Disaster of the Mind

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As an appropriate follow up, I just read a piece about thinking of the next disaster and how we bring it about.  See, I always believed I was a relatively positive person.  I can cheerlead and uplift those around me, I have belief that anyone can get through anything even if it’s simply by picking up their boot straps and going,  I know people can create the life they want simply by taking a look at the big picture and breaking it down to small steps.  So why do I fail to follow through with that type of belief for myself?  Why is it that I forget all of the wonderful things I can impart to others but I don’t fully embrace that possibility for myself?  Why do I let one set back or one fear derail my cheerleading for myself?  And this is the point about fear.  I spend more time preparing for disaster that never comes than I do planning for the life I want.

It’s easy to get derailed when life gets chaotic and of course it’s easy to feel the fear of all the terrible things that can happen when we are in the midst of change or when there’s an overwhelming amount of work to do.  But we have to work (I have to work) on training those instincts to see the positive first.  When we focus on the negative all the time, the negative will manifest.  Our exact fear may not manifest, but our dreams will certainly not. 

The bottom line is we can’t run around like Chicken Little thinking the sky is falling when we face a bump in the road.  We can’t dread/forecast the future based on a single obstacle.  We need to elevate and look at the big picture to evaluate what has happened (or what we fear will happen) in order to gain some perspective.  Worst case scenario is even if the disaster we fear takes place, we would begin again.  That’s the bottom line.  If it all falls apart, you’d have to start over anyway.  So remember to take stock of where you’re at and be grateful.  From there you can look at the situation and ask if you need to make any pivots because if things aren’t going on course, you certainly will need to pivot.  And every day make sure you’re looking at the actions you can take to get just a bit closer to your goal. 

The other point is the power of the mind.  When we focus on negativity, we are giving source the opportunity to interpret those thoughts as what we really want.  The focus is so important because when we brace ourselves for the worst at all times, that is the message we send to the universe: that we are expecting the worst to happen.  Don’t allow the fears and disasters in the mind become reality because we pull ourselves out of a rut or because we can’t see the big picture yet.  Take a deep breath and pause and make sure you’re guiding yourself the right way.  Don’t let your message to the universe be one of fear and destruction.  Focus on the good or at the very least focus on the goal. 

Out of Hand

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If it’s out of your hands, it deserves freedom from your mind too.  There is something about the phrasing of this quote that resonated with me.  There is a lot of weight on the world lately.  Between an apparent loss of morality and loss of respect for each other, wars, pandemic(s), inflation, shrinkflation, people losing interest in functioning through merely existing, and recognizing a need to break and rebuild the systems we believed infallible, the world is full of events that we carry in our own way.  It’s hard to distinguish between what is ours and what isn’t and what we can take action on and what needs to be left alone.  It all feels too big.    

I’ve spoken often about mindset and focusing on closing the gap on the things you can control.  There are things in the world that simply happen—and that is one of the biggest pet peeves I have.  I hate hearing how it’s just life.  I’m the type of person who has forced myself to be so uncomfortable making others comfortable that I know first had the level of control we can have over ourselves.  Just to be clear, I’m NOT advocating for people pleasing on any level let alone at the cost of sense of self, I am merely making the point that we have a remarkable level of self-control when we want to.  In spite of all that, there is a point where we have to let go of things we can’t control because it IS life.

That is the difference: there are natural elements that we can’t control.  Natural disasters, weather, temperature and the like.  We ARE able to control our reactions and behaviors and we are able to develop our self-awareness so we understand how our actions impact others.  The twist to this is we aren’t able to control how other people behave either—one great universal conundrum.  Maybe that is a thought I need to release.  Maybe I will one day, but in an effort to help people along, sometimes we have to look at the behavior and determine how we are going to react to it. 

We have to decide if we are going to tolerate it. We have to decide if we are going to move forward carrying things that don’t belong to us and that we have no say in changing.  We do have a choice.  As a professional “chewer” I know all too well the feeling of taking on things that aren’t mine and never letting them go.  The mental hoarding is exhausting and it only takes up valuable real estate in your mind.  Weigh the pros and cons of keeping something in your head for too long before you decide to indoctrinate it into who you are.  Once it becomes a part of you, it’s harder to let go.  It also does more damage to us than the other person because they are free of it while we repeat and bear the burden in our minds.  I know the pain of letting it go but I also know the pain of looking back and realizing that I’ve held on too long.  Let go, give yourself space back, and move forward.

