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What's a really big YES?

Hello Friends,

 

First we work on saying no to crappy stuff. When we want to improve our lives that's where we start. Clear out the crap. We draw a boundary, and on this side of the line there is no crap allowed.
 
We practice voicing our boundary and saying, "No".
 
I've found with my clients, there soon comes a time when life isn't so crappy anymore and there's no longer a driving force of choosing between "crappy" and "not so crappy".
 
Now the options are between "ok" and "pretty good".
 
That's called leveling up and your boundary line shifts.
 
Now the trick I guide my clients through is moving that boundary line, leveling up, and eventually having the choices fall between "really great" and "super-awesome-amazing"!!!
 
The point is we never want to choose to settle. If you can see a better option, go for it! Choose it! You are valuable and worth it!
 
If you can see it, you can choose it.
 
People get stuck on, "but none of this is crappy".  Which is correct. But it's part of fine-tuning your relationship with energy in the world. Being able to discern subtle differences around you will help you pick up on just what fills you will joy, just how you may be of service to the world, and just what clue of purpose to follow next.
 
As your choices level up and you remain true to caring for yourself, more of your bright gift will open up to the world. By choosing improved options for yourself, you're choosing an improved world!

 

Hugs,

Zarah

P.S. Comment below and share a hard decision you had to make (or are in the process of making). I want to hear your story andoffer help if needed!  Tell me your #BigYES!
 
P.P.S. Join the conversation on Instagram here or post your own picture and tell the story about your choice and tag me @daringheartsclub

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A New Question Which Changed My Life

go to the joy daring hearts club

Dear Friends,

You know I love sharing tools with y’all, right? This weekend I came across a doozy and it’s already changed my (emotional) life (and therefore my whole life). It’s a really simple tool. It’s a question you ask yourself whenever you get tripped up or are triggered. You know, whenever you just aren’t enjoying the state that you are in.

What is this amazing question? Lemme set the stage with a situation that happened to me and I’ll walk you through the whole process.

I learned the question Saturday, and then it already changed my life by Sunday. I was at a natural foods store in San Diego by Ocean Beach. (Yes, I’m beach name dropping!) I was perusing the kombucha selection (remember, I said “natural foods store”) with the door open to the glass case, had already put one bottle in my basket, then was about to go for my second bottle when a loud voice came into my ear and within a quarter second a whole person was now between me and the stock of kombucha.  The word in my ear was “Excuse me” however the protocol of waiting for me to respond to that “request” was not followed and I felt spatially mowed down.  I instantly withdrew into isolation and anger. Then the dude was so oblivious and tried to start a conversation with me about which kombucha was good, still blocking my access to the kombucha.

Has something like this ever happened to you? And you spend the rest of the day replaying options of things you could have said, just being upset, and having that short exchange ruin your whole day?

Anyway, I was fuming.  A few scenarios ran through my head like, he’s one of those oblivious entitled people of the younger generation or an extrovert (I’m not suggesting extroverts or young people are necessarily oblivious or entitled). I thought of how I could reprimand him for getting in my space but I was too impacted by the disregard for my space. I was imagining some roundhouse kicks…

I grabbed my second bottle of kombucha, made my way to the cashier and got out of there ASAP. As I was feeling my body in a tense state from this experience and my head swirling and building with pressure, I luckily thought of the tool from Saturday, so I applied it and asked myself, “Why. This. Now?”

Yes, three simple words that make up a multi-emphasized question. Why? Why this? Why this now?

That was a good start to shift my mood, I was now in curiosity mode, instead of anger and victim mode. In getting curious about what exact element pissed me off, I landed on, “He didn’t respect my space.” I dug a bit deeper, “Why This Now?” I realized my space is very important to me.  And since he didn’t actually touch me, it was all wounds to my emotional space, I determined my emotional space is very important to me.  Now, I had missed doing my morning meditation that day, didn’t get through my morning routine, and my reserves were depleted.  THAT’s why this guy’s actions irritated me so much, I had nothing to give, his abrupt actions threw me off.

Now, I know I always feel better when I meditate, and I know people get grumpy when they don't take care of themselves, but until this threat of loosing mastery of my space, I hadn't put together the pieces of how directly I cared about my space, how much influence I can have over it, and how I get to make a choice to champion it!

