Category Archives: Purpose

On Love & Rigidity


A very dear friend of mine will send me songs every now and then, to listen to. Every time I get one, it feels like a little gift wrapped up, waiting to be unwrapped, listened to, and enjoyed. They are all new, and all different. It’s one of those small things I secretly, anxiously look forward to… 

There was one song that I particularly loved. I listened to it over and over. Curiosity crept in and I wanted to know the lyrics, so I searched for it on YouTube and found a version with lyrics. I was shocked to read the lyrics. Maybe I’m getting old, or maybe I’m just too sensitive. But the lyrics triggered something inside me and I suddenly judged this song, that I had loved so much, as a bad song, and decided I couldn’t listen to it anymore.

It seems silly, I know. But it made me realize how quick we are to put meaning on something, leaving us to separate ourselves from people and things that would or could have otherwise, brought us significant joy…

Blinded by my ego, or fear, maybe both, I told my friend that I had listened to the lyrics and decided I couldn’t listen to it anymore. He laughed and said the lyrics were not bad at all. It turns out out the version he sent me was a clean version and the YouTube version was the explicit version. I laughed at myself for being so quick to judge- so rigid… 

What a simple example but HUGE growth opportunity almost missed. Maybe… just maybe… people are like songs. ALL unique. All beautiful. Each one has its own purpose. Some are liked more than others. All having their own origin, roots, and depth. But it’s all beautiful in its own way, and when we start placing meaning on each one, based on our biased perspectives and experiences, we have to be careful about labeling it as good or bad. 

If we see everyone as a unique song, maybe it would be easier to just enjoy the music…and maybe even dance. 

On Being Lonely

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We become lonely because we yearn for connection from another human being. We desire to be heard, understood, and appreciated. And when these fundamental needs aren’t met, we feel lonely.

With these feelings we look outward for friends, events, romantic partners, and sometimes even addictions to fill that empty feeling looming deep inside of us.

And when we finally find that friend, romantic partner, or we go to event after event, we still feel empty in the short breaks in between. And we take great notice of that lonely feeling, and more often than not, we are pulled to fill even those small moments with anything so long as we don’t feel that loneliness.

The moment in which we feel the most connected with another person, is when we feel vulnerable. Why? Because we have exposed ourselves, our hearts. We have allowed another person to sit with that with which we were uncomfortable sitting alone with. And when we find that even under our deepest vulnerabilities and flaws, we are still loved, we are still valued, we are still WORTHY, it is then that we feel complete.

Paradoxically, without other people, we are incapable of “exposing” our vulnerabilities, yet it is precisely these vulnerabilities that we are afraid of exposing for fear that we will be rejected. Being vulnerable takes risk. It takes being humble, and a bit of humility. Being vulnerable takes a tremendous amount of courage. Most importantly, being vulnerable means being human. We are all flawed.

There’s a catch, and it’s a rather big catch. The trick to maintaining that feeling of being whole is to embrace all those vulnerabilities on your own. Being whole isn’t contingent on anyone but yourself. So if you find yourself courageous enough to humble yourself and become vulnerable, in that moment of vulnerability, know that it is not to gain acceptance or love by another but to live in your truth. And yes, if there is anything that you see in yourself that you do not like, you alone are responsible for changing it.

People are mirrors that reflect both the things we love about ourselves and the things we despise. This is why being vulnerable and true in your relationship is so important- to clearly see what is being reflected back to us.

When you begin loving and embracing who you are, we begin to love ourselves, and when we end up in moments with ourselves, we suddenly realize, we are not alone, and we are whole.

How to Let Go

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Most of us struggle with letting go, not because we really needed that thing (relationship, situation, job, environment, behavior, etc.) in our lives, but because the concept of letting go is so overwhelming.

We know we have to “let go” of things that are not good for us, but aren’t quite sure what it means to let go, if we are ready, when we’ll be ready, the consequences, or even how to go about doing it. The idea of letting go sounds like something we have to do physically, emotionally, and simultaneously. But the truth is, it doesn’t happen overnight.

