Tag Archives: life

It’s Not Up to You to “Figure it All Out”

It always seems that when a chapter of my life is soon coming to a close that it’s easy and natural for me to get caught up in the whole thinking of: What am I going to do next in my life?

It happened when I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree.  It happened when I chose to not renew my teaching contract while I was living in Korea.  And it has started happening again recently upon knowing that, in less than a year, I’ll have my Master’s degree.

The thought patterns have often gone something like this:

Where I am going to live?

If I want to move, where should I potentially move to?

What kind of work could I find there?

Should I do X or Y kind of work?

If I do X kind of work, will the salary be enough to pay bills?

What if I need a new car?

Etc. etc. etc.

The questions could go on and on forever.

While finishing a chapter in our lives can be very exciting — the end of a degree program, a job, or a relationship — it can also bring up a lot of stuff.

When a chapter of our lives ends, we then find ourselves at a crossroad.  So I turn right or left?  So I take A or B?  Or, should I not choose any of those and turn around and go right back where I was?

We now find ourselves in un-charted territory.  It’s new.  It’s unfamiliar.  We haven’t been through it before nor do we know where this new journey might take us.

And, due to the unfamiliarly, it can be pretty darn anxiety-provoking.  We fear that something will go wrong and we won’t be able to make ends meet.  We worry that we may take the job and then absolutely hate it — or the career path entirely flops for us.

As a result of this fear that, somehow, everything is going to go completely wrong, we decide that, maybe, we can just plan everything.

So we create to-do lists.  We set goals.  We create our vision boards for a dreams for the future and we make our 10-year plan.

But you know what happens then?  And I can vouch that this has happened to me every single time that I have tried to set any kind of long-term goal.

Life happens.  And the goals completely change.

Why?  Because it’s not up to me. It’s up to a power so much greater than me.

When we’re caught up in fear and worry, we start to over-analyze everything, and we try to plan and control everything in our lives, then that’s the voice of our ego, our monkey mind, our fear-based mind.

Our ego mind is limited.  It makes us see the world and the universe with lack and it believes that we are not supported.  And it drains our energy, our life-force, our power.  According to A Course in Miracles, the presence of fear is a sign that you are relying in your own strength.

So when we are in fear, worry, and stress because we’re pushing ourselves to figure out what we need to do next in our lives, all it does it create more stress, more worry, and more fear.

In the grand scheme of things, it makes us unhappy.  It keeps us in a place of suffering because it keeps us completely disconnected from our inner guidance and our true selves.  It makes us believe that we are not supported and that we only have ourselves to rely on to “figure it all out”.

But you know what?  You don’t have to figure it all out.  In fact, you’re one and only job is to let it all go.  Release the fear.  Release the worry.  Release the anxiety.  Then give those fears to a power greater than you — in whatever way you like to call it, whether that be Source, the Universe, the Divine, God or whatever.  Give it to a power greater than you and trust and know that you are supported.

FearGiveSupported

Click to Tweet: When you are fearful, give it to a power greater than you and trust and know that you are supported. @jenilyn8705 

Then once you do that, be still.  Quiet the mind.  Breathe.  Meditate.  Allow the beauty of the present moment to wash over you. Feel your body sitting.  Feel the air around you.  Hear the sounds around you in this moment.

Notice your inner mind chatter.  Observe it, but don’t attach to it.  Recognize it as fear and only fear, as the thoughts are not of your higher self, but wounded parts of yourself.  Love them and let them pass.

Continue to breathe.

And then slowly and gradually, the mind chatter will subside.  It may not completely go away, but it will become quieter.  In the stillness of the moment, trust that guidance for your next right action is coming.  It may come in the form of a thought, a feeling, a sensation, or maybe even through something in your external world, like through a friend, family member, co-worker, e-mail, magazine or whatever.

Regardless, be open and receptive.  Exhale and remember: It’s not up to you to figure it all out.

The Mindset Shift Required to Get What You Want in Life

For a few weeks I have noticed that a peer of mine was kind of going through a bit of a rough patch with her job.  She expressed her thoughts on being underpaid, given less hours than she thought she deserved, and, overall… well, just feeling downright undervalued.

As I heard this peer for her concerns many times towards me I began to notice other people in my life doing a similar things.  Someone expressing their frustrations to me about their phone company potentially overcharging them.  Another mad because of their roommate talking loudly on the phone late at night.  And then — on top of it all — I even saw myself frustrated over a couple things in my environment and expressing it to others as well.

When I sat back and reflected on the whole thing, I noticed that there was one common underlying thread amongst all of these situations: Each person was expressing their concerns, but not to people who could actually help them with the situation.  Nobody was being proactive in their stress and frustration.

Instead, everybody was doing the safest thing a person can ever do: Express their frustrations to people who can’t do anything about it.  Their friend.  Their partner.  Their family member.  When in reality the person needed to be talking to people who can help them and give them what they want: their boss, supervisor, cell phone company, roommate, or whoever.

