Freedom From Labels is Where it Begins

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Recently, around the US Independence Day, I got into a discussion with a friend about the problematic divisiveness that permeates the world right now. And, we agreed that so much of what drives the discord comes down to this:

Labels

Labels are what define a thing, or a person, or a group of people. It literally means to “identify” or to attach a meaning. A label is a “descriptive phrase or word” placed onto something.

But, when a label becomes de-meaning is when assumptions are made and rash categorical biases are formed against an entire group of people. Based on the label.

We walk around all day long putting labels on people, based on religion, political party, sexual orientation, male/female sex, socioeconomic status, body size, education, illness, profession, credit rating, etc. Most often, it’s by way of fleeting thoughts, but more and more in this socially brash society, it’s become vocal and viral, and way too common.

It got me thinking about how we also label ourselves, and how what that does to either help or hinder our own self-growth. And, how easy it can be to start to believe the labels put on us by others as well. Politicians get elected by hammering away about labels. Marketers sell products by categorizing and labeling groups of people by demographics. They call them things like “early adopters” and “baby boomers” and “millennials”.

The second you’re born, labels are pronounced about you. What sex you are, what physical markers you have or don’t have, what kind of family you’re born into, what color you are, the area of the world you’re in.

Even, “It’s a boy!” or “It’s a girl!” starts the labeling process right out of the gate, so to speak.

Eventually, we start to believe the labels and it becomes part of our story. The labels become who we are. If we let them.

What if all of those labels were stripped away?

What if we strip down to our barest humanity, down to the soul level, and treat what happens to us as mere life experience. Or it's a physical characteristic but doesn't define who we are as a person. Or it’s something we’re going through, not who we are. 

My dear friend was just diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease. It’s not curable. But, is manageable. So, we talked a lot about not allowing the disease to define her. She’s a healthy spiritual human being going through an unhealthy experience.

Yes, it’s going to be a challenge and yes some things will have to be different in her daily life, but she knows she could either allow the disease to drive her, to define her, or she can do whatever she can to drive and diminish the disease. To recreate her life. In other words, she can decide not to be burdened by the label.

It goes that way with any label. 

Who are you without all of the labels? I mean all of them. The labels put upon you by society, but more importantly by the labels you place on yourself.

Is that a frightening notion? Or a freeing one? 

To my way of thinking, it’s probably both. Life without labels is full of possibility. As in flying without constraints while also free-falling without a net. Freeing and a bit scary too.

But, once you start removing the labels, the easier it is to trust your own volition, your own self-worth, your own humanity.

Start with removing your own labels. Then, remove everyone else's.

Can you imagine what a different world it would be?


A Bit of Midyear Perspective

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Perspective can either keep you present, or not.

Since I chose “Perspective” as my word and theme of the year, I thought it would be a good idea to check in on things, at midyear. So, I'm reviewing, dialing in on meaning and expanding views. 

Perspective can make you lighten up and not take things so seriously, while at the same time Perspective can help you get really serious about the most important things.

“I realized I can find my way to the MRI room by the ceiling tiles and the exit signs.”

This is what my dear, dear friend said to me during her hospital stay. Her perspective is reeled in, tight and small, exactly as it needs to be. Her perspective is, as with all of us very close to her, laser-focused on what is happening in the moment. Pain management. More IV needle prodding. More meds. Code calls. More questions than answers. More doctors/specialists/surgeons being added to team. More note taking. Then, more answers. More prayers. Finding humor in the tunneled view.

And, more trips to the MRI room, "go 20 ceiling tiles and turn left at the exit sign."

We talked about how what was and is happening to her is sharpening her perspective. Making her braver. Cherishing deeply her sister who is steadfast by her side. Receiving love and support as true medicine. Raising her self-advocacy to a level she didn’t know she had in her. I’m in awe of her strength and marvel at her capacity for continually falling back on her inner work, her spirit. 

It's true that Perspective gives you a helicopter view of things, the big picture, the long stance.

But, sometimes all you can handle is what's directly in front of you. Moment to moment. Conversation to conversation. Tile by tile. And, that's exactly how it should be in that moment. 

I found I was beating myself up because I wasn't meeting my writing goals, things that are a part of my helicopter perspective. But, when I reeled it in, got really honest and acknowledged that my view is on my friend and that is my intended perspective right now, I was able to let it all go. It’s perspective that starts the process of letting go.

