The only guarantee in life

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If you spend too much time
thinking about a thing,
you’ll never get it done. ~ Bruce Lee

In my recent post—“Are you ready to do the thing?”—I talk about the one thing we’ve always dreamed of but have never done. For each of us, that thing probably looks different. Yet no matter how many good intentions we entertain, it won’t happen unless we make it happen. Or until we’ve run out of time. This, for me, is the catalyst. Because if I imagine a future in which I never did “the thing,” I could never forgive myself. I’m at a point where I’ve exposed my fears—of failure, of wasting time, of not being good enough (you name it, I’ve thought it)—and simply run out of excuses. And here’s the bottom line: There are no guarantees. We will never know if we’re good enough, or if we’ll fail. But there is one certainty: we won’t know unless we try.

What are you waiting for?

Image courtesy of digitalart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

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Make it work: just do it

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In my post, “How to discern the answer you’re looking for,” I talk about a trek into the desert that brings clarity to a dilemma and, although not a make-or-break-me situation, it’s a debate I engage in with myself on the daily (isn’t that a fun, hip phrase?). To write, or not to write—that is and has been the question for decades. However, during said hike, I discover, with certainty, that the desires knit into my heart prior to conception are not without a purpose (although TBD). So why don’t I jump for joy and shout with exultation?! Because life. And its plethora of more pressing goals and commitments; the battle between self-care and self-indulgence; the act of self-sacrifice to put others’ needs ahead of our own. But wait! To make it work does not mean all or nothing, nor does it require a choice of one dream at the expense of others. To make it work means: just do it.

How do you make it work?

Photo source: https://www.pinterest.com.

You can. End of story.

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On Wednesday I posted an image on Facebook: a cup filled with coffee, the words Happy Hump Day scrawled on its surface and hearts drifting upward from its steam, and added my own message: You can. End of story. What thrills you? You can. What obstacle do you face? You can. What dream persists? You can. I read an article about how society spends more time seeking entertainment and distraction than focusing on learning and creating. And that when we forego the latter, we take a step backward rather than grow into the extraordinary person we’re meant to be. Much of what I read intrigued me: “You are defined by what you’re willing to struggle for.” I believe that. “Most people aren’t willing to really struggle for anything.” I don’t believe that. It might be a struggle simply to rise each day to face your reality. Or perhaps you’re 100 percent satisfied living an ordinary life. Just remember: You can. End of story.

What do you struggle for?

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Back it up: a hard lesson to learn

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In my post from earlier this year, “Attaching labels to the dreams we chase,” I mention a weekend-long (remote) writing workshop I attended, and the subsequent “book of sorts” I penned. During those three days, I bled sweat and tears, my emotions raw and, at times, forcing me into a fetal position on my nearby bed. I swore, I wanted to quit and I cried. A lot. Yet, I persevered and completed the workshop along with a semblance of a story I hoped I’d return to one day to rework, rewrite, revise. More than six months later, that day came and went with nothing to show for it. Despite the three copies I had saved of my work, my book had vanished. All 50,000 words I’d poured out through my fingertips. Although I had backed it up, there were other avenues I could’ve taken to better protect it. But perhaps it’s simply not the story for me to tell at this time.

How do you protect important files?

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

It’s okay to begin again. And again.

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If you feel like you’re starting over at square one today, pat yourself on the back for starting at all. Lately, I’ve not only begun the process of reinventing myself (again), but I’ve changed my mind countless times on how I envisioned my future—my “Someday.” Lesson number one: How many times do I have to remind myself that I am a work in progress? That means there are days when it looks like I have it all going on but others where I’m a hot mess from head to toe. It means my canvas might be covered in swaths of pinks and purples and a splash of glitter. Or blank when my sparkle needs to recharge. Lesson number two: I recently read that changing your mind equates to self-respect, and that “you owe nothing to your younger self. You are not failing because you are no longer chasing a dream you’ve outgrown.” Even if that younger self was last week.

How do you start over each day?

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Breaking free: rote action is no action

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I write about change. About Someday. About setting goals, taking baby steps, chasing dreams. Extending kindness and sparkles. Eliminating toxic people from our lives; hopefulness. Perseverance. What’s next. And then I “get” busy. Push it all to the back of my closet as I flit from task to task. Pretend I’ve taken hold of life by its proverbial horns. But my tiara is tarnished and I’m tired and all I want to do is jump off the non-stop roller coaster and figure stuff out before it’s too late. I think, for me, discontent no longer points to an unrealized purpose but, rather, my own personal purgatory where life isn’t just passing me by (see “Take action…”). Instead, it’s the rotten stench of anguish and despair that almost suffocates and renders me ineffective. Rote action is no action. Busy-ness can only put off, so long, what must be accomplished to escape from the grip of fear: of failure, regret. The unknown. So, what’s next?

How will you break free?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Sifting through the muck to reach the prize

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trials-blessings

What seems to us as bitter trials
are often blessings in disguise. ~ Oscar Wilde

For the past couple of weeks I’ve wrestled with psychological and emotional baggage that’s over 30 years in the making (and not flattering), which has also triggered a nasty case of monkey mind (also not pretty—see ‘Revisiting…’). Then add in to the mix an extra dose of restlessness that stems from myriad [new] dreams I dared dream and laid the foundation for last year, which I hope to begin living out in 2017. And most of the areas I’m working on will not and cannot realize change overnight. After all, it’s impossible to rush something you hope to last forever… or at least as long as you’re breathing. Any type of growth takes time. Healing—physical, emotional, spiritual or mental—takes time, too. I just need to remind myself of this while I wade through each trial to discover my own personal blessing.

Do you count them as today’s trials or blessings?

Image courtesy of fantasista at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

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