Archives for posts with tag: space
They start as inclinations
A tendency, a preference
Over time, they become patterns
 
If we are busy, we fail to recognize them
But if we remain still, even if for just a moment
Hand over the mic, and they will tell you
 
They are the whispers and nudges
We mostly think of as nuisances
Or even coincidences or accidents
 
And then, we hear their voices
The authenticity that underlies
All that is tepid, trembling or timid
 
Giving way to the strong and steady
The voice we have carried within
All along those tendencies meant something
 
They all add up, and we wake up
Realizing that they were co-incidences
Not just accidents or happenstance
 
Yet we somehow want to shut it up
Our own voices. We strip it of its credibility.
Shutting up. Shutting down. Ignoring it.
 
When you don’t honor your inner stirrings
What some may name a calling – your calling
To say or do something in that moment
 
You neglect not only yourself
Because a calling is more than your own creation
It exists through the consciousness
 
A family’s blessing, a community’s wish
A state’s need or God’s offering
Is all wrapped within each of our callings
 
To honor it is to say YES
And to live our life beyond imagination
The greatness we live is the greatness we give
 
So watch what draws you, repels you, feeds you
Every glance, every hunch hold significance
Pay attention to the message that it gives
 
They call to your soul on every level
They are the lessons to learn and the ways to grow
Let them lead you to your home
 
FOLLOW THE CALLS. 
 
With Love,
theDesignLife
 

Day 8 – Thanksgiving Thankfulness – Pause: I spend most of my life putting one foot in front of the other, trying to take a few steps forward to further what I believe is progress – create new relationships, make more money, experience new things. Yet, every now and then, I take pause in order to reflect, reassess and recalibrate. I made a decision last June to take pause. I needed to quiet the… incessant chatter that was telling me what I should be doing; I needed to confirm whether or not I was walking down the right path. The silence revealed a hidden truth – that I was not being absolutely true to myself, to my greatest gifts, to my life’s purpose. To quote Meredith Grey in Grey’s Anatomy: “We may not like it, but it really is important to stop every once in a while, get out of your own head and see the bigger picture. Actually, finding out you’ve been looking at things all wrong can be sort of liberating. And suddenly you see new potential, new possibilities where you’d never seen them before.” In this light, I am finding a different path – one that speaks more from my heart than from my head, is focused more on quality over quantity and wants to tap more into my creative powers than my critical thinking skills. I know, without a doubt, that I have found the path that was meant for me, and I am loving the things I discover as I traverse it. Thank you. Xx

fear·less

lacking fear.

Since we (or rather, I) are on the topic of fear, I thought I would continue down this road, especially because I heard something today that is very pertinent to this discussion thread (or rather, my mind’s chatter :))

 
I believe that it is neither possible nor necessary to become completely fearless.  As human beings, we will always carry some sort of fear with us, and in some cases, as I have mentioned, we need this fear for good cause.  I support the school of thought that admonishes trying to eradicate your fears but instead embraces your fears as part of you.  Our inward journey includes identifying, understanding and, finally, accepting all the parts of our Self.  Fear is one of those parts, and when you follow it to its origin, you have the opportunity to uncover so much knowledge about why the fear exists in the first place.  As you continue along this discovery path, eventually, you will understand how your fear has shaped your perceptions about yourself and the world, as well as how it is preventing you from living your best life. Then, we can redefine the fear to empower ourselves to create a new paradigm.  Straight up – we create a new reality.   
 
Like most things in life, the thing in and of itself, a thing like fear, is neither good nor bad.  What makes it good or bad is how we use it to do good or bad.  Here are some ways that I have been using fear to become fear-LESS:
 
Recognize The Resistance
Half of the battle is just recognizing the fear.  Fears are sly.  They are like chameleons and can camouflage themselves into thoughts, feelings, words and actions.  While they often like to take center-stage in our lives, they can be very hard to identify.  The best way to identify fear is to take note of any resistance that appears in your body and mind.  I am huge proponent of using both body and mind to recognize signs.  I personally like all the help I can get to learn about myself, so I take any opportunity I can to slip into my body via meditation, relaxation and breathing techniques.  In addition, recognize when you start to feel stuck, inert, unwilling or unwanting. You may find that there is a fear making you stall. 
 
