Dogma Runs Deep

buddha fire head wood

I’m letting go of the personal dogma engrained so deep in my habitually chaotic brain. I’m sitting with the questions instead of demanding the answers. I’m reevaluating the doctrine I’ve held so tight for so long. The process of trying to empty yourself of programmed mental and emotional response and open up to new, authentic thought comes from a place of pure self love. Pure self love comes from a realization that you really want to be happy and tend mindfully to yourself.

I’m sorting through the figurative boxes of old, abandoned trinkets that I saved all these years for some reason or another. These are the parts of ourselves that we never put out on the shelves for visitors to see, the sacred bits and pieces that may stay secret from even our most intimate partners in life, and the raw justifications that we create and censor. 

There is a level of spiritual vulnerability that we can approach within ourselves yet may never reveal to others. Some things are only meant for self-reflection. I don’t want to know how some people feel about some of the parts of me. It takes a true Spiritual Gangsta to let that stuff be taken out and tossed around in front of another person. You risk judgement of your enshrined inner truths and stories that you tell yourself over and over so convincingly. But, with the right person and the courage to reveal these exclusive rationalizations, you may receive rescue, not ridicule. The choice to reveal should not be taken lightly. The decision of whether or not you sort through those inner junk drawers of doctrine in a meaningful way and with pure healing intention is ultimately yours. The gifts of self-reflection and enlightenment should be treasured instead of measured.

gratitude to keencarleen on morguefile.com for the above photo

The Brightest Side

Koan mountain view

It’s not about someone else discovering you, it’s about you discovering yourself. It’s not about getting noticed, it’s about noticing. The world starts to feel different when you let go of stressors that don’t serve you like judgement, obligation and guilt. You don’t just start to see the brighter side of things when you make the decision to be genuinely happier, you see the brightest side. It’s a truly conscious decision that you have to make over and over consistently, and with absolute confidence. Being decisively committed to your own happiness allows your inner light to shine. 

I made an authentic decision to create positive change in my life. After years of hard work, growth, discovery and deep reflection, I feel confidently optimistic about the path I have put myself on. I knew that in order to build a life filled with things that make me happy, I had to first dismantle my existing life to the point where I felt lighter and better able to become who I wanted to discover. So, I sold my house and most of my belongings and moved to a place that I had always wanted to live, Colorado.

It was a complicated couple months as we sorted through belongings deciding what had value, served a purpose or felt sentimental. We held an estate sale, garage sale and sold several items online. In the end, we were left with the essentials and packed our lives into a 16 foot rental truck.

It’s been 2 weeks since I became a resident of Colorado. I’m not sure if it’s the crisp mountain air, the light refreshing afternoon rains, or the new zen patio I set up the minute I got the keys to my new place, but I’ve never felt so calm and peaceful. The easygoing lifestyle combined with the welcoming, friendly people have made me feel very at home. With a lighter schedule and beautiful sunny weather, my girls and I have been able to spend long summer days exploring our new home and surroundings. We’ve been enjoying each other in a whole new way. My girls and I have truly savored this gift of time with each other and I know they are appreciating their more relaxed and happy mom.

Instead of struggling through stressful, less-than-ideal days and feeling stagnant in my life, I decided to take a leap of faith and look on the brightest side, and I’m so glad that I did. 

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself” – George Bernard Shaw

gratitude to koan for the beatiful photo above from morguefile.com

Becoming Me

GOB_0239

Who were you before the world stepped in and told you who to become?  When a baby cries out and a caretaker responds with loving kindness, in the beginning it’s all a guessing game to try our best to soothe, respond and love.  But we really never know the true meaning behind those cries.  Even the best intending people may put their own needs and assumptions on those cries and respond the way they see fit.  That’s the best they can do until that baby can confirm those suspicions.  Is that baby having every need met, or is that sweet, dependent soul beginning the journey of taking what is offered and making it fit? Such is life as we grow into ourselves and begin to make our true selves heard.  And even then, how much are we forced to push down and ignore of what we really want and need?  Those innocent smiles on children desperate to please may be the faces of little ones learning to do the best with what is given to them while learning to manage what they truly wish.    

As we grow and mature, we have a chance to consider who we are and what truly makes us happy.  Are you letting yourself be the person you were meant to be?  How do we figure out exactly who that is?  After years of being told what to do, it may be difficult to truly be authentically present and acknowledge how much of who we have become is put upon us and how much of it we were free to develop on our own.  Take a step back for a moment and think about where you are, why you are there and whether or not it is who and where you would like to be.  Such is life really, but the next phase is letting go of some of that ingrained learning and allowing yourself to push back from the shore and mindfully explore what your choices will bring.  Navigating your path after you set sail on an adventure such as this may be filled with unknown, but it’s always in times of deep reflection or exploration that we have the opportunity to grow the most.        

Need to change a few things?  I do, and I want to learn more about myself.  There are 5 steps I am taking to thoughtfully process this lesson.  

Live life and engage in activities I enjoy.

Over the last few years I have found myself diving into new experiences with a brave, awakened yearning for change.  Feeling satisfied and content was no longer acceptable.  I longed for a divergence from my routine and I have found myself engulfed in exciting new opportunities saying, “YES!  THIS is me! THIS is what I crave and how I want to live!”  And it feels good.  I want more of that, so I make it happen.  

Stay curious and learn

Instead of sitting in wonder of some of my interests, I decided to engage in workshops and learn new skills, read new books and attend readings of their authors, and manage my own new business focused on my passions.  I hunger for new knowledge and I will never know enough about the matters that interest me.  

