Asking the Right Questions

I ask a lot of questions in my book and in my life; doing so is the basis of both the work and the Work of finding our way in life and through Life, in story and in Story, in our journey and in the Hero journey that is every life-time spent.

 

Asking questions is how we start off engaging with our life, even as babies and toddlers.  After the natural, instinctive curiosity of ‘That?’ to define our surroundings, and soon after ‘Mine?’ becomes the declarative ‘Mine!’ we move quickly into the danger zone of questions:

 

‘Why?’

 

Asking ‘why’ is lovely. It’s pushy, to ourselves and to others around us.  It pushes boundaries, understandings, norms, and entrenchment. It’s often perceived as demanding, as asking why can unsettle a shaky authority and states that the person asking has as much ‘right’ as anyone else.  Why is the mover of principle and the test of character from here to the Pearly Gates.

 

But ‘why’ also has a shadow power: Doubt. 

 

Asking it at a wrong moment in your personal journey can cause chaos and confusion and, well, self-doubt as you thrash with an unanswerable knot. 

 

Why did I do that?

Why did I choose that? Or why did I choose this?

Why is this going on in my life.  

Why is that the rule?

It’s both a powerful question and a hazardous one, because often as not, there may not be an answer.  Or the answer may be I don’t know.

 

And let’s face it:

 

Why do I love thee? …

 

            is a very different question than

 

How do I love thee…?

 

Here’s where the asking the right question comes in when defining one’s path from here, the choices looming ahead, and when fathoming your heart to choose one’s vocation, calling, path and purpose from here.

 

I learned a long time ago in doing interviews with people I was writing about, from world leaders to loggers, that the right question can make all the difference in the success of what Truth is revealed next. One question can shut a person down, while another opens possibility and long, lovely revelation toward interesting Truth and knowledge. ‘Why did this happen,’ even in news reporting, too often allowed an opening for casting blame or ducking behind ‘I don’t know.’  So a new approach was needed:

 

How? 

 

How is more than a question of mechanics: How did this happen elicits the steps taken that created the situation, like a recipe. But it’s also more:

‘How’ is a question that presumes something already is.

It, whether answer, solution, reason, or direction,

already exists

and you and I are in the process of discovering it.

 

With ‘why’ we might be probing whether it exists at all, while with ‘how’ we are poking around knowing in our hearts there is a workable way we just need to understand. And the good solution always begins with a heart-filled understanding.

 

As in:

 

How do I use these talents and passions?

How does this work, my life forward?

How might I take the next step?

How does this make things better, easier, gentler, more meaningful to me or others?

How do I feel when I’m getting a glimpse of what my path might be or the good my actions might bring?

 

Ah, yes, asking ‘how’ allows for ‘feeling’ and the compass to our truth and our light; there’s no doubt that the feeling is there, or that it’s acceptable. It’s already embraced and hugged and able to be integrated into the next step, no matter how gnarley it might have looked a moment before ‘how’ was uttered.

 

‘How’ is a question for the brave, like, you.

 

With ‘how’ you are accepting what is, that feelings can be addressed, solutions can be found (as they’re already right here), and that there’s a way forward from here.

 

So, ask the right questions of yourself as you proceed from here through the door of next. All the questions are important; asking the right one at the moment is the first step.

 

How do you feel knowing there is something you are here to do?

How do you plan to make that something the action of your life-time left to spend?

How’s it going, living on task and on purpose now?

 

Blessings on your day of questioning!

 

 

 

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What’s Your Story?

What’s your Story?

My dad taught me that ‘everything is material” when I was a girl. It was a way of looking at life — that no matter how sad or amazing, no matter how joyous or conflict-filled, it’s all material for writing one’s story. And everyone — everyone — has a story to tell.

Your Story…

It starts with Once Upon a Time — for that time of beginning a trajectory in one’s life is indeed once upon a time, long ago, the reasons for which often lost to the dust of the day, and in the imperfect, undefined past tense, which could have been yesterday, yester-moment, or yester-millenia.

