When we awaken to our truth we realize we are free (Kristi Bowman).
What is our truth? Sometimes it's hard to find because we are easily influenced by external sources. We hear a good idea and think, I will do that too! And we excitedly start down the course. We muster up our courage and we take swift action. And then - nothing happens. What we were hoping for doesn't materialize. We don't get what we wanted. We feel disconnected from people. It's harder than it should be, or takes longer than we thought it would. We feel isolated and alone.
Then the negative self-talk kicks in. "What was I thinking?" "Why did I think I could pull that off anyway?" "No one understands me." "No one wants what I have to offer." <Insert your version of negative self-talk here.>
We become filled with uncertainty, doubt, and fear and we are unable to act. We get stuck, we stall, we freeze.
And then one day, we step far enough away from the situation to look at it with objective eyes. Then we see what's really going on. We realize: "Wait, this isn't what I wanted at all." In some cases, we discover that the path we pursued is actually opposite of what we really wanted to begin with, had we just taken a moment in the beginning to consider that. Perhaps the path we followed doesn't align to our deeply held beliefs or our innermost core values. Or maybe we neglected our deeply held talents and gifts and tried to do something that we didn't love.
And this new awareness comes not from harsh negative self-talk, but from a more gentle and understanding place. This new awareness is presented to us in a more loving and compassionate tone, because it comes from our heart.
We approach this new awareness with curiosity and openness. We can then say to our self with honesty, grace, and self-compassion: "That way may work GREAT for that person. But it doesn't work great for me." We let go of what's not working. We reframe what it means to "fail" and realize that every situation we encounter - every single one - is an opportunity for learning. Every situation brings with it a lesson and we just need to open up and give it space to emerge. When we are ready, the lesson becomes clear. And then we can choose a new path.
Our heart is wise and knows what it is that we truly want. Our heart approaches everything with light and love and joy. Our mind, on the other hand, swirls around our fears and doubts. Too often, we allow fear to run our life. When we choose fear over love, we dim our inner light.
When we follow our heart, we know our innermost desires. When we follow our heart, we radiate light, love and joy. When we follow our heart, we tell the Universe that we are open to possibilities and are ready to receive the synchronicity and miracles that are just waiting for us to be ready.
Have you ever read a book and realized that the author wrote it just for you? Or have you read exactly the right book at exactly the right moment in your journey? That happened to me when I read Life by the Cup: Ingredients for a Purpose-Filled Life of Bottomless Happiness and Limitless Success by Zhena Muzyka. There is so much goodness in this book, and one of the best ways I know to express gratitude to Zhena for writing it is to share my top three take-aways from her words of wisdom.
Lesson #1: Pain is the messenger of change. When we feel pain, our first response is to make it go away. Our opportunity is to pay attention to the pain so we learn the lesson it brings: is it time to change, to grow, to heal? Emotional or physical, reflect on what your pain is trying to tell you so you can seek out proactive solutions and move forward with optimism and hope.
Lesson #2: Do what your heart wants, not what everyone else thinks you should do. Information and advice comes from everywhere. Sometimes we blindly follow along with something because we believe it’s what we “should do” or are “supposed” to do. Other times, we know what we really want but we let fear get in the way of going for it. I recently had an experience where my fear said NO, but my heart said, GO! I chose to listen to my heart. Even if the result doesn’t end up as I hope, at least I won’t regret not going for it. Don’t let your doubts, thoughts, and worries drown the voice of your heart. Choose love, joy, and passion and let your heart show you the way.
Lesson #3: Each of us is born with a genius, a talent, which lies dormant until we discover it and bring it into the light. It is our responsibility to uncover our genius and to share it with others. We get clues along the way, but we doubt and dismiss them. We bury our genius, hiding it out of fear that others may not like what they see. When we hide from our true potential, we play safe and small and it becomes difficult to find true happiness. But when we bring our genius into the light and lovingly serve from that place, we radiate joy from the inside out.