How to Find your Passion – Part 2

How to Find your Passion – Part 2

Lifestyle Personal Growth self development

In Part One in this blog series, we discussed how no one ever taught us how to find our passion, and yet that’s what is expected of us to make the most of life!  We revealed the first 3 secrets to discovering your passion, and now we have 3 more, including the most important and most often missed strategy…

  1. Create New Experiences. This is the most important step in finding your passion and the one that is most often missed!  Thinking about what you’re passionate about is not enough. You can think and ponder, and wonder and brainstorm all you want, but you’ll get nothing more than hints and ideas from this practice. You must DO IT to find out if you really enjoy it.  You will never know for sure unless you experience it. This is the most powerful and most missed strategy for finding your passion: Embark on an ongoing series of experiential experiments! Years ago when I was feeling a lack of fun in my life, I was tasked by my coach to DO something I’m passionate about EVERY DAY for a week (you might choose to take this task on yourself, hint hint). When I was growing up we visited some relatives about 2 or 3 times a year and they had horses! I learned to ride and became comfortable with horses at a very young age, and I often thought back to that time fondly, and felt a longing to re-connect with horses now as a adult. So I booked a riding lesson at a nearby stable for one of my passion days, and re-acquainted myself with a horse. It turned out to be fun, but I didn’t feel called to do it again or continue regularly.  After that day I was able to think about those childhood horse-riding experiences fondly but not wistfully, as I’d satisfied my curiosity about whether or not it was a passion for me.  I would not have known that without going out and DOING it.  So take the ideas that you come up with mentally in strategies #1, 2 and 3, and get into action on them. Call up a friend who’s into something on your list and ask them to take you. Sign up for workshop or a course from your list. Find a MeetUp group about something on your list. Arrange to job shadow in an area that piques your curiosity.  Or just go out and do it. The simple act of doing something on your Potential Passions list will teach you SO much about yourself!
  2. Make it a Life Long Quest. Because by the way, you’re never done! Finding your passions is not an end point. It’s not like you can sit back one day and say, “Good. That’s settled.” Because you are human, you are always changing. As you live, you grow. And as you grow, your passions will evolve. Deepak Chopra, in his book The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire, describes how he and his wife Rita instilled only one priority in their children, and that was to find their soul’s desire (or purpose). Chopra describes how life is one continuous journey toward finding deeper and deeper versions of your desire.  And so it is with your passions.  I invite you to make this a fun and exciting life practice.  You get a hint of an activity that sounds interesting and you immediately set out to find out more and to sample it experientially, and so on, and so on, and so on.
  3. Do Anger in a Healthy Way. Yes I know this is a repeat, but this time I’m going deeper. <stepping on my soapbox now> Repressed anger is an epidemic and I’ve observed that people who repress negative emotions, by default experience repressed positive emotions too (read: flat line).  So when we dim the light on any emotion, we dim the light on all emotions.  If we want to feel joy more, we must learn to feel sorrow.  If we want to feel excitement more, we must learn to feel fear. Want passion? Find your anger. Here are my healthy strategies for feeling anger:
    1. Resolve the old stories about anger. You may be holding beliefs like “I’m not a good girl if I get angry.”  “Anger is dangerous.” Or “I’ll lose control if I get angry.”  These are limiting beliefs that need to be released.
    2. Anger is useful so learn to use it. Anger tells us that something must be protected or restored, and that we need to put a boundary in place or reinforce one.  Anger also tells us when one of our core values is being violated, and can point to what is most important to us and needs to be honoured.
    3. Nothing good ever comes from repressing anger. It eventually erupts as rage, or manifests as dis-ease in the body, or simply consumes massive amounts of energy as we work to keep it bottled up. So let it out…
    4. Healthy anger release involves allowing ourselves to feel the emotion (internal) and express the emotion (external). When we feel anger, we may flush, our pulse may quicken, we may clench our fists, etc.  We can learn to be ok with these physical sensations, even though they may be uncomfortable.  And then we need to express it without doing harm to self or others.  Here are great ways to express anger:  scream in the car, hit a punching bag, use a foam bat on the furniture, vent to someone safe who will listen calmly, dance, stomp, throw rocks in nature, etc.  Many people use vigorous exercise to dissipate anger, but there’s a caution here: exercise will release the physical tension, but it may not allow the anger to be fully expressed if you’re not feeling it (internal) while you’re exercising.