© elizabethdarby 2013 Only he knows the ending.

My wise cat contemplating his story.

Our Stories are timeless.

It ends with ‘And then s/he realized…’ as the Hero (you) meet up with the epiphany of Life, as light-filled, joyous — temporary— time literally spent. Even Shakespeare wrote “his time is spent” of a character who met his death while in battle. The futility of ‘living in battle’ pointed to with such verbal grace: time spent.

Our Stories are useless without the epiphany that time is a treasure that is spent.

The shelf-life expiry date is what makes life-time so dear; we know it’s not timeless.

Just our Story — the meaning we make of each moment and the amount we give and share with others — is timeless.

So, what’s your Story?

Tell it like you know it, for you do.

Tell it like you know it is exactly right, for it is.

Tell it like you know you are the Hero for the moments in it, for you are.

Tell it as if it’s great, and the ending sweet, for it is.

And when you do, know that you are creating your Life, On Task and On Purpose, telling the Story of your Making Good with your time here.

That’s all there is to it!

When you’ve finished telling your Story, take time to listen to someone else’s — especially someone who looks like no one has ever listened to, much less seen, them before — for then you are serving as Witness to the epiphany of another Soul’s heroic journey here in limited Earth-time.

Try doing it now and see what material you are given to Shine with.

Blessings on your Day!

Elizabeth Darby

Vacation (Holiday) Life Plans

Holiday thinking © elizabethdarby 2011

Holiday thinking
© elizabethdarby 2011

If you’ve been following this blog (and I thank all of you who are; it makes my day to see your smiles!), you’ll know that I posed a question a few weeks ago:

“If tomorrow were your last day on Earth,

what would you be really sad you’ve never done?”

Hopefully a number of you made the list, and put it on your official To Do Today action list!

Ooh, that sounds so important that “To Do Today Action List”!

For stationery junkies like me, I imagine a new project notebook, new pens, and a whole sheet of paper with the first column being my Official Super-duper To Do Today Action List… with room to the right for the details of how I will get it done and a little box I get to check off once I’ve achieved it.

But there’s something missing here…

It’s the place and space for the feelings. It’s the big space in our souls where we can treasure how it feels to really get this lovely dream Done!

After all, it’s not about ticking off the boxes, it’s about how joyful and lovely it feels to be In the Dream while achieving it.

So I offer another way to approach this ‘what I really want to do is…” list:

Holiday — or Vacation — thinking.

When on a holiday (not the Christmas kind but the ones you dream about and delight in taking), think of how you feel a few days before it’s over — while in the middle of it — before you are heading back Home. Think of the moment when you awaken, happy, rested, looking forward to another day on holiday, and you ask yourself and beloveds,

“So, what else do we want to do? What else would be fun for today…?”

So many key words there:

For Fun

Today

Want… to do

Do you feel how delightful even just the question feels?

There’s not a thing in your way. There’s no wrong answer. There’s no sense of should or have to, no shall we nor can I. No, it’s just pure joyful potential for a day to be spent . . .

for fun, today, and doing what you desire to do.

That which you enjoy doing, a dream being experienced, a moment to carry and remember and which feels like the energy and fuel of life.

It is.

I suggest boldly (and brazenly, perhaps) that this is how we should make our To Do Action Lists when thinking of our “Next Act” in our lives. This is true whether it’s a Next as in career, job, work, or next as in dream, life, love and task being On Purpose and using our gifts to contribute to our aching world.

I’m not the only one; as I noted in my book the great composer/musician/conductor Leonard Bernstein had the same philosophy: When not sure of what to do next, he searched his soul and the horizon for, he said, what he called “the next fun thing.”

I, for one, don’t mind using his amazing life as a mentor and coach for my own time here.

