Beyond your own Edge

I don’t care who you are, everyone journeys through struggles, ends up with personal scars, insecurities and victories that they begin to own for their life. Sometimes struggles are self-induced or sometimes external factors play a role, but in any event, struggles and challenges test us and push us beyond our own personal edge.

Which made me think of a great example of this which was watching the incredible people on the CBS show, Beyond the Edge. Even if you are not into adventure reality television, you can watch this and appreciate the relationships made, people climbing out of their comfort zones, getting dirty, experiencing a deeper part of themselves, all in the name of winning money for their desired charities. It was an incredibly fun ride to watch. *[There are some spoiler moments, but also lots of quotes from the cast talking about the experience. Just wanted to let you know]*

I LOVED learning about each of their personal journeys and the roads their life has taken them.

I could not have told you who Ray Lewis or Coach was or anyone else on the show for that matter, but I genuinely enjoyed hearing about the inspiring snippets from their lives. At one point in the show there was a snake near Ray Lewis and he began explaining to one of the others about why he has a thing with snakes. As a young boy Ray’s mother was dating a man that was abusive towards his mother and Ray struggled deeply with the abuse. One day the man caught a snake in the yard and threw it on Ray. In fear and desperation Ray tried to call out to his mom, but nothing came out and from that day on Ray talked with a stutter. That was also a turning point for him. He knew he wanted to do all he could to be a man that could stand up for himself and his mother. Ray began a journey to build himself into the man he is today and not allow others to abuse his family. There were so many journeys—P talked about losing her husband, Craig shared his pain of losing his son and dealing with the loss daily, Jodie being a single mom, Lauren Alaina’s body issues, Eboni’s personal insecurities and overcoming them, and Colton was on yet another television journey to share his own story. So many of them were vulnerable with one another and the connections were so valuable and lifelong friends were made. It was wonderful to see different people, from different backgrounds coming together to touch others lives, but having such an incredible impact on one another.

I LOVED hearing them talk about going beyond their own comfort zones.

“Every celebrity went on a journey,” says Goldman.[produce] “It’s easy to be nice when things are going your way, but who are you when you’re exhausted, starving, and in pain? That’s when your true colors come out.” -TV Insider

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT to help you beyond your personal edge: This is such a great point!! It is so true. It is easy to be nice when you are in your day to day, comfortable life, but when you are exhausted, starving, in pain…what happens? How do you handle the stress? Think about it. How do you handle stress and being pushed beyond your limit? It was incredible to see these people take on such a challenge & they all have very comfortable lives, so it was definitely out of their comfort zone and they all handled it with such strength and dignity. So good. Would you??

“The day before we started principal photography, all of the producers looked at each other with the sinking feeling that this celebrity cast might see where they were living for up to two weeks — the harsh jungles of Panama — and just bolt,” he said in a statement. 

“To the contrary, we were amazed by how these icons pushed themselves to their breaking points, showing incredible mental fortitude and physical tenacity,” added Goldman. “And all for an incredible cause: to raise money for charities that are near and dear to their hearts.” -People

“I learned something about fear,” Singletary admitted. “I’ve interacted, been around fear, been in fear, but not being able to see your hand at night and you’ve got to get up and go to the bathroom … By the time I left that jungle, I felt it belonged to me, and I was no longer, really, afraid. It was like, ‘This is my jungle now.’ That was something I really wanted to achieve when I got there and being able to leave with that was very empowering.” -Coach. []

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT to help you beyond your personal edge: Fear. What strikes fear in you? Public speaking, trying a new sport, darkness, spiders, talking to a stranger, going back to school, dating, getting uncomfortable, etc. What makes you uncomfortable? When you come across things that make you stop, ask yourself, “what am I afraid of?” You may need to evaluate what you are truly afraid of & begin to take small steps in overcoming & “owning” the fear. Not giving it your power. Taking your power into your own hands. Like Coach said(my own summary)…By the time I left, I owned it. OWN YOUR FEAR.

