When I walked along the beach to come up with idea for this week’s Museletter I heard the word, “Confessions.” It’s probably inspired by the dozens of emails that I get these days where people are baring their souls. Sometimes I’m in tears by 9 AM. Some are heart wrenching, some are sad. All of them tug at my heartstrings.
And since I was an Italian Catholic kid who for so many years was in the habit of confessing once a week, it’s not too far a stretch.
So here’s the truth – the real truth.
- Many people think I became a Happiness Coach 20 years ago just because I wanted to bring more happiness to the companies I was working with – and that’s true. But not totally true. It was during that coaching program that I had to admit I wasn’t so happy myself.
I was focused, I was deliberate, I was determined to change cultures in positive ways, but I was not satisfied, I was feeling bored and, pretty unhappy. Studying happiness changed MY life – not just my client’s lives.
- I have a fundamental belief that that things will work out even when there is contrary evidence. My “gut” has proven correct way more times than not. Intuition is a superpower. Sometimes it runs contrary to what the “experts” say though. So, often I’m stubborn and stick with my gut, even if it means I disagree.
- Most people think I must be VERY happy. Well, I am, sometimes. And I do my work to stay as happy as I can be. Truth be told, there are decades and decades of old programming living in my subconscious. Some of that has turned into limiting beliefs. I’m taking them on one at a time, but sometimes they still kick my ass. (Geez, I just discovered two last night!) An old belief of unworthiness was reinforced thousands of times through five decades before I even began to understand how to change it.
- I’m an empath. A big giant mushy empath. I feel deeply and cry freely (as many of you know) and I’m tired of trying to contain that in a world that is literally on fire. Empaths FEEL other people’s pain. I have to be consciously vigilant, or I take on other peoples’ “stuff.”
- Even with all I know and practice, sometimes I struggle just like other people. I wish I could say that all the practices I teach work 100% of the time for everyone. But they don’t so I’m in a process of continuous improvement.
Each of us is dealing with a different past and each of has can only move as fast as the slowest part of us is willing to go.
A few years ago, when I went through a pretty bad case of burnout (I must say I am always ahead of the times) I was diagnosed with PTSD and began a path of looking at life from a whole new perspective.
I’m happy to say that I’m now inching my way to Post Traumatic Growth, and while sometimes it does feel like an uphill battle, I persevere. The outcome is worth it!
Let me tell you a secret.
Years ago, my path in life was (unknowingly) revealed to me in a bar in Colorado while at a fitness conference.
Words that I heard that day eventually led me to my teacher, the late Angeles Arrien PhD, a few years later. How? I don’t know, but it’s probably because I said them every day to myself, like a mantra and because we do attract what we put our attention on.
“Show up, Pay attention, Tell the truth, and Don’t be attached to the outcome.”
The words I heard from the man in the bar that day were actually part of system of wholeness that Angeles, a cross cultural anthropologist taught. They have guided my life for years and still do. They are called the Four-Fold Way.
Show up and be present.
Pay attention to what has heart and meaning.
Tell the truth without blame or judgement.
Be open to (but not attached) to outcome.
You can see Angeles’ work reflected in all my work, she was a big guiding light in my life and I still miss her presence.
So, my friends, for today, those are my confessions. I am far from perfect, and I am working on the same challenges so many people are.
I get up every day still wanting to serve, to care, to make a difference in the lives of others – especially those in the workplace. It’s time for a big change there.
With admiration for all on you on the path to wholeness,
PS Click on this link above to see an article I wrote when Angeles passed. It’s worth your time. https://pathofpositivity.com/live-the-four-fold-way/