Tag Archive | purpose

You can, You must, You will!


si_photoThis week on FB I saw a great little video of Maria Shriver describing what she received from her mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver (yes, of the US Presidential Kennedys).  She was talking about the great work her mother did to bring children with disabilities into their home and how the work eventually led to the beginning of the Special Olympics. The picture on the right is Eunice cheering on “her kids” as they competed and played. I never knew the origins of the Special Olympics and I was impressed to hear of the story. Maria went on to talk about something her mother used to tell her all that time that has stuck with her and encouraged her.

“You can, you must, you will! Now go do it!”

                                                        ~ Eunice Kennedy Shriver

I was struck but the simplicity of the encouragement and even the enthusiasm of the “command”. That line was a gift to Maria that she never forgets. And now, it is a line that I shall not forget.

You see, I am in the middle of an awakening of a vision for work that I have been called to do in the world. The vision was given, without direction, about 15 years ago. The seed was planted and I knew it then, but had no idea yet what the vision really meant. Since then I’ve had confirmations and nudging  dreams which have kept the vision alive, but quiet in my mind. And now, last week I had another vision – one that has urging and purpose and a picture. One that I can now wrap my head around. It’s too early to tell the world about it, but it has already begun to urge me to action. In a flash, a prayer was answered. In a moment, a purpose was set, and consequently a passion has been lit in my heart. In the days since, my mind has played the doubting game as to my ability to bring my vision to life. But I will not listen to my doubting mind. I will follow my heart to create my vision. It is the passionate heart that has created all good and wonderful things in this world. And that is why Eunice’s words struck me.

Barb & Mom pic

As we go into this weekend of celebrating Mother’s Day here in the US, I think of my mother the way Maria thinks of hers – with love and a positive gratefulness. I am thankful for so many things about my Mom. I am thankful that she had an open heart for a little raggedy girl in the orphanage. I am thankful that she persevered through the emotional baggage that came hand-in-hand with adopting me and that she was strong enough to raise me with love and integrity of her upbringing. I am thankful that she has given me the gift of believing that I can be and do whatever I put my mind to.

I am also thankful that I have been blessed to be a mother. My kids, Tony & Maria, are the joy of my heart. They are embarking on their journeys of adulthood as they are both engaged. Soon they will broaden my joy with families of their own. I am mindful that my role as mother is changing from disciplinarian and teacher to one of friend, confidante, and encourager. I am blessed and thankful that they are healthy and happy and on their way.

As a side note, this year, I am thankful that I have forgiven and released my birth mother. For that reason alone I nod my head in her direction in spirit to acknowledge that the life lesson is learned and I am whole again.

And I acknowledge and appreciate Eunice Kennedy Shriver, for adding a little bit more inspiration into my heart. To prod me into the conviction that I can … I must … and I will!

If you are a mother – may you have a loving and blessed Mother’s Day on Sunday. For all others – remember your Mom! Appreciate the good. Release the rest. And be blessed!

Dream Lesson


I woke up in the middle of a dream and I knew the “lesson” was important. While the scene that was playing was not the relevant part, the topic was. It was about control. It was a lesson about the destruction that is created in the wake of people being controlled. And it was about the healing that happens when we begin to let go and allow the personality, wisdom, light, and purpose of another human being to begin to reveal itself.

We as a society need to start young. But the danger is that we sometimes mistake discipline for control. Discipline is not controlling what children do but rather showing them the boundaries and giving them consequences when they cross a boundary. Discipline is about teaching with love not about “punishing” in anger, although some consequences might include a punishment (i.e. losing a privilege).

But that is a little off track from my dream. The message in the dream is that control and domination always lead to rebellion. Whether it’s the rebellion of a child toward their parents as they grow older and feel controlled; or the rebellion of the masses when the leaders take control. It make take years as it festers in the hearts and imaginations of those repressed, but in the end the rebellion will come.

We sometimes forget this wisdom. As parents we sometimes don’t let loose the control until the child rebels, either verbally or in behavior. We see governments forget that until opposition arises with a coup. Companies forget that until a union goes on strike. Prisons forget that until the population riots. Control ultimately leads to chaos.

So, the vividness of my dream made the lesson crystal clear to me. It brought this already known wisdom to the forefront of my mind. I know not why but I do know that I need on a personal level, on a professional level, and on a social level to keep this awareness sharp. For in the end, we are not on this planet with the purpose of amassing control. We all have a different journey with different purposes and in order to fulfill those we need to slacken the reigns of control. Guidance, teaching, encouragement, resources, and help are all needed. But control is not.

What lessons are you dreaming about these days? Be blessed!

Purpose of Life


I was in a conversation today at work with an outside speaker who came to our women’s network event. She was there to speak about achieving peak performance and she had a lot of wonderful information to share. In that conversation we talked about people judging themselves and “beating themselves up.” There’s no upside to that behavior and we all recognize it. That conversation then led to declaring what we think life is about.

