April 30th, 2009
The other day, I took a walk and noticed a big sign that read, “Road Work Ahead.” Then I thought, what a great representation of life. Right when you think you’ve got life figured out, some obstacle, a roadblock, challenges you to rethink your life and you’re stuck asking yourself that age old question, “Why me?”
Life IS about change after all and though we sometimes want to avoid it, there will always be more roads to build, more paths to heal, and more decisions to be made. The great thing is that the choice is always in our hands. Do we, for example, when faced with an obstacle turn around and run the other way, keep trekking on, or take a break and reflect on where we’ll go next?
Regardless of how we respond, the great thing about signs is that it reminds us that life can be as magical as it was when we were kids. The magic lies in the small, seemingly insignificant events filled with miracles and signs of hope that’ll lead you to the real gold at the end of the rainbow, your dreams. The key is to open our eyes and hearts to possibility and be fully present in every day moments like these and have the courage to take a deep breath and plow ahead.
April 28th, 2009
I bought these great Self-Care cards from Cheryl Richardson ($10.85 from Amazon.com) awhile ago which I used to use when I counseled kids. Once in awhile I like to take them out and randomly pull three in a kind of fortune-telling for fun game. Today I chose Silence, Tenderness and Relaxation dealing with resting, doing nothing and being kind to myself. I thought it was an interesting trio especially since I have been home sick for a few days.
Catching the “busy-itis” bug most of my life has made doing nothing seem extremely difficult for me. Even being sick is not enough of a reason for me to lie down and do nothing for the day. I tried it yesterday and looked out the window, noticed how dirty it was and spent an hour cleaning it.
While my hubby is enjoying himself watching TV or surfing the Internet, you can usually find me washing dishes, working on an article or planning my next project. I even asked him the other day, what would happen if he didn’t watch TV or play his online computer game. His reply? ”You want me to stare off into space and do nothing?” Although it seemed kind of funny at first, I started to wonder, maybe all of us need to tune out from the outside world every once in awhile, so that we can learn to turn in to ourselves.
The way the world is today, we’re constantly doing something-updating our Twitter or Facebook accounts, texting our friends, or even writing our blogs. Are we becoming more connected or even more disconnected these days? As a child I would sit and look outside my front door at the rain drops falling on the concrete and dream. That’s when the sound of water falling engendered relaxation and creativity, not anxiety. It made me wonder how much of us today take the time to just be.
Pulling those three cards was an “ah-ha” moment for me. Hopefully it will be a constant reminder about the importance of nothingness. It is, after all, in nothingness that we gain insight, develop problem solving ideas, heal and recuperate and begin the process of creativity from potential to reality.
April 28th, 2009
“The only courage you really need is to live the life of your dreams.”
April 27th, 2009
John and Sherry did it when they decided to go from advertising copywriters of a well-known ad agency to Sherry working full-time on their delicious blog This Young House. David Wroblewski nailed it when he went from successful software programmer to first time best-selling novelist of The Story of Edgar Sawtelle. What do they have in common? They took that big leap into the world of the unknown.
At every fork in the road, we have two choices: we can either take the easy road and save our dreams for a rainy day or we can venture out even before we feel ready to meet fear head on and take that leap. Before I started writing again, I thought that I had to wait for something, for permission, a sign, anything, to make sure I was on the right path. What I learned was that to do something you want to do…you actually have to do it! What a concept. The difficult part, however, is to deal with the fears that starts to come up when you want your dream to be more than something that happens when you’re asleep. Questions like, “Will I be good enough?” start to creep up. Right now, I’m working on an article that hopefully will get published. It’s exciting yet scary. It’s easier to stay where you are then to take that big leap into the unknown. But whenever I get to that scary place, I remember that millions of people have already done what I’m doing, and they survived…even better than that is that they lived!
April 24th, 2009
When you’re venturing out in the world to do something big, something that’s important to you, whether it’s starting a business or finding your purpose, it’s easy to get discouraged. The more we have to give the world, the greater our fears of being rejected. The world can seem like a cold, harsh place where any feedback can feel more personal. It’s a lot easier to do something safe, then to take a giant step outside of our comfort zones to really risk our most valuable treasure…our souls.
