Archives for posts with tag: personal growth

Lately, I’ve been dropped into the world of architecture. Architects design the plans that are the blueprint for homes and buildings. They assemble all the elements… your chosen location, your local laws regarding construction, and your needs and dreams for the plan of your home.

There is something interesting about this process… Every project has multiple solutions for creating the desired outcome. Architects are experts at surveying the big picture, visualizing solutions and identifying the one that BEST suits the situation. Architects are not only creative, but practical… they have to produce results. Choosing the best solution is what makes them effective.

I was wondering the other day if we could apply the same logic to designing our lives. We have all been in a place where we need to create change, but are unable to start. It seems daunting…

Lets apply their process to our own journey… Starting with your dreams and desires, work backwards and identify behaviors and activities that could help move you toward your goal. Get into the details of it… What are the long-term and short-term activities that will lead you in the right direction? Write them down, even better make a technical diagram of what they look like physically. Add pictures and drawings to illustrate your path. What comes 1st, 2nd, etc. See them on paper in a format like a blueprint or flow chart, use big arrows and be specific. Look for multiple solutions on your chart. Meditate on the possibilities. You will eventually see the best choice. It will be clear on paper and in your mind. Choosing this solution will EMPOWER your journey, and it will feel PEACEFUL.

Becoming an architect in life is brilliant! It’s like your blueprint for navigating change. You know where you are going and how to get there.

What are you waiting for? Your new life is waiting…ūüĎ£

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How many times in life do you find yourself praying and hoping for a dream to be fulfilled?¬†¬†You find yourself lost in the thought of how you are going to achieve this dream. ¬†You know,¬†the strategy… you try to work it!

“If I did this or I acted this way, if I was available or not available, if I followed up or didn’t follow up…” ¬†the list goes on and on depending on the outcome your are trying to achieve. What I notice about all this strategy is an element of control. ¬†We try to control the situation and affect it to achieve the outcome that is the most desirable for us. ¬†There it is, the problem…¬†control.

Notice how you feel in your body when you are trying to control a situation. ¬†For me, my neck and jaw are the truth. ¬†If my neck is killing me and my jaw hurts, you better believe that I’m trying to control a situation. ¬†I’m laughing just thinking about this! ¬†It’s so obvious…

Believing in a power greater than yourself requires a willingness to release control and have faith that the events in your life are unfolding for your greater good…

Practice adding those three words to your daily meditations. ¬†Notice how you feel when you hope for something that is for your greater good. ¬†For me, it’s ¬†a well of peace. ¬†Experience it for yourself.¬†‚ô•

I’m not sure why, I never am about these postings, but today I woke up thinking about yokes! ¬†I’m laughing as I write these words, my mind is always a mystery. ¬†I know the word yoke has many meanings. ¬†The one I’m most familiar with is the one that relates to clothing, it’s a piece the garment that “joins” or “bridges” with another to improve fit.

Yokes can also be symbolic. ¬†Today I am thinking about the yoke of the mind. ¬†The mental burdens that we all carry that become yokes… ¬†we join in them and pull them along in life. ¬†They are heavy, they can be controlling, and limit our ability to experience life in a joyful way. ¬†They enslave us… ¬†Some of us travel with yokes for a lifetime. ¬†Even writing these words I am overwhelmed by this thought. ¬†Imagine all the lifetime experiences you have faced and will face, then include these hidden, mental burdens that are always running in the background. ¬†No wonder we get weary.

Inside every one of us is a well of peace. ¬†It’s unlimited… It’s always available and it releases the burden of the mental yokes we carry inside. ¬†When you trust this inner wisdom and surrender the burden of the yoke, the well of peace is opened, and flows through you. ¬†You are free to live the life in front of you with joy.

Experience the peace for yourself… ¬†surrender your own mental yokes. ¬†What are you waiting for…‚ô•

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. 

Robert Frost
I was watching a show the other day that made reference to this poem and I was reminded again of how much it speaks to me, especially the last line. ¬†I imagine most of us have been standing at a crossroads where two paths diverge, more than one time in life. ¬†We are faced with a choice about which way to travel in our lives…
Sometimes the choice is so easy, you look ahead and you see right where it will lead.  You march on down that road with confidence and conviction, your head high and your mind clear.  You can rest assured you are on the right road.
What about the other times? ¬†You know… where both choices look interesting, but you are not sure of the outcome on either road? ¬†You are hesitant and not sure or confident that either road will take you to where you belong. ¬†How do you decide what road to choose?
I’d like to think if we stand there, at that diverging road, and just pause for a moment, the choice will come. ¬†It can appear to you in a number of ways…
You might just start walking! Your body may just take control of the decision and I’ve learned from experience, always trust your body.
You might begin to see something familiar, in the distance, along one of the roads and walk towards it.
There might be a sudden gust of wind that knocks you off-balance and suddenly you are situated on one of the roads.
A friend might come along and invite you to join them on the road they are traveling. ¬†You see the point I’m making, the choice might not be direct, but you will eventually move forward!
What I’d like you to know is this… the road you choose will make all the difference. ¬†It will become the story of your life. ¬†It might not be the perfect story, you know… the one in your head where it’s always roses and candy. ¬†It will be the real story, made up of a series of diverging roads flowing one into another. ¬†It will be the beautiful and authentic story of you, so travel well…‚ô•

