Freedom

This is What You Were Made To Do

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We are made for change.  We are literally creatures built to adapt.  Look around you and take notice that nothing, not the trees, the people, your thoughts, the temperature, your mood, nothing ever remains the same.  We are here for the experience of each and every moment.  That means we are made for change.

Even the cells of your body are changing as you read this.  If you are ever changing down to your very cellular level then you must see you are built for change.

There are times it doesn’t feel like we are changing.  This is only because you are holding tightly to a story, afraid that if you let it go you will no longer be.  But here you are.  While everything around you is changing you hold tightly to something that no longer exists and you only grow frustrated, scared and unable to experience this moment.

Allow yourself the experience of the moment.  See what it holds for you.  Experience it fully and completely so you can let go and move into the next moment. It’s what you were made to do.

If you find this helpful or know someone who needs to hear topics like these, please be sure to share.  Be a life changer. You never know what may change the course of someone’s life.

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Freedom

Answers For Who Will You Become

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We spend a great deal of time and energy thinking about what we want from life and how we don’t have it yet.  Being caught up in our desires for the future, we forget to look at today.  We have forgotten to cherish the experiences of the moment that always let us know how we are doing and how we are making progress toward a future of our dreams.

Are we striving so hard for a “future” we don’t even pay attention to what we are creating today?

In order to design a life you want to live, you must first see and experience the moments of today.  No one has your unique set of experiences, desires, group of people or even outlook on life quite like you.  If you are trying to fit yourself into someone else’s formula for the good life you will always feel a bit out of place.  Perhaps it is time to come up with your own answers and create your own formula for living your best life.

The answers are only in one place.  The answers are inside of you.  Deep down you know who you are and who you want to become.  Instead of looking to the outside for the answers it’s time to look inside and remember who you are.  Looking to the outside only gives you the “shoulds” our society would like to see.  To live your dream life, you will need to shake of those “shoulds” to reveal the life you were born to live.

Finding the answers starts with the asking yourself the right questions. Spending time listening to yourself in quiet contemplation is necessary on the road to your best life.  If you are not sure what to ask, here are some sample questions from my book, A Year of Questions.

  • What is your overall dream for your life?
  • How would you describe yourself? What makes you, you?
  • What are your values?
  • What reoccurring thoughts do you have that keep you stuck?
  • What would you like to think about yourself, others and the world you live in?

Take some time to come up with your own personalized answers to those questions.  You never know where they may take you.

If you find this helpful or know someone who needs to hear topics like these, please be sure to share.  Be a life changer. You never know what may change the course of someone’s life.

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Freedom, Listen

Looking for Some Understanding?

If you want to know a person, seek to understand them.  We all want to feel like we are, at the very least, being heard so someone can understand where we are coming from.  Isn’t this why we continue to argue our case and make our point known?  Yet in our efforts to make our point we often don’t extend the same to others.  Our need to be right, our need to hold tight to our point of view and our need to bolster our sense of self keeps us from the very things we desire:  to be understood and to feel a sense of connection with others.

How can we demand someone understand us when we do not strive to understand others?  We can’t demand what we ourselves are not willing and capable of doing.

So, if you would like to know someone, seek to understand them.

Start with the people closest to you. The people you actually want around in your life. It’s easier to start with these people as you already have a genuine desire to really get to know them. Begin with the simple act of listening. Not what you are currently doing as listening, but begin to listen with you whole mind and heart. That means clear your mind of your own inner dialogue and judgments while they are speaking in order to actually hear what they are attempting to reveal to you. You can’t understand someone if all you have in your mind is a list of ways to dismiss what they have to say. If you really want to know someone, get curious and listen to them completely. This may take some practice at first but in time this will become much easier.

Remember, leave judgement behind.  You can’t possibly know what led a person to where they are, with the decisions they are facing and the life events they find themselves in at any moment.  All of us have gone down some rocky roads at some point in our life and only wanted someone, anyone, to understand and accept us for who and where we were in that moment.  This is an example of what love looks like every day.  A genuine desire to understand and accept where people are, not to judge, shame or kick them when they are down.

As you become more comfortable with this new style of listening, you will start to notice a few things.  First, you will begin to gain a better understanding of people.  You’ll see what they want from life, what they value in the world and what makes them tick.  Secondly, as you have a greater understanding of someone, you will find yourself naturally compassionate toward them.  You may also find they trust you more as a byproduct.  And this could lead to them wanting to understand you better.  Now that you have given them an example of what understanding looks like in practice, they too can start to listen to you with the goal of understanding.

If you find this helpful or know someone who needs to hear topics like these, please be sure to share.  Be a life changer. You never know what may change the course of someone’s life.

