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Overcoming Obstacles

“There are only four kinds of people in the world: those who have been caregivers, those who are currently caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those who will need caregivers.” Rosalynn Carter

Would you just shut up!” The caregiver’s voice cut sharp across the dining hall. Nearby another aide responded “I don’t know what’s wrong with her, she’s been acting up all day!” I was shocked to hear this exchange at a fairly high-end religious retirement community and now understood why the residents were all eating quietly with their heads down. The resident who was being yelled at had dementia and apparently had asked for the umpteenth time about the piece of paper on her tray containing her dinner order.

Sadly enough, scenes like this – and worse – play out every day in family care homes or nursing homes across our nation. They don’t happen on family day or when you’re there visiting your loved one, but this kind of exchange is much more prevalent than most people realize. Residents fear retaliation for speaking up or administration often does nothing to hold staff accountable.

I was witness to this type of caregiving because at the time I was drilling in the wall putting up a trial of a new hand sanitizer. Staff don’t pay much attention to someone pushing a work cart who appears to be doing some sort of maintenance. They certainly didn’t seem to see me.

For seven years I was in and out of nursing homes throughout North America, promoting a hand hygiene infection control program and products proven to increase hand washing and decrease infections. After meeting with the Directors of Nursing, Housekeeping and Infection Control, I’d often be behind the scenes in dining halls, nursing stations or staff bathrooms. From this perspective I saw what will one day be the future for many of us.

There are certainly thousands of individuals doing this kind of work with loving care and compassion. I have absolute respect and admiration for all caregivers, both paid and unpaid. It’s hard not to be sympathetic with the CNA’s and other caregivers hired to wipe bottoms, clean up soiled sheets and change bed pans, usually for less than $15 per hour. However, low pay should not be an excuse for those that aren’t doing this work with the right attitude.

Our country is rapidly approaching a serious caregiving crisis: Employment of nursing assistants and orderlies is projected to grow 21 percent from 2012 to 2022. There will not be a corresponding increase in the workforce of people who typically fill these jobs. However, due to the availability of jobs in this field, more direct care workers may seek employment for financial relief, unmotivated by a service or helping mentality.

I decided to incorporate my desire to share how the power of our perspective can change the quality of our life with my 25 years of services to older adults and my passion for mindful caregiving. My vision is Sacred Caregiving: creating a growing movement of visionaries teaching and inspiring caregivers to incorporate mindfulness, open-heart communication and a spiritual perspective in their work. In this way, I hope to improve the quality of care not only for older adults, but eventually for all populations receiving caregiving.

As one woman, starting at age 52, the fulfillment of my dream is daunting. It would be easy to get discouraged by how much work needs to be done and how much support is needed to make my vision a reality. When I see all the caregiver information available, I can feel scared and incompetent. If I think too much about the barriers, I can get discouraged from moving forward.

Someone recently shared with me, however, a story about his time in the army. Part of his training involved spending field time going through an obstacle course. I’ve always thought of this type of training as being a physical conditioning one, however he pointed out the psychological benefits. “Every time you come to a barrier,” he said “you learn to look for a way around it, even if it seems impossible.”

I may not have all the answers, experience or knowledge necessary to create a national movement. Maybe I won’t be able to get the funding needed to become a non-profit, or get the grants to keep it operating. Maybe that big wall in front of me isn’t surmountable. But, I am surely not going to let it stop me.

You see, the other thing my friend told me is this: sometimes those obstacles needed the help of teammates to get over. And with Rosalynn Carter’s definition of the four kinds of people in the world, I expect to have a lot of teammates. I also know I have a burning desire in my heart, an inspiration that is stronger than anything I’ve ever felt before, and a commitment to making this happen.

Sacred Caregiving Certified will one day be a status proudly displayed by nursing homes, child care centers, individuals and organizations. The wall that stands in front of me is an illusion. What the mind can believe, it can achieve. Join me and let’s do this thing …

Connect with me on Facebook, follow me @awakeninginlove and spread the word!

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” -Margaret Mead

When Inspiration is Finally Found

Awakeninginlove was started shortly after I lost my corporate job and made the commitment to follow my dream of being an inspirational speaker and writer. I knew I had the calling to share with others how important it is to follow our heart and do work we love. I invited others to follow and share my journey of leaping into the unknown and living on faith and trust that support will come.

