The Complaint I hear Most

The single most common complaint I hear is:      

“I feel like all I do is work”

Or the family person version:

“All I do is work and do things with the family”

What they are really saying is they feel less than fulfilled.  They feel there is more out there.  They feel bored and want more.

Many aren’t sure what they’d do if they could do anything else.  Some have a clear picture of exactly what they’d do.

In both cases, as soon as the possibility of more is approached, resistance flies up like a barricade at a court house parking entry.

Basically, we aren’t happy with what is happening, but when the chance to change pops up, we feel like we can’t.  Pretty messed up right?

About a year ago, I was talking with a former colleague and she was sharing a dream of a business that embraced one of her passions.  As she spoke, she was glowing, literally glowing.  She had the whole idea mapped in her head and described it in such amazing detail that I could see it.  It is a gorgeous idea and she is perfect for it.

Tapping in to her excitement, I asked if she had thought about location.  She had and went on to describe it.

I pushed a little further and asked when.

The reasons why she couldn’t then came tumbling out: obligation to her mortgage, her corporate career, jeopardizing her retirement, her husband’s expectations and the belief that she just couldn’t.

This is a very common story.

The successful professional who wants more, but can’t seem to have it.  The more isn’t always a business idea.  Sometimes it is a desire to be able to sit down and relax at night – without the stress of work preying on them.  It is the desire for a life outside of work that is fun, filled with good friends and experiences that enrich their life, leaving them energized to go to a job they can love more fully since the rest of life is pretty awesome.

When I was hired at my last corporate job, one of the reasons I took the job was something my hiring manager said: “I believe in working to live, not living to work.” For as long as I worked for her, she lived by this.  She was supportive to her team in this philosophy in a corporate environment that didn’t always agree with her on that thought. Despite this awesome environment, I still found myself living to work.

In my years of working in large organizations, as a leader in the US Army and then again in corporate America, I observed three reasons we feel this “all I do is work” feeling:

  1. Society tells us this is the right thing to do, everyone else is so we follow along.
  2. We agree to focus on work temporarily for a big project or busy time then…it never ends and becomes routine.
  3. We never saw a different way: this was what our parents or mentors did, what we perceived was right and we followed the example of those we admired and loved.

 

All three impacted my life.  All three shaped the definition of success I pursued which was aligned primarily around a solid career.  If it enabled some cool stuff in the rest of my life that was great – I saw it as a bonus.

If this is you, you can shift this. 

One day I decided to listen to that calling from within asking for “more”.  Not knowing what “more” was for me, I engaged a life coach who helped me figure it out.  I moved away from living to work and having a life that had a successful career to living a successful life where I have a job I love. I feel the fullness of a lifestyle that supports my continued experience in this world – the experience I get to create anew each day.

How I shifted it:

  1. Engaging help – I got mine from a life coach, like me.
  2. Being open to possibilities and willing to change somethings in my life.
  3. Acknowledging that the life I was living wasn’t my dream life and taking the time to develop the picture of what I wanted.
  4. Taking immediate action to start living that life I wanted.
  5. Continuing to act, even when it was hard.

You can do this too. Are you ready to move beyond the complaint?

Start now.  If you need help, apply for my lackluster to limitless energizer session and we will spend an hour on your plan.

 

photo jun 20, 8 27 31 amHi, I am Jennifer Murphy.  I am a certified personal and executive coach ruthlessly focused on helping people live awesome lives – the ones that include work, but aren’t entirely work.  I spent a large chunk of my life pursuing other people’s ideas of success and while those experiences were sublime in some cases, they weren’t the “more” I was seeking and I just never felt full. In 2011, I made the commitment to live life on my terms and everything changed. The life I love today was created.

 

 

When You Are Sick

It all started with a “tickle” in the back of the throat. Then came the runny nose. Pretty soon, it was a full-fledged cold.

I’m not going to get into specifics about my cold (yuck!), but I want to invite you into a little exploration of the lesson of sickness.

Don’t worry; this won’t hurt a bit.

