Who Told you That?

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“Understand: people will constantly attack you in life. One of their main weapons will be to instill in you doubts about yourself – your worth, your abilities, your potential. They will often disguise this as their objective opinion, but invariably it has a political purpose – they want to keep you down.”

― Robert Greene, The 50th Law

When I was little my dad used to play at rough-housing with me and my siblings. There was a game he called “King of the Mountain” and the object of the game was to knock off whoever tried to get to the top of the pillow mountain first. We loved this game because first we got to play with dad, always a great time, then we got to make a huge mess of all the pillows we could find in the house and then make a humungous mountain as tall as we could possibly reach. I have to say that to 3, 4, and 5-year-old eyes this was the tallest structure ever created. We then would clear away all manner of hurtful hard objects and proceed to strategize as to just how to climb this monumental structure without getting caught and tackled to the ground. There was a hysterical amount of tickling involved in this game designed specifically to weaken our little bodies enough that we couldn’t find the strength to climb anything at all, all while trying to prevent dad from reaching the top of the mountain and declare himself King.

One could argue that this was a life lesson in how to overcome impossible obstacles that life will inevitably throw at us; how to overcome those demons that are designed and determined to keep us down physically and mentally, philosophically and psychologically whether in words or deeds and life lessons in how to get creative in problem solving all while laughing out loud. Blah, blah, blah; we just thought it was so fun to spend undivided time with dad. But wait, now I’m curious…..

What keeps you feeling down? What mountains are in front of you that need to be climbed? What motivates you to climb those mountains?

There are many important questions that come along in our lifetime. Questions that create angst, change, upheaval, awareness, peace, etc. Of all the questions that I have come across as a life coach, the one question that seems to have the most impact is the one question that attacks the essence of who my client is at any given moment. This question seems to evolve and keeps evolving as we learn and grow and become. This question has the potential of becoming habit forming; a reminder to always check my sources and resources in order to keep fear at bay and inner strength at the ready.

The questions I ask myself on a daily basis are, for the most part, always in helpful surrender to aid in making me the best possible version of who I strive to become. Who I am today is in no way who I will be later in life and although who I was yesterday may carry over into who I am right this moment, my “yesterday” self always has the ability to be better tomorrow. What is this incredible question?

Who told you that?

This question falls under the auspices of false beliefs or limiting beliefs and carries a tremendous amount of weight inside our heads and hearts. Most of us allow that the things we choose to believe, whether we realize it as our choice or not, are the things that hold us back from a fulfilling, productive, purposeful life. For a lot of people, believing the limiting beliefs we cling to holds a lot of fear in preventing us from exploring all kinds of fearless possibilities.

This question has been a constant companion for me for many years. It takes on many faces such as, who told you that you are not worthy of a better life, a better job, or a better outcome? Who told you that you have to compromise on what means the most to you? Who told you that if you experience happiness of any kind you are only allowed that one-time experience and then doomed to misery thereafter? Who told you that the love you have in your life is all you are allotted in one lifetime? Who told you that brown and pink don’t go well together? Who told you that if your children are not successful in their own right that means that you are not a successful parent?

More importantly when did you start believing all of this?

For as long as we live there will be life moments that test our inner strength; that make life feel as if this one time experience is the most impossible mountain to climb. Questions like this one help to keep us grounded and present and focused on being and becoming our best selves. The fear factor here might be, “what if I can’t answer this question or what if I stay stuck in my limiting beliefs?” I suggest taking time to unpack the question step by slow moving step until you come to understand how you got here.

Family therapist, author, marathon runner and professor Cami Ostman teaches an incredible workshop on how to successfully put the “Who told you that” question to the test and how to successfully answer it and use the question and answer to your advantage. When we feel stuck in our fear of not being enough and believing that we are truly not enough Ms. Ostman says that “we are not aligning with our true nature; we are not aligning with our core selves.” She goes on to say, “Our true nature, our core selves, are calm, joyful and centered. Most of our limiting beliefs start in childhood based on what we perceived as a need to protect ourselves from feeling vulnerable or hurt or shameful or weak. Our true nature thrives on genuine support from others and uses 4 qualities to help us thrive.” Those 4 qualities are:

*Clarity of purpose: Who does it benefit to take the road less traveled? Who does it benefit to follow the leader?

