From the category archives:

The Journey

So you’ve shifted – now what?

If you’ve been through a shift or you’re still shifting, it can be a wild ride. As I described in my last two posts, at first it’s usually not much fun. In fact that’s an understatement: it can feel as if your world is crumbling, you’re backsliding, or nothing is happening at all. There can be pain and loss, confusion and convolution, even upheaval. Yet, once you realize those are only early markers of an ongoing process and begin feeling the momentum of movement, it’s a whole other story.

Let’s Get to the Good Part Already!

That’s when the ride gets fun! After the choice point, assuming you’ve moved into action, the action itself is exhilarating, fulfilling, enriching and even if challenging, deeply meaningful; at least, that’s exactly how it has felt for me. Your days are accounted for yet fly by without a worry. Your plate and calendar are full yet you’re not overwhelmed – you are instead fueled and fed. You care not about time nor notice its passage, for you’re living in the moment and loving [click to continue…]

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The Rift

Creative Commons License photo credit: Erwint

Recap: What’s The Shift?

Apologies for leaving you for a few weeks after writing Welcome to The Shift, the first in a series I’m writing to chronicle my own process of shifting and to reach others moving through what’s become known as “The Shift”.

To recap, this “Shift” is what I (among many others) define as our collective and individual evolution into higher consciousness.  Simply put, we are shifting from living life at the surface level of human ego, basic  survival and physicality into recognition of our true selves as an expression of a unified whole.  Despite outer appearances, we’re growing into an awareness of humanity as not many and separate physical beings, but rather as one collective multi-dimensional organism that is at a tipping point of either great promise or peril.

This evolution is occurring at both individual and collective levels.  That can sound confusing or contradictory, especially after I just told you we are growing into an awareness of individual players as a collective whole.  But the reality of this shift is [click to continue…]

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Welcome to The Shift
Creative Commons License photo credit: Ed Siasoco (aka SC Fiasco)

I haven’t posted as much as I’d like to over the last month, but I won’t use conventional excuses like “I’ve been traveling” or “I’ve been busy”.  While both are true, they’re not the main reason.

The main reason for not blogging more often is that I’ve been shifting.  And frankly, it’s been kicking my ass. [click to continue…]

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How Open Are You?
Creative Commons License photo credit: Jules LaVerne

2011 is shaping up to be a year of rapid, no-nonsense “shifting into gear”.  For many people – self included – we’re close to completing the transition through the gears which has defined the past few years.  I don’t know about you, but I’m intending to enter a more stable place of greater alignment with my goals and desires in 2011.   After the preceding (and apparently, ongoing) period of economic, climate and political instability, I welcome this final push even if it won’t be entirely comfortable.

Which is why right now, it really pays to have goals and desires; to have clarity of intention followed by intentional action.  Alignment and clarity are necessarily linked – you can’t be aligned to something without defining it to begin with. The dimensions and areas of your life, of all you are, can’t be congruent without clarity.  So I view clarity and more specifically, the willingness to examine and truthfully see as another defining lesson of 2011.

For some of us, this means simply opening our eyes or pulling our heads out of the sand and at long last facing what we’ve been avoiding.  For others, it will be time to take off [click to continue…]

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i believe in symmetry
Creative Commons License photo credit: timsnell

While 2010 ended with a whimper for me (and for the most part I was glad to see it go), 2011 is starting off with a bang.  There’s “no rest for the wicked” as the saying goes.

Not that I’m wicked (truly, I’m not) but we all have negative habits, conditioning or baggage hiding somewhere and when it must be dumped, the universe will waste no time in pulling up the trash bin.  Seems like 2011 is hauling in the garbage trucks.

It’s fitting that on this closing day of January I’m sharing three lessons that have already come up for me this year (yeah, that’s just what January had to offer!).  Thankfully, they’ve been swift and precise, resulted in some much needed laser-introspection, and yielded chucking of habits that were holding me back:

1.       How you do everything, and how you feel when doing it, is more important than everything you do.
Your vibe tells all, and despite how you act or what you say, people will usually pick up on your true feelings about something.  Reluctant to sit through three hours of your son’s baseball practice?  It’ll show.  The challenge for most of us – I think – is we end up doing all sorts of things we don’t really want to.  Or what we thought we wanted turns out to be a far cry from our expectations.

What to do when there’s a gulf between what you have committed to doing and how you feel about it?  [click to continue…]

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Look Up in Life
Creative Commons License photo credit: mrhayata

The truth in life is that we probably have countless brushes with death every day that we never know about.  Just crossing a busy city street or shuttling the kids to school, one careless driver more or less at exactly the right moment and your number could be up.

There’s nothing, however, like a violently turbulent flight to make you think maybe, finally, despite the overwhelming odds against crashing, this is really it.

Today I had that flight.

It was a routine Delta jaunt from West Palm Beach Florida (my home airport) to New York City for one of the seminars I teach there several times a year; routine for Delta, routine for me. I hadn’t clued in much to the weather other than to know it would be rainy in New York and to select the most appropriate coat to bring.

