“Oh, God, help me! And I walked faster, my thoughts pursuing me, and I began to run, my frozen shoes squealing like mice, but running didn’t help the thoughts to the left and right and behind me. But as I ran, The Arm, that good left arm, took hold of the situation and spoke soothingly: ease up, Kid, it’s loneliness, you’re all alone in the world; your father, your mother, your faith, they can’t help you, nobody helps anybody, you only help yourself, and that’s why I’m here, because we are inseparable, and we’ll take care of everything.“
~ John Fante,
Running doesn’t help. Sleeping, drugs or alcohol only create an illusion to make it go away for a little while. No matter where you go or what you do, you can never get away from it. You are always there. How many times have you said, “I just need to get away!” and you do…only to find out when you get to that “get away” place, nothing has changed but the scenery.
I don’t know about you, but lately my life has felt as if I am in the middle of a huge haboob (the word us Arizonians use for a dust storm)! When I look in the mirror I see the same ole’ (notice I said “ole” and not “old!”) Chris but something has changed. I look around my life and feel as if I am standing in a place where a haboob just moved through and wiped out everything in its path. People that were in my life are gone or have changed drastically (or is it “I” that have changed?), what I used to do for my business to make money does not seem to be working anymore, my oldest child is choosing a path for her life, that although I know it is her choice, is very hard and painful for a parent to watch, and I have felt more alone lately than I ever have in my life. What used to work no longer works and when I try to make the old work, things seem to just get worse.
So, I made a decision. I remembered recently a conversation I had with a friend who said to me that when your life seems to be falling down around you all that means is that the finger of God has come down to touch your life…not even us humans can make that big of a mess! In order for change to occur and new, beautiful things to enter our lives, “the old” has to go. But we hang on for dear life…hanging onto that pole as the haboob winds toss us around screaming, “NO! I won’t let go!”
Nothing of heavenly importance can be figured out with the human mind. There is no logic to heaven. If your life seems in chaos right now, rejoice! That is a sure sign that God’s hand is in it, sweeping away the old (since you wouldn’t do it yourself because you were holding on so tight) so he can bring in the paradise and dreams you came here to experience.
So what was my decision? To finally let go of the pole I was holding onto so tight and allow the haboob winds to take me in their arms. Yes, there is a risk to just whipping around in the uncontrolled wind, but let me ask you this? Trying to completely control the situation…how is that working for you? I don’t know about you, but for me, it’s not anymore. I choose to let God’s winds take me…take me home…take me to the next chapter in my life…wherever. I choose to let God have my back.
“Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you, you’d walk with me all the way. But I have noticed during the most troublesome times in my life, there is only one set of footprints. I don’t understand why when I needed you the most you would leave me.”
The Lord replied, “My precious, precious child, I love you and I would never leave you. During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.”
~Author Unknown, “Footprints“
Blowing in the wind,
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 Google+.Do You Know Where You Are?
You cannot get to where you want to go until you know where you are starting from.
If I got in my car and wanted to drive to “Destination B” I would need to know two things; where do I want to end up and where am I starting from. I cannot get in my car and say, “Hey, let’s drive to Boston” and get there if I do not know where I am starting my journey. How would I know whether I need to drive, fly or take a boat? How would I know if there were going to be any detours along the way? How would I know how long it would take to get there?
Many people can tell you at least vaguely at least one goal they would like to achieve in their lives. Many set these goals and never achieve them. Why? They have failed to do two things: clearly define exactly what it is they want and clearly define where they are starting from. If I have a goal to be a New York Times bestselling author (which I do!), the first thing you might say I need to do to start on that goal would be to write a book (duh!), but you need to start even more basic than that. I would need to look at my writing skills first and where I may need to brush up to make them better. I need to do my research and study other authors who have made it to the New York Times list and see what they have done. And most importantly, I would need to take a look deep within myself and define why do I want this goal? If it is so important to me, why haven’t I achieved it yet? (And you are not allowed to blame others for the answer to that one – leave the victim mentality at the door!) The only reason you have not achieved what you want in life is because of one person…YOU! Yes, there are outside circumstances that need to be in alignment for a dream to manifest, but have you been present to notice the opportunities when they arrive? Have you “given up” in your head by procrastinating and making excuses not to do what you need to do? Is F.E.A.R. stopping you? Is low self-esteem getting in your way – do you feel “unworthy” of that level of success?
