Who??? Are You??? Living Your Truth

Whoareyou.7.7.16Go ahead – answer the question!  Who??? are you?

Male. Female.

Son. Daughter.

The layers of being pile on:

Student.

Athlete.

Artist.

Funny.

Serious.

Adventurous.

Pragmatic.

Ordered.

Messy.

Outgoing.

Shy.

Open.

Opinionated.

Active.

Reactive.

Bold.

Serene.

Best friend.

Partner.

Husband. Wife.

Parent.

Etcetera. Etcetera. Etcetera.”

But the who IS important!  As the layers of identity pile on, our sense of self can become buried beneath the layers.  The more external influences on our lives and the more we live – the more multifaceted our who becomes.

Our experiences shape our who, but when we are out of balance or overwhelmed, we may find it harder and harder to be clear on who we are and if we are still living OUR truth.

Checking in on YOUR Value base from time to time will confirm for you who you are and WHAT is YOUR truth.

What is important to you?

Family?   A certain life style?   Beauty?  Health and wellness?

Security?  Generosity?  Self-expression?

Popularity? Laughter? Inner peace?

Professional or artistic achievement? Recognition?

Completing projects? Existing self-sustainably?

Honesty? Trust? Walking your own talk?

There are times in our lives when we are clear on what our inner voice believes and holds as truth.  We readily “feel” what is our truth – in the depths of our being.  Our gut speaks to who we are.

At other times, times of stress and transition: the death of a loved one, a move to a strange city, the quest for a new or a first real job, the beginning of a new relationship

 we find it harder to clearly live OUR truth.

It is rough stuff to go on when a human connection has been severed due to death.

No longer a child?

No longer an active parent?

No longer a wife? No longer a husband?

Too “busy” to walk the talk?

What is stopping you from getting to the pool, swimming the  laps, trying the new recipe, setting aside time to practice the guitar, having some fun with the piano?

A new companion is challenging your values? Asking the whys of what is important to you?

Are you standing your ground, living your truth?

Or, are you rethinking the whats of what makes you you?

Re-evaluating, learning more, evolving: yes, that is part of our growth and key to our development as thriving human beings.

But, if the demands of a negative relationship, the challenges of accepting and living through the stages of grief or moving on to a new professional phase – or a new town – is making you question who you are….

Isn’t it time to tap into your own intuition?

Take a walk in the woods.  Set aside time for a meditation practice. Write down, sing, strum, close your eyes and – be – YOU.

Return to the peace of living YOUR truth.

If you would like to schedule a session with Elizabeth, click here.

YOUR Show Must Go On

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 It is another day. Another curtain call.

Another reminder: I’m supposed to be doing – what?

Uh. Do I have to?

We all have them: days when we wish we had not committed to something, days when we simply do not want to do what we said we were going to do, days when we feel overwhelmed, hijacked by life’s demands, not eager to charge into another day.

But, when the sun rises on another day, you ARE the show. The minute you wink open that one eye and admit to yourself, yep, it is another day… the lighting is being adjusted, the sound slowly being tested: One two – one two – testing…. Kinder still if that sound test is birdsong, but go on, the backdrop of your show is being painted, fellow cast members are beginning to stretch and prepare for their parts – in the play that is YOUR show, YOUR life.

So, what’s the problem? Fear creeping in? You may not be the star you thought you were?

Sleepy? Looooow energy? Wasn’t such a great idea to sit before your numbing computer or tv until midnight?

Just another 30 minutes, your inner assistant producer is suggesting?

Light is getting brighter! Sounds are becoming clearer!

YOUR show will go on. The curtain will rise.

How will you show up?  

When will you show up?

What kind of a show do you want to produce and stage and star in?

Theater is passion, a message, a connection that pulls the audience onstage – into a world of emotion and language that ideally resonates across blocks and barriers and differences – the passion – connects deep within.

From that same depth, observe your show with an awareness that – your show will go on. It is your choice to simply: show up.

to: show up differently

to: raise the curtain on the fullest expression of YOUR show.

