurant. Something I don’t know how to cook. There are so many amazing cultural foods out there. Even in the U.S. they don’t make things the same way in the South as they do in Texas, as they do in California, or the Pacific Northwest, or Duluth, or NYC.
The thing is – unless we break out of the comfort zone, we can’t grow to a new level in life.
“A ship is always safe at the shore but that is not what is was built for” – Albert Einstein
This week, make a list of things outside of your comfort zone. Pick something that could become a hobby that you’ve never tried to do, something with your hands that engages your creative powers. Pick something that could build your confidence and courage to grow that comfort zone just a little wider, a little longer. For my mom it was an art class. It doesn’t have to be something terrifying. It could be something that you always wanted to do but are scared to try. It could be something you don’t think you can do, like painting, sculpting, woodworking, or even knitting.
If you want to go skydiving, maybe the first step is a hot air balloon ride. It gets you up in the air and grows your courage just a little bit. Maybe the next step is just going up in the plane and seeing everyone else take that leap out into nothing.
Sir Edmund Hillary is famous for climbing Mt. Everest. But that wasn’t his first climb. His first climb was in 1939 ascending Mt. Ollivier. Unless you are a mountain climbing fan or expert you would have never heard of his first climb. It was 1953 when he ascended Mt. Everest. The years between were spent expanding his comfort zone to the point that he could attempt and finally achieve the goal of climbing Mt. Everest.
So start small – pick something that expands your comfort zone and begin growing into your full potential. Each victory or achievement builds upon the courage and confidence to get to the next level. Find your own Mt. Everest and go for it!
“There are no great people in this world, only great challenges which ordinary people rise up to meet” – William F Halsey Jr
The world around you is a very busy place. Always someplace you need to be, always something you need to do. It seems almost like someone is turning up the speed to go faster and faster. It can become so loud you can’t hear yourself think.
Do you ever feel like you are on a roundabout and can’t get off?
It can seem impossible to find even a moment to just be silent. To gather your thoughts; to just quietly think about your life. But those moments are necessary. They are to be valued more than anything else that may seem to be grabbing your attention. The world shouts – so who do you listen to? Can you hear the whispers over the chaos? Can you hear the whispers in the noise and confusion?
It is in those moments that you need to hear your soul’s whispers. That you need to hear your inner guidance.
Sometimes when you are so busy, you aren’t paying attention to the whispers. Then life grabs you and shakes you to slow down. That happened to everyone this past year. For the space of 12 months, Covid hit and everything stopped.
Concerned about my job, I kept my head down and worked. Worries over having enough toilet paper seemed to be a high priority. I wasn’t listening, so again life grabbed me. My dad who had been living with us for 15 years passed away.
This time I stopped. I listened for guidance. The guidance was to move. So we sold our home in California and moved back to Washington state. You can tell when you are listening and following the whispers, because everything moves so smoothly. Within three days we sold for full listing price. No hiccups from the buyers. Both real estate agents couldn’t believe how easy the whole transaction was.
The decision to move was based upon my husbands health. He had just been diagnosed and started treatment for cancer right before Covid hit. The guidance was to go build that dream home we were going to retire to someday. Someday was now. It was the time to make that happen.
Then a few months later life grabbed us again. My 3 year old grandson was hit and killed by a delivery truck. That stopped us in our tracks for some time. Pain beyond tears. Loss comes unbelievably fast. Like a thief it strikes you and it steals away a piece of your heart. Grief is the calling card it leaves in its place.
Like the waves hitting the shoreline, the grief flows in flooding you with pain and then for moments it recedes. As the waves continue coming back into the shore they become a catharsis. It brings something new into your life that fills in the cracks of your heart. Peace expands your hearts ability to keep beating.
Everyone reading this knows this to be true. No matter what has happened in your life in the past 1-2 years, when you are brave enough to share it with someone, you will find someone who has felt that pain, known that grief, walked that mile. The important thing is to not get so caught up in the loss, grief, recovery that we forget to listen.
“We need to give each other the space to grow, to be ourselves, to exercise our diversity. We need to give each other space so that we may both give and receive such beautiful things as ideas, openness, dignity, joy, healing, and inclusion” – Max de Pree
Life can strip you down to the core. It clears away the stupid concerns about finding toilet paper, rice, or yeast. It brings you up close and personal to the basic truth of who you are – someone special. It reminds you that your life can be filled with meaning, a purpose driven life. It isn’t about the job, the house, the car, or any other material thing you possess or think you should have. It is about the bare, basic fact that you can change. You can change not only who you are, but by living a meaningful life, you can change the world. It reminds you of what is important.
For the past year, I haven’t written much for LemonadeMakers. It was this past month, when despite being fully vaccinated that my husband caught one of the Covid variants. He almost died. I had to climb out of the “I have so much going on, I don’t have the time” soundtrack buzzing in my head. I listened and realized that writing this blog is what keeps me centered. That it is what keeps me sane. That this is what helps me change, and this is what helps to change the world.
“Deep breaths untie the fog. Listen to the song of your soul. to the lyrics of love. To the whispers of self, and hold on to what is valuable.” – Linda J. Wolff
So I say listen. Stop and just listen for the silence.
When the noise has all faded away, then listen even deeper.
Listen for the whispers. Listen to your souls guidance.
“The water is always deeper than what it reflects” – Marty Rubin
The Oregon Trail was 2,170 miles, beginning in Independence, Missouri and ending in Willamette Valley, Oregon. The ruts in the trail grew as high as 5 feet deep in some places. When your life has been completely shaken up, one of the first things to do is to look at the ruts in your own life. Where are the places that you have created a rut so deep that you can’t see the possibilities that are all around you?
