“Cherish your solitude. Take trains by yourself to places you have never been. Sleep alone under the stars. Learn how to drive a stick shift. Go so far away that you stop being afraid of not coming back. Say no whenever you don’t want to do something. Say yes if your instincts are strong, even if everyone around you disagrees. Decide whether you want to be liked or admired. Decide if fitting in is more important than finding out what you’re doing here. Believe in kissing” – Eve Ensler
It was really interesting in locating a photo for this quote. I looked up woman in solitude, and 90% of the photos showed women who were depressed, some even suicidal with a hangman’s noose besides one woman and suicide by pills in several others. I couldn’t believe that solitude was paired up with depression and suicide.
Solitude is critical to being able to love oneself. This is not being an isolationist, which could become unbalanced when taken to extremes. But rather as a sign of being balanced, because you are happy with your own company. Being alone doesn’t make you lonely. It took much longer than I thought to find a photo that actually displayed that kind of joyous feeling within it.
As a woman you give so much of yourself away. You constantly see to the needs of others. Solitude is how you can balance this out, so that you are not giving too much of yourself away. Solitude is strength.
At various times of the year, it is vital to have some solitude to review the past few months and do some deep thinking for how you want the rest of the year to be for you.
“Nowhere can man find a quieter or more untroubled retreat than in his own soul” – Marcus Aurelius
In reading anything that talks about the “crowd mentality”, it talks about how if you feel you must always be with people, it can be a sign of weakness. This is because you may become prone to follow whatever everyone else is doing, just to belong.
I think most everyone would say they are afraid to stand out, not be “normal”, or speak out against a crowd. The real dividing line is do you let that fear stop you?
There is nothing more freeing and empowering to like your own company and be your own person no matter where you are. It is more fun to be considered weird. Be the orange fish in a sea of blue fish. Go your own direction. Be weird.
I love the first quote because it shows great courage to do things like take trains to somewhere you have never been by yourself. To go so far away that you lose the fear of finding your way home. That you will do something that you know in the depths of your soul is yours alone to do, even when everyone you know disagrees.
“Solitude is the soul’s holiday, an opportunity to stop doing for others and to surprise and delight ourselves” – Katrina Kenison
I believe that you have that kind of courage, but sometimes you are still letting life hold you back. I believe this is true of all of us.
There are moments of indecision. Of not being sure of your way. In the end, the only way out, really is, to go through. To step past the place of safety on the sand. You need to actually cross over the line into adventure, stepping into the sea.
“True happiness is impossible without solitude…, I need solitude in my life as I need food and drink and the laughter of little children. Extravagant though it may sound, solitude is the filter of my soul. It nourishes me, and rejuvenates me. Left alone, I discovered that I keep myself good company” – Sophia Loren
Only by being alone with yourself can you come to true honesty with who you are, and how you are being reflected in the world. It is in this place of honesty, you are able to authentically release the parts of you that are not you, and own in the real world the parts of you that are crying to be released into life.
Only to the extent that you expose yourself to the changing tides of the sea, can you transform into who you are becoming. I think that we all want to find out what we are doing here, and we can’t do that staying safely on the dry land. You have to step over the line to experience adventure. Here is to smooth sailing!
For an idea of something that you can do with relative ease, try Forest bathing. It is the practice of immersing yourself in nature in a mindful way. It has a whole range of benefits for your physical, mental, emotional, and social health. It comes to us from Japan and is known as Shinrin-yoku. ‘Shinrin’ means forest and ‘Yoku’ stands for bathing.
Forest bathing in nature allows the stressed portions of your brain to relax. Positive hormones are released in the body. You feel less sad, angry and anxious. It helps to avoid stress and burnout, and aids in fighting depression and anxiety. Immersing yourself in the solitude of you and the forest is very healing to the body, mind, and soul.
A forest bath is known to boost immunity and leads to lesser days of illness as well as faster recovery from injury or surgery. Nature has a positive effect on our mind as well as body. It improves heart and lung health, and is known to increases focus, concentration and memory. Certain trees like conifers also emit oils and compounds to safeguard themselves from microbes and pathogens. These molecules known as Phytoncides are good for our immunity too. Breathing in the forest air boosts the level of natural killer (NK) cells in our blood. NK cells are used in our body to fight infections, cancers and tumors. So spending time with these tree is a special form of tree bathing.
A fairy tale is always a hero’s journey. It is about trials that burn off everything that isn’t the real you. It is about exposing to the light everything you have hidden, the mystery of who you really are.
It is a difficult path to travel, but for those that go down the road of “Once upon a time” you not only confront dragons, you recover the treasures of your true life.
There comes a time in life where we realize that we need to leave the comfort and safety of what we have created for our lives. When we realize that the comfort zone is just another word for a cage that we locked ourselves in to be safe from our fears.
Looking from the outside in, see that the time has come to go within and discover who we really are. We have to stop being scared and just go for the life we secretly have been dreaming about all of our lives.
Letting go of who we are. Surrendering to who we are meant to be. Doing this without any idea of what we will discover or guarantee that we will even be able to complete the journey – that’s what this surrender is all about.
