Now is the Perfect Time for Reinvention

Two yellow flowers surrounded by rocks

It’s mid-July amid a summer unlike any I’ve ever known. Much of the state of California where I call home remains on COVID-19 lock-down. Nearly all of the social and recreational activities that usually shape my summers are now off limits.

No social gatherings of any kind. No hugging family and friends. No enjoying of life at restaurants and music venues. No getaway vacations. No gym classes or weight machines. No getting my hair cut and colored by a professional. No dressing up…for anything.

I have been looking at this pandemic period as a time to begrudgingly ride out the storm. Yet I realize now that life is not simply on hold.

We are all in a period of transition. We’ve left the known and are treading the waters of uncertainty about what lies ahead. We’re not really sure if we’ll be able to just pick up where we left off when “things settle down.” But is picking up what’s been your status quo really what you’ll want?

A Time For Reinvention

Each one of us has now been invited to reinvent our lives, one action, one alternative COVID-19 choice, at a time.

For those of us who have lost jobs or business, there is more time available to focus on that thing that you really want to learn, that business you’d love to start, or that person that you yearn to become.

Perhaps COVID-19 is your personal invitation to create this new change?

I know that I have been challenged to give myself permission to dream big, to believe that fulfillment of my deepest dreams are actually possible for me. I come from a blue collar middle class family and have accepted the belief all of these years that living below the radar in middle class was my destiny.

It wasn’t until I started reading recently about the early lives of some incredibly successful people and learned that many started out with nothing. That tells me that your history doesn’t dictate your destiny.

What I’m working on now is getting clarity on what I really want to create in my life. The hardest part for me is to allow myself the luxury of thinking big. I’m now telling myself that getting the clarity will require some time and disciplined focus. It won’t happen overnight.

I’ve been doing 5-12 minutes of ab exercises every night for the past 3 months thanks to some awesome instructors I’ve discovered on YouTube. I didn’t expect immediate results, yet I didn’t expect it would take this long to begin to see a vague resemblance of a six-pack. I guess that’s how I need to look at creating my ideal life—with dedication and the belief that I can change my status quo.

Everything Happens For A Reason

Purpose is a principle that drives my life. I am constantly looking to understand the purpose behind what just happened. I believe that our Universe surrounds us with wonder and that our day-to-day experiences are far from random events. Most of us just don’t pay close enough attention to receive the clues that are designed to guide us in the direction our hearts yearn to go.

If you were to believe that everything happens for a reason, is there something you can see that you are being invited to do during this time when the life you’ve known is no longer an option?

Be well,
Susan

You Always Have Choices

You always have choices

Have you ever felt like you were stuck in a situation that you didn’t really like, but you couldn’t see that you had any options except to remain on that path?

I have.

And I learned that feeling stuck was a message to me that my life was begging for change.

One thing I’ve learned recently is that all of my habits that formed my day-to-day life pre-COVID-19 were not iron-clad. I was forced to make a different choice…because the choice I was used to was no longer available.

And you know what? I’m happier for it.

I learned that I didn’t have to feel like I was a slave to the gym.

I learned that I could shop for groceries once a week instead of stopping several times a week just for a few choice items.

I learned that I could be more productive setting distinct goals for my work day at home than clocking in 8 hours in at the office without.

I learned that I am actually capable of coloring my own hair.

I learned that I don’t need to travel and have days and nights out on the town to feel gratitude for my husband and life in general.

I learned that phone calls with my family and friends could be far richer when I rely on non-physical means for our main connection.

I would have never considered I had these opportunities because my blinders were so fully set on the picture I’d created of my life.

As we all maneuver through the various challenges of the time, let’s consider these days as an opportunity to rebuild our lives in ways we never seriously pursued.

It’s a time ripe for reinvention. Let’s cherish the opportunity.

Take care.

12 Steps to Make Your Dream Your Life

I delivered the pdf file for my upcoming book, Inner Architect: How to Build the Life You Were Designed to Live, to the printer this past Thursday. On Friday afternoon something incredible hit me. I am in the process of bringing life to my dream! Holy cow. Why did it take me so long to see clearly what is right in front of me? What was I thinking to expect that one single event would bring my dream to life? It really is all about baby steps.

Three years ago this month, I walked away from a successful 20-year career in the corporate world to follow a dream. It hasn’t been an easy journey, that’s for sure, and I’ve got a ways to go. But I can see now that I am on my way.