“People who lack the clarity, courage, or determination to follow their own dreams will often find ways to discourage yours. Live your truth and don’t EVER stop!” Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

*Faith: Enjoy each step along the way and know that whatever choice you make; all will be okay.

“Realize that if a door closed, it’s because what was behind it wasn’t meant for you.” Mandy Hale, The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass

*Commitment to ourselves and our purposes: What is one tiny step you can take each morning to bring you closer to where you want to be?

“If you had started doing anything two weeks ago, by today you would have been two weeks better at it.” John Mayer

*Sovereignty: The unshakable knowledge that we are the supreme rulers of our own minds and choices and decisions. Who has given you permission to question your own self- worth, in other words, who told you that and why are you believing it? When we truly believe that we are sovereign over our hearts, minds and bodies then we are free to come and go, to explore and choose wisely and be impactful in all we do.

“Peggy is a sovereign nation. She governs herself and those around her by her own laws.” Katlyn Charlesworth, The Patriot’s Daughter

According to Ms. Ostman, bringing forth your true nature is a practice of letting go of fear; letting go of limiting beliefs, letting go of those things that were told to you whether to protect you or to scare you to stand still. Ms. Ostman suggests respectfully thanking all the parts of us that tried to protect us from the fears that are holding us back, wishing those parts well and firmly telling those parts that it is now time to take the reins and face the fears and the adventure that awaits.

As If….

A great way to begin your journey of shedding those limiting beliefs, of shedding fear is to take these 4 qualities and start with the end in mind. Let’s play….

Kari always wanted to be an artist. Her talents have been recognized by the obvious people in her life, her art teachers, her friends, her classmates, etc. but for some reason Kari has not taken all of those accolades and turned it into the art studio/gallery that she has always imagined. Kari doesn’t believe within herself that her art work is good enough to sell or that strangers would want to buy what she is creating. She is beginning to feel like doing art of any kind is a waste of time and that she needs to start getting serious about her life and start to make a living. “It feels like there is just too much wasted time in art and I need to pay my bills and just get on with my life at this point.” Who told Kari that art is too much of wasted time? Who told Kari that being an artist isn’t a serious pursuit of making a life? Who told Kari that she isn’t good enough to make art her career? When did those limiting beliefs start to take deep roots in her heart and mind?

There are a few choices Kari can make: She can give up her art completely and get a “real” job, she can only do her artwork for her own pleasure and joy, she can give her artwork away to friends and colleagues as gifts so that at least her art will be “out there” even if it hangs in someone else’s house or office or she can imagine one last time what it would be like to have the art studio/gallery she always dreamed about.

Kari chooses to imagine one last time about her art studio. Kari chose the “as if” option and she lets her imagination run wild with the end in mind, “as if” she made her dream come true and opened her art studio and became the successful artist she always dreamed of becoming. Out loud Kari imagines it is opening night at her art studio and the walls are full of her artwork in every medium. There are lots of people at the opening tonight including people that came as guests of those that received an invitation and the biggest surprise of all is that the media are here tonight to interview Kari and get her story. Kari imagines the gorgeous outfit she is wearing and imagines that her parents are there and feel so proud of her for sticking with her dream and making it come true. Kari imagines the food and drinks being passed around, she imagines the pockets of conversation going on around her studio, she imagines the music playing in the background and how great everyone looks tonight because they came to this special event. At the end of the night Kari imagines her most sacred piece of art being sold to an art collector and Kari being commissioned to do work for businesses in and around her art studio.

The greatest take away for Kari in playing the “as if” game is that she just thought about even more ideas on how to make her studio/gallery a great success. By opening herself up to the possibilities and by letting herself feel the happiness in her core-self, by freeing her mind and heart from limiting beliefs, Kari has experienced more joy in these few minutes than in the past year of struggling to be “practical” about her future.

