Posts tagged life purpose
I’m entering into a new…what should I call it? phase of life, era, mindset? a new journey… yet another grand experiment.
What has triggered this big shifting? Internal divine discontent combined with the external joyous event called “ordination” that I experienced on Friday, April 8, 2011. As I feel the rumbles deep within, I’m drawn back to poetry. Here’s one that is resonating with me to the core…by David Whtye from his book entitled “The House of Belonging.”
If you’d like to travel with me on this deep and amazing journey, be sure to register to get my email notes announcing our various teleconference groups and workshops -I’ll be offering a discussion/sharing group soon (that is not for the faint of heart!). Together we’ll discuss David Whyte’s book “Crossing the Unknown Sea: Work as a Pilgrimage of Identity.” You can get on the mailing list here: www.authenticlifeinstitute.com
Igniting your Spirit,
WHAT TO REMEMBER WHEN WAKING
In that first hardly noticed moment
in which you wake,
coming back to this life
from the other, more secret,
moveable and frighteningly honest world
where everything began,
there is a small opening into the new day
which closes the moment
you begin your plans.
What you can plan is too small
for you to live.
What you can live wholeheartedly
Will make plans enough with
the vitality hidden in your sleep.
To be human is to become visible
while carrying what is hidden
as a gift to others.
To remember the other world
in this world
is to live in your true inheritance.
You are not a troubled guest
on this earth.
You are not an accident
amidst other accidents.
You were invited here
from another and greater night
than the one from which you have just emerged.
Now looking through the slanting light
of the morning window
toward the mountain presence of everything that can be,
what urgency calls you
to your one love?
What shape awaits
in the seed of you
to grow and spread its branches
against a future sky?
Is it waiting in the fertile sea?
In the trees beyond the house?
In the shape of the life
you can imagine for yourself?
In the open and lovely white page
on the waiting desk?
Big topic huh? One of the my favorite books about life meaning is “How Then Shall We Live” by Wayne Muller. In it he poses 4 questions. I share them here with you to get you thinking about the bigger picture of your life. My ultimate goal in sharing this with you is that you will be gentler with yourself and that you will live YOUR life doing what you love. Onto the first question!
1. Who am I? Are you saying, well, I am a business owner, writer, teacher, mother, etc? Muller encourages you to go deeper, to find the places beneath those names. Consider that what you call the “self” is always changing. If you get too focused on just one facet of yourself, you may feel smothered by the smallness of who you have become. Consider this, your true nature can take the shape in a million forms, all unique and useful in their own way. You are not a prisoner of your history! Try this: for five minutes complete this phrase: “I am.” Without judging keep speaking for five minutes. Notice what you say and how you feel when you say it. Are there repeating themes? What stands out for you? Which sentences seem the most troubling? Which feel most true? When you’re finished, try to name the single phrase that feels most potent. What does this want to reveal about your current sense of self?
Jack Kornfield, a leading Buddhist teacher, said, “the path is not so much about changing ourselves as it is about listening to the fundamentals of our being.”
2. What do I love? Whatever you give your time and attention to becomes the focus of your life. What is at the center of your life? What activities? Which people? Are these the people and activities you hope will receive your love and devotion? Whatever you are giving your time and attention to every day is the kind of person you will eventually become. Is this what you want? Try this. Grab a stack of magazines and make a collage of what you love. As you look through images hold in your mind the thought “what do I love?” When you’re done take a break then come back to it. Are you pleased with what you love? Is anything missing? Pick the single image that seems most powerful to you right now. What does it reveal about what you love? Choose one image and make a commitment to include it in your daily life more of what that image holds. You can choose another image next week!
3. How shall I live, knowing I will die? If you walk through life thinking that you will live forever, you’re not alone. It’s an illusion most people hold. The danger in it is that you think you can waste all the time in the world before you are ready to live. Pema Chodron, a Buddhist nun states, “if you live your life as if you actually only had a day left, then the sense of impermanence heightens that feeling of preciousness and gratitude.” Muller says that many of us are exhausted by a desperate search for answers, as if our life were a big problem to be solved and we haven’t yet found the perfect solution to the puzzle. We figure we’re not working hard enough and continue to push harder. What if the “don’t know” is an indication that it is time to be quiet, listen and wait? There is a time to act and a time to remain still. A time to engage and a time to retreat. There is a natural expansion and contraction in all things, and when you feel the truth of this, you will be easy and at peace. And you will find, that much will be accomplished!
