Spending Time

If you are not satisfied with your life right now, you need to look at how you are spending your time, because how you spend your time IS YOUR LIFE.

Most of us feel like we don’t have enough time. We feel stressed out, worried, overwhelmed by the demands of our day-to-day life. If we allow that pattern to continue, we will remain on the Hamster Wheel indefinitely, and ultimately we will reach the end of our lives with nothing to show for it. Is that what you want? I doubt it.

We become overwhelmed because there is just so much to do, and we think we need to do it all. There are a lot of demands in our personal lives. There are things to do at work. It’s easy to convince ourselves that there is a shortage – a scarcity – of time. Then we start using the fact that we are busy as an excuse to defend ourselves from other obligations.

Change your thinking about time. Think of it as being abundant. Tell yourself, “I have all the time in the world.” Once you start saying that to yourself, you will notice when you are wasting time doing things that are not really important. The truth is that there’s only one thing to do and that is the one thing you are doing right now. Question whether or not you really want to be doing that one thing.

To do your best work in the present moment, you need to be centered and focused. When you do that, you take your mind off all the other things that make you feel like time is scarce. Here are 3 secrets to achieving a sense of time abundance:

Stop using time as an excuse

Notice when you are saying to yourself, “I don’t have enough time” and then look for the truth. When you feel like you don’t have enough time, it’s usually because you are doing something that you don’t want to spend time on. You have other priorities that are more important to you.

Relax your timelines

Give yourself more time to get projects done, because in general, it takes more time to get something done than we expect.

Master your boredom

We say we want more time, but then we get it, we start filling it up with “stuff”, like watching TV, picking up the phone, grabbing a magazine, surfing the web, posting on Facebook, etc. etc. Pay attention to those times when you feel bored and just be present to it. Acknowledge your gratitude for having time to just appreciate life.

Please let me know your thoughts on this subject below!

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Forgiving and Honoring Ourselves and Others

Too often in our lives, we hold on to experiences that are connected to resentment, anger, and guilt. They are our “dead weights”.  We are, figuratively speaking, hauling around with us a heavy anchor attached to our ankle with a thick chain. What are you hanging on to that you have long since needed to discard?

Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could have been any different. In recognizing that, we also recognize that it’s past time to discard the resentment, anger, and guilt that have weighed us down.

 

Forgiving Ourselves

In forgiving ourselves, we recognize that the past cannot be changed but, at the same time, we realize that the past can be healed. Life review helps us become aware of aspects of our past that have been hidden in our sub-conscious mind. Though we are not consciously aware of them, they often have continued to influence us.

A tool for self-forgiveness is to write or record an autobiography. This allows us to reflect on experiences from our past in order to gain new insights or understandings. From that, we may discover things we need to do in order to heal the past. Or maybe we will find that we have been telling ourselves a story over the years that may not actually be true!

Yes, we have a story, but we are NOT our story. We have a history, but we are NOT our history. What stories have you been telling yourself?

In the late 1960’s, a man named Scott filed as a Conscientious Objector when he feared being drafted to fight in the Vietnam War. He had a very strong feeling that he did not want to be involved in any actions that brought physical harm to anybody else. His first filing was rejected, and then in the course of his appeals, the war ended.

Scott’s friends started coming home, many with lost limbs and many more with “broken hearts” over what they had been forced to endure, and then to come home to a society that rejected them. Scott began feeling guilty that he had avoided being drafted. He had the feeling that because he didn’t sacrifice like his friends had, he no longer deserved good things in his life.

As he grew older, Scott became a successful businessman, but he felt disconnected. He found that he was unable to give of his heart in any of his relationships. He felt isolated, even though he was married and had children.

Eventually, Scott began to seek spiritual guidance and practice the principles he learned to recognize that there was more to him than the person who registered as a C.O. during the Vietnam war. He went back and took a look at that time in his life and realized that at the time, he was doing what he really thought was right. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to serve his country; he just didn’t want to be involved in physical violence towards another human being.

