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spirituality

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How Do You Discover Your Purpose for This Life?

1 minute 43 second read

I can't tell you how many times people have told me, “I have absolutely no idea what my purpose is or what I’m meant to do in this life!”

To be honest, I don't know if there's just one answer to that burning question anyway. I mean, we are complex beings who are capable of having numerous gifts, abilities, and talents that could make us think “Oh, that's where I’ll find whatever it is that I’m supposed to be doing in the world!”

Further complicating the issue is that we are bombarded with life events and circumstances that can adversely affect our lives — or positively impact them, as well. Sometimes those events seem to lead us into something that we think we're meant to do, or a message that we're supposed to share.

In that case, we might find ourselves asking, "Is this my purpose? Is this my destiny? And if it is — or isn't — how will I know?"

If we have any chance at all of knowing the absolute truth about any of those questions, we won't know for sure until we're back in the spirit realm. Actually, we don't even know that there is a point or a purpose to our lives, although I choose to believe there is.

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In the meantime, I've come up with a sort of recipe to help people discover what it is they're meant to be doing during their time here on the planet. Or at least, what might be a good use of their time and skills if there isn't actually a purpose for any of this.

First, think about what you really love to do. What lights you up? If you could get up every day and not have to worry about money or anything else and could just do whatever you want, what would it be?

For some it's various kinds of creativity like art or dance or music. For others, it might be playing with numbers, or creating Sudoku puzzles (I cannot imagine...). Still others want to play with little children, work with homeless people, build bridges or see the world.

The next step is to think about what you're really good at doing. What are your natural abilities? You know, those things you can do that always amaze others even though you think they're no big deal because they're so easy for you. What is it that comes easily to you?

When you can bring these two elements of yourself together — what you love and what comes easily to you — this is where you will find your purpose. Or at least, one of them! You might discover several at that intersection.

I'd love to hear what you believe is your purpose. How are you lighting up the world in your own special way? Go ahead and share in the comments below.

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"Pain Is Inevitable; Suffering Is Optional..." (Quote by Haruki Murakami)

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(1 minute, 52 second read)

The Buddha taught that suffering arises when we have attachments to things that we desire. Whether this is in material objects, relationships, or various pleasure in life, the issue is that everything is transient and ultimately, loss is inevitable. We cannot always have the "thing" we want to buy, the trip we want to take, the person who doesn't love us back or that "not-good-for-us-but-wonderful-something" that we wish we could eat, drink, ingest or do.

Buddhism also teaches us that the only constant is change. As long as we draw breath, nothing about our lives is fixed or permanent. When you desire something, you are attempting to control it or make it happen

This is going against the forces of the universe and is a recipe for anxiety, depression, frustration, disappointment and other unpleasant emotions when you are not able to have or achieve that which you desire. This is the cause of suffering.

It is virtually impossible to completely eliminate desire. You can desire water when you're thirsty or food when you're hungry. The conundrum is that when you try to stop desiring something, you're still desiring to stop desiring.

What is most important is to eliminate attachment and desire as much as possible. This is how to end suffering and find true freedom from all anxieties, worries, and troubles.

When I first heard this idea, I thought, "How are we not supposed to feel attached to our children or other loved ones?" It took a while for me to realise that we can love without attachment because they're like comparing apples and frogs. They're not at all the same. We can love our children (and others) for who and what they are without feeling attached to a desire for those relationships to be a certain way.

Sometimes it means letting go of people you love, even if it's your children or other family members. Staying attached to a relationship that isn't working will only bring distress and toxicity to your life.

 
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One significant game-changer in releasing attachment and suffering is in the stories we tell ourselves. A relationship breaks up and we say things like, "I'll never find someone so wonderful again." Or "I'll never be happy again." Or "I'll never get over this."

As long as you choose to think such negative thoughts, you're right, you'll never be happy or find that "someone wonderful." It is up to you to create positive thoughts and to focus on good possibilities and keep your vibration high so you can attract like-minded positive people and situations that will light up your life.

Let go of your negative thinking. Let go of the sad-sack stories. Focus on the good in your life and stop fretting about the past or worrying about the future, for neither exists. The only reality is this present moment, this one, right here, right now. You can choose to make it a happy, positive, blessed moment of gratitude in your life. Or you can suffer through it by dwelling on what's wrong, what you're lacking or will never have.

