Joy is the Essence of Success

Joy is the essence of  Success…

My teabag tag on this cold winter’s night.

Don’t you love gifts like this?  It is a winter’s night when the snow has melted slightly and turned to black ice, the moon grows full, and it is a deep cold. The frosted air and all its various contributions — the musky fox who darted through the yard a bit ago, car exhaust, someone’s passing cigarette smoke, the dog who has recently over eaten, and now a sweetly scented cup of spicy tea — clings close to the ground to join into a soupy, heady moment in which to be aware of life passing by.

And yet, this is just it . . . and thus the gift of a moment in time no matter the moment:

When one feels a success, one feels joyful.

When one is joyful, one is a success.

 

Yes, it’s that simple.

 

When do you feel joy?

 

When do you feel a success?

 

Wouldn’t it be nice to remember to feel either or both of these during many moments of each day or on a cold, winter’s night?

For feeling each or both is, in fact, a moment’s choice.

Choose it now and take a deep breath! If in this moment, you are able to connect to heartfelt joy, you are a success. And, if in this moment, you choose to feel a success — you are here doing good work, after all, right? Being your shining best in this moment? — then you feel joyful.

Round and round it goes, success to joy to success to joy…

 

I’ve been thinking a lot about success lately. It seems there are so many recipes to achieve it and so many encouragements in the world to define and attain it. There was even an entire TED radio hour on it on a recent NPR show (good to listen to! Here’s the link: http://www.npr.org/2013/10/25/240777690/success ).

 

When I first heard this show several weeks ago, I scribbled notes immediately as I took issue with so much of what was discussed, for it seemed there was something missing from many of the definitions of success explored in that assembly of speakers.

And what I felt was missing was simply this:

Heart.  Shine,  Soul.

A sense of Being You, On Task and On Purpose.

A sense of being here to do specifically what you are here to do . . . And doing that.

Call it living one’s shine and using one’s gifts for this world.

Although we try to measure success in so many outward ways, as the Ted Radio Hour on NPR explored, the real measure of success is exactly what my teabag reminds me tonight:

Joy.

 

And that, simply, is what I hope any of you feel after working through my book or in working with me one-on-one.

Joy and Success: You are being You at your best and deepest heart-level.

I thank you, at the end of this year in this season of returning light and cold nights, for your joy, for your heartfelt connection in reading my thoughts, here or in my book, or even just for smiling after looking at my work here. Your many likes, nice comments and follows make me feel joyful and have helped to make Here You Begin, a tiny book of good intentions in a sea of self-help gurus, what I feel to be a success.

And so I thank you again!

If I were to define success, for any one of us, you know it would be this:

To feel that you are here, shining, doing your work, on purpose and on task, using your unique combo of talents and heart for this world and in this world.

And that makes everyone around us — as well as you and me— full of joy.

Thank you for daring to shine in whatever moment is before you in your life in this moment, right now.

Blessings!

Elizabeth Darby

On Being . . . Perfect

In preparing for a next workshop, a friend “in the biz” of helping others noted all the courses she takes continuously and has for a decade or so. Every day in her work she helps others rid themselves of blocks in energy and the ill-health caused by the holdings we all carry. She is ever present, ever helpful and nurturing. Indeed, she is ever on purpose, being her best self with her clients, so insightful and supportive, clearly living the reason for her being here — and yet, in her alone times, her conversation reveals, she is ever searching for being ‘better’ at the courses she attends … but ‘better’ at what I don’t know, for she is perfect in the expression of who she is, right at this very moment.

It really struck me how much we seek being perfect — whether in body, mind, shape, or soul — rather than seek being, well, ourselves in all our naked beauty.

Of course that beauty includes the scars, the bulges, perhaps even the ugly toes or toenails. It includes the moments of Fear and soul-searching, and wanting to be ‘enough’ and each of these come day after day, shadow and light, shadow and light, as we live our days. Because the beauty and the perfection is shining out from within of course. I’ve long told my daughters the most beautiful diamonds on earth are those that are ‘near’ perfect —not totally perfect —and carry the small flaws within for that is how they sparkle and give off the fire from within. I don’t know that it’s true, but it helps to dry a lot of ‘not enough’ tears and thus it is a truth any of us can live:

We must shine with and despite our flaws, believing they, too, can capture our internal fire and reflect the light passing through us.

