Be Open to Receive

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North Carolina–Blue Ridge Parkway toward Mount Mitchell

I am trying meditation again. I’ve lasted three days. I know that when I start my day with meditation, create an intention, and live my day with that intention, I am much happier. I am clearer on my purpose. I am able to choose how my day will go.

For example, this morning I woke up from a dream where I kept entering different classrooms trying to find my son, Nick. He was only 9 or so, but I could never catch up to him. I woke up sad and missing him.

Then I listened to Tom Evans’ Ten Minutes of Mindfulness on the Insight Timer app. He noted that our brains are always giving and receiving. If I’m talking, then I’m not listening. If my mind if filled with sadness, then I’m not receiving whatever it is that I want to receive. So I opened my mind and asked, What did I want to receive?

Joy, Love, Laughter, a wonderful day.

What would that look like and how did it involve my purpose?

Writing and sharing hope to anyone who is in need and open to receive. It’s as simple as that, but oh so hard.

Instead of sadness, I choose joy. Joy as I remember my beautiful son, Joy as I am in the moment with my other son, happiness that I get to sit at my desk and do what I love–write.

When I receive openly, then I have more to give. Love, compassion, my gift of writing.

That sadness has been lifted. If it settles back, I will remind myself of my intention and know they are thoughts that I can change. If I hadn’t sat down to meditate and write from that meditation, my day may be starting quite differently.

What are you open to receive today and what are you open to give? Write it down and make it so.

Have a wonderful day!

A Life that Loves You

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This saying popped into my head as I was writing a note to my niece about how proud I was of her going for her dreams. Sometimes it takes some swerves and curves to figure out what our dreams are. Sometimes they change or are fulfilled, so we wonder what’s next.

A great deal of my life is influenced by my purpose what drives and fulfills me. When I thought about how I lived my life, I asked myself if I’m living my life in a way that is loving to myself, that is good for me, and is supporting my purpose and dreams.

Those are big questions to ask, and I don’t think it can be a yes or no answer or black and white. So what does living a life that loves you mean to me?

  1. Fueling my body properly: What I put into my body has a direct correlation to how I physically feel, how creative I am, and how much energy I have. I’m really good when I plan out meals and have good food on hand. I’m an emotional eater, so when life isn’t loving me so much, I don’t show myself love with food. I’ll reach for that chocolate bar or some type of comfort food. That may be fine once in a while, but instead of placing food that makes me feel crappy in my body, I ask how will this food show love to me. What kind of life do I want to live and does what I’m eating move me forward toward that life or pull me back?
  2. How I spend my time: I am a really good time waster. I can skirt around what I should be doing and not get anything done. When I finally sat down and journaled about why I did this, I realized I was prioritizing what I thought I should be doing instead of what fulfilled me or led toward living my dreams. I credit the change in how I spend my time on some deep soul searching and writing through why I’m here. How do I want to make an impact on the world and what is my purpose? After I was clear on my purpose and the fact that writing is my passion, I began to clear out what no longer served me. Don’t get me wrong. I still waste time, but I have clear goals that are stepping stones to my dreams.
  3. People in my life: Living the life that loves me also includes being surrounded by people who love me. It’s people who believe in me and vice versa. We lift each other up and celebrate our successes with true joy. I will have separation anxiety if I don’t see my tribe enough, so I plan gatherings, outings, and tribe dates. Spending quality time with my husband and son is equally important if not more so. I love being around people who accept me as I am.
  4. Get moving: Exercise has always been a part of my life. I remember waking up at 6am in high school and doing aerobics in the living room of my family home. My brother would scream at me in the basement because my pounding woke him up. Working out is my stress reliever. Bringing yoga into my life balanced out the physical and mental strengthening.
  5. Be where you are: I recently tore my ACL and will have surgery next week. This has changed my exercise regimen, but I’m doing what is best for my body as it is now. My injury has forced me to slow down and be fine with not pushing my body or my schedule where I don’t want it to go. Living the life that loves me right now means letting go of my expectations and doing what serves me best.

Living a life that loves you is an endless checks and balance. Checking in to see how life is feeling. And I mean that literally. We can move so fast that a whole month goes by, and we don’t remember what we did.

Take a moment to pause and answer this question in your journal–What does living a life that loves you mean? Physically, mentally, emotionally, financially. Feel free to use the headings I chose or create your own. What matters most is that you love yourself first,check in and begin again.

Finding Purpose–What Will you Grow?

Finding purpose in life and what drives you is a lifelong endeavor. It will change as your life circumstances do, but being aware of where you are and want to be is the next step. If you have followed the Finding Purpose series, you have established your values, what is important to you, and the type of person you are.

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Everything wonderful starts with something small. Life forms from a tiny acorn.

Journal about the following questions:

  1. What do you want to grow within yourself?
  2. What or who do you want to grow into?
  3. What kind of life do you want to live?

I’d like to grow a sense of community through my teaching and writing. Through my written word and connection, I instill a sense of hope that we can all make a difference, even if it’s a small one. As with the acorn, a small act of kindness can grow into something incredible and self-sustaining.

Old oak

 

acorn
Template to use on your personal oak.

Use this acorn or draw your own and write the words you came up with on your quest for growth. For me it’s writing, yoga, community, personal health, family, connection, hope.

You have the power within yourself to be the best person you want to be. It’s all in you. Nurture it and watch it grow into something beautiful and amazing.

 

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.