Tag Archives: Fulfillment

Grow Beyond Your Self-Imposed Limitations and Thrive!

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By Jay Forte

Walking through the neighborhood the other day, a dog came running off the front porch and ran right to the edge of the property. He stopped obviously aware of some special force field that marked his perimeter. I could see the sign for the invisible fence – that signal that is sent out to help dogs know their boundaries.

This got me thinking. We each have an “invisible fence” – we call it our limits. We know when we get close to the limits because something emotional, painful, fearful or otherwise intense and emotional surfaces. We then treat that feeling as a limit – a place we stay away from. But little do we know that if we push past that spot, we would see that it creates an entirely new area for us to be part of – larger, grander and greater than we ever knew existed because we have been limited by our invisible fence.

So what creates our fences? It is our life experiences – the events, conversations, school, traditions and beliefs that have created who we are at this exact moment. But none of these have to be true – they are just what we think are true. Like the dog with the collar that is afraid of the potential for shock, we stay away from things that we think, based on our assumptions, interpretations or limiting beliefs, will hurt or scare us.

What if instead we saw our world without fences – invisible or otherwise? What if we were to start to see that we have unlimited potential instead of being limited?

I truly believe we have the ability to be extraordinary in some things in life – things that we have previously told ourselves we shouldn’t even try, shouldn’t expect, or won’t succeed at. We are each gifted with unique talents, strengths and passions that allow us to be amazing at some things. To discover our areas of greatness, we must walk to our “fences” to see that there is no charge, no hurt – just some fear; in most cases we simply had a story about how it would be.

I was told how anxiety-provoking public speaking is. In fact, the story we tell ourselves is that we fear speaking in front of others more than death. So we perpetuate the “fence” – speaking is frightening. I truly felt that through all my years in school until I had to speak to my class. I loved it. It was easy for me. I understand that for some people it may be difficult but how do we know if we are afraid to approach our fences – our limits – and see whether they are true or imagined? Most of our fences we can move past – we just need to muster the courage to try.

A full and great life is about moving past our fences – our self-imposed limits. We start life with few if any fears; we then learn them as we move though life. Instead of trying things and pushing our limits, we learn to clearly define our limits, and once established, not challenge them. It may show as being raised in one particular faith and being afraid to quest for greater wisdom by investigating others. Or, that we are told that our tradition is to celebrate a holiday in a particular way, and we continue it year after year without ever trying something new. Or, we work in jobs that we don’t really like but are afraid to try our own business or work in roles that we are passionate about. We build fences to protect ourselves from the unknown. And the result is they limit how great our lives can be.

What a joy it is to run free in life – to be able to go in all directions – to try things out, examine life, and see what amplifies our spirits. Thirty-five percent of Americans openly admit that they never live their potential; they have built the fences that keep their lives small. They don’t run free. They worry. They fear. They think that coloring in the lines and living within the fences is the way to do life. That is actually more of a formula to miss out on life.

Just for today, challenge your fences. Most of them are imaginary. And instead of seeing fear, see your life without fences – without limitations – living your potential – changing your world. Then, with courage, inspire others to move past their fences.

Now. Here. This. – How to Stay Present to Your Purpose

be present.By Jay Forte

How present are we?

Most of us move through life entirely unaware – we move from thing to thing with little intention and focus. At the end of the day we fall into bed, barely remembering what happened during the day.

What if, instead, we truly showed up to each moment? Now. Here. This. (Right) now. (Right) here. This (exact moment).

See, each moment has the two things we need most:

  1. Our actual life.

  2. Information.

By being present and conscious in each moment, we fully connect with our lives. We experience what life shares with us – we are really part of life. After all, what other purpose do we have in life other to be present and experience it? Letting it pass by without really noticing seems a terrible waste of something so amazing.

The other important thing that happens in each moment is we gather information. As we show up present to each moment of our lives, we learn about life, ourselves and how we fit. The more information we have, the better our choices and the more amazing our lives.

