“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” -Howard Thurman
There have been times in my life where I felt on top of the world, intentional, and on fire. I felt beaming with energy. I felt all the things I wanted in my life came easily and it felt effortless and a joy. I loved being alive, I loved who I was and I loved what I was doing. Somewhere along the way I no longer felt that way anymore. I noticed life felt like a struggle and I didn’t feel good about myself or anything. I felt stuck, burdened, and alone. In reflection I wondered what the heck happened? How did I go from a state of bliss into a state of paralysis?
The Biggest Buzz Kill= Fears
One way to zap the passion is to feel fear, insecurities, doubt, and expectations. Who cares what people think of us. We don’t have to live up to anyone else’s exceptions or even our own. We just gotta let ourselves do what we enjoy most! When we are fired up, creativity flows through us, it is almost as if we are just channeling it. It feels effortless, it feels as though time collapses. It rejuvenates us. It inspires us, fulfills us.
What happens when we aren’t alive?
We become stressed, frustrated, feel drained, blah, complacent, angry, irritable, annoyed, (especially with happy people). We want to drown out life or find some other source to give up pleasure rather than create the things that give us an internal sense of pleasure and satisfaction. We feel empty and alone, then we resort to outside sources to try to fill the void w/ things such as junk food, overeating, sleeping, pills, drugs, alcohol, sex/pornography, TV. Sometimes we start trying to please other people rather than ourselves as a way to awaken, but that seems to only perpetuate the situation. We are looking on the outside for things to make us feel good on the inside. The above are all symptoms of a starving soul.
There are tons of creative ways to get in touch with what makes us come alive. The fun part is finding our own way. Here are a series of exercises you can do to awaken and rejuvenate yourself that bring you back in touch with your spirit.
EXERCISE 1- Find Your Passions
Passions never fade, they usually are very similar to the interests you had as a child and see what comes up. Brainstorm all the things you have loved doing in your life. Here is a list of things that came up for me.
I loved to do gymnastics. I went from beginners to advanced in am matter of a months because I couldn’t get enough of it. As an adult, although I do not do gymnastics, I do power yoga, which to me is gymnastics in slow-motion without the plyometrics.
- I loved playing with natural beauty remedies. You could find me chilling out in my room at the age of 10 with oatmeal on my face and egg whites around my eyes! Later in life, I expressed that passion again through opening a day spa.
- I love love love to read. As a little girl I would sit in a tree, sit in a corner or on my bed and read for hours. Sometimes I would read the same book several times, as I did with Charlottes Web in the first grade. As an adult and over the course of years I have read hundreds of books on self help, health, beauty, fitness. I experimented with all sorts of detoxes, workouts, exercises, diets, and health regimes.
- I love love love LEARNING & TEACHING. As a matter of fact I would go to summer school just for fun. I would also ask for extra left over worksheets at the end of the school year and have my little brothers sit down and play teacher as I taught them how to do the work. As an adult, I attended fun classes on massage, holistic health, personal training, nutrition, injury rehab, yoga, herbal therapy, and so forth. Never did it feel like work. I know health is a passion of mine because I could spend all day studying and practicing. In 2002 I turned this passion into a career that evolved from a massage therapist, yoga instructor, personal trainer, group fitness instructor, spa director, nutrition & detox coach.
- I love to journal. I have been doing this since the second grade. I loved going out in my backyard as a kid, climbing up in our old olive tree and writing. To this day I still journal and write. It is reflected in my blog posts. This blog is just an extension of my personal journal….. Dear Diary…. lol! Ok, but seriously… a journal is the best friend ever, it just listens quietly and lets you discover your own way. Welcome to my journey! 😉
- I love tinkering in the garden and kitchen. I would try to grow plants and I loved spending time in my grandfathers backyard that was filled with edible plants. I spent summers eating berries all day long (while I was supposed to be pulling weeds). To this day those are some of my fondest summer memories. I would also take peaches we grew in our backyard and look in the index of recipe books and find all the recipes that had peaches in them. Think Forrest Gump here with all his Shrimp recipe ideas! Just turn that into peaches and you would see me! When I bought my first home I started growing gardens again. I am far from a pro, but I really love growing and harvesting my own food. I have lots of reasons why, but the main reason is to observe nature and enjoy the cycle of life. I am currently in a home where I cannot put anything in the ground, but I do want to start this back up again.
- I loved playing dress up in my moms clothes, makeup and heels. It was fun to get all fancy and to feel beautiful.
- I loved going out and dancing as a teen and young adult. I could dance for hours many days a week and just get lost in the music. I love that exercise feels fun and effortless. I love the body confidence. I love the sensuality. I love celebrating my body. I just love dancing! I don’t care what type it is. I think I live vicariously through watching shows like “Dancing with the Stars”. The costumes are amazing and I love how graceful the body can move. This is definitely a side of me that I would love to start expressing again.