Another thing I suggest boldly is:

This is the way we are meant to live, to spend our Life-time here being: On Purpose and on Task, doing what we are so very talented at doing, and in service of that bountiful energy that is Love and Life and Being,

bringing beauty and shine to the world.

There’s a commercial on PBS — perhaps you’ve seen it: A man asks a number of the public what each would do if s/he could earn money doing exactly what s/he wanted . . . and the list comes out: architect, teacher, sky-diver, cafe-owner . . . and the ‘kicker’ is that if you invest your money with his company, you can indeed ‘pay yourself to do what you wish to do’ as, he says, “it’s called retirement.”

My last bold suggestion: It’s how we should be living our lives right now.

Not as if already in retirement’ but rather in paying oneself (i.e. valuing oneself and the gifts and talents you carry and are given) to do the work you are here to do and to which you can bring your best soul and self, your best talents and sense of purpose, passion and excitement.

And yes, choosing your Today Action Tasks even with your Holiday/Vacation mindset:

to live this day and this moment On Task, On Purpose, and joyfully bringing your best You into this world.

Wherever you are, have a lovely (Holiday) day today; there’s no time like right now to download that feeling into your heart, and let it light up your time, your day and your energetic smile.

So as you tick off your Done this Dream on your list, you feel — really feel — the sweet joy of your soul smiling.

Wouldn’t the world be a lovely place if we all were On Task and On Purpose, joyfully doing our best with our talents, gifts, and passion each and every day?

Blessings on your day!

Elizabeth Darby

Darkness

The waning moon is fading in and out behind fog in a dark sky over my shoulder; that I see it at all is amazing for I am in a night place where lights blare and rain is normal. Normal — as in what one expects to be the ‘normal state of being’. The bars that line this beautiful historical street in Glasgow are finally closing; their lights are darkening and the crowds of revelers are almost gone into the night, talking loudly as they go. A dog is getting a last walk for the night on the emptying sidewalk. Time is ticking away into the darkness . . .

And tomorrow we start again. Each of us do:

Anew. A new day. A new dream. A new heart’s desire and anew in reaching to be present to our life-time being spent and to begin again, On Task and On Purpose.

Alone. A lone task or a lone vision or a lone hope or alone in prayer, seeking guidance for what to do with our ticking moments.

Abiding. Abiding with our inner heart and soul yearnings and a-bide (as the word began “to wait for” but also “to trust or rely on” or as it’s used here in Scotland still, to bide, to ‘endure a wait for’) the love, care, compassion and meaning we each seek to experience and to give with our life-time here and now.

 

So while a-waiting with all these a-words, I opened a book at random to a page (page 92 specifically) and found this reminder of what to do next while yet watching this moment of life in darkness:

 

If tomorrow was my last day on Earth, I’d be really sad I never:

1) ______________________________________

2) _____________________________________

3) _____________________________________

4) _____________________________________

5) _____________________________________

6) _____________________________________

7) _____________________________________

8) _____________________________________

9) _____________________________________

10) ____________________________________

 

So Plan, yes even if still in darkness, to do these things . . . Now.

My first steps to do tomorrow on item #1 are:

________________________________ + _________________________________ + ________________________________

I can hardly wait for the light of day to get started. How about you?

 

Blessings on wherever your day takes you,

 

Elizabeth Darby

 

“As courage”

I was blessed with these departing words — ‘As courage,’ as in the verb avoir in the tu form in French, have, and means in this case ‘take or have courage’ — a little under a decade ago by a lovely older woman, a much beloved mom of my friend.  She knew a bit about what she bid me to take as we departed company that day — “Have courage”  — as she’d done work with the French Resistance as a teen in her native France and she’d raised two girls on her own as a mother who’d been left by a husband and father when her children were very young. She knew what it was to have courage, to take courage, and she said this to me as I was facing the beginning of some challenging times in my own life-time here.

