Heeding your Inner Voice

(Excerpt from Pain, Passion & Purpose )

Who am I? What’s my purpose in life? Where do I go from here? These can seem like difficult questions but finding the answers is as simple as listening to your own heart. The hard part is blocking out the world around you. It can be very loud…and persistent! Although hearing your inner voice can take some practice, it always holds the power to lead you to your greatest happiness. You can start to follow its Divine roadmap by heeding these tips:

Just Say “No”…to Labels

Realize that although labels may feel good at first because they illustrate that you’ve actually accomplished something, there’s a pretty hefty price to pay for that; labels attempt to keep you frozen in time. People will begin to associate you with a certain stereotype and be less likely to allow you to express your own individuality.

Remember, You’ve had the power all along, Dorothy

Keep in mind that your desires are valid because you say they are – not because of the approval of other people. It’s fine to take their opinions into consideration, but always evaluate things with your own mind and from your own perspective. Only you know what it will take to create the ultimate version of yourself. Hold on to that privilege.

Bridge the Past, Present and Future

No matter where your life may have placed you right now, make an effort to reclaim the “whole” you. You can do this by reconnecting with things you loved as a child, and taking concrete action to prepare for what you desire in the future. Remember, you don’t have to wait for something or someone to give you permission – you’re ready, willing and worthy of doing it now…with no apologies to anyone. These are the things that make you uniquely you, and not just another carbon copy of someone else.

kammla at 3months old (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Develop Dog Ears (God Ears)

If you’re unsure of where to go next, follow your inner knowing. Sometimes society can drown that voice out until it’s only a faint whisper, but rest assured it’s still there. Find some quiet time to hear it, and then dare to dream again. Learn to use this inner wisdom to your advantage because its sole purpose is to guide you to your soul purpose. You’re not alone on this journey, so graciously accept this Divine help and then proceed forward enthusiastically!

Just Do It

As with any journey, you’ll have to take the first steps to get there, but in the meantime, try your prize on for size. Become vocal about your intentions, do things pertaining to your dream, and begin to convince yourself, and the world, that your dream has the potential to become a reality. You know what they say…shoot for the moon; even if you don’t make it, you’ll dance among the stars.

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Marci Wise is the author of Pain, Passion & Purpose. Copyright © 2013 marciwise.com. Material is copyrighted but free to repost as long as proper credit is listed, including our website address.

My Amazing Discovery

Sometimes we stumble upon huge jewels of truth – that can literally transform our lives – and we don’t even realize it.

This morning, while having coffee,  I was casually scanning my social media sites and stumbled upon a post by my son’s 14-year-old friend.  It said:

“lol, so I cried in front of my favorite people ever today so now I feel so pathetic.  How can I be less weak?”

I could totally relate to her post and it reminded me of the young girl that I used to be – the one who found the answer to her question by shutting off all those feelings.  It turned out to be the biggest mistake of my life – one that would take me more 30 years to correct.  Here’s what I discovered:

Our feelings are directly tied to our creativity.  When we scale back or shut down our emotions – we sever our link to uninhibited self-expression – and create a huge nameless, faceless block in our lives.  The result is a constant feeling of dissatisfaction and nothing we ever do seems to relieve this vague ache.  And it all starts with shutting down our emotions in an effort to feel in control of our lives.

The irony is that the source of all great inspiration cannot be controlled.  It can only speak to us through impressions, feelings or the expression of our emotions. The most beautiful pieces of music, amazing artwork and life changing inventions were not created by sheer will – they were received by someone in an open state.

Additionally, when we push away our sad or painful feelings – we inadvertently also shorten the other side of the emotion spectrum – our joy.  While we may not be as sad and vulnerable anymore, we’re also less  inclined to feel great happiness.  Our natural state becomes a safe but rather boring  state of mediocrity.

This is certainly not how we’re supposed to live since we’re always somewhat aware of that fact that there should be something more.  It’s like our hearts are continually calling for us to hear this message and finally break out of the rut and find our way back to free self-expression.

Never one to learn my lessons easily, my realization of this had to come via a “breakdown to breakthrough” experience.  A series of difficult events stripped me of all the things that I had allowed to define me – and I was left with a blank slate – and a tired but open mind.  And what I received in that state was nothing short of miraculous. Little by little, that nagging feeling of old began to disappear and I started to feel hopeful about life again – re-seeing it as the adventure that it really is. I ended up writing a book about it – and found out that people throughout time have followed this same pattern. And it all starts with numbing ourselves and manufacturing a safer, smaller world as a self-defense mechanism.

There’s a huge price to pay for that safety.  And I wanted my son’s friend to know that. People are creative by nature – each of us endowed with the specific talents and abilities to leave our mark in a unique way – but first, we must allow our emotions to flow freely.  They help to guide the way. There’s no shame in being authentic – having feelings doesn’t make you weak – in fact, the payoff for allowing their expression may just be greatness!

