Finding My Big Whys – Finding Yours

English: So peaceful Loch Bhasapoll

As it’s women’s history month, I felt like it was a great time to focus on the big whys of our lives. T his article is particularly for women who find themselves in a life filled with doing, but lacking in very much meaning. If this is you, it’s time to consider your big whys and if you are living true to them.

When I talk about your big whys, I’m referring to more than just your motivation. I’m talking about your greater purpose, the thing that connects all the things that you do and the things that define you and who you are.

In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it’s so easy to forget about our big whys. Take an example from my life for instance. I started my professional career out of college with the intent to save lives. Right out of college, I knew my one big why. I wore it on my sleeve, spoke through its lens, and thought through its perspective. Everyone I met knew that I lived a life intent on saving lives.

But as my career choices changed, my environment shifted, and my priorities manifested differently, my big why to save lives shifted into obscurity. It wasn’t on purpose. In fact, it was a by-product of life. Yes, I always knew in my heart what my intent was, however on the surface, other more pressing things began to take precedent. And with those pressing things came activities and more importantly <i>thought patterns </i>that took me further and further away from my initiating big why. And I could feel it, yet I couldn’t figure out how to hold on to my big why and still maintain life. This led to desperation and franticness, which ultimately still did not result in me embracing my big why.

English: Silhouette of a yoga practitioner.

I finally had to have a sit down moment with myself. I took myself on retreat and really searched within. I let the answers come to the surface about my motivations. I got really clear about where I was in life and where I wanted to be in life and more importantly, how I wanted to feel about life. I realized that I had gotten too far away from my big why and my original intent.

And the interesting thing is that the distance <i>wasn’t</i> in the things I was doing! If you looked on the surface, I was still arguable involved in activities that could save people’s lives in one way or another. Where the distance lie was in my <i>thoughts</i>. I’d gotten so bogged down with life and where I thought I should be and what I thought I should be doing, that I let the worries and the doubt overtake me. I let the joy of fulfilling my life purpose escape me. I let the happiness with doing what makes me feel happy and fulfilled elude me.

When I realized this, I realized that I needed a full stop on unproductive thoughts, namely those lying in the realm of worry about the future. Instead of worrying about how this thing I was doing would impact my future, I instead began to focus on how it was enhancing my now. I got myself happy about the moment I was in. I began to enjoy my activities just because I was doing them, not because they would create this or that in the future. Remember, the things I was doing weren’t the issue, it was the mental state I was in while doing them that created the problem.

And you would be amazed at how those little changes made a difference. Some of the tangible things were losing weight; brighter, clearer skin; more social activities and more fun doing them; more business for my businesses; more opportunities to do what I loved doing. The intangibles? – a sense of settledness and belonging to life, a sense of the pieces starting to fit together, a sense of peace and contentedness.

And so I challenge you – men and women alike – find your big why again. If you are feeling empty though you are filled to the brim with things to do, now is the time to go looking. Take yourself on a personal retreat. Seek out your reasons for being and revel in them. Do them and allow yourself to just experience them in the right now – nothing else. Trust me, it will change your life!

 

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Selfie Day #1

Image

image

So March may have lots of selfies since the theme is Self :). So what do I like about this picture? That green just makes everything else on me brighter :). Loving that! And that happy smile was a DESPITE smile today – that’s the most gratifying kind ;-).

And if you are wondering about the mic, I was on set of my TV show Great Gospel Morning :).

Negotiating with this feeling…

Today’s post might not be so positive and it’s totally off the cuff – so excuse the typos please.

I’m dealing with some self loathing right now. And how does that happen? How does it happen that, no matter how hard we *try* at being the person we want to be, at being the person who is inspiring and admirable, the person who does everything the right way at the right time, the first time, that we fall short. Oh I know the answer. I know it’s because we aren’t perfect. and that life is for learning. and that these experiences are our duality. they help us see opportunity where there was once only opposition in our view. They help us grow into the person we always were. I know. I know. I know this. It doesn’t hurt any less. It doesn’t sting any softer. It doesn’t make the ache of judgement disappear.

And so what is the rub? How does one deflect against someone else’s lack of understand. Someone else’s railing of judgement. Someone else’s condemnation of you. Regardless of the reasons. because reasons are just that, never excuses. And I know this.

so how? how do you walk past that. stand tall through it. forgive yourself. forgive them. say thank you God. and see the beauty and the opportunity. And not just the opportunity to do something different next time. but the true opportunity. the opportunity in that very thing happening. what it’s bringing you in that moment. how it’s directly making your life better if you will just let it.

