following your dreams

The Power of Living and Breathing Your True Nature

This morning as I begin to write, much of my decision is based on something I have just read. "A fish cannot drown in water, a bird does not fall in air. Each creature must live in his own nature." - Mechthild of Magdeburg

Being a human being is a tricky science. Oftentimes, I've thought it would be quite amazing to be a dog or a cat. From the time they are born, they are certain of their roles in the world. They are also given the ability to focus on the moment, being completely present in the here and now. This is probably why they are such loyal and kind friends. They can go confidently into their days knowing that they will make it through and they are just perfect in their four-legged nature.

We human beings on the other hand are so very complex. We are given numerous choices in life and forced to make extremely difficult decisions each and every day. According to poet and author Mark Nepo, our most intense challenges come when we fight against our own unique natures. He shares that his mother wanted for him to be a lawyer, while his father wanted him to be an architect. He writes in The Book of Awakening, "Somehow I knew I needed to be a poet; something in it brought me alive."

In reading this passage today, I realize that writing is the thing that makes me feel oh so alive. Could it be that this is what I am meant to do for the rest of my days? I may have concluded this long ago, but the responsibility that comes with admitting our purpose on Planet Earth can be a bit overwhelming. Once we admit our truth, steps have to be taken. A great idea only becomes an innovation after the hard work is done, which is why so many projects collect cobwebs in the attic of our self-imposed limitations.

Could it be that the reason for humanity's confusion is that we simply don't listen to the voice within and fight our true natures? Could it be that our fear of failure, disappointment, and hard work leads us down the winding path of disease, frustration, and confusion?

I find children utterly amazing. For the most part, they are like cats and dogs. They are in the moment; wide eyed and truly inspired by the world around them. Until we troubled and ultra-confused adults get a hold of them and taint them with our expectations, frustrations, biases, and ugly baggage, children are free to be amazing and true. That is why they make us smile and giggle until tears spring from our eyes.

Is it possible that one of the worst and most destructive lessons growing adults learn is that they must conform to some strange sense of propriety or norm? It is more than possible that because we are taught to limit our fear risk...there are far less innovators and a lot more bored and frustrated individuals on the planet.

Is there any area in your life that you need to be more authentic? Are there steps you need to take to embrace what you know you are meant to accomplish in your lifetime?

"When one performs his or her prescribed duty only because it ought to be said to be in the mode of goodness," says the Gita. "It is better to engage in one's own occupation (or the thing they are meant to do on the planet), even though one may perform it imperfectly, than to accept another's occupation and perform it perfectly."

In other words, be true to who you are and what makes you tick...and then see how it infuses your bones with life!

Wishing you a beautiful Friday!

Kindness and Bold Living

Auntie Arlene with Grandson Casey in 86'

Yesterday, September 5, 2010 and the day prior, I stood beside the bed of my Auntie Arlene. My father's sister, now nearly 82-years-old, has been one of the strongest and boldest individuals I have ever known. As a college school nurse, she would share her excitement for achieving goals with students and tell them they would indeed become something if they stuck to hard work and found within themselves a glimmer of self respect. They listened and several times returned for confidence building sessions with the spy grandmother of 7.

Following the death of my father when I was 10-years-old, she was there for my family. While her heart broke at the loss of her little brother (10 years younger than she), she stood strong and took us into her house until we were ready to re-visit our real lives...which all of the sudden didn't include my father. And in his place, she'd come watch me play baseball...hoot and holler my team to victory.

Auntie Arlene is now feeble and frail. The truth is that I have a hard time accepting she may not be long for this world. For the past two days, I spent time with her. Stroking her gray hair, rubbing her shoulders, singing songs and crying a bit with her. Over and over again, she shared  her love for me and that I must never forget. And then sometimes, she'd fade off into a place I wasn't to be a part of -- some place that I fear -- a place that she both welcomes and fears. She spoke about her father and how he's there, about her brothers who are there...I just listened to her talk of this place. Is it heaven? Is there a heaven? Is there another dimension that she has been given some sort of access to?

Today, I am back to making a living -- to trying to "keep my eye on the ball" and I find it a challenge. For when faced with the loss of someone you adore...things just don't quite stack up as you once thought they should. I'm reminded of the soul, the journey of life -- and no matter how hard I work or how bold I attempt to be...I will one day find my candle about to burn out...and people wishing me well on a journey that they can't be a part of.

And right now, all I am left with is a desire to be kind -- to be kind to those I love -- to be kind to myself -- to be kind to this thing called life. Being kind to life means that I don't take one second for granted...that I let go of past pains, of irritations, of fear of failure, of fear of success, of fear of loss, off fear of gaining -- kindness comes in many shapes and forms --  kindness to body, kindness to spirit, kindness to fate, kindness to beings, kindness to aspirations, kindness to limitations.

I came across a poem yesterday that struck me to the core. It speaks to my soul because there are times that I just feel that I've lost so much...and I know that I will lose more...and yet with loss of all types...there comes bittersweet gifts such as realizing that kindness is one of they major keys to boldness...

Kindness by Naomi Shihab Nye

Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.

Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and
purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
it is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you every where
like a shadow or a friend.

-Post by Jennifer Engevik of Project BE Bold

Make it a Bold Day!!!

Living an Unhurried Life by Dr. Wayne Dyer

Stop chasing your dreams. Allow them to come to you in pefect order with unquestioned timing. Slow down your frantic pace and practice being hollow like the cave and open to all possibilities like the uncarved wood.

Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

Make stillness a regular part of your daily practice. Imagine all that you'd like to experience in life and then let go. Trust the Tao to work in Divine perfection, as it does with everything on the planet.

You don't really need to rush or force anything. Be an observer and receiver rather than the pushy director of your life. It is through this unhurried unfolding that you master your existance in the way of the Tao.

Give up worrying and start trusting. What is yours will come to you when you aren't trying to push the river. You've probably been encouraged to actively direct or go after your desires all of your it's time to trust in the eternal wisdom that flows through you.

Activity for the day: Take ten minues to sit quietly while contemplating all that you have and all that is flowing into your life...

- By Dr. Wayne W. Dyer in Change Your Thoughts- Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao

Danica Patrick & Going Bold!

If you are wondering what it takes to follow your dreams and succeed, be inspired by Indy 500 & Nascar racing star Danica Patrick.

Learn how she got her start in racing with the support of her parents and her will to succeed in the following ABC documentary:

Risking It - February 10, 2010

"No great art has ever been made without the artist having known danger." - Rainer Maria Rilke

Today is a call for us to live beyond our comforts, to take risks, and begin moving in the direction of our dreams...

There is almost nothing in this world worth having that is gained without taking a risk or leap of faith-- whether it involves career advancement, moving to a new home, love or respecting our boundaries.

We fear loss, failure, heartache, humiliation, and more when we consider making major changes. It's natural for us to feel this way because we are creatures of habit who crave stability -- sometimes even when "stability" comes with loss of self and dreams.

The beauty of today -- of this moment -- is that we can make the decision to create change. To re-focus. To take risks!! All too often we sit on the sidelines and watch others start businesses, run in marathons or triathlons, improve their relationships and see the world. And we get frustrated because we wonder when our time will come.

The time has come!! No one is going to come and do it for you or me. We must structure our lives to make it happen. It all starts now!

Go make today your masterpiece...

- Team Project Be Bold