Clarity, Focus and Personal Improvement: 3 Ways to Maintain Growth

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Face it, we are overwhelmed with instantaneous news and content that blasts our senses with information at such a rapid pace, it is a wonder we get anything done at all. It is almost as though, in the world of smartphones, tablets and instant everything, clarity seems to mean overload.

It as if we are being told that unless we have the information we need RIGHT NOW, we can’t function in today’s modern society. Clarity, vision and personal improvement, it seems, hinge on the amount of information you have, not the simplicity of it all.

You Kids, Get Off My Lawn

Now, trust me, I am not a “You kids get of my lawn” kind of guy. I am a tech person thru-and-thru. I love gadgets and, quite frankly do all my pursuits online and with technology, so I understand the temptation to depend on your very thinking with the overload that is today’s world.

But as I sit and type this, I look out my window on what appears to be a beautiful, sunny day. But what the sun is masking in all of its information overload is that when I step outside to go on my daily bike ride, the sun didn’t tell me it was a bit chilly and that the shirt i was wearing wasn’t quite enough to keep me comfortable.

You see, the sun overloaded my senses with its brightness but failed to give me clarity. It was only until I garnered my own experience and perspective, did I see the usefulness of clarity. It was only when I set about on my personal improvement of my desire to keep an active regiment, in this case by riding my bike, did i understand that i needed to protect myself from the chill of the morning.

3 Ways to Maintain Clarity and Focus and Personal Improvement

It seems that many are hyper-focused on “getting it right”, whatever that means, and setting goals and plans with dreams of riches and success and for the “good life’, what ever that is defines for you.

Way 1: Decide What is Right For You

Just Like the sun overload as i set out to ride my bike, I allowed a perceived message of clarity to decide for me as to what was going to be comfortable for me to ride.

But really needed to happen here was that i needed to just put on my sunglasses and decide for myself what was what i needed to ride in comfort.

The same goes for you. Sometimes it means to you need to put on the shades and block out the rays of confusion that may be trying to give you false information that is right for you.

This is the only Now Moment you have and it is the time when clarity and focus  is not decided by the world telling you that this or that must be done or is right for you. Maybe some things can be put on the back burner. Maybe it s time to refocus.

You decide for you for that is the source of joy.

Way 2: Your Goals and Dreams are Opening Nights; The Clarity and Focus of Now is All That Matters

Remember that your goals are Opening Nights. They are out there only as a reminder that you want to be ready when the curtain finally opens, but the only time the curtain is going to matter is in this Now Moment.

You see, your Opening Night just doesn’t matter if the rehearsals were not filled with a clarity and focus that allowed for the excellence of getting your part in the production down.

Way 3: Your Clarity, Focus and Personal Improvement Lifts All Others Around You

The Now Moment is when you are clear and focused on your part only. It is the time to make sure you are comfortable in your own skin. When you seek to improve yourself and seek a clarity and focus about yourself, then you tend to see others as a chance to become better as well. You will find the best in others when you are doing so within first.

On stage the other actors in your play may surprise you in their acting from time to time, but you will never be thrown off as you know YOU so well that you can get them back on track, if needed. When you know the show so well that you have every ones part ingrained as well, you can help guide and actor back on track within the confines of the script.

Clarity, Focus and Personal Improvement are the three sides of the triangle that keep you grounded in this Now Moment, so, put on your sun glasses and decide for yourself that this is the moment that matters most.

Set Opening Night, but don’t live there. Forgive the rehearsal nights of the past that may have been “off” as we all have off nights where it seems as if we just don’t have a rhythm.

That’s the beauty of rehearsal, to become excellent in this Now Moment. Make clarity, focus and personal improvement your triangle that envelops your success and your Opening Nights will be filled with accolades.

Be a Person of Quality. Direct Your Power.

Until then…

Be Excellent, Expect the Best!

Let me Know your Thoughts Below, Follow this Blog, and be Social with this Post, for the more people we have living successfully in this Now Moment and discussing the value of doing so, the higher we lift all others around us.

*******

dasouthern@directyourpower.comDA Southern is an Author, Speaker, Blogger and a Personal Development Life Coach, teaching the spirit of living in Now Moments with the principles he experienced during over 35 years as an actor and director in live theatre. DA coaches his clients to rid life of limiting beliefs that have kept them from achieving miracles in all areas of their life by embracing Mindfulness of the Present Moment with a renewed Vision for life. Contact DA Southern for Coaching or Speaking @ dasouthern@directyourpower.com

3 Ways to Begin the Process of Taking Back Your Power

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It takes a certain amount of guts to truly live in the Now Moment with full awareness of the possibilities that surround you.