Why This Now? Because I needed a reminder how sacred my space is to me and I must protect it with a non-negotiable devotion in order to feel my best and show up in the world with a buffer so I’m not mowed down my someone’s interest in being chatty.

I’m the one who had disregarded my sacred space. I had passed on sitting still and connecting with myself. I was the oblivious entitled person who thought I could power through my day and not need attentive care.

Suddenly, my focus on being a victim and seeing this dude as a force against me dissolved. I no longer paid him any mind. His actions were actually no concern of mine. I had too much cleaning up of my own behaviors towards myself to worry about that.

I’d like to point out a fine line here, when you apply this tool, it’s not to let someone off the hook, but you’ll find that any discomfort is really a message to YOU to make some sort of shift in your life, something that will feel empowering and take you away from worrying about other people’s business. It’s such a nuanced thing. And it will take practice.

This tool is designed to shift your focus, from uncomfortable emotion to curious explorer. It's meant to shift your mode from victim to problem solver.  It will alter your mindset from focusing on what's wrong to understanding that everything leads to joy!

So, give it a whirl. When you find yourself sad or angry or just noticing an uncomfortable tension in your body, take a few breaths and settle in to the question, “Why This Now?” Trace back steps throughout your day until you come across a tipping point of what set you up to be triggered at this moment.

What are you needing to be reminded of? 

Hugs,

Zarah

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6 Practical Steps To Leveling Up Your Life

Dear Friends,

Why might you want to level up your life?  Feel more connected to your purpose.  Feel really good about your accomplishments.  Have accomplishments.  Gain more certainty and confidence in your decisions and actions.  Inspire others!  Be part of the solution.  Be less overwhelmed.  Live with passion!  Here are 6 practical steps to leveling up your life. 

If you want to do things --> be things.

San Diego Palms Daring Hearts Club.jpg

1.  You are the average of the 5 people you hang around most.  If you want to start a successful business, find someone who has started one.  If you want to have a successful relationship, find someone who is in one.  If you want to eat healthy, find someone who eats that way.  If you want something, do something.  Level up the average of your group!

2.  Start with the basics – do you sleep 8 hours?  Drink 1.5 ounces x your body weight in water each day? Walk for at least 30 minutes (can be done in 3 x 10 minute stints).  Eat 5 servings of vegetables each day? Floss?  Pick one of these, add it to your routine, and keep adding until you’ve got them all down pat.  (Pro tip:  Be gentle with yourself and your progress!)

3.  What nice ways do you take care of yourself?  Yes, you deserve a treat each day, but is your treat really nourishing and beneficial, or is it a short term payoff which runs you down?  Thirsty for a cold one?  Sparkling water will refresh you with a burst of energy and leave you hydrated the next day.  The classic cold one will dehydrate you, like all alcohol, bloat you and impact digestion and inflamation like all wheat does, tax your liver from taking care of other toxins in your body and leave you with a headache.

Want to watch that movie late at night?  Sleep will do wonders for your mood and your focus on self-care the next day.  Make decisions to benefit your future self.  You’ll thank your last-night-self the next day.

4.  That goes for many decisions.  Think 5 places ahead – your future self.  What are you building? What are you making space for?  What are you doing today that your future self will thank you for?  Where will you be in a year if you take no action today?  How will you be setting a devotion to your dreams and goals if you take no action tomorrow, either?

5.  Start a morning routine.  You’ll be setting yourself up for success, not just to meet your dreams, but for how you’ll approach them day to day.  Having a morning routine helps you ground yourself, gives you time to connect with you, set your priorities for the day (which line up with your values and priorities for your lifestyle).  A morning routine is familiar and comforting.  It lets your nervous system know it’s safe so it can function at its most efficient and not get freaked out by how late you’re running!!!  There’s a whole website about morning routines here, you can take a look for inspiration.

6.  Be intentional.  Now, nicely prepped with your morning routine, you’ll be able to devote a more calming focus on your lifestyle design.  What does your ideal life look like?  What does each day include?  What type of friends are you spending time with?  What activities are you doing?  What are you wearing?  Where are you living?  What’s your work schedule?  What’s your play schedule?


