Life is not a straight line. It's a downpour of gifts, please – hold out your hand

Thank you for being here. I'm so glad you're here.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Inspired or Stuck?

"Each of us has an internal flame that is the keeper of our life force.  Each choice we make either adds to this force, making it stronger, igniting and feeding our flame, or diminishes the force, dampening our internal fame, reducing its power."   Debbie Ford

Photo found HERE
"life is all about making choices, we get to choose one among the many, and the one we choose defines our future and destiny."
 “The rest of your life is being shaped right now with the dreams you chase, the choices you make and the person you decide to be. The rest of your life is a long time and the rest of your life starts right now."

I'm reading a book called The Right Questions by Debbie Ford.  In this book, Debbie offers ten profound questions that can un-stick us from our old, conditioned past patterns and propel us forward into our best, most empowered life.  I'm finding these questions so helpful and potentially life-changing (if we remember to ask & listen) that I decided to share one of these questions with you each week.  Below is the first one..

Will this choice propel me toward an inspiring future or will it keep me stuck in the past?

Our power to choose may be our greatest gift ever.  In each moment we get to choose whether to move toward or best, most inspired & awake life, our best, most inspired self, or whether we'll spin around in past patterns that do not serve our highest good, keeping us stuck in "comfortable" blah rather than moving us toward our bliss.  We get to decide whether we'll be victims of our old stories & limiting beliefs or whether we'll BE the empowered, amazing people that we are.

Making the choice that propels us forward is (very) often not the choice that feels easy or comfortable.  

Just recently I decided that I was going to get my butt out of bed at 5:30 am (at least 3 days a week) to go to a 6:00 am spinning/cycling class. My girls are home this summer so exercising at any other time isn't so much of an option. This morning when the alarm clock went off, yanking me out of a deep/dreamful sleep, I really, really wanted to turn those sounds off and burrow back into dreamland.  It would have been much more gratifying - much easier and more comfortable (in that moment) to go back to sleep.  

But, what is gratifying in the moment, does not necessarily propel us forward. If we say we want to feel lighter/healthier in our bodies, yet make the choice to finish off the chocolate cake (day after day) and blow off exercising, our choices aren't consistent with what we say we want.  When our choices don't reflect our highest good, we suffer. 

I don't know about you, but I'm tired of suffering.

I have felt pretty miserable in my body for a while now.  Life got super busy and, rather than doing what I know makes my body feel better (exercising and eating well), I stopped exercising and ate what I wanted to eat. I made the choice toward instant gratification/laziness rather than choosing what would be good and healthy for me in the long run.  

It's not that we can't give ourselves a break sometimes or treat ourselves to yummy goodness, but when we consistently choose what doesn't feed/nurture us, that internal flame can quickly become a weak little needy flicker.  

Once I got my tired butt out of bed this morning and got moving, I was happy that I hadn't chosen to go back to sleep. While I was spinning and sweating on that bike, I felt proud of myself. I felt the release and rush that exercise always brings to me.  Now, hours later, I love knowing that I've already had a great workout, that I took care of myself in that way. Rather than satisfying my tired self in that early morning moment and going back to sleep, I held a higher, more alive vision for myself and have been feeling the aliveness & energy around that choice for hours now.  

This isn't about right or wrong.  

It's about feeding that internal flame/that life force inside of us - or not.

So, think about any given area of your life, in each area - are you choosing what will ultimately propel you forward/feed that internal flame?  Or are you choosing what's easy/convenient/"comfortable"/instantly gratifying/what seems to please others?   

If you notice that you're choosing what's keeping you stuck, this isn't about "shoulding" on yourself or beating yourself up (EVER!).  It's about being aware, being gentle with yourself - very gentle, & knowing that THIS moment is brand new. And that, in this very now moment, you can choose, choose again.  

You always get to choose again.  Isn't that a beautiful thing?

Now a couple of questions for you...

Where in your life are you making choices that are keeping you stuck in the past?

Where in your life are you making choices that are propelling you forward?

I'd love to hear from you.  :)


  1. I "should" myself all the time.
    --I should get up earlier too.
    --I should get some chores done.
    --I should this, that, and every other thing I can think of.
    I spend endless minutes coming up with to-do lists that half the time I blow off anyway---all for the sake of instant gratification.

    My organization has even taken over planning my free time out. "I should write today, and I should read tomorrow." It takes all the fun out of it, but I'm so used to scheduling myself, it seems like second nature.