“Put blinders on to those things that conspire to hold you back, especially the ones in your own head” – Meryl Streep
The pasts two years I think that a lot of people are just like me. Their lives have been shaken up completely. Working from home, my dad’s passing, and now we have sold our home and are have to moved to another state to build a home. We stayed with relatives for a year as everything with Covid has taken months to do instead of weeks. Now we are renting short term as construction is finally starting. Some changes you may have started, some changes might be the result of others decisions, or life just happening.
Moving to a city where you don’t know anyone will certainly get you out of a few ruts. The voices in your head will tell you a lot of stories about things to be afraid of. If you are moving to a new city and state like us, the voices might talk about how hard it will be to make new friends, to get used to a small town. All of which is nonsense.
“We can’t be afraid of change. You may feel very secure in the pond that you are in, but if you never venture out of it, you will never know that there is such a thing as an ocean, a sea” – C. Joybell C.
Covid-19 is a change, an event. Losing your job is a change, an event – even if it was your choice to leave. Having a loved one cross over to their next great adventure is a change, an event. Having your life partner leave you, is a change, an event.
It is hard to think of being open to these kinds of changes. They shift and change everything in your life. They demand you look at areas in your life that you haven’t examined in a while. That you see where you were so comfortable that you resisted growth in your life. They push you into a transition period. These events require you to grow and adapt to what being without someone or something in your life means. That you look past your fears and create a vision as to who you are now becoming.
“It isn’t the changes that you do you in, it’s the transitions. Change is not the same as transition. Change is situational; the new site, the new boss, the new team roles, the new policy. Transition is the psychological process people go through to come to terms with the new situation. Change is external, transition is internal – William Bridges
With Covid-19 you are going through social transitions. It might be that habits such as shaking everyone’s hands are gone forever. I’m a hugger. If I liked you, I hugged you. If feels so restrictive not to do so. However, now I hesitate because I can no longer judge if it is appropriate, or will be received by someone. I feel called to ask if I can hug you first. There is a psychological transition that Covid-19 is forcing on the entire world, to come to terms with what all of the changes being required by this event are doing to us.
“We resist transition not because we can’t accept the change, but because we can’t accept letting go of that piece of ourselves that we have to give up because the situation has changed” – William Bridges
The easiest example that comes to my mind is when work changes a software program or simply changes how a certain part of your job is done. You are resistant to unlearning to do something that has become ingrained in you. To learn to do your job in a different way.
Someone decides that a part of your job actually should be done by a different department as it makes more sense to do so in their eyes. You might not not agree and resist the change. You might resist learning a new software program. You might resist training someone who is to take over that part of your job.
“Change comes more from managing the journey than from announcing the destination” – William Bridges
Same thing happens when Facebook changes how your page looks. When Apple updates your phone and changes how your phone looks. When your banking app updates and changes how you access your accounts.
Almost daily you are faced with some upgrade, some update that requires you to do something different. When you look at these kinds of small events, changes and transitions don’t look so scary.
Embrace change, no matter what kind of change it is. When my dad passed a year ago, it created a space in my life. I have been taking care of him for 15 years. I’d pass by his room and miss seeing him. The tendency we all have is to fill up this space with something. Instead on the advice of a dear friend, I am just letting this space be. I am ignoring this frantic message in my head telling me to fill it up.
“The moment in between what you once were, and who you are now becoming, is where the dance of life really takes place” – Barbara De Angelis
I want to let life show me instead – what is it bringing into my life as possibilities? What is that part of my life is transitioning into?
With the passing of my dad, and moving to a new city and state, I wanted to learn what this new world can be. I wanted to take advantage the possibilities. I wanted to honor the space between “no longer” and “not yet”. The space of no longer living with the “caretaker” label. The space of “??”, the space of living comfortably with the unknown and “yet to be”.
This process had me taking a break from writing this blog for about a year. I needed to that space to process what had ended, and what’s next. It’s still a place of transition. The caretaking has shifted from my dad to my husband, who has metastasized cancer. Sometimes living life is a dance between fast and slow; between heart lifting and heart breaking – all at the same time.
The important thing is to slow down and breathe. To let what’s happening wash over you, through you and out of you. To realize that the waves come and go. They kiss the shore and then retreat, only to come back again. Each time they bring something and they take something. The shoreline changes over time. Expansion and retraction both happen in their appointed times. You are in control only of how you choose to react to the changes.
“The most powerful times in our lives can be the time between times, or life’s transitions that give us the opportunity to choose” – Bill Crawford
You may have experienced some sort of event in your life recently, or may be you are experiencing it right now this moment. Take time to have the space between what was, and what is now coming into your life. Realize that you have a multitude of choices. If you have lost a loved one, take the time you need to grieve, to let go, and to open up. If you have lost your job or business, you still need some space to grieve what you lost. Be open to transition from a title or position that you once had and see the possibilities of learning something new. Of a new career or business, a new beginning.
“She understood that the hardest times in life to go through were when you were transitioning from one version of yourself to another”– Sarah Addison Allen
When you allow that space to create the vision of where you want to go, it is the space of growth. It is messy. It is uncomfortable. You will experience feelings you didn’t know you had in you to feel. It is welcoming change and loss, because that is where the growth happens. That is where you learn something new about yourself and what you are capable of. Where you can see the opportunity to evolve. To transition into new beginnings.
“Strong women aren’t simply born. We are forged through the challenges of life. With each challenge we grow mentally and emotionally. We move forward with our head held high and a strength that cannot be denied. A woman who’s been through the storm and survived. We are Warriors!” – Unknown
There are moments in everyone’s life where their knees hit the floor. Moments when you are in the middle of a devastating experience. When you feel like you’re sinking beneath the waves for the last time, and you aren’t going to be able to reach the surface again. That moment when you feel that death is a welcome experience, just to get away from the pain. That is the moment when you discover that place deep inside your soul that is indestructible.