…as we align with our purpose we WILL be supported beyond our wildest dreams.

When I first started this journey, I produced a YouTube asking the question “how do we move our lives in the direction of our dreams and take action to make that happen? How do we get from here to there?” A part of my discussion included an awareness of being taught NOT to dream with messages of “it’s too big, too much, not realistic, etc. Figuring out what inspires us on a deep personal level is challenging when we don’t think our dreams are possible.

I talked about this as well in another YouTube video on the missing pieces of the law of attraction (LOA). Primarily how it is difficult to visualize and feel what it is we want with specifics when we’ve been conditioned to believe we can’t have it. Personally, I knew I had a calling to inspire others, however I didn’t had a clear vision of how that calling was to play out in real life.

I started Yourlifeperspective.com because I know I’m passionate about the power of perspective. I combined all of my spiritual, self-improvement, and metaphysical understanding into 8-steps to help change focus, get in touch with the body wisdom and see things from a soul perspective. However, something has been missing that’s kept me from the motivation to move that into the world.

Rather than feel frustrated by this, however, I’ve continued to hold to my one word focus for this year: TRUST. I trusted my struggles and frustration were a part of a larger process that was necessary for my personal growth. I trusted that the breakthrough I needed would come when the time was right. I continued to be gentle with myself and did what work I could each day with an open heart.

Little miracles have been appearing all around me and I’ve been recognizing and giving gratitude for them along the way. However, I was still unprepared for the amazing convergence of my personal interests, which have seemed somewhat diverse. There was a magical moment for me when everything came together. It was like a light switch being turned on to reveal what was around me all the time but which I couldn’t see.

I’ve spent most of my professional career in some aspect of services to older adults and I knew I felt passionate about elder care. I wasn’t able to see, however, how this interest had anything to do with my passion to help people understand how the way we give meaning to and interpret the events of our lives directly relates to the quality of our lives. My deep spiritual interest in the power of our perceptions seemed a world away from my professional life.

I have been doing caregiving and had started writing a book titled “5 Months to 95 Years: My Year in Caregiving.” In it I talk about the gifts of caregiving and how being with a baby helps me see things as if I’m seeing them for the first time; when I am with an elder I see things as if I might be seeing them for the last. In this way I have felt alive and present in the moment. This all seemed to be separate, however, from my calling to inspire others.

I spent a day last week providing transportation for an elderly woman who lives nearby. As I drove, one of the things she shared was her frustration with some of the care at the nursing home where her husband lived. I listened sympathetically, remembering my own observations going in and out of nursing homes across North America for my work. While there are many amazing caregivers, there are also some who don’t seem to have this open-hearted mindful perception of caregiving as a gift and honor.

That evening, as I was putting together a website for last minute or emergency caregiving, I came across the following quote by Nancy L. Kriseman: “Embracing a healing presence requires you to just be in the moment together.” I had just written how I considered caregiving sacred and when I saw this quote everything clicked into place. The veil was lifted and the light came on. The idea for Sacred Caregiving was born.

The inspiration that had been missing for me to take the next steps with Your Life Perspective was suddenly there. Using the tools of perception and mindfulness, a training program can be created to help develop Sacred Caregiving. Helping both caregivers who are stressed and need help to continue caring for their loved ones, and those who are doing the work of caregiving without any passion or love whatsoever.

I have awakened in love to this idea and my commitment to creating a national movement and training program needs your help. Please join, “like” and share my new community page on Facebook. If you’re on Twitter, find and follow me at @awakeninginlove.

Share this message and let’s get the word out to make this vision a reality. Thanks for reading and thanks for following my journey. It continues to unfold in surprising and unexpected ways! I encourage you to keep searching for what brings you inspiration and to take the same plunge to follow your dreams and discover the passion in your heart.

Perceptions and Attitudes: The Power To Choose

March rolled in with an ice storm here in North Carolina. It arrived on the heels of two weeks of unusually cold weather, including a day of 6-8” of snow; a rarity for this area. The last two weeks of February were particularly brutal weather-wise.

For those living in areas of the country where snow and ice is the norm, life goes on as usual. In North Carolina, however, it comes to a standstill. Lines at the grocery store wrapped around aisles as bread and milk flew off the shelves right before the coming storms. Schools and businesses shut down for days.