A hundred plus a little years ago, here in the West where I live, my grandmother’s family struggled to get enough water for each day’s ‘being’.  There were moral conquests as we struggle with, of course, but they entailed following God’s footsteps, not Being Perfect as God.The Work of getting the daily basics — water, food grown with it, roof strong enough for summer tornadoes and winter winds — was honorable and worthy work of Being and with grace and shine they met the day. Gratitude for the smallest boon, such as an icicle hanging on the roof just out the door so breaking the water in the well unnecessary for another day in January, or a pot full of hail in May to ease the loss of another gallon of water that had to be fetched from the creek a mile away and by foot, filled the house with grace and joy and a moment of Being feeling successful, content and purpose-filled.

As our society here today enjoys luxuries unimaginable to my grandmother’s family (and to much of the world today) it seems we’ve focused our moral attention and struggles on that which we feel we do not have, and thus we might too often seek being Perfect rather than simply Being and greatly Shining with gratitude and on purpose.

A sense of ‘enough’ — and being enough — is what’s missing, no?

 

So as you consider today’s ‘being’ and what ‘being enough’ might include,

do take ‘being perfect’ out of the equation.

As I say in my journal guide …

You are not perfect at anything . . . except at being you.

You are perfectly made for the life and work you are here to do in your Life-time.

You are perfectly able to create — in fact you must — your own Work.

 

As you consider what your Work might be, here’s a question to ponder from my Work:

 

See a child standing before you. See many!

Look at each face carefully and note for a moment

how beautiful each is.

What one thing does this and every child you see need?

_____________________________________

How can you give it to one of them? Two of them?

Each and all?

_____________________________________

That which you wish to give every other child might be just the thing you yourself need or needed as a child,

whether a hug, a sense of enough, a moment of freedom from life-sustaining chores, or being seen,

or the feeling that comes with feeling

worth the care someone else offers,

like you giving to that child you hold in your vision.

Take a moment and see you giving it to yourself as a child.

Now plan and plot how you can give that to the child

you see standing before you,

whether in your vision or in your reality!

May the rest of your day be joyous in your Being You, shining forth your best and most certainly without being perfect!

Here you Begin!

Blessings,

Elizabeth Darby

 

Step by step

Quote

“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

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

A Lot of Truth

There’s a lot of Truth out there these days.

A lot of it is good Truth:

Like we are really good at doing what uses both our talents and our heart-felt enthusiasm, otherwise we risk the fashion faux pas of wearing brown shoes and a black belt … and a half-smile of enduring another day choosing one over the other;

Like we need to define our own success to look like something we actually want to wear and which looks good on us, rather than the latest style;

Like we don’t walk alone no matter how dark it looks and despite all appearances in certain moments of closet-hiding.

Moments of closet-hiding? You know the ones I mean:

You wake up thinking Today is the Day I’ll _____________________________ (find that job; feel talented for once or again; know that it’s possible I’m here to do Good Work that pays, despite age, circumstance, and time taken off for care-taking kids or parents or both; not feel like yesterday’s left-over beer when handing in yet another resume).

Choose any or all or fill in the blank with your own grinning admission.

And then you find that, well, yes you do still feel like any or all of these and the best place to deal is in the warm closet where your imagination can soothe you with possibility. Closet-hiding.

It gets pretty stuffy in that closet after a while.

And this is where we can dare to let the Truth in, like a bit of fresh air or a crack of light into our dark, somewhat stuffy place:

There is something within each of us

guiding each of us to what works best for us individually

and to the Work we are here to do.

No one is alone in that closet; there’s a guide in there with you, shining a light on your possibility but also asking you to listen carefully to your inner shining wisdom:

No one else can do exactly what you are here to do.

You have precisely the tools, talents

and soul-filled enthusiasm needed to

create the work — your work — in this world

where it is sorely needed.

And if you’re not sure about that, while basking in the possibility of this Truth, get out your pen or sketchbook and complete this simple fill-in-the-blank-of-your-Soul:

I’m an inventor and I can make anything work.

This is a description or sketch of the invention

I feel the world needs most:

_______________________________________

_______________________________________

_______________________________________

_____________________

Name of my invention

My International Prize Awarded on:

________________________

(day/month/year)

Here are the steps I took to make it:

1)

2)

3)

Now that’s wisdom shining from your Soul. And work waiting for you to do today.

And that’s a Truth.

Blessing on your day!

Elizabeth Darby