Because this business of becoming conscious is ultimately about asking yourself, 'How alive am I willing to be?'~Anne Lamott
Last year I wrote about a goal-less New Year: Beginning from a place within that allows you to open more in 2013 — to use less fervent goal-seeking willpower and more awareness when placing intentions.
This is a practical piece on how to intentionally move from this place of willingness, once you’re attuned to that inner self.
Eighteen months ago, I couldn’t sit still in meditation for more than a few minutes. I became either anxious and antsy or really sleepy after several minutes of stillness.
Three years ago, I couldn’t imagine life without chicken and fish. My diet was largely comprised of protein, protein, protein — in the form of animals.
Four years ago, I couldn’t run more than 6 miles. Beyond 6 miles felt like thefurthest distance.
Five years ago, I was petrified to start my own real estate business. I was comfortable with being an employee, and starting my own business seemed risky.
There are seven days in a week, and Someday isn’t one of them.
To me, these two seemingly innocuous words, “some” and “day,” when put together are the most empty and depressing seven letters in our language.
They are a synonym for “never” and “ain’t going to happen.” They are the lie we tell ourselves for a dream that we will never ever, in our lifetime, accomplish. It is belied in the tone of voice — faithless and empty — this combo of words usually parenthesized by a pair of audible sighs.
Sigh, “Someday I’m going to …” Sigh.
Once again we have deceived and cheated ourselves. Whatever happened to carpe diem? Seize the day? Yesterday I was reminded again of the danger of someday.
To travel is worth any cost or sacrifice.~Elizabeth Gilbert
Six years ago, I took one of the boldest actions of my life. I traveled solo halfway across the world to Ubud, Indonesia (Bali). In June 2008, I was 27 years old and had never left United States soil despite a constant longing to.
A combination of fear and comfort held me hostage in familiarity — until I read Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. This bestselling novel chronicled the author’s adventures through Italy, India, and Indonesia as she sought to “find herself” after a divorce.
The book’s vivid descriptions of Indonesia’s rich culture and lush countryside converged with my imagined vision of ornate wood-carvings, colorful temples and sprawling rice paddies.
The beautiful tapestry of life I envisioned left no question about where my first trip abroad would be once I mustered up enough courage to go. And whenever I went, I decided I would go alone — just like Elizabeth Gilbert.
The soul cannot think without a picture.~Aristotle
Lately, I have observed that many of us feel we are reacting to life versus creating it.
Perhaps some of us are stuck in a job we feel is not challenging or is not utilizing our potential. Or, we are constantly feeling behind — the demands from errands, tasks and bills have us constantly playing catch up. Some of us struggle with finding a meaningful balance between our family and career.
Or, simply, we have become the victim; unconsciously, we have decided to be the effect of each day versus the cause.
Recently, as I was faced with a disconnect in varying interests, I realized I had to refocus, quickly, before I went astray.
I found by designing my life through a vision statement, it has been a tool for providing more direction: Instead of becoming reactionary to whatever arises in my day, I have regained the role of creating it.
Men's natures are alike; it is their habits that separate them.~Confucius
Recently, a friend in my 30 Day Challenge group brought up a really interesting point. “Have you noticed” he asked, “that it’s far easier to remove something or limit something from your life than it is to add to it?”
It gave me pause. Every challenge I seemed to excel at had something to do with deprivation. I’d quit caffeine. I’d stopped eating gluten. My media fast was pretty successful as well, but what I’d had trouble with was reading something every day for myself.
I took it as a challenge. I have all sorts of good habits that I cultivated in my adult life: daily journaling, exercise, cooking. How did I add these to my life? And what lessons can I apply to creating a new good habit?
There’s a lot to be said in that proverb and quite a bit to think about.
The biggest lesson I take out of those six little words is consistency. Consistency is something I never really liked. In fact, I’ve always found it boring. It’s so….well….consistent. But I’ve come to learn that big goals require three things: a plan, commitment and consistency.
But I have always been a do it now, get it done, and move on kind of girl. Life was always too short to just keep plugging along at something day after day after day.
But…here is what I am learning: If you don’t keep plugging away regularly at something big, you won’t reach the goal. Plain and simple.
Always concentrate on how far you’ve come,
rather than how far you have left to go.~Unknown
The first time I attempted running as a form of exercise, I huffed and puffed my way out of my apartment complex, made it approximately one block and stopped out of fear that my heart would beat out of my chest and my lungs would explode. I promptly turned around hoping that no one noticed how out of breath I actually was.
A few years later, despite the memories I harbored of previous failed attempts, I tried it again. This time I made the not-so-smart decision to run in 100+ degree heat. I made it approximately half a mile before my head started spinning and my vision blurred.
Even after that incident, I was still inexplicably drawn to the sport of running and the breed of people who become dedicated runners.
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.~Anais Nin
Sometimes the path of life comes to a crossroad. One direction ends in stagnation while the other leads to transformation.
When I entered my junior year of college I had a sudden identity crisis. I had always been an athlete throughout high school and junior college, and a fairly good one at that. A very shy person normally, my abilities in sports gave me confidence and brought out leadership skills I didn’t know were within me.