It is time to accept that we are powerful beyond reckoning. That we have big work to do. And the only way to do the work, is to go deep within our inner darkness. Inside this darkness we are going to stumble. We are going to fall down into our own personal abyss.
What we will find there, is our power. It is time to bring it forth and expose it to the light.
Christopher Reeves said, “A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.” I like to think that he was drawn to play Superman because of all of the positive qualities that comic book hero had. He stood for truth and justice. He never gave up. He loved deeply. He used his powers to help others.
When we go through the hero’s journey, we go through the valley of death. We die to our past lives in which we didn’t live from strength and wisdom. We are reborn from the fire of those tests. We come back with the hero’s light – we become extraordinary.
We don’t go on this hero’s journey searching for a life purpose. We go on this journey to set ourselves free from the limitations that our fears and our comfort zones have created for us. We want to feel the rapture of being alive again.
We remember it as young children. Before life started imposing its rules and restrictions on us. Then we learned to squish our true selves into a small space so that we were not judged. We put our innermost being down deep into the abyss. We put guards of fear of not being enough all around it, so that it would never run free again.
But nothing can keep our innermost self in the abyss forever. It cries out through our heart. It whispers in our intuition. It screams out in our dreams. It is the triumph of our souls voice over the power of our fears.
Even in the journey of the dark night of the soul, we can be givers of our light. We take our intimate beliefs along with us on our journey and those beliefs will take us always into sharing our souls light.
We enter the journey through the storms of winter, and we return in the beginning of spring with new growth in our lives. Just as the seasons turn, so does our road. We continue from spring into summer and autumn, where we rest, reflect on what has now become a new comfort zone and the realization that winter storms are returning.
A new journey is about to begin.
Like the butterfly, we began as a caterpillar in the spring. We ate our way growing and expanding through summer and in the fall we begin to spin our chrysalis. In the winter we enter inside to begin our transformation in our journey to once more give our life to something bigger than we are.
“Waking up to who you are requires letting go of who you imagine yourself to be” – Alan Watts
You are on a spiritual journey of unlearning the fears created by your past life, and learning to accept yourself as who you really are. At some point in your life, probably multiple times, you have let someone else tell us you were wrong to believe in the things you do. They abandoned you. They betrayed you. They ridiculed you. They said and did hateful things. They made you feel that you were not good enough, that you were stupid, a waste of space, not even useful as garbage.
“Whenever there is fear, there is opportunity. When there is great fear, there is great opportunity” – Andy Stanley
It may be that you didn’t live up to the expectations of your family, or at school or work, or with your so called friends. So you became a victim and were abused, bullied, and treated disrespectfully. Or it may be that they were so dysfunctional and unhappy that they didn’t know how else to treat you. And you let it happen. You believed them, you listened to them, and they shattered you. Then in an act of self preservation you gathered up all of the broken pieces of yourself and put them deep inside a cage, so that no one could cause further destruction.
“To let go does not mean to get rid of. To let go means to let be. When we let be with compassion, things come and go on their own” – Jack Kornfield
Then your negative mind talk took up where the others left off. It seeks to keep you inside of that cage, because it thinks by doing so you won’t be hurt again. That it will be able to keep you safe. But at some point that small child inside the cage starts making some noise. It wants to be free. It wants to come back into the light and start pursuing your dreams again. At some point you start becoming conscious of this desire that is building up inside your soul You have to start taking some risks. You come to know that you can change your life. That it is a possibility, and not as hard as your mind wants you to think it is.
“Being strong means rejoicing in who you are, complete with imperfections” – Margaret Woodhouse
In order to trust in the dreams, you go on a spiritual pilgrimage. A spiritual journey of discovering a path to happiness. Of creating new paths of your own, breaking your own trail. Of making changes even though they terrify you. You discover doors to open that you never saw before. You set yourself free from those shackles. You used your key to unlock the cage you had locked yourself into. You know in your bones that you deserve to be free and happy.
“Survival mode is supposed to be a phase that helps save your life. It is not meant to be how you live” – Michele Rosenthal
With every choice, with every small change you will go on a new heroes journey. You begin to discover the possibility of a new life. You stop being who you were and start uncovering who you really are. Hope begins to find a home inside your soul again. You know why the caged bird sings – because it’s about to experience true freedom. You begin to love yourself without boundaries or restrictions. You open up to the possibility of being loved, and loving others without boundaries.
“Hope is the magic elixir that energizes dreams, fuels possibilities, and lets you live beyond the limits of your historical thinking. It is not a promise that something you want will happen – it is an invitation to enjoy the possibility of what you want while you and life negotiate the eventual outcome. There is never a good reason not to hope!” – Michael Neill
This begins the life of taking second chances. It is the most powerful gift you can give yourself. The opportunity to amplify your love. To see life from the place of your restored hope. To live a life of value, redeeming those qualities and values you abandoned. To be made whole again. To change the story of your life. To expand out past your comfort zone, (the cage you imprisoned yourself in) and begin living a life of potential and possibilities.
