charting your path
How’re you feeling about your life’s journey?
Recently, lot’s of folks have been telling me that they feel one of three things:
Our path isn’t our career, roles, responsibilities, or the many ways that success gets defined by the world.
Our path is our soul’s journey.
We came here for some reason. For some purpose. Success is about being the fullness of who we came here to be.
It may seem really odd to link the words soul and success. But at the end of our life, we don’t look back on our career, roles, and responsibilities, we look back on our experiences, our purpose, our connections, and our impact.
We often use the transition from one year to the next as a time to assess where we are and to chart out the next year. However, the energy right now is calling us to a mid-year check-in.
This isn’t a time to do what others are telling us is right. This is a time to do the ‘right’ that is deep in our marrow; the right that we feel deep in our essence. Because this is our soul calling us to remember why we are here.
Charting our path starts with four questions:
These can usually be answered with a couple of words or a short sentence. Don’t analyze things too much. Just respond with whatever shows up first.
Sometimes it is easy to see an example. So here’s mine:
Happy charting. And remember, your journey is yours.
every ending is a beginning.
Every ending is a beginning.
And every beginning is an ending.
Sometimes we look forward to the change. Other times, we grieve the loss.
But there is no growth or transformation without beginnings and endings, endings and beginnings.
It can feel, at times, like endings and beginnings are discrete events we can point to in time. A job, baby, graduation, marriage, accident, loss, death, etc all have dates we use to keep track of them in our life. And yet, very few things have abrupt beginnings or endings.
Like stepping stones on our path, other experiences often proceed beginnings and endings. And, regardless of when or how endings and beginnings come, changes ripple out from them, often ricocheting through our entire life.
We really don’t have beginnings or endings.
What we have is the moment.
These moments which are so easy to miss because we’re looking forward or looking backwards. These precious moments which we string together to make our life.
Whatever the moment brings, we have the chance to acknowledge the moment. To embrace the moment. To experience the moment. To feel the moment. To be in the moment.
To be alive in the moment.
you be you
We all have baggage. You know the type. That emotional, mental stuff that seems to drag us down and pop up at the worst possible time.
We’re carrying past wounds, family patterns, beliefs we’ve outgrown, and memories that hold us back.
These keep us from seeing others as they actually are. These keep us from seeing the invitation to oneness and interconnection that is all around us.
But perhaps even more importantly, they keep us from being fully ourselves. They keep us from experiencing something new.
We’ve got an intense couple of weeks where the energy is asking us to purge. Purge. Not simply a gentle cleaning of our patterns and habits. Not rearranging the clutter of our emotions. Not decorating the negative triggers we continue to carry. But purge.
Who are you? Why are you?
When we begin to examine these two questions, we begin to find things in our life that don’t fit our answers. Those things that don’t fit are the things we need to purge.
Let’s be clear.
The majority of these are not things in our external landscape such as jobs, relationships, or material items, although some may be. The majority of these things are in our internal landscape.
It is an inside job. Put intention and attention towards your own healing.
Let love in. Pour loving kindness into all the hollow, broken spaces within.
Dance to your own tune.
Find your own path.
You be you.
A couple of days in a row, I received messages that tossed me into a bit of hyperventilation that was more than anxiety and less than a panic attack.
We all get these at times.
Something happens to someone we care about. There’s scary news. A concerning diagnosis. A collective angst. A physical threat. A near miss accident.
In the midst of some ‘need to breathe, need to breathe, need to breathe’ mantras, I thought, what else would be helpful? Here’s what I came up with:
Name it. Whatever it is. Panic, anger, grief, shock, anxiety, sadness. Name it. It loses some of its sting just by saying it out.
Acknowledge the feeling in your body. Maybe you’re shaky. Maybe you’re not breathing. Maybe your mouth is dry. Maybe you feel like you got hit in the gut.
Is there something you can do to help your body? A drink of water. A walk in the sunshine. Pausing and listening to music. Take care of yourself.
Is there someone you can reach out to? Maybe we can’t share what is happening (perhaps it is private or not ours to share) but we can always share that ‘something’ is happening, ask if they can listen to us, and then share how we are feeling.