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When You Take that Leap of Faith, the Net Appears...

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1 minute 27 second read

There is nothing as paralysing as fear. Sometimes it hides behind the mask of indecision, or occasionally a worry about the wellbeing of someone else.

But at the end of the day, if you know you really want or need to move forward but something is holding you back, there's a good chance that somewhere under the excuses you're making is a big ol' pile of fear.

You might try to tell yourself that you won't/can't/shouldn't do it because you're protecting someone or they'd be happier if you didn't. You might say it's because you haven't a clue how to get where you want to go, or that you'd probably fail anyway so what's the point in trying.

But I'll bet if you dig a little deeper, you'll find a fear lurking there to stop you from expanding yourself and your life. And what is the point of this existence if it isn't expansion into something better?

I know what it feels like to take a swan dive off an enormous (figurative) cliff with jagged boulders all the way down the side and a raging river somewhere at the bottom. I know how it feels to be forced into that decision because there's something even more terrifying right behind me.

And I also know that it's true what they say...that when you take that leap of faith, the net appears.

How does that work? Well, once you've done it, once you've allowed yourself the freedom to expand, to try something new, or whatever "the thing" is, you will be open to incoming information that can help. You'll be more receptive to signs, people, open doors or whatever else is required for you to build that net and suddenly, the answers are right there in front of you.

As long as you stay stuck and refusing to move, to grow, to change, or to even try something new, the more stagnant you'll become. You'll always wonder "what if...?" You'll never know all the colours and magic that you could have created for the world to see.

You'll be destined to live a closed, small, grey life of regret and sameness. It might be safe, but it's not at all what you were meant to do.

Go on! Take that beautiful leap of faith. Believe in yourself and discover your purpose. The rest of us are waiting for you.



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the Art of Trusting Your Intuition: Sharon Sayler Interviews Liberty Forrest

Each week, Sharon Sayler, host of The Autoimmune Show, brings you top-notch experts and fantastic 'thrivers' interviews, chats and positive thoughts to empower you to live well regardless of your diagnosis. Honestly, it's the info she wants to hear... because she's an autoimmune thriver too!

In this episode, Sharon interviews Liberty to discuss the importance of listening to your intuition, and in particular, listening to your body’s wisdom to improve your overall health and wellbeing.

Did you know there are over 100 conditions that people are suffering from every day that compromise their immune systems and if it’s not one of the “big ones” like rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, lupus or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis you might be told 'it’s all in your head,' or 'people your age…'

Your host for The Autoimmune Show, Sharon Sayler knows the pain and suffering of autoimmune disease. Her struggles to find the right answers to her decades-long autoimmune disease experience created what friends call an “irrational-passion” to encourage and inspire others to live well, whole and complete… 

With that, The Autoimmune Show  was born… the premier location for information to empower you to live well, thrive and create a happy, healthy, wealthy life regardless of your diagnosis. The Autoimmune Show, the #1 listened to show on OMTimes Radio has new shows every Friday night at 7 PM ET on OMTimes Radio. 

You can watch video selections, full interviews, positive thoughts and meditations on our YouTube channel.  And grab the podcast at all the great podcast places like Spotify, Spreaker, Blog Talk, Podbean, SoundCloud and many other popular places plus on iTunes at iTun.es/i6Y95hR 

Be sure and join the Courage Club for The Autoimmune Show! They have most shows in transcript PDF available at no-cost at www.understandingautoimmune.com/TranscribeTribe plus more goodies like videos and downloadable meditations....

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Your Words Don't Tell the Whole Story...

Think about the people in your life...just take a moment and contemplate anyone who comes to mind, whether they're positive thoughts or negative ones...

Go ahead; think of a few more. The ones who make you want to tear your hair out, the ones you want to see all the time, the ones you avoid like the plague... just briefly think of each one and move on to the next...

Did you get a good sampling? I hope so.

Now, what happened while you were doing that? I'll bet you were thinking about how each one made you feel. You'd remember one and feel all oatmealy (warm and mushy), you'd think of another and feel your blood begin to boil, and there were probably some in between, or even a bit of both.

