Step by step

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“You must first have the knowledge of your power; second, the courage to dare; third, the faith to do.”

Charles F. Haanel, 1919

What better way to know your power than to feel you are here for a purpose; it is one only you can do well, given your specific talents, abilities, and the spark of care that you feel for that which moves you?

What is it you care about so much you feel

it to be impossible not to move toward it,

with care for it overflowing in every step?

_____________________________

_____________________________

What better way to have courage to dare than to act without thought of self in service of that which moves you, and using some or all of abilities you feel you do well — and the world smiles back in return?

What do you do, and do so well the world smiles at you

when you are in the midst of it?

___________________________

___________________________

And the faith to do . . . ah, there’s the task.

Faith is making the plan, starting at the point where what you dream as your life and life-work is still only a vision, lovely and glowing, and moving backwards to where you sit today, making the plan.

Faith is seeing something that doesn’t necessarily appear to others, but which you see and feel clearly.

Faith is knowing something exists when you don’t tangibly see it. Faith is the vase with water in it, neither half full nor half empty, but rather overflowing. For it is filled with water to the level you see it, and it is filled with air that you can’t see overflowing out of it and enveloping you and all that is in this beautiful world.

Faith to do is taking little step by little step from where you are today to the vision you see in your imagination and taking action in faith you have all the air and water you need now and en route.

So take a little a step today and see where you are! What a beautiful day!

Blessings on your little step today…

Elizabeth Darby

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To Shine and To Prosper

Prague window: ©2012 j michl, used with permission and appreciation. Please contact me before reposting, as a courtesy to the artist.

Prague window: ©2012 j michl, used with permission and appreciation. Please contact me before reposting, as a courtesy to the artist.

I found myself stressed on 6 fronts this past two weeks, each needing focus, belief, courage and breath to start again. Today. Now. Anew. So I wrote them all out on paper to get them out of my swirling mind. I handed them off to God and thus gained some breathing space.

As I added up all I needed with all I have been given, very long term of course, I found that it balances out to within a few cents over a lifetime.

Which got me to thinking about that Bible parable which makes me unsettles me so —  the 3 talents one—  as I tend to identify with the guy who buried his talent, his measure of money in those days, so as to make sure he can give it back. Like him, I don’t want to not do right thing or lose money, etc., and yet it is he who is ‘put to death’ for not prospering with what is given by God.

The ‘truth’ of it is in the ‘prosper’ part, of course. And that entails more than a balance sheet apparently; it entails how each of us defines a self-image of what need and abundance (even the ‘if only’ dreams) looks like reflected in the mirror. Right there, in your and my face, is the image: Are we just getting by on all needs? Are you reflecting “if only” dreams or the great gifts given and shining them out? Am I reflecting the yearning of what I need — and the feeling of the need already met in this moment — or am I reflecting the feeling of hiding the need and the desire and the talent … well, you see what I mean.

There’s lots of energy there, wanting to not need much, needing to do right thing, yearning to give back what given, to live in balance, to live in abundance not in deficit and to not lose what is given — wanting to do this life thing right while being aware that what is reflected back to us is what we are living inside… lots of energy there.

But we are instructed by such Story that we are here to do three simple things:

To Light and to Prosper and to Love. . .

and not necessarily in that order.

And there is the discomfort.

Is the picture of your life or mine a reflection shining any of those — the gifts, the talents, the yearning desire, the need — as demonstrating more than ‘just getting by’? Of making do by a whisker or a life of just making it and accommodating what looks like ‘reality’ or ‘ability’ or ‘situation’… rather than shining and prospering with what we are each given?

I feel such a picture of just getting by is a mirror of giving personal power away and not taking any of gifts given already in hand as tools or expressions of shine or of love.

I asked this question of Soulful Self and of God: “How do I expand my sense of incarnated self so that I can shine and prosper all I’ve been so graciously given — and what would that feel like? As clearly, we are given over a lifetime what we feel we need, rather than given a lifetime of needs as so many millions of us experience.

I think that’s where that ‘living like you already have all you need’ comes from — and there is a magic in it — as the parable teaches we already have all we need; it’s what we do with it that is our Task and our Purpose.

What would it feel like for you? Living, taking actions daily to shine and to prosper what you’ve been given inside, rather than focusing on the outer number of just getting by or living in need? What does abundance feel like after all? Is there a magic number by which you define yourself, or is it an experience?

I asked a dear daughter, as I was still feeling ‘careful’ trying to figure out this uncomfortable balance sheet of life. She said simply:

I feel abundant when I’m living with abandon . . .

you know like you just ‘do it big’ and it’s huge and wonderful and…

By now, she was sweeping arms now and I remembered the feeling from years of dance training —  of living, breathing, moving with abandon, rather than clutching the movement which looks terrible of course and feels terrible, too.