Call to Action

Find a friend, mentor, coach, or use your own reflection in the mirror and play the “as if” game with your dreams. No limiting beliefs allowed. Dress the part, play the music, set the scene and have at it. Notice everything, the way you look, the way you feel, the way your thoughts expand. Who told you that you can’t make this vision your reality?

One of Ms. Ostman’s most successful practices is to interview fear and listen to what comes up in that discussion. If you are interested in trying this interview with fear, please give me a call. You will be changed from this experience.

On a piece of paper make a list down one side of the paper of all the things that you believe today. On the other side of the paper make a list of how you came to have each belief; in other words, who told you that? On a new piece of paper make a list of all the new things you are now going to believe that will help move you toward the person you want to be. Keep in mind on this new list, that YOU are giving yourself permission to believe these new things, act on these new things, dream these new things and become these new things.

Write a good-bye letter to your old self letting go of the fearful things that you have told to yourself or have been told to you that you are currently believing; letting go of the limiting beliefs that are holding you back from becoming your true self. Before you end the good-bye to old self letter start to write about all the new things your new, free self will be experiencing from now on. What successful, happy, expansive experiences will you be adding to your new life? How much can you honestly feel inside of your core-self that you believe you honestly, courageously, and wholeheartedly will experience in all the amazing life moments that are destined to come to you?

10 Steps Toward Making the Most of Today

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10 Steps Toward Making the Most of Today

“Being spontaneous is being able to respond with confidence; calmly trusting that, whatever the outcome, you will have a positive if challenging experience that will lead to greater self-awareness and success.” Sylvia Clare, Trusting Your Intuition: Rediscover Your True Self to Achieve a Richer, More Rewarding Life

There are so many times throughout a year when we can seize a moment and make a fresh start. Although we may have a plan or a map of how to start or how to achieve our goals spontaneity makes those moments special and memorable.

Most of us think of the New Year as the greatest starting point. That is understandable and encouraging but what about moments like the start of a new week or a new month? What about the moment something happens, good or bad, and you feel changed? What about a birthday? I like these odd moments because they usually take place right smack dab in the middle of an on-going life and why not make those moments stand out as a huge shout out to the world that life started right here, right now?

My daughter’s birthday is coming up soon and what a great paradox to have her new year start when the world’s year ends. It got me to thinking about wanting to make the most of everyday and how time kinda slips by without awareness and celebration or spontaneity because we get so caught up in the details and sameness.

It’s easy to celebrate my daughter for many reasons but 2 reasons stand out for me. The first is because we are caught up in the holiday season of giving and happiness and the second is because she makes it so easy to celebrate her. I have a plan in mind for celebrating her birthday with her but the spontaneity of the details will be what make the memory last.

In the book The Art of Manliness, authors Brett and Kate McKay write that the first rule for making the most out of life is to leave yourself behind and dive into interests outside of yourself. “We only live, says philosopher Fichte, when we love.” Can you remember a time when you felt so filled and content because you volunteered or purposely put aside your own interests to take up the interests of someone you cared about? Birthdays allow you to do that and it is a great spring board into who else you can honor or celebrate or do for.

The second rule to making the most out of life is “to steer your life, not drift through it”. I took it upon myself to steer my daughter’s birthday activities, I didn’t leave her to drift through her special day without love and acknowledgement and celebration. It will be up to her to mine all the goodness and specialness of the day but the map will be provided. At the very least have a plan but be flexible for whatever comes along on the journey.

The third rule is to use your strength both physical and psychological. The authors quote Emerson, “Trust in your own deep and permanent convictions of self-reliance and God reliance.” I interpret this to mean that all that I believe in of myself and my abilities is also all that was given to me by God, the intuitions of who I am and how I manifest all that is within me. I know so much about the things my daughter likes and enjoys and I do all that is within my power to bring those joys to her. That “knowing” is like a warm blanket on a cold winter’s day for her and for me.

