Beginning this week, the “Journey Back to Self” blog will be published on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays only.  All three blogs will be written by me unless otherwise noted in the blog.  Thank you SO MUCH for being a regular reader!

I had the distinct pleasure this week of being one of the speakers at a Women’s Leadership Forum in Philadelphia.  Being the closing speaker, I was honored to sit through the entire day and listen to the three amazing women who were guest speakers as well at the forum.  I always find it interesting that, because I am a public speaker, writer and coach, people seem to think I have all of the answers and my life is perfect.  I’d like to think that as well but the reality is that I am on this journey the same as you.  I learn from my experiences, continue to grow from them and every day do what I feel is right for me to become the best human being possible during my life this go round.  I strive for excellence, not perfection – which is a HUGE admission for a recovering perfectionist!

All of the women who spoke at this forum were fabulous but my ah-ha moment came from my dear friend, Joan Walsh.  Joan and I have known each other for probably 10 years now and quite often speak in the same circles.  Joan, being one of the most goal-oriented and successful women I know, suffered an almost fatal aneurysm 20 months ago.  In her workshop, she discussed her healing journey and, although she is still healing, what it has taken for her to get this far.

One of the areas where Joan is brilliant is in the area of goal setting and coming up with a plan of action.  In doing her research, one of the things she found out regarding healing from a brain injury is the importance of sleep.  Due to the fact that healing is Joan’s number one priority, she made the decision to only work in the mornings and in the afternoons she goes home to take a nap.  She honors herself and her goals enough to do what she needs to do to accomplish what she has determined will be so in her life.

Hearing this tidbit of information is what brought me to my ah-ha moment.  My tendency in life is to “get ‘er done!”  I, being goal-oriented myself, like to act, check it off of my list and move on.  This tendency, although effective in getting me to my end point, does not always honor my soul nor do I always feel great once I get to my desired end point.  I sacrifice too much of myself and I tend to make decisions quickly in order to just to get it over with rather than thinking my decisions through and being patient with allowing the things that I feel need to change work themselves out organically.

My dear friend Sarah has a great way of making sure she is conscious in every decision she makes.  She lives by the rule that when you have to make a decision, never do so if you are Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired (in other words, if any of these four scenarios is what you are experiencing at the moment, HALT and hold off making that decision).

My life in 2012 has been one in which it seems one tornado after another is taking turns whipping through each area of my life.  Just when I seem to settle into my life after a major change, something else seems to come up right on the heals of that ending that throws me into another cycle of change.  The Universe is currently “cleaning house,” so to speak, in everyone’s life this year.  We need to release the old ways of doing things that no longer serve us in order to make room for the new to enter.  All of these changes we are experiencing are to make us aware of where we need to change in our personal lives.  What decision making patterns no longer work; what relationships no longer serve us; what career is no longer doing it for fulfilling our soul.  You name it…it is coming up!

We cannot control the circumstances that life throws our way but we can always control how we respond to them.  One of our God-given rights on this Earth is to experience joy.  That joy is a decision.  There is no need to wait for the outside circumstances of your life to be perfect in order to be happy and feel joyful.  (The way this year is going for everyone, if we depended on external circumstances to be happy, we’d be waiting awhile!)  Decide how you want to feel today and do what you need to do to make it so.  Stay in your center, be consciously aware of how you feel (remember H.A.L.T.), stop worrying about what others think and their reactions and step forward into the life that has been waiting for you.  Honor yourself and make decisions that serve your well-being and happiness.  It is ok to be in the equation when you make decisions about your life.  It’s about time, actually, that you are.

Your life is there…you just have to choose to live it.

H.Y.D.I.F.W.J. (Hoping Your Day Is Filled With Joy),


Chris Sopa is founder and owner of Chris Sopa International, Inc. You can learn more about her at www.ChrisSopa.com. Find her at Facebook.com/ChrisSopaInternational, Twitter @ChrisSopa, LinkedIn, and .