Following the ice storm, there was rain. Cold, wet and miserable. As spring rolls in, the temperatures are beginning to fluctuate, predicted to bounce up to 75 degrees today and then drop as low as 18 degrees Friday night. It seems as if spring is taking her own sweet time to arrive in totality.

One of the things I love about where I live is that in general we have a long fall and long spring, with mild temperatures. Typically our winters are relatively mild as well, although the last two years have belied that fact. Right now everyone I talk with is longing for spring and tired of the cold.

As I look out my window, the sides of the trees appear to be painted with a neon green stripe. The brightness is in strong contrast to the brown trunks. I recognize this pattern as the coming of spring, although I suspect few people notice since the trees are still bare.

Ironically, as much as I’m hearing groans and moans about the cold, I know it won’t be long before people are complaining about the heat. With either end of the temperature spectrum, perceptions and attitudes vary depending on experience. For most people living here, the summers are hot and humid. For me, having relocated many years ago from southeast Texas, they aren’t so bad.

It is a reminder to me that perceptions and attitudes are what make up our life. I can imagine there are a lot of local folks looking out their windows complaining about the cold rain. Or maybe wondering when it’s going to actually warm up to the predicted temperature. Or disappointed the warm weather won’t last.

Whatever the weather outside your window, take notice of the beginning signs of spring. Pay attention to what you are focusing on and how you are perceiving what is happening. This is where we have the most control and often fail to exercise it.

I continue to be fascinated with our power to choose. It is the single most powerful thing we have available to change our life. We can choose what to focus on, what things mean and what to do. However, it seems our power of choice is one thing most of us have a tendency to forget or take for granted.

I recognized my own folly with this recently as I shared widely the news of how my meager income stream from unemployment was ending. Shortly after writing about it in my last blog, I found myself questioning why I kept talking about it. My journal entry reads as follows:

“When I make the point to people my unemployment has run out, what am I looking for? Sympathy? Fear? Compassion? How is my sharing that information helping me (or them)? Am I subconsciously trying to become the victim? This was my choice. I decided not to look hard for a job and now I am living with the consequences of that decision.”

The insight and awareness I had in that moment related to understanding my circumstance is the result of my choice(s). Yet, I caught myself almost complaining about it, or acting as if all this was outside my control. I made the choice not to work harder in networking or contacting potential employers.

I do not mean to indicate that if I HAD been feverishly looking for a job and still unable to find one, that was in my control. In that case what would have been in my control would be my focus, attitude and assignment of meaning to the situation. Those are things we always can make a choice to change.

There are thousands of other examples of how I forget the power of my choice or don’t utilize it the way I could. Much of what I am in the process of developing as a solution involves coming off auto-pilot and making more conscious and aware decisions. In this way we might have a new life perspective.

My focus and attention over the next several weeks will be on developing content and planning a New Life Perspective course. My goal is to help others free themselves from disappointment, discover their power to create, and experience life through a soul perspective. Mostly, however, my goal is to learn and do this more for myself so that I might be an example to others.

I’ve asked myself several times why I have chosen this path. My answer has been I want to end suffering: yours and mine. Yet even in that answer I recognized the focus hasn’t been quite accurate in creating what I want. Because what I want for myself and others is a greater recognition, remembrance and utilization of this power of choice. And through it, the experience of creating a life of greater peace, love and joy.

As I finish this blog, the clouds part and the sun comes out. The pine trees sway, indicating there is still a brisk wind. I know it’s not yet warmed up outside. However, I look up at the blue sky and give thanks for this day. Tomorrow the temperatures will drop again, but today I have been granted a slice of spring and a reminder of what gives me inspiration.

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If you enjoy my writing, please consider forwarding to a friend or sharing on your Facebook or social media page. My mission with this blog is to demonstrate as we move in the direction of our dreams we will be supported. Your being here is testament to that support already.

The Power of One Word

In mid-January of this year, I first heard about the movement to replace New Years’ resolutions with a “one word” theme. The idea is to choose one word to live by instead of making a list of resolutions likely to be forgotten by mid-February. It wasn’t a new idea, but it’s been slowly gaining momentum.

I didn’t actually pay close attention to the concept until the end of the month when I received some snail mail from my mom. Inside was a newspaper clipping which detailed the practice and advocated for readers to pick their word for the coming year. Without much thought or fanfare, I silently picked my word and then continued with my day.