…when they asked me to do it, my first response was yes. I was like, “That sounds like something I would never do on my own.” There are certain things that I want to do, like being out in the jungle for two weeks and really physically challenging myself and emotionally and mentally. I’ve been trying to say yes to things that are incredible opportunities. And Beyond the Edge was just something I would never plan or do or be able to do on my own. And so I was just like, “Yeah, let me add this to the list of things that I’ve done in my life.” -Jodie Sweetin [parade]

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT to help you beyond your personal edge: I love her perspective how she looked at the opportunity and said yes because she knew enough about herself that she knew she would never do something like this experience on her own. She wanted and invited the challenge. She invited opportunities to say YES. What can you say YES to? Think of things you normally wouldn’t do & begin saying yes. Those are the opportunities you will truly grow from & learn so much about yourself.

Eboni admitted that she was “so Type A” and “way out of my comfort zone.” She explained that as a child, while everybody else was playing sports, she was competing in pageants. However, Eboni began to see that she had valuable skills that she could offer her team, including helping them to organize their rowing by counting out loud during adventure one. This was a skill that she learned at summer camp. When she balanced on a 60-foot slack line in adventure two, she was using skills that she had learned in classical ballet classes. Eboni shared that she had brought her grandfather’s Bible with her to the jungle because “it is really a spiritual compass for me. This book is to remind me who I am … Because I might forget because this is not my comfort zone.” -Williams [screenrant]

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT to help you beyond your personal edge: What skills do you feel you own? What are you good at and could offer to the world? How could you utilize those skills and benefit others? [ie: I have a very strong input strength–I LOVE to learn and gather info. I have soo much info from research over the years, so I am working on creating a course for my local Community Education to hopefully benefit others in the community] You have skills, strengths, talents…how can you use them? How can you Step beyond yourself to improve your life and the lives of others.

“As hard as it was, it really became fun, but it was the most challenging thing, I think… that we’ve ever done, physically and mentally,” Lewis said. “Harder than a football Super Bowl?” asked anchor Denise Koch. “Yeah, cause usually after the football Super Bowl I come back home to my bed,” Lewis said.

I LOVED seeing a group of strangers come together in so many incredible ways.

“I can echo what everybody said,” added Underwood. “But while we are all individuals there, there was a weird comfort I had, sleeping in the jungle and knowing that there were eight other people who, sort of, had my back. If a monkey [came] in, they would step up. We leaned on each other, not only to survive, but through the competition aspect of it, the emotional part of it, and just getting what we needed out of not only the show but the experience of coming together and working together. That’s what made this experience so special and worth all the jungle trauma.” []

Not having all of the comforts and all of your usual distractions really allows you to open up to people in a way that I don’t think we often do in normal life, certainly not these days with phones. I just gained so much respect for people who I didn’t maybe know their whole story. I didn’t know where they came from. We all just shared who we were. Every day, I had a moment with someone out there that changed me. And I am so grateful for that. -Jodie [parade]

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT to help you beyond your personal edge: How can you connect with someone today? Can you start a conversation with a stranger? Can you just smile and connect with someone? I think we are changed by the people we meet, the conversations that connect. My husband and I have recently moved to the coast and it is so fun to just strike up conversations with people walking the ocean. You meet all types of people from different places, with different history, stories to share, places they have been. Connections are a gift. Look for them.

“I immediately just fell in love with every one of these people,” Morgan said. “I’ve used Paulina as an example a lot. I don’t know if it weren’t for this show if Paulina and I may have, and Ebony as well, we may have never met each other. In fact, if we had met each other at some event or some function in New York, there’s a good chance we wouldn’t have spent much time together because we all, I mean, it this is the truth. And I’m being transparent. We all have these preconceived ideas about who people are and the lifestyle they live. This supermodel and this famous lawyer TV person probably would’ve never come over and talked to this country, boy. But here we got to really know each other. For me, the biggest thing was the emotion of the experience. It wasn’t the physical aspects. I could have stayed there for another month. I would’ve had a house built.” -Craig [CMT]

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT to help you beyond your personal edge: I loved Craig’s comment about the likelihood of meeting, let alone talking to certain people. We all have these preconceived dials within us that may limit or challenge us to not talk to people that look different from us or look closed off or unreachable. There are so many people of all types all around you. Look at everyone as a life lesson for yourself. Don’t judge. Connect. Reach beyond your edge of reason or knowing and just be there. Begin a conversation and see where it goes. You will be better for it.

