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February 2011

Live the Questions "???"

"Live the questions and life will move you toward the answers." ~ Deepak Chopra

I love it when someone says something to stop me in my tracks.  I take it as a sign, a message I'm supposed to hear at that time, in that moment. 

My dear friend Kelly Lloyd recently shared a Deepak Chopra interview with me where he discussed tips for anti-aging and his message above hQuestions-1it me to my core, beyond the anti-aging discussion. 

It got me thinking about how we are so conditioned nowadays to seek the answers, to search and find whatever it is that plagues us on a deep, cellular level. Many times it's that constant "seeking" that keeps us from truly living the lives we have today, right now.  "When I figure out what I'm supposed to do with my life, then I'll be happy."  "When I lose twenty pounds, then I'll date."  "One of these days I'll leave this job I don't like, to find one that really means something to me."  "I don't know how to find out what that would be."  "I know something's missing and when I figure out what it is then everything will fall into place for me."  "When I sell this, achieve that, accomplish this, book that, win this, meet that..."  It goes on and on.  And, this conditioned way of thinking focuses so much of a fantasy future based on a fantasy result that we end up missing our lives!

"Live the questions and life will move you toward the answers."  To my way of thinking this has nothing to do with giving up on setting goals and creating desires in your life, which are invaluable in creating the life you want.  But, rather Deepak's message is to release the worry around it, to surrender to the positive flow of life energy so that your true intentions can organically reveal themselves.  Simply brilliant!

He gave a simple meditation to help you get there.  I vow to do it daily (grin). 

  • Close your eyes.  Breathe in deeply through one nostril and exhale out of the other, repeating until you feel the vibration in your head and body.  Pay attention to your body, feeling the weight in your limbs. 
  • Now, focus fully on your heart with thoughts of gratitude and love, getting specific about what you're grateful for.  It opens your heart wide for the next step.
  • Ask your heart the deep questions: What am I? What do I want? What do I love? What's my purpose?  Now, here's the key.  Don't wait for and seek any answers!  Just ask the questions.
  • Finally, in the deep place, listen for your heart beat.  It will come to you as a beat, a sound or a feeling, but wait for it.  It's a bit freaky, but it totally happens. 

Do this every day and you live in the wonderment of the questions, allowing life to provide the answers.  Imagine an entire day without worry of what's to come in your life, then a week, then a month!  It would be pretty awesome, huh?

It's Finally Leap Year

"It's Finally Leap Year!"  That's what I imagine people born on February 29th say when a leap year comes around and they get to celebrate their true birthday. Girl-jumping1

Well, it's not technically a leap year, the next one is 2012.  But, this is the phrase that came to mind as I set my theme for 2011. 

I don't like New Year's resolutions.  I prefer setting a slate of clear goals and giving myself an overall theme for the year.  Goals are great because they give you milestones to put into your life GPS for the year. 

But, the theme.  The theme is your undercurrent, your throughline, your foundation or your touchstone for the annual journey.  It's the platform on which you place your goals and it's the glue that keeps them in place as you forge your path.  And, they give an overall meaning and purpose to your plan. 

One of my goals this year is to break through barriers that have held me back in the past.  Writer and dear friend Debra Rogers gave me the book that is the basis for my theme, "It's My Leap Year!"  Written by Gay Hendricks, The Big Leap looks deeply at the barriers that are keeping you from breaking through, what he calls, your Upper Limit so that you're operating in your "zone of genius."   It follows along my theory that glass ceilings are, for the most part, self-imposed.  This book has very clear guidelines on how to break your own glass ceilings and leap to the next level and eventually highest levels you want to reach in your life, career, relationships, etc.  It's pretty profound!

Plus, it's fun to create your theme! 

In coming up with your theme, look at (or create) your list of goals for the year.  Now think of those goals in terms of being Fearless, Healthy, Authentic, and Abundant.  With those core themes in mind, what phrases or words spring to mind as being an overall throughline for you?

Or think of songs that inspire you.  Come up with a theme song and then let that guide you to setting your annual theme.

You can use mine if you want to hit your higher levels too.  Make it your leap year too!  I'll meet you on there.

