Dream with Reckless Abandon.

 

Yesterday, I was rummaging through the drawer in my night table to find notes written to me by my great-grandmother. I do so every year on her birthday and on the anniversary of her death, just to have a moment to really connect with her. As I was searching to find these precious notes, I also found a list of goals I had written about three years ago as I was finishing my undergraduate degree. I literally had not seen this list since I had first written it. As I started to review it, I started to realize that almost everything I had written had either come into form or are well on their way to becoming a reality.

I have always been one to live in the realm of possibility and idealism. I am all for dreaming outside of the confines of reality its seemingly inherent limitations. I have always been a believer in living life in a big way, and just going for it, despite the many roadblocks my mind can conceive. I am driven by a ceaseless motivation to make the most of this life that I have been given, regardless of self-doubt I feel and the fears I experience about what others may think.

It’s about pushing past, and giving myself permission to live my life for me. My life is my gift. Your life is your gift. It is yours to do with as you wish. You are the creator, artist, author, and designer of your experience. There is no such thing as right or wrong, for life cannot be dichotomized in this way. Your experiences just are what they are… inherently valuable, and there to facilitate your personal expansion.

In life, I believe, we called. We are called to dig deep. To grow by way of risk. By way of dreaming big. The purpose of life is to chase your wildest dreams and passions. To devote your energy to that which lights you up, fulfills you and allows you to live in the space of your highest self, for it is in this space that we can be of highest service to others.

Listen to the voice inside you which speaks your dreams, and give yourself permission to trust it. It won’t lead you astray.

Take some time to get acquainted with the voice. Take some space and get quiet. (Or blast the tunes. For me, it is time spent in nature and with my iPod by my side that gets me into the magical space of dreaming about what’s possible… a little Van Halen anyone?)

And so, as you sit and get more and more comfortable sitting in this mental space, you may want to follow these steps:

Visualize. Just let go. Do away with the limits of the realistic and just go for it.

  • If your perceived limits of what’s possible were no longer a factor, what would you be doing?
  • How do you feel doing these things?
  • Who do you want to be in this world?
  • What do you want your legacy to be?

Write. Commit your dreams to paper. There is something about writing our dreams down that makes them more real. Write down every detail, so you can start to feel how you will feel once your dreams have come into form. Go wild. These notes are usually chalk full of inspiration and motivation, so make copies of what you have written and post it where you can reflect on it every day. Stay saturated in the feeling behind each word…it’ll drive you.

Prioritize. All your dreams are of equal importance, but it’s crucial to figure out which dream(s) are most pressing for you right now, so that your vision can translate into doable steps.

  • What are you just itching to get out into the world right now?
  • What does your soul need to liberate today?

Identify actionable steps. Here’s where the ideal becomes transformed into the real. Break down your dreams so they remain big, but not overwhelming, as being overwhelmed breeds inaction and keeps you stuck. Set timelines…they’ll push you into action.

Make it happen.  Just execute. Even if you don’t feel ready. Don’t wait for perfection, it doesn’t exist.

It is without a doubt terrifying to put yourself out there, especially when you have invested your heart and soul into a particular pursuit. But, to me, the prospect of getting to the end of my life and sitting with the notion that I didn’t allow myself the opportunity to try is far scarier.

Launch. The world needs what you have to offer.

 

Hold Space for the Emergence of your Brilliance.

 
How often do you take a day to engage with what makes you illuminate?
 
When I sit down to write a piece, I typically do so plagued by feelings of discomfort- an internal pull of creative tension. It becomes something that I must do. To write makes me feel connected, fulfilled and of service, to both myself and others. Writing, for me, is an act of self-care.
 
But there were many years writing was something I put off until that elusive later. Other things kept me busy. My life was filled with obligations, and things that I felt I should do first- things that I had labeled as “necessary” and more important than taking the time to answer the call of the creative tension within me. I had structured my life in such a way that I was not allowing myself the opportunity of creative expression.
 
However, I have come to recognize the sheer importance of scheduling time for writing. Writing allows me find light in the muddled hustle of life. It allows me to find clarity and get centered. It allows me to sit with and reflect on my most deeply held values. It allows me to engage with life in a more real and authentic way, because allowing myself the space to write gets me grounded in the present moment. It cultivates my passion and expands my vision for what’s possible in all areas of my life. It energizes me and drives me forward.

 

Prioritize time for what lights you up- it is the key to long term productivity.
Making time for your art- whatever that is for you- allows you to shine brighter. It allows you to recognize and completely immerse yourself in that which is your unique brilliance. It helps you maintain focus and liberate your potential. It allows you to be more productive in other areas of your life, and leads to the creation of a life rooted in contentment.
 
Taking time for what lights you up no longer becomes something left to the last rung on the ladder of priorities. It becomes necessary- necessary for your well-being and necessary for the well-being of those around you. 
 
What will you do this week to illuminate? 

How Facing my Mortality Got Me in Touch with my Life’s Purpose.


As some of you may know, I have been facilitating grief support groups for three years now. Companioning individuals as they walk the torturous and unpredictable path of grief is one of my deepest and greatest passions. I consider it a true honor and privilege to sit alongside others as they move toward healing, bearing witness to incredibly powerful stories of love and connection. Not surprisingly though, doing this “work” has resulted in a number of monumental insights for me. Most significantly, I have noted that my relationship to my mortality has undergone a palpable shift. Where the relationship was once rooted in fear and anxiety, it is now rooted in gratitude and deep appreciation. I now see that death is a necessary part of life, for it is with the knowledge that each moment is irreplaceable and unique that we can begin to engage with life in a fearless way. Each moment is miraculous and potent. 

I realized that purpose isn’t so much about the accomplishments we can accumulate on our resumes, but more about the values and intentions we bring to every little thing that we do. And so, I now live from a place of being more conscious of my eulogy than my resume.  “Who do I want to be remembered as?” “Does this align with who I am, or who I desire to be?” “What is my message?” are all questions I entertain with each decision I make. My focus has shifted to legacy building and has become about who I want to be, rather than accumulating accomplishments, and what I want to be. Thus, despite common conception, your purpose isn’t necessarily found in your career- although, yes, it sometimes can be.
For me, discovering my purpose has been all about identifying my core guiding value. That is, identifying the one value that drives my actions, my words, my thoughts and my interactions with others.
Fierce compassion.
Fierce compassion is the core guiding value that I would like my life to be a testament to. At the end of the day, that is the mark I want to leave on this world. A legacy is built through who we are, not what we do, and it is in that frame of mind that one’s purpose ultimately emerges.
And so, I ask you, what is your core guiding value?