What are you Waiting For?

My last post was about crossroads, winding paths, and the roadmap to your purpose. If you didn’t yet, write down what you are passionate about, what you love to do, what is important to you, what do you value, and list your positive characteristics–at least 5. Writing about ourselves can be the hardest thing to do. But when we know ourselves, we know our path.

Next, if you couldn’t fail, what would you do? This is scary, because we think failing is the worst thing we can do. If we fail, we are somehow less of a person. This fear becomes an obstacle, a big wall that we can’t get around. In his book, Let Me Out: Unlock your Creative Mind and Bring your Ideas to Life, Peter Himmelman introduces MARV (Majorly Afraid of Revealing Vulnerability).

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He writes, “The fear that we feel when we try something new, something particularly challenging, isn’t some petty worry; it’s actually a mortal fear. . . . Marv isn’t trying to hurt us; he’s trying to save our skins.” (6)

Fear is a powerful enemy. But, the more we fail, the more we learn and grow. Easy to write that down, but hard to digest. We are afraid of being vulnerable and weak. It is practically wired in our DNA and forced on us by society.

It’s also our ego. In his book, Being of Power: The 9 Practices to Ignite an Empowered Life, Baron Baptiste’s second practice is Release the Concern for Looking Good. He writes, “For us, failure isn’t about an unachieved task, a relationship that didn’t work out, or a poorly taught or practiced yoga class. It’s about what it means to us if we’re considered a failure and how others see us.” (19)

Being of Power

I read this chapter the night before my third degree black belt test. I felt a lot of pressure to succeed and not embarrass anyone and myself. But after I read this chapter, I knew that my greatest gift was to be authentic and come from a place of power and confidence. Instead of doing my best, I was myself. I not only succeeded, I felt empowered. It was life changing, but then I forget and go back behind that wall of fear.

If I couldn’t fail, didn’t worry about what anyone thought, and was completely myself, I would write full-time to regularly publish my books and develop my writing classes into a program to help others find their voice and purpose. My purpose is to create an environment of hope and empowerment, to soften the harshness of reality, and to entertain with my words. I also want to provide the space and tools for others to follow their paths and live their purpose. When I think about this, I see it, I feel the joy and excitement, the authenticity of it all. But then that dang fear seeps in and makes me doubt myself. I fill my time with distractions and make excuses.

We spend our whole lives wishing and hoping for our dreams to come true. But what are we waiting for? Someone else to do it? That’s not going to happen! All we need is within us right now.

Once you know your purpose, what makes your spirit soar, call out that obstacle, that fear. Identify it. Stare it down.

Part of my fear is that people won’t like what I write. That’s my ego talking and not my spirit. If I write from my truth, my intuition, then the people who need the words will get it or hopefully be entertained.

My other obstacle is how I spend my time. I am not the best in organizing my time. It get distracted with the laundry, walking the dogs, etc. It’s the downside of working from home.

But it’s also the physical distractions. Yes, my office is in disarray once again. I run Nick’s Fight to be Healed Foundation that helps kids with cancer. Talk about having a dual purpose, although I see this more as a mission. The kids, teens, young adults, and their families could hugely benefit from what I want to share and teach. These purposes can co-exist. I only have to break down that wall.

I’m lucky I know my purpose. I have worked hard to figure it out through self-inquiry, journaling, and trial and error. Mostly, it’s my gut that tells me.

So what are you waiting for?

Purpose-Obstacle-Action

What is your purpose? Do the work, live your life fully and powerfully. Stand in your truth.

Break down your own obstacle, no matter what it is.

Then act on it. Tell someone, because once you send it out, the universe will help you.

 

 

Be a Yes!

being of power

Be a Yes is the first practice in Baron Baptiste’s book Being of Power. It’s my second time reading it, and I’m amazed at how I pick up more tips from where I am now in my life. Being a yes doesn’t mean saying yes to everything that crosses your desk.

I have to admit, this has been a default of mine for my entire life. Part of it is because I have so much I want to accomplish and fulfill in this life. I’m inspired and excited about many possibilities. The problem though is that it can become different to be effective and finish what I start.

It means saying yes to what brings out your authentic self and not adding filters into your life. Baron writes, “It’s about being confident in your ability to turn difficult into possibility, upsets into positive energy, and breakdowns into breakthroughs.” (2)

Being a yes is how you view and react what is happening around and to you. There isn’t one person I know who hasn’t been touched by either illness, loss, tragedy, mental illness, or injury. It’s a part of our lives. There may be a time when we can’t do what we always use to do. Perhaps it’s because of age or illness or lack of time. We have the choice to ignore our truth, push through, and further damage ourselves or we can be with where we are.

When we can be with where we are, all of a sudden there is space for what we can be a yes to! Let me give you an example. I have severe food allergies as I have said before and obviously it plays a huge part in my life, because it always comes up!

