30 September 2008

Be On Purpose

Nothing in life can take the place of knowing your purpose. If you don't try to discover your purpose, you're likely to spend your life doing the wrong things.

I believe that God created every person for a purpose. As psychologist, Viktor Frankl said, "Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life. Everyone must carry out a concrete assignment that demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated. Thus everyone's task is as unique as his specific opportunity to implement it." Each of us has a purpose for which we were created. Our responsibility - and our joy - is to identify it.

Here are some questions to ask yourself to help you identify your purpose:

For what am I searching? All of us have a strong desire set in our hearts, something that speaks to our deepest thoughts and feelings, something that sets our souls on fire.

Why was I created? Think about the unique mix of abilities you have, the resources available to you, your own personal history, and the opportunities around you.

Do I believe in my potential? No one can consistently act in a manner inconsistent with the way he sees himself.

When do I start? The answer to that question is "NOW."

From Your Road Map for Success by Dr. John C. Maxwell.

Be You On Purpose,
Coach Carolyn

22 September 2008

Doing Charity ~ On Purpose

Part of being a woman of purpose is tapping into issues that are greater than ourselves and giving back, to our own individual communities and to the global community. The Bonita Trust is one such charity. Founded by billionaire entrepreneur Ruth Parasol in 2004 as an independent philanthropic charity, Bonita was created to give back to the communities in which they, the company, and its staff live and work, past and present.

Bonita focuses the majority of its grant-making in five geographic areas: the United Kingdom, India, Israel, Bulgaria and Gibraltar ~ where the company is based. The Bonita Trust is committed to enriching the community through programs geared to health issues ~ prevention and treatment; enterprise and education ~ through technology and leadership development for women; and culture and heritage.

Our online and real time communities of Becoming a Woman of Purpose is committed to the spiritual empowerment and enrichment of women and the issues that concern them. When we are troubled within, this bleeds to the outside and infects as well as affects all areas of our lives. The Bonita Trust is also committed to building community and making a tangible impact on the lives of the people in the community, especially women and children.

Ruth Parasol, born in San Francisco, currently lives in Gibraltar with her husband Russ DeLeon and their three children. To see more of the work of The Bonita Trust, please visit their website http://www.ruthparasol-bonitatrust.org/.

21 September 2008

What’s Holding You Back?

When we are stuck or in a state of uncertainty, it is difficult to move forward on our dreams and intentions. We are inclined to stay in that state of uncertainty instead of moving forward to a place of unknown. Yet, when we think about it, every move forward is a move into the unknown. We take the risk when we are certain that it will benefit us, or if it is a life and death situation; for example, staying in a passionless job because you are afraid of not being able to pay the bills. We resign ourselves to a life of drudgery instead of trusting the process and ourselves and taking a leap of faith.

Our last Becoming a Woman of Purpose Gathering was about those things that hold us back. The most common reason is fear. I believe fear is a catch all phrase for us not knowing and trusting ourselves and the process. If we can truly trust in ourselves, knowing who we are, it is less difficult to take that leap. I still ask the ladies, “Who are you?” and with the exception of my most diligent members (shout out to my girl Jennifer, woot!), no one can fully answer the question. Why is this? Because it is easier to stay stuck, not taking full responsibility for one’s life, than to make decisions that might get you what you want, or might get you evicted. I am by no means saying to make these decisions without proper planning. This planning is all part of the process called life. It pains me that so many women are not in touch with who they really are and what they truly want out of life. Oh yes, we know what we don’t want, but what do we want? Can we name it? Can we allow it once it shows up?

Stopping is a spiritual action

This can be a sticking point for some people, because stopping may seem like resigning or being lazy. This is far from the truth. There is stopping actions all throughout our lives, for a reason. We stop at red lights in order to allow someone else to move. Yet, when we are stopped at a red light, we tap our feet anxiously wanting the light to hurry up and change so we can move on. Move on to what? Just move! Stopping allows us to read the signs of the times, within our own lives and intentions. How can we know what we truly want if we do not take a moment to stop and ask ourselves? Then, if we keep moving like the hamster on the treadmill, and the thing we want shows up, will we stop long enough to allow and receive it? I say we do not and we miss the opportunity.

Once we take the time to stop, we ask ourselves what do we want and when do we want it? Do not worry about how we get it, that part is none of our business. Our part is to just show up in a state of allowing and receiving. We ask for what we want, then promptly negate the request. For example, we may want a new home. Yet, we say but I cannot afford it, the market is bad for buyers, how will I make the payments, on and on and on. Just state the intention, and then allow it to come. You cannot state an intention when you don’t know what the intention is. Stop and ask the questions. Some questions to consider:

Where am I in my life right now?
Where do I want to be right now?
What is the gap between the two?
What do I need to do to bridge that gap?

