Are You Wearing Masks That Hide the Real You?

By Cindy Yantis

Unmasking brain injury
Unmasking Brain Injury

There was a beautiful exhibit at an art show I recently attended, called "Unmasking Brain Injury." The base of each mask was the same, but they were all designed, painted and crafted in very different ways – each symbolizing the fear, pain or journey the artist was going through as a result of their brain injury. It was exquisite in the way it captured this community, giving each person a voice and revealing what was underneath the face they were presenting to the world.

It got me thinking about the masks we wear in life, hiding true feelings or intentions, slipping in and out of being authentic - to ourselves and others.

A few years ago I took part in a retreat where the intention was to call in our soul mates. What can I say? I believe in soul mates! There was much introspection; meditating and connecting during the retreat to help us look at this process. At the beginning of the retreat, we drew inspiration word cards that were meant to help guide the journey. I pulled the word “deception.” I was thinking, this doesn’t bode well for someone looking for love! Deception? Really? But, I took this to heart and decided there was probably a reason I pulled that card. And, boy was there.

Upon going deep within during the meditation, it soon became very clear that the meaning for the card, for me, was self-deception, and that there were things I was hiding behind and needed to work on and to let go of before I would be ready to call in a lasting relationship of any kind. Very soon, my entire retreat became about self-love and examining where in my life I was wearing a mask of self-deception.  

The truth is, we all wear masks. For me, my masks were hiding the true intentions and authenticity for who I really was, not how I was showing up in the world at the time. One such mask was hiding a fear of wanting to be liked BY EVERYONE. And, I’d become so attached to that desired result that it was stopping motion in many areas of my life.

This blog, for example. I’d become so attached to what was going to happen when I hit the publish button that I was obsessed over how many likes I got or how many people shared it. So much so, that I lost sight of why I started the blog in the first place. So much so, that I stepped away from the blog for a year after that retreat. I told myself that until I could be very centered on my true authentic purpose for pressing publish – that being to help one person, just one person at a time, to possibly think about something differently in their life, to be inspired to change one thought and thus raising the consciousness of the planet one thought, one person at a time – then I wouldn’t do it anymore.

It wasn’t until I took off the attachment-to-result and need-to-be-loved-by-everyone masks, explored what was underneath those shadow desires and healed the pain connected to them that I was able to put my writing and work back out into the world. It still slides into place from time to time, the mask, but now it’s transparent and I see it for what it is. But, my real intentions are clear.

Those are just a couple of my masks. I’m working on removing them on a daily basis.

Also, it’s easier now to recognize others who are wearing masks. It takes one to know one!

What kind of masks are you wearing? To my way of thinking, masks are usually how our fears show up in the world for us. In reality, our masks are the faces of our fears.

How do you know when you're wearing one? Potentially it's when you’re not in your best self and you know it, or not living your purposeful life and you know it. 

Completed-masks

What does one of your masks look like? What does the mask say to you? What is it hiding? Generally it’s a fear. Such as:

  • Not being good enough, or just enough
  • Not feeling important or visible
  • Not being loved
  • Or of being too much so you feel you have to downplay yourself to make others comfortable

I have variations of all of these masks hanging in my psyche closet. When I wear one of them, my behavior can show up as passive-aggressiveness, or isolation, or deflection or exaggerated unflappability. It’s not a pretty thing to admit, but it’s the truth.

What messages is the mask giving you?            

Try taking off a mask, just for a day. See how it feels, the newness, the rawness, the unknowing of what’s going to happen. It may feel a bit scary. Your skin underneath will be fresh and new, after all this is new skin that hasn’t seen the sun. So certain elements may sting as you come into contact with them. When you see one of your fear-based behaviors show up in a situation, try to resist reaching for the mask again. Stay in that space, pause and feel your face without the mask.

That, my friends, is truth. Try speaking what’s in your heart without the mask. Communicating through the vulnerability or fear that’s underneath the mask helps to release it until this becomes your new normal.

Once you’ve removed the mask for good, hang it in your psyche closet. It’s a good reminder of how you used to be before you were fully living in your truth.

If you’re feeling nostalgic for one of your former masks, take one out and wear it for Halloween.

Related:

Stop Being So Nice: Just Be Real

Here's the Truth About Truth

Is Leadership a State of Mind?]

