Life Has A Crush On You

Falling in love with Life one day at a time…

Category: techniques

Apprenticing Your Soul Work

As I sat in contemplation this evening, I was struck by a new-ish phenomenon – the seemingly rapid growth of the “coaching” industry. How cool is this! Life Coaches, Business Coaches, Career Coaches, Relationship Coaches, Writing Coaches – anything and everything – you can find someone to help. In my internal dialogue, I was wondering why – why now was there this push, this explosion? Why was it all of a sudden so accepted to hire someone to help you in any pursuit – most namely that which you have dreamed about since being a child?

The answer came quickly and clearly. We are at an exception time in history where culture has set up systems for us to be apprentices to our soul work. We accept, recognize and dare to pursue the call of our soul. So often, however, we have no idea where to start or how to get an organized, focused, and clear enough about what exactly our nebulous soul offering is.

Hence, you hire a coach.

Sometimes the money spent will be incentive enough to get clear and get busy. But often times we also need their direct, honest feedback. You need some sacred space to share the embryo of your dreams where they won’t crush it, but cradle it gently and firming while guiding you in how to continue to grow.  You can work with someone to refine your gift, your soul’s work and put it in a readable, understandable package and share it!

Coaching exists in such abundance now because the world is in need of more soul workers. We are actually at a place in the evolution of the planet, where we need to more quickly get to the purpose of our life. Our contribution to the world is needed beyond compare. Coaches help you get there.

So whether you are learning to love, learning to write, learning to market, learning to balance the demands of life there is a new army of teachers ready to help.

We all might feel the stigma of not wanting to ask for directions – especially when the journey is one of getting to your purpose, but let’s admit it – if you haven’t already achieved it, then you haven’t reached the destination. Why not stop and ask for help? Why not pick someone up for part of the journey who has taken that road before? Why not expedite your blossoming and contribution to us! We need you! You are part of the healing of lives and of the world. We all need teachers. We all need the enthusiastic, honest, demanding voice of a coach.

How blessed we are to live in a world that supports these coaches who pry from us the hidden words and dreams we struggle to even admit. They are teaching alchemy. They are healing the world.

 

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What thought would I have to think right now to feel great?

This is the question that has been occupying my mind last night and this morning. Every time a sense of overwhelm creeps in I pause. “What thought would I have to think right now to feel great?” In an instant my perspective, my day, my body changes. I am focused and forced by the question to see my options of other thoughts and of other ways to feel.
I know questions can be one if he most powerful mood, emotion and life changers- but it’s rare for me to find one that works so universally. If this life is ours to create, the foundation, the blueprint starts with these questions.
Take some time right now while reading or next time you start to feel stressed, annoyed, even physically sick and ask yourself, what thought would I need to have right now to feel great? What do you hear? What thought are you led to?

Abundant living comes from recognizing, seeing, and embracing the abundance that is already ours. Any thought can be yours. Your wealth of thoughts abounds. Enjoy it!

I would like to offer deep thanks to Cheryl Richardson for bringing this question to me and to Louise Hay for bringing it to her. It has opened up a whole new world for me! I hope you enjoy it too!

Time Affluence – Developing a Practice of Experiencing Awe

Drew picked up on it this morning.

“Are you ok?… Are you happy?”

I had to face the question with honesty. In truth, the underlying current of my being really wasn’t happy. It was muddled. Overwhelmed. Being beaten up by my own self-criticism. By looking at myself honestly, I knew exactly what he felt- I had lost a sense of myself.

We took some time to describe what exactly it was – why wasn’t I happy. I went through a laundry list of tasks at work and we talked of chunking it down and making it manageable. And, as always, when you continue to talk and really look at the issue, the superficial reasons began to peel away and the heart of the issue emerged.

“I haven’t written.” I finally realized a deeper issue. “I haven’t written because I don’t feel connected to God.”

And that’s the truth. The laundry list of tasks has become a tool of the ego to keep me from living in the present, from dwelling in awe, from trusting in someone and something greater than myself.

Could I flip this around? Could I look to the directives of “my tasks” as coming from the Divine, even if they are presented in a secular world?

The truth is that I knew when I accepted and took this job that it was aligned with a Divine plan. There were signs and perfections scattered throughout the days. Now that it has revved up, I seem to have forgotten the tremendously powerful perspective that it is Divinely Perfect. I seemed to have forgotten how to remain alert, assiduous and diligent – and happy, carefree, and joyous.

