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Posts from the ‘The Awakened Heart Project’ Category

Weighing the Cost and Benefits For Your Happiness

This post is part of The Awakened Heart Project

Week 18: Weighing the Cost and Benefits For Your Happiness

“Happiness is always a by-product.  It is probably a matter of temperament, and for anything I know it may be glandular.  But it is not something that can be demanded from life, and if you are not happy you had better stop worrying about it and see what treasures you can pluck from your own brand of unhappiness.”

 ~Robertson Davies

Weighing the Cost and Benefits For Your Happiness

Everyday, we have commitments. We have them to ourselves, to our work, to our families, etc. But what happens when our commitments begin to become obligations we not longer value? Well, you begin to resent them, and with the endless obligations, our lives begin to feel like giant resentments.

So, how do you change that? You have to have Read more

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How to Embrace Vulnerability and Ultimately Live a Life of Purpose and Meaning

This post is part of The Awakened Heart Project

Week 17:  How to Embrace Vulnerability and Ultimately Live a Life of Purpose and Meaning 

“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” ― Brené  Brown

How to Embrace Vulnerability and Ultimately Live a Life of Purpose and Meaning 

In the last Awakened Heart post, (read it HERE if you missed it)  you were asked to watch Dr. Brené  Brown’s “The Power of Vulnerability” TED talk. This is one of my all time favorites TED talks and I hope it’s one of yours now too! Dr. Brown has managed to sum up years worth or research into some of the most invaluable information we as humans have ever received; The purpose of life is to find meaning in it, and to connect with others, and the only way to connect, is to be vulnerable.

When you think about what it takes to be strong, honest, courageous and authentic, you may or may not include vulnerable to your list. In fact, synonyms of vulnerability include: defenseless, sucker, susceptible, unsafe, weak, and in danger. Quite the contrary to anything strong and courageous!

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Image credit to Brene Brown and the Ordinary Courage blog

As humans, we thrive through honest, vulnerable, Read more

The Power of Vulnerability

This post is part of The Awakened Heart Project

Week 16: The Power of Vulnerability 

“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”
― Brené Brown

The Power of Vulnerability 

Last week we talked about judgment; where it stems from, how it impacts our world, and how to stop judging others and ourselves. The thing about judgment is that it typically comes from places that harbor our own insecurities.  Think of it this way, if we completely accepted our own faults, and were not afraid of others realizing them, what would be the point in judging others? There would be none. One of main reasons we judge is to protect our own egos. But that’s not going to get us very far on the road of personal growth and transformation.

As a part of letting go of judgment, this week all you’re asked to do is watch a video and reflect on what it means to be vulnerable and how letting go of judgment can help you do that. Truly, the only way to let go of judgment is to allow yourself to be vulnerable. Next week we’ll discuss vulnerability more thoroughly.

Brene Brown Quotes

Brene Brown is a researcher that I highly admire. Her work stems Read more

We Must Learn to Let Go of Judgment

This post is part of The Awakened Heart Project

Week 15: We Must Learn to Let Go of Judgement. 

“We should be lenient in our judgment, because often the mistakes of others would have been ours had we had the opportunity to make them.”

―Unknown

Part 1: Do Not Judge Others

Judgment: it’s a word that has a lot of weight behind it. The words that come with judgment are most often heavy, cold and unkind. There is nothing to gain when we judge. Nothing. If you know of something, please comment and let me know, because I can’t think of one thing.

When you judge others and others judge you, you put negative energy out into the world and in your heart. You’re also spreading a message that is likely not 100% truthful. Judgment is based on personal beliefs and schemas. Therefore, when you judge, you’re really showing many of your true colors. Sometimes, these colors are uuggglllyyyyy! These colors can easily out weight the beautiful colors underneath. We all know the saying, “Let your true colors shine!” But if your true colors are dark and sullen, then your “shine” will look much more like a dark cloud. I don’t know about you, but I’ll take a sunny day, over a raining day, ANY DAY! But hey, we can’t be a masterpiece all the time. We’re human. Not a single one of us is perfect.

Which brings me to my next point… Read more

How Happy Are You Right Now?

This post is part of  The Awakened Heart Project

Week 14: How Happy Are You Right Now?

“Man is fond of counting his troubles, but he does not count his joys.  If he counted them up as he ought to, he would see that every lot has enough happiness provided for it.”

~Fyodor Dostoevsky

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How Happy Are You Right Now?