Make What You Love What You Do

Photo by Mandy von Stahl on Unsplash

Awhile back, while attending the five-year-old birthday party of a little friend, I encountered a most surprising artist, who created, truly, the coolest balloon creatures I've ever seen. I think the adults were into it more than the kids.  

She made me a butterfly which she whipped up in mere seconds, along with alligators (with teeth), dogs, tigers, mermaids, hats, flowers, you name it. This artist was in pure joy creating her art and has been doing it since she was five-years-old herself.

It reminded about a story I saw on CBS Sunday Morning, about master ventriloquist Terry Fator, who became fascinated with his art form when he was about ten and perfected it until he became an "overnight success" after winning "America's Got Talent" in 2007. Since then, he's signed a $100 Million dollar deal as a headliner in Vegas.

The thread that connects these two is that they appear to have learned early on what they loved and then made it their life's work. Every day I talk to people who are in jobs that don't fulfill them. Yes, there's something to be said about being grateful for having a job, but that doesn't mean you should set aside your avocations or your passions, your true desires.

There's also something to be said about making what you love what you do! Why? Mainly, because it brings meaning to everything else you do, even the job you don't particularly like. 

If you don't know what that thing is, here are some good questions to ask yourself.

  • If money were no object, what would you spend your time doing?
  • What is it that you do where there's no sense of time and space? Where you have a sense of peace in your body and mind?
  • What have you been known for all of your life, perhaps outside your 9-to-5? Where do people compliment you?
  • Where, and for what, are you a go-to person in your life?
  • What are the top five things you know you're really good at, that you also like to do?
  • What did you love to do when you were a kid? How did you spend your alone play time? How did you interact with other kids? When you examine this you really learn a lot about your true desires.
  • Complete this sentence with as many things that come to mind:  "I can't wait to..."  Don't edit yourself.
  • Where are you relentless in your passion?

Look for ways to incorporate what you love to do into your life. Find and meet like-minded people, surround yourself with those who are doing it. Join a group, attend some events in your desired field. Devote a little energy every day perfecting the skill, if that's what it requires.

At the very least, take a step today toward making what you love what you do. Pretty soon you'll being taking the next step, and the next. 

What's not to love about that?

My Body Wants a Pear

Day nine of the new year and so far I've stuck to my "new" eating plan.  "New" is in parentheses because I've started this "new" eating plan HUNDREDS of times.  But, "this time is different."  Right.

But, truly I think it is.

I'm sailing along in the no sugar zone, and really not thinking too much about sugar.  Except for possibly in my dreams when an old woman appears, a wise old woman, and her face looks remarkably like cotton candy.  I wake up when I realize I want to eat her face.  Is that sick, or just the subconscious of a sugar addict?

CupcakesAnyhoo, this morning an email popped into my inbox from Living Social, a great discount site that offers offers enticing incentives for the odd and delectable services and treats.  Todays "Deal" is from Brown Sugar, an insanely yummy cupcake place in LA, advertising a deal on a dozen cupcakes for 18 bucks.  A steal by the standards of any  self-disrespecting sugar addict.  I'm thinking I could eat the entire 12 in one day.  Breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Done.


Then, in total awareness, which I truly have been working on, I stop myself.  Do I really want them?  Uh-huh.  Wait, but really?

I've been delving more into mind-body connection.  I've done yoga.  I've read "Women, Food & God" by Geneen Roth where she talks all about the mind and body disconnection and how that is all connected to food, why we crave certain things and feed other emotions and needs besides hunger.  It all sounds good and makes sense.  I was on that band wagon for a few months.  Then, found myself wanting to eat the old woman's cotton candy face again.

But, today, I finally got it.  I stopped myself from pressing ORDER and asked it again.  What part of you wants the cupcakes?

Here it is. 

My brain wants the cupcakes.  Yup.  My brain wants the double chococate with cream cheese frosting. 

But, my body...  and this happened over the course of seconds, literally, so I had to pay very close attention because usually the brain wins... 

Pears2My body wants a pear! 

My mouth waters just thinking about the smooth pale green skin and juicy cream colored center with a texture that is different than anything else in nature.  And, oh so sweet!

The sugar addict is happy.  And, my brain is placated, almost satisfied.  (it'll take awhile to convince it to surrender)

Mind-body connection.  Complete.

Where is your mind controlling you?  Stop and listen to your true awareness.  What do you truly want?