Nobody Knows but YOU

Only you “know,” what you want right now.

No one else, even your well-meaning, closest friend, mate, parent or advice-giving stranger has an inkling.

It amazes me how we can disappoint someone else by NOT living up to the potential they have set up for us.

What you want for “you” can be based on several things (beyond basic needs) such as:

1. Your expectations of what you “think or believe” is best for you. (And is this based on a perfect picture that you believe, once you have what you want, all will be good?)

2. Another person’s expectations for you (but is that what you truly want?)

3. The expectations of what “right or perfect” are in our society and therefore your want is not really your want?

4. The desire for pleasure.

5. The desire for pain. 

6. The desire to fail or succeed.

7. And wanting to forge your own path in this world.

The list may be long of what YOU may want for YOU.

The list is your list alone, no one else need have an opinion or statement, which should “force” you to change your mind. Changes to whatever it is that you want, should come from within and based on believing whatever you are doing is for your own fulfillment.

Sometimes people observe us and believe they know what is best for us.

Most of the time they don’t, they are making an assumption based on what they know of you in the outer world, not the inner world.

I am not saying there aren’t useful suggestions from others, but when someone looks at you with sad eyes and says, things like “if you only dressed this way,” “if you only quit your job and went into this line of work,” “if you only went to school and got your degree in something that you have no interest in,” “if you would only get your shit together and see that you are on the wrong path,” “if you would only get married, divorced, get a sex change, etc…” ……and so on.

In other words, “please change to make me happy, except I won’t really be happy, because I will find something else that I believe you will need to do that will make me happy, so just follow my instructions for living and you’ll be just fine.”

The funny thing is the person doling out all this advice may be in need of their own good word.

We all have the freedom to choose; we don’t have to give it away in the hope of being happy by some expectation that has nothing to do with who we truly are inside.

The key is to know thyself. Trust thyself.

And know whatever YOU want for you, is okay. No approval from others necessary or needed, besides, really… that is subject to change.

Approve of you…give yourself the opportunity to explore what you want. Make wrong turns, go backwards, forwards, sideways or leap into the unknown!!

The experiences we encounter in our everyday life help us to formulate what we want, as we make decisions for or against our desires. Our experiences may lead to us changing what we want and also why what we want, may continue to elude us.

On a deeper level, what we WANT, which leads us to deep fulfillment and happiness has nothing to do with the outside world.

It has even less to do with the opinions of others.

When we are in search, we don’t find.

When we look within, a whole world awaits us and what we TRULY want has its seeds from this place deep in our soul.

Creativity is the greatest expression fo who we are…if you continue to open the door to your creativity, it will expand all areas of your life.

When we feed that fire, all of a sudden, “the want” becomes an “is.”

Feed yourself kindness, compassion, happiness, laughter, peace and all sorts of appetizing, caring thoughts, ideas, words, gestures, experiences and watch what you want, shift, change and grow.

Not having what we want is possibly the best fertile soil to grow from if you apply awareness to yourself.

And try not to focus on the disappointment.

If you start to understand “why” you want something and the meaning you have attached to it…you will feel yourself expanding into the wholeness that you already are…almost a feeling of filling up the tank. Your tank.

And realizing that it is not SO important to have what you want and even less important to consider what others want FOR you.

In fact, the more you open the door beyond the thinly defined, focused want to an anything is possible attitude, amazing things start to happen.

Things you never dreamed of will come into your life without invitation or searching; they will come because you are participating in your life. You are living from a deeply held knowing of who you are and what matches you will show up.

Just imagine the possibilities….

 

Don’t Hate

We human beings have a thing for choosing sides.

Just because someone doesn’t agree with you, doesn’t mean you have to draw a battle line or change anything.

Accept their point of view.

You don’t have to convince, coerce or hate em’. Just let go of trying to control.

This is a process I go through when I feel a battle line drawn either inside or outside of me.

