Everyday I wake up feeling passionate about one thing -- becoming better. Some days that means becoming a better artist, some days it means becoming a better daughter, wife, or friend, but always, I have a burning desire, not only to become better at being me, but to help others do the same.
I really do want to live in a world where those around me (friends, family, clients, community members, my blog readers...) feel that they have the tools they need to become better. I'm pretty sure this is how we change the world -- by starting with ourselves.
The Journey Within
So, how do we start that journey to uncovering and discovering who we are, who we want to be, and what we need to do to become better? Well, I think it really depends on how you approach life. Are you living in fear? Are you haunted by past mistakes and mis-steps? Or, are you embracing fear and learning to use it as a compass to guide your forward movement?
One thing we can do is DECIDE.
I know that sounds so simple, right? Well, just imagine for a moment that it is that simple. Just decide to begin. Then, just begin.
I love that quote by Fabienne Fredrickson because it's so true that when we are called to do something it is not random. It is the thing we are meant to do at the time. Now that doesn't mean you should flit about from day to day doing something new and calling it your passion.
Instead, you might start to think about all the times you've felt called to do the same thing time and time again. This is the Universe trying to get your attention. This is the Universe saying, hey you, listen up.
So start there. Start with the things that you just keep coming back to because you love them or you love doing them. For me, it's always been teaching. I've been called to teach since I was little. Of course I didn't know that when I was little, but now, in my 40s, I can clearly look back and see all the many ways I have been called to do this work.
From being second chair in my middle and high school band to being selected to train teachers in my first year as a teacher, I have been called to do the work of teaching, even when I resisted it. Two quick stories to prove my point and help you see that if you look back over your life, you'll see the signs more clearly.
On Being Second
I used to be so bummed that I was never selected to be first chair. I started playing the flute at the age of 9 and practiced consistently (okay obsessively), but I was really good at it. I could memorize entire songs and play them with impeccable accuracy and passion.
But I was never selected to be first chair. I cried many tears over this and worked harder and harder. But still, I always got selected to be second. So in the 12th grade, on the last week of school, I felt brave enough to ask the band teacher why, in four years, he never picked me to be in the 1st chair position, he said..."because in this band, the second chair is reserved for the one who can teach everyone else how to play properly. That's you. You're always helping the others get it right. If you were first chair, you'd be too busy learning solos and trying to be perfect to maintain that position. You would likely forget about helping others."
And I thought second meant not good enough. I was so wrong.
On Being The Youngest
I started my first year of teaching in K-12 in 1996 (I had taught for three years before that in a day care). I was flown to South Florida (Broward County) to meet with two principals who had both offered me positions at their schools. It was a tough choice. One school was a technology magnet with the latest and greatest in tech for teachers and students. The other, was about 6 years behind in techy stuff, but they were doing some cool things in learning pods and community teaching, and the principal was a woman -- fierce and serious about the kids. Of course I picked the second one.
As soon as I said yes, she handed me a packet and said, "I want you to attend this training." It was a two week training on how to teach writing creatively in the classroom. BEST THING I EVER DID AS A TEACHER. I still use what I learned today.
Well, I didn't know it at the time, but that training was a "train the trainer" training, which meant at the end of it, I was expected to come back to my school and train ALL the teachers in the building how to do what I had just learned!!! WHAAAT?
I was the youngest teacher in the building and it was my FIRST YEAR teaching.
Looking back, I remember being frightened to go to work almost everyday for the first three months. The side glances and under the breath comments from older teachers who thought they should have been picked was a daily thing. But in the end, I won First Year Teacher of the Year for my district and changed the lives of more than 400 students by helping their teachers teach more creatively. I become the technology liaison for my school and was given all the latest and greatest tech to try out, learn, and then TEACH others to use. My classes were consistently selected to pilot new technology and tools for learning, that I would then be asked to TEACH others in the district to use.
So yeah, I've been called to do this work for a really long time. No matter how I try to move on to something else, I ALWAYS end up teaching. My passion always finds me. It just took me a long time to own it as my passion -- to scream it from the top of my lungs -- I LOVE TEACHING!!!!
On Beliefs That Limit Us
What does it all mean? Why am I sharing any of this with you?
Well, it all boils down to LIMITING BELIEFS.
I could have spent more than half my life beating myself up about my passion being teaching because I had a limiting belief about what it means to teach, to be a teacher, and to lead others. I thought teachers were only in schools -- K-12, college, etc.
I could have let the grumblings of others keep me from sharing my passion more fully because I had a limiting belief around how old someone needed to be to call themselves an expert, or to be in charge of leading others. I thought I had to "pay my dues" before I could lead or teach those older than me.
Instead, and somewhat without realizing it, I embraced my fears and worked harder to be better every day at the thing I was passionate about -- playing the flute, training teachers, being a business owner, calling myself an artist, owning the title book artist, and on and on and on.
Now, I'm asking you, what limiting beliefs are holding you back? What beliefs are keeping you from doing the thing you are most passionate about? What limiting beliefs do you have about your creativity? Your art? Your desire to start a business?
My husband, Damon, and I will be talking about The 10 Most Common Limiting Beliefs and How To Overcome Them this week on a special edition of the Wednesday Webinar I do each month. Damon is an amazing Mindset Mentor and I bring you the strategies to help you shift your mindset. It should be an amazing 90 minutes. Join us if you think you could use a bit of a boost to help you JUST DECIDE or JUST BEGIN.
See you there...
I'm Kiala, a student of life first and foremost. And I'm also a published poet, book binder, fountain pen collector, Life Alchemist & Intuitive Soul Guide. I make things, paint things, and write things. I love teaching & empowering women to live with intention. Please, grab a cup of your favorite warm drink, a fountain pen, and your favorite journal. Let's connect!
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