Is Truth subjective? I have spent much time this past year reflecting on how to attract Truth into my life and what that would mean to my own personal happiness. It is my personal belief that everything starts with Truth. With Truth, you can attract love, kindness, personal connection, intimacy, good work and ultimately much happiness. What I had not considered was whether Truth is subjective to each individual person. Is my Truth not the same as yours?
There is the age old thought that there are three sides to every story: Yours, Mine and the Truth. I am left wondering whether this in the case of our day to day lives. Are there different Truths based on everyone's different perspectives in a given situation?
This is not a revolutionary new thought, there have been arguments over the different ways that people can look at the same situation since the beginning of time. However, in seeking my own personal Truth, I have made some discoveries that have changed the way I look at Truth and those that bring it (or do not bring it) to my life. They are as follows:
* I can only control my own Truth. The only things I can control are my own actions and my own reaction to others. Living by this rule is exceedingly challenging! I think there is always a desire to "win" a disagreement, and to make our own points, even at the expense of our own peace and happiness. Letting go of the need to be right and to have others see you as right is very difficult, but ultimately the only way to find peace in your own life. If I believe in my own Truth, really believe it within my soul, then it doesn't matter who else believes it as well. It needs to be enough to be "right" with myself. If others agree, that's just a bonus. If they don't, it is not necessary for me to "prove" my point. Self-awareness should be my ultimate goal and my ultimate reward.
* If someone in your life cannot give you the Truth you need, you do not need them in your life. This might seem extremely harsh. It is something that I have wrestled with for quite some time and I don't say it lightly. I am by no means saying that if someone doesn't agree with you, then you should just cut them out of your life. If we all did that, we would each be living in a solitary bubble! What I have found, is that when you have someone in your life who consistently does not see your own Truth, and does not see you at all the way you believe you truly are, it can be soul crushing. By the same rule, if someone is unable or unwilling to offer you certain non-negotiable Truths, the result can be devastating. It is always important to be clear in our relationships about what our needs and expectations are from that person. There will never be a time when all those needs are ALWAYS met and acknowledged. However, I have found that there are certain Truths that are so crucial to my own peace and happiness, that these Truths really are non-negotiable to me. For example, for myself, kindness is one of those Truths. If you are in my life and you know me, then I have shown you what is within my soul. You have access to what makes me feel happiness and also what wounds my soul in the deepest possible way. In my sharing of this information and in sharing my open heart with you, if you actively choose to consistently NOT show me kindness, then that leads to great turmoil within my life. For me, this is unacceptable. I acknowledge everyone's right to behave and believe what they do, and I respect my own need to distance myself from consistent negativity and deliberate disregard for my feelings.
* Not everyone knows what the Truth may be. Sometimes, I think it's possible to believe something to be True in the moment, and to mean what you say at the time but not follow through with those beliefs later. This can be tricky. As an innately trusting person, I try to take everyone at their word. In some cases, I think this quality has not served me well. The "actions speak louder than words" adage is a good rule to follow. I am constantly trying to remind myself to align words with actions, and I need to remember to look for this in others. It is always possible for any of us to say something without thinking in a particular moment, and then later realize that perhaps we were really just "caught up in the moment". What is important to remember is that none of us is perfect. Even in our own quests for Truth or whatever it is that you want to attract into your own life, we are flawed. Sometimes we faulter even without intentionally doing it. However, I think it's important, especially if you are a trusting individual, to look at a situation realistically and not in the way you want it to look. Is this person in your life really giving you your Truth, or are they presenting themselves to you in a way they think will be pleasing to you in an effort to capture your heart or attention? This was a big one for me!! There have been several times in my life when people I have loved have presented themselves to me with so many of the qualities I value. Had I truly looked deeper at their actions over a period of time, I would have noticed that while they were presenting as one Truth, their behavior did not align with what they were presenting. This may not seem earth-shattering to you, but it certainly was to me!!! As human beings, I believe that we are programmed to please and want to be liked. It has been my experience that some people will take this to another level. In an effort to "catch" you, they will appear to become your Truth. However, since it is not authentic, eventually there will be a disconnect between what they say and what they do. They don't truly know what your Truth is, they are simply playing a role in order to please you. For me, this has been difficult to spot, but I am working hard to try to recognize it quickly.
