The Universe is Like a Supermarket

The door to creativity swings wide open when you make space for it. In fact, anything you have ever desired is just waiting for you to create the room for it to enter.

Sometimes we forget where the key to that door is. Although it resides in our truest selves, we tend to ignore that deep, intrinsic part of our being, which, when abandoned, wilts like a dying flower in the sand. Drowning in information, obligation and frustration, we tend to lose ourselves along the way if our focus is on how we think we should be. We build walls of ‘shoulds’ and ‘have-tos’, lying to ourselves and others about what is real.

Universal law states that what we think is what is so.

Let’s look at an example.

If you are searching high and low for something and are convinced that it is lost forever, what are the chances that you will actually see it? The desperation and fear we feel about having lost that thing block us from actually finding it again.

But, have you ever noticed how things resurface after you have let go of your attachment to it? I have a travelling necklace that is so powerful it sometimes does a deep dive into oblivion, coming up for air once again when I need it most.  My best friend has the same issue with hers. We have learned to accept its ways and wisdom.

Want to know a secret? We never really lose anything anyway. It merely changes form in time and space.

You can actually call things into being by merely shifting your perspective on something.

We’ve all experienced a moment in time when we’ll be thinking about someone and he or she will suddenly appear or call. That’s our internal GPS drawing us together with the person we need to meet. It’s cool when it happens because it reminds us about how much intelligence we really have within us.

The Universe is like a supermarket. Find the right aisle and fill your cart with what you need.

The key to its entrance –which goes through each of us — is merely having the eyes to see.

 

 

The Art of Healing

Some people give you wings. Others place weights on your heart. Even more confusing are the people you thought gave you wings, only to realize how much they weighed you down.

Time is a healer, some say. I think it takes more than time to heal.

It also requires reclaiming who you are in the face of the heartbreak you felt.

The art of healing lies in setting yourself free of those weights. Forgiveness for the weight-bearing soul who laid heavily upon you plays a great role in that. One of my best friends recently reminded me that forgiveness isn’t about the other person.

It is about us, unshackled.

Whether you have a client relationship or a love relationship that is weighing you down, now, as we near year’s end, is a good time to reevaluate the situation. Is it worth your time to suffer as you do? Suffering is not what life is about. In fact, suffering isn’t necessary at all, although we seem to do it so well.

Mastering the art of healing can keep you strong and alert the next time someone wants to push you to the bottom of the ocean.

Learn to say “no” well. It could be the very salvation you seek.

The Waste of Haste

How many times have you rushed through something, only to have to retrace your steps to correct the myriad mistakes you made whilst in a hurry?

How many highway exits have you missed while going too fast?

How many signals have you ignored in your body, that wise temple that reminds us when our custom pace is a different one than the one we are taking?

Haste makes waste or, as an old English proverb dating back to 1546, states: “The more haste, the less speed.”

Yup.

hasteI think we all know the truth of this saying. But have you ever thought about how haste also kills dreams? Or at least paralyzes them, as this T-shirt I found in a cool store this weekend says. When we go too quickly, we miss so much, including the very thing that could get us closer to our dreams. Perhaps we never realized the very person who could help us the most stands the closest to us. The tragedy of many failed relationships lies in how little we actually see the other person. Perhaps because our focus was somewhere else?

As I like to say, everything happens for a reason  — mistakes and all. We are on a journey, a path cut just for us alone. It would be a shame if we raced down it without really experiencing the moment, the only thing we have.

You can’t capture what is gone. Only the here. Only the now.

And who — in all honesty — would want to waste that?

 

Little Simplicities

The simple life means something different to everyone. For some it means living in small, minimalistic spaces. For others it means removing barriers that stand in their way. For others still it refers to their pace of life ~ sleepy, super Slow and silent.

For everyone it means living with less complication.

In our 24/7 world, that is indeed a worthy, yet perhaps lofty, goal.

We build our lives around dreams whose fulfillment we think will make us happy. Oftentimes we realize those dreams don’t actually yield the level of joy we desire.

Two very good girlfriends of mine admitted to me yesterday that their lives haven’t turned out the way they thought.

“Thank goodness!” I said. Imagine if we got everything we thought we wanted. I’d be a former prima ballerina with broken knees, married to a guy who’s now a plumber.

Life is actually simple that way. It unfolds on its course. We can influence certain things about as much as we can influence how our children will turn out. You can add a lot of sweetness to the pot, but in the end we never really know whether it will taste good or not until the very end.

Keeping things simple isn’t as easy as it sounds. Our egos chime in loudly when they feel knocked down, like a toddler throwing a tantrum when it doesn’t immediately get what it wants.

Simplicity can be threatening to the ego because it is programmed to strive for certain things ~ acknowledgement, attention, adoration. But when you opt for a simpler life, you often leave those accolades behind you for a truer path to your own happiness.

It is extremely centering to strip away the noise to get to the essence of things.

I know a marvelous woman in her mid-fifties who doesn’t have a driver’s license, never has owned a computer and thinks that smartphones are, well, dumb. And she’s happy. And well-adjusted. And well-integrated in life. Her own simple life. I admire her greatly for that.

Can there be happiness beyond our hyper-connected world? She certainly is proof that there can be.

Embrace a little simplicity today and see where it takes you.

My guess is it will lead you back to your glorious, beautiful self.

Energy Savers ~ Just Be It

Halloween is over, but vampires are everywhere. You know the kind: The energy vampires that suck the life right out of you.

Maybe you are struggling to get everything done on your to-do list. Have you taken a look at it lately? Do you really have ‘to-do’ it all?

Cross one or two things off your list without having done them. What’s the worst thing that can happen?