We all get caught up in this way of being at some point or another during various periods of our lives.  We are stressed and frustrated about something and rather than confront the issue head-on with the people who can help us with the issue, we talk to everybody else in our lives about it.

Now, don’t get me wrong — sometimes we do need to process our experience with other people who aren’t involved.  However, the problem is that by talking with other people about the issue rather than those involved, it is very disempowering.  It’s almost as if the more people we express our frustrations with, then the more we drain our energy and the energy of those around us.

When we avoid confronting the issue head-on it’s like we are are subconsciously telling ourselves (and the universe), “I’m not powerful.  I’m not capable.  I’m not worthy.  My concerns, thoughts and feelings don’t matter, so I’m going to talk to many other people about it rather than confront the issue at the source so I can make changes in my life.”

Doing this makes us feel out of control, weak and powerless — the exact opposite of what we commonly desire.

So how can we get what we want in our lives?  What is the mindset shift that we have to make?

It is to consciously choose to take personal responsibility for ourselves in every single situation.

Taking personal responsibility involves acknowledging and accepting our own unique experience and acting accordingly to our experience.  To be willing to face the world head-on and say, “I am powerful and I deserve to have what I desire.”

IAmPowerful

Click to Tweet: I am powerful and I deserve to have what I desire @jenilyn8705.

So if we are unhappy at work, then we properly communicate to our boss or supervisor.  If we are unhappy with a contract that we have made with that company, then we properly communicate with that company.  If we are unhappy with a roommate, then we voice our concerns directly to that person.  Not to a co-worker or your neighbor who can’t do anything about your situation… but a clear communication with the people there is a problem with.

To take personal responsibility also involves making decisions that are in our best interests.  So if a certain job or relationship that we are in is no longer working despite our efforts at open communication, then we know that we always have the option to leave or do something different.

We all always have a choice.  We all always have decisions to make.  To know that we always have endless opportunities available to us is part of living truly empowered.

You are in control of your own life.  You always have been and always will be.  So what can you do today to feel like you are more in control of you life?  What can you do today to take more personal responsibility for your life?  Share it in the comments below!

3 Things to Remember When You Don’t Know What to Do With Your Life

It has arrived: You’ve, once again, reached a point in your life where you are not sure what to do with your life.  Maybe you’ve recently gone through a divorce or breakup. Maybe you’ve recently been let go by your employer or you quit your job.  Maybe school has recently ended or your time studying abroad is coming to a close.

Regardless of what has recently ended, the stress and pressure of needing to figure out what you’re supposed to do next can feel about the same.  Here are some things to keep in mind when you’re not sure what to do with your life:

Nobody has it all figured out — ever.

Here’s a hidden truth for you: Nobody has it all figured out ever — and if they say that they do have it all “figured out” then it’s likely that they are lying to you.

Yes, even that lady with a solid and stable career, with 2.5 kids, a dog, and a husband that makes good money.  Yes, even that friend of yours who recently got married and is moving to Hawaii.

The reality is that even though we may appear to have our lives pretty secure and “figured out” there are always unexpected things that come up along the way.  Someone losing a job or feels forced to quit for whatever reason.  Someone gets a serious illness or has an accident.

Something unexpected is always bound to happen at some point or another because that is the nature of living.  We simply just can’t avoid it.  So if you catch yourself thinking things like “Everyone else has it all figured out except me”, then know that it is totally a false belief.

There is no deadline to “figuring it all out”.

You don’t have to have your entire career planned out before you can get started.  You don’t have to know everything that you want in life in order to able to have your perfect partner for you.

Life is about exploring and discovering.  It’s about allowing ourselves to grow and become better by exploring and testing out new things.  Sometimes things stick, somethings don’t.

The problem is that, for many of us, we take life too seriously.  If something doesn’t work out the way we hoped we beat ourselves up, say we’re no good, throw in the towel, and never try out anything new again.  That is the huge mistake!

The reality is that life is all about practice.  If we make plans that don’t work out or commit to something that fails then so what?  It’s most certainly not the end of the world — it’s a gift!  It is the gift of learning what doesn’t work so we can figure out what will work.

So don’t beat yourself up about not having it all “figured out” right away.  Life is a journey, a process, really, as are any “plans”.

Enjoying the present is key.

The problem with “trying to figure out” our lives is that it causes us to be disengaged with the present moment.  So if there are good things happening in our lives or windows of opportunities opening up around us, we can’t see it cause we’re too busy being caught up in our little mode of “I need to figure out my life”.

So let go of the need to “push” yourself to figure it all out and allow yourself to simply enjoy life right here right now.  Allow yourself to simply be and enjoy the little things in life — a warm cup of coffee with a good book, a cool evening, the sound of birds chirping early in the morning, a dinner with a great friend.