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Marci Wise is the author of Pain, Passion & Purpose. Copyright © 2013 marciwise.com. Material is copyrighted but free to repost as long as proper credit is listed, including our website address.

The Very Inspiring Blogger Award

very-inspiring-blogger-awardIt’s awesome when you feel like what you do actually matters. I write these blogs with the intention of helping people find that “Aha Moment” when they’ll finally decide to drop the heavy baggage they’ve been carrying and enjoy this wondrous life that we’ve been given.  Sometimes the simplest idea can be the spark to ignite a whole new way of living!

To my delight, Blogger Meticulous Mick has fueled my own fire by nominating me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award.  Thank you Mick for your kind acknowledgement! You can check out his blog chock full of incredibly beautiful photography at http://meticulousmick.wordpress.com/

The beauty of this award is that it offers the chance to shine a light on some of the other great bloggers who are illuminating the path to the “good life.”  So, with that, I graciously accept this award and present to you 15 motivational blogs (in no particular order) that will definitely help you to load up your “happiness arsenal”:

1. Energize your Thoughts: Helping Others to go Beyond their Personal Limitations

2. The SoulSpark Project: A thirty-day experiment to spark the soul and find adventure

3. Lost in the Garden

4. Modern Survivalism: Advanced Concepts in Self-empowerment

5. Sparkletea: Inspiration, stories and growth shared over tea

6. Thought Catalog

7. From the Desk of MarDrag: Inspiration for Navigating a Difficult World

8. Hued Flower: Love – Light – & Growth

9. Dyan Diamond: Inspirationalist – Author – Support Services

10. Inspired2Inspire: Day2Day Inspiration

11. Amelia Thio: Empowering Home Business Professionals

12. Just Hue It!

13. Living “It” Out Daily: A Blog Dedicated to Living Out your Best Self!

14. Rock Your Inner Hippie: For Balance, Harmony and Appreciation of the Journey

15. Lessons I’ve Learned: Creating a Plan for Happiness in a Busy Life

I hope you enjoy these sites – and most of all – remember to pass on the inspiration!

** WINNERS PLEASE NOTE**

The acceptance of this award comes with the responsibility of nominating 15 other bloggers you considered worthy of this award. (What’s more inspirational than sharing the love?) Additionally you must thank the person who nominated you for the award (in this case – me) and include a link back to their blog – along with posting the a picture of the award. Congratulations – and keep up the great work!

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Marci Wise is the author of Pain, Passion & Purpose. Copyright © 2013 marciwise.com. Material is copyrighted but free to repost as long as proper credit is listed, including our website address.

The Basics of Finding the Right Life Path

(Excerpt from Pain, Passion & Purpose )

Becoming reacquainted with our authentic selves is the first step to creating a life that will fulfill us on the deepest levels. It is truly the foundation upon which everything else is built. Here are the five steps to finding firm footing on the right path:

Know who you really are – It’s crucial to know what you believe and where you stand on things. In the years that have passed, your life has given you your own unique areas of strength and compassion. These are the qualities that comprise the real you. At the core of your being what matters to you? Always make decisions from that place of knowledge. Concession is a part of life, yes, but the qualities that represent your true nature should never be compromised. Make a simple list of the qualities you respect most about yourself and then guard them like they’re gold.

Become an observer of your own life – Practice creating mental distance from your emotions and circumstances so that you can get a better perspective of the big picture. When we can learn to remove our biases from the situation, even for a little while, we not only make better decisions, but can usually see how to avoid repeating the same mistakes over and over again.

Keep a strong mental picture of yourself as you want to be – Allow the inner knowledge of who you really are to carry you through. If your life hasn’t yet manifested the expression of that, repeatedly focus on your vision of the ideal you in your mind’s eye. When you can stay mindful of that goal, you can carve out the most direct path to your ultimate destination without making unnecessary compromises.

by Marci WiseFocus on outward expression – Who you believe yourself to be on the inside is only true if you can put it to work on the outside. Learn to control your thoughts, words, and actions instead of letting them control you. The idea is to be proactive enough to live an empowered life instead of a reactionary one. If you approach life with respect for your most treasured values, your outward circumstances will soon reflect that.

Stand in your integrity – The truth is we never know how many more days we’ll have in this life, so be the person you desire to be now, not later. Dignity and integrity are traits that are sewn into the fiber of your being, but you must choose to own them. There’s a strong satisfaction in knowing that you haven’t betrayed your deepest held allegiances. Being a person of integrity allows you to feel proud of whom you are right now, in this moment, without regard to worldly outcomes. It is a gift we are each generously given by Spirit, if will simply choose to accept it.

