When my life took a serious turn, swerved out of control then crashed and burned violently 6 years ago in a devastating end of the family I had lovingly and painstakingly created and nurtured, I was forced to take a very solemn internal assessment.
“What did I want to be when I grew up……. this time?” I had already dreamed the dream, fostered and fed that dream and birthed the reality of it with near impeccability. I was raised and groomed to be a “no-holds barred” mother, homemaker extraordinaire, homebirther, homeschooler, holistic health expert, gardener, organic chef, doting wife and partner, church volunteer and devotee, community outreach leader, ongoing student, and fitness advocate. Tall order…… yes? I was undaunted.
How do I dream again? How on earth would I know what I wanted when I had mastered the art of taking dictation from without and obediently ascribing? Did I even know what I wanted or how to listen to that part of myself anymore?
The only thing left to do was to do something I was afraid of. Yep, I had to stir myself up internally and step out onto the proverbial ledge… and leap! So I did! I jumped out of a perfectly good airplane, with a highly reliable, ex-military jump expert attached to my backside, but jump I did….. with enthusiasm and glee! And “something” mighty powerful awoke within me….. my solar plexus gasped for air for the first time in over a decade and wailed a loud infant wail of “YES”!!! I AM ALIVE! I AM AWAKE! I AM BACK BABY AND I AM HERE TO STAY!!!
Shortly thereafter I made a log that would soon after be referred to as a “bucket list” made popular by a movie that shortly followed, and it would hold every adventure that somewhat awed or frightened me that I knew I must dare to take on.
Since that time I have skydived twice, rode an electric bull, sang public karaoke solo, danced on a bar, dropped backward into a zipline ride, parasailed in the gulf, flew shotgun in a helicopter, simulated skydive in a wind tunnel, ridden “bikeweek” on a motorcycle chopper, scuba dived, and most recently, rode an official NASCAR solo on the ride of my life!
As it is my desire to maintain the divine claim of living fully in my body, mind and spirit, I regularly expose myself to opportunities such as this. In all honesty, driving a NASCAR independent of a driving supervisor unnerved me immensely, which was exactly the point. This was grossly exacerbated by the fact that the security information video presented to all drivers that intended to take their lives into their own hands that day, was completely glitchy. It ended up being narrated by the “no-nonsense” well weathered staff member that spared us no details regarding the layout of the track, definitions of the major turns and markers, but managed to discuss how many ways we could flip our stock car and uncontrollably careen into the infamous wall.
The handful of brave souls that had purchased the same “NASCAR Experience” that I had for that day were left vacant of pertinent safety details, and equally vacant expressions.
By the time they suited me up with the official helmet and gear, established radio control to the track boss and very efficiently strapped me into my driver seat to the point of constriction, I realized that I was beyond human help. As a matter of fact the dials displayed across the dash were indiscernible to me and there didn’t appear to be time to figure them out before I was sent out onto the foreign track ill prepared.
In that precise moment, all that I had gleaned from past knowing and experience became crystal clear…… I was Divinely supported by my steadfast Guidance that absolutely had my back and I had the distinct ability to “feel” my way through this insanely cool experience. So I shut out the world and eased into an acceleration and visceral thrill that every soul should have the opportunity to own. The track boss broke my silent world with brief but eager compliments and encouragement to move to the next band of speed. I smiled at his challenge and leaned more into the accelerator, howling at the rush of the vehicle underneath me. One round and I am cheering myself aloud….. a second round and I am mastering this thing,… rushing past another driver on the 3rd turn I take it up a notch and by the 4th rounding of the track I have grown a savvy new skin for this speed thing and I am owning it! I obediently dropped my speed at the end of my “personal NASCAR experience” and slowed into Pit Row flawlessly and brought my Jack Daniels mobile to a purring halt.
YES! This IS mindfulness! This is the experience of being fully embodied, alive in my skin and completely connected with my Solar Plexus and the desires that it’s wisdom reveals to me. This is what it is to live the life unlived and make it my own. And there is so much more to come! The hot air balloon ride has been scheduled for a warm May afternoon at sunset….. and then, who knows? What a life!
What life are you choosing and is that life worthy of you?
We have all heard the news….. it’s not just a niche concept anymore! The news can be heard from the airwaves of television talk shows, late night radio, news and magazines, and the latest and hottest self-help books. The news has gone mainstream and is becoming widely accepted to be a new way of relating to the world around us. What is this “News”?
Our thoughts create based upon our belief system. We are constantly creating and magnetically attracting experiences, opportunities and people who mirror our inner beliefs. Yikes, some might say! And there is a genuine reason why many may want to dismiss this news altogether…… it’s not good news to know that we have SO much responsibility over a reality that we aren’t satisfied with.
First,…. get in touch with what beliefs are surfacing and running much of your life. Are they even your beliefs, values and thoughts? Are they your mothers, or dominant great aunts? Are they outdated versions of yourself? Are you still reflecting on your post college ideals of your potential success 15 years into your career? Check these out! Question them and put them to the test to determine if they are even a part of your ever-developing sense of self. If not, let them go and let them go BIGTIME!
Second,…. take a moment to do some real inventory of what latent fears lurk deep within you. What concerns are lying just under the surface? Are you secretly running a program in the backroom of your mind that your partner is too good to be true and just waiting patiently for a sign of betrayal or rejection? Perhaps you carry concern that the next promotion shouldnt really be yours regardless of your seniority and effort because it would rock the boat with your friendliest of colleagues… let someone else shine and remain peacefully well-liked?
Fears are often revitalizing and provoking those outdated and foreign beliefs that don’t serve you. They are the beliefs that may never have been truly yours, simply adopted from an influential family member or respected mentor that is now keeping your growth on many levels at bay. As a matter of fact, regardless of the work that you pursue to make conscious change these are the very thoughts that may sabotage you from real break throughs again and again!