On Your Own

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“Sometimes there will be no one to go with you.  No one else is down to do what you want to do.  but that is not an excuse to miss out.  That is the time when you do it anyway and allow your full potential to be unleashed.” Unknown.  I’ve spent a lot of my life turning down experiences.  I turned down going to laser tag on one of my first dates with my husband because I didn’t know how to do it.  I turned down going out to countless dinners because I couldn’t afford it.  I turned down travelling because I couldn’t get time off of work.  I’ve put my life on hold for so many reasons, not having enough, all the while feeling a desperate need to move forward.  A habit I used to have was needing someone to be with me.  If they wouldn’t go, I wouldn’t go because I didn’t want to be alone or I was afraid I couldn’t figure it out on my own.

I’m learning to trust myself more and that means trusting myself to do the things I want to even if they don’t make sense to someone else.  It means trusting that, as a grown adult, I do not need permission to do what I want to do and that I will be able to figure out the logistics.  It means that, regardless of people seeing me and having their opinions based on how I look, it means moving forward and doing it anyway.  Trust comes from allowing yourself to find your way and following your gut no matter what.  Other people aren’t required or always able to fulfill your requirements or your needs and they certainly aren’t required to fulfill your wants.

The more experience we have with answering the call of our heart, the better we are at listening to what it tells us.  The answers we need are always within, that is the point.  We so often have fear of missing out when it comes to something other people are doing, but we don’t have the same sense of urgency when it comes to our own desires.  We always think we can do it later or that eventually someone will do it with us.  There are times when we simply need to buckle up and go for it on our own.  There are points of the journey that aren’t meant for anyone but us.  It isn’t about lack of support, it’s about finding faith in our ability to do it on our own.

Sunday Gratitude

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Today I am immensely grateful for my senses.  The feeling of being in my office working on my projects and what that means for the future.  The vision of the future.  The taste of the present and how all of this is unfolding.  The senses are a remarkable grounding tool and it’s so easy to forget what they teach us.  I’m grateful for the reminders.

Today I am grateful to see.  I am grateful to see options I didn’t previously know existed.  I am grateful to see life as it really is.  I am grateful to see the path clearing and to know which way makes the most sense for us.  I am grateful to see what the present has for us and what the future holds.  I am grateful to see where I still need to learn and where I have to slow down.  I am grateful to see I don’t have to do it all and that where I’m at is where I’m meant to be.  I am grateful to see those around me for who they really are and to see those who are my people and will support me no matter what.

Today I am grateful to feel.  I am grateful to feel the presence of this moment.  I am grateful to feel my son cuddled against me and to feel the time we have together spent well.  I am grateful to feel full of this life and to know there is more to come.  I am grateful to feel the sensations of my body telling me what I need.  I am grateful to feel the sensation of settling into my own skin rather than settling for what cards are dealt.  I am grateful to feel the range of emotions I have because it means I’m alive, I’m aware and that I give a damn about this life. 

Today I am grateful to taste.  I am grateful to be literally satiated and to share that blessing with others.  I am grateful to taste what life has to offer.  I am grateful to taste what it’s like on the other side of fear and what it takes to create the life we want.  I am grateful to taste the freedom I’ve been seeking and I am grateful to taste the life of the person I am becoming through doing what I am meant to do.  I am grateful to pause and allow the taste of this moment sink in.

Today I am grateful to hear.  I am grateful to hear the sound of my son laughing and being creative. I am grateful to hear the future coming from him and from the work that my husband and I are building.  I am grateful to hear him playing in the now, keeping me present while reminding me of what is coming and why we are doing the work we are.  I am grateful to hear the praise and support of my team and how we are building a new era together.  I am grateful to hear my husband dreaming larger than he ever has before and actually believing it’s possible to achieve. 

Today I am grateful to smell.  I am grateful to know what success smells like.  It’s the smell of my garden growing and producing food.  It’s the smell of my family coming in from working outside.  It’s the smell of my family coming in from playing outside as well.  It’s the smell of staying home and baking with my son.  It’s the smell of taking my son to a new store so we can spend time together.  It’s the smell of traveling to new places together.  It’s the smell of opening a new book with ideas I’ve never read before.  It’s the smell of putting together something new and seeing it through.  And all of these things are the smell of love as well and that is one of the greatest successes we can have. 

Wishing everyone a wonderful week ahead.

What Dread Tells Us

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I’ve been wrestling with living in two worlds for too long now.  There comes a point when you’re sick of hearing the same old thing and feeling the same old thing.  After I wrote yesterday’s piece, I realized I’ve been sitting with something for a while now.  After such an amazing experience, how do I go back to the same routine I held before this? If I keep repeating what I did, I know I won’t get to where I want to be.  Why would I keep doing what I know isn’t for me?  How do I continue to willingly spend my time on something I know isn’t for me?  How do I do what I’m told when I just unleashed the freedom to create the life I want? 