It takes an awareness of the essence of who you truly are in the Universal Way and it takes the understanding that, if you are in no way even close to that realization, then you need to get there, for the truth shall set you free as has been said.

Look, i understand as life sometimes seems to be anything but yours to live. Maybe you have responsibilities of family and your pursuit of a career. Maybe you are struggling with some type of reliance on some type of release that seems to take you over when you least expect it.

May be you have just become such a victim to life that it seems only natural to just live in this way. I mean, it is normal, right?

Is it?

Yes, we live in a world where we are interconnected and in this age of Social Media, it seems that everyone has an opinion about everything; good and maybe, not so nice. It seems that we are all so willing to give out all of our power to just stay ahead of the game, which many call life, that, in the process, we lose a bit of ourselves just to ‘make nice’.

3 Ways to Begin the Process of Taking Back Your Power

Life is funny with its twist and turns, as one moment you seem to be on top of the world emotionally, and the next, you crash down due to some circumstance that you did not foresee.

And therein lies the challenge; to take you from the place that you have given all of your power away to the circumstances of life to bringing you the awareness that life is a beautiful place that you exist in seamlessly as a destined soul.

So how do you begin the process?

Way 1: Understand that Life Does Nothing To You

You are here and like a George Bailey situation from “It’s A Wonderful Life” if you were not around life would indeed unfold differently, so begin to understand that you are indeed here for a purpose.

Life does nothing to you, it is not out to get you. You are to, in a sense, make life come to you in a way that makes sense to who you are, where your power is and how you direct your power.

Yes, you have a power and you are to direct it but know that life owes you nothing. No governmental entity owes you anything, no person owes you anything. You are here for a reason, so start to grasp it and live it as you were designed.

Way 2: Become Your Truth

Why is it that so many seem to almost desire the release of their personal power to the circumstances and people in their lives? Is it because it is easier at the end of the day to be the victim of life and of others influences in their lives?

I believe it so.

I was working with a client the other day who was bemoaning her very existence within the town she lived in. She said she was miserable because she had no direction, no money and no seeming future.

I simply asked her that if money were no object, what would she do?

She then brightened up with the possibilities that would be opened to her and then we moved to her present circumstances. By the end of the session, she had a new direction of simply improving her present conditions within her house that would give her a sense of direction.

It was never about the money, really. It was about her giving all of her power away to her circumstances, to her husband, to her lack of a direction. It was all about her not living her truth.

It is easy to be a victim and not to be your truth for then you always have someone to blame.

That is not living. That is not Directing Your Own Life.

Way 3: Understand That This Now Moment is the Only Moment That Matters

One of the biggest challenges in life is to always be looking for the future in some way. Trust me, this is a concept that goes against all that we are taught by parents and institutions of learning in that everything is future-based on some future success. Even many of our religious institutions have succumbed to the idea that some future reward is all that matters and that everything is there waiting for you.

But the real truth is Opening Night. It is a date on a calendar and something we are aware of, but the show happens in the rehearsal that is happening right now.

Such is life. Yes, it is fantastic to know that you want to be this or that, do this or that, but, it is here where any ‘this or that’ happens. This is the very nature of many of our financial challenges right now; the wanting of it all regardless of the ability to be abundant for it.

It is as of you cast someone for a play and tell them that Opening Night is tomorrow. In no way could they be ready for it, nor could any other aspect of the show.

You see, living in the moment is all about awareness of what can be and the possibilities but it is full immersion into this moment alone. Any other way you live is simply an egoic tendency to try to craft a future that may or may not exist as you planned.

Be present, live your truth and understand that life flows with or without you, but that it has been designed for you to participate in fully and with a passion for it.

Be a Person of Quality. Direct Your Power.

Until then…

Be Excellent, Expect the Best!

Let me Know your Thoughts Below, Follow this Blog, and be Social with this Post, for the more people we have living successfully in this Now Moment and discussing the value of doing so, the higher we lift all others around us.

*******

dasouthern@directyourpower.comDA Southern is an Author, Speaker, Blogger and a Personal Development Life Coach, teaching the spirit of living in Now Moments with the principles he experienced during over 35 years as an actor and director in live theatre. DA coaches his clients to rid life of limiting beliefs that have kept them from achieving miracles in all areas of their life by embracing Mindfulness of the Present Moment with a renewed Vision for life. Contact DA Southern for Coaching or Speaking @ dasouthern@directyourpower.com

The Clarity of a Focused Life: 3 Ways To Look At The Process

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In the dynamics of putting together a theatrical production to perform, there is always an Opening Night in which we are striving. Such as life, the events that we are preparing for, our Opening Nights, are really nothing more than a series of rehearsals in some way.

