My starting point begins now

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Starting point

 

[Image credit: pixtawan]

The starting point of all achievement is desire…
Weak desires bring weak results, just as a small amount
of fire makes a small amount of heat.
~ Napoleon Hill

A few years ago, I started this blog to chronicle my journey as a “non-traditional” undergraduate student, then as I changed careers mid-life after graduating from college. Next it became a forum to ramble about anything and nothing. Over the past several months—years even, I’ve felt restless, like I was on the cusp of a big change, a new season—the butterfly awaiting its metamorphosis. This feeling grew into an idea, followed by desire to embark on a different journey. I invite readers to join me as I work toward getting accepted into grad school, and whatever happens beyond, while I juggle this thing called life. I’m ready to put the old adage and my belief to the test that “it’s always the write time to teach an old dog new tricks.”

When does your starting point begin?

Bankruptcy of a soul

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Bankrupty of a soul

 

[Image credit: 2nix]


Disappointment is a sort of bankruptcy—

the bankruptcy of a soul that expends too much
in hope and expectation. ~ Eric Hoffer

In Stop the insanity¸ I write about doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results. Yet once again I find myself repeating that familiar force of habit—of pinning my hopes on expectations I’m foolish to entertain, merely to have them dashed time after time. If only this would serve to remind me to avoid these follies of the heart. Maybe then I would get in the habit of tossing the day to chance, rolling the die as if life is one big crap shoot—instead of thinking the universe owes me a rub of the Genie’s bottle. Incidentally, I’d settle for just one wish, not three. The secret to keeping my soul from withering, my optimism from shriveling with hope deferred, eludes me still. Oh, to follow my destiny before the sands run dry.

What is your secret to surviving hope deferred?

Settling for less in life and love

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Escape

[Image credit: Usamedeniz]

I was talking to a friend the other day and mentioned how I keep trying to fill the void in my life. “Writing doesn’t do it for you?” she said. Admittedly, writing is only a temporary fix. And then I ran across an article about the telltale signs you’re settling for less in life and love. Ask yourself these five questions to determine if you are settling: 1) Are you constantly drained? Engaging in activity that contradicts your purpose is exhausting. 2) Do you make dangerous compromises? Settling on preferences is one thing; settling on values violates your core. 3) Do you feel stuck or restless? Being grateful for what you have is wonderful, but doesn’t negate an unmet purpose. 4) Are you secretly envious? Settlers wish they were bold enough to live out their dreams. 5) Do you rationalize playing small? You make excuses for why things don’t turn out. Turns out I need to make some changes of my own.

Are you settling for less than?

Flirting with freedom

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Flirting with freedom

 

The term freedom stirs up multiple meanings. In the case of my cat, although he lives a charmed life, I imagine he still yearns for life “on the wild side.” Or at least a fleeting taste of life outside the confines of our yard. A student on break finds a brief reprieve from tests and papers due. When on vacation, deadlines and everyday responsibilities temporarily cease. How rare to be afforded a chance to not just flirt with freedom, but to test drive it. Freedom from fear, from debt, from a relationship or job no longer serving its purpose, from illness or whatever it is that limits our potential—before making a life-changing decision. If we were only guaranteed success, wholeness, satisfaction, a cure. But we aren’t, so we remain in our own yard and never see what’s on the other side of the gate. One day we may gather the courage to open it and walk through to the other side.

What do you desire freedom from?

Sustaining the sparkle

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Sparkle

 

As I wrote about in Sparkling affirmations, if we’re alive, we’re going to get knocked down. Maybe not daily, but it will happen. However, we cannot allow another person or circumstance the power to keep us there. During a recent yoga practice, the teacher shared her personal testimony of an unpleasant situation she’d taken to heart, but then acknowledged she doesn’t always act the way she should or speak with kindness. So before she let the unpleasantries ruin her day, she released the damaging energy. Imagine if she had held onto it, how that may have affected her evening or the next class she taught. Just as we are in control of our own happiness, we choose how we react to positive or negative situations. I appreciated the reminder because, lately, I’ve been fixating on and allowing the littlest of items to get under my skin, ultimately dulling my sparkle. Thus taking away from the things—and people—which matter most.

What’s your secret to sustaining the sparkle?

Trapped in time

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Trapped in time

[Image credit: digitalart]

Ever feel like you’re trapped in your circumstances? Pain, depression, job from Hell, neighbors who aren’t so neighborly, family situation, <fill in the blank> … we’ve all experienced our share of disappointment. Unfortunately, there’s no quick fix—or “Drano”—to untrap ourselves. Some rely on prayer as the answer. For others, it’s meditation, writing, exercise, participating in a one-(wo)man cleaning frenzy or lending a helping hand to someone in need. I’ve done all of these at one time or another and, for me, each has its own place to temporarily remove me from whatever situation I’m dealing with. But another suggestion is to make one small change in your routine. If you’re in pain, try something new to relax your mind or a particular pressure point. If you’re in a dead-end job, begin with updating your resume. Relationship issues? Start talking. By taking a proactive step, we begin to move in the right direction and regain a sense of control.

How do you resolve those feelings of entrapment?

On resolve and regret

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[Image credit: digitalart]

I’d rather regret the things I’ve done
Than the things I haven’t done. ~ Lucille Ball

Remember the flutter of anticipation you’d feel first thing in the morning upon waking, like you’re on the cusp of something big? And then you’d recall: today is my birthday or I’m leaving for vacation or I start a new job. None of these moments are in my peripheral vision at present, but I feel as if I’m teetering on the edge of something big; several little changes and life experiences appear to be leading toward a shift in direction. I wish GPS would offer me a bit of guidance right about now, but at some point we’ve either prepared ourselves for this journey or we wing it. Or, we do nothing at all and wait for life to pass us by. That’s a choice each of us has to make. And it could get messy. But I know what I’d regret the most.

Is your path paved with resolve or regrets?

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