Project Life 365 – Day 121 – You Today

As you have probably deduced by the lack of regular posting lately, life around here has shifted into high gear. I gotta say, it’s been one helluva ride.

Yet, unlike other frantic-paced times in my life when everything was spinning out of control and I was doing everything I could just to hold on, this time I feel more like I’m standing comfortably in the eye of the hurricane. I can feel myself being pushed along by the momentum, and yet somehow I am completely unfazed and unharmed by the storm.

It’s funny how the day-to-day chaos of life seems so much more manageable once you find your balance.

The more time I spend here on this earth, the more I realize that is what life is really all about–finding your balance. See, I believe that we are all here for a reason. I believe we were put on this earth to learn, to teach, to connect with our fellow human beings, and to do the absolute best we can with the life and the circumstances we’ve been given. We all have so much to offer…if we can just get out of our own damn way.

There are so many things in this world that can hold us back, so many obstacles we encounter. Yet, the biggest, the one that is always the hardest to overcome, is ourselves. The human mind, with all its capacity for brilliance and innovation, also has the ability to cripple us with fear. It has a way of holding onto negativity, focusing too much attention on trivial things, and trapping us in sluggish, complacent mediocrity.

Just think of what we could do, all the things we could accomplish, if we could just find a way to silence that negative, nay-saying voice in our heads that tells us we’re not good enough, not smart enough, not thin enough, not creative enough, not athletic enough, not pretty enough, not artistic enough. On and on and on and on.

Aren’t you getting dizzy?

I’m not perfect. Nowhere near. But if there’s one thing I think I do have going for me, it’s the fact that I have finally found my balance. I’m finally in a place where I can see the bigger picture, where I can look out with keen perspective and make some sort of sense of the chaos.

It wasn’t easy getting here. It wasn’t easy climbing out of the rut I’d spent so much time burying (and barricading) myself in. It took a whole lot of work, a whole lot of soul searching, a whole lot of time and honesty and honestly letting go. It took a conscious decision to be more mindful, to focus on the myriad of blessings that always accompany the hardships. It took a conscious decision to start living in the present moment instead of allowing myself to be completely consumed and preoccupied by what has been and what has yet to be. It took almost dying for me to finally start living, really living, not just walking around on auto-pilot and going through the motions. It took a whole lot of pain and hardship and misery for me to finally begin to understand (and really appreciate) joy.

Life is a two-way street. And it’s up to you to decide which direction you will go.

I’ve always believed that there are situations in life that you are supposed to experience, lessons in life you are supposed to learn, and people in life you’re meant to connect with on a deeper level. Somehow, some way, things happen the way they are supposed to. The universe has a way of nudging us in the direction we need to go, if we are mindful enough to look around and see the signs.

The truth is, we are and always will be our own biggest critics and oftentimes our own worst enemies. But when you’re finally able to strip away all the nagging negativity and the penny ante bullshit, what you’re left with is a deep, unwavering, undeniable and absolute knowing that you are doing exactly what you were born on this earth to do, and that alone can drive and fulfill you in a way that very few people are able to understand.

What we do need at times, though, (to borrow a term from the show LOST) is a “constant”. We need something to tether us, to center us, something that can remind us to pause in the midst of the chaos and just breathe. Sure, we have friends and loved ones who can do that, and our kiddos are really great at getting our attention and redirecting it to the the little things in life that are really the most important. But sometimes when we’re feeling a little lost and overwhelmed and it’s three in the morning and it’s been a long crazy week and that annoying little negative tape starts playing over and over in our heads, making us question ourselves, our work, and our decisions, we need something that can cut through the fog and remind us of what we already know–that this is real, and it’s awesome, and that we’re here to enjoy the ride.

So, here I am today, content in the knowledge that I am exactly where I am supposed to be, surrounded by the people and the things that I love most. I’m tapped in, tethered, connected to something that is so much bigger than myself.

Good and bad, ups and downs, plans and surprises–bring it on. I’m here to enjoy the ride.