The fourth rule is to trust in myself. With all my heart I want to make this day special and filled with happy memories and love. Fate will play the part it plays but perspective and attitude will take it to a higher level. I trust my love for her and she trusts me. It’s a win-win.

The question is not so much how to make the most out of life but how to make the most out of each individual day. Breaking it down into bite size pieces might mean how to make the most out of this hour or this moment. It requires deep awareness and perhaps a huge dose of spontaneity but oh what a time it will be.

“Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?” L.M. Montgomery

How to make the most of today:

Find at least one moment in each day where you can break the rules. In breaking the rules you learn about your limits and you question everything. Progress can’t happen unless you get outside your comfort zone and see what you can see with no rules to blind you.

“There are three things in life…not worrying what they are, not caring what others may think they are, and enjoying the wonder of what they might be.” Tom Althouse

Don’t quit. You’ve heard these stories a thousand times; J.K. Rowling was rejected by every publisher she went to for a full year before someone took a chance on her Harry Potter stories, Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team because he wasn’t what they needed. Can you imagine what would have happened if these people quit? What story is waiting to be told about you simply because you refused to quit?

“Most people quit because they look how far they have to go, not how far they have come.” Ziad K. Abdelnour

Slow down, you move too fast. Breathe in deeply, exhale slowly, repeat. If something catches your eye stop and watch for a while. Being in a hurry causes you to miss way too much of the life going on around you today. What would happen if you were 5 minutes late to the office from your lunch break? What impact could those 5 extra minutes mean to you or someone you run into?

“To enjoy just being somewhere, rather than rushing from somewhere, to somewhere. Inhaling deep lungfuls of air, instead of my usual shallow breaths. I take a moment to just stop and look around me. And smile to myself.” “For the first time in a long time, I can, quite literally, smell the coffee.” Alexandra Potter, The Two Lives of Miss Charlotte Merryweather

Make just one decision. Let today be the day that all of your fact gathering comes together so that you can finally make a move on the things that have been holding you back. Practice making a small decision today so that when it comes time for the big decisions your life will ask you to make you will have confidence that you know how to show up and make it count.

“Someone once said anyone can be great under rosy circumstances, but the true test of character is measured by how well a person makes decisions during difficult times.” Jack Gantos, Hole in My Life

“To thine own self be true” encourages Mr. Shakespeare. What would happen if you didn’t behave the way everyone expected you to? What would happen if you were just the authentic, raw, genuine you all day long, everywhere you went? What would be unleashed because you allowed your true self to shine on?

“Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.” Franz Kafka

“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you are right”. –Henry Ford. What truth are you believing that simply isn’t true in reality? This goes beyond quitting. This speaks to the barriers you have built to protect yourself from failure. FAIL!!! Go ahead I dare you. You’ll never know what you can do or think or be until you do it. Give it all you’ve got. What a story you will have at the end of the day and what momentum you’ll build for the next day.

Get creative. I don’t buy into the thought that some people are creative and others are not. Can you think for yourself? Can you imagine, dream, hope, or wish? Then you are creative. You may not be able to paint like Picasso but you can paint if you want to. Be uniquely you and let your freak flag fly. The world needs exactly you today so go, be, do and stamp today as only you know how.

“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.” Martha Graham

Collect gratitude. Challenge yourself that at the end of today you will find, discover and rejoice in at least 10 things to be grateful for, good and bad. Each day has its own uniqueness. Aside from life itself what made today stand out in such a way that you were grateful for having been given the gift that only today could bring?

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for everything that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you build it they will come. What are you working on that needs that little extra push today? Are you building self-worth? Are you building a family? Are you building spiritual strength? Are you building your brain and/or physical muscle? Whatever you are building you are also building inspiration for someone else. People love to be inspired. Who inspires you and how are you building that within you? Who is watching and hoping for you to succeed?