I regularly say in my workshops that we were not born with an owner’s manual; at birth we don’t know what we are good at, passionate about and what matters to us. For this information, we need to intentionally show up to each day of our lives because we gather this information as we live. We learn what we rock at and stink at. We learn what moves us and bores us. We can see places of interest and adventure and places that we want to stay away from. All of this is in front of us in every moment. But we have to be present in order to see it, be part of it and learn from it. Now, here, this has all the information that we need to know how to be able to choose wisely in all aspects of work and life.

When we don’t take the time to discover what we are good at, are passionate about and what matters to us, we are unclear of what makes us unique and different. Without this information, our lives start to look like others’ lives instead of our own.

When we don’t know what our voice says (because we haven’t tuned in to now, here, this), then we take others’ voices on as ours. This will always lead us to others’ roads in life. As I tell my three daughters, if you see footprints on your road in life, you are likely on someone else’s road. Reconnect to now, here, this and get back on your road.

Life constantly presents each of us with everything we need; we just don’t seem to see what it offers. Most of the time it is because we are rushing and don’t make time for information and experiences that are right in front of us. Slow it down and all of a sudden life opens up. Slow it down to see what is right in front of us.

My father used to say that life is not a superhighway – it is a meandering path. Though the shortest distance may be between two points, life is not about getting someplace quickly; it is about the quality of the experiences while on the road. The meandering path gives different views at each turn; every event is larger, more interesting and has more to see and learn. But to enjoy the view you have to tune in – you have to make the time to be present, aware and conscious. You have to be in the now, the here and the this.

Showing up present not only is how we experience life, but it is also how we gather information to improve how we experience life. We have everything we need – it is always in front of us. We just need to train ourselves to slow things down to be part of it. So what’s the rush if all we do is get faster to someplace in work or life that doesn’t fit us?

Now. Here. This. Pay attention to right now. Be right here. Watch this. These are the steps to both learn about and experience a great and terrific life.

Why Love is the Answer to Living a Life with Meaning

Don't Let Go.While at dinner night one night, I had a discussion with an accomplished and influential man who has touched the lives of many millions of people in a very positive way. He was sharing how at the ripe old age of 10 he first realized that he was conscious. It led him to the conclusion that “there must be some meaning or purpose as to why I am here.” He became determined to live his life from that vantage point.

Now that he is quite a bit older, he is considering whether there is still a purpose for him and even if what he had done had been useful. I, of course, seeing the value in his work, chimed in with a resounding “Yes!” I could clearly see there was still plenty of purpose and meaning to be found in the years that lay ahead, no matter how many or few.

Another man I know is 15 years younger than the first and also looking back on his life trying to make sense of it all. He can’t seem to understand that there are still plenty of moments left for him in which meaning can and will be found, even if his past wasn’t all he wanted it to be. Instead, he is running laps in the playground of his mind, which from my perspective is different than gaining awareness and altitude. But hey, it’s his playground.

In my early twenties, I read Viktor Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning.” In it, the author introduces what he calls an existential vacuum, a condition that exists when one’s life is empty of meaning. When this vacuum is present, it is as if existence has a large hole in it that cannot be filled. A friend of mine at that time was a psychiatrist interested in levels of consciousness and why people felt this vacuum inside. In his quest for awakening and awareness, he introduced his friends to a veritable garden of spiritual teachers, each with a different take on the subject.

From that point on, I was fascinated by the existential, the spiritual practices of all religions, the experiences of mysticism, and the many ways people look for meaning and purpose in their life. Like my friend, I found my spiritual teacher and my spiritual practice. The sense of isolation I hadn’t previously understood shifted almost immediately. The emptiness related to my food addiction was more complicated and took many years to overcome.

As for my meaning and purpose, I spent decades searching for the answers. In the end, it all boiled down to “Whatever the question, love is the answer.” I discovered that the greatest gift I could give someone was to really listen to them and let them know that they mattered. To let them know that they were not alone – that someone cared about them. That in fact, all of us are part of a grand whole in which we are all interconnected.

