Break Away From the Group

Yesterday I took my son to Maquoketa Caves State Park. It is what it sounds like: caves in a park. And it’s awesome.
 
While there we saw a lot of things I could write about which promote conformity and crush, absolutely crush freedom. I could be disheartened by a few of the things I saw, instead let’s reflect.
 
A daycare group was there at the same time. The canyon rang with not the sounds of nature, but the sounds of daycare providers wrangling their charges.
 
“Don’t climb on that”
“Stay on the path”
“be quiet” (what?)
“Not so fast”
 
and my favorite “You’ll get dirty, stop that.”
 
Strip away the safety concerns. I get those and as a mom whose kid has been in daycare, appreciate them.
 
Children + Park = so much experience to be had.
 
Yet time and again they were reigned in, curiosity squashed, interaction terminated and opportunity to immerse in what their bodies and souls were craving crushed.
 
Meanwhile, my same aged son is terrifying me with his daredevil perches on out-croppings. We engage fully with wet muddy shoes and body and sprints down trails to the next adventure.
 
We played hop rock in the creek at one point and came across a fawn serenely grazing 6 feet from us. We watched in wonder for about 20 minutes outlasting any group that joined us during that time.
 
Several times we found ourselves alone in a cave or on a trail simply being as we felt and tuned in to the amazing earth and water energy surrounding us.
 
I have no interest in curbing enthusiasm. I have zero energy for “stay in line” outside of a real safety concern.
 
What those kids experienced yesterday happens every day to all ages: the idea that you have to stay with the group and do what the group is doing and don’t dare to explore your own path – it’s dangerous and you may do something the rest of the group isn’t ready for.
 
But maybe you are ready to do something dangerous.
 
If it’s time to unleash your inner warrior and get dangerous,
I have something for you.
 
It’s the five week warrior club. Info session is Sunday at 5pm. I’ll share the 5 key tenets of freedom as I teach them and gift you a guide and video series as part of the webinar.
 
I’ll also tell you about the club and how it could impact you and your quest for freedom.
 
Don’t be those kids all grown up and your daycare provider simultaneously. Stop telling yourself to stay in line and stop allowing others to tell you that. Start being dangerous: be you.
 
Interested? register here: http://eepurl.com/cZbvZL
photo jun 20, 8 27 31 am

I am a certified personal and executive coach ruthlessly focused on helping people live awesome lives.  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.

My background is 10 years in the US Army as an officer, 10 years in Corporate America and then the last 6 running my own business. I have deployed twice in combat scenarios, worked with foreign governments and militaries and worked extensively in international business.  I have an undergraduate in Criminology, an MBA and certification in Positive Psychology. I have led organizations from 3-400 and love developing people and helping them create their next steps in life and work. 

I am founder of No Limits Life Empowerment Institute as well we a working glass artist, Reiki Master,  Partner in Shaman Grocer in Iowa City, and Co-founder of the Midwest Reiki Festival.    My favorite time is spent doing anything soccer related with my aspiring world cup soccer player, 10 year old Alexander.  I am also a pretty big fan of gaming (PS4) with my partner Craig while solving the world’s social problems. 

Monday vs. The Livable Life

A woman threw herself in front of my car a few weeks ago, on a Monday.  She was clearly having a worse day than most.  So before you complain about another Monday, another terrible Monday, consider for a moment others actually truly struggle with the concept of life itself. 

Yep, you may not like your job.  Your spouse or partner may be annoying you.  Maybe your kids even grumped at you this morning.  But the concept of life being unlivable isn’t your jam; right? 

Not wanting to live is a different kind of dread.  I felt it about 13 years ago.  It was a Friday night and I was with a group of people with a shared interest in being better humans.  As I surveyed the room, I was screaming inside for help and unable to voice it.  I can’t recall ever feeling more alone in a crowded room.

I left and didn’t know where to go or what to do.  I was new in town, had no actual friends and few acquaintances.  I had quit drinking about a little more than a year prior and was wondering if it was worth it.  Why not drown my loneliness and despair in a moderately priced case of wine?  As I searched for a bar/liquor store/anywhere selling intoxicating beverages, I couldn’t find one – odd right?  I debated steering my truck into a telephone pole, but wasn’t confident the Silverado would sustain enough damage to end it all.  I kept driving.  Not knowing how, I found myself steering into another sanctuary where 3 people spent the next 2 hours listening to me cry, to my sorrow and self pity and they gave me not just a shoulder to cry on, but hope that I could engage in life.  I didn’t have to give up on it.  Up until I connected with them, I was in the energy of an unlivable life.  I had been working my ass off to be a better me and was more miserable than ever.  Leaving there, I was ready to keep going.

I went home to my 4 bedroom house – empty except my 2 dogs.  I crashed onto my bed fully clothed and my labs snuggled on either side of me.  Hours later I woke with the lights still blazing, the dogs watching me and a feeling of relief.  I had chosen life.