I don’t hate and if I get angry it doesn’t stay a welcome visitor inside of me… I let go. I am not here to solve all the problems I see with the world and everyone in it, I am here to rock my experience of this life. Let’s face it, solving one’s own problems is sometimes the best opportunity to lay down your weapons.

Sometimes we just don’t know what is best or right. And that is okay. What we do know is how something feels to us through our own perception of life. And all we can do with that feeling is make choices to take action or not. Happiness and change come when we get out of our head and into our heart. When we become vulnerable first to ourselves and then the rest of the world.

Vulnerability is the only true strength, everything else is a posture.

And a posture is empty.

When we have NOT checked into our heart and we are in the midst of reacting, hating, being self-righteous, childish, disconnecting or playing games to win; we are truly weak. We are not in control, but trying to find the magic button. There is no winner when we use these ploys to feed a hungry inner child, who must have been starved at some point along the way.

Awareness is the first step.

What are the thoughts you have most of the time? Angry? Happy? Vindictive? Serene? Most of us have a mixture of those thoughts. And what you find through awareness is the feelings you attach to those thoughts. If you pay close attention you can usually find the thought that leads to the avalanche of negative feelings before it starts its downward slide.

And you can stop it in its tracks in a few ways:

1. Change the thought, realize a thought is just a thought-think about something else.

2. Remember it is just a thought, it doesn’t necessarily require action.

3. Ask yourself where that thought came from, especially if it is a recurring thought. A recurring thought is usually from some misaligned belief you have about yourself and the world. And with deeper awareness, it will probably show you the door back to an early time when that thought first occurred to you. And from that point you can see how that thought became a belief and how you have gone about re-creating it over and over in your life, to prove its truth (this is what we spend time coaching on in my sessions). Once you recognize the existence of it, you can now take different action in the present and create change in your life–no more hatin’.

Hatin’ takes up energy and space.

Some people create a life’s campaign out of hating something in this world.

And all that hate is really a distraction from looking inward at themselves. In essence, you could say this person is bringing the self-hatred outwards to the world. World peace starts with the individual. We can’t expect it on a global scale when there are many people who don’t love themselves and take action against their own well-being.

Lovin’ is a much better goal.

Lovin’ feels like breathing.

It doesn’t take up space and energy like hate.

Love allows.

Love lets each of us be who we truly are and be okay.

No one else can make a judgment about you and turn it into anything, which influences you. You get to make that choice when you always dive into love.

Love with vulnerability is true strength. A disagreement doesn’t become a battle line. You can let the other person win. It is probably the happiest and healthiest thing you could do for yourself or another.

Let everyone have their way. And as you let go of having your way, you find peace. Peace comes because you stop the battle of hate. You laid down your weapons and said “okay.”

You then ask yourself what would “love do” right now?

I find I let go and give it to the Universe….and I get a pretty quick answer, maybe even having what I want from a different source (and that’s totally cool), because I am no longer attached to the outcome.

Hate creates the impossible.

Love creates possibility.

Ego needs all the air in the room and a team of people to say “yes, you are right.”

The heart says “all is well, if that’s what you need, so be it.”

And with the heart you get to discover other things to focus on that bring you what you are putting out there, love. We can’t control others, only our actions and reactions.

You don’t have to personalize another person’s baggage, EVER. You don’t have to get rid of it or react to it; compassion is necessary.

Many people are seeped so deeply in their boxes and suitcases that they have no realization that how they are acting or speaking is based on something that has “nothing” to do with the current moment and the person sharing the moment.

And when that is the case, there is nothing you can do, except to not react.

Why?

If you react, you are helping this person to recreate their past drama and therefore become a part of their play.

And once again, an opportunity is lost for change.

Whenever we hate or put up a wall to changing our stance, we have moved straight into ego. We are not in the present moment. And we usually are not happy.

I vote for the heart each time.

And I will share that the most amazing things keep happening to me.