Mind Your Own Buttons

 

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Cindy Yantis is the Thought Changer Blog creator & curator. She is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. For more info: CindyYantis.com

 


On Being Born to Run... and to Create and Play and Love and...

By Cindy Yantis

"Tramps like us, baby we were born to run." 

I'm happy to share a birthday with Bruce Springsteen, which happens to be September 23rd.

In his upcoming autobiography, Born To Run, The Boss talks about what was in his “Rock ‘n Roll Survival Kit: DNA, natural ability, study of craft, development of and devotion to an aesthetic philosophy, naked desire for… fame, love, admiration, attention, women, sex, and oh, yeah… a buck. Then, if you want to take it all the way to the end of the night, a furious fire in the hole that just…don’t…quit…burning.”

The contents of his Rock ‘n Roll survival kit got me thinking. I often take stock around birthday time and this year I'm thinking a lot about what I was born to do. And, out of those musings several truths have bubbled to the surface, various lessons learned over a few decades of life. Most of them I'm continually working and evolving through. Hey, it's what I was born to do. Most are not new ideas, just my spinnings on them, how they have flared up for me and became my truths. They are what I've come to believe.

Thought I'd share a few to mark being born. Let me know if you click with some of them and please add your own in the comments!

Born to Create

I believe the best legacy is a life well lived, in service to others and to a higher calling. Create from that place and it's unstoppable.

I’ve found a structured foundation supports infinite creativity: routine, outlines, scheduled time blocks, consistency.

Make what you love what you do.

I believe wisdom is meant to be shared selflessly - it's part of creation and it's dharma. 

Collaboration in creation is fantastic. It can push your limits and rise you to being a better creator than you ever could be on your own.

I believe a good story can heal, inspire and call to action.

Born to Seek, Learn, Grow

What’s in the way is the way – consciously going through the molasses, quicksand and pain is the way to heal into a better self. It wasn’t until I got this that I finally was able to heal old wounds. From pain to purpose.

We weren’t meant to just survive, but to thrive.

Curiosity opens doors; judgment closes them.

When you mess up, own up.

I have to focus on focusing.

Heed your intuition – my body talks to me as does that little voice that guides me to the yes, no or pause.

Letting go is hard but oh so necessary.

I believe in other realms and that we can learn from them if we pay attention.

Patience is one my wisest guides (I’m working on this one!) – slow down to allow divine timing to take its course. Breathe into patience.

Born to Play                                        

4th birthday
Me at 4 years old

Laughter solidifies a moment. I simply love to laugh. 

Imagination is the playground where genius is born.

In the end, does crossing the finish line first really matter? 

I believe true freedom is to live like there is no finish line.

I believe in making play dates with my writing.

I believe what you can imagine is but a fraction of what's truly possible.

A little losing-track-of-time is good for the spirit. 

Born to Love

True connection is face-to-face, eye-to-eye, hand-to-hand, body-to-body, breath-to-breath. Social media is great for expanding your world, but for me true connection is up close and personal.

I believe your soul mate is a direct reflection of your self-love.

A pet’s love is pure and fills the spaces.

There’s power in Community – the gathering of kindred souls is the key to collectively raising the consciousness of this planet. It's the We that matters. 

I believe in real friendship where you have bad days and your true friends stick by you. I need my girlfriends and my sister on a daily basis!

Use your voice and stay in your light and you and your people with find each other.

Compromise, kindness, tolerance, steadfastness, communication and compassion are key ingredients in relationships.

Being loved and loving is the greatest feeling in the universe.

Born to Be (this is my Born to Run)

A woman is most powerful in her femininity.

A man’s vulnerability is a beautiful and powerful thing.

There’s nothing sexier than a man or woman in their element.

Embrace quietude and self-care – It’s everything: sleep, meditate, pray, journal, sweat and move the body.

I believe I’m at my best in quietude. I’m at my second best surrounded by people I love. A close third is when I'm on a deadline.

Being authentic is all about living, speaking and honoring your truth.

I’m learning to not sugarcoat the truth anymore and that I’m not responsible for how it lands or is perceived, only in how I present it.

To live full out you need to be full in – commitment to each moment builds to a rich and full life.

Be amazing, be true, be transparent, be real, be kind, be bold, be mindful, be wise. 

