“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.”
What do you think of when you hear the word authentic? The dictionary tells us that something authentic is of undisputed origin. It is genuine, real, and true. I must tell you that for the majority of my life, I was far from genuine. In fact, I ran in the opposite direction of my authenticity. I call these decades ‘my chameleon years’.
Back then, I was as changeable as the person or project I was standing near. The goal was not to be myself. Instead, more than anything, I wished to fit in and to be accepted. I wanted to be recognized for my contribution, to feel that I was an integral part of a clan, and a significant part of a tribe. Years later I understood that this need for acceptance at any price was a way to get my parents to look at me and say, “She’s a success.” I was willing to do anything to get that validation.
So I shaped my life from my head rather than my heart.
Living From the Head and Not the Heart
I threw myself fully and completely into any endeavor that I believed would count toward something at the end of the day. I pushed my agenda like a freight train. My philosophy in life was ‘show me a mountain and I’ll either climb it or blow it up.’ I amassed seven divergent, yet very successful careers; there was education, public relations, advertising, investment banking, television, and public speaking. I dabbled in real estate development and tackled community fundraising. I entertained like Martha Stewart. I raised kids, pets, gardens, and the American flag on every holiday that rolled around.
Yet no matter how many successes I achieved – and there were some big ones – there was no lasting fulfillment. I did feel the momentary head rush of triumph when a deal closed or at the end of a monumental charity campaign. Any time that I received recognition for my contributions brought validation and happiness. But these feelings of happiness evaporated like the dew on a hot August morning. No matter the accolades, no matter the success, there was no lasting joy, no deep satisfaction, and no inner sense of peace. The emptiness always came home to roost.
Inspiration That Awakens Authenticity
And yet, throughout these years, something far greater than I could comprehend was nudging me along a path of discovering my own authenticity. A bridge was being built to call me into my best life, beckoning me from the darkness, victimhood, and scarcity into the light of possibility, passion, and courage.
This gradual change was facilitated by a handful of diverse women who exuded something so alluring, so appealing, and so genuine, that to be in their presence created a deep inner longing to grow into something more. Without recognizing it themselves, they were emitting an energy that was awakening my deepest self.
As I’ve traveled the country these past few weeks for my new book “I’ve Been Thinking…”, I’ve had the opportunity to meet thousands of people.
In my conversations, I’ve been struck by the number of people of all ages who have told me that they feel as though they are in “transition.”
Yes, that’s the word that keeps coming up over and over. Transition.
“I just got out of college and I’m in transition.” “I just left my job and I’m in transition. “I used to be a lawyer and now I’m a stay-at-home mom, so I’m in transition.” “My kids just left for college…” “I just got fired from my job…” “My boyfriend just left me…” “My mother just died…” “I’m a caregiver and I can’t make ends meet and I’m in transition…” And the list goes on.
You and I are a part of a process that’s going on in our culture at this moment.
And to that extent we are conscious of that process, it’s easier for us to let our acts support that process while simultaneously holding the confusion we feel because the process is leading us in uncharted ways into feelings we have not had before. It seems to me we are all traditionalists, we are all modernists, and we are all ‘cultural creatives.’ To the extent that you bring it all into consciousness, you can feel the way it affects all of it. I often feel like Kahlil Gibran, the prophet: “Speak to us of love, speak to us of pain, speak to us of child rearing…” all of the aspects of life that he taught about.
To the extent that you bring each aspect of your life under scrutiny, there is an opportunity to have that aspect of your life be something which supports transformation.
I mean a lot of people are incredibly generous in the world, but with their family, they are very, very tight, and yet they’re bringing offspring into the world. Many people have greed in one corner of their consciousness and philanthropy in another corner of their consciousness. I’m not knocking them, but just to be conscious about it, to cope with it, to be with it, that’s the first thing.
I’m not arguing for everybody to give up everything, It’s not gonna solve the problem.
In my own life, I find more and more that if I’m willing to be open to whatever is unfolding, that openness transforms my experience in completely unexpected ways. There is a magic that occurs when you just show up in life moment to moment without an agenda, a to-do list, or any preconceptions. In the stillness of Nature, this is easy, but recently I experienced it in one of the most crowded, noisy places imaginable: New York City.
“Knowing your 'why' is the key to fulfillment. When you are clear about it, your intention will then be a magnet for miracles.” - Colette Baron-Reed
I recall a time in the not too distant past when I was unsettled, unfulfilled, unhappy, and just plain tired. Tired of my life the way it was. I was chasing my tail, eating my feelings (literally and metaphorically). I was living off of credit cards to make ends meet, doing odd jobs that were just that, odd and not fulfilling.