A week doesn’t pass where I don’t answer at least a few questions from someone – a client, friend or even a relative – about how to increase their intuition. I give my usual answers (meditation, learn a system, etc.), until the one that usually makes them stop in their tracks: listen to their own body. Believe it or not, the human body is an incredible intuition alert system, and, when it comes to sickness, the body can be a living opportunity to teach us volumes about ourselves and our relationships.

My own sickness had plenty to teach me, especially about spiritual identity and the role of spiritual practices in my life.

How did I get to that realization?  Let’s back up a bit.

Sickness is a sign of something out of sync or dis-ease in the human system. Notice I said “system,” not “body.” As human beings we are a composition of body and soul together, so dis-ease is not just a body problem; it can be a soul/mind problem as well.

Now that doesn’t mean that every physical problem can be directly traced to mind/soul problem. There are books that create numerous connections between body problems and life issues. These systems are interesting, and certainly have validity in some cases, but I don’t see a 100% correlation between the two. Sometimes bodily sickness simply happens.

Regardless of whether the sickness is a sign of deeper mind/soul problems, our response to that sickness is the same: we stop. The body wants to stop. We respond to that desire by attending to the needs of the body, making sure that we get appropriate medical care, adequate rest, and proper nutrition for efficient healing.

While attending to the body, it is also important to attend to the mind/soul as well. Many times there is a lesson or two that we are being taught in our sickness, which couldn’t be learned at any other time. This is the beginning of “hermit time.”

How we use our “hermit time” in sickness is very important. There are really three ways that we can use this time. First, we could use it as “poor-me” time, bemoaning our illness, lost time at work, our own personal suffering, and finding ways to ensure that everyone around us feels our pain in as many ways as possible. As we pursue this tactic, we generally feel our illness for a considerably longer time.

Second, we could use our hermit time as “extended work time.” We could get caught up on all that extra work, start a few more projects, and fee like we’ve accomplished a great deal. Of course, we also end up feeling worse for a longer period of time.

Finally, we could use our hermit time as time to listen. After all, our bodies are finally in a holding pattern, in a sort of desert where the heart can finally speak to us without being interrupted by the next urgent task on our list.

“I want to listen,” you say, “but how?” You certainly don’t want to fall into self-delusion where your mind wanders into strange territory, and you also don’t want to miss important insights.

There are four steps to listening to the heart during your hermit time:

  1. Get quiet
  2. Ask what the lesson/problem is
  3. Listen for the answer
  4. Treat the answer as the beginning of a conversation with the heart

1. Get quiet. To get quiet, I mean really quiet. No electronic devices. No phones. No Facebook. No television, Netflix, or movies. No radios or mp3’s. No books (you thought you could get away with that one, eh?). In other words, no input from outside. Picture yourself as being stranded in a literal desert, with no connections to the outside world. You cannot hear your heart when you’re distracted by everything else around you.

2. Ask what the lesson/problem is. Ask your heart what the actual problem or lesson is that you’re supposed to learn. Keep this very simple. Your heart is the core of who you are, your True Self, that contains an immense amount of wisdom. It is also your intimate companion through life. Ask this wise friend your deepest question, expecting the perfect response.

3. Listen for the answer. When you listen for the answer, pay attention to everything: your thoughts, feelings, even your memories, as they emerge in your consciousness. As you listen, disregard the first two or three answers that come up; they are often answer from the ego, trying to derail you from the work of genuine growth. If one of those answers happens to be the important one, fear not; it will come up again in a few moments!

At this point, it is helpful to have a notebook handy for insights as you receive them. If you rely solely on your memory, you will probably forget about 30-60% of what follows. So take good notes!

4. Treat the answer as the beginning of a conversation with the heart. This is where people usually don’t go. Go off the beaten track, and explore the answer further. Start talking to your heart, and also to Source/Higher Power/God about the answer you’ve intuitively received. (Yes, this is your intuition at work!) Have a very simple, loving and honest conversation about what it means for you, and how you can apply the lessons in your life. As in the previous step, pay attention to thoughts, feelings and even memories as they emerge; they are often veiled responses in your conversation. Yes, this does take some time, but I promise you: the conversation is worth it!