Using these 6 tips, you can get way far in leveling up your life!  You’ll be set up to reach your dreams and goals, and you can get there with ease.  If you’d like a bit more support please reach out to me.  I’d love to brainstorm with you if you need help pinpointing your values and your life purpose.  I’ve got a few complimentary calls scheduled you can sign up for here.

Hugs,

Zarah

P.S.  I’ve been loving being in San Diego this month!  I’ve got a few very special spots to work with me.  I want to connect with more people while I’m here.  So, really do schedule a free call.  I’m a major introvert and if you are too, you’ll appreciate the safe and non-forced pace of my calls.  I’ll help you get unstuck and you can hang up the phone.   I love to help people out!  If you’re moved, you can find out what’s involved with working with me and still have no pressure to sign up.  I want to find the folks that are ready to level up their lives!!!

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Passion Vs. Practicality

Friends, there are a lot of questions in today's post!

You know those relationships which seem to exist merely on passion.  They look highly exciting, very intense, such strong feelings.  But in the back of your mind, though maybe jealous for what intensity there is, you think – that can’t last long, I give it a month.  And the breakup ends up being just as fiery as the relationship was.

Then, there are those relationships that just seem to persist, on you-don’t-know-what.  Why are they still together?  They seem miserable.  What’s keeping them tied?  Is itfinancial?  Do they just have low self-esteem?  Why don’t they wake up and move on?  It’s just all too practical with no passion you can see;  a.k.a. comfortable.

The most important relationship is with yourself.  And it’s a combo of passion and practicality.

Where in your life are you pursuing passion?  Has the practicality showed up?  What’s the balance for you?

Could you stay up all night playing music, dancing, painting away in your art studio?  Yes?  For a couple nights a week?  For a month?  For a year?  What’s sustainable?  When does the passion turn into an obsession?  Or the overexertion turn into a crutch, a blind spot?

When do you need that practical sleep?  When are you fueling your body?  When are you moving it?

Is it practical to burn yourself out in the name of desire, without giving weight to the longevity and sustainability of your actions?  Are you really devoted to an interest if you’re not also considering it’s lifespan?  Are your actions moving you towards your goal?

Are you really devoted to yourself if you’re not devoted to your lifespan?

Now I want to hear from you.  Where are you in this journey with yourself?  Are these questions you've thought about before?  What's on the forefront of your growth now?  Share a comment below and let me know! 

Hugs,

Zarah 

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Do You Ever Feel Like This Ram?

Dear Friends,

When I watch this video here, go ahead take a look, it's only 55 seconds, I’ll wait for you.

You’re back?  OK, good.

So, when I watch this video, I think of my clients when they come to me and are stuck.  They have been spending a great deal of energy, they think they are eventually getting somewhere, but like this ram, they are actually just running in circles.  Dirt is being kicked up and mounded around their feet.  They are out of breath, getting more and more exhausted – how could that NOT mean progress?

But if you look very closely, the efforts of the ram are all about pulling away, a desperate focus on escape.  This pulling back is actually what’s keeping the ram locked there.  The human helper in this video first attempts to remove the obstacle, trying to crack the tree trunk to allow escape.  But much like real life, we don’t always get to vanish the elements that are frustrating us.  They remain, they are still there.  But what we do have influence and power over is how we interact with, perceive, dance with, navigate those elements, those trees.

There’s another way!

We can’t always see that we are pulling and expending our energy to avoid or escape.  That’s why it’s important to have a healthy support system around us.  People who can see us from a distance and identify a new option.  Bring a question to a supportive friend or see my offer below in the P.S.

Here’s to all of us being free from our tree trunks.

Hugs,

Zarah

P.S.

I am offering complimentary Get Unstuck Strategy Calls here.  I will help you get a bit closer to your freedom and ease, I will gently nudge your horn towards your big next step.  Are you willing to sprint off with joy and delight while I cheer you on with a big, “YES!!!”?  Hop on my calendar today, I can’t wait to speak with you!!! 

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Steps Towards Your "Thing"

Dear Friends,

Hey, are you stuck on what to do next in your life?  Feeling a pull in many directions?  Or worse yet, feeling no pull what so ever?  How ever do you make a choice and move forward with your life?  (I share some steps to address this below.)