“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance” – Alan Watts
Close the chapter in the book that contains the story of your being a victim. That might have been who you were when you lost your way. But now with your transformational compass firmly in your hands you are navigating your way to start living a life of purpose and meaning. You are climbing back up the mountain in your heroes journey, refined. Like the phoenix rising from the ashes you take flight. You are starting out on a new journey, a new sacred destination of fulfilling your destiny once again.
“Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations. If you adopt their attitudes, then the possibility won’t exist, because you’ll have already shut it out – you can hear other people’s wisdom, but you’ve got to re-evaluate the world for yourself” – Mae Jemison
You look back at your life with gratitude, even for the stuff that was devastating. You now see it was all a gift. It bestows reverence on how God works with everything that happens, and turns it into something valuable. It allows you to see the world through love, and creates these transcendent moments of awe that change you right down into the DNA of your cells. You experience the world in a different way. It becomes a daring adventure. You become the brave hero exploring the new world. Yes, you will fall down. Yes, you will be hurt. Yes, you will find yourself working to regain your vision. But now you know that you can choose your thoughts. That you can keep what brings you joy, peace, and happiness. That never again will you find yourself having to imprison yourself to save yourself. That you can release the things that make you suffer, let them take flight and be free.
“I wish for the same thing I’ve hoped for since the beginning. I wish for a life so brave, so unpredictable, so full of unexpected joys and unforgettable love that no box could possibly contain all my memories. Such a life won’t be perfect. It’ll be something better. It’ll be my own paradise” – Patti Smith
You can’t change what’s going on around you, until you start changing what’s going on within you.
What is the difference between a professional or an amateur, and what does that have to do with change? Many things, but the first thing that comes to mind is this: An amateur stops with the initial change, while a professional understands that the first change is just the beginning and that many more will follow.
So an amateur might be the caterpillar that builds the chrysalis and thinks he is done. He has changed his life. While the professional takes a much longer viewpoint and realizes that he not only needs to build the chrysalis, but that there will be changes within the chrysalis and that at some point, which those transformations have been fully completed, he will need an exit strategy. Then he will need to emerge into a new world, and that this world will expect more changes and transformations out of him. Just like the butterfly, there is a new life to be fully explored. The chrysalis was just the beginning.
Life is not always fair. Sometimes you get a splinter sliding down a rainbow.
We must live a multidimensional, multifaceted life. The first viewpoint is just that – a first. There are so many angles to view life from. Part of that process of becoming a professional, is realizing that feedback or coaching shouldn’t be viewed as negative. It shouldn’t be viewed as a personal attack, even if it is delivered like one. I remember years ago reading something that really changed my life. If someone is telling you that you did something wrong, and you didn’t do it – you should still listen to what is being said. The very fact that it is being said means that somewhere in the garbage being unloaded on you, is a gold nugget. Instead of getting mad, hurt, angry and yelling at the world for being unfair – look for the gold nugget. We all have weak spots – things that we don’t see or recognize about ourselves. Finding out what those are and working to bring them into our circle of competence is what will make us successful in any endeavor.
You have to fight through some bad days to earn the best days of your life.
Professionals accept failure as a learning tool. In sports such as baseball or basketball you learn that you can’t hit a homerun or have the basketball shoot through the hoop every single time you try. But you can analyze your process and use the failure as a tool towards growth and mastery of the sport. In the same way, the more consistent we are with our process of change, of transforming our lives through the failures, the better our outcomes will be.
Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds, cannot change anything.
George Bernard Shaw
Knowledge is power, because we know what to do. But the application of that knowledge is what is really important. It is the correct application of knowledge that brings true wisdom to the fore. It is this – the knowledge of why the rule is there, tells us when it should be followed and when it should be broken. It is the understanding of bringing humanity into our decisions. Of understanding when the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one, or when the needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many – both can be true. It is the focus of both long term and short term results that tell you which way is the right way. It is understanding second level thinking.
Old ways won’t open new doors.
When we first meet someone, we make a judgment about the person. Based on what they look like, how they present themselves, how they talk and move – we make a superficial judgment about who they are. If you were to meet me on the street, because I dress very casually, and love to shop second hand stores and don’t live in an upscale neighborhood you might make a certain kind of judgment about me. If you heard about how poor our family was when I was growing up and that I left school my senior year and didn’t get a college degree you might make another kind of judgment about me. If you heard that I am a Director at one of the top five banks in the world, you might make another kind of judgment about me.
Don’t judge my choices if you don’t understand my reasons.
All of those would be superficial and not take into account a million things that are also true about me. Second level thinking goes beyond the superficial where most of us live our lives. Second level thinking is deep, complex, and convoluted. It is the kind of thinking required to play chess well. It looks at all of the moves that can be made on both sides of the board, and levels that up to all possible plays with each new move. It looks at each piece of knowledge; at where the decision paths converge and at when they then separate. It creates a consensus of all of the data and of all of the probabilities, then it comes to the best decision based on everything that is known and can be guessed.
One of the happiest moments in life is when you find the courage to let go of what you can’t change.
