"It's faith when we believe in things with
absolutely no evidence [yet] of their existence.
That is one of the great gifts of life – to sustain that faith against all odds, against critics and skeptics, against our own self-doubt."
Kimberly Clark Sharp
Photo Credit: Simon Migaj
As a new positive phase of my life is gradually unfolding, some familiar not-so-great thoughts came up that masked underlying fears related to moving forward. Because I've been there and understand the process of getting beyond this when it rears up, empowering others to do the same is part of my passion.
I've been reading the book Educated by Tara Westover. It's about a young woman who has the courage to walk away from her dysfunctional extremist family. I'm including the following passage from the book because it provides interesting thoughts about fear. She's talking about the roof of Cambridge University's cavernous Gothic chapel:
"Finally the staircase opened onto the roof, which was heavily slanted, an inverted 'V' enclosed by stone parapets [a low protective wall along a roofline]. The wind was gusting, rolling clouds across the sky; the view was spectacular, the city miniaturized, utterly dwarfed by the chapel.
I forgot myself and climbed the slope, then walked along the [roof] ridge, letting the wind take me as I stared out at the expanse of crooked trees and stone courtyards.
'You're not afraid of falling?' a voice said . . . I turned. It was Dr. Kerry. He had followed me, but he seemed unsteady on his feet, nearly pitching with every gust of wind . . .
. . . I had to think before I could answer. 'I can stand in this wind, because I'm not trying to stand in it,' I said. 'The wind is just wind. You could withstand these gusts on the ground, so you can withstand them in the air. There is no difference. Except the difference you make in your head.'
He stared at me blankly. He hadn't understood.
'I'm just standing,' I said . . . 'If you could just control your panic, this wind would be nothing.' "
T A K E A W A Y
Your fears can hide behind difficult emotions that can stop you in your tracks. It's possible to manage the fears that are holding you back so you can get on with your life. And all the wonderful experiences that are waiting for you on the other side of those fears.
Developing the awareness that (as Ms. Westover said above), "knowing the difference you make in your head" is an important factor that can be a simple place to start.
Photo Credit: Curry Popeck Mountain
Reading a somewhat technical book by the Dalai Lama about the nature of the universe as related to science and spirituality sparked an interest to learn more about him.
A google search yielded a very relatable article by Douglas Preston that described a visit by the Dalai Lama to the Santa Fe, New Mexico ski basin in the days when he traveled with only a handful of wing-tip-shoe-and-suit-clad monks.
A young server who brought him cookies and hot chocolate after a chairlift tour of the area asked him about the meaning of life.
While this article is an entertaining read, if you're short on time, you can scroll down to its last few paragraphs to get the Dalai Lama's surprisingly simple response.
Photo: Bob Shaw
While watching golf's U.S. Open last weekend, the words of a commentator roused my attention from the pleasantly relaxed narration of the event.
It was in reference to the final rounds of a leading player. The commentator said, "Dream small." An interesting statement considering the achievement of someone who's persevered to make it (again) into one of golf's leading championships.
Referring to a critical juncture for this player, the commentator continued . . . "collect yourself, go step-by-step, hole by hole."
Brooks Koepka is one of a handful of players ever to win the U.S. Open two successive years in a row. Not exactly the fruits of "Dream Small." Any Big Dream intention is made up of a million steps to usher it into fruition.
Takeaway: "Keep your eye on the birdie," but whatever your dream, walk your course step-by-step with deliberately focused thought and action.
Photo: Tyler Hendy; pexels
I went to a business event this week where one of the speakers was talking about er uhm, hospital food (wait, this is a good thing).
Outside the (cereal) Box
Because the hospital that was discussed is an anchor point in its city for services and jobs, visionary hospital leaders decided they wanted to buy as many local provisions as possible. They started small, with locally roasted coffee and bread. Their efforts grew to eventually replacing a global source for oatmeal, Quaker, with a local source. Oats at that time had never been grown in their state (Michigan).