He wanted very badly to break free from the guilt that he had been feeling, so he began looking for ways he could be of service to the community. At one point he was serving as the volunteer president of a contractor’s organization. He prayed that he would be able to do something really significant for the community during his tenure.

Within a week or two of becoming president, he was called by someone who told him about a group of Vietnam veterans who wanted to build a memorial to honor those from their city who had lost their lives during the war. They needed a lot of construction work done and could Scott’s group help out?

It was a divine fit for Scott. He became a spokesperson to the other contractors and under his presidency, the Vietnam Memorial for the State of Oregon was built. At the dedication, Scott was celebrated for his volunteer efforts, but he wasn’t comfortable with that. He began to confess to the crowd the burden he had been carrying for years. Despite his fear of rejection, he told of his decision to file as a C.O. The acceptance he received and the many tears that followed – his and those of others – he was able to finally cleanse himself of the guilt and unburden himself, knowing that he had given back through this effort and was deserving of a good life after all.

With some effort, we can heal from the past, learn from it and find that we no longer regret something that happened. In many cases, we just need to acknowledge that we did the best we could, given the awareness we had at the time.

 

Forgiving Others

In forgiving others, most of us have a grave misunderstanding. Lack of forgiveness hurts us more than the one who has offended us. We are imprisoned by our anger and pain.

We acknowledge that forgiveness does not justify the act that caused us suffering. But what we recognize is that forgiveness enables us to fully experience the pain and then let it go. We are then able to continue growing, rather than allowing ourselves to perpetuate our sense of being a victim.

A friend of mine, Teri, had a mother who was mentally ill. As a child, she couldn’t understand or accept her mother’s behavior, but was the oldest of five children and had to sometimes intervene to protect her siblings when her mother would suddenly burst out in a violent rage. Not surprisingly, she grew to hate her mother and feel sorry for herself.

When she was old enough to leave home, she wanted to completely remove herself from the situation. She was able to do that physically, but the resentment she felt towards her mother was affecting everything in her life. She wanted to be more deserving. She wanted to lead a fulfilling life, but the energy she was holding onto about her mother was sabotaging her efforts.

Finally, Teri made a decision to change this. She knew she couldn’t change her mother, but she could change her inner relationship with her mother. We can all do that. We can’t change what’s happened in our lives but we absolutely can change our perception of what happened.

Teri was ultimately able to transform her resentment and hatred towards her mother into a practice of being grateful. She was never grateful FOR her mother and the treatment inflicted on those around her, but she was able to be grateful IN the relationship once she changed her perspective.

Teri had come to a place where she realized that she did not want to feel resentment for the woman who gave her life. Her mother was going to continue being mentally ill and be almost unbearable to be around, but Teri was able to change her experience of her mother. She refused to let her mother control her (Teri’s) inner state of being. Once she did that, she saw her mother in a whole new light.

She saw her mother as a frightened woman who could only ask for love through her illness in ways that repulsed those around her. And she saw an innocence in that behavior, which replaced the resentment she had felt before. Teri was able to shift her energy despite the circumstances. She did not feel grateful FOR the life she had with her mother, but she did feel grateful IN the life she had with her mother.

At the end of the day, forgiveness is a choice we make. It’s not an easy choice because it usually requires us to do a lot of work on ourselves. We might even feel some grief as we let go of resentment that has felt like it is part of our identity.

Forgiveness doesn’t change the past, but it changes the present and transforms the future.

As an exercise, the next time you are upset by something that someone has done or said, consider assuming that there is part of the story that you are missing. Assume that this story, if you knew it, would give the other person reason enough for their behavior. Describe how you might respond to that situation given that new understanding.


Your comments are welcome below.

If you know someone who would appreciate this information, please forward it to them.

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Releasing the Voice Within

As we grow up, we learn to be cautious about what we say out loud. Will we offend someone? Will we hurt someone’s feelings? Will we open ourselves up to ridicule? We tread on a fine line between “telling our truth” and protecting ourselves and others by not saying everything that comes to mind. How do we discern what needs to be said and what we should keep to ourselves?