This is where I am. 

I had referenced in the earlier post that "Perspective is your canvas," meaning that on the grand canvas of life, your wise and knowledgeable prospective is the base coat and then is augmented by the various colors with which you use to create your story and pave your path. 

Sometimes, the canvas shrinks, out of necessity or out of choice. And, you feel like you're out of paint, or you've turned the paintbrush over to others, as information and input bombards you. This could be as lab test results keep rolling in. Or by incessant news coverage of depressing world events. 

For me, I need to shrink the canvas so I don't lose sight of myself. For starters, for me that means turning off the news. Perspective gets wonky when it's clouded by frustration, anger and sorrow over what's happening. 

And, shrinking my canvas means being present with my friend.

That's when inner perspective takes over. Inner perspective is moment to moment. It's trusting that more will be revealed in the right divine timing. It's the white space on the smaller canvas.

In time the larger canvas, the glimpse of the helicopter perspective, the wider lens will be beheld again. 

Until then, this is it. Tile by tile. And, it's enough. 


The Power of Your Own Light

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Greeting the sunrise on the longest day of the year, on Summer Solstice, I couldn't help falling in love with the sun all over again, appreciating our greatest external source of light, and how dependent everything on Earth is on the light and strength of the sun.

And, it's comforting to know that the sun is always there, even on stormy overcast days. The sun is there just behind the clouds. It never truly goes away.

Summer Solstice is a good time to reflect and to connect to our own inner light as well. And, we have that in common with the sun, in that our inner light is never extinguished. 

I recently got a porcelain Buddha diffuser for a friend's birthday. When you place a lit votive candle inside of it, the entire being illuminated with light. 

We are like that all the time, illuminated from within. The light is never extinguished. 

At a recent retreat, I settled into a lovely room to drop into meditation. The room was dark and I felt around for a light with a dimmer switch to help my eyes get used to the dark.

It was probably an hour later when I glanced toward the wall of windows on one side of the room. It faced the backyard, which was lit beautifully with soft strings and groupings of light. It took a moment, then I couldn't help but laugh because all of that light had been streaming into the window all along, I just couldn't see it at first. The reflections of those yard lights danced at interesting angles around the room. There I was fumbling around for the dimmer switch, when the light was already there.

And, I had a thought. Light always finds its way. And, light always illuminates the dark.

So, if we are light beings, and I believe we are, then it stands to reason that we always find our way too.

That led to a myriad of thoughts about light during that meditation. Some inklings to ponder...

Our inner light is what illuminates our path, so we can find it and follow it.

When an intersection presents itself, if we’re paying attention, our light becomes a street lamp rather than a beacon, pausing to give us time to consider our options.

Our highest light, the light connected to source, or God, is like a huge Hollywood spotlight, continually purveying the larger view. Always knowing what’s ahead. What to avoid. And, where to go.

Light has no emotion. I wondered if our light has feminine or masculine qualities. But, the hit I got is that it’s asexual. It’s non-emotional. It shines the light on our emotions but it doesn’t judge them or determine right or wrong choices. It simply illuminates so we can choose for ourselves.

Sometimes there are those who always have to have the brightest light. They do whatever they can to make sure everyone knows how bright their light is.

But, here’s the thing. Chances are their light is going to burn some people along the way with how hot bright their light is. Often, it may seem just easier to dim yourself down, or even worse to allow them to control your light switch.

The truth is no one can dim your light unless you give them permission to do so.

When around those people, the answer is to turn up your own inner light. No one can touch you when you’re rocking it to your own inner light.

Your light is your power. Your power is driven by your light. 

Sometimes we have a tendency to dim our own light for others to make them feel better about themselves. Sometimes you can feel some animosity or envy coming your way. The disservice here is double edged. Not only are you shortchanging yourself but you’re robbing them of the experience of discovering their own light for themselves.

Then, other times they may just want to stand in your light for awhile. And, that’s okay and is part of your gift as a light-bearing human being, to use your light, your gifts to teach and inspire.

The true awakening happens when you realize you’re in control of your own dimmer switch.

We’re always reflecting each other's light.

It’s comforting to know that our inner light never goes out. Never. Even when this human life ends, the light is connected to your soul and your soul lights on.