I carry far less stress than I used to personally and professionally.

I feel more whole, happy (even giddy) and that I do the best I can each day (which is NOT perfect and some days still have sucky parts), which leads me to a way of being that is far more relaxed.

I am able to forgive myself easily and others, because I don’t hold onto what isn’t real (most drama is not from the present moment–its just a recreation of the past–so how could it be real?) and I let go.

I let go often and when I become unattached to the outcome, sometimes I find I get my way.

And if I do get my way, it is much sweeter and feels in alignment with how this Universe works (rather than me pulling, pushing or forcing, which always feels like shit).

I would love to hear how others live from love too, please share. Tracy@13degreez.com.

Please check me out on elephant journal too.

Chick finds peace in her pajama bottoms

Catchy title, huh? Well, you can find peace in all sorts of places. Pajama bottoms? Quite possibly.

There is a mechanism that kicks into gear when we stop the battle. It goes into full board operation when we stop our inner struggle. The action that takes place starts when we yield; we call a truce and accept.

The knack for defining a truce and allowing acceptance for your life “as is” right now is a tremendous gift.

The truce may be moment to moment.

In those spacious moments, when we are not clinging to hope or strategizing how to remove the bazillion objects standing in the way of what we think we want; a new opening starts to unfold. It could be a stepping-stone to a new passageway. Maybe its a feeling of space, relaxing and having faith that all will be as it is meant toward a happy outcome.

Amazing things happen when we realize that the way we may create pressure, emphatically trying to tell or convince someone of what we want from them or how we are right, is at a cost to our well being and we end up sacrificing who we are to have what we think we want.

I find when I am in a battle with myself over what is currently going on in my life, I take “inside action.”

I close my eyes and sort of melt into the feeling of the struggle, my battle. Asking myself, what is really going on here? Once I am clear, I make a plea or a prayer to my higher power. Usually along the lines of giving the issue up, as in NOT being attached to what the outcome is, but arriving at a place of inner peace and clarity.

My goal is NOT to win with my will, because those achievements are never fulfilling to me. The goal is to achieve peace, joy and acceptance of what is NOW, because harmony is only created from within no matter what is going on outside of us.

Now,this process is easier said than done.

Sometimes it may take days or weeks for me to get to the point of surrendering my internal battle.I get stuck in the emotions and wanting something to change outside of me and the more it doesn’t the more frustrated I may grow, until I get to the point of wanting surrender.

I also circumvent the amount of time I find myself in this unforgiving space by keeping an awareness of my thoughts, so I avoid going into a full-blown battle. If I am paying attention to my inner chatter, I usually see the triggers happening that lead me on my downward spiral.

And if I can sit with the triggers and ask if this “chatter” is true, I usually find it is not and can then carry on with not having a battlefield within.

My usual process is to identify what it is I really want and what I am not getting.

Then I give up hope of getting my way. Hope can be a nasty deterrent from inner peace. It basically keeps you from living your life in the present. A goal and hope don’t have to be buddies. You can be focused on a goal, but hope leads you astray—it is a form of “waiting”.  There is never anything that you hope for which comes to you that stops that vicious cycle of waiting for the next thing you are hoping for in your life. You live in hoping and waiting…. there is no “action” in either of those words.

So, once hope has been taken out of the frame, I am free to pray. And remind myself there is only “love or fear” and inner peace and harmony are grown from love. After praying for being shown the road “kindly” to peace and harmony, I let go. I let go of what I think the outcome should be as the “be all, end all.” And I feel a release, a relaxation with all that is…I accept the very moment by surrendering to what is and knowing that what I need guidance with will be taken care of in a different way than I can imagine.

That leads me to what I do after getting clear, praying, letting go and surrendering… 

I look and listen. I listen for the guidance that goes with my gut, even if it is a surprise or not how I thought things should play out…I listen for the words and I look for the signs. When you ask for answers, you receive them. It is to be open and not attached to your outcome that you achieve peace and harmony.