Sit down with a pen and paper and answer the following questions twice. In the first round, answer the question after thinking about it for a minute…using your conscious part of your brain. In the second round, answer each question with the very first thing that comes to your mind…use your intuition. (This exercise works best if you answer the first set of questions, take a small break, then come back and answer the second set of questions.)
Do you see any patterns in the answers? If so, there is your first clue as to where you may need to do some work on yourself. When my coaching clients do this exercise, it always points to those places that are blocking them from living the life they want to live…these things are blocking them from achieving their goals.
Take one of the patterns you see, let’s say it is a fear of failure, and question your thinking? Write down the answers to these questions. What are you afraid of exactly? Can you be absolutely certain that thought is true? How do you feel when you think that thought? Who would you be, how would you feel and what would you do without that thought? Now create a different thought that makes you feel good (a thought in alignment with what you want) and whenever you catch yourself thinking the old thought, clear, cancel, delete and say the new thought to yourself. Re-frame your thinking!
Thoughts are a choice my friends. If a thought isn’t making you feel good, change it. Every thought leads to a feeling and every feeling leads to an action/behavior. If you want to change your behaviors you have to change your thoughts…that simple.
Don’t separate life from living. Your life lies underneath your life situation at the moment. You ARE living it! This IS your life! It is perfect just the way it is. If you don’t have something in your life right now that you want, all that means is you probably don’t really need it right now. If you needed it, it would be here. The Universe is a kind place and there is a Divine order in everything that occurs. Trust it! Make life the best one you can…this is not a dress rehearsal. ðŸ˜‰
“God is the lead dancer and the soul is the partner
completely attuned to the rhythm and patterns set by the partner. She does not lead, but neither does she hang limp like a sack of potatoes.”
~Thomas Merton quoted in Listening to the Music of the Spirit by David Lonsdale
Hang in there,
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 Google+.My Mind Creates My World
“Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands – and then eat just one of the pieces.” ~Judith Viorst
I travel quite a bit. Most of my travels have to do with someplace I am going to speak but occasionally I get to do a trip here and there that is just for me. Many of my friends watch my postings on Facebook gallivanting around the world and I always hear the same comment, “Where are you now?” Or if I am at home when they call I hear, “Are you in the country?” I will be the first to admit (and am extremely grateful for) that I have a very blessed life. I am healthy, have a wonderful relationship with both of my girls, I own my own business which allows me flexibility in my schedule, I travel all over the world and every day I feel like I am blessed with yet another gift from God in whatever form it may show up; an unexpected check, a new hiking trail, a new friend, etc.
My life was not always this way though. I used to suffer from chronic ulcerative colitis, have daily migraine headaches, was overweight and felt overall as if I was trapped in my life and had no choices. I had “responsibility” you know. Bills to pay, kids to raise, a job to go to (which I hated)…all things I HAD to do. I am not sure exactly what happened…it may have been the severe colitis that finally got to me and being sick of feeling sick or just being plain tired of being tired. One thing I do know that happened is the pain of staying where I was became greater than the fear of what was ahead; the unknown. When we hit that point, we always do something differently.
I had to “unplug from the Matrix.” Neo never showed up to tell me I was living in “the Matrix,” an illusion world, but I somehow felt in the pit of my stomach there was more to life than what I was seeing. I unplugged by taking some time off; not only from work but from my life. I stopped doing everything for everyone else and took some time for me. I entered the equation of my life again. All of my decisions up to that point in my life were based on what I thought other people thought I should do (that even sounds silly when I type it) instead of what I thought I should do. I was not in the equation whatsoever when I made any decision in my life. Nothing, and I mean nothing, had to do with me.
In short, here is what I realized; I came to find the power of the mind. We all heard the word “discipline” growing up and most cringe when they hear it. But controlling your mind…taking charge of your life…takes self-discipline. I now have a “daily discipline” I follow and it is what starts my day every day. It is what keeps me centered and what allows me to stay in a space of graciously receiving anything that life offers to me; love, pain and anything in between. If your life is running you instead of you running your life, sit down, take a breath and listen to this next part. Here is the formula:
And last but not least, try this small mantra everyday and believe it;
Be still, know all is good
Be still, know all is
Be still, know all
Be still, know
Living in the my own (and uniquely created) real world and loving it,