 

I fault on the side of withholding information about what I am thinking and feeling. As a result, I have misled others unnecessarily perhaps. If we don’t reveal what we want and then later resent that we didn’t get what we wanted, no one is to blame but ourselves. A resentment that smolders in our hearts may ultimately destroy the love we have for another person, and it will be too late to easily regain it.

 

Unlearning something so embedded in our daily behavior is a tall order. Opening ourselves up to the risk of rejection is uncomfortable, but we must find the courage to do so. There are some guidelines we can follow to make things easier.

 

  • Don’t expect the other person to know about us, our feelings, and our needs.
  • Don’t assume we know what the other person thinks or feels. They have their own inner voice that affects their interpretation of what we might say.
  • As we convert thought and imagination into sound, releasing it from our minds into the outside world, think of it as an act of creation. This will carry energy and intention with it, which will help the other person to understand us and make it more likely that our wishes will come true.

 

When there is truth in your being, God is always with you. When God is with you, there is no question of failure. Live your truth and not a life that others want you to live.

Apoorve Dubey

 

Your comments are very welcome. Please share below.

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Aged to Perfection

I am not old … she said …

I am rare.

I am the standing ovation at the end of the play.

I am the retrospective

Of my life as art.

I am the hours

Connected like dots

Into good sense.

I am the fullness

Of existing.

You think I am waiting to die …

But I am waiting to be found.

I am a treasure.

I am a map.

And these wrinkles are Imprints of my journey.

Ask me anything.

Samantha Reynolds

 

Like a fine wine . . .

As an “older” person, I can identify with the opportunities and challenges of aging.  And I’ve been doing it all my life. You’d think I’d have it under control, right? 

Aging comes with blessings and with curses. As Wendy Lustbader says in her book, Life Gets Better: The Unexpected Pleasures of Getting Older:

Rather than experiencing a decline from youth, aging people were happier, more courageous, and more interested in being true to their inner selves than were young people.

But there is a duality to contend with. 

Life gets better and better in all ways . . . except for the body . . .

How do we maximize all the ways that life can get better as we age, and yet also meet the very real stresses of aging with as much grace and control as we can?

The Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) has developed a Conscious Aging Program, dealing with this dilemma. In 1997, they began to research what happens to people during transformations and found that there are indeed common elements, which they describe in their book, “Living Deeply: The Art and Science of Transformation in Everyday Life”. They found that during transformation, there is a profound shift in perception, often resulting in an increased sense of purpose, meaning and pro-social behavior.

In November 2016, I was certified as a Facilitator for the Conscious Aging 8-session workshop series, which I will be presenting at a local senior center over the next couple of months. I am sure I will learn even more about aging — its challenges and its rewards — from the workshop participants. Everyone’s journey will be have been different, but I expect to find that there are commonalities, just as IONS did through their research. I will publish an update to this blog at a later date with my real-life experiences as the facilitator of the series.

IONS identified opportunities for meaning and life getting better, while also revealing the stresses of aging. 

LIFE GETTING BETTER:

  • Freedom from productivity demands
  • Legacy leaving
  • Mentor children and adults
  • Heal old wounds and betrayals
  • Harvest our strengths, love and wisdom
  • Protect what has heart and meaning
  • Making sense of our lives through a life review process

STRESSES OF AGING:

  • Solo aging
  • Death of loved ones
  • Major life changes
  • Loss of mental or physical abilities
  • Loss of relevance, former roles and/or activities
  • Isolation and loneliness

Desired outcomes from the workshop series include:

  1. Explore unexamined, self-limiting beliefs
  2. Develop self-compassion
  3. Discover and reflect on what has given heart and meaning to our lives
  4. Enhance connection and reduce isolation from others
  5. Reduce fear and increase acceptance in the presence of death and dying

I am really looking forward to delivering this series to the senior center. If you are affiliated with senior centers or retirement homes in the Portland, Oregon metro area, I would love to speak with you about holding the series at those places.