I know I’m going to have to straddle both worlds for a while longer, but I also know I need to focus more of my time and energy on what I want to be doing.  It makes me angry that my day isn’t just at the office.  It’s in the commute to and from, it’s in the time I miss with my kid, it’s in the getting ready for and winding down from the day.  And now there is this knowing that I don’t want that routine.  I don’t want to fight to fit in what I want to do.  There is a decision to transition to a new way of being.  Most beginnings are rocky as we learn to figure it out, but there is greater reward in the risk of doing what you love than there is in playing it safe.

I take comfort in a few things.  One is that I know this is temporary.  When the way is clear, it is only a matter of time for it to unfold as long as you take the necessary steps.  Two is that it’s ok to have boundaries.  I don’t need to fulfill other’s expectations of me and I don’t need to explain what I do.  That is the beauty of being a fully grown adult: I can change my mind and shift my priority where I need it. Three is those people won’t help me fulfill my purpose anyway.  I have a different goal than they do and I don’t need to work toward their end to satisfy their perception.  Four is that I no longer want to be the victim or make up stories about why things happen.  I am ready to be the person I am meant to be and I can change this story.  I can express myself honestly and that authenticity is what’s going to get me where I need to be, nothing else.

My purpose has shifted.  I know what I want to do and I am much clearer on the steps to get there.  No, I’m not thrilled to go back to work, but I am thrilled to do the work I want to do.  That is something we all need to remember: when you find your motivation, there is nothing that gets in the way.  We can be willing to tolerate different things to get what we need.  I now see the life I want and I know I can take what I need to do and compartmentalize it until I can take the next steps.  And there are always steps we can take in the middle of transition.  It isn’t time to sit on laurels and hope.  It is time to pick up the mantle of what I want and spread that awareness to everyone.

Experience The Feeling

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I want to share an experience of a feeling I had after the conference.  It felt like the light was on within me rather than like I was flying toward something, like a moth to flame.  It felt like I was my own source.  There was no external driver, no, this was something different.  This was an actual understanding and an adoption of the belief that another life was possible and that I could do it.  This was the feeling that I belonged and that I knew exactly what to do.  I became the driver of my own life.  I’m talking about something similar to the piece I wrote a month or so back about knowing what you want and the rest falling away.  It’s a letting go of the outside distractions of the world and recognizing what an excuse actually is.  Full transparency, I never understood the excuses I was making.  I thought they were all valid and logical reasons to not do what I wanted to.  I thought I was doing the right thing and playing it safe.

The truth is, when we play it safe, we are cutting out a huge chunk of opportunity and possibility.  No, not all risks pan out.  But if we take what we learn and apply it to the next go around, we have the chance to be who we want to be.  We keep going.  We apply what we’ve learned and do better.  See, when I talk about that light coming from inside, I mean that I’ve shifted the direction of motivation.  I’m no longer searching for a thing to make me happy.  I’m searching for what I can produce to create the life I want to live in a way that fulfills my happiness.  I’m looking to produce the results I need instead of manipulating others to do it for me. 

We all have different reasons in our lives for the things we do.  Different drivers, different motivation.  We are the only ones who can fulfill that for ourselves.  I spent a lot of years feeling something within me, a spark I couldn’t quite place.  Then I had someone reach out to be who understood exactly what I was trying to express.  This person pushed me beyond any comfort zone I ever had.  Now I see comfort as a drug.  Yes, I still take a hit every now and then because I’m human and I’m trying to break some habits.  But I know what I’m capable of and that isn’t a power source I want to sit on any longer.  See, comfort, money, stability are all nice things in theory.  But when you connect with your power and know what you can do, you won’t want to waste another moment waiting to express it.

Winning and Regret

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If you think the price of winning is too high, wait until you get the bill from regret.  This one stopped me in my tracks.  I spent so many years living in regret, playing it safe, leaving the event early so I could do what I was “supposed” to do.  I always thought I was doing the right thing because I was making other people happy by doing what they expected of me.  I was fulfilling their expectations instead of my own.  I was recently graced with a huge opportunity and I will fully admit I didn’t see it for what it was until it was too late.  We had to leave the conference I’ve been talking about early for several reasons.  We had a family emergency and a long drive home.  In my heart, I knew I wanted to experience the whole thing but I was also afraid of having to get back to work on Monday and afraid of being tired and making a mistake at work that would get me even further behind.  I’ve been beating myself up about it because I know we missed the end of something amazing.  This is a low point for me, especially as someone who constantly expresses following the heart.