With the crazy, busy lives we live day in and day out, it’s easy to lose sight of what really makes us happy. Answer this question: How happy are you RIGHT NOW? Do you even know? Is it difficult for you to answer? We often confuse our own happiness with what makes others happy. You probably know what makes your children happy, or your parents, or your friends, but what about you? Are you aware of what brings you happiness and joy? Awareness of these little things that bring a smile to our faces, and contentment in our hearts can be difficult to harness. Focusing on internal Read more

Taking Your Goal Setting and Life Setting to the Next Level

This post is part of  The Awakened Heart Project

Week 13: Taking Your Goal Setting and Life Setting to the Next Level

“The road leading to a goal does not separate you from the destination; it is essentially a part of it.” ~ Charles DeLint

Goals, Changes, and Perceptions

Last week we talked a lot about setting goal. We worked on defining and refining existing goals and identifying negative perceptions and beliefs that have hindered your ability to successfully accomplish goals from the past. If you have not completed the exercises from last weeks lesson, I recommend you do so now. It will be difficult to continue on in the coming weeks without having set some real goals, -or even just one! We’re all on a different journey here and all seek change in different ways. Your goals are yours alone.

Pushing Forces vs. Opposing Forces

Last week we discussed Outside and Inside Forces. We established that, A body will remain at rest until acted upon by an outside force. A ball will remain on a table until nudged right? Yes! This is also true for humans. We will remain stagnant until acted upon by an outside force. Or, in many cases, an INSIDE FORCE! The uniqueness we have as humans is that we have the choice to choose the inward forces as our primary means of transportation; that is, our heart and minds. I encourage you to really think about that for a minute. Outside forces can push us yes, but outside forces don’t always push us in the right direction. They often push us in the direction that is best for the outside forces.

So we have these two forces: one working against us, and one working for us. This week you’ll evaluate these forces and rationalize them. Sometimes wanting changes to occur and actually making the changes are two difficult tasks to bring together. A useful question to ask yourself is, whether you’re committed to activity of change or the results of that change. Wanting the result is what is really most important. You can think of the analogy of someone driving with his or her foot on the gas going full speed into the world. You think, “Yeah! They’re going for it!” but if there’s no destination in sight, no place they’re headed, they may end up driving in circles with nothing but an empty tank to shoe for it. You must be committed to not only the activities along the way, but truly wanting the end result of change.

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No change will ever exist without actually making changes. But the things holding us back are often used as blinder making us believe that we can’t make the changes. You tell yourself, “It’s not the right time”, or “I don’t have the money”. This internal dialogue will absolutely hold you back. So if you really WANT the change, you have to Read more

How to Define and Accomplish Your Goals: Beginning Steps

This post is part of  The Awakened Heart Project

Week 12: How to Define and Accomplish Your Goals: Beginning Steps 

“One half of knowing what you want is knowing what you must give up before you get it.”

 ~Sidney Howard

Free Yourself to Be Yourself

The last few weeks we’ve spent a significant amount of time discussing how fear and beliefs from the past create a wall hindering forward movement and personal growth. Fear is a very real part of stagnation in life. If you want to create your great life and build a life where your dreams and aspirations can be realized, releasing yourself from the shackles of your fears is your first priority.

FYI: A body will remain at rest until acted upon by an outside force. A ball will remain on a table until nudged right? Yes! This is also true for humans. We will remain stagnant until acted upon by an outside force. Or, in many cases, an INSIDE FORCE! The uniqueness we have as humans is that we have the choice to choose the inward forces as our primary means of transportation; that is, our heart and minds. I encourage you to really think about that for a minute. Outside forces can push us yes, but outside forces don’t always push us in the right direction. They often push us in the direction that is best for the outside forces. What do I mean by that? Well, your boss might push you to complete a task and do it in a particular amount of time. His task and time frame may be ridiculous and appear almost impossible to you. You may think, “How in the hell will I ever do this? Why would he even ask this of me?” In truth, his motivation is likely for the betterment of the company, or even himself. Don’t think it’s for your betterment, its most likely not. So you get motivated to complete his task at whatever cost. You scarifies your personal life, time with your kids, exercise, sleep, etc., etc., etc. You tell yourself that this outside force is critical to your wellbeing because it’s your job and you need it to survive.

Then one day, you wake up and an inward thought emerges from your mind: What if this wasn’t Read more

With a Hardened Heart, Your Life Will Always Be Empty

This post is part of The Awakened Heart Project

Week 11: With a Hardened Heart, Your Life Will Always Be Empty   

We could never have guessed

We were already blessed

Where we are…

 -James Taylor

Your Week of Reprieve

The past few weeks the posts have been long, and the material somewhat “heavy”. This week, I’m giving you a bit of a reprieve. This week I will leave you with a story I hope you will reflect upon throughout the next seven days. It will help you prepare for the next chapter of The Awakened Heart Project. Although the material this week is lighter, take 20 minutes to answer the reflection questions, as they will help you prepare for the coming weeks as well.