And that’s the part – letting it. Being in the moment enough to say I am grateful for this thing happening. Being able to say “I’m going to say to myself this is why this happened, I’m not going to ask why did this happen.” “I’m going to assign it its value, not try to guess at it.”(That gem of thought is courtesy of Neale Donald Walsch, the author of Conversations with God.) Being able to say I’m going to let it be a blessing. I’m going to suspend judgement of myself because all that judgement is really in my mind. because someone else’s judgement is not my reality. mostly because they just don’t have the whole story and I do. And judgement sucks anyway. because who the heck is perfect enough to judge.

and so what I’m going to do instead is allow myself to see the blessing.The blessing even in how the happening has rocked my emotions and made me swim and bob, get pulled under and resurface again through the feeling waves of self-loathing and self-disappointment – like I’ve been exposed as a fraud. Even though I’ve been doing my very best. I’m going to stand a bit taller and say to the Universe, “I get it. Another choice. I get it.”. I’m going to choose what I will focus on. I will remind myself that I am worthy. And I will even remind myself that in this situation, I am right. Past be damned. I am right. And I will remind myself that I have always always always been doing my best. I know drug dealers, psychotics, and sociopaths could arguably say the same thing but hey who’s to say that it’s still not, at it’s essence, just the truth. If I can just keep doing my best, I know, for myself at least, my best will keep getting better. I can choose not to care one bit about what someone thinks of me, especially when they don’t have all of the information. And that’s my choice. I can choose to remove the self loathing and self disappointment and replace it with the understanding that I know I have for myself and the excitement of opportunity, whatever it is. If I see it in my mind’s eye, I know it will come.

I’m seeing it. I’m so seeing it.

Inspired by this moving art

Peacock seduction

So I was clipping through the internet, interplaying between work and distraction, when a Facebook friend posted this link below that I couldn’t not click on. It’s about an artist with a very interesting way of doing art. What struck me the most was how vulnerable she allows herself to be. In considering it, I went through a gambit of emotions. Intrigue swam through them all, however the first thing I felt about her was a smugness. “How attention-mongering of her! How over the top to sit and do some pseudo artsy thing and get all these people to watch you.” And then I noticed that smugness and looked at that and thought, “why am I thinking that?” I explored it further and I realized there was jealousy there. She can be so vulnerable. She can be so “unsafe” and yet so open and real in the same moment. “Wow, that’s cool. I envy that. I want to be that. I’m not courageous enough to do that. What will people think. What if they think I’m stupid. Or silly. Or too over the top.” And then I realized that *is* me. In a lot of moments, through a lot of things, that is me. (And I’m sure that is you). And that can always be me – I have the choice whenever I want. (And so do you.) And then finally the emotions turned to admiration and appreciation. “You go ahead girl! You put your art out there. You feel all that. You do that thing in your heart girl. Do it.”

http://distractify.com/culture/she-sits-on-the-ground-and-begins-to-move-when-shes-done-she-finds-herself-seated-upon-a-hypnotizing-masterpiece/

 

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Reflecting on Christmas

christmas 2007

I must say that this has been the best Christmas I’ve had yet :). It wasn’t grandiose or big or filled with lots of stuff, people, and activity. Yet it was so meaningful and it filled me with such joy.

And it was because of the love. All of the love that moved around and through me on Christmas Day. Just genuine. Just real. Just simple. Just heartfelt.

And mostly I was happy because I could receive it. I’ve opened up my life so much and been so intent on the great things much more than the unfortunate things, that the Christmas I was afraid to have never manifested :). Now that is true testimony indeed. My focus on the beauty of my life so out-shadowed the little doubts in my mind, that those doubts didn’t stand a chance. How lovely and affirming is that?!

It fills me with such true excitement and expectation for the future. Yes, I have doubts and yes worry still peeks a head in. My answer to those moments has become quick and sure – a firm reminder that “God’s got my back and is in control” and “All the right things happen every time” and that “My best is awesome and I always do my best”. They calm those doubts, quiet that worry, and bring me back to peace in an instant – mostly before anything else even has a chance to settle in.

It’s amazingly awesome. It feels *real* good. I’m a living vibration of gratitude :).

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Beautiful Life

Dream Fairy

So this post doesn’t really have a point. I don’t think it’s going to be one of my most poignant or even one that has any real cohesiveness. It probably belongs on my personal blog. But I’m in a sharing mood about how awesome life feels in this very moment.

In this very moment, things feel alive. and possible. and like I’m finally there. Maybe it’s the newness of meeting a new friend. Maybe it’s in the specialness of connecting with old friends in a more profound way. Maybe it’s because the year is almost up and I’m feeling full of appreciation for what has happened and happily expectant of what is going to happen.

