To create the best possible Journey of Possibilities for you and me and everyone involved, I decided to take Brendon Burchard’s Experts Academy. He’s such a phenomenal business development teacher for anyone desiring to share their message and make a difference, and part of the course features video interviews with famous successful people. Today I watched Paula Abdul and developed a deep respect for all she has overcome and achieved. Did you know she was born 3 months premature and crying as a baby was fatal? Have you ever realized how petite and soft-spoken she really is? Yet this small giant stood firm in her heart and knew all she needed was a chance, often funding her own ventures to prove herself and then blow them all away with her talent and results. She’s now such an accomplished choreographer, dancer, singer, and yes, even a judge with heart on American Idol. (She thanks Simon for being one of her greatest teachers by being off-camera exactly who he is on camera!) Anyway, one lesson she spoke of that resonated strongly for me is that of nurturing the success that presents itself right here and now, and leveraging from that space to catapult into new arenas with open-hearted authenticity. Or, as another friend of mine put it so simply years ago, “bloom where you’re planted.”
It’s so easy for us to become frustrated about where we are when we feel ‘stuck’, especially when we know we are capable of so much more! Believe me, it has happened each time I learned enough about myself and my role somewhere to feel like I’d outgrown that job or relationship or place to live or whatever, and prepared to move on. Between my need to be challenged, my pesky ego’s need to be fed with new spaces in which to shine, and my A.D.D. ways, it’s so easy for me to quickly set my sights elsewhere and set sail for my next opportunity, be it personal or professional.
However, as Brendon Burchard, Paula Abdul, and many other happy and successful teachers and business professionals attest, staying in that space and exploring further for more opportunities to expand that success is how we can best grow and achieve our own greatest heights. All of these individuals have found new avenues within the same space to let their talents shine to expanded audiences, in new ways, and their happiness and success truly skyrocketed. I see the lesson as deepening our relationships and successes right where we are.
What a great lesson! Instead of moving on to a new space and comfortably creating again, we can live in the discomfort and awkwardness of stretching our familiar self and surroundings into new possibilities and relationships, and then following those into new things from exactly where we are.
The topics that I share with you are not just to update you about where I’m at in this Journey, but in hopes that you will see connections to your own situations and the posts will help you. Can you see yourself in this week’s message? Are there new ways you can explore what may currently be a frustrating situation by opening your heart and allowing more of your true gifts and passions to emerge? Are there others “stuck” there with you that you can love through it who may then be able to see possibilities for themselves? Why not try? What have you really got to lose? Believe me, you will all begin to bloom where you’re planted this spring!
It was my honor and pleasure to meet Ritika Arya when she came to The Woodlands, TX to speak at this event. She is a very bright and shining Spirit with a beautiful openness and caring that drew me to her almost immediately, and I’m grateful for her friendship still.
I wanted to share her presentation with you because it provokes so many thoughts and emotions. She touches on some important lessons here about people and how we behave independently and interact with one another. When I am honest with myself, I have allowed the words and actions of family and both well-meaning and not-so-well-meaning others to limit what I would even consider as possible. Such limitations do a disservice that extends far beyond our own lives, for we may never achieve….or worse, even TRY to achieve…our potential if we believe what others tell us. The impact of such short sightedness is seldom limited to ourselves.
May the insightful truths Ritika shares here spotlight some of your own ill-serving limitations. Consider what these youth can achieve without such fears and inhibitions, and think about the monkeys in your cage. Remember to return to nature regularly to rejuvenate yourself and your Spirit to know that you are in this world for an important Purpose.
How EXCITING; I FINALLY found it! There I was, waiting patiently for God to answer my prayers, and the answer was already right there in the place I was least willing to look! Ah yes, isn’t that how it usually works? That which we refuse to let go of blocks us from our own joy and success. Here’s my story…
While Journey of Possibilities will always have an inspirational Facebook page here to help us all renew, there is more to it. Ten years ago as I finished my BA in family communication, I had my first vision of Journey of Possibilities. I sat with families and individuals in beautiful nature while we worked together through many of the same challenges I’ve faced. More visions through time reached a pinnacle last year as I met exciting new people to help me expand it, and found I’d been laid off from work. However, the WHERE remained a mystery. I trusted God to deliver, but wondered when. I also dreaded the idea of buying, building, and managing a place.
When I sold the home I’d hoped to grow old in during my divorce, my broken heart was not into searching for a new one. My spirit navigated, and I kept returning to this quiet rural subdivision I’d seen before. One day, continuing further down a dead-end than we’d done previously in an attempt to turn around and leave again empty-handed, we passed a grove of trees and stumbled upon my house. I knew God had led me home.
I have really found peace here. There is only one neighbor who has been a challenge, and it salted a very old wound when they glossed over their negative behavior by blessing others and displaying crosses like immunity badges. Needless to say, I have avoided these people and their aggressive pets to the best of my ability, and deliberately do not look down at their end of the road anymore.