I hope everyone has been enjoying the “Life Lessons” thus far. I’m looking forward to this next chapter with you beginning next week. And with that, a story…

Between Peace and Joy

With an Open Heart

One day, a woman who found a folded sponge all dried and compressed, and tucked inside the hardened fold was a message she’d been seeking. She carried the hardened sponge to the sea and, up to her waist in the deep, she watched it unfold and come to life in the water. Magically, the secret of Read more

If You Want to Move Forward, and Let Go of Your Past, You Must Be Ready to Feel Some Pain.

This post is part of The Awakened Heart Project

Week 10: If You Want to Move Forward, and Let Go of Your Past, You Must Be Ready to Feel Some Pain.:

“As human beings, we all want to be happy and free from misery… we have learned that the key to happiness is inner peace. The greatest obstacles to inner peace are disturbing emotions such as anger, attachment, fear and suspicion, while love and compassion and a sense of universal responsibility are the sources of peace and happiness.” –Dalai Lama

Brace Yourself for Pain 

I think it’s important to repeat some important themes from last week: We all have internal work to do.  It’s inevitable that we all have baggage from our past that we’ve never bothered to open and sort through. We’ve pacified it with a band-aid and have worked quite hard to forget it. But it hasn’t worked. It’s just changed shape into the form of a tiny little metaphorical “twig”. Just like the elephant, there are “twigs” holding each of us back. The pain from our past often holds us hostage…Face it,  -we ALL have these “twigs” whether we like it or not. And the only way to realize that it’s just a twig and that you can walk away from it, is to accept the fact that the twig exists, and pull that band-aid off and to realize that this little twig can be dealt with (with some work of course), and removed. In order to see the path to what you want, you must first see what is holding you back! It is then, and only then, that you can start moving forward.

And with that, IF YOU WANT TO MOVE FORWARD, AND LET GO OF YOUR PAST, YOU MUST BE READY TO FEEL SOME PAIN!

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I know, what you’re thinking, “But band-aids help heal! If I rip it off now I could open that wound!” Actually, these “band-aids” aren’t really band-aids. They’re metaphorical band-aids. In reality, these “band-aids” are actually just concealers, camouflage, a façade, a mask, or blinders. Putting a band-aid on an emotional wound will not heal it; it will only cause it move further inward to a place that’s harder for you to reach, but it will undoubtedly continue to cause you pain. You may not understand Read more

In Order to See the Path to What You Want, You Must First See What is Hold You Back.

This post is part of The Awakened Heart Project

Week 9: In Order to See the Path to What You Want, You Must First See What is Hold You Back.

 

“You will find that it is necessary to let things go; simply for the reason that they are heavy. So let them go, let go of them. I tie no weights to my ankles.”  -C. JoyBell C.

You Gotta Move Forward, But First…

See what’s’ holding me back? What do you mean? I know EXACTLY what I want, and what path to take, but everyone else is getting in the way. I’m not the problem, everything and everyone else is!

Really? I’m sorry to break it to you, but I highly doubt that everyone else is the problem, and you have nothing to do with YOUR OWN PROBLEM. Yes, sometimes there’s some red tape in your way. And yes, sometimes, people in positions higher than you can deter your progress up the latter of growth (for instance in work situations). However, if you REALLY want to grow, and REALLY want to move forward, why are you still letting these people or things get in your way? Take a minute and really think about it. You can’t control how other people or things pan out, only how you do. If you want things to be different you have to change. Sometimes, that means quitting your job to pursue your passions. Sometimes that means taking the road less traveled. But you always have the choice to say, “No, I will not take this anymore, I want better for myself, and I know I deserve better, so SEE YOU LATER friend!”

When you get into the pattern of saying (and believing) that you are not the problem and your external circumstances are, you get into the pattern of allowing everything and everyone else to control you. When you believe that you have options, and you control your own destiny, that is when you break free from the perceived barriers that are holding you back.

We all have things within ourselves that are holding us back, -some of them small, some of them large. But the real problem is not that these things exist, it’s that most people aren’t self-aware enough to even know they exist. Read more

Stop Being What People Want You to Be, and Start Being Who You Really Are!

This post is part of  The Awakened Heart Project

Week 8: If you keep doing what you’ve always been doing, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always been getting.

