It is a quiet, rainy Saturday morning in Boston after a surreal week of explosions, lock downs and manhunts. In just a few short days, we have mourned the loss of innocence on what started as a celebratory day, grieved the senseless suffering of those killed and wounded in vicious violence and started taking steps to closure by capturing the perpetrators, so we can ask, “Why?”
Meanwhile, having spent a day alone in my home, (asked by authorities not to venture outside), I had time to wonder, “How can I protect myself and the people I love from this kind of pain and suffering in the future?”
Sadly, I cannot. And I also will not live in constant fear and anger. What kind of life would that be?
So what is the answer? How can we feel safe and happy when there is no guarantee against affliction, danger, illness, financial ruin, betrayal and unkindness?
I knew that I had found my truth when my answer resulted in a sense of overwhelming calm and safety: I can be a peaceful warrior in my own life. I can trust that whatever comes my way, (and something usually does) I can handle it. I will find the strength and the help I need to carry-on. I will do the best I can. Maybe it won’t be what I hoped for, but it will be enough.
To that end, it occurred to me that feeling capable was only the first step. If I want to increase the likelihood of triumph, I would have to prepare. Just like an athlete, a warrior must train to be battle-ready. So I developed a plan. I call it:
“WILL OF THE WARRIOR”
I will honor my physical body by eating well, resting, getting exercise and making good decisions about what I do with it and where I put it.
I will feel my emotions and release them. I will not necessarily act on every one, but will use them as information to help me understand what I want and what I need, seeking productive ways to communicate clearly and interact with others.
I will consider other’s needs as no more or no less important than my own when creating solutions to shared problems.
I will take responsibility for my own life and not try to run the lives of others, or to manipulate outcomes.
I will do my best to bring my best to every situation.
I will live honestly and with integrity.
I will keep my promises and not make promises that I know I can’t keep.
I will take responsibility and seek to make amends when I make a mistake or commit a wrong-doing.
I will treat myself and others with kindness and respect. I will do this even if they do not reciprocate, simply because that is how I want to be in the world.
I will focus on what I have, not what I don’t have. I will take time to be grateful every day for the love, the beauty and the freedom that is available to me in my life.
I will seek to clarify, understand, and avoid judging myself and others, and in so-doing, eliminate the habit of blaming, labeling or shaming myself and others.
I will seek to live in this moment and not dwell in the past, which is done, nor in the future, which is yet to come.
I will do my share to help others to learn the joy and challenge of taking care of themselves and managing their own lives.
I will take right action and give up my attachment to outcome.
I will do my best to cultivate love and kindness toward myself and others, and when I feel I cannot, I will ask myself, why not?
My fellow warriors, what will you do?
After years of feeling unable to find my yoga “voice”, I recently began deepening my yoga practice and teaching. I owe that to the inspiration of Matt Sanford, a paraplegic yogi who teaches yoga to able bodied and disabled people and yoga teachers. After attending a short workshop with him, I remembered that the power of yoga lies in deepening our awareness of the connection between our bodies and our minds, not in creating perfect poses, or in caloric reduction – (although both of those things may also occur as a result of rigorous practice).
My brief time with Matt helped me to touch the impact yoga made on me when I first began practicing. I was a young married mother, working in corporate America, who began to find a connection to myself through my practice – not even being aware that I had become disconnected!
This is not uncommon for people who have experienced repetitive physical or emotional trauma in their lives. And lets face it, there are way more of us who have experienced trauma than those who haven’t. Consider caregivers and first-responders! They see trauma daily.
And here’s what I find most interesting: according to trauma research, trauma ”lives” in our bodies on a cellular level, such that certain sounds, movements, smells, sights, any number of things can act as “triggers” causing us to feel as though we are re-experiencing the event that caused our trauma. A physical practice, like yoga or martial arts can help release the trauma on a somatic level. (You can read articles about trauma research at http://www.traumacenter.org/products/publications.php )
As human beings, we unconsciously try to protect ourselves from traumatic pain by creating a separation between our mind and our body. We literally cut off the connection; we “dissociate”. For example, I sometimes work with coaching clients who claim they cannot feel or cannot identify sensation in their bodies.
This is a handy device in some ways, and unfortunate in others. When we disconnect ourselves from our somatic pain, we sometimes also disconnect ourselves from our joy – and a ton of other useful information that our bodies can provide to us.