Learning how to do anger in a healthy way is key to raising the threshold on ALL of your emotions, both the positive and the negative ones, so that you can experience all the aliveness that life has to offer.  And, so you can find your passion!

What passions have you found using these strategies?

Until next time, be free… and wild.

Sue

How to Find Your Passion – Part 1

How to Find Your Passion – Part 1

Lifestyle Personal Growth self development

(Even if you think it’s too late)

Passion. Everyone wants it. Few people have it.

Too many of us are just going through the motions, flat-lined on life. We live life expecting that when we find our passion, when we’ve got our mojo on, we’ll be happy. But most people don’t know how to find their passion.  From our vantage point in the alternative health fields, while depression is at an all-time high in our society, we see it too often misdiagnosed and over-medicated. Often the problem is not that the person feels sad and low, it’s that they haven’t learned how to find and fuel their passion.

The fact is finding your passion is not passive mental activity. It’s an experiential, physical and emotional quest! Most people sit around waiting for their passion to jump in front of them. Or they make a list, or surf the net, and they think about the possibilities.  But that’s only one tiny first step.

Sometimes when I ask my clients, “What are you passionate about?”  I get a blank stare and “I don’t know.” Then there’s an awkward silence and the client feels embarrassed because she thinks she should know.  But how could she?  She was ill-equipped to find her passion.  At 16, she was forced to choose her career path in school, with the help of a career assessment that told her she would make a great Magician. And then her teachers and loved ones urged her to follow the money and find a career that pays well.  And so, she never really sought out her true passions because there was no point.

Our passions are what create the aliveness of life.

They put the zest in our chest, the sparkle in our eye and the spring in our step.  It’s our passions that make life enjoyable, and when we aren’t fueling our passions, we wither.

So, here’s the long-overdue instruction on how to find your passion, at any age…

    1. Get Angry. About something… anything! Look around you. Feel into the pain in the eyes of your neighbour as you pass on the street. Notice the news headlines that irk you.  Give your pet peeves some air time and vent by writing or talking.  And if you can muster up enough anger to surpass annoyance, frustration and irritation, then find a physical way of letting that anger energy out of you without harming yourself or others (this is a key healthy emotional strategy by the way).  And then focus on what you would like changed. How would you do it? What would you create to solve the problem? What is it that you feel most revved up to do?  This is pointing to your passion. It could be an after school running club for tweens in your neighbourhood. Or maybe cooking healthy meals for seniors who can’t cook anymore.  Or maybe you want to increase the odds of success for women new business owners by providing marketing training, or teach university students about managing money so they don’t get dupped by credit card companies.  The possibilities are endless when you open up to the things you really care about in the world, by allowing yourself to get angry!
    2. Find Clues from the Past. When I was growing up everyone said I should go into a helping profession. In high school I was planning to go into social work because I was so good at listening to people and helping them.  For some reason I changed my mind when it came time to apply to university and I followed my grades – all my math and science marks were high, so I applied for a Biology degree program.  Then 15 years into my career, I wound up becoming a personal coach.  There’s wisdom in the clues from the past!  Think back to what you dreamed of being when you were a child – what’s still true for you about that now? What were you naturally good at as a child? One client said her siblings always said she was bossy. The wisdom in that is that she became an awesome team leader because she was good at directing people. Consider your favourite hobbies as a child – were you making crafts or playing soccer? Building with lego or sculpting with clay?  All of your childhood interests and dreams are clues to your passions.
    3. Tune in to your Inner “Wanter” Muscle. When did you decide that it was safer not to want things? You wouldn’t get your heart broken after all. Nor would you ever have to be disappointed. So you learned to want less and expect less and your “wanter” muscle atrophied. To build this muscle you have to use it. You have to re-learn how to tap into your desire. Give yourself permission (decide that it’s safe) to want things again.  If you don’t, you won’t get what you want, because you haven’t acknowledged what you want. And you probably wouldn’t recognize it when if you did get it!  So it’s time to do some daydreaming and window shopping in life.  Start looking at the world like a window shopper – I want that, I want that, I don’t want that, I want that, and so on. The more you want and don’t want, the clearer you get, and the stronger your wanter muscle gets.  And spend time daydreaming. Take an idea and expand on it, add details, play with what if’s. Revel in the power of the imagination and the fun of directing it with your desires. Have you ever bought a lottery ticket? It’s $4 for 15 minutes or more of pure wanter muscle work… If I won, I’d do this, buy that, give so and so this, go here and there.  It’s so much fun to daydream!  Go on, build up your wanter muscle today!