Living with abandon: 

It’s the feeling of being at the top of a mountain;

The feeling of leaping into the air and hanging there for a moment

suspended as art meets light;

The feeling of whooshing on a swing with long ropes;

The feeling of galloping fast on a horse;

The feeling of the waves splashing around running legs…

 

What’s your feeling of living with abandon? For in it is found your living in Love with life and source, to Shine and to Prosper,

So I looked up the etymology of abandon:

á banon. To + power/authority.

From Old English and Old French. Or as Eric Partridge writes in his fabulous book Origins:

“a sovereign’s proclamation within his/her jurisdiction…”

Oh, dear God! That’s right! Living with abandon, living to shine and to prosper, is living proclaiming sovereignty within the jurisdiction of one’s life while on Earth.

And that means, since you are a sovereign over your actions while here on Earth, it’s a given you have power, authority, treasury at the foundation of your life, as that’s what a sovereign has as a given

So what will you do today, to shine, to prosper all you have as a Given, and while Living with Abandon?

Blessings ,

Elizabeth Darby

Link

More on Success:

This lovely reflection from business professor Clay Christensen, from a couple years ago in the Harvard Business Review. I keep it handy for days when I, too, need to remember that Success is a life-work as well as a moment-to-moment state of smiles:

How Will You Measure Your Life

by Clayton Christensen

http://hbr.org/2010/07/how-will-you-measure-your-life/ar/1?cm_sp=most_widget-_-hbr_articles-_-How%20Will%20You%20Measure%20Your%20Life%3F

Blessings on your day!

Elizabeth Darby

What a Success!

How do you define Success?

How do you define your success?

Is it how you define success for someone else?

If you have moola-$ and no health, is that a success?

What if you have health and no moola-$, is that a success for you? Today? Now? In this moment of your life or for all time?

If someone else you have deemed “a success” has moola-$ and oh-by-the-way a little later on, you read headlines of his or her living (enduring) in a state of no health (whether addictions, self-destructions, or tragic illnesses), is that Success?

Does that life-experience still count as being in the “What a Success” category — in your estimation?

If you have plenty of moola-$ and no family, is that Success?

Repeat the question for those you esteem: If they have “plenty” but alas did you hear/read about their family… do you still consider Success to be in the equation by your definition?

If you feel “What a Success” about your life’s daily journey thus far … and yet no paparazzi are on your curb, is that Success?

After all, we wouldn’t know about the Success of those we esteem if it weren’t for the paparazzi capturing it for us, would we? And that makes them a … Success?

So “What a Success!!” really quickly gets  down to what you desire, what you want to experience, the costs of trading one success for another.

How do you define success as a Whole Life experience? Because like life insurance, you either buy the Whole Life or you buy the Term insurance — and be assured that they cost very differently and the return is very different.

Defining for you — only you — “What a Success” means also gets down to being willing to admit that what we esteem in others and how we define their Success we may — or may not — want to apply to our own lives.

Maybe this will help: A question from my book and workshops:

To Live Each Day I need*:

1) ___________________________

2) ___________________________

3) ___________________________

4) ___________________________

5) ___________________________

I might want these things:

____________________

____________________

____________________

But I really Need:

____________________________________________

*Need vs Want. Things you Need are things your Soul can’t live without.

The things you need might vary from the basics of a roof over your head to food on your plate. Needs might also include a big sky overhead, peace and quiet, or urban verve, or the connection of a family or a home-refuge nearby, or to be as far way from family as possible!  Among the Wants might be the kind of roof and how big a roof you want it to be and the quantity of the food on your plate.

Needs might include health to enjoy your life successes, large and small, like the energy to join in with the laughter of a loved one, rather than collapsing into a coma at night or feeling irritated at the humor — What are they so happy about?

Needs might also include Time — like having time to lovingly dry your child’s tears on any given moment of a day… (What did you have him or her for, if not to be available when s/he needs you?)

However, both Needs and Wants however defined will end up driving your life, your hours spent, your joy in your moments while here, and ultimately how you define Success in your time spent here on Earth.

Too often the Wants take over.

So Be Clear.

It’s what you need that will keep your Work true to You. . . 

And in being true to You and your definition of Success, your Work will be created more easily and joyfully….

If you are meeting your needs and are clear on how you define your Success, then it’s your paparazzi moment, if so desired:

Take a photo right now, even if only in your mind’s perfect camera, and frame it…

What a Success!

Blessings on your successful day, wherever in the world you are and however you define it!

Elizabeth Darby

“The most rewarded . . .

Quote

 . . . and the most important

here on Earth — and beyond —
are those putting to work
their talents, abilities and vision
on behalf of their Souls, the Universe,
and the needs of the World.
For they create Beauty here and now.”

 

 

Here You Begin —

Elizabeth D.

Dear Reader:

“You are not perfect at anything …

except at being you.