Be love. Be happy.

I also share my birthday with my Mom. So, I asked her to contribute a few of her own. Her voice is a powerful and loving one in my ether, fiber and being. 

"It’s not worth stewing over the small stuff. Pick your battles.

As I grow older, triggers don't trigger anymore. Acceptance is easier because I understand more.

Consideration for the other person is the most important thing. When they're happy you're happy.

Your dad and I compliment one another, in role, action and word. It’s the secret of a long-lasting marriage (57 years and counting).

And, whoever wins at Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune gets a foot rub." ~ Mom

Thanks, Mom, and Happy Birthday, Tramps like us, baby we were born to be amazing!

 

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Cindy Yantis is the Thought Changer Blog creator & curator. She is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. For more info: CindyYantis.com

 

 


Lean Into What's Working

By Cindy Yantis

Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr were on CBS Sunday Morning to talk about the Ron Howard documentary, EIGHT DAYS A WEEK: The Touring Years (which is in my Hulu queue!). They talked about the rocket ship early days in 1963 when they rode their unprecedented meteoric rise on the simplest of ideas. “It was really simple in the beginning,” Paul said, then added, “We were a great little band.”

Then, things got crazy! Beatlemania took off to the point where they needed to find a place large enough for their growing surge of adoring fans. The first concert at Shea Stadium happened in 1965 and arena rock was born.

Paul McCartney: “We didn’t plan for anything.”

Ringo Starr: “We just went with it.”

They just went with it. In other words, they leaned into what was working. And, kept leaning in as things kept working. Until it didn’t. Paul said the reason it ended, is it just got too complicated. In other words the energy shifted as they each made the choice to lean in other directions.

It got me thinking about leaning into what’s working in our daily lives. As illustrated by Paul, Ringo and the rest of the Fab Four, when we keep going in the direction of what's going well and focus on that which is igniting us, then more of the same will keep coming and propelling us upward and onward. It’s the very basis Lean into what's workingof the law of attraction: what you focus on expands, what you attract is also attracting you. Until it’s not.

Sometimes, however, we invest energy into something and keep investing energy even when it’s not working. We keep trying to make it work. When, if we really check in with ourselves, we know it’s not right, at least not right now. Right? What can often happen if we keep investing our time and energy in this kind of scenario, is that we give away part of our personal power and we run the risk of closing ourselves off to other invitations or opportunities or relationships that are willing to meet us where we are.

I've certainly experienced this phenomenon from both perspectives. And, I gotta be honest, not only can it be simply awesome to ride the wave of explosive rightness; it can also at times be rather derailing when it's not working, shaking me to my core, rocking me temporarily off course, particularly if it's something that is truly desired, like a special opportunity or a deeper connection with something or someone. Occasionally, I have invested my time and energy into something that has come into my path in which I saw potential and great value. So I leaned in, fully, in anticipation of receiving an equitable return on investment. It worked initially so I kept leaning. However, eventually in some cases, I wasn’t met there with equal investment or energy, a mutual leaning. 

When you find yourself at this juncture, a suggestion (which has worked for me) is to lean back. Then, assess the information presented so you can regain clarity about your original intentions. From that place of inner wisdom, pull back the energy, acknowledge the gifts this situation gave you (because there always are some) and then let go of its active hook in order to allow your energy investment to move on toward where it’s working and flowing, toward the invitation and the acceptance, the equitable ROI. 

Certainly, there are ebbs and flows in experiences, jobs, opportunities and relationships, where one side is more invested than the other at any given time. But, if you’re consistently not met where you feel satisfied, encouraged and in alignment, then leaning in another direction is a valid and powerful choice. At least for the time being. It can always be revisited at another time, but then it's from a fresh perspective, a renewed sense of value and purpose. 

Until then, keep leaning into what's working. 

Related:

Life is a River

How to Get to the Heart of the Matter

 

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Cindy Yantis is the Thought Changer Blog creator & curator. She is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. For more info: CindyYantis.com

 


Rewriting Your "Down in the Dumps"

By Cindy Yantis

Someone recently said they were feeling down in the dumps. I could relate. I’ve definitely been down in there too. Most of us have at one time or another.

Down in the dumps. What does that actually mean? It’s so colloquial that the meaning is different for everyone. It's used for describing a myriad of feelings: sad, disappointed, sick, mournful, regretful, wanting. It certainly equates a state of mind or being. 

