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.

 

The Essence of Purpose

Screen Shot 2016-06-10 at 9.15.00 AMIn a world that beckons us to find our purpose and pursue our passion, it’s easy to become self-centric in our pursuits. While there is nothing wrong with chasing dreams that align with our core passions, living with purpose is about so much more than the form our work takes. It’s about how we choose to show up, share our talents and serve others, regardless of where we are. It’s defined less by what we do, than the gifts we bring to our work and the spirit with which we do it.

I’m curious to know…

What does living on ‘purpose’ mean to you in your own life? How do you choose to show up for others and share your gifts with the world? What is the relationship between pursuing your personal passions and living out your purpose? 

Shedding Skin

Sometimes we have to shed our old skin.

Because it is outworn.

Because it no longer fits.

Because we need to keep growing.

Only we resist it…

We resist it because for a while, the process of shedding the old will require us to feel naked and vulnerable (and none of us like to feel that way for long).

We resist it because the known, however outworn, outdated or ill-fitting it may be, breeds a certain comfort of familiarity.

We resist it because shedding our old skin requires immense Faith in that which is still unseen and unknown.

Growth and change, by anybody’s standards, are hard.

Testing.

Trying.

Painful.

Scary.

Hard.

But necessary…

Necessary, when we find our inner lives out of alignment with our outer actions.

Necessary, when though we may not fully be able to define it, we intuitively know our true gifts and talents can better serve others elsewhere.

Necessary, if we are to make room for the new in order to reach the places we are trying to go.

Not someplace ‘out there’.

But the place within….

Our heart place.

Our heart space.

I’m curious… 

Have you ever found yourself needing to shed your old ‘skin’ to make room for something new?  Did you fight the process, or surrender to the unknown?  Have you ever stayed too long in an old ‘skin’ because it was safe and familiar, even if painful?  What risks have you taken to live from your heart space?

The Gift of the Struggle

GiftAs we journey through life, sometimes we have to struggle to uncover the gifts along the way.

Sometimes we must step away from the known, the familiar and the comfortable, before we can finally make our way back home.

Sometimes we must face fear or the temptation to quit, that we might learn to overcome and persevere, and in doing so, develop the courage to live our convictions out loud.

Sometimes we need to be challenged to finally know our value, stretched to learn our limits, and tested to understand our strength.

Sometimes we must climb hills to develop endurance or visit the valley of tears to know true compassion, for how can we offer to others what we have never experienced for ourselves?

Sometimes we must endure the disrespect of others on our own journey towards self-respect, or have our egos shattered and dismantled before we can learn to see the true light of humility in leadership and service to others.

Sometimes we must suffer pain to know healing or deep sorrow to know joy.

Sometimes we must endure the sting of betrayal to know the honor of truth, or suffer the pain of false masks, that we might finally learn to walk in the truth of who we authentically are.

Sometimes we must experience painful loss that we might know gratitude, uncertainty that we might know Faith, and disappointment that we might know hope.

Sometimes, we must simply journey through the dark forest of our lives to reach the clearing on the other side — for in every darkness there is light, in every failure there are learnings, and in every struggle the gift of growth and invitation to journey on.

I’m curious…In what ways have you been tested, challenged or stretched on your own journey called life? Do you view these challenges as gifts of growth or another burden to bear? How have your struggles strengthened you, enabling you to become a wiser learner and leader in your own life? What are the lessons of your own journey?

Seeds of Possibility

Living from the inside out is not about self-aggrandizement or the belief that we are the sole architects of our life. Rather, it’s believing in the value of ourselves enough to act and lead from our core, instead of allowing the world to define our own value and worth. In doing so, we become co-architects in our life, accountable as much for the seeds we sow, as for how we choose to tend the very garden we grow, for even the best planted gardens will become unwieldy if left untended for too long.

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I’m curious to know…

What seeds of possibility will you sow in the garden of your life? Will you plant seeds of love and compassion, or envy and pride? Will your garden leave room for new growth or will it be smothered by the trappings and chokeholds of life?

Leveraging Limitations

Thought for the day:

So often we seek conformity in the face of limitation; we assume change is neither feasible nor possible, and from that place, seek to fearfully ‘fit in’ to the status quo. But what if instead of accepting our limitations, we leveraged them…allowing them to creatively push us into new ways of thinking and behaving; allowing them to be the catalyst for growth and innovation?