Habitually You

So in my previous post, I asked you to think of the answers to some pretty typical questions.
  • Can you tell me a little about yourself?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • If you have a million dollars, what would you do with it?
  • What makes you a good person?
  • What are you good at?
  • What do you dislike the most?

I have a feeling that if there is any part of your life where you aren't truly happy, then you are lying to yourself  on one or more of these questions.

On some level, you are so entrenched in your beliefs about who you are, habitually retelling the story of you, that any real inkling of who you are is just buried.

How do I know this? Think of a time you told a white lie in order to not hurt someone's feelings. Or think of an instance where you agreed with someone just to make him or her happy. 

Here's an easy one... Remeber a time, because I'm sure it's happened to everyone, where a loved one made you a special meal. And to your surprise, it was completely dreadful. However, you had to fake a smile and eat the entire thing.

Now imagine that behavior multipled many times over the course of your life. Michael Neill, a coach and author I admire, said that faking it until you make it is a horrible idea because who wants to trust a liar. Who is that liar? You. You've been lying to yourself. No wonder you don't know who you are or what you want in your life.

So, start small. Start uncovering areas in your life where you run on autopilot. Pay attention to the times you are being habitually you.

  • When are you saing yes when you mean no? 
  • When do you just go along becuase it's easier than expressing your thoughts?
  • When do you avoid conflict? 
  • When do you pull back?
  • Where do you give in and go along because it's easy?
  • When are you habitually "you"?

Or another angle

  • Do you like the car you drive?
  • Do you like your body? Your health?
  • Do you like the clothes you usually wear?
  • Do you like the food you usually eat?
  • Do you like your friends?
  • Do you like your life?
  • Do you like yourself?

Who are you?

Figure sitting in question - master isolated imagesOr better said, who do you think you are? 

There are so many things that make up who we are. You can think about

your age
your weight
your nationality
your religion
your political views
your personal tastes
your job
your skills

...You get the idea.

However, none of those things really say much about who you are.  And really a lot of them aren't often things you really consciously chose.

Some of your favorite foods are your favorite because you grew up eating them. Your religious beliefs would likely be entirely different if you were born on the other side of the world. Even your political views might be different depending upon where you were born and the socioeconomic status of your family.

Despite all of that, you do have the power to determine who you are and what kind of life you want to lead. So who do you think you are?

Today, think about how you would answer these questions.

  • Can you tell me a little about yourself?
  • What are your strengths and weakenesses?
  • If you have a million dollars, what would you do with it?
  • What makes you a good person?
  • What are you good at?
  • What do you dislike the most?

A lot of these questions are standard for a very good reason. I want you to identify the common story you have in your mind about who you are.



Image courtesy of Master isolated images / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Where do you begin?

Question Mark - Stuart Miles.jpeg

It's a new year and there is all this pressure. How in the world do you know where to begin? Do you tackle your health goals? Your career goals? Your personal goals to finally clear the clutter off your writing desk and get to work?

Where do you begin?

First things first, I think it's really important to get to know yourself.

Making a large life change is akin to getting married. It changes everything.

Would you marry someone you just met? Or someone you hadn't even met, but heard good things about? 

Please say no.

How many of you have these dreams and goals so planned out, so elaborately imagined, that you are 100% positive that by achieving these things...

  • writing that novel
  • losing those last 10 pounds
  • meeting that perfect person
  • starting that business
  • getting that awesome new job

that your life will be SO much better than it is now?

Before you get overwhelmed with all those goals you have swimming around in your head, I have some questions for you.

  • That goal to lose weight.... Is it because you really want to, or because your husband has been pressuring you to start working out with him?
  • That masters you feel like you need to get... Do you really want it? Or does it feel like a "should" goal? 
  • That story you want to write... Do you really want to write it? Or you just like the idea of dreaming about characters in your head?
  • That desire to move to China to study martial arts and become the next Jackie Chan... Is that a true longing or something from your past you keep alive on the scraps of memory and desire?
  • That New Year's Resolution... Is it something you even want? Or you just think you want because society, your boss, your mom, the Mayans, or your best friend thinks is best for you?

Before you begin to work on goals, on changing anything about your life, you have to begin at the beginning. And where's that?

