Getting onto the Right Path

One of my favorite stories comes from Love, Medicine and Miracles by Dr. Bernie Seigal. A young man wanted to become a violinist. His parents said no, become a lawyer. He went to law school and started practicing law. He then developed what was diagnosed as terminal cancer. Thinking he was going to die, he got a job playing violin for an orchestra. Years later, he was still alive because he realized he was on the wrong path. He had to live his life, not the life of his parents. Knowing when to walk away is wisdom, being able to do so is courage. Isn’t it amazing that cancer is what gave him courage enough to walk away?

“We have all been placed on this earth to discover our own path, and we will never be happy if we live someone else’s idea of life” James Van Praagh. Our bodies know when we are not living our authentic life, and we will receive a wake up call. It is important that we listen, look within, and then have the courage to make the changes that need to be made.

It is also important to realize that just because we are walking down the right path, doesn’t mean there won’t be obstacles. Our need of courage includes being courageous enough to know that we will still make mistakes, experience disappointments and despair. This is where the ability to look about and within becomes important.

It doesn’t mean that we are on the wrong path just because something goes wrong. It could just mean that we need to grow more, to be able to continue the journey. Don’t allow yourself to become the boulder blocking the path. Listening to the heart and soul is like the magnetic needle on the compass. Always go to “true north” and you will be on the right path.

I have always maintained that U-turns are part of every journey to some place that I don’t know. I expect them, I laugh when they happen. U-Turns can be really interesting. What I have learned in my life is that every single experience has something important in it that I needed to learn. I only understand later, why that piece of knowledge was required.

I have been in the mortgage industry for almost 35 years. So I have lived through good and bad cycles in the financial industry. Years ago I had a good job, but the owner of another company kept calling me to come and work for him. Finally after months of getting his phone calls, I gave notice and went to work for him. This job would end up being a U-turn for me.

He had hired a free lance writer to create a manual for the mortgage brokers he worked with, and she seemed unable to finish the project, so as part of my job I took that project to completion. Then two weeks later I was laid off, when the interest rates hiked up and his business slowed down.

I really yelled at myself, because I felt I had made a wrong decision in taking that job and should have stayed where I was. We ended up having to move out of state in order for me to find work. But what happened next, was really interesting. The Savings and Loan I went to work for needed manuals written for their servicing department, and because I had that experience I got the job of being both an underwriter and a trainer. I created several training programs for them, as well as the servicing manual.

Then I got a second part time job teaching at South Seattle Community College for an adult education class for loan processors and loan officers. I ended up creating new manuals for this position too, because their manuals were so bad. Both of these jobs would not have been available to me, if I hadn’t taken that earlier job and got the experience of creating a manual.

So we will fall down. We may even get lost. U-Turns are a given. But as long as we take out that compass, listen to our hearts and the courage in our soul, we will be on the right path. As long as we tune into true north, we can take that step into the unknown, knowing that this is the right path.

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Martin Luther King Jr.

There are so many good quotes for Martin Luther King Jr. His most famous speech, “I have a dream” is full of lessons for us all. I thought about Martin Luther King Jr. a lot the past few days. What would he give a speech to us about today, if he were still alive?

The world is so full of injustice that it is like chains weighing us down. It is like that scene in Sleeping Beauty, where you are chopping down the vines that cover the castle and they regrow faster than you can chop them down. Wage inequality just gets worse every year. Men and women still are not paid the same wage for the same job. We see how terrorism is changing the face of racism, making us afraid of others based on not only their skin color, but their culture and religion. The war against drugs is never ending as drugs continue claim the lives of our young people every day. Lack of access to healthcare continues to be a major problem. I could go on to spit out depressing facts and figures as well as continue the list of things wrong in our world. But I won’t.

One of my favorite MLK quotes is “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, “What are you doing for others?” I think that this quote would be a big part of his speech for us today. “What are you doing for others?” Because at the end of the day, it isn’t some governments policy, law, or program that is going to change our world. It is each of us individually standing up and stating, “I am going to change me”. And as each of us, “changes me”, we will inspire others to do the same for themselves. And individual by individual, the world will change.

What will make this transformation possible is love, forgiveness and lifting each other up. It is the realization that now is the time to do what is right. To teach our children critical thinking, because that is what is needed to lead us forward. To understand all holy scriptures fundamental teaching is that only light can drive out the darkness. All of these thoughts come from other MLK quotes.

If we all started out today, and every day going forward with these kinds of thoughts creating actions of change, the world would change overnight. This reminded me of the Berlin Wall falling down. It seemed to happen overnight, but it was actually the work of many over time. It was small actions that lead to the wall falling down.