Look for the beauty and wonder around us. Sometimes it is found in those who help or the smiles of those we encounter. Sometimes it is as simple as watching the clouds or smelling the flowers.
Finally (and this is my new favorite!), how can we imagine the best possible future for the circumstances or think about how we can create a different outcome? This is hard for me as I’m a pro at jumping to the worst-case scenario, but I have been working on shifting my mind-set to ‘what if it was better than I expected?’ Not all things have a silver lining but sometimes the phoenix really does rise from the ashes.
By the way, the energy is pretty choppy right now and I know many who are experiencing some instability in one or more areas of life. If you’re riding the waves pretty well, reach out to someone who isn’t. If you’ve fallen off your surfboard, see who can help you get back up. My guess is we’re all going to need a hand of support or encouragement at various times in the next 2-3 years. We can help each other return to our heart when the air gets knocked out of us.
Be gentle with each other.
Be gentle with yourself.
are you ready to play?
You are water.
You are fire.
You are water.
You are fire.
You are yin.
You are yang.
You are one.
You are everything.
You cannot focus on that which you cannot understand and still be open to mystery. The rabbit hole of inquiry may be a fun escape, but too much time in the rabbit hole is not helpful for you. You are not a rabbit.
Mystery is a playground. The work of your soul includes play. Will you allow yourself to play?
You cannot screw this up.
We encourage you to drop comparisons.
We encourage you to embrace the amazing being you are.
Without judgment. Without qualifying statements. Without apology.
Get out of your box. Get out of your rut.
Embrace your uniqueness. Your amazing uniqueness.
You are water.
You are fire.
Are you ready to play?
There is overwhelm in the world. And overwhelm in us.
For many of us, we see so many things in the world that could be different, that could be better.
And yet, simultaneously, many of us also have multiple opportunities or ‘doors opening’ which can feel difficult to sort through and make the right choice.
In this process of remembering who we are and why we came here, we’re at a bit of an unfurling stage. Parts of us are like something that’s been stuffed in the attic for more than a few years. We’re unrolling and unwinding, shaking out the dusty parts, releasing things that we don’t need.
As we begin to feel things changing in us or around us, many of us feel some discomfort or unsettledness. When this happens, we tend to go down one of two paths.
In our discomfort, some of us freeze and do nothing. Others of us get really busy - we look around to do something, anything, to distract us from our discomfort.
The balance is in between - with a nudge in the opposite direction of our normal tendency.
If you tend to 'freeze', then do something. But not just anything or everything. Simply do the next small thing that feels right. And then the next small thing after that, etc until you've built a path of stepping stones that create momentum.
If you tend to get ‘really busy’, then do something that lets you pause and connect inward. Watch the clouds or sit with the trees. Notice your breathing. Meditate. Listen to what your body is saying to you.
While there will be ebbs and flows, we’re kinda in this change process for the long run. We’re neither meant to stay stuck where we are or to be so busy we can’t rest. To be sustainable, both for ourselves and for our purpose, we need to cultivate balance.
Learn to notice and nurture your own rhythms.
Your body knows what you need.
is life feeling messy?
Is life feeling messy?
we're in a weird, awkward, uncomfortable space as a world. We can tell, and some have known for quite a while, that the old ways of 'being' and 'doing' no longer work and they are crumbling and crashing around us. And yet, we haven't figured out the new ways yet. Those are being created and tested and explored.
So we're in what is 'liminal space'. A threshold or a precipice. It feels unstable - and it is. So, no wonder we often unstable ourselves. Ungrounded. Anxious.
All the deeply embedded 'isms' coming to the forefront, the hoarding of wealth and power, the disclosure and revealing of malignancy in many systems, the focus on me/my not recognizing we are a we/us.
There's opportunity to create, to build. To be. Different.
In the midst of all this however, it can be easy to go to that anxious, doom scrolling, checked-out place. There's no easy answer because what works is different for everyone. But for me, I look outside - to the clouds, the sun, the stars, the trees, the birds and simply focus on those for a few minutes while I breathe.
Or I do something to move my energy. Walk, dance, tai chi.