The solution, for today, suggested by Drew was to have a happy day. A day dedicated to finding and living in that balance again. I couldn’t agree with him more.

But the tool that really helped me begin this day was an article posted by a friend entitled, “How to make time expand”. Everything within me knew that this was really the issue. It wasn’t the work, the tasks, the job, my overwhelm (I am excited to finally be doing so many things that I love to do) – it’s that I had lost my sense of having abundant time.

When I was intensely practicing yoga last year, I remember the message being delivered that there was more than enough time to do everything. There was more than enough time to accomplish your dreams and your goals. To love those that you love. To transform your mind, body and spirit to be its best. There was so much freedom in this idea. I swam in it. I drank it up. And remarkably, by living in this place of abundant time, I accomplished more. I was more productive, happy, aligned than ever before. The article calls this “time affluence”, a recent term that directly corrects the other aspect of “time famine”. It is rare when you are looking for a term, a phrase to encapsulate what you are struggling with, and then it comes in the most unusual channels to you, but that is exactly what happen today.

Time affluence, and what creates it, is being studied now and I look forward to hearing their research and trying it in practice. But the two things they suggest to create more “time affluence” in the article are giving time away and experiencing awe.  Not only do we have the satisfaction of helping others, of feeling useful and productive when we give our time away to others, but there is also a sense of definitive ending. The tasks we see for ourselves can drag on forever, and this creates more time famine than time affluence.

Then the idea of experiencing more awe is fascinating. Awe brings us to the present moment. Awe creates a sense of time loss – expanding time to be eons within a moment. We lose ourselves (including our “to-do” lists) and we feel happy. But can we do that without going to a waterfall, or meeting a baby for the first time?

Yes, we can. It’s all a matter of perspective, and stopping to see what really is around and within you.

When looking at this concept of awe, this morning, I realize the real reason I write. I write because each day there are hidden pockets of awe waiting to be dwelled in, discovered, played with and lived. I experience loss of time when I write because here I am truly in awe. I am in awe of the workings and perfection around me. I am in awe of the emotions I experience, the thoughts that I have, the ideas I am exposed to.  Writing is my practice of experiencing awe.

I had been pushing writing away for the past few weeks, so no wonder I have been feeling pressed for time and not connected with God. The short 20 minutes I take to write on something remarkable, on some Divine aspect of life that is around me seeps into all other aspects of life. By expanding time just once a day, in one way – I can expand it in everything.  Writing takes me out of living in the future and puts me immediately engaging with the present. This, the present moment, is the only dwelling place of endless possibilities, love, grace and joy.

I can see now that I am not a writer. I am a discoverer. I am an observer. I am a lover. I write because I cannot help but to share what I discover and observe. I write because this is my processing tool. Writing enables me to play and interact with the Divine that is all around me and within me. It is in writing,  in these moments of expanse, that I catch the most wonderful, awe-inspiring, True Life I can ever imagine. And it is in writing that I hope to share, to give this to you, too.

 

 

Monday Morning Prep

If you have the luxury, I suggest time and time again, that Monday be your prep day. Perhaps you can only take an hour, or maybe even a morning, but one of the most productive things you can do is to start off the day, and the week, by looking, cleaning and preparing yourself and work space for what is to come.

It is easy sometimes to get bogged down in the to-dos right away. It is too common to jump right in and be in reaction to all that is being asked of you. Yet, I can tell the difference in my productivity, mood and effectiveness, when I pause, I direct my attention to my mission and purpose of work, and then look to the details. Everything that comes up, every “to-do” that rushes into your mind, can have their space on a piece of paper – just not your mental or emotional self. You owe it to yourself and to whatever and whomever you are working for, to start, even if metaphorically, from this place of purpose.

Set your weekly goals. Visualize your week and the best it could possibly be. Breathe deeply as you enter into the ocean of needs and abundance that lays before you.

You will never be given a task, where you also aren’t given the tools to accomplish it.

But first, you must go to your toolkit, take each one out and make sure they are ready and prepped for the job. You must look at your self and your life and design your week and your days to fit your strengths and needs. While it sounds indulgent to us who are “pleasers”, consistently focused on the needs around us, it may be the only way to truly do our job to the best of our ability.

Following your own blueprint at work

It is interesting moving into February and March. This weekend marks the beginning of a downhill slope for me of event after event. All I can think of when August finally does come is that I will have gotten at least 100 times better at all my jobs with all this practice!