 “As courage, …”

I took the words to heart; the encouragement brought to mind a model of grace and fortitude I would attempt as I faced the coming storms buffeting my own home and family at the time. And I knew the phrase to mean both to “take heart” and “to have courage”, especially when used as a phrase when departing, as she intended.

 

What I didn’t know till this week was how the now-superstar “researcher-storyteller” Brené Brown described courage.  (TED talk here; (yes, I’m behind cultural times apparently, as her star flashed over a year ago.)

In one of its earliest forms, the word courage literally had a very different definition than it does today.

 

Courage originally meant

“To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.” . . .

 

What else are we to do but “to tell all one’s heart” when creating our Work, when being people who live our work and work our lives On Task and On Purpose?

I’ve anguished often over how smarmy my book is. As a journalist who was trained to ‘tell the story like it was’ in national media and to do that  required a good cynicism (notice I didn’t say healthy) toward all aspects of the story I was covering, my offering a book that is encouraging you to be  honestly who you are and to create the work ‘only you can do’ has often felt like I’ve donned an angel sweatshirt and grin absurdly. Indeed much of the response I received from others while writing it — the ones who were able to talk rather than choke on their snort and scoff as I told them about it— was that such an idea, that we each have work that only we can do, was preposterous.

 

I noted silently that these early responses came from those who at best endured what they were doing with their life-time, but felt they couldn’t quit as they ‘needed the money.’ That most of these folks were well into the 7 figure salaries told me they were fearful and trapped; what if… was a dangerous question to them, even though “doing one’s Work here” doesn’t mean necessary impoverishment.

 

So to see Ms. Brown’s amazing TED talk — even belatedly — brings tears to my eyes.

Have courage.

Yes, do have the courage to tell all of your heart.

Have courage to do that which combines your heart’s telling with your talents, your skills, your passion, your soul, in the service of that which you care about.

 

Have the courage to be You, shining in this world, On Task and On Purpose.

And if you don’t know what that is, have the courage to go on a journey of discovery.

I woulld love it if I – and/or the little questions in my book —  would give you a good start.

Blessings on whatever you do with your day today; may it involve the telling of all of your heart in some way.

Elizabeth Darby

 

PS there’s another little reflection on what it is to have courage at my other blog: Earth: Sacred/Possession, too.

A flick’r

Image

Life goes by in …
©2013 elizabeth darby

“Life goes by in a flick’r…

A flick’r.”

The older man, my host, sat in his kitchen, slightly hunched from his illness, but his bright blue eyes full of energy and wisdom as we visited.

“It was fast enough before I got the ________ but now…” He shook his head meaningfully.

“Life goes by in a flicker. There’s not time for loggerheads.

No time for loggerheads. . . .”

I sipped the lovely sweet coffee and homemade tea cake his delightful wife offered. And I listened intently to his and her lovely, lilting accent and way with words and phrases in this Welsh border-village.

I learned many things in my week in Wales, in not necessarily in this order:

1) I look forward to returning soon;

2) My tendency to repeat myself when using story to offer lessons is clearly due to my Welsh great-grandmother’s ‘Way’ of Story, which I learned from her daughter (my grandmother) with whom I spent every day of my life till her death in 1980. Those I spoke with in Wales like to repeat the important parts of the Story they tell a visitor. It’s the important stuff they repeat.

3) Life goes by in a flick’r.

So, in flipping through my book today and preparing for a second edition, wondering what to keep and what to leave behind, what helped my reader and what doesn’t, I came across this question below.

I pose it to you, now, for you know, ‘Life goes by in a flick’r’ . . . and living On Task and On Purpose requires we live with full heart, full passion, and full love shining forth every moment possible. Nothing held back; no loggerheads inside as well as out.

The Questions:

What I really care about is:

________________________________________________________

How do I show this now, in this moment?

________________________________________________________

If I don’t presently, how could I?

________________________________________________________

How do I want to show or demonstrate this in the future?

________________________________________________________

That last question is a hint about your Work here.

And now.

Demonstrate who you are and Who You Are.

