Seriously Good Questions to Help Free Your Soul

To be aware of a single shortcoming within oneself is more useful than to be aware of a thousand in somebody else.  

Dalai Lama

grafiity8
I’m listening for the unknown in the silence.  For my inner guidance system to tell me what to do.
i-cant-go-back-to-yesterday-quote-taylan-soyturk
Inspired by Tim O’Reilly and his explanation on the process he goes through when considering important decisions. How he waits for better answers in the unknown.
silent rumi
Instead of following the Argyris Ladder of Influence. The Ladder of Inference describes the thinking process that we go through, usually without realizing it, to get from a fact to a decision or action. … Draw conclusions based on the interpreted facts and our assumptions while developing beliefs based on these conclusions.
argyris-ladder-of-influence_orig
Learning more about the Structural Differential (a physical chart or three-dimensional model illustrating the abstracting processes of the human nervous system) helps to understand why we should remain curious about the unknown instead of formulating answers based on old beliefs.
skeleton

What must I let die today? What most go, in order for me to love more deeply? To live more intently? To embrace life more purposely?

Kill List
1. That I am not a perfect fit for the world.
2. That I’m not enough, that I need to be more of anything.
3. That I am lost and disconnected.
4. That I must wear this heavy armor and use my tongue as my sword.
have

What am I hesitant in doing?

1. Being more thoughtful and patience with myself and others.
2. Picking one path – oh, it might be a mistake. I make get caught looking stupid, feeling vulnerable and terribly exposed.
3. Speaking my whole truth. The damn truth and nothing but the fucking truth.
4. Creating a life I really want to live.
5. Becoming more loving – the real kind of loving – the unconditional kind.
6. Letting go of the pain of my past.
demand

What should continue to live? And what life am I afraid to give birth to today?

  1. More of my curiosity about everything.
  2. Trusting where love takes me.
  3. Exploring the lush but uncharted territory of this world.
  4. Listening deeply with a more loving and tender heart.
  5. My deep desire to connect with others.
  6. More leaning on the cheek of god, doing things that expand my mind and conscience.
  7. Allowing my heart to break open –  a vast and oceanic heart.
growth
Something to think about.  A new perspective on sparking more joy in your life.
clutter
I use to wake up each morning wondering “What if?” My mind blown with anxiety.
What if he leaves me? What if I can’t contribute? What if I become ill? What if the world should end?
Now, I wake up each morning and change that “What if?” to acceptance and gratitude for
“What is.” Simply, What is. 
Patience acceptance

Self-Abandonment, Sitting with Painful Emotions & Some Damn Good reasons for Building Self-Trust

I was seeking the truth about why my words contradicted my actions.  Why my good intentions were backfiring.  Why I would say “I want to achieve this and I want to achieve that” all day long- but I never really met my goals head on. I got some half-assed results.  Whether it was ” I will never let anyone treat me like that again,” as I jumped into bed with my ex or “I’m not eating another piece of fattening bread again,” as I smeared a slab of butter on the dinner roll.  Contradicting myself all the time.  Oh to be human.

trust

I would set myself up each day for success, at least in in my mind, but by dinner time, I was right back where I started, sometimes even worse off.  Self-sabotage.  Overpromising too many people, including myself and underdelivering and setting myself up for failure.

talk

It came to the point where I just couldn’t trust myself at all any more. I’d say things to myself like  “I’ll start saving money soon,”  as I continued to rack up my credit cards at my favorite boutiques, restaurants and cafes.

I’m working on building my trust back. Honestly, how can you trust anyone else if you don’t trust yourself?