Make Peace With Fear
Once you recognize your fear, don’t chastise or blame it.  Fear is not the enemy.  Fear has been the body and mind’s learned built-in mechanism to help defend you when you didn’t have anything else, like your socialization skills or rational mind, etc., to help you sift through and make sense of external threats.  When you view fear as the enemy, you are creating opposition within yourself, causing more harm than help.  This may seem counterintuitive to most, but my recommendation is to thank fear for doing its job, for protecting you and for loving you in the best way that it knows how.  Then, dismiss it.  Tell your fear that it’s not serving you right now and lay it aside.  Oftentimes, we just need to create our own productive methods of dealing with our internal chatter that’s trying to vie for our attention in hopes of fulfilling our perceived needs and wants.
 
Use Fear As A Tool
Fears can also be passed down from your parents and then internalized to become your own.  My grandma’s and my mom’s fear and dislike of cats was transferred to me very easily, and it was only until recently that I started to overcome it!  Other fears can be a lot more complex and will oftentimes stem from a deeper, embedded insecurity about something.  Our belief systems become formulated at a very young age mostly by our parents, or by whomever we are surrounded most frequently.  Essentially, we are taught what to believe and how to behave.  Entwined within our belief systems are fears that condition us to respond to the world in a very specific way.  Use your fear as a guidepost to start your journey and unfold your story.  Fear is a very effective tool to deep dive into understanding who you are and how you tick; from there, you can decide for yourself if, what and how you want to change.  Why does your fear exist?  Why does it think its serving you? Where did you learn your fear from?  Best yet, does it still serve you?
 
Take Steps Toward Transformation
When you identify your fear and truly allow it to tell its story without judgment or criticism, you create a fabulous and yummy space within to develop a deeper kind of self-love.  Praise yourself for all of the hard work that you have performed and shower yourself with nothing less than love, respect and honor.  Once you release yourself from the burden of self-criticism and underlying insecurity surrounding your fear, you have started the process of forgiveness and healing.  You no longer live in the grip of fear should you choose not to, and instead, you create a strong foundation of love and understanding from which to take another step into your Self.  Slowly but surely, you will experience a new reality that’s based on a different and kinder truth that will lend itself to greater compassion and empowerment.  Like I say, life stops leading you, and you start leading (your) life.
 
As we examine our fears in a new light, we have the power to transform them into a new and better reality that stops limiting and starts creating the kinds of possibilities that we would not have otherwise known if our fears remained unchallenged.  In the words of Christopher Reeves:
 

There are lots of ways  of being fearless. I highly recommend it. To a large extent, the key to  fearlessness is the “no matter what.” Keep that in mind. It’s truly  amazing what we can do by allowing the spirit and mind to flourish.

 
http://aaablogs.uoregon.edu/podssocialactioncareers/living-a-fearless-life-christopher-reeves/
 
With Love,
theDesignLife
hun·ger

have a strong desire or craving for.

 
My hunger strikes in 60-90 minute intervals… for food, that is!  However, these days, I am noticing a different kind of hunger… for a purposeful life.  I am craving the kind of life that strives toward my dreams.  For the first time in many years, I have been afforded the opportunity to think beyond daily, weekly and monthly.  After digging myself out of a financial grave I very well dug myself into, I now have the freedom to envision my life beyond next year.  Throughout this process, I have come face-to-face with my own angels and demons, which has allowed me to not only understand myself but also my needs and wants much more clearly.   
 
By paying my dues (literally), I finally arrived at what I believe is this sacred, fertile ground to plant the seeds for my dreams to grow.  While I felt a hunger to pay back my debt obligations, I feel an even stronger hunger to make my dreams come true.  I am taking full responsibility for every part of my life – the company I keep, the thoughts I have, the emotions I feel, the words I say.  I am letting go of the non-serving; I am making space for the new; I am changing my belief system. 
 
