What Does Personal Growth Have To Do with Lobsters?

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We all need a safe space in which to explore who we really are: a place free of judgments, a place to go deeper into ourselves and discover who we are so that we can continue to grow.

Believe it or not, we can learn a lot from lobsters.

When lobsters are born, they are mushy. Then, they build their shell.

But after a while, the shell constrains them. It gets uncomfortable, and they can’t grow anymore. So they have to break through that shell.

To do that, they go into a safe place, like under a rock or in a cave. They break the shell, and then they’re mushy again — and they begin to grow.

After a little while, another shell forms over their new and larger self, and they come back out into their ocean world. Lobsters do this about 25 times in their first five to seven years of life.

What can we learn from the lobster?


When we start to feel uncomfortable, when the pressures and stress of life begin to weigh on us, we have a desire to break free. In those moments, it’s time to find a safe place to go and break the shell, to see what’s underneath and allow ourselves room to grow.

WaterfallWhen we’re ready, we can put the shell back on and go out into the world again, as someone who has broken free from self- or culturally-imposed limitations. 

It doesn’t matter who you are, whether you’re a parent at home caring for a family or the CEO of a corporation. You can come out into the world as the best of who you are, not who you think you ought to be.

There’s a life we live in, and there’s also a life within us. To close the gap between the two, to live the life that we innately desire, depends on our mastery of our inner world. Just like the lobster, we need to give ourselves the time and space to grow.



But what happens to the lobster when he gets thrown into boiling water?

If the lobster has lived a full and meaningful life, then when he’s in that boiling water he will be so content, he won’t even realize that the water is boiling.

That’s where we all want to be when we reach the rocking-chair stage of life: at peace with the life we have lived.

Do you have a safe place to take off your shell and grow? Tell me on my Facebook page.

 

Success is a Shared Endeavor

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In the past, I never asked for help or support. I thought I was so strong, and I believed I could do everything myself – that I needed to do everything myself.
But life pushed me out of my comfort Lavenderzone. I didn’t like it. I felt shameful that I had to ask other people for help.

Then I learned to ask … and I received.

When I saw that people could support me in ways I never knew were possible, another door opened for me. I saw that I wasn’t alone.

I recently attended an event in California where the leader was offering another program that required a $1,000 deposit. The leader asked if anyone had any questions about it.

A woman in the audience raised her hand and was invited to go up on stage, where she said, “You’ve already taken my money for this program, and I don’t have the money for the next one. I am a single mom, and now you want more money from me, and I don’t have it.”

The leader said, “Can you create it?”

And the woman said, “No. I’m already working two jobs.”

The leader asked her, “Who can you ask for help?”

“No one,” she answered. “I have to do this all on my own. I can’t ask for help. I will never ask for help.”

At that moment, another woman in the audience of 400 women stood up and said, “Why don’t you ask for help from us?”

Before I knew it, everyone got up from their seats and gave her cash on the spot, until there was $4,000 on the stage. Four hundred strangers were blessing her and helping her.

This woman’s life changed forever, all because she raised her hand. She will never be the same.

And after witnessing this, I will never be the same, either.

It is amazing what’s out there that we never ask for.

What would you want to ask for? Tell me on my Facebook page.

An Essential Step: Define “Success” for Yourself

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How do you define “success”?

You might look to what your parents, peers, friends and neighbors consider “success.” You may see symbols of wealth and believe that that’s what defines “success.” Or you may have a fantasy of what being “successful” is.

Look honestly at where you are now, and do so with gratitude.

It can be painful to look at where you are if you’re comparing yourself to a fantasy. But in a state of gratitude, your heart will open to the truth: that you are enough, and that you have enough.gifts

Once we become grateful for who we are and what we have right now, we become more present. When we become more present, we’re freer to take a step toward something new that we want to create for ourselves. The fantasy starts to dissolve.

Gratitude in your heart will allow you to accept what is, because your mind will not. Your mind will bring out the inner critic: “But you don’t have this or that! You didn’t do this, and you didn’t do that!”

How do you stop that voice from interfering and get more in touch with what your heart knows is “success”?

One way is to begin keeping a success journal.

For example, perhaps deeper connections with other people are part of what you see as “success.” What connections do you have right now? Record them in your journal.

Maybe you want a nicer home. But what can you be grateful for with your current home? Write about what your home means to you.

Perhaps you desire more freedom in your life. What freedoms do you have in this moment?