Apparently, I unknowingly, employed this protective behavior. There were times in my youth that I woke up on a Saturday morning and had no idea of what I wanted to do, or why. The good news is that after I started yoga in the early 90’s, I reestablished a relationship with my body. I didn’t even realize the transformation in myself. Looking back now at 15 years of practice, yoga has so integrated me with myself that I nearly always feel centered. Most of the time, I can perceive what I want and what I need with ease, even under stress.
Yoga reeducated me that my body and my mind need to take care of each other – and helped me to learn how to do this. In this way, I have developed a loving, caring friendship with myself.
In short, I feel at home in my body. I can relax there. I no longer discern who is master and who is servant. Mind and body have become partners, cuing each other as to what the other needs and wants. And I am grateful and joyous to return daily to my mat to calm my mind and to reaffirm its partnership with my body.
During a recent spin class, my instructor seemed vaguely familiar - but if this was who I thought it was, he appeared transformed. This instructor’s hair was darker and bushier; he was a bit beefier and a little easier going than I remembered. As I pondered the resemblance, the instructor shouted, “Dig! Dig! - Dig!” This sealed the deal. This had to be Doug – how many spin instructors actually use that expression in exactly that tone of voice?
After class, I decided to say hi and confess to Doug that I barely recognized him. He told me that he wasn’t surprised; he had gained quite a bit of weight because he had been very ill with a rare autoimmune disease that attacked his brain. After a year, he was still undergoing chemotherapy. He said he was glad to be alive and then added, “Yoga saved my life.”
“Say more,” I asked, feeling my “yogi” curiosity kick in.
Apparently, Doug had been practicing yoga several times a week for many years. One day, he noticed that his balance had been progressively (and inexplicably) getting worse for a while. This alarmed him, so he decided to go to the doctor.
“I think there’s something wrong with my brain. My balance is off, and I seem to be losing my short term memory,” Doug explained to his highly regarded physician. Sadly, the doctor dismissed Doug’s concerns and suggested that Doug might have the flu. “Give it another week,” he told him.
But Doug knew himself better than that. Years of yoga indicated to him that something was very different and very wrong about how he was moving through space – and he didn’t notice any flu-like symptoms. So he decided to seek the advice of a second doctor, who also dismissed his reported symptoms as probably something minor. Finally, another week or so later, a concerned family member made a call to a physician friend who agreed to give Doug an MRI.
Hours later, Doug found himself in intensive care, with several intravenous needles inserted in his arm. He had an autoimmune disease that had attacked his brain. Large black areas appeared in his brain scan. Not only was his ability to function at stake, but also his life. The doctor advised him that he had no time to lose in getting treatment.
Obviously, Doug survived. After a year of difficult convalescence, including learning to walk again and adjusting to a major hearing loss, Doug is back to work and teaching spin classes. He credits his self-awareness and his yoga practice with saving his life.
While yoga was the tip off, Doug also had the confidence to trust his self-knowledge and to persist in his beliefs, regardless of what the “experts” told him. As a result, he is one of just a few hundred survivors of this rare disease.
Doug’s story resonated with me. How many times have I dismissed my inner voice, when I hear it telling me something is wrong? Call it a gut feeling, a hunch, or an instinct, but the implication seems the same. It’s important to pay attention and to honor your hunches. Check them out. Be mindful of your body. Notice the specifics of how you feel when you are well. Notice how it feels when you are tired, or when you eat and drink different foods. Pay attention to how your chest and stomach feel when you meet someone you like, versus where and how your body feels when you are in a challenging situation. Notice when long-term patterns change. These are clues, and clues provide important information.
Time and time again, I find that our bodies will tell us what our conscious minds cannot discern. All we need to do is listen (somatically), and learn to interpret and to honor the signals we receive.
Know yourself; know your body. Trust that knowledge. It might just save your life.
It’s taken me 40 years to figure this out, so listen up! The secret to happiness and success is to be willing to ask yourself lots of honest questions about how you feel and what you need and then to listen to your answers with curiosity, not judgment (like blaming or beating yourself - or others, up). Once you know what you need, you can take responsibility for meeting those needs – and in so doing, you have the opportunity to create more happiness and success in your life.
This takes some practice, and may seem unusual, but consider that we all have feelings and needs as part of our human condition. Notice that when you have unmet needs, you often experience less comfortable, or more “negative” emotions. (E.g. I’m cold and I have no access to warm clothing) On the other hand, when our needs do get met, we tend to experience more of what we consider ”positive” emotions. (E.g. I need more money and I just got a raise.) That means that our feelings can give us important information about what we need to be happier - and once we know that, we can strategize how to best meet them.