Do it now, for you know . . .

“Life goes by in a flick’r. There’s not time for loggerheads.”

Blessings on your day!

Elizabeth Darby

Wanted

Last week, I was sitting in a library in the middle of Wales. It had wifi, free, and was the only place in town that did. I felt free, too. Life there was as when I left my full-time journalism career; there are places one can just be, as one is, living a day for a day’s worth of the miracle of life itself.

But in the library, tucked away at a back-table, and yes, using wifi to check my email for notice of familial needs or disasters (yes, I note the irony) I heard a man come in to ask the gentleman-librarian if he could use the library’s only computer. He was looking for work. Desperately looking for work, from the tone of his voice and the words between them. The conversation went something like this:

 

“Here’s an ad for a private chef. . . . Do you think they’d hire me . . . ?”

 

“Well,” started the Librarian encouragingly, but the man cut him off.

 

“I’ve some experience in that — I’ve cooked here and there. . . .”. He sounded frightened. “Do you think that would be enough?”

 

“Well,” said the Librarian again encouragingly, “it sounds like good work!  I would like to do something like that — be a chef. I cook . . . too . . .”. His voice dropped off into a bit of wistfulness.

 

“But do you think they’d want me,” asked the man. . . .

 

At this point, I nearly cried, both in compassion for both men in their early-forties, clearly wanting to be wanted by their work, but as well at the yearning in each of their voices:

Each wanted to feel to be valued for what he did with his time of his life.

One wanted to be wanted; any work would do but please hire him, now, I prayed.

The other would love doing something other than reminding 10-year-old boys that they needed parents’ permission to use one of the two computers available, which happened 3 times in the 1 hour I was there.

 

No, I didn’t stand up and say what my book — and I — fairly shouts at people:

 

You have a reason to be here on Earth…

It is to use your unique talents and specific abilities

in service of that which you care about in this world.

Your Life-time spent here,

doing the Work you are here to do,

 is needed.

Only you can do it!

 

It’s time to Create Your Work.

 

But I wanted to.

 

I wanted to take them both to the table and ask what each loved to do as a child and affirm that that joy is their path in this world even now.

 

I wanted to ask each what they could spend hours looking at, and what secret mission they felt they were on here,

during their lifetimes.

 

I wanted to remind each that he was not perfect at anything except at being himself, using his talents and gifts, passion and focus in service of that which he cares about — and thus each was perfectly able to create his own work that would support him all his days by being his best, shining self.

 

I sat, heart-pounding, wondering what to do next . . .

 

Instead, the seeker, encouraged to give it one more go by the gentle nudge he’d received from the librarian, dashed out to make an enquiring call before someone else took the cook position. And the Librarian announced to me (only me left in the two-room library) that it was time for lunch and he was “kicking me out” in 3 minutes. As we left, I watched him saunter shyly down the block, looking randomly in shop windows, and heading to the local market for a quick something.

 

I felt I’d been shown the light, as well as the door, as I stumbled out into the fair and beautiful day in this lovely small village where it seemed everyone knew and cared for others’ welfare.

I yearn to speak to people like this, in these small, out of the way places where hope and desperation so often dance hand in hand and a sense of dissatisfaction with one’s lot hides behind ‘any good job’ which is better than no job at all, of course. Of course it is, until one day one is still missing the feeling of being vital to one’s Purpose and Task here in the time one has on Earth.

These fellows are not people who attend seminars at a fancy hotel as so many self-help lecturers offer, but they are just like those who can and would do attend one to nurture themselves. These lovely people are also souls wanting to know the work they do with their life-time is needed and vital, and something each can contribute to this world. They, too, would like to know that they have what they need to create their own work; to live Life On Task and On Purpose, in the joy that brings to each day, and how to do that.

 

This is what I like to offer. It’s best in person, but sometimes a book of questions will have to do. If it’s accompanied by a friend or co-seeker, all the better.

