The Call That Beckons You to Answer

FreedomThe truth doesn’t show itself in niceties.

It doesn’t come from pushing down, holding back, staying polite, but angry.

Honesty doesn’t derive from hiding away, pretending everything is all right.

It is a force that won’t be ignored

that will rattle, ruin and rot your insides

if not answered to be released.

The call is not to mold yourself into the other

The answer is to embrace the fear and stand in it courageously.

The real battle isn’t with the skeletons out there

The real fight is in you.

“Will you listen?” it asks.

Will you confront the real issue that makes you erupt in jealousy, resentment and fear?

Underneath all the Dolce & Gabbana, the Kate Spade and the LV,

do you love me?

will you see me?

do you know that you are enough?

Instead we wait for the questions to be answered from the outside

in promotions, accolades, Facebook fame, and relationships

But none can soothe the soul like the person staring back at us.

The only way then—

is the way-

Courageously walk through the tangled mess of shadows that represent our insecurities, doubt and ugliness-our dramatic personalities, our imperfect gait, our artistic insights, our sensitivities, our quirkiness.

They may not have loved it about you.

They may have tried to quell it in you.

But it is the ticket to your freedom so LET IT SCREAM, DANCE, AND FLY!

Release it.

Let it go.

Join us.

Be the one who is brave enough to fully live who you were born to be.

You deserve nothing less.

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The Surprising Trick to Figure Out Your Life Purpose

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What if the key to discovering your true purpose lied hidden, placed somewhere you never looked?

What if it’s not in your strengths that reveal your passion, but your weaknesses?

Is it possible that the qualities you thought were your worst traits are actually your strongest?

Could it be that others have deemed them misgivings because they are intimidated by them?

Maybe you’re not bossy, but you have leadership qualities that are not being taken advantage of.

Maybe your indecisiveness is a consequence of being compassionate and your flightiness is the result of unused creativity.

Think about all the things you’re trying to hide in your life out of fear you’ll be rejected. Maybe those are the very characteristics that would lead to your true purpose.

If you release your fear of being judged (*and your need to judge others) you might just discover the “you” that the world needs.

Chew on that in 2016.

*Addition via Cathy’s comment below.

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Embrace Your Weirdness

{Etsy journal by WordsIGiveBy}

{Etsy journal by WordsIGiveBy}

I spent the majority of my youth, shying away from what made me weird. I hated to stick out from the crowd so I used of a great deal of energy trying my best to dumb it down.

Boy do I wish I hadn’t done that.

When age allowed me the freedom to be my weird self, I realized that what made me unique was a gift, not a weakness. If everyone was the same, life would be boring, if not, impossible. It’s the things that separate us as people that helps us to survive, thrive and to be human. In fact, if you can hone in on what it is about you that sets you apart from a friend or neighbor, you might discover the key to your life’s purpose.

On Oprah’s Master Class, Diahann Carroll says the following about her childhood:

“I was being singled out. I was being, ‘Who does she think she is?’ kind of. It’s part of why people respond to you. It’s seeing the need you have to share whatever you have that makes you special. The unkind things that they say and do, it’s because you threaten them. Your responsibility is to find out why do you think you’re special and is it something that you can pursue and where will you find your support group? We always criticize each other first.”

Her advice is key to finding and fulfilling your passion. To figure it out, you must first devote time to discovering what people criticize you most about. What are they talking about when they ask, “What makes you think you can do this when no one else can?” It’s this type of feedback which feels harsh and judgmental that can signal you to what you were really meant to do in life.

Although I didn’t feel this way at the time, I now am grateful for those people in my life. It reminded me that I did have something to offer the world. My gift bubbled up to the surface because of the people who pointed it out.

As Marianne Williamson has been quoted as saying many times over: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.’ We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?”

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Adjusting to a New Place

{by The Inspiring Bee}

Life is not supposed to be easy.

We’re not meant to sit in hammocks and twiddle our thumbs. We’re grown to be both hard and soft, both strong and vulnerable. We’re built to withstand hardship and to be supple and weak. We know this as children. We know it inherently, which is why children laugh as hard as they cry, play as hard as they sleep. We just forget as we lose our baby fat and childlike sensibilities.

But life does not want us to stay set in our own ways. It wiggles and shakes us to move. It sends storms our way and removes our umbrellas, raincoats and even the roof over our head in an effort to remind us: “You were meant to live BIG!”

It calls us over and makes us say things like:

“This is so unfair. It shouldn’t have to be this way. Why me??!!!”

And when we’re on the floor, sobbing in waves, breathless and tired and weak, it shows us a light. It reminds us that through sorrow and struggle, a door opens. It’s THE way. The path that was always meant for us to walk through. We just were too busy trying to lose weight, buy the perfect house or carve out the perfect life, to see it.

But as the dust settles and we find our place, the light, which was peaking through a small crack in the door grows brilliant. It shines over us and heals what we didn’t know needed healing. We realize that what once we labeled “tragic” was an unexpected blessing.

