Embrace through the heart

Embracing Possibilities

“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” –Carl Gustav Jung

The first stage of the spiritual practice of Visioning for embracing new possibilities is to create space in our consciousness. This is also true for our lives, dwellings, etc.—letting go of whatever no longer serves us. The second stage is to embrace and cultivate the ground for eventually planting seeds of possibilities. This is best accomplished through the embrace of the heart.

I view the heart as a portal to our soul and the essential nature of our being—where lies the deepest truth or longing of our being.  The heart of love and compassion points us in that direction. Dreams and fantasies take us outside ourselves. They serve as necessary psychic processes that help reduce the rigidity of our thinking minds, and can be channeled to create sparks of inspiration. However, it can also serve as a distraction, especially when they form ruminating stories that keep us stuck or blocked in living fully. The possibilities that lie waiting on our horizon have a hard time getting through the barricades.

Tuning into the heart

I suggest taking quiet pauses in the day and tuning into the heart and ask: “What most wants to be heard, felt and lived as me.” What unfolds becomes the home ground of the highest visioning for possibilities for our life, including our life purpose. This is less about doing things in the world, but rather about a way of being. With practice the vision emerges and eventually becomes clearer. This heartfelt inquiry is a type of spiritual practice whereas we don’t manifest the vision; the vision is fulfilled through us. Yes, that’s right—the vision is fulfilled through us.

In my own quiet pauses and meditations, I regularly visit this stage, for it helps me stay attuned and in sync with my true essence. I allow it to be captured as affirmative words that I embrace as true in the moment. My current rendition is a variation of words like ‘holding space, empowering and being of service.’ As I move about my activities I ask if what I am doing or about to do in attuned and in harmony with my heartfelt intention. It’s like tuning into my favorite radio station that’s already there. Like an inner compass it reminds me when I go off course.

What must I embrace?

Once we have prepared the soil of our consciousness, it’s time to determine what kinds of seeds we want to plant. So, we ask, “What must I embrace?” This is where we explore the ideas, possibilities and growth opportunities we are receptive to welcoming. Perhaps asking: “What is it that wants to emerge through me into reality?” Then we allow the new possibility to unfold—as it is ready.

Next we’ll explore how to embody possibilities.

Seeds for planting

Second Chances

“The should road…the could road…the one day road… the someday road…
should only ever be taken in moderation, and on your way to the MUST road.”

Elle Luna, from The Crossroads of Should and Must: Find and Follow Your Passion

 Life circumstances rarely happen by chance, and in some of our endeavors the first go-around may be riddled with misfortune, making a second chance seem impossible. Yet all first acts contain seeds of second, third, and even a multitude of chances to try again—to grow, change, and transform throughout one’s life journey. However, like in any garden, in order to blossom or bear fruit, these seeds need to be cultivated with proper soil, water, and nutrients, or they lie dormant. Continue reading

blowball-dandelion

What is Your Life Trying to Do With You?

There are special times in our lives when we can truly benefit from reflection and introspection. This may be at the beginning of a new year, following a loss of a relationship or job, or simply when we are feeling stuck or blocked from moving forward in our lives. During these times it’s easy to beat ourselves up for what we could have or should have done differently. We certainly can learn from the past, but putting ourselves down serves no purpose, except to hold us back from moving forward. Continue reading

greek-hero

Your Life: a Hero’s Journey

Though you may not think of yourself as a hero, you do play the starring role in the story of your life journey. It’s a story you’ve been composing since you took your first breath – maybe even before. Many supporters have acted as guides, teachers, and mentors to help and inspire you along the way. Some may also have provided their idea of how you should live your life and the path you should follow. But ultimately, it’s your story, your life, your journey that required you to make difficult choices and carry out heroic actions to bring you to the chapter you inhabit presently. Continue reading

Autumn leaves

Your Second Spring!

Two ways to be more in harmony with life

Nobel Prize winning author Albert Camus wrote:
“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”

I love this statement. It truly does capture the beauty of the fall season. But it also reveals that we can renew ourselves in the fall, just as well as in the spring – yet perhaps with a more seasoned approach. Continue reading

foggy-path

Desire Points the Way

Imagine you are walking in the dark along a foggy path using a flashlight. The path ahead is lit up, so you don’t stray off course. The fog represents your past and future and the challenges of your everyday world. They have no importance in this moment. The flashlight is your conscious presence. The lit path represents being in the present moment. When you learn how to step into the timeless world of Being, you are better able to navigate the storms of your outer world.

Continue reading

horn of plenty

An Invitation to Life!

Traditionally, the year end holidays are a time for expressions of gratitude and gift-giving. We acknowledge others for their contributions and thoughtfulness and give thanks for the yearly harvest we have reaped. Are your life working and are your coffers full of all the resources, joy and love you desire for living the good life? Or do you fear a winter of discontent?

