The Interview by Don Marlette

What would the conversation consist of if the you you want to be interviewed the you were were or are right now?

I am a HUGE advocate for making choices and never looking back.  Much like driving down the road, the minute we start to look into the past, we often start to drive in circles and eventually crash.  My motto has become that of the 19th-century monk, Boniface Wimmer:  “Forward, forward.  Always forward!”

 I also believe that where you are now is always at the perfect time.  Every choice, decision and consequence we experience in life create a blend of experiences and attitudes, with their share of challenges to make us perfectly suitable to life at the present moment.  Even the work we feel an inner pull to follow in later life only makes sense with the bumps and bruises of our earlier self.

 With all that said, I am going to look back at my younger self, and pose some questions – complete with their answers from the less-experienced me.  What would it be like for me to coach my younger self?

 My history is rather involved, so here is a quick description to get you up to speed.  I became Catholic in high school, went off to college seminary then joined a monastery for four years.  I was sent to complete my Master’s degree, and then I left monastic life just before ordination.  After leaving the monastery, I chose to work as a full-time parish worship and music director.  At the time of this interview, I’m doing very well.  I’m well-known as a musician and composer, making a high salary, and I’m quite successful.

 May this interview be a teachable moment for me…and for you.

–Start Interview–

New Self:  Are you happy?

 Old Self:  Honestly, no way.  I dread coming into work each day.  This work has become an albatross on my back for years, stemming from when I started doing it.  You know, I really didn’t want to do this work to begin with, even though I’m becoming well-known for being good at it!  I just needed a job when I left the monastery, and this seemed like a good fit for what I could do.

I’ve felt nothing but frustration, even anger.  I don’t fit.  I don’t feel supported.  Everyone loves what I’m doing, but I hate it.  I get migraines before every rehearsal, and I rejoice on  the days when I’m sick and can’t come to work!  Quite frankly, I feel very disillusioned in all this, and I want out in the worst way.  The problem is that I feel trapped.  I don’t know what else I could possibly do. So I guess I’ll just keep plugging away, put up with the personalities and politics, and look forward to finally retiring.

 New:  It sounds like things aren’t what everyone thinks they are.  Truthfully, I can feel the frustration in your voice, the choices of your words, and even your hunched body posture.  You honestly don’t seem happy, so it’s good that you can be honest about that.

 You also sound like you’ve condemned yourself to this work out of a sense of entrapment.  You say there isn’t another way out of this.  That you are going to just put up with everything until you retire.  But from my end, I think when you retire, you are going to be one bitter old man!  You’re already there, in case you haven’t noticed.  You do know you’re going to die one day?  Is this how you want to be then?

 Old:  No way!  I’ve thought about that a couple of times.  I know that if I keep doing what I’m doing, I’m going to just get worse and worse, and I’m going to end up at my deathbed, wishing I had done something different.

 New:  Like what?

 Old:  I have no idea!  I just want to do something that gives me joy, that makes me happy, that helps me to spread that happiness to everyone else.  I guess I could entertain people, but that’s a hard life.  And it’s too late for me to go back for another degree and start over, though.  I’m married with two children already, so I can’t make time to do all that.  I can’t afford it.  That’s why I feel so trapped.

 New:  What do you like to do, though?

 Old:  I like to entertain people, like I said.  Of course, I also like to talk with people one on one.  I always liked doing that.  I guess I could say that I really like to help people.  That’s all I do here at the parish office: help the staff people with their own problems and stresses.  I usually know what’s on the mind and heart before they say anything, so it’s easier for me to get to the bottom of things.  They like it, and I feel so much more alive – really alive! – afterwards.  But, like I said, I can’t get another degree so I could do that for a living. 

New:  I noticed how you perked up just now.  Did you?  What’s holding you back from doing it – from helping people for a living?

 Old:  I told you already!  I don’t have the time or money to get another degree.  That’s why I’m still doing this job.  I can do it, and it pulls in the money.  True, I never see my family since I work seven days a week – even on vacation!  But that’s the sacrifice I have to make.  I don’t like it, but it’s all I can do.

 New:  Do you really believe that you can’t break out of this?  I don’t think it’s true.  You’ve got some talents you haven’t owned yet, like….

 Old:  Just stop there.  Those “talents” you’re talking about are wrong around here anyway.  No one will ever accept them.  It’s fine to entertain people with, but that’s it.  It doesn’t feed a family.  I can’t do that.

New:  So you’re just going to stay stuck…by choice?

Old:  I just don’t see any other way.  I’m stuck.  Period.

–End Interview–

 I would love to end this interview on a positive note, but it doesn’t.  I chose at the time to remain stuck, to refuse to think outside the box, to live a life of real misery.