We participate, we don’t force. We love, and recognize our fears. We take different or “right” action with “right” view (a nod to the 8 fold path) rather than the SAME action, which keeps us stuck in our inner battlefield. 

All we control is our inner playground, why not make it a fun and joyous place rather than a wasteland of discarded dreams, failures that you kick yourself over, dysfunctional relationships, or anything else which makes life seem like slugging it through the swamps.

Remember the key: Become clear on what exactly you are feeling in struggle, anger or dissatisfaction.  Follow it with praying/asking/intending, letting go, surrender and opening to seeing and hearing what guidance is available to you in achieving that inner harmony and getting to your goals without your bayonet.

What is in YOUR heart? Part Deux

The heart speaks today as I venture out to share what lives in the heart of people when asked what is in your heart? There is happiness and loss; pain and beauty; people here and people gone. No single answer is the only answer and it was an open-ended, with no limitations sort of question to share what “being in the heart” meant to people.

All is allowed there, whatever you deem to be true for you.

One of the lists I received was from a man who is a very creative and artistic soul whom I have known for years. His list of what is in his heart is as follows:

  • The ability to make people laugh.
  • The love and laughter of my child.
  • Spontaneity
  • Watching my creative turn into the finished piece.
  • Mechanical ability
  • Sharing and contributing to the creative process.
  • Riding
  • Helping people even in the smallest ways.
  • BBQ’n for friends
  • Cooking
  • Being active

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Another list was provided by a Grandmother who lost her lifelong partner, her husband a few years back and her list inspired me with its poetic feel of the truth of our connection to others and this world.

  • People suffering the loss of love, be it from death or the ending of a relationship, my Church and my faith, my old pals from ARCO. I have an infinite place in my heart for small children; they are our hope for the future. Hummingbirds, the peace and tranquility I feel when I sit at the oceans shore. Ireland, the feeling of belonging each time I visit. I am a part of its’ soul. Italy and blue-eyed men. The cemetery in Pittsburgh where all of my loved ones are waiting for me, especially John, the love of my life. Childhood friends, because of the unconditional acceptance that you can only get from those bonds formed without question.

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And I asked a younger man in is 20s the same question, “What is in your Heart?”  He is one who chooses to be of service to others and spends “a lot” of time thinking what his heart “wants”…. and here is his list:

He said: “I didn’t know for sure if this was what you where thinking. Let me know what you think. I can do another if this is off. thank you so much, this totally helped clear my mind~ Thank you for allowing me to be apart of this. It really came at a perfect time!”

1: Respect of other’s and their individual reality as their own personal truth at that time.
2: Respect and recognition that “universal” or “divine” order overrides personal perspective and opinion.
3: Recognition that no one person is greater or less than another.
4: Recognition that there are no ordinary moments or accidents.
5: Love for myself and the moment i am in.
6: Love for others with no conditions or prerequisites.
7: Freedom from conditioning.
8: Freedom from expectation, allowing each moment to unfold.
9: True gratitude, radiant joy, and pure love for all that is, was, and ever has been (The Process), regardless of appearance, emotional charge or physical pain, everything is always perfect.
10: Wisdom to know what is true and the courage to take proper action.

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Another list given to me to share was by one of the most enthusiastic people I know, she is always a bright spot in the day of all she comes across. She is a mom of three young children and her days are filled with showing, growing, learning, being, overcoming and laughter!

1. Love, love is first and foremost in my heart.
2. Gratitude
3. To be the best parent, wife, friend, and person I can be.
4. The need to learn as much as I can, the love of reading and learning.
5. To be the change I wish to see in the world. To truly make the world a better place one day at a time. Even if it’s only in small ways.
6. To live a life of financial freedom.
7. To be kinder to myself and take better care of myself.
8. To find my inner peace and connect with the divine daily. I would like to be able to really feel connected everyday.
9. To make time to do what makes me happy everyday.
10. I need people, I wither when I don’t interact with people daily, multiple times daily. I need interaction, I love the positive energy.
11. The power of thought is still a work in progress, but I can grasp it somedays. The power of gratitude is really amazing!
12. Technology makes my life easier and more fun! I love it!