You were not likely thinking about this or that specific thing that they did with you or for you. As your memory took you from one person to the next, you wouldn't have been thinking about them at all. Chances are, you were just feeling about them. Because that's what's important to us.

When you leave the lives of people with whom you've interacted, whether for three days, two weeks, or by moving, drifting apart, or departing this Earthly existence, first and foremost, you will be remembered for how they felt because of the way you treated them. The specific memories will come next.

The way you treat people will leave an impression, and it is the most important element in any sort of relationship, no matter what that relationship is. It might only be your occasional dealings with a little old lady you see in the village as she's walking her dog. It could be your sister or your neighbour or the grouchy man who runs the post office.

Have you ever been itching to share your favourite places or events with people who didn't really want to go? But you said "Pretty please" or maybe you didn't - but at any rate, they finally agreed to go, and you could tell they hated every minute of it?

Or have you ever been with people who said and did all the right things, perhaps they fed and housed you, or had to drive you to appointments or whatever, but you felt that it was out of obligation and you just knew they didn't really want to do it?

I'm sure that like most people, you can relate to these and other similar situations. And no doubt when you remember those situations, the first thing you do is remember how you felt. It doesn't matter whether those people showed up, attended the event with you, said please and thank you, said it's no trouble at all, or insisted they were happy to help.

The only thing that you're really left with are feelings that aren't very nice. 

Words don't always say very much. Imagine this: A man gazes lovingly at his wife while she reads the paper. He reaches over and lays his hand gently on her arm. Softly, he says, "I love you, honey.

She looks up from her paper, turns to him and you can see her face soften into a warm smile as she says, "I love you, too." You might guess how he feels in that moment. What a lucky guy!

Now same scenario again. Husband gazes at wife, loving rests his hand on her arm and says he loves her. She doesn't look up from her paper. She continues reading. There's a noticeable pause and he's not sure she heard him but before he can repeat it, and without looking up from her paper, she says in a tone as flat as a pancake, "Hmm...love you, too."

He's probably not as happy as the other guy.

It's not what you do for people; it's how you do it. It's not what you say; it's how you say it. Is it with a sour attitude? Is it with "I'll get you for this" in your mind? Or is it with a loving heart, and a willingness to bring joy to someone's life?

The size of the gesture is irrelevant. Whether or not it's something huge and expensive and time-consuming, or something very teeny like remembering a favourite little treat.

It is not what you do for someone, or what you say that is important. It is how you do whatever you do, or how you say whatever you say that matters, because that is what will trigger an emotional response in the person on the receiving end of it.

Think about how you would like to be remembered and let this be reflected in all you say and do.

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Positively Positive

I don't read the paper.  I don't listen to the news.  In fact, I'll go a step further.  I won't read the paper and I won't listen to the news.  There's so much torment and tragedy, murder and misery, nothing but story after story about man's inhumanity to man, about horrible accidents, Acts of God that cause death and destruction.  Do I really need to hear every possible rotten, awful thing that has happened out there?  Does it add anything to my life? Will I be worse off for not knowing about these terrible incidents?

No.

I figure that if there's anything I really need to know, like the sky is falling or Armageddon's happening after dinner on Tuesday, someone will tell me.  I told a journalist friend once that I thought I ought to start up a newspaper that was full of only good news.  He said it wouldn't sell because people want the blood and guts (my words, not his, but that was the general idea).  He said good news doesn't (or wouldn't) sell papers.

I think it would.  Some of us want to be surrounded by positivity.  Some of us want to know the good news, the happy events, the wonderful moments and miracles that are happening in the world.  Some of us want to be uplifted by the beauty that exists in the perfect stories of love and kindness that are taking place around us, especially when they happen between strangers.

Some of us prefer to be connected with light and lovely positive energy that allows growth and movement, rather than heavy, oppressive negative energy that keeps us stuck and stagnant

I refuse to give attention to the negatives in my life or my environment, above and beyond what is absolutely essential in order to deal with certain issues.  Beyond that, negative thoughts are chased away and replaced by positive ones.  If I find myself wandering into contemplations about anything that is distressing or upsetting - particularly if it's nothing I am able to change - I dismiss it, focusing instead on what I want - and not on what I don't want

I've spent - or rather wasted - far too much of my life enduring and choking on negatives already.  I refuse to give that rubbish any more of my precious moments because they would only harm me.  They would not add anything to my life; they would only take from it.  Well, they would if I let them.  But I won't.