Click here for Part 2 in this blog series where we’ll cover the last two ways to find your passion plus a bonus tip! And you’ll learn the most important, and yet most often missed strategy for finding your passion.

Until then, be free… and wild!

Sue

Do I Have a Life That’s Good?

Do I Have a Life That’s Good?

Lifestyle Personal Growth self development Uncategorized

Fall is a wonderful time to reflect on things. Back-to-School feels like a new year, and the Equinox asks us to honour the balance of light and dark in the world. So while the plants are pulling their energy down into their roots for a regenerative winter, I like to express gratitude for everything that contributes to a life that’s good.

Sometimes we can get caught up in seeking goals and material possessions that we think we want, but we want them for the wrong reasons.  We think they’ll make us happy, but often these acquisitions offer short term pleasure and we’re quickly looking for the next fix, whereas what we really need is fulfillment and satisfaction at a deeper level.

This video by one of my favourite artists, Sarah Blackwood of Walk of the Earth, is a gentle reminder that it’s the simple things – two arms around me, a roof over my head, four wheels to get there, a family who always calls me home – that really make a life that’s good.

Questions to consider… Do I Have A Life That’s Good?

  • Do I feel a sense of belonging and love in my home, in my community, and at work?
  • Am I making a difference in the work that I do and the people that I impact?
  • Do I have my priorities in order and in line with my values? (family, friends, passion, fun, health, etc)
  • Am I growing and stretching into a better version of me each and every day?
  • Am I meeting my needs and living within my means? (meeting basic needs without debt, and with some leftover for fun and enjoyment)

If you’re satisfied with your answers to these questions, then I invite you to celebrate and pat yourself on the back for creating a life that’s good.

If not, then decide on one thing you can do immediately to change it, no matter how small that action might be.

As always, I welcome your feedback. Please leave a link back to your own blog too if you have one, via the commentluv feature right here on the site.

Until next time, be resilient.

Sue

Are you a Realist?

Are you a Realist?

Lifestyle Personal Growth self development Self-Sufficiency

I used to be an optimist, actually more like a Pollyanna. Everything was always great – I only saw the positive in situations and ignored the uncomfortable, negative stuff. Now I’m a realist. I accept what is, and recognize what’s out of my control, and then choose to respond in areas where I do have control. You see, realism is accepting what is. The opportunity that’s often missed is then choosing something new in the next moment, in response to what is. It doesn’t mean giving up, or rolling over and playing dead.

Activist Dave Pollard writes in his “how to save the world” blog:

No one is in control. The enemy, if there is one, is not a cabal of elites, but a set of co-dependent collapsing systems that every one of us has a vested interest in trying (insanely) to perpetuate. Systems we have all helped co-create and are almost all dependent on…The question we must each ask ourselves, I think, is this: If we acknowledge that our systems and hence our civilization cannot be reformed or ‘saved’, what can we do now that will make a real difference, for the future, in our communities and for those we love?…The insanely rational answer to this question, I think, is (a) probably nothing, and (b) it’s too early to know.

I disagree with Dave

What we can do is live like we’re dying.

Because we are all dying; we just don’t know when. So why not live like it’s your last months on earth?

Live like your life matters

Activism doesn’t have to mean huge initiatives that shift gigantic gorilla systems a mere millimeter. Activism can be living your life the way you want the world to be and modelling that for others to follow.

I’ve adapted this list from Bronnie Ware’s book “The Top 5 Regrets of the Dying, to give you…

The Rules to Live By (So You Don’t Take Regrets to the Grave)

1. Live true to yourself, not the life others expect of you.
2. Stop working so hard.
3. Find the courage to express your feelings
4. Stay in touch with your friends
5. Let yourself be happier

I challenge you to find ONE good reason to not do the above 5 things. It doesn’t matter if the human race is facing near-term extinction or if you’re going to live another 50 years, there is no reason to go to the grave with regrets about not having done these things.

So… live like you’re dying.

Live life like it matters

If you found out you had cancer and had just months to live, what would you change?

If you were living in a war-torn country and never knew when it would be your last day, what would you say or do differently?

If you were a member of species that was addicted to fossil fuels and were irreversibly destroying the only planet you had to call home, how would you change your life??

Let’s get this party started shall we?!

Join us for Earth Wisdom Living’s Plan Your Self-Sufficient Life Weekend Retreat. Arrive confused. Leave with a Plan. Join the Self-Sufficiency Revolution!