I was feeling this way last month.  With the ever increasing rents in the Bay Area and not having my own long-term home I started to wonder where else I could feather my nest.  And I was beginning to feel overwhelmed and that all of my efforts were put towards searching and seeking, and not actually enjoying and experiencing living.

Ruling out a few popular go-to spots I've heard other people head to when evacuating the high San Francisco rents, the seed of San Diego was planted. I had always admired the kindness of people I met from San Diego, it seemed like a mandatory characteristic – being extra nice. In fact, at one point after meeting someone really nice, I’d ask, “Are you from San Diego?” And the answer would be, “Yes!”

But this San Diego thing was still overwhelming, I found I was not getting excited about a relocation to San Diego. It wasn't until I took a bite-sized approach and decided to be curious and experiment in San Diego for just a month that I got really, really excited!

So, as of now, I’m writing from my airy and bright Airbnb down in San Diego!  I’m here for a month on a self-imposed retreat.  My plan is to support my health, get some really good habits into my daily routine, breathe warm ocean air, and pursue ways I can be of service in the world.

Oh, and see the Giants play at the Padres’ park.  So far we are down one game.  Apparently, the Padres had a winning streak to keep too…

I have begun my life experiment, choose-your-own-adventure style!  I’ll be paying attention and looking for what happens next.

If you are finding yourself in a similar boat, having too many or not enough choices, there are a few steps you can take to get clarity.  Not sure which career to pursue?  What city to move to?  Which hobby to take up?  #GetCurious!

1.  List out all the options that are swirling through your head.  Get them all in one spot.  If you are stuck on having no ideas, start listing out what you’d be willing to try for a day, a week, or a month (or even what you think you should never try - reverse psychology!).  Get social, ask friends what they are in to, look up local classes, ask the cashier what they like to do in their free time…

2.  Next, really identify what the base element is about each option that you really are attracted to.  So not just a location or job, but what characteristics are there, what’s the generic key that you appreciate.

For example, it's your dream to move to Spain and start a bed-and-breakfast. You identify the generic keys you appreciate as:  meeting new people, cooking new recipes with local ingredients, and submerging yourself in the mental work of learning a new language.

3.  Next, when keys are identified, start making bite-sized choices based on that attraction.  These reasons are your true joy. Make space for one or more of those options to come true.

Since a Spanish resort is not an overnight project, you can take first steps to connect with this joy of yours by signing up for Spanish lessons at the local community college, looking up recipes online, and joining a hiking club so you get to talk to new people on a regular basis.

Now here’s the scary part – by road testing your big dream, you may find that you don’t enjoy it as much as you thought, and then you’re stuck with no dream, no beautiful thoughts to keep you trudging through your stressful day job anymore.  (If this fear really resonated with you, hit reply right now and say, “Yes!”)

But as you see, you can repeat these 3 steps and really get to the core of what you actually are passionate about.  And you’ll learn when you’re experiencing resistance to greatness, and when you simply are learning something isn’t your cup of tea.  Oh my gosh, and you are going to find and harness your true life gift!

Any indication you can make to the world that you're ready for change is a good move. Now here's the trick – you take action towards your joyful goal, then keep paying attention because there may be a new option that appears you couldn't have accounted for before. And that's how people seem lucky – they've prepared for the unseen by staying true to their core.

Go explore all your options, ask a lot of questions, get curious. Choose your own adventure!

So that’s where I am now.  I’ve taken action, and I have some joyful ideas in play, AND I’ll be paying attention to what new ideas present themselves.  I know I’m exactly where I am suppose to be, incomplete and all!

Hugs,

Zarah

P.S.  If you wanna throw around some ideas of what YOUR key joy elements are and what some adventure steps could be, schedule a call with me.  It’s a free call, I love brainstorming with people.  Let’s get you some clarity as I have with many other people who have taken me up on this offer!   schedule a complimentary call with me!

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How A Puzzle Became My Summer Paradise Get-A-Way

daring hearts club dot com puzzle mindset

OK, think back across your life.  When, if ever, did you work on puzzles?  Either you were a kid and you worked on a puzzle because you were a kid.  Or, your family was on vacation, like at a winter cabin or summer lake house where there was no TV and before cell phones were prevalent.

You would work on a puzzle because there was really not much else to do.  Either it was snowing outside, or you had already worn yourself out at the beach.  And now you just needed something to occupy your time, some manual exercise to keep your brain occupied in a benign manner.

