Sunday, 16 December 2007
Make Your Passion Profitable
Topic: life purpose
Once you have found your life purpose, how do you stay true to it? What if living your life purpose does not enable you to make a living?
How do you stay the course of the journey when your purpose does not produce enough visible money to enable you to pay your bills?
Often people wonder how they can pursue their passion and meet their financial obligations with ease. One approach to achieving this goal is to begin doing what you are passionate about as a part-time venture while still maintaining your full time employment. Look for opportunities to free lance or do work on a contract basis. This way you test the waters instead of plunging headfirst.
Also, network with people already in the industry you want to enter. You can find out how others made their passion profitable. Do not be timid about asking others for advice. People like talking about their successes. You may also learn about opportunities you can take advantage of without ‘quitting your day job’ just yet.
As my business as a storyteller got more profitable, I stopped doing birthday parties, coffee houses and other small venues because the clients had limited funds and my work was shaping up to be more suitable for larger venues. At the time, I knew a budding storyteller and I passed those gigs on to her. Not only did she get an opportunity to make money at her passion, but also with a recommendation from me, clients who may not have given a newcomer a shot, were now ringing her phone.
Another approach to ensuring that your life purpose is profitable is to be certain not to narrowly define your life purpose. Brainstorm different ways you can do the work you love. Think about non-traditional avenues to pursue your passion. Explore unconventional methods. Let’s say your passion is to have your own therapy practice. If you define your purpose that narrowly (own my own therapy practice) then you limit the opportunities available to you. Define your purpose more broadly such as:
“My life purpose is to use my skills as a mental health practitioner to help couples and families live happier, healthier lives.”
Do you see how other avenues become possible with this broadly defined purpose? You could conduct workshops on parenting. You could write articles for industry publications. You could do weekend seminars on subjects related to families and relationships.
To assist you in defining your life purpose and to allow for maximum opportunities, you should write a mission statement. This statement should define what you want to do; for whom you want to do it; and why you want to do it. In our example above:
What = use my skills as a mental health practitioner
For whom = couples and families
Why = to help them live happier and healthier
Having a mission statement also gives you clarity about your life purpose. Your mission statement can be your beacon of light to help you stay the course on your journey to purpose.
To summarize, to make your passion profitable:
• Begin with a part-time venture
• Network to find out how others did it
• Look for unconventional methods
• Broadly define a mission statement of your purpose
Consistently apply these tactics. Stay positive. Keep the faith. Soon you will find that the profits begin to roll in.
Wednesday, 12 December 2007
Gratitude from the Inside-Out
Topic: law of attraction
Being grateful for the good already in your life is a transformative energy that can bring more good your way. Often referred to as the Attitude of Gratitude, it activates the universal principle, the Law of Attraction, which states, “Like attracts like.” By putting your attention on the abundance already in your life, you draw to you more abundance.
However, when most people put their focus on existing prosperity, they usually list such things as family, friends, home, food etc. This type of gratitude list consists of things external to the individual. What are often omitted from such lists are those things internal to the individual. I call it Gratitude from the Inside-Out. This type of gratitude is as powerful (if not more so) than having thanksgiving for external things.
Quiets Negative Self Talk
I find that beginning my gratitude list with identifying my internal abundance ignites a powerful sense of self worth and self awareness. So often, we have within us an ongoing internal dialogue about the things we do not like about ourselves. I call this voice the Internal Critic. Internally, we berate ourselves for not being good enough, not having enough, or not being deserving. Listing the positive qualities that make you feel prosperous builds a strong counter-argument to the Internal Critic. The Gratitude from the Inside-Out List provides proof-positive that within you there is good. It is a testimony that you are worthy and deserving.
Connects You to the Divine
Gratitude from the Inside-Out strengthens your connection to the Divine. Each one of us is an individual manifestation of the Divine. Isn’t that what is meant by: “Man is made in the image and likeness of God?”
The qualities of the Divine are also within in the individual. Think of it this way: The Divine is the ocean. You are a drop of water from that ocean. That drop of water contains the same properties found in the ocean. The droplet is not as powerful as the ocean but contains similar qualities. So the argument follows that if you express appreciation for what is within you, you are also expressing appreciation for the Divine.
Additionally, the highest energy vibration is love. Love is the energy that brings you closest to the Divine. Gratitude from the Inside-Out is an expression of self- love. Love of self is just as important as love of another.
Self Love should not be confused with selfishness. The latter is a derivative of the ego while the former derives from the heart. The Gratitude from the Inside-Out is not about boasting and bragging. This gratitude list is about acknowledging and accentuating this truth:
There is good in each one of us.