We began as light. We continue as light. We bear light. We share light. We connect to source with light. We inspire the world with light.

Light is energy. Just as we are energy.

So, embrace your light. And, find your place in the sun. 


A Life of Intrinsic Value

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Value. It’s such a small word with big meaning.

I was originally writing a post about what people might say about you after you’re gone, which was inspired by a rather scathing obituary that recently made the news. Not because it was about someone of celebrity, or that it was beautifully expressed. But, because of the powerful, painful punch it packed in very few words. “She will not be remembered…” were the words said about a woman who had abandoned her children, by her now-adult children.

Susan Soper, author of the book, Obit Kit, and writer of many an obituary, says this is a more common thing that you might think, vengeance-driven obituaries.

It got me thinking about what people might say about me after I’m gone, hopefully a few decades from now. As part of an exercise in some coursework I recently completed to become a breathwork facilitator, we were asked to write our eulogies, as if someone was reading it today. It was pretty eye opening.

It wasn’t necessarily the accomplishments or successes that I felt compelled to include, but rather characteristics and relationships are what rose to the surface. It struck me that what I wanted said about me was something like: “She lived a life of value by giving meaningful value to others.”

I mean, the truth is you have no control over what someone says about you. What they say has more to do with their experience of you than anything else. However, projecting what you would want your epitaph to be, or the consensus on your behalf after your gone, then having a say today in what you want that epitaph to be gives you some direction, a mission, for how you want to live your life. What’s said then, is a reflection of what and who you are leading up to your eventual life exit.

What would your epitaph be if someone wrote it today? Does it differ from what you aspire it to be?

Then, the news came out about Anthony Bourdain’s suicide. And, it shook me, particularly as it was on the heels of Kate Spade’s death by suicide.

They both brought such value and beauty into people’s lives by what they produced in their own. I watched a CNN special about Anthony Bourdain and the love came pouring in about how he impacted people.

Then, a comment in an interview with a friend of his gave me pause: “He always said he has lots of friendships that only lasted a week,” which while a function of his job, perhaps shed a stronger light, according to this friend. Perhaps, he didn’t have many deep, intimate, soulful relationships.

Certainly, I would never trivialize the inner demons or mental health issues that drove Anthony Bourdain or Kate Spade to end their lives, by suggesting anything trite that might have “helped”. What they experienced or felt is something beyond my understanding.

But, what it did for me was to start to more closely examine what a life of value truly means to me. And, for me, it’s going intrinsically into that value. In other words, focusing on deeper, more intimate connections with the important people in my life, deeper connection to myself and then to the cosmic and karmic connection to “one”, that is all in nature.

Perhaps there’s a level of this that you can relate to. We all want to matter, to have meaning and to give meaning. It’s the very basis of humanity. It’s easy to stray from that simple thought when we’re pushed and pulled by all that’s going on in the world right now. But, it starts and ends with your own intrinsic value.

These are some guideposts I’m rededicating to, which I know will help me to fulfill my living epitaph.

  • Be generous
  • Be honest & forthright
  • Be aware of changes in behaviors of loved ones and have direct conversations about it
  • Be available
  • Be grateful
  • Be responsive & communicative
  • Be assertive in my desire for connection
  • Be transparent when asking for help when I need it
  • Be diligent in my self-care: sleep, meditation, prayer, exercise, healthy food - creating inner strength that will guide through difficult times

Add value to other’s experiences. And, receive value from others when it’s offered.

It’s reciprocity. It’s kindness. It’s humanity.

That’s value. Intrinsic. Life-affirming value.

 


What Are You Supposed to Do? Stop Saying This

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“I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing.”

Those were the first words uttered by a client during a recent creative jam session. Which made sense because we were there to jam about the very thing that was underneath the question: life purpose.

In fact, the words “supposed to” drove the first part of our session, it was said 10 times in the first 20 minutes to be exact. It felt like something that was easy to hang on to, like a habit.

So, doing what we do in jam sessions, we played with the things that were bubbling up.

I asked her what that meant, as in, supposing to do anything.

And, what a gift that was. In our discussion, we discovered "supposed to" is not a very helpful proposition when exploring life purpose.

“Supposed to” is passive, as in it’s a directive that’s happening to me, rather a directive I’m helping navigate.

