The biggest challenge is living life in the fullest right now. To be neither in the past nor the future. To face fears as one experiences them. To constantly reassess one’s temperaments and ideals, perceptions and reactions to become a better, kinder, more graceful person who lives with great compassion. To find what destiny was designed for us and follow the cues of passion and interest to find where we make the very most difference in the world.
Writing a memoir was a profound experience for me because I was able to start at the beginning of this life journey and walk through it. I saw myself at three years old, at eleven years old, I watched as I experienced bliss, intense sadness, confusion, joy, and I nodded at each character that has helped mold me in my life, from my mother to my mentors. I was able to see, understand, forgive, embrace, appreciate, and release. I highly recommend that you purchase a journal and begin telling your tale. Everyone has a message and a life of lessons to share.
When one finds themselves fretting about the future or reliving a memory in the past, try to pull yourself to this moment. I believe the reason I love great food, cooking, and the mysteries of wine is because it makes me grounded. It forces me to use my human senses. Otherwise I am always flitting about spiritually or stuck in my head. Balance is needed. Try to close your eyes and smell, hear, touch, breathe, taste. Hear the birds. See the colors of nature out the window. Feel the breeze on your skin. Taste the tannins in a cup of tea. Feel the air fill your lungs. Put your hands together in front of your heart and feel gratitude. This acts as a reset and brings you back to now.
In my book, The Making of a Medicine Woman; the Memoirs of Bird Woman, that is soon to be released, I experience facing fears. You will always have to face your fears. They will keep coming until you do. My fear has always been of ghosts and bad spirits. Nightmares from when I was very young and stories that haunted me (I should not have watched “The Exorcist”) through adulthood kept me from doing the work that I do. I lived in haunted house after haunted house and had experience after experience until finally I turned around and realized I wasn’t afraid anymore.
What are you afraid of?
On my birthday I posted some crazy what-if’s. What if I stopped writing out a to-do list, what anything get done? My fear of not being productive enough prompts me to write elaborate lists. I stopped writing them for a week. And sure enough, not a dang thing got done! So the lists are back, just smaller.
I wondered if I stopped worrying about money if it would come easier. Our income didn’t increase but once I stepped back and stopped worrying, I realized we make enough.
I wondered what it would be like to shave my head. It felt like a beautifully symbolic new beginning. A spiritual oath. A bit of freedom (from tangles, hair products, and dye). But what if people thought I had cancer? (White girls with shaved heads are unfortunately assumed to be ill if they have very short hair, it turns out…) Well, sure enough, lots of messages came pouring in and strangers walked up to me and asked if I were ill. I dealt with the fear straight on with a smile. And I LOVE my hair. I don’t look in the mirror much now. It certainly is freeing.
Challenge yourself! That is another way to live fully. What do you want to do with your life? How can you become a better person? How can you live more compassionately? How can you spread your light to the world?
Maybe open doors for people. Give some leeway on the highway. Give hugs, compliments, forgiveness, and small gifts. Give of yourself. Laugh. Notice. Be here. Follow your desires.
If you are not happy, figure out why. It’s time to live your destiny and your birthright of joy. Joy follows when you are following your highest self and living for now.