listen to your soul

Soul Purpose

I’ve written before about the power of the mind and I have also written about intuition. When I saw this meme, I was reminded of the important role that the soul plays in our lives.

listen to your soulWith all the science we have these days, why we are here and what we truly are, is still a mystery. We can explain how pulses from our brains create our responses, but we still don’t understand why our bodies were created in this way. I don’t want to get into a scientific, philosophical or religious debate. What I would like to explore is the different aspects of self and the role they play.

The Mind: We spend most of our time here. It is what allows you to read and comprehend these words. The mind is a powerful and necessary tool, but it is also a warehouse of old worries and pains. The mind has amazing analytical powers, but it can also be fooled through perception and judgment. The mind is like your computer. A highly sophisticated tool, but it is only as good as the data you put into it.

The Heart: The heart is our intuition. It is our feeling mind. The heart is our sixth sense; the organ that can see and feel what science can not yet explain. The heart is where we can sense right and wrong, good and bad. We might not know why we shouldn’t walk down a dark alley, but the hairs on our arm make us feel that we shouldn’t. Within minutes of meeting someone, you just know and understand them on a deeper level. This is the heart at work.  The heart, or some might say the gut, can often be doubted because it is based on feeling, on unprovable knowledge, not fact or logic.

The Soul: The soul, or should I say our Type Me, is who we are. It is our gift to the world. It is our purpose. I believe we are all here for a reason. Our soul defines our reason. Why do we love what we love? Why are their certain skills that come easy to us? Why can we do this but not that? Our soul is what we are built for doing. We all have a purpose, a meaning to express in this life. Our soul is the definition of that purpose.

Our soul’s purpose may be noble and grand. Or not. Our purpose is something we can share with others like a singing, making chilaquiles, or being an amazing listener. In this day and age of striving to be the best, uncovering our soul’s purpose and living our life to serve that purpose will allow us to be the best us we can be.

Don’t be fooled though. Our soul’s purpose does not ensure fame, riches, or acclaim – because that may not be our soul’s purpose. Your soul’s purpose is a way of life as much as a skill. Uncover what really makes you happy. If it is hearing cheering from thousands of fans, great. If it is hiding away in a cabin, writing enjoyable short stories to lift someone’s day, embrace it. Just know who you are and what you are meant to be, and then work every day to embody and share your gift.

Instead of debating the importance of the logic of the brain versus the intuition of the heart, take some time to uncover and accept your soul. Embrace what you are at your essence. It is from this acceptance that all power comes.

Marc Anthony

Simply to Live

In an attempt to improve my Spanish-speaking abilities, I had hired a teacher. A recent assignment was to listen to a Marc Anthony song trying to recognize and decipher the words. I have improved immensely at reading Spanish, by my auditory and verbal skills are lacking. Even without dialect issues, being able to comprehend when people speak is difficult. At this point, I am up to recognizing and comprehending about every third word spoken. Sometimes it is enough for me to understand the gist of what someone is saying. Sometimes it can get me into trouble. Going through the exercise listening to the song was helpful, and frustrating. But it was well worth it as the song had a beautiful message.

In the official video for the song, Marc Anthony begins by asking, “What is your legacy?” In his response, he doesn’t talk about the number of albums he has sold, the number of countries he has played in, or the notoriety and acclaim he has received. In his words, “Yo vivo para, de alguna manera, dejar mi huella . . . yo simplemente vivo” which translates to “I live to, in some way, leave my footprint . . . I simply live.” He speaks about being a father, son, brother, and friend. He says he is his smile, his music, and part of New York and Puerto Rico. Nothing more. Nothing less. His legacy is just to live.

The song talks about laughing, dancing, and enjoying life. It recognizes that everyone will have some rain – disappointments, losses or challenges – but that these cleanse our wounds and help us move forward. No matter what we suffer, that is part of life and we are just meant to live it.

Many of us, including me, at different ages have explored what life is about. What are we supposed to leave behind? What is the purpose of being here? Teenage angst was filled with discovering myself and being confused over my purpose. My twenties were full of hopelessness of achieving the success I thought I wanted. A nice midlife crisis had me re-evaluating all the years I spent pursuing something which did not fulfill me. Thankfully lately I tend to agree with Mr. Anthony.

There is no big secret to life. There is no big purpose. The only thing we are supposed to achieve with our life is to live it. To make the most of each moment. To move past fear. To experience emotions – good and bad. To feel love and heartbreak. To win and lose. To touch, to feel, to move, to laugh, to cry.

As you go through today, notice how much you are actually living. Are you in the moment or are you thinking about a past foible? Are you smiling and laughing or are you fearing the future? Did you take an opportunity when it presented itself or did you deny yourself? Are you living your life or watching it go by?

