Creating Possibilities and Forward Movement in the Midst of Change
Our brains are hard wired to seek certainty, making judgements about what is “safe” and predictions based on past programming. And amidst any sort of threat – whether perceived or real – your brain triggers our own biology into feelings of anxiety, fear, and panic.
Enter 2020, when the entire world was turned upside down with a pandemic. Without warning, everyone’s life was disrupted – emotionally, financially, and experientially.
For our brains, the experience of uncertainty is both cognitively taxing and anxiety producing. In fact, when all neurological resources are directed towards fearing uncertainty, your ability to make decisions, assess situations with clarity, and even your ability to learn is disrupted.
So how do you move forward, let alone achieve your goals and find inner peace during times of chaos and unpredictable change?
The truth is, life itself is uncertain. However confident you may have been pre-pandemic – in your work, your environment, your daily schedule – NOTHING in life is certain. So the first step to moving forward is actually accepting where you are. No matter what an external circumstance has disrupted your life – albeit a pandemic or a car accident – where you are is still where you are.
Whatever your reality is in that moment – losing your job, not being able to leave your home, risking losing your home – you are still just you, sitting right where you are.
Not meaning to sound cold, but taking a step back from the external circumstance, your fear, panic, or whatever you are feeling, is based on the story you have told yourself about the situation.
“I can’t pay my rent.”
”I don’’t have a job/lost money and now I’m broke.”
”I was just diagnosed with cancer.”
”I have to homeschool and don’t know where to start.”
Actually, you’re just sitting here reading this article. Your breathing, your feat are on the ground, and you’re ok. Just breathe in this moment and let’s assess this situation logically.
REDEFINE YOUR STORY
What if accepting uncertainty and making it a part of this adventure we call life, open up new possibilities for your future?
“You can always measure what you’ll lose, but you can’t see what you’ll gain.”– KYLE CEASE
As an entrepreneur, I call this “your vision”. Your vision is what you have imagined with your creative mind that helps people. As an everyday person – entrepreneur or not – your vision is the story you tell yourself about yourself and your life.
They don’t teach you this in school, but creating a vision for your life, is probably the most important thing anybody can and should do. Without a vision, your life will be subjected to other people’s priorities, outside circumstances, and overall fear of the future and the unknown.
No, having a vision does not protect you from bad things occurring that will affect you, but it WILL give you direction, clarity, and allow you to see possibilities where others will see none.
We are born resilient, creative, imaginative, and full of hope. And while life as we know it, often squeezes those natural gifts from above out of us, it is our JOB as adults (that now know better) to reclaim our lives.
Our job now is to be the visionary and spectacular person you were born to be. It’s time to empower yourself with clear and decisive action.
RECONNECTING TO SELF
With everyone talking about meditation these days, you would think the world would be so calm, connected, and problem-free. But instead, we have a world of stressed out, distracted, and angry people living the opposite of balanced lives.
And even if you have a meditation practice, you find yourself sometimes asking, is this it? Only to find something empty inside of you.
The good news is, that little voice inside of you is the thing you are looking for. That tap on the shoulder, the random thought that randomly rises and asks “What if?” “I wonder…” whatever it’s saying to you, THAT is called “your intuition.
“Deep down you know the truth.”
Deep down you know it. But life, responsibilities, our own type A personalities, have been trained to shove it down. I mean, who has time? Your phone is dinging, your kids are screaming, and all of the things you have to do…
What we habitual, type A, responsible people don’t realize, is that little voice is our subconscious mind trying to get our intention.
Oprah talks about how our intuition is like a tap on the shoulder. And if we don’t pay attention to it, it knocks you upside your head. And if you still ignore it, one day it drops on you like a big boulder.
As humans, we have 60,000-80,000 thoughts a day. 95% of them are unconscious – habits (and not the good kind we intentionally do), and only 5% are conscious. That means, if you are not intentionally focused on creating and aligning with your ever-morphing vision, over time, your daily unconscious habits, life, other people’s energy, will slowly steal away your passion, your purpose, and your vision.
And there is no one to blame. No one is trying to “steal” your passion – but if you are only relying on habitual thoughts and behaviors, using your 5% of conscious thought on “urgent” situations, your once productive habits and intentions, will become misaligned and actually unproductive to achieving the results you actually want.
WHAT GOT YOU HERE WON’T GET YOU THERE
You’ve created success – no doubt, no matter where you are in your work – you have created success. And from all outside standards, you seem to “have it all”. You have the family, the money, and everyone on social media thinks you’re amazing.
But that emptiness – however big or small is like that nagging fly you randomly hear buzzing by you but can’t seem to kill. You know it’s there, but can’t quite pinpoint where it is.
And worse yet, you’re doing the work! You’re working so much THAT annoys you because how can you still feel lost when you’r working so hard?