It is the realization that the first answer we think of, the first thing we think is the right way to go is rarely so. It is knowing that absolutes are almost never the right answer or the right way to think. That black and white thinking keeps us in first level thinking and keeps us in the large amateur crowd. We need to be curious and consider all of the probabilities and possibilities. We need to understand that true reality is not what we want to see, but what’s true. Get curiouser and curiouser. Take the time to deep dive into exploration; into letting our minds run, and look for the inspiration to do and be different.
We cannot become what we want by remaining what we are.
So it all comes down to being curious. To up-level our thinking to the second or even third level. To looking at reality – not from what we want it to be, but what it is. From making big and little changes, even micro changes – but always making new transformations in our lives.
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Plant seeds of happiness, hope, success, and love; it will all come back to you in abundance. This is the Law of Nature – Dr. Steve Maraboli
I’ve always thought that if I was a flower, I would want to be a dandelion. I love how their seed heads seem to sparkle. When my bright yellow flower matured into tiny seeds, I wanted a little girl to pick me and make wishes. Then blow me all over the meadow, so that I could spread and grow into the whole meadow. A whole meadow of new tiny wishes to be made.
Dandelions are considered to be weeds by many. But they are edible plants, and dandelion tea is very good for the liver, although I guess that dandelion wine might be a better drink – lol. It is a useful plant, not pretentious or hard to grow like some flowers. It is found almost everywhere. It is even a social flower because their deep taproots bring up nutrients not only for themselves, but any nearby plants too. If you plant them around your trees, they release a gas that actually helps fruit to ripen.
What I need is the dandelion in the spring. The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction. The promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our losses. That it can be good again – Suzanne Collins
When the seeds disperse, they parachute outwards, like they are enjoying even the end of their life to the maximum, with no reservations. They have faith that their landing will continue their species. This faith is borne out by the fact that they have been around since prehistoric times and are not a cultivated plant in most places.
Words are like seeds. They have creative power. What seeds are you planting?
Words grow larger when they are examined. The words are like the opening of a flower, from the bud to the blossom.
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to bloom – Anais Nin
Why are you afraid of opening from a bud to a bloom? I think part of the reason is that you are afraid of being judged as not worthy. Not a very pretty blossom. Poor color. Bent petals. Not attracting the right kinds of bees, birds or insects to help pollinate others. No scent, or even worse, you stink.
You might get attacked by Aphids and look all spotty. A dog or cat might decide you are their new litter box.
Some child running by could step on you and smash you into paste. Then you wouldn’t even have a chance to go to seed. Your purpose would have all been for nothing. You should have just remained in the dark earth and not even tried to shoot towards the sun.
Then there is the whole going to seed part. It is frightening. You must completely fall apart. All of the beautiful petals of your youth fall to the ground. Your leaves turn brown and brittle and fall off. The wind takes your precious seeds and just blows them away. You don’t even get a say where they land. Some landings will be on hard ground and the birds will eat you up. But some will land in moist soil and falling into darkness they will start the germination process all over again. The circle of life begins anew.
The heart is like a garden. It can grow compassion, or fear, resentment or love. What seeds will you plant there? – Jack Kornfield
When you have a good healthy discussion, the words used are like a seasoning. They bring flavor to the ideas. They change the texture of the meanings when they are used in new and different ways. They expand your heart and mind. They fall into the cracks and grow something new and unforeseen.
Words can be hot and spicy, or cool and watery. Mellow words sooth and soften us. They have the saying, “those are fighting words”. Our words can cause you to run the entire string of the emotional scale.
Life brings challenges to all of us. Many times, the worst thing that can happen, becomes the best thing that could have happened to you. It sometimes takes you cracking, falling apart in total destruction for you to find the truth of who you really are. To set you on the path that you are supposed to be on.
Today someone fell in love, and someone lost the love of their life.
Today someone lived through an accident that should have killed them, and someone else didn’t wake up this morning because they died in their sleep.
Today someone made their parents proud and today someone crushed their parents’ hearts.
Today someone was healed from cancer, and someone died from cancer.
Today could be the best day of your life or the worst day of your life.
You have seen my descent. Now watch my rising – Rumi
At some point the destruction hits you or misses you. But take heart, because it isn’t really destruction.
When life buries you, remember that you are seeds. You will rise back up out of the darkness. You will shine again. Like the ocean tide, you rise, and you fall, and you will rise again.
Where you are headed is much more important that what you have left behind you. You keep growing, keep learning, and you try new things.
You are human, not perfect, but perfectly imperfect. Be thankful to be alive and still moving to fulfill your dreams and your destiny. Embrace life with grace and courage. See wishes floating on the breeze, parachuting into a new adventure!
“You have to grow from the inside out. None can teach you; none can make you spiritual. There is no other teacher but your own soul” – Swami Vivekananda
Your soul comes with your purpose already planted within it. Your gifts are inside, waiting to be discovered. The divine will is waiting to be expressed through your life.
Unfortunately, you forget what you already knew as a small child. You get lost. This is where the divine teachings can assist you.
