Freedom, Listen

Suffering is Ironic

When I was a young adult a very wise person gave me a loving jolt, a call to wake up if you will.  I was caught up in my own suffering, complaining about how terrible and hard life was for me.  I had it with all the injustices I witnessed at work, in the world and was deep in the blame game of why I was so miserable.  Of course, it was all someone else’s doing.  It was the government, it was corporate America, it was the American culture, it was….  Well it was anyone and anything’s fault but mine.  I could not see beyond my suffering to see any other options.  Suffering was just life and it was all because someone else was doing something that stepped on my toes and kept me from being where I wanted to be.

Well, this wise person finally had enough of my suffering and mindless musings.  She abruptly interrupted me and asked: Do you think you are the only one?  You cannot possibly think you are the only one who has a hard time in this life.  Everyone struggles with something and you are here sounding like you are special and the only one who ever had it rough.

Not only was that a shock to my system, but it shook me out of the bitterness I had been holding on to.  She was right about many things, but the one thing that it really made me look hard at was the fact that yes, I did think I was special.  I thought I was the only one who saw these things and I wanted to put a stop to it.  I realized my suffering, my musings about the injustice of it all were mindless and would never solve anything. The reality was I thought I was so special that my complaining would get someone else’s attention and they would do something to change it and save me once and for all.  Ironic.  While I sat there and complained that it was everyone else’s fault I also deeply buried a belief that it was also someone else’s responsibility to help me and to stop these terrible things from happening to me.

In moments such as these, we all have to make a choice.  We can continue to complain and suffer and hope someone comes to our rescue or we can see that the ownership lies with us.  We are not special we are not unique in this world filled with differing opinions.  We all suffer in our own way and it is by our own doing, not anyone else.  We are all looking for solutions to the same underlying problem.  We all want to feel a sense of freedom to be in this world, but we have allowed someone else to stop us.  Read that line again.  It is we, the individual who have allowed someone to stop us.  No one can ever make you think or feel a certain way.  Choose to be in this world.  Choose to see your own ability to feel and think for yourself.  And finally choose to see it all starts and stops with how you choose to see yourself and this world.

Thank you to the wise woman who jolted me awake.

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Freedom

Now is the Time

Now is the time.  The time to be the person you have always wanted to be.  That kind, compassionate, loving creature you know you are that you have been hiding deep down.  The world needs you to step into yourself completely now more than ever.

You may have heard a trend in many of my writings encouraging you to be yourself.  Now more than ever we need you.  We need everyone to be themselves.  If you look deep within, you will find how beautiful and lovely you are and how much you have to offer.  That offering will be different for each of us, but that is exactly the point.  Each of us offers a piece of the whole.  When we finally embody our piece others can begin to move into their piece that will then nudge another to move into their piece.

We have been living in a world where we thought it was better to be like everyone else.  In times like these it becomes apparent that is not the case, nor was it ever the case.  We were only locked into a way of being that got us by.  We may have gotten by but the overall feeling from the individual level all the way to the collective whole has been that feeling of just getting by.  We aren’t here to just get by, to simply survive, we are here to live.

So, now is the time. Now is the time to live your life.  Now is the time to be who you are without having to look around you to see what everyone else is doing or who they are being.  We have moved into a moment of time where we are being asked to take a deeper look, remove the distractions, and finally get real.

We have all been invited into a new way of looking at life and a new way of being in this world. I hope you will join me in this adventure.

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Freedom

Answers For Who Will You Become

Click Play if you prefer to listen.

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, 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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Uncategorized

Lead with Love

Do you want to see more love in your day to day life?  Lead your life from love and it will inevitably show itself to you. Here are some ways we can all live from a place of love for the world to see.

  1. Smile – Smiling is the ultimate way we show our love for life. Not only does it make you feel good, but a smile draws people to us like a magnet.  We are literally radiating with love when we smile due to chemicals released into you blood stream.
  2. Listen – Your ability to listen to others determines if another person will be attracted to you over time. Think about it – you would not stay around someone for very long if they don’t take the time to truly listen to you.  Be the person who listens.  It is one of the most loving ways to show up in this world.
  3. Acceptance – Love in action is an ability to accept people for who they are and to deeply desire to understand others without judgement.
  4. Be You – Showing up as yourself is one way we can show the world what we love. Love yourself enough to live in line with who you are without the need to please someone else.
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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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Freedom, Uncategorized

Permission to Dream

Are you one of the billions of people who feel there is more to life than this?  There is a common dialogue I hear about why people feel off track and stuck in a life.  It goes a little something like this:

How can we live into our fullest potential when we are living in a world that measures, judges and punishes everything we do? Of course we find ourselves and others living a mediocre life.  We are merely surviving from a place of fear, doing what our fears say.  Fear is running our lives.  Fear is what holds us back from being who we are meant to be.  In turn, we have created a society of fearful robots and treat them as if they are incompetent to keep them fearful and feeling inadequate.  A never-ending cycle of people moving through this world as untapped potential, never growing and therefore miserable with their lives.

Yet we continually search for who we are, but too fearful to step into just that: who we are.

How can we step into who we are and who we want to be when we are scared? When we fear we may not thrive or worse we fear there is nothing out there for us if we do.  We were made to grow.  We are designed to dream, to tap into what lights us up and to uncover our potentials. You know this because you search, you experience moments of feeling totally aligned, you know in every cell of your body there is a whole ocean of this life to dive into.

What if you gave yourself permission to focus on what it is you want?  Allow yourself to day dream about who you are when you experience the feeling of being in alignment and in flow with this life. Focus on what it would be like to become that person.  What would it be like to show up in this world as who you are in every moment?  What would you feel, what would you experience, what does that look like?

 

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Freedom, Uncategorized

Where are the Answers?

What if you already have the answer in you?  What if you are just looking in the wrong places? What if there was a way to find the answers that are tailor made for you?

We all have the answers we need somewhere inside of us.  We each have an internal guidance system, we just don’t use it. This system is just buried underneath stress, the expectations of others and society, pressures we put on ourselves, not to mention the feelings of guilt and shame we hang onto.  All of those things interfere with our internal system and cloud our vision, muffle our hearing and ultimately take us off our path.

So, how do we go beyond the chatter and stories of the mind?  Pause and ask questions.  Questions act to disrupt the chatter and pull you out of states of worry, frustration and confusion. They shift you into a place of pure curiosity, honesty and discovery.  This shift places us beyond the mind and into a space where we find all of the answers that line up with who we are and inspire us into action.

Next time you find yourself stuck, stressed or just a little frustrated, just pause for a moment.  Take yourself away from the situation by taking a short walk, go to the bathroom or turn on some music.  A change in environment helps to accelerate the shift and creates space for the honest answers to come through.  Once you feel calmer, you can begin to ask questions. You will find your answers coming from a different place.  If the situation has been going on for a long time a brief walk or pause may not give enough space.  You may need a day or two before the space is there for you to uncover the answers.  It is important that you not force the answer.  Trust the answer is there and it will reveal itself.

As you practice pausing then asking, you will find it easier and easier to access your internal guidance system.  You will find your life in flow and see life is truly beyond the thoughts and stories of your mind.

 

 

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