Recently I have been thinking a lot about my word and what it means for me to really embody it. You see, my word for this year is TRUST.

Trust the process. Trust the flow. Trust the highs and trust the lows. Mainly, trust that I will be taken care of. As my unemployment ends with no source of income immediately in sight, what stronger need do I have right now then to trust?

If there is truth to the adage what we focus on is what we attract, then trust is a good focus for me. Because trust implies that there is nothing to worry about and nothing to fear. And trust me (all pun intended), right now I have plenty of reasons to feel both worry and fear.

So, what exactly is trust anyway? If we take the official definition, it’s an assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something. The some one right now is me and the some thing is God, Allah, Buddha, Spirit, Universe or whatever you want to call the energy that is greater than who we are as individuals.

I trust that I will figure things out. I trust that as I continue to move in the direction of my dreams and take action to make them come true, doors will open and I will be supported. I trust that I am resourceful enough to not end up broke and homeless.

I also trust that the Universe conspires to bring me my good. I trust that there is something greater than me that has called me to do the work I am doing. I believe support for my journey will be here every step of the way: even when I can’t see it. I trust all will be well.

That is a whole lot of TRUST taking place in 2015 already.

Stay tuned for future updates as I continue my journey … there is much to come and I am happy you are a part of it.

If you enjoy my writing, please consider forwarding to a friend or sharing on your Facebook or social media page. My mission with this blog is to demonstrate as we move in the direction of our dreams we will be supported. Your being here is testament to that support already.

Single on Valentine’s Day: Breaking the Relationship Addiction

I woke with my cats purring and gratitude in my heart for the simple act of waking. I’m single, so it took a few minutes before I remembered today is Valentine’s Day. When I did, I felt a warmth towards myself rather than a loneliness so many feel on this day.

I spent years hungry for a relationship. I would rarely go more than 3 months between the ending of one and the beginning of a new one. Once I was attached to someone, I’d quickly become co-dependent and needy.

I sometimes struggle not to feel as if I’ve wasted huge chunks of my life by staying in some of those relationships which were abusive or unhealthy. I was so desperate for love and afraid of being alone I put up with a lot of sh*t.

Intellectually and psychologically I understood that I needed to love myself. That was a bit hard, however, when I didn’t even know myself. Trying to fit into someone else’s definition of who I should be and how I should be didn’t allow much time for self-exploration.

Breaking my relationship addiction wasn’t easy. It took a several years of maybe going 6 months to a year between relationships only to find I’d repeat the same dysfunctional patterns in the next one. Although I was managing to lengthen the time between one relationship and the next, I was still searching.

Searching for love outside of ourselves isn’t always conscious. It certainly wasn’t for me. I’d think I was ready to date again only to find myself compromising what I wanted or feeling unfulfilled.

Once I really started spending more time with myself and not filling my days and nights with other people or distractions, I stopped needing to be in a couple relationship. I started really enjoying my own company. I got to know my individual likes and dislikes.

Today, I am open to a relationship but happy with the one I have with myself. This relationship is the best I’ve ever been in before. This day is MY day. When we fully love ourselves, we can fully love each other.

Wishing each of you a Happy Valentine’s Day – give love to yourself first and then let love flow.

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If you enjoy my blogs, please consider forwarding to a friend or sharing on your Facebook or social media page. I also invite you to join my free teleseminar for getting off auto-pilot on February 17 at 8 p.m. EST; Sign up here!

Happy Birthday to Me!

I am at the beach for my birthday celebration ~ 25 (reversed) today, February 9, 2015. Life continues to pass by at an alarming speed and my weeks fly by like the pelicans outside my window. Well, actually even faster – weeks turn into months and months turn into years with lightening speed.

About a week ago I decided to put up a poster board on the wall outside my bedroom and keep track of what I do each day. I thought perhaps it would help alleviate my sense each Friday that I hadn’t gotten anything done all week. I haven’t written on it since last Wednesday and even then there wasn’t a lot to write. So much for that idea.

It’s interesting how this happens for so many of us – our days melt one into the other and we often feel as if we’ve not gotten anything accomplished. If you’re anything like me, you look back at the end of the week wondering where it went. Inevitably I also feel some lack of forward movement, as if I’m still standing in the same place I was when the week began.