But let me explain the process here. You see, a lot of behind the scenes events have to happened before an Opening Night ever does. Besides the rehearsals, there is the stage prep, the show marketing and everything else that makes a production a success.

In life, such as in the theatre, we to have a lot of behind the scenes actions that must take place for our own Opening Nights. Like a theatrical season, with several opening nights contained within our season, think of your life as a series of Opening Nights as well.

Multitasking Our Lives Away

The challenge is that often times we are multitasking our life away with no sense of clarity at all. We just react to one situation after another and seem to drift away hoping and praying for the best.

Seriously, we hope and pray to God that this or that happens and get hacked off when it doesn’t blaming God, the world, the economy and everything in between instead of looking at the epicenter of all the seismic activity; Ourselves.

Now, you would think that from a true Now Moment perspective, that drifting is our forte and that is the rap that has been put upon Now Moment-types; We just stand around in a calm state and never are concerned about any moment but this one.

Well, yes and no.

Clarity and Focus are the key to all Now Moments. Like putting together a show, we understand when Opening Night is and all that has to be done to get there, we just understand that nothing happens Opening Night that hasn’t already happened in every rehearsal day that leads up to Opening Night.

3 Ways to Adopt a Life of Focus and Clarity

Now Moment thinkers, which is the desire of all, but the ego attempts to have you only in the Opening Nights of your life and the worries of some future day with no appreciation or concern for the Present Moment. Left up to the ego, the Opening Nights would never contain any rehearsals, only the incessant worry that there is about the Opening Night to begin with.

Way 1: Look at the Opening Nights of Your Life and Know They Are Not Lived There

With clarity and focus, Now Moment thinkers have a sense of the precious gift that is an Opening Night but truly understand that it is in the rehearsals that we find our voice. In every part an actor rehearses for, there is that one point where they “get it”. That point in the rehearsal process where their part comes alive to them. It is usually when they have gotten “off script” and the words become part of them, as does then the character.

In life, having a sense of clarity and focus does not immediately give you that sense, as one might think, but it is when we go “off script” so to speak, that the part we are playing becomes alive to us.

This is the reason many who engage in New Year’s Resolutions go so horribly off track. They live only in the Opening Night of the resolution and never truly get “off script” for the resolution to become alive to them.

Way 2: Be Willing to Pursue Every Rehearsal Night With A Single Focus

Rehearsals are an amazing thing in that if an actor comes into it completely focused on the days events or some past rehearsal where things didn’t click for them, they often time get inside their own heads. The only rehearsal that matters is the one you are in.

Such is life. The only moment that truly matters is the one that you are in. Don’t allow a past that you have labeled as “unsuccessful” vitiate this Present Moment. And don’t be concerned with Opening Night, for it is Now. You see, without the clarity and focus of this Precious gift of Now, there is no Opening Night worth speaking of.

As i used to tell actors, we all desire there to be an Opening Night, but the only way to be sure that there is to be one is to be focused on this rehearsal alone for here is where any Opening Night happens.

Way 3: Reward Successes Along the Way

It can not be said enough that if you don’t take care and concern for the little victories of the Now Moments, that opening Night is often a let down. In fact, this is such a danger that actors often fall victim to what i call, “Opening Night Hangover.” Essentially, they were so vested in opening night, that the second night comes and they lack the enthusiasm for the continuation of the show run. It was as if the Opening Night was the end-all-to-beat-all.

But like in life, Opening Night is only the beginning, usually. There is usually a show run that has to be performed. Not every one comes to Opening Night.

Don’t get trapped in the success of Opening Night Alone, but reward great performances along the way. If you find yourself looking for opportunities to be grateful for yours and others involved in your Opening Night, be it a team, a partner or whoever, and you look for ways to appreciate the little moments of achievement, then you will understand that sometimes the little moments rewarded are the essence of life themselves.

Be a Person of Quality. Direct Your Power.

Until then…

Be Excellent, Expect the Best!

Let me Know your Thoughts Below, Follow this Blog, and be Social with this Post, for the more people we have living successfully in this Now Moment and discussing the value of doing so, the higher we lift all others around us.

