What the heck kind of question is that!?… “Are you giving it up?!”
You’re thinking, “That. Is. None. Of. Your. Business!”
What I’m really asking is what are you giving your life to? I’ve noticed many times I have personally given my life to being productive, being successful, being better, being financially secure, being some place other than right here right now.
I’m not suggesting that any of this is “bad.” I’ve tried hard to “get there” with all of it. It’s great to have vision, to dream and to strive to be better each day. The problem for many of us is our identity becomes what we have, what we think and where we are headed. We aren’t clear on who we really are. We get involved in this constant search for more which is never satisfied and leaves us feeling empty. What I have learned is the harder I try the worse things get. The more I exert myself and grab on to things or try to make things happen, the more distant those things become. It wasn’t until I made the decision to give up completely that things began to turn around for me.
This doesn’t make sense when you try to figure it out with the same mindset that believes productivity is the way to “get there.” If you’re like me, you learn it when you burn out, come to the end of your rope and have no options left and nowhere left to turn. Then, giving up becomes a given. We come to a place where we throw our hands up or fall to our knees and speak to some unknown (or known) Being out of sheer exhaustion and defeat. When we get there we all sound pretty much the same…”Oh my God. You have got to help me. I cannot go on like this for one more second.”
Instantly, without even trying, that moment becomes the most effective (and freeing) moment in our lives and we’ve done nothing but give up completely.
The Universe, God, (whatever) is waiting for us to let go completely in order to do something with our life…the life we’ve had a grip on for awhile.
Kristen Sheehan, MBA
Happiness and Fulfillment Coach and Mentor
Living Joy, LLC.
We work so hard to be “someone.” When we get there, we’re not totally satisfied. We have this ache for more. There’s always more to do, better vacations to go on, bigger trucks to buy, more employees to hire, more attention to be had, more people to reach, better jobs/titles to gain, more money to be made, better houses to live in, more people to compare ourselves to and get ahead of. (Some take the easy route and put others down to feel like they have gotten ahead).
We’re in this playground of jealousy and competition, playing at ever increasing speeds. It is exhausting and we all breakdown in it, yet we continue to play here because we don’t know our worth. In the playground, we believe we are living the dream, following our calling to “be more and do more” when we are really just attempting to gain our worth from sources outside of ourselves. We determine our worth by the opinions, appreciation and attention from others. (Facebook is one example of how we display ourselves…myself included!). We depend on it. When we don’t get it, we work harder. We never leave the playground…even though we don’t really like it.
Pete Wilson, in his book Empty Promises talks about the new addiction of “public productivity,” the “built-in longings for worth, significance, acceptance, love and beauty,” and how we have all become “quickaholics” — addicted to wanting what we want, NOW.
He also goes on to say, “You are more than your giftedness. You are more than the title on your office door or the company on your business card. You’re more than what your home looks like or how your kids act. You’re more than what you accomplished last week or last month — more than anything you could accomplish in a lifetime.” - Pete Wilson, Empty Promises.
Do you believe you are more than these things? Do you confuse being called to “do more and be more” with “you are not enough right now?” http://www.livingjoytoday.com/living-joy-live-tour/
Living Joy, LLC
We all want to know that we are loved and appreciated. We want to feel accepted and a part of. The problem is not that we want these things. The problem is that our only focus is on “getting” these things. Rarely do we consider giving these things first.
Living Joy, LLC
Inner peace comes partly from living life honestly and according to what you believe is God’s will for you. Do not live to “impress” other people. There is nothing you can do about what other people think of you. No matter what, people will always have their opinions about you. Live your life honestly, with integrity and for a higher purpose. Observe yourself. Check in with yourself often to be sure you are living YOUR life and not the life YOU think will impress others.
Living Joy, LLC
Teaching women who suffer from lack of inner peace how to connect to their identity, purpose and joy so that they can live peacefully, regardless of what is going on around them.
I love blogging. Especially when I have moments like I just had. Moments when I feel so connected to God, so certain that I’m safe and protected and so excited about life that I just want to share it with the world.