Instead, I am immersed in sparkling, radiant, shimmering, positive energy of the purest kind. I will not feed the demons that thrive on negative energy; I let them starve to death, bloody tormentors that they wish they could be, if only I would allow them to ravage my life the way they used to do.  They tore and clawed at it until it was in shreds, lapping at the dark red pools beneath the carcass of any dreams I might have had.

No, there is no room for them in my life, my heart, any part of my being and they are unwelcome beasts.  I have banished them from the sacred space that is Me.  I am far more powerful than they could ever hope to be and they shall not destroy me again, nor shall I allow any more destruction of my time in this life.

Why would I choose to do anything else?  Unless, of course, I had some burning desire to destroy my own life, my own happiness and wellbeing.

I have complete control over what I think and how I respond to anyone or anything.  I have complete control in deciding where to focus my attention and energy.  I can choose to make my life better - or worse.

I know what I'm choosing.  How about you?

 

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When The Answer to Your Prayers Is "No."

Have you ever had a plan that didn’t seem to be working? You couldn’t understand how something that felt so right when you planned it could turn out to be so wrong?

Perhaps you took a few guesses at why it wasn’t working and tried to fix each one but the more you tried to fix it, the more wrong it seemed to become.

But was it really wrong? Had you missed something you could have fixed? Or had it initially been perfect just the way it was, with a Higher Purpose being served by your plan appearing to be a complete and utter failure?

With these and many other questions rolling through your mind, and even more possible answers, you might have grown more confused by the minute as every possible answer threw out a growing list of suggested courses of action.

Changing the plan hadn’t worked so maybe it looked like you should abandon it altogether, at least for the time being, and in the specific circumstances.  

But maybe that felt like failure to you. Like giving up, admitting defeat, all of which go completely against your grain.

But had you really failed? No. You had to understand that you might as well have been selling high quality diamonds in Walmart. There may have been a few diamond-loving customers in the shop but they didn’t happen to pass by your little stand while you were there.  

That wasn’t your fault and it didn’t mean no one liked or wanted your diamonds. There was nothing wrong with your diamonds. And there was nothing wrong with the Walmart shoppers. So failure had nothing to do with it.

Well, then, if you packed up your little stand and left before closing, were you giving up?  

No. You were accepting that Walmart shoppers aren’t looking for high quality diamonds.  

Or they might have wandered past, loved the sparkle, thought they were beautiful – but diamonds wouldn’t go with their everyday clothing, so perhaps they were still just window-shopping and trying to imagine themselves actually wearing your diamonds someday.

Would you be admitting defeat? No. You weren't doing battle with anyone or anything so it wouldn't have been about that.

Maybe you went back to the beginning. You looked at your plan. In and of itself, it was a great plan. You looked at all of its components – your intentions, the whole point, what you were trying to accomplish. Nope, you couldn’t see anything wrong in any of that.

And as it seemed that the more you changed it, the worse things got, maybe you decided that it must have been a lot closer to “right” when you started. You couldn’t have been so wrong after all. Could you?

But you say you really needed and wanted your plan to work and you had been so sure it would. So very, absolutely, 100% certain. And an awful lot was riding on your plan being successful.

Maybe when it looked like it was going to fall apart, you went so far as to pray for it to be okay. Maybe you kept insisting it would be fine. You were determined to continue, whatever the outcome, because you're just not a quitter. You waited for an answer to your prayers.

Finally, the answer came. And it was “No.”

You hadn't thought of that as "an answer to your prayers" now, had you...

As they say, when a door closes, a window opens. So you must get busy looking out that window to see what you can see.

I hope you can see that your plan did not fail. You did not give up. You were not defeated. I hope you can see that your plan provided you with valuable lessons you needed to learn if you were going to progress, so how could that be wrong or a failure?  

It had to be exactly the way it was, even if you still don’t know all the reasons why – and it would help if you don’t think you have to know all of them – and that you understand that it’s part of a much bigger puzzle.

You have not abandoned or given up on your plan. It is merely in a state of great transformation. And one day, it will become an even more beautiful diamond.

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