We may imagine letting go to mean having to cut our ties, burn bridges, and run away as fast and as far away as possible, “then everything will be alright…” Sometimes we might even think that letting go means completely giving up on our goals, ambitions, hopes, dreams, or precious relationships. We may even see “letting go” as denying the importance of that person/place/thing in our life. Seeing “letting go” in this way is overwhelming, to say the least, and very unattractive. Letting go on those terms makes sitting in our discomfort far more appealing. Fortunately, letting go is none of that. It might help to understand what letting go really entails, and how to do it effectively (or at least less painfully).

You see, we often see the thing in front of us as the cause of our unhappiness, and thus jump to the conclusion that it must be immediately removed from our lives in order for us to be happy. I’ve seen two extremes: some will stay in that place that we believe causes us a great deal of unhappiness, thinking there is no way out of it, so we might as well suck it up. And some will completely escape the situation because they believe there is no way to find happiness in that given situation.

Eight months ago, my husband left me. For some reason, I really thought that he would be nicer, given that his new life was free from all the things he said he hated about me. He blamed me for making him so angry. Surprisingly, even after 8 months apart, his anger has worsened. He became more verbally abusive. He lashed out more often. He blamed me for even more things (crazy random things like his cell phone not working). His attitude and words were filled with such hatred and, I have to admit, every word he said felt like it was a spear lunged into my heart and laced with poison. My heart hurt for a long time. I thought, “What did I do to deserve this? Why is he causing me so much grief? When will he finally stop hurting me and let me be happy…?” Even ignoring him didn’t stop the attacks.

I lost a lot of sleep over every text he sent, every glare he gave me when picking up our son. After loving and caring for him for so many years, all he did was hurt me and hate me… I was truly unhappy. I tried being nicer, more generous. I spent countless hours going over our texts, wondering what I did or said that was so wrong, and planned how I would respond next time to elicit a better response. Maybe I could say or do something that resulted in him being more kind…more…loving?

What I thought was the cause of my unhappiness (his attitude and behavior), however, was actually not the cause at all. I had to dig deep, but really questioned myself. Why does what he say and do bother me so much? Why does it change the way I feel about myself? Why do I let this affect my health, and energy? Something had clearly triggered something much deeper inside of me, and I had to figure out what it was.

It took many months, and tons of therapy to realize that I was holding on to some kind of subconscious need inside of me for validation. I needed his reaction to me to validate my worth. What I really wanted to do was move to a different state so that I never had to see him ever again. I even considered quitting my job. I thought that my happiness depended on him changing.

I found that it is the letting go of THAT which makes letting go so hard. That thing inside us that says, without that changing, or without this condition, etc., I will suffer… I will be unhappy…my life is pointless… I thought I needed him to be a kind co-parent, for the sake of the kids, at minimum. But what it really was, was an unspoken need to be validated. To prove that I wasn’t a failure, a bad wife, or a bad mother. I rationalized my need for him to change by saying things like, “if he doesn’t change, he is setting a bad example to our child. So he MUST change. He MUST learn how to be kinder to me.” In reality, perhaps life would be better if he was more kind, less hateful and angry. Unfortunately, that’s just who he is and I don’t need him to change in order for me to feel good, or even confident, about my life, my value, and my future.

Letting go of that need drastically changed my life, my happiness, and how I saw him. After a while, it didn’t matter what he did or said. It was just him, doing his thing, and saying things that reflected, not me, but a really dark place in his heart that wasn’t ready or willing to heal. And perhaps it never will. And that is fine because my happiness doesn’t depend on it.

We hold on so tightly to that sense of identification we feel, or our attachment to the outcome that we become almost blind sighted from alternatives and positive solutions.

It is a great challenge, but one worth trying, to dig deep into what it is that we are really holding on to and why, and then…let it go.

What’s interesting is that once we finally do manage to let go, we realize that we never actually let go of the thing we thought we needed, but our attachment to it. Originally I thought I needed to let go of my husband being a real meanie, when in reality, all I needed to let go of was trying to define my value according to how he (or anyone else) treated me.

How To Make Others Change

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The majority of our suffering comes from thinking something or someone should be different. When it comes to people, we believe that if only they changed, things would be so much easier for us, and for them. Getting people to change is so difficult that the struggle in getting there, paradoxically, ends up ruining the relationship altogether. The result: everyone suffers. Suffering comes from a desire to fix, control, or change reality. So how do we get people to change without ruining relationships and driving ourselves mad?

