Where are you Needed?

mountains
Photo by Alysia Thomas

When we set priorities in our lives on how to spend our time, whether it’s work, personal or emotional, so many distractions can get in the way. But sometimes it’s not only distractions. There may be a project or mission you have been working on, which has built a life of its own. You are good at it, and it’s successful. It’s easy to stay in that comfort zone, rather than venture out into something new. But what happens when you get the nagging feeling that your path has changed? What you are doing has served you in the past, but now your purpose has grown as you have.

Asking where you are needed now might help you soothe those nagging thoughts.

My purpose of bringing hope has been brought to others in many different ways over the years. I have written fiction books that soften the harshness of reality and inspire others to fight for what they believe in. I have written a non-fiction book that honors young adults who never gave up. I teach the art of writing fiction and journaling to open people’s worlds to possibilities.

The creation of Nick’s Fight to be Healed Foundation was a manifestation of two parents’ grief and the need to help others emotionally and financially. That need is still there. 90 children each year are newly diagnosed and over 900 each year come back for treatment and checkups just at The Melodies Center in Albany Medical Center. The need for the foundation is there, but where am I needed within or outside the foundation?

What comes up for me is writing techniques that I share with others on how they can heal and become self-aware through journaling. Person to Person connections. That is where I thrive and as more people struggle with illness, a lost sense of purpose, and pain, that need grows even stronger.

I have taken a windy path to this road, and I couldn’t have gotten to this level of awareness and ability without my previous experiences. Plus, that nagging feeling goes away for me when I accept the truth of where I should be. It doesn’t mean that I am leaving what I am doing. But it does mean that I am shifting my role. The best way I can serve others is by following my purpose. It hasn’t steered me wrong yet.

Where are you needed? Write about it and connect to what you feel when you are writing. Your gut knows you better than anyone. Listen to it and follow your path.

 

Step Back to Basics

It’s summer. The sun has mostly been out, everything is growing, the birds sing joyfully, and my dogs roll around in the grass. 

I love summer, but haven’t quite felt like I’m enjoying it. I’m busy and jumping from one event to another, one project to another, one unnecessary activity to another. 

I need to slow down and get back on track. How do I do that?

The first thought that came to mind is step back to basics. To me that means cutting back on what stresses me and fill it with what nourishes me and makes me happy. 

Here are some ways to step back to basics:

1. Cut back on what I don’t enjoy doing. Of course there are times when I have obligations to fill. I’m not someone who enjoys housework, but I make it better by listening to music or an audiobook or setting a timer to see how much I can get done. 

2. Go for a walk. Nothing slows me down and brings perspective quicker than taking my dogs for a walk. 

3. Listen to music. Discover new types or artists. 

4. Make time for a hobby that you love. If you don’t have one, then figure one out. Maybe it’s carving wood, painting, hiking, reading, pottery, photography, learning an instrument or language. What brings you joy?

5. Shut down the technology. My son yelled at me this morning as I’m using my phone to blog. He wanted me to talk to him and not get caught up in social media. I put my phone down until he left for work! It’s so easy to get dragged into someone else’s drama and not even know what the drama is! We feed off everyone’s negative responses. Stick to the facts and call that person if you are concerned. 

6. Be Still. Sit outside and enjoy the sounds, scents, and sights around you. Be in that moment. Or if you have a garden connect to nature and the earth. 


7. Unclutter your life by getting rid of what you don’t use and either give it to someone or recycle it. 

8. Eat close to home and food that is simple and fresh. Farmer’s Markets are abundant. Eat fresh and organic when you can. Eat what nourishes you. 

Here is a list of markets in the Capital District

Cut out the fluff and activities that don’t serve you. Do what moves you and makes your heart and body feel lighter. This takes listening to yourself and not loading your life up so much that your spirit is tamped down. 

There is nothing wrong with slowing down and getting back to basics. It also means getting back to the foundation of who you are. 

How will you step back to basics?

What Does it Mean to Live a Life of Value?

family photo 2008
Most important was teaching my boys to value themselves.

What does it mean to live a life of value, to be valued, to have a valued life? The last two feel external–like others decide if I am of value.

To live a life of value feels personal. But what does it mean to me? What do I deem importance enough to act upon?

–Creating a family and raising strong, compassionate, and kind children.

–Standing up for others.

–Putting myself in someone else’s shoes to empathize with what they are going through or at least appreciate their path, whether or not I agree with it.

–Providing hope through my stories. Sharing lessons of healing.

–Giving back despite or because of my pain.

–Letting those I love know.

–Helping someone/showing kindness–holding a door, picking up an item they dropped when their hands are full, helping a friend in need, smiling at someone I don’t know.

–Giving myself space to create and just be, so I know what my values are.

–Practicing yoga. Taking care of myself.

By writing my values down, I can honestly look at each and see if I am true to them. If not, then I can take appropriate action.

What does living a life of value mean to you? What’s important enough to push you to action?

Wake up your Soul

moanababy
Even as a baby, Moana knew her path.

Last night I forced my husband to watch the Disney movie, Moana, with me. I watched a professional soccer game with him after, but I think I probably had the better deal as I enjoyed both very much! Moana is about a young woman whose duty is to lead her people on an island that they can never leave. Even as her feet have led her toward the water as a baby, her father has gently steered her back to what he deems the ‘safe’ path. But she is continually drawn the sea, and in truth the sea has chosen her for a different, grander destiny. Even as a toddler, she knows this.

Moana fights the harder path until her grandmother dies and the island is unable to produce food. Sometimes it takes tragedy or extreme circumstances to wake us up to our soul’s purpose. But it’s also Moana’s gut feeling that there is more for her to do. She is confused and pulled in different directions.

moana on island disney

Using our intuition or that gut feeling to help us track the right path is a skill that has been diminished in our modern time. It’s easier to follow the path of least resistance, because it is comfortable. Moana could have accepted her position, but eventually her people would have run out of food and her soul, that calling, would have died. They all would have. So she is forced to fulfill her soul’s true purpose. By doing this she also helps Maui find his and saves her people and her island. Further, she blossoms into who she truly is meant to be.

Other people, our fears, doubts, and our blocks prevent us from fulling connecting to our purpose. If we remove that block and carry it beside us if we aren’t ready to let it go, at least we can see where we are heading. Sometimes identifying those blocks can be the hardest part.

Not everyone is meant to save the world or make colossal change. But when we don’t follow our path, fulfill those dreams that call to us every night, a little less light is shone on the world. We need everyone’s light, whether it’s to hold someone’s hand when they are afraid or someone to do the surgery on that hand.

Through tragedy, I was pushed to form a foundation. I could have let the opportunity go, but when I have seen what has come of it, I know it was the right path. Sometimes I am pulled toward two different paths. Where the foundation that helps children battle cancer is my mission, writing novels for all ages is my passion. It’s like a life pulse that increases as I do it. It’s like getting goose bumps or that bubbly feeling in your stomach that reminds you how alive you can feel.

disney-moana-maui
Moana basking in her light.

Both my mission and my passion bring hope and compassion to others, empathy and love. Writing and connecting with those in pain is my Moana.

What drives you, makes your pulse quicken, gives you goose bumps, and that feeling of bubbling happiness? What is your purpose, your calling? Where does your light shine? If you don’t know, then how do you want your light to shine? What blocks are stopping you?

Life is too short to stay rooted on your path or venture aimlessly down the one that doesn’t serve you. One step at a time you will find your light.