*******

directyourownlife@gmail.comDA Southern is an Author, Speaker, Blogger and a Strategic Life Coach, teaching the spirit of living in Now Moments with the principles he experienced during over 35 years as an actor and director in live theatre. DA coaches his clients to rid life of limiting beliefs that have kept them from achieving miracles in all areas of their life by embracing Mindfulness of the Present Moment with a renewed Vision for life. Contact DA Southern for Coaching or Speaking directyourownlife@gmail.com

3 Ways to Allow the Ego to Not Determine Your Future Happiness

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“Get your head out of the clouds son and think about your future.” my dad would tell me.

As i now look at the lunacy of that statement as a Present Moment thinker and coach, i have begun to breech the very nature of the future as a place the ego likes to keep us forever tied as a place where it, alone, has the answers of your hopes and dreams.

How could you ever doubt the ego, right? I mean, as long as you are forever looking forward, the very Now of it all is certainly of no concern.

But the trap is set and we have all fallen victim to it, or maybe, are in its clutches in this very Now Moment. The future, that glorious hope that this stinking Now Moment won’t exist. The very device that the ego keeps you from seeing beauty in this Present Moment keeps most from the understanding that when the “future” gets here, what is it really?

It is the Now Moment.

But the ego has a powerful ally in its always endeavor of a future pull; Life and all who participate and tell you as much to begin with.

We are told from as far back as babies that the future is all that matters. Kids are even told as early as kindergarten to choose a career path and encouraged to think of the resources that are needed to get there in the future.

Really?

Yes, we all have a destiny within us, that which gives our souls that sense of eternity, but it is a journey of self discovery that should be allowed to manifest in an organic way within each ones own individual journey.

Hollywood movies and accounts of famous people throughout the ages have heralded the journey of those who have “bucked the system” and struck out on their own to find their destiny according to themselves. You see, when you allow others and the ego to always think of the future and what you ‘should’ be doing, this Now Moment becomes unimportant. Essentially, reality can only truly exist then in some future event.

When you say it like that, it sounds ridiculous does it not?

I liken the future as telling someone to ‘try’ and pick up a glass from a counter. They can either pick up the glass or not pick up the glass, you cannot ‘try’ to. That, in essence, is the future. It is always something that is simply a ‘try’ scenario; you are trying to make it something it is not.

Yoda said it best when talking to Luke Skywalker, “Do or do not, there is no try.” You have got to admit that that little green Jedi Master knew what to say, right?

Living in some future reality is the actual living with ‘your head in the clouds.’  The future is not here nor shall it be as the ego designs it for you. Many people fall into the landmines of future happiness in some future relationship, some future perfect job, some future perfect living conditions. This is at the heart of stress and depression for many people; the future not as planned.

Let me give you an analogy here. As a director, i would give people a script at the beginning of rehearsals that defined the parameter of the show. We had the future in our hands, but what brings uniqueness to the future are not the set words written in the script, but the actors that are saying the words, bringing life to them.

As much as we all know as we rehearse the play, the future of how it will end, the performance is as mysterious as any future ever is. Will the actor say all of the words in the script as written? Maybe, maybe not, but one thing is for sure, the only moment we have to make the show flow is to bring the Now Moments we spend on the script to light on Opening Night and beyond.

The ego always has your head in the clouds and it is called the future, and it is not written yet.

3 Ways to Allow the Ego to Not Determine Future Happiness

Step 1: Understand that the past is called that for a reason, it is gone and no longer defines you.

Many fall into the trap of being forever tied to a past comment, emotion or event that is supposed to become their future. While they are tied there, they become then so embroiled within it that the future then becomes this constant embracing of the past, trying to ‘make it right’.

Typical tactic of the ego in that as long as it can keep you in the past or so tied up in the past that you are forever striving to make it a better future, you are forever kept of balance and never fully capable of connecting with the truth that is you.

Many times you see it of people who come from a dysfunctional home environment when they say that they will never be like the environment that they came from. On the surface, that sounds admirable, but when you are so tied to an identity of what you don’t want to become that it is all you do to not become it, you never fully define the truth of who you are in this Now Moment.

Step 2: Release the preconceived ideas and emotions of others about your journey

Hollywood loves making movies about the person in a family who doesn’t desire to go into the family business and seeks out on a journey of self-discovery.

Why do you think that movies such as these speaks to us so deeply?

Because it is in our very core, especially if we have indeed done something that is really counter-intuitive to who we are deep inside. We are on the journey that is ours alone. If it is what your family and does indeed bring you joy, it is in your core, then by all means become your destiny. But when guilt defines your journey, it is the simple act of the ego defining who you are and will always take you from the joy of Now Moments.

