“Most of us have two lives: the life we live, and the unlived life within us.” ~Steven Pressfield
We are so scared of the unknown. Anything that we haven’t yet experienced can lead to fear.
I will forever remember my first time skydiving. I was absolutely terrified. Are you sure this parachute is going to open up? “No ma’am, it’s not for sure. But it’s highly likely.” Great.
During pregnancy, I was scared nearly every day for nine months as I wondered, “How in the world is that going to come out of there?” Well, one thing was …
“Get out of your head and get into your heart. Think less, feel more.” ~Osho
Meditating. It’s one of those things that we all know we’d be better off doing, but most of us struggle with it immensely.
It’s difficult. It’s hard to find the time. And it often doesn’t seem like it’s working.
For many years, I’ve tried to make meditation a regular habit. But rarely can I do it consistently. It’s almost always the first thing to go when I’m crunched for time or feeling stressed.
Of course, those are the times that meditation is best!
But, for …
“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” ~Annie Dillard
When I first engaged spiritual practice, I tried to meditate while counting breaths. “I can’t do this!” I lamented, “It’s too hard.” The green satiny cushion filled with buckwheat chaff felt hard and unforgiving.
My legs ached. I kept checking my watch. My mind ached.
Tick. Tick. Tick.
The watch taunted me, and I did not feel the least bit edified by the experience.
But every few moon phases, I’d try again: half an hour of hellacious discomfort, of shifting in my chair or—if I …
“Your inner knowing is your only true compass.” ~Joy Page
Are you someone who devours self-help books, blogs, and articles?
Do you take pleasure in checking out the latest advice from this “expert” or that “guru”?
Are you someone who puts into play the advice proposed but are still left feeling somewhat unfulfilled afterward?
The Trouble with Self-Help
The trouble with self-help advice is that sometimes it leads us down the path of us not helping ourselves at all. Sometimes we get so caught up in someone else’s vision that we lose sight of our own.
Truth be told, what …
“Pain can change you, but that doesn’t mean it has to be a bad change. Take that pain and turn it into wisdom.” ~Unknown
You know how people say, “It was like being hit by a truck”?
I know what they mean.
But the impact took over ten years.
It was a cold, snowy January, and I was in my car, singing along to the radio.
I was doing a steady, careful sixty miles per hour, in the middle lane of a busy British highway. I was on my way to deliver my first solo course for the company I’d …
“Do not wait until the conditions are perfect to begin. Beginning makes the conditions perfect.” ~Alan Cohen
Last year I was suddenly made redundant along with half of my colleagues, as our company was being taken over. It was swift and severe. It was also a blessing.
I didn’t want to work for the new company whose values conflicted with my own. And I had been wavering on making a decision about my career.
Now I was being forced to decide but I just wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. At least, that’s what I told myself. Fear makes …
“The more you hide your feelings, the more they show. The more you deny your feelings, the more they grow.” ~Unknown
Envy is such an overpowering and overwhelming feeling, often something hidden, or masked by a smiley face, or fuelled into rage and resentment. I’ve experienced all of these emotions in my life, and as I neared my fortieth birthday, I felt that I could not go on. I was crippled by the “envy story” stuck on repeat mode inside my mind.
As I watched friends and family swoop by me in terms of outer achievements and success, the envy …
“Never be ashamed of a scar. It simply means you were stronger than whatever tried to hurt you.” ~Unknown
My healing journey can be described through what I call the “self formula”:
Self-Doubt > Self-Loathing > Self-Destruction > Self-Awareness > Self-Love
Mine is the oldest story in the book. Adolescent angst. Mental deception. Physical revulsion. I feel fat. No, scratch that. I am fat. This girl in the mirror is ruining my life. Woe is me.
Groundbreaking drama, right? How original of me to “feel fat.” Surely, you’ve never heard that complaint before.
Except it wasn’t just a complaint. I …
“Humbleness, forgiveness, clarity and love are the dynamics of freedom. They are the foundations of authentic power.” ~Gary Zukav
I love the way the universe doesn’t let us get away with anything. Its loving energy allows us to repeat similar life experiences over and over again until we learn that spiritual lesson. Lately, I have been having the most profound healing around my stepson James.