Live in the present

Engage.  Put down your technology, turn off the television and properly engage with the people and experiences around you.  I like to make a pile of cell phones when my friends have dinner and the first one to reach for their phone instead of being immersed in the gathering is handed the check.  If we all remain engaged and never touch a piece of technology then I consider that a win.  If you are not enjoying your surroundings and need the stimulation of outside sources, then it’s time to unravel that.  That unraveling is genuine work and you should be making time and space to focus on and improve that matter.  It’s the constant learning and unraveling that makes us grow indefinitely, but it’s in the present that we live.  Wherever you go, there you are.  Be there.  

Meet new admirable people and reawaken valuable lost connections

The people I have met and align myself with have made all the difference, and the people I have reconnected with from my past have impacted my journey more than words can say.  It’s those who love you unconditionally and authentically that deserve your precious time and attention.  Strengthen those bonds, throw your energy in their direction and it will come back to you with boundless possibility.  Your soul mates, no matter how abundant or few, will see the authentic YOU emerging and admire the light shining from you.    

“All of me loves all of you. Love your curves and all your edges, all your perfect imperfections” -All Of Me, John Legend

Sleep and spend time alone

When I am alone with my thoughts and without other influences to taint my perspective is when I catch a clear glimpse of who I am and what I truly want.  I like to form my own impressions without speculation of others leaking in.  And, never underestimate the importance of rest and renewal.  Our sleep patterns are the refresh opportunity that we have everyday.  After expending all of this energy to make change and become my authentic self, I need to let my body absorb this information so it can truly be integrated into my reality.      

The question of who I am may never definitively be answered because she changes with each moment, but it is the promising journey to discover and rediscover myself that ignites my spirit and inspires my momentum.

 

above photo is of my daughter holding my hand that very first day

Unapologetically, Authentically You

Image

Living an authentic life means not being afraid to be your true self.  Authentic people embrace and respect what exists and make no excuses for not riding on the bandwagon.  An intention to be authentic may be enough to get you started, and being brave enough to uncover what that looks like for your life is a noble stride toward making peace with your life’s path.  To be authentic means that you don’t look to others to assess experiences, make a choice or feel an emotion.  You let it flow and accept what naturally spills from your heart as true.  Being a keen observer of your authenticity will make you understand your journey and yourself.

Being authentic in a relationship is possible when you are being true to yourself. Hiding what you feel will hinder others from loving you for who you are.  If you are consistently you, others can consistently love who you truly are.  What a lovely thought, and what a lovely experience.  Imagine spending your day being absolutely true to who you are and being sincerely loved for it…..

“Today you are you, that is truer than true.  There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” – Dr. Seuss

Accepting yourself as exactly who you are is empowering and freeing!  Start with forgiving yourself for your past.  Everything that has happened up until now made you the person you are today.  Without each day of that existence you could not be the person you are now.  Express gratitude for every lesson those past versions of yourself have endured and realize that you are smarter and more schooled than all of the past versions of yourself.  When you go easy on prior versions of yourself and allow the present version of you to benefit from the past, those fundamental life lessons begin to serve your life education instead of break your stride.  Let the past contribute to a breakthrough, not a breakdown.

A quiet, uninterrupted mind will reveal simple truths about yourself.  What do you think about when you wake up in the morning?  Before the world and technology shifts your thoughts and invades your head space, what and who comes to mind?

Do you know how to be yourself?  Can you experience it?  What if the YOU in your quiet moments could be the YOU that moves around in the world?  Would that make you happy?  Would that bring you peace?  I often wonder how much of a mask people hide behind and how much they let themselves just be.  Varying degrees of authenticity depending on the setting, people around you and your comfort level in a situation is such hard work.  Are you constantly playing a role or are you living authentically?  Can you stay connected to your vital relationships genuinely or do you feel like there are rules to follow and guidelines to adhere to?  Why do we over complicate things?  What if we could just simply be….

“There is nothing more beautiful than seeing a person being themselves.  Imagine going through your day being unapologetically you.” – Steve Maraboli

Waldo image from Google Images

Letting The Days Go By

“It is not uncommon for people to spend their whole life waiting to start living.” ~Eckhart Tolle

Is there a “real you” trapped inside yourself somewhere waiting to be revealed? What is she like? How do we rescue her? Is she ready to be shown to the world? What keeps her hidden? Is it fear of what others think or may think of her?

If all of your attachments were severed right now, where would you go and what would you do? Just live in that space for a moment. Forget the ties that bind you to all the details in your life and give yourself the freedom to imagine a path before you with a wide open space of possibilities. In that deep breath of freedom you may reveal truths to yourself that have been hidden or denied. Our lives push us down paths in certain directions and we may end up at some points looking around and thinking about how we got there or whether or not our place in life is best serving our needs.

It may not be possible to make big sweeping changes today. It may not make sense to run into your room and throw open your suitcase and fly off at a moment’s notice. But recognizing that the course you have plotted is not where you want to be heading is a big step in the right direction. Take a moment to recalibrate your compass and consider what needs to happen to get that “real you” to come out and start living. Get yourself to a place where she feels comfortable enough to make an appearance because only then will you begin to truly love this life. When you live an authentic life, moments of peace and serenity will begin to appear and the dots will begin to connect themselves. Fill your day with what you love and what you love to do. “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives” -Annie Dillard. If your days are not authentic and filled with love right now, begin to consider how you might change them to reflect a day that better resembles the life you want to live. Little changes affect your day, big changes affect your life.

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myhappypromise

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