Here’s my take –  I believe there are 4 purposes to life:

1) Learn – We have endless opportunities to learn throughout our lives. Whether it is formal training and education or learning how to use our personal power to improve the world. This earthly experience is uniquely designed for us to learn.

2) Teach – When we learn and then turn and teach we pass on the gifts that we have received. That is a wonderful thing. But an even bigger benefit is that we help empower others to do the same. It’s a chain reaction that has the power to change the world.

3) Create – Being created in the image of God includes his power to create as well. As humans, this is what really separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom. We create possibilities with our minds, we create reality with our hands, we create life with our bodies, and we create connections with our words.

4) Love – Giving and receiving true and unconditional love puts us in touch with our divine spirit. It is the ultimate purpose in life. It is our supreme achievement.

What do you think is the purpose of life? Be blessed!

How do I do that?


You hear a lot these days about living with purpose, following your passion, and creating the life of your dreams. All wonderfully enlightened and lofty phrases. Maybe – but they are also very achievable. Usually though, I quickly hear those statements followed by outcries of “What does that mean?” or “How do I do that?” The pull between desire and lack of practical understanding is creating the struggle.

I don’t have “THE” answer but I can share what I’ve learned on my journey. Primarily, I’ve learned that living with purpose is all-encompassing. It’s not just the big achievements and life-changing things. It’s being purposeful about our attitude, our gratitude and our habits. Start there. And when it is about achievements, I have learned 3 simple, practical steps:

1) CHOOSE – I truly believe that what draws us, attracts us, or what we dream of are all messages from our unconscious mind about the path we should be walking. It makes sense really – I won’t gloriously create that which I don’t find alluring. I know some people find themselves paralyzed into inaction because they are waiting for God to direct them. Ummmm – I think our intuition and desires are that very direction. But that’s just me. So, that’s where I start … what do I feel tugging on my heart? There are some things that are consistent themes throughout my life (connecting with people). And there are others that suddenly appear with great appeal or urging (writing my books). Actually, it was a sudden urge that loosed creativity upon me in my late 20’s and it hasn’t subsided yet. Whenever I feel the tug, I examine it and ultimately, I choose it.
2) DISCOVER – This is the trickier part for me because I find that I am drawn to, and subsequently choose, things that I have no knowledge about or previous exposure to. It figures! And I find myself saying “What the heck do I do with this desire?” And my follow-up response is always the same – research. We are blessed to be in the age of connection and information. At our fingertips, day and night we can search for what, when, where, and how of just about anything. So if the spirit moves me at 3 am when I can’t sleep I can actually do something about it. If I ask enough friends, someone will know something or someone who can help me move to the next level of understanding. The discovery phase can take a while but it’s part of the fun, really. I feel lucky and blessed in this way.
3) ACT – Ah, now we get into the “dangerous” part of truly living with passion!  I have found this to get a little less scary as I practice it, but it’s still a process. You see, if I act, then people will know what I’m up to. Someone might judge me or my worthiness, ability, or skill. While discovery takes curiosity, action takes valor. I’ve had to muster up the courage to call an acquaintance that I didn’t know well, or the friend of a friend of a friend, or email someone I found on the web. None of it was comfortable but all of it was in line with my choice. If I was going to be able to move forward, I had to connect.

That’s it. Nothing spectacularly secretive about my 3 steps or my methods. It doesn’t require me to buy a book, take a class, or learn at the feet of a master. But these steps have worked for me. Do I do everything with passion – no, certainly not. Do I live with purpose, yes, I do. Am I creating the life of my dreams and following my passions – indeed. And I am, in this middle stage of life, finding that the more I follow this path, the more I am surrounded by others who are in support of me. As my friend Martha often says, “The universe cooperates with a made-up mind.” And so it does. I am more grounded, comfortable in my skin, and more motivated to do even more.

If you are struggling with your desire to move forward in life with purpose, passion, or to create your desired life, I invite you to choose, discover, and act as well. And be blessed!

Reflection


It isn’t often that we find ourselves in a place of true reflection. A time of looking thoughtfully at the truths of our life. The times you did it right and those you regret to call your own. But those are the times that actually shift a life from being a routine and ordinary ticking of minutes and hours into a thoughtful and deliberate choice of change.

Most days are filled with stuff – time to take care of the job, the spouse, the kids, the animals, the bills and obligations. We float into year after year of the sameness because we didn’t stop to examine the moments of shift and opportunity. Did we even notice?

I believe that we are all coming upon a time when we cannot afford the daily drudge. It will catch up to us and we will find ourselves facing the solitary, reflective moments out of necessity, if we had not already done it by choice.