The goal should be not to just think about these things one day a year, but rather to think about them daily. Because action goes where our attention is focused. And action is the only way to implement real lasting change upon ourselves.

A last quote “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” We can be disappointed that even though some progress has been made, it hasn’t happened yet,. Just don’t lose hope that if we all keep walking together hand in hand, that it will happen.

In order to stand out, one must be different

In order to stand out, one must be different. I have always loved the saying “why fit in when you were born to stand out?” by Dr. Seuss. For me it was really hard to make this change, as I had spent most of my life being invisible.
I love the analogy of a rainbow. It isn’t just made up of red, yellow, blue, green, pink, and purple. It is made up of 100 of shades of every color, and every mix of color imaginable. Take just the 1,000’s of shade combinations of purple in the rainbow. While you might think that no one will notice if one shade is not shining brightly, the rainbow is diminished in its beauty when that happens. It requires every single shade to be there, in order to be the beautiful promise of God. We require every one of you to shine brightly to deliver the promise of God, which he made when he sent you to this earth.
Being a leader is an interesting subject for women. I was listening to a part of Sheryl Sandberg’s Ted Talk today, and she was talking about how when she was in school she was told to not raise her hand so much. I remember the same thing happening to me. That I was bossy, a know-it-all, too smart for myself. So I shut down and started being even more invisible.
I started waiting for someone to pick me instead of volunteering, and this carried over into my adult life. I turned down promotions saying that I didn’t want the responsibility, when what I really wanted to say was I didn’t want to risk being told to once again become invisible. I continually pushed down the answers I had for senior management and let others steal the ideas and promote themselves.
I finally had enough and became what I called an agent of change for my own self. I started listening and following my intuition. I stepped out of my comfort zone, stood up and voiced my opinions. And I have kept expanding my comfort zone.
Every mistake I have made is like compost in the garden. It may feel and smell like manure when it happens, but if I compost those failures into my life, I can learn and grow from them. I learned that I can fail and my life isn’t over. I learned that the person who judges me the most has been me, and so I gave the judge permission to cheer me on instead.
I love this quote I found today, “when you dance to your own rhythm, people may not understand you; they may even hate you. But mostly they’ll wish they had the courage to do the same.” I am going to hang it over my desk. I have spent too much of my life wishing I had the courage to do what I see others doing. Instead I am going to “dance to my own rhythm” and let someone else be inspired to do the same.
The Lion is released from the cage, and ready for the grand adventure!

What does it mean to be inspired?

What does it mean to be inspired?

The dictionary definition that I like the best is: a divine influence or action on a person believed to qualify him or her to receive and communicate sacred revelation.

I think of it as the act of drawing in breath, breathing in god’s heart and mind.

Like most of us, I have a dream. LemonadeMakers is my vision that pulls me through each and every day. The space it currently occupies is a wide chasm from where I believe it can go. I know, from the bottom of my soul, that this is why I was born. And if I let my mind go wild, it is terrifying to think of everything that I need to do in order to grow it into what it is meant to do.

That is where inspiration comes in. It gives me the confidence to admit I don’t know it all, but I can find someone who does.

It gives me the courage to think outside the box to figure out a way to get everything done on a shoestring budget.

It helps me use my favorite words of improvise, adapt and overcome when I come up against 2 ton boulders that block my way. It gives me super powers to blast those boulders into pebbles and continue on my journey.

It gives me the grace to let someone else take the wheel when I am tired and not think that I have to do it all myself.

It empowers me, refueling my tank when it is low to keep on the path to the next destination.

Inspiration is the key to the kingdom.

What does it mean to be inspired?

What does it mean to be inspired?

The dictionary definition that I like the best is: a divine influence or action on a person believed to qualify him or her to receive and communicate sacred revelation.

I think of it as the act of drawing in breath, breathing in god’s heart and mind.

Like most of us, I have a dream. LemonadeMakers is my vision that pulls me through each and every day. The space it currently occupies is a wide chasm from where I believe it can go. I know, from the bottom of my soul, that this is why I was born. And if I let my mind go wild, it is terrifying to think of everything that I need to do in order to grow it into what it is meant to do.

That is where inspiration comes in. It gives me the confidence to admit I don’t know it all, but I can find someone who does.

It gives me the courage to think outside the box to figure out a way to get everything done on a shoestring budget.

It helps me use my favorite words of improvise, adapt and overcome when I come up against 2-ton boulders that block my way. It gives me super powers to blast those boulders into pebbles and continue on my journey.

It gives me the grace to let someone else take the wheel when I am tired and not think that I have to do it all myself.

It empowers me, refueling my tank when it is low to keep on the path to the next destination.

Inspiration is the key to the kingdom.