In adventure one, when the contestants had to slog through a 5-foot deep muddy bog (which was thick like quicksand and almost the length of a football field), Eboni panicked when she became stuck and could not touch the bottom. She felt as though she had lost the ability to control her limbs and said that it was “a paralyzing thing.” She called out for help. Ray told Eboni to trust him, and he pulled her out. At The Lanterns, Eboni cried and shared, “I am somebody who didn’t necessarily grow up with the father figure. And to have every man here step up with protection is a big deal for me. I haven’t always felt safe. I’m not used to really being able to trust anybody but myself.” She then explained that something about the conviction in Ray’s voice when he told her to trust him made her feel that she could. -Eboni Williams [screenrant]

“I’m a little bit in love with everybody here. These are my new best friends. This is my new extended, chosen family.” -Eboni Willimans [Screenrant]

“It was amazing to feel connection with people again, because we’ve had a lot of disconnecting and disconnection in the last few years,” she added. “So to be able to get dropped off in the jungle and to find true, genuine love and connection, it was really inspiring.” -Lauren Alaina [CBS8]

Singletary coached Lewis when he worked as a linebacker coach for the Baltimore Ravens from 2003-2004. “His hut was right next to mine,” says Singletary. “So, we were in talking distance, where we woke up in the morning talking and went to bed at night talking. We had a lot of really interesting dialogue.” Asked if Lewis still calls him “Coach,” Singletary says, “No, no, he calls me Papa. So, we had a lot of really great dialogue about life, about God, about football, about the disparity in our country.” -Coach [Patheos]

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT to help you beyond your personal edge: We can all do better at connecting with people we care about. We have people who live with us that we could connect with a little better. Do something—anything—even something small to make a deeper connection. Write a note. Have a conversation. Reach out to a distant loved one or someone you know could use your loving support. Make your moments more meaningful and rich with care.

I LOVED seeing them push their personal limits for a good cause outside of themselves

We’ve seen you toy with the idea of leaving the game a couple of times so far. Were there any inciting incidents that led to those moments?
It was a lot of things every day. We all went through stuff and said, “Oh my god, it’s just too much. I can’t do this. I’m done.” Everyone has those moments. You wonder, “What the hell am I doing? What if something happens to me like this is really dangerous? What if I hurt myself and have to go home, or something happens to me permanently?” I don’t know that it was ever one specific thing. But there were moments of being really homesick. Thinking, “I want my family. I want to be safe. I want not to be scared. I don’t want to step down out of my hut, and there’s going to be a snake there.”

But also, you made such a commitment. For me, playing for Girls Inc, I was so determined to live up to the ideals of what that charity is about: Creating strong, determined, smart leaders in young women. That really kept me going a lot, along with my girls. I am out here to raise money and raise awareness about this. And so I have to show up and be that. That really kept me going for a lot. -Jodie [parade]

“There was no whining,” Morgan said. “I know you might not believe this … that’s the truth. It was the opposite. There were moments when everyone there, they could have whined. And no one would’ve said anything when Paulina was absolutely soaking, drenched, wet, and woke up shivering. She had a positive attitude. When people got hurt, every time something happened, they were upset that they may have let people down. It was unbelievable. I think it’s keeping perspective of why we were there.” -Craig [CMT]

It was a good series and I highly suggest the watch—even just to see good things done to make a difference for a number of charities—all done by incredible people who created an unbelievable experience together.

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT to help you beyond your personal edge: We can all learn through struggle. It is how your perspective in the situation challenges and changes OR breaks you. It is your choice. Like Ray Lewis said during the show–[I am writing it from my memory, so it is not exact] Comfort Zones are the deadliest space to be. If you don’t step out of your norm—nothing changes.

They all talked about how uncomfortable this experience was but they were also so grateful for the opportuntity to step away from their daily routine, away from technology, to connect with others and have the whole journey to learn even more about themselves while doing something so good.

How can we take this into our own lives? What can we do to step out of our ordinary, to get uncomfortable and shake up something that will challenge us to become even better?

Here are a few ideas to get you started and moving BEYOND your own EDGE:

Start some sort of personal challenge [Fitness, self care, bucket list, summer project, reading, gratitude, etc]

Go somewhere new–variety shakes things up and gives you new perspectives.

Try a new workout and push your body beyond its current limit.

Take a class—educational, dance lesson, community education, art, etc.