Perhaps you have a few relationships in your life that drain you. What can you do about them? Sometimes the best thing to do is to remove yourself from a toxic situation. Minimize contact or break free altogether from the never-to-be-pleased people in your life.

Feed your soul. Last night my son and I watched a Western on TV. It was silly and frivolous and exactly what we needed. Later we smiled in our sleep.

Walk away from the machine. I tell myself this often when I struggle with words (The woods are a great place to find them again). Do something completely unrelated to the project at hand. Distraction can open the gates to your creativity when you are focusing on something else.

Say ‘no’ more often – to others.

Say ‘yes’ more often — to yourself.

Managing your energy will actually give you more time to do what you’re really here for.

And that is to be your magificient self. Just the way you are.

Nike says ‘”Just Do It.”

I say “Just Be It.”

Do is so last century. It is time to finally Be.

 

 

The Balance Between Boredom and Überbusy

“One day we’ll catch our breath, right?” I sighed into the phone as my friend listened intently.

“Face it, Christine. You’d be miserable if you were bored.”

She’s right. Being challenged is an integral part of my happiness. Sitting around and navel-gazing isn’t really my thing, although there are some days when I’d love to issue one-way tickets to the moon to some of the less reasonable clients in my life.

But then where would I be without the daily slog of emails, press releases, content creation and the ensuing joy of making people famous?

The answer? Most likely, I’d be somewhere much warmer, sipping something wonderful from a coconut.

Or would I be?

The state of überbusyness we find ourselves in has a lot to do with our 24/7 availability. It’s so easy to check in with international clients instead of getting those continuous eight hours of sleep. I have had to force myself to place my cell phone in another room — turned off — completely. Airplane mode doesn’t count, people.

And for what do we drive ourselves insane? Why do we need to know what our clients are thinking at 3 a.m. our time?

We do not.

We are often so fearful of being bored that we’d rather run on the hamster wheel for the sake of movement than actually slow down, sit still and listen.

In this insane worldview, to be in the know is somehow better. Even if you can’t do anything about it because every other sane person in your part of the globe is actually sleeping.

Admittedly, I wrote the principles I laid out in The Power of Slow four years ago to remind myself that there is more to life than getting things done. In fact, more often than not, in doing less we get more done. It’s about smart energy management infused with an unstoppable joy for simply being alive.

Just for fun, let’s list those principles here.

Ten Steps to the Power of Slow

  1. Reframe your definition of time. It does not equal money. It equals your existence.
  2. Multitasking is a myth. It has been scientifically proven that heavy multitasking does not make you more efficient.
  3. Examine your habits. Which serve you? Which do not?
  4. Just say ‘no’ with a smile. Remember: saying ‘no’ to others often means ‘yes’ to yourself.
  5. Slay the inner pig dog by leaving Procrastination Station for good.
  6. Take time for leisure activities that feed your soul. A well-rested worker is a productive one!
  7. Mini time-outs help sustain your energy level throughout the day. Take an occasional breather to regeneration your mind, body and soul.
  8. Manage expectations. Clear communication can save you a ton of time!
  9. Focus by eliminating distraction. Discover when you are at your most creative. Schedule your activities accordingly.
  10. Delegation is not dumping, but playing to others’ strengths so you can play to yours.

We all walk the balance beam between bored and busy. If you topple to one side or the other, that’s okay. Just remember that it is easier to cross the beam at a slow pace. Running won’t get you there nearly as fast.

 

Beauty in the Strangest Places

Forget the Fountain of Youth. According to Franz Kafka, “[a]nyone who keeps the ability to see beauty in every age of life really never grows old.”

If we look about us, we can find beauty everywhere ~ in the gentle lilting fluff of a six-month-old baby in the pediatrician’s waiting room; in a sonorous bird’s song in the forest; in the gleam of light that strains through the clouds for the duration of one breath on an overcast day; in a friend’s caring voice that you haven’t heard in a year.

Beauty’s triumph surrounds us every day. If we listen closely, we can hear its call. Yet, beauty, like time, is fleeting. It is for us to behold but for a moment before it retreats once again. Ephemeral beauty captivates the soul and breathes life into every one of us, if we let it.

Where do you see beauty today?

The Reward of Bravery

Difficult conversations scare me. I suppose they scare a lot of people. For years I would harmonize on the outside while I would agonize on the inside about the simplest things.

No more.

In my new commitment to authentic living, I am faced with leaving the old ways of being behind. Charming people will only get you so far. Sometimes being real, I mean busting yourself wide open to the point of being naked, is the key to setting yourself — and that other person — free.

Letting go of old behavioral patterns would scare the pants off of anyone. They were so carefuly crafted, woven like a safety net that we thought would catch us when we fall. In truth, all it does is ensare us further, keeping us from where we are meant to go.

Luckily I have great people in my life who have coached me along the way. With encouraging words they have reminded me that there is no better reward than what comes after an act of bravery.

No medals are awarded to the brave of heart. No ceremonies, bright lights and flashes of medial glory come our way. But life has a way of flinging open doors when windows slam shut. And that in and of itself is reward enough.

If you doubt that courage can make your life sparkle, you may not be ready to do more than put on a brave face. But faces and masks and little white lies we tell ourselves do not invite magic in. In fact those things ensure that magic stays just outside our door, lingering amongst the shadows of our own making.

So speaking out the hard stuff, saying it like it is from the deepest well within ourselves is the way to go.

I’m ready to have that conversation. Or two. Or three. The act of jumping into the Unknown without a parachute frightens me silly, but the idea of allowing that fear to keep us teetering on the edge without taking that leap would surely mean the end for us all.