As for me, “I’m going to laugh, I’m going to dance, feel, dance and enjoy, there is only one life. “ / “Voy a reír, voy a bailar, siente, baila y goza, que la vida es una sola.”

helping others

Inspirational Living

I always thought I had to help people and save the world. For the first thirty or so years of my life, I was focused on helping others. I made sure friends and family had what they needed. I supported charities. I put my needs and desires legions behind the needs of others. I was driven to do it. Sometimes people did not want my help but through compulsion I pushed my assistance on them. I couldn’t help but help others. When I couldn’t help others, I felt like I was less than. When I actually received something myself, I felt selfish and bad. I was programmed to be a giver. However I was also exhausted and unhappy. Helping others felt like a duty not a joy. Yet I still thought I was meant to heal those around me and the world at large. And now it looks like that is truly part of my mission, but I had the “how” wrong. My mission to help others is not through self-sacrifice.

helping othersOver the last few years I took off the superwoman cape and learned to put myself first. I focused on my own happiness. When I did help others I did it as from a point of selfishness. I helped only when it felt good to me. And I didn’t help when it felt like a restrictive obligation or when there was something else to do which would make me feel happier. Through my coaching practice I learned to only help those who wanted help and who were ready to receive the help. I learned healthy boundaries with those who misused me and my help. And I began to think of myself first. The funny thing is I am affecting more people, making more changes in the world by being self-focused and self-giving than I ever did by sacrificing myself for others.

Just this week, a counselor in the Northeast told me of her client who was so inspired by my husband’s and my move to Mexico that he sold his house, purchased an RV, and now plans to semi-retire and travel the country. She said his eyes lit up when she told him of our pursuits and how we are thriving in Cabo after taking the risk. Some man who I do not know and will probably never meet, changed his life for the better because I changed my life for the better. All this time I spent sacrificing for others was unnecessary. By living my life, truly living my life, I help others.

Moving to Mexico to live a dream is very selfish. I thought only of my husband and myself. I didn’t stop due to family obligations. I didn’t change my mind due to societal expectations and rules. I did not put how the move would affect others above my own desire. I only thought about living my life the way I wanted to live it. By focusing on myself, by living the life that I want, by really living my life, I have become an inspiration to others and am helping to change their lives for the better.

We do not have to give up who we are or what we want. We do not have to do it for our children. We do not have to do it for our parents. We do not have to do it for anyone. Sacrificing for your children only teaches them to sacrifice themselves for others. Instead, show your children and those you love how you can care for them while not neglecting yourself. Give to yourself. Be an inspiration. Be the model of how you wish those around you would be.

What inspiring life are you going to lead?

inner strength

Inherent Power

The other day my husband heard a story about how the band Rush had really been ahead of their time. So he listened to their 2112 album, which as his wife, meant that I listened to their album. This turned out to be a good thing. In the midst of their song Something for Nothing I heard this gem:

What you own is your own kingdom

What you do is your own glory

What you love is your own power

What you live is your own story

In your head is the answer

Let it guide you along

Let your heart be the anchor

And the beat of your own song

I may not know about music, but I do know some good coaching when I hear it. According to Carol Selby Price and Robert Price, the authors of Mystic Rhythms: The Philosophical Vision of Rush, self-empowerment and inner knowledge were missions of the band.  The authors believe, “The point of the whole song [Something for Nothing], though expressed in different ways, is you must be inner-directed if you are ever to follow your dreams to fruition. . . You are to seek your own kingdom, your own glory, your own power, your own story.”

inner strength

What you own is your own kingdom: This is not about possession, but about belief. What we believe or value becomes our focus. What we focus on we experience. What do you “own”? What do you believe life is about? How do you see the world and how does that create the world you experience?

What you do is your own glory: What you will be honored and revered for is what also comes naturally to you. What is your unique gift to the world? What is it that you lose track of time doing? Stop looking to outside opinions of “glory” or success. Embrace what you do naturally.

What you love is your own power: The power to move forward and make things happen is driven by what we love; it is driven by our passion. What is your passion? This could be a passion for your hobby, your business, for knowledge, for adventure, or for bettering the world. Let your passion drive you and realize all the power you have.

What you live is your own story: Don’t assume there is one way to live and one outcome to reach. Don’t punish yourself for “mistakes” and “wrong” turns. Your story is how you live. Your story is not the end result, but is how you overcame obstacles, approached challenges, and what you experienced – good and bad. Every day you are creating your own story.

In your head is the answer / Let it guide you along: The answer does not lie in some expert or something outside of yourself. Don’t give away your power to others. Trust yourself.  Listen to your inherent knowledge. Let your inner knowing guide you.

Let your heart be the anchor / And the beat of your own song: Sometimes logic can get in the way. Lead with your heart. Lead with your gut. Do what you feel compelled to do, not what “makes sense.” Allow your intuition to direct and drive you.

Thanks for the coaching Neil Peart of Rush!


