22. Journey

“Do work son!”  -Rob and Big

When we started CYLFriday our goal was to help inspire and challenge our community to be bold and brave, using actions to make positive change.  I can say that our lives have changed, and I hope that it has inspired others. The crew that started this journey together have truly bought in, all in, and allowed our lives to change in ways we could not have predicted. 

At 10:45 this evening I will leave the comfortable life I have become accustomed to over the last 7 years in Phoenix. I hit the road to see what else the world has to offer.  In preparation for my travels I have liquidated my possessions down to two boxes of mementoes, one box of clothes and two bags that will be coming with me on my journey.  I sold my vehicles, bigger electronics, my kitchenware and furniture; I also gave away many things to the people that have been a big part of my life in Arizona.  My plan with this journey was to change my life and report on the change throughout the journey. What I have found is that the lessons and growth have already started before I have landed at my first destination.

I have gained insight into my “needs” and soon after acquiring these alleged needs they end up not serving me.  I have been reminded how smooth everything flows when I am acting rightly and trusting my inner truth.  I have been full of gratitude for all of the amazing people that have helped mold me into the person that I am today. That man is someone who is willing to take a big chance and make a big change.  I have also been blessed with a great reason to examine the steps which brought me to this point of willingness to follow my dreams. The Universe has given me a call to action and thanks to the practice that I have made over the past several months, following the calls have seemed natural, effortless and fearless.  Having learned so much in such a short time inspires me to work harder and trust more. I am blessed with results that are beyond my wildest dreams. 

I think it is so fiting that this life changing journey departs from my current comforts on a friday. I will proudly be wearing my CYLFriday t-shirt on the plane.

Affirmation: I follow my intuition with great trust. I am guided and protected during every step of the amazing journey the Universe has for me.

Call to Action: Determine a change that you have been avoiding. Take a step in working towards that change today. If you are currently going through a change share how the evolution of that change has opened your eyes to some insight. Please share anything that calls you to in the comments.

Copyright © 2011-2012, Change Your Life Friday. All Rights Reserved.

21. Storytelling

“Great stories happen to those who tell them.” – Ira Glass

Sunday morning I completed a 10-day meditation retreat. One aspect of the retreat included a nightly discourse where the teacher would explain the theory behind the meditation we had worked on that day. His favorite way, and more importantly his most effective way, to drive home a point was through telling stories.  Storytelling has been and will most likely always be the best way to transmit a message to an audience. 

I was reminded of this again on Tuesday afternoon when Change Your Life Friday crew sat down with an amazing woman and shared our story.  It was a tale of friendship, evolution, support and most importantly inspired change. The four of us sat around a table for two hours and allowed the story to flow with her questions. We had the chance to see how our life had played out over the last four years through new eyes.

As the week rolled on I was listening to The 3 Tenors with my grandfather. He loves opera music and while sitting with him he shared a story of how he started singing at 15. I knew he had sung for his church at one point, but I did not know this was a lifelong endeavor he enjoyed so much. I was shocked because at 28 I feel extremely close to my grandfather and thought I had heard ALL of his stories. 

Who cares? The point is storytelling is one of the most powerful things we have in society. It can be used to learn or teach a new skill. Storytelling can help us connect with others and grow in relationships. Sharing a story or listening to a story can also add a new perspective to your life. What is your story?

Affirmation:  My story is ever changing, ever growing and always playing out exactly the way it is supposed to.  Today I love the story of my life. 

Call to Action:  What is your story?  What is the story that you tell yourself about your life?  Is it a tragic tale of loss and lack or is it an amazing adventure of growth and change.  Take some time today and see if the story that you play for yourself serves you.  If you feel that your story is boring or uninspired and as a result you see yourself that way, refer to the quote above.

Copyright © 2011-2012, Change Your Life Friday. All Rights Reserved.

20. Inner Truth

“To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”  -William Shakespeare

Is the grass really greener on the other side? I was speaking to a friend, as so often inspiration spawns for the cylfriday posts, and he used the phrase, “I got what I wanted and now that I have it, I’m not sure if I really want it anymore.” I think about how many times I have heard all of my friends and family say something similar and having a similar result. Usually it goes something like this: When I graduate things will be different, when I finally get out of this town my life will be better, when I get more respect from my girlfriend this relationship will be great, if I had a girlfriend my life would be complete, as soon as I get a better job I will be happy… etc. I know you have heard many variations of this as well.