“Within every woman there is a healer, a lioness, a wild warrioress, a priestess, a goddess. Never forget that. Give yourself wings” – Unknown
When you are in that place of –
At those moments it is necessary to reinvent who you are – at the basic core of your soul. Nietzsche said that when you are in the place where your entire life is lying all around in the wreckage, it is critical that you look at that as a time of opportunity. It made me think of Steve Austin in the Six Million Dollar Man. They rebuilt his right arm, both legs and one eye and made him bionic and better than he was before.
“We fall. We break. We fail. But then, We Rise, We Heal, We Overcome” – Unknown
What Nietzsche came to call this was the moment of loving your fate. Where you would say that whatever is happening here is what I need to happen. You look at it as an opportunity, a challenge. A place to find your inner strength or resilience to bounce back not just back to where you were. But better than before. The belief here is that nothing can happen to you that is not positive.
I have read several article’s and just bought both the book and the movie for “Just Mercy” by Bryan Stevenson. In his book he talks about how everyone shares the condition of brokenness. There are different levels of brokenness, but it is the brokenness that serves as a connection. It’s part of the human condition.
There is a difference between brokenness and breakable. Brokenness can be healed. You gain comfort and meaning from the fact of being healed. Storm Warriors can be broken but they are not breakable.
Being breakable means that there are too many pieces that are missing, and it can’t be fixed. Take a teacup for example. If it is broken, the pieces can be glued back together and it is still a tea cup. But if the tea cup is shattered into a million pieces, the magic of healing can’t happen.
When my nephew was murdered our family faced a choice of being broken or being breakable. Being broken meant that we worked through our grief, anger and pain. Working through those emotions would lead us back to love and forgiveness for the person who took his life.
Being breakable still leads to grief, anger and pain. It doesn’t stop there. It continues down the track of becoming a victim, of being vengeful to point of cheering when the death penalty takes their life. Of taking that victimization even further down the track into denying any compassion and as a result denying our own humanity.
“I expect to pass through this world but once; if, therefore, there can be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again” – A Quaker
LemonadeMakers was our choice. We chose to take resilience to a whole new level. We chose to heal our brokenness. We chose to become Storm Warriors.
When my 3 year old grandson was killed last year, it was another choice of being broken or being breakable. There was a person behind the wheel of the truck that ran him over. We could choose to go down the road of vengeance once again.
We could choose to drown in the grief that struck us.
Or we could choose to embrace our fate. To ask, what is here for me, what is the opportunity and the challenge? For my husband and I, it was embracing our son and daughter in-law. It was supporting them in their time of need and being there not just the day or week of the accident, but every single day since in whatever way they allowed us to be. And sometimes it was being there when they really didn’t want us there, but did in fact need us to be there.
Until the late 1700’s there were no life boats. So when sailors had a shipwreck almost all would be lost at sea. When the life boat was invented, at first they remained on land and would be used to go out to sinking ships to rescue those on board. Storm Warriors was what they used to call the men that would go out in the storm to rescue those in shipwrecks. Many of these Storm Warriors lost their lives trying to save others.
When you become a Storm Warrior, there is no possibility of being breakable. Breakable isn’t a word in your dictionary. A Storm warrior leaves resilience behind in the basement, as you race up to the penthouse. It is that place where there is no comfort zone. There are no boundaries. No limitations.
It is the place you arrive when you have blown past “the zone”, the runners high, the world records. You have not only exceeded all expectations, you put yourself in a whole new zip code, a new dictionary definition of what can be accomplished.
Resilience is a skillset you use daily in your life. Being a Storm Warrior is a part of you that emerges when it is needed. It is sort of like driving a normal car with gas for everyday, and having a dragster with nitro for when you are a Storm Warrior. Most days when you don’t need a nitro super power to live your life. But when those really bad days happen and tragedy strikes, you need to be able to pull out all the stops with your dragster and put some power into your life.
“People who have it tend to also have three underlying advantages: a belief that they can influence life events; a tendency to find meaningful purpose in life’s turmoil; and a conviction that they can learn from both positive and negative experiences” – Amanda Ripley
Resilience is the strength of spirit to recover from everyday adversities. When you experience disappointment, you find the hope and courage to carry on. Humor lightens the load when it seems to heavy. You overcome life’s obstacles by tapping into a deep well of faith and endurance.
At times of loss, you seek out others for comfort. You grieve and then move on. You create new memories. You discern the learning that can come from hardship. You don’t cower in the face of challenge. You engage fully in the dance of life.
If you feel like your resilience balloon has taken one too many hits and is losing air, contact us. We have lots of ideas on how you can refuel your balloon and make it like the Six Million Dollar Man – even better than before.
There is a funny thing about how time works in fairy tales. At the end of the adventure, they say “and they lived happily ever after”.
The reality of time is that it takes your whole lifetime to live through the happily ever after part. You don’t get to your star with a one and done journey. A life purpose isn’t a one and done. The journey will last your entire lifetime.
Your life purpose might be experienced in different ways in different times in your life, but it is always the same life purpose.
“At the end of life, what really matters is not what we bought, but what we built; not what we got, but what we shared; not our competence, but our character; and not our success, but our significance. Live a life that matters. Live a life of love” – Unknown
The story you are living in this moment is just a chapter in one of those books where there are over 1,000 pages and this one is the 4th one in the 12-book series. There are a lot of hills, valleys, lakes and oceans to walk. It is a lot of walking to follow your star.
There are multiple ways in which your life purpose will be lived from the moment you are born, to the moment when this body dies, and you go on to the next adventure. So, while you’re not who you used to be in this moment, you also still have time to become who you came here to be.
“Fear comes from not knowing what to expect and not feeling you have any control over what’s about to happen. When you feel helpless, you’re far more afraid than you would be if you knew the facts” – Chris Hadfield
There are times in your life journey when you:
The actual danger you perceive versus what danger you are in usually don’t match up. Danger is a thing, and fear is your reaction to it. It’s not the thing that will stop you.