Step 3: Understand that this Now Moment is the only future you have.

When you put away the guilt of what others think your journey should be and focus on what it is within you, what brings you joy, then become that journey.

As i don’t subscribe to the concept of regret, as it is merely an egoic way of living in some past that the ego uses to define you current reality, this Now Moment becomes the place to leave it where it belongs; buried and left on its own.

There is a truth in living as a creature of joy and not allowing some future to be as much for you. Like Opening Night, we know the future may exist, but there is no guarantee. It is in the rehearsal in this Now Moment that defines any future Now Moments that might become your reality.

Live them brilliantly for that is the only truth you will ever truly experience

Be Excellent, Expect the Best.

*******

Let me Know your Thoughts Below, Follow this Blog, and be Social with this Post, for the more people we have living successfully in this Now Moment and discussing the value of doing so, the higher we lift all others around us.

*******

directyourownlife@gmail.comDA Southern is an Author, Speaker, Blogger and a Strategic Life Coach, teaching the spirit of living in Now Moments with the principles he experienced during over 35 years as an actor and director in live theatre. DA coaches his clients to rid life of limiting beliefs that have kept them from achieving miracles in all areas of their life by embracing Mindfulness of the Present Moment with a renewed Vision for life. Contact DA Southern for Coaching or Speaking directyourownlife@gmail.com

The Ego and Victimhood; The 2 Step Process To Release Being A Victim

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There has been a real trend in the USA towards being a victim to the extent that most, it seems, are going to be a victim or, if nothing else, they look for ways in which to be so at some point in time. We train the fear of that very fact into every child from an early age onward.

It is all built upon the concept of “rights” and it seems that “rights” and “victims” are so closely related that we can’t seem to find one without the other in modern society. But what many fail to understand is that at the heart of battling for the “rights” automatically implies a victimhood status. The very irony of fighting for the “rights” of one person or group presupposes an automatic victimization of another or group.

As i could get very technical on the different aspects of victims and who is or not genuinely a victim, i will not. Suffice it to say that the very thing we breed into our children, the culture of fear, as i call it, is a natural step into being a constant victim.

In his treatise on the pathology of victimhood, Rethinking ‘Don’t Blame the Victim’: The Psychology of Victimhood By Ofer Zur, Ph.D, he states,

“From a very young age we are taught not to trust strangers, not to take candy from them or follow them to their cars. Milk cartons and grocery bags carry pictures of missing children who have been abducted. The mass media saturates us with stories of innocent victims who have been raped, robbed, and murdered by people unknown. More and more Americans arm themselves, barricade their homes, and avoid going places for fear of violent crime. The commonly held belief is that the victim and victimizers are strangers to each other, yet it can be argued otherwise.

While the media, our teachers, and the milk cartons tell us the danger is ‘out there,’ in fact, the home and one’s own neighborhood are the places where one is most likely to get hurt. Murder statistics shed further light on the relationship between victimizers and victims. It shows that at least 88% of murder victims in the U.S. had an ongoing active relationship with their murderers. The relationship ranged from intimate or close friends (28%), to relatives (24%), and acquaintances and paramours (36%). Only 12% of the cases involved complete strangers (Jain, 1990; Wolfgang & Ferracuti, 1967). The F.B.I. reports that 1.5 million children are abducted each year. The agency also claims that most of these children (80-90%) are abducted by a parent in a custody dispute and not by strangers (Gelles & Straus, 1988).”

As i have coached many who have been caught up in the victimization of our culture, i sense that really, we have become fodder for the egoic tendencies that i believe are at the heart of being a victim of, well, everything.

As the ego does what the ego does best, it keeps itself front and center as it seeks to “protect” you at any cost, you become “a ‘fraidy cat”, as little kids say to one another, when faced with a “put your tongue on a frozen flag pole” situation in life. The ego raises its ugly head to make sure you are not seen as such and in the process seeks to make you a victim of people, places, circumstances and, life, in general, so as not to have to have you be in the Present Moment of living victoriously.

Here is the crux of egoic thinking; Victims like their victimhood as it keeps them forever tied to a future that has no hope and a past that is filled with instances that are reasons to expect more of the same.

You have heard it from those ego-locked souls in perpetual victim status and maybe even participated in the “stinkin thinkin” exercises yourself with statements such as:

“Ever notice as soon as you get in the Express Line at the grocery store the line slows down?”

“When I was growing up my mother was very distant and since then I have had a hard time relating to women.”

“I’d like to have more money, but I have so many financial problems I will never get out of debt.”