 

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Freedom

You See What You Are

Do you ever wonder why some people react to a comment, a situation or even a commercial and you do not?  Or what about the times you get upset or excited about something, yet the people around you don’t?  The truth is, you see what you are.  You can only relate to those things in the world that represent a piece of you, whether that piece of you is known to you or repressed by you.

Take for example a social encounter where you walk away offended by another person’s apparent lack of social queues.  They interrupt conversations, burp openly without an excuse me or you just don’t like the way they dress.  There is a reason these behaviors rub you the wrong way.  Yet, there were other people in the room experiencing the same offensive person, but they walk way with a completely different impression.  Perhaps they even walk away holding that person in high regard.  Funny how different people can experience the same thing and walk away with different opinions.  Neither more right or wrong than the other.  Each experiencing their own truth.

You can only see what you know.  We can only see what we are even if what we see we do not like. Notice that you are around millions of pieces of information every single day and not every one of those will trigger a reaction in you and many of those pieces of information will not even register consciously with you.  This is because you do not relate or hold that information important to who you are.

Let me put this into slightly different terms that we see and feel to some degree every day:

JUDGEMENT

When you feel judgement well up inside of you it is because you are afraid that part of you may come to the surface.  You are facing what you fear is a capability you have within yourself.  This is something you have shoved down and spent a great deal of energy keeping hidden from yourself and from the world.  You think if that part of you comes out you may be ridiculed, seen as worthless or worse case scenario become an outcast in today’s world.

Our inclination to judge others is only a judgement of ourselves.  We would not feel a need to vilify a behavior, attitude or appearance if we did not recognize this potential within ourselves.  This explains why we find ourselves fighting so fiercely against those things we judge as wrong.  We have been fighting to keep this part of ourselves from surfacing.  Once you can see that what you judge in others is only a fear you have for yourself, you can begin to move forward with an open mind.  Remember what you see as a horrifying trait, someone else sees completely opposite.  Begin to see that your judgement of others is an invitation to take a closer look at what you are hiding from yourself.

ADMIRATION

When you find yourself drawn to someone or something sparks a positive surge of energy through you, know this is something you recognize with yourself too.  We admire what we desire.  We desire what we are deep inside.  We want nothing more than to fully step into the person we were born to be and to be that every day.  When we are presented with an experience of admiration this is life’s invitation to show you what you are that you are keeping from expressing on a regular basis.

Notice the next time you feel that surge of admiration.  It makes you feel good.  You will find yourself saying oh I wish I could do that or I can totally do that.  You would not have the vision to see it, feel it or even speak about it if you didn’t already have that piece inside yourself already.  Take a deeper look at what specifically you admire about a person or a thing and look for all the ways you have shown up in the world with those same traits. Once you know what those underlying traits are, make a conscious effort to be more of that in your day to day.

If you find this helpful or know someone who needs to hear topics like these, please be sure to share.  Be a life changer. You never know what may change the course of someone’s life.

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Freedom

Beyond Our Thoughts

Are you living a life that you get excited about?  Or have you found yourself living a life they say you should live?

We all begin in life with everything we need.  As child, you followed your intuition and your instincts.  You knew who you enjoyed being around and you knew what you wanted to do moment to moment and you did it.  But somewhere along the way you were pushed to question our own inner wisdom. From that questioning, you find yourself living a life out of alignment, leaving you feeling confused, bitter at times and wondering if this is all there is in this life.  You are not alone.  This is part of being human, it’s part of the process of experiencing this life. You don’t have to stay stuck here.

If you have found yourself walking down a path in life where you feel lost, unsure of where you are going and just not feeling like you are yourself, don’t worry.  We all veer off our path from time to time, but we can do something about it and make a course correction.

Begin by noticing your thoughts.  Are your thoughts your own?  Meaning do they feel true to you or do they leave you feeling like a bad person, an unworthy person or someone who is stuck with limited options?  When the majority of our thoughts beat us down, it’s time to look at them and question them.  Where did these thoughts come from in the first place?  Did I pick this up from a parent, a friend, a teacher, the media or a religious institution?  Are my thoughts fueling me to be the best version of myself or are they keeping me stuck?

Just the simple act of noticing your thoughts without having to buy into them is life changing.  You will create an awareness within yourself to listen deeper, to uncover the truth and to experience yourself without being a prisoner to your thoughts.  It is possible to see beyond the thoughts we have in our mind and see there is much more wisdom waiting for us to discover.  Imagine what is possible when you don’t attach yourself to every thought that comes into your mind.  Imagine a world where you get to live a life guided by an inner wisdom that knows how to keep you feeling alive, curious and knowing that anything is possible.   Unlimited possibility, passion and excitement awaits just beyond our limiting thought patterns.

If you find this helpful or know someone who needs to hear topics like these, please be sure to share.  You never know what may change the course of someone’s life.  Be a life changer.