The result of this process is a conversation and insights that either set you on a new path in some part of your life, or fine-tunes the path you are walking right now. Sometimes, you may even find that your sickness will last a shorter time, since the lesson has been learned.

Every sickness is an opportunity for growth. The next time you get a cold, or your body is telling you to get some rest, try the approach I’ve outlined to get the most out of it.

Don MDonMarlette(558x800)arlette is, among many other things, a member of the No Limits Life team.  His unique blend of psychic insight, mediumship and practical wisdom guide spiritual practitioners and everyday people through the perils of everyday getting by to build lives that feel like they are singing their heartsong.  Learn more at www.nolimitslifeinstitute.com

 

Someday

Those dreams, aspirations and goals – they aren’t someday kinds of things.

We have all said, “someday I will…”

  • write a book
  • create a library
  • learn to dive
  • read
  • have time for me
  • eat better
  • work out
  • have less stress
  • open my business

Things like these are our dreams.  They are the things our soul is asking us to do to raise our vibration, fill our destiny, feel complete.  These are things you deserve to do.

When you place things on a someday list, kiss them good bye.  Someday has such vague energy it is impossible to pin down and it won’t get fed.  It won’t get fed by you and it won’t get fed by anyone you might receive from. You didn’t invest in it.  And when you don’t invest, the universe won’t either.

Ever have moments of throwing caution to the wind? The “Oh screw it, let’s do it!” kind of moments when you power through your fear like a boss and capture the energy of the moment and do something that excites you.

I am a big fan of those moments, those moments of adrenaline and joy and excitement and a little thrill of “yes please!”.  I have embraced someday as today on the regular for a while now:

  • Left my job in 2012 to pursue my dreams of business ownership
  • Left a marriage that wasn’t the best for either of us to find a partnership that works
  • Am transforming my business from a just me to a team model
  • Became an artist
  • Fell in love
  • Embraced being a soccer mom on my terms
  • Traveled and keep traveling

Most of these were seize the moment, seize the idea, say yes please kinds of moments in time that took me leaping into what felt like an abyss to be caught by purpose and direction and clarity on the way down.  The  unknown become the known rather quickly once I said, “yes, today” instead of, “someday after I figure out…”

Watch for these yes please moments.   Create them.

Life is not a someday kind of thing.

It is a live it now while you have this moment kind of thing.

This video recently published by The Minimalists sums up this idea quite wonderfully.

Watch Now.

February Events Update

A week into February and I am  just getting this updated…probably because i have been on my ass with Walking Pneumonia!  It sucked, but it’s over now and I’m not going to give it any more energy – it sucked enough.

So let’s look at what we have coming up for you in February and beyond that can help you shape you in to the person you want to be living the life you want to love.

 February: 

Navigating Major Transition, February 9 – Tune in to KGAN CBS2/Fox 28 during the morning show and you’ll see yours truly on air talking about navigating major change.  It can be tough, but I have a couple of tools to help you map and navigate that change in your life!  If you miss it, watch  the No Limits Life Coaching  Facebook page for links to resources you can sign up to receive that will guide you through the process for yourself!

For the activist minded!   A Post Card Party and Community Discussion with Iowa State Senator Rob Hogg, February 12 –  

  • Join us for a community discussion with state senator Rob Hogg about the most effective ways to make an impact on the direction of our state and country, the best way to be heard by our representatives and how we can protect America’s core values. Please bring questions and concerns to be discussed.
  • We will also be having a postcard party! So, if you’d like to keep America’s constitutional amendments intact and protect your civil liberties, we will have postcards and information about where to direct them locally and nationally, depending on your concerns.
  • AND, I will be facilitating a community Vision Board: We the People, a vision board for our country:

Our collective words, vision and our energies have power and we invite you to invest yours in this vision board for our country. Share your ideas, thoughts, visions, poems and power on a collective canvas which we will display in the Cherry building through February 28. Bring positive thoughts, vibes, words and pictures to add and inspire the collective audience to see a future full of possibility, power, and people of action.

Event Sign Up

Valentines Date Night Bead Lesson, February 14– Grab your sweetie and come create – a unique valentines day date on a 3 hour glass bead lesson!