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Marci Wise is the author of Pain, Passion & Purpose. Copyright © 2013 marciwise.com. Material is copyrighted but free to repost as long as proper credit is listed, including our website address.

A Modern Motto

I was just reminded of a saying that has helped me tremendously:

“Anything that’s worth doing – is worth doing poorly.”

Now, at first glance that might seem like a terrible motto – but when you think about it, it’s bordering on brilliant!

If you’re a recovering perfectionist, like me, then you can probably think of a lengthy list of opportunities that you let pass you by because you thought you wouldn’t be good at them. You dismissed them early on by saying things like:

“I’m not ready for that…”

“I’d like to, but…”

“Oh gosh, that’s just not my thing…”

One way singOur achievement driven society has convinced us that the saying should actually be “Anything worth doing – is worth doing well.” Of course we should always strive to be our best and do a good job at the challenges we undertake – but with that saying, if you can’t do it well then you’re probably not even going to try.  It shuts doors.

Houseworks

And then some would prefer to say, “Anything worth doing – is worth doingperiod.  But let’s face it, we only have so much time and energy to go around…and there’s just so much to be done! That saying puts everything on an even playing field and somehow makes all of life seem like drudgery, doesn’t it? Who wants to wake up every morning and painstakingly proceed to check off the items on a to-do list – simply because they exist?

Ah, but the magic of “Anything that’s worth doing – is worth doing poorly” is that it offers us a glimmer of hope, a chance to step outside of our comfort zone and try new things – without having to be perfect. The simple fact that we would even take on a project that we’re not completely prepared for somehow elevates and honors its importance. Also, it shines a light on areas of our lives that are actually demanding attention.  Ask yourself, why is this worth doing? And then, when you know the answer, proceed – full speed ahead.  Ironically, even if our first attempts do fall short of our ideal expectations – the fact that this is meaningful practically ensures that we won’t just stop at doing it “poorly” – we’ll continue to polish it until it shines.

Sing
Sing (Photo credit: Kathleen Tyler Conklin)

So tomorrow, when you wake up bleary-eyed and begin to plan your day, ask yourself “What in my life is worth doing poorly today?” You may be surprised at how liberated – and accomplished – you’ll feel!

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Marci Wise is the author of Pain, Passion & Purpose. Copyright © 2013 marciwise.com. Material is copyrighted but free to repost as long as proper credit is listed, including our website address.

The Enlightened Approach to Adversity

(Excerpt from Pain, Passion & Purpose )

Picture it – a perfect world: you’re healthy, successful, incredibly attractive and loved. You succeed at everything you try and other people can’t help but recognize your brilliance. Ah, if it were only so!

UpsetUnfortunately that’s only a fantasy, and in reality there are always areas of our lives that could use some improvement. In fact, the real world seems intent upon pushing us to the brink. Although most of us don’t think of adversity as a gift, it really can be. There’s a purpose for our pain – and it can lead us to wonderful discoveries if we’ll let it.

Here’s how to make the most of pain:

Focus on self-compassion – Our first instinct is to come down hard on ourselves for not doing something right. We assume that we could have avoided most problems if we’d just been smarter, stronger or more prepared. This sort of thinking places blame on your already burdened shoulders and doesn’t serve you in any way. In times of adversity you need to rally your forces – find your inner strength and move on in top fashion – not degrade yourself with what ifs. Treat yourself as you would a child – be forgiving and offer helpful advice.

Brain cell(s)
Brain cell(s) (Photo credit: jepoirrier)

Don’t give in to unhealthy patterns – Our minds are trained to respond to trouble in familiar ways, but if those old learned responses are hurting you then consciously decide to choose a different reaction. Science has shown that we can even reshape the pathways in the brain by making such changes. Be proactive, rather than reactive, and you can consciously carve out the life you desire!

Don’t lose the lesson – There are no real mistakes if you can just learn the lesson that was provided. Always ask yourself, what is this situation trying to teach me, or what can I learn from it? When we can see the bigger picture we’re much less likely to have to follow that same path again.

Keep forward momentum – No matter what happens, just keep moving forward. Hiding away in a shell never gets you anywhere. It’s better to make mistakes and learn the lessons that they bring then to halt your growth all together because you’re unsure of what to do next.

by Marci Wise
Available on Amazon

When you can look at your life as series of events designed to bring you greater personal growth, you can begin to find clues toward your own unique life purpose. Wrong turns often give us the best indicators of exactly where we need to go next. With the right outlook, life once again becomes the adventure it was when we were young. Who doesn’t love a great mystery? Life is a puzzle and these are the pieces that will eventually reveal the whole picture. Exciting isn’t it?

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Marci Wise is the author of Pain, Passion & Purpose. Copyright © 2013 marciwise.com. Material is copyrighted but free to repost as long as proper credit is listed, including our website address.