I am on the verge of something HUGE. I am on an amazing life journey, perfectly planned and taken care of. I think it even has an actual itinerary that I had no part in planning. I know I am loved and looked after and protected. All I’ve done is I’ve said “yes, I will keep walking.” I often have no idea where I am supposed to go or what I am supposed to do. I just walk. I make a million mistakes, many of which are exposed and made known to others. I want to hide often but I don’t. I keep my head up and I walk. Why? I’m not exactly sure but thus far I’ve kept walking simply because of the voice inside of me that has been telling me “just keep moving Kristen. Most of this is not even about you. Just walk and keep your eyes open.” Then, something happens like today and I find out it might just have a lot to do with me…
I’m preparing for a major trip of self-discovery, service and transformation. I’m going to Africa on a mission trip. I leave tomorrow. By “preparing” I mean, setting up my business to run on autopilot when I’m gone, cleaning the house, doing my laundry, packing my bag, running out for last minute errands, crossing off “To-Do” lists and calling family and friends to say “See-ya-soon!” I have no idea what to expect. To be completely honest, part of me is going because I like to travel and I really want to go to Africa. Part of me wants to be able to say I’ve done missionary work. Part of me wants to see how my relationship with God deepens. Part of me thinks I have something to offer. Part of me thinks I have something to gain. All of these were motivating forces for me to sign up.
Just the other day I (along with the rest of us that are going on this trip) received an email from the experienced Missionary we are going to support in Africa. In a beautiful and loving way he told me that simply because of the fact that I was born in America, I am blessed in ways many others throughout the world are not. And because of THAT fact (and nothing I’ve done on my own), I am in a position to be helpful where I am going. He instructed me to keep in mind that other than that, I have nothing to offer the “poor Ugandans” and to leave the idea that I might be in any way superior to them behind before I even board the plane. I was also strongly encouraged to open up my eyes and ears and heart so that I may RECEIVE some things God is planning to tell ME while I’m there.
In my opinion, that email was one of the most beautiful emails I’ve read in well, I don’t know how long — probably ever.
I literally took it as an invitation to get over myself, realize that what I do have to offer has been given to me and is nothing I’ve created on my own. I am simply going because I’ve been chosen to go and give back those gifts that I’ve been given to the One who gave them to me in the first place so that He can use them to help his other kids however He sees fit. My job is to offer back my gifts.
I believe as I do this, in exchange, answers will come. Answers that I believe God has known have been sitting in a hole in my heart for long enough. Maybe they won’t all be answered on my trip but I trust that the hole will be filled up just enough to get me back home (or where ever I’m lead) with a willingness to give more love to whoever and however it is needed and that none of that is going to be for me to decide. I believe God has something He wants to tell me. Something that is so important to Him that He knows is so important to me, (whether I know it or not) that He is about to remove all of my everyday comforts (a.k.a. DIsTRActionS!) so that I can hear Him. I believe he needs to take my keepin’ busy ass to Africa just to have my full attention. Well what He might not know is He already has my attention. He got it twenty minutes ago when I was photocopying the next two weeks’ worth of my daily meditation book to bring with me. From the daily topics alone it seems like God’s got a plan for me over the next 13 days…
Feb 17th: A Safari of Self and Spirit
Feb 18th: Safari Life
Feb 19th: Rendezvous with the Authentic Archaeologist
Feb 20th: The Authentic Dig
Feb 21st: Excavating the Real You, Part I
Feb 22nd: Excavating the Real You, Part II
Feb 23rd: Making Your Own Imprint
Feb 24th: Now That I’ve Gotten Your Attention
Feb 25th: Reordering Your Priorities
Feb 26th: Real Life Begins with Reverence
Feb 27th: Committing to Your Spiritual Awakening
Feb 28th: Creating a Sacred Space
Feb 29th: A Day of Grace
(Daily Meditation Book: Simple Abundance, A Daybook of Comfort and Joy by Sarah Ban Breathnach)
Take action. Do Nothing. Listen Up. It can all be so confusing…
For those of us who are driving ourselves crazy “trying to figure it all out”…we are going to get “there” when we stop trying to create the perfect plan and we just listen.
You’re saying “Listen to WHAT Kristen?” I can’t listen to anything!! Every time I try to stop and be still and listen and meditate my head races!!!”
I know it does.
It races because you haven’t let go of the idea that you are supposed to have all of the answers. You haven’t yet realized that YOU are what got you in this place to begin with…you and all of your good ideas.
Ouch, right? I know. Someone told me that once and I wanted to punch them.
But think about it. Is it not true that life, the way it is right now for you, is like you have gotten into your car, with the intention of getting to some other place…some place other than right here right now (because right here right now sucks) so you’re driving and driving and driving and wondering why the heck you haven’t gotten there yet? Isn’t it true that you’re getting more and more frustrated because not only do you not have a clue where you are going, you don’t even know if this “some other place” exists AND you have no idea what it even looks like so you won’t even know how to recognize it if you get there? AND…aren’t you seriously getting more and more frustrated and irritated and exhausted because you’ve been driving and driving and driving and you’re still not there AND you don’t even know where to turn next?
OF COURSE YOU DON’T KNOW WHERE TO TURN NEXT SILLY! YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW WHERE YOU ARE GOING!!!
