Theoretically, Halloween 2006 was the worst day of my life.
During a dressage lesson, my beloved horse tripped, fell down, panicked, jumped up and launched me into a wall all in a matter of seconds. I hit the wall so hard that when I landed, my lungs collapsed.
As I floated outside of my body, I remember thinking, “Well this isn’t a bad way to go…”
And then the universe dumped a cold bucket of reality on me with the horrifying thought of my kids living alone with my still-alcoholic-ex-husband.
Thankfully, that’s all it took to yank me back into my pain-ridden body as my mind (and likely my mouth) screamed for morphine.
HINDSIGHT IS 20/20
I can remember as clear as day how I wanted to cancel my lesson that morning. I was too tired and KNEW I should skip it. On top of that, traffic was horrendous, I almost ran out of gas AND I forgot my riding boots.
Looking back on all of this, had I listened to my intuition, or paid attention to “the signs” would I have broken my back? I don’t know.
But I can tell you this – breaking my back took my “bar” (the barn) away from me and I was forced to sit with myself – it wasn’t pretty and it certainly wasn’t easy.
Boredom, frustration, anger, and pain were taking turns shoveling a pile of pity on me as riding, exercising, working or traveling (my life preservers) could no longer be my distraction du jour due to the seriousness of my injury. It was a dark and depressing period in my life with no pain relief in sight; I can honestly say it was the first time I experienced “hopelessness”.
MAKING SPACE TO LISTEN TO MY GUT
I’m not a quitter – never have been, never will be.
But I have to say this accident tested me. It put me in the fetal position on the field of life for longer than I’m proud of or care to even admit. Luckily, I had the help of some pretty amazing friends who guided me back to the solace of my soul again with books to read, videos to watch, even asking me for help for their problems as a lure that the world still needed me to play.
So I did what I could. I read. I learned. I wrote. I planned.
And as soon as I could, I took action, charging down a path of personal development from one coast to the other, to India, to Fiji, to Europe and back again, only to find out what my heart had been trying to tell me the whole time…all I needed was always with me.
I just needed to make the space to listen.
REGRETS ARE THE LIES THE MIND TELLS US
Did it take a severe accident I still haven’t fully recovered from to get where I am now? I don’t know. And I really don’t care because one of the things I have learned is “regrets are the lies the mind tells us.”
We will never know one way or the other which exact moment landed us in the one we live. It’s all a hypothesis, mostly devised from a mind whose only knowledge comes from experiences of the past.
Here’s what I DO know. My ex went to rehab and got healthy. I met some incredible people, became friends and business partners with Tony Robbins, met my soul-mate on the internet, got married, had twins and started my own business.
And I look for clues from the universe every second of every day – and you can too just by doing these 3 things!
#1: Become a human lie detector
Think of the biggest lie you could tell yourself.
For example “I hate my son.” (assuming that’s a lie!)
Sit with how that makes you feel. Pay attention to where you feel the physical discomfort. What does the mental anguish feel like?
Now, tell yourself something that you know is true and fills you with joy. “I love my son more than anything in this entire world.” (assuming you do!)
How do you feel? Where do you feel it? Pay close attention to these ‘happy feelings.’
Next time you have to make a decision about something – pay attention to your body and compare it to this exercise as you find your answer.
#2: Become a world-class biographer
This is so easy to do with all the technology available to you. Buy a cheap camera, take photos of your favorite meals, of things that moved you – even a book you just read.
Upload your photos to picassa (http://picasa.google.com) or to flickr (http://flickr.com). A great iphone/ipad application you can download to do all this and more (including voice memos) is called Evernote (http://evernote/com).
Facebook is also a great platform to do “electronic” scrap-booking. You can even order a book that aggregates all your status updates, who “liked” them or what comments were made. (http://apps.facebook.com/my-egobook/)
If you aren’t a shutterbug, that’s okay – downloading an iphone/ipad app like the gratitude journal allows you to simply input one thing you’re grateful for each day, week, month or heck even minute!
You can also just grab an old fashioned journal and ask yourself what made me feel great today, what did not. Pay attention to coincidences that you experience each day by looking for them. Once you start to play a game with the universe to find “the signs” you will see them pop up everywhere.
#3: Be a positive signal to attract the best life you can by being grateful
Stopping to experience your win, whether it be a present from a lover, a promotion at work, or just a quiet, happy moment with your child, means you are taking the time to say thank you and signaling you want more of this “good stuff.”
Stay in the moment – don’t think about the future. Don’t dwell on the negatives – real or imagined. Stay open to now. Just by asking “Why did I bring this moment to me?” you can more easily find the recipe for lemonade no matter how bruised the lemons look in your hands.
The most important thing to do is to pay attention to anything that comes your way. If it’s hard for you to decide if a thought popping into your head is more noise from the mind or your intuition, just sit with the thought – if it brings you joy or happiness, then do it. If there is any feeling of stress, guilt or worry, set it aside and move on. Either way, be happy with your choice you make.
Remember, your mind is not a bad guy, but it does love to keep busy! Swinging from concept to concept and stirring up drama and emotion simply to entertain itself. By monitoring your moods, you’ll have a better gauge for your internal state, allowing to dial yourself up or down, instead of being at the mercy of your monkey mind.
You don’t need to wait for the worst day of your life to learn what your soul is trying to teach you. Just open yourself to its message.
Are you letting your soul guide you? How did you first hear its call?
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