Saturday, February 28, 2015

Love Makes Your Soul Crawl Out From Its Hiding Place

Like most people I have hopes and dreams, but I also have fears and anxieties about my life's purpose. I am starting to realize that I can find my purpose and make it tangible.

Now, I have no delusion that I will ever be a top-selling recording artist, and it’s highly unlikely that I will ever win a Nobel Prize. But I know that I have at least some rudimentary writing skills and that I love writing.
I am a writer. I want to make it my life’s work in a way that is both personally satisfying and that adds something significant to the greater good.

I am virtually certain that all I need to become the writer I want to be is a massive amount of faith, practice, inspiration constructive criticism, late nights, improvement, rejection, anguish, and joy.
Ultimately everyone needs inspiration to keep them moving toward their dreams. If it's inspiration that is needed we only have to look to other ordinary people who are pursuing their dreams and passions.
We also have to realize that we can be the source of inspiration for others.
While we can’t always be role models for everyone in every specific endeavor, we can always offer encouraging words and support. It is amazing how a few encouraging words can be a catalyst for someone.
Encouragement can remind others that to be extraordinary, one only has to be ordinary!

The only thing we must remember is that people who have already realized their dreams didn’t just wake up one morning being extraordinary at what they do. They fiercely protected and nurtured their dreams.
If I want to make my dreams come true, I must do the same—and I must realize the things I want most are, in fact, entirely within me.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

We Love the Things We Love for What They Are

It is better to walk away from a job that does not fulfill you and bring you happiness than to continue to go through the motions in a job that drains you. After 20 years in Corporate America, making lots of money for the companies I worked for, I walked away and am now working to reinvent myself. It was scary to leave, but I've never been happier with a decision I've made.  

I remember when Oprah used to tell people to work at something that brings you happiness; that you're passionate about... the money would come. It used to bother me because I was not passionate about what I did. I was good at it, but I was not passionate about it. I just never thought that I would ever find a career that would suit me and fill that need.

Sometimes opportunities present themselves in the most difficult of situations and all we need to do is be open to the possibilities.  Through necessity, I found myself wanting to reinvent myself and perhaps find that passion that I lacked early in my career.  Now that I am beginning to realize what my dream is, I don't plan to look back.

The money does come, eventually, if you work hard enough at what you are doing.  I expect it to come in much better figures than it ever did with my salary.  I am setting my sights very high.  I am building the life of my dreams and mentoring others to do the same along the way. I am using my unique skill set to build my own business and it is more fulfilling than anything I've done in the past and certainly more fulfilling than I could have ever dreamed.  

The freedom to pursue your heart’s desires and to build on your passions is not over-rated. The freedom to design the life you want to live is the greatest gift you can give yourself!

Take small steps today, volunteer, network with others that have similar interests, practice what you love, imagine your dream life and start living as if it already exists. 

"If there is no passion in your life, then have you really lived?  Find your passion, whatever it may be.  Become it, and let it become you and you will find great things happen FOR you, TO you and BECAUSE of you.” – Alan Armstrong.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Your Gaze Across My Cheeks Turned Them to Strawberry Fields

“We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face…we must do that which we think we cannot.” –Eleanor Roosevelt 

I have always been a rebel—independent, and a bit of a loner. I’ve always prided myself on self-sufficiency.  

For me, this has served my current goal of doing what I want to do with my life, regardless of whether I have any support from the outside world or not. 
I love that I am doing what excites and challenges me.  I work on my goals as much as I can, day by day.  I know that if I stick to them, eventually, I will get to places and heights I've only dreamed of.  That doesn't mean every goal flows perfectly.  I have my challenges, too.

I think, as humans, we can all be a little too hard on ourselves, sometimes.  It is easy to put ourselves down and focus inwardly when we are having a bad day.  Most days, if asked, I would say that I am a happy positive productive person.  But there are days where I feel weighed down.  On those days, I end up worrying too much about problems and other people.  Those are the days where I try very hard to 'count my blessings' and I usually drag myself out of negative thinking. 