Read: 21 Signs You Don’t Trust Yourself

Pains

Trusting yourself is what builds confidence. On the other hand, NOT trusting yourself, because you are lying to yourself, is what leads to self doubt and ultimately painful emotions. And you know how we don’t like to feel those.

quote-sometimes-people-don-t-want-to-hear-the-truth-because-they-don-t-want-their-illusions-friedrich-nietzsche-34-72-80

“As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust: First Part

Trusting Only The Good Parts of Ourselves

the_burning_abandonment_of_fear_by_art_by_doc-da7t1ht

Personally, I have found that self-trust starts with self-forgiveness and taking the time to understand why we are so self-deceptive. I took sometime to think back on all the terrible, selfish and thoughtless things I have done to myself and to others throughout my life.  Then I read the list. God that was hard. Then I waited a day and thought about more bad things that I did and added to the list. Oh, to take a good look into the guiltiness of it all. It was so damn painful. The crazy thing is – I would write down something I remembered that I did that hurt someone and then I WOULD MAKE AN EXCUSE FOR WHY I DID IT. Really??

quote-above-all-don-t-lie-to-yourself-the-man-who-lies-to-himself-and-listens-to-his-own-lie-fyodor-dostoevsky-35-17-40

The point I am trying to make here is that we can’t just trust some parts of of ourselves. Like the good parts with the good emotions. We have to trust our whole entire being. The good, the bad and the ugly.  This starts by not abandoning yourself.  You abandon yourself every time you don’t allow yourself to be completely honest, feel badly and sit with some of the pain and sadness you have brought to your own life.  Don’t dwell there, just become more aware.

“Self trust is the essence of heroism.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

truth

But I think that because they trusted themselves and respected themselves as individuals, because they knew beyond doubt that they were valuable and potentially moral units — because of this they could give God their own courage and dignity and then receive it back. Such things have disappeared perhaps because men do not trust themselves anymore, and when that happens there is nothing left except perhaps to find some strong sure man, even though he may be wrong, and to dangle from his coattails.
― John Steinbeck, East of Eden

More Beautiful for Having Been Broken & Being Seduced By Our Own Storylines

Kintsugi is the Japanese art of mending broken objects using gold or silver epoxy. The Japanese believe that when something has suffered damage and has history, it becomes more beautiful. 

Kintsukuroi

I’ll never forget the first time one of my twin daughters had her heart broken. She was all of 16 and completely devastated. I remember her face as she curled up in my bed, in physical pain, her head in the pillow and eyes swollen with tears, hand on her heart, she said, “Now I know WHY they call this a broken heart,” “It actually feels BROKEN in my body.” Shattered like glass.

Adapt

After someone breaks up with us, we can feel very, very lonely.  Abandoned, rejected, thrown away. What are we do to with this deep seated pain?

I am studying Pema Chodron’s Heart Advice For When Things Fall Apart.

Usually we regard loneliness as an enemy. Heartache is not something we choose to invite in. It’s restless and pregnant and hot with the desire to escape and find something or someone to keep us company. When we can rest in the middle, we begin to have a nonthreatening relationship with loneliness, a relaxing and cooling loneliness that completely turns our usual fearful patterns upside down. 

to-open-deeply-as-genuine-spiritual-life-requires-we-need-tremendous-courage-and-strength-a-kind-of-quote-1

 

An inspiring tale of self-discovery, I have read The Alchemist.

heart

Next on my reading list. . . .

The Middle Way & The Manual for The Warrior of The Light

Paul Warrior

Blind to the Beauty of This Moment

Distraction is the main problem for us all – what the Buddha called the monkey mind. We need to tame this little monkey mind. Tenzin Palmo

As entertaining as it can be, please don’t feed the monkey mind.

giphy

When we are unaware that we are unaware.
Then we rush and ramble through the day, doing the “important” and the urgent, going after the goals, just killing it, aren’t we though?
Both numb and dumb to the fierce and wild beauty of the present moment.
Asleep at the wheel.
little
Not taking notice of our surroundings, the people we are with and even our own presence. Too busy snapping instead of savoring.
joy
Oh to be mindless,  as we let the monkeys swing from vine to vine through our head. Pulling us from thought-to-thought with our every emotion.  The seedlings for anxiety and panic.
So disconnected with life smack in front of us – to notice the simple and ordinary joy of the day or the pain and suffering of our brother nearby.
And those seemingly little blessings that are happening every moment for our benefit? Wait for it.
Your mind just can’t be here, there and everywhere, yet this is how we go.
2015-08-06-self-aware.png
To be painfully and gratefully aware and awake with appreciation.  This is how we grow.
Inspired by my mother’s doctor who removed her cataracts today. Cataracts are a clouding of the eye’s natural lens, which lies behind the iris and the pupil. Cataracts are the most common cause of vision loss in people over age 40 and is the principal cause of blindness in the world.
Overtime, like many people, mom got use to seeing the world in a blurry, shadow-like haze. In faded color instead of technicolor. It happened gradually over time. Let us not get use to going blind to the beauty of this moment.
emotional-sanity-640x400