Or, I go inwards. A short meditation or breathing. The internal landscape usually takes me out to the expanse of our universe, the galaxies, and just how big this world is.
How you get there is not so important. What is important is to poke your head and heart up through that fog that tries to keep us contracted and small. Let your heart come up and let your love shine out like a lighthouse.
Every time we break through the fog, it helps others break through the fog. And, it literally helps break open the fog so that we're all a bit more joyful, a bit more creative, a bit more compassionate, a bit more willing to rest, a bit more willing to do.
Big love everyone.
Time to change the story
Time to change the story.
The story each of us is telling ourselves. The one that keeps us in our rut.
It is the story that keeps us feeling safe and comfortable. It may keep us from stepping forward into our purpose. It may keep us from allowing our voice to emerge. It may keep us from acknowledging something in our past that we’d prefer simply stay hidden.
After all, we’re doing good things. Important things. We’ve got commitments and obligations.
And anyway, we can work on that thing tomorrow. Next week. Next year. When we get the next job. When the big bill is paid off. When the kids are a certain age.
The story keeps us safe and comfortable.
But we didn’t come here to be safe and comfortable because safe and comfortable keeps us stuck in fear and stuck in a rut. We came here for a why. We came here for a purpose.
The energy right now is turbulent but it is also deeply transformative.
Do the thing. The smallest step, the smallest action that your heart is calling you towards.
Tomorrow, do the next thing.
Your horizon expands with each step you take through the fear.
let love in
Right now we have things coming up around boundaries and healing. This includes a karmic aspect with the opportunity to clear some wounds that we carry and to rethink how we do boundaries.
The image that keeps emerging is that of a crumpled plastic water bottle like the one on the left.
When we get wounded, whether it be physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, or some combination, we can get crumpled, dented, and bent out of shape just like that plastic bottle.
And then, to protect ourselves, we can shut ourselves down tight. We screw a lid on our energy. We think that, by keeping everything out, we will be safer.
We may also find that we start using our wounds as boundaries. Everyone one of those crumples, dents, and bends contains anger, resentment, shame, and judgment. So our boundaries become a response to what has happened to us instead of what we want to happen. It is why we can lash out with any and all of those emotions when we finally begin to work on boundaries and we feel that someone just crossed one!
So, how do we heal?
Unfortunately, we can’t take that plastic bottle, with the lid screwed on tight, and ‘pull’ all the crumples, dents, and bends out of it.
If we want to have our boundaries look more like the vase on the right, smooth, clearly defined, and easily fillable, we have to do two things.
First, we’re going to have to take that lid off. We have to begin to open ourselves up so we can let things in. And yes, that can be scary!
Everybody does this differently. Counseling, body work, meditation, self-help books and groups, and energy work are various examples that some have used on their healing journey. You may find one or multiple ways that help you.
Secondly, we actually have to begin to let things in. Specifically, we have to let love in.
Now right there, some of you just thought "nope, that’s how I got hurt in the first place. Not trusting anyone enough to let them in".
That’s ok. You don’t have to let someone in. But you do need to let love in.
That love can be the love of nature. Go lay in a meadow, listen to the heartbeat of the earth, watch the clouds, and let nature’s love connect to your heart. Let yourself be loved.
It may be the love of a pet or of animals that you can connect with. Really feel the love that they carry. Feel the unconditional love they have for you.
It may be that you can let in the love of someone you trust, or the love from little children. Feel that love and let yourself be loved.
Or perhaps the love you can let it is the love from spirit, or angels, or the cosmos, or the divine. Feel and know that you are loved.
And finally, also let your own love in. Place your hands on your heart and let yourself love yourself.
This love is what pushes out the crumples, the dents, and the bent parts. This love is what fills us up and allows us to have some love to give to others - whether it be nature, animals, or people.
Being filled with love pushes out our boundaries. It helps us be very clear about where we end and where others begin - but from a space of being more comfortable in ourself rather from those wounded, crumpled edges.
If you’re feeling like that plastic bottle, the first step is to find a safe space and path to begin to allow that lid to come off. Many find this easier if there is someone or a process to help support them. As you begin to open, even just a little, also seek the places where you can let love in.
Because you are loved. And you are love.