step ten

ask meaningful questions.

take a close look at the intricate play of foam, waves, and swirls. spend some time there in your mind. have a minute? take two, even three.

imagine what the air tastes like. do you smell the salt water? can you feel the waves washing over your skin? how rough or smooth can the texture of those rocks be? where are the birds nesting?

when you feel yourself inside this image, ask yourself:

what does the ocean teach me about purpose?

what can i learn from this rock?

if i were able to read coffee grounds and tea leaves, i could make sense of the patterns on the water’s surface – what do they tell me about the waves of life?

and then, give thanks for what is, and for what you will create.

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step nine

today’s step is all about the odds and the haters, loud ignorance and subtle sabotage when you go for your purpose in life, when you create a reality that matches your vision for yourself.

grit is something you either have, or something you create for yourself. it’s not about not caring, or selfishly steamrolling those around you. it’s about caring a lot less about what others think of you. care less about whether they like you or approve of your dreams and goals. care less about the labels they give you. do they support you? great. do they ridicule you? also great. both are more of a reflection of how they view the world, than of how you truly are. both reactions of others to what you are doing can work for you, if you have grit. grit is a choice. growth is a choice. resilience is a choice.

if how others react to you hurts, dig deeper. what hurts the most? what is this pain teaching you about yourself? what can you learn from it? what is really going on here?

if other people’s reaction to you is making you feel awesome, notice what it is that creates that feeling. a beautiful soul mentioned in conversation the other day how she was taught to “notice what you are noticing”. pay attention to what you see. if bliss is all you see, it is because your heart and mind are open to seeing. if hurt is all you feel, it is because your heart and mind are open to hurt more than to the gift that comes from the experience.

so what’s the worst that can happen? what’s the worst anyone can do if you wear something, say something, or do something others disapprove of? just think about it. sh!t happens to all of us. mistakes are made by everyone. so: get your grit on!

grow, regardless what others are saying or thinking. give what feels good to give.

be resilient through obstacles, resist ignorance. respect your experience and that of others. respect the life force in every thing, no matter what name you give it.

inculcate yourself with intelligence.  intelligence of the mind brings clarity of vision, intelligence of your heart feeds intuition.  honor what you know, honor what your elders know. intelligence will allow you to be creative with your dream, your goal, your purpose, tweak it, enhance it, re-design it.

t is for tenacious, trust and tender.  yes, grit has to have a soft belly of tenderness. otherwise, grit gets brittle and you’ll break the last teeth you’re left with on it. not worth it!  a tenacious you sticks to your goals. a tenacious you is loyal to your values. the tenacious you is determined, won’t be dispelled or disenchanted. the tenacious you will make it through!

trust that. trust the journey. trust the life force. trust the source energy. trust the laws of balance and of averages. the choice is yours.

lastly, be tender to your soul. gently embrace that original faith you came here with. the knowledge that you have a place here. you belong here. you will find your tribe. as grit keeps you going, lean into tenderness, lean into the soft belly of your vulnerability. tenderness and vulnerability keep you flexible. grit will protect you, and vulnerability will connect you.

now you go and shine!

 

step eight

try something new every week.

that’s 52 new things in a year. here are some thoughts:

~ try hotsprings. a two-week east-west road trip left my butt triangular and my back sore.  the picture above is at mystic hotsprings in monroe, utah – a fabulous place for more than bathing. the accupressure chair massage i got from tammy, the therapist on site, immediately took the edge off my pain (but my behind retained the subaru-seat induced pie-shape). although i loved the property at mystic, where the hotsprings have shaped the rock formations in a unique way i have not seen elsewhere, i preferred a little less exposed setting. tammy recommended a few stops on the way to oregon and i tried a total of three different springs. it felt amazing, light, i slept better than ever, and if you’ve never tried hotsprings, go ahead – tell ’em your coach said you had to.

~ try… a new restaurant, a new dish, a new spice, a new drink, a new fruit.

~ look up medicinal plants that grow wild in your area and harvest what you can. in alaska, i loved picking fireweed shoots and young lambs-quarters or dandelions for salad greens. there is a powerful plant that belongs to the ginseng family, devil’s club, whose shoots in early may are the only tender thing about them to harvest and eat (watch out for the spiny stalks and leaf edges, the pulverized root of the plant is the only remedy for the rash they induce), so try something wild like that.

~ try dancing. learn how. if you know how, learn a new step. or dance in reverse. film it.