I have tough days.  I have days I wonder what on earth I am doing, why I should keep following this path and doubt spirit’s plan for me.  But I have never since wondered if life was livable.  I have never since felt the need to end it all.

Watching a young woman throw herself in front of my car reminded me of what felt like another person’s pain; as if from another life time.  She had half a dozen people around her corralling her back into where she needed to be, talking to her.  One grabbed her arm as she threw herself forward toward my car and pulled her back.  She had support – she simply needed to place herself in their care.

Sometimes we feel alone; we aren’t.  I am about to meet with my new coach for the first time.  A long time colleague, it is not a strangers meeting.  But it is a turning point for me.  I am not one to ask for help easily.  It takes a special effort to acknowledge the voice within demanding it.  But I have learned life is more than livable, it is limitless and to move to the next level, I need all the support I can find.

There are two morals to this story:

  1. Life is livable – your choice. 
  2. You are only as alone as you want to be.

Consider this the next time you find yourself complaining about a Monday or some other part of life that is livable if you adjust your attitude, choose a new energy and invite the right energies in to your life to play.

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

That Funny Feeling of Change…Again

Bubbling under the surface is this nervous tension colliding with the sense of all is right with the world.  How can they both possibly be right?

I wonder this as I observe change happening for me, and for the first time in my life not being clear on what it is.

When I got sober back in 2003, I knew huge change was coming for me.  I was engaged, deployed to the Middle East with the US Army and convinced I’d never have any fun ever again if I didn’t drink.  I made a huge list of all the things I’d never be able to do again without alcohol as my companion.

I have done all of those things, left that engagement, survived emotionally and physically that deployment and though it all, I was aware of the shifts happening.

In 2010 I made my first connection with a life coach – my first official coach. I did it not only aware that change was happening, but very clear once more on the type of change I wanted: a different career.  What I got was a completely different life that I fall in love with all over again every single day.

In 2012-2013  I left my corporate job, opened my third business, started my only child in kindergarten, divorced from my husband, saw my brothers safe return to his wife and daughter from deployment to Iraq, sold multiple properties and completely changed my lifestyle.  I went from making 6 figures to 3 and felt wealthier than ever.

Since then small changes have occurred: I discovered a passion for glass art and began creating, I started teaching in a college certificate course and realized how much I love teaching, I assumed financial responsibility for my grandmother’s  affairs, rolled with business and personal financial ups and downs, sold a business, started another business, found a personal relationship that I value more than I ever thought possible and have a shared vision for the future that is so amazing I am stunned when daily action draws us closer to it.

So now, I stand on the unsteady grounds of change and have no idea what they are made of. After such clarity of direction in prior change phases I am wondering at the universe’s motives in keeping me in the dark.  What is lurking in those shadows as I walk forward?  It feels right, but with every step I wonder if the squishy floor will collapse and leave me floundering in chocolate pudding or horse shit.

Dealing with the uncertainty of this change requires faith.  “How do you get faith? How do you trust?” I have been asked over and over again.  Well, I am not sure how it will work for you, but this is what I have done:

Trust the ever loving shit out of an energy way fucking bigger than I am and way fucking bigger than I can conceive of.  It’s the shit, it is the grand master daddy mama of allllll things we are here to do and who am I to second guess it?

Let me elaborate on that a bit for those that need a more constructed process, here is what I have come to understand for me:

  1. I am a spiritual entity in physical creation – I believe that. I believe that I am connected to the spirit of the universe.
  2. The spirit of the universe is infinite, I am finite in physical form, the spirit of the universe has no physical form except me (and yes, you too!), and therefore I am connected to the infinite.
  3. I watch for the connections between my actions, my thoughts, my beliefs and the impacts on those around me. I see.
  4. I trust that infinite energy to be a lot smarter than me.
  5. I ask for the right thought or action and I take it when it arrives.

A little example:  When I was leaving the military, I didn’t have a special connection to anywhere at the time.  I was single, two dogs and needed a place to connect.  I had interviews lined up in 4 different states.

On my first interview for my last location choice, I got so sick I couldn’t continue on with my interviews in the next 3 states.  I had opened up my energies and said “Okay universe, where do you want to send me? I’ll go where you need me.”  And it answered “Iowa”.  Trust me, I had doubts, a strong desire to fight the direction and find another way.  But I decided to have faith and go for it.

That was 13 years ago.

So here was are again, “ok universe, where do you want me to go?  What do you want me to do?”  I’ll trust and move forward on faith. 

What Is Your Visionary Type?

by Don Marlette DonMarlette(558x800)

The word “visionary” conjures up a number of images in my mind’s eye: the guru on the mountain top who attracts followers of all stripes, the leader with a mystical look in her eyes who cares more about practical change and less about what people think of her, the rebel who charges ahead, undaunted by opposition on every side – and these are but a few!

