Earlier this year, the “matriarch” of my business team led an exercise for each of us to do on our own. It was a difficult exercise, but the end result was to come up with our own themes for 2013. Some people resolved to “Just say no [to overcommitting],” others to “love myself first,” and I’m sure a slew of many other things.
Basically, to produce our personal themes, we were to figure out which were our top values in life. There was a list of important things, such as “family” or “honesty” or “wealth,” etc. and we had to eliminate them frantically (we were timed) in order to figure out which were our top five, non-negotiable, number-one-priority values. Of course, this was a challenge, since no one can cross off, say, family, without feeling like they’re implying that it is somehow not important.
But if you’re an independent person who currently has no family to speak of, crossing it out by no means implies that if you do have a family one day, you don’t care about them. It’s important to remember also that values can change. Priorities do, too, and it’s key to review these things regularly to make sure you are living your life according to what you find most important. The point of the exercise is not to make yourself feel like a terrible person, but to acknowledge that while all the values listed are always important, we can still identify the ones that are truly at the forefront.
We didn’t share what we crossed out, but the complete list is here:
Anyway, long story short, my theme for 2013 is “love over fear.” In my spiritual journey lately I’ve routinely come across this concept. I find that it is pretty all-encompassing, especially if you learn to view fear as “false evidence appearing real.” Fear is, in my opinion, the number one thing we allow ourselves to get caught up with to truly get in our own way.
Think about it! What do you regret in your life? The things you were too scared to do for one reason or another, right?
Or what are you busy putting off today because of fear?
Fear of the unknown, fear of rejection, fear of judgment, of getting in trouble, of losing what you have . . . the list goes on.
Where there is fear, there is no love. Choosing love over fear is instead a choice to put yourself and your goals first, to love what you aspire to do, what you stand for. To get out of your own way and plunge forth anyway, even if you do get hurt. Because you either win, or you learn.
I am so thankful to also have a guide in making this shift in my life, the “Spiritual Junkie” Gabrielle Bernstein. I discovered her through Marie Forleo (whom many of you know that I adore), and although I’ve known of her for a long time, I didn’t fully start following her and her message until the release of her new book, May Cause Miracles. It’s a 40-day guide to creating miracles in your life (no voodoo — it’s all spiritual work like meditation and learning to see things through a different lens), and while I admit I haven’t been doing every single exercise to its full extent, I also know that I will refer to this guidebook time and time again. (Next time, I’ll be better about the journaling. This is actually one of my 2013 resolutions . . .)
A couple weeks ago, the mantra for the day was “I believe in miracles,” and this set the tone for the whole day! I had an amazing experience the entire day, and I believe it was thanks to Gabby’s advice.
I explain all this because I’m introducing a new category for this blog in 2013: pieces on love and pieces on fear. Why focus on fear, you ask? Doesn’t what we focus on expand?
Well, yes, but you also have to understand that simply because we ignore something doesn’t mean it goes away. If you don’t acknowledge the leopard chasing you, it is foolish to think you can just imagine it disappear and it will. I want to address stories of fear in 2013 because I think anyone will be able to relate, and then I will offer solutions to these stories by suggesting conscious acts of love. In order to shed these stories we tell ourselves, we must actively choose to believe something better,
That said, I suppose my series on networking can be the first of what I imagine to be many topics on love and fear. Stay tuned for part two, posting tomorrow at 8am! (Um, yeah, it’s been scheduled. I will still be sound asleep at that time. Still working on that becoming-a-morning-person thing.)
To love over fear,