What’s actually down there in those dumps? If the dumps are different for everyone, are they a reflection and creation of the beholder, self-imposed and self-decorated? 

So I started thinking, if the veritable dumps are a creation from self, then perhaps there's a way to redecorate, reframe and rewrite the dumps. Perhaps they could be a place of reflection, of self-examination. Perhaps there could be some treasure to Downinthedumps arise from the doldrum. Sometimes retelling or rewriting a scene can change the whole story, just as reframing your thoughts and changing your cognitive mindset about being down in the dumps can help to provide the ladder to climb out or the pathway through.

Most likely, it's rather nebulous down there. We just know it's a "place" we go when things are off or out of alignment. At times, I think of them as dark, dank, lumpy, cloudy, smelly, trashy, where I'm stuck, maybe blue, maybe invisible, maybe exhausted, maybe immobile. At other times is just rather blank and still.

When you find yourself in the dumps, what do they look like? Feel like? What kind of texture are they? Is it a room or a vast cascading cloud that permeates everything? What captures your mind and energy? Is it worry and doubt? Is it futurizing a scenario that hasn't happened yet? Is it beating yourself for not being enough?

The reframe starts in this state of awareness, a recognition of what's happening in your energy, mind and body.

Next, turn on the light. Take a look at your dumps with a little light on the subject. Often a new set of lenses will appear as you see clearly. It's the first step to rewriting the scene, to retelling your present story. Take a look around through this new lens. Several interesting things can happen once the light is on.

For me, things often appear smaller and clearer because I'm able to see the edges, the shapes of what's really happening rather the hugeness of what I might have created in my mind. The problem or issue is simpler, more concise.

What was previously invisible might show up now. The real reason for being down there in the first place. Dig deeper. 

Colors may begin to appear, deep vibrant colors. 

Do questions arise once you turn on the light? Can order be created from the jumbled chaos? Do the valleys appear as deep now that you’re actually taking a good look? Are there ideas hiding there? Can a pathway be cleared to ease your way through?

The reality of time can present itself with the light on. In other words, ask yourself, "Is there anything I can do in this moment about this situation?" If the answer is yes, then do it. If the answer is no, then let it go and come back to it when it's time. Like, if the thing you're worrying about is next Tuesday, and it's Saturday. Stay in Saturday. Do Tuesday when Tuesday comes. 

Perhaps with the light on you can ask yourself what you’re really needing right now. Many times the first answer can be pretty simple, like just taking a first step. Here are some things that have worked for me:

  • Reach out to a friend or coach.  
  • Give yourself needed alone time – sleep, meditate, journal, exercise, be in nature.
  • Get out in public - go to an event, a MeetUp or museum, whatever speaks to you.
  • Make yourself a to-do list to get out of your head.
  • Get back to work.
  • Set a simple routine and stick to it.

After taking some of these steps, describe what it looks and feels like around you now? Is the scene different? Is your outlook fresher? Is your inner dialogue more authentically positive? If any of that is true then you've successfully reframed and rewritten your down-in-the-dumps!

Sometimes the light may be rather dim, a flicker even. That’s okay. A flicker of light can mean hope in an otherwise hopeless moment. Keep on turning up the dimmer switch.


Exploration & Risk: Sexy Bedfellows?

By Cindy Yantis

Yes, it's a scary, sexy killer combo.

Free risk

When I pulled the word prompt card of the day, these two were stuck together. Exploration and risk. Are they meant to be linked? The two words often appear together when talking about science, business and space: Exploration and the risk assessment thereof.

But, it got me thinking about how a marriage between the two ideas offers an interesting allegory for life.

I think of exploration as a road of discovery. Forging around corners of the unknown. Being open to newness. Trying things on for size. Dipping into an experience before fully committing. Digging deep in the microcosm of a thing and then connecting the dots and meaning therein.

So, an explorer? An explorer is a seeker, a questioner, a non-settler. Can an explorer ever really be settled, or are they not happy unless in the field of exploration? Always looking around the next bend?

Risk on the other hand, to my way of thinking, takes exploration to the next level. To safely explore is coloring within the lines. Certainly nothing wrong with that, although often the outcome can be rather beige.

