Imagine for a moment you are living the life you were meant to live, pretty powerful right? ah, pretty powerful right? So what stops most people?
We are all guided by our own vision of what life is supposed to be and look like. But what do you do when your vision has been distorted by outside influences or internal conflicts about who and what you are supposed to be? What happens when you have desires that resonate with your soul's path yet feel foreign to what you thought you knew about yourself? Many people will ignore these messages thinking it will keep the ship sailing smoothly only to find themselves on the rocks of life wondering how they got there.
You see this all too often with people taking jobs because their parents desire them to do so, or chasing things only for the prestige they promise to offer, yet often finding that the prestige is empty and doesn't fulfill one's soul.
Many choose to do nothing and continue on this incongruous path denying their deepest most callings. But life doesn't have to be this way and you don't have to settle with the regret that lies at the end of compromising your truth.
When you decide that you will settle no more for simply floating, you are embarking on the path of living on purpose. Living on purpose means being an active participant in crafting and shaping the life that really matters to you. The life that feels right inside, the one that is in alignment with your values and gifts. It doesn't take magic to live on purpose only a decision to finally do so. In doing so you begin to take time to ask and listen to what really matters to you. Questions like, What gifts do I want to share? and What would I like to see show up in my life?
So how do you begin to live on Purpose?
It doesn't happen overnight, but with little steps, getting out the chisel and begin sculpting by making choices that are best for you without asking permission and allowing yourself to feel empowered by doing so.
By learning to say no to what no longer serves you even if you feel at first guilty for doing so. The more you practice honoring your truth the easier it becomes, the more others see the shift in you and most importantly the right things begin to show up and you feel the shift in yourself.
You may feel as though a weight has been lifted, allowing you to perhaps breathe freely for the first time. Yet none of the things can happen without first declaring that you are ready to live on purpose. Knowing that a happy life begins WHEN YOU LIVE ON PURPOSE.
Sometimes in life, we can experience an epiphany or change so profound that it changes the very essence of who we are. While we have the ability to improve with purposeful action daily, it is often in the storms of life, that change is thrust upon us in a way imagined. It can be treacherous and painful, a feeling of hundreds of dark nights woven together eclipsing even the faintest spark of light. Then it occurs, the parting of the clouds and streams of light begin to fill our world. The lens of shiftlessness or complacency have been washed clean and a new lens of clarity appears in its place. It is only after enduring the journey does the change appear before us, it is the change that is creating a new shape with our life, sending us into new territory. It is the change that was so brutal and confounding yet the change we would not exchange even if it meant wiping away all of the memory of what came before.
Life can suck sometimes, there is no doubt about that. Sometimes we lose someone dear to us, we are in a job that doesn't honor our highest good, we have people we thought were friends make an about-face leaving us wondering and questioning what all the time meant and it hurts. We lose a job, bills are stacking up and the mountain before us looks like Everest growling and us while we limp by just trying to get through the day.
These moments are cyclical, they will rear their ugly heads again and again so it's better to find grace and acceptance and understand it is all part of the human journey. If every day was a simple joy there would be no contrast to give this all meaning, we would expect nothing less than simple. Despite the idea that people may say I want an easy life, if we didn't have the tough times, the good would have no way to shine so brightly.
So, how to use these moments as tools for change and accept them without anger and fear? We just let them roll, we honor the suck factor and trust that it all will pass, we hold on to those that love us enough to show up without conditions. We surround ourselves with smart people, we take time to go within weather meditating, prayer or practicing our faith. In the end, we can take a deep sigh and just "BE." Western culture is a NOW results-driven culture that leaves most of us reeling and disenchanted the crap seems insurmountable even when it will clear like storm clouds in the sky.
Abraham Maslow speaks on self-realization and until we can come to terms with the ebbs and flows we have little time for the journey and growth. Giving yourself the kindness and love you bestow on others is a great way to get your bearings and let yourself breathe. If you are committed to growth you must embrace these storms. In truth, it is not for everyone, some find the day in and out movement fine. But if you are reading this, chances are you don't belong to that group.
By giving yourself a break, you release tension and stress and allow yourself to evolve into the person you are meant to be but it, like everything in life, is a choice and you can't have both. Whatever questions are sending your mind on the hamster wheel of life find a way to cease it. I found when my mind is taking over with ridiculous thoughts I say "not helpful." I watch the thought and let it come and go, thinking isn't a bad thing, it is what you do with it. Just like hard times are not the issue, it's who you let yourself become after experiencing them that matters most.
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There is so much to be said about love. Poets have written about it, lovers have been scorned by it and nations of people have been united and healed by it. Yet love is elusive, the definition we all connect to what it means is varied and rare. The complexities that come along with the weight of it can sometimes be stifling even when in the most truest form it should be freeing. We think love should be convenient, love should be an easy twisted pattern of words on a hallmark card to feed a longing in the human spirit that no one can truly put a finger on. Love in its most simplistic ways is a word, but love, is an action of the highest level of the soul. Love does not come with contingencies, it doesn't have expectation or hold with it a label that has a universal fit for all. Love can be confusing, difficult, epic, jolting, revealing, awakening and even painful. Love is four letters that we as humans have given to an emotion and depth we truly have no ability to explain.
Love may lift us to great heights or send us plummeting to the deepest lows. In the end, love just is. The most important thing I think we can do as people is understand that our own personal view of what love is and means is the only one that matters. No opinions of others or a diamond wedding ring commercials can change what is in our heart.
