Thursday, January 31, 2013

When Will My Life Finally Begin?

It’s funny. I feel that during some points in our life we wait until our life can “finally begin.” But what does that mean? For some people it’s when they finally meet the man or woman of their dreams. For others it’s if they finally reach a certain position at work. Or when they are finally able to retire and have the time and money to do what they really want to do.

I used to think that way. I used to try to figure out how long I’d have to work until I could finally retire. Until I could quit the job that was not fulfilling me. Until I would finally have the time to do all the things I wanted to do.  And it always seemed so far away.

But then one day it hit me.  I had painted myself into a corner. Why did I have to keep working in the same career and wait until I saved enough money to retire to do all the things I wanted to do? Why not take the time to do them now? Yes, some things I wouldn’t be able to afford to do, but there were so many things on my list that didn’t cost a lot of money.  And I could always go back to work. So I finally let go and quit my job. A number of people have come up to me since and congratulated me for taking the “big risk” to leave my career. Yes, there was some risk involved. But wouldn’t it be a bigger risk to feel stuck and unhappy for the next 20 or 30 years?

It’s human nature to want to stay in the comfort zone and it often feels safer to just stay put rather than taking a risk and making a change. So we often stay in a situation until it becomes so bad that we can no longer stand it or until something blows up. I did not want to wait until a crisis to take action.

And the truth is, it has not been a simple or smooth path since then. There have been some incredible highs and feelings of joy and freedom, as well as some real lows, filled with doubt and anxiety. But one thing I have learned through all of this is that we can influence our experience of life through the beliefs and thoughts that we choose, through the people and environments that we elect to surround ourselves with, and through the strength of our persistence and commitment that we decide to make.

In the end, I believe it is maybe less about the situations that we find ourselves in, and much more about us, and how we see the situation, interpret it, what we think about it and what we do with it. And if that is true, we can truly live the life we want starting right now, this very moment.  There is nothing we have to wait for – we don’t need the knight in shining armor to arrive and we don’t need to be in our dream job. We can "begin our life", or the next chapter in our life, and be happy right here, right now.

Friday, January 25, 2013

What If You Truly Lived In Accord With Your Heart’s Desire?

5 years ago, I was at a workshop, when our workshop leader, Raphael Cushnir, asked us to write what came to our mind when answering the question: What if I truly lived in accord with my heart’s desire?

I just recently reread what I had written 5 years ago. Here are some of the things I put down:

I said that I would continue on the path that I am on, following what I have always wanted to do, without fear or doubt.  I would not worry about failing, because I am doing what I want to do, what I am meant to do. I would try to help people be their authentic selves and facilitate their personal growth. I would not be afraid to try things that might not go anywhere, but would provide me with some learning. I would get a cat, since I have always wanted one. I would not be afraid to make powerful requests of people and ask for what I want and need in order to be successful in my quest. I would find a way to be peaceful every day. I would be in a loving relationship. I would no longer seek approval from the outside or look to others to determine the direction that I am going in. I would see myself as the leader in my own life. 

As I am looking at my life now, I realize that I have indeed followed my heart’s desire over the last 5 years. I am pursuing what I feel is my purpose in life, I am helping others be authentic and further their personal growth. I am a doggie Mommy (not a kitty, but close! ;-) ), I am in a loving relationship, and I have a daily morning practice that brings me peace.  The only difference is that I have pursued all of these things with fear and doubt present every step along the way.

My heart’s desire was that I would take this path without any fear or doubt. Without any worries of failing. Without being afraid to ask for what I want. Without seeking approval from others.

However, the truth is, every time we make changes in our lives, every time we step out of our comfort zone, every time we take a risk or try something new, our fears, doubts, and worries get triggered. They show up in various forms: Our Inner Critic comes out to judge and question what we are doing. We procrastinate in order to avoid failing or making a mistake. We escape into an activity that feels safe, whether that’s watching too much TV, overeating, or surfing the Web for hours on end. Or we throw ourselves into our work or keep ourselves so busy that we can’t breathe.

Can we live our hearts desire? Absolutely. Will fear, doubt, and worry come up along the way? You betcha. Will that keep us from what we really want? That is our choice to make.

If we truly want to live our hearts desire, we need to manage this fear and don’t let it run our life. And that takes practice. We can summon our Inner Champion to motivate and encourage us. We can acknowledge ourselves for every step we take. We can remind ourselves of all the positive feedback we get from others. And we can seek out friends, colleagues, mentors, coaches and groups to help and support us on this journey.