It is your imagined fear about the thing. This is because what fear tells you is happening, is entirely different than reality.
Think about when you were learning to ride a bicycle. There were some fears involved with learning to ride, as everyone crashes. Some people just skin their knees or elbows. Some people break an arm or leg.
When I was a kid, there were no helmets, so some people when the crashed had a head injury. Riding a bike can be dangerous, but you determined the risk was worth it, because everyone else was riding a bike. So, you overcame your fear, and learned to ride despite the risk.
“A mistake should be your teacher, not your attacker. A mistake is a lesson, not a loss. It is a temporary, necessary detour, not a dead end” – curiano.com
Most fears originate from a lack of understanding about what is happening or could happen. It is a lack of knowledge and experience.
You know from watching everyone who learned to ride a bicycle before you – those crashes are going to happen. You will make a mistake:
Each crash teaches you something. Going back to your bicycle – when you got personal knowledge of your bicycle, the fears you had in the beginning went away. No one is afraid of the bicycle itself, but rather the fears of being hurt from crashing that the imagination produces.
Here is the interesting point – did the bicycle change or did you change to eliminate those fears?
It was you.
In his book, “An Astronaut’s Guide To Life On Earth”, Astronaut Chris Hadfield talks about how he realized what his life purpose was as a 10 yr. old child watching men walk on the moon. He shaped his entire life to support that dream of being an astronaut.
From 10 years old forward everything was focused on what he perceived as his life purpose. I am sure that he had times when he questioned what he was doing. I am sure that he had friends and relatives that said his chances of actually going into space were limited, especially in the years where NASA had to downsize the space program.
This got me to think of other life long goals such as professional sports. Say you decide that you want to be an Olympic Athlete – you would choose the sport that you have the most natural talent, passion and drive for. Then you would eat, sleep, and drink that sport everyday for years.
It’s really different from what Chris did – he had stages of accomplishment he went through based on the above list.
It wasn’t enough to just learn to fly a plane. You also had to acquire a needed job skill in addition to being a pilot. He had to develop a certain mental headspace that a test pilot has – being able to run towards risk instead of avoiding it.
Unlike the Olympic Games in which you have many competing, only a couple of pilots go with each flight. So your second profession has to be what else is needed on the Space Station and you have better be a master of it too.
He had vertigo – a fear of heights. He trained his mind that it was ok to be up high, if there isn’t the possibility of falling. The best thing about space flight, was that he really couldn’t fall. He took that fear, recognized his fear and the facts around his fear, and realized he doesn’t have to live in fear.
He talked about how when they strap him into his seat preparing to lift off how it is hot and cramped. Behind his back is a parachute/survival kit and it makes for an uncomfortable position, which you have to deal with for a few hours’ minimum – even so, he couldn’t imagine any place else he would rather be.
Those words to me perfectly describe a person who is in the zone, on course to completing a life dream. A person who at that moment is totally on purpose. The hyper-focus is so clear, that nothing distracts or impedes you.
He describes that moment when you switch from hoping something is going to happen, to knowing it will. That moment of lift off, when you know it is a sure thing.
The closest feeling, I could come to is when you step up on the stage for graduation and walk across to get your diploma. At that moment you know that nothing can take away your sense of accomplishment in putting a period to a lifetime goal. It feels like magic, winning, and that feeling of knowing all of your hard work paid off.
You can listen to his 2014 Ted Talk here where he talks about his experience of going blind while out on a space walk. It was all of the years of preparation which enabled him to stop the panic that anyone would have and creatively figure out how to fix the issue. As he stated in the quote above, the best answer to stop fear is competence.
As always, we are here to help in any way we can.
Every adventure starts out as a journey of self-discovery. Part of the discovery is who you are deep down inside. As you learn about the parts of yourself that you have hidden away even from you – you will learn to face your own shadows.
“When you know yourself you are empowered. When you accept yourself you are invincible” – Tina Lifford
What are your shadows? They are the parts of you that you disowned as a child because you were made to feel that they weren’t acceptable. They peep out at you, when you see the same shadows in other people.
What triggers you to instant anger, shame, rejection of others – there is your shadow. Once you face and embrace your own shadows, you will quit attracting them into your life experience of others.
The values you have at your core, also come from your childhood. Some of them are from your parents. You either choose to emulate their values or you could go 180 degrees in the opposite direction.
For example, my mother used to say in complete truth for her, “Do as I say, not as I do.” One of my core values is not being a hypocrite, because this was a real hot button for me. My other core values of being truthful and honest, come from this same place. The one thing that I will not tolerate from my friends and family is being lied to.
“If you don’t know yourself, you don’t know your nature. If you don’t know your nature, you don’t know where to exist. By knowing your nature, knowing yourself, you know what to be and how to live. And that only comes from knowledge of self, knowing yourself.” – RZA
“Knowing yourself is life’s eternal homework” – Felicia Day
Part of really knowing yourself, is understanding what are your core values, and where did they originate? When you begin on the journey of self-discovery you will find things that surprise you. You will find things that may dismay you.
The great thing about this journey is that you have the ability to adopt new values, transform the existing values and basically transform your life from the inside out. You have the ability to attain self mastery.
Attaining true wisdom, means that you have invested in yourself. This means an investment in both time and money. Some things are easy to do by yourself. Some things are easier when you have a coach or mentor that can help you to see the things that you are blind to. You are the one who has to begin the journey to self-enlightenment.
You can start your investment in reading books and eLearning for self-education. Then you could add in a personal coach, begin taking courses with seminar or workshop programs.
The investment in yourself helps you to explore your creativity, innovation, ideas for your life purpose. You learn how to plan and achieve goals with less effort. You learn what motivates you. How to brainstorm new ideas for the vision you have for your life.
Fear will try to hold you hostage to limiting beliefs about yourself. I have always loved this quote, because what you have identified as the fear is never the fear.