 

Whose job is it to nurture vocation?

Is it a job-hire agency, where any work is better than none and pursue what you can?

Is it the work of the church to offer more than a few days’ course each year on what one’s vocation really feels and looks like? And if so, does it reach those needing to feel wanted or vital, or living through the quiet desperation looking for one’s Work  the rest of the year?

Should it be offered in schools, as a course, along with Life-skills 101 including banking, balance statements, and parenting skills?

 

I feel discovering the Work that puts each of us On Task and On Purpose is so important it belongs in all of the above, and maybe even as a free-table at the local Pub.

 

The point is this: such work of discovery has no season but rather is the beginning of your journey, wherever you are in life at this moment.

Yes, every moment is a “here you begin” moment to embrace your unique talents and passion, and to connect with the light and vitalness felt when shining from within combines with one’s sense of being needed on Earth here and now — i.e. having a purpose, and a mission-should-you-decide-to-accept-it — is lived. 

 

I can do this with your help: we can do this together.

 

Gather with friends and go through the book. Email me with questions.

Set up groups that can be tailored to fit anyone in need of encouragement and hope in your community.

Remember too that any  workshops I offer are one-for-one. Put together a workshop in your town or village with ten to twenty others, and we’ll make sure we offer another — together — at very-very-little-cost*  using the book as a living, exploratory process.

 

We all live in a moment of being authentic and our work and value needed in this world. It’s right now.

 And there is someone very near you — right now — wondering if he or she is wanted or his/her energy and passion needed on a mission in life.

Here You Begin, and help the person next to you do so as well…

 Together we can nurture a world of souls shining On Task and On Purpose. Wouldn’t that be a lovely place to live? Heaven on Earth.

Blessings,

Elizabeth Darby

 

*Low-low cost: enough to feel committed; cheap enough to attend when $1/Eu1/£1 is the difference between having lunch or paying rent and pay-what-you-can is the welcoming possibility to discover one’s Life-time OTOP mission.

Never, never

I may never again find a job.

 

What do you feel when you read this?

 

The work I did (that defined me) for my xx year career is no longer open (to me specifically).

 

What is the picture of you that you hold when you dare to feel this or even to say this?

 

Regardless of reason — whether age or factory closing, work moving ‘elsewhere’ or one’s profession eliminated by the advances of technology and cultural taste — the work is specific to you, and thus closed to specifically you. And your identity is, for a dark moment, shattered like Hamlet’s mirror.

 

I am a care-giver, jobless or not, and this is also the work that defines

the hours spent of my life.

 

Until it doesn’t, for those who need caring for also move on — to life, to death, to college, to others, to ‘next’ — leaving you without that outer-definition of ‘work I do’ in life as well.

How do you feel, seeing yourself as a care-giver, knowing that it, too, is a temp position if it’s outwardly defined?

 

“Even if they do all the things they’re told to do — network, improve those computer skills, find a new passion and turn it into a job — many [unemployed and older people] struggle with the question of whether their working life as they once knew it is essentially over,” writes Alena Tugend in The New York Times last Saturday.

(‘Unemployed and Older, and Facing a Jobless Future’,The New York Times, July 27, 2013.)

 

I would suggest this is true for anyone unemployed or in life transition. It’s harder, yes, when facing this when older for when we’re young, we expect there to always be a next gig. But in reality the news from those newly educated and unable to ‘find a job’ for all their investment of hours and thousands of dollars aches just as much and tugs at the soul in the dark of night facing bills and an unknown tomorrow.

 

Our life is spent in a series of ‘temp jobs’, however, no matter our age. Until we find and self-define our Work here to be done — the work only you or only your friend, or only I can do.

 

When our work defines our hours, our journey, our self-esteem, our ability to provide for those we love and ourselves, obviously it’s important. No matter the age or circumstance, whether demonstrating for a living wage as a fast-food worker, a journalist wondering where all the newspapers went (along with the fact- and spell-checking staff), or a care-giver who graduates a child from college the same year the remaining care-needing parent leaves this earth, the work that we see as defining us and fills our ‘productive’ hours is very important.