- Throughout school, I loved PE and Science. I love the scientific explanation and understanding of what is unfolding. I especially enjoy it in regards to nature, quantum physics, and the human body. I love to play around and do cool little experiments to see what happens. BTW, have you ever seen the rice experiment? My kids and I have done that and LOVE it!
- I love music and want it playing in the home all the time. It uplifts me and creates a mood/vibration.
- I love turning bland into beautiful. I guess this is where makeovers in general come in. I love transformation whether it is with interior design, edible landscaping, food & meals, personal growth, weight loss and beauty makeovers. Stories of people who go from ordinary to extraordinary. It’s the transformation. It’s the growth that excites me. I suppose that is why I am so drawn to all things that grow and evolve whether it is personal growth, health, beauty, gardening, raising children. Observing the journey is so beautiful!
EXERCISE 2- Identify Blockages & Why You Stopped (Excuses)
- I love singing all around the house, in the car, whenever, wherever.
Now that you have remembered all the things you have loved in the past, did you feel a swell of enthusiasm build as you were remembering the things that brought you joy? Did just writing it out excite you all over again. Now why in the world would you ever stop? Write out all the reasons that you stopped doing what you love!
In writing this list I realized there are a lot of things that I loved to do that I am not doing now. It led me to inquire as to why I ever stopped doing them in the first place.
- I felt I didn’t have the time or money to pursue those interests (like go to dance lessons or singing lessons).
- I felt I wasn’t good enough at it to make anything of it, I might as well drop it and get on with the skills that I do have.
- I became distracted with what I didn’t want to do and focused on what I felt I had to do.
- Fear and negative beliefs got in the way.
- I forgot my intention and why I am here in the first place.
- I disconnected from my spirit.
- I became out of balance.
- Life no longer felt fun. It felt like struggle and WORK.
Blockages are just excuses you have told yourself to mask fear.
EXERCISE 3- Start Dreaming
Play the Wouldn’t it be Nice Game in “Ask & It is Given” by Esther & Jerry Hicks. Here is what came up for me.
Wouldn’t it be nice if….
- I could sing beautifully
- I would dance beautifully and gracefully
- I was an amazing communicator and loved speaking in front of a large audience
- I could focus
- I was consistent
- I created a business that felt like a fun game and not work
- I felt passionate, alive, & beaming with energy
- I had a beautiful body
- I did do what I wish I had the balls to do
- I felt beautiful just the way I am
- I believed in myself and felt connected to my spirit
- I had unlimited resources
- I was an incredible friend
- I was a billionaire
- I could walk outside and pick my meal from the garden that was full of nutrient dense biophotons and pure energy.
Follow up your dreams with a reason why. Here are my reasons why it would be nice. They correlate in order to the dreams listed above.
It would be nice because….
- I would belt out a song whenever I wanted to and wouldn’t feel self conscious. I wouldn’t care what anyone thought of my voice. I would just enjoy it!
- I would get down and DANCE. I wouldn’t hold back! I would let go, get into it and have fun!
- I wouldn’t care if anyone made fun of me or thought I sucked
- I would share what my heart is calling me to do & I would know people understand me.
- I would finish all the inspiring things I start
- I would really make progress and master my passions
- I would look forward to creating, it would feel easy & effortless instead of overwhelming
- I would feel satisfied with life everyday
- I wouldn’t let insecurities keep me from getting out and JUST DOING IT!
- I would feel uninhibited & free I would enjoy my beautiful body rather than criticizing it
- I wouldn’t care if other people were judging me, I would just do my thing
- I’d love my haters
- I’d conquer my fears, my prison, my world!
- I’d feel good about the way I conducted myself in relationships
- I could make a difference in the world, help people by investing in them just as others have invested in me
- I would be beaming with energy
Exercise 4- List Your Fears
What did you find is holding you back? Here is my list of fears that I allowed to paralyze me from living the life I want and enjoy.
I am afraid of….
- being judged
- negative opinions
- not being good enough, inadequate
- being misunderstood
- succeeding and getting what I want
- too many responsibilities, juggling too much
- being overwhelmed
- open up and be vulnerable
Free your Mind & JUST DO IT = Inspire 2 Act!
It’s time to let the hamster in your mind get off it’s wheel and stop running the same cycle. Give it a rest. Stop with the incessant mental chatter. Let the creative inspiration come to you when you are in a state of relaxation and go with it. Do not allow the mind to work against you and talk yourself out of your dreams and passions with fears and doubts. Let your mind be a tool to take you where your heart desires.