Of course in many ways, I am still standing in the same place. Existentially speaking there is only one place ever – and that is the here and now. Still … those parts of me whom believe I should have accomplished more external things are discontent with this existential rationale. I am, after all, in a society driven by accomplishments.

In the last few weeks I have felt as if I have tapped into a deeper and greater understanding of all things spiritual (and existential). It is as if I have felt in one of those ‘awakened’ states I have written about when talking of slumbering and awakening. My mind has been sharp and my vision clear.

The perception that I have finally ‘gotten’ these spiritual teachings I’ve been studying and wanting to share is however merely that – perception. With it has come an understanding that I will not always remain in this state of awareness. Furthermore, to even delineate between awakening and slumbering is to be caught in a judgment of one or the other as better or worse. Any state of judgment of ourselves or others separates us from the full experience of being.

However, that statement in itself can sound like a judgment, so I am also recognizing that as a human being with an ego, I cannot completely get away from my categorization and classification. I think this is partly why I’ve decided to assign the interpretation of “good” to everything that happens. You know, the old ‘find the silver lining’ idea.

But I digress. It is a sense of passing time with unfulfilled goals or achievements to which I started writing. The underlying dissatisfaction with myself for not having picked up the house, cleaned out the car or done whatever else is on my list of things “needing” to be done. For me, lately it’s about not having written more or taken additional steps to further my new career as a speaker and writer.

Not to mention, yes, there’s also the need to pick up my house and clean out my car. Instead I took off to the beach and shirked all of my responsibilities in order to celebrate. Thereby spending money I could say I ‘shouldn’t’ be spending and/or time I ‘shouldn’t’ be “wasting”.

And now it is Monday and Friday will be here before I know it. Another week gone and the question still present ‘what did I get done?’ All the little things I do each day don’t get noticed because the big things are hovering over me and I’ve subconsciously created a list of “should’s” and “should not’s”.

By setting so many goals, it’s easy for me to miss the journey. Thus, the passing of time. If my eyes are constantly on the horizon, I may not see the path beneath my feet. I can also then unconsciously make my happiness contingent on getting someplace else other than where I am.

This year, as I move into the full expression of who I am and open myself to being more fully present in the moment, I am committing to release attachment and judgment. Each moment unfolds into the next and I don’t expect time is going to slow down anytime soon (or ever). So, I will enjoy the journey, be gentle with myself, and feel gratitude for the now.

If you enjoy my blogs, please consider forwarding to a friend or sharing on your Facebook or social media page. I also invite you to join my free teleseminar for getting off auto-pilot February 17 at 8 p.m. EST; Sign up here!

Invitation to Join : Free “Getting Off Auto-Pilot” Teleseminar

Hi – thanks for signing up to get my blog postings at awakeninginlove.com! I’m sending this post since there are some of you who have signed up here who may not be signed up for my free teleseminar introduction to 8-steps to changing focus, getting in touch with the body wisdom and seeing things from a soul perspective. These 8-steps can help you get off auto-pilot and start changing your life.

I am finalizing the teleseminar site and call in numbers and will be sending out details to those who have signed up for the class. If you’re interested, register here to be sure you receive the information.

I’m not fond of those free calls that end up being one big infomercial, so I promise you that is not  the focus of my mine. I genuinely want to share information that has the potential to help transform your life. My experience has been that by integrating these 8-steps into my life, my conscious awareness and shift from knowing this information to living it has increased.

Thank you for being a part of my journey and allowing me to share with you my process of moving into the life of my dreams. Feel free to contact me with any questions or feedback!

Hope you can join us on Tuesday, February 17, 2015 at 8:00 p.m. EST! Again, sign up here to get on the email list for the call details.

Beaming love,

Shannon Crane

Have You Made the Breakthrough You Desire?

The last couple of days I’ve spent some time looking through old journals for writing ideas. Time is a precious commodity, even when one has no job and should have plenty of it. I thought perhaps I might find a shortcut to producing more original content by reading some of my old writings.

Rather than providing me with brilliant ideas, however, reading through old chapters of my life proved depressing. The theme of the same goals, dreams, ideals and periods of insight without breakthrough was scattered throughout my writings over what seems like decades of my life.