“I’d like to open a business of my own, but my wife thinks it is too risky, so I guess I had better stay at this secure and boring job I dislike going to every day.”

What do these statements have in common? The very nature of the person who is making the statement. Each statement seems to reflect the same type of individual; a person with low self-worth and a soul who has a predisposition towards negative expectations.

Essentially, these people are holding on to their victimhood. They live at the Victim Level of Awareness. It is almost as if the ego is using victimhood as a way to keep them in their unfortunate past with the stories of the problems of their life.

Here is the truth about ego and being a victim. While they are commiserate companions, the very nature of living in the Present Moment with a peace of knowing that life is a glorious journey escapes them.

The real challenge for most stuck in the egoic nature of victimhood is that you tell your story so well to everyone around you that you end up following your own script. Your ego keeps you in an endless cycle of being that perpetual victim.

The 2 Step Process to Begin to Release the Ego From the Desire for Victimhood

Step 1: Understand that no matter what has happened, you’ve made it to this moment, have you not?

You are here, Present in this moment. You have survived every past Now Moment. Evidently, no matter how hard the ego has given you a fear of a future that it must be involved in, no matter what the cost, you are here.

So, release the past. Understand that the Universe is a glorious place and that your journey is as it is supposed to be. Don’t label things as ‘bad’ or ‘good’ but see them as experiences for growth.

I am reminded of a quote from Oscar Wilde who said,

“Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.”

The very nature of this statement should make you smile and give you pause to reflect of the journey of Now Moments and know that none of us are victims of the past, but only reflections. We can look at ourselves and then move on, for reflections do not hold us but allow us to see ourselves as we are Now.

Step 2. Embrace this Present Moment alone, for it is all you have.

Here is where i lose many in the discussion as we have been taught that there is a future that MUST be planned and calculated to the second. However, there is old adage that says, “If you want to make God laugh, just tell him your plans.”

Present Moment thinkers are usually called, “head in the clouds” or  “pie in the sky” thinkers, or whatever else the ego says of those who are not under its dominion. But please show me one ounce of evidence that there is a future. Yes, we plan an existence with a hopeful eye on tomorrow, as that is the nature of truly living in the Now Moment, but we don’t live there.

It is as when i have directed a theatrical production; we hope there is an Opening Night, but the play happens one rehearsal night at a time. The idea is that we are only as ready for Opening Night that is the reflection of each rehearsal that we were involved in.

Essentially, this is the Now Moment we live in and we are aware of the presence of the future, but this Moment is but the reflection of the past.

Understand that there is much more to be discovered on this journey of love known as life, but you have indeed made it to this Present Moment. Reflect, but know that a reflection only shows you as you are but holds no pull on you otherwise. Your reflection is your past and your present, but you can look and walk away.

It is a choice.

And, live, truly live, in the Now Moments you are given for as an Opening Night approaches, know that while it may be scheduled, that when you arrive there, you are only a reflection of the rehearsals that you participated in.

Participate fully Now as it is the only Moment you have to do so.

*******

Let me Know your Thoughts Below, Follow this Blog, and be Social with this Post, for the more people we have living successfully in this Now Moment and discussing the value of doing so, the higher we lift all others around us.

*******

directyourownlife@gmail.comDA Southern is an Author, Speaker, Blogger and a Strategic Life Coach, teaching the spirit of living in Now Moments with the principles he experienced during over 35 years as an actor and director in live theatre. DA coaches his clients to rid life of limiting beliefs that have kept them from achieving miracles in all areas of their life by embracing Mindfulness of the Present Moment with a renewed Vision for life. Contact DA Southern for Coaching or Speaking directyourownlife@gmail.com

3 Ways to Go Beyond the Ego to Your Destiny

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When i was a kid, one of the first awards i remember receiving as a writer, was when i wrote an essay about the virtues of drinking Coke for the local Coca-Cola Distributor in my town.

The Distributor held the writing contest to inspire young drinkers of Coke to become life-long drinkers of Coke, i suppose, but the prize was legitimate in that it was only to be a single winner at each age range. So, i wrote it and won my division, but you know what the prize was? Beside the obligatory certificate saying i was a first place winner, i received a whole case of Coke for my very own. It was a grand prize indeed, especially as a kid eleven years young, or so.

But here was the kicker, after winning my glorious case of Coke, i was immediately informed of having to share the case of Coke with my siblings, who contributed nothing…nada…zilch to the winning of the case of Coke.