Exercise 5- Pleasure, Silence & Relaxation
Give yourself the gift of pleasure, silence and relaxation. Stop squeezing the pleasure out of your life and allow yourself to come alive. Feel life flow through you. I am practicing this daily as part of my “New Day Resolutions”. I know when I do the things that bring me joy that life feels effortless. I also allow time to reflect, appreciate, and listen to my inner guidance. The inspiration just gets louder and the days soon are no longer just an hour of pleasure, but you’ll feel it all day long. Start stretching out the bliss in your days.
How would I feel if I did it anyway?
Regardless of fears, limitations, doubts, and insecurities how would you feel if you did it anyway? Maybe a little scared and a little turned on? According to my friend, Steve Pavlina if it turns you on and scares you a little bit then ya gotta do it.
I’d feel alive, free, relaxed, in celebration, & empowered. How do I know? Just check out my video “Skeletons in my Closet“. That was soooo scary for me to do, but after it was over I was embraced with love, support and encouragement. I was welcomed into the world.I was FREED just by sharing it publicly.
Liberate yourself from your fears & do it anyway! Here are 2 of my favorite quotes that help me from out of fear and into a state of inspiration that calls me to action.
Our Deepest Fear
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are we not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone. And as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fears, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Marianne Williamson
“People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered;
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have,and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis,it is between you and God;
It was never between you and them anyway.”
What Do You Want?
As for me, I want to master of my life & feel freedom, passion, joy, and empowerment. By liberating myself and sharing with you my inner vulnerable world and fears I am creating space to let go and live my life. I am dropping the fears and going for it. How about you?
Tell me, what is it you love? What is it you want to explore? What makes you come alive? Why did you stop doing the things you love? Tell me what you are afraid of and why. Let’s liberate each other and Just Do It! We owe it to the world to do what we love. Let’s master the art of living well!
Being in Balance by Wayne Dyer
Ask & It Is Given by Esther & Jerry Hicks
I receive many questions from mothers who want to home school their children but don’t know where to start. I would recommend moms to find other mothers in their community that are homeschooling. I would consider myself to still be somewhat of a novice even though I have completed 3 years of homeschooling with my kids.
I belong to a charter school. The kids receive their funds from public schooling and we have vendors that we are able to select programs, books and so forth from.
We meet with an Educational Specialist every month. This is when I turn in work samples, lesson plans, attendance and grades. I also consult with her to find more resources and options that could better suit our needs.
My children are still required to complete the same testing as public school children do. In California it is STAR testing. The children meet every spring at a public location and the tests are set up the same as traditional school. In addition, my children are accessed at the beginning and end of the school year with an online test called Scantron just to see their starting point and their growth at the end of the year.
My son has always needed the assistance of speech therapy. So he is receiving that through the school as a free service. I am also enrolling in LARP (Language Arts and Reading Program) for parents to learn more effective ways of working with their children’s learning styles.
1st Year Curriculum ( 3rd and 5th grade)
Our first year of homeschooling, the kids attended half day enrichment classes two days a week just for social interaction and to be a bridge between public school and home school. I had no clue how to home school so I did a box kit curriculum with Varsity books. Basically it was set up as a normal teacher teaching public school. I downloaded the class lessons and conducted class just like a normal school setting. It was quite a challenge considering I was teaching two different grades. I was separating my son and daughters curriculum and doubling up on the work load. Honestly, the first year was really tough and we struggled to maintain a system that was generic and didn’t meet our lifestyle.
2nd & 3rd year Curriculum (4th & 6th grade)
I kept the language arts and math curriculum separate, but combined all the other subjects like science, history, life skills, art and PE. My children selected their own special interest. This system was much simpler and we found ourselves enjoying the learning process together whereas before we struggled to do everything “by the book”. Along the way, I found it much easier to start writing our own lesson plans based on our lifestyle. Here is what we did last year:
READ a book that they enjoyed (I would pull books from the required reading of public schools for their grade level, but found the kids took more interest in the books they selected themselves)
WRITE a page a day especially in their journals (encouraging gratitude, creating) or stories
Spelling & vocabulary- Latin based- Red Hot Root Words
Grammar- Daily Grams
Story of the World series
Life Science (7th grade)
Kits- Solar Science, Edible Landscaping, Square Foot Gardening, Human Body
computer skills, typing (roller typing program), blogging
personal & family responsibilities
raw food recipes
guitar lessons, horseback riding lessons
art- painting, drawing
Now I am approaching our 4th year of home school and I feel like it is time for another change. My kids are a bit older and are expressing career directions. I observe what they do during their independent time and I am looking to nurture their interests and habits. It seems that we are less and less concerned with standardized testing and learning skills that are not applicable to them at this time. I am not too sure how this is going to be received by our wonderful ES, but I am sure she will show us how to incorporate it all into the typical subjects.
I feel as a mother it is important to honor their direction and support them. I need to remember that learning is supposed to be fun. It is pointless to waste their time if the brain is not activated. I watch to see their natural inclinations and curiosity. I do not act like I know all the answers, since I know I don’t, but rather just express a love for learning all through life.