I’m including here an excerpt from one of my journals. I will share why it was so alarming after you have read it:

“… too many moments of waking up to slumber again. I am so very tired of my old patterns and my own self-deception.

How to break out? Why are the moments of my change so fleetingly?

I feel frustration – I don’t know what to do, what I want to do – and this sadness is still here. This hopelessness of such a repeated pattern with no clear direction or awareness.

… why is waking up so hard? Because it requires changing life long patterns and enforcing greater self-discipline. It is easier to slip into distraction and numb the pain. And yet so many people seem to be wanting a more authentic life.

The “new age” or “new thought” movement grows stronger every year and those leaders on the cusp of that prosper. And I should be there – how can I differentiate myself and what message can I convey to help? How should that be done? What medium? What message? What purpose?

I see myself before an audience of people and I don’t know how to get there.

What would make my message different and what is my message? What do I want?

I want to help people wake up – to stay awake – to connect from their heart – change perceptions / attitudes. I want to help people to do the very thing I am struggling to do! Find balance, peace, joy, happiness – live an authentic life, fulfill dreams/potential. See beauty everywhere.”

On the surface this writing is beautiful and rings true with who I am and what I want. What was alarming to me is the date of the entry: June 11, 2009.

Have I really lived with this awareness and insight for so many years without consequence? I wrote this over 5 years ago and yet I did nothing. It was as if I had slumbered again.

Reading it, old fears surfaced: What if this time in my life turns out to be just like the others, where I had great intentions but didn’t follow through? What if I just end up forgetting all this again? What if I fail?

Fortunately, I am able to see what is different. My frustration at that time and in many journal entries both before and after was related to my sense of having unfulfilled potential. I quote myself “… deep down I know the true root of my unhappiness is indeed my inability to figure out and follow a more meaningful course for my life.”

This is such a perfect example of where awareness is not enough. Even in recognizing and identifying why I felt unhappy, I did nothing to change it. I didn’t know where to begin or what to do, so I did nothing.

What has changed is my dedication and commitment to the 8-steps to getting off auto-pilot that I am now living and eager to share. Although the steps are not necessarily separate from one another, nor meant to be taken in any kind of chronological order, each is important to create the kind of transformation we are seeking.

Of them all, what I have listed as the last step, is a big part of what is different today. That step is “Taking Action”.

By itself, taking action is meaningless. However, it was a huge missing piece of my life until recently. Six months ago I started my website and blog with a video asking the question “how do I get from here to there?” As I grew in my awareness and understanding, I began to understand a better question is: “what can I do to get from here to there?” As I asked this question, I began to take baby steps.

I don’t know where the path is taking me, but I am committed to keep moving forward. Although I have a destination in mind, I am also dedicated to enjoying the journey. What has changed for me is I am finally listening into my heart’s desire and taking action to make my dreams come true.

If you haven’t made the breakthrough you desire, consider joining me for a free overview of the 8-steps, but more importantly, consider taking some action – any action – to move you in the direction you want to go. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Original Content Please

I suppose it’s possible that every newly budding writer and speaker comes to this juncture of having to choose between writing for a blog that hasn’t yet taken off in popularity and writing for a popular website looking for original content. It’s a shame it has to be one or the other.

It was difficult waiting to post my own writing here until it had been accepted and published elsewhere. The article Stop Trying to Fix Yourself and Start Enjoying Your Life, was originally titled “If It’s Not One Thing, It’s a Mother.” When I wrote it several months ago, I was so excited and had wanted to post it immediately. But then it wouldn’t have been original content.

I wasn’t thrilled about the title change, but it’s clear the founder and editor of the Tiny Buddha website knows what she is doing. Her rationale was the title she picked would generate more “clicks” and was more reflective of my piece. I agreed with the second half of this logic, but wasn’t so sure my title wouldn’t have gotten a lot of clicks as well.

However, now that it’s done and published, I can see Tiny Buddha founder Lori Deschene was right. Based on the response the article has gotten, it seems a lot of people resonate with trying to fix ourselves. And a lot of people could relate to my story.

Being published on a website that has 1.5 million friends and followers certainly has given my dream of being a writer and speaker some traction. Of course, my dear mother is still asking how I’m making a living, and won’t be convinced this dream life is a good thing until I do. Having followers or Facebook Page “likes” isn’t going to pay the mortgage.