We have a beginner level torch working class just for you…
3 hours includes fundamentals of glass and hands on work.
Instruction & materials to make up to 10 beads depending on student learning pace.
Pieces available for pick up 24 hours after the class – by appointment.

Book your evening now, on special for $100!  You don’t have to schedule it for February 14th, we can schedule through March as well!

event-photoFundamentals of Minimalism Discussion Group, February 20 – Join us live the third Monday of each month at Prairiewoods Franciscan Spirituality Center for a person to person discussion group on the fundamentals of minimalism: part education, part information and resource sharing, part accountability! Join a group of fellow seekers of simplicity as we grow our understanding of minimalism and shed the things in life that don’t align to what is most important to us.
You do not need to know anything about minimalism to join – come find out what the concept and you decide whether to take action or not!
Minimalism most simply described is about creating a life that is based on the things most important to you: people, material and experiences.

A minimum of $5 donation is requested to cover costs of the space – but please do not let that prevent you from attending.Join the group and we will explore together. Register Online here.

We also invite you to join Midwest Minimalists in our Facebook Group here for online discussion, learning and accountability if you want it!

Heads up for March:

Beyond Rubies 2017

No Limits Life will be there with 3 presentations: 
Your Life Purpose in 60 minutes or Less from Don Marlette
The universe isn’t hiding your purpose – it wants you to find it and this workshop can help. Your life purpose is waiting for you to connect and Don Marlette is a master at helping you discover what has been hiding in plain sight using powerful, proven techniques.
Happy! from Jennifer Murphy
Small daily acts can improve your overall sense of happiness and engagement in what matters. You’ll self-assess, learn about dimensions of well-being and take away actions to start immediately.
Help for Self Help Overload from Jennifer Murphy 
Conquer common pitfalls in self-help: dusty book stacks, well intentioned intentions or pages of notes never revisited. Shed the mantle of “I Should” and heal yourself by engaging in simple prioritization techniques you can use anywhere.
Learn More and Register for the conference on March 2-3   ***Use special discount code RUBIES117 to access early bird pricing to save! ***
Aligning Priorities – A Virtual Workshop, March 7 & 21, 7-830 pm CST –  We often want aligning-prioritiesthings to be “easier” in our lives and we struggle with  how to make that happen.  I spent years wondering why things were so hard, how i got so easily overwhelmed and why I was doing things I really didn’t want to do but was caught up in anyway…until I spent the time to answer my own questions.  In this 2 evening workshop I am going to share my special sauce recipe for answering those questions for you.
Register for early bird pricing now, $25 per person,  to set yourself up for alignment and stress reduction as you move toward a more aligned and balanced life.
Jennifer Murphy of No Limits Life is a glass artist, life coach and minimalism advocate. She partners with those seeking to live in alignment with what is most important to them and create the path to live it. Learn more at http://www.nolimitslife.guru

So Over “New Year, New You”

Seriously, screw it.  Why do you need to be a new you?

If you feel the compulsion to be different, maybe it’s because you aren’t being the REAL you right now.  Ouch.

Every single time I hear a phrase like that – which admittedly I haven’t heard as much as we close out 2016 – I want to puke.  There is nothing wrong with the REAL YOU.  The problem may be that you aren’t being the REAL YOU.  Okay, I will stop capitalizing it – you don’t need to be yelled at anymore…you heard me right?

The Real You is that energy within that is absolutely BEGGING to be let out to play.  It is the energy that craves something different that what you are doing with your life.  This energy wants to: 

  • start a business
  • go back to school
  • create art
  • write
  • find a true partner
  • love waking up for their life every day
  • shed the feeling of overwhelm every single day as they race around trying to please everyone but themselves
  • go on a spiritual retreat
  • connect with an animal
  • and on and on….

What is your spirit calling you to explore? 

As I shake off the stifling energies of the past time period I feel called to be the wild, sensuous, adventurous woman I truly am.  I feel called to stop hiding, to get exposed and to be unrepentant in my call to arms to the battle for the life you deserve, not the one you are subjugated into living.   My REAL ME (this is a passion yell) is a warrior, adventure and explorer.  I advocate when you are unsure of how to do it yourself.  And I teach you how.