4. What is my gift to the family of the earth? Most of us have had some hurt in our lives. And when you feel broken, you can feel useless and undervalue your gifts. Jesus declared we are the light of the world and must let our light shine. The gifts you give can be simple yet powerful. A kind word, a laugh, a meal. It is impossible that you have not gift. You may be unsure of it, afraid it’s not good enough, or waiting for the perfect opportunity. Don’t wait. It’s alive in you this very moment. You are given countless opportunities to offer your gifts to others every day. Take a day and examine how you give. Does it feel like an obligation? Which gifts are given most freely? We all need what you have. Be not afraid. Muller says, “a kind life is a life of courage, the courage simply to bring what you have, to bring what you are.”
“Breakthrough to the Best You in 2010: Create Your Powerful Yet Simple Goal Setting and Time Management System That Works!” Free Tele-Conference Open to Public
Many believe that 2009 was the worst year they ever experienced. What can we do about this? Plan ahead to make 2010 a year where you turn things around, make smart choices and build the future you want in all areas, including finances, relationships, physical and emotional health.. Hosted by Authentic Life Institute, this free tele-seminar demystifies the goal setting process and provides concrete steps for taking control of your precious time and ensuring success.
San Juan Capistrano, CA AddPR.com, December 22, 2009
The economy has battered and bruised many people. They often feel that life is spinning out of control. They react out of fear and maybe aren’t making the best choices.
What can be done? The best remedy is to take charge of your life. There is nothing that dispels fear like a well thought out goal and taking actions to achieve it.
Fact –Less than 15% of people write their goals down in specific, measurable, detail. (Source- www.ThinkTQ.com)
Fact- Only 12% have at least one clearly defined goal for every major interest in their life. (Source- www.ThinkTQ.com)
Fact- Only 22% share your goals with others for mutual accomplishment. (Source- www.ThinkTQ.com)
Who wouldn’t want to be create their vision, have a clear plan to achieve it, know what actions are most important to take each day to live a life filled with peace of mind, financial freedom, a healthier body and joyful relationships?
Honestly? Not everyone. Most people aren’t willing to take the quiet, inner time to think through goals and actions; however, now, more than ever, people are questioning the direction of their lives, seeking more meaning and purpose along with material security and success.
To address the problem of financial adversity and lack of clear direction and to promote the benefits of goal setting and time management, Authentic Life Institute, a virtual learning center reaching more than 17,000 people monthly, is hosting a free tele-teleseminar (via telephone) on January 6, 2010, open to the public on “Breakthrough to the Best You in 2010: Create Your
Powerful Yet Simple Goal Setting and Time Management System That Works!”
Topics covered include-
– Why set your goals?
– A simple but powerful goal setting system
– Action planning to accomplish your goals with ease and success
– Time Integrity -It’s Your Time, How Will You Use It?
Ann Ronan, Ph.D., founder of Authentic Life Institute states “Starting with a vision for your life and then creating a definite plan to achieve it with planned out action steps and support is the absolute key to success in life. It is my mission to help others live their authentic life – a life of purpose and meaning with all the money needed to live a truly rich life.”
For more information visit http://authenticlifeinstitute.com/classes/january-6-2010/
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Your creative powers are infinite. Yup…think about it. You come from the same source as all of nature around you. Look at fruit trees. How do you think those fruit push themselves up the trunk, through the branches and then hang themselves like beautiful ornaments in just the right place? Well we don’t really know how it works, but we know it’s creation.
You cannot not create. I know…many of you just don’t feel creative. Maybe your definition of “creative” has been too narrow. Creativity isn’t a gift given only to artists, sculptors, musicians, or dancers. It’s something you do naturally. Question is…what are YOU creating? You are always creating with your thoughts. Every product, every service in the world started first in someone’s mind. So “mind your mind” and direct your thoughts to things you really want to create…like abundance and good service and joy.
You are absolutely unique. There is no one quite like you. So the way you look at the world, through your eyes, your mind is different than any one else’s. Successful entrepreneurs embrace this uniqueness. Even though there are many people who cut and style hair, each does it in their own way –haven’t you had a favorite hairdresser or barber who just always got it “right”?