 

 

 

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Freedom

What is Your Disatisfaction Trying to Tell You?

Spring is officially here!  This is my favorite season because it brings so many reminders of how everything can come back to life and it is even more beautiful than I remember.  As I look around at the sudden vibrant life in the trees and amazing colors of the flowers it reminds me about the purpose of seasons and the cycles of life.  Spring is the season of renewal and rebirth.  What once seemed dead and is now renewed and filled with life.  The seeds buried deep within the Earth were merely lying there preparing for the new season.

I see this as a metaphor for our dreams and desires.  When I was a young girl, I had dreams and desired to make an impact on people.  I wanted to infuse people with hope and to encourage them to follow their heart.  I saw and heard the potential in people and wanted nothing more than for them to follow their heart so they could to bring that dormant potential to life.  There was a time in my life when I thought that dream was dead, as life had taken a much different turn.  The season turned to survival then into a wonder into wilderness where I ended up buried under all of life’s demands.

Years passed by, as my dreams and desires lay dormant, or so I thought.

One day I noticed this nagging in the back of my mind that kept hinting that I was supposed to be doing something else with my life.  No matter what I did – work more, acquire more stuff, stay busy, numb it away, even just trying to flat out ignore it as crazy – it didn’t go away.  It was as if something was starting to wake up inside of me and there was absolutely nothing I could do to stop it.

All those dreams and desires never really go away.  They are always somewhere inside.  If you take a look around you will see little hints of them trying to come out.  Perhaps they show up as that voice in your head gently reminding you that you are not doing what you have been called to do, you find yourself questioning, is this really all there is to life.  Maybe it shows up as a consistent and very persistent annoyance in the world around you that only you seem to notice.  Or you find yourself in certain situations over and over again.

I was blessed with the trifecta.  All of the above were screaming at me loudly right before I finally admitted I couldn’t take it anymore and started seriously exploring what was going on. I felt misplaced, disconnected and my overall mood was one of anxiety sprinkled with sadness that I just could not shake.  I knew there was so much more to life.  I was so annoyed by the lack of listening that was taking place everywhere I went – from seeing friends completely ignore their friends, parents cutting off their children to leaders and co-workers too busy to pay attention to each other.  It really ate me up inside.  In addition, I was placed in situations over and over again that put me in position to be an example of the very thing that annoyed me.

If you are fed up with the way your life is, not fired up or just not excited about anything anymore you probably have dreams and desires inside of you trying to get out.  All of us have desires that were planted deep inside that are meant to grow.  You don’t have to keep them buried and you don’t have to wait until you hit the trifecta of clues to do something.  Please don’t wait like I did or you run the risk of that dull sadness turning into depression or the worry taking over into anxiety.  You can bring your dreams and desires back to life.

One of the easiest ways to do this is by dreaming on purpose.  Spend time allowing yourself to think about things that get you excited, things that make you feel connected again.  Get a journal and just write out all the things you loved as a child, these are great pointers to the desires planted inside of you.  It is springtime, the season of revival and new beginnings.  Let’s get into the spirit and start growing into your life.

 

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Freedom

Life is Not Difficult

There is a message out there about getting what you want.  It always seems to be delivered with the idea, the assumption, that getting what you want or making a change is hard and has to be difficult.  But does it?

Of course this life will be hard, when we aren’t living the life we were designed to live. When we are continually chasing after the very things that will never fulfill our individual soul.  We go out, follow someone else’s plan and think somehow, we will get a life specifically designed for our own personal happiness and fulfillment.  This conditioned way of thinking that tells us life is hard, getting what you want is hard, living itself is hard is nothing more than a way to keep people distracted and doing life in line with someone else’s agenda.

We MUST see, once and for all, that one person’s idea of success, one person’s vision of the “good life”, one person’s path to a life of joy is NOT the path, vision or idea for everyone.  Our need for acceptance, connection and love has been used and exploited to convince us that there is only one way for every human on this planet to have a successful and happy life.

Following someone else’s formula has led to the state of the world we find ourselves in today.  We are experiencing the highest levels of depression, anxiety and misery today more than any other time in history.  Following someone else’s idea of a well lived life has denied us the greatness that is lying dormant in each and every one of us.

When will we see that our desires are unique?  They are ours to discover and uncover, not something we can be can told.  We are put here to listen and to develop and to experience who it is we really are.  When will we shift into a knowing that who we are is easy, fulfilling and creates the passion and the drive to be just that?

The next 3 years of your life will look like the previous 3 years of your life only if you buy into to the notion that getting what you want is hard and there is a certain prescriptive way to get it.  It’s only when you decide you want to change, decide you want to develop yourself and decide to see that you are able, capable and designed to change that you will.