The world is full of your answers. You don’t need a quiet head and long meditation to hear them. (Thank God, right?!) All you need is the willingness to STOP trying to figure it all out yourself and LISTEN to the answers that are whispering to you. They are whispering from right inside of you…from your gut. Other people and simple everyday situations in life are what allow those answers to echo back to you.
Stop planning and open your eyes so that you can see what the world is trying so hard to help you realize is right inside of you.
Motivational Coach…Mindset and Personal Empowerment
One of the most wonderful things in my life is that I am privileged to have people share their struggles with me. It is an honor to enter into these intimate and trusting conversations with people. I’m not certain of many things but I do know this…we are all way more alike than we are different. As a Mindset and Personal Empowerment coach, people often contact me with concerns, frustrations and questions about their “next steps.” Daily, people call, text, email and instant message me to tell me how they are stuck and ask what they are supposed to do about it. My joy increases every time I help people realize the answers they seek are so close…literally right inside of them. My job is to help them get unblocked.
Today I had someone who is unemployed reach out to me. She was telling me how she had gone to school for a particular profession decades ago but after some time in the field, she realized she absolutely hated what she was doing. She then got into something completely different. She became self-employed, was enjoying what she was doing and was somewhat successful, but it became difficult to find consistent work. She then began working random jobs here and there and has felt unfulfilled, lost, passionless and without purpose ever since. Most recently, she became unemployed again. Career testing and counseling has not really helped her figure it out. Going back to school for something else seems doable but she is not sure what she wants to go back for so she does not want to spend money that she needs to be careful with. Can you relate???
As a matter of fact, this same topic has been coming to me A LOT lately so I wanted to make sure I shared this with anyone who is having difficulty finding joy when you are feeling lost, confused, passionless, purposeless, and unemployed..
First and foremost, I PROMISE YOU, your true self and the life you were MEANT TO LIVE is NOT FAR AWAY. Actually, it already exists…it just takes a little digging to get there. Second, you are not alone. I know this because of my own personal experience, plus the many people who contact me about this subject and the millions of self help books that are written to ease this pain. (One good book that I am reading right now is Finding Your Own North Star by Martha Beck. You can pick it up for less that $15. Another great book on this topic (that I’ve already read) is Jigsaw by Mike Hall – also under $15 — written for youth experiencing similar feelings. When you consider the amount of time and money you have spent trying to figure this all out yourself all of these years $15, even in a time of financial hardship, isn’t too much to spend).
You have been created to be more and to do more than what you have experienced thus far. You are literally being called to a much greater existence and you know it. You know it because if you did not know it, you wouldn’t feel the push away from your old life and the pull from the life you don’t even know yet. You’re stuck in the middle…in faith — that space between the way things were and the good things that are headed your way.
Don’t give up. I’m here to tell you the answer is never to give up and never to go backwards. The answer is always to move forward. All you need to figure it out is right inside of you. I promise you that. Don’t sit in sadness and lack. Begin to get excited about the unknown. Find ways to literally raise your vibrational energy levels so that you can begin to attract into your life all that you need to help you get to the next level. Be aware of the help the universe, God or your higher self is sending you. Look for it. What you focus on, you will see.
Kristen Sheehan, MBA
Life will never be free of challenges but we can live without struggling. It takes a new perspective, acceptance and the willingness to face life head on.
In his book The Road Less Traveled, Dr. M. Scott Peck tells us that “life is difficult” and “once we truly know that life is difficult – once we truly understand and accept it – then life is no longer difficult.”
Difficulty comes from resistance and the lack of the ability to accept what is. We struggle because we fail to realize that life was never meant to be happy all of the time. Life, by its very nature, has its ups and downs. Each twist and turn is designed to stretch us and take us to a higher place — a better version of ourselves. Sometimes, it is easy for us to go with the flow. Other times are more challenging. When we resist the more challenging times, we struggle. We end up feeling angry, afraid, frustrated, sad and discouraged, which often leaves us paralyzed.
Breaking through areas of life where we are stuck requires the practice of acceptance. Acceptance does not necessarily mean “like” or “acceptable.” It simply means “receiving the facts presented.” I like to say, “the ability to look at life objectively.” When we can rise above our situation one level and look down on it from an objective point of view, we are less tied to it emotionally and much more able to see it as “the facts.” From there, we are more able to take the necessary action to move forward.
It is important for us to understand and accept the fact that life is difficult. Knowing this makes us much more prepared for life’s curve-balls. We can then see the challenging times as opportunities for growth and get excited about taking our life to the next level. We can choose to find the joy along the journey, paying close attention to what we are learning and how we have evolved.
Motivational Coach - Mindset and Personal Empowerment