How to discern the answer you’re looking for

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During the past several weeks, I’ve mapped out a (tentative) new plan that I write about in “Making a fresh start…” And every day looks different: One day might require setting aside my personal agenda to work with significant others on common goals. Another day it may take all I’ve got to clock in my eight hours and squeeze out 90 minutes of yoga. I’ve also spent time contemplating an ongoing dilemma. During a recent hike, I looked for answers—and for “love”—in the desert. Myriad rocks bordered the trail, yet the heart-shaped stones I sought eluded me. Until I changed my focus. I realized, then, that the sign or solution we seek can be right in front of us—or doesn’t always appear as we expect—and we must “zoom in” and/or alter our perspective to distinguish it. However, if we become distracted by the clutter of our surroundings, our selfish ambitions or vain conceits, we risk overlooking the obvious.

What answer do you seek today?

Discovering your life’s purpose

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your-purpose

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.

The ‘write’ conditions

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The write conditions

 

In my post, “When you need a new plan,” I talk about how I would never write if I waited for the perfect conditions. Shortly after composing that blog, I carved out time to give my office a mini-makeover. I didn’t hang any framed inspirational quotes or light scented candles to infuse creativity. But I did toss, file and throw errant miscellanea in a bag for future [read: likely never] perusal. Despite the clutter control I attempt to enforce, not everything retains a spot in my home, however, my desk is now free of excess papers and the floor space around my feet is clear. It’s not perfect, although it is a start. I think that’s a good reminder when we embark on any endeavor—whether it’s mending a friendship, beginning a new job, planning a getaway or whatever it is we’ve been putting off for the ‘write,’ or right, conditions. We all have to start somewhere.

What have you been waiting for the right conditions to undertake?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Get a grip

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Get a grip

The other day I read an article about how to create a paradise and daily balance within our homes (for free!). The steps listed in the piece revolve around applying a vacation mindset to our everyday lives (instead of waiting until we’re actually on holiday). This includes removing clutter from our surroundings, retaining only those things that bring us happiness, establishing rituals in our home that invoke peace and tuning in to whatever makes us excited to jump out of bed each day. I feel like I already live in a paradise of sorts, but there are so many areas I want to transform both internally and externally that I don’t know where to begin. Instead, I do nothing and then wonder why I’m in a funk… again. I know all about the take the first step, make one change today mentality. But I feel like I’m wearing waders and I need to get a grip before I sink.

What one thing makes your home a daily paradise?

[Image courtesy of Feelart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.]

Step 2 toward making a positive change

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step 2

[Image credit: imagerymajestic]

In my post, Two weeks to a new, improved you, I shared the first step of five to help you change your life in 14 days. I also included a sample from my notebook on how to complete the first step. This post reviews step two: List everyone and everything that drain your energy. Examples can be work life, home life, your relationship with a significant other, your health or body image. If it helps, begin with broader categories and be as detailed and focused as possible. What are the things bringing you down at work—is it lack of communication or a particular colleague? Is your home cluttered, are projects left unfinished or do you spend the majority of your free time picking up after others? Do you need to confront someone about unresolved feelings? Are there certain health issues that cause you frustration? Use this checklist to explore any negative energy in your life to prepare you for step three.

Were you surprised with your list?