I am still playing in this fertile soil, and with the help of many different people, I am planting seeds.  Below are some of the techniques they have taught me to help channel my hunger in a productive way to help feed my dreams:
 
Meditate on Yummy
I know all too well that the brain works overtime to try to make all the pieces fit together perfectly.  Life can become overanalyzed and over-engineered.  The best piece of advice that I am given continually is to get out of my head with meditation.  While there are many different kinds of meditation, this version is meant to get soft within your body and prime yourself to feel yummy, then really feel it in your body.  Guide the meditation by leading in with what you want to feel yummy about – job, love, relationships, health, etc. (Swap out yummy for luscious, awesome, fantabulous… whatever works for you to make you feel goooood!) Watch or feel whatever gets conjured up in your mind or body that makes you feel yummy.  This is a great starting point to just see what bubbles up.
 
Write Down Life Outward
I understand that it can be easier to think through where you want to be over the next several years.  Your best bet will be to couple this up with your meditation – sometimes what comes up through your relaxed body and mind will be different from your strained body and mind.  Write down what you want your life to look and feel like over whatever time period you are trying to achieve your goals and dreams.  If you have immediate goals, then start with 3-months, 6-months and 1-year.  For mid-term goals, skip the 3-months and 6-months and tack on 3-years and 5-years. 
 
Create A Vision Board
This is something I am actually doing for the first time right now, and it is so much fun!  I feel like this is a place where you can let your creativity and soul soar.  If there are specific categories or buckets you want to dictate what you want to fill up on your poster board, then you can use your Life Outward list.  In addition, I am letting whatever pictures or words that speak to me be part of my collage.  Since I am focusing on very immediate goals, I am targeting my vision board to represent my life in 3-months and 6-months. 
 
Believe That Your Dreams Are Coming True
Just remember that your thoughts become reality.  If you are living a life that is thinking, saying, doing things that make you believe that you can’t do this, dreams don’t come true, it’s not happening for me…. then all of them will come true.  You must truly believe that what you are doing is helping to plant those seeds and making your dreams come true.  Take ownership of yourself – thoughts, beliefs, expressions – to help turn your disbelief into belief. 
 
My hunger is what is keeping me driven, motivated and focused.  It is my absolute desire and craving for a new kind of life and a new way to live it so that I am fulfilling my soul’s purpose.  Tap into your hunger and see what it’s saying to you
 
GET HUNGRY.
 
With Love,
theDesignLife
space

a continuous area or expanse that is free, available, or unoccupied.

 
I am a decent sized Type A, former New Yorker (even if for 2 years ;)) who is notorious for an on-the-go lifestyle.  If I am not meeting someone for lunch, I am on a plane to go somewhere for work or pleasure.  Typically, I am running to back-to-back appointments with hardly enough time for a bathroom break in between!  By day’s end, heels turn into flats, my new-do turns into an up-do (aka, ponytail) and day has turned into night. 
 
I definitely love the vivacity associated with seeing lots of people, going to lots of places, but I also recognized that I was expending more energy on watching the clock to make sure I made it to my next appointment on time than on being part of the conversation with the person in front of me.  My life was becoming counter-productive.  With three-blisters-popping, two-eyes-a-twitching and one big frazzled nervous me, I knew that something was about to give, and I didn’t want it to be my sanity!
 
Therefore, I decided to make space.  As my yoga instructor said: ‘When you make space, you find yummy!’  I couldn’t agree more.  Below are some of the ways I have made space in my life for all of the yumminess:
 
Morning Space
I love time for ME in the morning – a bath with essential oils, a meditation or prayer to give thanks for the day ahead, a filling and nutritious breakfast to carry me into the next hour (I like to eat a lot :)).  I may not have time for all three, so I definitely make time for the latter two, as those are my most important ones.  I wake up 1 hour earlier than I usually do to make room for these things.  They provide a perfect way to fill body, mind and spirit all at once to help me get my day started on the right foot.  A day that begins at peace usually helps me navigate the day’s ebbs and flows much easier.
 
Meeting Space
Whenever I am meeting with someone for lunch, dinner or drinks, I have started to build in as much contingency as I can.  Between running late and running over, I realize that I like the free space surrounding it so that: 1/ no one feels rushed, 2/ we can meander a bit with our conversation, not trying to jam pack it with the highlights and 3/ we can go deep if there’s an opportunity for further emotional connection or support.  I think this is why I opt for evening and weekend meet-ups over workday lunches and coffees.  There’s just less pressure to hurry up and so much more fun to get to know each other.
 