You are perfectly made, however, for the life and work

you are here to do in your life-time. . . “

So this guide to discovering you, your Passions and Purpose,
and designing the Life Path only You can do is written for you —

It is for you who feels the simultaneous excitement, confusion, and freezing fear brought by the myriad decisions before you as you think of the Life and living you build day by day, moment by moment, as you live. It is what you do in this moment that makes your dream made tangible in this world. It’s how you fill this moment that reveals your essential Being in this world.

It’s how you fill this moment

that reveals your essential Being in this world.

 

The possibilities for how any of us spend our time here on Earth, and how we put into service our energy, talents — the choices of what to make of ourselves — are indeed endless. Such choices are limited only by a combination of imagination, self-confidence and sheer courage to meet our own Self in the process. There is not a circumstance that limits the possibility of becoming exactly who we each dream to be, as it is only the actions of each moment that define each of us, revealing our Spirit.

This is how my book begins. . .

And I wrote it for you.

There is not a circumstance that limits

the possibility of becoming

exactly who we each dream to be . . .

Like any work, it was written for its author as well.

I wrote it when feeling particularly lost, at a crossroads in life:  children were grown and going, 24-years of marriage collapsing under the weight of separate careers, and my life path ahead totally unknown.  Would I return to the busy life of international journalism, having now successfully guided not just my offspring onto their own springboards and to lives they were loving but many of their friends as well?

Or, well, exactly what would I do to somehow combine my love of helping others discover their talents and passions and also bear Truth and Witness to the brilliance of those around me as they sought encouragement? What exactly was a Vocation anyway  . . . and does it pay the bills?

I was sitting alone in an old stable-room turned into dismal yet neutral hotel room. You know the kind — the windows were a little too high to look out, and revealed only the sky from the little desk pressed against the wall under them.   Although I imagined the horses that used to bed in the room, for comfort if anything, I found all I could see were the stars above the buildings of the stable-block. I wondered if the former residents, too, looked out this window for greener pastures to run in?

Then, as now all one could see

was a vast sky

full of stars: 

Infinite and improbable possibility as a blanket

for the soul on a dark night.

With me on this particular evening was not the reassurance of a warm muzzle and sweet hay breath of a horse but instead a little square pad of sheets of paper.

Each little square was separate and not connected to the next save for the box in which they sat.  I took one, curious to see what note I could write to my Self, looking for guidance.

Instead I took one then another and found a whole list of questions download through me onto each of these little sheets of paper.  Well, the little 3 by 3 squares were connected — by a guide leading me to my purpose and passion  — as the questions, simply questions that I was to answer, guided me to write down my dreams, longings, plans, abilities and things I cared about. Suddenly it was all on paper.  It was a map of my soul’s purpose and the squares became the stepping-stones to living this life-time here: On Purpose and On Task.

OP/OT

On Purpose and On Task.

This is what the World — this World of breathtaking beauty and piercing hurts — needs each of us to be.  On Purpose and On Task, being as excellent as each of us can be at using the gifts and talents we carry as tools of our expression in our life-times here.  To do what?  To do the Work we are each here to do; and if in doubt of what that might be, then to follow our yearnings and create as much beauty as is possible.

So if you, too, are feeling lost at this particular cross-roads, look up at the sky. Take a deep breath. Maybe there’s something here, or in my book or at a workshop that might help you.  I hope so!  For a quick start,  Take a look at the page Questions where I excerpt some of my book.  There you can  fill in the blanks of your soul as you discover or rediscover your dreams, your talents, your passions, your magic and remember how to be the Sovereign of your time here on Earth.

My book, Here You Begin, is being published by Chesterton & Davies, Ltd. It should be out any week.

To do what? 

To guide you to discover and do the Work

you are here to do;

And if in doubt of what that might be, then it is a guide to follow your yearnings to create as much beauty

as is possible while you are here

in the way only you can.

What you can do and who you are is greatly needed in this world.

In the meantime, I’ll post a few of the questions from my book  here …  maybe you will want to pre-order the book via the publisher at the link on the right!!  Or maybe you’ll want to try it out here a bit first.

I also offer personal coaching in finding your path and you OP/OT as well as workshops where we gather in beautiful places to go through the exploration together as well as take a keen look at the resistance felt or at the hurdles to  what is stopping any of us from being our best Self.  And then we walk around them together.  Dates on these to come but plans are for one to be held near you very soon.

If you have a group you’d like me to talk to — whether your friends or church group, your teen’s school or a job-search shelter for the many of us out of work and hurting just now, contact me!  As a journalist I found that asking questions proved to be the quickest and easiest way to discovering the obvious truth; in doing so with a gentle hand to hold, it re-ignites the fire of our souls to be remembered and put to use.

In the meantime, come back for a question of the day, week, month or set up a private coaching session with me.  You can do so through the links at the right!

Until we connect, remember: You and your gifts are needed in this world!

Believing in You,

Elizabeth D.