It is in the investigation of what is hiding behind the fear, that you can truly identify and then release the real fear that is holding you back from your life.
Reality of Fear:
You’re not scared of the dark – you’re scared of what’s in it
You’re not afraid of heights – you’re afraid of falling
You’re not afraid of the people around you – you’re just afraid of rejection
You’re not afraid to love – you’re just afraid of not being loved back
You’re not afraid to let go – you’re just afraid to accept the reality that he’s gone
You’re not afraid to try again – you’re just afraid of getting hurt for the same reason
It is in being courageous that you accept that vulnerability, is what is going to help you get in touch with your true self. Everything you have experienced in life has a purpose. There are no mistakes or coincidences in your reading this today.
It’s time to focus on you. It’s time to commit to who you are beneath the surface. The world won’t stop spinning because people choose to not accept you, or understand who you are beneath the surface.
“To know yourself as the being behind the thinker, the stillness underneath the mental noise, the love and joy underneath the pain, is freedom, salvation, enlightenment.” – Eckhart Tolle
“You have to get new knowledge and force yourself to really implement what you’ve learned. You have to set boundaries in place for yourself. The important thing is if you don’t know real love, someone will teach you self hate.” – Tony Gaskins
Take swimming as an example. You can read a book about it. You can watch a video about it. You can watch others swim. But your actually learning how to swim means that you have to get into the water and experience how you can move through the water and not sink and drown.
The important part of about truly knowing yourself, is the application of what you are learning through and from all of the different mediums.
It’s about effecting real change deep inside of yourself. It’s about not just planting a seed of knowledge, it’s about watering it, weeding around it and pulling out the things that might stagnate or keep that seed from growing into a healthy plant. It’s about first transforming your inner world, and then your outer world, and then the whole wide world.
“The most important relationship we can all have is the one you have with yourself, the most important journey you can take is one of self-discovery. To know yourself, you must spend time with yourself, you must not be afraid to be alone. Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” – Aristotle
“And then one day I decided that hurry and stress were no longer going to be part of my life. Stress is self-created; I decided to stop manufacturing it. We can choose an internal calm and joy even amid the chaos” – Brendon Burchard
In times of uncertainty, you tend to fill in the blanks in your life, so that you give yourself a feeling of some sort of control. I can’t control COVID-19; I can’t control political upheaval; I can’t control rioting in the streets.
But I can control what? Most people tend to answer chaos and uncertainty with more inner chaos. Instead try something different.
The question to ask yourself is – does this feed the chaos, or my inner peace? What you need is a change of consciousness. A decision to stop producing stress and instead choose inner calm and peace.
If everyone were to exercise these kinds of controls, it would end all wars, eliminate conflicts and prevent injustice.
“Staying positive doesn’t mean you have to be happy all the time. It means that even on hard days you know that there are better ones coming.” – QuotesCollective.com
“Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.” – Simple Reminders
Pinchmeliving.com has a great meme with 10 Truths You Need to Know for Inner-Peace & Happiness.
credit to Pinchmeliving.com
In finding your inner peace, the path leads through resilience. It’s about focusing on this present moment. You are trying to have an important phone call. One child is hugging you and the other wants you to pay attention to the cat. You have a choice in this moment.
You can go into chaos and frustration, or you can practice resilience by hugging your daughter at the same time you are talking on the phone. You can practice resilience by telling your children to wait a few minutes, and they can have your complete attention. Then once their needs are filled, you can give them something to do, and go back to the work that you are doing.
Resilience has the component of compromise within it. When life throws lemons into your well-planned schedule, you have a choice to practice resilience. You can focus on the negative things that just happened, with pain, anger, grief, and fear and let the bitterness eat at your soul. Or you reach back into your resilience pool and focus on the present moment.
In a storm like a tornado or hurricane there is a calm center, in life you have to find this calm center deep within yourself. When everyone else is running around crazy, you do not have to buy into the chaos.
It’s a matter of practice, but once you’ve been in this calm centeredness a few times, it becomes easy to immediately place that peace like a protective bubble around you. It really is a simple decision that anyone can make, to stand in the center of their own peace.
“We can weather anything if we stay calm in the eye of the storm” – Lolly Daskal
Lately there haven’t been any adventures in my life. Between working from home all day and working on LemonadeMakers, I’ve been spending all of my time in front of the computer. I am starting to itch to just go for a drive, anything to get out of the house. So, I started thinking about adventures – what are they all about?
Surprisingly, I’ve been on adventures during the entire lockdown, I just didn’t know it. I’ve read books, listened to podcasts and Ted Talks. All ways to go on an adventure. Have you learned anything new in the past few months? That is going on an adventure. So come on an adventure with me now –
“In order to realize the worth of the anchor, we need to feel the stress of the storm” – Corrie Ten Boom
Change is a scary word. It has a heavy weight to it, like an anchor. When your anchor is hooked in the rocks on the sea floor, it prevents the uncertainties of life from casting you adrift. When life’s chaos erupts in your life, change is the anchor that helps you cast off for a new adventure.
Change challenges you to look honestly at your life. You can’t spell challenge without change. To rise up to life’s challenges, you have to be prepared for change. Every challenge is an opportunity for self-transformation. The change in the challenge is what grows you. Change becomes something to look forward to, instead of something to resist.
“Don’t be afraid to take on big challenges. They give the best rewards” – Spencer Christensen
When the anchor is pitched into the sandy seashore unattached to the ship, it serves no purpose.
The anchors in the photo below are not doing what they were designed to do, which is to hold you steady in life’s storms.
This year you have risen to a few challenges. You never know with supply chain shortages what you will find missing at the store; first you’re required to wear a face mask outside your home, then not – but maybe still depending on where you live or where you go; maybe you decided when schools began again to continue home schooling your children; and remote working from home or hybrid or fulltime back at the office; all have been challenges to both you and your household.