Sample Gratitude from Inside-Out List
So what might such a list look like? Here is a snippet of my Gratitude from the Inside Out List:
• I give thanks for my compassion for others
• I am grateful I am a good listener
• I am thankful I am caring
• I am grateful that my mind and body are strong
• I am thankful I am a good provider for my daughter
To intensify the transformative energy that this gratitude list can create in your life, write the list and then speak it aloud while looking in a mirror. Be sure to look directly into your eyes as you recite the list aloud. This exercise often can be very moving and healing.
Here again are the benefits of the Gratitude from the Inside-Out List:
• Activates the Law of Attraction
• Attracts More Abundance
• Quiets Negative Internal Voice
• Reinforces your Connection to the Divine
• Promotes Self Love
Monday, 3 December 2007
Does each of us have a life purpose? Is there such a thing as right livelihood? ? What does it mean to live a purpose-driven life? Is it possible to love what you do and have others to pay you well to do it?
The first three questions may be too esoteric and your initial response to them may be “No.” The last question may seem more palatable. Yet, all four questions speak to the same desire. The desire is to live a life that is joyous and abundant in every area, especially in your career path. Is the age-old question posed to all children, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
In Paulo Coelho’s extraordinary classic novel, The Alchemist, he refers to this desire as your Personal Legend. Coelho describes your Personal Legend,
“It’s what you have always wanted to accomplish. Everyone, when they are young knows what their Personal Legend is. At that point in their lives, everything is clear and everything is possible. They are not afraid to dream, to yearn for everything they would like to see happen to them in their lives. But, as time passes, a mysterious force begins to convince them that it will be impossible for them to realize their Personal Legend.”
For me, the “mysterious force” was not very mysterious but man it was powerful. My grandmother was that force. When I came to her bright-eyed and full of hope announcing, “I am going to be a poet when I grow up!” Her response was “You better grow up and get a job.”
As I worked my way through school, that force grew in it’s intensity and power as well-meaning teachers echoed my grandmother’s sentiments. Soon, I shifted my focus from creative writing to journalism: a more acceptable and respectable aspiration in the eyes of the grown-ups in my life.
All through college, I tried to convince myself that I wanted to be a journalist. While all along inside of me, a battle was raging as I longed to be more creative with my gift of writing.
After college, I landed a couple of respectful corporate positions largely due to my writing but far outside the world of journalism. The insurance industry is where I settled. The battle raging within me finally convinced me that journalism was not for me. But instead of returning to what I loved, I allowed myself to be shuttled into a career the way a farmer shuttles cattle into the stable. I simply followed the pack instead of following my heart. My focus became making a living rather than making a life.
A series of significant events transpired that finally got me back on track to pursuing my dream a being a creative writer. Those events were the death of my father, birth of my daughter and the disintegration of my marriage. The last two events happening within the same year was the proverbial straw that reignited my desire to live a meaningful life. A single mother and new homeowner, I quit my corporate job and became a full time professional storyteller and poet.
It’s funny that as children we simply follow our hearts and gravitate towards the activities that make us happy. When children think about the future there is little fear or worry. We believe we can have what ever we dream about. Until . . . some well-meaning grown-up who knows better steers us in a different direction or stop us all together.
• You already know your life purpose/personal legend. If you are not sure what it is any more, spend time journaling about what you dreamt about as a child. You can spend time in quiet reflection answering the question, “What would I do if there was not chance I could fail?”
• The goal is to make a life not simply make a living. Ask yourself, “What do I enjoy doing even if I don’t get paid for it?”
• Don’t be dissuaded by the naysayer. When someone offers you advice on how you should live your life and that advice does not leave you feeling encouraged. Remember: Free advice is worth the price you pay.
To your success!
Monday, 26 November 2007
What value is there in facing your fears? What is there to gain in reliving painful experiences? Does it change anything to acknowledge you have been hurt?
The point of facing your fears is that it allows you to eventually move through it. But before you move through it, you have to acknowledge the pain. You have to allow yourself to feel what you are feeling. You have to allow yourself to feel all the emotions that come up for you as you face your fears. No matter what those feelings may be. Usually there are a myriad of emotions to deal with when you confront your fears, especially if you have avoided dealing with them for years. You may have feelings of anger, resentment, frustration, helplessness, vulnerability and rage. It may be helpful to remember this phrase,
“ If it is coming up, then it is on its way out.”
So how do you begin to face your fears? You do it by to telling your story. Write it out. Chronicle exactly what happened. At first you may think you are unable to recall all the details, especially if it happened a long time ago. However, as you write, you may recall memories long forgotten. It is also important to describe how you feel or felt about what happened. Describe in detail what emotions come up for you. Once you allow yourself to feel what you are feeling, you can get to the other side.
The story I had to tell to face my fears was about my dad. After he passed away I came to realize that I still struggled with facets of our relationship. Initially, I really did not see the point in relieving all the ways my dad disappointed me. He was dead now. What was the point? What could be the benefit in reliving those painful memories? Despite these objections, I began to write my story.
