Just joining us? Here is Part One.
Okay my pretties, cud-chewing time is over. Is that a roar I hear? Well, rock on with your flowing mane self! Now that you are ready to burst forth and slay a dragon or twenty, where do you start?
Put Down the "To Do List" and Just Back Away
Wow, this is a hard one for folks. Unscheduled time. It amazes me how many people actively avoid being alone with themselves. “I hate being bored.” “I have so much to do.” “I hate to waste time.” “They need me right now.”
Hear this, please: If you almost willfully avoid being with yourself in a conscious deliberate way on a regular basis, you will never call forth the lion. Never. How you are with yourself is up to you. The possibilities are endless.
You can walk, pray, journal, meditate, weed your garden, reflect on old pictures of yourself at various times in your life, hire a coach to engage in deep conversation about what is true for you in your life right now, eat mindfully, turn off the television, or make art.
The key is to be present in whatever it is you are doing. Show up to yourself. No multitasking and no whining about all the important things you are supposed to be doing is allowed. You have to believe you are worth getting to know.
This may be very uncomfortable for you. Expect it. Get curious about it. Explore it. Notice any fears or resistance you may have to really being in touch with yourself.
You have two “I’s”: Intuition and Integrity
Intuition is the small voice that tells you, “Double check that ladder before you climb up”, “This job offer sounds good, but I don’t feel excited about it”, or “This is a person I can trust.” We’ve all heard stories of folks saying things like, “I just had a feeling that I should go a different way today and then I heard there was a huge accident right where I normally would have been driving. That could have been me.”
We all have intuition. We all have had experiences when we have ignored our intuition and paid a price. Creating regular space for yourself will help you tune in to the wisdom that your intuition brings to you daily.
Integrity is the feeling you have when your life as you are actually living it now, not as you plan to live it one day, is in alignment with your values — with who you really want to be in life. When you are out of integrity your intuition will be the first to tell you (which could be why we try to drown it out).
You may feel out of integrity when you are selling a product you don’t believe in or pushing add-on sales that a customer doesn’t need. You may feel out of integrity when a coworker is treated unfairly and you fail to speak up for fear of putting yourself in the firing line. You may feel out of integrity when you spend money that you don’t have during the holidays because there is a covert generosity-competition at work in your family.
Being out of integrity can feel like a fish trying to live in a tree. You may be a great fish, but you know you aren’t where you are supposed to be.
Know where your loyalties lie
Now for the tough stuff. Once you have created space to let your intuition and sense of integrity emerge, you have a decision to make. What value will you place on the integrity of your life? What is the payoff for ignoring the voices inside and maintaining the status quo? Is the payoff a less turbulent marriage? Job security? Greater access to material goods? Membership in a community?
These are hard questions. Tougher still is the question of what part of you is being sacrificed by retreating from what you have come to understand about yourself. Whose definition of your life purpose is driving you?
The dragon, “Thou Shalt,” has lots of opinions about what path you are supposed to be on and how you are supposed to walk it. What are yours?
Feed yourself well
If you find yourself facing questions the magnitude of these, please don’t expect yourself to tackle these dragons without support. I see people all the time who attempt to bring their lives in more true alignment with their values and sense of integrity without anyone being inconvenienced by it. The truth is, change at this level doesn’t happen in a vacuum.
Stepping forward boldly to create a life of one's own design is not for the faint of heart. Gather those things and people that keep you strong. Surround yourself with people who are really invested in your being fulfilled and who are joyful in your life. Find ways to protect yourself from those who aren’t. Read what inspires you to remain true to the vision you have for your life. Control your media diet. Create an environment for yourself that supports you in bringing your full energy to creating a life you can be proud of and delight in.
Forewarned is forearmed: Expect things to get crazy
You can’t blow on one piece of a mobile without the whole thing dancing around wildly. Sometimes things fall apart so the right things can fall together. It’s okay to be scared, to have self-doubt, to wonder if you are just going through a phase. That’s why this work takes the courage of a lion.
Let the child lead you home
Once your dragons are down, or at least cringing in the corner, you can set yourself to the joyful task of finding what you want to say "yes" to. What is it that you really want to create now that you have made the space for it? You just might be surprised at what you find. Then again, it makes sense that breaking free from old dragons may allow old loves to re-emerge.
For me, I found my childhood love of mythology came back full force as I embarked on a study to understand the great stories of the human journey. My fascination with animals and nature is now expressed through my photography. My Nancy Drew cookbook and Susie Homemaker Oven flowed in to several nights as a guest chef in Charlie Trotters kitchen.
I take such delight in my life now, immersing myself in those things I thought I never had time for. I no longer turn my joyful engagement with life into perfection driven tasks.
As Joseph Campbell said, “Follow your bliss.” He’s right. You are a better person when you are blissful. The world needs more people who glow and play and delight in life. You will be amazed what you can accomplish when you are in love with your life. We need your Sacred Yes.
Now go on, you’ve got a Dragon to slay. Your playmates are waiting for you on the other side of the battlefield.Powered by Sidelines