But what got you here wont get you there. All of that hard work in fact, may be why you CAN’T find yourself and connect to your purpose. Could it be that you’ve become so “productive”, that you forgot how to dream?
As children, we are born with a resilient, limitless imagination. We were creative, free spirited, and could see magic in a rock. But now, life has trained that endless creativity out of us. We have learned that if we don’t work, we won’t get what we need. And worse yet, things that aren’t actually threats – phone notifications, people, noises are perceived as threats inside of our body, even if you are unaware it is.
This is why we actually meditate.
“Meditation is not just to clear your mind – it’s actually to make you realize you HAVE a mind.”
One of the most important things you can do at this stage of your passion-seeking life, is to reconnect with your mind and thoughts. To actually hear what you are thinking. And while that may be the opposite of every meditation article you’ve ever read, it actually works.
Because once you realize and can hear what you have been thinking, your intuitive voice will actually feel heard. It will then turn those once nagging, ever-present thoughts, into next steps.
It’s kind of like your inner voice is an unseen child. In fact, it’s that child that, when you were between the ages of 0-7 first learned the world was unsafe. Where your parents told you to be quiet when you were just expressing your happy self. Or when that kid in school called you names, and you started to believe something was wrong with you, even though there was not.
That unseen child becomes our intuition later in life. It wants to be seen, to tell that inner child that it’s safe, it’s ok, that you are free to express your heart’s desires, to pursue that passion – it’s trying to tell you it’s ok to be yourself out loud, to fail, and that you will get back up again, just like that resilient child did.
However weird this sounds, this is what our intuition is. And when you ignore it – God, the universe – will give you urgent signs that will appear as big life events – many that could have been prevented – but all that produce a feeling of regret.
A LIFE OF NO REGRETS
If that isn’t motivation enough to reclaim your passion and purpose, stop reading, because you aren’t ready. But if it hit a point inside of you, let’s make it happen.
Here is the step-by-step way to get back in touch with your creativity, your passion and your purpose for why you exist.
STEP ONE – Break Free From Yourself
The most important thing to do is not to “go meditate”, but to actually stop trying to do anything. To actually just sit there. Don’t try to clear your head, just notice you have a head.
I know, sounds ridiculous but we all know that voice inside our heads is quite active. In fact that damn self NEVER shuts up. And it could be because you keep trying to run away from it. To change it. To not let it be heard.
Even better than sitting, is go outside – first thing in the morning within an hour of waking, with your dog if you have one, and WITHOUT looking at your phone. Instead of getting influenced by people’s lives – people who have different lives, different priorities, different goals, DO NOT LOOK AT YOUR PHONE BEFORE YOU PUT YOURSELF FIRST.
Go into nature. And just walk. Just walk, notice the grass. The sky. And just walk. Eventually you will notice your mind racing. Just listen. Don’t try to stop it. What thoughts are in your head?
And then repeat. Everyday. After a few days, you will notice the thoughts in your head either are repeating something to you or they’ve elevated to a higher vibration. And when that happens, follow the thought.
Magical. What you have done is broken free from your habitual thinking and given yourself enough space to find clarity. Broke through a pattern. Keep going daily and you will notice higher level thoughts and more clarity towards a vision in your heart.
Neurologically and biologically what has happened, is that you have shut down what I call your “stupid thinking brain.” that constant chatter box in your head that judges you, overthinks, and prevents your genius emotional brain (middle brain) – the one connected to your heart – to shine.
STEP TWO – Imagine the End Result
Strategy is planning from the end – whether you are trying to build a business or find your passion, or just trying to plan your child’s homeschool year – you can’t get to where you are going if you cannot see it. Take time to create on paper, the vision of your end result, and plan backwards.
This is where you must go old school and break out a pen and paper. Why? Because as we described above, your mind is VERY crowded and your vision will get lost amidst the clutter and distractions. Being able to clarify your vision into words so you can SEE it creates clarity and certainty in something that is not yet real.
So after you go for a walk and do your Active Focus Meditation, pull out that pen and paper and SCRIPT out your vision.
This is NOT journaling – writing down what is in your mind, but actually seeing what you want to create and writing it down. How do you want to feel? Who is with you? What are you doing? Everyday? Why are you doing it?
Once you clarify the vision, you can then start creating an action plan.
STEP THREE – Trust Your Intuition
TRUST. We put it in the law. We give it to our friends. We place it in a lot of things OUTSIDE of ourselves without oftentimes thinking about it. But this trust is SELF TRUST.
This is where faith comes in. Not the religious kind but the kind that comes from a belief in something higher. Whether it be God, the universe, or the unseen thing that helps you breathe everyday without thinking – faith is an important part of life. Without it, you are left with a very heavy burden of why you exist. Instead of doubting it, give yourself a reason.