“Silly girl, it’s not what the universe gives us that matters. It’s what we give the universe.” Lauren Myracle (Let It Snow)

Anything worth having is worth working hard for. Are you a parent? Are you building a business? Are you training for the Olympics? Are you a writer? Are you a singer? Are you a scientist? What is it you are reaching for that just seems so hard to attain? WORK IT!! Passion, genuineness, compassion, confidence, sweat, tears, and pain. How sweet the victory when you have finally climbed that mountain. What is life about if not to push ourselves to achieve our dreams? What is your dream and how badly do you want it? Today is the day to take the next step toward what you want.

“No one ever drowned in sweat.” United States Marine Corps

Call to Action

What can you do right now to make the most of this moment?

Where can you begin to open opportunities for spontaneity into your days/life?

How can you make the most of your day(s)?

 

 

 

 

 

8 Essentials for Thinking Like a Child

 

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“Would the child you were yesterday admire the person you are today? If not, adjust for desired results.” Ziad K. Abdelnour, Economic Warfare: Secrets of Wealth Creation in the Age of Welfare Politics

When a child is born there is an immediate and uncontrollable feeling of awe and wonder and reverence toward some higher power, maybe it is G-d for you, that here in this tiny package of humanity is this amazing miracle of life.

As adults we treasure this miracle and we dote on this miracle and we do all we can to feed the spirit of this miracle as it grows. We take possession without realizing that we possess but at some point all too quickly the child becomes its own person.

Once the identity of the child starts to come through we see in this miracle the only word that can describe a child, determination.  A child’s determination says, “there is only right now in this moment and this is what I want to do, accomplish, conquer, master, overcome, make happen so watch this….”.

So what happens along the path of growth that stunts the natural sense of determination and turns this miracle into a human of sorrow, self-doubt, limitedness, and negativity and how in the world can each of us humans get it back for keeps?

 “Children see magic because they look for it.”Christopher Moore, Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal

Every day to a child is like a first day. Every day is filled with new discoveries, new awareness, and new abilities and with each new thing a child can do the child wants to shout to the world, “hey ma, look what I can do” or “look what I just did.” It’s almost as if the child performed the greatest magic trick ever.

Do adults lose their magical abilities because no one is watching or cares to watch anymore? Oh sure, some adults have the ability to see magic throughout their whole lives, just look at Walter Disney, but it’s more than just seeing magic, it’s also feeling magic and feeling that all things are possible and never being influenced otherwise. When did it become childish to let magic into your adult life?

I remember working in a middle school with kids who got sent to detention a lot . Although it was the policy of the school to make the detention room as somber and negative as possible so that the kids would not want to go back there ever again, I couldn’t help but make the room scream of possibilities and dreams and jokes and riddles and hope. Does that make me a rebel? I don’t think so. I just can’t help imagining what it must be like to have to deal with the thought of feeling like a failure and not knowing what to do with that feeling except to be angry, all the time. I pray I created hope and possibilities for these kids to be able to see beyond the anger they were feeling.

Sometimes as adults we look at children and think to ourselves what can children teach us that we don’t already know now that we are the adults; I mean we’re adults, so we have already been where they are, right? The one thing that keeps coming back to me is that a child can teach us to see what a child sees and what a child hears and the unrelenting, untouched, uncomplicated thoughts of a pure mind on the verge of innocence lost. Sometime it is essential to stop and listen to the words of children:

There is a really good reason why we start out helpless and small and unknowing; so that adults can be reminded of the freedom, joy, un-limitedness of who they used to hope to be when they grew up. I believe children know more than adults do. They are pure, untainted entities that embody every possible person they want to become and they don’t care who knows it or what they each look like exploring all those magical possibilities.