Here’s an example. Let’s say your boss tends to get very involved in your projects. You might label that behavior as “micromanaging”. More importantly, you feel frustrated by the way he works with you because your desire for effectiveness feels hampered and you notice you would like more freedom and fluidity in how you get your work done. You wish the boss would trust you. At the same time, you like the company and you enjoy the security of a regular paycheck. You may also be uncomfortable with finding the time to look for a new job.
So you are clear on what you feel and what you want. How can that information help you to strategize some creative solutions? Notice you also have a guess at what your boss is feeling and needing. Hmmm. Your needs and his don’t seem to match. Perhaps your solution set could include meeting some of his needs - thereby increasing the likelihood of your plan’s acceptance and success. For example, could you suggest creating an information flow (like a weekly status report or call) that meets his needs and at the same time also creates increased freedom for you?
On the other hand, what if you and your boss cant work it out? Sadly, not all of our needs will be met by other people and we can’t control the way others behave. What you can control is what you do, and now, you get to choose what is best for you. Is your need for freedom so great that you cannot feel relaxed in your current job, or is your desire for a regular paycheck and your enjoyment of the company more important to you? Depending on your honest answer, you may decide to leave, or to stay. If you hate the situation and decide to stay anyway, will it increase your happiness and success? Ask yourself, is your boss responsible for creating your best life, or are you?
This is just an example of the many ways honest questioning can work to your benefit. As long as you stick to feelings and needs and avoid beating yourself up, this approach can be very empowering, For me, exploring feelings and needs, and understanding the choices I make have led me to greater happiness. While it isn’t always been easy, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Success is not an accident. In a survey of thousands of successful people, the top 10 percent most successful said that they thought about their dream all the time, and took steps daily to make it happen. After all, can you get somewhere if you don’t know where you’re going? Having a clear vision and clear goals is essential to your journey.
Take a moment and think about something you’ve accomplished in your life that makes you feel good and proud.
How did you make it happen?
My guess is that for most of you, it started with an intention or an idea. Chances are, you accomplished your goal because you knew what you wanted, and why you wanted it. Whatever it was, whether it was losing weight, writing a book, or starting a business, it probably started with a desire and the motivation to achieve your dream, your vision.
So what dream have you yet to realize? In an article by author Bronnie Ware, a nurse who worked with patients during the last three to twelve weeks of their lives, she documented what those patients regretted. The most common regret she heard was, “I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”
Isn’t that interesting? She found that when people neared the end of life, it was easy for them to see how many of their dreams had gone unfulfilled.
What a shame! But not a surprise.
Many things can hold us back from pursuing our dreams. In my coaching practice, I encounter all kinds of dreamers: those who have given up on their dreams, those who can’t remember what their dreams are, and those who can’t get motivated or get past the fear that they won’t be able to make their dreams come true.
So while there can be many issues, the very first step in fulfillment is clear vision. Mark Twain summed it up when he said, “I can teach anybody how to get what they want out of life. The problem is that I can't find anybody who can tell me …what they want.”
I suggest you take the very first step on the path toward living your best life by getting clear on what you truly want. When your dreams come from your heart, and not from your head, your motivation provides fuel that will help you to see your dreams through to completion. When your heart is in the game, you will find a way to prevail.
If you struggle with this first step, here’s a fun exercise to get you started back on track. Can you complete the following statements?
1) If I didn’t care what people thought I would _____________.
2) If I were sure that I’d succeed, I would ______________.
3) If I weren’t worried about the future, I would ____________________.
4) The thing that has to change now is _________________________.
These four statements may begin to give you a clue of what’s really important to you. If you find these statements difficult to answer, maybe you’ve lost touch with your dreams. In that case, start paying attention. Notice what things get you excited about life; if you can’t find anything, start looking back into your past. When was there a time that you felt inspired and excited? What were you doing? Excitement that you felt in the past can give you some great insight into what you might want to do next to get dreaming again.
Knowing your heart’s desire is only a first step, but it is a critical one. If you struggle with any part of this work, think about getting some additional support. There is a free worksheet you can download off this site called Smart Resolution Success that gives you more guidance. I also offer a complimentary 30-minute coaching consultation to get you started on your way. Clients usually find that once they get clear about their dreams, it’s much easier to put together a project plan to bring them to fruition. If you’re interested, contact me on this site, or e-mail email@example.com.