I recounted the countless times my dad did not show through, as promised. It was a hard story to tell even to myself. At times I wept uncontrollably. At other times my rage was so intense it was palatable. It was incredible to me how many different emotions I felt and how real they all were, as if the events I was retelling had just happened moments ago instead of over a decade ago.
What was the point in that painful exercise? I did indeed move through those feelings and came out on the other side.
On that other side I had some new insights. One insight I discovered was how stuffing those feelings about my dad, over time, impacted my personality, my choices and my relationships. By retelling that story I also gained an entirely new perspective on that painful experience. Eventually, after allowing myself to feel all those emotions I had been stuffing for so many years, I began to feel lighter like a weight had been lifted.
What happened next was really unexpected. I found that I had transformed into a higher version of myself, a more authentic version of who I really am. This new insight even made me feel grateful for that painful experience because I liked who I grew to be because of it.
Facing your fears enables you to rid yourself of buried emotions. By coming to face-to-face with what you are afraid of, you are able to free yourself. You also offer yourself an opportunity to grow from the experience. In the end, you may discover you like YOU not in spite
of what happened to you but because
of what happened to you.
Tuesday, 20 November 2007
The Law of Attraction - 4 Daily Strategies
Topic: law of attraction
Since the hit DVD and movie, The Secret, has made the masses aware of the Law Attraction people have become more conscious about focusing on what they desire. However, how do you keep that focus? How do you not become distract by the negative images and messages that surround you? What can you do on a daily basis to keep your focus on the things you want to manifest in your life?
You may have become familiar with the universal principle, the Law of Attraction, through the hit DVD, The Secret, or perhaps, like myself, you have be on a road to self-discovery and spiritual awareness for some time and know first-hand how your thoughts can create the world around you. How ever you came to know the truth that you can deliberate create your life by the images and thoughts you hold in your mind, you know how important it is to keep your vibration positive and high. Yet on a day-to-day basis it may be quite a challenge to do so.
It is so easy to slip into a low vibration. It takes concentration to keep your focus and energy on what you desire in life instead of what is lacking in your life. You need strategies for maintaining a high, positive vibration. These strategies for keeping you on course must be practiced daily. Without clearly defined strategies to keep your attention on the good you desire, you can easily be pulled off course by the barrage of images and sounds in your environment that carry the message such as, “Life is hard.” “The world is violent.” “Following your dreams is impossible.”
For me these strategies are multi-faceted. Journaling is one strategy. It is both my greatest escape and my most powerful tool for making sense of my world. (For more on journaling see my blog entry dated Nov. 13, 2007.) Another strategy is meditation. I call my meditation period my Stillness Ritual. (For more information on my stillness ritual, see my blog entry dated October 20, 2007.)
Another strategy is to write out exactly what I want in each area of my life. I keep this list by my bed and read it every morning and every night. I have read it so much that I have it memorized. Reciting in the mirror helps me to prevent the reading from becoming rote. It is also imperative that I really feel the emotions of having the things on my dream list. As I look into my eyes and recite the words, I also visualize what I am saying. By visualizing the things I desire, I am able to feel the feelings of having those things now. The imagination is a powerful thing!
My other strategy is to be mindful of what I ingest throughout my day. I am not talking about food (although healthy, nutritious food can certainly impact your state of consciousness). I am speaking about being mindful of what I read, listen to on the radio, watch on television and what types of conversations I allow myself to be engaged in.
I rarely watch the news. The day’s headlines are not often about anything uplifting that will help me maintain a positive vibration. Any information I read will come to me when I need it. I firmly believe that to be so. Someone will call me or I will hear what I need to know in passing. Occasionally, if I feel I want the news of the day, I will read it online. Reading it on line gives me the power to choose what information I want to read. Online news reading is far less jolting then watching television news.
Most people in my life do not engage me in conversations about the terrible, horrible events of the world. If I find myself in such a conversation, I try and redirect that person to a more uplifting topic. If redirection does not work, I excuse myself from the conversation completely.
Journaling, my stillness ritual, reciting my dreams aloud and being mindful of what I ingest are the strategies I employ daily to keep my vibration high and positive. Each day I want to takes steps to realizing my dreams, being of service and living peacefully and joyously. These strategies help me to do that. Days when despite my best efforts I do slip into the valley, I know that it still is all good because in the valley is where I gained some of my greatest lessons. While in the valley I also know that on each side of the valley is a mountain. Getting back to the mountain top is what this journey called life is all about.
Tuesday, 13 November 2007
Journaling Tips for the Journey of Life
The best way I know how to navigate this journey called life, with its ups and downs, is to journal. Since I was old enough to hold a pencil I have escaped to the page. Writing is my spiritual companion. In my valley experiences and during my mountaintop highs, writing is there to sort things out.
