5 “Rules” standing in your way of freedome, passion and possibility

As we wrap up 2014 and begin thinking about the New Year, I have been reflecting on my own journey to living with more passion, peace, pleasure and presence (a journey that continues on a minute by minute basis I might add) and how I can help you live that way also.

I have several new programs brewing for 2015, but to get us started, I think we need to do a little “rule breaking”.

Yep…it is time to bust up some of the rules we have been living by, often completely unconsciously. These “rules” are either implied or specifically stated to us through our life by a parent, teacher, boss, co-worker, spouse, friend, book, movies, or even television.

I have found many of these “rules” serve only to keep us stuck and often in a place of self judgment and fear. So as we say good-bye to 2014, let’s also see if we can say goodbye to some of these “rules” too.

“Rule” 1: Work before play

Now I am not saying we do not have to work, but I do think we have to shake up this idea that work should always come before play. What if we played first, a little during and after work? I have a feeling we might get more done in a shorter time and have a heck of a lot more fun along the way. When we are experiencing more fun and joy we are going to have more energy to bring to whatever “work” we are doing. So I say… plan your fun first and bring that energy and joy to the work you are doing.

“Rule” 2: Don’t wear your heart on your sleeve

This is a big one for me. Many times in my life I have been called emotional, soft, or too touchy-feely because I show my feelings for others. In my corporate job, I cared about my staff and was often called out for being to nice and not hard enough for them (despite the fact I had one of the lowest turn over rates in the organization).

Say what? Yep…part of the reason I could no longer stay in that environment.

It is way past time to throw this rule out on its a$$. We need more heart, more caring, more compassion, and more authentic concern for our fellow humans in this world… in the work place, at the grocery store, while holiday shopping, when listening to the news… you name it… more heart can only make it better. In my experience, more often than not, the pain in any of relationship or experiences is not because too much love or caring was being offered. In fact, I would say just the opposite. So…lead with your heart… it will never guide you wrong.

“Rule” 3: It is better to give than to receive.

To tell the truth I am really sick of this one. It just continues to perpetuate the harmful practices so many of us (especially women) have of running our selves empty and into the ground. It has to stop.

What about this for a concept…how about we get good at both? Shocking idea isn’t it! Breaking this rule is the perfect opportunity to invoke the Both And principle. One is not necessarily better than the other… they compliment each another… the yin and yang. We need to do both to be whole.

The truth is most of us are much better at giving, so you may need to put a little more of your attention on receiving to begin to get some balance. Practice allowing yourself to truly receive compliments, love, success, happiness, abundance, and even your dreams coming true!

“Rule“ 4: Doing is more valuable than being.

Doing is my Achilles heel. I am so programed to feel valuable only by what I have accomplished, what I can check off my to do list, what I can “show” for my time. I am consciously trying to break this rule every day. This past year has been a break through for me as I have finally begun detaching my self worth from what I accomplished on my own or societies to-do list. Let me just say it is liberating and makes life so much more yummy!

What does being look like you ask? Well it can be many things. The most important thing about being is that it is time spent with no conditions, no to-do list, no needed outcome or expectations. Just being however that feels good to me at that moment. For me it may look like meditating, journaling, sitting in nature, snuggling with my sweet dogs, quiet time to hear my spirit coming through, musing on a topic, or enjoying a delicious cup of tea.

The cool thing is, the more I allow myself to be, the more creative I get, the more understanding I am, the more loving I am to myself and to others. I also find that when I give myself plenty of time and space to just be, I need much less time to accomplish the things I need to do. Being is the secret sauce in my recipe of life.

Rule” 5: Life is hard.

I think I have heard this from the moment I was born. I was caught in its trap for decades. Some times we hear it directly said to us, but often this rule implied by so many sources all around us. Just listen to what you or others around you say in a single day. Notice how many times you get (or send) the message that life is hard, a struggle, or a challenge. We buy into this one in a big way. In fact, we thrive on it a bit. Often it seems the harder we can make it, the bigger our badge of honor becomes. We seem to gain a strange sense of pride in how awful our experience is (kind of like the stories we tell about our labor and delivery…the most difficult story “wins”).

I have come to know that if we buy into the belief that life is supposed to be hard…and we keep saying how hard it is…it will be. If we decide it is not, changing our perspective, changing the words we are using to describe our experiences…it won’t be.

So let’s just decide, together, right now, life is not hard…now that was easy!

Bonus “Rule” 6: Staying in your PJ’s all day means you’re lazy.

I had to throw this one in because it is a bit of a personal challenge for me to allow myself to hang out in my PJ’s all day and not just be okay with it, but also actually celebrate it. Even on a weekday…when I am not sick…and there is “work” to be done.

We have all done it…spent the day in our jammies, totally loving it, but also hearing a tiny little voice reminding us just how lazy we really are. And when we talk about our day to some one else…we start it by saying…”I was so lazy, I did not get out of my pajamas…”.

So breaking this rule involves two things. The first is really getting under that word lazy. What does it really mean? Is it really a bad thing? Does breaking free from the hamster wheel of life for a day or even forever, really qualify as lazy?

I think we are so programed to think we have to always be doing (see Rule #4) that any type rest, rejuvenation, or just stopping for a while is nearly heresy. We take on such guilt for it…not because we aren’t loving every second of it… but because we are focused on what others will think of us.

We have to stop it. Now.

I encourage you to explore this notion of lazy and how the concept influences how you care for yourself (or even judge others…ouch!) and begin to see if you can see it differently. Maybe stopping the madness for a day, a week, a year, a decade or even forever…is not lazy it all…maybe it is just another way, perhaps a healthier and happier way, of being.

The second, is allowing yourself to actually Just Do It…with joy. No tiny voice whispering the “L” word to you. No feelings of guilt lurking inside. Allowing yourself to be in your jammies all day without a long to do list (all though I do have to say I have done some major closet cleaning in my PJ’s) in your hand. I am talking about staying in your PJ’s and doing very little…next to nothing, in fact…all day…and not calling it being lazy…but calling it delicious!

So here is the big question….Are you going to join me in being a rule breaker in 2015?

Yee-Haw!! I hope so.

As we say goodbye to 2014 and look forward to the fresh beginning of the New Year, I invite you to take advantage of 1 of only 2 openings I have for my one-on-one coaching program in January. If your life experience is not what you want it to be…if you yearn for more passion, peace, pleasure and presence…let’s talk about how we can work together to make it happen for you in 2015. Email me at mary@maryshackelford.com to schedule a time to talk more.

With Peace & Passion,

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