I leave you with this thought from Henry David Thoreau, "If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours."
Happy New Year! I wish you much success in all you dream, and all you do.
"I believe that the very purpose of life is to be happy. From the very core of our being, we desire contentment. In my own limited experience I have found that the more we care for the happiness of others, the greater is our own sense of well-being. Cultivating a close, warmhearted feeling for others automatically puts the mind at ease. It helps remove whatever fears or insecurities we may have and gives us the strength to cope with any obstacles we encounter. It is the principal source of success in life. Since we are not solely material creatures, it is a mistake to place all our hopes for happiness on external development alone. The key is to develop inner peace.”
Dalai Lama (Head of the Dge-lugs-pa order of Tibetan Buddhists, 1989 Nobel Peace Prize, b.1935)
Wishing you a peaceful holiday season filled with happy moments.
This week, as I mourned the horrendous loss of life in the Connecticut school shooting along with the rest of the country, I asked myself this question many times, “How do you stop a crazed gunman?” Sadly, the answer seems to be, you probably can’t. By the time he is holding the gun, the time to stop him or her, has passed. But that answer doesn’t satisfy my heart and so I continue to seek a response, a course of action so that I may begin to heal my grief with hope.
I believe that while we may not be able to stop a crazed gunman, we may be able to help the child that might otherwise become that gunman. Inside all of us is a child, a child who may have been bullied, who may have had problems, been traumatized, or who may have been overlooked and passed over and passed along in our system.
Somehow, we have got to take better care of our children, and perhaps that starts by taking better care of ourselves. Perhaps we need to take an extra moment out of our day to be kinder to ourselves, and then to others. Perhaps we should stop and help, even when it would be much easier on us and on our hectic schedules to keep on going.
Perhaps I can take a moment to notice and acknowledge the challenges facing another human being. I can smile. I can say please and thank you. I can greet another person with kindness and acknowledge our shared humanity, whether it is a homeless person, the cleaner at the gym or the assistant at my office. I can take time to call and check on an elderly friend and lend an empathetic ear.
I think I’m a decent person, and yet, I know I can be better. I can find ways to voice my opposition to injustice I can open my heart not just to my family, but also to the family of man. I can stop asking, “What’s wrong with this world? And start asking, “What’s right with this world, and how can I be a part of it? “
I can question myself when I feel jealousy, resentment, fear or hatred. I can get help to understand those feelings, and in turn, help others, especially our children, to understand their feelings – and to cope with them. I can find ways to heal myself, through prayer, yoga, meditation, nonviolent communication and community. I can reach out. I may not be able to save the world, but I can be more loving every day, to myself and to others.
I owe it to those innocent children in Connecticut to not just wonder how such horror can occur, but also to wonder what might we do collectively, and individually to change the things in our world that don’t support the mentally ill, and the children who are suffering from trauma and other kinds of wounds. Maybe that includes better gun control, maybe that includes locking down our schools, but I also believe it means helping people to love themselves – and each other more. How can we support each other so that we can be well in body, mind and spirit? How do we work toward loving inclusion, embrace and assist those who are less fortunate or different from ourselves?
How do I become an instrument of good works and positive change?
We may not have all the answers, but I believe that if we keep asking the right questions and seek to live with love, respect, kindness and make wellness a priority over video games as babysitters, more possessions, climbing the corporate ladder and a million other distractions that keep us from putting our children and our souls first, then we can and will change the world. It is my only hope.
This post originally appeared in my "personal blog" www.7layerliving.com on Monday, December 17, 2012.
Is your holiday to-do list growing out of proportion? In addition to everything else you normally do, you’ve probably strapped on parties, family gatherings, gift and card giving and some travel. Who has time for all of that? It sounds exhausting!
Here’s an easy tool to help you get through it all while remaining master of your universe.
Simply apply the three B’s to your to-do list. What are they?
Better, Barter or Bag It!
Here’s how it works:
Better it: You have an obligation that you are not looking forward to. How might you make it better? For example, if you’re going to visit the family members that you love, but who drive you crazy, can you limit the length of time you spend with them? Could you stay at a hotel or a friend’s house rather than sleeping over? Hate air travel? Perhaps you can indulge yourself with a fabulous book, movie, or some other entertainment that turns your time into a mini-vacation. What about making that party a potluck instead of doing it all yourself? Brainstorm! There are countless solutions and improvements you can find to make things better.
