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Sail Into Your Dreams is the perfect book for anyone who has ever asked "Is this all there is to life?" Unsatisfied with her busy life in Seattle, Karen Mehringer embarked on a six-month, life-changing ocean odyssey to Australia, Indonesia, Fiji, and, most importantly, toward the joyful fulfilling life she had always wanted. You don't have to leave land to make your dreams come true. Karen shares the wisdom and practical tools she learned on her ocean odyssey, showing us how to focus on what truly matters. Journal entries and inspiring stories from Karen and others highlight how to slow down, nurture yourself, connect with others and tap into your life force energy: the source of infinite possibilities. This eight-step programme will help you assess your life and eliminate toxic relationships, emotional trauma, physical clutter and debt, making space for new experiences that awaken your passion and spirit.
Plot Your Own Course
» Be Authentic
I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I- I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. -Robert Frost
October 4, 1998. We are sailing north from Cairns to Darwin, Australia, near a stretch of undeveloped land. As we travel farther away from civilization, I am able to go deeper within myself. The waves rolling under the boat speak to my soul. Their messages reveal the truth of who I am and what my purpose is, causing me to feel refreshed, delighted, and at peace. Like a baby in its mother's womb, I'm being carried and gently nurtured by the ocean while my spirit awakens.
Hear Your Own Voice The first step to living a purposeful life is to hear your own voice. From the time we were babies, we were given scripts on how to live. Our families instilled beliefs and values in us, society told us what roles to play, and the media showed us how we should look and what we should own. Few of us were encouraged to follow the true desires of our hearts. Often, our hearts contradicted our character's role in the play.
If you want to live a purposeful life and fulfill your dreams, you must throw away these scripts, plot your own course in life, and discern whose voice you are listening to. Is it your own authentic voice, or that of another, imposing his or her values and ideas onto you? The voices of society, the media, and our family and friends are strong, often tugging at us to do the right thing. But if the right thing isn't true to who we are and what our purpose is, we will be miserable.
How do we know our truth? When we follow our bliss and feel good inside, we are living our truth. Our bodies are remarkable communicators, as they tell us when we are living out of alignment with who we are. If we are unhappy and stressed about work, we may experience headaches or stomachaches. The other day, I felt tension in my forehead, neck, and shoulders, and during meditation, I asked my body what it was trying to communicate. The answer? I had overcommitted myself and was feeling overwhelmed. I had allowed someone to talk me into doing something that wasn't in my best interest, and my body was telling me no.
Signs to look for that indicate you may be out of alignment with your truth are anxiety, anger, guilt, despair, dissatisfaction, or physical discomfort or illness. If you are not feeling joy in your life circumstances, whether it's with a job, relationship, or your lifestyle, then it may be time to go within and listen. Are you following your heart and being true to yourself and what you desire? Or are you living a scripted life, doing what you think you should be doing?
To hear your own voice, it is helpful to know who you are as an infinite spiritual being, as well as who you are as a special human being with unique gifts and passions. It is also good to know what you want from deep within your heart, aside from family and societal expectations. Learning to maintain your personal power and not allow others' judgments to sway you from your truth is an important step in the process.
By consciously taking the time to slow down and connect deeply within yourself, to listen to your own voice, you will be able to plot an authentic course to a more fulfilling and purposeful life and will experience great joy in the process.
Know Who You Are
The first key to being authentic and creating a life you love is to awaken and remember who you are as a magnificent spiritual being connected to all of life, as well as who you are as a unique physical being with special talents, gifts, and passions. Here is an example. Imagine for a moment you are standing near the ocean on a beach. Feel the wind gently caressing your skin and the soft, warm sand under your feet. Hear the ocean waves pounding on the shore. Now, picture your life being like one of those waves: as they travel a long distance before crashing on land and being drawn back into the ocean, you travel the distance of life, culminating with the crash-death-and recede back to where you came from-Source.
Now, continue to imagine standing on the shore, and observe the waves as they roll in and break. You'll notice each wave is unique. None are the same; they all have different sizes and shapes, just as our individual lives are unique and have a special purpose. But, despite our uniqueness, we are always connected to our Source, like the waves are to the ocean, and are thus part of something much larger than ourselves. Through this connection, we have access to abundant resources and infinite possibilities-to the same vital energy that created us. We are therefore co-creators of our lives and have the power, choice, and freedom to participate in the creation process. It is up to us.
When we awaken and remember who we are as in- finite spiritual beings made from divine love and light, we step into our power as co-creators with God and are able to tap into the energy source of creation to attract what we desire into our lives. This energy is often called the un-manifest, the void, or the source of infinite possibilities. In The Power of Intention, Dr. Wayne Dyer calls it intention. He describes it as a high-frequency energy vibration that is all around us. When we step into our power and are connected to our Source, we attempt to match our energy vibration with the vibration of intention. From this place, it is possible to manifest instantaneously.
The following story is an example.