Guilt is an Emotion – NOT an Action Plan

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Guilty motivation is NOT a guilty pleasure. If you find yourself repeatedly in torment over what to do and how to act, you may be clouding your decision-making under a cloak of guilt. Guilt is heavy. Guilt is lethargic. Guilt equals regret – and regret is tied to the past. The past is NOT today. It is the past.

Snap free of the CLOAK of GUILT. And be AWARE of EMOTIONAL choice-making rather than CONSCIOUS actions that move forward with YOUR life agenda.

Are you communicating CLEARLY and from the depths of YOUR values and beliefs? Or, are you morphing to ACCOMMODATE someone else’s agenda?

Acting with heart and passion – YOUR heart and passion – that is honestly calling the shots. Anxiety creeps in when we feel trapped into agreeing to plans or taking on responsibilities that do not represent OUR best interests and values.

Sometimes guilt spurs us on to show compassion for someone less fortunate than we are.

Sometimes guilt can push us to perform on a higher plane than we may imagine. Parents paid for the education. You are debt-free – ah, guilt calls you to hand the assignment in on time, pass the course, graduate in four years, get a job. Ugh. But it does feel better than that alternative of malaise.

If guilt is working FOR you, fine. But what if GUILT is holding you back, feeling like a straitjacket, making you want to scream.

Recognize your own GUILT triggers. A parent? A child? A sibling? A boss? What is the root of this negative emotion? How TRUE or JUSTIFIED is your GUILT?

Be clear with yourself.

WHAT did you do wrong? When? How long are you expected to pay the price for whatever IT is that you did?

You failed to follow the professional path your parents mapped out for you?

Are you happy and self-sustaining? WHAT is the guilt really about?

You clearly and consciously moved on from the mother or father of your children? Your children feel lost in a brave new world that no longer includes a dysfunctional family?

What will it take to skip the GUILT TRIP and take the path to freer and happier decision making and planning?

EXPRESS your LOVE. SHOW your gratitude.

Then get back to acting – not from a negative emotion.

Shed the cloak.

Move forward. Take action. From your truth.

Wabi Sabi – A New View of Perfection

Wabisabicherry6.2016Wabi Sabi – it sounds fun. It sounds playful.

In Japan those sounds describe an appreciation for a very specific aesthetic.

Wabi-sabi: to see the beauty in the impermanent, fleeting exquisiteness of a cherry blossom.

To see the beauty in things modest and humble, things used in our day-to-day lives.

To see the beauty in things not yet complete.

To see beauty in the imperfect.

There is a gentle acceptance in the wabi sabi view of beauty, a flipped perspective that sharpens all the senses to treasure each and every moment in a day, to treasure that which is “still in process.”

How many times in our lives have we been at a standstill because of our notions of the superiority of perfection? Yes, striving to do or create something perfect is a worthy aim, but isn’t perfection by definition never fully realized?

More often than not our perception that we cannot complete the project, air the Podcast, take the website live – until – it is perfect, is just the internal block that stops us from taking the steps needed to move ahead.

“I can’t get a job, until I lose weight.”

 “I can’t teach cello, I can’t teach yoga – until I play – or know the many philosophies of teaching – perfectly.”

 “I shouldn’t enter the training program, until my scores are – perfect – even better than – perfect.”

 “I can’t cook for friends, open my home to them, until my menu and cooking skills and apartment are – perfect.”

There is no waiting in a wabi sabi view of living.

The process of creation – is – beautiful.

You have the skills to do the job? Do the job – to the best of your capability – now – that is perfection.

You know enough to share your knowledge? Share your knowledge – there are those who know less than you know.

Your heart has called you to write, to sing, to imagine a fresh possibility?

There is a perfection in the state of your inspiration – right now.

Where in your life is your hold on the notion of perfection holding you back?

What would you start, finish, share, try, if you saw the wabi sabi in your world?