I was not only miserable, but I was desperate.
It was not what I had envisioned for myself when I graduated from college many years prior. I envisioned a life filled with direction, purpose, fulfillment, and fun.
If you had asked me what my purpose (my "why") was, I would have furrowed my forehead and said, “My purpose? What purpose?”
The other day, I had the chance to speak with Architect of Change Dr. Tererai Trent about her new book, “The Awakened Woman.” In addition to being an author, Tererai is an internationally renowned scholar and humanitarian whose voice and incredible life story have inspired millions, myself included.
After Tererai and I finished our Architects of Change interview, she turned to me and asked a very simple, but profound question.
“Maria,” she said, looking me dead in the eye. “What breaks your heart?”
I stared at her for a bit, knowing that this was a big question to be asked. I knew this was not a question for my mind to answer. This was one for my heart and soul.
“What does your heart ache for?” Tererai asked, expanding upon her initial question. “What do you envision for the world, and for yourself?”
Over the years, I have interviewed many Architects of Change. I was also raised by two formidable Architects of Change. All of these individuals, in their own way, have asked themselves this kind of question — a question that has led them to their life’s purpose. But, no one I’ve met has ever posed it to me quite the way that Tererai did.
What breaks your heart? What does your soul long for? And, how is that connected to how you are living your life now?
After the yoga class during our sharing a few days ago, one of my friends said, “I am 55 years old and I am still not clear what my life purpose is? I know some people have a clear life purpose, but I am just not sure”. My two teenagers will be going off to the college in next few years, so I wanted to explore this topic myself.
I attended my daughter’s band concert last week. Listening to the music, I felt every instrument and every person in the band had a very important role to play, in making this beautiful music. In the same manner, I feel everyone has a purpose to their lives. We are parts of a whole. All beings on planet Earth have an important role to play, to make life on this planet beautiful and harmonious for all of us. From my life experiences, I can differentiate a career and a life purpose as follows:
- Usually involves having a goal and the steps to reach this goal, such as getting good grades, getting a college education, a job and then climbing the corporate ladder.
- Comes from your ego or personality and is rooted in “separation”. Usually, the person thinks only about their own advancement. There is competition with others. There is also a hierarchy with a few having power over others.
- Is outwardly focused on materialistic success and can become a never ending thirst with no satisfaction.
- One person gains at another’s expense such as getting a promotion.
- The person’s actions are based on personal gain such as more money, fame or power.
- Is sometimes not decided by you, but it may be in some instances decided by your family or the need to make money and provide for your family.
- Most careers are stress producing. Working a job can feel very restrictive and not joyful at times. At times, it is not aligned with the person’s talents or strengths. Therefore, success in a career usually comes at a cost, such as physical or mental health challenges and/or tensions in relationships.
- Is fear based and there is a fear of failure or losing the job or promotion.
- Usually happens earlier in life and usually is person’s single focus.
- Has an end. For example, when the person retires or gets fired.
We all go through those moments when we feel like giving up.
Whether you are facing a tough time in your relationship, struggling financially, or repeatedly facing failures in the pursuit of your dream….. Life can be challenging, and we all have moments where we lose motivation.
But anything worthwhile takes patience, perseverance and effort. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it. On the path of greatness everyone is invited, but only a rare few have the courage and dedication to stay the full course.
If you are going through tough times right now remember that it is a season, and no season lasts forever.
Even your most difficult time will pass.
We all have moments when we feel lost and unsure of what is going on, where we are going or what to do next.
What if in your greatest darkness when you felt lost, you were actually much closer to where you needed to be?
It’s scary to sit in the unknown. It’s often easier to go back to the familiar comforts of your old life. But this only leads to more of the same.
This upcoming Saturday is National Make a Difference Day, but for me, every day is an opportunity to make a difference.
Over the years, I’ve noticed that the people who are passionate about making a difference all have something in common: they have drive. They have a purpose. They have a goal.
I deeply believe that every one of us has a calling, a unique gift, and a specific reason for being here on this earth. I’ve spoken to so many people over the years who desperately want to find their passion, but can’t seem to land where they think they should. What I’ve learned, though, is that sometimes all you have to do is look within you, and around you.