 Living my dreams was not an option.  All that changed later, after a lot more suffering, anxiety and intense frustration.  I waited.

What about you?

Don Marlette 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 http://www.nolimitslife.guru

Why Permission is Important

The other day I said, “you have to give yourself permission to do that” and my client looked at me and said, “why is that so important?

Yes, it is a “coachism”, but it is also an important energetic step toward change in many cases. Yet when my client challenged me, I found myself digging deeper for the real answer instead of the safe answer to her question.

It led me to my own journaling on the idea so that I could get really clear on why I tell people to do this, instead of just tossing that out there as a spiritual platitude or to sound like a sage (gag!).

What I came up with was both stabilizing and fresh for me:

  • Permission is important because it opens you up to possibility
  • Permission is important because you are conscious when you GIVE permission – think of it as a permission slip you would sign for a childs’ field trip – this one for a journey of your conscious mind and spirit.
  • Permission is important because of the explicit NO it gives to things you don’t want. By saying yes to something you fill the void waiting – when you implicitly make decisions the void simply gets filled by whatever passes by.
  • Permission is important because by God it is yours to give. No one else gets to say yes or no for you – it’s yours to give: your decision, your right, your choice.

Let’s look at the flip side for a second: Have you ever thought about not being specific and where that gets you?  Not usually where you want to be right?  When you can’t invest in the work to make the small decisions, how on earth would you expect to get to the clarity the big ones need.

Giving yourself permission to explore specific and non-specific ideas, to do or not do something, it is FIRM.  It is unyielding and it is decisive – taking a stance and holding it.  You have drawn the line in the sand with whatever you have given permission to.  It is courageous and will absolutely provide you enhanced clarity in the next step of whatever you are doing.

So yes, you can write this phrase off as something we coaches and spiritualists toss out as woowoo platitudinal mumbo jumbo that is designed purely to assuage your guilt and “move you past” something.  Or you can get serious about intention, about possibility and about what you allow or don’t allow in your life.

Spiritual Platitudes are the band-aids on the sucking chest wounds of our self-inflicted spiritual trauma – they do no good and usually just pile on to the problem.  Permission – intentional decision making – is about proactively engaging in your life, your energetic commitments and your role here in this lifetime.

Grant yourself permission to be courageous and commit to intentional decision making – what do you need to give yourself permission for right now? 

Love? Space? Time? Relationships? Inquiry? Possibility? Money? Health?  the list can go on and on.

Then you want to say something like this:

Today I give myself permission for abundance – to allow in the wealth and security I know I am capable of and to give myself permission to let go of feelings of lack and insecurity. I give myself permission to give no quarter to lack. 

It’s a decision, not a platitude. It’s a position of strength, not weakness.  And permission is yours to dole out to you – go for it.

 

Jennifer Murphy is a coach, teacher, mentor and leader at No Limits Life where she partners with 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

 

 

Get a Clue! 3 ways to gain insight to your “More”

You want more out of life?

What is that more?

Don’t know?

Guess what? You are not alone.

Of all the reasons people seek my services, this vies for first place with those seeking business advice and services.

I partner with people to define the “more” they are seeking

and create the path make it real.

Let me demystify this a little for you; because it isn’t as hard as you might think, or as hard as you can make it.  Trust me, I know how to make things super hard.  I am good at complicating things.  If there were a kingdom called “making shite hard when it doesn’t have to be” I’d be The Queen.

Bumps and bruises earned along the way have served to convert me to the strong advocate for simplicity I am today.  Life doesn’t have to be so blessedly hard, answering the big questions need not require you to jump through a shed load of hoops and twirls.

Here are 5 ways to push through your own constructs of “can’t figure out my more” to “oh….there are some clues!”

  1. Levels of Fulfillment. Think about your life.  When do you feel most fulfilled?  Is it when you are helping someone?  What aspect of that in particular?

Example:  I found myself most fulfilled when I got to have conversations with people that resulted in specific action for them to take to better whatever dilemma they found themselves in.   Empty gripe sessions were not fun for me, they left me drained.  I didn’t want to just listen.  And I didn’t want to let anyone go without an action to take to move forward with whatever they were struggling with.

Think of your life and get specific – when, where, how do you feel most fulfilled?

  1. What did you want to do when you were 5? Or 10? Or 15? Clues can reside in our childhood. What called us when we were younger and less jaded by “expectation” or “reality” or limiting beliefs? What did we want before the programming consumed us?

Example: At age 8 my son wants to be “an Army, a soccer player and a police”  His energy is craving the variety, the not being confined, the being active energy that these roles represent to him.  He also has a strong sense of justice and team behavior.  As he ages, the “what” this manifests into may change, but I can see the energies remaining and maturing into what he does with his life.

Go back to those childhood dreams – what energies were you connecting to?