It began through simply talking with local growers and businesses. Open dialogue. What if? And went from there to create exponential growth for those suppliers, new jobs for the community, quality foods and meals, shared prosperity, and happy faces.
What This Has to do with You and World Peace
Ask anyone if they want a peaceful world and most would say yes. What many don't realize is that the biggest thing you can do to change the world can be the most intimidating. Start in your own backyard.
Like the wonderful growing ripple effect of the hospital replacing global suppliers with local sources that began with a simple conversation, you can do your part for world peace with an added benefit:
Having the intention and openness to create harmony within yourself and those around you can come back to benefit you and others in many, many unforeseen ways.
Photo credit: Chepko/istockphoto.com
I recently came across a quote from a great spiritual teacher from India. Short and sweet, casually paraphrased he says, "Life is like sand and sugar. Be like the ant and look for the sugar."
I know if things are going upside down and sideways in your life, it can be difficult to look for the good. But it's very important. And even if it's something small, from a coffee pot that works in the morning to a soft pillow that comforts you at night, if you can just pick your head up a little bit, and look for the good, you'll find that it starts to make a difference in your life.
The reason I want you to know this is because this is a universal truth:
What you focus on expands.
So if your head is down and you're absorbed in everything
that isn't going right . . . begin to just lift up and look for the good. You'll be amazed at the way your life can begin to change.
So again, be like the ant and look for your sugar!
"Everything on earth is of mixed character
Like a mingling of sand and sugar.
Be like the wise ant
That seizes only the sugar
And leaves the sand untouched."
B A B A J I
Your comments are welcome!
Cupcake photo by Vojtech Okenka from Pexels
Cartoon created by Freepik; composite created by Catherine
"Oh, she said, but I'm getting so far behind."
There was the self-imposed deadline, several months back, supposed to have been a slam dunk. Preparations for an unforeseen opportunity. Information gleaned, internally filed. Tech changes and glitches that despite best efforts, dragged to a workaround halt.
Hours. Weeks gone by.
Check up, somehow remembered despite not being written down. Surgery. Family.
Then the words:
"Life is like a wild tiger. You can either lie down and let it
Lay its paw on your head –
Or sit on its back and ride it."
R I D E T H E W I L D T I G E R
You're right where you're supposed to be.
Take this one day. Look for the joy.
And Ride It.
Photo Credit: CC0 License pexels
Hello Fellow Journeyer,
Need hope, perspective, & a simple formula to help ease your way through stressful life changes?
On Thursday, May 17, I'll be giving my Free Life Empowerment Telephone Seminar.
• When you sign up, you'll get my Self-Discovery Map to help you gain perspective on your life
• In the Telephone Seminar, you'll learn a simple formula to help you through stressful changes that you can use now and throughout your life
I'll also share a little about my story (we all learn from each other's experiences) and briefly extend an invitation for how you can continue empowering yourself in moving through stress-related fears that often go with change.
• Thursday, May 17, 8PM EST
• Sign up: http://lifeempowermentfasttracks.com
Because feeling better is a welcome breather, I invite you to give yourself this gift of increased perspective and clarity.
With Warm and Kindest Thoughts,
Hold fast to dreams,
For if dreams die,
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go,
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.
L A N G S T O N H U G H E S
In this Easter, Passover, and Spring Season, wishing you peace of mind, joy, and abundant blessings,
Photo Credit: Matheus Bartelli
Resistance. Acceptance. Renewal. How many times do you go through this cycle in your own life?
As winter is followed by spring in the northern hemisphere, challenges in our lives are followed by renewal. Wherever you are or whatever you may be going through, stop for a moment. Take notice of the emergence of life that's taking place all around you.
In the spirit of the season, may you steadily rise above what tethers you. So you can fully express the beauty, productivity, and creativity of your true Self.
For help in easing your way through stressful life changes, join me on Thursday, April 5, for my free TeleSeminar.
Photo credit: pixabay and pexels.com