About half way through the two-and-a-half hour flight, we hit [click to continue…]

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journey
Creative Commons License photo credit: jerseytourism

It’s the end of the journey through another year, December in the northern hemisphere where I live.  I love this month not for the holiday lights, shorter days and colder weather, but because things slow down for once.  Largely thanks to the cluster of December holidays, the pace lets up, and there is time, space, and breathing room to reflect. Mmmmm . . . just savor how good that feels.  Take a deep breath, let it out.  Exhale.  Doesn’t that feel wonderful?

Yet no sooner do we reflect on the past year, or our entire lives to date, than we fast forward to what we will do next, do differently, or both.  We can’t help but move from reflection to dreaming and intending for the future.

Intention has been a growing focus in my life this year and is a paramount theme for 2011.  And it’s not just me – the concept of living with intention seems to be popping up all around me, and I say it’s about time.  Especially with science catching up to spirituality, we’re learning more all the time about the power of intention – even before it leads to action – to really and truly move the physical universe.  (If you’re curious for more on that – especially the science piece – don’t miss what Lynne McTaggart is doing at The Intention Experiment.  This ain’t hocus, people).

One thing’s for sure on this journey:  you can set the course, or [click to continue…]

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"Confessions of a Reluctant Mother"

I have to confess something few people know.  For most of my daughter’s life I’ve been a reluctant mother.

It’s not that I got pregnant as a teenager, knocked-up after a wild night of debauchery, or stumbled into any of the typical, tragic unexpected motherhood situations so popularized in the tabloid news.  I was “raised right”.  I was responsible.  I was married for five years before I ever in my life got pregnant, even though we weren’t trying.  And in theory, we wanted kids.  It was the “in practice” part I struggled with.

No, I was not reluctant because motherhood was thrust or forced upon me at a tender or inconvenient age.  It’s just that it was never my calling, and I did have a calling.  From a very early age I longed to be a writer.  I had bigger plans than mommyhood: novels, travel, money, and fame – maybe even transformed hearts and minds.  In my wildest dreams, a legacy that would last the ravages of history.

Plus, being a mother never looked like much fun.  Whether watching my own mother or the moms of my friends, it didn’t seem like motherhood was a very satisfying, easy or meaningful (in any kind of big, outer-world way) path. As the oldest of four kids, I witnessed my parents fulfill classic 1950’s era roles – mom stayed home, cooked, cleaned and raised the kids, and dad went to the office every day.  With four, mom had her hands full.  Imagine this juxtaposed against my daily viewing of Oprah, then just getting started in Chicago where I lived, rapidly ascending to super-womanhood and you [click to continue…]

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October Clean up
Creative Commons License photo credit: kodomut

Few of us make it through life with a light load.  At some point, we intentionally or unintentionally become hoarders.

I don’t necessarily mean hoarders of physical stuff, although that can be part of it. Anything that manifests in physical form has emotional, mental and spiritual components behind the scenes.  Even if we’re not physically holding onto things though, most of us carry plenty of emotional baggage.  Eventually it’s time to toss it or run the risk of it becoming so bogged down we can’t carry the weight.  When that happens we can no longer grow; we become stuck in one place, barely able to move or breathe, like those horrifying scenes from the A&E reality show on the same theme.

The question, always the question, is howHow do you dump the emotional baggage? How do you throw out the mental garbage? How do you take out the trash? [click to continue…]

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Military dance troupe
Creative Commons License photo credit: tibchris

After writing this two-part series on following your bliss, I’ve come to realize one of the biggest obstacles to going after what makes you happy is actually standing up and bucking conformity if that’s what it takes to get it.

It’s all well and good to have figured out what brings you lasting and authentic joy, to acknowledge you want whatever that is, and to accept that being in alignment with it will make you happy.

It’s a whole other thing to stand up to the forces that be and declare you’re going to go publicly do whatever brings you joy, especially when it’s not the norm.  And that, dear readers, is exactly what makes Chris Guillebeau’s debut book The Art of Non-Conformity (affiliate link) so timely, reassuring and downright practical.

The Young Grasshopper of Non-Conformity

I’ve been following writer and world traveler Chris Guillebeau for about a year.  Sensing a kindred spirit (we both love to travel, travel-hack and write) after connecting with his blog, I immediately raised my hand for an advance copy of his book when he offered it and was lucky enough to get one.  Now about half-way through my read, I realize we share another key trait: non-conformity.

Chris Guillebeau Art of Non-ConformityLike many readers of Chris’ book will undoubtedly discover, I owe him a debt of gratitude for emboldening and empowering me to set my own rules and go after the life I really want.  Because you see, Chris is a freakin’ non-conformity master.

In his early 30’s today, Chris is a man who refused from an early age to accept the status quo.  He dropped-out of high school after two years (mostly from what I construe as boredom) and went straight to college.  Taking classes simultaneously at a community college and local university, he graduated with not one but two (count ‘em, two) bachelor’s degrees at the end of his second year as a college student.  His friends from the brief time he’d spent in high school were just finishing their freshman year.

Chris then went on to do a variety of non-conformist things including a short stint working the night shift at Fed-Ex at age 20 followed by starting and running an eBay business, and more notably, spending four years as a volunteer aid worker in West Africa.  While in Africa [click to continue…]

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