 

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Freedom, Uncategorized

Don’t Wait to be “Home”

Have you ever met someone that inspired you or sparked something within you?  Do you remember what it was that drew you in?  It wasn’t how they dressed or their position in life.  It was the fact that they were truly themselves and you connected with them.  When we see these people in our everyday life it’s a breath of fresh air almost like they are infusing us with a ray of hope that enables us to see we can step into who we are too.

I meet people like this almost everywhere I go.  Last year I was traveling every week for work and had the pleasure of meeting so many wonderful people.  There is one I remember fondly.  She had that special something about her.  We talked and shared our observations and musing about this life and how we believe others should be treated.  She said something that really stuck with me and led me down a road of contemplation.  She said we should treat each other like they are family, especially when they enter our home.  For her, home is a sacred place and the people she invites in need to be treated with love and kindness.

For most of us home is where we can be ourselves, feel love, show kindness and understanding like it’s the only place reserved for such indulgences.  Since I have traveled so much, I see the environment of home a little differently.  Home for me is whatever environment I am in. Wherever I am, I am home.  I cannot wait to go to a physical place to experience who I truly am in this world, that could be weeks and sometimes months.  I have to be myself at all times.  Wherever I go, my beliefs about how to treat others remains the same.

We can’t wait to be at “home” before we decide to treat people with love, kindness and a desire to understand them.  We don’t always get to pick and choose who invites themselves into our life so I do not believe we get to pick and choose how we treat people based on our physical location in the moment.  Be yourself everywhere you go.  Treat people as if you invited them into your home.  Maybe you’ll be that ray of hope someone needs so they can do the same.

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Freedom, Uncategorized

No Need to Hide

Listening is one of our most powerful tools to invoke change in this world.  In a previous article, Listening is an Act of Love, we talked about the life changing power of listening and some ways to develop that power in your everyday life. I challenged you to take the concept out into the world by turning down the dialogue in your mind (judgement, formulating a response and thinking of your to do list), turning off distractions (phone, computer, television) and tuning into the person right there in front of you.

This week the focus is on what happens when we don’t listen.  How does that really impact who we are and how we show up in the world. Not listening has far reaching implications not just in our lives but in the lives of those we interact with as well.

“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgement” – Brene Brown

When we simply listen to another, we change lives by allowing people to express themselves fully and honestly. These types of expressions let us fully process, heal and emerge into the people we are were born to be.  In contrast not listening causes harm and in many cases devastating damage.

When people do not feel heard, they shrink, hide and become someone they are not in order to gain acceptance.  People who do not feel understood tend to exhibit anger, resentment and bitterness.  We put on masks that become hard to remove.   The longer we put on the masks the more misunderstood we feel because we stop showing up as ourselves.  Our hearts become hardened the more we feel unheard and misunderstood.  As this downward spiral continues, we find ourselves in a state where we can’t even hear our own voice and you certainly can’t hear the whisper of inner wisdom.  We value who shows up in the world less and less because we show our true self to the world less and less.

Don’t be that person who causes people to hide.  Be the person who shows up every day, open, curious and willing to hear.

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Freedom, Uncategorized

Stop and Ask

You would like to change your life, but you have no clue where to even start. All you know for sure is that this is not the life you had in mind for yourself and something has to change.

You are not clueless about what you want or even who you are and who you want to be in this world. You already know things about yourself. You know the roles you play in life: a child, an employee, parent, and spouse. You know what excites you and what weighs you down. Where most of us struggle is trying to identify our passions and purpose. The clues are there, you know somewhere deep inside what is calling out to you. Over time, you just let your truth slip into the back seat as the worldly “shoulds” took up the space in the front seat. You know the “shoulds” that play in your head: you should do this not that, you should want that over there not this, you should feel this way… You let the “should” take the wheel. No wonder we look around one day and wonder where we are and how we got here.

If this is where you find yourself, it’s time to stop and ask yourself some questions.  Ask questions that will reconnect you to your truth so you can get yourself back into the front seat of your life.

1.What do I like?

This sounds so basic and simple, but when was the last time you took inventory of what really excites you?  Keep a piece of paper close by and write down everything you like and everything you don’t like. Yes, everything: people, situations, food, weather, anything and everything.   After 1 week look over your list and ask yourself how you can reduce the dislikes and bring more of your likes into your life.

  1. What do I value?

Your values guide how you think and ultimately how you behave.   Values define what is most important to you and provide you with a framework on how to make decisions in life. Uncovering your values will show you who you are at your core before the world told you who you should be. Once you identify your core 3-5 values you can start living into them on purpose by choosing to do things that align with your values.

Sometimes all we need to do is to stop and ask the right questions.  You already have the answers somewhere inside of you.  Now, it’s just a matter of tapping in to hear your truth.

 

 

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