 “I wept because I was re-experiencing the enthusiasm of my childhood; I was once again a child, and nothing in the world could cause me harm.”Paulo Coelho, The Pilgrimage

It’s not rocket science to imagine all the ways in which we can re-capture our innocence and feelings of being a child but just in case your mind is stuffed full of adult mumbo jumbo here is a little list of ideas that just might take you out of the limitedness of adulthood and open the imagination doors of the child’s soul inside of you:

    1. Take the blame with “relish”. As a child you gladly took responsibility for your actions anytime you did something you thought was justified or amazing or fun. Harness that positive energy of owning your actions by finding all kinds of ways to take responsibility for your actions as a grown-up. Only do those things that will leave you feeling proud to own up to something.
    2. Be Dramatic. Sure you might have thrown a temper tantrum or 2 when you were feeling out of control as a kid or feeling like no one was listening. (Perhaps you didn’t but wished you could). It was dramatic to live in your imagination and to act out as a kid. How can you use that dramatic flair of yours to make a point, to get ahead, to add spice to your days? Use your imagination and create that dramatic magic that is still living inside of you.
    3. Ask why as often as you can. How many questions do you ask in a day? Children ask questions constantly because they are not afraid of sounding ignorant. They use the information like Popeye uses spinach. Information empowers them and enables them and strengthens them. As adults we hide our questions for fear of being stared at by everyone in the room or fear of sounding ignorant. Drop the fear, ask the questions. There are no stupid questions. The question not asked is the key not found that could open all the other doors.
    4. Be the cardboard box. According to an article written by Chelsea Greenwood of the website, http://www.success.com/article/think-like-a-child, Alison Gopnik, a professor of philosophy at UC, Berkeley says, “children are designed by evolution to be extremely good learners. They are the research and development division of the human species, and adults are the production and marketing.” How amazing would it be if a simple cardboard box really was the answer to all boredom and limitedness of the adult mind? Get out of the cardboard box adulthood put you into and make something magical happen with it once you are on the outside.
    5. Be relentless. How often do you take your kids to a store to discover that you didn’t even make it passed the welcome sign and you realize you are already counting to 10 just waiting to hear them say, “mom, can we get this”, or “mom, can I get that toy”. They don’t take no for an answer. My youngest has learned a great skill over his short little life, the art of the negotiation. Sometimes when I am feeling weak and overrun I call it manipulation or in today’s terms, bullying, but the truth is he has learned how to negotiate to get what he wants. How many times during the day do you hear the word no when presenting an idea or asking for approval on a project or for a raise? Be relentless in your wants. You believe in what you are seeking so keep seeking until you get that yes. No is not an option.
    6. Be in awe. Too often as adults we are tainted and narrowed by all that we have seen and learned and we choose to put blinders on to all else except what we want to learn and choose to see. Take the blinders off, step way back and be in awe of everything around you. Be the sponge, be the clean slate, be the child that is fascinated with all things unknown and big. Get down on your knees if you have to and look around, look up, look down and change your perspective.

      7. Play : Where did recess go? Public schools hardly encourage recess anymore for fear it will interfere with test taking. The adults of tomorrow are not going to have much to fall back on when they need to harness their imagination because imagination time is being sucked out of their learning. Chelsea Greenwood takes a page from author, speaker and futurist, Jack Uldrich and quotes, “play allows people to practice skills they might need later down the line. Play has consistently been found to reduce stress, increase energy levels, and brighten people’s outlook, increase optimism, and foster creativity.” Start or join the company sports league, start a chess group, bring your guitar to the office and serenade your co-workers during lunch. Play your heart out!

8. Laugh Your Ass Off:: I’m sure you’ve heard this statistic, that children laugh an average of 400 times per day whereas an adult laughs an average of 15 times per day and I must say that the number 15 seems a bit high to me. Have you heard a child laugh lately? You need to because you are missing out on the most out of control, smile inducing, free spirited moment of life, ever. On the website,  http://velutions.com/prankbaskets/zLaughter.htm, it lists several reasons to laugh each day such as “laughter is the best medicine”, not only for adults but for children too. Laughter is good for oxygen intake, reduction of stress, is good exercise, and among many other things is a great bonding mechanism and best of all laughter cuts across all language barriers. Everyone speaks laughter. If you want to learn more about how laughter can increase work flow and be a positive influence at the office please consider reading The Levity Effect by Adrian Gostick and Scott Christopher. If you want to make something contagious, laugh.