So don’t waste time worrying that you have nothing new to offer. You do. Yourself. Discover what it is that you enjoy about yourself and incorporate those qualities into your business. When you do, you’ll love your work and your customers and clients will love you.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, a psychologist has written extensively on the topic of creative flow. He says when we are engaged in an almost effortless yet highly focused activity we experience “flow.” Here are the characteristics of being in “flow”:
1. Completely involved in what we are doing – focused, concentrated.
2. A sense of ecstasy – of being outside everyday reality.
3. Great inner clarity – knowing what needs to be done, and how well we are doing.
4. Knowing that the activity is doable – that skills are adequate to the task.
5. A sense of serenity – no worries about oneself, and a feeling of growing beyond the boundaries of the ego.
6. Timelessness – thoroughly focused on the present, time seems to pass by in minutes.
7. Intrinsic motivation – whatever produces flow becomes its own reward.
When have you felt that? Whatever you were doing at the time, do more of that! I celebrate and honor your creativity. Don’t hide it from the world…let it shine.
Prefer to LISTEN to this week’s issue?
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It’s one thing to seek out people who are ahead of you in achieving something you want. For example, if you want to reach a six figure income, working from home, it makes sense to find someone who has done that and to learn from them the systems they used. That’s smart. But what I see so many of my clients do is compare themselves to others and declare that they come up short.
I love Ralph Waldo Emerson’s writings. He lived in the 1800’s and was a philosopher and essayist from Boston. In his essay, “Self-Reliance”, he says “there is a time in every (wo)man’s education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better for worse as his portion; that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till.” I believe he was not speaking literally here about farming…but rather telling us to “till” the life and gifts given us in order to tap into that endless good.
He also says “trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string. Accept the place the divine providence has found for you” and… “nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of our own mind.”
A coach once gave me some great advice that I embraced. She said “flaunt your quirks.” The quirkier the better. What this means is that all the qualities and characteristics that make you unique are part of your essential, true self. And when you are being true to yourself you are attractive to others. You will attract just the right people into your personal and business world. Think of someone who you consider successful. Can you name some of their “quirks?” Chances are you can.
Being authentic doesn’t happen in one fell swoop. It happens daily in the choices you make – if a decision is based on what you imagine society thinks you “should do” or when you make a choice based on what you think will impress someone else…that’s probably not authentic.
When you have defined what’s important to you –where it is important to expend your time and energy on this planet –and you make your choices guided by that…you’re being authentic.
Learn from others. Sure. Take what you like from them and integrate it into who you are. Don’t imitate…that makes your soul wither…let your unique spirit shine in the world!
Top Ten Ways to Live Authentically
1. Know your purpose
Are you wandering through life with little direction – hoping that you’ll find happiness, health and prosperity? Identify your life purpose or mission statement and you will have your own unique compass that will lead you to your truth north every time.
2. Know your values
What do you value most? Make a list of your top 5 values. Some examples are security, freedom, family, spiritual development, learning. As you set your goals – – check your goals against your values. If the goal doesn’t align with any of your top five values – you may want to reconsider it or revise it.
3. Know your needs
Unmet needs can keep you from living authentically. Take care of yourself. Do you have a need to be acknowledged, to be right, to be in control, to be loved? List your top four needs and get them met!
4. Know your passions
Honor those things that make your heart sing. Whatever it is, do more of it!
5. Live from the inside out
Increase your awareness of your inner wisdom by regularly reflecting in silence. Commune with nature. Breathe deeply to quiet your distracted mind.
6. Honor your strengths
What are your positive traits? What special talents do you have? List three – if you get stuck, ask those closest to you to help identify these. Are you imaginative, witty, good with your hands? Find ways to express your authentic self through your strengths.
7. Take time to play
Give yourself time to recharge doing things you love to do or by just doing nothing.
8. Be aware of your self-talk
Are you blocking your potential? Check out your first thoughts when you wake tomorrow. Are they supportive, encouraging or positive? Choose the kind of chatter that’s goes on in your mind. Become aware of the negative messages you give yourself. Gently catch them and turn them into positive affirmations.
9. Surround yourself with inspiration
Keep a success journal. Write down your four or five greatest strengths and post them where you can see them. On the last Friday of each month, write down all your accomplishments both big and small.
10. Serve others
When you live authentically, you may find that you develop an interconnected sense of being. When you are true to who you are, living your purpose and giving of your talents to the world around you, you give back in service what you came to share with others -your spirit – your essence.