This amazing TED video a friend shared last night on Facebook called to these energies within – it is a bit graphic at times, so I will warn those of you with more delicate constitutions.

You don’t have to be me, and your call isn’t the same.  But you have one.

If your life feels like pants one size too small then chances are you are not being Real You.

I beg you to invite Real You out to play tonight, tomorrow and all the days that follow.  

I recognize this isn’t easy.  If it were easy you’d have never succumbed to expectations in the first place.  YOU are worth the battle, the investment, the shift – whatever you want to call it.   

Your Challenge: 

Grab your journal and spend some time writing about your absolute ideal life – free of any limitations you feel in  your current life.  Write until you feel that buzz of anticipation, like you can’t wait to taste it.

Review what you wrote, make additions.

Pick one thing from that vision and do it now.  Bring it into your life.  One tiny thing.

dfcaxbf-p4g-morre-christopheThis might feel scary – when I did this, I was terrified because what I wanted was so incredibly different than what I had, I could hardly imagine how it was possible.  But I started with the purchase of white sheets and within 24 months my life was my ideal and then I got to keep stretching myself.

Find your white sheets. Invite them into your world, then the next thing and keep taking action to build the life you crave.

REAL YOU will thank you.  

 

 

Jennifer Murphy is a coach, teacher, mentor and leader at No Limits Life where she partners with the closet creatives, aspiring adventurers, and repressed rebels to move beyond expected success to create the kind of fulfilling life they crave.  To learn more about Jennifer and her team visit www.nolimitslife.guru

Upcoming Events! January 2017 Edition

Already 2017 is starting off strong for me and we aren’t even in it!  I’m pretty excited to share a few upcoming activities that you can join us with both in person and online!

January 16  Authentic Action Accountability Beta Teleclass (Kickoff) 

Join us for a 3 session Beta Program focused intensely on the accountability you need to get 2017 started in a strong way.  It’s just $30 for this initial session and if you love it, we’ll keep it going a while longer!!

Scroll down for further details on this program, or click here to register now because you know you need the support!

January 22 2-3:30pm Spiritual Dimension of Minimalism at Prairiewoods

I’ll be sharing my story of moving from success defined by external measurements of material value to true contentment based on my spiritual definition of success and we’ll discuss what that means for you. This workshop will be part lecture with lots of space for discussion. So if you are ready to expand your awareness of the sacred in everyday life, join this unique conversation! A suggested donation of $10 goes directly to Prairiewoods! Call Prairiewoods at 319-395-6700 to register**!

**I’m hoping they’ll have the online registration link up soon and I’ll update if they do!

Through January 31  Glass and Coaching 2017 Intention Setting 

A private session with me either over the phone or in person where we will set your specific intentions for the coming year, do an energy assessment and optimization and create your 2017 Energy Pendant.  This pendant will be infused with your intention for the coming year and the energy you need to embrace and support as you create your NO LIMITS 2017.  Through the end of January this session is just $100 and includes a 90 minute coaching and energy session and production and delivery of your pendant.  Register Now to get your personalized “Peace” of Inspiration for 2017  (after you submit payment I will send you a link to schedule).

Heads Up for February:  

February 8-22 Aligning Priorities at Kirkwood Continuing Education

Start feeling in control of your world and your resources in this 3 session workshop. Access the energy of empowerment as you take charge of your time, money and energy in a way that is in alignment with your priorities and sheds the conflict you experience in daily living.  With the support of  yours truly, a  Certified Personal and Executive Coach specializing in positive psychology, you will connect with techniques and energies to identify and live your optimal life.  Feel on purpose, energized and excited about your next phase of living after you complete this interactive discussion format course emphasizing energy balancing, alignment and empowerment! Click here to learn more and register via the Kirkwood Continuing Education Site

February 9-May 12 Customer Service Professional Certificate 

Training and professional certification programs for customer service representatives, call center, help desk, technical support, financial services support and administrative support professionals. Learn core knowledge and competencies on how call centers operate, including metrics, required skills and terminology. Focused study and practice on soft skills such as listening, speaking, questioning and de-escalating upset customers will be emphasized. After completing this course, successful graduates will have the certification and related experience to compete for customer service representative positions in the community. Books will be provided.