* The Truth may not set you free, but it sure will make you happier. Although I certainly have found it challenging to find the Truth I seek, I am a happier person just knowing that I am seeking it. It is a kind of dichotomy, because in being really focused on my quest, I have spent much time on my own. I am a pretty social being, so this is a bit out of my normal comfort zone. But, as in all Fearless pursuits, I am trying to embrace my solitude and use it to understand what Truths lay inside me. I am discovering new things each day, and I am becoming stronger, more peaceful, and more appreciative of myself and the world around me. This is a good thing!!!
So, is the Truth subjective? You bet it is! The bigger question is: What Truth are you seeking to attract and what Truths are non-negotiable to you? Figure the answer to that question, and you are halfway to creating your own happiness!!!
Wishing you Truth and Happiness today and always!!!
I was divorced 9 years ago today.
Anniversaries are interesting milestones. They can be celebratory, melancholy or just a barometer with which to gauge the course of our lives. Upon waking this morning and realizing what had occurred 9 years ago today, I discovered that I was experiencing all these emotions at the same time.
Nine years ago I decided to be the "Captain" of my own life. I would no longer simply be a passenger carried along in a life that did not feel authentically my own. It was a difficult decision that had been a long time coming. At the time, I had absolutely no idea what the future would look like, but I imagined a path for myself and set upon it. If these past years have taught me anything, it is that many times, New Beginnings do not look anything like you think they will!
The period right after my divorce was frightening but exciting. The world was mine for the taking, and all I had to do was figure out where I wanted to exist in that world. The interesting thing is that at that time, the life I imagined for myself had not yet evolved into the path I was truly meant to lead. I still had so much to learn, so much to experience, in order to take my New Beginning and figure out what to do with it. In the midst of all of this self-exploration, I needed to raise my children, deal with health issues and figure it all out on my own. Daunting doesn't even begin to describe it.
So, you may ask what have I learned from this process? The list is long! First, I learned it is HARD. While there has never been a moment of regret with regard to the ending of my marriage, starting over in mid-life is a real challenge. The toll it took on me mentally and physically was real. The toll it took on my children was heart wrenching. Watching my ex emotionally and financially walk away from my children was soul crushing. In spite of all of this, there was ME. While broken, I was simultaneously empowered. Having to figure it all out on your own is trying, but it helped me to learn what I was made of. I was by no means Fearless at all times, but I definitely constantly strived for it. I learned that I am strong, resourceful, resilient and that I am unique. My idea of life did not align with the life I had been living, and although I allowed myself to be carried away into that life for 21 years, it was as if I was just discovering who I was for the first time.
Loneliness affords you the amazing opportunity to learn that you are good company, and forces you to figure out how you want to present yourself to to the world and what you want to get out of it. I discovered I love travel. I always knew that I really enjoyed travel, but I discovered something more. I LOVE to travel. I love the airport. I love the packing. I love waking up somewhere different with an excitement of what the day will bring. I love to sit on the plane, listen to music and just BE with my own thoughts. I love adventure! I mean I REALLY love adventure. Challenging myself makes me feel alive. Doing things that make me uncomfortable makes ME very comfortable. This was such a revelation! In my marriage I felt small, when I found myself alone, suddenly I was big, bold and open! I am an awesome first date. This isn't a commentary on how fabulous I am, far from it. I discovered that I enjoy the idea of meeting someone new, getting to know about them and sharing a little about myself as well. While dating can be a challenge, there is something exciting about the promise of meeting a stranger and potentially finding a real connection with that person.