But the question- the balance- lays in the approach. Will I derive a judgment of my work by the approval of others? Will success lay in the hands of my colleagues, bosses and general opinion? Or will I so dare to acknowledge the one true judgment, the one true standard, the one that lays within me?

It is an act of vulnerability to fearlessly pursue the tasks before you with your own personal blueprint for joy and unique expression. You are taking off the cloak of business, of stress, or being overburdened, which in some work environments can be measurements of your effort or even success at completing the job.

It is radical to find joy where others find stress. It is radical to trust when typically we try to control. It is radical to move from your heart not your head at your desk.

Like most radical things this new movement of yours will either die of its own accord- or change the world- your world- in deeply moving and profound ways to produce a life you were destined to live.

So yes, there is risk at working according to your own blueprint. But there in also lies the risk of never trying, the pain of conforming to a shape that isn’t yours, and a life spent worrying and stressing over the fickle opinions of others.

I hope as I begin this busy season of work that I remember my own orientation. That I make decisions aligned with the Divine that lives within me and that I remember this guidance is always available so I too can relax and enjoy this marvelous ride.

It’s riskier to be yourself but it’s the only way you’ll win

The truth is that the only chance you have at winning anything- especially the the desires of your heart- is by being fully and totally yourself. The gift you can give to the world is a gift because no one else can bring it to creation. Its development, its birth, its distribution is dependent upon nothing but you being you.
The hiccup in this overly simple process is that for you to be you is actually one of the riskiest things we feel we can do. The ego argues that if we are fully ourselves and the world rejects it then we are worthless. It even goes to the extreme of having us think of the death of our dreams and inspiration. It’s ironic that the ego’s argument involves us hoarding our greatest gifts, instead of sharing them. Yet the reality is, as we have discussed before, that the only chance of something surviving and thriving is giving it away. While the ego argues the risks of giving ourselves completely, while it whispers strongly that vulnerability is weakness, Life knows the Truth which is directly opposite. If you aren’t fully yourself, if your gifts to the world aren’t all that you are, then the gifts back from Life won’t be exact matches for your soul. Life gives in direct proportion to your own giving. The risk is not found in being and sharing ourselves fully. The risk lies in not doing so.

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Mind the Gap

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An essential aspect, I have found, to moving into the space where you want to be from where you are now is minding the gap between the two. If you aren’t living it yet then there is space between you and your dream. The question is how can you use your mind and emotions, along with your resources, to close the gap.

I have realized this today as I have begun mentally preparing to buckle down and write a proposal for a book I am planning on writing. As I sit with this, finding the place where I can write genuinely, I see that there is space between me and a successful writing career. This is a powerful recognition since for the first time I am not shying away from this. I am not beating myself up or becoming depressed at the thought I’m not there yet. No, I acknowledge the gap and respect it. It is not harmful or impenetrable. It’s just there. As a soul and human I have every tool to cross this divide in my decisions right now and in the days to come.

My technique to do this, which has helped in both love and career numerous times before is to make a list of the ideal. What is the “too good to be true”. What does it look, taste, sound, feel like? What are the actions a person in that place takes? What are the choices they make? The mindset they have and therefore the emotional well being they display in life? Essentially, I start at the end. What does it feel like an look like when I have attained this goal?

I make this list as exhaustive as possible. I am a writer so I write. But some people like pictures or music or foods that trigger this. Perhaps perfumes trigger it too. All can be used most effectively.

Then I write a list of where I am now in this place. Without being too judgmental or unrealistic, I’m simply honest with myself.

Almost immediately I can see the difference between the lists. This is the gap.

The beauty then is that you can clearly see where you can change. As Mastin Kipp put it eloquently @thedailylove “Who do I have to become to attain this goal?”.

This might be the only question we ever have to ask ourselves as we embark on personal change. From this place we not only know what we need to do, but what and who we need to be. This is the only thing within our control and the key to lasting and meaningful achievement. So here I go, one more step into the gap.