Perhaps today is the best day to slow down. Slow your breath and your steps. Sit quietly or lay still and see the movie of your life float past you. But this time notice which paths you chose and which you didn’t. Examine the cause and effects of those decisions that brought you joy and those that left you agonizing over the error of your ways.

I say these things only because I observe my own reluctance to stop and peer into the progression of my life. It’s as if the knowing will make me choose something different. Not the entire scope of my choices but some which no longer serve me. And that feels uncomfortable. Have I kept my promises to myself? Have I lived to my potential? Have I been meaningful and relevant? Have I been kind and loving? Have I been authentic?

I send you an invitation only. To take a purposeful few moments to be still. To be deliberate. To be choiceful and to amend the things that you no longer choose. Cling to those that still resonate with your spirit and know that in loving yourself enough to do this, you create a shift known only to you perhaps, but one that realigns your nature and your soul.

You weren’t an accident


“You weren’t an accident. You weren’t mass produced. You aren’t an assembly line product. You were deliberately planned, specifically gifted, and lovingly positioned on the earth by the Master Craftsman.” ~ Max Lucado

I FOUND MY THREAD!


I have always been curious about my purpose in life.  I’m sure you have too.  But sometimes I got overwhelmed with the daily routines, the small and large hurts in life, and even the celebrations.  I got into ruts and habits that swept away my days and nights.  I made no progress on my quest to know just who I am and why on earth that I’m on the earth.

Now that my life is much quieter, what with being an empty nester, I have time to ponder this.  That’s the typical ebb and flow of life I guess.  That’s what the quiet times of “middle age” affords us.

So, I’ve been pondering.  Nope, I haven’t found the grand answer of all answers but I have found some clues.  When I look back over my life from youth through parenthood I can see my “threads.” I can see what caused me to lose my “voice” and follow someone else.  I can see the times when I was distracted by the shiny object off in the distance.  Sometimes it was the glitter of hope and sometimes just a piece of glass that was meaningless.  I can see the bright spots where my faith and passion shined through and I was carried away with excitement and purpose.

For me, there’s always been an element of messenger to those bright spots.  I may not have been the hero but I could tell the story of the hero.  I may not have been the savior but I could teach about the Savior.  I may not have been the star but I can point the way to the star.  There is peace in this – knowing what my place is.  So – I can now breath and know my gift (at least it’s one of the major ones).

What is your gift?  What’s that thing you do that excites you and centers you all at the same time?  Do you know?  Is your life quiet enough for you to explore?  Just wondering ….

Remember Who You Are


Do you ever sometimes forget who you are? Not your name. Not your family. But your faith – do you forget that you are chosen because God created you and He loves you? Sometimes I think it is so easy to forget just who we are.

I think about this as I approach problems and questions. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in seeing the problem that I forget the next step – looking for the solutions. If we always stay stuck in that space of identifying, naming, categorizing, analyzing, giving name to our problems it becomes bigger and stronger in our mind. Take for instance finances. I used to think so much about what the next bill is, when it’s due, how much or little I have in the bank to cover it, etc. I never actually moved passed the stage of being in awe of the size of the problem. I never actually remembered that who I am is a child of God. I have the protection of the Creator of the Universe behind me. I have the creative power that He rendered to me at birth, in His likeness. I just need to look for opportunities to use it!

Sometimes the solution is in renaming and reclaiming my power. Be it over destructive habits (in this example, spending or not saving). I sometimes forget that this life is about creating and about possibilities. The possibility to see things from a different angle. The possibility to count my blessings instead of my sorrows. Yes, it’s a lofty ideal if it’s just that – an ideal. But when I put it into practice – when I really and truly look for and count my blessings, big and small, it overwhelms me how truly loved I am. All problems seem to regain their proper perspective and new ideas and new solutions come into my consciousness. Not because the problem went away but because I remembered who I am and who my source is. There is nothing that can overcome me if I have my eyes, my heart, and my gratitude on the Lord.

So, friends – remember who you are and look for the grand possibilities that exist in this world to overcome.

Be blessed!
Barb

MIGHTY INSPIRATION, Love Letters from God


Today is a great day! My book, MIGHTY INSPIRATION, Love Letters from God is now published and released!

A year ago when I started to hear God’s words stir in my heart I never imagined that I could actually write a book or that the book would be published. I had heard and felt God in my life before and it always provided peace or challenge for me in the moment. But this was different! Way different! God’s words were so strong inside of me that I had to capture them in writing. He led me on a journey of self discovering and broadening my vision for my purpose on this earth. And he challenged me to help others find their purpose and their gifts for this world. We are all here to make choices – big and small choices that will move the world to a better place. God has a message for all of us. See what he said to me.

http://www.eloquentbooks.com/MightyInspirationLoveLettersFromGod.html

Peace and love to all!
Barb