It all comes down to this: Kids don’t know to be hard on themselves. They like who they are and they should. Take a page from your own story when you were a kid and BE PROUD OF YOU. Celebrate like the child you still are. That child’s soul is still in there. The only difference is the body got bigger and then therefore so did the expectations. My son was born to a family of average height people. He is 6’2”, which is no big deal except in our family and he always saw his height as a negative. He likes it now, mostly because he can look down on his dad, but he tried to walk smaller and behave smaller because people outside of his family always expected more from him thinking that he was older than his actual age due to his height. That added expectation played havoc on his psyche no matter how we tried to celebrate his individualism. He needed time to grow into all of himself, inside and out, and for the most part so far he has become proud of what he was given and who he is becoming.

Now, repeat after me:

 “I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.”Edward Everett Hale

It was only you that day when you pulled yourself up from the floor to take your first step. It was only you the moment you climbed those stairs for the first time. It was only you the instant you went from not balancing very well on the bicycle to riding like you were born to ride. It was only you when the puzzle got solved by the thoughts you applied and then made the connection that opened a world of possibilities for more.

Oh, if only we didn’t have to lose so much of the soul of the child inside of us when we grow up. I leave you with this amazing poem by an utterly amazing and talented author who never forgot the child inside, and I wonder: Would any of this poem work for any adult? Perhaps we should take a chance on one of these ideas and just go outside and play, even if it isn’t Saturday…..

“I cannot go to school today”

Said little Peggy Ann McKay.

“I have the measles and the mumps,

A gash, a rash and purple bumps.

 My mouth is wet,

my throat is dry.

I’m going blind in my right eye.

My tonsils are as big as rocks,

I’ve counted sixteen chicken pox.

And there’s one more –

that’s seventeen,

And don’t you think my face looks green?

My leg is cut,

my eyes are blue,

It might be the instamatic flu.

I cough and sneeze and gasp and choke,

I’m sure that my left leg is broke.

My hip hurts when I move my chin,

My belly button’s caving in.

My back is wrenched,

my ankle’s sprained,

My ‘pendix pains each time it rains.

My toes are cold,

my toes are numb,

I have a sliver in my thumb.

My neck is stiff,

my voice is weak,

I hardly whisper when I speak.

My tongue is filling up my mouth,

I think my hair is falling out.

My elbow’s bent,

my spine ain’t straight,

My temperature is one-o-eight.

My brain is shrunk,

I cannot hear,

There’s a hole inside my ear.

I have a hangnail,

and my heart is …

What? What’s that? What’s that you say?

You say today is ………….. Saturday? G’bye, I’m going out to play!”  –Shel Silverstein

 

Call to Action

GO PLAY!!! Find that inner child and kick ass!!

If you would like to explore more about personal growth, building and strengthening your success characteristics, or discovering what more you have inside of you please call for a free discovery session in my Art of YOU coaching program.  Not ready yet? Please visit my website at www.journeyoncoaching.com. You can reach me by calling 203-560-3061 or send an email to: lisa@journeyoncoaching.com.

5 Questions to help you Outline your Life Purpose

Does every person have a life purpose?

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“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experiences.” Eleanor Roosevelt 

So, I’m sitting at my computer reading an article on-line about impossible dreams and how we should never give up on them. There is a list that goes along with the article and it outlines 9 impossible dreams. I have no patience for articles that don’t completely pertain to my life so I skimmed through the list and only read the ones that seemed to be important for what I have been thinking about lately.

The very first item on the dream list is the one that asks about the tiny little thing we were meant to do with our lives. This impossible dream is a doozy for me. I don’t know where you are at right now on your life journey but for me the question of what is my life purpose and what am I absolutely meant to do with my life is like looking straight up at Mount Everest. It feels insurmountable to me to tackle this question. I can’t seem to figure out what my whole life is meant to be about. Then it hit me like a punch in the gut:

What if the life purpose question, that which we were meant to do or become, was as simple as asking “What is my life purpose today?”; “What am I meant to do today?”