Another concept that my New Beginnings has really tuned me into is Gratitude. I've never considered myself to be an entitled or ungrateful person, and I have never lived my life in that manner. However, I don't think my sense of gratitude was as astute as it is now. I have found gratitude in the most unlikely places, most importantly within myself. I am grateful for my own strength, for my ability to maintain a positive attitude in the midst of adversity and in my ability to adapt to change. Without having found these qualities within myself through being on my own, I would not know what gifts I have to share with myself and the world around me. I am profoundly aware of the effect of being grateful in my life for kindness that others show to me, along with simple things like a beautiful day or a perfectly delicious cupcake. I used to believe that gratitude was about what you received externally and have learned that it is really internal and projected on my little world only by me. It is mine to control. What an enormous lesson to have learned!
Does my life look like I thought it would when I began this journey nine years ago? Definitely not! I have created an entirely new life for myself including a new home, a move halfway across the country, a new job, new friends, new loves, new priorities, new passions, new adventures, new volunteerism, new travels and a completely different outlook on life. I am a work in progress, and while I am proud of myself for the strides I have made in many areas of my life, there is still much more to learn.
My New Beginnings continue each day, as I open my eyes and open myself to the possibilities that lay ahead for me that day. I AM the pilot for my life, and I plan to SOAR Fearlessly!
Wishing you all a beautiful flight too!!
"What happens when people open their hearts?.......They get better. - Haruki Murakami
The concept of having an Open Heart is simple yet complex. While being open to receiving love is an important component of an Open Heart, it is just as essential to be open to sharing your heart as well. While this seems simple, it is not always easy to accomplish.
In all of our lives, there are times our hearts are tested and many times, even broken. Each of these incidents can cause tiny fractures in our fragile hearts, and can lead to our hearts closing both to loving ourselves as well as being able to share our love with others. Of course, a truly Open Heart always begins with self love, and this can be a difficult concept for many. I am sure you have all heard how imperative it is to be able to love and appreciate yourself so that you are in a position to share your gifts with those around you. I have found this to be profoundly true and sometimes difficult to accomplish. It is easy to surrender to the "noise" that surrounds us in our lives. There is negativity in the world all around us, and it can be easy to be swept up in it without even realizing it. Allowing negativity into our own personal space tends to lead us to negative thoughts in many areas, not the least of which is our view of ourselves. This can be so damaging to our hearts and can ultimately create blocks which stop the flow of positive energy into our lives and our hearts.
I have had times in my life when I have struggled with having an Open Heart because of the vulnerable position I thought it placed me in. What I have discovered through meditation, introspection and my own life's experiences is that it is never having an Open Heart that makes you vulnerable. The giving and receiving of love is only pure and beautiful. However, it is WHO you choose to open your heart to that will determine whether you are attracting positive energy or negative energy into your life. I know that my soul always knows, even in some small way, when I am opening myself to the negativity in another person, and I am learning to trust my inner voice to guide me. This has been a difficult and extremely trying lesson for me.
There had been a time somewhat recently where there was pain in my life that seemed so unbearable at the time, that the only thing I thought I could do to shield myself was to close my heart and pull within. While in that time of deep reflection and re-assessment of myself and the part I played in my own life, I realized that I was a wonderful, loving person. The betrayals and losses suffered in my life were not due to my own deficiencies, they were solely due to my choosing continuously to open my heart people who were not deserving of my complete love and trust. Those people did not seek the same Truth that was so important to me and was so vital to my own peace and happiness. It was an incredible discovery! If I stopped allowing negative people into my heart and stopped sharing my love with those who were not worthy of it, I could be the one to determine my OWN peace and happiness!
After months of self discovery, change and enlightenment, I opened my heart yet again. It was terrifying and beautiful at the same time. I set my intentions on attracting the positive into my life and my heart and I am happy to say that I have done just that. I am in charge of my own destiny, I am manifesting it each and every day and I am embracing myself in the process. My heart is open and I am sharing and receiving love in ways I never dreamed. My Open Heart is enveloping me and those I love and I am so grateful for the abundance I have attracted in my life.