However exploration with risk, skating on the edge of discomfort, where  a choice made could be dangerous in terms of success or failure, yet doing it anyway: that’s risky exploration and is about being truly alive.

Risk-takers often jump without a net, the ultimate in self-trust. They dance in the precipice between staying small and living large.

The time that comes to mind for me is when I made the big cross country move from Michigan to LA to pursue the arts. I had never lived more than three hours from home and I was leaving my comfort zone and everything I knew to forge and explore the bumpy road of discovery. It felt like a big risk because I was heading into the unknown in a much bigger way than I'd done before. I could fail, fall flat on my face. But, I went anyway and it was such an exciting, temperature-raising time in my life.

Risk doesn’t have to be through grand public gestures. Internal risk involves leaping outside of our comfort zone. In fact, the switch often has to happen there, internally, before the great things transpire in our world. 

Within greatness, exploration and risk abide.

The pillow talk between these two bedfellows is passionate and limitless and at times volatile, volatile only in terms of their mutual vibration, vibration that pushes them beyond what or who they were before. Surrendering to this powerful marriage means to continually step up, to grab onto exploration and risk and go, simply go. It’s momentum and marks the powerful agreement that this undeniable nuptial demands.

Now that’s a tête-à-tête I want to be a part of. I’ll even share the pillow.

Related:

Surrender to Surrendering

3 R's for Being Successful

Pick a Lane! Follow the Road, Baby

Living in the Space of Possibility

 


Want Some Clarity? Embrace the Dichotomy

By Cindy Yantis

“I’m a walking dichotomy.” I said this to someone recently, primarily in an attempt at self-deprecating humor for when I was waffling on moving forward with an action I had mixed feelings about. It created a tug-of-war within. 

But, then I started thinking about the idea of being in a dichotomous state, and what that can mean as a tool rather than a self-deprecation, a deliberate dance rather than a tug-of-war.

The truth is we’re all, at times, walking dichotomies. If we weren’t life would be pretty flat, to my estimation anyway.

A dichotomy is a universe of two completely contrasting and separate things, a division of two opposite schools of thought. Light and dark. War and peace. Feminine and masculine. Analytics and creativity.

What I see is a way to utilize the idea of dichotomy, where we embrace the wisdom of the contrasting states, and foster the gifts of polarity. The contrasting states are all about Dichotomy the feeling. Chances are one may give you a calmer more peaceful feeling and the other a more edgy, slightly off doesn’t-quite-belong-to-me feeling. Neither of them are wrong, potentially. Just contrasting. 

In electricity and magnetism the two poles of polarity, that of negative and positive, are at opposite ends but yet are connected by a flow or charge. So, the state of polarity is held and fed by its own energy and flow, push and pull, give and take, and the power of both.

It’s really such a profound metaphor for life. It got me thinking about how polarity is what makes us interesting as people. Opposites attract. And, in the middle of the opposites, in the midst of the dichotomy can be the place of decision. Or not.

Sitting in the polarity, the dichotomy, the middle of the contrasting states, is where understanding can start to take place within. Mixed signals happen when the waffling is outward, when you say one thing and do another because you’re not clear on which end of the polarity is the right one to lean towards for you in the situation.

Dipping into the dichotomy by choice can be a tool for getting really clear on what you feel, believe, trust and know. When you get quiet in the midst of dichotomy, the clear distinction presents itself. It’s a fork in your road of energy.

From that place, the middle of the polarity, a pause is necessary, even if it’s fleeting and instantaneous. When you’re feeling the push-pull and magnetic effects of polarity, the gift is the awareness of those two powerful forces.

Take the pause, for however long is necessary. Feel and assess the contrasting states. In that oneness, where you are the flow of energy between them, you align with your best choice.

So, am I walking dichotomy? Yeah, I can be. And, I’m okay with that.

 

Related:

How Discernment Leads to a Life on Purpose

Finding the Path of Least Resistance


How Discernment Leads to a Life on Purpose

By Cindy Yantis

The word prompt of the day is discernment. It’s simply defined as the ability to judge well. There’s a certain amount of rigidity to the word, but when one is discerning there’s a trust of self that organically takes place, which actually is an opening for truth. If the discerning instinct is ignored it can lead to an error in judgment, a missed opportunity, a feeling of in-authenticity and even heartache.