I’m allergic to peanuts to the point of anaphylaxis so I carry an epipen and a ton of Children’s meltable Benadryl. I’m allergic to all other nuts, milk, tomatoes in the spring (don’t feed me tomatoes right now!), melon, cherries or anything connected to ragweed in the fall. I’m intolerant to gluten and all seafood. Not only do I have allergies, but I have chosen to only eat fish. So eating out with me is an experience!

Believe me. I have fought these food allergies all my life. I will try milk and wish that I would learn my lesson (never feed me key lime pie!) When I am being authentic and a Yes, I find recipes that incorporate all the foods I can eat. I have made some amazing gluten free, dairy free lasagna (at least I think it’s amazing!). I eat soy yogurt with a vegan granola. I enjoy spaghetti squash stuffed with lentils. There are so many incredibly delicious foods I can eat. I have turned a difficult situation into a possibility of exploration.

If I say yes to what I can eat, then as Baron writes, “…you’re also saying no to resignation, cynicism, and self-sabotage.” (3)

Self-sabotage is the opposite of this practice. It feeds on our self-doubt and negativity. It’s a practice, because we always have to work on it, but it’s worth it.

What are you a yes to? What difficulty are you having in your life that you can turn around into a possibility? Put that possibility into action and revel in the new experience.

Being Complete

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Photo by Alysia Thomas

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else: you are the one who gets burned.” –Buddha

When I took my 200 hour yoga teacher training, it involved a great deal of reading, self-inquiry, and journaling. We read Being of Power by Baron Baptiste who designed this training program. One of the practices is to Clean up the Messes. It was about how we hold onto grudges and resentments toward other people and continue to let those emotions build up inside of us. We have our version of the truth, which usually is different than the other person’s version. When we aren’t open and accepting, it causes conflict.

Being complete is being authentic and true to ourselves to clean up the mess. It may include journaling about what the mess even entails, if it’s still pertinent, and if I willing to take responsibility for my part in the mess. Or if someone has betrayed me, do I feel the need to be complete with them, meaning do I feel the need to let them know how their betrayal affected me.

Sometimes we don’t even know that we have hurt someone or they may not know we are upset at them. Then the anger and bitterness percolates until there is either an explosion or the friendship fades away. Either way there is left over business that is toxic to our bodies.

This part of the program was very hard for me. As much as I like to write and talk, I’m not a very clear communicator. I tend to stuff emotions down, because I don’t want to hurt other people’s feelings. When I journaled about my messes, it was freeing and clarifying to know that I was responsible for some of the mishaps. Even more freeing was taking responsibility for it. I could change the outcomes and the relationships.

Now if I have a problem with someone, I will either journal about it first to make sure I understand both perspectives and work on how I want to handle it or I approach the person and clear the air. Sometimes just by writing about it, I can let it go and realize no action is needed. But it’s not until I sit and think it through that I can get to this point. This also gives me space to reflect and not fly off the handle and make the situation even worse.

 

Recently I had a couple situations where my words were taken the wrong way and people were hurt by them. In both cases, I knew it immediately and called them. Not only were misunderstandings cleared, I think a stronger bond was formed. I was being authentic and owned up to what I said, but also explained what was behind the words. My emotions played a big part and writing about it helped me understand my fears.

What are some ‘messes’ you feel you need to clean up? Does it have to do with a relative, a spouse, friends, or co-worker? Is there a situation you are bitter about and would like to resolve? What is it costing you to hold onto these feelings?

Once you are able to be open with this person or situation, write about how you feel. Do you feel lighter, happier, less stressed?

I highly recommend reading Baron Baptiste’s books. Go to his website for more information.

 

 

 

 

Removing your Block

nothingisimpossibleblock

This image means so much to me. My older son, Nick, said this to my younger son, Stephen, when he was having trouble putting a Lego set together. Nick’s words have become a positive mantra every day that I miss him. Losing Nick to cancer is my block. For the past eight years, my grief has been in my face, blocking and affecting my view of life.

Everyone has a block. Maybe it’s your own grief, fear, trauma, or insecurity. A block is anything that stops you in your path to wellness, your life purpose, or everyday living.

In January 2016, I attended a 40 Days to Personal Revolution program. It’s a self-empowerment yoga program designed by Baron Baptiste. Through journaling, I learned that I shouldn’t feel guilty about my grief/my block. But perhaps instead of having that block right in my face all the time, I could place it under my arm. I wasn’t ready to let it go, and it would still affect me, but now I could see the world without that filter.

I may be able to relinquish my block for a moment, a few hours, and some days I actually put the block down for a bit. If that block shocks me in the face again, I remember Nick’s words, “Nothing is Impossible,” and I try again.

What is your block? How does it filter what you think about yourself and the world around you. What could happen if you placed that block under your arm even if only for a moment? Write it down so you can always come back to what is possible.