What a gift! An invitation arrived from my friend Will Shields to attend the Gold Jacket Dinner, 2015 Induction Ceremony and private party celebrating his arrival into the NFL Hall of Fame. I was honored and blessed to be included in his friend list. What I didn’t know at the time was the true impact these events would have on me. The celebratory energy at each event was clear. The camaraderie and love of the game was exhilarating. What caught me off guard was the rawness of sharing that ensued as each player stood up and told their story. I should not have been surprised. I have spent most of my life working in the field of Mental Health listening to stories of grief, loss, abuse and trauma. The degree of pain in our world is at an all time high. Several players had stories of being young, struggling with depression, anger and feelings of inadequacy and worthiness. I heard the hidden stories of aloneness. One player had committed suicide. Another was on medication. Their sharing was a gift to the world that night as these symbols of strength let folks know that they too are just human with ups and downs similar to everyone. The message was one of hope and resilience. Here is what I want to say to all of you reading this. Ask for help. Don’t go it alone. Reach out. Your friends and family don’t want to loose you. If you are not sure who to call, go online to Start Talking. This is a new service coming soon that will be offering online life coaching and therapy services from the comfort of your home. There are people out there that can and will help you. You have one life. Let’s live it to our fullest intent. Contact me at Sharon.email@example.com for more information.
There have been numerous times in my life when I was offered an opportunity to make a change but chose to stay put, not move, keep doing what I was doing. I knew that my comfort zone kept me from exploring new horizons. I also felt that I had been called to do some really tough work with kids who had been abandoned, abused and neglected and I felt I couldn’t leave them. Over time though, my heart was no longer in my work. Not because of the kids but because of the negative energy that began to surround me from a variety of folks. I would arrive home after being in a fight or flight stance exhausted, drained and sad. It became a struggle to get up and return to an environment that I had loved but no longer served my higher purpose. It is true that when one door closes another door opens. Once I made the decision to leave, several opportunities presented themselves to aid in my own transformation. People showed up in my life that were compatible with my vision and helped me to strategize the next steps in my life. Here’s what I would like you to do. I want you to start looking for opportunities. Ask yourself, “What is possible in my life?” “What are the nudges I have been ignoring?” “What are the messages that I have been getting that I have been pushing away?” My guess is you already know what the next step is. What are you waiting for? Let’s take that step and begin a journey to your best self.
I’ve noticed lately that many folks are uncomfortable having the needed and necessary conversations with self that open up the possibilities for a different life. For the most part, we are creatures of habit. We settle in and begin a day to day journey that doesn’t change much over time. We get up, go to work, come home, have dinner, numb out through TV, food or some other means, go to bed and then start it all over the next day. We get nudges, inklings, ideas that things could be different but we shove it down hoping that things will stay the same and continue the way it has always been. I suppose you could continue to live your life this way but at what expense? What is the real cost to your true self that occurs over time? It is time to begin the conversation. Find a quiet place where you can sit comfortably and allow your mind to clear itself of the daily trials and tribulations that are wearing you down. Your questions are exactly that, your questions. I can suggest some to get you started but you already know the questions that have been pushing at you for quite some time. Who are you? Who do you pretend to be? What is the first thing you think about in the morning when you wake up? What is possible right now in your life? What are the possibilities that are waiting for you to arrive? When will you begin? What are you waiting for? Let’s begin right now. Stop waiting. The conversation is ready for your best self to emerge. It’s time.
Lately, I have been reflecting on my life and the different roads that I have traveled. When I take the time to really think about it, there were many seeds planted along the way that provided the growth and abundance that would lead me down my next path. Those seeds included so many individuals, I can’t even count, including those negative folks as well. Funny how in retrospect, even the negative experiences played a role that helped me to find the right path that led me to the next stage in my journey.
What is the purpose of a seed? Seeds are a beginning of a new life. Sometimes we think that a door has been closed and we feel devastated. I know that when I experienced that feeling, it was usually because I had invested such a depth of myself into a part of my life that had needed to end. The original seeds had sprouted but eventually had withered and died. Parts of myself had also died and had become numb to life over time. I am so grateful that I paid attention to the nudge that came and said, “It’s time to plant new seeds.” My seeds grew and prospered. Now it’s time to plant a new crop. I have been thinking about the next garden in my life and as Romeo Marquez says, “It’s time.” Stay tuned for the next beginning.
Recently, I was given the gift of being able to spend some time relaxing and rejuvenating in Palm Springs, FL. It is an absolutely beautiful area with views that take your breath away. I spent some time talking to the ocean while I was there. Many questions, many answers. The expansiveness of the ocean reminded me of the expansiveness of our lives. We have the opportunity to connect with others lives and share our magnificence. As we expand so too can we help others to open up, unfold and express themselves from a larger perspective. What is keeping you stuck in your old story? Many times our stories are simply just stories. These stories served us at one time but now they no longer apply to where we are on our life journey. We need to embrace the expansiveness of our own lives and be willing to take the next step in our journey to greatness. Remember that you can create the life that you have envisioned for yourself. Close your eyes. Draw the picture. Create a clear vision. Take the step you don’t want to take. Let’s get started. What you are seeking is seeking you. Begin.