Are you sharing your Open Heart with yourself and others and using it to attract the love and happiness you deserve? Fearlessness always comes from within and is quite often not the easy path. Follow your own soul's voice, allow yourself to be vulnerable and share your heart only with those who are deserving and bring positive, loving energy into your life. Fearless!!
Wishing you lots of love,
Wyatt Webb, the infamous "Horse Whisperer" once told me that one of the biggest issues that adults deal with in their lives is the fact that we all let go of our childish curiosity and adventure due to the fact that almost from infancy we are stifled and told "no" to being too loud, too inquisitive or too gregarious. I thought this was a really interesting concept that I had not considered before. Were we, as adults, imposing our own limitations on ourselves due to a lifetime of being told to be quiet, and to ignore our instinctual behavior? I do believe that so many of us set our own limitations in life starting at a very young age. I think it is easy to get pigeonholed into a certain category and without a lot of introspection, remain there for your lifetime.
When I was young, I was never exposed to athletics. I never even learned to ride a bike! I grew up thinking this was normal, I was a "girlie" girl and I tended to gravitate to friends who were the same. Without even realizing it, I was limiting myself based on the environment I was raised in. I remember one special day in particular, when my dad was planning to take me alone on a "daddy-daughter" day. He said I could do anything I wanted, and he assumed that I would want to go into the city and go shopping. I told him I wanted to hike Bear Mountain (close to my home in NY), and I thought my dad was going to fall over! We spent the day together grappling in the dirt and it is one of the most lovely memories I have with my dad.
As I got older, I realized that there was a hidden "sporty" side to this girlie girl. I became interested in fitness, everything from aerobics (yes, even the dreaded French cut leotard, tights and leg warmers!) to Tae Bo, MMA, rock climbing and even Glacier Hiking in Whistler with NO belay! I had set up my own limitations by not exploring things that I thought were outside my own abilities. What I learned that was so valuable, was that by breaking through these limitations, not only was I accomplishing things that I never dreamed possible, I was strengthening myself internally as well. Each time we limit ourselves, we stifle a little piece of our soul and stop ourselves from evolving into the person we are truly meant to be. As a result of breaking through my own self-imposed limitations I found a career in fitness that I absolutely love. You never know where your life can take you, if you just strip out all the boundaries that society puts on us and even, sadly, the boundaries we put on ourselves. At the age of 52, I finally just dragged myself on a bicycle, said enough is enough and rode away, wheels wobbling and head held high!
Why not become that curious child again? Be inquisitive! Dance in the rain! Don't worry about getting dirty and skinning your knees! Raise your voice and sing at the top of your lungs! Whatever the child inside you wants to do, but has not done due to a fear of embarrassment or failure. Let's set our own limitations aside and see what life can look like beyond our own limits. I am willing to bet we can all find out something new and wonderful about ourselves and our own amazing abilities!
Wishing you a Fearless Day without Limits!
How many times have you faced an obstacle in your life that seemed insurmountable? Everyone has had challenges in their lives that, while in the moment, seem to be impossible to face and definitely unlikely to ever overcome. These moments are chances for us to discover the best part of ourselves, our true strength and power as a human being. I have often told my children "Life is not about what you have been dealt, it is about the grace with which you deal with it".
For me, there have been many moments in time when I honestly did not know how I would deal with certain obstacles in my life. When my daughter was five years old she was diagnosed with cancer. It seemed impossible that this was happening to my precious baby, and yet it was. I remember the day she was diagnosed like it was yesterday, it was the first time in my life I dropped to my knees and prayed and began to "bargain" with the Universe, if only it could all be a terrible mistake. It was not a mistake, this was happening and there were months of multiple surgeries and many months of intensive chemotherapy for my sweet girl. I did not know how I could possibly summon the strength to deal with the devastation for my daughter, myself and my family. However, as the months passed I realized that each day I got up and played with my daughter, supported her during those terrible months of treatment and took care of my son as well, I was finding the strength to do all of it. It is really this simple. We ALL have the strength, by continuing on in our daily lives in the midst of terrible turmoil around us, we are all overcoming obstacles each and every day.