Do you have a bucket list? Five-sensory humans think of physical experiences they want before they die, for example, parachuting, mountain climbing, or going to Paris. The parts of their personalities that originate in fear need experiences like these to make themselves feel valuable. Multisensory humans think of the contributions they can make to others and the world before their souls return to nonphysical reality, for example, tenderness, compassion, patience, and gratitude. The parts of their personalities that originate in love contribute these things continually, and contributing them brings meaning, purpose, and fulfillment to the personality.
Many people involved in “spiritual” work believe they have a Purpose. Not a fleeting desire, but something that directs and drives them from deep within. This group divides roughly into thirds: 1) God sent me here with a mission; 2) From exploration I have found this Grand Design that is working through me; 3) I agreed to this incarnation and came here under a Soul Contract for this exact life.
Purpose. And for my purposes here, what I’m presenting would cover all of those points of view.
Do you have – need, want – a Life Purpose? What is a Life Purpose anyway? The Internet definition is: “Your life purpose consists of the central motivating aims of your life—the reasons you get up in the morning. Purpose can guide life decisions, influence behavior, shape goals, offer a sense of direction, and create meaning. For some people, purpose is connected to vocation—meaningful, satisfying work.”
Yes, you are here for a reason. We all are. Sometimes we catch glimpses of it, a momentary peek at the big picture, but the curtain drops again, and we become distracted with the day-to-day worries and preoccupations of life on Earth. Still, an inner wisdom—call it soul awareness—carries us forward throughout our lives. This part of us knows that life is not meaningless. There is something greater that holds us in a gentle embrace of loving connection. We are beginning to experience the presence of that connection more and more as our individual awareness expands and our hearts open. Some call it God, some call it universal consciousness, some call it just “mystery.” It doesn’t need a name or label. This Presence is with us always, whatever we call it or don’t call it.
He was a Seeker. A Philosopher. A Devotee of Self-Realization. An inspiring Speaker. Dr. Wayne Dyer. He was a phenomenon.
He died in 2015, just past two years ago. So that’s not why I’m writing this.
At the moment Dyer’s publisher, Hay House, is making available Free a set of video clips that show how he could take complex wisdom of the ages and make it understandable and accessible to those of us who are still mortals. They’re offering it for “a limited time only”.
”If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
Wayne Dyer first came on the scene with a book called Your Erroneous Zones, in 1976. As of now it’s estimated it has sold 35 million copies, making it one of the best selling books of all time.
Balance a real thing?
Ever feel like you are a tight rope walker who will plummet to the ground if you make the wrong step?
It may be a bit drastic but many of us feel a similar feeling of overwhelm when it comes to balance in our lives.
What is the perfect balance? What does it even mean – balance?
Every day in this repeated cycle of vicious sameness. We build our lives on this precedent of what success means, what it means to be happy, what it looks like according to the messages we receive hidden and openly from society. The empty ramblings hidden in all of the voices speaking to us at any given time.
Don’t worry this blog does not contain spoilers from Game of Thrones season 7 finale but I couldn’t help but be compelled by the sentence in quotes I put in the title. ( fans go and watch it now!!)
Thought it might be interesting to explore some questions this week. They sound easy to answer but I gotta be honest I squirmed when being really honest with my answers.
This past week being the eclipse week has required me to ask myself some very important questions you might like to ponder too.
Well here we are post eclipse and the energy is ripe for change in the best way possible. The significance of this phenomena will be felt over the next six months. The question now is how to we raise our vibe in a consistent manner so that our joy and our commitment to a better life is stronger than our fear of outer conditions?
In this world our lives are informed by our Communities.
From the moment of conception you are in community – the community of Humans.
It’s inescapable. The interlocking circles of your communities are everywhere: Male/Female, Son/Daughter, Parent – obviously my experience with no children is very different from anyone who’s had a child - Family, Country, Culture, Profession, Religion…Many of these define our experiences. Muslims have Ramadan in their lives, Christians have Easter, Jews don’t eat pork, Hindus see cows as sacred. Your relationship to practices like these is one deciding point in your unique life; even rejecting such a value is one.
After working with more than a million people all over the world, I have come to believe that each of us is born with a unique life purpose.
Identifying, acknowledging, and honoring this purpose is perhaps the most important action successful people take. They take the time to understand what they’re here to do – and then they pursue that with passion and enthusiasm.
Just returned from the first (of many I hope) of my new annual OraclePalooza events and all I can say is WOW. You never know who will show up for these things and we were sold out! We raised $1160 dollars for the Orlando SPCA too and I even got my mediumship event called Spirit Jam to stream live on FB!