It's during these tough times that we should celebrate everything that is great about us.  I love the idea of writing a list, dancing around the room to music and generally reminding myself how much 'I rock'.  There is nothing like positive affirmations and great happy music to lift one's spirits.
Each instance where I have walked away from an emotionally damaging and draining situation has shown me more of my own strength.  In each moment I never knew what would happen next.  But I never let the unknown stop me from following my heart. 

The unknown may seem daunting, but it is a doorway to opportunities.  I realized that taking a leap of faith toward freedom from negativity far outweighed staying and enduring it.  The tears, the stress, the frustration, and the physical and mental toll that it takes on you are never worth it.  I’d rather have tears of laughter.  I’d rather help others find their way out of negative situations. 

Each time you rid yourself of negativity, you leave room for the positive.  For every negative situation I left behind, I came across many positives.  There are so many good people in the world and so much life to experience.

I tell you though - it takes great courage and character to live like this and I hope these words help others to see the light too.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

When My Heart is Heavy, the Sun Helps Make it Light

I have made many promises to myself over the last year.  For the entirety of the previous year, I was making decisions regarding my future.  All of those promises I made to myself were for the bettering of the person I am; to do things that safely bring me out of my comfort zone.  I resolved to use my words to speak my truth and to take all of the steps necessary towards doing what I have to do to shape the life I hope to lead.

Over the past year I think I've used my words to speak my truth.  I've asked uncomfortable questions.  I can even claim to have made some very bold statements.  Each time I did this, putting myself in the public eye got easier.  Maybe it will always be scary to have my name out there, but at least I am honoring myself and the decisions I've made for my future.

Taking the necessary steps to shape the life I hope to lead is tougher than I had imagined.  There are moments when the fear, and the potential discomfort created by that fear, has me frozen in place.  What happens when you are frozen in place?  You don’t get anywhere.  How am I going to attain my life's goal if I’m not moving forward?  I have to start moving my feet.  I need to be taking regular steps down this path.

We, every single person on this planet, are comprised of pieces.  We are all pieces of the past, pieces of the present, pieces of this and pieces of that. Nobody is a completely whole person free from having ever been cracked.  We have all let someone or something change our shape at some point, alter us for good or bad, and in some cases even break us.  We all have a tiny chink in our armor.  We’ve all, at some point in our existence, had to do our best to pull ourselves up and put ourselves back together.  As individuals, we’ve all grown and expanded over time.  Every single person has a story... something that has molded us into who we are.  We may not feel good about certain situations that have happened to us, and we may even hold on to our stories, using them as a crutch.  That doesn't mean that there is something wrong with us.  Personally, I don't feel that I am so ‘messed up’ from every experience I've had that I can't be loved.  I am human.  I am healing.  I am trying.  These unique pieces, our stories, are what bonds us together, connects us, allows us to understand one another.  We wouldn’t be connecting without these pieces.  We would all just stand around as whole, boring, perfect people with nothing to talk about.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Never Let Your Fear Decide Your Future

Blogging has always been something I have wanted to come back to again, one day, when life settled down.  I've always told myself that I would return when I could commit to writing consistently and with a focus, neither of which I had at the time when I initially set up this blog. 

I have never felt like I was barking up the wrong tree by blogging, but I did feel I needed to take several steps back.  I knew I needed to take more preliminary steps toward this goal.  What I really needed was time to get over certain fears and anxiety associated with technology and having my image posted on-line, accessible to everyone.

Instead of forcing myself to write content for this blog, I began reading other blogs and posting comments on them.  Sometimes I’d even receive positive feedback on my comments.  This gave me a much needed boost of confidence. 

I was already being paid to write freelance, but freelance writing is a different type of writing.  Freelance writing is technical writing.  There is nothing personal when you are writing content themed articles.  There is also the sense of being anonymous when you're writing for someone else.  Still, any type of writing was a win for me.  It has always been my dream to be a writer.

After a long hiatus, I feel ready to be here.  My small steps and little wins have given me the incentive, motivation and confidence to go for it.  