The good news is a low point is a great place to start from.  It makes you hungry.  It defines what you want and what you don’t want.  That low point shows you the experience you want to hone in on and how to take the next steps to get there.  See, it teaches you.  It shows you the pieces of you that need to be healed (fear of time, missing out, disappointing others) and the pieces you need to let go of (the fear of disappointing others, the need for things to be a certain way). And let’s go back to that hunger: that low point gives you the drive to fulfill other pieces of yourself.  The pieces you’ve possibly been ignoring.  The pieces you’ve been missing that you may not have known you were missing—like how to rely on and trust other people.  When you experience regret, that is possibly the best thing to come of it: it sharpens your vision to what you need to do.  It gives you the answers for what you’re looking for moving forward.  It becomes your motivation.

So I’ve been experiencing this before and after type of feeling.  Yes, I have regrets from leaving before we should have, but I am also appreciative I now know I don’t want to miss out on these things again.  I especially don’t want to miss out on them for fear.  And even more, I don’t want those fears to be about disappointing others.  I’m tired of disappointing myself!  That’s all the motivation we need.  What is it going to take to fulfill your expectations instead of someone else’s? Sometimes the price is high and we experience loss.  Sometimes the price is a smack in the face that wakes us up to the opportunities right in front of us.  No, no one enjoys regret.  It’s a heavy burden to bear.  But if we choose to stop carrying it and choose to start learning from it, that learning curve drops and we learn to fulfill our own destiny.  No one will do that for us.  We need to be who we are meant to be and that is it.  Don’t live your life wishing you could have done something different.  Live your life doing exactly what you’re supposed to do and that bill for regret sill never come.

Before You’re Ready

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One thing I’ve learned on this journey of self transformation is that the world views you differently than you view yourself.  See, they don’t understand the level of crap you tell yourself in your own mind.  They don’t understand how it feels to be you.  They don’t experience what you feel or the thoughts you tell yourself.  All they see is you.  For some, maybe you already know that and what you project is intentional. You already have the awareness that you want the world to see you in a different way so you take the time to curate an image you want the world to see.  For others, we are just trying to get through the day and we feel like we’re losing our minds in the process, like it’s all falling apart or that we will never have it together.  Even in those moments, my friends, the world is watching.

What I’ve learned is that no matter how we feel, sometimes others see things in us we never see in ourselves.  There is magic in consistency and development and sometimes we have to trust that the world sees things in us before we see it in ourselves.  I’ve fought it all along the way while trying to push it for other people.  For example, I’ve been a huge cheerleader for others while talking about starting my own things but finding a way to maintain the things I don’t want.  I’ve been fighting for what I know thinking it made me safe all while wanting something entirely different. How can we honor what is inside of us, how can I share a message of magic when I’m maintaining status quo?  Why am I fighting to keep the things I don’t want to do a priority?  I’m not interested in anyone’s approval.  I know they won’t understand what I’m doing because they are not the same people.  I have to honor (we have to honor) who I am (who we are).    

There are a few moments in life when we are reminded to seize the opportunity.  If we are lucky enough to recognize that, and we take the leap, we are rewarded with an unbelievable experience that opens our eyes.  The choice to see things differently is an amazing experience in itself.  Honoring and following the thought that there is something more in the world, more opportunities for us, shifts our perspective on what the world can be.  If you keep your pool shallow, you will never see the ocean around you.  Believe me, it’s nice to wade into something and get a taste, but it is not the same experience as diving in.  Sometimes someone else’s belief in us becomes the ocean we need.

I am fortunate enough to have a mentor who sees something in me.  I’ve been fighting her the whole way in diving in and becoming the person I want to be.  I’ve been making excuses and trying to maintain what I know rather than trusting her judgement and becoming what she sees I really am—and what I know I really am as well.  The exact experience I was trying to convey, she picked up on and she believes it.  So why would I stop it from happening?  Why would I stop it from unfolding in my life exactly as I envisioned it?  Why would I stop something even more magical from happening by continuing to make excuses to separate myself from the ocean?  It’s a privilege to honor and accept and express who we are, and if someone is asking you to do that before you are ready, trust me, you can trust their judgement.  They see something in you you’ve wanted to be all along anyway.  So say thank you and follow their lead.  Become what you’ve always been.  If you feel it, if they see it, lean on that and take the leap.  It’s all for a reason.  

Human Creativity

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I want to discuss more of the magic moment I mentioned in yesterday’s post.  During the conference, the team I work with held multiple meetings and touch points and the group allows many members to share their experiences.  One of the senior leaders of the team had an amazing share that brought me to tears.  He talked about why we do the work we do and the bullshit we buy into.  He talked about the need for creativity and what we are meant to do—and that is not sit behind a desk for eight hours a day making money for someone else.  We were born to move and push thresholds and to challenge ourselves.  We were meant to create and this is part of why people only live 7 years after retirement—when they stop finding and fulfilling their purpose, the spark literally dies out.