Fulfilling Our Life Mission

Recently I ran across a Forbes article about the importance of the true definition of entrepreneur. The author Brett Nelson points to the definition, “a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk,” as the best definition because it means people who have a primordial urge to identify and fill a need. I agree with this traditional definition of entrepreneur. An entrepreneur is the man who brewed mead for his own consumption until he recognized the opportunity to introduce his love to the world and an entrepreneur is the woman who helps improve the welfare of local craftspeople by sharing their wares around the world.

entrepreneurIn my mind, an entrepreneur is also the individual who works for others or volunteers their time. An entrepreneur is the child who raised $240,000 for Haiti earthquake relief and an entrepreneur can be the individual within a company who takes risks to move their department forward. Being an entrepreneur is not solely about owning a business. It is about identifying those we can service with our innate ability. A true entrepreneur – with or without a company – identifies a need that s/he can uniquely fill and puts all their time, money, and effort into making it a reality.

An entrepreneur is fulfilling their life mission.

We all have a unique ability to see something that can be fixed or improved through our knowledge and insight.  We all have passions, large and small, to change how things are done; to make them easier, more efficient, or more beautiful. We all have a driving passion to make an impact on the world.

Before you say, “Not me,” think about it. Your life mission may not be the monumental task of bringing peace to the Middle East. Your life mission may be to create the best chocolate chip cookie in the world. Don’t judge. Life missions are not one size fits all. We are all a cog in the machine and our role is to bring hope, transformation, beauty, peace, joy, laughter, wellness, and a range of other gifts to the world. Uncover, accept and embrace the gift you are meant to bring to the world.

Now is the time like none other to stop playing on the sidelines and to actively create your life. Reveal your gift and share it with the world. Don’t restrict yourself by others’ definitions of success as money or fame. Know that your success with be to reach as many people as you are meant to with your gift.

Here is a simple way to uncover and fulfill your life mission through the true definition of entrepreneurship.

Identify a Need: What wrong do you want to right? What solution can you share? How can you ease the lives of others? What widget can you introduce to make the world a little bit better?

Fulfill the Need: How can your unique thoughts, abilities, and creations help others?

Take Initiative: Do you have the energy, desire, and passion to actually take action? Can you move from concept to uncontrollable desire to make something manifest?

Take a Risk: Are you ready to take that first baby step no matter what the possible results?

What mission is calling you? What do you want – nay – need to introduce to the world?

finding a job

Is Today the Day to Start Your Dream?

Lately I have been helping a lot of people in job transition. After ten, fifteen, or even twenty years with the same company, doing the same role they now find themselves without work. In trying to find a new job and sometimes change careers, they usually go about it the same way. They look at the jobs available and then see how they can make their skills and experience fit what is available.  They feel frustrated, unsure, frightened, and desperate. Their self-esteem is diminished. They feel worthless and hope that finding a job will fill them again. They don’t know who they are without the job they used to have. They worry about replacing income and health care. They are sad and hollow.

And they are looking at the transition the wrong way.

finding a jobThey give their power to corporations and open positions. They ask. They beg. They try to fit themselves into existing roles. They hope to say the right things and be accepted by the hiring manager. And they never consider if they would be happy in their new position. It is like getting divorced and desperately trying to marry the next person you meet.

What they need to do is dream.

They have been gifted with an opportunity to create their next years. They have been jolted out of the convenient norm and given the opportunity to create something they are passionate about. They have been given a new lease on life. It warms my heart when I see clients come alive when I give them permission to explore their dreams. They all have a dream that has been haunting them, nagging at them, and with one word I help them allow it to become something they can consider. And all of a sudden it is a new game.

They bring up their passions. They bring up a unique talent. They describe their perfect life. They are energized. They are excited. They are confident. They are hopeful. It is so beautiful to watch.

Instead of trying to fit themselves into existing jobs, they begin to explore themselves. What do they want for the next phase of their life? Not just a job, but what do they want their life to look like. Do they still want to work sixty-hour weeks or are they ready for a bit more balance? Do they want to continue to commute or work virtually? Do they want their career to be primary or move their volunteer work center stage? They explore how their skills and previous experience can be used in an industry they are passionate about. They begin to create their lives.

Instead of trying to justify why they are good for role, we start to explore what they were created to do on this earth. By looking at their unique skills, passions, and values we uncover possible careers which are perfect for them. Instead of just earning a living, they begin imagining living their perfect life.

Are you stuck in a rut? Do you have a job which you do not enjoy? Is your heart ready for a change but your head is afraid? Take some time to uncover your skills and experience. Then determine your passions. What is it that you love and are attracted to? Next define your values. What is important to you? Then see how this information comes together. What opportunities do your skills, passions, and values create? This is not the space for any “yes, but.” Do this all with blue sky, white hat, open thinking. Once you have a few ideas, then ask “who could pay me to do this?” Explore who could benefit from your unique skills, passions, and values. Create a resume and personal brand to express what you uniquely offer. They pursue the companies who are looking for you.

And then be grateful for the amazing life you have been gifted.