You are here for a very important reason. Have the faith and courage to believe that your life has purpose and meaning.
Resist judging yourself. Intuition is a word for a reason! You don’t have to be a psychic or go to one, because YOU ARE ONE.
Follow me here – but our intuition is that voice inside of us that was given to us to guide us through life. Those gut feelings that have led you to answers in the past, or that were warning you about something that you DIDN’T listen to and should have. They are our natural guidance system.
Listen to your own intuition and embrace more of your ideas (good and seemingly bad ones). Write them down – daily to give them life. The goal here is not to do those ideas necessarily but to reaffirm your ideas have validity.
This will build your confidence in your own thoughts, and will lead you to next steps. Try to come up with 10 original ideas every day.
STEP FOUR – Free Your Mind
We are always trying to find certainty – but as 2020 has shown us – CERTAINTY DOESN’T EXIST.
We put so much pressure on ourselves as humans. Taught to us in school, we are taught that we “do good” when we get a good grade. We are taught that people celebrate “winners”, that not getting what you work for is called a “failure”. We are taught that effort is great, but “you can do better.”
What if you could tell yourself a DIFFERENT story. Knowing that certainty does NOT exist – how could that free you from being responsible for trying to predict the future that doesn’t exist? What if winning is found in believing in yourself? That “failure” is a sign that there are more ways to try and it’s part of one big adventure?
What if you gave yourself permission to say “I don’t know if this will work and it’s ok. I’m just going to move doing what I perceive as the highest vibrational thing I can in this moment..” for EVERYTHING.
Sure, we all have responsibilities, and some things are more flexible to try new things that others – but shutting down the POSSIBILITY that there is another way, limits you to NOT finding new ways. To NOT letting new thoughts in. And to trying to do God or the Universe’s work.
You don’t have to know it all. There is no “right” way. Your life is NOT found in a box. Free your mind and just breathe – and whatever thought comes to you next, do that.
STEP FIVE – Take the First Step (and then the next)
Don’t let your thoughts get in the way of moving. Commit, Decide. Take action – however big or small.
Commit to taking action, every single day. Remind yourself you don’t need to know “How” only what do I do next. The next step will present itself when it’s time.
I call this the “Before you go to bed” method. Commit to doing something towards your vision for 20 minutes everyday. Before you go to bed, if you haven’t done anything, stay up and just do SOMETHING. Anything. This will tell your mind you are serious about achieving this vision, and build new neuronal connections in your brain around your CONFIDENCE and TRUST.
For example – writing – what to write? Just start writing – anything and commit to write for 20 minutes. Clarity will come.
STEP SIX – What Got You Here Won’t Get You There
We all know habits are good, but not ALL habits are good. Sometimes being willing to step back from what you think you should do or what you THINK you need to do can bring new insights to a challenge and also reveal old blocks.
If 95% of our lives are UNconscious thoughts and behaviors, what habits did you subconsciously pick up in your life that you now think are true? Our brains scientifically get rid of things to learn new ones. And however old you are, that’s A LOT of unconscious beliefs and patterns you picked up without realizing it.
We are constant learners – as humans we are designed to learn. But WHAT you are learning is not always things you wanted to learn.
“What got you here won’t get you there”, is a very true statement. Sometimes what needs to be disrupted is YOU.
A BREAK THROUGH VISION FOR CHANGE
Life is short. However long every day and bad experience seems, one day, our lives here on earth will end. And if there is one thing we learned during a world shut down, is that we were living entitled and overly-filled lives.
We were forced to eliminate distracted and unconscious behaviors – simply because we weren’t able to do them. “Forced” to spend time with our families, and most importantly – spend time with OURSELVES.
Because of it, everything from how we shop, what we do everyday, and what we need, has changed. Things that we didn’t think were possible – such as traveling less, working from home, living with less – have all happened. Perhaps not by choice but when push came to shove, we quickly adapted.
Our job now is to be visionaries, to empower ourselves with clear and decisive action.
- Gain clarity in your vision.
- Decide what is true, what is true for YOU, what is fear-based, what is forward thinking, and what is herd mentality and meer pandering to the lowest common denominator.
- Be open-minded and humble, and bold.
- Decide (it’s a decision) that you are here for a very important reason. And that you have your life here on earth to live it.
- Believe that change is not only possible but as you evolve, so does your vision and so should your beliefs and actions.
- Take action towards positive change – whatever that looks like for you.
It is up to the leaders, the change makers, those that can see past the noise of the current status quo, to create a vision bold enough that it disrupts a distracted, fear-based, unconscious status quo. We are bigger than that and together, we CAN create the new world we want to live in. Healthy and forward thinking. With purpose and heart.
You don’t have to change the world, but you CAN change YOUR world. And by changing your world, you can then impact someone else’s world with positive change too.