I know I don’t want to accept that I need permission to live my life the way I want to, especially asking permission from another person.  I don’t want to buy into the same plan that most people do thinking it’s ok, especially when I feel everything in me telling me it’s not.  I WANT to CREATE.  I feel it in my soul.  I want to transform people.  Yes, it’s work, but is it really work when you’re fulfilling your purpose?  It is so painful to feel that type of fire inside while trying to smother it with something safer because you don’t know if you can make it.  I know I would rather spend my time and energy doing what I love rather than working on something that doesn’t make sense in the first place, something that doesn’t resonate.

We all look for meaning in our lives and that meaning is different to everyone.  That “why” is different for everyone.  But if we really start to peel it back and look at it, we are all searching for the same fundamental thing: expression of self at the highest level.  We want to help people.  We want to be who we are.  We want our purpose to be recognized and fulfilled in its expression.  Creativity means different things to different people, but the basis is to make something unique to yourself.  Living asking for permission will not allow you to fully express who you are and the things you need to do that come from your soul.  I don’t want to misplace my energy on something that people think is secure when the reality is, if someone decides you no longer fit the picture, they can remove you.  Do not put the key to your happiness or “security” in someone else’s hands.

Follow your heart even if it doesn’t make sense to someone else.  People will always have something to say.  People don’t understand what isn’t meant for them and most people are so stuck in their own plan that they will try to keep you on theirs.  You know what is meant for you.  You know you are meant for more.  So go do it.  Go be the fullest expression of who you are meant to be regardless of what it looks like.  Follow what you feel.  Never allow your spark to die out because you are afraid of what other people think. Don’t let regret seep into your soul, wondering if you could have done something differently.  Wondering what would have happened if you allowed it to express earlier.  Follow your creativity and be exactly who you are meant to be.  

Magic Moments

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I recently took part in a work conference and witnessed some of the most impressive speaking I’ve seen in my entire life.  One of the speeches was from one of our senior leaders and he shared some of the most profound nuggets I’ve heard in a long time.  The one that stuck with me the most was, “You’re all fully grown adults and accept that we have to ask permission to spend time with our families [when it comes to needing time off from work].  You need to ask permission to spend time with your family.  Do you not see how ridiculous that is?” I’ve written about the corporate work world and exactly how ridiculous I find their rules and practices, but hearing it put in the perspective of asking for permission to spend time with the family stopped me in my tracks.

I had the power to create a child and survived the pregnancy and bringing him into this world.  I support my household and take care of my husband, my child, and myself.  I hep my parents any time I am able to.  I own a home.  All of these things qualify me as an adult but when I go to work, I need to request time to use my time and I have to earn time to use for myself.  How completely fucked is that?  This is the sickness of this society.  We think it’s normal to sacrifice our time in exchange for a made up resource to qualify the worth of goods we are told we need but can’t afford what we actually need.  On top of that, I’m legally allowed to partake in all activities that qualify me as an adult.  Yet I am required to ask permission to live my life?  Something doesn’t add up for me, there.

When it comes to making the decision to create freedom in your life, there are a lot of risks and it’s terrifying to realize that you need to fully support yourself with any actions you take.  The more I listen to people who think differently and who have successfully created the lives they want, I ask myself different questions.  Like the one posed above: do we not see how ridiculous it is to ask permission to live our lives?  That is the question followed by one more: What are you going to do about it?  This is where the magic moment comes in.  When you finally assimilate that understanding into feeling to elicit action.  We can sit and talk about feelings all day.  We can know something but if we don’t transmute it to action, it sits useless. 

Those magic moments bring us full circle.  They bring us to the point of needed action.  They are the impetus that move us and bring about the results we previously only dreamt about.  Magic Moments bring us to the point where we finally see that it’s ok to want what we want and that it’s possible to achieve it.  When we have that inkling, that taste of possibility, we develop a taste for it.  A hunger.  And being hungry is a great motivator.  That is what pushes you to take a step outside your comfort zone.  That is where you find not only what really matters to you, but what you’re made of, what you’re willing to do to get it.  Do you want to live your life asking for permission, or do you want to take the chance and start writing your story?  I know it’s scary to not see how it ends or even the twists and turns that may be coming.  But I’d rather be the one holding the pen than the one begging for permission.  We can all hold the pen.  We are born with it.  Don’t give it away and think someone is doing you a favor by ticking your boxes.  Take it back and create what you know you are meant to have.