What Is Important to You?

Posted by on Jun 13, 2014 in Books Worth Meandering, Events and Happenings, Happiness | Comments Off on What Is Important to You?

imagesLife moves along at a hectic pace these days. In just one day we are bombarded with and expected to process the same amount of information that a century ago was experienced over a two-year period of time.

As many of you know, I have a three-year-old grandson who experiences autism. He is an amazing child who ‘marches to the beat of a different drummer.’ Passionate about the power of connection, I have felt drawn to him who has difficulty connecting, and have shifted my life to be close by to honor him in his world and hopefully expand his world to more fully include ours.

In June I will start a five day intensive training called Son Rise to learn more fully how to be of service to Brody’s needs and set up a home program for him. Who knows where this ‘YES’ will take me. It already has stretched my capacity to love authentically.

hiacbears1This program was started by Barry Kaufman, author of Happiness Is a Choice. Barry has long inspired me, even before I was aware that he had a severely autistic child who has since graduated from Brown University and is raun_face_smallthe CEO/Director of the Son Rise program at the Autism Treatment Center of America. Miracles do happen, and as Raun, his son, says, “I would rather be accused of having unrealistic optimism than unrealistic pessimism.”

These amazing kids are ever increasing in number, and I believe they are our canaries in the gold mine, here to alert us to the need to transform and heal our world and our way of being in relationship. They are here to remind us what is truly important.

boilingfrog1Remember the story or the frogs and boiling water? If a frog is placed in a pot of already boiling water, the frog will make every effort to jump out, but if a frog is placed in a pot of cold water on the stove with gradually increasing heat, instead of jumping out when the water gets too hot, the frog will stay in the water and fall asleep until he meets his doom.

(Image by purpleslog via Flickr)

Reflected in this tendency, humans are similar. As the pace of life has gradually increased, we falsely believe that if we just run fast enough we can keep up with and manage all the pressures! Rather than recognize and declare our limits, we accommodate to the point of not knowing what we want. We are only half present when we are spread too thin. Attempting to juggle one more thing on top of another leads us to a state of “overwhelm” where all we do is react to all we face rather than choose to best design the life we want. We feel a victim of our circumstances rather than a co-creator of our reality. It’s hard to feel happy when we feel we have no life to call our own and stress is our only predictable emotion.

Under this kind of persistent pressure, everything seems urgent and we lose our ability to prioritize. When we are reacting rather than responding, we choose to fulfill the expectations of others rather than make decisions based on our values and what is important to us.

So, what is important to you? Dare to remember what makes your heart feel full. It’s not out there somewhere, but revealed from the inside out…from your insight out. Ponder and listen within, then write it down on paper. Journal your dreams and look for the themes. Get out old magazines, scissors and glue and don’t let your thoughts edit. Just follow the images that call you.

As you begin to reconnect with things you value, you will come to recognize the things that are important to you. These are the things that you will always put first in your life. Now, dare to make decisions that are congruent with what you have discovered to be important. Begin to decipher between ‘urgent’ and ‘important.’ Free yourself from the constant pressures. And access more durable happiness. Finding this clarity and having the courage to let a few of the less important balls drop will reveal greater meaning. When you define the things you treasure and are willing to defend, your direction becomes more certain, your stress is minimized, and happiness will be a more consistent traveling companion.

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