It hurts seeing those we care about doing things that we know are bad for them. And while it may be completely true that they would benefit from making changes in their lives, what we don’t see is the energy and negativity that comes pouring out of us when we fixate on that inner desire of ours to get them to change to be more “easy for us to be around”.

What we don’t see is the excessive negative energy we put there, and the amount of energy that gets sucked out of us- so much that we have very little left to apply in our own lives, our own problems, and our own issues.

For the longest time, I was guilty of this.  To the point of being aggressive, emotional, and angry and hypervigilant, I would get overly involved in other people’s lives. I was completely blind to the extent it took away my inner peace. I was losing sleep, I was getting anxious, and started building up resentment toward the people I claimed to “love”.

This is a form of codependency. When we get involved in places that we have no power, neglecting our own personal health, well-being, growth, and independence. We make ourselves sick with bitterness and judgement about how someone behaved, thought, or spoke in a way that we didn’t agree with. Sadly, this only leads to a breakdown, and sometimes end to the relationship.

We meddle in other’s lives because we care, we worry, and we think we know what’s best for them. And perhaps that’s all justified and coming from good intention and a loving place. Then again, there are times when our own lives are so messed up that it just feels easier to focus on other’s problems instead of our own. But the truth is, wherever it comes from, and whatever reasons we have, we have no real or meaningful power over others behaviors, choices, thoughts, or beliefs. So how do you change them?

You can’t.

But you can influence them.

Trying to maintain our own inner calm is hard enough, but to try and make magic in someone else’s life by changing them into someone you think they should be only leads to trouble. The only meaningful power you have is to find that peace within yourself, juggle your own inner calamities, and love. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. Love each other. Be kind to everyone. Because believe it or not, people are always watching. It may not feel like it but they are. Even when they are repeating over, and over, and over again, the behaviors that keep getting them into the same predicament, they are watching. They’re watching to see if it’s possible to be a kind, patient, loving human being. They are watching to see how to unconditionally love others and accept others and support each other on their journey in life. If you want to make people change, start there.

To Live Your Message

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What’s your mission statement?

I was asked that a few months ago and was like, “ummmm…can I get back to you on that?”

What sucks about having a mission statement is the accountability that comes with it. So you have a mission statement that boldly states what you’re all about. Your purpose, your passion, your whole reason for existing… and then the big question that inevitably follows it: So what are you doing to achieve that?

Gulp…

I’m a little embarrassed to admit this, but it took me a few years to respond to that question. And here it is:

To live my message.

If ever a mission statement, this for me, felt like a truly powerful and empowering one. I didn’t need to be perfect, I was allowed to make mistakes. Having a mission statement with a specific “goal” in mind (like world peace, or eliminating poverty, or curing cancer…whatever) is extremely intimidating, and honestly, probably unrealistic. But this- living my message, sounded pretty practical and like something I could definitely do.

It was basically daily accountability to do the things I say I’m going to do,
avoid doing the things I say I’m not going to do,
and find flexibility and forgiveness somewhere in the middle.

So the real question isn’t about having a mission to change others or to make some dramatic dent in the world, but to be as truthful, honest, and real as I can possibly be at all times, and hopefully, that helps others feel free to be as truthful, honest, and real as they can be as well. In that, I find freedom, hope, and love. No rules, no super out-of-reach impossible goals to achieve within x-amount of time. No one-size-fits-all rules and expectations.

To do this only required one thing: to be brutally, rigorously honest about who I was and what I was about. No more people-pleasing. No more looking outside me to fill what was lacking inside.

As I began my path of discovery, healing, and self-love, I began to have a lot of “aha moments” and “epiphanies” that I was desperate to share with others (hence this blog). It was tempting to insist that my friends and family do what I was doing, think what I was thinking, and heal the way I was healing. I secretly judged… Sorry…

Little did I realize, though, was that by focusing on the progress and struggles of others, it would not only take away from my own recovery but pull me back. Significantly…

What I found was that in order to help others, or carry a message of healing to those who still suffer, was that I can’t “pull them along” in my own struggles. I had to live my message.