Today. Now.

The Hummingbird is Back!

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Every summer my husband quietly boils a sugar water mixture, gives it time to cool, funnels it into a brightly colored feeder and – waits.

He keeps on the look out.

He occasionally asks: “Have you seen the hummingbird? Is he back?”

And then – seemingly when my husband has given up hope of the return of the hummingbird …. I hear a joyful pronouncement!

“The hummingbird is back!”

The man to whom I am married is many decades old now – but the voice that I hear? The voice of a very happy – child.

Where is your child-like wonder?

Are you still curious?  Playful? Excited to learn and observe and try new things?

Where is child-like wonder showing up in your life? It isn’t? You’re “too old” for that?

You’ve been around and seen and done so much?

It’s a challenge to impress you, eh?

When we are growing and experiencing life with the naive and open eyes and ears of a child, we are thriving. We are fully present in this very moment of life.

When we settle, tolerate, close ourselves off from new challenges and teachings, we are – well – dying: dying in the sense that we have decided that we no longer should or can live with that enthusiasm and joy and excitement of a child.

Have you given up on yourself and your continuing capacity to learn and grow?

It is a new day, a new season of the year and yes, a new time in your life.

Isn’t it time to make way for the hummingbird?

Sign up to learn something new!

Explore your own backyard, as if you were 10!

Challenge your curiosity!

Make time for simple joys.

Baking – bicycling – birdwatching.

Singing – swimming – star-gazing.

Ah! the wonder of the world.

The excitement of a hovering bird.

Directing the Movie that Is Your Mind

Directing5.23.16Directing the Movie that Is Your Mind, the subtitle for psychotherapist Adelaide Bry’s book on Visualization, is a visual reminder of WHO is in charge. YOU are!

So what’s your movie like these days? Is it a rom com? A tragedy? What’s the pacing? Lots of action scenes? All talk – no action? Boring? Entertaining? A thumbs up? Or, a thumbs down?

Direct – that movie and your entire being feels balanced, grounded, animated to be the star. YOU are the one who sets the scene, accepts, maybe writes the script, chooses the key characters, knows when to make the call: Roll em! or Action!!

Like movies – our minds are best when well-directed, consciously directed. You want a “happy” movie? How are YOU, director, going to make that happen? If you sit back and wait, the assistant director is going to take over and she is clearly keen on creating a highly dramatic tragedy – or at best one of those chaotic confusing films where each scene is rather “lost in translation.”

With the recent death of my father I admit I am watching my movie in slo-mo. Vibrant tulips and daffodils and hyper green expanses of lawn abound, but my lead character – she appears to be walking as if in a colorless fog. The musical score is soft and gentle. These days as director I am unusually sensitive to high notes, strident chords, swelling movements with too much emotion. It is such a temptation to make this a sad film: characters dressed in dark suits, characters pontificating on the great unknown of death, hip actors scoffing at any suggestion of an afterlife.

Then my lead character very consciously walks out of the fog, her steps with the weighted drama of a promenade.   She is not listening to anyone. She has a subtle smile on her face, her eyes soft, clear.

This movie is flooded with light and possibility. The father who is no longer here to share laughter, family trials, family triumphs – the character named Dad – he would have suggested the scene change.

The scenes do change. The movies can be recast, the plot redirected.

Are you directing your mind? How? Take charge of that movie! Have some fun with it!

It is YOUR movie – after all.

Notes from the Bright Side

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Each day is a gift, my friends.

 

Is your glass half empty? Or, brimming over with possibility?  Check in here for a jolt of inspiration to spur you on to be your best, yes! your brightest self.

What do you think?

Agree that your performance, your outlook links to the average of the top 5 people you most often hang with? Then count me in as your champion of challenge and accountability.

You CAN do more than you imagine you can. Come here for that reminder. Come here for the tough love that will encourage you to move on from past patterns that have not served. Come here to create the life you are here to live!

All good. All bright!   ~ Elizabeth