Did you see my note from last week?

Last week I sent out a note asking for your address since I have some exciting news I’d like to share.

Let’s just say it’s about choosing to live from a place of faith instead of giving into our fear. It’s about LIVING our lives instead of hiding behind fear, self-doubt and second-guessing.

If you’d like to find out more, please send your address to me – securely – at https://www.postable.com/elizabethspevack.

A personal confession

About five years ago, I made the decision to start my own business. I was excited and new to the whole entrepreneurial world.

I didn’t know what to expect, so I opened my eyes and ears to learn from those more experienced than I was.

I tried to figure out what I was doing and for whom.

And one of the questions that kept popping into my mind?

Who was I to say I could help anyone else when I didn’t (and still don’t) have it all figured out, when I don’t have all the answers, when I’m not perfect and sometimes stumble over the same bumps that I claimed I could help others with?

Now, of course nobody’s perfect and we’re all learning along the way, and sometimes what we learn can be enormously helpful to someone else, but I focused more on where I felt my weaknesses lay.

For years, I tried to figure out my purpose, the role I’ve been meant to play in this world.

I tried to balance being true to myself with growing a business.

I tried and pushed – and felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere, except more and more frustrated. I started feeling like I was pushing spaghetti up a mountain, a lot of effort with hardly any visible result.

It got to the point where the thought of ‘working on my business’ held no appeal.

I felt like I was just going through the motions, like I was stuck and unable to break free.

Writing, which had been how I expressed myself for years – the voice of my heart, dried up. I was definitely in a deep case of writer’s block. The words wouldn’t often flow onto the page. I felt like I didn’t know what words I wanted to share with the world. If I was so uncertain in my own life, what value would my words have in the lives of others?

So my writing went pretty silent. My blog posts and newsletters all but disappeared for a year or two.

This didn’t feel right for me. So I worked and spoke with some amazing people to help regain the passion and achieve some kind of clarity.

And slowly things started to make more sense in my own mind. I felt the wheels starting to turn.

Now I am so excited to share this renewed focus with you.

I often look back over my life and feel like I’ve wasted so much of it. There are days when I wake up and wonder where all the time has gone.

I think I’ve KNOWN for a while that there is a purpose for everything and that the time wasn’t just thrown away. What I’ve recently come to FEEL deeply, however, is how each step along the way is part of a bigger divine purpose and plan.

I started to see how many lessons I’ve learned along the way, including the central role faith plays in it all.

And while my life may not look the way I envisioned it would, every piece of the puzzle is there for a reason – and each and every piece combine to help make me the person I am today.

And each piece of YOUR life makes you the person you are today. Yes, there are decisions you may wish you could change, but since there’s no time machine that can take us back in time, our best bet is to learn from those choices and experiences, to recommit to making the most out of our lives, to finally and fully see our strengths (and yes, you all have many!) and abilities, to love ourselves and feed our souls.

And related to this, I have some exciting, exciting news that I would love to share with you. If you haven’t already, would you take a moment to send me your contact information securely at https://www.postable.com/elizabethspevack?

Looking forward to sharing this journey with you,
Elizabeth

No shortage of opinions

Sometimes it can feel like whatever the subject, there are many people with a variety of conflicting opinions that they are eager to share with you. Sometimes asked for, sometimes offered as unsolicited advice, it can be easy to feel like everyone knows what you need to do – except you.

Each of them, coming from their own point of view with their own experiences, can make it sound like their way is the right way. If their ideas seemed totally “out there”, they would be easier to ignore, but each opinion seems to hold at least an element of truth.

Career wise, they have their opinion of what type of job you should pursue and what results would be seen as success. People with their own businesses will often sing the praises – while acknowledging the challenges – of starting and running your own business. People working in a more corporate atmosphere with a supposedly more “secure” job will often encourage you to pursue that route.

Dating wise, you may have learned different aspects of what you are looking for and what doesn’t work for you. This doesn’t mean that you know everything, that there isn’t room for improvement or increased self-awareness. This doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for guidance. This does mean that just because someone else thinks a match is suitable for you doesn’t mean that it is. Maybe it’s an age difference you’re not comfortable with, even if many other people would be. Maybe it’s a geographic location. Maybe it’s an intangible feeling that you can’t really describe but that you feel deep to your core.

Health wise, it seems like that there are new findings that come out on a fairly regular basis that conflict with the research findings from a relatively short time before. Who to believe? What to do?

People offer you advise they know you might prefer not to hear. They frame it with “I’m saying this for your own good!”, and you start wondering if perhaps they are right and, if you disagree, you are wrong. You know that sometimes you need some tough life to open your eyes and help you see your reality from a new perspective.

Sometimes though these comments lead to your second guessing your decisions, reevaluating your life. If you’re anything like me, you may fall into your tendency to overthink and get lost in thought.

Having said all this, here comes the tricky part. Sometimes, our experiences, beliefs and fears can really get in our way. They can cloud our judgement and only allow us to see the world through blinders. How do we know if what is see is real or only our perception of reality? How do we know whose guidance to trust and when to trust ourselves and our own inner voice?