We learn only through our commitment to our own healing and growth. We carry that message of hope and strength by living it; by serving as an example. I believe it is not us who share the message, but the message that shares itself as it comes out in our daily actions and attitude.

If so, what was I sharing?

Self-improvement, personal development, healing, recovery- whatever you want to call it, is all a very intimate process that somehow unfolds itself uniquely in each individual, which is why it requires rigorous honesty, intention, and personal effort and commitment. We recover not through the advice of others, and not by doing things the way others do them, but by committing to healing ourselves, every day, in whatever way works.

No matter how far we have come, we do not have the ability to “teach” people how to live. We do not have the divine knowledge of what is the best path for others to take, and we do not have the right to insist that one way is better than another. We rely on a “program” that works for us and our personal relationship with some form of Higher Power, even if that Higher Power is your dog. Seriously. Whatever works. We never attempt to be another person’s “Higher Power”. All we know, by walking our talk is what worked for us, and this is evident not though an intense advising session but through our actions, thoughts, and behaviors.

It would be truly arrogant of me to try and teach something in which I had no experience or knowledge in, and that lack of experience or knowledge isn’t the things I’ve learned.

The thing I know absolutely nothing about and have no experience with is,
“what’s best for someone else.” 

What I learned through my unfortunate failed marriage with a sex addict, alcoholic, problem gambler is that the more I tried “teaching” him how to “overcome his issues” (as opposed to just living a better life for myself), the more I enabled his addictions, and the more distance I put between us.

All I know is that I have found my “program” transformative, healing, and a vital part of my recovery. Through doing my own personal work, I have met others who have experienced the same recovery and healing. While our stories are all very different (and in some ways very similar), our core commonality was in our commitment to our personal healing and co-witnessing how it transforms and heals us.

No matter where we come from and what our background, we had been supported and encouraged to continue working through our issues in a positive, loving, and supportive way, and this was all we could do. This was ultimately the most effective and influential for everyone involved.

Naturally, when we find something that works to make our lives better, we want to share it with the world. We want others to know and feel the freedom and joy that we once only dreamed of having. But our message, our product, that “thing” we hold dear to us, we only carry it because it carried us. Through a lot of inner-work, and commitment to bettering ourselves, it has now become a part of us, and through this, we are able to carry it in return. And that is how we live our message.

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I Surrender

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“I surrender”

I know it sounds silly to talk about movies, but it was 2012. I watched the movie, “The Life of Pi” and had forever been changed. The take-away for me (which may be different for many) had a significant impact on the way I currently live my life. The first time I heard him say those words, “I surrender” I felt a chill down my spine. It was calling out to me, urging me to say it. “Try it… Say it…say, ‘I surrender”.

My body felt a sudden tension. “No way!” I thought. “I’m not ready! If life is anything like the message in this movie, just look at what happens when we surrender!

It had seemed that Pi had gone through enough pain and suffering. He literally lost EVERYTHING: his family, friends, country, and when he thought he had nothing more to lose, he lost the last of his food, the boat that kept him afloat on an ocean that could care less about about whether he lived or died, and his best friend was dying next to him. On the surface, it felt like he was being punished horrendously…for what…why…?

And yet the storms kept coming…hitting him harder, and stronger. If surrender meant opening my arms to a bigger storm, count me out!

This was not encouraging at all. To surrender meant an increase in suffering. I was not willing to suffer more. I had had enough. But the message kept ringing louder and louder in the back of my mind for years. Something inside me kept calling, begging almost, whispering, “say it..say ‘I surrender‘.”

I knew I had to at some point. But I wasn’t ready.

To surrender meant having to endure greater suffering, isolation, and the loss of all I thought I knew and believed (i.e., my “ego”)… What I hadn’t realized at the time though, was that through surrendering the ego, I was to discover myself and my purpose.

 

There came a time in my life (a few  years later) when I finally got the guts to say it. When I thought things couldn’t get any worse, I was desperate for freedom, so I said it. I didn’t whisper it either. I screamed it loud and clear: “Ok, God. I’m ready….(gulp)… I… surrender!”