Sit down and take a genuine and unabashed inventory…… what have you got running the show in there? What is running amok? How does it feel to get a glimpse of the fears lurking in the darkness of your inner consciousness? Uncomfortable? Off-putting? Don’t ignore them…. make friendly with those fears! Gently encourage them out of the darkness and into a more enlightened view and gently examine them from many angles. What’s there now? Have they lost some of their solidity? Do they seem less reasonable or less likely?
And after the excavation and dissection….. SHAKE THINGS UP A BIT!!! I mean, why not? Have a ball…. throw a party and celebrate that you know what you have been fearing and it is no way as frightening as you had allowed yourself to feel! Claim your renewed freedom and gently and lovingly retrain yourself to allow that fear to exist without feeding its silent, sucking momentum. You know the truth and the truth is, it really will ALL be OK.
Whenever a new belief fed by a latent fear rises to your attention from your new openness,… welcome it compassionately. Shake it’s hand in a warm greeting and be a good, yet temporary host. Get to know it for a while and then see it clearly from all sides. Watch it shrink in its stature through its revealing of itself, just like a formidable foe that has come into need of you and somehow becomes less threatening in its weakness. Beliefs and fears are exactly the same. They need YOU to be fed. They require your focus on them to even be real. Gently strip back their power through your familiarity with them.
Celebrate the moment you are in right now….. and take time every day to see and feel how many aspects of your life are just RIGHT!
Many of us arrive in this barren desert of juiceless emotions and unexcitable days rolling one after the other. Many of my clients show up directly in my office for this very reason alone. Some ask…”is there something wrong with my heart…. I can’t feel things like I used to”. Some are concerned about the viability of their most intimate relationships and question if they may be over.
It is nothing short of imperative to reveal these moments of emptiness for what they really are. A calling to reconnect with your most intimate inner longing…. To connect with yourself.
In my practice I refer to these moments as cultivating my solar plexus.
Recently I was privileged to be able to celebrate my birthday in grand fashion. I was flown “home” to Los Angeles where I had grown up and where the bulk of my formative memories originated from. In this magnificent city I could experience the visceral pull of the great Pacific Blue on my identity cord. My old neighborhood and familiar hotpots were all present and reminding me of days gone by. Family and friends fed this reawakening through nostalgic drives, social get-togethers and reflections of youthful escapades.
I was simply marinating in a huge aspect of myself lying dormant for so many years now. Ahhhh, YOU! I remember YOU! You are me and I am so much more than I am living fully in my present moment. May I cultivate more of “YOU” back into my self- image in the now?
When we open up to these ripe opportunities of reflective delight, we are primed to remember what we may still desire to express about ourselves…. What deep unfilled longings have been left unanswered?
Make a list! Make it fun and rediscover yourself. Do this as often as you feel prompted to wake up to yourself anew. Discover the richness within you and then set it free. Watch how other aspects of your life take on new texture and dimension.
What within you is waiting to be heard and break free?
Knowing what we want is over half the trick!
Well that shouldn’t be hard to do, right? I mean, how much difficulty is there in determining what kind of life we want for ourselves, really?
In my practice one of the biggest obstacles to my clients being able to move forward in any area of their lives whether it be professional, interpersonal, artistically, creatively, health maintenance,…. you name it….. is getting in touch with what they genuinely want for themselves. Why is this so important?
In a recent article published internationally regarding the “5 Top Regrets” that most hospice patients echo unanimously, a very poignant truth emerges. What do you think the number one common regret was?
Missed dreams…, lost opportunities and the like can haunt us when the chances for fulfilling them are no longer possible. Often, family, societal and other outside pressures can build within us such a strong resistance to listen to and respond to our inner longing that we learn to successfully turn them off.
This is what I refer to as “silencing and blocking” the Solar Plexus, a very significant energy center in our internal Chakra System. The Solar Plexus is located between the naval and the sternum and is related to the corresponding organs and body systems in that region. A tight or blocked Solar Plexus can play into a host of corresponding physiological imbalances. But for the sake of this writing, let’s just focus on what a “silenced” Solar Plexus or inner voice can do to our sense of self and personal satisfaction.
If you find yourself struggling to get clear on what you want, perhaps having reached a significant transition point in your career, relationships, life plans and feel bereft of genuinely passionate ideas for your future…. you may have been one of the many who forgot to listen to your “still small voice” within and forgot where to find it.
Breathe….. deeply breathe into this vast space in your core and gently allow your mind to wander. Allow yourself to remember who you were, what you once loved, what activities exhilarated you, what ideas tickle you now and allow yourself to listen without judgement or restraint. What is there? How long has it patiently sat, dormantly awaiting its resurrection and it’s moment of being allowed to shine in the warmth of your attention?
Make a list…. and make it FUN!!! Let the list roll out loose and unabashed…. no judgement! Who knew you were so darned adventurous? And without fear of longing for something you feel is unattainable, without the fear of failing, just let it be! Why?
“Inspiration and gratitude heal and empower. If you’re not doing what you love, you’ll feel ungrateful and desperate. The greatest cause of illness, disease and death is not living your dreams. Also, you are wise to love failure as much as success, since you fail and succeed equally and constantly. If you have a fantasy of only succeeding, you’ll beat yourself up for being a failure”. – Dr. John Demartini
So it’s really about us living the fullest life available to us and being our best selves! Everyone wins in this exchange. This is the FIRST step to choosing the life you truly, genuinely want, love and deserve!
Are you breathing yet? Are you gently holding your core and compassionately asking it to reveal itself to you…. begging its forgiveness for how long you have starved it of your attention? Are you breathing…. are you listening? GOOD!