Suffice it to say, for an eleven year young lad, sharing my booty of that, fine dark liquid was not part of winning. Anger and frustration was the word of the day. But i suppose what was more telling was the reason my mother gave me.

It was selfish for me not to share.

No real reason other than that and no discussion. I was told simply to do it and not to be so selfish. Now, would i have probably shared with my siblings? Yes, as my sister and i had a pretty good relationship and my brother would have given me some little prized trinket i so desire from his stash in return. But being so compelled to do so with the word “selfish” attached to the incident was devastating for many years in that the ego attached many layers to the incident over time.

Words such as anger, frustration and selfishness then become fodder for the ego to protect you by using the words to rid you of so-called enemies in life. The ego then desires to make sure that those feelings are not used by others ever again to hurt you.

Now here is the thing; the ego uses all instances in life to encase you in a shell that becomes so convoluted that it feels right to allow it to protect and serve. The ego is your mighty protector and, as has been discussed on our series on anger, uses anger and other feelings to push you forward and strains all relationships along the way that impede that progress.

But along the way, the feelings such as anger, frustration, self-doubt and, even love, become nothing more that a power-grab by the ego to control you. We are even in a culture that honors the ego as a way to be all we can be. We honor achievement as an expression of the ego and we have created a culture of me-ism that is afflicting our very core.

Now, don’t get me wrong, success in one’s profession is honorable and admired. It is the egoic tendency of the “scorched-earth” policy of success-at-whatever-cost that the ego tends to use to blur the difference between the two before our very eyes that is devastating.

We are all endowed by our creator with a talent that far outshines the ego and here is where we need to make the distinction. The ego controls, manipulates, coerces and demands an allegiance to the future, with deep roots in the past. The ego demands that all others be taken out, metaphorically, and that it is always front and center.

Our passion, the desire within us to create that the Universe gives each soul, is completely non-egoic in nature. It must create and do so because it is the very nature of our souls to expand, such as does the Universe. When the ego steps in and tries to control that which is your desire, it is as if you sense that something is “off” and you are no longer in control.

This is the reason people become angry and frustrated with life; they are not cast in the right role and their heart is just not in the play anymore.

I understand this very feeling as a director as the very nature of acting and directing can be extremely egoic. It is the very nature of actors to want to be in the spotlight for their talent, they want to be told they are/were good. The ego demands satisfaction. But when you step back and look  at the nature of performing as a whole, as to the affect you can have on bringing a sense of humanity to people through the art, then the ego becomes non-existent. You become larger and more expansive than the ego can fathom. You become the destiny that you were called for.

3 Ways to Go Beyond the Ego to Your Destiny

Step 1: What Did You Desire To Be As A Kid?

Now, while it is a clever ploy the ego uses by keeping you tied to the past, you only inquire this of yourself so as to see that Universal desire within. It matters not so much but for the general idea.

Was it a cowboy, an astronaut, a famous movie star?

It more goes to the desires behind the intent. What are the characteristics that the desire provoked. You will find that the ego has used those maybe to propel you, but it was been my experience as a Life Coach that the latent desires are usually insulated for the egos reach and that the truth of who you are is never-changing.

Step 2: Identify the traits you are now using in your current position.

It doesn’t really matter what you are doing, even if it is no where close to what you believe is your destiny. There are traits of your desire, even if the ego thinks them non-sensible, that you are using. Just look inward and tell the ego to take a lunch break if you have not fired him/her form your company known as “You, Inc.”

The key here is to make no judgement on your usage or non-usage of an identified trait. Just identify it and accept it as who you are.

I can guarantee that if you are not using your destiny traits in your position in some way, that there is a pretty good chance you have a hobby that you have thrown yourself into that does.

Step 3: Look at the intent of your Desire Traits and imagine how you could incorporate them into this Present Moment going forward.

As i have said before, in the preparation of a theatrical play, the objective is always to get to Opening Night. As a director, it is never the intent to tell an actor to save some future performance or the emotion of their performance for Opening Night, but it is in the rehearsals that we find our voice. The play always happens in this Now Moment.

We are ever evolving into an Opening Night or a series of Opening Nights that make up the Theatrical Season that is our life. This is the moment that your desire must manifest. Start to allow your Destiny Traits to manifest in this Now Moment, for here is where all future begins.

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Let me Know your Thoughts Below, Follow this Blog, and be Social with this Post, for the more people we have living successfully in this Now Moment and discussing the value of doing so, the higher we lift all others around us.