Barter it: If there are items on your to-do list that you are not good at, or that you don’t enjoy doing, can you trade with someone else? Perhaps you can pay someone to do the dreaded task (the teenager down the block can help hang the outdoor lights) or maybe you can swap with a friend or family member: “I’ll wrap your presents if you put the lights on the tree.”
Bag it: If all else fails and you’re running out of steam, ask yourself, can you eliminate some items altogether? Maybe your holiday cards become New Years cards that get written and mailed on January 1. Or perhaps, you don’t need to host a 12-course meal for 50 people.
The key to all of this is to keep doing the things you love and toss out or reinvent the things that you don’t – especially if they don’t matter as much – or at all. It may feel a little odd at first. You may even disappoint or bewilder a few people in your life when you start to balance self-care with doing it all. But just imagine, if you can de-stress and enjoy your holidays a little more, how worthwhile that could be.
My guess is that your friends and family will enjoy you more too if you are more relaxed. After all, it’s not what you do, but who you show up as - that matters most.
Thanksgiving is a great excuse to remember the value of gratitude. One of my favorite articles on gratitude was published in the New York Times in 2011. Author John Tierney provides gratitude tips and benefits that I feel are worthy of reprise. Here’s an edited excerpt for your reading pleasure, and a link to the original article in case you want more:
Cultivating an “attitude of gratitude” has been linked to better health, sounder sleep, less anxiety and depression, higher long-term satisfaction with life and kinder behavior toward others, including romantic partners.
However, if you’re not the grateful sort, here’s a guide to getting into the holiday spirit based on the work of several psychologists who have made gratitude a hot research topic:
Start with “gratitude lite.” Robert A. Emmons, of the University of California, Davis, named this technique used in his pioneering experiments “gratitude lite”. He and his fellow researcher, Dr. Michael McCullough instructed people to keep a journal listing five things for which they felt grateful, like a friend’s generosity, something they’d learned, a sunset they’d enjoyed.
The gratitude journal was brief — just one sentence for each of the five things — and done only once a week, but after two months there were significant effects. Compared with a control group, the people keeping the gratitude journal were more optimistic and felt happier. They reported fewer physical problems and spent more time working out.
Further benefits were observed in a study of polio survivors and other people with neuromuscular problems. The ones who kept a gratitude journal reported feeling happier and more optimistic than those in a control group, and these reports were corroborated by observations from their spouses. These grateful people also fell asleep more quickly at night, slept longer and woke up feeling more refreshed.
“If you want to sleep more soundly, count blessings, not sheep,” Dr. Emmons advises in “Thanks!” his book on gratitude research.
Don’t confuse gratitude with indebtedness. Sure, you may feel obliged to return a favor, but that’s not gratitude, at least not the way psychologists define it. Indebtedness is more of a negative feeling and doesn’t yield the same benefits as gratitude, which inclines you to be nice to anyone, not just a benefactor.
In an experiment at Northeastern University, Monica Bartlett and David DeSteno sabotaged each participant’s computer and arranged for another student to fix it. Afterward, the students who had been helped were likelier to volunteer to help someone else — a complete stranger — with an unrelated task. Gratitude promoted good karma.
Try it on your family. No matter how dysfunctional your family, gratitude can still work, says Sonja Lyubomirsky of the University of California, Riverside.
“Do one small and unobtrusive thoughtful or generous thing for each member of your family on Thanksgiving,” she advises. “Say thank you for every thoughtful or kind gesture. Express your admiration for someone’s skills or talents — wielding that kitchen knife so masterfully, for example. And truly listen, even when your grandfather is boring you again with the same World War II story.”
Don’t counterattack. If you’re bracing for insults on Thanksgiving Day, consider a recent experiment at the University of Kentucky. After turning in a piece of writing, some students received praise for it while others got a scathing evaluation: “This is one of the worst essays I’ve ever read!”
Then each student played a computer game against the person who’d done the evaluation. The winner of the game could administer a blast of white noise to the loser. Not surprisingly, the insulted essayists retaliated against their critics by subjecting them to especially loud blasts — much louder than the noise administered by the students who’d gotten positive evaluations.
But there was an exception to this trend among a subgroup of the students: the ones who had been instructed to write essays about things for which they were grateful. After that exercise in counting their blessings, they weren’t bothered by the nasty criticism — or at least they didn’t feel compelled to amp up the noise against their critics.