If this was the case for you, as it was for me, puzzles only came into play as a last resort.  Everything else was either out of range (tv, pager, cell phone) or already taken care of (washing dishes, laundry, making meals).  So, there was nothing much left to do but work on a puzzle.

daring hearts club dot com puzzle paradise

A new understanding came to me recently.  I have been craving a summer paradise get-a-way but don’t have the strength to get there.  It would actually be too disruptive to my health to travel at this time.   Somehow I thought to distill down the effects of puzzle making, to get the benefit of a paradise state of mine, without actually travelling.  And it’s totally worked!

Working on a puzzle feels like meditation to me.  When I first dumped out all the pieces, some old puzzle strategies came flooding back to my memory.  Pull out all the edge pieces first.  Sort out color sets, the pieces that look like the tablecloth, get those all together next.  It was so much fun and exciting to learn that my puzzle solving skillset still lived deep within me though I haven’t touched a puzzle in decades.

While I was leaning over the puzzle table, weird sensations began arising in my brain.  Like this was all familiar, but the puzzle piece seeking software in my brain hadn’t been activated for a while.  After a couple days, it felt comfortable again.  I wondered what constantly checking my smartphone had done to those puzzle solving parts of my brain…

So, I hadn’t traveled anywhere, but I was reaping the benefits of puzzle time.  And I could have done laundry instead and I still have access to wifi, if I wanted it… but I chose to pretend I am far away at a lake house and nothing else is of any urgency.

I reached the desired state of mind – paradise mind!

As a bonus.  I found as pieces, then blocks of pieces came together, I was really excited.  And then I found that I was saying really encouraging and celebratory things in my mind to myself.  I’d notice a piece across the table and instantly know it went with the canning jar lids and before thinking I snapped it into place.  It felt so intuitive and I complimented myself on how well this was all fitting together.  I’d amaze myself with how pieces would jump out at me and I’d know instantly where they belonged.  So besides paradise-mind,  I’m also being exposed to positive self-esteem talk and that’s just the cherry on top of the get-a-way!

Now I want to hear from you.  What is your magic paradise tool?  What can transport you to a vacation mindset?  And if you're into puzzles, what's your top puzzle organizing strategy?  Share a comment below and let me know! 

Hugs,

Zarah

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The Epic Event Of “Taking No Action”

Dear Friends,

Ideas – reminders – come to me when I’ve finally slowed down enough to take a meal in peace and quiet.


So you think this is a coincidence?  I don’t always eat in a mindful way, but just now I was – and I remembered two very important tasks I should “start working on right away”.

If I hadn’t been doing busy work all day, or if I had taken quiet time in the morning (or even sometime throughout the day) I may have identified and ranked this priority earlier, before my quiet meal.

Then the thought that crossed my mind – thankfully – was “This is my quiet / mindfulness time.  Quiet time is always going to be a priority, I can save that task for tomorrow.  #PaceYourself

I can’t put off recharging myself (anymore) and that recharging actually has an impact on how I live my life vs. the finish-everything-first-you-can-rest-when-you’re-dead approach.

*OK, so I did stop my meal to write this, following this guide:  Will this bring me closer to myself?  Yes, I wanted to deepen this thought/awareness.

Also, knowing I can pause and have quiet time in the morning (with a mid-afternoon refresher) to really connect with, remember, and prioritize what is important to me, makes waiting on tonight’s popup task OK.

Do you take quiet time?  Eat mindfully?  Meditate?  How do you ground yourself and stay connected, body with spirit?

Hugs,

Zarah

P.S.  Remember, I'd love to hear from you!  Schedule a complimentary call with me!  Share your thoughts in the comments below or on our Facebook page!

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Feeling Pretty Strongly About This

I started with a quote from one of my mentors and went on from there yesterday.  I'm still feeling pretty strongly about this as a good structure in approaching life and am sharing with you.



Dear Friends,

Make a decision, make it right.

Get good at problem solving.

Follow through.

Have patience.

Be outcome neutral.

Balance strategy and action, a bit more action.

You are ok, right now in the moment. String those moments together.

It is all possible. If it is not achieved, you are still loved.