As always, I welcome your feedback! Please leave a link back to your own blog too if you have one, via the commentluv feature right here on the site.

Until next time,

Sue

 

The Myth of Self-Sufficiency

The Myth of Self-Sufficiency

Community Lifestyle Personal Growth self development Self-Sufficiency

There’s a global movement afoot that is focused on self-reliance and self-sufficiency, and while I am a huge advocate and trainer in this lifestyle choice, I have noticed that most people have misinterpreted the true meaning of it, and risk falling into the trap and myth of self-sufficiency.

At first glance, the notion of self-sufficient living is a noble dream; to live resourcefully and empowered, getting all your needs met from within your homestead or hobby farm, and to be disconnected from the fragile and crumbling systems that our modern industrial civilization has come to depend on.

There’s an idealistic image of a cabin in the woods, away from the bustle of civilization and the rat race of career advancement, with peace and solitude blanketing the home and property.  Often there’s a pond nearby in this dream, with some Muskoka chairs to sit and reflect on the water that’s as smooth as glass.

Well I’m here to tell you that dream is a crock. It’s near impossible unless you have been training and honing the necessary skills for most of your life.  And even if you have the skill set to make a go of it by yourself or with your family, the isolation will drive you batty.  …this coming from a classic introvert who relishes my solitude!

Here’s why self-sufficiency is a myth…

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12 Surefire Signs You’re On the Path to Burnout

12 Surefire Signs You’re On the Path to Burnout

Business Lifestyle Personal Growth self development

There’s an epidemic in our society that is stripping the joy and fun out of life, and often we can’t even see that it’s happening. It’s called burnout, and you might be a victim of this insidious ailment that has afflicted so many.  Here are 12 sure-fire signs that you’re on the path to burnout (even if you don’t know it yet).

  1. You’re feeling stressed all the time
  2. You’re short-tempered and impatient
  3. You’re not getting enough sleep
  4. You’re not exercising enough
  5. You lost touch with friends for weeks or months at time
  6. You’re not having enough (any?) fun or you overdo it on fun in short bursts and then have to recover
  7. You don’t feel happy or joyful most of the time
  8. Your schedule so busy that you have no room for the intimate relationship you desire… or the one that you have
  9. You crash or tune-out using drugs, alcohol, shopping, working, or Netflix binge watching
  10. Your kids say things like “Mommy why are you working all the time?” and “Daddy will you play with me” and you keep on working
  11. You isolate yourself because it takes too much effort and energy to be with people
  12. You know something’s wrong but you regularly think to yourself:
  • …“I can do this, hang tough.”
  • …”I can handle it”
  • …”It’s not that big a deal.”
  • …”I’ll be through the crunch next week.” (but you’ve said that 5+ times in the past 2 months)
  • …”It’ll sort itself out.”
  • …”If I ask for help people will think I’m weak.”

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When the Next Blackout Hits Will you be Ready?

When the Next Blackout Hits Will you be Ready?

Community Leadership Lifestyle Personal Growth self development

When the Next Blackout hits Will You be Ready? Here in North America we’ve been bombarded with winter storms and extreme temperatures this winter. It seems that almost every week there is a city or state in the US declaring a state of emergency due to heavy snow, winds, and electricity outages.  We had our turn over the holidays here in Canada with hundreds of thousands of people across Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes without power for days, many of them for over a week. There were thousands of cold, hungry and miserable families who eventually relocated to a friend’s home, a hotel, or a public warming station.

This will happen again.

Are you going to be ready next time?

Weather patterns are becoming more extreme with climate change, and our old electricity grid is fragile and vulnerable to wind, ice, lightning and snow storms.

Blackouts are the new normal.

So what will you do to ensure your family is safe, warm and well fed during the next natural disaster?  Short of planning an evacuation location, building resilience and self-sufficiency is the only way to ensure peace of mind knowing you can weather any chaos, in the comfort of your own home.

For some, a self-sufficiency plan involves knowing their family will be able to thrive for 2 weeks without power and basic services.  For others, their dream of self-sufficiency is to be living off the grid, able to meet all their family’s basic needs for a year or more!

It takes fore-thought and planning and yes, change; doing research, uncovering the options, and making sound decisions.  Your self-sufficiency plan is not something to be taken lightly.  It could mean the difference between your family’s comfort and safety, and their panic and heartbreak.

