Living Passionately Me

Empowering Women to Live Extraordinary Lives

"I free myself not by trying to be free, but by simply noticing how I am imprisoning myself in the very moment I am imprisoning myself." - Zen Theory of Change

I recently finished reading the book, "Taming Your Gremlin" by Rick Carson.  My life coach recommended this book to me over a year ago when I was just becoming aware of my saboteur (whom I call, SMUD).  I immediately bought the book, started reading it, and then for some reason, put it down.  Several months later I picked it up again and decided to start over.  I got a couple of chapters into the book and ended up putting it down once more!  Finally, last month I recommended it to one of my clients and admitted that I had not finished it myself.  It was then that I asked my client if she would hold me accountable to read it, just like I was doing for her.  We decided to read it chapter by chapter, briefly pausing after each one to reconnect with each other through a quick phone call or a text.  With loose deadlines and no judgements, we finished the book in a little over a month.  

What stood out most for me was the quote (which was para-phrased from the Zen Theory of Change):

"I free myself not by trying to be free, but by simply noticing how I am imprisoning myself in the very moment I am imprisoning myself."

It reminds me that freeing myself from SMUD simply requires me to just notice when he shows up.  When I can simply notice I feel less like a puppet and more like my authentic self.  And even though there are times when I choose to take action that sides with SMUD, I still experience empowerment as I am consciously making the choice to do so.  So now, my personal mantra is,  "Simply Notice".  It is one of the keys for me to living passionately.

I also found a great passage, which was more like a guided imagery, that reinforces my new found courage to walk through my fear for the sake of living a passionate life:

"As you get hit with a blast of wind on your face you open your eyes and see that you are not only on the bow of a colossal sailboat on an open sea, but that you are the captain of the damn thing.  Once this sinks in you realize you have some choices.  You can squeeze your eyes shut and make believe you don't have to take the wheel, you can run around flapping your arms and yelling, "Somebody take the wheel, somebody take the wheel," or you can take the wheel and learn to handle it.  If you settle down and trust the wind instead of fearing it, you will eventually become pretty good at sailing.  You will find that while you don't know what's around the next cape, and while you may at times work up a soaking sweat trying to stay afloat in a nasty storm, all in all you can have a fine time sailing where you want to and occasionally you can drop anchor and bask in the sun.  The breeze is always blowing, at least a bit, so keep your sails unfurled.

What you do with your life is up to you.  It's not up to your parents, spouse, friends, or therapist.  It's all up to you!  Just underneath the fear of being in command of your life is outrageous excitement ABOUT being in command of it!!"

Although the entire book did not resonate with me I did find these two aspects of it compelling.  I will take them on my life's journey with me.  What do you think, does it spark something within you?

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   Suzanne Hermus

        Life Coach

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