Start With Where You Are

It is the eve of a new year — a time to reflect on what has passed and to set our intentions for the year ahead.

Often our resolutions are about doing something different from before, whether losing weight, changing jobs, or finally getting around to writing that book you’re just sure will be a best-seller. Moreover, if we’re really honest with ourselves, the best of our intentions often fall short of the promise of what’s possible and we end up right back where we started, perhaps feeling disappointed and defeated by the lack of change in our lives.

But what if instead of throwing out the baby with the bath water we made a choice to build upon what is already there? What if instead of spending our time dreaming of something altogether new, we focused our energy on cherishing what is, while reflecting on ways to expand and enrich the present(s) in our lives?

The best resolutions are those that honor and reflect our authentic selves.

Need to lose weight or lower your cholesterol? Start by loving your body as it is and making a mindful choice to care for it through healthy eating and exercise. Want to change jobs? Take an inventory of your current skills and environment and explore ways you might be find fulfillment by adding value where you already are. Still dreaming of writing that best-seller? Start by taking baby steps…cultivating a daily writing practice or joining a community of writers who share your passion.

Change may be difficult, but growth begins with where you are.

As you contemplate ringing in 2017, I hope you’ll consider joining me in making it the best year yet, remembering that the grass is greenest — not in some fantasy or someone else’s back yard, but where we choose to water and nurture it.

Happy New Year!

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Postscript: Speaking of resolutions, one of my intentions in 2016 was to finally compile some of the best of my insights with original artwork and publish as an inspirational quote book. In March 2017, my new book, Walking the Heart Path, will be released and available for purchase. Click here to learn more, reserve your copy, and read what others are already saying.

 

Creative Visualization

15541549_10154808096969655_9204891255238104112_nRecently I was feeling a bit silly and rather serious at the same time. Practicing a little creative visualization, I sheepishly snuck an advance reader copy of my upcoming book, Walking the Heart Path, into my local Barnes & Noble, found a few favorite authors’ books for companions, placed my own on the shelf, took out my camera, and began to snap away. No, I didn’t leave it there, but I did pause for just long enough to breathe in the moment and visualize possible outcomes . . . specifically, to envision and consider what success might look like for me.

15589980_10154808096974655_5275041062588752987_nCrazy? Perhaps; Will it work? Possibly; Has it worked in the past? Absolutely. Many times, in fact.

Too early to know for sure, what I do know is this:

We become what we imagine and believe is possible. We should therefore learn to dream with our hearts wide open. 

No, I’m not suggesting that everything is possible. If you are an active asthmatic, for example, the U.S. Air Force is not going to let you pilot their planes. Some rules  (including the laws of physics) are, at least in this present moment, what they are.

But I believe in miracles. I believe in dreaming big, working hard, and acknowledging that while not everything is within our control, the possibilities for our lives do in fact expand or diminish in proportion to our courage and commitment to our vision AND our willingness to make sacrifices and do the hard work required along the way. I believe in the power of Faith, prayer, and honest intention, too — which collectively calls us to both dare to dream and be willing to simultaneously surrender to unknown outcomes.

Here’s where it gets tricky.

If we’re not careful, fear (whether of failure or success) and its close cousin, pride, will show up at our party, often unannounced. Invited or not, letting them roam freely in our minds is the sure fastest way to sabotage our dreams. Left unattended, they will plant seeds of doubt and/or create a lengthy list of reasons why we deserve something less than we imagine is possible (or perhaps have yet to imagine), though trying to smother, silence, and bind them only fuels their fire and determination to squash our spirit.

So what is the answer?

As Elizabeth Gilbert suggests in her book, Big Magic, make friends with fear (and feed your pride some humble pie while you’re at it). Acknowledge fear’s presence, but while you’re at it, step up your Faith, paint the picture you want to see, and learn to lean into love.

That’s where the real magic resides.

I’m curious to know and ask…

Do you find it easy to dream or do you find yourself holding back? What are the biggest obstacles that keep you from pursuing (and therefore realizing) your dreams? Have you ever painted a picture in your mind and/or created a physical visual of your desired outcome? What was the result? How does creating a vision for your life (or project) help move you closer to realizing your dreams?

p.s. Want to read a great book on daring to dream? Pick up a copy of Whitney Johnson’s book, Dare, Dream, Do, and while your at it, a copy of her latest book, too — Disrupt Yourself. You’ll be glad you did.

 

 

 

 

 

On Dreams & Miracles…

The moment we quit dreaming is the moment we quit manifesting miracles in our own life, for when we have no intentional aim, we most assuredly will get lost in the wilderness of life.

I’m curious to know…

Do you take time out to dream on a regular basis? Do you have an intentional aim and larger vision for your own life? Allowing space for miracles and the larger hand that is at play in our lives, do you life your life by design or default? What steps can you take today to help you manifest a miracle? What role does Faith play in that process?

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Wednesday Wisdom

 
Possibility Thinking

Living Outside the Lines

402850_377080592389199_2036867769_nOver the past few weeks and months, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and talking with people living and leading outside of the lines that have traditionally defined my world.  Proverbial box-rebels, reformists and new dreamers alike, I’ve met artists, inventors and educators; philanthropists, social innovators, and serial entrepreneurs.

Despite their outward differences, they share a common energy…an invisible, golden thread that seems to bind them all to one another.

They are authentic. Real. Grounded.

They are passionate, driven, and committed.

They also believe that their voice and their ‘craft’, in whatever form(s) it takes, is the most authentic, creative expression of their selves and the gifts they have to offer the world.  They are society’s disrupters – the collective energy and inspiration of TEDx personified – determined to make their mark on the world.

From that place they live.  They lead.  They serve.  They inspire.

For far too long, many of us have tried to fit ourselves into the lines and boxes of convention, without regard for consequence.  We have been square pegs living in round holes, building our identity around external expectations and definitions, rather that the essence of who we really are and the gifts we have to share.

We seek to ‘fit in’ because it is easier than being left out; and in our fear and discomfort with uncertainty, we seek refuge in the familiar, however outworn or outdated that model might be.

Some say they can’t change.  Some say it’s too late.  Some say it’s too hard.

I say we become what we believe is possible.

I say that our dreams represent the most sacred voice of our heart and soul.

I say that our capacity to serve and lead others, grows in proportion to our degree of self-awareness and the courage to live our lives out loud.

Start small.

Tune in.

Listen well.

Erase a line.  Adjust your lens.  Reframe.

Simply?

You be you, and watch the magic unfurl.

I‘m curious:  Do you live your life out loud, or do you find yourself burying your essence and dreams to fit in to the expectations of others?  How can you find ways to live authentically within the current framework of your life?  What small steps can you take today to begin to give life to your own voice?