Any elements that resonate with you?  Disagree?  Anything missing?

 

Hugs,

Zarah

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I Haven’t Forgotten About You, Don’t Disappear On Me

Dear Friends,

This is something we all may have thought to say to our inner child at one time or another.  And here's a story to go along with that. 

I haven’t forgotten about you, don’t disappear on me.  
 

I haven’t forgotten about you...

I still hear a tiny voice in my head that says something sucks or is just plain stupid. Just because.  For no good reason.  

I want to jump up and down on my freshly made bed some days, just a quick glimpse in my mind’s eye of that happening.

Packing it all in and heading home for a nap at 2pm would be awesome!

It’d be so much more funner to skip-a-long right now than to walk rapidly towards the train while reviewing emails on my phone.

 

Don’t disappear on me...

You are special, you brighten my day just thinking about you.  Even if I don’t always acknowledge you.

I have fond memories of how we’d spend time together and though I’m working and in responsibility-mode now, I hope those carefree times return one day soon.

I’ve pushed you down and out of the way, but I’ll never let go!  I need that spark you bring and I hope to reignite it.  

I know I’ve been distracted with work and there’s this tight deadline, and that’s what I said last week and the week before that, but I really do appreciate you, the joy you bring, the way you take action, your spontaneity… you bring me hope, knowing you’re somewhere down in there, and it’s just me holding myself back from fully enjoying you.  If you were to disappear, I don’t know what I would do... that hope would be gone.  

In fact, right now, I don’t even want to chance that.  I’m going to stop right now and write you a love letter.  I’m going to run barefoot through the grass.  I’m going to call that person I admire, I’m going to take that pottery class and ride my bike.  I’m going to go swimming right now but really just alternate between floating, somersaults, and underwater handstands.  I’m going to stop thinking so hard and just do.  I’m going to have fun, make friends, be silly, get creative, think with my heart, and get shit done.  

I can't do it without you. 

Hugs,

Zarah

P.S.  Thank you to all who have forwarded my blog posts on to a friend.  I love hearing how these essays make you think, inspire you, and help you connect.  Remember, I'd love to hear from you!  Reply to this email or schedule a complimentary call with me to see if we should work together!  Share your thoughts on our Facebook page!

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Be the big tree!

Dear Friends,

We all get hurt at one time or another.  Hurt people hurt people.   It’s a chicken and egg kinda thing.  This means at any given pain point we have the gift of looking upon our own past patterns and behaviors to see where we have failed or come up short in helping those around us feel safe, loved, encouraged, recognized, and important.   Of course no one is going to take as good a care of us as ourselves.  It’s actually our first priority and greatest gift to the world; self-care so you have reserves to give from and be of service to others.  You cannot sustain helping others if you do not first take care of yourself. 

 

We are all connected. 

My yoga teacher once had us visualize roots growing down from our feet to the core of the earth where all our roots met.

People show up in our lives to help propel us toward our next lesson.  (We are spiritual beings having human experiences.)  They breed an annoyance or friction which just activates the “you spot it, you got it” tool.  What a gift for the universe to arrange this trigger in your path!  For you to have the opportunity to harness awareness and make new healing choices.  To recover from past trauma you had fewer tools with which to navigate through at the time.

It’s natural to second guess ourselves, our behaviors, our choices.  But we can also remember we are not that powerful, in that way, over someone else.  It may feel like it at times, like our actions have pushed someone away or made them miss out on an opportunity.  But that’s really their choice and their behavior; where we have real power and abundant power is over ourselves and our own lives, choices, and behaviors.  What others think of me is none of my business. 

I do have autonomy over my own perspective, voice, and choices.

One of the hardest things I’ve had to learn, and still practice, is to allow others to do their own thing.  It’s a reflection of them (good, bad, or in a period of growth), it has nothing to do with me, my value, my station, my grace.  We are all connected, but we are all autonomous for our own portion of our roots and what springs forward.  My limiting beliefs may keep someone from rising to unimaginable (by me) heights, if I was in charge of them.  Yet by keeping my focus on my own root system stretching to the center of the earth, and feeding, watering, and pruning what springs forth I too can come to hope for, then expect, then experience growth and flowering beyond my own wildest dreams.  We are all connected AND we are all autonomous.  But your example of what’s possible or what consequences arise for certain behaviors help me make inspired, fruitful, and abundant choices for myself so that I may be the big tree one day giving hope to the seedling next to me.