Your way to your dream can be found in these steps:

  1. Recognize that you have the choice to create a different life.
  2. Believe that it is possible to successfully build your dream.
  3. Define the obstacles that are holding you back.
  4. Replace your obstacles with ideas that support you.
  5. Give credibility to the desires of your heart and learn to trust it.
  6. Outline your training and development needs.
  7. Crystallize your vision.
  8. Identify your major goals.
  9. Define the steps necessary to achieve your goals.
  10. Stay committed to doing the necessary work.
  11. Support your external work with thoughts that help to build it.
  12. See yourself now in the beginning stages of your new life.

How to Conquer the Fear of Not Being Good Enough

Don’t be afraid to let yourself be guided by the dreams and visions you have in your heart. These dreams represent your potential, who you truly are at your core. The fact that you have these dreams is evidence that they are attainable, even if they seem too good to be true.

What if something really does feel too good to be true?

Ask yourself one question. Is it too good to be true for anybody, or just too good to be true for you? This is an interesting question, isn’t it? Why should any idea be too good to be true? There is something about being human that leaves us wide open to questioning whether we are good enough. Why is it that we can muster up so much more worthiness for our family, friends, and neighbors than we can for ourselves? Just like we need to believe that we can reach something before we stretch our arms for it, we need to believe that we are entitled to something before we dare to begin to take the steps toward it.

Steps to conquer the fear of not being good enough:

  1. Look at yourself with compassion from the inside out and ask, what is really not good enough?”
  2. Look at your intention. Is it to do something that is good for you and your fellow man? Is so, ask what’s not to be good enough?
  3. Don’t compare yourself to others. Allow yourself to see that you bring your own unique gifts and experiences that make you different.
  4. Remind yourself that when you are being who you truly are, you are way more than good enough. You are in your right place. The process of getting from Point A to Point B may feel like it pushes your buttons of competency, yet that’s very different from your being good enough.
  5. Remember than absolutely nobody is perfect. Life itself is meant to be an experience that we learn and grow from.

Is This All There Is?

When you are feeling that there must be something more,
it means there is.

How do you go about finding it?

Step 1: Ask yourself if you believe you have a purposeful contribution to make to this world.

You cannot discover your purpose unless you are clear that you have one. You don’t need to know what that specific role is right now, but you do need to believe there is something you are here to do, to be, or to accomplish. Your purpose does not necessarily have to be something that will go down in the world’s history records.

No one calling is better than another. The universe needs us all.

Visualizing Your Ideal Work Life

I didn’t realize just how fuzzy my vision for my ideal work life was until I sat down to create a clearer picture. I now hold that picture in my mind and it helps me to be clear on where I need to invest my time and energy to take steps closer to making this vision my reality. If you are serious about wanting to make your work life better in some way, then give yourself the gift of making a commitment to the process below.

Set aside some quiet time to sit in a comfortable position with a journal. Think about what you want to create with crystal clarity. If it is a new career or starting your own business, for example, what does your workplace look like? How is it decorated? What is the mood? How would you describe its location? Imagine yourself driving (or walking) up to the building and into the front door. What does it feel like to be inside the building? Imagine the activity of your workplace. Do you have clients coming in and out or do you work heavily on your own? What is your work schedule? What are you wearing to work? Do you travel? Where to and how? What kinds of clients do you have? What do they look like? What does relating with them feel like? What are the exact services that you provide? How are your clients helped by you? How often do they see you? How do you feel when you are working? What does it feel like to leave your workplace at the end of each day? What are you known for? What provides you with the most satisfaction? Think through all the details so that you can see this image in your mind as clearly as you can see your current reality. Then write a description of everything you see and imagine in your journal so clearly that someone else who read it would have the same clarity.

You have now created your vision. Take your vision and engrave it as a picture in your mind. This is not simply an exercise to do once and let go of. It is one to revisit in your mind’s eye as frequently as possible. By revisiting your vision, you remind yourself constantly of what you want to accomplish. This will help you to make decisions about where you need to invest your time and what action steps will take you closer. This vision will be your ongoing compass that will chart you in the right direction. Can you see how the more vividly you can see your vision the more easily you will enable your life to become it?

Thank you for visiting. I’m wishing you the richest of journeys!

Best,
Susan

Susan Hanshaw
susan@sanctuaryforchange.com
https://susanhanshaw.wordpress.com
www.sanctuaryforchange.com

An Invitation that Will Change Your Life

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What if you knew you had the power to create whatever reality you wanted and were given fail-safe instructions on how to go about it?  Would you do it?  Trick question?  No.  But think about it for a moment.

If you’ve found your way to this blog, chances are you’ve heard all about The Secret and the Law of Attraction.  Like me, then, you’ve been taught that we create our lives through our minds.  By thinking about what we want and visualizing it as our reality, we express our God-given role as  creators.  That is, if we believe we have this power and we actually employ it.  My guess is that this is where most of us fall down.  At least I do.  Not always, but much of the time.  I want to get better about engaging my power because I know that it works.  I’ve seen it.