In the meantime, your comments or questions are enthusiastically received!

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Share Your Gift With the World!

Every gift lying dormant in your soul has the potential to fill a void in someone else’s life.

~ Madisyn Taylor, The DailyOM 

Life is a journey that provides us with opportunities to learn, grow and share with others. So, why aren’t you sharing your gifts — be that knowledge or know-how — with others? If you are like me, you have been telling yourself that what you have to offer isn’t important enough, or good enough, or worthy enough to share. But how do you know that?

Recently, I shared an experience with my Toastmasters group that happened over 40 years ago. That experience is as vivid today as it was at the time. While I often write about my experiences in a journal, I did not write about this one, and yet the details are etched into my brain. That was an experience that is important to share. The gift I received from having that experience might be just what someone else needs to hear right now. 

I am in the process of writing a book — From Quandary to Clarity: The Guide You Need to Live an Authentic Life. As part of the preparation for writing, I thought about what I wish I had learned when I was much younger that would have prepared me better for what lay ahead. I brainstormed some questions and answers and am using that to inform me about what to share in the book.

Is it possible that you have gifts — ones that you were born with and ones that you acquired along the way — that someone else might find beneficial?  I believe you do. Whether you share those gifts through creative expression, or helping someone else, or in providing the opportunity for someone to become more aware, the value is immeasurable. Let your light shine! The world needs you.

Please leave your comments or questions below.

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Dealing with turbulent times

” . . . we can never know what will happen to us next. We can try to control the uncontrollable by looking for security and predictability, always hoping to be comfortable and safe. But the truth is that we can never avoid uncertainty. This not-knowing is part of the adventure. It’s also what makes us afraid.”

Pema Chödron, “Comfortable with Uncertainty”

The Tree of Life is a common symbol in many of the world’s religions, and it is present in spiritual teachings throughout Asia, North America and Australia. The tree often serves as a symbolic center of the universe, either the source of life on earth or a way of transferring divine knowledge to humans. We understand that there is a life cycle by watching the tree change through the seasons. In the Fall, the leaves change color and drop from the tree, symbolizing the end of that part of the cycle. In the Spring, new leaves appear on the tree, beginning a new cycle. In between is the Winter. It is during this phase of the cycle that nothing seems to be happening. It is a sort of limbo state and we may feel uncertain about the future. Will the tree “come back to life” in the Spring, or is it dead and gone?

As with the tree of life, we as humans go through cycles — both individually and as a community. We understand that change is inevitable. It’s the one constant, right? Knowing that intellectually is not very helpful when we are going through the throes of a major change, such as the one we seem to be experiencing now, both in our country and around the world. These periods of transition when we cannot know what will happen next, require of us a heightened level of resilience. We must have faith that all will somehow work itself out. No easy task.

A transition is the phase between an ending and a new beginning, and it can feel turbulent or chaotic. The more we can become resilient, the more easily and sanely we can move toward an uncertain future. Often we are asked to take risks that are uncomfortable. Yet we know we must do our best to move in the direction of what we believe is good without any proof of the result. We must act in the face of fear.

Think about a time in your past when there was a major transition. Perhaps it is linked in time with something anticipated, like a graduation, a marriage, the birth of a baby. Sometimes it occurs on its own. When I think back to a time when I felt lost and afraid, it was the Summer and Fall after I graduated from high school. Too many things changed at one time for me to absorb the impact easily. To begin with, I had just broken up with my boyfriend of 2½ years (his idea, not mine). Secondly, I got a job working in a restaurant and made friends with the cook on my shift, who later was arrested for embezzlement (loss of innocence). Third, my parents took long, separate vacations and put my older sister and her husband in charge of the three younger siblings. She was only 2½ years older than I. There was no way I was willing to have her tell me what to do! Fourth, I would start college in the Fall in New Mexico (out of state), and had no idea what to expect. I would be away from home for an extended time for the first time in my life, living in a dorm with people I didn’t know, finding my way on a large campus and learning a whole new way of being. 