Failing to reach your goals, another year of watching your dreams slip through your hands, struggling to make ends meet—all that is far harder than rising to the challenge of going on a new adventure. This pandemic is a wake-up call to focus on your personal growth.
“Often what feels like the end of the world is really a pathway to a far better place” – Karen Salmansohn
What’s funny is realizing that every single challenge is an adventure. Adventure’s not only challenge you to change your normal routine, they teach you new things. For example working from home – now you know if you like working from home. You’ve got a whole new respect for the teachers that teach your children nine months of the year. Your company has discovered that they may not even need an office.
“Focus on what only you can do. Give the rest of it away.” —Elise Mitchell
You don’t have to be the bravest or smartest person. You don’t have to know how to do everything. You just have to be courageous enough to realize that every decision you make has some risk attached to it. You can’t face a challenge without change happening.
So go for the challenge that makes you smile instead of anchoring in around your limitations in life. Sitting in an empty field with your anchor raised up, is anchoring in to those limitations. You are not looking ahead. You are anchoring to your past.
If you think that you can’t sing, get singing lessons. It’s not the mountain you conquer when you take action. It is your past beliefs and limitations that are being conquered. It is you refusing to buy into “I can’t do that”.
Taking on challenges you’ll see that you are capable of doing more than you thought. You see that it wasn’t as hard as you thought. It will strengthen your mind, gaining self-confidence. How you handle what happens to you, determines how far you go. Challenges can take you apart, refine you, and change who you thought you were.
Hope is not a growth strategy. Action is the only answer to a challenge. You are in a time of disruption. Life is ripe for opportunity, as well as full of danger. Both action or inaction create risk, meaning it impossible to avoid risk. So take the risk of action – go on an adventure!
Learning is an adventure. Learning will challenge your habits, your beliefs and stretch your comfort zone. Travel the universe while sitting in your living room. It is the perfect time to challenge yourself to climb a new mountain.
Every minute of attention that you focus on events outside of your influence, is a wasted minute. Focus on what you can control, ignore the rest. To thrive, you need to adapt yourself to a changing world. Focus on what you love doing. Choose a goal that you’ll enjoy chasing for the next five years, minimum, to ensure you’ll follow through.
“Strength doesn’t come from what you can do. Strength comes from overcoming the things you thought you couldn’t” – Unknown
Play to your strengths. A hedgehog is great at rolling up into a ball to protect itself. Decide on your hedgehog concept to be really good at ONE thing. Focus on what you can be the best in the world at.
The synergy that happens with a group that takes action is beyond amazing. Multiple solutions abound when you’re open to all suggestions from your tribe.
LemonadeMakers is a tribe of people who get together to talk, share, and help each other through life’s changes and transformations.
Finding a mentor doesn’t just mean finding a person who has done what you’re trying to do. It doesn’t have to be a real live person. There are great mentors from historical biographies. YouTube, Ted Talks, or watching a video by personal development experts, are all great examples of finding a mentor. There are great inspirational movies out there too.
From the movie Peaceful Warrior:
“Socrates: Everyone wants to tell you what to do and what’s good for you. They don’t want you to find your own answers, they want you to believe theirs.
Dan Millman: Let me guess, and you want me to believe yours.
Socrates: No, I want you to stop gathering information from the outside and start gathering it from the inside.”
What’s important in your life? Write down in your journal how you currently spend your day, minute by minute, then create your ideal daily schedule. As you work to close the gap between the two lifestyles, you’ll find time you didn’t know you had. You’ll discover you are more productive than you thought.
Do not schedule every minute of your day. Many of the activities and obligations that you thought were important, have turned out to not be necessary. Taking action requires blank spaces in your calendar—for solitude, room to breathe, creative space—so protect this freedom.
Personal growth means knowing there’s always more to learn. Start now by learning about ways to have a happier life:
There’s at least one person in history, in your social circle, in a podcast, in a TedTalk – who has faced a situation almost exactly like yours and wrote about it. There are 1,000 of YouTube videos that can teach you how to do anything from applying makeup, to changing your cars oil, to building a shed, to programing a software program. Challenge yourself to learn something new.
Fear makes almost everyone uncomfortable. Fear is an integral part of risk; of going down the road less traveled; of even thinking of putting yourself into a situation where you would need to dive deep within to bring up some of that untapped potential.
But – if you are brave enough to get your friends to open up to the dreams they have, you will see some of their untapped potential being exposed to the light.
If you are brave enough to open up and share your own dreams, you will learn things about yourself that you didn’t know.
Risk is like a barometer to show you much courage you have allowed yourself to have. You have extraordinary dreams that you would do in a heartbeat, if you could be guaranteed that you wouldn’t fail.
I currently subscribe to an online newsletter called “The Profile” and it features Polina Marinova. She is doing things a little differently. She is doing deep dives on prominent figures and it is really interesting.
I wanted to share some of the things that one her profiles had to say about failure. While this article pertained to pursuing a business, the lessons contained can be applied to any kind of change or transformation you are thinking about making in your life.
Click the link and check her out (you don’t have to subscribe, click and the part that says to check her out), she has both free and paid subscriptions. (everything in quotes is from her article and reading her article inspired me to write this one).
“Failure is not the outcome – failure is not trying. Don’t be afraid to fail.” – Sara Blakely
Sara Blakely says that she is no stranger to failure. She failed her LSAT tests ending her dream career as a trial attorney. She had an interesting dad, who taught his children to celebrate failure.
When she was growing up, each person at the dining room table had to share their biggest failure for the week while they were eating dinner. If they didn’t have one, her father would be disappointed, because that meant they hadn’t put themselves out there to do something impossible. She learned from this that the only true failure is when you don’t try.