Turning Your Passion into Progress

1-jacob-nordby

To be passionate about your dreams is one thing. To realize your dreams and create with purpose is completely another. Oh the danger of being drunk with passion and intoxicated with ideas.

When all we have is passion, we fall prey to being impatient while assuming we will succeed while overcoming our limitations. Limitations are real and something we need to see clearly or we will never make progress. Self-denial about our limitations let us miss where we need to grow and go. We risk the chance of becoming blinded by naive enthusiasm. We promise ourselves more than we can muster. It’s a delusional place to be.

But oh how much fun it can be.

impossible

We all know the loop. Take an idea, what seems like a very good idea and become really excited about that idea. Pumped. Stoked. On fire. We are filled with unbridled enthusiasm, perhaps what many people call passion.

That passion you feel, that deep desire to fulfill that dream, it’s the fire that fuels. Passion may very well be what kicks your ass out of bed in the morning and charges you to move forward, to go forth, to get on with it.

test-tube-and-skulls

The Alchemy of Passion

Read: The Surprising Alchemy of Passion & Science from the MIT Leadership Center.

But, passion without execution and the ability to fail and endure is a trap.

vision

Turning Passion into Progress

Turning your passion into reality requires something more. It requires progress. Sometimes painful progress. Progression – making  headway towards your goals – can and should be measured and tracked with a daily dose of reality. What your passion requires is honesty and clarity.

It might also need a plan.   A deliberate disciplined action strategy and of course the discipline to honor that purposeful plan every day. A blueprint of sorts. A guide. A map.

go

But how do you know if you’re really making progress? Harness the data. Measure the feedback. Track how far you’ve come and how far you need to go before your dream(s) are reality.

Planning the process and producing a bit each day, making progress. This is what transforms passion into progress. What makes those dreams come true.

vision2

Passionate activity without purpose is just noise. It might even mean just being busy.

Busy without being productive will keep you spinning your wheels while never making any real progress.

 

four-of-hearts

We can ward off that danger of being drunk with passion by being realistic about what we are doing. Staying in the moment, measuring our progress and making corrections to our course each day.

A Critical Look at Our Faults & Failures

The ability to evaluate one’s own ability and progress is an important skill to turning passion into progress. It requires a critical look at what needs to be improved. Including your skills.  How good are you right now, really? How much more do you need to improve? to practice? to plan? to execute. 

self-honest

How are you sure that what you are doing is moving you forward?

my-kidnapper

 

Inspired by

Ryan Holiday’s Ego is the Enemy should be required reading for everyone, especially those with a dream, a vision and or a passion. I am finding his book to be one of the most grounding pieces of writing I have read in a very long time. Thank you Ryan.

Illustrator Ruben Ireland

times-of-need

ReSet Your Thinking

Have you ever wished you could just change the way you think? Rewire your brain? Take action and move forward in a new and improved direction?
I have recently met someone who is helping me do just that and her name is Laura Simao. I feel so blessed to know her. Laura is in the middle of creating ReSet.

What is ReSet? 

ReSet is a transformative personal development frame work that incorporates self-applied design thinking and cognitive and behavioral neuroscience insight and techniques to help you become a more self-aware, creative thinker and problem solver.

So far, my ReSet sessions with Laura have helped me uncover my deeper values, beliefs, goals and skills to ultimately achieve a higher level of success in all aspects of my life.