“Gratitude is more than just feeling good,” says Nathan DeWall, who led the study at Kentucky. “It helps people become less aggressive by enhancing their empathy. “It’s an equal-opportunity emotion. Anyone can experience it and benefit from it, even the most crotchety uncle at the Thanksgiving dinner table.”
Share the feeling. Why does gratitude do so much good? “More than other emotion, gratitude is the emotion of friendship,” Dr. McCullough says. “It is part of a psychological system that causes people to raise their estimates of how much value they hold in the eyes of another person. Gratitude is what happens when someone does something that causes you to realize that you matter more to that person than you thought you did.”
Try a gratitude visit. This exercise, recommended by Martin Seligman of the University of Pennsylvania, begins with writing a 300-word letter to someone who changed your life for the better. Be specific about what the person did and how it affected you. Deliver it in person, preferably without telling the person in advance what the visit is about. When you get there, read the whole thing slowly to your benefactor. “You will be happier and less depressed one month from now,” Dr. Seligman guarantees in his book “Flourish.”
Click here to link to the rest of the article. Thanks for reading. I am so grateful to be able to share this article (Thanks J. Tierney!) on gratitude in this blog, and wish you all a wonderful holiday season.
Note: A version of this article appeared in print on November 22, 2011, on page D1 of the New York edition with the headline: A Serving of Gratitude May Save the Day.
As a coach, I often hear, “I want to find my passion.” While some of us clearly know what we are called to do, others of us don’t. If you are a passion seeker, here’s a clue: Drop the struggle. Anxiety about passion won’t help you discover it faster. For most of us, passion does not arrive as an instantaneous inspiration, but rather, it emerges as we learn who we are.
So instead of obsessing about finding your passion, can you get passionate about exploration? What’s happening for you now? If your job is boring, how might you change it? If you are burnt-out, how might you take better care of yourself? Figure out what is stopping you. Know it, taste it, improve it, if needed. Try new things; be surprised by what you enjoy. Is it possible to stop focusing on how you want things to be, and start accepting, (or even being in love with) what you are doing right now?
For me, it’s been like putting together a jigsaw puzzle where I’ve gathered up the pieces over the course of a 35-year treasure hunt. While part of me wishes I could have known my path sooner, it would not have been possible. It’s only recently that I’ve gathered up enough puzzle pieces (skills and awareness) to identify the picture that has emerged.
Here are some interesting questions to help you start to consider your life’s path. How many of these can you answer?
What would you do for work even if you weren’t paid to do it?
What is essential to your happiness?
What do you really need?
How would you describe your essential self? Are you a problem solver, a poet, an adventurer, a maker, a storyteller, a teacher, a peacemaker, a hermit? (Tip: Observe your patterns of behavior to get to the answer to this – rather than trying to label yourself with what you would like your essential self to be!)
Your answers to these questions are a clue to your level of self-awareness. For any that you can’t answer, get curious. Can you take a class, try a workshop, enter a contest – or work as a volunteer? Remember that if something you try doesn’t bring you joy, (or doesn’t fit well with your skills and gifts), you can move on.
Pay attention if any of these questions awaken your inner critic. What conflicts hold you back from doing what you love? One common issue is money. For example, if you want to be an artist, and you believe you need to earn a six-figure income to keep you afloat, ask yourself, is that absolutely true? If you are willing to look at what you really need and want, you may find that there are a million possible creative solutions to your dilemma. Could you pursue art as a secondary money making venture? Can you change your living situation and/or your budget so you can feed your passion until you can earn those six figures? You get the idea. Getting clear on needs and desires allows you to create many choices that can lead you to your right path.
You may also need to get clear on limiting beliefs. Perhaps you think that following your passion is selfish and that being selfish is bad. Is that really true? Explore the assumptions and self-judgments that stop you from realizing your full potential and joy. If this is new to you, check out some of the many available resources, including coaching programs and books like “Loving What Is”, by Byron Katie and “I Could Do Anything if I Only Knew What It Was” by Barbara Sher.
In short, getting on a path, any path, will take you somewhere. And somewhere is better than being stuck sitting around lamenting that you don’t know what you want. Don’t wait for the perfect answer to find you. Instead, follow your light, follow your bliss. If an idea sparkles for you, give it a go. Have faith. Your life will take care of itself.