Lately, I have been exploring on-line coaching resources and have joined a few email lists. One of note is TDL (or “The Daily Love”) written by guy called Mastin. What I really appreciate about his daily messages is the idea of persistence. He writes an entry every day whether he feels particularly inspired or not. In this daily commitment, his member list has grown as has his reach. He has been interviewed by Oprah and will be publishing a book through Hay House soon. And to think that a year ago, he was couch-surfing. He had a dream of a bigger, better presence for himself and persisted through all of the challenges. In many ways, Mastin is an inspiration to me. To do what I feel compelled to do, in the service of the highest good of all beings, regardless of any difficulties that may arise. Writing these blog entries helps me to clarify what’s inside of me while also connecting with kindred spirits like you. How will you take action towards the realization of your gift today? How will you let your light shine?
As I mentioned in a previous blog entry, I have recently been taking golf lessons. I chose to take some lessons because I wanted to avoid developing bad habits of form and swing. I spent quite a few sessions in an indoor golf facility, letting a computer analyze my swing form, speed and yardage. I have to admit that I had trepidation about setting out on an actual golf course. What if I hit the ball errantly? What if the other golfers become impatient with my slow play? What if I make an absolute fool of myself?
On one rainy day during my holiday, I showed up to the golf course awaiting the golf pro for another lesson. He never made it to the lesson, so I was confronted with a decision. Leave the course without playing, or embark on my first round of golf. That wise little voice within me, encouraged me to get out on the course. Although I did hit a few errant balls (that’s why you call “fore!!”) and completely missed hitting the ball a couple of times, I had an absolute blast. Instead to playing three holes as I planned, I completed eight. I was actually much better playing the game than I was in the practice facility.
This experience reminded me the importance of just getting involved directly in the world. Actual experience is such an effective teacher. Although I still practice my golf skills, I crave testing myself against a golf course. It helps me to assess how I’m doing in a real world situation.
So, in the spirit of stretching yourself, what will you do today (in whatever small way) to get your amazing self into the world? Practice, yes, but flex your courage to actualize your dream.
BTW – I never did keep score of my first golf game, but I can tell you that I avoided all the water hazards and sand traps! An accomplishment in itselfJ
The cottage where I stayed was near Bancroft in the beginning of the Canadian Shield. There are many hills indeed! One in particular I have called the ‘Behemoth’. It is a long steep hill around the corner from the cottage. It serves as a test of truth for me. I attempted to run the Behemoth a number of times during my holiday. In my first couple of tries, I tensed my body in anticipation of the climb, rushing my running pace to get over the pain of the ascent. By rushing up, though, I felt the constriction of my vital energy. I was so caught up in achieving the goal that I refused to run in the present tense. I did make it up part of the hill but inevitably had to stop short. I felt utterly gutted by my failure.
In my next attempts, I consciously let go of expectation. In fact, I felt accomplishment in experiencing the heaving of my breath and burn in my legs. By immersing myself in the momentary discomfort, I eventually ran up the entire hill. I reveled in the tastiness of conquering the Behemoth. Then I turned around and continued my run. In the subsequent days, I ran up to the top of the Behemoth, with much effort and ironically, with more ease. I let go of expectations and calculations, and instead relied on the faith that I would be okay however I ran.
I managed to get out of my head and into my body. Afterwards, I noticed how often I avoid challenges out of fear. Instead, I try to access that faith, that whatever happens, whatever I accomplish is entirely okay. That I am more than okay; I am perfect exactly as I am.
How do you feel fears constricting aspects of your life? How do you feel that faith that opens to possibility? Leave a comment and let me know!
In the post-vacation high, I have returned to writing down to-do lists, in the hope of being more efficient. As I finished another list, I began to read The Fire-Starter Sessions by Danielle LaPorte. She proposes an intriguing approach to setting goals by starting with defining how you want to feel. From that good feeling place, then the goals will naturally flow. I suddenly realized that I had my task backwards. I set goals in order to feel a certain way, but perhaps the real key to happiness is to discern how I want to feel and then do activities that engender those feelings in me. In doing this exercise, I realized that my core desired emotional states are feeling confident, affluent (flowing abundance), creative and energized. Since then, I have noted where and when I feel those states. Now I do more of the things that feel good, including learning to play golf (who knew?), running long distances, writing, preparing lessons for the Naturopathic College, doing reiki treatments, and teaching at any opportunity.
What feeling states do you want more of? No shame in what comes up, just dream and feel good. Then set about doing more of the things that make you feel good. So simple yet a powerful to bring more of your gifts into the world.
Send me an email letting me know how you felt about this experiment in pleasure.
Despite the rather salacious title of this blog entry, it is actually a reflective note:)
After a week on my annual retreat to the cottage, I finally feel relaxed and ready to write. I have been blessed to watch numerous small beings in their natural environment, including squirrels, chipmunks, mink, blue jays, chickadees, nuthatches, turtles, and hummingbirds. Although they display the competiveness that I’ve come to expect as a child raised on the ‘survival of the fittest’ theory, I am actually astounded by the cooperation I’ve witnessed. Birds making a mess of eating out of the bird feeders provide plenty of discarded seed to the chipmunks and finches below. The chickadees and nuthatches wait somewhat patiently in the tree branches for their turn in the feeder. It is all quite amusing!
I am also struck by how animals rely on their natural strengths. The ones who can fly take advantage of their speed. The squirrels and chipmunks eat a few nuts but relentlessly take most to store for later use. I have been thinking a lot about the benefits of being ‘well-rounded’ as opposed to focusing on my strengths. Even though I have practiced being a jill-of-all-trades for most of my life, I find myself drawn to developing expertise in a few key areas of passion. It is hard indeed to limit my interests, but It is helping me to rediscover my passions. As a teacher, doctor and business owner, I had believed that I needed to know a little about a lot of things. In the process, though, I have diluted my passions to the point that they are almost unrecognizable. I have lost myself in the desire to be good at everything.
As I step back from my everyday life while on vacation, I realize the power of pursuing my passions. I never expected Einstein to be an accomplished baseball player or Alice Walker to solve complicated mathematical theorems. I appreciate how they focused all of their energies on what moved them, to develop their particular gift into genius level.
So, what pursuits fill you with joy, such that you get entirely lost in them. Perhaps they are long-forgotten things, but I encourage you to dust them off and really engage with them. Drop all the duties that do not enliven you in your ‘well-rounded’ life. Someone else will love the opportunity to fulfill her destiny in the tasks you abandon. Go out into the world and show us what genius lies within you!