Oh dear, I broke my toe this week… ¬†I didn’t even know it happened! ¬†You know how sometimes, you just bang your foot against a door or piece of furniture? ¬†You make the necessary motions to acknowledge the pain. ¬†I’m ¬†laughing thinking about this. ¬†It happened on Monday morning. ¬†I was so focused on all that I needed to accomplish that week, I didn’t even flinch really. ¬†I just kept right on going. ¬†Of course wearing the wrong shoes and then going in and out of the subway about 50 times. ¬†You see where I’m going with this right… Denial.

So, when I finally made it home, and took off my shoe, I saw the most pitiful sight. ¬†My poor toe was purple, swollen, and looking slightly out of joint. ¬†The only thought that came into my head was… how am I going to make it through all of my appointments with this swollen, non functioning toe? ¬†I gave her NO down time…

I Googled “broken toe”. ¬†I know you are laughing right now. ¬†Seriously, I think Google is the high priestess of the everyday situation. ¬†Since I was clearly not going to the doctor, Google would have to suffice. ¬†This is when the interesting thing happened. ¬†I discovered the “buddy toe”. ¬†It makes me laugh just thinking about it. ¬†When your toe is broken, you tape it to the toe next to it, “the buddy”, to provide stability until the healing process can finish.¬† ¬†So, I taped the broken toe to its buddy and continued on with my week. ¬†The ship kept sailing, so to speak.

The buddy toe got me thinking about how some of us are wounded in life and keep going. ¬†There is no time to stop. ¬†We have to be the functioning wounded. ¬† We don’t even acknowledge our wounds, for fear they will keep us from participating in life. ¬†It can be draining to carry these wounds in and out of our days. ¬†What if we were to “tape” ourselves to a “buddy” while this wound is healing? ¬†I am thinking of someone in your life who is functioning and capable of being strong for both of you. ¬†You infuse yourself with the strength and energy of the other until you are able to go on your own, ¬†just like the buddy toe.

Think about it… give yourself the gift of the “buddy toe” when you need it and share your “strong toe” with another when you are able. ¬†The healing process will strengthen you both…¬†‚ô•

When was the last time you heard someone referred to as a “Master”? ¬†I think about this mostly when it comes to golf. ¬†You know, the Masters Tournament… ¬†All those professional golfers coming together to compete at the height of their game. ¬†They have honed their craft to a point that it becomes mastery.

What happens when you’ve reached the master level? ¬†First of all you have to take a look at what it takes to become a master. ¬†I have a personal theory that masters are created where skill, experience, and passion come together. ¬†This perfect combination of qualities brings to life a higher level of expression. ¬†It’s really a pleasure to watch a master at work, they are so present…¬†

When masters practice their craft for a long period of time, they become artists.  They place their own personal spin on the technicality of their work.  They have studied, experimented, and honed their craft so expertly that their creative mind takes over.  It breeds a new and ultimately unique level of achievement.  Experiencing mastery as it becomes art is a beautiful gift.

How do you experience mastery in your life? ¬†Who do you see as a master? ¬†Appreciate those around you who display mastery and encourage them to become artists…‚ô•

A friend forwarded me this image the other day… ¬†It made me laugh out loud! ¬†I have an August birthday, so I am a Lion by birth. ¬†Also, because I used to have a cat named Mosie who looked just like the kitty in the picture. ¬†His body resembled the kitty, but his personality was definitely like the Lion. ¬†We spent 8 years together as roommates, before he died. ¬† ¬†He was not my friend, or my son, he was my roommate. ¬†We struggled and fought and ignored and occasionally loved each other, but he was hands down the most loyal companion and highly protective. ¬†¬†He had this whole self-image thing down. ¬†He saw himself as a LION every day. ¬†Even when he clearly looked like the kitty!

Working in the fashion industry is all about image. ¬†It’s constant scrutiny and very subjective. ¬†One day you are IN, the next you are OUT. ¬†It can take its toll on your self-image over time. ¬†I often wonder if it’s really a good idea to bring young men and women into the industry so early… ¬†You have to be so strong inside.