This course is perfect for you if you are looking to get back into the workforce, need additional professionalism and technical skills or are looking for a career change.

Learn More Via this link and contact Kelly Foresman (kelly.foresman@kirkwood.edu) at KPACE for more information, enrollment and potential funding assistance.

Heads up for March:

Beyond Rubies 2017

No Limits Life will be there with 3 presentations: 
Your Life Purpose in 60 minutes or Less from Don Marlette
The universe isn’t hiding your purpose – it wants you to find it and this workshop can help. Your life purpose is waiting for you to connect and Don Marlette is a master at helping you discover what has been hiding in plain sight using powerful, proven techniques.
Happy! from Jennifer Murphy
Small daily acts can improve your overall sense of happiness and engagement in what matters. You’ll self-assess, learn about dimensions of well-being and take away actions to start immediately.
Help for Self Help Overload from Jennifer Murphy 
Conquer common pitfalls in self-help: dusty book stacks, well intentioned intentions or pages of notes never revisited. Shed the mantle of “I Should” and heal yourself by engaging in simple prioritization techniques you can use anywhere.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

Authentic Action Accountability Program – Beta teleclass starts January 16th 

I want to invite you as members of the No Limits Life community to participate in a Beta Program: a 3 month Authentic Action Accountability Group Coaching Program that you can join now for just $30!  I am asking you before this goes out on social media tomorrow so that you can claim your spot if this appeals to you.

I also invite you to share this with your friends if you think they might like it. A lot of people set goals for the New Year, but not every makes it past the first few weeks, let alone the first few months.  We want to help you or that friend of yours get things done in a way that works for you!

But here’s the deal, I only have 12 spots, so forward it now if you think they’d love it.

What you’ll receive:

  • Three 60-90 minute group calls focused on action planning and execution of your goals. Everyone will be given a chance to speak and gain support for their goals.
  • Six Separate emails with productivity and energy alignment activities, tips and inspirations to support your goal achievement
  • Three 30 minute sessions with one of the No Limits Life Coaches to support your development and actions.

All for $30

We’ll approach this not from just a “get it on your schedule and make it happen” perspective, also from an energetic and mindset perspective.  Sometimes you have to shed a few layers of disbelief before you can access the power that achieves goals.  This is for you if you:

  • Have ever really truly wanted to achieve a goal and been unable to, but can’t pinpoint why.
  • Know exactly what defeats you with respect to getting things done and are ready to overcome it – 2017 will be the year you own it!
  • Lose momentum after the first week of 2 of trying to adopt a new habit or push through to a new goal.
  • Are you are ready to break the cycle of doing what you have always done and getting the same results. You are ready to do something different and get different results.

Love yourself enough to invest in what you truly want in 2017.

Seriously, just $30 and we will create a space for you to share your goals, push past the real or perceive obstacles and create actions you will take before our next meeting the next month.

I have personally benefited from similar groups in progressing toward living the life I want to live. A few of the benefits I received:

  • Confidence I wasn’t alone.
  • Accountability to getting things done and support when I struggled.
  • Perspective and ideas I wouldn’t have found locked in a room alone trying to figure it out.
  • Insight and power to overcome what was holding me back.
  • Connections with people I didn’t know I needed and now rely on!

If this sounds like energy you could use to get you unstuck with your goals and move forward with creating your life’s path, then join me!

We’ll meet the third Monday of every month at 8pm CST via a dial in you’ll receive upon registration beginning January 16th, 2017. Then we will meet on February 20 and March 20 2017.
Again, this is limited to 12 people to make sure we have enough space to give you each the right amount of energy.