  1. Learning about who you are
More on that tomorrow.


Thanks for reading!


Image courtesy of Stuart Miles  / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Welcome to 2013

Art Music Writing Coaching Creativity

Those interests of mine deserve to be honored, deserve to be nutured, deserve to be heard, shared, explored, expanded upon.... you get the idea.

What would your life look like if you actually acted on all those things you always wanted to do?

Well, I'm starting to blog again and hope to motivate myself and you to do those things you've been putting off.

Make your dreams matter.

Here's to a glorious new year.


Listen To Yourself

So when was the last time you listened to yourself? We constantly worry about what everyone else is thinking, what the experts tell us to do, what our friends think, our boss, our spouse...

Brooke Castillo's work has greatly impacted my life. Her book, If I'm So Smart Why Can't I Lose Weight, helped me lose almost 40 lbs last year. How did I do it? By listening to my body and to myself.

Brooke, along with Byron Katie, introduced me to the idea of asking what I thought. Did I even like that person I was trying to impress? What did I think of my life choices, my food choices, my thought choices?

So the next time you wonder what someone was thinking, tune in to what you are thinking. Ask yourself what you think...

  • about the world
  • about politics
  • about food
  • about your life
  • about your health

Forget what everyone else has to say.

What do you think? What do you feel? What moves you? Inspires you?

To find out, just listen.

Start small. Start anything. Start now.

There are often a million things I want to do. Okay, perhaps not that many.... But it can feel like it.

Here are a list of things I'd like to learn how to do.

  • Become an amazing coach
  • Write a story that helps, heals, and inspires others
  • Learn Reason 6 and start writing music again
  • Have one of my songs play on the radio and be sold on iTunes/Amazon
  • Learn the Adobe Creative Suite
  • Start a design studio where I help people's creative dreams come to life
  • Start producing art again
  • Have an art show
  • Publish articles and/or be featured in a magazine
  • Have my own business
  • Connect with other creative, innovative, and inspiring people

Where do I start? Which one do I pick? How do I even begin?

We all have this mental backpack of thoughts and past experiences that we often rely upon to guide us in our next steps. While this is useful if we want to do something we've done before, say make a grilled cheese sandwich (or in my case a vegan better than grilled cheese sandwich), it's not particulary useful to use old maps when exploring new territory.

Instead of looking to see what other people have done, we need to ask ourselves

what do I think?

what do I want to do next?

what small step can I take right now to get me started?

So the challenge I give to you and I give to myself is to start small.

Start anything.

and start now.

The power of momentum will carry you to new lands of self-exploration and accomplishment. Better still your self-esteem will soar.

What will you start now?

Addicted To Directions?

What exactly do I mean by being Addcited to Directions?

Well, I think I'm addicted to directions. Before I start anything, I often need to know

  • what all the steps are
  • how to do I get there
  • what do I do
  • what can I expect when I follow said directions

However, that makes for a rather boring life. Really! You wouldn't think so, but let me tell you why.

I've been taking classes forever. Granted I absolutely love learning in all shapes and forms. However, since I'm so used to ignoring my inner guidance, I find myself in a program that I'm not particularly enjoying.

Why am I doing it? you may be asking yourself...

Because there's a set plan.

  • Take class
  • Do homework
  • Get good grade
  • Take next class
  • Do that class's homework
  • Get good grade
  • Lather, rinse, repeat
  • Graduate
  • Get better job, life, experience, what have you

But is that exactly how the world works? Things don't always go as planned. Jobs change. People change. Life changes.

Do I think life does come with directions? Yes.

However, when we constantly look outside ourselves for answers, we are missing out on forming a relationship with a very wonderful mapmaker. Ourself.

We have this inner compass, this inner knowing, that leads us down the path of the most joy and the best experiences.

We miss our on our truest joys when we follow outside direction.

Buy why do we follow outer dirction? Because it's often scary to take responsibility for our own life. It's much easier to blame some outside program,class, advice, etc. than it is to make mistakes, learn, and grow from them.

Are you addicted to directions? Who are you asking directions from?

Why not ask yourself and find out what you think for a change? I bet it might surprise you.