It means ”I’m not the one in charge." As if someone or something else is dictating my purpose.

It reflects the feeling of "required to", as in, follow the rules. It's confining, rigid. 

Simply put, "supposed to" is nothing more than an expectation. In other words, the supposed outcome of something is the perceived expectation of that outcome.

But, when it comes to examining life purpose, until you’re clear about what you desire and what your soul is calling you to do, then “supposed to” becomes esoteric, it’s derived from something outside of you. Then, they become rigid expectations we put on ourselves.

But, what’s the basis for them?

I mean, when you think about it that way, who is it that dictates this mysterious “supposed to” when it comes to exploring your purpose?

Society? What is a person in my place in life, supposed to be doing?

Your younger self? What I am supposed to do now, since my younger self is disappointed in/judging how far I've come at this point? Your younger-self expectations on your now-self can be harsh sometimes.

Family/friends? I’m supposed to be further along, supposed to live up to their dreams for me, etc. Or "they think I'm supposed to be..."

By believing you need to discover and act on your “supposed to,” places you on another roadmap besides your own.

The Reframe

Believe me, I could relate to my client and friend, because I do it too. So, I got as much out of this reframe as she did. Here are a couple things we came up with.

When the urge to say 'supposed to' creeps in, catch yourself. Know that whatever follows that phrase doesn’t really belong to you. Instead try this:

I’m focusing on what life is calling me to do next.

I want to get clear on what I'm doing, where I'm going, with my life.

I intend to do what's right for me, right now.

My mind, heart and spirit know my purpose. I’m listening to that.

This becomes: I know. I am doing. I am living and being my purpose.

Because here’s the thing, your life purpose isn’t some grand oh-my-god sea change that takes place in a nano-moment aha, and then everything after that is nirvana and different.

Rather, it’s an unfolding, an inner and outer journey, a doing-and-being reckoning that doesn’t happen because you’re supposed to. It happens because you’re paying attention to your own life and following your own roadmap.

You may be asking, what am I supposed to do with that? Ah, and so it begins…


In Remembrance of You

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As I drove to my office this morning, the jacaranda trees were draping over the boulevard. It sent my memories floating back to a post a few years ago that spoke to the spark that came from these luscious trees. Good timing for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. Here it is reposted and updated just a smidge.

 

The jacaranda trees are in bloom, the landscape sprinkled with its almost indescribable purplish blue flower. It's one of the most beautiful sights in Los Angeles this time of year.

I saw several on a recent walk and stole a few moments underneath one of them, lying on the grass as discarded petals cascaded down on me. It felt a bit clandestine because I was lying on someone's front lawn. But, I didn't care. 

It was delicious and cool and the sweet aroma took me back to another time.  

My body sank into the ground and I was completely present with that tree. It was a reminder of how nurturing and grounding nature is. It gave me a glimpse into the invisible matrix that connects everything and everyone since the beginning of time, across nations and through our ancestral lives. 

With Memorial Day upon us, when we remember and honor those who have passed before us, it conjures memories of those and their histories, victories and tragedies, rights and wrongs, acceptances and denials, and how they intertwine with our own senses of self. Often, it's their voices we hear in times of triumph, strife or decision. How many times do you wonder about what another would say or think before doing something? 

I thought about this while under that tree, in that instant when I was sublimely myself. No deadlines, no internal or external expectations, no judgments, no rules.  

It got me thinking about the possibility of adding another meaning to Memorial Day. 

Remembering Yourself

Truly, the most important person to honor and remember is yourself. Remembering who you really are, at your core. Not the who someone expected, or told, you to be. Not the who society or the environment in which you were raised told you to be. Nor, the who that tries to emulate someone whom you admire.   

So, who does that leave? You strip away all of those expectations and put-upons and you're left with THE who, leading to one of the most eternal questions.

Who am I? Or more to the point, who is the real me?

As I sit here in midlife, this question takes on deeper meanings and is a guidepost often as I navigate my path.

A few thoughts to ponder:

When do you feel most present, the most settled in your being? What are you engaging in? What are you feeling in that moment? Not what are you thinking, what are you feeling?

When you hear the voices in your own head, pay attention. Take a few moments, without judgment, to identify the voices. Sometimes they will be masked in fear, self-criticism and ego. They make you feel bad, and out of your body. And, following them won't feel authentic, like it's not really you. You recognize it when you pay attention.