 

Notice, however, that all of this esteem comes from the eyes of others: the pay-check, the role, the business-card/title and the all-important ‘connections’ and the who-you-knows. These are the tacit measures of Your Worth — the other-defined value of what you do.

 

In a world where people’s souls are reduced to ‘what can you do for me’ bosses and the entire category of workers summed up by the term ‘human capital’ rather than ‘the person who works with me and for whom I’m so grateful s/he does,’ our Worth and Value is too-often defined by what we ‘produce’ rather than what we give and contribute of our unique talents and enthusiasm. It’s a demeaning system when looked at this way, no? And this, too, is nothing new.

 

Now, just for a little moment, focus on what your Work is:

What is your Mission should you decide to accept it

— the Mission you have the perfect package of heart, soul, knowledge, enthusiasm and vision to undertake

(skills can be learned) —

right here and right now?

 

Feeling one’s Work to be meaningful, we know, creates a feeling of self-worth and self-esteem. We carry ourselves differently, we hold our Value in our presence and in our smile, knowing we are using our specific talents, gifts and vision and creating something valuable with our time here.

 

That’s true whether the value is in a well-raised child who flowers using his or her gifts On Task and On Purpose, or in creating good living conditions involving hands to hold and good food to eat for the last few years of a beloved’s lifetime here, or in something new that only you can see and create, whether you sell it or give it away.

 

It’s amazing to me how quickly we go from being seen as miracle, as every new baby feels to a loving family, to being cut down with a snarky ‘Who do you think you are, God’s gift to the world?’ a few years later when we are shining with Presence and working very hard at our job. This feels to be all thanks to a system in which we are made to feel value-less unless meeting someone’s definition of value or ‘worthy of being remunerated’ for what is our only time and our specific and unique gifts to be used in service of … well, in service of what?

 

Something greater than our short lives, simply.  Something we feel moved to do by an inner desire that aches to be made manifest.

 

Call that something what you will. For military, it’s in service of country and maybe even God; for others of us, it’s in service of God or Creation. Yet, for others, it’s in service of society or of leaving the world a better place.

But for anybody, is our individual Worth and Value felt in service of ‘the Boss’ or a corporate board’s paycheck? That doesn’t mean making a beautiful door for a car isn’t a worthy use of one’s life-time here; it is because you are good at it, and when it requires your creativity, skill, discipline, time and yes, joy, for it to be well-made. It requires You, your best shining forth.

 

Your real work is defined by You, shining your best into the world. And that’s possible only if you feel Value and Worth — self-defined — powering it. That makes it more than a job. And it makes it worth pursuing and holding in vision; that makes it Work the world needs and only you can do.

We are charged with this Task: To Be our best, use our specific and unique skills, gifts, talents, and infuse them with joy and enthusiasm in the service of something greater.

 

This is your Work to do:

Use your gifts to be a Gift to this world.

It may not be the job you had before or will ever have again;

but if you are doing your Work you really will feel alive.

 

And hopefully, it will never look like however you defended or defined your ‘value’ before by others. Hopefully, this is the way to find and create your Work, and it may be better than your life spent at a job up ’till now.

 

Who do you think you are . . . ?

 

If you are shining On Task and On Purpose, feel that maybe that’s an affirmative: You are a gift for you are a care-giver and this time it’s not a Temp position. You give your care, your energy, focus, talent, time as truly a gift to this world, for it’s a role only you can be great at, a Work only you can do, a You only you can offer.

 

 Blessings on your day today!

 

Elizabeth Darby

Choosing.

Choosing.

This is a word much used and very misunderstood.

 And this word above is in a tense that implies ‘going to’, isn’t it?

 As in, ‘I’m choosing to . . . ‘.  Really? When. Have you chosen yet?