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Project Life 365 – Day 75 – The Middle

Sometimes you just can’t help but feel stuck…right in the middle of things. It might feel like nothing is ever going to change. It might feel like the frustration or the pain or the uncertainty is going to go on forever. You might be so convinced that the long winter is never going to end that you don’t even notice the beauty blooming right before your eyes.

Funny thing is…no matter how mired you feel in your personal little rut, the world just keeps right on spinning. The sun rises and sets. Time keeps marching on. The secret is to take a cue from the Universe and keep moving forward right along with it. Because you’re always going to be in the middle…right where the future intersects with the past…but you’re only “stuck” if you allow yourself to be.

So don’t allow it.

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Project Life 365 – Day 44 – Steps

Break it down to its most basic, and life is just a series of steps.

From the moment we are born until the moment we die, we are moving, nudged along whether we like it or not with every second that ticks by on the clock.

Some people fight it, wasting their lives trying to cling to all of the things that inevitably move away from them. Others rush foolishly forward, without even considering the consequences.

The trick is to find the balance and appreciate the journey.

Sometimes, it’s just hard to stay focused.

Life is full of hardships, obstacles, frustrations. We move forward, fall back, stumble. We make dumb choices, start down dangerous paths that take us farther and farther away from our goals and dreams. We backtrack. We burn bridges, and mend others. We find ourselves moving in directions we swore we’d never go.

Sometimes we walk so far so fast we hardly remember where we came from. Sometimes we waste a whole lot of time and energy spinning in circles and making ourselves sick. Sometimes we get trampled and suffocated by the crowd. And other times we have to face our deepest fears and forge a path alone.

The thing I’ve learned about life is that we all have a destination. What we don’t have is a roadmap to get there.

And that’s really the point of it all isn’t it? The journey. The choices we make.

I learned the hard way (the very, VERY hard way) what happens when you get lost. I got so lost, so far off track, that I honestly believed the only option left was to give up. Funny thing about that depth of darkness though…even the tiniest pinpoint of light, even the faintest glimmer of hope is enough to turn around. All you need is one tiny thread to hold onto to begin pulling yourself up out of the abyss.

See, the Universe will always give you the signs you need to keep moving in the right direction. Of course it does! We are all here on this earth to fulfill our own personal potentional, to be the absolute best that we can be. Sure, we’re dealt a certain set of circumstances, and some of us have a much more difficult hand to play. But we all have issues. Every single one of us.

Truth is, we’re all “broken” in one way or another.

Maybe we can’t read as well as someone else. Maybe we’re genetically predisposed to obesity or cancer. Maybe we’re born without something, or with something extra. Maybe we can’t hear or can’t see color or can’t see at all. Maybe we had a shitty childhood or suffered an abusive relationship. Maybe we never had enough to eat. Maybe we always got everything we ever wanted, but never learned how to value anything at all.

The unfortunate thing is that too many of us have bought into this idea that our circumstances are enough to hold us back. We’ve begun to believe that being broken can beat us.

Truth is, the only thing that can beat you is you.

Truth is, we all have a destination. We all have a purpose. We all have a very unique reason for being put here on this earth.

No one can ever live like you. No one can ever be you or take your place. Your potential, your absolute best, your soul is yours and yours alone. So what an unimaginable waste to throw it away. What a waste to give up, to give in, to say “I know I could probably do better, but I’m just so tired.”

Bullshit.

We all get tired. We all get to a point where we feel weighed down by the burdens in our lives. We all sometimes feel like we can’t possibly go on.

And that is the moment when you will take the most important step in your life. That is the moment when you make a choice.

So, take a moment and look around. Appreciate this extraordinary moment you’re living right now. Appreciate the blessings, and the hardships too, for they have taught you so very much. I promise, the Universe will give you a sign, a nudge in the right direction. But it’s up to you to follow it.

Be still.

Listen.

Now, take the next step, and keep going…

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