The Roadmap Home: Your GPS to Inner Peace®

October 24, 2012

I forgot my wallet and had an identity crisis!

license to be my self

license to be my self

 

 

 

 

 

 

During a recent drive to a friend’s house, I panicked. Clutching the steering wheel, I realized that I had left my wallet at home. My mind whirled with anxiety, “What if the police stopped me, or I had an accident?”

Feeling naked without my precious driver’s license and credit cards in my back pocket, I immediately thought of returning home. I desperately needed my wallet. After all, someone might want me to identify myself.

My ego likes to believe that plastic cards and cash stashed in a leather bundle offer comfort and security, and that I absolutely couldn’t live without my cell phone and computer. Hey, I’d be stupid to leave home without my smart phone. Someone important might need to reach me. And what would I do if there was a serious emergency – like forgetting my wallet?

As I continued my drive, I lowered the window and felt the rush of fresh air. I took a long, deep breath then laughed at my folly. My identity crisis showed me that I was more than roles, beliefs, expectations, personality traits, and plastic cards. In fact, holding onto a “false self” brought anxiety and fear, rather than security. On the other hand, my True Self, soulful and free-spirited, provided inner peace. And I didn’t need to carry a license to be my Self!

The challenge for me was to remember that I was far more than my identity or the things I carry around. The wallet crisis turned me inward so I could connect with what was truly important – my True Self.

So if you ever leave home without your wallet, purse, cell phone, or iPad, remember to open the window to your soul, breathe in love, let go of your preconceptions, be your Self, and return Home to inner peace.

Welcome Home!

August 21, 2012

Live Naked

live nakedI sleep naked.

What’s more, I can’t stand it when the sheets are tucked in at the foot of the bed. And whenever I travel and stay in a hotel, I’m compelled to liberate the sheets. Surely, they desire freedom like the rest of us! Okay, maybe sheets don’t give a damn about liberation, but I believe most of us do, and it’s called living naked.

Growing up, I was taught, like most children, to be nice and not get angry, to fit in and not cause trouble. My parents, like society, strengthened that message through positive and negative reinforcements. After awhile, the beliefs, expectations and demands of others acted like woolly overcoats thrust over my naked body.

Wearing thick layers of constricting beliefs is exhausting! We often plod through life, unconscious of the heavy, judgmental cloaks passed down from previous generations. Fortunately, wake-up calls rattle our sheets to liberate us from mental restrictions so we can find our unique, naked self. Not an easy task, as the poet e.e. cummings aptly wrote:

“To be nobody-but-yourself – in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you somebody else – means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.”

It truly is a battle to stay awake and naked, especially in a world that rewards us for fitting in and wearing “proper” attire. Stating how we truly think and feel takes courage.

If you’re reading this, you’re called to discover your authentic self. You may be asked to unearth and share parts of yourself that have been disowned or suppressed. But when you do, liberation occurs. You’ll experience the intoxicating freedom to be your distinctive, one-of-a-kind, special self. And you’ll want to do what you love and cherish, no matter what.

Living naked will foster childlike curiosity, intimate sharing, and heartfelt connections. So strip off your constricting clothes and live naked.

•        Take risks to be vulnerable with yourself and others.
•        Let your body and senses reveal heartfelt desires.
•        Welcome all your emotions as teachers.
•        Discover the light and dark sides of your psyche.
•        Eliminate blame and self-criticism.
•        Shower yourself with acceptance and self-love.
•        Find your unique voice and express yourself.
•        Create relationships that support authentic sharing.

Welcome Home!

Leonard

June 5, 2012

Find the Treasure in Your Trash

hidden treasuresYooo! Crash! Those sounds excited me when I was an 8-year-old boy living on the south side of Chicago. I’d rush to the alleyway in the back of the garage and watch the blue truck rumble past the 50-gallon metal drums filled with trash. Two men walking at the back of the truck would yell, “Yooo,” to signal the driver to stop. They’d then turn a can upside down onto a conveyor belt. CRASH! Garbage tumbled into the belly of the beast.
 
My eyes darted to the recovered treasures on the side of the truck – a broken bike that could be repaired, a steering wheel that could be used for a go-cart, and roller skates that could be salvaged for wheels. With dreams of reclaiming tossed treasure, I wanted to be a garbologist!
 
Thankfully, dreams of garbology were replaced with psychology. However, I learned a valuable lesson – out of every trashy situation, there was always a treasure.
 
