Personal Quests

happiness-quotes-everything-is-a-gift-of-the-universe-even-joy-anger-jealousy-frustration-separateness-everything-is-perfect-growth-enjoyment-ken-keyes-wisdom-quotesMy sweet, 15-year-old daughter just left for her FIRST home-away camp where she will not be able to talk to her parents, use a phone & will be sleeping away for five days. She left with butterflies in her tummy, anxiety, fear, overwhelm, but knew deep down this was going to be a very good, positive growth opportunity for herself.

She arrived at the drop-off location and noticed a big group of other kids waiting with duffles, sleeping bags, pillow, etc. Her immediate reaction was then, “My duffle is too big!” Her personal overwhelm then turned into ‘my stuff is going to draw too much attention!’

Isn’t life funny like that. We are first perceived by ‘our stuff’ and then as we get beyond the exterior ‘stuff’ and go deeper, we are able to find our place, our desires, our quests, to connect on deeper levels with others, to learn what is truly important, to see what defines, to then have a clearer picture of who we are–on the inside. Sometimes it takes a personal quest, an act or instance of seeking or pursuing something; a search.

Why do we send our kids to camp? to open a door for themselves to seek something within, to pursue learning things about themselves, to give them an opportunity to be alone with who they truly are and find a clarity that will help guide their life.

Life is a big, giant quest for answers, guidance, depth, challenge, change, growth, and as we seek after various things we learn…TRULY learn what is important and what we value from within.

I believe everyone becomes stagnate until they begin to notice where there life may need some injections of purpose, play, adventure….personal quests!!

Let’s take a few lessons from my daughter’s experience & see how they can help us with our own life quests.

DIFFERENT EXPERIENCES MAKE US GROW: 

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I had to remind my daughter that through challenges we grow. The flower does not fully bloom until it has broken through the tough soil to feel the warmth of the sun. We often have to go through hard things to find a place that can challenge us on another level.

Every experience truly does have a gift if we can look for it. Whether it brings us pain or discomfort, the gifts will be found after we make it through the tough packaging.

Even knowing my daughter will not be able to see or talk to us for five days (which has never happened in her entire 15 years of life), I know the separation will be so sweet when we see her again. She/we will have gained an even deeper appreciation for our relationship.

There are gifts in every life experience.

 

BE A CONSTANT SEEKER OF LEARNING: 

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If we are constantly striving to learn, growth in a variety of ways will follow. Think about it–if you are always reading, you are improving your writing skills, comprehension, spelling, imagination, reducing stress, expanding your vocabulary, etc. If you are constantly seeking to take a class (online or in person) you will gain confidence and education. When you are trying to expand your mind through growth in any area of your life—it is a quest to become better than you were. We should always be striving to become better than we were yesterday.

 

BE FLEXIBLE:

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Dr. Wayne Dyer use to talk about striving to be flexible like a palm tree because they can bend in a storm and not break. If we can look at a situation and try to find a better way, to be flexible in the moment, the journey will be a little easier.

Today my daughter left the car, met a couple of girls & instantly joked, “Hi, I am Kate, the girl with the big bag!”  I laughed out loud thinking about the perspective she took. How she just went with the situation and was flexible enough to make it a funny moment.

 

FACE THE FEAR & DO IT ANYWAY: 

98c77c07fa270d19fe4e8472d14b469aI think we are often put in circumstances where we are afraid of the outcome–whether it is a work meeting that could turn confrontational, going to a class with people you have never met, trying a new sport & not wanting to look foolish…

When we face a fear there is no question we walk away a little taller. Think about a situation where you were afraid to go, afraid of an outcome, but you pushed yourself to go through with it.  Did you walk away feeling stronger and more confident? absolutely.

My daughter was terrified to go to camp & a couple of months ago when I brought up the topic of going, she was digging in her heels and determined not to go. I know that even at this moment, she may still feel some fear, but she is feeling more confident in knowing where she was & where she is today.

 

FIND JOY:

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When we are able to find things that bring us JOY, life becomes the purest version of what we need internally. The quest for Joy is an illusive one, until you take the time to find those things that light you up. When something lights you up, you are on your way. When we find and do things that light us up, it naturally lights up others around us. We find an internal spark that ignites ideas, creativity, energy, pursuits of variety…it brings us to places that sing and ignite individual purpose. We truly come alive!

This is one of my daughter’s favorite quotes of all time. She believes this with her whole heart. She has this spirit that wants to change the world & I know as she strengthens her courage muscles, faces fears, is challenged and finds growth, she will continually find her way & make the difference she desires. I see her light up after volunteering at our local aquarium and teaching kids about marine life. I see her light up when she speaks in front of groups. I see her light up learning new things. I see her light up when she has to face a challenge & knows it will be good for her.

Life should be full of things that help us pursue personal quests all of our life!! When we are learning, growing, being challenged to change—we will then be led to things that light us up & we will continually find higher parts of ourselves.

When we are striving to become better each day…each day truly will be better.

