If following the rules is the answer, what is the question?

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My last post, ‘Discovering your life’s purpose,’ closed with a teaser that promised to reveal the solution to my dilemma: What’s my purpose? First, let me clarify that this isn’t a blog about religion, although it includes a spiritual bent. I make no secret that I believe in a higher power. I hope this is evident in how I conduct myself within a framework of faith, hope and love, and not in my own strength. Moving on: A recent devotional talks about how ‘following the rules’ opens the door to answered petitions. But, when we step outside of what’s best for us, we deviate from the path to our individual destinies. This might be why the door seems to slam shut, at times, to the realized dreams and sated desires of our hearts. However, when we maintain alignment within the construct of our belief system, we create space for abundant blessings to flow in and through us. And to realize our purpose.

What’s your take on rule following?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Discovering your life’s purpose

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For the past several weeks, I’ve spent a good portion of each day conducting my version of soul searching: journaling my frustrations (see ‘How to excel…‘), practicing mindfulness (e.g., moving meditation in the hot room, on the mountainside, in the gym) and asking myself what’s next on the other side of the half-century mark? Although I’ve discovered true happiness (focusing on others rather than myself), have a general idea of how to achieve the simple life (say ‘no’ when necessary, pitch the clutter, etc.), now I need to take a look at what I’m doing with this one life (see ‘Wasting time or living life…’). In other words: What’s my purpose? For me, it’s not found in the 8-5 routine. And it goes beyond the simple acts of kindness I try to impart as a daily habit. I might have uncovered the solution recently during my morning prayers and devotions, however, an ‘ah ha’ moment of sorts. But more on that later.

Are you living your life’s purpose?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

How to excel at this one life

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Many self-help articles share a common theme on how to grow and excel at this one life: stop complaining. This doesn’t mean we can’t vent our frustrations, but how about a new approach? Rather than spew negativity to those around us, let’s try writing it down; i.e., spend a few minutes daily journaling our angst. Maybe your partner behaved inconsiderately or you forgot to fill up your gas tank for the week. Or perhaps the first work email of the day rubbed you the wrong way or your alarm went off much too early this morning (it can’t be Monday already, can it?) and your stomach is in knots—knowing that after an eight-hour day, a 2 ½-hour HOA board meeting follows. Once you’ve written everything down, release these thoughts and mindfully replace them with thankfulness: It’s a new day. You’re breathing. Friday’s coming. Everything is temporary. Most on-point quote (by Heraclitus): There is nothing permanent except change. #truestory

Is your MO to complain or to be grateful?

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Wasting time or living life: what’s it going to be?

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My mind has been stuck in overdrive for weeks. First, I prepped for a long weekend of travel while juggling work, a yoga challenge and writing commitment. Upon my return, I resumed life: working, completing my writing commitment and commencing a new yoga challenge (why not include an ab challenge too, while I’m at it?). I’ve also begun soul searching and deduced I’m wasting my time with this one life I was gifted. Apparently, this epiphany was more than my mind could contemplate, because I ended up with a two-day migraine. Along with that, I suffered bouts of monkey brain, beginning with thoughts at Point M, circling to Point J, then R and ending at Point E. The headache and monkey brain siphoned much of my energy—plus, I have yet to achieve the simple life I desire. Maybe this season is preparing me for just that. In the meantime, I need to quit wasting time and start living.

Are you wasting your time, or living your life?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Torn between two loves

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The familiar blahs have set in again—post mini vacation—although a bit delayed this time. Maybe because I jumped right back into life with work commitments and birthdays to plan for and my online writers’ workshop to keep up with—and I didn’t have time to think: to pull out the mental snapshots of hugging my seven-year-old great niece and nephews who I haven’t seen for nearly a year. Or to recall the smell of Minnesota when the leaves begin to change and the evening air takes on a chill. But now that these memories have begun to wreak havoc on my senses, it’s as if they exist through a power of their own and I am unable to stop them. And even though I’m home now, I feel a little displaced, a little lonely. Like fragments of my heart stayed behind. I shouldn’t be surprised; it happens every time. Yet now I wonder: could I ever move back?

Do you ever feel torn between two loves?

The fountain of youth

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Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty.
Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life
is to keep your mind young. ~ Henry Ford

Who would’ve guessed that Henry Ford would not only design the Model T, but also discover the fountain of youth? For years I thought I’d know it all when I hit the mid-century mark. Funny, but it seems there’s no end to what I’m learning. And that, my friends, is the secret to staying young. Because when we stop learning, we essentially stagnate. My acupuncturist recently told me I possess a ‘youthful’ energy. What a compliment, and one I ascribe to my lifestyle—of working out and practicing yoga, taking naps when necessary, participating in writing workshops, devouring books, volunteering and stepping outside of my comfort zone. Laughter is another element that I credit for my youthful energy and which sounds good at any age. Oh, and remember: accessorize with a smile.

How do you remain youthful?

Image courtesy of Keattikorn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

When you make a mistake: Adulting 101

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Adulting it

This past week crushed my spirit. Happy doesn’t come close to my relief at bidding it adieu and ushering in better days: Saturday and Sunday. It seems I couldn’t do anything right—opened mouth, inserted foot; committed a faux pas (or three) at work and pulled out the comparison card once or twice and came up lacking each time. Good advice from my boss: We all are going to make mistakes, and stuff is going to happen. It’s how we respond and move forward that counts. Whether our individual path is fraught with detours or includes a few scenic routes thrown in, there are no guarantees as to what our journey will look like—which is no doubt a good thing. And life is not a competition, nor a race to the finish line. After all, everyone will reach it at one time or another. However, I do think ‘adulting’ deserves more credit than it gets, like an award. Especially on Mondays.

What’s your advice for adulting it?

Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

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