“To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.” ~E.E. Cummings, 1955

Being Who You Are Can Be Hard

In this world of crazy competition and competiveness, it’s often difficult to ignore the pressure. It seems that even in early childhood we’re being pushed to “be better” to “do better” and to be “the best”. We’re graded from A-F, where F literally stands for “failure”. It’s a vast contradiction from the lesson that there are no such things as failures, just learning opportunities. We also have numerous tests to past, and major ones at that, such as the ACT and SAT, which can truly make or break a college experience. When we enter to workforce and “adult life” there’s so much focus on what job you have, where you work, what clothes you wear, what labels you have in your closet, what you know, etc. Social media allows us to share things in different ways as well, but no matter what, whether we like it or not, nowadays, we’re constantly in the public eye and therefore being judge. How difficult. What a lot of pressure that is!!

Sadly, with that pressure, you might start to pretend you’re Read more

If You Keep Doing What You’ve Always Been Doing, You’ll Keep Getting What You’ve Always Been Getting.

This post is part of The Awakened Heart Project

Week 7: If you keep doing what you’ve always been doing, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always been getting.

“There are three kinds of people; those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wonder what happened.”
-Nicholas Butler Murray

 

 Jump Start Changes, Jump Start Life

Often we try to control when changes come to us, so we can be ready and there will be no fear involved. We want our circumstances to be “just right”. We want change to come when we most expect it and then we’ll be prepared; we’ll be in control! Ha! Yeah right! Seriously, life rarely works that way. Some of us even avoid it at all costs and simply wait for life changes anxiously. Why start something so scary by choice, right? Well, if you’re sick of your circumstances, and tired of the way things are going currently, you CAN’T JUST WAIT.

How many times have you wished things would be different but then you did nothing about it? How many times have you said, “I hate this job” but continue to go to work every day never looking for a new job? Often, our reluctance for changing our circumstances is not due to not knowing what we really want to change, but rather, fearing that Read more

With Fear Comes the Door to Freedom

This post is part of The Awakened Heart Project

Week 6: With Fear Comes the Door to Freedom

“A man that flies from his fear may find that he has only taken a short cut to meet it.”

― J.R.R. Tolkien

Read more

The Only Thing Constant in Life is Change

This post is part of The Awakened Heart Project

Week 5: The Only Thing Constant in Life is Change

“Some changes look negative on the surface, but you will soon realize that space is being created in your life for something new to emerge.”

–Eckhart Tolle

 

Change is Inevitable

It’s simply inevitable. Change is something that will happen no matter how hard we try to stop it. Change is a part of the world we live in. With every passing moment, things change. So why fight it?

Sometimes, the changes that take place in our lives are slow, and sometimes even anticipated. While other times, the changes are abrupt. Abrupt changes can throw us into a place of fear and uncertainty. This place may be a place of darkness. Even anticipated changes may make us feel fear or anxiety for what’s to come. Moreover, changes (even anticipated ones) don’t always produce an outcome that we favor. For instance, ending a relationship: even if you were the one that ended it, it doesn’t always feel great; you may still have a period of great sadness and maybe even depression. Or, lets say, losing your job: you needed that job; without it you can’t pay your bills, and so, clouds of darkness begin to shadow you’re life. Read more

Some Things Are Not Meant To Be. Some People Are Not Meant To Be. Sometimes, What Once Was, -Is No Longer

This post is part of The Awakened Heart Project

Week 4: Some Things Are Not Meant To Be. Some People Are Not Meant To Be. Sometimes, What Once Was, -Is No Longer. to Respond

“Do not bring people in your life who weigh you down. And trust your instincts … good relationships feel good. They feel right. They don’t hurt. They’re not painful. That’s not just with somebody you want to marry, but it’s with the friends that you choose. It’s with the people you surround yourselves with.”

-Michelle Obama

Life and Opportunity 

You have so many countless opportunities throughout your lifetime, and you’ll meet so many different people throughout your lifetime as well. Some of these people will come into you life and stay forever. Others will barely leave an impression. Some will stay awhile and leave you behind, leaving you feeling saddened and empty. Others’ you will have to make the same decision about. Opportunities too, have a way of coming and going. Sometimes, the things we want (and people) aren’t meant to be. We try desperately to make some of these relationships and opportunities work out, but sometimes it’s just not mean to be. The sooner you realize that everything in this life has a phase, -some longer than others, the sooner you will find peace with the present, and Read more

Happiness Has Little to Do With What Happens to You. It Has Everything to Do With How You Choose to Respond


This post is part of The Awakened Heart Project

Week 3: Happiness Has Little to do With What Happens to You. It Has Everything to do With How You Choose to Respond

 “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”

-Wayne Dyer

Emotional Responses and Life Decisions

It’s inevitable: Life will throw you some curve balls. But YOU and YOU ALONE choose the emotional response you will have to these situations.  No one makes you feel a certain way, or makes you react a certain way. That is all up to you.

For instance, Read more