There is no simple answer here. Sometimes I find myself looking to others, people who I trust, for guidance. Sometimes, I feel like in a world with so many conflicting opinions, I have to look within.

I wish I could give you “the” answer here, but, to be completely honest, this is an area I am working on myself almost every day.

Maybe I decide on one course of action and then think of an element I’d missed, one that I feel like I need to discuss with a religious leader, mentor or advisor.

Sometimes I feel a call from deep within that cannot be ignored. Sometimes that call is to seek external guidance. Sometimes that call is screaming so loudly that, try as I might, there’s no pretending it doesn’t exist. For me, writing is sometimes like this – a message I feel calling from deep within me to be shared with others.

How do you respond when hearing opinions or receiving advice that leads you to question your decisions?

And how can you learn from the expertise and experience of others while still being yourself?

 

What does true freedom mean to you?

What is true freedom?

Yes, there is a definite physical component, but merely being free from the direct physical control of others does not mean you are free.

Are you free if you are a slave to your thoughts? To overthinking, worry and anxiety?

Are you free if what happened in your past, perhaps even years and years ago, is something you replay and hold onto in the present? If you let that past dictate your future?

If you hold onto how someone wronged you, refusing to forgive out of the mistaken belief that somehow this would be making what the other person did right? Who is suffering more?

If you feel less than worthy and allow those feelings to make your decisions for you?

Are you free if you feel like you have to wear a mask for other people to like you? To worry that if people were to know the real you they would think less of you?

Are you free if when the guy you are dating says nice things about you, instead of taking it in and feeling fulfilled you wonder what he would say if he knew the real you?

If you hold onto all the ‘might-have-beens’, ‘should-have-beens’, ‘could-have-beens’ instead of being grateful for and mindful of all the blessings in your life right now?

If you feel like everything is a random coincidence, happenstance with no real purpose?

If you hold back from expressing your opinions because they differ from the mainstream and you are worried about what other people would think or say?

If you give up on your morals to be politically correct or fit in with a more popular opinion?

If instead of looking in the mirror and seeing the beauty of your body and soul that allows you to wake up each day you focus on the so-called faults or flaws?

If you focus on everything you don’t have that you think you want instead of appreciating all you have?

Are you free if you spend your current moments worrying about the future, a future that may or may not look the way you imagined it way back when?

Are you free if you get so caught up in all the small, minute details that you lose sight of the big picture and the ultimate goals of your existence?

If you allow the pursuit that one more dollar to dictate your decisions, perhaps at the expense of your values or true priorities?

Are you free when you tell yourself that if you haven’t achieved that goal in the past that you’ll never be able to, so why bother trying?

Are you free if you find yourself doing so many things because you feel you ‘have’ to, not because you choose to or feel blessed to do so?

If you feel tied to your smartphone, computer, tablet or other electronic device?

Are you free if you look to external measures of success – like wealth, house size or designer label on your clothes – as a measure of your worth?

If you find yourself surrounded by ‘stuff’ you don’t need but are afraid to get rid of?

Are you free if you don’t know what you stand for?

If you let fears dictate your decisions and shape your life?

If the walls you’ve built up to protect yourself keep you from truly connecting with others?

What is true freedom for you? And where are you preventing yourself from living a life that is one of true freedom?

When you feel like you’ve had enough…

There are some times when it all (whatever it is) seems to be too much. It seems to keep coming at you. Whether it’s calls or emails or work requests, whether it’s personal responsibilities or relationship issues, whether it’s financial concerns or questions of a deeper, more existential nature, there are days and times when it all just gets to you and you want to stand up in the middle of the house, office or wherever you are and scream, “STOP! ENOUGH!”

These are the days when you’ve just had it and need to get away for a bit, the days when you just want to crawl into the corner, throw the covers over your head and hide or cry.

What can we do on days like these?

  1. Accept that these days will happen sometimes. No matter how well you manage stress and tension, no matter how positive and healthy your perspective on life, it is common for human beings to feel overwhelmed and frazzled at least every now and then. There may be exceptions to this rule, but they are just that – exceptions.
  2. Take a deep breath and remind yourself of why you are grateful right now. No, it might not be easy and yes, you may find it difficult to think of a long list of items to be grateful for in moments such as these, but, trust me, it is worth the effort.
  3. Utter a prayer asking for assistance and guidance. This isn’t a “snap your fingers and it’s all fixed” type of action, but it is so comforting to know and remind yourself that you are not in this by yourself or on your own.
  4. Speak with a positive person who can help lift you up. Once again, this isn’t a quick fix, but it can be just the boost you need to get through the day with some semblance of a real smile on your face.
  5. Pay attention to the small things that “go your way” and that you enjoy. You may feel like have to look harder than usual, but those moments are there – like just making your bus, the elevator coming right away or someone saying a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to you.
  6. Let yourself feel your emotions. Yes, there is much to be grateful for and yes, all the above tools can help. Even so, there will still be times when you will benefit greatly by just allowing yourself to feel the way you feel and giving yourself the quiet time and space to reflect on those feelings and express them in a beneficial, healing way, like journaling or speaking with a close friend. You may also be able to use this opportunity to think of ideas for how you can help improve the situation.
  7. And, of course, remember to breathe…