And sure enough, I was granted what felt like Pi’s epic storm scene. A true shit storm. My husband’s infidelity came to the surface, my own ugly demons came staring me in the face, and eventually, my marriage came to crashing ugly end… and I was left thinking, “I’m a failure. A loser. Who on Earth could possibly ever love someone like me…?”

But what came out of that shit storm (shit storm being a serious understatement) was exactly what is promised when we surrender.

Dr. Wayne Dyer says, “your ego wants you to look for the inside on the outside.” He adds, “The outer illusion is the major preoccupation of the ego.”

In other words, when we let our ego lead, the ego feeds us false ideas of what will make us happy, constantly encouraging us to focus on things outside of us to fill that empty void inside of us.

But when we surrender the ego, we are forced to look inside- something we’ve been avoiding our entire lives. And yeah, when we finally have to take a peek at all of that mess…it is NOT pretty… Yet, when we courageously do look inside, we discover…the universe.

The cost is high, and the fear induced by it is great, but it is sooooo worth it. If you think about it, letting go of the ego to discover the universe…and as a side perk, suffering seems to decrease significantly. Now that’s a pretty good deal! An investment with HUGE return.

Suffering is something no one wants to do. And certainly, if we don’t have to suffer, why suffer? If there’s something we can do to remove the suffering from our lives, why not? But there are times in our life when we must endure the storms. There are times when we must embrace the suffering. And it is precisely this- suffering- a very necessary consequence of growth and evolution as a human being.

While it seems counter-intuitive, as we learn to surrender to the universe, we actually find peace. We find the universe, we find our true power, we reconnect and discover that full, infinite loving wholeness inside ourselves.

So perhaps the key to happiness, and yet quite a scary path to embark on, is to surrender. Don’t get me wrong: to surrender is not to give up on your dreams, or to aim a little lower when we don’t get what we hoped for, but to maybe aim a little higher next time, and let go of the outcome…each..and every time.

On the Practice of Gratitude

Gratitude isn’t a feeling, it’s a practice. This is a very important distinction, because we often confuse the practice of gratitude with “feeling grateful“. We can feel grateful for that awesome promotion, or the date that went extremely well, or our super cool friends. But feeling grateful for cool things that happen to us isn’t “gratitude.” That’s basically just an emotional response to experiencing cool things. It didn’t take any personal effort or acknowledgement on your part, you just got happy because something went your way. In other words, you felt happy. Not grateful. Happy. Big difference.

The practice of gratitude is like any practice. Take physical exercise as an example: the more you do it, the stronger you get, and the more results you will start to see in your professional and personal life on so many levels (physical, emotional, spiritual, psychological, financial… you name it.)

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The problem with thinking that gratitude is a feeling is that, unfortunately, when things aren’t going so well, we don’t “feel” like being grateful. Have you ever felt super crappy and down in the dumps and compelled to express gratitude? Probably not. Your partner left you, the car broke down,  finances are low, the kids are fighting, you’ve had a long day at work, got criticized by a colleague, and when all you want to do is go home and relax, now you’re stuck in heavy traffic. What are all these people doing on MY road!? It may seem counter-intuitive, but this is the perfect time to practice gratitude.

The key word here is practice. In the beginning, it takes some serious creativity, focus, and effort. But anything worth anything takes a little effort. When all looks grey and gloomy, it’s really hard to find the silver lining. Fortunately, practicing gratitude isn’t about finding any silver lining, and it’s not about being overly optimistic. Practicing gratitude is basically the practice of looking beyond the crappy stuff.

**IMPORTANT NOTE: “looking beyond crappy stuff” is NOT the same as “overlooking the crappy stuff,” but simply changing your viewpoint (and sometimes attitude) about it.

There are many ways to practice gratitude, and some can be very easy. For example, today I woke up breathing. Some people weren’t afforded that opportunity… Thank you for another day. Given how I treated my kids last night in my moment of exhaustion, I don’t feel deserving of another day…

I woke up in a country that is not in the middle of bombings and war- in fact, it was silent with the peaceful sound of running water from a fountain outside my window and birds chirping as they bathed in it. My kids are healthy, I am healthy, I have a job, money, food, a car, and iPhone… What if I didn’t have these things?