THE who voice, the soul voice, the one that is truly yours and yours alone will smack of wisdom, truth and courage.

Your own voice, your God voice, is weighted with the intentions of your Summum Bonum, or your highest good. That voice makes you feel grounded and present. Still and exuberant at the same time. Limitless.

I'm not saying that we don't learn from another's experiences and wisdom. We absolutely do. But, it's when we stop listening to our own wisdom, from our heart, when formulating our lives that we lose our authenticity, our true self.

Remembering who you are is also honoring the parts of you that have healed, memories that you've reconciled and lessons you have learned.  

Shed those skins so that you can continue to advance toward true self. And, watch as they continue to occur. Tiny little deaths followed by tiny little births every day.

If you pay attention, you can feel the constant endings and beginnings.  

At the end of the day, listening to you true voice, leading with your heart and allowing your heart to guide you will take you back to who you are. Every time.  

How are you going to remember and honor the real you today?

 

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Some Establishing-Shot Perspective

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It was a clear evening as I headed toward Pasadena for dinner. When I crested a hill on the freeway, the panorama made me pause. It was an expansive view, the roadways curving through the San Rafael Hills where homes were nestled in, and with the San Gabriel Mountains in the background.

I thought, if I were writing this scene, this would be a great establishing shot of Pasadena.

In classical filmmaking, the establishing shot is the wide or long shot at the beginning of a scene that sets the tone, and indicates where, and sometimes when (time period), the ensuing scenes are to take place. It can also provide an instant glimpse into the concept and/or character relationships in the story. 

What happened when I took in the stunning establishing shot of Pasadena on that evening drive, was I got a sense of scope, with an eagle eye view, of what lie ahead in terms of landscape and architecture, as well as greater clarity on the direction I was going to take.

It got me thinking about what it might look like to apply the same idea to life, pausing for establishing shots in order to gain some clarity and perspective.

What does that mean? To my way of thinking, it means to stop what you’re doing in a given moment and take an energetic step back to peruse the bigger picture. And, also it means to view a total landscape before getting started on something, whether it's starting your day or launching a big program.

I often like to pause for an eagle-like perspective. It keeps me on track toward a bigger goal and also helps me to refocus on the present moment.

It can take place in smaller as well as grander moments. Such as:

  • Taking a broader glance at what’s on your desk, reprioritizing the day
  • Looking at the year ahead with a wide lens, highlighting special dates and deadlines. Navigation is sometimes clearer from a higher vantage point.
  • Focusing in on health – paying attention to the signals in your body, asking ‘where am I and where do I want to be when it comes to health?’
  • Zooming in on your living space – arranging things so they feel fresh and comfortable, and getting rid of excess that doesn't belong.
  • Picturing your life – through a life establishing shot, looking at where things are working and where they’re not, whether it's a job, a relationship or an idea. A broader perspective helps to light the way for more of what’s working. Also, from that establishing shot, you can visualize the life you desire. 

Pausing often to take these brief life establishing shots not only add layers of texture to your roadmap, but they keep you aware and present to your own life story.

Why not give it a shot? 


It's the Mother Lode of Mother Loads

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You’ve hit the mother lode. This phrase floated into my mind this week as I started thinking about Mother’s Day approaching and what I might write about. The mother lode.

I know I hit the mother lode with my mother. Lois Jane Kirk Yantis is da bomb. And, the best mom on da planet.

Hitting the mother lode actually means “hitting the richest vein of something,” initially in reference to the richest mineral or ore. Mother Lode, famously, during the California Gold Rush was what the gold miners searched for, the densest area of hard rock gold deposits along the West Coast. It became the source of their hopes and dreams. Because when one hit the mother lode it could potentially change their life forever. You can just imagine the community chatter at the end of a long, laborious day of mining. “Did y’all hear? Henry hit the mother lode.” And, the room would nod collectively in reverence and hope.

It got me thinking about other things that have been given the auspicious honor of being called the mother, depicting it as a source for its life. 

To name a few -

Motherboard - the premiere operating system.
Motherland - the land that birthed people and nations, or the nation where one is born.
Mothership - the main vessel that serves as home for smaller ships.
Mother Nature - the spiritual origin of all of Earth’s nature.