Also, remain in a state of gratitude. When we are grateful, we are not in a negative place. Remember, love and fear cannot co-exist. When we are in one state, we cannot be in the other. Which state are you choosing? And remember, it is your choice.

Live your life on purpose!
Coach Carolyn

17 September 2008

Walking for the Cure ~ On Purpose

“When you get to the end of all the light you know, and it's time to step into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing that one of two things shall happen: either you will be given something solid to stand on, or you will be taught how to fly.” ~ Edward Teller

Through all of our trials and transitions, one of the deadliest of all is a diagnosis of cancer. Women are being diagnosed at a very high rate and we need to love and support all of our sisters who are victims and survivors. In my effort to equip, empower and encourage women and girls, this includes all parts of woman: spiritual, emotional, physical, and socially. I have met many, many survivors and known many who have succumbed to the brutality of the cancer fight. My own family is no exception. So, I am making an appeal and asking for your help.

My dear friend and sister Gina Colicci has committed to walk a 26.2 mile marathon this coming January to fund leukemia research. Gina and her sister Toni Marie lost their beloved mother Frances to leukemia in 2006. Although Frances lived to see Toni Marie walk down the aisle, she did not live to see the birth of Toni’s son, Nicholas. This is Gina’s first marathon and she is walking to put an end to this killer disease through research. Twenty years ago being diagnosed with leukemia was almost a guaranteed death sentence. Today, due to leukemia research, nearly four out of the five children diagnosed with leukemia are cured and four out of ten adults are cured. Ten times as many adults are stricken; so we still have quite a bit of work to do.

Finding the cure for leukemia is the key to finding the cure to all cancers. The treatment of many varieties of cancer today, use chemotherapy and bone marrow transplantation, both of which have evolved from leukemia research. By raising money, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society can continue funding cutting edge research.

I know Gina’s and Toni’s story, yet there are thousands of others whom I don’t know. By raising money for funding, countless stories can have a happier ending. Through your help of financial donations, prayers and positive energy, we can continue to fund the research needed to eradicate this deadly disease. Help give the thousands of untold stories a happy ending.

To donate, please visit Gina’s page at http://pages.teamintraining.org/wch/pfchangs09/gcolicci to make a secure donation online. Also, email me your stories, and I will pass them on to Gina. She walks for her mom, but she also walks for all of us.

Live in peace and love,
Coach Carolyn

12 September 2008

Women in Transition’s Peace Ritual

"In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit." ~ Albert Schweitzer

I know I always say this, but I will continue to say it. Last evening’s Women in Transition gathering was the best ever! It was a wonderful group of women who came together to share deeply on their memories of September 11, 2001 and the lasting impact it had on their lives. Then we lit candles to those memories, honoring the memories as touchpoints for life. It was a very powerful ritual as the women shared things that were never reflected on before.

After our opening song and sharing, I read out the famous quote from A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we subconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we're liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

This quote sparked a lot of conversation. In the candle lighting ritual, I wanted us to be reminded that we are a reflection of the light shining from those flames. That light burns brightly within each and every one of us. When we give light to someone else, it takes nothing away from our light, only causes it to burn brighter. Lighting another candle does not diminish our own light. Being light not only extinguishes the darkness but also fear. Love and fear cannot co-exist, just as light and darkness cannot co-exist. We have the power to choose love or fear, light or darkness. May we choose wisely.

One of the wonderful lessons that came out of that very awful and tragic day was that it gave us as a nation permission to grieve publicly. One of the things we are taught from the beginning is to suck it up and bear it. This is absolutely bad advice for a human being; for a robot or non-human, maybe. As a human being living a fully authentic life, part of that authenticity is honoring all feelings; realizing that they are just feelings, they are not who you are. Feelings are not facts, as the slogan goes.

At this gathering, we gave ourselves permission not only to grieve and to remember, but to completely honor the process, knowing that we come out stronger with more courage and confidence. Of course, I believe that any woman that walks into a room full of strangers and can bear her heart and soul is already courageous and confident.

One of my takeaways from the evening was that going through any life altering event brands you with the responsibility of journeying with another along the way. If you have had a significant loss, you are now a teacher to guide someone else through that kind of experience. We do not experience grief, loss and pain just for its own sake; there is a reason for its presence in your life. You now become light to someone who is in the darkness of their own grief and pain.

Look for the lessons and the blessings of each experience, especially the painful and traumatic ones. Our tendency is to just ask “Why is this happening to me?” then curl up in bed and pull the covers over our heads. Yes, that is an option. Another option is to question each experience: “Why are you here?” “Why are you here now?” “What do I take from this experience?” Then just sit with the questions. Do not look for the answers; the answers will come when you are ready to receive them.

Women in Transition Groups meet every second Thursday of the month at the Elizabeth Seton Women’s Center. When you are ready for the process and need guidance with your dimly-lit candle, come and join us to help brighten your own light.

Shine your light and live in peace,
Coach Carolyn