The universal laws point you in the right direction. They lead you to re-discover what you have forgotten.
One of the Laws of the Universe. But what does it really mean when you look at it through the lens of your life?
I love the vibrant health of this tree in our featured quote. It is not only fully supporting itself, it is also providing for the area around it. Everything is vibrant, growing and healthy.
You have the light of the truth being reflected in the lamps to light the darkness down in the root system. They shine at night to show the way as you go seeking the truth among your deep roots. You have the butterfly of transformation.
You have the fruit of both the foliage around it and the tree itself. This fruit attracts you as you go seeking food for your soul. It is so beautiful, and it invites you to come and rest.
I was listening to a CD by Guy Finley and he talked about the importance of balance in how we show up in the world, comparing it to a tree. Picture the tree having a root system as you see above. This root system is as deep underground, as the trunk and branches of the tree that extend high above the ground. It is about balance of the structure of the tree. The balance of the trees roots below support the outward growth above.
He stated that if a tree that didn’t have strong deep roots (roots deep within), it would be in danger of toppling over. This was because the growth above ground wasn’t being fully supported. In turn, if all you did was work on the root system, then you would have stunted growth above, no fruits. There has to be a balance of inner and outer work, all happening at the same time.
We see this in the Ying/Yang symbols. In giving, you are going up the outward growth of the tree and in receiving you are going down into the root system. In breathing in, you are going to the root system, and in breathing out you are going up the growth of the tree.
I thought about this in my own life, and watching the lives of others that I see out in the world. We have all seen a number of people who achieved something great in their lives, who later implode through drugs, drinking or sexual escapades. Think of the Hollywood stars that have overdosed, the politicians and scandals that they have had. Even religious leaders have their fair share when they have built an empire that came crashing down on them.
These are all examples of a root system that couldn’t support the upward growth.
So what is the root system in our analogy?
It is the inner work that you do on yourself. The roots remind you of where you have been, and who you are today. It takes work to get to know your shadows. To uncovering what I call the popsicle stories. The stories you created as a child, to explain something that you couldn’t understand at the time. It is the judgments, traumas and dramas you grew up with. It takes deep inner work to discover what they are, and how they play out in the patterns of your life. You must go back and claim your past. It is what helps you to understand your present.
It is through the developing of your relationship with the divine, that you are able to align your souls purpose in being here now. It is about asking the right questions to yourself that you discover “your way home” to your true self and your purpose in being here.
It is exploring and questioning every truth you have acquired throughout your life. Some of those earliest truths contradict to some of your latest truths. Some of those older “truths” or stories need to be released. They no longer serve or support your inward and outward growth.
You need to discover that, as in the Wizard of Oz, you already have what you are looking for outside of you. It lives deep inside of you in the root system. You already know “the way to home”.
Home is the place of balance in this analogy. The bedrock of the foundation cornerstone. The place where the outward growth of “who you are in this world” is equal to, and growing in proportion to the inner growth of the root system of your tree. It is the place of awakening.
You have filters in your mind, which serve as a protection. These filters both serve you and sometimes hurt you. This is because you miss seeing things that have always been there.
Have you ever driven down a road that you use all the time and see a store front for the first time? Earlier this year a large commercial building was totally removed so they could build a new structure. I drive by it 4 times a day, going back and forth to my office from home (I go home for lunch). I didn’t notice the building was being torn down until they had completely removed all trace of it.
This is because my filter removed it from my field of vision. This has happened to you too. The more conscious and awake you become the more you can learn to remove the filters so that you can see those open doors of opportunity.
Several years ago, after the murder of my nephew and the collapse of my sisters nonprofit that she had created afterwards, I discovered my souls purpose with LemonadeMakers.
LemonadeMakers after several years of inner growth preparation it is starting to grow above the ground. The trunk and branches have been growing, and we are about to have a whole lot of pieces of what I have been working on finally come together.
Supporting LemonadeMakers has changed me in ways that I can’t even believe myself. I have grown and changed so much personally. I have seen just how important it is to invest in yourself, and have a personal coach. The time, effort, and money spent means that I have taken the zip line through the jungle, instead of traveling on foot and breaking the trail.
Without coaching I know that I would have probably given up. The hero’s journey with this business has suffered setbacks with our website when I spent a lot of money and the service provider went out of business. Then with the financial freefall of 2007-2012 recovery when I suffered a large loss of income. With the support of good friends, the support of great coaches, and my own blood, sweat and tears, whatever roadblock that appears, I manage to keep going and keep growing.
From the place of my own experience in transformational growth, I encourage you to seek out personal coaching in some way. It is hard to see what is happening deep within the root system below you, or high up at the tips of your branches. A good coach, friend or mentor is a mirror reflecting back to you what you can’t see. We all need that friend that removes the toilet paper trailing behind you when you walk out of the bathroom, or smooths out the wild hair in the back of your head.
Just remember that every second is a fresh start to begin nurturing the roots and the branches of your tree. Every day is what you chose to make of it, how you are living your dream out in the world. When you have unrestricted flow between the roots and branches of your tree, you will see the greatest harmony flow into your life. You will think of something, and make the connection, and produce the result almost without effort.