Learn a new skill like an instrument or a foreign language

Listen to a new type of music or better yet go to a live concert that plays a new style

Watch something you would normally not watch–documentary, foreign film, series

Take a day and commit to saying hello to everyone you pass on the street or on a walk

Think of a project you have always wanted to do and just begin [ie:write a book, article, knit a sweater, enter an art contest, build an engine, learn an instrument, make a movie, etc]

Try something good for you—begin to meditate, take a yoga class, learn about mindfulness, go on a nature walk, drink more water, try an app that helps with stress, get a massage, etc.

Get out in nature—so many benefits, try a new hike in your area, walk a green space, buy a plant to put it in your yard, walk barefoot on the lawn, have a picnic, watch the sun rise & set for a week.

Hope these ideas get you started in some good directions to help you get beyond your current state. We all need to be challenged to some degree to enhance our life, to grow and become better. Do those things that will help you move beyond your own limitations.

Peace to you today. -H

Little things BIG wins

We sometimes underestimate the influence of little things. -Charles Chestnutt

Today is a great day to share some personal gems I have come across in the past week. The picture above illustrates that so well. When you find little treasures on a beach, you pile them in your pockets and carry them home. I do that with rocks, agates and life gems of wisdom that seem to endlessly abound from so many great places. Seek and find them. Here are some of my favorites I found. enjoy!

My husband and I have been listening to Matthew McConaughey’s book, Greenlights while we have been commuting here and there through life. It has been a fun ride learning about his journey. At one point he was talking about roofs and how they are a man made thing and that we need to not create ceilings for ourselves, the dreams we have, the lives we live. We need to look beyond.

Reach beyond your grasp. 
Have immortal finish lines and 
turn your red light green 
because a roof is a man made thing.
~Matthew McConaughey, actor, philosopher, author, b.11/4/1969SOURCE: Greenlights, by Matthew McConaughey

I love this thought, of how we, as individuals seem to construct personal limitations of what we can do. We begin to tell ourselves that we can only rise so high or go so far in life. That if we step beyond our own boundaries we will not be safe. We begin the life lies that end up ruining so much that life has to offer. When we begin to believe that we are powerful beyond measure, that is when miracles begin and life opens doors to greater places within us. Love that. DONT put a ceiling on yourself. Reach beyond within your own mind for those higher places your seek.

The easiest way is to dissect success, is through gratitude. Giving thanks for that which we do have, for what is working. Appreciating the simple things we sometimes take for granted. We give thanks for these things and that gratitude reciprocates, creating more to be thankful for.
~Matthew McConaughey, actor, philosopher, author, b.11/4/1969

Gratitude has this incredible power to almost fix anything. When we feel an energy lag in our life or feel things are not going quite right or we hear complaints or whines—-gratitude has a beautiful chime that can wash away and change the energy in a moment. It is almost like an instant switch, a brighter light that turns on a new perspective, a greater awareness, a place that awaits for a simple, thank you to help balance everything.

We are all made for every moment we encounter. Whether the moment makes us or we make the moment. Whether we are helpless in it or on top of it, the predator or the prey, we are made for that moment.
~Matthew McConaughey, actor, philosopher, author, b.11/4/1969SOURCE: Greenlights, by Matthew McConaughey

A few of our family mottos: Just show up and play full out. Always do you. Say yes to things that will challenge or help you grow and always look for opportunities to be of service–especially when we get stuck in ourselves. Life is a series of moments & it is how you make them, how you respond, what you say in the moments and the feelings you follow. Life can try to trip you up, throw curves and hurdles, highs and low points, but it is how you handle it. Do you come out stronger? Do you break, but then figure out how to rebuild a little better and brighter. It is also more importantly, the energy you carry and live by. As Matthew says, the predator or the prey, your energy of who you are, what you allow to propel you, the insecurities you let own you, the thoughts you think, all play a factor in your life. You either make the moments count to your best ability or you don’t. You walk away feeling energized or you feel let down by the encounter or experience. Moment by moment, life takes you on a ride, it is how you live it that makes the moments matter most.

Those were a few of my favorite lines. The book is full of fun stories, wild rides, colorful language, great insights, an enjoyable read. The audio book is Matthew reading, so he makes the stories truly come to life. Highly recommend–you will take away some good things for your own life. Even his energy and charisma is contagious.

Speaking of CHARISMA—this takes me to another treasure to share. A podcast, called The Good Life Project. This is a great place to find incredible interviews with all types of people who have come from various places, projects, books, institutes, award winners, etc. You will definitely find some worthwhile interviews of great things to learn.

