You Have to Say Yes When You’re Called

Truth: It doesn’t matter what you want more of.

It matters that you want it and you’re now aware of discomfort.

Something has to change in order to get what you want.

It’s uncomfortable because this awareness can either spur you to action, or hold you in a state of suffering.

The contrast between how you feel in the present, and how you want to feel in the future can be vast – think Grand Canyon vast – and this realization can leave you spinning in doubt and resignation.

Your task in this moment isn’t to leap across the Grand Canyon.

Your task is to decide how you want to feel, because feeling even just a little bit better helps you see more opportunities and make better choices.

It’s not as complicated as we make it.

You have to keep at it, choosing how you want to feel and taking action to feel that way more often and more consistently. Until one day you find yourself on the other side of the Canyon wondering how the hell you got there.

I’ll tell you how you got there…

One step, one feeling at a time.

“Knowing how you actually want to feel is the most potent form of clarity that you can have.” – Danielle LaPorte

Your dreams can feel like the Grand Canyon – huge and out of reach.

Say Yes

You need to bring them closer; hold them intimately instead of seeing them out there, a distant someday vision.

Too often you put your dreams on hold, but at what cost?

Your dreams can’t wait for someday. They can’t wait for you to get over your fear.

Being fearless isn’t the point.

Fear doesn’t give a fuck how you feel.

Fear is only focused on keeping you safe, stopping you in any way it can.

It whispers seductively…

Do it when you have the money.
Say yes when you’ve lost the weight.
Put yourself out there when your life is more manageable.

It prods you to set aside your dream – just for now it says – but now turns into forever as you wait for the right time.

Truth: That may never happen. It may never be the right time or the right conditions. 

We wait for the right guy, the job, the baby. We wait for the perfect moment that never comes. And we miss out.

We have to stop waiting, and start listening to our longings and desires.

We have to say yes when we’re called.

Because the truth is you may never feel ready, and your fear feeds on that. 

Tuning Into Wisdom

 

I had a dream last night.

And in that dream a wise woman I’ve long admired was in my home, a sleep-over planned.

Pajamas, soul-satisfying conversations and laughter all present and accounted for.

It was the most perfect of nights, until that moment I asked the question closest to my heart.

She closed her eyes, deep in thought…then plumped up her pillow and pinned me with a look.

“You’ll figure it out. Trust yourself.”

And with that profound statement, she turned over and fell fast asleep.

I awoke with a start; the clock blinked 4:14 a.m.

On the fourteenth day of the fourth month 2013 I will turn 50 years old.

My wise woman is right.

I can trust myself.

And so can you.

 

I Dream, Therefore I Am

It’s time to dream. . .

It’s time to dream.

collage of dreamlike image

“I have a dream…” – Martin Luther King Jr.

1.  “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do… Explore. Dream. Discover.” – H. Jackson Brown Jr.

  • This quote screams of regrets and someday thinking. Take a chance, swing out and be honest about what you want.

2.  “Dreams are THE BEST! The DayDreams, the Secret Wishes, THOSE Dreams we keep and cherish, hidden in the spaces between our heartbeats.” – Bif Naked

3.  “It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.” – Paulo Coelho

  • It’s the possibility, anticipation and taking action on the dream that provides a fulfilling experience, sometimes more than having the dream itself materialize. When your values are guiding you, satisfaction is pretty much guaranteed.

4.  “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” – C.S. Lewis

  • I’ve been working on my 50 For 50 list, things I’m going to do during my 50th year. It’s inspiring and kind of awesome to inspire yourself in this way, especially when you start early and have a breakthrough like I did recently!

5.  “A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.” – John Lennon

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Swing Out

 

swing hanging from tree at the Brew Creek Center in Whistler, BC

Dreams. Desires. Longings. 

They’ve been on my mind lately.

How we suppress them, stuff them down.

So far down they disappear from consciousness.

So far down, they suffocate from lack of oxygen and light.

It’s time to bring them out in the open.

Breathe life into them.

Let them take flight.

Right now, imagine the feeling of sitting on a swing, pumping your legs, breathing deep, going higher and higher – a child-like grin on your face.

Feel the air whooshing past as you swing up towards the sky, legs outstretched on the upswing.

Feel the joy in your body, hear your whoop of delight as you go even higher.

From this energized, smiling-so-big-your-cheeks-hurt place think of one dream you’ve put on hold.

One dream, one desire that’s longing to be expressed.

And imagine right now. . .taking action on this dream.

Taking one action to unleash what you most desire into the world.

That one action is all you have to do today.

“It doesn’t mean a thing if you ain’t got that swing” – Duke Ellington

On Owning Your Truth

 

The dream…

A Roman theatre filled to capacity. the Roman Colisseum at night

Me, waiting backstage for the cue to walk out and introduce the keynote speaker.

And then…

I become the keynote.

I look out, afraid – not of speaking, but of not getting the words right.

Afraid that my message will be unclear.

That is terrifying.

And then…

I wake up, heart racing, message choking me in its intensity.

Everyone has a truth, uniquely their own even if the message is not yet clear.

Your work is to first, own that truth and then discover how to share its message.

“A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life.” – Hermann Hesse

My truth – I am a waker, here to rattle your cage. Even though, quite often you pretend there is no cage.