My head is full of original content and yet none of what I write and talk about is unique. This was actually an obstacle I had to overcome when I first started this journey.

Who am I to …?” and “What’s so new about what I’ve got to share?” were two blocks I had to work through early on.

I managed to recognize we need all the people we can get out in the world helping each other find peace, love, joy and happiness; so I got past the “Who am I” question. We also need all the people we can get to follow their dreams. I need you to advocate for better healthcare, a better system for our elderly, food for children and shelter for animals. If we each followed our calling, we can change the world.

Although what I have to share has been and is being shared by so many others, I realized it didn’t matter because each of us has our own unique voice. The way I put words together and express myself may reach some people who didn’t relate to or fully understand the same message told by someone else.

There are times I am on-line and I see how many other people are writing, speaking – and, dare I use the word “teaching” – the same sort of thing I am, and it overwhelms me. I worry about how I’m going to break into a field already saturated and overcrowded. But then I remember MY OWN TEACHING and I shift my focus to what it is I want to create.

You see, if I keep looking at all the other people here sharing information via the www … and I start feeling I’m in competition for your attention … well, then I’ve bought into limitation. We live in a vast and limitless universe. There are so many of us who are hungry for some kind of relief to the suffering of this human condition.

I will not claim to have all the answers, but I most certainly have learned how to redirect my focus and my life. It’s an ongoing process and yet the more I live in the truths I am sharing, the better my life is becoming.

Each one of us is original content. Let your light shine. Find the people who speak to your soul, who help you grow and expand, and celebrate your life! Step out in the world and share your unique gift because we need you. I need you. Your heart’s desire needs you.

Be original content … please.

Beyond Resolutions

If you read my last blog, you know I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions. It’s about this time of month I start getting sick of seeing articles and advertisements centered around the topic. Of course, it could be said this is just another one based on the title; however, I’ll let you be the judge of that.

The potential downside of so much focus on resolutions is the 92% of us who fail to keep ours can end up feeling pretty lousy. If you’ve already cheated on your self-promise, then you know what I’m talking about. Or maybe you didn’t bother to make any this year. I get that.

For those of us with a history of beating ourselves up for self-perceived failures, adding to the list isn’t very appealing. However, I suspect many of us are equally resistant to letting go of our ideals of self-improvement entirely. I think that’s why there is such popularity around how to keep our resolutions: we walk a fine balance between wanting and not wanting them.

For me, self-change has been a life long pursuit, and not something I’ve paid homage to just at the beginning of the year. I have little doubt it all started from a belief there was something wrong with me (maybe many somethings). Being a self-help junkie for so many years certainly nurtured that seed, although it’s like a weed that can grow just fine on its own.

Fortunately, I’ve come a long way; although I suspect I’ll always have the desire to be the best me I can be. Therefore, I’ll always be on the path of self-improvement. It can be a slippery slope if my motivation comes from trying to fix me instead of loving me.

In the process of self-change, I’ve moved further away from looking for motivation and now look for inspiration. I’m still exploring the ways motivation and inspiration are different, however I know inspiration feels more right. For example, I no longer want to be a motivational speaker: I want to be an inspirational one.

With whatever it is I decide to do, I’ve discovered a key ingredient I’ve often been missing is commitment. Intentions and resolutions may work, but commitment is like the super highway of travel. That’s why it’s the first step in the 8-step process I’ve developed to changing focus, getting in touch with the body wisdom and seeing things from a soul perspective. Actually, it’s hard to refer to it as a step at all since it’s really integrated into everything.

This year my commitment is to taking steps towards living my dream. It’s much deeper than any intention and specifically worded so it will be very difficult to “fail.” I honestly believe if I take steps, the path will unfold in the direction I want to go. And I’m committed to enjoying the journey along the way without attachment to any destination.

I believe my last blog mentioned a post-it note I wrote earlier this week; It says “What are 3 things I can do today to help move me in the direction of my dreams?” I may not take 3 actions every day, but it serves as a reminder to keep moving forward. My commitment makes it all possible.

A huge step I took this week was getting my teleclass posted on my website. Starting Tuesday, February 17, I’ll be holding a weekly phone conference to introduce others to the 8-steps which I have found so helpful in my own growth. I don’t promise to have all the answers, but I do know I’ve come a long way!

Visit Your Life Perspective for more information, or drop me an email with questions or comments.

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