Back to Journey (trust me, it all ties together amazingly), I’ve resigned myself to renting facilities for events until we can find and fund our own place. I scheduled yet another visit to a retreat center nearby (White Eagle Lodge), and discovered this one is very close indeed. Arriving, I fell in love. I had found a place so perfect I knew I was again home. We laughed that if my street punched through where it is now a dead-end, I lived less than a mile away. We tried to get bearings on my house from there, but I only had a general idea. As I left, I basked in how we equally wanted to work together. Divinely perfect!
Two days later, I returned from my morning walk. As I topped the hill to my house, I reluctantly looked toward ‘that’ end of my street, three lots down from my home. There shining clearly just above my neighbor’s cross archway I could now clearly see the center…
It is always my hope that something of my journey may be of help to you in yours. My lesson: trust God and look past the negativity.
Life sure can knock us down…low! At one point several years ago, I actually walked out of a well-paying professional job at which I was doing well and moved myself to an island. Stressed out and depressed, grieving the loss of my parents, new marriage struggling, I was hurting. This was just the sort of irrationally desperate move in which we surprise even ourselves! All I really knew for sure was that I couldn’t keep doing what I’d been doing anymore. It was only in this state that I finally gave myself the time and space I needed to heal. It was only in this place that I nurtured myself with endless walks on the beach. It was only through this move that I discovered I really was self-sufficient beyond my successful career. I lived on the barter system and met others on the island who’d arrived in similar condition. There was a large movement of healing in this community I soon discovered and connected into. That energy was so powerful! I participated in sweat lodges. I danced with scarves on the beach with a silver haired native American angel. I went back to school. I had an amazing time renewing myself! All of this was made possible because I had finally surrendered and sought healing.
Later in my life, I was again facing loss when I took a retail job at an outdoor recreational store. Not clear why I was shifting to retail, I soon realized that I had been drawn to another healing space to connect with nature and others in pain. Several coworkers from across the country had been drawn there from a myriad of experiences and were searching for their own healing and Purpose. Not only did we create wonderful bonds and memories, but together we went into nature to beautify, conserve, educate, and enjoy. Once again, sharing nature with kindred healing spirits strengthened and healed me.
Healing spaces are so vital to our happiness and growth! When we find ourselves grieving painful loss, we are more vulnerable and open than at any other times in our life. When we surrender, we find ourselves Divinely guided to people and places that facilitate our healing. When we don’t surrender, we find ourselves quickly getting lost in alcohol, work, shopping, drugs, food, and any other distractions we can find to avoid the pain. Ultimately, walking through the pain is the only path to healing, so how much better to face it now than to add addiction recovery and making amends to our healing process later!
One word of warning about healing spaces: know when to leave them. Such comforting places do not inspire us to move on when our healing time is passed. When the time is right, we must leave or we will not achieve our potential made possible by that healing. Maintain the beautiful friendships formed there. Visit the healing space for renewal. However, as Master Yoda would say, leave we must. Our final gift is to pay forward the love and healing we’ve experienced to those we meet who suffer. It is also to nudge along those who are ready to fly but afraid to leave the healing space themselves. In seeing us fly, we inspire them. A cycle is completed and we have ourselves become a healing space for others.
Do you recall the game show Let’s Make a Deal? Contestants could either keep prizes they won or gamble them for bigger prizes. It was fun to watch and consider whether I would keep the prize or risk it for something better. Of course it was much easier to say I’d take that risk as I watched from the comfort of my own home with nothing to lose.
How we make decisions in our daily lives isn’t really so different, is it? Every day we opt to live in the Truth of who we are and see where that leads us, or to accept a job/mate/lifestyle that we know to be less than our heart’s desire. The difference is that we aren’t on a game show, and God wouldn’t tease us with a bigger dream, daring us to take less or risk maybe not receiving the grand prize!
Florence Scovel Shinn wrote some 90 years ago (tho The Game of Life and How to Play Itremains timelessly accurate today) that God typically sends an “olive branch” as in the great flood as a sign of larger blessings ahead. This is NOT the prize! However, if we accept that olive branch and then abandon pursuit of the larger dream, we have left the game as assuredly as if we were a contestant on that show returning to our seat. How much better to give thanks for these olive branches and continue in faith along our journey of Possibilities to our own best Life.
Have you ever become so frustrated with a situation or relationship in your life that you threw up your hands and said something like, “OK God, I can’t do this anymore!” Did you give it to God when you couldn’t take it anymore? How did that feel? Then what happened? As it started to improve, did you find yourself slowly taking charge yourself again, as if to say, “Thanks God. I’ve got it now”? Maybe you just grabbed it back completely in one panicked moment and didn’t leave anything at all for God to manage? Honestly, I can’t even remember how many times I have done this in my lifetime.
As I explore my own life as a Journey of Possibilities, I recognize our spiritual Journey as a Continuum. When I am scared, stressed out, trying to stay busy, or resisting the flow of life, it’s a safe bet that I’m running the show. I’ve even lost myself in addiction before so I didn’t have to see whatever I was avoiding. At the other end of the spectrum, I know that feeling of being filled with love, serenity, and acceptance of everything just as it is, trusting God’s perfect Design and Order. That’s the way my life feels when I put God in charge.