  1. I wish I could…statements. Create a series of “I wish I could….” Then fill in the blanks. You don’t HAVE TO do them, but if you let your imagination and your inner guru guide you in these, you may find that you surprise yourself.

Example:

I wish I could write a book.

I wish I could work out every day.

I wish I could connect people with their purpose.

I wish I could get people to see how to just be who they want to be.

And so on.

Create an entry in your journal, set a timer for at least 5 minutes and create a series of I wish I could statements.  Be open to what flows out, no judging, just writing!  

Those three are decent ways to get started on shaking out some clues to your “what is my more?” answers. To go further, claim your free Confusion to Clarity Strategy Session with me and let’s explore more ways to discover your more.

Jennifer Murphy is a life coach, glass artist, creator of The Art of Living Dangerously.  Learn more at http://www.nolimitslife.guru

Who Feeds First in Your World?

I woke up tired.  I was not excited to greet the day, the tasks before me fell flat without glitter or shine or attraction.

I knew immediately something was off and it took me about 2 seconds to figure out I needed to find some time to feed myself.

One of The 13 Principles of The Art of Living Dangerously is to Feed Yourself First.  I live by these principles based on hard won experience in creating the life I Love.

To feed yourself first means that you fill your physical, mental and energetic reservoirs so that you have what you need to meet your obligations and give to others when called upon.  When you are running on empty, what do you have to give others?  You have empty, you have nothing.

Yet, again and again we find ourselves saying yes when resent it, or at the very least dread it.  We commit, then overcommit to activities, obligations and money. We live beyond the capacity of our bank accounts, hours in the day and energy.  Some perverse logic tells us that the busier we are, the better we are. Or the more “stuff” we have the more important we are.

Bogus.

It is bogus thinking.  It is damaged thinking, bred from the battle lines of social media, the expectations of “everyone” and our belief that someone else’s opinion of us is more important than our own sense of authenticity, health and happiness.  So yeah, I call BOGUS on the idea that more is better and instead argue that when you feed yourself first, you can decide better when you have had enough.  When you let people force feed you or rip “food” from your hand, you are not empowered. You have given away your power.

It’s time to take it back and feed yourself, own your actions and decide what is right for you.

That was my conclusion when I woke that day, tired, grumpy and out of sorts. That night I had a session with a fellow practitioner and confessed my state of mind and realization that I was over committing, taking on things that I didn’t need to and inviting illness if I kept on.  I shared the example that earlier that day, in a part time job I hold, I agreed to work extra hours in a month that I sure as heck won’t have time to offer…as a knee jerk response.

When I committed to this path of mine, I had spiritual surgery to remove the spring in my ass popping me up to volunteer for everything in sight. As I heard myself saying yes to my boss, I wondered if it had somehow grown back in the night without my knowing.

I asked for my colleagues help in, once more, removing it and stepping back into my on philosophy that said I deserve to be taken care of at least as well as I care for others.

So this morning, I spent curled up with a magazine, a good cup of coffee and simply enjoyed for a while.  I ignored the pile of work, I ignored the emails, I ignored the “should” popping up and then ignored the initial extreme discomfort that ensued when I sat down.

As I turned pages, sipped at the brew and breathed deep into my soul, I felt stress and strain slip away, I felt my internal power system coming back online. It felt AMAZING!

When was the last time you fed yourself?

If it has been a while, here are a few things to consider:

  1. It won’t be convenient. Pick a time and do it.  It won’t fit nicely, you will have to say no to something else.  Remember that no is a complete sentence. Practice: No.
  2. This is for you to refuel and recharge. You’d advise a good friend if they were in a similar state right?? Treat yourself at least as well as you’d treat that friend.
  3. Keep it simple. You don’t need anyone else to take time for you. Yeah, a massage or a mani/pedi would be cool, but just go for a walk sans cell phone or partner. Grab coffee and a good book or mag. Do what you want to do, but would “normally” feel guilty indulging in. (Note: Guilt is not an emotion to let be normal.)
  4. Screw the guilt. Seriously.  Who told you that you couldn’t?  Who told you not to?  Who told you that you don’t deserve it?  I call BOGUS again.  Guilt is useless in this exercise.  Be stronger, push past that lie you tell yourself and let guilt be replaced by satisfaction and energy.
  5. Enjoy it. Take a deep breath and enjoy.
Why is this important?

Doing this will bring your energies to bear on what you want, instead of what you feel you “should” want.

  • What you want is to meet and dominate your calling, purpose, path, or whatever you want to call it.
  • What you “should” want is what you think others want you to pursue.

I’d love to hear how you feed yourself. What is the activity you deny yourself most often, that you wish you had more time for and feel guilty for wanting it?

Be honest…