Prep Space
I don’t like being unprepared.  I know that I cannot think of everything in advance, and in a world where time truly is a precious asset for most of us, I like to ensure that time is being used effectively when someone is making space for me.  Therefore, whenever I have a ‘professional’ meeting, I make sure to make room either the day prior or that same day to get a grip on what it is we are trying to accomplish, how I can contribute to that end goal and what questions I may have.  For me, this prep work can be used as a springboard for other ideas or as the template for the meeting.  Either way, I like coming to the drawing board with some colors and shapes in mind, even if we need to erase and start over.
 
Night Space
I also love ME time at night.  I love winding down from a long day, but in the past, I was mostly just collapsing into bed.  Now, I really make the effort to snuggle in with the introverted part of myself so that I can decompress fully with a bath, a book and my gratitude journal.  The biggest distractions from my nighttime ritual comes from the TV in my bedroom, my phone on my nightstand and my laptop still open on my bed.  Therefore, I have to practice a lot of self-control to shut off and shut down – ignore the phone call or text coming in, turn off the Friends marathon and shut down my computer.  When I do live in my nighttime routine, I find nothing but sweet slumber and serenity.
 
These are a just few of my favorite things.  They became very important priorities to feel a lot more calm, cool and collected, so I made space for them and all their yumminess. 
 
Most of us claim that there isn’t enough time in the day to get everything done.  When you stop and evaluate how you are using your time, I reassure you that you will find that there is time – it’s just how you choose and want to use it.  Figure out what’s the most important in your life, and then make room for it.
 
CREATE SPACE!
  
With Love
theDesignLife
grat·i·tude:  the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.

Who says that giving thanks should only be expressed on Thanksgiving?!   Everyday serves as a wonderful opportunity to realize the gifts that are being bestowed upon us.  While they may not have been asked for explicitly or even wanted initially, no matter what, every person, thought, decision and situation has the capability of teaching us something about ourselves and our world.  

Since 2013 rang in, I have been making it a point to write a daily Gratitude List in my e-journal.  I find that it provides a great reason to make space at the end of a day to reflect on what came into my life, and, if I can see them at that time, what lessons they served.  Be it big or small, significant or mundane, I write it down and appreciate it for what it is.

Below are are a few points that have helped me get my Gratitude List started and keep it going:
 
Make It Yours, Make It Yummy
First and foremost, this is YOUR Gratitude List.  It should serve no other purpose than to make you thankful for the comings and goings of your life.  If you are grateful for your daily dose of joe, then write it down… everyday!  I sometimes list ‘gratitude list’ on my Gratitude List 🙂  There is no impression to make, no judgment to be made because it is simply those things that you appreciate being part of your life. 

Size Doesn’t Matter
Write as many or as few things that you are grateful for that day.  Sometimes, my list is barely three lines because my eyes are barely open at the end of a long day.  It doesn’t matter!  The point is to make the space, take the breath and grab a moment of reflection before the day’s end.  No use carrying as much weight to bed – I know I’d rather end my day thinking about the meaningful things in my life, rather than the last conference call I took!  

Gratitude Isn’t Always Pleasurable
Pleasant people, things and events are no-brainers for the Gratitude List.  However, keep in mind that the nastiest snarls, most uncomfortable confrontations and craziest experiences can provide a meaningful dose of unexpected lessons learned for which to be grateful.  When I am faced with the unpleasant or uncomfortable, it really forces me to come to terms with something about myself – a re-defined boundary, a different reflection, a new desire.  Be open and aware of how the unpleasant can actually become the source of something positive.
 
Practice Makes Perfect
Soon enough, gratitude doesn’t only appear when you stop and think about it at the end of the day; gratitude will start to bubble up throughout the day.  Once practiced regularly, you become imbued with gratitude more instantaneously.  These days, I find myself giving preemptive thanks for everything from the food I am about to eat to the safe drive I am about to start.  Gratitude not only becomes a habit but also a manifestation.
 
What started as simply a means to create awareness and gratitude has evolved to manifest a much more purposeful life.  I have re-framed my life to be a series of gifts, or opportunities to learn.  Knowing that each person and situation is a teacher, I am more apt to slow down, listen and be grateful.  There is deliberation.  There is more meaning.  There is purpose.
 
LIVE GREATFULLY.
gratefulfeast
 
With Love,
theDesignLife