My big challenge is that I want to produce excellent work. I don’t want to rush and I want to be very thoughtful about everything I am creating. This is not an easy thing to do in our very busy and fast moving world.  Don’t you agree?

How it is done – Laura’s process
how
So here we have my new mindset, after four sessions with Laura.
Clarity
I achieve a new level of excellence as a leader today by remaining organized and focused with clarity about my current goals. I target and focus on the results I want to achieve. This is my mantra, my daily ritual to achieve a state-of-mind and new trait of excellence with everything I do.
Today’s results included -(these will change as I grow, create and focus on different projects)
  • Securing an additional consulting client that I really want to work with and help succeed.
  • Completing the most timely task for each current client.
  • Building out one more additional section of ThePRPlaybook.com.
  • Reviewing and adding one brilliant idea to my social media strategy.
  • Adding shareable content to my social media platforms.
  • Immerse myself in an energized spin, swim and dance class.
  • Some evening time spent well with my husband.
  • Being as helpful as I can for my daughters in whatever capacity they need me.
  • At least one hour mastering my video and editing skills.
I don’t need to rush. I am thoughtful every step of the way. I remember, I cannot fail, as I am co-creating with God.
I am talented, experienced and a strategist. I do not need to fret, rush or feel pushed to create work in a hurry.
Discerning
I am discerning about all of the projects I decide to take on today and in the future. I do not chase after every shiny new thing.
My criteria for choosing anything else to focus on today –
Is this task critical to achieving the results I want today?
Will this add any long term value to my goals? To my work?
Is this something I may be interested in the future?
I am discerning about who I associate with and the projects I take on. I say no to most and I say it kindly.
I choose my posse, my pack, my people that I work with and I am always humble and kind. I learn from everyone. I grow as I go.
Grounded
I am grateful and grounded today. I am calm, centered and serene. I don’t rush. I make time for everything I am creating today. I am thoughtful and capable of producing excellent work.
It takes time to create and I remember I have God as my co-pilot. There is never need to worry about sloppy work.
I remember Emerson. “God will not have his work made manifest by cowards”.
Smart
I am dedicated to life long learning. I am always improving my skills of storytelling, writing, video and editing. I make smart decisions.
Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely
Depth
The time I gain not rushing around being busy gives me time to think and create. To think critically and to review my work with a discerning eye and to add as much emotional creativity as possible to create excellent work.
What’s inspiring me right now:
The Inevitable by Kevin Kelly
How to Be Here by Rob Bell

Stretching Our Boundaries

This blog is about personal transformation and stretching our boundaries. It’s a diary of my own quest to become a more critical thinker and stronger and better version of myself. I want to become  more useful and valuable to others. And if I am really open and honest, I also want to stay relevant.

Change- Stretching Our Boundaries

I have come to understand that change, transformation and growth is difficult. It’s painful and it’s challenging.  Change is hard. Evolving is frustrating and uncomfortable.

I just started reading Kevin Kelly’s newest book “The Inevitable” Understanding the technological forces that will shape our future.  If you are currently reading The Inevitable and want to discuss the book, leave a comment below.

Change is Inevitable

A quote from Kevin’s new book.

We are different from our animal ancestors in that we are not content to merely survive, but have been incredibly busy making up new itches that we have to scratch, creating new desires we’ve never had before. This discontent is the trigger for our ingenuity and growth. We cannot expand our self, and our collective self, without making holes in our heart. 

Holes in our heart. Of yes. I agree with Kevin, the path to our “enlargement” is hard work. It’s not glamorous, exciting or even fun at times. But I believe it is necessary.

A world without discomfort is utopia. But it is also very stagnant.

inevitable Let’s read it together.

We Have A Choice

Today’s thought is inspired by Ryan Holiday’s “The Obstacle is the Way

Sure bad things happen to all of us. Let our mistakes become our training. No matter what happens we decide what story to tell ourselves or whether we will tell a story at all.

We have a choice in every situation, we can take advantage of problems and turn them into opportunities or we can succumb to anger and fear.