What if you truly lived in accord with your heart’s desire? 

What would your life look like? Take a moment to write down what comes to your mind. And as you embark on your journey of living the life you want, know that fears and doubts may come along for the ride, but if you surround yourself with the right support, they do not have to hold you back.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

When You Complain, You Make Yourself a Victim

"See if you can catch yourself complaining in either speech or thought, about a situation you find yourself in, what other people do or say, your surroundings, your life situation, even the weather. To complain is always nonacceptance of what is. It invariably carries an unconscious negative charge. When you complain, you make yourself a victim. Leave the situation or accept it. All else is madness."
~Eckhart Tolle

Friday, January 18, 2013

You Are Worthy

I found this beautiful poem to be a great reminder that it is our uniqueness that makes us special, to keep our hopes alive, and to cherish our life. 

I love the first 2 lines: "Do not undermine your worth by comparing yourself with others." 

How often do we compare ourselves without even realizing that we are hurting our self-worth by doing so?  Let's stop comparing and  remember: You Are Worthy.
You Are Worthy

Do not undermine your worth
By comparing yourself with others.

It is because we are different
That each of us is special.

Do not set your goals
By what other people deem important.
Only you know
What is best for you.

Do not take for granted
The things closest to your heart.
Cling to them as you would your life,
For without them,
Life is meaningless.

Do not let your life
Slip through your fingers
By living in the past
Nor for the future.

By living your life one day at a time,
You live all the days of your life.

Do not give up
When you still have something to give.
Nothing is really over
Until the moment you stop trying.

It is a fragile thread
That binds us to each other.

Do not be afraid to encounter risks.
It is by taking chances
That we learn how to be brave.

Do not shut love out of your life
By saying it is impossible to find.

The quickest way to receive love
Is to give love;
The fastest way to lose love
Is to hold it too tightly; 
In addition,
The best way to keep love
Is to give it wings.

Do not dismiss your dreams.
To be without dreams
Is to be without hope;
To be without hope
Is to be without purpose.

Do not run through life
So fast that you forget
Not only where you have been,
But also where you are going.

Life is not a race,
But a journey
To be savoured each step of the way.

~ Author Unknown

Monday, January 14, 2013

Why Do So Many New Year's Resolutions Fail?

I have seen this so many times. We start the New Year with the best intentions. This year is going to be different! I will finally lose weight, change my job, find love, etc.

But oftentimes, the motivation doesn't last. At some point, the enthusiasm peters out. Why does this happen?

There are many practices that helps us with our resolutions and goals: Understanding what we want, why we want it, what it will give us, getting emotionally connected with it, making a commitment, creating a plan/roadmap, ensuring it's a priority, building in accountability, surrounding ourselves with encouragement, and celebrating progress. But even if we do all the these things, there are a couple of big obstacles that often get in the way: Fears and Self-Limiting Beliefs

Fears can take on many forms: What if I make mistakes or fail, what if I get rejected, what if I let others down, what if it doesn't work out, etc. The list is endless.

Self-Limiting beliefs are any beliefs that feed on our fears. I do not deserve this, I cannot do this, I am too busy, too inexperienced, too young, too old, too shy, too impatient, etc. The list goes on. These beliefs might often be so ingrained that we are not even aware that they exist.

Combined, these two are a formidable force. Every time there is a setback, every time we hear a "no", every time something doesn't work out as planned, fear arises and the self-limiting belief gets activated. What to do?

The key is to break the cycle of fear and make a different choice each time it arises, and create new habits. We need to create an environment based on love, not fear. We need to seek out and feed compassion, kindness, positivity, joy, hope, faith, and optimism in our life. And we need to choose new beliefs that encourage, motivate, and support us instead.

If you would like to uncover some of the beliefs that are holding you back and choose and practice new ones, so you can finally realize your dreams and goals, join us this Wednesday for our "Overcome Self-limiting Beliefs to Reach Your Goals in 2013" workshop (Click here for workshop details and to sign up)

Don't let fears and self-limiting beliefs hold you back! Let's make 2013 an amazing year!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

You Are One Choice Away From A New Beginning

“Right now you are one choice away from a new beginning - one that leads you toward becoming the fullest human being you can be.”
~Oprah Winfrey