Contact LemonadeMakers if you want to see if having a personal coach is your next step.
Isn’t funny how you will look at someone as being “the overnight success” story. There is no such thing as the overnight success. Every step that we take in bringing our dreams into reality has a price. People don’t see the 10,000 hours you put in to become the master that you are today. They don’t see the hours that you continue to put in to hone your gifts into the genius category. What if instead of getting mad about someone’s cutting remarks, we stayed silent. And to take it one step further, what if instead of crying about what they just said or did (which is what they want) you laughed out loud about it? What if you said, “if you hate this, just wait – I have more achievements that you can be mad about coming.” And my personal favorite, “If you don’t like me and still watch everything I do, you’re not my haters, you’re my fans.”
Silence your critics.
Ignore your haters.
Delete your cynics.
– Robin Sharma
The sad thing is that we listen to the critics at all. We can have 10 people come up and gush all over us, how wonderful we are, so inspiring. And then one person finds something negative to say about us, usually personal and not having anything to do with the job we do, and that is all we think about. What if we turned it around? Instead of taking it personally and getting wounded, what if we took it as a sign that we have something within us that needs to be released. Thanking them, literally, because they just made you aware of some personal work that you need to do for yourself? Just a little housecleaning to track down where that hurt you just felt is actually coming from.
When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.
– African Proverb
I have always loved the quote from Theodore Roosevelt. It puts everything into perspective, because most haters are not putting themselves out there to accomplish their dreams. They become haters because the truth that you are living, shows up the lies they are telling themselves. They become haters because every time one of us puts ourselves out there, it reflects to them that they aren’t fulfilling their own personal destiny. Every time we get back up from the failures, and keep going until we win through, it is like a stake in their hearts because they are too afraid to fail and so they don’t take even the first step into the arena. They know that they have a divine destiny, a life purpose. Instead of listening and following their souls calling, they smother their heart when it cries out to them to walk into the arena and get dirty.
It is not the critic who counts; nor the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deed could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, who face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs; who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
– Theodore Roosevelt
So how do you unlock your own potential? You get curious. You look for open doors to walk through. You go on adventures. You read, watch and listen and then think, think, think. You wonder what if? What could I just do next? What happens when I? Like Alice in Wonderland, each step down the path brought something new into her life. She realized that every single day she was a totally new person; that nothing was impossible; and that all of us are just a little bit mad; and it is always tea time.
“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?’
‘That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,’ said the Cat.
‘I don’t much care where -‘ said Alice.
‘Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,’ said the Cat.
‘- so long as I get SOMEWHERE,’ Alice added as an explanation.
‘Oh, you’re sure to do that,’ said the Cat, ‘if you only walk long enough”
Whenever I hear the word relentless, I think of a small child. You know that age where they ask “why”? Why is the sky blue? Why do dogs bark and cats meow? Why, why, why? At first it is cute. Then it drives you mad. Children are great examples of being relentless when they want something. How many times as parents have we said no, only to give in later because we can’t take it anymore? But like a lot of excellent childlike qualities at some point most of us lose that quality of being relentless. We stop asking because they will just say no. We don’t ask because what if they say no and we put ourselves out there just to be shot down. We don’t want to be annoying, or look foolish or be a failure, and . . . . . so we make excuses. We place the blame on others. We start looking around for things that won’t be hard to do.
Why Do I Succeed?
I am willing to do the things you are not
I will fight against the odds
I will sacrifice
I am not shackled by fear, insecurity or doubt
I am motivated by accomplishment, not pride
If I fall – I will get up
If I am beaten – I will return
I will never stop getting better
I will never give up – ever
That Is Why I Succeed
Find a purpose in life so big, that it challenges every belief you have. That it challenges you to do things and try things that never occurred to you before. Instead of following the crowd, break out and find your own path. Change the way you think. Your story gives you so many clues to your life purpose. Your dreams are like sign posts pointing you in the direction to go forward and bring them into reality. Your souls voice is you refusing to be quiet and invisible. We can’t know your story until you tell it. Whether that is from speaking, writing, acting, dancing, singing – whatever form it takes, it must be told. Your story isn’t about being a victim, it isn’t about the tragedy that happened. Your story is about how you overcame “all that stuff”, and how you took life’s lemons and made the best lemonade in town.
I recently read an article about a 10 year old boy in Texas who likes to invent things. In his neighborhood, there had been a baby left in a vehicle in the summer that had died. It really affected him. Now he wasn’t like most of us, saying how could someone forget their child in the car. He wasn’t thinking that they should go to jail. What he was thinking was what could I invent so that when someone makes a tragic mistake, it doesn’t have to result in the death of a baby? So he now has a patent pending for a little cooler that looks like a giant lego, that will turn on when the heat gets too high and the car seat is occupied by a child. By cooling the baby, it makes time for the parent to remember they left the child in the car and rescue them. What struck me about this story is that this totally preventable situation has been happening for years and it never occurred to millions of adults to create some sort of mechanism in the car seat to cool the child and buy enough time for the child to be rescued. How many other opportunities are there out there for some great thinking outside the box that will save lives?