When something is the mother lode, it’s the pinnacle, the thing that’s worth the price of admission. It seems to me it's the highest honor you can bestow on something. That of Mother-ness.

Mother lode also means “the origin of something valuable, of great abundance.” What a beautiful way to think about giving birth. Birthing a person. I can’t think of anything more valuable or abundant than that.

I don’t have children of my own so Mother’s Day has been a loaded event for me over the years. You could say it’s a Mother Load

I bought myself a Mother’s Day card this week while selecting one for my mom and sister. It read: “You’re such a badass mother that you didn’t give birth to a child… You gave birth to a legend.” If I were writing that I’d change the word legend to legacy.

Following that line of thinking, a mother lode is also the origin, or birth, of a legacy.

Mothering is birthright, whether you’re a mother to children, or not. We all give birth to ideas. And, if you birth creative projects or businesses or buildings or communities, then as the creator of your own offspring, you’re a resident of Motherhood too.

It also got me thinking about Self-Mothering, loading your own container with self-care. Creating your own mother-load.

How do you mother yourself? Hmm.

It helps to start by thinking about how good mothers care for their children and families.

  • Unconditional love - loving us, relentlessly, no matter what
  • Provides physical care - when we’re sick or need to be fed or nurtured.
  • Listens to our ramblings - in only the way a mother does, with rapt attention.
  • Motherly advice - often knows better than we do what’s best for us. And often repeats it until we get it. 
  • Offers support - sometimes both financial & spiritual
  • Makes time - often dropping everything when we need her

Now, how about if you took each of the above to load up on some deep self-mother love? With unconditional love, caring for yourself physically, listening to your heart and soul, heeding your own wisest counsel, staying in tune with yourself financially and spiritually, and making and taking time for yourself.

So, after you remember or honor your own mother on this Mother's Day, how about honoring the motherhood in yourself.

Now that's hitting the mother lode of a mother load. 

 


Allow This to Be Your Guide When Feeling Overwhelmed

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A recent discussion with my niece solidified my inklings around this thought changer. It was her birthday and we got to talking about how we were both feeling a bit overwhelmed. Her, with her increasing responsibilities at her new job. And, me with my numerous projects in various stages of incompletion or development. 

It hit me after we hung up about how much overwhelm is self-inflicted. I know for me, when I involve myself in the energy of the too-much-ed-ness, the I-have-a-full-plate-ness, the I’m-so-busyness, I become the overwhelm. It starts to define my presence, the monkey mind takes over and internal chaos ensues. Fun, right? 

So, I determined it was time to step back. To reflect and feel into what’s going on. The word that sprung to mind, and the notion I was noodling for this post before my niece and I spoke, is Synchrony. Or more to the present point, being out of sync. To me, that’s the epitome of the overwhelm.

The truth is, we also know the feeling when we’re in sync with life. It's different for everyone. To me, it’s when things connect, when they make sense, they're in flow, when I'm in flow. There’s a vibration to it. A sustaining resonance. The word even sounds rather mechanical or even musical.

Synchrony 

When something is synchronized it hums, like a well-oiled machine. Hmm. Now, I get what it means when someone says “we’re humming along.” Or, “Things are going well. I’m humming.”

It means synchronization and synchronicity is in play. Events, situations, projects or opportunities align themselves in such a way that they connect, they fit. And, when you pay attention by honing in with your intuition, then you’ll start making choices that are synchronistic for you and your life.

"I am open to the guidance of synchronicity, and do not let expectations hinder my path." ~ Dalai Lama

So, how does this help as you’re feeling overwhelm? How do you get back to the hum? To my way of thinking, reprioritizing things using your energetic intuition, synchronizing with your soul, might be the way to go.

Feeling Into It

I decided to do some “synchrony testing” with my list of projects. The same can be done when making a decision or a life choice. Through experimentation, what it does is allow flow. Allowing flow means synchrony takes the driver’s seat. The rightness falls in line by surrendering to life’s flow in the moment and by listening to your own energetic wisdom.