My 42 year-OLD (yeah, I highlighted that last word) husband left me for a life of prostitutes, alcohol and gambling addictions. My childhood was full of abuse and neglect. I could focus on that… I could spend countless amounts of my precious energy being angry, sad, bitter and resentful for all the people and things that failed to meet my expectations… It really is just a matter of perception. I can’t deny it hurt a lot to go through all of that, and the grieving process was (and still is) a big part of my life. But in spite of all of that- no, BECAUSE of all of that, I am where I am right now. Strong, beautiful, empowered, resilient and with my heart left open and soft. Not hardened and shut down. It could have been SO much worse… but it isn’t.

In practicing gratitude, it’s easier to start with the stuff that we like, or the things that are going well in our life. Making it a daily habit of acknowledging and being grateful for the cool things that are going well for us, we slowly lose our focus on the things that aren’t going so well, and as if by miracle, MORE awesome things start to happen and appear in our lives. And as more awesome things start to happen, the less we are pulled toward or feel a need to waste our precious energy obsessing about the not-so-awesome things (which are almost always completely out of our control. Side note: if they were in your control you shouldn’t be complaining about them but rather doing something about it).

I got side-tracked…

Anyway, after a while of strengthening your “gratitude muscles” you can start venturing into the “gratitude for crappy things.” This can be a challenge, and definitely not something I’ll go into depth about today, but there will come a time in our life when we can reflect on the stuff that didn’t go well and, if not be grateful for it, just not feel like a victim about it. And when we choose to no longer be a victim to life, we set ourselves free.

Gratitude can be practiced anywhere, anytime, and because life is the way it is, the opportunities are in abundance.

Today, may I be an instrument of peace. May I learn how to love and be loved.
May I somehow be deserving of all that I have been blessed with.

The 3 Biggest Challenges

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As nasty a pill as it is to swallow, my biggest challenge in life is…myself.

I get in my own way. You get in your own way. We all get in our own way, every single time. When I find myself feeling pretty crappy, my go-to is to blame the person that was involved in whatever event that I was feeling crappy about. But if I dig deep enough, I realize that it is either because I simply lacked tolerance toward the behavior or attitude because it fell short of my personal expectations, OR, that behavior or attitude left me feeling insignificant.

Dr. Wayne Dyer said, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” Such simple yet profound wisdom. I used to let everything outside of me (the way people looked at me, talked to me, didn’t talk to me, treated me, didn’t treat me, the job I got, the job I didn’t get, etc.) suck all the energy out of me and define my value (and mood!). Now let’s be honest; putting that much power into something that is completely out of my control is…frankly…stupid. REALLY, REALLY stupid.

One of the main reasons I started Soulful Detox was precisely because of this idea that, maybe, I needed a total makeover- a “soul” detox- something to clear out and transform all of those unhelpful beliefs that kept me feeling so…bad.  Through a lot of inner reflection and work, I have come to narrow the biggest challenges I personally had to face, to 3 things. And here they are:

CHALLENGE #1: Thinking that who I am is limited to my body: “Your body is but a vessel,” said someone (I don’t know who). If that’s true, what is it that is being carried inside? Yeah… think about that for a moment. Most people would say something like, “my soul.” The Earth is approximately 4.54 ± 0.05 billion years and some change… I’m 35 years old. That means that compared to our cumulative existence, my life and everything I hold dear to me is not even a fraction of a second long, and yet it seems that I spend copious amounts of time thinking I’m too fat, too ugly, too wrinkly, my teeth are crooked, I’m not pretty enough, I’m not sexy enough, my hair isn’t perfect… All that shit is “shallow” shit. Why spend so much energy rowing a boat in shallow water? By doing so I ended up creating meaningless, shallow relationships that reinforce and remind me that I need to constantly try harder to decorate my “vessel” so that I can feel good about myself. What sucks about this way of thinking, is not only that people end up using you and leaving you regardless of what you look like, you don’t have any control over it. We age, shit happens, and we are constantly required to “fix” what other people aren’t embracing at the moment. Non-stop madness… So if my body is nothing but a vessel, then what if I spent all my time and energy beautifying the soul within instead? That is much more empowering. My point? Take care of the vessel, it’s how you get from one place to another on this short, short journey in life, but YOU ARE NOT the vessel.