When have you felt plunged into a major change (willingly or unwillingly)? How were you able to cope? 

During that Summer I tried to stay busy by working at two different jobs (one part-time and one full-time). I started dating again, but didn’t pick boys who were very respectful of me. Once I got to the University of New Mexico in the Fall, I immediately started marking off days on the calendar leading up to Thanksgiving, looking forward to going home and possibly reconciling with my long-time boyfriend from high school. Sometimes I wandered alone on campus sobbing uncontrollably, because I was so homesick. I was scared, felt insecure and had low self-esteem.  

After the Holidays, when I returned to college at the end of January, I began to see that things weren’t as bad as I had thought. I met new people, started dating and focused on my studies. The time went by more quickly and the world seemed less intimidating. I had finally reached that “new beginning”, that marked the end of the transition period.

We learn from our past experiences, but every change is different. Because the turbulence of our current times is so widespread, we can easily feel helpless and afraid. What can we do? How can we cope? How can we strengthen our resilience?

Resilience is the act of staying healthy and whole, so that we can bounce back from chaos and turbulence. Here are 4 ways that we can build our resilience.

  1. Stay connected to reality – Wwhile it’s difficult to face what’s happening, we can’t just go to bed and pull the covers over our head for very long. We must acknowledge what’s going on.
  2. Find meaning in the change that is happening – We can identify stories that we are telling ourselves and question their validity. We can use spiritual reflection to answer the big questions that come up, disengaging from the egoic part of our mind that strives to keep us stuck in the past.
  3. Create something new by using something that’s already at hand – We can take a look at what strengths we already have, and take steps from where we are and what we CAN do in the present moment.
  4. Connect to other people in solidarity – Difficult times are not the times to isolate ourselves. We need to connect with other people within the communities we already belong to, and seek out new communities of like-minded people.

There are spiritual practices that can help us be more resilient. Here are a few for consideration:

  • meditation
  • prayer
  • time in nature
  • practice the arts
  • gratitude
  • social justice work

There is a meditation that I have prepared – “The Peace Process” – which helps to decrease the intensity of feelings. Here is a link to it:

The Peace Process Meditation

 

Please share here any thoughts or ideas you might have. Tell us about a time when you had to find within youself the strength to deal with difficult change. What worked for you?

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The Ripple Effect

The choices you make have far-reaching consequences. Each of us carries within us the capacity to change the world in small ways for better or worse. 

 From the article, “The Ripple Effect – From Heartbeat to Eternity” (link below)

Article on the Ripple Effect

Many of us don’t know or understand how much power we have. We can literally change the world with one action, one gesture — even one thought. If you believe, as I do, that everything is connected, you may understand this phenomenon. The scientific explanation for it begins with classical physics.

Recent research using quantum physics is able to link the atoms with a core source of energy. “Everything is energy” is a common phrase these days. Don’t believe it? Here’s what scientists have been able to do:

Starting with an atom (the basic building block) they can break it down into smaller and smaller pieces: protons, neutrons, and electrons. These particles can be broken down even further into leptins and quarks. What they’ve found is that if they go down far enough, there is no matter at all. The only element at the bottom level is energy.

Another factor that is at play is vibration or frequency. You see, every atom vibrates at its own distinct frequency. When two atomic waves meet, they either meet in synch, creating a constructive or harmonious effect, or they meet out of synch, creating a destructive effect in which they annul each other. Is your mind exploding yet? This stuff is truly amazing!

To paraphrase Dr. Bruce Lipton, a former professor of medicine at Harvard University, if you drop two equal pebbles at exactly the same time into water, from the same height, they will both produce the same wave ripples (i.e. their waves will be in harmony with each other), and when their ripples meet, the combined effect will be an amplification of the wavelength. In other words, the merged waves become more powerful. But if you drop the pebbles from different heights or a millisecond apart, then when the resultant waves meet, they will not be in harmony and will cancel each other out. The waves become weaker. Try this experiment out for yourself!

Hmmmm . . . everything is connected and everything is energy. How does that work?  

