We all have times in our life when we feel lost. Sometimes it happens slowly over time, and sometimes it comes like a thief in the night. How do you find your path again? And do we really want to find the same path? Maybe creating a new one is the reason why the path was lost in the first place…
Last week was the Gypsy Soul Retreat’s Hibernate in Howell. Mary and I began planning this event the day after Harvest. I have always loved doing art and creating, but it intimidated me – until I met Mary and art and creating wasn’t so scary.
I was in second grade when I excitedly brought home an art project to show my mom, only for her to tell me that art wasn’t my strength. And so I stopped trying. I was devastated. I was probably the only grade school kid in my school that got B’s and C’s in Art class. The great projects were hung in the hallway, while mine were hidden in the classroom, unless it was a Parent/Teacher meetings when all of our art was displayed. I would pray that nobody would point and make fun of anything that I did and started writing my name super tiny so nobody could tell that it was mine. It wasn’t my strength, after all. That was well over thirty years ago and yet it affected me until I tackled my fears and insecurities head on by picking up some markers and paints and creating.
And that was the point in creating Gypsy Soul Retreats – helping to inspire and renew those willing to challenge their spirit, not just in art, but so much more. Gypsy Soul Retreats offers the time to create friendships, laugh, find inspiration, encouragement and renewal by connecting to others, but most of all reconnecting to yourself and your own life purpose. And like I said, not just about art, but opening oneself up to new experiences as a whole.
So after a wonderful weekend of yoga, meditation, art, creating and friendships – I left our retreat location exhausted, but feeling whole and centered in body, mind and spirit. The Michigan morning was a-typical for this winter season, with a fresh layer of snow covering the trees, cars and roadway as I stopped at the retreat location’s office to give them final numbers. I began my short walk to the office when all of a sudden a larger SUV, parked in the first parking spot right next to the sidewalk leading to the office, backed into me – hitting my shoulder first. It happened so fast and all I saw was the driver’s side back tire coming closer to me. I grabbed on to the back windshield wiper with my right hand so not to slip under the car. And when I realized that he was not stopping, I screamed. He stopped the car, got out and asked me if I was okay. I was shocked. I wasn’t sure if I was okay or not and told him that I needed to go to the office. Thinking that he was following me, I turned around to see the car exiting the parking lot. The arm/shoulder pain began as soon as I came down from the heightened adrenaline. And as I made my way into the hospital to be examined, I wasn’t mad (and still am not) that the driver left, but instead I was grateful for surviving. But later that night as I lay in my own bed, I replayed the events over and over. Not just the accident, but the last few years. And little insecurities began bubbling up. Maybe I was cursed. Even the ER Doctor asked me if I had any known enemies and wondered if someone had done it on purpose. Why had the last few months been so challenging? Every time I thought my path was clear from obstructions, someone or something kicked me off. And even stole my inner GPS. It was ironic that the following week I was holding a ‘Letting Go’ workshop. How coincidental and hypocritical was that, I thought? Or was it?
As I poured over my notes for the class, little by little I found my mojo again. I wasn’t cursed. And all of the crazy challenges and so-called bad luck was positioned there for me to look closely at all the different pathways and see which ones were truly worth walking down. So as much as I was frustrated, from getting H1N1, Bell’s Palsy, a horrible stomach bug, and then hit by a car, I screamed ‘Uncle’ to my angels and guides. Not in the way of giving up, but instead to stop trying to control everything and just be.
I receive emails every day, mostly from women, asking what they can do to discover their purpose and wondering which path they should walk…. Each situation is as unique as each person, but here are several ways to turn back on your GPS and relocate you.
9 Steps to Relocate (a Better) You
- Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone- Maybe learn a new skill, sign up for a class, talk to someone you admire and maybe ask for advice.
- Cry + Express Your Emotions– Let it all out. It is healthy to cry, get mad, feel sad and even laugh. If you aren’t honest with how you are feeling, eventually all that you’ve bottled up with backfire on you. On the other side of letting it all go is inner peace.
- Make a list of your accomplishments—Write down your daily accomplishments, even the small ones, and keep adding to it. It isn’t ego, as many of us have been taught. It is okay to celebrate you and all that you are, and all that you’ve done. It also shows your weaknesses and what you need to work on.
- Affirmations – With those accomplishments, turn them into affirmations or create a manifesto. If you don’t know what that is, there are many on Pinterest and I tend to post many on my Facebook each week.
- Talk it Out – Brainstorm ideas, frustrations and inner truths with a friend, a partner, a therapist, a life coach, etc. You probably don’t even need advice, you just need to sort it out verbally and hear what you are truly saying. And how, perhaps your inner voice has become an inner bully.
- Stop Comparing Yourself to Others – Everyone is on their own journey, their own path. You will not benefit from looking at what your coworker, your Facebook friend, your neighbor or the Hollywood Star. Believe me when I say that their lives aren’t as grand as they are advertising them to be. The comparisons are not fair to you, so just stop it.
- Read – Some books that I like as a means to inspire –
- Madly in Love with ME: The Daring Adventure of Becoming Your Own Best Friend by Christine Arylo
- The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are Paperback by Brene Brown
- May Cause Miracles: A 40-Day Guidebook of Subtle Shifts for Radical Change and Unlimited Happiness by Gabrielle Bernstein
- Life Code: New Rules for the Real World by Dr. Phil McGraw
- Embracing the Now: Finding Peace and Happiness in What Is by Gina Lake
- Meditate + Yoga = A Good Night’s Sleep – Did I hear you moan? Quieting the buzz in your head so that you can hear your inner voice again does wonders! Meditation and Yoga (or Pilates) is wonderful for reconnecting with yourself. The more you do this, the better your sleep will be. So many are self-medicating themselves to get to sleep and waking up in a fog, going through the day in a fog, and feeling disconnected. And then repeating the following night.
- Start Again – Learning from your mistakes and starting again helps you put one foot in front of the other. If you do the same thing, expecting a different result, then you will end up very frustrated. So start again, down a different path. There will be obstacles no matter where you go, but you have the ability to choose to keep going, blaze a new trail, turn around or just sit and hope someone saves you.
As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
I believe in YOU.