At some level, we are all visionaries.  Remember the first time that you thought about who you wanted to be when you grew up.  Recall the last time you could see yourself in a serious relationship with someone.  These are examples of many “visionary moments” we experience.  When we allow certain visionary moments to grow and develop into a consuming passion, we pass into the realm of the visionary lifestyle.

How that visionary lifestyle will look depends upon you.  I have found numerology to be a helpful tool to discover one’s “visionary type” or mode of visionary life.  Once you know your Visionary Type, you can discover your strengths and areas for growth, so that you can live a visionary lifestyle that is in harmony with your highest self.

To discover your own Visionary Type, simply write down the numerical month and day of your birth in the spaces below.  Then add them together, and keep adding the individual numbers together until you get a single number.  For example, if I were born on August 18, (which becomes 08-18), I would write:

0 + 8 + 1 + 8  =  17  and then…  1 + 7  = 8  = Visionary Type

Now it’s your turn:

__+___+___+___  = _____   and then…  ___+___  =  ___  =  Your Visionary Type

Now that you’ve found your Visionary Type number, match it to the corresponding description below to discover more about your type!

  1. The Reforming Visionary. Your idealism is key to living out your vision.  You have very high standards, and want to be a person of integrity in living them each day.  While maintaining a fierce loyalty to your vision, you may have problems with resentment and patience.  Stay in the moment and avoid becoming consumed by self-criticism or criticism of others.
  1. The Helping Visionary. Your ease of expressing your true feelings, unconditional love for others, and ability to connect with others will help you to bring your vision into reality. Living out your vision may be challenging at times, due to a tendency toward becoming sentimental and overly concerned with the opinions of others.  Become more emotionally aware and self-nurturing to more effectively make your vision a reality.
  1. The Results Visionary. Your ability to pull people into your circle of friends will take you far. You can be very driven toward success, and work very hard to be productive and effective in everything you do.  Watch out for workaholism and egotism, as you may easily tilt toward burnout or over-concern about your image.  Work on becoming more self-accepting and authentic in your relationship with yourself, as well in your relationships with others.  A balanced life will help you achieve your vision more effectively than overwork and “burning the midnight oil.”
  1. The Independent Visionary. Your independence stems from your desire to be more reserved and alone. Solitude is your greatest teacher, as well as the wellspring of your own dynamic creativity.  Be careful of falling into self-pity or personal drama; your life is actually better than you may perceive it right now.  Good social interactions will help you gain perspective.  Strive to become more objective and principled so that you can see your true progress in achieving your goals.  You are doing better than you think!
  1. The Cerebral Visionary. Your constant curiosity, alertness to information, and innovative approaches help you on your path. Your pioneering spirit helps you blaze new trails in making your vision a reality.  Because you are very much “in your head”, you may tend toward becoming more isolated and eccentric than you would like.  Develop greater self-confidence and decisiveness, so that you don’t become trapped into thinking you have to do everything.
  1. The Responsible Visionary. You don’t really see yourself as the visionary type! You want to be secure in what you do, so striking out into the unknown is more than a little scary.  However, you do have a rebellious streak in you, and that rebelliousness is the hatchery of your true visionary creativity.  Get in touch with that, and courageously champion that vision with all your might.  Yes, letting go of security can be frightening, but life will become much richer for you when you do.
  1. The Playful Visionary. Your playfulness, spontaneous and optimistic nature will give you the fuel to achieve your goals. Beware of becoming too impulsive and off-task, however.  Once you make a decision, strive to follow through to its completion.  Also, get in touch with your own inner pain, as it will help you to become more authentic and reach more people effectively.
  1. The Challenging Visionary. Your strong self-confidence helps you to forge ahead and get things done, especially in making your vision a reality. Although your assertiveness can help you accomplish great things, be mindful that you do not become intimidating or controlling.  Use your strengths to become more inspiring for others and improve their lives.
  1. The Self-Effacing Visionary. Yes, you want to have a peaceful life and not trouble the waters too much, and there is a way to achieve your goals without stepping on too many toes. Realize that confrontation and occasional conflict are part of the work of manifesting your dreams, and your natural peacefulness and calm will make these confrontations less dramatic than you may fear.  Work on becoming more self-developing and self-confident to bring out the best in yourself for the good of others.

Keep in mind these Visionary Types are not set in stone.  They are intended to help you see your own strengths, and how you can incorporate them in to your life.  Your own unique “stamp” on your Visionary Type is not only important, but necessary for you to articulate, plan and implement a vision and goals that are truly your own.

Have fun adding this to your personal toolbox for making your dreams a reality!

Don Marlette is a powerful intuitive who loves to help people learn to sing their heart song! You can learn more about Don and how to work directly with him, take a class with him or attend his live event on April 2 by clicking here