We decide what we will make of every situation.

“There is always a countermove, always an escape or way through.”

Everything we fear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth. – Marcus Aurelius.

What obstacles are you facing? What opportunities do they provide?

Living Intentionally

Doppler_Shift

I have come upon a shift in thinking.  It’s the difference between living a life that is unprepared, off-the-cuff and according to the demands and cries of others TO a more deeply connected, intentional and thoughtful life.

A life designed to inspire and ignite others.

It’s a conscious decision to move away from my “ad-libbed” life, towards an artful, improvised life with deliberate purpose and meaning.

“My life is not an apology, but a life. It is for itself and not for a spectacle. I much prefer that it should be of a lower strain, so it be genuine and equal, than that it should be glittering and unsteady.” Self Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson    Read Self Reliance

I will no longer live a reactionary life as I move away from ” making it up as I go” TO steering my life with clear intention and genuine vision, headed in the direction of my heart.

Honoring myself and the eternal verities every step of the way.

This choice I have made, to live a responsive and purposeful life. A deliberate and well-designed life sparked by deep inquiry.

I arrange each day in such a way that I am living thoughtfully, mindfully and respectively with the best version of me.

Inspired by

Actor and HB Studio Acting Coach David Deblinger 

Jonathan Fields

Michael Port’s Steal the Show: From Speeches to Job Interviews to Deal-Closing Pitches, How to Guarantee a Standing Ovation for All the Performances in Your Life

steal the show

Mastery synthesizes the years of research Robert Greene conducted while writing the international bestsellers The 48 Laws of PowerThe 33 Strategies of War, and The Art of Seduction and demonstrates that the ultimate form of power is mastery itself.

Mastery

mastery

In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts: they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty. Self Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson.

The willful warrior, the worry-free wanderer, the mindful self-mastered and the curious creator . The spontaneous-seeker summoned by synchronicity.  The truth teller. May we all live intentional and thoughtful lives.

How are you living more deliberately today?

My Life Changing Winter Book List

I have a mile high list of many, many books I want to read this fall and winter. This is just a few stories up. If you’ve read any of them, let me know why you think they should be on my list (or why I should take a pass). Or better yet, maybe you have another book that I should read first. Do share.

Dilbert

Book 1. Influence by Robert B. Cialdini because I need/want to stockpile my weapons of persuasion and it’s one of Scott Adam’s favorites. Scott is the creator of the comic strip Dilbert above.

Read:  Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Revised Edition

influence-book

Because I have read the teachings of Lucius Annaeus Seneca and Marcus Aurelius and I’m just      crushin’ on these great stoic thinkers. Show me the way.
Book 2. A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy

A guide to the good life

Book 3. Super Betterbecause who doesn’t want to be?  Read: SuperBetter: A Revolutionary Approach to Getting Stronger, Happier, Braver and More Resilient–Powered by the Science of Games

51oHuRxOgIL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_

As Victor Frankl once said: “Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how’.

The Purpose Driven Life is on my list because, I’m always seeking. The question of existence….. Why am I alive? The question of significance…..Does my life matter? The question of purpose……What on earth am I here for?

Book 4. Read:  The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For?

purposelife

The master’s journey can begin when you try to learn any new skill.

Book 5.  Read: Mastery: The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment

mastery-the-keys-to-success-and-longterm-fulfillment-george-leonard-1-728

I love to cook and I have a thing for vegetables.

150-healthiest-foods

Book 6. Read and Eat:  The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth: The Surprising, Unbiased Truth About What You Should Eat and Why

I heard an interview with Derek Sivers and even though he didn’t email me back, I am still very impressed with his brain.

Book 7.  Anything You Want: 40 Lessons for a New Kind of Entrepreneur

DerekSivers-AnythingYouWant-318x450

Book 8. How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie. Dale shares simple wisdom that really makes you think good and hard about why you’re worrying and if those things are really worth worrying about at all. And God help me do I worry about everything.

Read:  How to Stop Worrying and Start Living

How_to_Stop_Worrying_and_Start_Living