Jennifer Murphy is a coach, teacher, mentor and leader at No Limits Life where she partners with the closet creatives, aspiring adventurers, and repressed rebels to move beyond expected success to create the kind of fulfilling life they crave.  To learn more about Jennifer and her team visit www.nolimitslife.guru

 

The Zen of Now

“The Pure lotus growing in muddy water is a metaphor for enlightenment. The lotus arises from all its impediments.  It actually needs the impurity of the water for its nourishment.  In the same way, in our personal development, we can’t just work with what we like about ourselves.  We have to work with our muddy water.  We have to work with our problems and our hang ups because that’s where the action is.”  – Bernard Glassman, Instructions to the Cook

Lessons sometimes repeat themselves.  Ever felt like you are DONE learning something?  You might say something like, “I never want to feel that again! I know now!”  Or “wow, glad I learned that, never fool me again.” or perhaps in the area of personal growth you think, “well, I am certainly past that hang up”.

In the area of personal growth that we often have layers to sort through when seeking the growth we crave.  We might deal with the superficial stuff and feel like we can declare victory.  We overcame the fear, or resistance or pattern.  And then we are confronted again with it!  What the <insert your favorite expletive> is going on?!  I mean seriously, we thought we evolved past this right? We think ourselves beyond the muddy water referred to in the quote, when in reality, we need to keep using the muddy water to grow.

Depending on your personality type an life’s circumstances, you may react a few different ways: depression, competition or acceptance.

Depression:  when you get own on yourself, letting your inner bully take over.  You beat yourself up and have a hard time wanting to keep pressing forward in your growth.  This could be temporary or long term – it depends on you. Here you are not using the muddy water – you have become the muddy water, abandoning your lotus energy.

Competition: your inner warrior bursts forth and refuses to accept defeat.  You battle the idea that you have more to grow, or that you somehow didn’t get it all the first run through.  A bit of denial can show up with the warrior, an impatience to simply be victorious.  Here you are trying to be all things: the water, the mud, the lotus, the sun…forcing all of them to do what you want.

Acceptance: where the Zen of Now kicks in.  In this energy you can be exactly where you are.  You acknowledge the growth you have achieved and don’t discount it, but also see with clarity the exact place you find yourself in: you see what is, not what you wish or want.  With acceptance, you allow all to contribute as it needs to in order to thrive.

In the Zen of Now you can work with what you have, what you are and see where you are in the universe.  In the Now there is no past and no future, you are the culmination of what has happened, using it to always be in the Now.

You have heard the stories and seen the action of fighters – they find their physical center and operate from there.  The physical power comes when they are most centered. any speaking of fighting from their center not just physically, but also spiritually and mentally.

I recently went through a prolonged period of low energy. I felt disconnected to things I was previously inspired by and I found myself continuing to reach back, alternating between the warrior and the depression modes of response to the lessons appearing.  It was super frustrating and I kept banging my head against a spiritual wall wondering what the heck I needed to do to shake it off.

Throughout this I kept being drawn to the concept of Zen.  Zen is simply Zen.  It is the current reality, just as it is.  I kept finding myself drawn to simply being: to enjoy the moment, to be where I was, to not fight what was happening, but to immerse in it.  I resisted on many an occasion.  I wanted things to be different.  I kept ignoring my in the moment intuition and then found myself regretting missed opportunities.

I found this sense of resistance shifting on my travels in July.  Our plans changed, they shifted around, we encountered delays and obstacles, things didn’t go as we have envisioned it.  But I found myself relaxing into the current reality and resisting it less and less as the month went on.

It had been easier to shift my energies away from home – the physical difference allowed me to see with more clarity what was happening with me and just be.  We followed our desires, allowed the  moments to happen, we didn’t plan much – even going so far as to book hotels on the fly as we traveled through Colorado.

I came back from our travels much more open and a couple of weeks later I really felt that sense of oppression lift.  Being able to find clarity sometimes requires us to step away physically in order to bring the mind back to the present – like a spiritual slap in the face.

I love to read and a few books showed up during this time you may enjoy experiencing as well.

The first is a short book of quotes, readings and stories, only 188 pages divided into 8 sections.  A good “flip to a page and get inspiration” kind of book I have found myself referring to it daily since it showed up in my life.  “The Wisdom of Zen” from One World of Wisdom is a great addition to your reading list.

The second is a book from Thich Nhat Hanh called “The Miracle of Mindfulness”  It’s focus is on the practice of meditation and truly focusing on where you are.  140 pages of wisdom, direction and ideas for focusing on your daily moments.

Wherever you are, be there right now.