I found new meaning when I shared my authentic experiences by helping others to understand that while we are different, we are the same. That each of us is ordinary, doing the best we can with what we have been given, and with what we have chosen to develop. And when I am communing in that way with others, I am in touch with what I have come to know as Spirit.

By loving and offering support wherever I can, in whatever small way I can, I find meaning in the moment. And since life is made up of moments, I can focus on those, and not have to ponder the imponderable or drive myself nuts with how many angels can actually dance on the head of a pin. Rather than get stuck in that place of no return, I return to the spiritual experiences, the transcendence of this level that I can have in the quiet when the peace descends and love enfolds.

We live in stressful times with people searching for significance in the chaos and peace in the turmoil. I think it can be helpful to look at the ways in which each of us finds meaning and then share that not only with everyone we know, but also with anyone who is looking. To that end, my daily questions to myself are, “Did I partake in the opportunities for loving that were presented to me today?” “Was I grateful?” and “Did I listen to and act upon the wisdom of my heart?” This wisdom tells me to always be open to the possibilities of new meanings, awareness, and new awakenings.

 

Originally published July 2010

Manifesting 101: How to Create the Life You Want

24-08-10 If I Only Could I'd Make A Deal With GodIn order to manifest that which will bring you fulfillment, joy, purpose and abundance, it is necessary to understand the steps that will allow such things to come into your life with purpose. Take a moment with open mind to view these steps to creating your new bountiful future.

Intentions: You must be fully aware of what it is that you really want. You must have a clear definition. You can not simply say “I want change.” You must be specific what kind of change it is that you seek. If you are not specific you may find that the change which occurs will be all towards a downward spiral. Freeing yourself to be able to say I want positive forward movement in my change will be an incredible empowerment tool for your future success.
Be Mindful: That old expression “garbage in, garbage out” here comes to mind. If you continually take in negative thoughts, surround yourself with friends, or even family who continually tell you there is no way you can over come you will never amount to anything then guess what? You won’t. If you take your intentions to another level, and say I intend to listen to new creative ways to bring success and peace of mind in both my personal and professional life, then you will start to break those old reckless cycles and move forward.
Show Gratitude: I can not stress enough how important it is for you to be thankful for your current situation. This time in your life has brought you to the steps of your greatest accomplishment yet; abundance, creativity, success and boundless positive energy that will push you forward. Once you have been to the very bottom there is no other place to go then up. Be thankful for your failures they will be your inspiration.
Allow Forgiveness: Showing compassion for what has brought you to this time in your life has great meaning. It is the life blood of all of the things in your past that have placed you in a sense of powerlessness or success. Once you make that decision to forgive others where it is possible, or even proper, and then make that leap to forgive yourself and find peace you will be on your way to experiencing who you are truly meant to be. Honesty is paramount here seeking out that which causes you pain, however, is not always an easy task. This may require a professional to speak with one who is caring and understanding and can help teach you ways to deal with these personal issues.
Take Action: Let the new positive thought and energy flow; do not impede forward movement no matter how small it may seem at first. All things are connected. Every time you made a decision; including those times when you really felt like you did not make any type of decision comes into play here. You must be willing to accept the things you have done, and be prepared to make new choices for the future. You are an active participant in your manifestation of your positive future.
Follow Through: Whether you take your first step, or you stumble keep moving don’t quit!!! Know that you are blessed simply because you breathe. Believe in yourself for it will be your greatest asset, and your truest virtue. If you have made a decision to work this plan towards you future success then let me be the first to congratulate you, you have taken your first step towards abundance and peace of mind.
Originally published January 2011

3 Ways to Dispel the Fear That’s Holding You Back

Sky & IAlmost everyone holds onto some fear. There’s fear that can kick in adrenaline to help you speed out of difficult situations like a near-miss accident. Then there’s the needless, energy draining kind of fear that holds us back and drains resources. This kind of fear keeps us from being who we are. It brings us to constrict and tighten shoulders, jaws and muscles when what we yearn to do is expand to be who we’re meant to be. This kind of emotional fear feels a bit like wearing a barbed wire fence. Every new move we try hurts. So what happens? We stop moving and get stuck.