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Life is a sincere pursuit of things that will stay with us always. Look for the gifts in all you do. Make it a personal quest to find them. They are there to be unwrapped and enJOYed.

Peace, love and joy to you today.  -H

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ENTHUSIASM

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I truly have always loved the word ENTHUSIASM. When you understand the greek term, you appreciate the word even more…en theos or “God within.”   What power that word possesses. If we could all live from such a place of enthusiasm, what a world we would live in.

Yesterday, I was driving through a breakfast burrito spot and ordered a simple, breakfast burrito. I made the exchange at the drive-up window & was then greeted by such an enthusiastic encounter. The guy at the window handed me my order & enthusiastically said, “I have only made 4 of those burritos in 2 years!! Keep the orders coming! I love shaking things up and making something different!” He beamed with enthusiasm. I drove away giggling with my daughter at how sweet that interaction was, to see a man working at a fast-food restaurant so happy to make something a little different. Variety was definitely his spice of life. It lit him up!

Are we not all like that? Don’t we need to shake things up, to add some variety into our lives.  Last weekend my family rented some paddle boards, which one of them was a huge 18 ft board that could fit multiple people. My daughter does not love trying new things, especially in front of other people, like my family. I wanted my daughter to TRY & I know she has the personality that you have to keep pushing and pushing until she finally does. We were having a serious conversation & she was digging in her heals pretty serious. She was not having any of the conversation & was not about to get on a paddle board. After a serious, stern moment, she finally gave in after I promised her it would just be our little family on the large board.  I only get stern if I know she will enjoy it & the situation was getting too serious. The conversation paid off. My daughter hesitantly got on the board, tried something new and loved it. The whole day would have been a different day if she would not have got on the board and spread her little wings and tried. She was filled with enthusiasm. She paddled cousins all around the lake, she started water fights with uncles, she found a little part of herself that needed to fly and be free from the constraints of the usual, the comfortable.

When we leave the comfort zone, we tap into a deeper part of ourselves that needs to grow. When we try new things, we light up. That ‘God within’ part or enthusiasm shines through and joy springs from us. It is a good place to be.

What can you do today to shake things up, to tap into that part of you that needs to feel enthusiasm?

“An enthusiastic heart finds opportunities everywhere.”  -Paulo Coelho

Take some time to do something you truly enjoy–maybe you feel you don’t have enough time in a day. Think about all the great minds throughout history, what they accomplished, and how they had the exact number of hours and days you have. How will you make today different? Begin with 15 minutes. That is all. Do something you enjoy for 15 minutes.

Avoid being the victim–my husband’s sister has been a functioning addict for over 30 years until recently. She fell into a pit and stayed there. We just removed her from her old world & threw her into an uncomfortable situation. She hit rock bottom–she could have been the victim, but instead she got moving. She began walking 5 miles a day and seeing herself through other lenses than the victim ones he had been wearing. She is moving in a forward direction for her life. It all begins with a choice. What do you want to focus on? What statements are you saying to yourself?

What lights you up? What is something you could spend hours doing? Maybe you enjoy walking museums for creative inspiration. Maybe you could go on a hike every day. Maybe you love to read or write. Maybe playing or listening to music. Maybe learning something new…ask yourself, ‘what lights me up?’

Take care of yourself–make sure you are doing what you can to have good energy, eating good foods, getting enough sleep, exercising, drinking water, etc. If you are not taking care of your body, how can the spirit part of you be influenced & feel good?

Evaluate the energy drains of your life–are there things you do that bring you down, that make you feel low. Are there people or friends that you don’t enjoy being around, you feel zapped from spending time with them. Are there things about your job that lower your energy. Look at different aspects of your life and evaluate what lights you up, what makes you feel lower energy and try to slowly limit those things that don’t light you up. You will begin to see the high and low energy effects of everything in your life.

Look at your body language and verbal language–what are you saying? Do you carry a positive body posture or do you walk hunched over. Are you saying positive things to others & yourself or do you find yourself being more negative than positive. Do you sit tall or slouch. Walk and talk as if you are feeling full of enthusiasm & what you will be telling your mind and body is that you are truly feeling it!

Avoid the bad life stressors–my husband has recently been trying to take on a new role at work. The stress has been unbearable to watch. He comes home, his eyes are sunken in and he is exhausted, there is no possible energy of enthusiasm that can thrive on that! When you over stress, you over work, you become overwhelmed and your body is depleted. Nothing can grow or light up from the hard depths and dark energy of bad stress. This is when sleep, slowing down, and recharging is essential to begin again.

Learn something new–realistically, when you learn something new, you get lit up. Think of a time recently that you learned something new–what happened? Did you have a renewed energy? Did you want to learn more? When we challenge, we grow. When we grow, we light up.

Surround yourself with positives–listen to positive podcasts, put on music that makes you feel good, watch movies that stir your soul (feel good–not make you feel heavy), be around people who are happy & feel good, read and send positive quotes, read good books that will make you stretch and grow, do things that make you feel positive and fill your heart with enthusiasm.

 

May you light up. May you find enthusiasm. May it find you in all you do.

Peace and love to you today.  -H