The new place feels unfamiliar and scary, but we dip our toes in it anyway. We sense as we leave our old life, a shift. We feel both sad about what we’ve lost, but ever hopeful for what we’re about to gain. It’s through this process of continuing to have hope and faith that lands us to the life we were meant to live. It’s the breaking through that gives the journey meaning.

As I walk on sand instead of concrete, my physical move has taken shape to an emotional one. Life cannot exist independent on what we’re going through internally. We must also shift with our physical experience and circumstances. In light of what ever you are going through, remember that where you are now is where you are supposed to be. Remember that you have the tools to get you through whatever you’re going through. And above all this, remember the light of grace that will always pave the way even when the world seems to have gone dark.

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The Surprising Thing That’s Causing You Suffering

{flickr photo}

What’s causing you the most suffering in life isn’t the things you don’t have or even not being grateful for the things you do. The reason why most of us endure so much unnecessary pain is that we believe in the picture painted by another artist’s brush. To put it simply, understanding why you’re in grief right now, could be due to these two reasons:

1) You believe that you’re not living the life that you’re supposed to have.

2) You know this because you compare yourself to other people your age and just don’t measure up.

“People suffer when they pursue a life or chase a dream that doesn’t belong to them.” – Carolyn Myss, Anatomy of the Spirit

A lot of times we get caught up in somebody else’s light and in doing so get lost in our own shadows. I think people who read blogs, listen to webinars or read biographies (me included) get swept up in the success of others. We’re drawn to it like a moth is drawn to a flame. At first, we’re attracted because we want so much to be that successful. And hope that by spending as much time with these people, we will catch some of their star power and be like them.

The truth is…

{Read more on my Beliefnet Health blog Happy Haven.}

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How to Bring Meaning Back Into Your Life

{photo by The Inspiring Bee}

Have you lost that loving feeling for your current job? Has blogging become a monotonous activity? Do you find yourself daydreaming about the other life you didn’t take?

If you said, “Yes,” to the following, there are probably two reasons why you’re going through what you’re going through:

1) You’re ready for change.

2) You’ve lost the purpose of why you’re doing it all in the first place.

The good news is that what you’re going through is normal. It’s just our intuitive voice nudging us in a different direction. It’s saying, “Hey maybe it’s time you refocus your life.” Or, “When was the last time you did something meaningful in your life?”

If you keep going without adhering to that voice, you will seek deeper and deeper into a fit of unhappiness so great that you may even lose yourself.

Wake up now before it’s too late.

How to Bring Meaning Back

1. Revisit your goals. Remember that goal you had in 2011 to take a photography class, give back to your community or learn how to paint? Maybe it’s time you do that. There’s no time like now to begin fulfilling your purpose.

2. Discover what your purpose is. Is it to help others, be more creative, have more meaningful moments in your life? Perhaps along the way you gave up on your dreams. You let life derail you from getting what you want or believing it was possible. You create your life. Find out what you want out of it and just let yourself dream of its possibility. You’ll be amazed and how that tiny shift can ripple into big shifts into and what you think you can do in your life.

3. Surround yourself with people who are living their purpose. There’s nothing that will bring you down more than someone who has become jaded with time. But the same can be said of someone who’s lived their dreams. They’ll inspire you, remind you that with perseverance, determination and courage you can also achieve your goals. They may even give you the push you need to achieve greater meaning in your life.

4. Do less. It may seem crazy that doing less could bring more meaning into your life, but it can. Feeling burnt out and overwhelmed can suck out inspiration and meaning faster than anything else. It can make you forget that life is supposed to be magical and beautiful instead of tedious and predictable. Giving yourself time to explore life, to literally smell the roses, can help you to redefine what’s really important in life. And in doing so, you may begin to incorporate more meaningful activities and less busy ones.

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Where the Answers Are

{flickr photo}

I spent the long holiday weekend in Georgia where my husband and I had one adventure after another. We saw alligators, hiked through the sweltering heat, and biked in a downpour. But of everything we saw, witnessed, and adored, it was a single activity that brought me back to peace. And why Georgia’s still on my mind.

It was a labyrinth on a farm that got me to where the answers are. Beneath the haven of a green Georgia tree, there was a rock labyrinth. It was bigger than the one we walked in Sedona. But just as beautiful. Without word, we went straight toward it. And like a record player, followed the grooves, falling deeper and deeper into a sense of peace.

When you’re busy moving through life, you forget the little things.  When you’re on your iPhone, you don’t feel the breeze on your face. You don’t hear the birds chirping out the window. You don’t give yourself enough time, space or silence before you fill it with busyness. And that’s a shame. Because under that tree, walking upon the earth, you’ll find the answers that you’ve been searching for.

There’s something about walking slowly that awakens the spirit. It’s the feeling of the ground upon your feet, the pause between steps, that makes every step feel intentional, with purpose, instead of towards a single goal.

But it is also the labyrinth itself that has a way of telling the story of your life. As my husband and I…

{Read more on my new blog Happy Haven for Beliefnet Health.}

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