I look back at a large account I once landed when everyone else on the team didn’t think we had a chance in hell.  I prepared and practiced in my mind a killer presentation that was fired with faith.  Then I look at other things I’ve manifested through visualization even though my faith more resembled blind hope.  But it worked anyway.  I’m beginning to build the career I’ve always dreamed about and I have a wonderful partner both in love and business.  Yet still I remain a lazy visualizer.

It doesn’t really matter why I expend more energy trying to fit into my jeans than I do practicing the power of visualization.  It’s enough to recognize it so that I can commit to changing it.  So I am beginning today.  And your presence here is going to help me.  I’m going to start each blog day off by calling attention to this power we have by exercising it a bit.  I invite you to join me in your own process.  So let’s start right now.

Think about a relationship that you wish to attract, maintain or improve.  Take a moment to visualize what this person looks like.  Imagine them walking through the door of your home early one evening.  Imagine what is expressed verbally and physically.  Think about how it feels to engage with this person and stand close to them.  Imagine the evening unfolding.  What does the energy between you feel like?  How are you spending your time together?  What are you talking about?  What is the tone?  Once you have a clear vision of what it looks and feels like to spend an evening with this person, allow your mind to imagine glimpses of other times with him or her.  What kinds of things do you do together?  How do you connect?  How do you feel? Create enough of these pictures in your mind so as to have captured random moments that are like photographs in an album that is a tribute to your relationship.  Make a point to add more snapshots in your mind as you think about it throughout the day.

Thank you for joining me as we experiment together with the power we have to create what we want in our lives.  I’d love for you to comment on your experiences so that together we can inspire each other!

Susan Hanshaw
susan@sanctuaryforchange.com

Living Your Purpose: Getting Beyond the “But…”

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I am convinced that the only things standing in the way of all of us living as a joyful expression of our life’s purpose are the limiting beliefs that we ourselves create that act like barrier walls that keep us from reaching for our heart’s desires. As I mentioned in yesterday’s article, Learning to Trust Your Heart, I have witnessed many individuals move from feeling clueless about their purpose to recognizing some strong clues simply by being shown how and where to look. The next step then becomes a process of giving yourself the permission and dedication to tear down the walls that are standing in your way. Following are some of the most common obstacles along with some tips on how to overcome them.

“I can’t see how I can support myself financially.” I don’t mean to downplay what is a real concern for many people. Instead I invite you to look differently at supporting yourself through your passions than if you’ve been earning a paycheck for working a full-time job. Make a list of all the different ways you can generate income by doing what you love to do. Your financial support does not have to come from one single source. Your financial livelihood can be made up of many roles or services that you provide, all employing your passions. Maybe one particular role can’t generate enough money for you, but adding others into the mix might just bring in what you need.

“I don’t have the credentials.” Yes, I know, some fields do require licenses or certifications. But this does not apply for everything. Sometimes real-life experience is just as valuable, if not more, than formal credentials. If you are someone holding yourself back because you think you don’t have the right credentials, ask yourself if that is really true or if you are just using that as a convenient excuse to keep you from sticking your neck out.

“My life is too busy. I just don’t have the time to focus on my purpose.” Hogwash! If something is truly important to you, you can find a way to build it into your life. Make it a top priority and schedule your leisure time around it. Everyone who cares about you will understand. Even the smallest amount of time that you are able to commit provides you the opportunity to take steps forward. Remember that transition is not an overnight job. It’s an unfolding of baby steps.

“People will think I’m crazy to give up what I have.” This one hung over my head for the longest time. And I was delightfully surprised at how much support I got from those I didn’t expect who applauded my desire and guts to leave a secure path for the pursuit of a deeper happiness and sense of purpose.

“I can’t afford to reduce my income. I have bills to pay and my savings account is for my retirement.” I’ve been there, too. Why is it that most of us think nothing about taking a big wad of savings to invest in a house, a stock or mutual fund portfolio, yet won’t consider making an investment in our own lives? Yes, backing away from a secure career is a risk, yet look at the potential rewards. Think of it like any financial investment. It’s not to be made with short-term mentality. Over time you have the potential to be making as much or many times more than your current job.

If you have any “but…’s” that are not covered on this list, I invite you to email me for a perspective of how you can break through your obstacle.

Thanks for visiting. I wish you joy and courage on your journey to living your purpose.

Best,
Susan Hanshaw
susan@sanctuaryforchange.com