When I am coaching my clients I try to get a feel for how they each approach their lives. Do they tackle big projects full force, head on like a speeding train or do they take their projects step by step like we were taught to do when researching for a thesis paper or like when we were learning how to play a sport or how to play an instrument? It’s in these baby steps toward the larger outcome, goal, or the finished product that understanding blooms, curiosity grows, and I believe our purpose is found, in those micro moments.

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, and to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

I love Mr. Emerson. He makes the task of being human so okay and allowable. His words give me permission to live my values today, to make a difference today like when I bake a batch of cookies for my husband’s co-workers. His words give me permission that just for today I lived and lived well because I chose to do so.

When I thought about the question I created, “What is my life purpose today” I felt an instant swell of relief surge through my body. Wait, you mean that I don’t have to take on the whole entirety of my life in one day and figure it all out before tomorrow comes around? You mean it is okay that I didn’t figure out my life purpose when I was in my twenties? Someone get me a big cushy chair because I need to sit down……

I think I can answer this question then. My life purpose TODAY is to get clear on what I want to write about today, my life purpose today is to love my family with all my heart through my actions even though I am filled with turmoil inside myself, my life purpose today is to vacuum the house because I like starting the weekend with clean floors, my life purpose today is to change the sheets on my bed so that tonight I can luxuriate and surround myself in the smell and feel of clean, fresh sheets while I read a romance novel and sip white wine. What is the domino effect of fulfilling my life purpose today and at the same time filling my soul with small steps of happiness?

In her book, “We the Living”, Ayn Rand writes about the concept of fulfillment by saying, “Well, I always know what I want. And when you know what you want you go toward it. Sometimes you go very fast and sometimes only an inch a year. Perhaps you feel happier when you go fast. I don’t know. I’ve forgotten the difference long ago, because it really doesn’t matter, so long as you move.” WHAHOO Ayn Rand!! Just journey on…..

I like this. I like the feeling inside of my heart that by making my life purpose all about the day I am living, about the moment I am in, the space I am occupying right this instant, that it really doesn’t matter how long it takes. After all, this is the only moment I know I have. I don’t know what kind of life lies ahead of me or who I will be if and when it comes around. I can take my life purpose today and build on it if I get a tomorrow but since I only have today then I want the purpose of today to be all that I choose to make of it.

Perhaps you are bold and daring and not cowed by the very scary, tall and monstrous mountain and you want to take your life purpose in bigger chunks.  Ask yourself:

What will your life purpose be this new week? This month?

How close do you want get to your goals?

What will you allow yourself to learn?

What will you allow yourself to see?

What will you allow yourself to do?

I feel like this goes much deeper than a simple to-do list. A to-do list has its place in our daily lives don’t get me wrong. I’m a huge fan of to-do lists but those lists can sometimes feel sterile and monotonous; they just outline the surface items that must get done before the day is out, errands that must take place.

A “life purpose today list” is about what fills your soul, what demonstrates your values, what has deep meaning for you on a consistent basis because the actions describe who you are right this minute in time and minutes in time could take 10 years before you know you are ready to declare something new and valued about yourself.

Call to Action:

Take a few minutes, as precious as they are, and answer some of the 5 questions presented in this post.

You can journal about it, create conversation about it, draw or create a vision board about it. Let me know what you come up with. What amazing” life purpose today” thoughts did you discover? How did those thoughts become action steps and what was the effect it had on the world around you? I’d love to know. And as always and purposefully, Journey On……

Lisa has been featured in Parent Magazine and in the book Stay-At-Home Mom’s Guide to Making Money by Liz Folger. Please visit her website at www.journeyoncoaching.com. or contact Lisa at lisa@journeyoncoahing.com

 

Coaching is a great vehicle to help navigate through those sticky tough, tumultuous times of parenting, career and life itself. All it takes is a spoonful of sugar and a desire to move forward passionately. If you would like to see how partnering in coaching can help create your best life so far please call or write to me and let’s start on that journey. Your personal discovery awaits….