It’s not always comfortable, but that matters less than owning your truth.

For in owning what has been with you, a part of you your whole life, you claim that which is yours alone.

Yes. You have your truth.

Maybe you resist it, or make it wrong preferring another truth.

Someone else’s truth is compelling. Yours might seem hard or impossible in comparison.

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” – Aristotle

I can relate, for my truth carries the weight of “Who the hell do I think I am?”

I am a waker. I own it, even though the message is still a work in progress.

You are born with your truth, and when you think back over your life you’ll find evidence for its existence.

Times when you were reprimanded for speaking it.

Times when you felt crushed by the weight of it.

Times when you knew without a doubt you were here to share it.

It’s why you’re here.

And since this is not a new message I am conscious of the truth and the irony.

You have a kernel of truth inside, longing to be expressed in a way that only you can deliver.

Right here, right now, share it.

The truth is yours, but the journey can be ours, together.

 

From Someday to One Day (how shifting your focus brings a dream alive)

 

Someday you will die.

And that’s really the only someday thought you can count on.

The rest of your someday thoughts are like the numbered balls in an old school bingo basket. . .bouncing around, one idea on top of the other. Your dreams tumbling about willy nilly.

Bingo Balls: photo credit - bridges&balloons

And therein lies the problem.

You don’t think of your dreams as possible, and you don’t give them the attention they deserve.

You mostly think of them wistfully, with a tender ‘someday, maybe’ longing.

Someday I’ll travel the world.

Someday I’ll sing on stage.

Someday I’ll be my own boss.

Each one tossed about, spinning endlessly in the basket of your mind.

Whatever your someday desire is, it’s time to get real about the fact that right now – today – it’s neglected, cushioned by the unknown and surrounded by the thousands of negative thoughts you think every single day.

From the book Happy for No Reason by Marci Shimoff:

“Our minds—made up of our thoughts, beliefs, and self-talk—are always ‘on.’ According to scientists, we have about 60,000 thoughts a day. . . And what’s even more startling is that of those 60,000 thoughts, 95 percent are the same thoughts you had yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that. Your mind is like a record player playing the same record over and over again.

Still, that wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for the next statistic: for the average person, 80 percent of those habitual thoughts are negative. That means that every day most people have more than 45,000 negative thoughts. Dr. Daniel Amen, a world-renowned psychiatrist and brain imaging specialist, calls them automatic negative thoughts, or ANTs.”

Basically, your someday thoughts (aka the dreams and desires you’re neglecting) are being trashed by an army of ANTs.

So, how do you stop your dream from being sidetracked by this army of negative Nellies?

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Post Cards from Someday

 

postcards from Maui

If someday sent you a postcard, what would be on it?

 

When I first saw the title of Andrea Olson’s guest post I had my doubts. I thought, “Doesn’t she know how I feel about someday?” But then I read the post and realized she does know and she’s got a unique spin on it that she shares in today’s guest post. 

When I was a teenager, I read a work of fiction re-imagining Charles Darwin’s journey to the Galapagos Islands. I tumbled so deeply into the story that I felt I was there; observing the wildlife, feeling the sweat run down my back under the heat of the equatorial sun, making notes in a battered leather notebook.

Upon finishing the book, I said to my mom, “Someday, I’m going to go to the Galapagos Islands.” She merely nodded and continued folding the laundry.

Fast-forward some twenty years. I’m standing before a large cardboard box that holds the contents of my career as a lawyer. Random papers. Chewed up pencils. A plaque that describes my many wonderful attributes as the employee of the month. A half-eaten Snickers bar.

I have just quit my job. After many fits and starts, I’ve finally admitted to myself that I do not want to practice law. I simply don’t like it and I’m not doing it again. Nope. Never.

Despite my resolve never to practice law again, I have no idea what I’m going to do next. Even more frightening, I have no idea what I want to do next. None what-so-ever.

That is when someday sweeps in to save me.

An oversized post card arrives in the mail describing a trip to the Galapagos Islands, leaving in two weeks.

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Get Up, Stand Up

 

“The secret of life is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.” – Paolo Coelho

black & white knock out at boxing match

How many times have you given up after 2 or 3 falls?

 

What stories did you tell yourself afterwards?

What did you decide about you?

I’m guessing if it weren’t you stopping you it’d be rather entertaining, possibly mystifying  but nowhere near as frustrating as it really is.

Am I right? (annoying aren’t I?)

“While you are building habits, it is 100% certain that you will be failing, not just a few times, but often.” – Julien Smith

Thing is, whether it’s starting a business, pursuing a dream or planning the next phase of your life, it’s tough to go it alone.

I know because I’ve got a pretty fierce dose of the Lone Ranger syndrome myself. It goes like this. . .

  • I don’t need any help.
  • I can do it myself.
  • Are you suggesting I can’t?
  • Watch me!

It’s a vicious cycle that can go on indefinitely and knock me out cold. Why? Because when I’m in that place, no one can contribute or offer support.

No one can make a difference and it’s painful.

“Would-be entrepreneurs who hold onto everything and try to do it all themselves usually sputter, then tumble.” – newenterprise

So the question is. . .

Who’s in your corner?

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