Here are some more questions you can answer in your success journal:

  • What went right today?
  • What did I do that I’m proud of?
  • What did I do that made a difference to someone today?
  • How can I celebrate myself?
  • What lessons did I learn today?
  • What could I do differently tomorrow so that I can take another step toward my own definition of success

Remember that success is a journey. You’re already on that journey, no matter where you find yourself today.

How might you define “success”? Please share your thoughts on my Facebook page.

3 Steps to Refocus and Recharge Your Life

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sports carHow many things do you have to do today, this week, this month? If you’re like most people, your life is filled with lots of tasks, and often not much else.


Why do we do this to ourselves?

I believe it’s partly because it’s a lot easier for most people to “do” than to “be.” We are proud of the length of our “to-do” list. The longer it is, the better person we are — or so our culture says.

At the end of the day, though, we’re always left with more to do.

People are not taught to stop and ask, “What do I want? What is my desire?”

Because then we’re labeled as selfish. So in our culture, if you think of yourself first, you’re selfish. To counteract that, you start giving to others as another form of doing. But where are you giving from? From fullness, or from depletion?

What you focus on, expands.

Your ability to give and to accomplish your goals will multiply, once you begin focusing more on yourself – on being instead of doing.

Here’s a little formula you can use, which I call the “AAA Formula”:

1. Awareness: Stop and be willing to look at yourself.
2. Acceptance: Accept whatever comes to the surface when you look at yourself.
3. Action: Then — and do this only after awareness and acceptance — take inspired action, which will take you toward what you want to create.

We need to be willing to stop the car, step out and get a new view. If you keep pressing the gas pedal, it doesn’t matter if it’s a Ferrari, it’s going to burn out. It needs to be maintained in order to be a safe ride.

It’s not enough to just drive the Ferrari and get to the end of the road. We also have to learn how to enjoy the ride: look at the scenery, feel the steering wheel, admire the instrument panel. Because wherever you go, you take yourself with you.

What did you read in this article that resonated with you? Please share your thoughts on my Facebook page.

Prioritize Yourself, and Ease Will Follow

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person looking out at waterA while back, a gentleman came to me for coaching whom we’ll call Bill. Bill had been having panic attacks and was so overwhelmed, he didn’t know what to do. No matter how many hours he worked, it didn’t make a difference in his “to do” list. There was always more and more to do, and it was causing him a lot of anxiety.

As we talked, I saw that Bill had lost his focus. I told him that unless he put himself as the top priority, nothing else would get done in a satisfactory way.

What does it mean to make ourselves the top priority?

For Bill, it means that in the morning, he’ll do whatever he is called to do to center himself. It might be meditation, exercise, and reading.

Once he feels centered, he can look at his “to do” list and choose to do the three most impactful items, and only those three items. The rest? Let them go, cross them off or delegate them.

Just by doing those simple things to prioritize himself over everything else, Bill doubled and then tripled his income and began ending his work day two hours earlier. He is now on the elliptical machine 45 minutes a day and meditating daily, as well. The panic attacks and anxiety have eased off considerably. And as well-being increases, Bill can offer more of himself, more openly, to other people in his life.

Have you lost sight of yourself at times? What change, big or small, can you make now to shift some attention back onto what’s most important—meaning you?

I want to support you in prioritizing the most important person in your life. You.

To resolve or not to resolve: that is the question!

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Are you ready with your resolutions or are you one of the many people who have given up on resolutions because they just get the same dissatisfying results every year?

Why not approach this year a little differently?

New Year's resolutionsWhat if you focus on resolutions that harmonize with and support your truest values, instead of focusing on creating outward results? Take a moment to reflect: what would that feel like?

Maybe it is time to try a different approach.

The best order to create positive changes in your life is to use the BE, DO, HAVE model, a well-established approach toward fulfillment, in the personal growth community. That is, this year instead of thinking of what you want to do in 2016, think of who you want to be and what that means to you.

Let’s look at this with an example, one of the most popular resolutions, which is “I will start exercising!”

Old model:

DO: I will start to exercise, so
HAVE: I can feel fit, and then
BE: I can be healthy

This year change the order and use the New Model:

BE: I choose and want to take care of myself, including my physical self, as a healthy expression of self, so
DO: I exercise, and then
HAVE: My body is fit and I feel good

Learning effective resolution-setting strategies can ensure that this year will be your best year ever. That is important!