Our bodies are made up of cells that are, in turn, made up of atoms; therefore, we are all created of atomic energy waves. It is impossible to separate those waves  When the vibration of one atom meets the vibration of another atom, they are either in synch or they are not in synch. We sense from each other either harmony (“good vibes”) or discord (“bad vibes”). Because our atoms are constantly encountering atoms from other sources, our waves are always meeting and getting entangled in each other.

What all of this means is that it is important to be aware of whether you are in an environment where you are getting entangled in destructive energy waves or constructive energy waves. The cells that make up our bodies know instinctively what is nourishing and what is toxic, but society doesn’t teach us to trust our feelings, so we often ignore the warning signs of a destructive interaction. We are not trained to use our ability to sense energy. 

When science dug deep it found that only energy is, and when spirituality delved deep it found that only spirit or  atman or soul is. And soul is energy. The time is just around the corner when a synthesis of science and religion will be achieved, and the distance that separates them will simply disappear. 

Anando, “The New Science: We Are Made of Energy, not Matter”

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Freedom of Choice

Nurture your personal power by honoring your dreams and desires. Make concrete plans to manifest them in the world. Start by making a list of things you want, and let yourself think big.    ~ Paraphrase of Madisyn Taylor in her post, “Personal Freedom” 

If you live in one of the countries in the world that has a democratic form of government, count yourself lucky! You have more personal power and can enjoy more personal freedom than people elsewhere. Are you taking full advantage of that?

And if you have people in your life that love you and give you the gift of allowing you to be YOU, you are even luckier!  Are you taking full advantage of that?

According to Psychology Today, “Personal power is based on strength, confidence, and competence that individuals gradually acquire in the course of their development. It is self-assertion, and a natural, healthy striving for love, satisfaction and meaning in one’s interpersonal world.”

Personal power is NOT power over others. It is realizing the power that is inherently ours — our free will, so to speak. Are you living from a place of personal power? 

  • Are my opinions just as valid as everyone else’s?
  • Do I believe that my happiness depends on what other’s think of me?
  • Have my choices been made from a place of truth or a place of fear?
  • When I am alone, do I feel as comfortable as I would with others surrounding me?
  • Do I attempt to take responsibility for someone else’s happiness?
  • Do I withhold my truth in order to not upset someone else?
  • Have I had relationships that have ended, because I feel resentment for not having my needs met, even though I haven’t clearly stated what my needs are?

Seeking personal power and realizing that I have freedom of choice has been a process for me. I have struggled with the questions above. Most of my life, I have felt inferior to others and have not always come from a place of truth. At the point when I separated from my husband in 2009, I went into a “dark night of my soul”. Nothing was more important to me than finding out who the heck I was and what the heck I wanted from my life, anyway. I was 60 at the time. I am 68 now and am the happiest I have ever been. I no longer depend on others for my happiness and I no longer feel responsible for anyone else’s happiness. I have found my personal power through learning to love myself for who I am.  

It’s not that I don’t care about other people. I care deeply about many people and humanity in general. But I take responsibility for my own happiness and support others in doing the same thing. There’s a freedom in that.

 

 

Image result for empower quotes

Are you living your truth?  Are you feeling your personal power? How free do you feel to make your own choices?

Speaking from experience, don’t waste another minute of your life living it for someone else and not for yourself. Recognize and embrace the unique beauty that is YOU!

 

Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who are alive.                                                                                                                                                                          ~Howard Thurman

 

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Set Your Sails

“To reach a port we must sail, sometimes with the wind, and sometimes against it. But we must not drift or lie at anchor.”

— Oliver Wendell Holmes

Many people make plans for their vacation but rarely do people make a plan for their life, as ridiculous as that may sound.  Life happens whether we are paying attention or not! We get distracted, we get overwhelmed, we are sometimes deceived. And then we find ourselves in a situation that doesn’t make sense. “How did I get here?” is a common refrain.