How can anyone climb out of a barbed wire fence? Ouch! Is it possible to cut away the fear of pain and become free to move? Imagine taking a pair of heavy-duty wire-cutters and snap, snap, snap! In a few quick, efficient moves cut away every last, tight wire to free yourself up. It’s time to let go and express those heartfelt intentions and live the expansive life.

People who live in fear put up walls around themselves. They create armor so thick that nothing can get out or in. It’s time to tear down walls you may be aware of and take a risk. Do something that you’ve always dreamed of doing. This might be jump off the high dive at the pool, join Toastmasters and face fears of public speaking or simply tell someone you love them.

  1. First, recognize the fears that inhibit. Take a moment and reflect. What would you really love to do that you don’t do out of fear that you’ll be ridiculed, fear of failure or something else?
  2. Next, take a moment and imagine what’s the worst that could happen? Imagine success instead. If the desired leap of faith is not life threatening or harmful to anyone, take the next step.
  3. Dare to do what you dream. But don’t stick with the mental stuff. The mind sometimes creates demons that hang around and scare us into paralysis.

Moving into the heart, imagine joining the belly dance class and performing in public, or speaking those words to the one you love. If your aim is something big, like starting a business or appearing on a TV show, then work your way up to the big moment through learning about the process. Go back to school. Learn to manage, do interviews and express yourself in ways that unleash your positive creative energy. Get out and grow. The extraordinary mystical poet, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (better known simply as Goethe) wrote, “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.” Enjoy the leap of faith!

* * *

Debra Moffitt’s book, “Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life” will be published by Llewellyn Worldwide in May 2011 (www.awakeintheworld.com).  Read more at www.debramoffitt.com Her essays and articles appear in publications around the world and focus on drawing attention to the spiritual in a mostly material-minded world.  She presents workshops in the U.S. and Europe.

 

Originally published January 2011

Watching My Intents Come to Fruition

ColoradoBy Russell Richard

“I am reflecting upon the past year sourcing the wisdom it continues to bring, even in this late hour. I move toward the New Year with ambitious intentions for what I wish to manifest and how I wish to evolve. I am always amazed by all that happens in a year’s time and the growth that comes. Equally significant is the awareness of areas of growth requiring continued attention in the days ahead. I leave behind all that must be of 2012 and take with me all that will serve me. I welcome 2013 ready to work, grow, play, laugh, create, expand, serve, and most important of all, love genuinely and authentically.”

Those words were written in the quiet, reflective solitude of New Year’s Eve shortly before the stroke of midnight. Seven months later I find myself in awe of what can occur within a few months.

This story about intention actually begins in June of last year. I reached a point in life where I was not where I wanted to be and not sure where I wanted to go. From that place I set a very simple intention for clarity.

The first step in this process was reconnecting with a group of friends actively involved in deep psycho-spiritual work. As the saying goes, “long story short”, I ended the year not only with clarity but momentum. In the initial days of the New Year I created a list of clear goals and intentions for 2013.

An important distinction exists between the two. I view intentions as desires one seeks to manifest without evidence or knowledge of how it will or can occur; a want with no identifiable means of achieving it. Goals, in contrast, are desires we pursue with the knowledge and means to achieve them. Having experienced the power of intention in years past and having moved from confusion to clarity within a relatively short period of time, I entered this year with many desires and few identifiable means of achieving them.

With new-found clarity and direction I began writing my first book and co-created another circle of support with a specific focus on professional endeavors. I am nearly half way through writing the initial draft of the book and have an outline for a second. Educational opportunities requiring travel and significant time and expense became possible. I built a spaceship and created this blog. The spaceship I refer to is my website. Not being very tech savvy and building the site myself, I imagine building a spaceship to be comparable; perhaps easier.