One night getting ready for a party she stumbled onto an idea for a gap in the fashion industry, and that began the creation process for Spanx. She stated that she kept the idea to herself for a whole year while she worked behind the scenes, before she sought validation from friends and family. By the time she told them about it;
She knew that all of the negative comments about her idea would have killed it if she had talked about it immediately. How many ideas have you had, where that happened to you? Her advice? Don’t seek validation from others until you’re ready with proof of concept.
It is common when an idea pops into your head to discount it. Today while writing this blog, a neighbor was mowing his lawn, and the noise of the lawnmower was irritating me. I said to my office partner that someone should invent a solar powered electric lawn mower. It could be that someone has. I don’t know.
I thought about it for a moment and said. “it could have a rechargeable battery that sits in the sun all week just waiting to be popped into the machine. It would be quiet like an electric car, as well as being better for the environment.’ My car is a hybrid and when it is in full electric mode you can’t hear the engine.
Just think that both the lawn mower and the leaf blower could be quiet – I swear that there isn’t a zoom meeting that happened in the past year where someone wasn’t apologizing for the yard maintenance people and the noise in the background.
Now like Sara –
The only difference between Sara (with her initial lack of business, manufacturing, and fashion industry knowledge) and myself is the level of passion she had for it. For me, this is just a wonderful idea that I am happy to give to someone else. For her, it was an idea she was in love with.
“Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know. That can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else.” – Sara Blakely
When you take fear out of the equation, it becomes easy to embrace the unknown. One of the keys to her success, is that she was a fashion outsider, and didn’t know how it was supposed to be done. Her ignorance became her greatest asset.
“I had no idea how things were supposed to be done, and if you have no idea how something’s supposed to be done, I guarantee that you’ll end up being disruptive,” she said. When you are an outsider you see things in a different way, because you don’t know how it’s supposed to go. Beginners mind always starts by asking the question “why” over and over again.
In 2000, Blakely used her $5,000 in savings to start her company, and by 2012, she was named the youngest self-made female billionaire. Sara still owns 100% of Spanx because she never took on outside investors. She sees an opportunity in every failure or disappointment. “Spanx wouldn’t exist if I had aced the LSAT,” she says.
Take control of your mindset by immersing yourself with great books that teach you how to life a positive life. Sara tells how her dad bought her the Wayne Dyer program called “How to Be a No-Limit Person” when she was having a hard time with personal and financial issues.
Most of higher education teaches you what to think, Wayne Dyer taught her how to think. A critical part of using failure to be successful, is that you have the ability to control your own thoughts and confront your self-doubt. “Now more than ever, your greatest weapon is your mindset,” says Sara.
I have followed Wayne Dyer for years. I was privileged to see him at a conference. The world lost a great wisdom teacher when he passed away.
“Success, to me, is finding the courage to live your fullest and biggest life.” – Sara Blakely
How about you? Are you living life to your fullest potential?
As always, we are here to support you – to whisper words of encouragement – to celebrate each and every failure and success!
“It takes courage to grow up and turn out to be who you really are” – E.E. Cummings
Are you really happy, or just comfortable? Raising your anchor and leaving the comfort zone is the beginning of all change. Courage comes into play when you have traveled far enough away that you lose sight of the shore.
All of a sudden fear will raise its head and start creating as much chaos as possible. Fear knows that the more it churns the waters, the more likely you will panic and return to the safety of your comfort zone.
“We have to be honest about what we want and take risks rather than lie to ourselves and make excuses to stay in our comfort zone” – Roy T. Bennett
Have you ever watched “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”? Part of the story line was about his relationship in life compared with his best friend. His best friend was strongly anchored to his shoreline, his comfort zone. Ferris Bueller was all about challenging every rule or restriction in his life. In the movie he says, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
As soon as Ferris Bueller’s friend watched his dad’s prized auto go through the window and crash down the hillside, he realized how uncomfortable his comfort zone was. He talked about the lack of relationship he had with his father, and how this crisis was going to force his dad to pay attention to him.
He was definitely coming outside of his comfort zone. He was owning how much he needed to change his life and start living it instead of just existing in it. He had to reach the space where remaining the same in his comfort zone had become untenable. The space where it was scarier to remain in his comfort zone, than to change the relationship with his dad.
“The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide you’re not going to stay where you are” – John Pierpont Morgan
Have you ever completely redecorated a room? You might start with one piece that you find that really speaks to your heart and soul. Then as time goes along, you are subconsciously looking for something that will tie into the theme that is being created in your head. In your minds eye you might start out with a beautiful photo of sea turtles swimming underwater in the ocean. Then you find a shelf made out of driftwood. Then you find a frame with sea shells and some fish netting. And so on. Until one day you look around the room and it feels complete. It feels like home.
“The woman I was yesterday introduced me to the woman I am today which makes me very excited about meeting the woman I will become tomorrow” – Unknown
When you are “redecorating” your life by stepping outside of your comfort zone, you will start with just one thing. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you are throwing out what you have.
It could mean that it needs to be updated or repurposed in some way so that it now fits perfectly with how you are redesigning your life. Maybe it needs a fresh coat of paint. Maybe you saw something on a DIY show where they reconstructed an old dresser for a new use.
For example, why not take that anchor you were using to stay in your comfort zone, and use it to instead anchor in grace? Grace is one of my favorite values in my own life.
“It’s not only moving that creates new starting points. Sometimes all it takes is a subtle shift in perspective, an opening of the mind, an intentional pause and reset, or a new route to start to see new options and new possibilities” – Kristin Armstrong
What’s important, is to realize and really fully embrace, that imperfect action is better than no action. It is really easy to procrastinate getting started with something that is new and challenging.
I have the “perfectionist” trait of thinking that I just need some more information before I start. So I will research something new “to death”, finding myself going down rabbit hole after rabbit hole with google dragging me along to trail to “one more thing”.
I find the same thing when I am searching for the new photo for a quote for a post. I finally had to limit myself to searching five pages. If I haven’t found it by then, I reword my search criteria. Otherwise, I was searching down 20-30 pages and still not happy with the results.