Whenever my life becomes unmanageable, as they say in the 12-step program, I surrender and let go…not of one thing, but of everything. The moment I do, I instantly begin moving back across the Continuum. Thankfully, God doesn’t have a waiting period!
If there is such peace in letting go, then why do we resist turning everything over to God? Boy, don’t we always want to be in charge! We blindly trudge forth in busyness (often by losing ourselves in business), believing that even a little progress is better than the stillness of waiting on God. However, any gains made this way always prove futile later against the grand Design. When it is God’s Time for something to occur, all is manifested at amazing speed and often with much less effort on our part.
One way to check our status on the Spiritual Continuum is through daily prayer and meditation. Give God a bit of your time, and consistently check your human urge to take control. The sooner we surrender to God, the sooner we return to the flow of Divine Harmony. Trusting that all is exactly as it should be brings amazing serenity no matter what is going on in this Earth School.
Recently, I’ve begun praying that God would help me to “see things differently and find the best, most healing path” in areas of my life where I become frustrated, hurt, angry, impatient, or confused. It is amazing how quickly a receptive heart praying this earnestly will begin to see other aspects of a situation that open new possibilities, understanding, and healing. Let me give you an example relating to career.
Have you ever chosen a job you just knew you wanted, and prepared yourself for the day it became available so you could apply? Maybe you’ve had a job you loved but something happened there, and you promised yourself you’d return to that work one day. Both of these opportunities presented themselves for me this week, and the most amazing thing happened. I no longer see my future in either role! In fact, I am completely certain that God has something else in store for me, bigger than I ever dared to dream for myself. I prayed about each opportunity, and instead saw myself much happier elsewhere than I’ve ever been…creating Journey of Possibilities! God helped me to see things differently and know instinctively the right course of action….and trust this vision will be realized in perfect Divine time and order. He also showed me that our possibilities are not among those visible to us in this reality, but the realm of ALL possibilities known and visible to Him and made available to us by giving Him control of our life.
Is there someone with whom you are frustrated? Is a particular area of your life feeling blocked? Is there some lesson that keeps presenting itself in the same annoying way over and over in your life? Try praying with a truly open heart for God to help you see things differently with regard that that person or circumstance and find the best, most healing path for your future. This prayer opens the door to abundant peace and allows miracles to happen in your life!
Good ol’ Mom (RIP) used to say these words to me about marriage. I’d discuss a boyfriend with whom things were getting serious, and she’d teach me to distinguish between traits that are less important and those that define the essence and character of a person. When discussing the latter, she engrained into me to “never settle”. So powerful was this message that I recall looking deep inside on that sleepless night before my wedding to be sure I had no doubts and was not settling on the values that meant the most to me.
A friend of mine and I were recently discussing another perspective for living life: “expect nothing”. At first horrified by the sound of that, I now understand that he means we should not expect anything in order to receive all that is, just as it is. That does not contrast with “never settle”, and in fact it helps us clarify in every relationship whether the other person possesses that which we value most, and how much we actually make each others lives better.
There is no judgement in saying that a person is or is not right for us, or a relationship does or does not work. It is much like cooking and trying different spices together to determine which spice bring out the potential of a dish. We must keep in mind that God dreams a bigger dream for us than we dream for ourselves and God will fulfill dreams. By settling for a partner or spouse who is not our best match, we no longer leave an opening for our best match to enter when we do encounter him/her. That is a high price for settling.
You may be thinking that it takes more than one spice to bring out the potential in a dish. So true! This is why “never settle” applies to much more than one relationship in our life. Expecting one partner to be our everything is not only unrealistic, but it strains a relationship with pressure that is unhealthy and may ultimately break it. Having quality friends, work, hobbies, etc. completes our lives much as those important secondary spices enrich a recipe. That is why in all facets of our life we should “never settle”. Life is a bountiful buffet not to be consumed in mass, but to receive in gratitude, then carefully selecting that which enriches and fulfills us at our deepest level.
Losing my mother to cancer was one of the most difficult experiences of my life. Having just returned from my honeymoon, I went from a great emotional high to the most painful low overnight. After the funeral, I wondered how I would return to host my call-in radio show when my boss gently advised that I simply be real and share whatever I was feeling openly at the level I was comfortable doing so. I was so raw that it was surprisingly easy for me to drop my human concern for appearances and be open about my feelings, specifically my intense pain and regret. What happened next was the most healing experience of love pouring in from those I’d encouraged in prior months. The vast and often impersonal city of Houston wrapped its arms around me as cards, letters, and calls helped me work through the overwhelming emotions I had and move on with my life.
All too often, we worry about keeping up an image or impressing others with our strength, credentials, or professionalism. We learn to “suck it up” amidst adversity or pain, putting walls between ourselves and others. We connect on a more superficial level while staying safely obscured. Ironically, then we wonder why we no cannot find the deep joy or intimacy we crave, for that is the price we pay to risk nothing and remain “safe”. Keeping others at arm’s length is an act of ego, not of spirit.
We never know what is possible when we connect with another person vulnerably and authentically with an open heart. As I open myself more and more to what is possible in every interaction with others, miracles happen! My life is deeper, more significant, and I see how this unlocks the potential to make dreams come true – ours and other people’s.