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“The best thing you could do is MASTER the chaos in you. You are not thrown into the fire. YOU ARE THE FIRE” – Mama Indigo
The smallest spark ignites the fire of passion that lives deep within your soul. When that passion bursts out, then anything is suddenly possible. That passion says that you will not give up. That you might get knocked down, but you will get back up. That you might fail, but you will keep trying until you succeed.
It is in the trying, failing and trying again that you learn just what you are made up of. It strips away the facades that you hide behind. It exposes the bones of what you are made up of.
The Cherokees teach that your ancient ancestors came from the stars. Science has proven that your body contains stardust. Like the stars you burn with an inner fire.
Your eyes, the windows of your soul, shine with that inner fire. It is that inner focus that drives you forward. That inner fire is like a forge, in that it will burn away all of the things that don’t belong, leaving the pure beauty of your soul’s core.
Focus is like a bellows, which supplies air to the fire so that it breathes. That hot air rises to push you up out of the ashes. It is in that place inside your heart, deep within the soul where joy burns away the pain. Life isn’t ever what you thought it was. It is in fact, all about what it is possible to become. What you are truly capable of being.
“What you want to ignite in others must first burn inside yourself” – One PlanetOnePlanet.com
If you have ever heated your home with a wood fire, then you know the importance of banking the coals at night. When you do that, then in the morning it is easy to get the fire going quickly. You need to bank your inner fires when you are being hard pressed. When you are going through the valley of death and darkness. If you keep the inner core burning brightly, it doesn’t matter what happens outside of you.
You shall rise, lighting the way out of the darkness with a brightly burning all consuming passion, to change yourself and thereby change the world.
What matters most is your own self confidence. Your own beliefs. Your own self love and self-trust. Because when the bridges are burning, sometimes that only way out is through. When you have to walk down that road of fire, you are only going to be able to do it if you believe you can.
Sometimes in order to rise higher, you need to burn the boats containing plans B – Z and realize that plan A is the only option. You have to be all in. You have to surround yourself with those who will not be afraid of the changes you are going through, because they are transforming themselves. People who will believe in your dreams and will fan the flames of your fire. The chain reaction of one heart on fire lighting another, and another until there is light for all.
“You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage – pleasantly, smilingly, non-apologetically – to say “no” to other things. And the way to do that is by having a bigger “Yes” burning inside” – Stephen Covey
Seek that path that demands more from you than you currently know how to give. Motivation comes from that fire within us, an awakened soul.
You have the capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love, and to be greater than all of your hopes, desires, dreams and inspirations.
The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.
– Mark Twain
Finding your passion isn’t just about a dream job for your career, or about being wealthy. It is about finding your authentic self. It is about having a meaningful life, with both spirituality and community weaved together. This authentic life is your life propose. The surest way to find your life purpose is to follow where your passion leads you. When you find it and align everything in your life with it, that is when your eyes light up, and your heart sings with joy. You literally fill up your soul with light and shine brightly from within. This is your calling, given to you by the divine. It is the difference between really living and just existing.
Always go with your passions. Never ask yourself if it is realistic or not.
– Deepak Chopra
When you are in alignment with your purpose, passion creates a calmness within the heart, so that no matter what the madness and chaos that is happening around us, we are at peace. When you embrace your authentic self, you have no competition. When you focus on your passion and fulfilling your purpose, the doors of opportunity swing wide open. Creativity seems to pour out of your soul. Ideas pop into your head. You see so many possibilities that your like a kid in a candy store and you can’t decide which one to taste first.
Have the courage to follow the things that you are naturally drawn to. Pupose is the reason you journey, walking the path towards insight pulls you forward. Passion is the fire that lights the way, and keeps you going on the dark and stormy nights. I think of Jane Goodall, who has lived her whole life for monkeys. I don’t understand her passion for them, but you can see it. What I can understand, is having that kind of passion. I have it, for LemonadeMakers. It is your job, your responsibility, your calling, to let the world know why you are here. The world needs people who have come alive with passion.
Curiosity only does one thing, and that is to give. And what it gives you are clues on the incredible scavenger hunt of your life.
– Elizabeth Gilbert
We find happiness by being driven by this curiosity, because it causes us to ask questions that we would never think to ask. It causes us to look in strange places for answers to the questions and make connections. The connections might seem strange, yet they fit perfectly to what is happening in our lives. Each one a clue to the next place to look, the next discovery to make. We get so excited about what we are discovering that our friends and relatives look at us as though we have gone over the deep end of the pool.
One of the oldest and most generous tricks that the universe plays on human beings is to bury strange jewels within us all. And then stand back to see if we can ever find them.
– Elizabeth Gilbert
It is looking in the strange places that we find clues to what we are capable of in our lives. We see how everything in our past is connected. We can see the dots being connected. The main path we are walking, with all of the side roads winding through the woods. We see how each served a purpose, even though we did not connect the dots until years later. But each jewel we discover is required to have the complete set of our string of pearls, which is our life.
