Taking Stock: Honoring your present

Happiness
Happiness (Photo credit: Celestine Chua)

It’s the last day of 2013 – and what a year it’s been. We often don’t realize all the changes we’ve gone through because they’ve happened so gradually but New Year’s Eve is the perfect time to get clear on just who you are now.

I’m willing to bet that this past year has changed you in some profound and long-lasting ways. You are not the person you were just one year ago. Hopefully those changes have been for the better – but if not, there’s always another chance to improve. I believe that the purpose of life itself is to help us to continually evolve into a more polished, fearless and open-hearted person.
As I take my walk down 2013’s memory lane – I encourage you to take stock of your own accomplishments and celebrate them! As long as we’re living, we are students in the school of life– and these are three of the main lesson plans on our schedules:

To learn important life lessons – For me, 2013 has been an exercise in letting go. Being a mother is one of the strongest portions of my identity but as they say, “your job as a parent is to put yourself out of business.” With a college sophomore and a high school senior, my pink-slip isn’t far away. Of course, my job as my children’s mentor and advisor will never end – but the role responsibilities are extremely different. I’ve been trying to ready myself for this transition all year and am finding it difficult – relinquishing control while holding on to my own sense of inner peace has been quite a challenge. Even so, I can see some small evidence of growth in that area so I suppose that’s good enough. Everything will fall into place into its own time – I just have to try to enjoy the ride.

To stretch the boundaries of your reality– 2013 brought to life the realization of some long-held dreams. I was able to see the book that I felt so inspired to write receive some critical acclaim – and then see the words come to life through the eyes of others by leading a women’s retreat. While I’ve always been in the mass communications business, I’ve never thought of myself as a speaker. But that experience showed me that we never become something else – we just learn a new way to express who we already are. Breaking down the walls of fear, doubt and possibility feels good. Nothing should ever make us feel inadequate or unable. Let’s face it, few things in life are brain surgery – and I don’t plan on doing that anytime soon anyway.

To expand your ability to love and appreciate – My mother’s successful open-heart surgery at the end of 2012 positioned me in a perfect place of gratitude for 2013. Tough times like those make you realize that we are not promised anything more than this moment. To take it for granted and not appreciate the time that we have with loved ones is probably the biggest mistake of all. While we can learn from all other mistakes – once a loved one has passed on – that opportunity is gone. I’m so grateful for more time with this woman who is still teaching me important lessons and coaxing me along with her hard-earned wisdom.

Happiness
Happiness (Photo credit: Rickydavid)

I also joined Big Brothers/Big Sisters this year and started mentoring a 6-year-old girl. I did it, in part, to ease my own empty nest anxiety – but was immediately struck by the powerful nature of the interaction. Almost immediately the words “I love you, sissy” were gifted from this innocent little soul, reminding me of how we close off our emotions over time. Love is as easy and natural as breathing – it’s putting up the defenses that takes all the work.

So, for me, 2013 will always be the year that reconnected me with loving for love’s sake – and not for any other reward. It feels good to open your heart. In fact, it feels like the most natural thing in the world.

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Marci Wise is the award-winning 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.

Tips for Finding your Inspiration

Dream girlAll my life I felt like there was something important that I was meant to do – yet I was somehow separated from it – blocked, if you will. I could sense it calling me but could never quite reach it. Looking back I can clearly see that I had placed some very tight walls around myself. Whether it be for protection, out of extreme perfectionism or just the fear of other’s judgment, I had unintentionally stopped the creative flow of life in its tracks!

Luckily for me, a series of unfortunate events stripped me of all of the things that I thought defined me, gave me a glimpse of something greater at work behind the scenes, and allowed me to start again – this time with the winds of change at my back. I was once again in the flow – and it felt exciting, freeing and wonderful!

So how can you reconnect with the awesome energy that rules the world and let it guide you to your highest good and ultimate purpose? By following our intuition and learning to listen with your heart – instead of your ears.

Stripping Down the Boundaries

By broadening our minds, we can literally open up the possibilities in our lives. There’s more to be seen than we’ve allowed ourselves to see, so here’s how to begin to infuse the landscape ahead with renewed vision, energy and enthusiasm.

Reserve the right to draw your own conclusions. We’re each given a mind for the purpose of gaining understanding. We shouldn’t be afraid to use our abilities to investigate, evaluate and decide for ourselves. Instead of blindly accepting someone else’s take on something, do your own research and experimentation and see where it leads you. As long as you’re not hurting yourself or others, there’s no harm in asking questions. In fact, it’s the only way anyone grows. There’s much to be discovered – so learn to become a spiritual explorer!

Two signs mark the entrances to the Field of D...Learn to see the signs and synchronicities. When you’re in the flow, life will offer you glimpses and acknowledgements that you’re on the right track in the form of signs and synchronicities. Learning to recognize them takes some practice – but it will revitalize your life with a sense of adventure and excitement! Remember the key to knowing whether something is truly a sign is getting in touch with your own “inner knowing.” If you have to force the connection, then chalk it up to coincidence and simply ask for another sign. If it’s indeed pointing you in a certain direction, you’ll know it! When you do, always acknowledge the sign and offer a silent and heartfelt “thank you.”

Jack Nicklaus
Jack Nicklaus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Evaluate your dreams for clues. Paul McCartney “found” the lyrics to the song Yesterday in a dream – Stephen King dreamt the entire plot of Misery while on a long plane flight – and golfer Jack Nicklaus perfected his swing by seeing it done differently in his dreams.  Even if you don’t come across a world-changing invention or a best-selling screenplay, at the very least you’ll become more in touch with your own inner feelings, fears, and desires. Keep a dated journal by your bedside to record your nighttime ponderings. Re-read your dreams occasionally and see if you can find common patterns.

Allow yourself to daydream. Conceive it – believe it – achieve it. Anything that’s ever been created has followed that pattern. If you limit what you can conceive, you naturally limit your potential. Besides, daydreaming is fun  – and it gives you the same happy emotions in the moment as if you’d already succeeded. If it uplifts your psyche – go for it!

There’s more to this life than can be seen with the eyes – so open your heart and mind and see what wonders you can discover!

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Marci Wise is the award-winning 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.