Looking on the Inside

Today’s my birthday and just like New Year’s it is a good time to reflect on where life has taken you and what path you want to pursue in the future.  I have had somewhat of an adventurous life although it didn’t start off that way.  I was raised in an uneventful, but nice home in Houston, Texas.  When I was 14,  my parents got divorced and my mom moved us (myself, 11year old sister and 2 brothers 6 & 3) to Acapulco, Mexico!  We went from routine to very exciting times! My mom worked as an assistant to the PR director for Braniff Airways and we got to hang out with all kinds of celebrities and interesting people.  My mom had a “date” with Sean Connery and I was an extra in a movie with Dean Martin – The Ambushers!  After 6 fun years, we moved back to the US and I finished my degree at the University of Texas in Austin and moved back to Houston.

After 10 years or so of more routine living – it was off to a new place – this time Caracas, Venezuela.  I worked for a real estate company that assisted executives from major corporations and embassies with relocation to Caracas.  I loved it there – it is a beautiful country with lots of opportunity for travel and exploration.  My trek to Angel Falls was one of my favorites.

After 8 years it was time to get back to the routine.  This time I settled in Florida and spent the last 13 years in a great career at Starwood in the vacation ownership department.  I won all kinds of awards and was able to travel to some of the best hotels and vacation destinations.  During the last 6 months there, I started feeling that this was not my path and decided to begin a new adventure.

This time however the adventure was not a new place, but an adventure in my own growth and personal development.  I have begun to see things in new ways and change the way I think and act.  One of the first things I did was to change the way I was eating.  I became a vegetarian and after a few months decided to go vegan.  I still slip up occasionally, but overall it is amazing to discover the link between what you eat and how you feel.  You may be thinking that I am referring to the physical, but it is much more than that – you will feel different spiritually and emotionally too.  It is a very exciting path to be on.

One of the most important tools in personal growth is to conquer your fears and step out of your comfort zone. I have always been timid and fearful of public speaking, so I decided to join Toastmaster’s.  I highly recommend it.   I am competing in my first speech contest this week!  Take action on something you have been putting off or were afraid to do and you will be amazed at how empowering this can be.

One of my friends once told me that if  “you always have it your way”  you are missing out on many opportunities to learn and grow – so it’s time to step out of that comfort zone and face new areas of exploration inside myself.  Last year was the year of change – this year will be a year of growth.  I feel this will be the most rewarding journey yet…I hope you’ll join me.

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Judgment Free Zone

Are you living in a judgment free zone?  What I mean by this is, do you judge others by some arbitrary guidelines that you have created? I know I have been guilty of this – not to extremes or anything, but I did have my list of items that made me look at others as if they were not worthy.  Some examples were people that smoked, had a lot of tattoos, were extremely overweight or very redneck, to name a few. I had never been prejudiced against race or culture, but I still had a few hurdles to overcome.

You see it wasn’t until recently that I realized that these judgments were just reflections of me and my own growth!! They were my fears and inadequacies, not the other way around. When you judge someone, for whatever reason, you are reflecting your weakness and lack of self love. When you lack self-esteem it is easy to put others down and see how they don’t “measure up” to your standards.

Who created these guidelines and standards? We all create our own, based on our set of belief systems. Start questioning these belief patterns and ask yourself if they are serving you in a positive way. It is easy to build yourself up at the expense of others, but at the end of the day I don’t think any of us is going to really feel any better. When we begin to doubt ourselves, it is easy to become very judgemental toward others. Looking back, I now realize that I was not in the position to be much of a judge at all.

When I made the decision to live in a judgment free zone, an amazing thing happened. As I quit judging others and came to terms that everyone is on their own path, and are in my life to teach me something, I became more confident, had more self-esteem and had my spirit uplifted.

As I continue to be aware of my thoughts  toward others, I  attract more positive people and happenings in my life.  If a negative thought pops in my mind, I recognize it, dismiss it and replace it with something positive.  This will allow others to bring their best attributes to you.  Just imagine if everyone could put forth their ideas without judgment or fear.

The next time you see someone who doesn’t do things exactly like you think they should be done, or perhaps are different than you – send a little love their way!  It will be returned and before you know it, you will be attracting non-judgemental people into your life.

Hope to see you in the Judgment Free Zone!

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Getting Started

Have you been putting off something that you have been wanting to do?  For me it’s been writing this blog.  What got me into writing “mode” versus “thinking and planning” was a seminar I attended recently in Las Vegas.

Have you seen “The Secret”?  I saw it when it first came out and have seen it many times and introduced it to friends and family members.  One of my favorite parts was the genie – “Your wish is my command!”  I really have felt stuck in that mode for sometime, occasionally breaking out and achieving some goals, but always going back to reacting to my current issues or fear and Boom! – “Your wish is my command!” –  I would go right back to where I didn’t want to be.

How can this be I would think – as I would watch “The Secret” again to get all positive and visualize what I wanted.  Then when it wouldn’t “happen” I would get all caught up in  my current situation and the cycle kept on going.

Well if it were as easy as watching a movie and thinking about what you wanted – lots of people (including myself) would be living their dreams.   O.K. then, what do I need to do to make some changes and get on the right path?  For me it was signing up for that seminar with a little leap of faith – since I had no clue how I was going to get there, pay for it, where to stay, time off work, etc. but a voice inside told me just do it!!

The seminar was Harmonic Wealth Weekend with James Ray (the genie guy from The Secret).  It was a breakthrough weekend for me.  It wasn’t so much that I learned anything that I didn’t already know, but now it was in my face and I had to deal with it .  The first thing I had to do was take responsibility for everything that has happened in my life – no matter how much I thought I was a victim of circumstances, the truth is we create our own circumstances.  At the time, I was in sales and not selling – sure was easy to blame the economy, the boss, the company, etc. but all of that was just a reflection of me and my thoughts, not the other way around.

In order for me to turn things around, I had to go way out on a limb – leave my job of 13 years – and truly evaluate what did I really want to do.  I got so far out on the limb, that it was about to break off from the tree or at least I thought it would.  I started changing my thinking, my way of looking at things and began a shift toward a new consciousness.  The best way to start on a new path is to just get started.  Take some action and things will begin to fall into place – I look forward to sharing my new adventures with you.

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