“Every morning wake up and ask yourself, “What five little things must I achieve today for this to be valuable day?” – Robin Sharma
“It’s not about perfect. It’s about effort. And when you bring that effort every single day, that’s where transformation happens. That’s how change occurs” – Jillian Michaels
When you’re ready to make a change in your life, excuses lose their effectiveness. Excuses are thieves. They steal away your time. If you listen to them, you will fritter away your life until one day you wake up and that thing you were going to invent from that idea you had is on the market and someone else has become a millionaire from it.
Have a goal; schedule your time to put it into action; accept responsibility for what does and doesn’t work; then take more action, and keep taking more action until it is completed.
Consistency is what leads to success. If you only practice an instrument once a month, you will never be a successful musician. You need to be stingy with where you are spending your time. Don’t spend it doing things that are not moving you forward in your journey.
Spend it doing the things that fill you up; things that move the needle. Things that make you feel brilliant, powerful, beautiful and brave.
This is so important. Share what you have overcome with others. I have shared a lot about my nephews murder and how that changed my life. I wanted everyone to know that you can move through the most heart wrenching pain and come out the other side thriving.
Share your story with others. Share it with me. Somewhere someone is staring at the mountain that they have to climb. They are thinking they can’t do it. Every loss creates a challenge through change. It all starts with choice. You can stay in the river and look at the mountain, and stare at it all day.
Or you can start walking.
Just remember that we are here to listen, to offer support, and share with you as you walk up and down your own mountains of loss and change in your life – as well as help you celebrate your bravery.
“Uncertainty and mystery are energies of life. Don’t let them scare you unduly, for they keep boredom at bay and spark creativity” – R. I Fitzhenry
The uncertainty of life is what makes it so much fun. Uncertainty is fundamental in nature. It is a messy imperfection of life. But it is also the adventure of choosing a path and not knowing where it goes. It is the curiosity of going someplace new and imagining what you might discover about yourself in the process.
I love the thought of this idea of not even knowing we have wings until they are forced into opening up. Unraveling feels so scary, like you are coming apart. But unless you reach that moment, the wings do not unfurl. They won’t appear until they are needed.
“It is how we embrace the uncertainty in our lives that leads to the great transformations of our souls” – Brandon A Dean
Has anyone ever said to you, “I don’t know how you do it” about something in your life?
The answer lies in realizing that you can handle anything when you aren’t given a choice. It defines who you are and who you are becoming, because every single choice is just that – a choice you make.
“Decisions are the endless uncertainties of life that we’ll not know if they’re right until the very end, so do the best you can and hope its right” – Lily Collins
“Our lives are defined by opportunities, even the ones we miss” – Eric Roth
There is something called the Uncertainty principle. It is part of quantum physics. It says that in the world of small particles, one cannot measure the property of the particle, without interacting with it in some way, which creates an unavoidable uncertainty into the result. Which means that the act of the observation of something, changes the thing irrevocably.
What this means in layman’s language is that the idea of a predictable future based on the choices you are making in this moment is impossible. You can guess at probable outcomes of a choice. Based on those probabilities, you can make flexible plans.
So for my choice of taking the “really lost” train track – there are a number of probabilities that would be reasons why the train isn’t going that way.
In the uncertainty principle for life, there is a grid for breaking down the complexity, volatility, ambiguity and risk of uncertainty. Gaining clarity defuses some of the uncertainty in life.
Ambiguity is like a sunrise just cresting the horizon. At first you can’t see clearly as everything still is shadowed. But the more that light is reflected out from the sun as it reaches higher in the sky, the more that what was in the shadows can be clearly seen. With ambiguity, gaining more knowledge about it creates clarity about it.
Clarity also breaks down the complexity of the subject, as you can clearly see where things connect and don’t connect. The more you know, the easier it is to take volatility out of the equation.
“Clarity and simplicity are the antidotes to complexity and uncertainty” – General George Casey
Clarity starts with curiosity. Being open to exploring the unknown. It is the journey of self discovery of why you are here. Clarity comes with conviction and true originality. It is experienced in the stillness of the soul. Simplicity is ultimately a matter of focus in breaking down the complexity. The clarity of what your intentions are actually based on.
“Live your life as an exclamation, not as an explanation” – H. Jackson Brown Jr.
It is about taking the train track that will infuse your life with action. When you take a tea bag and put it in a cup of hot water, the hot water becomes infused with the tea in the bag and makes a cup of tea. The longer the bag is left in the cup, the stronger the tea becomes.
Living your life as an exclamation point says that you aren’t sitting at home dreaming of making a choice on which track you are going to take. It means you are making the choice by getting on the track and forging forward. Put a period on the end of the choice. The period says you are making something happen.
Be prepared to embrace change with each new step on your journey. When the track ends, start laying new track.
“Enjoy the beauty of becoming. When nothing is certain, anything is possible” – Mandy Hale
There is a Japanese Proverb that says, “Fear is only as deep as the mind allows.” This implies that you have some choice in the matter. Than if your mind focuses on other things than fear, that you can control how deep that fear is allowed to go.
There is such beauty in the creation process. When I find the perfect quote and picture it gives me such joy. No one achieves full mastery. There is always another level to grow into. And with each new level there will be failures, growth, and beauty. So don’t wallow in the failures. Don’t allow the failures to stop you. Unfurl those wings and fly.
“Embrace uncertainty. Some of the most beautiful chapters in our lives won’t have a title until much later”– Bob Goff
You are writing your life journey, page by page, day by day. Sometimes in writing these blogs the title is the first thing I type. Other times it is the last thing I type. Don’t be afraid to make space for the unknown. Sometimes the feeling needs to be explored before you can name it. Life’s most precious gift is uncertainty. Cherish it. Life always unfolds perfectly if you let it.