For example, through writing I am able to move pass anger to uncover the authentic truth. I may start off my journaling by complaining about who has done me wrong but my Inner Wisdom will not let me stay in anger very long. Soon, I uncover how I put myself in the position to be victimized.
When I am on top of the mountain, journaling helps me appreciate the beauty of the landscape even more. Through writing, I notice the brilliance of the colors on the mountains. Capturing the words on the page, I am able to hear harmony in the songs of birds. I have even found parts of me on the page that I did not know existed and some parts I wish no longer existed. Yet still, I find other parts I thought were long lost.
In her book <span style="font-style:italic;">The Right to Write</span>, Julian Cameron says, “We should write because humans are spiritual beings and writing is a powerful form of prayer and mediation, connecting us both to our own insights and to a higher and deeper level of inner guidance as well.”
If you want to use journaling as a tool to navigate through your journey of life, there are easy ways to get started. A blank page intimidates some people. If you find you come to the page and have nothing to say, then take one of your affirmations and write it over and over for the 15 minutes. You are likely to find that, as you are writing the affirmations other thoughts come to you. Get those thoughts down no matter how disconnected, obscure or nonsensical they may be. Get it down! It might be the grocery list. It does not matter. GET IT DOWN. Remember this writing will not be graded ;-).
Journaling does not have to be a daily account of what is happening in your life - but it can be. You may find that detailing what happened yesterday or what your plans are for today is a good place to start your brain dump.
If writing an affirmation repeatedly or writing a daily account does not get your thoughts flowing, use one of these starters. (You may want to write these on the inside cover of your journal for a quick reference should you need them.)
• If the desires of my heart were evident to the world people would know that I am_______________________________.
• What frightens me most is ___________________________.
• If no one were to ever find out I would __________________.
Whichever way you start does not matter. What matters is that you go to the page. Writing is the best brand of therapy for me. It holds my confidence. It is unrelenting when it has to be and gentle when it needs to be.
Saturday, 20 October 2007
Stillness Ritual: Make Time for You
In your day-to-day life, things move at such a fast pace, you often may not make time for you self. Juggling work and family is a challenge for many people and leaves little time for much else. Yet, it is when you allow time to be still that you can recharge your battery and have the energy you need in the other areas of your life. You can begin taking regular intervals of time for you self by creating a Stillness Ritual.
Do not let the word ritual scare you. To set aside any concerns, let me be clear. A ritual is a series of acts you perform for a specific reason. Your Stillness Ritual is taking time to listen within. Susan L. Taylor, editorial director of Essence Magazine and author of In the Spirit says, “The wisdom and strength you seek await you in the silence within.”
I would recommend that your ritual occur at the same place and same time each day. Create a special place within your home. It does not have to be elaborate. It must only be a space used exclusively for you. Your space may be as simple as a comfortable chair or pillow. Keep it simple but make it pleasurable. Make it a place where you love to retreat. You may want to spice things up by including items in your space that reflect what you love and what you desire. You may want to include an item for each element of the universe such as:
- A candle to represent fire.
- A small glass of water.
- Wind chimes to symbolize the wind.
- A plant to represent the earth.
Performing your Stillness Ritual at the same time each day is very important, especially if this is a new experience for you. Select a time that will allow for minimal disruption. Early in the morning or late evenings usually works best especially if you have a family.
For the first three weeks, start with dedicating 15 minutes in the morning or late evening. Thereafter, you will find you will do it longer without much effort. The peace you will find is worth the sacrifice. Often, you will find that you actually rest more peacefully when you incorporate a consistent practice of stillness in your life.
Be sure to put the time on your calendar. Let everyone in the house know when your still time begins. Put it on the refrigerator (everyone in the family ventures there at least once a day). Set clear rules for those who may be tempted to interfere. In setting the rules there are three things to remember:
• Pre-Teach - Let potential intruders know well in advance the time and place your Stillness Ritual occurs. Explain very clearly you do not want to be disturbed. State any exception to the do-not-disturb rule. You should not have more than one exception and that should be clear. Perhaps you may stipulate that you can be disturbed only in the case of an emergency. You must define an emergency. My mother used to lock her bedroom door and holler to her seven children that she was not to be disturbed unless someone was bleeding heavily.
• Be Firm - Speak in a strong, determined voice. People, especially children, know when you are weak.
• Be Consistent. You will be tested to see if you really mean it. You must be consistent, especially in the beginning. You are not the only one who has to get adjusted to a new way of living.
Follow these simple steps to creating a Stillness Ritual in your life and you find you have:
v Increased Energy
v More Focused
v More Peaceful
v More Creativity
v Feeling of Overall Well-Being
Give your self the gift of a Stillness Ritual. Start today.
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