This one particular night, the universe was offering a chance to love my own father and forgive myself for how I treated my brother, through my relationship with James.
When he got home from …
“When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.” ~Thomas Jefferson
Did you ever wake up one morning and not know who you were anymore?
Waking up for the past four years of my life, I felt like I was in the movie Groundhog Day. The same things happened every day, and I felt the same horrible feelings all the time. Anxiety, depression, and hopelessness ran my life.
I had it all figured out at some point. I was furthering my career and moving toward my dream of becoming a psychologist. I …
“Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer.” ~William S. Burroughs
There’s a lot of advice out there that tells us when to let go of something and make a change in our lives, as if moving on were as simple as your brain notifying your hand to loosen it’s grip and release a balloon in the air.
But when it comes to grappling with your heart and soul, it’s not such an easy thing to do. You cannot choose to amputate your feelings on a moment’s notice.
Maybe you’re sitting in …
“I’ve discovered that you can’t change people. They can change themselves.” ~Jim Rohn
This is indeed a fact—a fact I took a long time to learn.
You may argue that we help each other change, and it’s true. But the deepest truth is that only we are responsible for our own growth.
The most difficult work is the seemingly minuscule shift from resistance to willingness, which allows us to face the difficult things we’ve been hiding from, and only we can do this for ourselves.
I had boyfriends who had issues. One of them lacked ambition; he was already lost …
“Love is what we were born with. Fear is what we learned here.” ~Marianne Williamson
Love terrifies me.
After having loved, courted, and married the love of my life, things went sour. Over the course of a few years, our marriage crumbled and our relationship came to a sudden halt.
When you’ve only been with one person, loved that person to the core, and believed that person to be your soul mate, you take the breakup unusually hard.
Yes, tears. Yes, sorrow. Yes, seclusion. Yes, withdrawal. Yes, not wanting to get out of bed.
I experienced every symptom of heartbreak …
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.” ~Steve Jobs
One of the best ways I’ve found to develop wisdom is through reflection. While reflection might look like a quiet session of daydreaming, it’s actually an active process during which you enrich your life and encourage personal growth by reviewing parts of your day or your life.
It was January 2001 and I was sitting in New York’s La Guardia airport waiting for my flight to Atlanta. I had moved to New York to attend a graduate program there, and in spite of doing …
“Wisdom is nothing more than healed pain.” ~Robert Gary Lee
A year ago, I began to accept that I was depressed, and had been for a long time. It was scary. I broke up with my live-in boyfriend of almost three years, quit my job, and though I didn’t want to, I moved halfway across the country to move back in with my parents.
I was a wreck; all of the feelings that I had been suppressing for years, some literally since childhood, came flooding back. My only defense in the past had been to ignore these feelings, though I …
“Change is the only constant.” ~Heraclitus
Have you ever noticed how many transitions we go through all day?
The transition from waking up to getting out of bed, from PJs (or au natural) to clothes, from red light to green light, from inhale to exhale. Every waking moment is a transition.
Why, then, are we, as humans, so uncomfortable with change?
We want everything to stay the same, but at the same time, crave variety. We grasp so tightly to how we think things should be (did she not hear that I wanted extra foam on my latte?) and, simultaneously, …
“Do the best you can, from where you are, with what you have, now.” ~African-American proverb
When I first started on my spiritual path, I desperately wanted to live in a more connected and satisfying way. I had a secret longing to know who I truly was and to finally reach my creative potential—not only as a writer, but also as a person. My intention was to express mastery through spirituality.
At the time, this made perfect sense. Spirituality, for me, was connecting to the creative part of myself—that invisible, powerful place where anything is possible.
“We learn more by looking for the answer to a question and not finding it than we do from learning the answer itself.” ~Lloyd Alexander
There was a time when I looked at the world without hope. My future felt dark because I didn’t know what I wanted to do.
I felt like I was a random player in a chaotic game. I didn’t like it, and I didn’t like life.
Luckily, I stumbled onto resources, ideas, and practices that helped me reconnect to my wisdom, my heart, and my interests.
I applied what I learned, and clarity emerged.…