#bethebigtree

Hugs,

Zarah

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Letting Go Is Not Failure!

Hi Friends,

Sometimes you need to move on from something, let go to be free.  That letting go creates space and opens you up for what's next.  You don't always have to see or know what's on the horizon to know that what's happening now just isn't working.

Spring is a great time for this - we've got spring cleaning, animals shed during this season, and as rebirth happens it's easier to drop the old.

I've had big shifts over the past couple years as I've come out of my hidden-mold, sick home.  And as I continue my recovery, I'm finding that it's easier to shed what no longer works for me.  And I'm quicker to take action to care for my health and well-being.  

I think projects - planning them, collecting supplies for them, making blogs for them - were a way for me to feel engaged when I just couldn't get out into the world due to my chronic health condition.  Now that I have energy to move around in the world, these projects are closer to ties binding me in a small, windowless box.  Hmmm, that kinda sounds dramatic, but that's what's coming to mind!

My focus now is to see how much I can get rid of... I've already shared with you that I think I'm a minimalist and donating 50% of my belongings has been freedom-inducing!  But minimalism, overall, is a mindset which I can apply to stuff or non-tangibles as well.  

One thing I've noticed over the past decade is my ever-NON-changing task list.  Each week it was the same, the same house chores, the same "write a blog post", the same exercise... I was chronically ill, so it was no wonder I couldn't make forward progress on what I put in front of me.  

To make progress, I actually have to remove what's in front of me, not put anything there!

So, besides my physical belongings, I've been dropping my *some day* projects, even the ones I've made some good progress on.  

Here are some examples of what I've let go of:

  • 1001 Squared:  The Abundance Project (yes, it's as massive and life-long as the name sounds, and I never have to explain it again!  Dropping this one freed up so many areas of my life, I'm still discovering the impact!)
  • CraftersLocal 415 - a makers community
  • Maintaining an art studio
  • Encaustic painting as a hobby
  • Bookbinding as a hobby
  • My rubber stamp collection and paper punches (these are things, but they represented all the time-consuming projects I'd yet to get to)
  • Many daily/#365 projects over the years - I just don't operate that way!  So freeing to realize that!
  • JoySubdivision - an online blog with affiliate links as an income source
  • RockOUTPress - my button-making hobby/mini biz
  • Living places that have made me sick (including my most recent pad I told you about - the smoking "non-smoking" building)
  • I know I made a whole list of projects I've let go of, but I'm not finding it now, so I'm letting go of that.  Just multiply this list by 84,000

Wanna try this yourself?  Here are five ways to make sure you're discarding a burden vs. fearing the hard work of an aligned commitment:

1.  When you think about that project how does your body feel?  Do you experience a lightness or heavy doom?  Do you feel you could leap across the room or are you being held down in a seat in the corner?  Does your body tense up or relax?

2.  Why were you interested in this project to begin with?  Was it your dream?  Does that dream still hold up?  Have you refined your dream and this project no longer aligns?  Was the dream someone else's and you can finally recognize it's not from your own true desires?  

3.  Is there just way too much awesomeness in your life now?  Are you excited about all your projects, but you'd need a full-time, 20 person team to accomplish them all?  Is the burden of (non) scalability becoming the heavy object when thinking about your projects?  Sometimes we have to pick between awesome, really awesome, and most amazingly super awesome!  And for folks that have lived in scarcity, it's a new skill to choose between good and better.  

4.  Imagine completing the task - is it part of a bigger picture that will bring you closer to your dreams and passions?  This question helps rule out *fear* getting in the way of your choices.

5.  Are there conditions outside of your control that prevent you from successfully pursuing this project?  Is there any shift you can make to redefine your project so it fits within your influence?  Are you setting yourself up for failure by holding this plan over your head, a guaranteed self-fulfilling prophecy of failure?


Let me know if you use these questions to evaluate any of your current projects and commitments.  I'm curious about the outcome and if you find any relief by letting go.  Share about it below on the comments or on our facebook page.  If I may help support you in any other way, let me know!

Letting go is not failure, it's freedom!!!

Hugs,

Zarah

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