    I find if I plan to write out, it may work , or it may not--but being inspired in the moment is not about schedules; it is about being spontaneous.

    If I choose tomorrow to get up early not because I have to, but because I want to, that's a far better goal than what I have in mind. (The reason for that being the earlier I get to work , the earlier I leave and get to spend time with my husband.) I can also have time to do all the things I wanted to do in the first place.

    Every day is its own choice.

    1. I think "should" should be eliminated from every vocabulary! Or maybe I want to would be hugely beneficial to all of us if we eliminated it completely.

      I love replacing the word "should" with the word "want" Karin, because, even if we're not conscious of it, we do want it on some level.

      It's so much more empowering to own our wants then to should on ourselves.

      Thanks for taking the time to connect, lovely woman.

  2. I love this post, Julia. I was especially touched by this phrase: I held a higher, more alive vision for myself...

    This way of framing our choices is so empowering. I do think we get into a habit of saying to ourselves that we're too busy or too stressed to worry about eating right or exercising or engaging with our art. But those are excuses, no matter how much it hurts to hear that. You're getting up at 6 o'clock in the morning!!! There is time, if we're willing to make time.

    And, let's face it. We do make time for things we want to do. We may not get our workout in, but we have time to play on Pinterest, or watch our favorite show on Netflix, or read a thousand emails, or comment on our friends' blogs (xoxo). I know whenever I say that "I don't have time," I really mean, "I'm not willing to make time to do this."

    Your a cycling badass, my friend. I'm inspired.

    1. "I know whenever I say that "I don't have time," I really mean, "I'm not willing to make time to do this." Yes, exactly, J. It's so much more empowering and serving when we just call it as it is.

      I may be a cycling badass, my friend, but you are a creating badass. I'm so damn inspired by your recent 30 day commitment to your art.

      You totally rock.

  3. Julia,
    I've made some pretty healthy changes lately and have a couple more to make. I'm just coming out of a blue season. I tend to coddle myself when I'm blue. I eat comfort food, slack off with exercise, housework and let my art go. I make all the bad choices but it feels so good at the time. It's my way of ducking out and licking my wounds, which is okay for a season, but this go-round of the blues has lasted a long time and my body is feeling the weight of it;)

    The image of you getting up for that cycling class is so inspiring. It's as easy as saying "yes" isn't it. I'm gonna start saying yes to more of the good stuff. Especially my art.

    Great post today!


    1. YES! I think it can be as easy as saying yes, Leah...that moment of decision, of saying yes is so empowering! For me, making the decision is the tough part, after I've made the commitment I feel FREE.

      I love you, dear one. Here's to grand and magical new seasons.

  4. Ah. Choices. Yes, this is a powerful, thought provoking post.

    Lately I have been making the choice to stare at the computer way, way too much. It is so compelling; so many nice articles to read on blogs, so much Facebook to check in on, etc. You get the idea. I know that I have chosen to spend all that time doing what I know can't be all that keeps me from the creative things that fill my spirit.

    So I have really been trying to choose to do other things, even just starting the laundry or reading, especially first thing in my day. And when I make that choice and get on with life, I feel so much more alive, so much better. Amazing what just this one choice can effect.

    One choice I've made recently that is propelling me forward is helping plan and put on a retreat for a small group of women. I want to engage more with friends, have those deep conversations and share from the heart. This retreat is going to help me along that path.

    Just wish my BBBE's could be there with me....

    1. Deb, I think the most important thing of all (regardless of the choices we're making/not making) is to be super, ultra GENTLE and loving with ourselves. Again, this is so NOT about throwing more shoulds on ourselves!

      Sometimes we just need to stare at the computer for a while or eat the rest of the cake. I find that when I make the time for the things that I know truly fill me/nurture me - I let myself off the hook much easier for doing those other things that may not be so nurturing. Also, when I fill myself first, I find that I don't even have the desire to do the non-filling things.

      I'm so inspired and excited for your upcoming retreat, Deb! This feels so big and important. Those are some lucky women to have you as their guide. Celebrating you, my friend.

  5. So inspiring, friend, that you are asking yourself such potent questions, and getting up to do spinning is sooooooooo huge!!!!! A perfect post for this morning, when I have fallen way out of balance with body. Thank you!!!! So glad you are sharing here.

    1. Thank you, precious Brooke. I'm so thankful for you.


What are you thinking/feeling? I'd really love to know...

♥ Julia