While in the flow with my writing one night, the wind was blowing outside as clouds passed in front of a full moon, leaving a residue of yellow, orange, and purple. I thought, Wouldn't it be cool to see a rainbow around the moon? About ten minutes later, I went outside and witnessed a miracle-a complete rainbow circling the moon. Awestruck and filled with gratitude, I began to cry. This experience showed me how quickly we can manifest with our thoughts, especially when we are connected to Source and are in the energy vibrations of love and joy. I also took this as a sign that the project I was working on was in alignment with my highest good.
Spirit was confirming I was on track. When we remember who we are as magnificent, powerful, spiritual beings always connected to Source, and as unique human beings, the world opens up to us, and we realize there are infinite possibilities for creating a purposeful life filled with our deepest dreams and desires.
The challenge is to stay in this place of remembrance and to live in our essence on a daily basis. One way to do this is to create an affirmation or mantra you say to yourself daily during prayer or meditation or while taking a shower. An example is, "I am pure divine radiance overflowing with love, light, and joy." As you say this to yourself, create a visual picture of radiant light pouring from you, reaching far out into the galaxy. Feel your power and own it. This is the truth of who you are!
Express Your Passions
Coming into the fullness of our being, of our potential, requires that we know who we are as magnificent spiritual beings while we express our uniqueness through our passions-what it is we love, what makes our heart sing, and what causes us to feel we are touching God. It is different for everyone. Our passions, when combined with our gifts and talents, often lead to our unique purpose or calling. Our deepest dreams and desires also give us clues as to what will fulfill us, feed our spirits, and make a positive difference in the world.
Ideally, our passions will be integrated with our life's work. But expressing our passions is not necessarily what we do for a job to make money. It is how we are in the world. For example, maybe you creatively express yourself through writing, drawing, singing, or playing the drums. Maybe you enjoy assisting others in their healing process and naturally gravitate to situations in which you have the opportunity to be of assistance, despite whether you make an income or not. These avenues of expression cause us to feel awake and alive. They reflect who we are as unique individuals.
As we allow our passions to be expressed, we become like instruments, vibrating beautiful music. Spirit is able to work through us, guiding our steps, showing us the tone, tempo, and keys to our music. The details of how to navigate the way to our dreams reveal themselves. We can then step effortlessly into them, sailing smoothly with calm seas, sunny skies, and fair winds. The process takes us where we want to be.
Figuring out who we are regarding our passions and gifts is another process. Often, we do things we don't enjoy as a way of ruling out what it is not. But eventually, these experiences give us clues as to what it is. For example, while working in advertising sales, I really enjoyed connecting with my clients, working independently, and developing ads-the creative part-but I didn't like the pressure of deadlines and cold calling. I also felt something was missing, as I wanted to make more of a direct difference in people's lives. This experience helped me realize my desire to be a therapist and work independently while creatively expressing myself. Thus, starting my own business was the perfect outlet for my passions and talents.
Susie, a thirty-five-year-old owner of an organic healthfood store, was a schoolteacher for twelve years before opening her own business. She enjoyed teaching but always felt restless, which caused her to search for something else. "As a teacher, I felt a real sense of frustration, like I was caged in and suffocating. My creativity wanted to bubble out," she shared.
A previous experience working at a winery in Chile showed her how much she loved things that are natural, things from the earth. She also has a passion for helping others become healthier. When combining her passions with her gifts of being organized and determined, opening her store was a natural fit.
"This is it. This is where I'm supposed to be," exclaimed Susie. Her restlessness is gone; she is in alignment with her passions and is making a contribution on a daily basis. Not only is she contributing to individuals and the community, she also sees herself as "a pioneer in the twenty- first century." She said, "I'm parting the way for a healthier earth and for our children to be healthy."
After opening her store and living more passionately, Susie smiled and said, "My life has just started. I'm so much happier and feel like I'm a different person. I have my health back, my mind back, and my sanity back. I feel a deep sense of peace and happiness."
In retrospect, she didn't even realize she wasn't satisfied. "We get good at faking it, convincing ourselves we're okay," she explained.
When asked what the process was for finding what she loves, she stated, "You have to love yourself first and know who you are and where you're coming from. This involves shedding judgments and abusive behaviors, as well as connecting with Source. When we love and forgive ourselves, doors start to open. Spirit says, 'Here's what you're ready to do.' "
Doors began opening early on for Marguerite, a yoga instructor. She is one of those rare people who discovered her passion at a young age, when she began taking yoga classes at thirteen. Teaching now for over sixteen years, she feels like her work is a win-win situation, since she gets paid to do what she loves. "It's a joy. I feel inspired to get up in the morning," shared Marguerite.
An important aspect of her work is that it reinforces her values of engendering peace and health. She is able to make a contribution by assisting others to experience more peace and health, and at the same time, she experiences it for herself. In the past, when working for someone else in a job, she would come home tired, feeling as though she were "chained to a cement block going to the bottom of a pool."
Since being in alignment with her passion, Marguerite is more satisfied-"I'm smiling instead of whining, enjoying instead of complaining. Life is much more ful- filling, and I can't wait to get up in the morning."
When we follow our hearts and express our passions in every area of our lives, we give others permission to do the same. Our joy and contentment spill over, creating a ripple effect-like a rock tossed in a lake whose waves reach the other shore, our energy and vibrancy are far- reaching.