Break on Through to the Other Side

By October 30, 2014Change, Compassion, Purpose

Pic_10-30My daughter studied karate for five years. When it came time to break boards, I’ll admit, I was fascinated. Her sensei made it look effortless. It was as if he sent his intention through the board, and it fell into two pieces, without his even touching it. Watching my daughter take her turn, I could feel her apprehension. You could predict when the board would break by observing the students’ palpable emotions.

Breaking through the “boards” in our lives is how we discover who we are. We dream about meeting “the one” but don’t give a great deal of thought to what it will be like to live with him day-in and day-out. The same is true of our careers. We hit that interview with all we’ve got, and somehow land the job only to realize six or eight months later that it isn’t what we want. We smack into that board (the guy, the job) with our full will thinking, “This is it. This is what I want,” but we wind up on our ass.

When you hit that board, your intention should already be beyond it. The board is neither the impediment nor the outcome. What stands between you and what you think you want is a process, an opportunity to connect with yourself. Next time you have a strong desire, try writing out a “so that I” sequence.

I want _______( a better job), so that I ________(can live in a nicer place), so that I  _______ (will have space for an office),  so that I _______ (can write a book), so that I ______ (can reach more people with my message), so that I _______ (will have accomplished something), so that I _______(will feel proud of myself, worthwhile, satisfied).

Look at the motivation behind your motivation. Keep looking until you have discovered the root. You will probably need quite a few iterations, but when you find it, you’ll know it. It will be a feeling! You want to feel safe, or happy, or understood, or loved. You want to feel ALIVE.Aliveness is the breakthrough. It is the quickening prior to the desire and the glow after the experience. It doesn’t require a goal or “having.”

Most of what we think we want — more money, an adoring partner, or a moment of fame–are the boards. We assume they are the goal. I invite you to find the feeling that drives you towards the goal and the one you believe you will achieve from reaching the goal.

Imagine waking up in the morning feeling jubilant, for no reason at all! Breaking the board effortlessly, we connect with ourselves, we embrace our aliveness.

Self-compassion, showing up for you, feeling good about yourself regardless of circumstance, this is the real stuff of life. Relishing your life as it is. Loving yourself exactly the way you are. Isn’t that what you really want?

My mission is inspiring women toward self-compassion. I offer workshops and coaching to strengthen boundaries, inspire purpose, intention and awareness. Check out my assessment at

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