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What Inspires Your Mind and Makes Your Heart Leap?

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If your mind is searching for clues to answer this question you are not alone.  Often people are unable to answer this simple question because they are living in what I call “survival mode”.  I happen to be a master at operating in survival mode as I have spent years living in it.   Even today I occasionally  get caught in a wave that tugs me back in that direction.  What I have learned is that when your day to day revolves around chasing your next have to it is not uncommon to feel numb and/or uninspired by your life.

Survival mode is usually sparked by a life changing planned or unplanned event.  It could have been caused by the birth of a child, an ill parent, you starting a new job or possibly your own  business.   It could be a combination of many things; there are endless possibilities.  Whatever happened it seriously disrupted your day to day life.  Maybe it felt like a tsunami, or maybe little by little, the time you spent taking care of your physical, mental and social needs evaporated.

When you are living in survival mode, often, you are neglecting important areas of your life (your health, your career, personal life… what ever it may be).  However in most moments all your energy is focused on getting through the day.  When you wake up in in survival mode it is not uncommon that you immediately leap into action, worried about how you will get it all done.  Even if little to none of your have to’s excite you, the stress propels you forward.

The most side serious effect of survival mode is that your life begins not to resemble you.  Your needs and desires stop being met and you no longer feel inspired or excited about how you spend your time.  Even a simple question, like What do you do for fun?, becomes difficult to answer.   If the people around you (work, significant other, kids, etc… ) are clear about what they want and are trying to fulfill their needs they may be looking for your help.  It is easy to say yes to them, without realizing that this may mean that you are saying no to you.  The times that you feel frustrated and even resentful can be softened with the satisfaction that comes from helping others.  One of the perks of being needed is that it may help you avoid the unknown.  You can claim, with reason, that you do not have time to think about it and/or make changes.

If you resonate with what I am talking about you have a choice.  You can continue to live in survival mode or find ways to break free.  Survival mode is not a life long sentence.  If you cannot connect to your needs and desires it is nearly impossible to get them met.  The cycle of filling other peoples needs and your life not moving forward will continue.  Living in survival mode for an extended period of time means that you are helping others live their life and forgetting to live your own.  Are you ready to start living your live again?  If you need a reminder, please know that you deserve to love your life!

 

Action Ideas & Tips:

Are you ready to re-connect with what inspires your mind and makes your heart leap?  

1)  Make Regular Appoints with Yourself

Make yourself a priority.  Put time on your calendar to give your mind breathing space.  It may be helpful to decide that during this time you will do something that is relaxing and adopt the airline take off policy, turning off anything that has a power switch or battery.  Eliminating distractions allows us to tune into ourselves.  

A few ideas… go for a run, take a bath, read a book, meditate or paint. 

 

2)  Start Asking Yourself Questions 

If you wanted to get to know another person you would ask them questions and listen intently to their answers.  You can get to know yourself by asking questions like the ones below and exploring where that takes your thoughts.  Record this in some way.

A few ideas to record your thoughts… write in a journal, record yourself in audio or type the answers on your computer.

A few questions to get you started…  What did you do for fun before?  What energizes you?  What do you miss most about your life?

3) Take Yourself Out 

Make plans to go out with yourself.  Explore something that interests you to see how you like it.  When things get hectic, it is easy to push your needs aside and that is where accountability can help show how committed you are. There are many studies that show when people have something financial at stake they are much more likely to follow through.  If you want to work out and are having problems getting your butt to the gym, hiring a trainer can increase your commitment level.

A few ideas…  take a class, commit to donating to a cause you don’t agree with if you don’t meet your deadline or consider hiring a coach.

 

~ Something to Think About ~

 If You Don’t Know Where You’re Going, Any Path Will Do.  

                                                                                                  ~ Poignant advice from the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland


3 comments

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  1. dave

    I’m going to concentrate more on making and keeping appointments with myself for the gym, books I want to read, etc.

    Always thoughtful advice! Keep up the great work!

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  2. shannon ellis

    Laura,
    I hope you had a great Christmas. Happy New Year to you and your husband. ( i like saying that). I love reading your news letters. They are always very inspiring, and i continue to be inspired you. I have always admired what you went on to do & I’d love to snip your bangs or give you a big hug soon. XOXO!!! Shannon Ellis.

    P.S. I’ve moved since then. My number is still the same.

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  3. steve

    This is very good stuff, it seems to me.
    I think part of life is knowing how to balance
    the needs and wants of others with our own
    needs and wants, and that is tricky, to balance
    self-giving with self-getting. I think it’s
    important to consider this prayerfully, and then
    to be at peace with God and with ourselves.

    By the way, there is a new book out that seems
    intriguing to me entitled, “God Wants You Happy:
    From Self-Help to God’s Help,” by Fr. Jonathan Morris.
    The title resonates with Laura’s encouragement to
    love our lives.

    Nice work, Laura.

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