Maybe it’s because I’m actually taking a break from work and not worrying over it :).

In any case, remembering these moments matters. And that’s all this post is about. Today, I felt the delicious feeling of “omg, life just might be cool after all!” That’s priceless and I want to remember that. :).

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How I Overcome Compulsive Behavior

I can't change.

So today, I’ve pondered what to write about and while I was looking through the sites of my fellow Academy members, I happened upon one about compulsive behavior and healing it. This really resonated with me because lately I’ve been very aware of my compulsive habits. Like excessive chocolate eating (I’ve eaten three chocolate bars in two days). And constantly checking my phone or my facebook feed or my email. Or anything that can either distract me from the anxiety at hand or provide me with some type of affirming contact with another human being.

And I know I’m not alone in this.

For instance, most people’s all-encompassing social media addiction is well known. And we often get dinged, ridiculed, and reprimanded for that. Like it’s totally a lazy, bad, trifling person thing.

But what’s really behind it? Why do we have addictions like that? What’s really going on?

There’s always something behind compulsive behavior. There’s always a reason why someone would rather placate themselves with repetitious and numbing activity rather than the task at hand. And it’s not always because they are lazy, unmotivated, and simple – which is often what’s implied. Sometimes it’s because we are hiding from something. There’s something we don’t want to see about ourselves, our task, our issues – something.

And so instead, we go into compulsion for just one more moment of peace before we have to face the ugly monster. We find one more way to shut our ears, close our eyes, push out the fear, anxiety, depression, doubt, etc until we can get on with what’s in front of us.

But compulsion never works. And what settles in behind the scenes is dread. And who likes that?

I have found for myself that checking in with myself and FACING that anxiety, fear, depression, doubt – that shadow - is what can break the compulsion. Sitting with it within myself is one way. I do this by taking a moment to sit in a quiet 5 minute meditation instead of succumbing to the urge to fall into a distracting behavior. Taking 10 deep breathes is another quick and simple way I conquer this. The point is that separating myself from the emotional trigger of the compulsion is what helps me move past it.

And this simple, tiny thing is one that contributes to every moment that my life gets better.

Perhaps this tiny, little thing can help your moments get better too :-).

 

 

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Shadow Dancing

A man and a woman performing a modern dance.

Emilie Archer Prickett is one of my favorite online writers. I’m so glad that I found her and even more happy that I subscribed to keep up with her.

Her posts always give me golden nuggets of truth. Things that touch the core of my soul.

Like the post from her latest newsletter:

http://forbiddenlife.com/shamanism/shadow-dancing

Why I love this post so much is that I struggle with my shadow dancer. I’ve struggled with her my whole life. And she is pretty dark. And pretty powerful. I fully believe that her uncapped power has been my greatest curse.

Up until now – because now, I’m learning to turn that curse into my greatest blessing.

All of those depths of despair and that familiar un-tethered horridness, the dread that her round and round dance would spiral me through – deeper and deeper into a forlorn hopelessness – finding myself again through that and up and out of that has been SUCH a journey and SO MUCH of a powerful one.

Who knew such strength could come from solely battling one’s mind. Who knew.

What I love most is Emilie’s advice. Dance with her! Take the lead. Face your shadow self and see through her.

I’ve learned that Fear is the mind killer. That to face your fears and see through your fears is the key – the open door to a true freedom.

I’ve known this with fear. I’m learning this with my shadow self. I’m learning to sit with these yucky feelings. I’m learning to not run from them for fear of how they will take over my life and spiral me down. I’m learning instead to allow them. To sit with them and observe them and see to the other side.

To see to the other side of the “I’m not worthy” fear. Why do I feel that? Can I with absolute certainty prove this? Might there be proof that this isn’t quite true? Why do I lean to the side that it is true then?

 And on to the next fear.

And then on to one of the hardest, deep rooted fears. The “I am not ‘something’ enough to be loved” fear. Why do I feel that? Can I with absolute proof say that I’m not enough to be loved? Is there noone that loves me or that has ever loved me? Why am I valuing this love over that love? Might there be some other reason besides me that could have caused the end of a particular love relationship? Why am I drawing conclusions? What else is influencing the drawing of those conclusions? Are those things absolutely certain?

And the dance. The most important part of the dance in fact. Grabbing, forcing, reaching for the active proof in action. BEING LOVE instead of longing for it. BEING OF USE instead of wallowing in unworthiness.

And so on. every fear, finding it’s opposite and walking full face into it.

And remembering that.

That has been what saves me.

I’m not saying that I always find answers. I’m not saying that I ever will. I’m saying that in embracing my shadow dance and moving with my dancer, I am healed. Healing is always the point ;-).

 

 

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