3 Ways to Offer our Life Story Well
In his book, Let Your Life Speak, Parker Palmer talks about his noble ambitions to live up to a high standard by observing great lives and emulating the loftiest of ideals. However, in his quest to achieve a high standard of living, he realized how false his life began to feel. In his words he had “simply found a noble way to live a life that was not my own, a life spent imitating heroes instead of listening to my heart.”
What does it mean to listen to our own hearts and live the life that only we are meant to live?
1-We take the time to pull away and listen to the whispers of our hearts.
What is important to me? How am I aligning my time and resources to listen to my heart well?
2-We honor all that we have lived and anticipate more story yet to be written.
How do I honor my failings and my successes? How do I get to use what I have lived to finish writing my story well? What is my best to offer the world? What am I anticipating?
3-We OWN the responsibility of writing our life stories and intentionally offering it back. Where do I need more support for the story I want to offer? How do I want to finish well? What is the legacy I want to leave? How is Divine Love guiding my story? What is blocking me?
Why is it so important to be intentional about writing our life stories well and offering it back?
Because just like our own unique fingerprints…so is the story for your life. The world is waiting for you to show up and offer your story well.
I learned this life lesson well teaching in East L.A. With a low socio-economic at-risk community of middle school children, I was hired to teach English. As I learned to trust my intuition by incorporating the arts and integrating the right side of their brain to both soothe their spirit as well as energize their creative thinking, I watched the test scores go up. I witnessed a population that had consistently failed begin to succeed at high rates. What if I had passed over this position? What if I had ignored my instinct to incorporate art? What if I had dismissed the whispers of my heart to find creative ways to support the journey of these children?
We each have the joy of living fully present with our lives to offer the story that only we can offer.
My heart is with you and for you as you step nobly into your story and offer it to our world, Heather
What a ride 2014 has been! With the launch of Arise&Be and the incredible growth we witnessed, I think of my word for the year — ENJOY — and I realized how during this incredible journey of stepping outside my comfort zone, I experienced joy like I never had before. I think of it like the roller coaster that terrifies you and thrills you all at the same time and even though you want it to be over…you find yourself back in line for another ride.
I came to learn how joy has many faces…and being uncomfortable for the sake of creating a larger life to engage in an adventure of a lifetime…does bring joy. Even when you’re risking like you’ve never done before.
More specifically, I witnessed how joy is manifested and how it can be so elusive…so unexpected…so unplanned…so surprisingly authentic. Honestly, I’m still trying to understand my journey with ‘Enjoy’. But what I observed most about joy was how it is often stolen…and how I allow it.
For instance, when I kept my focus on ‘What I am Doing versus Who I am Becoming’, I lost my compass and I’d find myself anxious, frustrated and restless. It was easy to compare my achievements with others (which we all know zaps the very joy out of anything and conjures the green-eyed monster of jealousy) and I strived more with less results.
I found that as I switched my gaze toward ‘Who I am Becoming’ such as being a person who offers peace and love, it empowered me to return to my life path as it simultaneously engaged my compass for next steps. I stepped into conversations better, declined invitations that didn’t align with my values, and initiated steps toward inspiring goals. And I felt myself exhale with a ‘there you are, Heather’ sense of well-being. Peace with myself and the life I was choosing was restored.
As I end 2014, I realize I have only scratched the surface of enjoying life. I want more. So, for 2015, I’m engaging this word again with the phrase, PRECIOUS PRESENT, to remind me how staying fully present with my life keeps me enjoying what’s right in front of me.
My heart is for you as you engage more joy in your life for 2015.
With warm thoughts,