When my daughter was finished with her treatment, she received a wish from the Make A Wish Foundation. At the time, it did not seem like a blessing, in my mind Wish Children were people you see on TV and on billboards, not my little girl. We went ahead with her wish and I realized how wrong I was in my own perception. Her wish was a defining moment both in her life and mine. She saw herself as "lucky" instead of sickly, and was so full of joy and life that it filled my heart with true joy for the first time in so many months. I began speaking for the Foundation to raise awareness for the incredible Power of a Wish and have continued to speak on their behalf for the past 16 years. Sharing my daughter's story, while helping the Foundation and other children to understand the importance of bringing hope to children and families during the darkest time in their lives, has been some of the most important and gratifying work of my life. I have received back from this experience ten fold what I have given as it has helped me to see what happened to my daughter as a hidden blessing. It has made her a strong, compassionate and infinitely extraordinary young woman, and it has showed me that perhaps my mission in life is to share my life's experiences with others in order to attempt to enrich the lives of those I come in contact with.
The type of shift I describe in my own experience is one that is within the power of all of us. In so many ways, life is a matter of perspective. Whether it is something as drastic as a serious health issue, a relationship issue, a battle with weight, unfulfilled expectations or any other obstacle that may present itself in your life, it is within all of us to dig deep into the powerful reserves within us and summon the strength to make one small step in a positive direction. Even if that step is setting a positive intention and just letting that intention "marinate" in us for a while, that is overcoming the obstacle in the present moment. Taking it a step further, making a positive plan for an action that propels you forward is another opportunity to stand in your own beautiful power. Simply learning to embrace and love yourself and acknowledging your sadness or fear in whatever you are trying to overcome, is another opportunity to tap into your own strength. This is the key to Fearless Living. It does not mean you are never afraid, it means that you can acknowledge your own fear and make the conscious decision to take some sort of action to rise above it. That can mean anything to you, it is your Fearless Life to live!!
There will always be obstacles to overcome in all areas of our lives. Taking the time to find the hidden blessings in these obstacles and recognizing your own infinite inner strength and power is a gift we can all give ourselves and it will help to make us all more graceful in our own lives.
Wishing you a Fearless day,
Many years ago I realized I was simply existing within my own life. Instead of driving the course of my own destiny, I was a passenger along for the ride. This is when I adopted the idea of Fearless Living. This was a time of great change in my life and I felt I needed courage to make difficult decisions within my own life. I was not sure that I could summon the courage within myself and decided to begin challenging myself by doing things that were totally outside of my normal comfort zone. I felt that conquering challenges would help to awaken the true, strong spirit that had been hiding inside me for too long.
My first journey into Fearless Living was to go skydiving!! It may sound crazy, but this was something I had always dreamed of doing, but was too afraid to just go for it! I will never forget the feeling of being on that plane, rising to 13,000 feet, scooting over to the wide open door, looking down and jumping out.....It was the most terrifying yet empowering experience I had ever had in my life. The rush of wind on my face, coupled with the speed of the descent was exhilarating! When the chute opened and the world slowed down around me, I looked at the beautiful landscape below me and knew I would never be the same. I had done something that I had always dreamed of doing, but had always been too afraid to actually attempt. This was day one of my Fearless Living.
Not everyone will have the same concept of what Fearless Living means to them. It definitely does not have to involve jumping out of a plane! Fearless Living means living life on your own terms and not allowing yourself to be limited by your own perceived lack of courage. This could include anything from pursuing a hobby you have always been interested in, presenting an idea at work in a proud and confident manner, or walking away from a situation that you know is not healthy for you. Fearless Living can be as simple as deciding to go to the gym today and DOING it, because you know it will make you feel good and is a healthy choice.
Think of all the tiny changes we can all make in our daily lives while adopting the concept of Fearless Living. One by one, all of these choices can add up to a major life shift. If we focus our intent on what our own Fearless Life could look like, our potential is truly limitless!!
Wishing you a Fearless day!