She also said: “I don’t know if this is what you meant, but this is what came to me. I have more simple pleasures in my heart; these were my what came up first. If you need me to change or edit, let me know.

I enjoyed this, thank you for including me. I hope you have a beautiful, creative and inspired day. I forgot joy and excitement! Goofiness too! I love spread joy and love and happiness!!”

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A dear soul, who is always opening her heart to others and providing a safe place, a warm smile and a twinkle in her eyes shared the following with me, after the devastating loss of her younger brother this year.

She said: Hmmmm….excluding people, this may be tough ~

*Health and well being of others
*Hopes to find happiness in/with my own life
*Always carry my childhood memories in my heart
*Animals, especially dogs, are near & dear to my heart
*Thoughts of all those in the military, serving our country

These are quickly off the top of my head…let me put the thinking cap on, focus a bit (away from work!), and finish this up in another message to ya  xoxo.

*Whereas my family unit is so dysfunctional, broken, torn apart, scattered…. I treasure, and hold near & dear to my heart, what few photos I have from when I was little .
* Remembering each and every conversation, and time I shared with my younger brother, who I lost at the beginning of this year.

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Next came someone who lives in my own heart and soul. A creative, moody and kind-hearted man, who wears his losses like a shirt and tie, found inspiration in coming up with his list below.

10 things I love besides people.

1.  Love the smell of oil paint in an artist studio.

2.  Love the way music climbs under my skin and jolts my emotions.

3.  Love to run my hands over wood to be used on a carpentry project.

4.  Love to breath deep while laying in my savasana at the end of yoga.

5.  Love it when i realize god is always standing by my side.

6. Love a really amazing mountain bike ride that pushes my limits.

7.  Love the way raw salmon taste and feels in my mouth.

8.  Love looking into ones eyes and seeing the beautiful spirit of kindness.

9.  Love crossing gigantic bridges over bodies of water.

10.  Love flying at night time with a full moon reflecting off every reflecting surface on the earth.

11.  Bonus!!! Love actually writing this shit!!!   So much, much more!!!

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The next list is from a woman I know. She is learning through her own struggles and successes. Her goal is to be a person who can offer understanding, support and openness to be a gift to many.

  1. Real connection with people
  2. Grace
  3. Trust
  4. To Laugh whole heartily & smile each Day
  5. Stability
  6. Wealth
  7. Health
  8. My business to be a destination spot
  9. My ranch retreat in Ventura
  10. Not be taken advantage of/used

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The following list is from a young lady who I had the pleasure of meeting last year. A vigorous learner of all things that are “self-‘love”, she has a deep desire to excel at all she endeavors. I have no doubt she will succeed.

  1. Love
  2. Light
  3. Emotion
  4. my wings
  5. peace
  6. my creativity (i always say it comes from my heart not my mind)
  7. music/song
  8. dance
  9. ENERGY

And another soul that I spend time listening and learning from each time she speaks as both a wordsmith and knowledgeable shaman, shared the following list:

  • My Love for God, Log Home in Big Bear, Fishing, Being with/in Nature, 20lbs lighter, Flow of Money, Play the Castanets, Balance Work and Play, Vacation in Paradise Village, Constant flow of clients…

thank you for asking…

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      This list will be in three parts, concluding tomorrow on Christmas Eve. Tis the season to give and receive. This has been a gift for me, thank you. I want to provide the place appropriately for all those who gave me their heart for the purpose of answering a simple question.

