I have been listening to quite a few podcasts lately. All with a recurring theme of you are in charge of your life and your happiness.
Although it may be with good intentions and done because someone loves and cares about you; we often times receive advice that may not always resonate with dreams. It can also be difficult to stand up and follow your dreams when those around you are trying to differ your thoughts.
Wes Moore, on Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations, made an excellent point. Stop making those who don’t matter too much, matter too much. This message was given to me a few years ago as well by my counsellor. She told my husband and I that the decisions we make only affect those living under our roof. Other people were welcome to share their opinions, yet ultimately we had to do what is best for our family.Another of my favourite podcasts is Gretchen Rubin and Elizabeth Craft’s Happier. If you follow Gretchen, you would have heard of her Four Tendencies. According to the Four Tendencies, I am an Obliger. This suits me to a tee. Always doing what I think is going to make other people happy. Always following the rules and doing what I’m told is right. Doing what I truly want to do is often put on the back burner or kept as a dream. There are some ideas I have that I would like to pursue that I know I will be judged and criticized for. As well, my husband and I are working on a big life altering project right now. Which again, is met with some judgement and criticism from some. Although, it is also met with a lot of excitement and well wishing from others.
At that, I will leave you with this quote: All your dreams may come true if we have the courage to pursue them. – Walt Disney
Change is something we all fear. If something changes, we are afraid we will lose a part of something that once was.
Change is OK. The world is continually evolving. We evolved from living in caves being hunter gathers, to the great metropolis of modern society. We grow from babies, into children, then into adults. Each stage is a journey adding to who we are.
Look at a river. If you stay in one spot, a river is constantly changing. The landscape changes from season to season. A flood happens, and the area can change drastically in an instant. It took millions of years for the Grand Canyon to be formed. Whereas if we follow the water in a river, the vegetation and climate changes every so often.
After listening to Dr. Brene Brown on Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations, I had my own “ah ha” moment. It is not that we fear change itself. Deep down inside, we fear shame. We fear not only failure, but also success. We have an underlying need to appease those around us.
My youngest daughter keeps telling me she simply wants to make people happy. I believe it is difficult to understand how to make someone else happy unless we truly understand how to make ourselves happy.
I feel a compelling urge to share my story. Even if it only for myself to reflect upon at a later date. For those closest to me, if you think this is about you, then move beyond it and get over yourself. I am grateful for who I was. I am grateful for who I will become. And I am grateful for who I am right now.
Many years ago I was inspired by Oprah Winfrey. She had begun to really talk about some of her charity work and had created her Angel Network. I wanted to do something to help someone. In fact, I feel this way more often than not.
I was 18 at the time, living at home while going to college. My parents were generous enough to allow me to live rent free. With very little expenses, I felt like a king with the bit of money I had from my part-time job. Instead of splurging on frivolous things, I decided to help the local food bank out. I went to the grocery store and bought a case of macaroni, a case of soup, a case of juice and some hot chocolate. I got to the food bank just as they were closing. The lady came out to give me a hand unloading my car. She asked what I wanted brought in, I told her all of it. She asked who it was from. I told her, me. She was shocked as it was my age group that seemed to be frequenting the food bank.
Now I did this act of kindness from the bottom of my heart with no expectations of anything in return. It makes me feel good and happy when you can do even the simplest acts of kindness.
Remember, when giving, give from the heart. Never expect anything in return. Enjoy the moment of making someone’s day.
I was reminded this morning we have many purposes in life. We often times are too focused on the future and trying to figure out our grand master plan that we are often blinded to the small purposes that make up and lead up to the grand scheme. In Deepak Chopra and Oprah’s meditation experience, they reminded me our purpose in the now can be something as simple as smiling at a person as we walk past each other.
Many people say everything has a purpose, and so it does. We are always meant to be where we are at each precise moment of time. Each experience we encounter helps to teach and guide us through the maze of life. When we focus on the present we become aware of the small details. The small moments often become some of our greatest moments.
We can each make a difference. Each small act of kindness will start a ripple of kindness, just as a pebble dropped into a still lake creates a ripple.
Your purpose in life is to live each small purpose as though it is your greatest achievement. As we focus on our small purposes our grand purpose may be revealed down the path.
I started Deepak Chopra and Oprah’s 21 day meditation challenge. Yesterday’s focus was I am a radiant spiritual being. Throughout the course of the day I found it fascinating how a few different people touched my life. It seemed as though a slight glimmer of light and encouragement shone through the chaos of my life. It was enjoyable to take a break from fixing our home to enjoy time with family and friends on the weekend. As one counsellor I spoke with told me, you still need to make room for fun. Without breaks, and without moments of fun, burnouts and downward spirals can occur.
As I was pondering on what to write about this week, light seemed to be my focus.
No one lights a lamp and hides it in a jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, he puts it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. For there is nothing that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open. Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken from him. – Luke 8:16-18
Sometimes in our darkest hour we may find a light. It may lead us down a path. To what that path may have in store for us, or where that path may lead us, we cannot always control the direction it may take. We do have a choice to follow said path, and we have a choice to veer from the path. Yet if it is meant to be, the universe will find a way to steer us back in the right direction.
It is in life’s challenges where we learn our greatest lessons. It is our greatest lessons that strengthen us to who we are. We can choose to sit back and have everything taken from us; or we can choose to be grateful for what we have been given.
This past week I’ve been participating in Deepak Chopra & Oprah’s 21 Day Perfect Health Meditation Challenge. One lesson I’ve learned in this journey is to set aside your excuses. The challenge came this weekend in fitting in my meditation. All week I’ve been getting up a bit earlier so I could meditate. The weekend comes, and even though events allowed me to be up, I choose to crawl back into bed to sleep. I certainly needed the sleep as I had two very long naps this weekend as well. Although, I did manage to find the time to meditate later in the day.
The key is if something is important enough to you, you will set aside your excuses and reach your goal. Stop making excuses. One of the greatest challenges remains is taking that first step. Once the step is made, you’re that much closer to your goal.