Why not accept an invitation to change course and get more fully engaged in the flow of life.Continue reading

Liminality: Navigating Life’s In-Between Spaces

We’ve all had this experience.

inbetween spaceThings are moving along in a natural progression. Life is good. Then something happens that turns your whole world upside down.  You may feel overwhelmed, confused, or you may feel euphoric. Perhaps you’re not sure how you feel. You’re in a state of liminality.

Navigating Liminality can be challenging and requires great courage.
It can also be a time of deep inner reflection.

Rites of Passage

DSCN1232The word liminality, originally coined by anthropologists, referred to various rites of life passage. The root is the Latin word, “limen,” meaning “threshold.” It’s the crossing over from one state to another, as in the space between wakefulness and sleep.

A change of place, social position or age can precipitate this condition. Liminality has three stages: 1) Leaving where you’ve been or experiencing a loss 2) Passing through an ambiguous stage 3) Emerging into a new realm with renewed resolve.

Life passages are often celebrated through formal rites or rituals.

In an indigenous culture, an adolescent moving into adulthood performs a vision quest to find himself and his intended spiritual and life direction.

In modern culture, ceremonies are performed for graduations, engagements and weddings. One’s entire life is recognized and honored at a funeral or memorial service.

Often these events are led by elders, shamans or clergy. They help guide us through these transitions, offering wise counsel and encouragement to pass through the liminal threshold for what lies ahead. Wise guides are not always present for our passages, though.

Navigating loss

Alice meets caterpiller

Alice meets caterpiller

“Who are YOU?” asked the Caterpillar. Alice replied, rather shyly, “I–I hardly know, sir, just at present –at least I know who I WAS when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.”

~Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Some life changes come about through an unexpected circumstance or catastrophe. There is little, if any, time to prepare. Whether experiencing a natural disaster or a personal loss, we can never know how we are going to feel or react. This can be the most challenging liminal state of all.

Losing a loved one, even when it is inevitable,
creates a void and can leave you feeling empty.

When my mother died, I felt like an orphan. As I dwelled in the liminal cave of healing, I began to rethink who I was and what was my purpose in the world. With the help of a strong support system, I emerged at the other end inspired and with a huge amount of creative inspiration and lust for life.

Loss of a relationship can be a blow to your self-esteem. Thoughts like, “what did I do wrong,”  “I’m not lossloveable”, “I’ll never find another”, appear and cloud your mind.

When this happened to me a few years ago, I made the decision not to take it personally, trust that it was for the best. Beating myself up or holding anger served no healthful purpose. I’d been through other losses and always bounced back. I needed to forge a new path. A surprising healing takes place over time for most of us, especially those with a strong support system.

Job transition

With job loss, however, the longer one is without a job, the more likely one’s liminal period can include anger, depression and loss of self-esteem. A plummeting sense of self-worth can paralyze.

Yet, this can be a real opportunity to reevaluate your life. Examine your gifts and talents and uncover your true passions. Discover how you want to live the next chapter of your life. I have led many people in transition through this process.

Transformation

A liminal period can be life-transforming – for better or worse. It may be short or long-lived, even permanent.

Sometimes people drop out of society. Some vow never to be in relationship again, living with anger, guilt and resentment. Some accept jobs at less pay or status. Others heal, seek new relationships, start businesses, and re-enter the social whirl in a new form.

This can be an opportunity to step back, to review your creative foundation and life purpose. A time to test your potential.

I move into liminality every time I begin to write these articles. I may think I know what I want to say. Then, through research, introspection and extemporaneous writing, new ideas emerge and flow onto the page.

Inner Work

Liminality can be the rich soil to grow creative ideas,
a new road to travel or even a new identity.

IntentionOur lives are constantly in flux. We’re absorbing new information, reflecting on the past, aspiring towards the future. Discomfort with transition can cloud our perspective. Anxiety and fear may try to divert us. Know it is just your fragile, threatened ego trying to block change.

Liminality can be taken into meditation where you can step back and reflect. Watch your mind, your thoughts and feelings. See problems as objects floating inside your head based on your perceptions, not who you really are.

Invite the ego to sit in your guesthouse of awareness, while you explore with openness the vast potentiality available to you. Explore the liminal space between thoughts, between breaths. This clears the pathway to commune with your Source where truth, peace and love reside, bringing you to a place of wholeness and enabling you to reenter the world anew.

“From the moment I fell down that rabbit hole I’ve been told where I must go and who I must be…….but this is my dream. I’ll decide where it goes from here.”Adventures of Alice in Wonderland

Welcome liminality to help you decide where that will be. ~ Namaste

Uncover Your Motivating Passions

In my last post,Your Passions: Pathway to the ‘Real You‘,” I shared how knowing and engaging your passions, with what and whom you truly love, helps to align you with your life purpose and what gives meaning to your life.  This generates a spark of aliveness that becomes a powerful motivating factor in your living a truly fulfilling life. Now I let’s explore how to uncover your passions.

optimism-new-eyesProust said:The voyage of discovery lies not in finding new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”

Getting Started
I like to help people start to uncover their passions by reflecting on their greatest achievements, what they are most proud of, and reviewing their strengths, talents, skills. This can provide fodder for opening your eyes to your true passions.