Embrace your “fill-in-the-blankness”

This is sort of the title of my book. The actual title is  The Manual to the Universe. Why not? Acceptance of the here and now. Acceptance of “you” in the here and now. Simply, we are human and born without an instruction manual. Who really knows the rules, except what has been passed down to you in one form or another. Acceptance is the best place to start and continue throughout your life.

By the way, I don’t mean the title in a derogatory manner. I mean it in a let’s stop the pressure of thinking we need to be elevated to some unrealistic expectation to attract a really great existence. The more you accept yourself, “AS YOU ARE” the more meaning life has…and the more you accept your external circumstances “AS IS”, the less impact they have on your inner playground.

This is one area I cover in coaching people. I personally do what I can to remember that I am okay as is, to accept me. I “embrace my f—d-up ness”. I reached a point in the past where I was so freaking tired of holding myself up to some perfect expectation, which doesn’t exist and after years of peaks and valleys I gradually have weened myself off expectations in many areas of my life.

No one is perfect, yet we have a society full of people who insist on holding celebrities and people in the media or even our neighbors up to a standard that no one could EVER live up to—human beings are imperfect, always and in all-ways. There are no examples of living on a pedestal accurately on this planet. And on that pedestal, the word accurately, is also up for grabs, because it is a matter of perception.We don’t experience people in all of their glory, 24/7. We don’t live, eat, poop or sleep with the entire world. So, in essence whomever in our lives or in the media that we hold up to such an exemplary high bar, ourselves included “ain’t living up to it”. And why should anyone? Really who made up these rules?

I have more inner peace than I can believe sometimes. When the inner perfectionist wants to creep out, I allow myself to go with the flow…and ask this part of myself, questions. I allow those emotions and feelings to “be”, then I go about my business and take different action than my perfectionist-self would have me believe is acceptable. I find those “perfect” moments come fewer and far between.

In my lifetime, it seems it has almost become inescapable with technology to not constantly be bombarded by images in the media and society–showing me what I need or how I should live. Somewhere along the way the lines got crossed. People do not have to achieve anything to accept themselves. Yet, many believe that home ownership, job security, marriage, having a family and 2 cars is the golden land of happiness. Not so. Some of those elements may contribute to your external “happy factor” or your internal “misery” factor. There is no “standard” which everyone should live by, because it has nothing to do with who you really are and self acceptance. We can beat ourselves up by living up to those expectations of “happiness” or find we have fulfilled all those expectations, but it feels “empty”.

No one, and I mean no one at all is gonna achieve enlightenment in the truest sense of the word, unless they can devote themselves to sitting under a bodhi tree their entire life and not worry about anything else. And then, there is still no guarantee. People live complicated existences nowadays. There ain’t no time to chillax under a tree 24/7 and wait for God or whatever you believe to exist, to speak to you and feel great peace, no way! There are many demands of our time, energy and finances, the key is to find the peace living in this fast-paced world. Acceptance is the way to go. Whatever you can get done today, accept it. That to-do list will still be there tomorrow. Acceptance makes it easy to remember what is really important, what has meaning in your life and really what expectations there are that really matter, if at all.

There is time though to accept your less than perfect-self. There is time to accept your mate, your kids, your dog and your neighbor too. But, first you must accept YOU. This makes acceptance of everything else easy. It allows what frustrates you about others or situations that you want to be different, to just exist as is….and this leads to inner peace. And interestingly enough, accepting what is seems to almost automatically change what is frustrating you without manipulation of circumstances or people.

No more high bars to try and live up to, just “you being you”. Now, I want to be clear this doesn’t lead to a release of goals, but probably a change as to what those goals are in terms of your own happiness. It’s a funny thing that happens when you start living from your heart by accepting yourself–you enjoy the journey. You decide what you want to do, what you love, what you don’t like, what you want that picture to look like FOR YOU. Not for anyone else!

Who says a white picket fence and Louis Vuitton bag is “happiness”. Digging yourself, that is TRUE happiness.