When we just stop and smell the roses and allow ourselves to enjoy where we are we give ourselves the chance to fall into the natural flow of life.  Which, in turn, allows us to better see and know what decision we should make next.

FiguredOut

Look within…

Take a moment now to stop and look within.  How have you been stressing yourself out because you haven’t fully “figured out” your life?  What have you been stressing over?

Once you’ve identified what you’ve been frustrated about, ask yourself:  How can I “let go” this need to “figure it all out”?  What can I start doing daily to release this stress that I’ve been causing myself?

Share your insights in the comments below!

Create a More Joyful Life with This Super Simple Technique

 We all want a more joyful life.  But, more often then not, it can feel like an impossible task to achieve.

There always seems to be something in the way… a troubling relationship, the lack of financial security, feeling unsupported, a feeling as if you’re just wandering through life and unable to find your true life’s purpose that will make you feel fulfilled and overwhelmed with joy.

While all of these things are certainly valid concerns and issues to have, we often make these things worse than what they really are.  Having the issue is one thing but holding on to the issue for days, weeks, and months on end while wishing that one day something is going to magically shift and make it disappear is something totally different.

The irony is that, often times, the real problem isn’t what we proclaim is our issue at all.  Instead, the real issue is the fact that we spend too much energy focusing on the problem and not enough energy in actually finding things to be joyful and happy about.

We dwell about the failure of our past relationship and spend hours, days, and weeks replaying the past events in our mind in hopes that somehow that will magically make things better.

We dwell on our financial struggles rather than taking action and some potential risk in order to improve it.

We waste our time thinking about how we don’t feel fulfilled and wondering what our life’s purpose is but we fail to take any sort of action steps in order to give ourselves even the slightest chance in actually discovering what will truly satisfy our heart’s desire.

In a strange kind of way, we are addicted to suffering.  It’s as if there’s a part of us that likes the fact that we have problems.  A part that likes to have something to complain and whine about.

Author Eckhart Tolle of The Power Now and A New Earth, along with Buddhism and other philosophies, would describe this other part of us as the ego.  The part within our mind that is fear-based and likes to keep us in a state of suffering, rather than a state of true genuine fulfillment through our soul and inner spirit.

The ego is the very thing that prevents us from really truly living in and focusing on the present moment.  It distracts us by either living in a place with our nostalgic feelings of the past or hopes that one day things will all work out and become better in the future.

This is a huge discrepancy because by focusing most of our time in the past and future, we prevent ourselves from doing the absolute most important thing: To act in the present so that we can create happiness, joy, and fulfillment in our lives right now.

Not 5 years ago or back in high school.  Not next week or 10 years from now.  None of that jibberish.  Rather is to take control of your life right now so that a life filled with love, joy, and fulfillment in all aspects of our life — relationally, professionally, and personally.

So how can we start taking action today in order to create more joy in our lives right now?

The key here is to place all of your focus on the present moment.  So this is what I want you to do…

Stop thinking about all these other things that might be going through your mind as you are reading this.  Stop thinking about all the things you have yet to do today.  Stop thinking about your failed relationship.  Stop thinking about your financial concerns.

Instead, just stop and focus on every single word that you are reading right now.  Put your full attention into focusing on each individual word as they come up fully and completely.

Take a moment right now to bring that focus to an object in front of or around you.  A cup, a plant, a chair, or whatever.  Stop and focus completely on that one thing.  Do not think about anything else.

If a thought comes up about anything else, simply acknowledge it and let it go.  Resist attaching to it and allowing it to consume you and your energy.

Now look to something else in the room.  Place all of your focus on that one thing.  Look at that one thing with 100% of your attention.

Tell yourself, “This is life right here, right now.”  Ultimately, there is nothing else that exists in this world other than now.  Nothing happens in the past.  Nothing happens in the future.  Everything comes out of this very present moment and everything can only come out of this present moment.

Carry on with this idea and activity for the rest of your day.  Whenever you catch yourself dwelling on a relationship problem, financial concern, work issue, or general life problem stop and draw your focus completely on the present.

With time, effort and practice it will become easier to be fully engaged in the present moment so that you can live a life of genuine happiness, joy, and love.

Joyful Life

Take action now!

Choose one activity that you must do today and do it with the intention of being completely focused and engaged in the present moment while doing it.  This can be while doing the dishes, going for a run, doing yoga, writing a paper or article, talking with a friend or colleague, or whatever.

Just draw your attention completely on the present moment during the activity.  With greater time and practice you’ll eventually realize just how much more joyful life is.  You’ll also gradually begin to feel like so much more can be done in smaller periods of time with less effort on your part.

Do this every day with this one activity for one week and make a note to yourself in a journal of your progress.  Share your progress at the end of this week below.  OR share your experience of intense focus of the present moment that you did while reading the article in the comments below!