In the end of our days we will indeed reflect upon life, one of greatest questions we may ask ourselves is if we loved fully. Love can come in a smile, a kindness toward an animal or human. Love can be a thoughtful question in the right moment to someone in need. Love too can be being present without judgment or question. Love can be pancakes in the morning for your children when you have hardly gotten a wink of sleep. Love can be sitting alone gazing at the magnificent stars realizing you are enough.
Love isn't about being perfect, love is only about being open to the human experience without letting hurt close us to all the beauty around us and if we can start with this, we may just get the love thing right after all.
We have all heard the saying "finding your tribe" or "I need to find my tribe" but what the heck does this mean and why is this important for us? Don't worry, you won't need to paint your face and run around in crazy clothes (though that could be fun wouldn't it?)
A tribe is a group of people we know and engage with where we feel a unique sense of comfort and ease. When you find your tribe you may hear yourself exclaiming "These are my people!"
A tribe is a special kinship you have with a group of people that often extends beyond our typical family, friendship or work connections (though it can include those too.) Your tribe might consist of soulful , spiritual, artistic, activity based or business connections.
A tribe doesn't need to be large to be effective and yes, you can have more than one tribe so don't over think it. Finding your tribe will give you a feeling of belonging and you will know it without thought, the same way you know when you taste something delicious. Finding your tribe is indeed food for your soul.
It's the place in life that lights you up, where you feel the most real version of yourself and hopefully loved and lifted up too. We may feel like we are on a similar path as members of our tribe, often sharing ideas or concepts that we can help each other out with.
What can finding my tribe do for me?
Often a tribe can help provide you with more intimate insights than many people out of other circles of your life. Being part of a such a collective of people you click with can make you feel empowered and strong. This is also an awesome environment for naturally generating new ideas for work and life while fostering a sense of community and belonging which is vital for a healthy productive life.
"In fact, a Harvard study examining the lives of almost 3,000 people found that those who gather together to go out to dinner, play cards, go on day trips, vacation with friends, go to the movies, attend sporting events, go to church, and engage in other social activities outlive their reclusive peers by an average of two and a half years. Finding your tribe is not only fun. It can also save your life." Mind Over Medicine (Hay House, 2013) Lissa Rankin, MD
I don't even know where to begin, how do I find my tribe?
It often requires us to take a step outside of our comfort zone to find our tribe. Here is a quick list of 10 places you can explore to find your tribe.
- Motivational Conferences or other topic specific events.
- Religious or Spiritual Communities like Church
- Music/ Art festivals like Burning Man, Coachella etc.
- Athletic communities, like Cross Fit, cycling or hiking clubs
- Yoga studios
- Civic organizations like Kiwanis or Rotary International
- Volunteer organizations like The American Red Cross
- Business organizations like Toastmasters
- Acting Classes
- Art Classes
When you are out doing things that interest you it just takes a bit of exploration and before you know it, you too will be saying "These are my people!"
It's easy to see why finding your tribe in life is so very important not only for your happiness but also for your personal success. Have you found your tribe? If so I would love to hear about it in the comments below.
Do you notice some people have no problem saying no, while for other people it can be one of the hardest things in the world. Which type of person are you?
Saying no is a lifeline to your energy source and it's something (even if you're not good at) you can learn to master without the typical associated guilt.
It's great to want to help people, in fact it's one of the best things in the world but when we help people at the expense of our own health and sanity that's when it becomes a problem.
It doesn't matter what you do in work or life everybody is plagued by this challenge, most people find it terribly difficult to say no even when it's what they need the most.
It doesn't matter if you are in sales, a parent, nurse, or trash collector every job in life serves people in one way or another.
Sometimes, we get the idea of serving and self-sacrifice twisted in such a way that we believe putting ourselves second at all costs is the noble and perfect thing to do.
Well, it is super admirable and a great asset to think of others before yourself at times but when you make a habit of doing this you end up having less energy, less peace of mind and less time for the things that actually matter. When this happens you go from being a happy helper to a disgruntled burnout because you are not honoring your right to say no.
There are many reasons people have a difficult reason saying no but one of them is the feeling of missing out, another one is the guilt. If you are left feeling tired from too many extra obligations it's time to cut back.
If you're feeling overburdened by the amount of things you have to do on a day-to-day basis there is usually room in there to cut some things out. This is something I have been working on myself; we are all susceptible.
"But I do X,Y, and Z and how do I know if a potential No is in order?" Here is an example:
You have been on a committee or volunteered to do something and you know in your heart that putting energy and time into that activity is no longer serving you, it may have at one point in time but maybe you've outgrown it, or perhaps you're in a different place.
I've been guilty of over yessing myself many times. Don't view every one-time commitment as a lifetime commitment, it's just not the case.
You may be reading this thinking YES, I am overextended but what the heck can I do?
It's a great idea to take a look and make a list of some optional things you have opted into and see which ones you can realistically cut out of your life. It isn't always easy, but even cutting one extra elective obligation out of your life can really decrease your stress level. You can always opt back in down the road; make a change and see how you feel.
We only have so much energy and resources in our one physical body, spreading, things so thinly makes the things that matter most often take second position to the pile of other things we really have no business saying yes to.
When you learn to say NO, you will have more time and energy for the YES that matters most!