Spring, a time of renewal, a time of growth, change, opportunity and redesign. Time springs forward. Folks clean out closets, declutter and get rid of that which no longer serves them. Relationships begin and end and begin anew. People are engaged in the circular nature of life as one ending is a new beginning. Folks leave jobs, move across the country. So much change and so much loss. Have you ever noticed that even when you are excited about the new opportunities showing up in your life, there is a degree of grief that shows up as you shed that which no longer serves your greater good. Here is a great question to ponder by poet and change agent David Whyte, “What would my life be like if I had as much faith in the parts of me that were fading away as I had in the parts of me that were growing?” As we grow, it is natural to let go and feel like parts of us are disappearing. The reality is that it is simply a new iteration of the self. You are growing and changing and from the cocoon you have been in, will emerge a new and better version of the self. Don’t be afraid. Embrace this self. Honor this self. Come to know this self that is ready to share its gifts with the world. The world has been waiting for you to arrive. Everything is waiting for you.
My life has changed in astonishing ways. Two years ago today, I walked away from a career of 26 years working with emotionally disturbed/behavior disordered children and adolescents. Things had begun to shift in my world to the point that it didn’t feel like a good fit anymore. In reality, the shift had started back in 2009 when I had begun to ask myself some tough questions about what I wanted to do with my life. Did I want to continue doing what I was doing? What did I really want to do? What was the first thing I thought of when I woke up in the morning? What made my heart sing? I knew that I wanted to continue helping people. I knew that I wanted to continue doing seminars and speaking and coaching. How was I going to do all of this and work my full time job? Enter Jack Canfield. I attended Jack’s signature seminar called Breakthrough to Success in August 2009. This was the catalyst that led me to becoming a member of his first Success Principles Train the Trainer class. I was coached and mentored by Jack for the next year of my life and I slowly began my plan of departure from my old life to the new. Now as life goes, there were many fits and starts. My old self kept trying to do things that were disappearing. There were times I would tell myself an old story that would stop me from moving forward. I would pause for awhile and then start again. Eventually the shift was enormous enough that there was nothing left to do but take the leap. That leap occurred March 15, 2013. So, now it has been two years and as I said, my life has changed in astonishing ways. I am traveling most weeks and sharing my gifts with a myriad of folks across the country. Most recently, I attended a weekend retreat with poet and author David Whyte. This event added another layer of thoughtful questions to ponder. Here are a sampling of questions that will cause you to pause and contemplate much about your life.
1. What astonishing opportunities could come into your life?
2. What is the difficult harvest in your life?
3. What is the part of yourself that you don’t draw on because you think of it as a weakness?
4. What stories in your life are no longer true or were never true?
Take some time with these questions. As David Whyte said, “The doors have always been there to invite you and frighten you.” Give yourself the invitation to examine the hidden landscape of yourself. Blessings to you.
When I was younger, I always wanted to be in love. I remember at the age of 15 thinking that it would be so much fun to date. No one told me that I had to be asked out in order for that to happen. I would read all these romance novels and love just seemed to show up in peoples lives. As I grew older, reality set in and I realized that I had to have a hand in meeting folks that I could or would eventually fall in love with. It always seemed like a struggle And then one day, it wasn’t a struggle anymore. I had the chance to feel love from so many different people through a variety of experiences that my definition of love expanded. What I have come to understand is that love is in all things. Love is available every day from a number of sources. When you smile at someone, you share a piece of love. When you extend your hand to help, you share a piece of love. When you chat with the clerk at the grocery store, you share a piece of love. When you send a card or note of thanks, you share a piece of love. When you call a friend and tell them how much you miss them, you share a piece of love. When you wrap your arms around someone and hug them tight, you share a piece of love. Each day, you have the opportunity to share your love. What are you waiting for? Don’t hesitate another minute. What would inspire the resuscitation of your heart and allow you to share your love? Step out today and offer a piece of love to those around you. Today.
Have you ever been thinking about someone and the next thing you know you receive a card, text, email or phone call from that very person? People seem surprised when that happens but it happens all the time. Have you ever met someone and it felt like your paths had already crossed at another time? There is a sense of familiarity or comfort about that person that you just can’t put your finger on? Sometimes we get nudges from the universe telling us it is time to make a change in our lives. Most of the time we ignore those nudges because change is difficult and our comfort zone feels safer. What do you think would happen if you paid attention to the thought you are having, the person that enters your life or the opportunity that might be right around the corner? The impact could be dramatic and life altering. Many times people will say that they wish things were different. What if you took just one step towards the life that you have imagined for yourself? What would that look like? Draw the picture in your mind. Look at that picture. Each day do one thing that will lead you toward the picture in your mind. If you focus on one thing each day, you will have completed 365 steps towards your dream. Chances are changes will have occurred over the course of the year. Your future self will thank you.
When was the last time you looked in the mirror and said I love you? Depending on the day, time, what kind of mood you were in and who you may have encountered in the course of your day, I love you is generally not the first thing you think to say to yourself when you look in the mirror. But it is probably the most critical. Throughout the day, we tend to whisper negative messages to ourselves, sometimes without even realizing it. Those darn negative messages from the past creep in and the next thing you know, we are in a bad mood. We have the power to decide what kind of mood we are going to be in and it starts with loving ourselves. Start a love letter to yourself. Tell yourself why you are a loving person. Remember what makes you special, talented, gorgeous and worthy of love. Think about the people in your life that you love and that love you. Express gratitude for their love and feel them telling you that you are deserving of love. Here is an additional exercise that I would like you to start and practice for the next 30 days. It is called The Mirror Exercise from Jack Canfield’s book The Success Principles. Everyday, either morning or night, stand in front of the mirror and say hello to yourself saying your first name. Tell yourself why you are loving and end by saying I love you. Do this everyday. There will be a shift in your thinking and how you feel towards yourself. You are deserving of love. Believe it!