I welcomed 2013 ready to work, grow, play, laugh, create, expand, serve, and love. Not even half way through the year each of these intentions have manifested in profound ways.

It is quite amazing all that occurs in a year’s time. Even more amazing is what can occur when choosing to live with intention. After completing the third chapter of my book I had something of an epiphany. I began with a simple desire for clarity and arrived at a profound realization…

Live with intention, act with humility and genuine love, surrender self will to the will of the Highest Source and experience the miraculous.

* * *

88215dab73dc55af10dec1d4ae3f9123Russell Richard has over 15 years of clinical experience facilitating individual, couples and group therapy. His areas of expertise include recurring emotional and behavioral patterns, major life transitions, relationship and couples distress, grief and loss, anger management and resolution, men’s issues, emotional intelligence and psycho-spiritual functioning. It is Russell’s belief that we are psychological and spiritual beings, and his approach is informed by the teachings and wisdom of the worlds great spiritual traditions. His ultimate goal is to assist clients in transforming personal awareness into success-oriented action.

The Secret to Sticking with Anything

Pedra do Bau [Climb]How many times have you started something new (exercise routine, meditation schedule, writing that book, a new project), got pumped and excited about it, and then within a few weeks or months it slowly faded into a faraway memory? It’s normal and happens all the time. Gyms plan that every January 1st memberships will soar due to New Year’s Resolutions and then by March and April it’ll be back to mostly regulars.

It’s not that these people are slackers or don’t care about their body. What’s really going on is their level of commitment isn’t high enough. That’s because any goal, intention, or desire takes time to evolve into something that you care enough about to make the required level of commitment.

So what’s the required level of commitment? The secret to sticking with any goal is having a solid 100% commitment. (I would say 110% to emphasis how big this level of dedication is, but doing that has always been a major pet peeve of mine.)

It’s very important that your commitment isn’t 99.9999999%, but it’s 100%. Why? Because, even with a 99.9999999% commitment, you still have a little opening to rationalize and talk yourself out of the action. This is not because you’re a bad person, it’s because all change involves some discomfort. If given even a slither of space to choose comfort over discomfort, you’re more likely to choose comfort.

That little .0000001% of space allows for talk like this: “I don’t feel like it today”, “I’m so busy with work ”, “there’s just a lot going on right now”, or my personal favorite (because I’ve it used for years) “I’ll just do it tomorrow and get back on track then.”

When you have 100% commitment to something, feeling like doing it has no importance on whether you do it or not. There is no option; it’s in many ways liberating because you make it a non-negotiable. You don’t give yourself the burden of having to choose every day. Then one day it’s become a habit that moved from your non-comfort zone to your comfort zone!

To make a 100% commitment, it’s important to always focus on the WHY of the commitment. Why do you want to commit to having some discomfort for a while? It’s the why that will get you to a place where you can be 100% committed to something. And it often takes a little time (or a lot) for everything to click and your why to become so clear and strong that the required 100% commitment is there.

For example, I’ve practiced meditation on and off for almost 15 years, and while I always ended a session feeling amazing, I couldn’t seem to stick with my commitment to do it daily. It was only when I was ready to eliminate all excuses (and this came after something “clicked” inside and I knew I needed it every day to express my highest self, which became a priority), that I could make the 100% commitment.

Don’t put yourself down if you haven’t been able to have the motivation or commitment to stick with something, but examine the WHYs. From that awareness, you can make 100% commitments to things that align with you and your unique values and path.

In what areas do you want to be more committed and why? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.  

Meditate with Deepak Chopra to Find Love!

Erg Chebbi, Morocco, 12:35No one could say it better than John Lennon: “All you need is love.”

Love is what we strive and search for, the treasure we place above almost any other goal. Much to our confusion, there are also a million tips and tricks out there that will supposedly bring love into our lives, and yet many of these fall short of their promises. What if, on the other hand, we stopped trying to find love, and instead started living wholly and mindfully? This is where meditation comes in.