According to the authors of a new book, Living Forward, if we had a Life Plan, we wouldn’t drift too far off the path we defined without noticing that something is off. They warn that drifting through life without a plan can result in some very costly consequences, including:

  • confusion,
  • unnecessary expense,
  • lost opportunity,
  • pain and
  • regrets

I know from my own experiences that this premise is true. I have experienced all of those consequences at some time in my life – multiple times even. The worst case was realizing that I had married a man who was an alcoholic and an abuser. My children were traumatized, as was I. How did I get here?

The good news is that it’s never too late to get back on track. You can’t change the past, but all of us have the power to change the future. We allow ourselves off the hook by claiming that we just don’t have time to do life planning, but I believe that we don’t have time to NOT plan our lives.

In the book mentioned above, Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want, authored by Michael Hyatt & Daniel Harkavy, readers are led through the steps to create a Life Plan. The document when completed is a “living” document that is reviewed often and regularly, and is likely to change over time.

They ask that we answer three very powerful questions:

  1. How do I want to be remembered?
  2. What matters most?
  3. How can I get from here to where I want to be?

As we become clearer about the answers to those questions, we start realizing some awesome benefits:

  • we clarify our priorities,
  • we start maintaining balance in our lives,
  • we filter our opportunities,
  • we face reality,
  • we envision the future and
  • we avoid regrets

So, I invite you to create your plan, and a good start would be purchasing this book and putting it into action.

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Making Room for What is Coming

 Okay … so you have your dream, your vision of a life you would love. Why is it so difficult to manifest that dream? Six things need to change before you are ready to fully live that new life:

  1. Shift Your Perception
  2. Increase Your Sense of Deserving
  3. Face Your Fears
  4. Feed Your Faith
  5. Increase Your Awareness of Abundance
  6. Liberate Yourself Through Forgiveness

You will each have your own work to do in these areas that will be similar to, but not actually the same as, someone else’s. There’s no way I can discuss all six of these needed changes in one fail swoop, so let’s take the first one – Shift Your Perception- for this article.

SHIFT YOUR PERCEPTION

Our thought patterns and behaviors may not always be in harmony with the life we want to live because of the following:

  • We focus on lack and limitation, yet yearn for abundance
  • We hold thoughts of resentment when we desire to have more love
  • We conduct ourselves in mental, emotional, and physical ways that are out of harmony with the vision we want to pursue

There are defining moments in everyone’s life. You may think of them as “chapters”. One of the chapters in my life occurred when I was 27 years old. I had been teaching in a high school in Colorado for the previous 4 years. One of my colleagues – a woman named Donna – and I became best friends. Neither of us was content with our teaching careers, largely because of the administration’s resistance to change. So, we packed up what we could haul in our two cars, putting the rest of our stuff in storage, and headed down the highway! We had no jobs to go to, but we were young and adventurous.

Our destination was Oregon. Now 40 years later, I still live in Oregon. I love it here, my children and grandchild live here and, though I love Colorado and visit there once or twice a year, I love being able to live near the ocean. That is still one of my top reasons for staying here, along with many more. 

  

Me in Oregon taking photos of my favorite place – Pacific Ocean

 

Me as a teacher (on the right) with my friend, Donna, directing a school play practice. 

 

Changing my location at 28 was definitely a turning point for me in many ways. I changed jobs and careers. Later, I got married and had children. I put down roots. I owned my own business starting in 1994. I would call the chapter when I was 27, “The Adventurer”. Now, looking back at that defining moment, I realize how momentous that change was. If I had stayed in Colorado and possibly continued my career in education, how would my life have been different?

Until the recent past, I did focus more on what I didn’t have, felt resentment towards people who “got in my way”, and sometimes conducted myself in ways that I regret. If I had hung onto those perceptions, I would be very unhappy at this point in my life.. But I have shifted my perception. I now think about the “bad” things that happened since that move to Oregon in a different light. They allowed me to grow and evolve into who I am today. 

What’s a “chapter title” in your life that you would like to give new meaning? If you care to share, please comment below and let us know how the meaning has changed from when it happened. 

 

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