I recently listened to the podcast with Zoe Chance, teacher at Yale, author of Influence is your Superpower. When I ask people which influence skill they’d like to develop, the most common response by far is “charisma.” When I ask them to define it, they tell me, “It means people pay attention to you” or “It means you have a lot of presence.” But why do we pay attention to charismatic people? What are they doing? A dictionary definition of charisma is “compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others,” but as a tool for influence, that language is awfully vague. Yes, charisma gets people to pay attention to you, but it’s not just any kind of attention. You wouldn’t say a guy running through the office in his underwear is charismatic. People who try to make themselves the center of attention just become annoying.

The first paradox of charisma is that trying to be charismatic has the opposite effect.

Most of us, most of the time, aren’t consciously trying to be the center of attention. But we can fall into this trap subconsciously, focusing on ourselves in ways that are anti-charismatic. Humor me for a moment and try this exercise.

In each row below, guess which group uses the word “I” more often.

Leaders…or followers?

Older people…or younger people?

Richer people…or poorer people?

Happy people…or depressed people?

Angry people…or fearful people?

Better students…or worse students?

Men…or women?

According to analyses of formal and informal conversations, speeches, emails, and other written documents, people in the groups listed on the right-hand side tend to use “I” and other first-person pronouns more frequently and by a large margin. In a book called The Secret Life of Pronouns. He found that people who feel they have less power or lower status tend to use more self-referential language. Sometimes the gap has a basis in reality—followers must take orders from leaders, and the poor are less powerful than the rich. But unconscious linguistic patterns derive more precisely from feelings of personal power—or lack thereof. -Yale Insights

A few of her other tips: Just ask for what you want, Be okay with saying No and the magic question to always get what you need…WHAT WOULD IT TAKE?

To be a BIG INFLUENCER, she says to do one thing with every person you encounter—CHOOSE to like them. It may be hard, but find SOMETHING to appreciate about that person.

Finding a Happy, HEALTHY BALANCE with Positive Psychology. Jonathan Fields from Good Life Project also shared some great tips about a MODEL FOR NOURISHING…a well being theory called PERMAV [Positive Emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, Accomplishments, Vitality]

Pursuing these things is the best way to happiness…not just pursuing happiness.

POSITIVE EMOTIONS: Negative emotions are inevitable but you need to learn how to move through it to avoid getting stuck in this state.

ENGAGEMENT: Being fully absorbed. Finding flow in something you are aligned with. Ask yourself, “What makes me lose track of time?” Do more of that!

RELATIONSHIPS: Studies show LOVE is the key ingredient for positive relationships. Those can be chosen family, biological, friends, partners…romantic love, companions, compassionate love (could be a stranger you feel empathy or compassion for), attachment (relationship for a length of time–ease or connection) He suggested doing an exercise of Arthur Erin—2 people, 36 questions that connect. He also suggested doing a Friendship Text Roulette—flip randomly through your contacts and send out a loving message(s).

MEANING: Purpose. In service of others, something that benefits something or someone beyond yourself. You will experience the Givers Glow.

ACCOMPLISHMENT: or Achievement. We are more alive and better beings when we are actively setting a goal or seeking to achieve or do something. The movement towards something that allows us to feel we are alive and on purpose. The feeling of progress and competence is incredibly powerful. Accomplishing things that truly matter to you as an individual. Not just going up some ladder of success. Doing the things that matter to YOU. It is about rising up your own ladder. Accomplishemnt tied to a personal reason of why is what we are looking for.

The above is all BRAIN, thoughts….But what about the BODY? You need to have the body in alignment with the thoughts and actions or you are missing something huge. They feed back to one another and if you don’t connect the two, it will be a dis-service to you truly feeling alive and flourishing. That is why they added VITALITY.

VITALITY: The feedback mechanism. The way the mind and body communicate with each other. So, what can we do for the body to help it truly come alive? It all comes back to simplicity. No hacks, new pill or diet fad–the basics. Nutrition and nourishment—how we FEED the body. Also, MOVEMENT. We are not built to be still…not moving. Have some MIND STILLING practics and good SLEEP.

ALL good TREASURES to be found. Little things that can make an overall BIG difference in our lives. DO GOOD. BE GOOD. LIVE WELL.

Peace. Love and Light to you. Always SEEK good things that lead to HAPPINESS. -H