Freedom, Listen

Suffering is Ironic

When I was a young adult a very wise person gave me a loving jolt, a call to wake up if you will.  I was caught up in my own suffering, complaining about how terrible and hard life was for me.  I had it with all the injustices I witnessed at work, in the world and was deep in the blame game of why I was so miserable.  Of course, it was all someone else’s doing.  It was the government, it was corporate America, it was the American culture, it was….  Well it was anyone and anything’s fault but mine.  I could not see beyond my suffering to see any other options.  Suffering was just life and it was all because someone else was doing something that stepped on my toes and kept me from being where I wanted to be.

Well, this wise person finally had enough of my suffering and mindless musings.  She abruptly interrupted me and asked: Do you think you are the only one?  You cannot possibly think you are the only one who has a hard time in this life.  Everyone struggles with something and you are here sounding like you are special and the only one who ever had it rough.

Not only was that a shock to my system, but it shook me out of the bitterness I had been holding on to.  She was right about many things, but the one thing that it really made me look hard at was the fact that yes, I did think I was special.  I thought I was the only one who saw these things and I wanted to put a stop to it.  I realized my suffering, my musings about the injustice of it all were mindless and would never solve anything. The reality was I thought I was so special that my complaining would get someone else’s attention and they would do something to change it and save me once and for all.  Ironic.  While I sat there and complained that it was everyone else’s fault I also deeply buried a belief that it was also someone else’s responsibility to help me and to stop these terrible things from happening to me.

In moments such as these, we all have to make a choice.  We can continue to complain and suffer and hope someone comes to our rescue or we can see that the ownership lies with us.  We are not special we are not unique in this world filled with differing opinions.  We all suffer in our own way and it is by our own doing, not anyone else.  We are all looking for solutions to the same underlying problem.  We all want to feel a sense of freedom to be in this world, but we have allowed someone else to stop us.  Read that line again.  It is we, the individual who have allowed someone to stop us.  No one can ever make you think or feel a certain way.  Choose to be in this world.  Choose to see your own ability to feel and think for yourself.  And finally choose to see it all starts and stops with how you choose to see yourself and this world.

Thank you to the wise woman who jolted me awake.

Freedom, Uncategorized

Don’t Wait to be “Home”

Have you ever met someone that inspired you or sparked something within you?  Do you remember what it was that drew you in?  It wasn’t how they dressed or their position in life.  It was the fact that they were truly themselves and you connected with them.  When we see these people in our everyday life it’s a breath of fresh air almost like they are infusing us with a ray of hope that enables us to see we can step into who we are too.

I meet people like this almost everywhere I go.  Last year I was traveling every week for work and had the pleasure of meeting so many wonderful people.  There is one I remember fondly.  She had that special something about her.  We talked and shared our observations and musing about this life and how we believe others should be treated.  She said something that really stuck with me and led me down a road of contemplation.  She said we should treat each other like they are family, especially when they enter our home.  For her, home is a sacred place and the people she invites in need to be treated with love and kindness.

For most of us home is where we can be ourselves, feel love, show kindness and understanding like it’s the only place reserved for such indulgences.  Since I have traveled so much, I see the environment of home a little differently.  Home for me is whatever environment I am in. Wherever I am, I am home.  I cannot wait to go to a physical place to experience who I truly am in this world, that could be weeks and sometimes months.  I have to be myself at all times.  Wherever I go, my beliefs about how to treat others remains the same.

We can’t wait to be at “home” before we decide to treat people with love, kindness and a desire to understand them.  We don’t always get to pick and choose who invites themselves into our life so I do not believe we get to pick and choose how we treat people based on our physical location in the moment.  Be yourself everywhere you go.  Treat people as if you invited them into your home.  Maybe you’ll be that ray of hope someone needs so they can do the same.

Freedom, Uncategorized

Stop and Ask

You would like to change your life, but you have no clue where to even start. All you know for sure is that this is not the life you had in mind for yourself and something has to change.