Is It Stress or Is It Passion?

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Think about this for a minute:

Stress headacheWorking hard for something you don’t care about is called stress. Working hard for something you care about is called passion.

When you can understand and define your core values and link them to your daily activities, you feel satisfied and achieve more.

Your values influence what you do, how you think and how you feel about the world around you. Acting on your values changes the way you experience the world, and the way the world experiences you.

Dance passionKnowing your values also enables you to understand what emotions drive and motivate you and clarifies what goals you may want to achieve in life.

Once clear on your values, you can make informed life changes – because you’ll be able to choose roles, activities and people that support and enhance your values – and avoid those that contradict them.

I recommend that you take some time to ponder on this (especially right before the new year!)

Reflections on Paris, and what you can do now

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As you and I are deeply saddened by the attacks in Paris, I want to remind you of the actions we can take right now, to make a difference and stand by the people of Paris:

Yes, continue to send your heartfelt wishes, and focus on love.

A rose on the street

Ask yourself: who can you be today to connect to peace and love? How can you expand the power of love in your life?

Give an act of kindness to a stranger. Take a moment to make eye contact with someone giving you service. Choose compassion instead of judgment. Smile to brighten someone’s day. Soak up the love of someone who believes in you.

Then…

Be love. Have love. Do love. Love has the power to heal.

It starts with you and me. We all have the power to change the world: our state of mind, attitude, and actions are affecting humanity.

That is why I am so committed to the work that I do to bring transformation to the individual; the work we do together is not only about improving our individual lives. As you live your dreams and love your life and others, you will be emanating the energies that are needed to shift consciousness in society, for the better.

Join the growing community of heart-centered people by coming to a Growthshop to fortify your knowing.

The Force Awakens: The Hero’s Journey

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You have probably heard that “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is coming to the theaters in December. You may remember the famous opening text, “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away….”

Tildet speaks about meditationWhat if that galaxy is not far away, and exists within you? What if by connecting to it, you “awaken the force” within?

What if you could listen to a different voice, the voice of your true self, not the voice of your limited mind? You could embark on what Joseph Campbell calls “the hero’s journey”. The hero in this case is you, and the journey is the path of your life.

The Stars Wars epic models the hero’s journey, as seen in the first-released movie with the Luke’s and Han’s calls to action, the path to the destruction of the “Death Star”, and finally the triumphant return of the fighters. However, the remoteness of the imagery of a science fiction mythology from our own everyday lives obscures for us writer/director/producer George Lucas’ intended meaning.

What is life but a prolonged effort to find the most meaning, connection and success? Imagine living your highest and best life (with some guidance and support along the way). You can awaken “the force” through your meditation practice and other awareness practices. Meditation and awareness practices are the conduits that enable us to connect with the inspiration of our own hero’s journey. As you awaken to your true self, worry and doubts diminish, leading to a richer quality of life, for you and for those around you. We can all participate in this epic, in our own hero’s journey.

My Meaningful River Hike

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Walking in the water... the beginningI recently came back from visiting some of the National Parks in Utah. If you like nature, National Parks are a must on your list.

One of the most meaningful experiences I had on this trip was the River Hike in Zion National Park. River hiking is when you spend most of your time in the river, hiking. Usually the water is about knee high, but at times you can go in as deep as your waist. I had to walk in cold water, upstream, against the current, and the water was not clear so I needed a walking stick to navigate my way. Sounds challenging, right?

Yes, parts of it were challenging. Yet it was an amazing experience as I realized how similar it was to life. That recognition inspired me to really make a decision to go as far as I could during the hike.

As I mindfully took steps forward, equipped with the right gear, I noticed those that were rushing in the river fall down. Others did not get in at all thinking it was too hard to do. Soon the only thing I was noticing was myself, where I was going and the beauty around me.

After doing this for about two hours I arrived to The Narrows. The scenery was magical and something you cannot experience from land. I was grateful to have taken steps to be in and to arrive to a place not everybody does. I felt confident and strong ready to take on another challenge.

Approaching the goalI was thinking of Theodore Roosevelt’s quote:

“It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”

These are dramatic words, and match the way language was often used 100 years ago, but I find they are right on target.

So, now that Fall is here and you are perhaps refocusing on your life and goals, I hope that you will continue connecting to your dreams and taking mindful steps at your own pace with the right tools, determined to achieve what matters to you.

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