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Posts tagged ‘Life’

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

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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

A New Perspective on Making a Career in Your 20s

career

I just completed a guest post for a great blog called 20 Somethings in 2013: Stories of men and women in their twenties  about my experience in the career world since graduating from college. When the author, David, first asked me to write a segment about my journey thus far, I was a bit apprehensive and surprised. Why? because my journey as been very different from most of my peers. I wrote back to David and explained that I would be happy to write something, but I wanted him to understand that my experiences, and choices have been very different from my peers and I wanted to make sure that he understood that others may not find my story as helpful or insightful. To my surprise, David still wanted my contribution. Pretty cool! You can check it out HERE.

One of the great aspects of this blog is that it features posts written by twenty-somethings who discuss their experiences and opinions about beginning a career in this economy. There’s a lot of diversity which I really love about the featured “20 somethings”.

If you’re in your 20’s, just starting out, or simply interested in the many careers and career pathways people are seeking in todays world, I recommend checking it out. It has a lot of great information as well as great bios from other 20 somethings.

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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

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

Lungleavin Day: A Celebration of Life and Facing Your Fears

This week, I was approached by an amazing woman, Heather Von St. James, and asked to write a small post to help spread the word about Lungleavin Day, a holiday she created after suffering from Mesothelioma. Actually, Heather asked if I would write a post about inspiration and link to her article about Lungleavin Day, but frankly, writing about Heather, her battle with cancer, and the message behind Lungleavin Day is inspiration in itself.

For those of you who are not aware, Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer caused by asbestos exposure, which kills 90-95% of those who are diagnosed with it. Heather was diagnosed 7 years ago, when her daughter was only 3 ½ months old. I can only image the fear that must of struck Heather at this point in her life. But after reading her story, it’s clear that her strength far out weighed her fears. Today, Heather is cancer free and is using her experience in a positive way to help others. One of the ways Heather spreads her positivity, and strength is through Lungleavin Day. 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

Out of Your Vulnerabilities Will Come Your Strength: Where there’s pain, there’s growth

This post is part of The Awakened Heart Project

Week 2: Out of Your Vulnerabilities Will Come Your Strength: Where there’s pain, there’s growth

“Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.”

Andy Rooney

Pain Exists. Life can hurt. And sometimes, life can hurt A LOT. But this pain is for your benefit.

How many times have your heard it, “Life is not fair”. It’s true. Life is often unfair. We often get the shaft. Good people sometimes find themselves in bad situations, and painful experiences. While others, who you may believe live horrible lives always seem to get the “best possible scenario” in life. Don’t worry, karma has a way of working things out, sometimes you just have to be patient. Now don’t take that the wrong way, I’m not saying go ahead and resent people or wish bad things upon them. That’s wasted energy (and bad karma). Rather, don’t waste your energy, because the universe will take care of them.  You have more important things to do with your life.

Let face it, sometimes, life is PAINFUL! Sometimes, it hurts so much, you feel as though you can’t go on.  Perhaps you’ve even had a few nights where you’ve cried your eyes shut (I know I have). You may think, “Why? Why? WHHHYYYY???!!” Read more

The Story of the Lotus Flower

This post is part of The Awakened Heart Project

Week 1: The Story of the Lotus Flower

Given that The Awakened Heart Project is about helping you release your fears, to grow, to discover, to learn and to awaken, the story of the lotus flower and its symbolism seems like the perfect place to start this journey.

The lotus flower is a beautiful flower that can be found all over the world. But the start of this flowers life is not as beautiful is one might image. It’s unlike many other flowers. When the lotus first begins to sprout, it is under water, making its home in lakes and ponds in areas where the water remains fairly still on the surface. But underneath the surface, the lotus is surrounded by mud and muck and by fish, by insects, and simply dirty, rough conditions

With an open heart. Lotus

Despite these conditions, Read more

Weekly Photo Challenge: Delicate

There are so many different interpretations of “delicate”. It seems impossible to even include the best ideas of this term in just one post. The first thing I thought of when reading The Daily Post, Weekly Photo Challenge was: a child. But since this was already alluded to in the challenge post itself, I decided to go in a different direction.

The next few things that came to mind were: flower petals, bubbles (which I love playing with, with the children I care for), and animal life. For instance, a tiny turtle I saw this past summer while running and a picture I took of a caterpillar that same day. Also, how tiny my kitten was when we decided to take him in after his mother abandoned him in our shed. He was just  4 weeks old  and weighed just 400 grams (YES! Be bottle fed that little fluff). So, for this post, “delicate” are things that are tiny, soft, and easily destroyed items; and with the exception of bubbles, need nurturing in order to survive. I hope you enjoy them!!

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with an open heart. vulnerability. photography

Tiny kitten

with an open heart.

Delicate Baby Kitten

With an Open Heart blog. Delicate

With an Open Heart blog

Magdon the mouse cat

With an Open Heart blog.

With an open heart blog

With an Open Heart Blog

with an open heart blog

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Where There is Heart, There is Plenty…

Consider your actions of today or this week? Do you do the kinds of things that come from the heart? Many of us, do things for others, but only feel resentful afterwards. But what if we only did things from the heart? Or better yet, did the things for others we don’t want to but never feel resentful. Think about it for a moment. What if you stopped choosing resentment and simply did things because you felt it was right, and you wanted to? I’m not saying, stop doing things for others if you don’t want to (although that is your choice and I do believe in freewill), I’m saying, do these things, but instead of negative thoughts and feelings, feel joy, pleasure, and happiness. You likely made a Read more