You are not clueless about what you want or even who you are and who you want to be in this world. You already know things about yourself. You know the roles you play in life: a child, an employee, parent, and spouse. You know what excites you and what weighs you down. Where most of us struggle is trying to identify our passions and purpose. The clues are there, you know somewhere deep inside what is calling out to you. Over time, you just let your truth slip into the back seat as the worldly “shoulds” took up the space in the front seat. You know the “shoulds” that play in your head: you should do this not that, you should want that over there not this, you should feel this way… You let the “should” take the wheel. No wonder we look around one day and wonder where we are and how we got here.

If this is where you find yourself, it’s time to stop and ask yourself some questions.  Ask questions that will reconnect you to your truth so you can get yourself back into the front seat of your life.

1.What do I like?

This sounds so basic and simple, but when was the last time you took inventory of what really excites you?  Keep a piece of paper close by and write down everything you like and everything you don’t like. Yes, everything: people, situations, food, weather, anything and everything.   After 1 week look over your list and ask yourself how you can reduce the dislikes and bring more of your likes into your life.

  1. What do I value?

Your values guide how you think and ultimately how you behave.   Values define what is most important to you and provide you with a framework on how to make decisions in life. Uncovering your values will show you who you are at your core before the world told you who you should be. Once you identify your core 3-5 values you can start living into them on purpose by choosing to do things that align with your values.

Sometimes all we need to do is to stop and ask the right questions.  You already have the answers somewhere inside of you.  Now, it’s just a matter of tapping in to hear your truth.




Happy New Year

It’s a new year. The calendar’s way of reminding us of new beginnings and an invitation to reset.  Another reminder that every day is new and filled with infinite possibility if we choose to see it.  There is nothing in this world that stays the same.

We choose to grow just as we choose to stay stagnant. Every single moment we choose our experiences.  We choose who we are and how we show up in this world.  We choose our experience of this life: the joys, the pains, the connections, the lack, the shame, the love.  Every moment, everyday we get the opportunity to react and to create our experience.

Have you ever walked through life with everything bother you?  We all have at some point.  It feels like the entire world is against you.  All you knew to do was to either fight with it, complain about it or just be angry.  You took all of that in and it got stuck somewhere.  You even started to feel the discomfort of holding onto all those negative energies.  You started looking around, angry at the world and the people in it. You blamed the outside world for all of your inner pain.

The more this life unfolds, the more I see that nothing can stick to me unless I allow it to.  It is my choice to be mad about something.  I alone choose to hold on to that anger when the moment is gone.  It is my choice to also see that the moment is gone, done and complete.  The only thing keeping the anger alive is me.  This may seem a bit crazy to some, but if you give it a look you will see the truth.  The truth that you and I alone create our reactions, our emotions and ultimately how we experience this life.  No one can make your inner emotions, make you react as you do or make you hold on to the thing you hold on to.

This truth is liberating and opens a whole new world to us every day.  Imagine, you, choosing how you experience your life. You can either hold on to the things that appeared unpleasant or you can decide to let that unpleasant thing be fully experienced so it can flow through you then out of you as complete. Now you are open to new experiences.  The very act of holding on keeps us stuck and unable to experience anything else fully and completely.  There are always new experiences knocking at your door, but we are too busy and too distracted with our holding on to see them.  You can’t hold on tightly to something with all you have and expect to have a free hand to catch something new.

Choose to let go.  Choose to be open.  It’s like dipping your open hands into water and allowing yourself to feel its coolness or warmth or the cleansing qualities of its flow.  All of these experiences of water would be lost if you tried to grasp on to it and hold on.  Just like water, life is also in a continuous flow.  Experience the flow, stay open and allow it to flow through you.

The new year is an invitation for us to see each day as new.  We can reset, choose a new experience and flow with life’s infinite possibilities on any calendar day. Go into this new year with an open heart and mind.  Allow yourself to see each and every day as a new opportunity.  Remain open to the flow of life.