"Surrender is the simple but profound wisdom of yielding to rather than opposing the flow of life." ~ Eckhart Tolle 

My dear friend, Lisa Greenfield of Truth in Hand, suggests a form of body testing when you’re choosing between options. You write the thing or things you’re considering on separate pieces of paper or 3x5 cards. Lie down on a flat surface (I lay on the floor) and one by one, place each paper just below your rib cage, on your solar plexus. Your solar plexus is your soul’s power center. 

As you do, ask the question, "Is this (...) the most synergistic choice right now?" Whether it’s a career move or choosing between two houses, whatever it is. I asked which project is the top priority in alignment with my purpose.

It’s subtle, but as you pay attention to your body’s reaction to each one, you may notice either a settled or unsettled feeling in your stomach. Or a calm comes over you. Or you feel your engine getting revved up with excitement.

How does it resonate?

What feels in sync with your current goals or your greater purpose?

Another method is to muscle test the idea. My dear friend, Ferrell Marshall of Spotlight Coaching, uses this technique and taught it to me.

Stand squarely. Hold the piece of paper to your heart. Or simply ask the question you’re weighing as you hold your hands to your heart, right over left.

  • Is this the right job for me?
  • Am I to go to Paris?
  • Or on a safari?
  • Is this a healthy relationship for me?
  • Is today the day for this conversation?
  • Should I take this class?
  • Is this the right time to launch my seminar?
  • Is this my top priority project?

Make no deliberate moves but rather rely on your organic energy to move you. If your body sways forward the answer is yes. If your body sways backward, it’s no. If it wavers with no definite move, it’s a maybe or a not right now.

I’ve tried both methods of testing. The first and vital thing they both do is to get you present and out of the monkey mind that feeds on the chaos. From that slower in-the-moment place, I have made decisions based on what my energy flow was telling me. I know it sounds a little woo-woo. But, all I can say is it they’ve often been decisions that felt right and in sync for me at that time.

And, it eased me out of my overwhelm, so there you go.

To quote my niece when I asked her, at 28, what advice she’d give her younger self:

“Be real and be open with yourself, and with others.”

Another way to stay in synchrony and in flow.  Great advice, Peanut!

 

Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash


The Power of Re

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I overheard a woman speaking the other day in the elevator. Well, didn’t exactly overhear, it was a confined space and she was speaking loudly. She kept talking about how exhausted she was and that she needed to regenerate. She must have used the word regenerate ten times. At some level I could relate. In fact, the other nodding heads in the elevator gave credence to this articulated common denominator.

I love me a good “Re” word. Case in point, there are 26 of them in this piece.

It got me thinking about the impact of a good Re. It can be powerful and allows you to live your life rather than your life living you. It’s taking control of your life.

The power of the Re is that it places new energy in a new way toward, well, toward anything.

There are a lot great Re words, but here are some powerful ones to Re whatever needs a redo or a rethink or a reframe. I could go on…

  • Reinvent yourself by getting back to your foundation, what you love and why you do what you do.
  • Reinvest your time in a new and charitable way.
  • Reclaim your dreams, keeping them alive by articulating them on a regular basis.
  • Rejuvenate your attitude, turning can’t into can and don’t into do.
  • Refocus your energy by pausing, taking a deep breath, perhaps meditating or journaling.
  • Readjust your thinking, allowing yourself to come at a project from a fresh angle.
  • Retool your personal brand, your resume, your career intentions. A fresh approach can bring fresh results.
  • Recharge your physical battery; exercise, take walks midday or even rearrange your commute on the way to work.
  • Reignite your vision, like gently blowing on cooling embers. It’s always there, gently wake it up and bring it to life by pursuing it in thought and action, a little every day.
  • Redesign your plan; remove what’s not working and try something else.
  • Reframe your perspective, adjusting your view to gain new intelligence.
  • Refresh your relationships by reaching out to someone you haven’t talked to in a while. And, by being present in every exchange.
  • And, Refuse to quit on yourself.  

"Effort only fully releases its reward after a person refuses to quit." ~ 
Napoleon Hill

Oh my, there are just so many. Review. Release. Renovate. Redecorate. Recreate. Reimagine.

Every day, you have an opportunity to hit the reboot button, in whatever way you choose.

In the way our skin renews itself every 24 hours, embracing the Re allows us to do the same thing in our lives. And, the good news is you can do and redo it again and again.

It’s truly the cycle of life. Or, in this case, the recycle of life.

 

[Photo by s w on Unsplash]