If your intention is to draw love into your life, then it might be equally accurate to say you want to experience wholeness, happiness, fulfillment, and confidence. Don’t a happy life and a happy self make for a happy relationship, after all?

Start a mindfulness practice that will promote these aims, and, in particular, let meditation be your guiding tool. Join Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey in a 21-Day Meditation Challenge. This course will be a 3-week meditation journey to the heart of true love… Discover the wonder that exists within and then watch all of your relationships unfold effortlessly, easily, and miraculously.

To get your meditative juices flowing, start with this lushly calming guided meditation with Deepak Chopra:

Oprah & Deepak’s 21-Day Meditation Challenge makes meditation easy, fun, and inspiring, offering daily guided audio meditations via an online, interactive program. The all-new “Miraculous Relationships” challenge begins on August 5 with Deepak and Oprah guiding the 3-week experience. Participants will meditate and journal each day as they learn to embrace their true essence, expand their understanding of divine relationships, and experience an unparalleled connection to their world around. Participants can easily access the daily audio anytime, anywhere from their mobile phone, tablet or computer.

Visit The Chopra Center website to sign up and participate for free!

5 Attitudinal Traits of Winners

Screen Shot 2013-07-16 at 11.19.34 AMBy Lyna Jones

“You will turn out to be an alcoholic and a prostitute, just like your mother. You are too stupid to do anything else.”

This sharp statement would resonate in my ears daily for nearly four years. My foster mom apparently didn’t perceive any potential in my 13-year-old self. Ever since that statement, I have been fiercely determined to win the game of life and break the chains of my past. I knew that my strength of will would ultimately liberate me from the ruinous patterns of my family.

Winning isn’t everything. The will to win is, as are the mental tools to become the victor of your own existence.

Here are the 5 fundamental traits of a winner that have permitted me to claim the happiness that I own today.

1. Staunch Perseverance

The only person who holds the chief capacity to get in the way of your goals is yourself.
Anything and everything is possible if we possess the staunch willingness to persevere until we reach our destination. We must recalibrate our mental focus upon our destination every single day. It becomes a personal value that shapes our character and refines our approach to win. Thomas Edison was the epitome of perseverance: He conducted nearly 10,000 experiments before finding a filament that would burn in the electric light bulb.

Perseverance does not entail an obsessive repetition of the same behavior and techniques but the ability to re-assess our approach keeping our end goal in mind. The path of high-achievers is paved by failures, rejection, and discouragement. But the winning mind is simply never deterred by such momentary setbacks. It strives forward with tenacity and resolve.

2. Clarity of Purpose

Do your dreams truly come from the innermost part of your soul or do they belong to somebody else? Our family, environment, peers, and cultural expectations, role models, largely influence us. It is paramount to live up to your authentic dreams. Let yourself stand for your individual truth. Honor and pursue the jolts of your own heart. Embrace your peculiar preferences. We are often programmed to fit into the current societal norms that we loose touch with our unique desires.

My childhood dream was to become an attorney-at-law. I was persuaded that such a profession would automatically earn me the approval and respect of the others. That dream was irrelevant to my soul. It was not carved out of a passion for the law. It was chosen to impress others. Clarify your vision. Write down your burning pursuits and their accompanied reasons. Let go of what is not genuinely yours to create space for your soul to barge in. Let authenticity be the authoritative mark of your dream.

3. Always Learn More

Winners are fully committed to developing their craft. Become a perpetual student to increase your knowledge, your value, and your confidence. A winning mind stays teachable. Tiger Woods is the greatest golfer in the world. Yet he works with a coach, Sean Foley, to sharpen his swing.

People with the most information always have an advantage. Develop a system to increase your repertoire of information. I maximize my daily 45-minute commute to work to listen to personal development audio books and podcasts, which is the equivalent of a book per week. My life schedule is extremely tight but I make my free time very productive.