People often say: “I really haven’t achieved anything important.”

Please don’t compare yourself to others. Instead, reflect on what you feel good about or where, even in some small way, you made a difference. Your strengths, talents and skills are what you do naturally with ease or what gets you through challenging situations.

We also look at what you treasure and love most in life and the people who have inspired you and why. Everyone can come up with a list of these. We don’t discount anything, even if it may seem incidental.

We explore what you stand for. This can relate to family, friends, nature, cultural, civic, work, morals, beliefs, faith, etc. This is a brainstorming project, like an “archaeological dig” where everything can provide clues.

We reflect on unfulfilled dreams and aspirations. We look at what you truly want for your life. This is not about material things. Rather, it’s your deepest heart’s desire, or how you want to live or be in your life.

We shine a light on all of these things inside you. We can then sift and examine each part, like fragments of different aspects of yourself, and determine what fits and what may no longer serve you.

We’re now ready for the next step.

The Passion Test

Here is where I draw from an inspiring little book called, The Passion Test: The Effortless Path to Discovering Your Life Purpose, by Janet Atwood and Chris Atwood. Take your FREE Personal Passion Test Profile Here.

List 10-15 passions that would give you a life of joy, passion and fulfillment reviewing all the information we’ve compiled for clues. The heading of this page is: When my life is ideal, I am…. List each passion in short concise sentences each starting with words like: being, doing, having.

Essentially you are writing these statements in the present tense as though you are already experiencing them. For example: being creative, or inspiring others…………Passions are not goals or what you want to achieve, rather how you want to live your life.

Next you select your top five passions by comparing the first to the second, second to the third, etc. much like an eye exam. Once you have these listed you determine markers. A marker is actual evidence that you are indeed living that passion.

People are often surprised when they have come to me to find a path to a better job or career path, we find that most of their passions appear to have nothing to do with work. This is okay, since we are looking at the whole of you.

Once you define and refine your passions and start living them, the work or career piece falls into place quite naturally with often unexpected surprises.

In a future article I will discuss how to engage your passions – how to match your unique gifts to your passions and overcome obstacles. In the meantime, you have plenty to keep you busy. This process is truly a gift you give yourself.

As my mentor, Richard Miller, often says, What you do for yourself you do for others. What you do for others you do for yourself.”

Are you ready to start uncovering your motivating passions? Join one of my upcoming “What’s Next in Your Life” courses to get you started.

Your Passions: Pathway to the “Real You”

shakespeare

To thine own self be true,” wrote Shakespeare. Yet, how many of us are living a life being true to ourselves?

In fact, how many of us actually know what that means?

We start out as youngsters with dreams, passions and aspirations that often become stifled by well-meaning family members, teachers, friends, limitations of resources, or our inability to find our true path. We complete our studies and training and then find ourselves in jobs, careers and situations that seem right at first, but later fall flat.

We can always find a fork in road, though and an opportunity to re-align with the “Real You.” While there are many pathways to accomplish this, one is to uncover and engage your true passions.

It’s never too late to re-generate that spark of aliveness we have when we engage with what and whom we truly love. Identifying your true passions aligns you with your life purpose and what gives meaning to your life.

Inner fire

Inner fire

Passions get your inner fire burning and motivate you. They help you develop an inner compass that guides you to making better life choices. Following your passions is following your heart and connecting most profoundly with the Real You.

In my work as a life coach I frequently engage with clients who may be good at what they do, but are not fully living their passions. Often, your relationships may be great but the job is unfulfilling – or vice versa. Sometimes neither is satisfying.

For one of my clients, his family encouraged him to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a trial attorney. He became very good at his profession, but his compassionate caring nature was being stifled. For many years he had been taking time from work fulfilling his true passion by volunteering with communities and disadvantaged children both here and abroad. Finally at midlife and in a loving and supportive relationship, he started examining his life and passions. He decided to go back to school to train to become a special needs teacher and move to an area of the country that fed his spirit.

But I have no passions!

I commonly hear this from my clients and students: “I’m not passionate about anything.”
For some people passion is too strong a word.

Another way to view passion is to reflect on the things you care about – what you truly value and what provides meaning. When you feel in the zone, when you ask, “where did the time go?” you’re doing your passion.

open arms - anewIt’s what gets you up in the morning
– or would if you were living your passion.

Your passions can be found in aspects of your work, projects you do, talents you engage, play, hanging out with friends or family, caring for others, being in nature, your faith or spirituality, volunteering…what brings you joy or inner peace.

There are a myriad of potential passions inside waiting to become fully embodied. Your job is to identify the strongest ones and take steps towards bringing them fully to life.

What’s inside the real you?

We’ll explore this in our next issue.