When I became a therapist some 40 years ago and began counseling clients, I realized that any mental or emotional trash downloaded from childhood held nuggets of gold. Out of despair came the seeds of hope. Loss held the prospect of a new life. Unworthiness and lack of love fueled the desire to feel loved.
 
If you ever feel trapped on the conveyor belt of life, heading toward the belly of the beast, shout, “Yooo!”
 
Empty the worrisome chatter from your mind and look for the hidden treasures: the warm sun caressing your cheek; a gentle touch from a loved one; a welcoming smile from a stranger. The tiny gold nuggets will remind you to walk with hope in your heart and return back Home to your True Self, where there’s only love.
 
Welcome Home!

May 15, 2012

Is Your GPS Recalculating?

gpsI recently drove to Los Angeles to visit a friend in hospital. Having set my GPS (AKA Alice) with the address, I confidently wove my way through traffic on the freeway. However, with the music blaring and my mind rehearsing an upcoming speech, I didn’t hear Alice announce the turnoff. Needless to say, I realized all too late that I had missed my exit. Instead of berating me, Alice reacted in a calm voice, “Recalculating,” then issued new instructions.

It made me think of the times I have difficulty connecting with my inner GPS, Guiding Power of Spirit. Whenever my preoccupied mind whirls like an overhead fan, I can’t hear the quiet voice gently guiding me to inner peace. I don’t imagine Spirit screaming, “You bloody fool, pay attention!” though, I might say that myself. Rather, I think Spirit is more like Alice, who calmly recalculates without judgment.

I’m ever so thankful for an internal guidance system that helps me navigate through dark tunnels and unfamiliar territory. When I veer in the wrong direction, I can count on Spirit to lovingly correct my position and direct me to a higher path.

If you ever find yourself getting lost or taking a wrong turn, know that your internal GPS is always there to guide you. Merely set the intention to receive guidance then ask, “Where do I need to go or what do I need to do?” Be still and listen for the answer. There may be a brief period of recalculating, but rest assured, you will hear a gentle voice instructing you back Home to love and inner peace.

Welcome Home!

May 10, 2012

The Roadmap to Success

The Roadmap to SuccessMany years ago I had a very elaborate dream about a farmer who plowed his field next to a majestic mountain. Every time he looked at the mountain, he felt called to climb, as if the Grand Master of the mountain was beckoning him to the top.

At first the farmer ignored the call, choosing the safety of his field, but the message persisted, “Climb.” He had no choice but to muster the courage and ascend the mountain. During the journey, he became disoriented, lost and exhausted. He despaired about ever reaching the top. Somehow, he found his way to the summit where the Grand Master of the mountain offered him a helping hand. The man grabbed hold and was hoisted onto the crest.

Standing tall, the man stretched his arms in gratitude and smiled at the enlightened figure. The Grand Master smiled back, then pushed him off the mountain.

Horrified, the man plummeted to earth. During his descent, he yelled, “Why did you do this?”

The Grand Master replied, “So you can spread your wings and fly.”

The man then spread his wings and flew.

I realized later that the story exemplified the Roadmap to Success. The Roadmap consists of four C’s – the call, the climb, the crash, and the crest.

The CALL asks us to listen to and answer that inner voice beckoning us to follow a dream and climb a mountain. It asks us to leave our secure field and risk the unknown.

The CLIMB asks us to muster courage and self-discipline to step into action and test our perseverance, resilience, and strength. It asks us to bring along our inner GPS and share the journey with companions on a similar quest.

The CRASH asks us to develop character by acknowledging failures, learning lessons, and overcoming adversity. A crash asks us to see opportunities for growth and draw upon everything in our power to get to the top, no matter what!

The CREST asks us to celebrate the completion of a long, difficult journey with gratitude. It asks us to appreciate our accomplishments, savor the view from the top, and recognize the true purpose of the journey.

The Roadmap to success takes us through the 4 C’s, but the spirit of success is when we inspire others to climb their own mountains. We inspire others when we answer the call, climb the mountain, acknowledge and overcome crashes, and celebrate the crest with gratitude.

That’s when we spread our wings and fly.

Let’s soar together.

Welcome Home!

March 15, 2012

Counseling, Coaching, Writing, and Speaking

Welcome,

This website incorporates my main passions – personal and spiritual growth, writing, and speaking. If you’re ready to connect with your inner GPS and heal yourself through counseling, coaching, or writing, check out the resources on the website and make yourself at home.

Leonard

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