When I was eleven years old, my mother became very ill. She had a stroke which changed everything about how I was living my life at that time. As a child, I am not sure what I even thought had happened. I remember her coming home from the hospital and the physical therapist coming over to help her gain some mobility back in her arms and legs. What I didn’t know was that much of my childhood would be lost as my sister and I became the primary caretakers in the household. We learned how to cook, clean, iron my fathers shirts, do laundry, all the necessary tasks that it took to keep things going. I was also very much a tomboy and loved to play sports. Somehow I managed to be involved in a variety of teams as well as get my chores done so that I could go and play. Sadly, my mother passed away when I was seventeen. At the time, I was entering my senior year of high school. It was a difficult year and I was ready to leave for college and be on my own. As I look back on my life, I have spent the majority of it on my own. I was never comfortable with asking for help. I would always just do what needed to be done and keep going. When you have an unexpected occurrence, your life can be profoundly impacted in a variety of ways. For me, I went a little crazy in my twenties. It was a time of self discovery and adventure. On my own, I did what I wanted, when I wanted, with whomever I wanted. Eventually, it caught up with me and I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia at the age of thirty-two. Once again, an unexpected occurrence. I began a journey of health and wellness that took me on a path to my best self. I have always been a seeker. I read all the time, asking myself questions, trying to understand my place in the world and how best to share my gifts. I had an unexpected occurrence again this past year when I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that could possibly have destroyed me. I am grateful that through it all, my health has remained steady and thanks to having been on a path of health and wholeness, I am well. Unexpected occurrences can throw us down the rabbit hole. What I know for sure is that we can and we must climb out, stand tall and affirm our place in the world. We all have a purpose and it is up to us to discover it and share it. Don’t wait for an unexpected occurrence. Start today. Let me know if you need some assistance. I am ready and willing to help. Blessings.
As we draw closer to the last quarter of the year, it is time to begin an inventory of how we are doing in 2015. We all have dreams and goals. The question becomes one of focus and diligence. What was the number one thing that you said you wanted to work on January 1, 2015? Do you remember? Did it stay in the forefront or fall by the wayside? The year isn’t over yet. Today is the day to begin and choose one thing that you will start to focus on that will turn your dream into reality. You will have approximately three months starting on October 1st. If you did one thing everyday that would be a little over 90 things that could impact your life. If you are unclear about where to start, spend some time looking at the parts of yourself that you don’t normally think of as a gift. What is your hidden talent? What are the parts of the self that haven’t talked to one another in years? As David Whyte stated so eloquently, “What is stopping you from coming to the pivot of your life? What is the part of yourself that you don’t draw on because you see it as a weakness?” We all have “to do” lists. The “to do” was put together yesterday. What do you need to focus on today that will start the necessary movement in your life?
“Start close in. Don’t take the second step or the third. Take the step you don’t want to take. Start close in.” David Whyte. Namaste.
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.firstname.lastname@example.org 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.