Take Yourself Easily

I wasn’t feeling well last night and so this morning I slept in (until 7:30). Wow what a difference. My whole demeanor if different. Nonetheless I am feeling better. It’s as if Life has said, “Oh yes, welcome back. This is where you belong”. Within an hour of waking and observing this difference in my body and mind I can see how incredibly harsh I have been on myself. Comparing myself to others. Needing things to be perfect. “Should”ing myself in all areas of life. “Elizabeth”, I can hear this gentle voice say, “why don’t you let go of the reins you’ve got so tight and just ride.” I can see that it’s not that I have to get off of the horse completely or let go of you ability to direct it. But nothing will get done if I am this tight. . . and no one, especially me, will be happy.
My commitment this Monday morning is to embrace this new gentility I have towards myself. There is no reason to put more on me, but instead time to take somethings off. While I can’t change the demands on me from work, I can change the demands on me from me. I can sleep in the extra hour. Take a little but longer walk at lunch. Take a bath. Enjoy a flower. Embrace imperfections and take the time and care to fix anything I mess up.
For the month of December I am relieving myself of standards I have put on myself like waking up in the 5s. Of needing to take the next and new course of study. Instead I am creating space. For my health. For my joy. For the light of Christ to dwell with me and my life this Holy season.

Getting a Dirty Job Done

I have been thinking a lot about this question recently. Why? Because there is something within my family that is very disorganized and I keep thinking, is it possible to get this cleaned? Because there is something socially where a dear friend is in involved where all I can say is “This is a mess” and think, how can this be cleaned up? And finally on a physical level, the home I moved into 3 years ago has finally met special cloths that can alter and change its dirtiness, where with every place I look, I enthusiastically ask, can anything be cleaned?

It’s the cloths that have given me the answer – Yes. Whereas before, I thought a faucet should be replaced when I couldn’t get the water stains off of it, I am learning that this is not the case. Anything and everything can be cleaned. But why not until now? I think, based off of my success with the cloths, it is because I was lacking one, if not more, of the three essential things I find necessary to really get a dirty job done.

1. Mind. 2. Tools. 3. Attitude. For years, I was using the wrong tools. Different sprays and products, feeling wasteful, and like I was having to spend too much time cleaning my home. Switching my tools, though, I suddenly realized that my attitude switched too. These were safe tools (no chemicals). These were quick tools (only use water and wipe). These were effective tools (clean in a swipe!). Cleaning suddenly (and truly suddenly) became fun! I looked forward to doing it. I was actually looking for stains and things to clean. “Challenges” if you will, that I knew I could tackle, handle and leave better. With this success, and an environment that was clean on a new level, I realized my mind was quieter, focused and happy. All three aspects of getting a “dirty job done” were reached.

So what? I think one cloth has changed my life. It has made me see that anything can be cleaned. Whether it’s a house, or a relationship, or a career. It’s fixable. It’s cleanable. It’s lovable. But something first has to change. Perhaps its the tool. Perhaps its your mind. Perhaps its your attitude. But it won’t get cleaned by you doing the same thing that you have done before. If you want it to change, you have to change something within you and your approach. This is the excitement of living. This is the freshness we feel when we walk into a clean, organized and fresh life.

Visual Choices

If you read my previous post I have been committing to a diet for a month that doesn’t involve any flour, sugar or potatoes. Essentially, I have chosen to give up my fall back foods. The foods I know I use to bring me joy, which I can see as being potentially dangerous if I don’t tame myself now. Please note- I am not going against the unadulterated joy of eating! I am still doing that, just with lots more veggies which when I calm my mind and bread-loving ego I am very clearly drawn to give up for a bit.
But here is the important lesson I have learned today. While vibrant health is a top priority of mine, above even that I prize freedom. And if course, where do I feel the most free- when I am choosing food, eating food and defying the need to diet ( I still don’t believe in diets). That is the point that was the hardest thing for me during this cleanse and commitment of mine. Not the actual letting go of some foods, but the idea that I couldn’t eat them.
The truth is that despite my commitment I am still the one choosing every bite. The ultimate authority lies with me, not with someone else’s guidelines that I am trying.
So tonight, coming off of a long day of work, getting back home around 8, I ordered sushi. It’s late. I love sushi. So what if I break this guideline and have some white rice tonight.
I was thrilled.
But then it happened. As I was picking up the food, the other option came to me. I quickly ordered a side of veggies and a seaweed salad. Why? Because right when I had given myself permission to “cheat” I didn’t want to.
It was actually joyous to see both options side to side and choose the one I knew was right for me. Not because of a need but because of a choice.
The real need I realize is not about restrictions and depriving ourselves, but to see and accept the abundance. From there we make our choices that align us with our intentions and highest selves. Sometimes it can be a bit more wasteful or expense as you put the options side by side, but it is worth it to be reminded that the choice is always yours.