That’s why I have so much admiration for those who risk it all. Who put their hearts, financial security or even practicality on the line to go for what really matters. We have only one life after all! Why not live it to the fullest degree possible?!
And for those of us who are not there yet, or who are there but still have bad days every once in awhile, this post is dedicated to you! Keep going. Don’t give up. The rainbow is right around the corner. And the gold that you find will be more precious than the kind around your neck or finger. It’s the knowledge that you did it! You took the risk. You put your heart out. You are truly alive! And honestly, that’s all any of us really want or could ask for.
Here’s a prayer I found on Beliefnet.com and by Vienna Cobb Anderson for all of you dreamers out there!
We pray for the dreamers of this life, O God,
for those persons who imagine new possibilities,
who long for what others cannot perceive,
who spin dreams of wonder and majesty in their minds.
Defend them from ridicule and harsh criticism,
from self-doubt and lack of faith in their dreams,
and from abandonment of this call to make things new.
Grant that from their dreams
may come forth blessings for humankind
to enrich the quality of life
and the wonderment of us all.
- Vienna Cobb Anderson
April 16th, 2009
I’m noticing a pattern these days with successful people and you may be surprised by what I’ve observed. On Oprah, for example, Carrie Underwood said she never dreamed that her life would be about singing. She said although it would have been nice, unlike other people, she never spent her life dreaming about being a singer-that everything just seem to come easy for her. On one of my favorite blogs, This Young House, design couple John and Sherry Petersik have transformed themselves into superstar designers receiving a flurry of media attention on everywhere from CNN and HGTV to DIY and The Nest magazines. When asked how they were able to obtain such coveted opportunities by Decor Medley, the couple said that a lot of it was by chance. The publications sought them out and essentially came to them after having seen their blog. What started as their desire to renovate their 50 year old ranch house and blog about it to keep their friends and family updated, transformed into a full blown successful career. I know of a lot of other people personally who found their life calling “by chance.” In fact, Oprah always says, “Find your passion and the money will follow.” Her own successful path began when she was pulled off of the regular news and dumped onto the morning show. She said she felt like things just fell into place from there felt she had found her passion. This got me thinking…Maybe we all have a calling that’s just waiting for us to be brave enough, open enough and ready to take the call.
Tip: Try finding something that comes easy for you and that you enjoy. That seems to be the secret at least for the people in these three stories. Also, check out Jean Chatzky’s article about finding your passion.
The main idea is that these people were not trying desperately to make money but were driven by their dreams. It seems that connecting with one’s true purpose not out of fear or desperation but out of their desires and passions, led them to live a life that financially provides for them.
April 9th, 2009
I’m noticing a trend lately with people stuck in jobs they dislike out of fear of the alternative. Hearing about how thousands of people are being laid-off, those of us who are lucky enough to have a job, hold on to it with our life. With that being said, though we are grateful, how do we continue to stay in jobs we hate for the love of money?
Monster.com has an article on ways to stay happy at work. Doing things like making friends, eating healthy and getting organized are things we probably already know. But there are other things you can do that the article suggests that we may take for granted, such as focusing on the positives at work whether that may be as miniscule as liking the peace and quiet of your cubicle or enjoying your lunch hour. The more you focus on what is good about the place you’re at, the easier it will be to be there. Elizabeth Lesser, co-founder of the Omega Institute in New York who also has a spot on Oprah’s XM radio show, talked to Oprah about how being present in your job will also help you get clearer about what you want to do. Sometimes it will bring you opportunities when a new position opens or it will give you an answer about whether you should stay or start getting ready to go.
For me, I try to take every moment as they come. Using my lunch hour to either get to know a co-worker better or to catch up on my writing or reading. Those moments have taught me patience and appreciation. I know that eventually the reason for my purpose in this moment will show, so in the meantime I’m working on keeping myself inspired, motivated and prepared for the next phase of my life.