I’m not saying there is anything wrong with planning ahead or having goals for the future. I am saying that these goals when accomplished are not going to solve life’s problems.

I realize that when I get what I want and I regret it or it does not fill the void I was looking to fill than maybe I didn’t really know what I wanted in the first place. Perhaps I am looking for outside things to fix the inside problems. I now know that what I really need is to find out my inner truth. What I really want, what my motives are, and am I counting on it to create a feeling within me?

Affirmation:  I know who I am.  I know what I need.  I know I am perfect in this moment and my joy and happiness comes from the inside out.

Call to Action: Time to let go of fear and look inside gang.  Today take some time to do some self seeking.  Write down some of the things in your life that you feel have been brining you the most frustration or stress.  Also write down some of those things you feel would “make everything better.” Now look at that list and ask yourself what is really true about those situations or wants.  Please share anything that you find in this self seeking exercise in the comment section below.

Copyright © 2011-2012, Change Your Life Friday. All Rights Reserved.

19. Community

“Communication leads to community, that is, to understanding, intimacy and mutual valuing.” -Rollo May

This last week I was graced with some amazing perspective on how important my support system has become in my life.  Over the past several years of trying to truly be a good friend I have received a great number of good friends in return.  There are people in my life today that would stop everything they were doing to help me in any way that I may need.  I believe that came from doing the same for many of them and putting my self interest aside.   It was not some deal of magic or dumb luck that I have true, deep relationships today, it has been the result of practice and persistence.

When we were young it was very easy to make tight friendships just based on the amount of time that was available to cultivate our relationships.  As we get older things get in the way and before we know it our communities shrink down to very small groups.  I don’t believe there is anything wrong with having a tight group but I also can very easily see the benefit of the principle of strength in numbers.

So what is the answer?  I believe the answer is effort and honesty.  I like to trick myself into thinking that I am fully self-sufficient when in actuality I need support and motivation to continue to grow.  When I can honestly say that I need the help of my fellows, I better have some fellows that I can turn to.  That is where the effort comes in, by being a friend I get friends.  By supporting others I have a support group and by listening I give someone a chance to be heard.  I am so grateful for the community that I have seen grow about me over the last several years and I really wish that all of you can experience the same love and support that I feel when I walk out into the world.

Affirmation:  Today I will create the community I crave by seeking out people that will support and inspire me to be the best I can be.

Call to Action: Take some time today to assess the community that surrounds you.  Are you supported?  Are you inspired? Are you motivated to be the best you that you can be?  Is there a place in your community that you can give back and be of service?  If there is a lack in any of these areas?  If so use this week to break through the fear of change and find some of your fellows that are looking for the same things.  I am grateful for the cylfriday community, share how we can help each other to help ourselves.

Copyright © 2011-2012, Change Your Life Friday. All Rights Reserved.

18. Moving Forward

“Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.” -Steve Jobs

Tonight while sitting on my alma mater’s football field the realization that a chapter in my life was coming to a close began to soak in. While reminiscing over the last four and a half years the speaker mentioned that I will need to reinvent myself 5-7 times over the next twenty years in order to achieve great things.

January 10th 2008 I moved from a town in the far northeast corner of the United States to a new city out west. Prior to the permanent move, I had the chance to visit this great metropolis. During my visit I experienced a peace and ease I had never felt when making a big life decision, little did I know what was to come. Within two months of the big move out west I had figuratively and somewhat literally made my bed, dowsed it in jet fuel, lit a match and attempted to go to sleep.

During the next four years I found my way out of the ashes with the help of a few good men that were willing to show me a new way of thinking, acting and believing. The result over the last 1,575 days has been a life full of amazing gifts, great friends, as well as some earth shattering sorrows. I know that each one of these events was necessary for me to arrive at the end of this chapter and spring into an exciting new chapter full of blank pages still.

Was there a Divine Order involved that used Phoenix, AZ as the setting for the lesson of rebirth and transformation? I believe so, and if there was not it worked out to be one hell of a coincidence.

Affirmation:  The person who I choose today is the model for the person who I am becoming. Today I choose love, happiness, forgiveness and inspiration.

Call to Action: I know my truth for this day and the days ahead come from that inner spark of inspiration that continues to smolder as I keep making right minded choices.  Today I beg of you to look at the choices you are making today and ask yourself several times throughout the day, are these the actions of the person who I am intending to become?  Please share with us what comes through in this gut check style process.

Copyright © 2011-2012, Change Your Life Friday. All Rights Reserved.