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Discover Your Personal Values

Photo by Lisa Devlin of Gala Darling
Editor’s Note

When Cat introduced me to Leah earlier this year, she said "Leah is one of the most mindful people I've ever spoken with". After experiencing her work—both written and drawn—I agreed. Take the time to read the story below. It's worth it. One of the most conscious piece of writing I've read. Enjoy!

“At the end of your life” a friend once asked, “What do you hope to have happened?”

I thought it was a great question and decided to give him a thoughtful answer, so I pocketed it for later and bought myself a month for the assignment.

For a while my mind flooded with questions of plot. Will I fall in love? Will I have kids? Will I know passion in my work? Will I touch lives? Will I change the world for the better? What will my regrets be? Where will I have traveled? Where will I have lived?

Will I have really traveled? Will I have really lived?

How to Ignite Personal Change

Photo by Vanessa Paxton
The outer conditions of a person’s life will always be found to reflect their inner beliefs. ~James Allen

The first step to create personal change is to recognize the reoccurring patterns in our life that no longer serve us. Lately, I started to see that such a pattern surfacing in my life story.

The first time I took on an assignment for a newspaper, one whose readership was larger than most of the blogs I had been writing for, I was terrified.

I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to properly pronounce the subject’s name, that I wouldn’t be taken seriously because of my inability to look older than 21, that I wouldn’t be able to write fast enough to take down the most pertinent details.

But more importantly, I was afraid that I wasn’t a journalist and I would never be recognized as one.

How to Live

Photo by Vanessa Paxton
Every artist dips his brush in his own soul and paints his own nature into his pictures. ~Henry Ward Beecher

“Okay, let’s say life is a blank canvas. Anything you want. What would you paint, babe?” I asked my husband.

There was a brief pause. He grabbed a few Almond Rocas off the kitchen counter, made his way to the couch, and then sat there … like a happy, modern Buddha.

He responded, “I don’t think about what to paint, I think about how to paint.”

Irritation quickly spread throughout my entire body. Regardless of the Zen reading and Vipassana training I had been doing, that was not the response I’d anticipated.

Limiting Beliefs

Photo by Gala Darling

I never know what I’m going to write until I actually sit down to write it. Actually, the less I think about it, and just allow myself to relax into the flow, the better the writing usually takes shape.

My state of mind has everything to do with the quality of the final result. Thus, the lack of writing produced in the first 10 months of 2010 – as I was recovering and overcoming post-partum depression.

The biggest gift I received from the Good Mood Blogger contest was, that in entering it, a mental shift took place in me that pushed me over the edge of the mental blockage I was “stuck” in. And for that, I felt like a winner from the very beginning.

The mental blocks (aka. Limiting beliefs) we experience in life – not just in writing, but with taking action toward goals we want to accomplish – can have a detrimental effect which dramatically change the stories of our lives.

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