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5 Ways to Find Your True Desire

Photo by Hannes Caspar
We are not meant to be perfect; we are meant to be whole. ~Jane Fonda

It’s the crisis of the modern era: stressed-out, disconnected, working so hard and not knowing what, exactly, we’re working for. Entire lives are planned around promotions and pay raises, or around simply surviving the day-to-day, and then we look around and ask ourselves: Is all this work actually getting me where I want to go?

I’ve found myself in this position–the position of the person who has figured out how to work hard and achieve things, but has realized with a sudden and startling clarity that she doesn’t actually know that they are things she wanted.

What do you do when you’ve pursued the things you’ve been conditioned to want, and find that once you’ve got them–they weren’t what you really wanted?

Perhaps what you’ve sought was some outward measure of perfection, and now the journey is towards wholeness.

Letting Go of Expectations

Photo by Shannon
Editor’s Note

I loved this article. Don't miss this one. Enjoy. P.S. Read it without any expectations. :)

Things turn out the best for people who make the best of the way things turn out. ~John Wooden

Right around the time I reached middle school, when the presence and opinion of my friends trumped that of anyone else in my life at the time, birthdays started to represent something more than just a day I might get all the things my parents refused to buy me the rest of the year.

Birthdays suddenly became the one day that I expected to have an outpouring of love and adoration, the one day that my presence in the world could actually be validated.

Yes, friends and family could shower me with love on any of the other 364 days of the year, but if they didn’t do it on that one day, that simply meant they didn’t care.

Stepping into Visibility

Photo by Hannes Caspar
The authentic self is the soul made visible. ~Sarah Ban Breathnach

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about visibility after a two-day retreat dedicated to bringing my business to the next level.

For women, visibility can be a very mixed bag. And until this past week I hadn’t quite connected the dots around how our beliefs and fears about personal visibility so deeply impact our ability to put ourselves (and our heart-centered businesses) out there.

I grew up in the West Village of New York City in the 80’s. As a pre-teen walking the streets of NYC I attracted a lot of unwanted attention from men.

How to Overcome Perfectionism

Photo by Jonathan Jacobsen
Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection is demoralizing. ~Harriet Braiker

My neighbor came to my door while I was baking my first loaf of gluten-free bread. She said she admired our diets and told me how she was doing more to eat less sugar.

“I’d heard from a lot of people that it makes a lot of sense for them,” I said, “but I just didn’t think I could cut another thing out. I mean, after getting rid of dairy, wheat, caffeine and sugar, what would be left?”

She laughed a little and said, “Well it’s all about just cutting yourself some slack. You don’t have to be perfect or anything.”

Here’s my confession: I have this compulsion to be perfect. Everything I do has to be just so, or I don’t want to do it at all. And I don’t think I’m alone in this.

How to Find Your Purpose

Photo by Shannon
There is not one big cosmic meaning for all, there is only the meaning we give to our life. ~Anais Nin

What is MY purpose?

This is the recurring question I would ask myself over and over: searching, seeking, arm-wrestling with each day, in a quest to find where my place was in this grand universe.

I would look around and feel a bit left behind; others seemed to be intensely purposeful, wholeheartedly embracing a career, a path . . . why couldn’t I? What is my path?

I have read dozens of books over the years, complete with countless worksheets and self-development exercises to expand my sense of belonging in the world.

How to Stop Gossiping

Photo by Satu Knape
It is one of my sources of happiness never to desire a knowledge of other people's business. ~Dolley Madison

A few months ago I was speaking to my husband about a friend of ours who had made a purchase we thought was misguided. We spoke at great length, giving our opinion on why we thought it was a bad decision and questioning his judgment.

I remember feeling a little uncomfortable and a bit sad afterward. I felt upset, but I couldn’t quite figure out why.

A day or two later, my 30 Day Challenge group posed its usual question: What’s your challenge for next month? Immediately my heart said, Stop gossiping.

I balked at this; I got a little defensive even. I didn’t gossip! That was the kind of thing reserved for petty high school girls with nothing better to do. That wasn’t me. That’s not a real challenge.

New Year Resolutions: Look Within

Photo by Eduardo Izquierdo

I’m thinking about 2013.

… and have no goals. This is a radical declaration for me.

Historically, I spend a few days in December reflecting on the past year and envisioning the New Year. I would carefully organize my goals into categories of personal growth, finances, career, family, wellness, travel, and refine to ensure each one is specific, measurable and timely. I assess the goal like a test tube subject to be sure that it has all the appropriate elements of a ‘great goal.’

After circulating my Official New Year’s Goal Document to my BFF and husband as accountability allies, I move onto a vision board with inspiring words, favorite quotes, dreamy magazine cutouts.

I take goal setting very seriously.

5 Steps to Fulfillment

Photo by Eduardo Izquierdo
Editor’s Note

I loved this article. Reading it has brought a sense of peace into my otherwise rushed life. I felt my mind slowing down as I read. It’s so simple, yet graceful and so relate-able. Enjoy.

To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all. ~Oscar Wilde

This winter took a lot out of me. The weather was milder than normal here in the Northeast, but my personal life was stormy and chaotic.

By May, when the harsh winds of conflict died and life returned to normal, I was still reeling. I found myself shuffling through my daily routine, feeling flat and disengaged.

It was, in part, a natural reaction to the stress of the previous months. One can only go full-force for so long, until the inevitable crash occurs.

But there was also an element of sheer boredom. Life felt dull and bland. Monotonous.

5 Tips to Avoid Overextending Yourself

Photo by Jon Jacobsen
To overextend yourself is to invite defeat. ~G. William Domhoff

A few years ago, after my husband and I got hitched, we flew to Italy and had a wonderful vacation, and when I got back I volunteered to host Thanksgiving dinner for our family and many of our friends. Early that day, my jet lag really kicked in, I was exhausted and couldn’t believe I’d offered to do this. Never again, I thought.

This is probably one of the best times to talk about overextending yourself. The holidays are here, and between shopping, baking, parties, and volunteering there seems to be hardly enough time for a regular work day, let alone exercise, laundry and cooking dinner.

I want to stress that I’m going to deal with general, low-level problems of over-committing ourselves. That is one symptom of what can be a larger problem for some of us. It certainly was for me; about six years ago I was extremely codependent. If you’re interested in more information on that, you can check out Codependents Anonymous’ Checklist.

Regardless of how much you struggle with codependence or taking on too much, these tips can help make things a little easier.

6 Questions to Access Your Inner Wisdom

Photo by Jon Jacobsen
You can do anything you want to do in this lifetime. ~The Dalai Lama

One bone numbingly cold winter morning in January 2003, my husband Tony and I were carefully making our way to work, which was no easy commute.

At the time we were living in Kiev, the capital city of the Ukraine where winter months are so frigid, it hurts to draw a breath.

We had moved there to take up teaching positions in an international school after having been living in an ashram in India.

Initially we had been excited by the thought of such a dramatic change of scene, but the reality of it was proving to be brutal.

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