 Although it sounds like “I’m choosing [now] to…” followed bywhatever action is being undertaken (see below for a test), it’s actually saying and feeling, ‘I’m going to choose for the future this . . . _______’.

 That’s just it. “I’m choosing to __________” includes the feeling that you/I/we don’t already possess what it yearned for in our heart of hearts, whether great work, great recompense, great health, great family, great whatever.

 Try it: Insert your most simultaneously feared and yearned-for word of this moment to test this:

 I’m choosing to________

I’m choosing to live fully…

I’m choosing to ‘be happy’ …

I’m choosing to leave this closet of dread . . .

I’m choosing to attract _________ whatever it is you feel you don’t have…because clearly you don’t. You’re still choosing it.

 

Now try it in the active form:

 I choose . . .

There’s a sense of immediacy about this.

 It serves to pop the energetic bubble of despair and let the fresh air in.

 It serves to make now (as it is above, so it is below) joyous, abundant, life-filling happiness incarnate. Try it:

 I choose happiness. 

(Now! Pop! There it is!).

 

I choose joy in life and living fully

(oops, it’s already underway by the time you’ve added “and living…”).

 

I choose ____________ ; by the time you’ve said ‘leaving this closet of despair, you’ve already left.

 

I choose ___________  [to attract ] — again, no time to “attract” but rather to experience it as it’s here and now, as in:

I choose abundance;

I choose great work;

I choose health . . .

And the important thing is it ‘feels’ as if it’s already here.

Because it is:  As it is Above, So it is Below: Joyous; Spirit; Loving; Abundant; Light-filled. Choose it — oh, here it is!

 

‘I choose’ is a prayer of now.

 

‘I’m choosing’ is a ‘gonna. It’s a category into which we pour our future hoped-for experiences.

 

‘I choose’ is a dare to self to live, now.  Try it:

I choose love.

I choose you.

I choose abundance.

I choose this company/work/hours/exchange of life-for-security (seeming).

I choose this person to be my beloved.

I choose health.

I choose joy.

I choose life.

 

And, of course, that’s all any of us can do: choose moment by moment.

‘I’m choosing to . . .” seems to put a Life of living off for just a moment for an added clause ‘to be/do/soon’ an infinitive of infinite time forthcoming. It feels like fingers crossed behind the back and the teeniest bit of doubt in one’s heart. “I’m choosing to (at some uncertain time) to . . . , really, I am!”

 

It’s amazing what 3 little letters can do to drag out despair in a moment and leave us hijacked by our ‘intent’ — ‘I’m choosing to . . .’  is kind of like “warming up the tele’ “for those who remember sitting around waiting for the TV picture tube to ‘warm up’ into the picture we waited (and waited and wanted) to see.

 

There’s a lot in the world about choosing and choice, so forgive me if any of this is a repeat of others. I’ve found, however, that we each mix up the two phrases very often, especially when reaching for a feeling of ‘things are going to get better,’ we often reach for the ‘best thought we can,’ and that thought tends to push things into the future, rather than right now.

I am choosing, or, I choose. Now.

‘I choose’ also gets around the feeling that there’s a distance between what is reality now and what you hope for: even when there’s little abundance in sight, affirming “I choose abundance” pops the yearning and despair and gives instant “yes, I do” inside.  “I am choosing abundance” just has a ‘to come someday’ added on to the back of the feeling. What is in back of the feeling is what is real to you, now, in this moment. So choose. Now and wholly in the only moment you control. Now.

 

So, try it. From my workshops and consults, I find that starting here:

 

I choose  ______________ (top five items for Now)

1)_________________

2) _________________

3) _________________

4) ________________

5) ________________

 

… pops the energetic bubble of despair and brings happiness, joy, abundance and, perhaps most importantly, the clarity of “Yes, I choose __________ ” to your Life-time. Playing Right Now.

 

Blessings on your choices today,

Elizabeth Darby