Saturday, January 21, 2012

Dream no small dreams for they have no power to move the hearts of men.... Goethe

I heard this several times last week.  Since God generally speaks to me through others, I am thinking this is something I need to pay attention to. Especially, when it comes from people who genuinely love me.  The icing on the cake, it was reiterated by someone I haven’t really had more than a superficial relationship with for many, many years.  Was it that apparent?   Oh, it was said with kindness, caring, and a sincere desire to be helpful.    It went something like this... “I think you’re a terrific writer, but your talent is being wasted in the places you are sending it.  You need to THINK  BIG!  Sell yourself.  You have too much talent to be spinning your wheels right where you are at.  Take some bigger risks.”   Touche’.   Looking back, he wasn’t the first person to have said this to me. “Think Bigger”.  I kept hearing it over and over everywhere I turned.  In readings, on some of my podcasts and reviewing past conversations... with family members as well as a few  friends.   All these messages were like the pesky ghost of past, present and future all invading my private spaces.  I told them all... they just didn’t understand..... how hard I’d been working and how optimistic I’ve been.   
I haven’t thought big for decades.  When I was a child, I dreamed of being the next Amelia Earhart.  Better yet, the tormented author, sitting in a little Bistro in Paris. There I was, puffing really long cigarettes encased in a pearlized holder, tossing back shots of some hot liqueur; the kind that burned all the way down and chased the images out and onto my page of paper.  My imagination could take off and run with that scenario.   That’s one big dream that did come true.  At least the part about being tormented and tossing back the shots. 
I’m not saying I’m not a hopeful person:  my positive thinking has navigated me through many a maze.   I’m determined, and a very focused.  When I find something I want to sink my teeth into, I give it my all.  I just don’t stretch myself beyond, into the realm of what might lie out there, in the land of much more. After all, it could be painful, rejection is a searing white flame to the ego.   I think of it like my Yoga practice, I bend and move and do the posture, never quitting; but I don’t breathe into the pain, and those places that will take me further into the move and ultimately greater rewards. 
I’ve had a lot of excuses for not thinking bigger.  My brain chastises me and says, it’s just not humble.   But, is it really humility to downplay our gifts and not strive to become all that we are meant to be and do?  Is it honoring Him to play ourselves small?  Isn’t that tantamount to playing Him small too?
What’s really going on here?  Some residual unworthiness that needs vacuumed out once and for all?  Perhaps the thought of actually having some bigger success might then evoke an accountability I don’t think I am ready for?  If I have faith and believe things happen when they are supposed to, I have to assume I would be ready for all that comes with it.  It all boils down to, again... faith. What’s there to lose then by thinking bigger?  
Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.... Isn’t that my word of the year?  I can’t be free if I limit myself to my comfort zone. 
This week, I made a decision to THINK BIGGER.  I stretched myself a little farther, came up with a game plan and acted on a few things outside of the realm of my safety net.  So, far, so good.  I put together a dream board and an action plan, combining the best of my heart and my mind.  I know just thinking BIG isn’t enough.  I know in order to gain momentum, I need to ACT BIG too.  It’s just time, to try something different.  Someone once told me its not enough to never, ever quit.  If you keep using the same methods and have the same results, then it’s time to never, ever quit... trying something different.  I am going to try to THINK BIGGER.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Self Worth comes from one thing... thinking you are worthy - Dr. Wayne Dyer

In a conversation recently with one of  my young friends who I love dearly, (and admire), the topic of self-worth arose.  She surprised me when she said, “Someone asked me one time, don’t you think you’re worth more than that?”  She said her response was one of genuine bewilderment when she answered her friend,  “Worth more?  What’s that mean?”  While I could totally relate to her sentiments, I was incredibly sad to witness the ravages of a childhood and young adulthood, similar to my own.  One in which you have no examples, direction, or tools to understand or cultivate the knowledge that you are deserving. Neither one of us learned all we had to do is claim it,  and stop settling for sloppy seconds, better than nothings, and others judgements and opinions of us.  
 I had no idea what it meant to honor my intuition, feelings, and respect myself enough to act and speak in accordance with my reality. I was too afraid, driven by what everyone else thought of me.  How you defined me, and what you said to me was more important than what I knew to be the truth. I looked into your eyes, and went to your well to quench my thirst for approval and worthiness. If you told me I would never amount to anything, I believed you.  If you told me I wasn’t the prettiest or the smartest, I believed that too. If you said, my talent was mediocre, or my work wasn’t good enough, I bought into that as well.  It held me hostage. I often hung onto things that were dishonorable for me in my attempts to get you to change your mind about me and gain your approval. Or, worst of all, I settled, because some demon inside told me this was all there was, and it was better than nothing. That demon had plenty of space to move around in because there was nothing in me to contradict it.  Oh, occasionally, others compliments fell into the hole and filled me up for a short while, but the demon inside was bigger and a real bully.    As a result, my life was a series of choices made from a place of fear and lack rather than faith and abundance. It's just a Universal Law; when we make choices out of fear, we attract more of it into our lives.  The Law of Attraction doesn’t attract what we want, it attracts to us, what we are.  If we live full of fear we attract that and many of its cousins; neediness, anxiety, loss of identity, dishonesty, and dependance. 

I don’t think we’re born this way.  I think we all enter the world with this tiny seed of confidence, wisdom, knowing our own unique greatness.  Somehow, that gets siphoned off early on,  from others who have nothing inside either, and need your light. So, when do you know you’ve  crossed the line and moved to the wrong side of the tracks?  When your needs are not being met and your soul is crying out for acknowledgment.  When you’re not content with the arrangement, job, treatment, or relationship as it is. When you walk around feeling like your whole life is a lie and it becomes unbearable to live that way any longer. When you find you’re making excuses to yourself and others, doing things you don’t feel comfortable doing, fitting into spaces that aren't your size.  When you are unable to speak up honestly about how you think and feel, you are probably operating from a place of fear.  People with self-worth won’t live there... at least not for long.  It just doesn’t contribute to our authenticity and actions that help us to engage our Higher selves. It doesn’t cultivate peace or any real joy in our lives.  
So, how do we begin to nurture ourselves and cultivate the kind of self-worth that enables us to plant our own gardens, and decorate our own souls, {Veronica Shoffstall- Comes the Dawn}.  First, by recognizing, it’s not the accomplishments we make, how we look, the initials after our name, who we know, who we sleep with,  what we do, or what we have.  If that was the case, the extreme rate of suicide, addiction, bad behavior, and unhappiness amongst celebrities, athletes, and politicians would be non-existent.  Second, by simply knowing, we are a creation of the Creator and that alone makes us worthy.  We don’t have to earn it, we just need to own it and honor it. We honor it by being who we are and accepting that is not only enough, it’s fabulous. We honor it by accepting our differences as a part of what makes the stained glass window of our souls so lovely in our diversity and talents. We honor it by being honest about where we’ve been, trusting many others have been there before too, and secrets make us fearful and very sick. We honor it by stating what we need. And, we honor it, by granting the same considerations to our fellow travelers in this life.    
Eventually, you find that you are no longer willing to be, do, or accept anyone else’s definition of you.  You are no longer waiting in the wings for someone’s approval, time, attention or love.  You no longer accept unacceptable behavior.  You no longer are stuck in relationships, jobs, and out-dated beliefs that don't bring out the best in you.  It’s taken me almost a half a century to discover my self-worth.  I pray it won’t take her that long. I don’t think it will. I am now the observer watching her peel back the layers, beginning to reveal her secrets only to find out they were someone else’s secrets too, and they don’t determine whether or not she is deserving.
What a beautiful way to live.