Fearlessly Living Your Journey

A long time ago in a galaxy far away, aka high school, I used to described myself as a pinko commie, bleeding heart, tree-hugging, whale-saving, liberal, hippie.  I wore that label with pride and was unafraid to debate anyone on the issues that were important to me.

As I’ve gotten older I attempted to drop most labels, not because my beliefs about the issues have changed necessarily, but because labeling myself seems less and less important.  Labels don’t tell the full story, and they historically are not very flexible.  I have my beliefs and I do feel pretty strongly about them, but I like to think I’m always open to new information that can lead to change and growth in my understanding.  What hasn’t changed since high school is my confidence in my beliefs and my willingness to share them with others.

Or so I thought…

Imagine my shock when I recently became conscious of the fact that when referencing the work I do, and even my understanding of the Universe (including my spirituality) I referred to it as “hippie stuff”.  I was using this term not with the pride of my younger years, but as if to say “Oh this is just hippie stuff.  Feel free to think it’s not important, serious, or effective.”  I was giving others permission to dismiss my work, my experience, my beliefs, and the amazing changes I’ve had in that past few years. 

Why?

I realized I assumed people would think it was weird, silly, or unbelievable.  If they’re going to dismiss it any way, why don’t I just save them the trouble and dismiss it before they can so I can spare myself the embarrassment?

Which lead me to the realization that I was unconsciously dismissing it myself.  My unconscious mind was saying that this work couldn’t have possibly made such great changes in my life.  The changes I think I’ve had aren’t real, and even if they were real they’re only temporary.

I’m grateful I caught this type of thinking.  It was preventing me from being myself, from telling my story, from making this work available to others. 

Well I tell you what…that kind of thinking and talk stops now.  I do believe in this work, I do believe in the changes I’ve created in myself and that I’ve seen in others, and I do believe it will help me continue to grow for the rest of my life.

When we censor ourselves, or downplay our experience we not only do ourselves and injustice, but also those who seek a new path or look to us as role models.

There are an abundance of paths available to us.  Each of us chooses which path is right in each moment.  Your path is right for you and my path is right for me.

If the path you’ve chosen is serving you, own it, wholeheartedly.  Never apologize for where you are on your journey, to your family, friends, coworkers, and especially not to yourself.

It’s also important to know that once on a path you don’t have to stay there forever.  In each moment you get to choose you path.  Choose the one that makes you feel more alive and be fearless about living it.  Share your experience with others.  Someone out there may be looking for a new path, and yours might just be the one that helps them live into their full potential.  You don’t need to waste time and energy trying to convince others that you are right and they are wrong, but you can live your belief, show others how greatly you’ve been impacted, what you’ve learned, how you’ve grown.  If there is a piece of your journey that can serve another, Great!  If not, let them find what does work for them.

But under no circumstances should you ever disrespect your journey, put it down, or apologize for it.  You are on your own unique journey.  You are the only one it needs to serve, to make sense to, to feel good to.  If it makes you feel more alive, it’s the right path for you, even if us hippies like it too.

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A New Year in Each Moment

We often look to the New Year as a special time to begin again.  We give ourselves the chance to revisit the places where we’ve failed or fallen short, and we set new goals and dream new dreams.

We typically call these our New Year’s Resolutions.  They are always well-intentioned and designed to make us more of who we want to be.  Yet it’s very typical for us to start off the year with momentum and then slow to a crawl or even completely stop within a few weeks.  This is such a prominent pattern that the internet is often bursting around this time of year with articles, videos, and blogs telling us how we can finally make it work this year, encouraging us as to how this year will be different, or showing us how to set the right resolutions so we don’t fail.  And yet somehow we seem to revisit this story year after year.

So what is so special about this particular time of year?  Why is this time seemingly more important for new beginnings than any other time throughout the year?  The beginning of the year on January 1 is based on a calendar that was first introduced about 500 years ago, but the date is fairly insignificant and has changed over time.  It really only signifies that we have traveled one more time around the sun.  But this is true of any moment throughout the year.  We are always completing a yearly cycle around the sun from where we were a year prior.  We each celebrate this on our Birthdays, whatever date they may be on.

No matter the date or time we are always in the same spot we were a year ago.  This can often seem to be true as we start to falter on our New Year’s Resolutions.  We can be thinking to ourselves, we’re right back where we started.

But is this true?  That depends on your perspective.

The earth spins at around 1,000 miles per hour.

We travel around the sun at 67,000 miles per hour.

Our galaxy spins at 490,000 miles per hour.

And our corner of the universe is expanding toward the Great Attractor at about 621 miles/SECOND!  (Source.)

We may be in the same place in relationship to our sun as we were a year ago, but we are far, far, far (far, far, far) away from where we were in relationship to the center of our galaxy, or from where we were in the universe last year.  Just think, we are 621 miles away from where we were when you started reading this sentence!

We are never back to where we started.  We have never been in the same place more than once, never in our lifetime.  We are always growing, expanding, moving.  We may feel static at times, but the signs of change are there. They may be subtle and hard to notice, but if you think about it we don’t notice that we are moving at 621 miles/second (thank goodness!).

In those areas of your life where you feel you aren’t changing, take the time to look again.  What was different than it was a year ago?  How has my experience of the world changed?  Has my behavior changed, even just a little?  Have my thoughts changed, if only subtly?  You can’t help but move forward.  That is the nature of the universe, and you are not separate from that universe.  You are OF the universe.  Just hang on, go with the flow, and enjoy the ride!

So if you soon find that you’re falling behind on those resolutions, or feel like your stuck and life is going nowhere, just remember that you’re 621 miles away from where you were a second ago, and 621 x 60 x 60 X 24 X 365 miles away from where you were last year (that’s 19,583,856,000 miles!).

And this is true in every moment, no matter the time of year or the date assigned to it.  And regardless of whether you set resolutions or not, or “succeed” at them or not, each moment is an opportunity to recognize you’re in constant motion forward.
Peace,
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