You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage – pleasantly, smiling, non-apologetically – to say “no” to other things. And the way to do that is by having a bigger “yes” burning inside.
– Stephen Covey
You have to peel off the masks of social conditioning that say you must meet the needs of others, before your own. That what you need and desire, is as important. In fact, will be fatal to your soul if you don’t pursue it. You must become what you are seeking. It needs to seep deep into your pores, become part of your cells. Live and breathe your dream.
Do you remember having a favorite article of clothing that you loved to wear? It might have been when you were a child, and you wanted to wear it every day, and your mom would argue with you to choose something different. But you only wanted to wear that particular outfit. So you would pitch a fit until she gave in, or maybe you snuck it out of the house and changed and wore it anyway. Wear your passion like that. Be a rebel.
You’ll learn as you get older that rules are made to be broken. Be bold enough to live life on your own terms, and never ever apologize for it. Go against the grain, refuse to conform, take the road less traveled instead of the well beaten path. Laugh in the face of adversity, and leap before you look. Dance as though everyone is watching. March to the beat of your own drummer. And stubbornly refuse to fit it.
– Mandy Hale
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Laugh out loud. Smile just a little. Share with a friend.
Have you ever had a healing crisis? A healing crisis isn’t just a health related crisis. It can be healing any part of our life that just isn’t working out the way we know that it should.
Nothing has transformed my life more than listening to what needed to be heard.
– Jeffrey Shaw
Years ago, when I was first working in the financial industry I had just received a huge promotion. I was really working hard, and for some reason, the different aspects of the job were just not working out right. I finally had a long talk with my boss, and following her advice I turned things around. I knew that I was perfectly capable of doing the job, but I just couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t working. I think that at different shifting points in our lives we run up against this road block. We need a different set of eyes to see what needs to be seen. To see what needs to be transformed.
If you’re trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I’ve had them; everybody has had them. But obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.
– Michael Jordan
Do you know why Michael Jordan was so successful? This quote gives us a clue. He didn’t reach a roadblock and say, “oh well, I guess I am not talented enough to do this”; or “oh well, I guess this dream was just too big for me to accomplish”. No, he practiced until he was able to break it down. He worked with coaches who were able to help him see what he couldn’t see.
Remember that your greatest talent is so much more powerful than your biggest fear.
There comes a time when we need to take a calculated risk. If you look at the game of baseball it really speaks to calculated risk. The player who is on first base, will watch the pitcher, the batter, and outfielders to gauge how far off the base he can go without getting caught. If he gauges it correctly, he can steal a base, or even make it to 3rd base with an infield hit from the batter because of getting the head start.
I think sometimes you forget that you were born to be awesome. (here’s your reminder)
In our lives, if we risk nothing, we get nothing. In personal transformation, we need to take calculated risks. In our life of personal growth, in order to grow we have to take our foot off the safe “base” we are on. We need to risk opening the chrysalis with the hope that we have finished our transformation, and the wings are ready to fly.
Risk more than others think is safe. Care more than others think is wise. Dream more than others think is practical. Expect more than others think is possible.
– Ronnie Max Oldham
This really is the only way to live your life. Not putting off things until we think it is safe. Really opening our hearts completely in how we care about others. To understand that the reality is that almost anything is possible. Whatever is currently stumping you, just means that you are not asking the right questions, or the right people for help.
Our thoughts are very powerful. When we focus on what we lack, we create blockages and limitations. We become imprisoned by the vibration of our negative energy.
– Randi G Fine
In other words if we think that we can’t we will be a self fulfilling prophecy.
If you think you can or you think you can’t you are right.
– Henry Ford
I find myself doing this sometimes. I stress about not having enough time and sure enough, unforeseen stuff starts filling up my life. Then I catch myself, and unlock the door to that cage, freeing myself and all of a sudden, the stuff just starts going away and I have my time back to do what needs to be done.
Remember, the moment you accept total responsibility for everything in your life is the moment you claim the power to change anything in your life.
– Hal Elrod
So if you find yourself in any sort of “healing crisis” at the moment, just take some time to meditate as to how you just lost yourself in the woods. Transform the path by backing up or regrouping. Get back on the path that you were traveling.
And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what the storm’s all about.
– Haruki Murakami
This is another critical piece of the transformation puzzle, in really getting to know oneself.
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I just wanted to take a moment to thank all of you for becoming part of our community. Thank you for taking the time to read our posts. For commenting and liking them and most of all for sharing them with others.
I wanted to let you know that you have all become special to me, because through you I have realized that I am not the only one who thinks about what I write. Thanks to you I have realized that there are many people in this world who see the possibilities that our world can become a better place.
I also wanted to take this day for helping me to be able to receive the love that you have shown to me, in encouraging me to continue to write my heart out on this page. I always dreamed of being a writer, since I was a very small girl. But I didn’t think that I had any talent. I didn’t think that what I wanted to talk about, was anything that anyone would want to read. You have no idea of the joy you have brought into my life.
Thank you! You are a blessing in my life. We are a blessing to each other.