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directyourownlife@gmail.comDA Southern is a Strategic Life Coach, teaching the spirit of living in Now Moments with the principles he experienced during over 35 years as an actor and director in live theatre. DA coaches his clients to rid life of limiting beliefs that have kept them from achieving miracles in all areas of their life by embracing Mindfulness of the Present Moment with a renewed Vision for life. Contact DA Southern for coaching directyourownlife@gmail.com

Mindfulness: 3 Ways To Allow Mindfulness To Impact the Present Moment

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Einstein was right, although wasn’t he about most things? You must indeed keep your balance on a bike, but let me carry it one step further as it relates to being mindful. Not only must you keep your balance, you must keep moving forward and be ever mindful of your surroundings as you do so. Unlike driving a car, which many seem to believe they can do a multitude of other things as they drive around, riding a bike is a very mindful event.

Unlike driving a car which can run over most small obstacles without a concern (of course, many of those small objects, like animals, may not be too excited about your lack of focus), you have to be ever mindful of your terrain, down to the very stick in the road, as you are balancing on two wheels and one slight over-steering results in you seeing what the road looks like in front of you, in a very close and intimate way.

Also, being mindful is being totally connected to the Now-ness of it all. Essentially, we may know where we are going and have plotted our course, but it is in the here and now that the ride happens. If we lose focus for one second, we fall. It is the balance of the moment; the essential mindfulness of the present moment that keeps us forever focused on the immediacy of the journey ahead, for only here can we maintain the safety and security of our ride.

It is as i have said when putting together a theatre production, Opening Night happens one rehearsal at a time. Such it is in life, the journey happens one Present Moment at a time.

There is a trend in the business community for laser focus, thankfully getting away from the concept of multitasking. Admittedly, i am one who has been prone to that, having a lot of things going at once. That it is the director in me, i suppose, as i have to be able to see the big picture when directing a show. When watching several performances at once you have to quickly scan for blending elements of the actors so as to blend all performances of a show. It is a gift, so the concept of multitasking seems not out of line, but as i really understand the directing pursuit, i understand that the creator endows each with gifts and that contained within those gifts are the aspect of focus; a singular, laser like focus. That is mindfulness in its purist form.

3 Tips to Allow Mindfulness Within

1. As stated, like riding a bike and producing a stage play, know your destination, but don’t “Live” there. It is the Opening Night, the objective or goal you desire, that matters. But do not allow the ego to be in charge. Clarity. Exacting clarity with the end in mind is the objective so that the nights of rehearsal make sense.

For example, I would not tell actors that we are doing a show about a couple in love and not really know the way the show is structured. We have a script that we follow. I have found that those without a script have no peace, no mindfulness in the present moment.

2. Be confident in who you are, that you have a purpose and are acting at your highest level. Acting is a fickle beast and the mistake many make as actors as not playing to their strengths.

An example from my beginning years as an actor. It was high school. I was still trying to define myself as an actor as to what i really loved from an acting perspective. I desired the lead role in the school musical, South Pacific. Now. i was definitely not leading man looking material. I mean, I could act it, but i was a scrawny, developing kid. I mean, i took voice lessons and everything, and the kid that got cast in the role was a basketball player who looked the part. Such is acting and such are the lessons learned along the way. Play to your strengths and you will get the roles. You will define the roles that bring you mindfulness in these Now Moments.

3. Don’t take your cue from those around you as to what your role is. Don’t let others define you. You see it in every arena of life. When others define you, you never truly know what role you are playing. Take any politician, for example. When there opponent defines them with some type of negative advertisement, and they fail to respond, they have lost. I’ve seen it as a director. An actor will listen to another actor’s advice on how to do their role and, in the process, lose the effectiveness of the role completely. It is only when you define yourself, and stay true to who you are in your role that you operate at a level of confidence. You are true to you and you are the only one you are truly responsible for.

So Mindfulness equals, Clarity, Confidence and Role Definition. These three components can begin to get you on that bicycle heading in the right direction.

Always remember that it is in this Present Moment alone that gets you to your goal. That is all you have. That is all you will ever have.

Let me know your thoughts below, get on the newsletter list HERE, and share with your friends, for the more people we have living successfully in this Now Moment and discussing the value of doing so, the higher we lift all others around us.

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directyourownlife@gmail.comDA Southern is a Strategic Personal Development Coach , teaching the spirit of living in Now Moments with the principles he experienced during over 35 years as an actor and director in live theatre. DA coaches his clients to rid life of limiting beliefs that have kept them from achieving miracles in all areas of their life by embracing Mindfulness of the Present Moment with a renewed passion for life. Contact DA Southern for coaching directyourownlife@gmail.com

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