I also think of discernment as a deliberate process. Sometimes it’s so clear it can happen in an instant, but often it’s not so clear. For big things that matter, there’s much more that goes into discernment. To my way of thinking, consideration of factors (what, when, who, where & how), listening to your own cues, allowing an organic flow to guide you and trusting divine timing are most critical. Making a choice, taking a step – or deciding not to – from that place is powerful discernment indeed.

It got me thinking about living a life with perspicacity, a deeper meaning for discernment. Such a great word! In other words, honing the skill of perspicacity will lead to a life guided by insight, intuition and intelligence.

These things come to mind: Discernment determines the next step

  • Slow & steady wins the race – take the time necessary to make a fully informed choice   
  • Know your own heart and mind
  • Be clear on what you value
  • Pay attention to the verbal & non-verbal cues
  • Commit to your choices

A lot of people do and say what feels good in the moment. In many instances this is all the acumen needed to move forward. However, discernment is taking it a step - or several steps - further, particularly in life’s big processes. "Yes, it feels good, but does it align with what I value?" "Does it align with my endgame or vision of purpose (whether it’s a life purpose, or a vision for a specific project/process)?" Or, "Will it distract me from what I really want and what's really good for me or the circumstance at hand?"

Moving ahead with something just because it feels good but doesn’t align with those things can create a false sense of fulfillment that can be fleeting and can derail you from your path or your true desire.

Patience is a virtue for a reason. It’s natural when something awesome presents itself to want it all right now! But the course of things, the natural order, the organic process of… takes time and a honed sense of judgment.

For example, 12-step programs only work when each step is fulfilled before moving on to the next step. Jumping from step one to step 12 will never work because it’s the foundation, knowledge, experience, steadiness and progress through the eleven prior steps that allows a full understanding, acceptance and power of the final step. Which is why they espouse a one-day-at-a-time mantra, as well as a tenet of progress, not perfection.

Related: 6 Reasons Why Progress and Not Perfection

It’s the same mindset and principle for many of life’s processes, from getting an education, to building a career, to going through the stages of grief, to falling in love, to exploring a new opportunity, to recovering from a trauma or drama.

The good news is it's often malleable, not carved in stone. Choices can be changed based on new information and deeper knowledge. It's really about slowing down in the moment, taking time, checking alignment and making a discerning choice. 

Related:

In Alignment - A Life Philosophy 

How to Never, Ever Give Up

What You Believe In Creates Your Reality

 

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Cindy Yantis is the Thought Changer Blog creator & curator. She is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. For more info: CindyYantis.com


5 Things to Ponder This Weekend

 

File Aug 14, 10 32 23 AM

 

Here are a few things to ponder this weekend...   

1. Talk about a bucket list!

Best get started now! Check these out...

Bucket list

 

2. For Lit Junkies... Oz-tee

Check out these very cool te es. You can wear your favorite story. Really. The entire text of the book is on the tee. I'm thinking WIZARD OF OZ!  Litographs

 

 

 

 

 

3. Interesting Read:  

Brain_pickings_Brain Pickings is one of more interesting blogs out there. Writer Maria Popova dives intensely into a topic and captures it richly. Her "subjective lens on what matters in the world and why." It's definitely one of my regular reads.

 

 

4. Watch & Choose:   AmazonPilotSeason

It's Pilot Season on Amazon and they're letting us help choose their next original series. You watch the three finalist pilot episodes and then vote. It's fun to be part of the process. I have my favorite. Which is yours?

 

5. Quote to ponder:

"The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away." Pablo Picasso 

 

Have a great weekend!

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Cindy Yantis is the Thought Changer Blog creator & curator. She is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. For more info: CindyYantis.com

 

Interesting Read: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/22/magazine/the-women-of-hollywood-speak-out.html


Shake It Off & Show Up

When Simone Biles nearly fell off the balance beam, I know I was part of a global collective gasp. It was only a split second, but it could have been enough to trash the rest of her routine (it would have for most of us!). But, what happened next was such the mark of the champion that she is.  

Simone-biles-floor

She shook it off.   