Leadership Unleashed is proud to announce the new Earth Wisdom Living program,

PLAN YOUR DREAM

90-Days to Create Your Customized Plan for a Self-Sufficient Way of Life

It’s an online group training program that you can take from the comfort of your home or office.  We walk you through every aspect of planning for your family’s self-sufficiency, so you can build a plan that aligns with your core values, vision, budget, risk tolerance, and sense of urgency.

EARTH WISDOM LIVING is for you if you’re aware of the rapid and risky changes in the world and you want to live with a smaller footprint, more connected to the land, and in more empowered and resourceful way, but you’re not sure where to start, you’re overwhelmed with the options or you feel trapped by our current culture’s lifestyle options.

Plan you Dream starts March 4th, 2014!  Come see what it’s all about by clicking here. You can register online and secure your family’s safety. It’s that easy.

I welcome your feedback!  Please leave a link back to your own blog too via the commentluv feature here on the site.

Until next time,

Sue

The 3 Beliefs to Master Change

The 3 Beliefs to Master Change

Business Leadership Lifestyle Personal Growth self development

Have you ever felt like you’re between a rock and a hard place?  Like you don’t have any options and you’re stuck?  We can feel frustrated and powerless in the place.  And my suggestion to you is that there are ALWAYS options when you have the 3 beliefs to master change.

1.  I can create my experience.  Every moment of every day we perceive the world around us as a reflection of what’s going on in our psyche. In other words, who we are at the core impacts how we experience the world.  So if you want to change your experience, change your Self.  Do the work – whether it’s personal growth, spiritual, or professional development – do the work to transform yourself, in order to change your experience of life.  I worked with a woman who had a challenging relationship with her father in her family-based business.  While in my office that day, she transformed her perspective and understanding of that relationship, and that was the day her relationship with her dad changed for good.  Do the inner work, to create a better life experience.

2.  I can choose how I respond. With every experience, we have a choice how we respond, but first we must believe we have that choice. A very wise man once said to me “No one can make you feel anything!!” This can be a difficult pill for some to swallow because it’s human nature to blame those around us for how we’re feeling.  You get to choose your feelings by choosing your thoughts, beliefs, and physiology… unless you want to continue to give away your power and not take responsibility for your life.  Choose your response (consciously) or react (unconsciously). The choice is yours.

3.  I can handle whatever comes my way. …and I will be ok. This belief is at the heart of empowerment and resilience. Every time I learn a skill, I’m empowered. Every time I adapt to a new circumstance, I’m resilient. Every time I lean on my network for support, or tap a new resource, or resolve an old pain, I’m strengthening my foundation and increasing my flexibility.  The more you stretch and grow and flex, the better able to handle unexpected events you become.  Think of it like building a muscle. You build muscle by working it regularly in a cyclic pattern of stretch-and-heal. Stretch into the new every day, and you’ll be better able to handle whatever comes your way!

I’d love your feedback! And don’t forget to leave a link back to your own blog too if you have one via the commentluv feature here on the site.

Until next time,

Sue

 

Change Scares Me. I Hate Change.

Change Scares Me. I Hate Change.

Business Lifestyle Personal Growth self development

People have been telling me that change is scary; that they’d do anything to avoid it, they hate change so much.

“Apple made me finally update my phone. I hate change.”

“I got a promotion. Change scares me.”

“Looking at old photos depressed me. I hate change.”

“Finally dyeing my hair. It’s gonna be red. Change scares me.”

“New people on the team. I hate change.”

Now I know there may be a few of you out there who actually like change and get excited about it, but you need to know that you are quite rare. Most people don’t like change.

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3 Reasons Why People Stay Busy – The Busy Syndrome

3 Reasons Why People Stay Busy – The Busy Syndrome

Business Leadership Personal Growth self development

We’re heading into our busiest time of year, the holiday season, and yet, don’t you find that it’s busy all year long?!  As the commercials recently are saying, Is that good busy? Or not so good busy?  I’ve noticed some interesting things we do and say that are completely counter to what we truly want…something I call the ‘busy syndrome’. “Hi, how are you?” “Oh, I’m SO busy!” <smile>  (as if that’s a good thing) Sometimes it is a good thing, and, often it’s not.  What are your life balance goals?  What are your work or business goals?  Do they include being busy every waking hour? Is it your desire to be booked up with work, volunteer, and family commitments every day and most evenings? Who wants that? Yet, most of you have built your lives this way.  Why? Continue reading