Knowing & supporting their end result
Nurture their nature & passion
Have fun & keep their minds curious
Prepare them to be self reliant
My kids are entering 6th and 8th grade next month. Here is what I have set up so far.
Reading- whatever they enjoy (Alex enjoys reading the Harry Potter series, Eragon series, Twilight series)
Write- in their gratitude & create journals & writing projects pertaining to other subjects
Grammar- Daily Grams book
Story of the World
However, public school focuses on US history for my kids grades. However, I much prefer a chronological global view.
Money generation and management
Teaching Textbooks (typical class)
Sustainable Living: health & environment
Earth Science (typical class)
computer skills, typing, blogging, social media
horse vaulting (gymnastics on a horse)
Alex expresses a desire to excel in sports (currently in wrestling) and music(taking guitar) , computers. I would love to find a course he could take to learn about programming and just overall computer knowledge.
Mehgan expresses an artistic desire to be in the fashion world of modeling, creating her own clothing and jewelry line, singing and performing arts. She loves interacting with animals. She is working on selling her jewelry online from her blog and Etsys. I need to enroll her into a performing arts program.
Finding What Works
Everyone has their own approach. I am not even sure that I am doing things right. All I know is that most of the stuff I learned in school is information that I do not apply in my life. I want to make sure that what they are learning and doing they are enjoying. I want them to retain and apply their knowledge versus memorizing and regurgitating.
It was January 2005, I just closed escrow on my first home. I was happy to get the keys and move in. I had taken the day off work to start the moving process. However, a client called me very early that morning needing my assistance. I normally took the kids to school, but I made arragements to have my long term boyfriend take them so I could go see this client and then get started on moving in.
However, on my way I was involved in a hit and run by a drunk driver that could have ended my life. I was sitting at a red light waiting for it to turn green when I was hit full force. I don’t remember being hit. I was knocked unconscious, but I remember coming out of it being surrounded by a group of people, not knowing where I was or what had happened. Luckily, people saw the accident happen and chased the person who hit me and fled the scene.
The back end of my little 4 door Honda Civic had been smashed all the way to where the back seat was almost touching the back of the drivers seat. I had my massage table in the trunk of my car at the time. The impact propelled the table through the back seat and over my head to the front windshield.
I was laid up in bed for 3 months to heal from head trauma, vertigo, neck and back injuries in addition to some left sided injuries to my shoulder, elbow and knees. The vertigo (severe dizziness and nausea)was so severe that I felt like I got off a really fast merry-go-round. I couldn’t see straight, everything was moving, at the slightest movement I felt like I would throw up. If you have ever been drunk and closed your eyes and felt the whole world spinning, that’s how I felt 24/7. I couldn’t hold up my head. I couldn’t think clearly. I couldn’t take pain pills because my body rejected them. I spent time in the ER dealing with a bad reaction to Vicodin. I was throwing up non stop and heaving into exhaustion. I felt like I had no quality of life. I couldn’t even function: physically or mentally.
During the healing phases, I would get flash images of the accident reoccuring in my head. I was brought to tears when I realized I would normally take my kids to school that morning. Thoughts went through my mind of my children no longer being in my life. I was shaken! My kids are such a huge part of my life, but at that time I was working, my kids were in public school. I taught evening fitness classes and time with my kids was somewhat limited.
Thoughts went through my mind, “Was this a life that mattered?”, “If I died today, did I give my kids the skills they needed in life?”, “Did I make a positive impact on my kids?” I thought about that being my last day to live and questioned the way I had been living. Did I live a life that I could die a happy person feeling totally confident that I had done all I could do in my life? Did I spend my time in ways that mattered most? Did my kids know how much I loved them? Did I savor them or take them for granted?
I wanted to hug them, cuddle them, kiss them, tell them how much I loved them. I wanted to laugh with them, to grow with them, to watch them experience life. I wanted to support them and share this gift of life we had. Even if it was only one more day.
This was the beginning of a major life shift for me. I felt gratitude for the accident, because it made me reevaluate my life. I started shifting my life immediately. I did not return to work full time. I only saw clients when my kids were in school and in the fall of 2005, I enrolled my kids in a charter school. I began a homeschooling program. I really didn’t know how to homeschool or anything about it at all. However, I repeatedly had the intuition and inspiration to do it,so I trusted that guidance.
Other changes evolved as well. I ended a 5 year relationship that seemed to no longer be syngergistic. I discovered raw foods. I decided to take my career into my own hands and become self employed. Freedom in all life aspects became very important.
I was given another chance to live. And ya know, we don’t have to wait until something like this happens to start a new life. Every morning the sun rises we are given another lease on life. What are you going to do with it?