Learn more. Accumulate experiences. Bust through the walls of your comfort zone to propel your growth forward.

4. Look Forward

How do you feel about your future?

You are not your personal history.

Let your past be your mentor for the positive lessons it contains and leave the darkness of the past behind. The elements of your past can be immensely useful if embraced as constructive blocks for a better future. Anything is possible because nothing is certain in the future tense. Winners assume the energy of a triumphant outcome.

5. Core Confidence

You must become your biggest fan.

If you believe that you can, you are right. And if you believe that you can’t, you are also right.

Develop a self-belief so strong that it will ineluctably compel others to support you in your journey. Know that you possess the necessary skills, mindset, and self-concept to prevail in the end. Enough positive self-talk will burst through any obstacle so give up your “I can’ts”. My primary goal since first witnessing my mothers drunkenly fall outside of a bar has been to set my soul on fire in order to teach others self-reliance, determination, and the power of self-love.

* * *

Born and raised in Normandy, Lyna Jones is a Certified Life Coach with a staunch desire to help others step into their extraordinary life. Having endured many grave hardships throughout her journey from childhood into young adulthood, Lyna is equipped with passion and perseverance. Still growing and developing as a writer, she is a passionate individual dedicated to inspire and galvanize each soul she works with.

Facebook.com/lynatjones

Twitter.com/LynaTJones

What is Your “Unlived Life?” It’s Time to Start Living Whole-Heartedly

like a record...The happiest people I know have something in common: they are whole-hearted in how they engage in their lives…whole-hearted in relating with others, in work, in meditation, and in play. They have a capacity to give themselves thoroughly to the present moment.

Yet for many, it’s challenging to engage with this quality of presence. Take this personal ad for example. It says:

Free to a good home, beautiful 6-month old male kitten, orange and caramel tabby, playful, friendly, very affectionate, ideal for family with kids. OR handsome 32-year old husband, personable, funny, good job, but doesn’t like cats. He or the cat goes. Call Jennifer and decide which one you’d like.

How often do we find that in our relationships, rather than loving presence, we have an agenda for someone to change, to be different? How often do we find that our insecurities prevent us from being spontaneous, or whole-heartedly engaged with friends? You might think of one important relationship and ask yourself: “What is between me and feeling fully present when I’m with this person?” Notice the fears creeping in about falling short, the urge to get your needs met, the sense of “not enough time,” the wanting for your experience together to unfold a certain way! This same conditioning plays out in all aspects of living, and it is well grounded in our evolutionary wiring. We need to manage things, to feel in control. We try to avoid disappointments, to prevent things from going wrong.

While we have this strong conditioning, if it runs our life, we miss out. Carl Jung said, “Nothing has a stronger influence, psychologically, on their environment, and especially on their children, than the unlived life of the parents.” Unlived life happens in the moments when we’re not whole-hearted, the moments when we’re busy scrambling to get somewhere else, or holding back to avoid what might be painful. Unlived life is the relationships where we really don’t allow ourselves to be intimate with each other, the emotion that we don’t let ourselves acknowledge. Unlived life is that passion we didn’t follow, the adventures we didn’t let ourselves go on. Unlived life, while it happens in an attempt to avoid suffering, actually leads to suffering.

What I’ve noticed in myself, and when I talk with others, is that in order to be completely whole-hearted, there is a need for giving up of control. By letting go of our usual ways of holding back and protecting ourselves, we free ourselves to express our full aliveness, creativity, and love.

If we experiment with this letting go of control—if we engage wholeheartedly with each other and in our activities—our sense of being enlarges. More and more we discover the innate curiosity and care that leads to giving ourselves fully to this moment, and then this one, and again…this one. Rather than racing to the finish line, we choose, with all our heart, to be here for our life.

Adapted from my book Radical Acceptance (2003)

Enjoy this talk on The Compass of our Hearts-Part1


For more information visit: www.tarabrach.com

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