Sure, maybe she rehashed the moment later, perhaps over and over again. I know I would have. But, my guess is she didn't. Perhaps she reviewed it briefly with her coach, but then the focus turned to her final event the next night. And, again it was so clear that she held no residual regrets, because as we all know, she nailed her spectacular floor routine and won Olympic gold. In fact, all through the Games, there are two things successful competitors and champions have in common. Number one is they never give up. And, secondly, they shake off their stumbles, low scores and slow finishes. It's the only way they can be their best to show up and win or place the next time.

It got me thinking about how often we hang onto things, or allow past issues or circumstances to hold us back from showing up and being our best.

What would happen if we shook it off? It sounds easy. But, so often it doesn't feel easy.

We might say something we regret, or someone says something or does something that rocks us. Or we didn't succeed like we wanted to on a presentation, or interview, or performance. Then, we rehash it in our minds or with our friends and family, until we're simply stuck in the moment, energetically at least.

To my way of thinking, a good way to shake it off is to start by asking yourself what it might feel like to let it go. Stop the thought and sit with that question.

What would it feel like to shake this off?  Keep-calm-and-shake-it-off

What you're really doing is releasing the feeling that has you stuck, the feeling of rejection, or failure, or fear that you're not good enough, whatever it is. Reiki Master and energy healer Cheryl Blossom suggests paying attention to where the stuck feeling sits in your body. Is it your stomach, or your heart, or your throat? Once you have awareness to where you feel it, then you can breathe through it to release it. Cheryl has coached me through this exercise and it's very effective. 

Then, the next thing you know, you're no longer in the past, but fully in the present moment, ready to show up for yourself.

So, next time something happens that threatens to hold you back, or stop you from doing the next thing? 

Be like Biles. Shake it off. And, show up.

Related:

In Alignment - A Life Philosophy 

How to Never, Ever Give Up

Two Ways to Recognize & Let Go of Fear

 

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Cindy Yantis is the Thought Changer Blog creator & curator. She is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. For more info: CindyYantis.com

 


Growing Your Legacy Like a Garden

By Cindy Yantis

Signals from nature never cease to amaze. One morning I was greeted by the most gorgeous blooms on the rosebush next to my driveway. I couldn't resist cutting a stalk to take to my office. So for a week, each morning new buds opened and the pink roses expanded. But what I found so remarkable was that on this one thick stalk were 28 separate buds. Truly. Twenty-eight. The strength of the base stalk fed the buds and maturing blooms in a way that a matriarch might feed her family, or in the way people seed and grow their ideas.

Oddly enough it got me thinking about legacy. We all have a legacy, whether we know it not. We will all be known and remembered for who we are, what we've done or what we leave behind. Legacies sung or unsung, global or insular, significant or mundane. 

My Legacy bouquet
My Legacy Bouquet

The beauty of knowing this is that we have the choice to fully participate in and cultivate the kind of legacy we wish to build and leave for others. 

Jack Nicklaus rose to fame as the world's greatest golfer, but he feels his true legacy is his contribution of hundreds of world-class golf courses all over the globe that people will enjoy for generations to come. 

Bill Gates built his fortune as a pioneer in the computer software industry, which is most certainly a large part of his legacy. But, his legacy bouquet grows exponentially through his Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation where they generously transform lives. 

And, to that point, there doesn't have to be just one bud or bloom or focus when it comes to legacy. Which, to my way thinking, thanks to the rosebush, removes a lot of pressure. 

So, when the question arises for you - "What do I want my legacy to be?" - there doesn't have to be just one final answer. Just think, by allowing yourself to be that healthy stalk, feeding and nurturing each bud along the way as they grow and impact others, your true legacy or legacies will evolve and lead your way.

How do you want to be remembered?

What's your gift to those most important to you? To the world?

What kind of impact do you want to have on others lives?

How can you expand your own legacy bouquet so that its seeds will carry on long after you're gone?

Most importantly, how can you live your legacy now? 

Just imagine the garden you will grow!

 

Related:

Pick a Lane, Follow the Road Baby

What's Your Born Legacy

The Impact of Being a Precedent Setter

Do You Matter? 5 Ways to Have a More Meaningful Career

If you enjoyed this Thought Changer, please forward or click the SM icons or little green ShareThis button below this post and thank you for sharing!

And, please visit us on our Facebook Page: Facebook.com/ThoughtChanger  

Cindy Yantis is the Thought Changer Blog creator & curator. She is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. For more info: CindyYantis.com