~ look at the “word of the year” … in different languages. try using them in a sentence.

~ draw, paint, do a paint-awake workshop.

~ absolutely try speed-dating. even if you are in a relationship. bring your partner. set an intention not to fight, regardless how it goes.

~ stretch. hit that spot of discomfort. sit with that for a bit. should i give an example? i don’t like elevators. for many reasons, but let’s just say it is a place that i would not choose to be in. so on some days, i know i have gotten complacent and too comfortable. enter the elevator. if it is time to stretch myself, i will go in. if it is time to face the fear, i just remind myself of how good it feels to know that panic subsides if i just wait a while, because the body simply won’t be able to sustain that state of high fear for longer than 20 minutes. once i come back outside, i have more sense of accomplishment than washing windows or vacuuming a whole day. those of you who are passionate about clean windows and carpets will be able to relate.

~ try a new road to work or to the store.

~ get a library card and check out a book. you’ll be surprised how much has changed in the last seven years.

~ pay for someone else’s cake pop at starbucks.

~ read E2 by Pam Grout.

~ part your hair on the other side, or do a comb-over. if you have children or grandchildren, give them a brush and a comb, and some water in a spray bottle, and let them practice how to be stylist on you. artistic selfies afterwards. which reminds me:

~if you haven’t yet, get an instagram account.

~check out new apps. try some of the virtual reality ones (e.g. Within-VR) and build your own 3-d-viewer, or assemble a google cardboard (good luck with that).  i got my first at TEDxBuffalo, which was a fabulous experience altogether, which reminds me:

~find a TEDx event near you and go. it will change your life.

~ …

keep going. you got this.

step seven

it’s all about choice.

every day, each moment, you choose how you show up.

free will allows you to choose whether to react, or to respond.

are you mindful and reflective? will you decide to stay relaxed as the day unfolds?

would you choose to trust that you are where you are supposed to be in your journey?

i find that the older i get, the less there is a need to prove my point. instead, there is a desire to satisfy my curiosity.

it wasn’t age that brought me there. i tried many things to worry less. chanting nam yo ho renge kyo helped for a while, just like reading “begin with yes”. trying something new every day for a week, and then every week for three months.

the more i focused on learning, being curious, discovering the world and people around me, the more relaxed i became.   this might be a natural occurrence as we mature.  but we all know that energy of people who worry, regardless what age.

we don’t need to change them.

we can choose to accept their energetic choice, and love from a distance. or simply allow them to be who they choose to be.

life isn’t all sunsets and summer breezes, gentle snowflakes and female rain.

life is a shitstorm sometimes. cold, wet blizzards are part of the experience. powerlessness, literal and figurative, happens to maintain balance, and keep life interesting. no need to love it, but you grow stronger when you allow it.

why?

because as an observer, an allower, you realize it can’t touch your essence.

your essence is safe, and it is your essence that propels you to follow your heart forward.

all a matter of free will. such a beautiful thing.

note: the image depicting evangola beach at sunset was used for another article on my coaching website, thekiline.com. all rights reserved.

 

step six

a motto someone shared with me many years ago, “ki-lined”:

prepare for the toughest outcome.

expect little, if you must expect anything at all.

hope for the best. and more: hope for everything.

if you prepare for “the worst that can happen”, and you can see that you will still make it through, you can relax.

if you expect little, if you are not attached to the outcome at all, you can relax a bit more.

if you can hope for everything, you can step into each day with a chance of joy, and contentment.

step five

have you noticed that some people, some news outlets, some shows, some businesses are barraging us with worst case scenarios?

if we can choose to look at any situation from more than one perspective, what makes us decide to see the worst, what makes us see the best?

both viewpoints can be useful. the worst case scenario can prompt us to prepare well, the best case scenario can show us opportunity.

today, be encouraged to take a closer look to see what else is there.

and if the day, or your screen, or your to do list, or the person next to you just look glum, try another filter. stand on your head, flip the script.

you might just be inspired.

step four

when you feel confused, check in with your heart.

where is it? don’t let your thoughts tell you. instead, breathe, and follow your breath down into your lungs. feel your heart beat, use your hand if you need to. feel into this beat. feel into this rhythm. what is it telling you?

keep your heart light. its only job is to beat. drop all the thoughts that make your heart heavy, even if only for a few hours. let your heart carry you, and hold it safe in return.