Achieving goals requires taking small steps.  Success reinforces success.  These are the simple steps I’ve been taking to reach my goals:

I break all my big goals and tasks down into smaller, doable tasks. 

I acknowledge every one of my accomplishments, however big or small.

I feel a sense of pride and joy in the job I'm doing. 

I take baby steps. 

I keep myself moving along the path I have created for myself. 

I allow myself to remain open to bigger possibilities and opportunities while I keep moving forward.

It’s easier to make a comeback from a little tumble than from a steep fall. It’s a shorter road back up.  So now I take baby steps, slow and steady, while I build up momentum.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Be Passionate and Bold

I’ve spoken with a number of people recently who are doing something that is “just okay” with their lives but who really want to be doing something else.  They feel an urgency to break free and go for it, even though they haven’t really defined what “it" is.

I think a lot of people, if not currently there, understand this feeling.  It’s in our nature to move toward greater experiences and goals.  I think as a society when we’re not progressing in a forward direction, we question ourselves, wondering what we’re doing with our lives—and what we’re waiting for.

And yet complacency often sets in and nothing changes.

I'm sure part of the issue is knowing where and how to start.  And there is most probably a fear of the unknown.  Both issues can prevent anyone from striving to make dreams reality or achieve lifelong goals.

The nature of commitment is in staying the course, going the distance, falling and getting back up again, and then continuing onward.

The question is: What are you committed to?  I think sometimes we mistakenly commit ourselves to the outcome without committing ourselves first to the process.

I know a person who talks about this book he wants to write.  He has it all mapped out in his head.  He's absolutely sure it's going to be a best seller.  He's convinced himself that it’s going to be made into a movie and it’s going to make him millions of dollars.

The problem is he hasn’t even written the first chapter.  He’s already committed himself to the outcome before being committed to the process.  The process would be showing up to write, writing the first word, getting a sentence out, followed by a paragraph, and then a full page.  That’s the commitment.

Outcome is all about “getting to the end.”  Process is about “being in the moment of each stage.”  The process can be humbling, lowly, and often times scary.

But only by committing to the process can we arrive at the outcome.

Therein lays the commitment.

So, the question is: What are you committed to?

Let's face it, dreaming is free and harmless if you don't allow it to blur your reality.  What people so often fail to realize is dreaming keeps you motivated and moving forward.  If we always looked at life as a sea of disappointments, then life is void of any real value.

I say keep on dreaming, follow the process, and don't stress over the outcome.  "This little lark" started with a big dream and each day it is unfolding before her eyes!
I have so many dreams that have already come true.  I tend to overlook them on a daily basis or when the going gets tough, but man have I been blessed beyond my wildest dreams already!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

You Can't Move Mountains by Whispering at Them

“What if life didn’t happen to you, it happened for you?”

What if I examined all of the things that had happened “to” me before and saw where it had led me?  What if I realized there was a purpose for every circumstance of difficulty, struggle, pain, and trauma?  How would my perspective change if I realized my quality of life is directly related to my reactions?

Would I stop and appreciate these moments of darkness, if I realized they were necessary to guide me to the light in my life?

With a change in focus, you can change your life. We all have the power to change our lives.

Instead of waiting for life to happen, make it happen. Instead of waiting for a change, create a change.
Living up to our full potential is not trying to avoid making mistakes. It’s giving it our all, wholeheartedly, with all we’ve got.

Professionally, I am now reconnecting with my full potential through everything I do.

I choose to explore. I choose to explore me. I choose me.

Living up to my full potential is doing my thing at my pace, in my own fabulous, imperfect way.

Some will like it, some won’t. Living up to my full potential is being cool with that instead of trying to please everyone else.

I’m done living someone else’s life. Living up to my full potential is giving myself permission to be who I am and tapping into my unique me.

I feel empowered, scared and excited, proud and determined, playful and inspired; these are just a few of my new daily companions on this long, fascinating, winding road that is living up to my full potential.

And they didn’t come into my life by accident. I choose to invite them in. One empowering thought at a time.