Seeing yourself ¬†for the natural beauty inside is the most wonderful thing, it brings you peace. ¬† ¬†When you express yourself in your most authentic form in the world, no amount of outside scrutiny can deplete you. ¬†Living authentically is a source of beauty 24/7. ¬† All that other outside stuff is just fluff! ¬†So… ¬†How are you going to see yourself today? ¬†Why not take a lesson from Mosie and see yourself as the perfect LION that you are? ¬†‚ô•

I’ve been reading this book about the soul and consciousness… I’m not sure why I even picked this book to read, maybe it picked me! ¬† In any case, I’m engrossed in these pages and I’m stuck on a particular segment of the book. ¬†It’s about the heart, that beautiful piece of anatomy that keeps us alive and holds our emotions. ¬†What does it mean to live with an open heart?

Did you notice that your heart can’t lie? ¬†For me, my heart holds truth. ¬†My mind, that’s another matter. ¬†I am a master at justifying a decision or thought. ¬†I can provide logic, relevant examples, scientific findings, you name it. ¬†The more detail the better. ¬† However, if I quiet my mind and run the event or decision past my heart, the truth of the matter is evident. ¬†There can be no other argument. ¬†The heart has final say and is always on target.

So, knowing how valuable the heart is as a tool in life, why would we ever close it? ¬†Because it houses emotions and they are often extremely painful. ¬†You know this to be true. ¬†Some of life’s events are so gut wrenching. ¬†The heart literally bleeds with pain and sorrow. ¬†Other times, its joy and happiness we experience. ¬†These emotions are just as strong, but they are positive. Whatever the event or situation, the feelings are originating from the heart.

For me, living with an open heart means allowing all this feeling to flow and not holding good feelings or denying bad ones. ¬†Just being with the feelings, letting them take space, expand, explode, trickle down, whatever! ¬†The more I try to hold or deny the feeling, the more cut off I am from my beautiful, truthful heart. ¬†She’s my biggest ally in life. ¬†She is a well to my deepest source of energy. ¬† I’m grateful for the opportunity to practice living with my heart open each day.

How about you?  What does it mean to live with an open heart for you?  ♥

Timing is such an important part of life.  I think about this every time I miss a train by seconds.  You dash down the subway stairs only to find those doors slammed shut in your face!  There is always another train, but what might have been different in your day had you just made that connection?

I have had many examples of great timing in my life, both personally and professionally. ¬†I specifically remember taking my first apartment in NYC. ¬†I had just moved from Atlanta to New York. ¬†I was suffering some serious culture shock! ¬†I had been looking for apartments with no success. ¬†I was scheduled to see another apartment after work on a summer night. ¬†I remember standing at the top of the subway steps thinking that I did not want to go. ¬†It was hot and stinky in the subway and I had worked a long stressful day. ¬†For some reason, “divine timing”, I decided to get on the train. ¬†I ended up getting this beautiful apartment through a series of serendipitous events that evening. ¬†Living in that apartment would provide me with a great new circle of friends and a peaceful place to call home for many years. ¬†The timing was divine!

There is a certain magic about the timing of events. ¬†I like to think that timing is always right…

If you seem to be missing a lot of connections in life, whether personally or professionally, the universe might just be protecting you from the wrong connection.  It is your job to trust and keep moving forward without being discouraged.  The right connection is just around the corner and all you have to do is ENTER!  ♥

I read something yesterday that made me stop and think about how life can hand you some tough decisions. ¬†They are gut wrenching. ¬†You know, you’re going down the road and everything is fine, then… appearing on the horizon is this thing. ¬†It’s way in front of you. ¬†You can’t really even see it, but it causes you some discomfort. ¬†It’s the decision that you know you need to make. ¬† You may be reminded daily by your eye twitching, stomach pains, restless sleep, etc. ¬†You think these will just pass and you will be on down the road. ¬†In reality, these physical signs are the road markers of a tough decision on the horizon.

Tough decisions are not for the faint of heart, they require courage.  They ask us to be true to our most authentic selves.   What happens when you really listen to your own heart and act on it?  People in our lives might be hurt or disappointed.  We, ourselves might be hurt or disappointed.  There is no guarantee for a better road after making a tough decision.

I believe that every time we flex our tough decision muscle, it becomes stronger.  The ability to risk and the courage required to act are strengthened.  The next time a tough decision comes along, less time is spent agonizing about the outcome and more time is spent producing the outcome.

Making the tough decision also reminds us that we are always in the driver’s seat of our lives. Living an active life created by our own decisions is the best gift we can give ourselves and the world. ¬†So, the next time your are reminded of a tough decision, why not shift into 4WD and accelerate? ¬†It might be the best road yet! ‚ô•

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