CHALLENGE #2: Thinking that my thoughts and feelings are not important or flawed: When I was young, I used to run from anything that didn’t feel “positive”. If I was angry or felt rejected, I would internalize all of it and either blame the other person for being “horrible” or I would blame myself and think I was unworthy. When something positive happened, I would give the credit to everyone but myself, and downplay my excitement and pride in my accomplishments, afraid that I would be coming off as a pompous b*tch. As I got older, I picked and chose which thoughts and feelings were “acceptable” and which ones I felt I had to ignore. Feelings of love and compassion were ok, and feelings of insecurity and anger were not ok. This left me feeling like a fake- an imposter. Instead of recognizing that the bad thoughts are just as important, profound, and useful as the good ones, I only wanted others (and myself) to see the good and not the “bad”. Shame at its worse. Now that I’m “old”, I realize that hatred, anger, jealousy, sadness, grief, insecurity… ALL of these feelings, in addition to the wondrous good feelings, are here to teach me more about myself. When I’m feeling angry or insecure, I am no longer afraid to sit with that and do some serious inner reflection… WHY am I feeling so angry? What is going on inside me that is making me feel so insecure and unimportant? Going back to the vessel metaphor, ALL of this is what is in my vessel, and ALL of it needs tended to.

CHALLENGE #3: Thinking that motivation is something that comes to me, and not something that I’m personally responsible for creating on my own: It’s hella hard to stay committed to something we decided we wanted to do when that rush of  motivation we had at the time we decided to commit to it is nowhere to be found. There was a position in the office I’d had my eyes on for a while, and it required a specific certification that I tested for twice and failed. Why did I fail? I didn’t read or study for the test. I just glanced over the material, winged it, and hoped I could get ‘close enough’ and pass. A year went by and I vowed that I would study for the test this time and pass. I definitely wanted the job! Months went by and my motivation to pick up that 3-inch thick book on federal regulations was still not appealing to me… It sat on my desk, for months, opened to Chapter 1… Life got busy. That was my excuse. Now I realize, it was simply a choice. I didn’t want it bad enough and I was waiting for something outside me to motivate me enough to pick up the book and read it. Motivation doesn’t come to you. That’s inspiration. Inspiration comes to you. Motivation, the drive to stay committed to something long after the feelings we had at the time we decided to pursue it have dissipated, is born and grown through action. When obstacles get in the way and our feelings are saying, “let’s start from tomorrow….today, let’s party” is when that thing inside your vessel (your soul) can come to the front and center, or you can continue ignoring it.

I’ve learned that ignoring my soul only leads to suffering, and I kinda don’t like suffering. Especially for shallow things. Adopting this kind of self-empowerment has made a world of difference to me, and has helped me navigate through some pretty shitty and rough waters as I ride this vessel. The deeper the water, the smoother the ride. Go Deep.

The Price of Dreams

The Price of Dreams:

To fulfill your purpose and achieve your dreams, you must be willing to do whatever it takes, and there’s always a price.

Those who fulfill their purpose know that there are three forces that will either motivate people to achieve or give up. The first two forces: Avoiding pain and seeking pleasure are fueled by desperation. The third force is inspiration, which transcends everything.

So get inspired. Be inspired. INSPIRE! When you’re inspired, you embrace both pain and pleasure in the pursuit of your purpose.

With wisdom you look back at your life and realize that every single event, person, place, and idea was part of the perfected experience you needed to build your dream.

The bigger the crisis, the bigger the blessing!

If you want to excel at something, then let no day go by without dedicating your life 100 percent to making it happen.

Time is precious.

 

-Bits taken from Dr. John F. Demartini (The Breakthrough Experience: A Revolutionary New Approach to Personal Transformation)

How to Solve Our Human Problems

New reading and it is beyond AWESOME. Just wanted to share…

When things go wrong in our life and we encounter difficult situations, we tend to regard the situation itself as our problem, but in reality whatever problems we experience come from the side of the mind.

If we responded to difficult situations with positive or peaceful mind they would not be problems for us. Eventually we might even regard them as challenges or opportunities for growth and development.

Problems arise only if we respond to difficulties with a negative state of mind. Therefore, if we want to be free from problems, we must transform our mind.

 

-How to Solve Our Human Problems, by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso